Tag Archive for the war 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

 

Morning Links: LA Times says stop killing pedestrians, and Metro plans LA River bike path through DTLA

A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to stop killing pedestrians, and calls on the city to invest in smart infrastructure — including road diets — to “protect motorists, cyclists and pedestrians from each other and from themselves.”

Which is exactly what Vision Zero is supposed to be about.

But so far, isn’t.

At least not in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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Metro unveils plans to extend the LA River bike path eight miles through DTLA between Elysian Valley and Vernon.

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LA County will host a community meeting on December 5th to discuss the proposed Complete Streets project for Rosemead Blvd.

The County of Los Angeles is hosting a community meeting for the Rosemead Boulevard Complete Streets Improvement (CSI) Project – Phase I. Stop by any time during the community meeting on December 5 to learn about the proposed complete street enhancements, share your ideas on a vision for Rosemead Bl and talk to Project team members. Spanish interpreters will be available.

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course, 3260 Fairway Dr., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

For more information, contact Martin Reyes, Principal Civil Engineering Assistant, at 844-588-8877. Please visit the webpage for more information at www.dpw.lacounty.gov/go/rosemeadCS.

………

As we’ve noted before, the war on cars is a myth. But the war on bikes is all too real.

A San Bernardino driver allegedly used his car to murder a bike-riding acquaintance.

A British driver is charged with slapping a bike rider, then driving up on the sidewalk and confronting him again.

French pro cyclist Yoann Offredo was fined the equivalent of $833 for an altercation with a road raging driver and her passenger, even though he claimed he was just defending himself; they were fined, as well.

A road raging New Zealand driver jumped a curb and drove onto a sidewalk to run down a bike rider, then got out of his car and told the victim his broken leg serves him right; police arrested the driver thanks to the victim’s photo of his license plate.

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Then again, sometimes bike riders are the bad guys.

A Fresno bike rider was caught on video stealing from a donation box.

A road raging San Francisco bicyclist was arrested for allegedly boarding a bus to attack the driver.

And a Wisconsin man is facing charges for a sexual assault spree while riding his bike.

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Don’t make the Corgi beg. Your donation will help keep this site online, and keep her in kibble.

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

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

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

And thanks to Wesley R, Harvey W, Fred D, Patrick M, Guillermo A, Todd R, Bernard B, Elizabeth T, Anne M and Andrew F for their generous donations to help support this site.

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Local

An allegedly drunk driver in North Hills was arrested after plowing into six parked cars and killing a mother as she carried her infant son. Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver with a previous DUI conviction on the roads until he killed someone.

A Mar Vista tattoo artist says the Venice Blvd Great Streets project has caused a drop-off in business, and forced him to ride his bike to work because there’s never any parking. Or as the great Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

A former South Pasadena public works commissioner says it doesn’t matter if a road diet and bike lanes are feasible on Monterey Road, because the public won’t stand for it. Sadly, given the toxic atmosphere in the LA area these days, he’s probably right.

Pasadena plans to install new bike racks in Brookside Park.

Pasadena considers alternatives to the most likely cancelled 710 Freeway extension, including building bike lanes to help mitigate traffic.

 

State

California regulators finally released updated CEQA rules, which will no longer require developers and planners to consider a proposed project’s effects on traffic congestion. Which should make it much easier to build bike lanes by removing a frequent tool used by opponents. That was the basis for one of the lawsuits filed against the Vista del Mar lane reduction, which helped force the removal of the project; hopefully there will be a different result next time.

A San Diego talk radio host has started a petition to repeal California’s recent gas tax hike intended to repair the state’s broken roads. Anyone who signs it should be permanently prohibited from complaining about traffic or bad streets.

 

National

Fast Company considers what it will take to get more women on bicycles.

Bicycling looks at the best bags for bike commuters.

Chicago is working to separate bicyclists and pedestrians along the entire 18-mile length of the popular Lakefront Trail.

People playing Pokémon Go while driving caused two deaths and up to $25 million in damages in one Indiana county alone last year.

New York could be the next city to hop on the dockless bikeshare bandwagon. Unless Houston beats them to it.

A witness says a New York driver ran a red light at a high rate of speed before fatally plowing into a 14-year bike delivery boy. So naturally, the NYPD will give the driver a pass.

Life is cheap in the Big Apple, where an allegedly stoned driver walks without a single day behind bars after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of a bike rider.

