Tag Archive for Vision Zero

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.

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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: Dockless bikeshare comes to Griffith Park, the death of Vision Zero, and hope for Beverly Hills

Just days after a false alarm that the LimeBike dockless bikeshare had come to LA, Chinese dockless bikeshare provider ofo has apparently invaded our city.

Despite the fact that a proposed ordinance that would permit dockless bikeshare hasn’t yet made it to a single city council committee hearing.

Ofo tweeted Sunday morning, then deleted, that they were now live in Griffith Park.

They followed that up with a tweet saying they were partnering with the LA Department of Recreation and Parks to provide an easier way to ride through the park.

Brian Nelson confirmed that his wife saw four of the ofo bikes parked near the Greek Theater.

How that conforms to Councilmember David Ryu’s motion to permit privately owned dockless bikeshare in the city remains to be seen.

Especially since other providers, including LimeBike, are waiting patiently for their opportunity to come into the city.

It’s inevitable that dockless bikeshare will come to Los Angeles. The question is how — or if — it will be managed to avoid the problems that have plagued other cities.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Zachary Rynew for the tips.

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The LA Weekly asks if LA’s ambitious Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities is already dead. And accurately quotes the very pissed off author of this site.

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I happened to run into Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse at the city’s Woofstock dog fest on Sunday, and was encouraged to hear her say that the coming bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd are just the start.

As she tweeted later, she’s looking forward to more bike lanes and better mobility throughout the city.

Maybe there’s hope for the former Biking Black Hole yet.

At least as long as she’s in office.

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More on last week’s New York bike path terrorist attack.

A mass was held at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral to honor the victims of the attack.

Bicyclists say the new K-rail protective barriers make the bike path less safe.

A writer for Time says the terrorist’s fearmongering has failed, while Cycling Tips captures the fear and emotion brought on by the attack.

Actor Jason Biggs lets the terrorist know what he really thinks.

And radical right scumbag firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos said “he was glad the only people hit were cyclists and ‘not actual human beings.’” Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the link.

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In Alberto Contador’s case, the N + 1 formula for how many bikes you need equals 42 or 43.

Nobody said working through the details for the Giro’s 2018 Jerusalem start would be easy.

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Local

If you ride the Rose Bowl loop, you owe it to yourself to attend tomorrow night’s meeting of the Pasadena City Council Parks and Recreation Committee, where the future of the popular riding route will be up for discussion. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up. Correction: This originally said it was a City Council meeting; thanks to Bike SGV for the correction.

With the help of a Metro grant, Bike SGV has formed what could be SoCal’s first bicycle traffic school in El Monte.

Manhattan Beach officials and the Manhattan Beach-based leader of Keep LA Moving —no irony there — are unhappy with the way the reversal of the Playa del Rey road diets is going, even though they won the battle. Apparently, they won’t be satisfied until the streets are deadly again.

The Long Beach Police Department has received a grant for traffic safety enforcement over the next year, including a focus on bike and pedestrian safety.

 

State

The Orange County Register correctly notes that the end of daylight savings time increases the dangers to drivers and pedestrians. Wrecks go up after the time change, so make sure you use lights after dark, and ride as if everyone else on the road is driving distracted and half asleep. Which they probably are.

A Chino Hills man rides to collect recyclables, tossing them into a trailer behind his bike, while yelling out to passing people to drive safely.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city being sued by bike riders for injuries caused by bad streets; San Diego is currently facing a trio of lawsuits.

A woman in San Diego’s Mira Mesa neighborhood was seriously injured when a tow truck driver rammed her bike as he left a parking lot.

The great bike debate goes on in the pages of the San Luis Obispo newspaper, as a letter writer says encouraging bicycling provides a great value for bicyclists, as well as the drivers we share the roads with.

A San Francisco street near Golden Gate Park is being converted into a “neighborway,” diverting and calming motor vehicle traffic to improve bike and pedestrian safety. Which sounds a lot like a bike boulevard by any other name.

Instead of the usual complaints that fire engines can’t get through narrow streets with bulb outs and protected bike lanes, San Francisco buys a more compact fire truck that can.

 

National

A BuzzFeed writer calls for banning cars from big cities; a conservative website seems to think it’s a leftist plot.

The Felt behind Felt evidently felt it was time to leave Felt.

Funk-meister Bootsy Collins quit drugs after being told he’d never play bass again when he flipped his road bike several times while riding high in the woods. And no, that’s not a reference to altitude.