 

International

Thieves stole 27 test bikes, as well as high-end wheels, worth the equivalent of nearly $200,000 from British bike magazine Cycling Weekly; the gear was on hand to be photographed for the magazine’s Editor’s Choice awards. Speaking of the magazine, it was included in the $2.8 billion sale of Time Magazine and other publications to a company partially financed by the conservative Koch brothers.

An English university paper offers seven bike safety tips for students, only three of which actually have anything to do with safety. And apparently they couldn’t come up with a picture of a bike helmet.

A British bicyclist describes a crash last week where a driver plowed into him and three other cyclists, including his wife, as they rode single file; fortunately, none were seriously injured.

An English woman is riding around New Zealand on a DIY bamboo bike to spread an anti-plastic message.

The Guardian writes about the challenges of riding in the winter and how to overcome them. Although Britain’s Cyclist Magazine offers more practical advice for riding in wet weather, much of which even applies here in usually sunny SoCal.

Iran faces the challenge of getting women off bikes, not on them, as the country’s supreme leader issues a fatwa prohibiting women from riding bicycles in public, or in the presence of strangers or non-family members.

Aussie researchers are shocked! shocked! to discover people on bicycles actually ride in the traffic lanes on regular streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Everything you always wanted to know about the Tour de France, but were afraid to ask.

The board of the Polish cycling federation has been asked to resign over charges that cyclists and staff members had been drugged, raped and molested by a high-ranking official.

 

Finally…

Yes, cycling has benefits for fitness, even if they can’t seem to decide which kind they’re talking about. Evidently, you can have satisfying sex with your bike.

And maybe it’s not the best idea to jump from a moving bicycle onto an ATV to make a bust.

Or try to, anyway.

 

Morning Links: LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman is missing, and former a SoCal cyclist killed in Arizona

Unfortunately, we have to start the week with bad news.

Longtime Los Angeles bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been reported missing by his family, according to a message I received from his niece.

It’s unclear how long it’s been since anyone has seen or heard from the Toluca Lake resident; CiclaValley reports he has been missing for over two months, though a convenience store clerk said she’d seen him just two to three days ago.

Hindman is one of the city’s best bike safety and policy wonks, capable of digging into the smallest details of a project to highlight a specific issue, or uncover hidden problems or unexpected benefits.

He has been a supporter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for nearly a decade, if not longer. During my time on the board he was an active participant in virtually every committee I was involved in, and never failed to volunteer for the bike count or attend any LACBC event.

He’s also a semi-regular contributor to this site, as well as others. And a frequent commenter on LA Streetsblog dating back nearly to its founding, offering detailed statistics to back up his opinions.

And he’s someone I consider a friend.

Let’s hope this is just a big misunderstanding, and he turns up safe and sound, with a good explanation for why he’s been gone.

If you have any information on his disappearance or where he might be, please contact me and I’ll forward it to the right people.

Update: I’ve received more information from Hindman’s niece.

His family is concerned that he may have had a diabetic episode; apparently he was hospitalized at the end of August for extremely high blood sugar.

His rent was last paid in mid-September, and has not been paid for this month; a police officer visited his apartment and discovered the milk in his refrigerator had expired in August and his bicycle was missing. 

Where he was been for the last two months remains a mystery.  

Update 2: Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a local hospital. More details when they’re available.

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More bad news, as a member of the Big Orange Cycling club was killed in a collision while riding outside Phoenix AZ yesterday.

The victim has been identified on Facebook as 36-year old Rob Dollar.

No details on how the crash occurred are currently available; however, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests that a teenage driver may have drifted into his lane.

I’m told Dollar had recently moved to Gilbert, Arizona, where he was in the process of forming an Arizona chapter of the SoCal riding club.

He’s described as fantastic guy with a big heart, and “a total badass on a bike.”

This comes exactly one week after Big Orange member Dan Martin was severely injured in a crash while riding home last Sunday, leaving him in the ICU with a broken neck. A crowdfunding campaign to help defray his medical bills has raised over $18,000 in four days.

Update: A Phoenix TV station reports that 19-year old Annaleah Dominguez has been charged with manslaughter and drug charges in Dollar’s death. 

She was reportedly driving stoned when she crossed onto the wrong side of the road to avoid another cyclist, and hit Dollar head-on. 

Police recovered what’s described as “a quantity” of marijuana that had been tossed outside her car by Dominguez or her passengers.

Dollar had been descending from the top of South Mountain when he was struck by the car around 9:40 am; he died at the scene.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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Sad news of a different sort, as Bike SD founder and Executive Director Sam Ollinger is leaving the organization, which has helped turn San Diego into what is rapidly becoming one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Southern California.

I first encountered Sam when she emailed me asking what one person could be do to help make what was then a very challenging and bike-unfriendly city a little safer for people on two wheels.

I have no idea what I told her.

But I’ve watched as she’s become one of California’s leading bike advocates, helping pave the way for women to rise to the highest ranks of advocacy.

There’s no doubt that she will do well at whatever she chooses to do next.

But San Diego bicyclists owe her a huge debt. And the city will be much poorer without Sam’s voice.

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As we’ve noted before, the war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Kentucky woman was injured by fishing line strung at neck level in an Elizabethtown park; police found several other booby traps hidden nearby.

A road raging Toronto driver brushes a bicyclist with his mirror, then tries to run him off the road.

A tailgating British driver get 17 months, along with a 21-month ban on driving, for attacking a bike rider who asked if he’d just robbed a bank.

And an Aussie rider was hit in the face with a cup of ice thrown from a passing car, breaking his glasses and cracking his helmet.

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On the other hand, bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Or the victims.

Tragic irony, as a 91-year old New Hampshire woman who had travelled the world by bicycle with her husband was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she walking along a roadway.

A 73-year old British man selling memorial poppies was seriously injured when he was stuck by a bike rider.

And a Singaporean bicyclist is facing charges for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a crash.

However, let’s not forget that, regardless of how the media portrays it, the person on the bike is not always at fault.

You should always use extreme care around pedestrians, grant them the right-of-way, and slow down to pass them with the same sort of margin you’d expect from a driver.

But people can be unpredictable under the best circumstances. I’m sure most of us have had someone step into the roadway to cross without looking, or make an unexpected turn into your path.

Just as drivers have an obligation to avoid us, we have an obligation to avoid crashing into people on foot if it’s at all possible.

But if it isn’t, it’s not always the person on two wheels who should get the blame.

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After all that, we could all use a little good news.

A Colorado bicyclist is back on his bike after keeling over from a heart attack in the middle of a ride; he can credit a pair of Good Samaritans with saving his life until paramedics could arrive.

When a British man had to stop mountain biking after ten years due to illness, his friends pitched in to buy him an ebike. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

After a road raging Brit driver posted video of a small group of cyclists riding in the lane ahead of him instead of a bike lane, the police respond by saying they had every right to be there.

No, really.

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Local

Don’t plan on riding the curb-protected bike lanes on South Figueroa anytime soon. Urbanize.LA reports the MyFigueroa project now won’t be finished until next spring.

The LAPD blames the victim — and the press parrots it — after a pedestrian was killed in a Venice crosswalk when a driver stopped for him in the right lane, and a speeding driver whipped around him on his left. Yet somehow, the police say the victim stepped out into traffic, even though he was in a crosswalk with the right-of-way. Take this as a warning to never cross a street, on your bike or on foot, until every driver stops.

This is the callousness some drivers — and some prosecutors — have. After a pickup driver slammed into two women walking in a crosswalk near the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, killing one and injuring her daughter, the driver got out and dragged the dead woman to the side of the road, then backed up, parked her truck and pretended to be a witness to the crash. And the LA County DA’s office refused to file the serious charges recommended by the CHP, opting for just a single misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter count with a max of one year in jail.

A UCLA podcast talks bikeshare on campus.

 

State

Shockingly, the Bike League ranks California third among bike-friendly states; Nebraska comes in dead last. The question is whether California was really that good, or everyone else just sucked that bad.

Around ten thousand people turned out for Sunday’s CicloSDias in San Diego. Or maybe it was only hundreds.

If you build it, they will try to destroy it. A transit-oriented San Diego community is fighting plans to put a freeway onramp in the middle of their neighborhood, after a local non-profit whose mission is to get people out of their cars inexplicably endorses it.

San Francisco bike advocates get a crash course on the ins and outs of building bike parking.

 

National

Two new studies suggest self-driving cars could lead to even greater congestion, while forcing bike riders off the road. Although at this point, you can probably find a study suggesting autonomous vehicles will lead to everything from a bicycling Nirvana to an automotive apocalypse.

A Las Vegas cyclist talks about the dangers riders face on the roads.

A Colorado man has developed a new bike racing board game based on the Little 500 made famous in Breaking Away.

A bridge over Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River gets a road diet to make room for a bike lane crossing it.

Detroit is naming a new bikeway after legendary boxer Joe Louis.

New York police shut down a bicycle jousting tournament, but can’t manage to kill it.