Kindhearted Washington residents pitch in to buy new Air Jordans for a teenage Canadian tourist after his were stolen by a BMX-riding man armed with bear spray.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Iowa man rode his bike 90 miles to celebrate his upcoming 90th birthday.

Police in Stillwater, Oklahoma are repairing abandoned bicycles to be used by residents of a local mission to run errands or look for work.

Nope, nothing odd about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul being attacked in his home by his bike-riding, rice vest-inventing next door neighbor; Paul suffered five broken ribs and bruised lungs.

Grist says Pittsburgh got the bike advocate it never knew it needed in former Trojan JuJu Smith-Schuster

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver got five years probation for a fatal hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist. Naturally, he claimed he had no idea he’d hit anyone.

 

International

British Columbia considers raising their paltry $81 fine for dooring a bicyclist.

Montreal’s mayor denies he used his influence to muzzle a Toronto parking officer’s popular Twitter account, which he uses to call out scofflaw drivers; the officer vows he won’t be silenced after officials suspend his account. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

The co-founder of the aforementioned ofo says London will one day reach Amsterdam-like bicycling levels. You’ll note he did not say the same thing about Los Angeles. Or anywhere else in Southern California.

A new British study says bike commuting can lower your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as overall mortality. As much as I’ve ridden over the years, I should live forever.

A driver in Britain complains about a bike rider’s misaligned, too-bright headlamp. Evidently, no one in the country has ever been blinded by a driver’s headlights.

Evidently, they don’t take using a car as a weapon seriously in the UK, either. But they do take DUIs seriously, sentencing a drunk driver who killed a cyclist to eight years.

Bicycling helped a British teenager control his epilepsy.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Copenhagen asks bike riders to identify where they feel uncomfortable riding to determine where infrastructure needs to be improved.

Now you, too, can take an eight-day cooking and bicycling tour of Sicily led by celebrity chefs Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken for a mere $4,595.

An Australian website asks if bicyclists and pedestrians should be banned from using headphones. Never mind that drivers in today’s hermetically sealed motor vehicles have a hard time hearing a siren right next to them, even with the sound system turned down.

An Aussie paper traces the anatomy of a fatal hit-and-run, and how the police tracked down the unlicensed driver who killed a bicyclist.

A rider from Down Under learns the hard way not to accept fruit juice from his friends without asking if they’d spiked it.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to stare at a woman’s chest when there’s a Google Maps camera car driving by. You know you’ve made it when you get mentioned in the GOP tax bill.

And don’t ride your bike down an escalator without a helmet.

 

Morning Links: Eric Garcetti fails street safety test, LA BMX pro fatally shot, and meet Cycling Without Age founder

A must read Op-Ed from Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald, who asks where Mayor Eric Garcetti is, as angry motorists torch the mayor’s signature traffic safety plans.

And Angelenos continue to die on the streets.

And yet, since the mayor’s 2015 directive, Los Angeles hasn’t just gotten more dangerous, it has become outright hostile to the concept of roadway safety. A small but vocal contingent of residents has taken an increasingly combative posture to any meaningful safety improvements that appear to interfere with their daily car commutes. City agencies have responded to this pushback by buckling — either canceling or watering down proposals to address dangerous speeding on North Figueroa StreetLankershim Boulevard, the Hyperion bridge and elsewhere. At the same time, we’ve seen a 43% increase in traffic fatalities in the first year after the adoption of Vision Zero, with the fatality rate trending to rise again in 2017.

Garcetti, meanwhile, has been inexplicably and unaccountably silent on the matter.

When Councilman Mike Bonin and Garcetti announced last week that they were removing a multi-street Vision Zero effort in Playa del Rey, it was in large part because Garcetti refused to insert himself in the debate around safety. As the drama escalated and some residents threatened a recall of Bonin over the safety upgrades, Garcetti never came to the councilman’s defense…

This is why I won’t support Eric Garcetti for any higher office, despite strongly supporting him in the past, first on the city council, then in two runs for mayor of Los Angeles.

The last straw came last week, when Garcetti appeared to take credit — if you want to call it that — for the decision to rip out the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, even though at least one of those bike lanes was included in the 2010 bike plan.

He has done a great job of setting policy by calling for safer, more walkable and bikeable communities, and bringing Vision Zero to Los Angeles, along with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds.