A New York writer says banning ebikes won’t solve the problem of scofflaw cyclists. Never mind that the people he’s complaining about are just trying to earn a living at the bottom of the food chain.

No disconnect here. A New York writer says nine bicyclists has been killed in the city so far this year, then goes on to say “bicyclists are the most dangerous group on NYC roads.” If getting killed makes you dangerous, then baby harp seals must be the most vicious animals on earth.

An Op-Ed in the Washington Post says there’s still some kinks to work out, but dockless bikeshare could be a success.

No disconnect here. A Virginia letter writer says cyclists should use common sense and stay off a road where drivers can’t seem to stay of the gas pedal.

Oh, nothing. Just a South Carolina man riding his bike with a deer slung over his shoulder.

 

International

A Vancouver man calls bike lanes the bane of his existence, suggesting any new bike lanes should have to be approved by referendum.

An Ottawa woman heads a group that rescues injured birds, setting out by bike early every morning to look for birds that have crashed into windows.

Montreal bike riders call for better safety, saying “If you do nothing, we will continue to die.”

An anonymous writer pens a heartbreaking letter to the speeding driver who killed his or her teenage sister as she rode her bike; decades later, the family is still waiting for an apology.

If you build it, they will come. A protected bike lane in Manchester, England is recording over 5,000 trips a day, comparable to London’s cycle superhighways.

A British bicyclist learns that a travel insurance policy offering “comprehensive cover while cycling” doesn’t exactly mean comprehensive. Or cover what you go cycling on.

Steve Katz forwards video of police in the UK going undercover to catch drivers making illegal close passes.

Pope Francis has been invited to launch the Giro d’Italia when it kicks off in Jerusalem next year.

Drivers in West Australia will now face a $400 fine and four points against their license for passing a bike rider closer than the equivalent of roughly three feet at up to 37 mph, or four and a half feet over that speed. In California, it’s just a $35 fine for passing closer than three feet at any speed. And even that is optional if the driver slows down to pass closer at a closer distance.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. An Australian writer says bikeshare is a terrorist’s best friend, because a bomb could be hidden in one. After all, it’s just so hard to find a cheap bicycle, or steal one, for that matter. Or some other object that could conceal an explosive device, like a car, backpack or baby carriage.

 

Finally…

Cyclists take part in a five day, week long ride through Israel; evidently, the weeks are shorter over there. If an underage kid gives you money to buy him beer, don’t just pocket it and ride away.

And if you missed it, a bicyclist twice saluted President Trump as his motorcade left his Virginia golf club on Saturday.

With one finger.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: The war on bikes goes on, catching up on last week’s news, and Mar Vista CC takes a pass

My laptop is finally back in working order, after ten days and a hard drive-sized hole in my wallet. Which means we’re now back in business, with a lot to catch up on.

And my apologies in advance if I don’t you credit you for something you may have sent me. I’ve tried to keep track of who sent me stories while my computer was down, but may have lost a few along the way.

………

The war on bikes goes on. And on.

In a must read, LA’s Peter Flax has authored a very hard-hitting piece about the dangers people face on the streets simply for riding a bicycle.

Like it or not, cyclists are engaged in a civil-rights battle — about whether we deserve a truly safe place on the road, whether people who kill us with cars should face the same legal consequences as people who kill with other weapons, whether hundreds of human lives represent acceptable collateral damage in a properly lubricated car-focused economy.

I love riding fondos and ogling handbuilt frames, but there is actual blood in the street and people need to decide where they stand. You have to decide where you stand.

Someone has been sabotaging a new Portland mountain bike park, stringing dangerous trip lines across the trails. Thanks to Jeff Vaugh for the heads-up.

Colorado police are investigating after several nails and screws were scattered across the roadway along the route of a popular charity ride.

Australian police are looking for a suspect who may be responsible for tossing hundreds of tacks on a popular bicycling route for the last two years.

An Aussie writer says bicyclists who believe we have to earn the respect of drivers on roadways dominated by motor vehicles are suffering from the Lycra equivalent of Stockholm syndrome.

………

Speaking of catching up, here are just a few of the more important stories we missed.

In one of the best stories of the week, members of the Low Riders bike club built a new food cart for the Hollywood vendor whose cart was overturned by an angry man.

Keep your eyes open for a number of nearly identical hot bikes hitting the market, after 40 bicycles worth $50,000 were stolen from a Washington high school program to promote diversity and help get low income kids on bikes. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

An Idaho writer tells drivers and bicyclists to shut up already, while he explains what the state’s bike laws really are, including the Idaho stop law. Meanwhile, a writer for the Washington Post says maybe the Idaho stop should be legalized in DC to keep drivers from losing their minds over something that’s probably safer for bicyclists.

A Kansas man is accused of jumping the curb with his truck to intentionally run down a man riding his bike on the sidewalk after a dispute at a soup kitchen. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

Patrick Lynch forwards news that Corpus Christi TX police reminded both adults and kids to ride in the street after a 12-year boy was hit by a car while riding on the sidewalk. Even though, as he notes, the kid was hit on a four-lane virtual highway with a 45 mph speed limit and a substandard gutter-bike lane. And I’m sure no Texan would ever speed on a wide-open road like that, right?

Bikeshare helped people in Houston get around after Hurricane Harvey. Meanwhile, a Houston bicyclist was struck by a car while trying to cross a busy freeway, which raises questions of whether alternative routes were still damaged due to the hurricane. Thanks to Bryan Dotson for the tip.

A New York woman was critically injured when a drunk driver plowed into a group of bicyclists stopped at a red light during a century ride; the riders said it looked like he accelerated into the group intentionally after crashing into a parked minivan.

The 76-year old owner of a Delaware TV station was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

The Washington Post reports that bicycling to work means better health and a longer life.

A British Columbia lawyer who specializes in getting dangerous drivers off the hook says “arrogant cyclists” seldom obey the laws governing bicycling, and drivers should take pictures of their scofflaw behavior and report them to the police. And yet he somehow fails to see any hint of a double standard there.

………

If everything went according to plan, Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont will have set the new record for riding around the world by the time you read this, arriving in Paris in just 79 days — one day ahead of schedule.

………

Something many cyclists can relate to, as Tour de France and Vuelta winner Chris Froome says he hates looking in the mirror because he looks ridiculous with his massive legs and tiny chest.

A pair of teenagers took the top prizes in the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup, presented by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

……….

Local

The Mar Vista Community Council cited parliamentary rules in delaying a revote on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, despite several motions calling on the city to restore the street to its original dangerous configuration — much to the frustration of a passionate and apparently evenly split crowd.

Glendale Assemblywoman Laura Friedman has secured $20 million in state funding to complete the final phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, one of three bike and pedestrian bridges planned for the LA River.

Long Beach considers a 40-year plan to increase density near the Los Cerritos Wetlands and Alamitos Bay, including new bike lanes, mid-block crossing and widened sidewalks to create a balance between vehicular traffic and alternative transportation.

 

State

Around 100 women and men turned out for a ride designed to get more women on their bikes in Imperial Beach.

A 68-year old Palo Alto woman had her purse stolen from her bike when she stopped to talk with a group of teenagers who were blocking the bike path she was riding on.

Drivers are running over the flex posts marking what passes for protected bike lanes in Oakland. Which should come as no surprise to anyone here in Los Angeles.

 

National

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 bicycles in the Nevada desert, which will be turned over charitable groups to salvage what they can to donate to people in need.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was stabbed by an angry pedestrian after bumping into him on the sidewalk. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Clip-in pedals are technically banned in Kansas because they lack front and rear reflectors; state legislators promise to reconsider the requirement. California requires a reflector on the pedal, shoe or ankle visible for 200 feet from the front and rear.

A pair of Gold Star parents completed a ride across the US at New York’s Ground Zero to honor families who had lost sons and daughters in the military.

A new proposal would create a 1,650 mile biking, hiking and walking trail connecting New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Philly bike advocates replace missing plastic bollards on a protected bike lane with toilet plungers, which were still there 24 hours later.

Baltimore has temporarily shut down its bikeshare system to tighten security after losing too many bicycles to theft and vandalism.

North Carolina’s LimeBike has brought dockless bikeshare to eight communities across the US, including SoCal’s Imperial Beach, with plans to expand to dozens more; needless to say, not everyone in IB is thrilled.

If you’re going to take part in a New Orleans area charity ride, don’t leave your Corgi at home. Note to Times-Picayune: not all mass bike rides are races. And if your headline is about dogs, don’t illustrate it with a photo of meat on the grill. Seriously.

A Key West bike shop turned its phone over to victims of Hurricane Irma to let relatives know they were okay.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard goes for a ride in a cycling team car. And presumably didn’t hit anyone.

London’s Guardian has taken an extended look at bicycling recently:

UK cycling organizations call for opening up more trails in Wales for bicycling, where bikes are currently banned on 79% of the trail network.