But then he disappeared, leaving it up to others to defend those policies, as he set off in search of other initiatives, like so many shiny new toys.

He had the potential to be a great mayor.

But that will never happen unless and until he decides that this is the job he actually wants to have.

And that means rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on the street level with the rest of us.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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On a related subject, Curbed asks if LA’s road diets are in jeopardy due to the bikelash in Playa del Rey. That would be an unequivocal yes.

Speaking of which, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has put a survey online asking about safety improvements on 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea; this is your chance to voice your opinion on whether to improve traffic flow on the deadly street (Option A), or slow traffic and improve safety through a lane reduction (Option B). Do I really have to tell you which one I prefer?

Meanwhile, community group Keep Rowena Safe offers proof that lane reductions, aka road diets, really work. Which isn’t to say that the Rowena road diet isn’t at risk of being ripped out by Ryu, despite its proven success.

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Fast Company lists 50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets, virtually all of which apply to bikeable streets, as well.

And somehow we missed this one from earlier in the month, as an architecture critic for the Philadelphia Enquirer listed seven ways bike lanes benefit motorists and pedestrians. Commit these to memory for the next time an angry driver complains about bike lanes. Which will probably be the next time you go to any public meeting or onto any social media platform.

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Tragic news from the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles, where BMX pro Gabe Brooks was found shot to death outside his home at 52nd and Western. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to meet Ole Kassow, the founder of Cycling Without Age — the international program that’s changing lives by giving older people the chance to enjoy bicycling again, often for the first time in decades.

Kassow will hold a meet and greet at the Surf Food Stand on The Strand in Manhattan Beach, from Noon to 3 pm this Saturday.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

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Local

KPCC looks at the effects of the deadly 85th percentile law, which will force Los Angeles to raise speed limits on a number of streets, whether we want to or not.

If you think the LA streets you ride could use a good cleaning, there may be a reason for that.

 

State

San Diego State University is cracking down on students who don’t ride their bikes in designated bike lanes or routes. Even though that would appear to violate state law; under California law, bikes are legally allowed on any public surface street where motor vehicles are permitted.

Former motocross racer and current Pink husband Carey Hart catches hell on Instagram for the crime of letting his 10-month old son roll gently on a skateboard, sans helmet.

A San Francisco museum is attempting to halt an effort to close Golden Gate Park to cars on weekends year-round; the main road through the park is already closed on Sundays and half the year on Saturdays. On the other hand, if the street was closed, the museum wouldn’t have to worry about the parking spaces they lost when a cycle track went in.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Novato man has been charged with multiple felony hit-and-run counts, despite intentionally running down four bicyclists earlier this month; he faces a maximum of five years behind bars. He should be facing four counts of assault with a deadly weapon at the bare minimum.

A proposed new bridge over the Sacramento River could improve access for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as providing space for a possible future streetcar line.

The town of Paradise is rewarded with full bike racks at the town’s elementary school as new bike lanes near completion, part of a Safe Routes to Schools project.

 

National

Caught on video: A Chicago burglar discovers that a stolen bicycle can come in handy to cart off a freshly stolen snow blower. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Not surprisingly, the family of a Michigan cyclist killed by an 83-year old driver want a change in the review process to keep dangerous drivers off the road. And they’re right.

JuJu got his bike back; someone turned the Pittsburgh Steeler and former USC star’s bike in to the police, claiming he’d bought it for $200 before recognizing it on TV. Sure, let’s go with that; no one would want to get rid of a stolen bike just because it got too hot.

New York Streetsblog calls for the state to give prosecutors the tools they need to go after hit-and-run drivers, and for prosecutors to be more willing to do it.

A road raging New Orleans driver tried to run a bike rider off the road after telling him to get onto the sidewalk, then got out of his car and physically attacked him.

 

International

Relatives of people killed by traffic violence in Toronto call for safer streets; the families want safer infrastructure and stiffer penalties for careless drivers.

A new survey shows that 87% of British cyclists think bike lights should be required day and night, 81% call for mandatory helmets, and over half would require mirrors and hi-viz. Which might be explained by the fact that the survey was conducted by a car rental company, of its own self-identified bicycling customers.

After a friend was badly injured riding his bike, a Bengaluru, India writer asks if it’s better to risk life and limb to be socially and environmentally responsible by taking to two wheels, or add to the city’s choking congestion by driving a private car.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist ebike could have hydrofoils instead of wheels. Why wait for someone to give you bad bicycling advice when you can read it all here? Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

And this may be the best scary clown bike fast food burger commercial in human history.