Inspired by his grandson, a British engineer is spending his retirement building a bike brand and making a new foldie ebike.

A Brit junkman reclaims trashed bicycles, and remakes them into kids custom-built tricycles, cruisers and three-wheel choppers.

Current or former students are suspected in the theft of 20 bicycles worth $10,000 from a New Zealand high school.

 

Finally…

Always carry a bicycle in your truck in case you need to pedal away from a crash. Now you can use a single app for bikeshare and carshare, as long as you’re willing to move to Germany.

And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to ride a bike.

But seriously, why wouldn’t you?

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that final link.

Morning Links: Upcoming Ballona Creek closure, LA fixed on Sports Center, and a descending nun

Culver City has announced that a section of the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closing down for maintenance work next month.

Upcoming Ballona Creek Bike Path Closures

On August 7 to August 11, the Culver City Public Works Department will be performing maintenance on the Ballona Creek Bike Path between Duquesne and National. Work will include pavement repairs, graffiti abatement, and vegetation trimming.

During this work, the bike path will be closed upstream of Duquesne from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Consider using Lucerne or Jefferson as alternatives during the closure.

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ESPN’s Sports Center takes a look at the SoCal Fixed Series fixie racing competition.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember who sent me this link, but thank you, anyway.

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The only reason I’m linking to this story about an abandoned Scottish hotel is the amazingly cool photo of an ancient bike leaning next to a window.

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Of course, the only thing better than that would be a nun in full habit descending a hill on her bike.

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The war on bikes goes on.

A Canadian driver faces charges after being recorded beating the crap out of a 74-year old man with a club, as the victim’s bike lay in the roadway in front of his truck.

The attack only stopped when a woman intervened, telling the driver she was recording it.

The driver’s only response was “I tried to walk away.”

Which was meaningless since he had to get out of his truck to confront the other man. Then walk back to his truck to get the club before returning to attack him.

Not exactly walking away. Or driving, for that matter.

Let’s hope he gets the time he deserves.

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If you don’t know who won this year’s Tour de France, you haven’t been paying attention. Although the real winner may have been French rider Cyril Gautier, who proposed to his girlfriend during the final stage.

Taylor Phinney survived his long-delayed debut Tour. Alberto Contador points next month’s Vuelta after a disappointing Tour.

Cycling Tips provides a photographic wrap-up of the just finished race.

Irish sportswriter and former cyclist Paul Kimmage, who helped bring down Lance Armstrong, says cycling’s omerta still rules the peloton, 50 years after Tom Simpson died near the summit of Mont Ventoux during the ’67 Tour de France.

The Guardian looks at how Irishman Stephen Roche ruled cycling for one year in 1987.

A sports website examines why Americans have disappeared from the podium at the Tour; Bicycling says there’s a new crop of Yanks waiting to step up.

The head of cycling’s governing organization pinkie swears the organization is working towards equal payouts for women and men.

The UK’s version of GQ asks if British cycling is sexist. Seriously, if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. And not just British cycling.

Great article from Quartz on Eritrea’s love of cycling, and the rising success of the country’s young cyclists.

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Local

LA’s neighborhood councils were born during a bike ride.

Streetsblog says, despite Metro’s comments, Vision Zero traffic calming is not the cause of their declining bus speeds.

The LA Weekly ranks bike lanes #4 on the list of things that drive NIMBYs crazy in the City of Angels.

The Pomona Fairplex is trying out on employee bikeshare workers can use to ride to distant areas on the site. Although that description sounds more like the bikes are employee vehicles than an actual bikeshare.

A quadriplegic man completed a 1,200-mile ride from Oregon to the Santa Monica pier with his family to raise money for people who need wheelchairs.

 

State

A new California/Dutch study says don’t waste time trying to talk people into bicycling; make it safe and convenient, and they’ll figure it out for themselves.

Maybe the DMV should read their own statutes before tweeting. Their advice to ride as near to the right edge of the roadway as possible directly contradicts CVC 21202, while riding on the sidewalk is legal in many cities, if not advisable. Thanks to Brent for the heads-up.

A 33-year old woman was injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Camarillo.

The host of the Bay Area’s People Behaving Badly segment says bike lanes are not for parking, even for a little while.

Pleasanton police are looking for a thief who took an $8,400 bicycle out for a test ride from a local shop and never came back.

A local paper approves of the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare at Lake Tahoe. Let’s hope they have a better experience than some other places.

Sad news from Chico, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Friday evening.

 

National

Merriam-Webster lists ten words every true cyclist should know.

Bike Snob discusses his love of genuine, brick and mortar bike shops.

Your next ebike could look like the skeletal version of a 1920’s racing motorcycle.

A Seattle website questions whether the city’s DOT is trying to kill bikeshare again by limiting the two new dockless bikeshare suppliers to just 500 bicycles in the entire city.

Park City UT has launched the nation’s first e-bikeshare system. Unfortunately, the bikes don’t look like 1920’s racing motorcycles, though.

No bias here. After a pair of bike riders were hit by cars, Fargo ND authorities offer several safety tips for bicyclists, including to wear a helmet. But their only advice to drivers is to give bicyclists a three feet passing distance.

No victim blaming here. A San Antonio driver won’t face charges for a head-on collision with a teenage bike rider because victim wasn’t wearing a helmet.

The Department of DIY comes to Dallas, where a protected bike lane made from two-by-fours and PVC pipes lasted three days before the authorities took it down.

Minneapolis authorities have found the bike rider who apparently witnessed, and may have filmed, the police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.

A Detroit bike rider was the innocent victim of a car-to-car shootout.

Former All-Star catcher and Cleveland 1st base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is one of us, riding in a charity ride before heading to the ballpark on Sunday.

 

International

Road.cc offers a one-word analysis of whether homeopathic remedies will make you a fitter, faster, healthier cyclist.

Canadian pickup drivers come to the rescue of a touring cyclist about to be a bear’s lunch.

A Canadian woman says she’s ashamed to be a “cycling enthusiast” after watching a bike rider run a stop sign. She must really be ashamed to be a driver, then.

Riding salmon in a bike lane is illegal in Canada, too. But some people do it anyway.

Not surprisingly, the Calgary man who claimed he’d been clotheslined by barbed wire while mountain biking has been arrested on fraud charges.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A British man is celebrating his 70th birthday by riding 70 kilometers a day for 70 days — the equivalent of 43 miles a day, or 3,045 miles total.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a 91-year old cyclist was killed in a collision while trying to set a new age-group speed record; he was just two miles from the finish when he was hit by a van.

The Irish Times visits Groningen in the Netherlands, where bikeways are heated and no cars are allowed in the city center.

A former child bride in Malawi credits a bicycle she received from charity group with helping her graduate from high school after leaving her husband.

Australian cycling great Phil Anderson was hospitalized following a solo crash while riding, saying it could have been caused by a pothole. Or a wallaby.

 

Finally…

Why just be a fan of Pee Wee Herman, when you can build his bike from scratch? Evidently, cycling really is the new golf — literally.

And I’m a little weak on my theology, but I’m pretty sure when a bike gets stolen while the owner is at mass, it’s soul goes straight to heaven.

Or does the thief’s go the other way?

 

Morning Links: Killer road rage driver cops plea for up to 12 years, and the war on bikes goes on. And on…

Maybe they’ll get it right this time.

In a case that horrified LA’s cycling community, a Los Angeles man could spend the next 12 years behind bars for the 2015 road rage murder of a man on a bike following an argument near USC.

According to KTLA-5, 33-year old Andrew Williams pled no contest on Friday to felony voluntary manslaughter and felony hit-and-run driving resulting in death for intentionally running down 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas.

The District Attorney’s office finally explained what happened in a case where very few details were released at the time.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Williams was driving his SUV in the 3900 block of South Vermont Avenue when he came across Ruben Wharton Vanegas, 35, who was on a bicycle, the prosecutor said.

The two men got into an argument over the cyclist being on the road and after exchanging words, Vanegas hit the defendant’s side view mirror and rode in front of the vehicle, according to court testimony. Williams then ran over the victim and dragged him for about 50 feet, the prosecutor added. Vanegas died at the scene.

Sentencing will take place on the 20th of this month.

Too many killer drivers get off with little or no significant jail time in LA County. Let’s hope that changes in a case where the driver clearly murdered his victim.

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

A Northern Irish bike rider was lucky to walk away after someone sabotaged a Belfast bikeshare bike by loosening the lug holding the front wheel in place.

A nine-year old Aussie boy was nearly decapitated when someone strung a rope across a pathway at neck level.

Horrifying story from Australia, where a driver deliberately mowed down a man on his bike, and shouted at him to get out of the road before driving away and critically injuring a pedestrian in a second crash. He later told police saying he only intended to knock the man off his bike, not hurt him, while claiming the pedestrian he hit was the devil.

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Thanks to Tim Rutt for forwarding this really cool collection of antique bicycle headbadges.

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The seven-stage Critérium du Dauphiné opened Sunday, serving largely as a tune-up for next month’s Tour de France; Napa’s Andrew Talansky will lead the Cannondale-Drapac team, while Alberto Contador has a new bike for the race.

The Vail CO paper talks with cyclocross legend Katie Compton, in town to give mountain biking a try.

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Local

LA’s Vision Zero is focusing on high rate of crashes in South LA. Nice to see city officials have finally ventured into the undiscovered country south of the 10 Freeway.

Los Angeles has opened the latest segment of the LA River Greenway Trail in Studio City, forming a four-mile trail along the river.

KPCC previews yesterday’s River Ride benefitting the LACBC; the Daily News says over 2,000 riders participated.

Bicycling profiles Silver Lake new and used bicycle emporium Coco’s Variety, which started as a variety shop before bicycles sales and studio rentals took over.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says teach students about bike regulations before they get a ticket, not after.

LA Bike Dad rides with the kids to a free art class at the Barnsdall Art Park — and his four-year old rides the two mile distance on his own bike.

Pasadena could see another 400 bikes on the streets when Metro Bike comes to town on Bastille Day.

A 13-year old South Carolina boy set off from Santa Monica Saturday on a 3,000 mile bike trip across the US; before he even set off, he’d raised $300,000 in donations for clean water and hopes to raise half a million by the time he gets back home. At his age, I was happy just to ride to band practice.

 

State

Orange County will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation tomorrow. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Coronado adds bicycle maintenance stations along the city’s Bayshore Bikeway.

Caught on video: A security camera captures a man burglarizing an El Cajon bike shop after shooting out a window.

Bixby, the dog who’s spent the last several years riding across country to promote pet adoption, will be staying in San Luis Obispo for the next few weeks after having emergency surgery.

A trans woman in San Francisco used a settlement she received after getting hit by a car while riding her bike to go from homeless to starting two successful businesses, including a bike shop.

Around 2,200 AIDS/LifeCycle riders left San Francisco yesterday for a 545-mile along the coast to Los Angeles; the riders have already raised $15.1 million for the fight against HIV.

 

National

A Las Vegas bike shop owner is riding across the state to campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of Nevada. More proof that traveling on two wheels does not automatically make you a liberal.

As bike sales slump, Boulder CO bike shop employees are being trained not to be jerks.

A Wisconsin man shares what he’s learned after vowing to run or bike through all 72 of the state’s counties.

Chicago Streetsblog sets out on a Black Power Ride through the city’s South Side.

The Akron, Ohio paper remembers a hospital administrator who endured stares riding his bike to work in the 1950s and 60s.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 84-year old upstate New York man still rides 30 or more miles three times a week.

A curmudgeonly New York columnist follows-up on his video rant insisting bike riders suck by taking offense that anyone would take offense at what he now says was a tongue-in-cheek comment. Because really, who doesn’t bust up laughing when someone says you suck?

Caught on video: A group of North Carolina cyclists can thank a bad driver for making the right choice, pulling onto the grass next to the left shoulder after getting caught in a bad pass, rather than pulling back into the soft and squishy people on bikes as so many other drivers have done. A local TV station asks why so many drivers lose their minds around cyclists. Good question.

The Charlotte Observer talks with NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr about his newfound love of bicycling. Even if he does refuse to wear spandex on the track.

 

International

Mexico City is the latest major city to have a bike mayor.

A Canadian man ties a pool noodle to the back of his bike to show the legal one-meter safe passing distance — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law — and gets hit anyway.

Toronto finally installs barriers separating a bikeway from a major roadway after a five-year old boy was killed after falling in front of traffic. Yes, this is the way Vision Zero is supposed to work, but why do authorities always seem to wait until it’s too late to fix problems they already know about?

English police told a former cycling champ to go away when he tried to report a dangerous near-miss by a driver.

The Telegraph says middle aged men are trading in their roadie Lycra for mountain bike baggies.

A bike-born British acting troupe has traveled over 6,000 miles performing Shakespeare across the UK.

A Philadelphia writer goes walking amid the bikes of Copenhagen.

A new report finds drivers are at fault in most crashes with bike riders in Adelaide, Australia.

 

Finally…

If you build it, they won’t come if the bike lane is only 27 inches wide. If you’re going to ride home drunk, put a damn light on your bike and try to hold your line.

And you no longer have to struggle to carry your bicycles on your private helicopter.

 

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