Morning Links: The death of LA’s Vision Zero, safety improvements in Mar Vista, and more kindhearted people

Vision Zero, in any meaningful sense, is dead in Los Angeles.

We may see incremental improvements; a new crosswalk here, a bike lane there. But only if they don’t adversely affect anyone on four wheels.

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

But any meaningful attempt to reduce traffic deaths to anywhere near zero in finished.

That’s because CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti jointly announced yesterday that they are caving in to the angry NIMBY and driver-led backlash, and ripping out the bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey.

Although that’s not the way they put it.

And in the process, throwing bicyclists and anyone else who fought for the changes under the bus. Perhaps literally.

They present it as a compromise, with a long list of pedestrian-focused improvements that won’t do crap to protect people on bikes, slow traffic or prevent crashes between motorists.

But let’s be honest.

This is a compromise like Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett compromised at the Alamo.

Those pedestrian improvements were already planned as the next phases of the community-driven process to improve safety in Playa del Rey — after the road diets, not in place of them.

So instead of improving safety and livability in the area, it will go back to being a virtual freeway for pass-through motorists.

Except now the city will be on the hook financially for every death and injury that occurs in the area, after removing the safety improvements designed to prevent them.

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

Worse, though, is the potentially fatal damage it’s done to Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as few, if any, councilmembers will be willing to subject themselves to the hate and vitriol Bonin and his staff have faced.

It’s a surprise they held out as long as they did.

Chances are, road diets are now off the table in this city. Perhaps permanently.

The same with installing the bike plan, which is no longer worth the silicon it’s printed on. Or any other substantive street changes that inconvenience motorists in any way, or makes NIMBY home and business owners sharpen their pitchforks and light the Tiki torches.

Even if they’re the ones who’ll benefit from it.

And even though Vision Zero was never about crosswalks or enforcement — or cutsie football videos — but about redesigning the roadways so that when people act like people do, their mistakes won’t be fatal. To them or anyone else.

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

But we’ll never know if they would have succeeded or not, because they were never given the chance.

I’ve long questioned whether LA’s leaders had the courage and conviction to make the tough choices Vision Zero would require, and withstand the inevitable criticism that would be directed their way.

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

The odd thing, though, is that Garcetti somehow got his name attached to the plan to restore traffic lanes — and got top billing, no less.

Even though he didn’t do a damn thing to implement or support the road diets. Or any of the other traffic safety improvements that have gone down to defeat under his tenure, from bike lanes on Westwood Blvd to sidewalks on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge.

He hasn’t shown up for a single public safety meeting since announcing Vision Zero to great fanfare two years ago. Or made a single public statement in support of Mike Bonin and the desperately needed safety changes in Playa or Mar Vista.

And yet, he gets full credit — if that’s the word you want to use — for restoring the Playa del Rey streets to their original dangerous condition, and thrusting a dagger through the heart of his own signature safety policy.

It’s been seven years since the late Bill Rosendahl stood before the city council and proclaimed that car culture ends today in the City of Angels.

He was wrong.

It’s clearly just getting started. And we will all pay the price.

………

In better news, The Argonaut reports on the figures released last week showing safety improvements and a reduction in speeding on Venice Blvd following the recent lane reductions.

However, traffic truthers refuse to accept the results; the leader of the Bonin recall effort tried to claim the street was actually more dangerous, because injuries went up on a per capita basis since there was a drop in traffic.

………

Today’s common theme, kindhearted people — mostly in blue.

An Ohio sheriff held back bicycles from a property auction, insisting that they be given to kids and adults who need them instead.

Tennessee cops pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle, after the one he relied on to get to work was stolen.

A Florida man bought a new bicycle for a boy who was run over by a distracted driver as he was riding to school; unfortunately, he’s too scared to ride it.

But Michigan cops got it backwards, buying a car for a woman who rode her bike or took a bus 13 miles to work for years.

………

Women’s racing takes a big step back, as the Tour de France cut’s the women’s La Course back to a single day.

Austrian cyclist Christoph Strasser set a new indoor 24-hour record at 585.25 miles, and vows to never ride on a track again; he’s a four-time winner of the Race Across America.

And SoCalCross offers a video recap of the year’s first cyclocross race at Irvine Lake.

………

Local

The city council’s Public Works and Gang Prevention Committee approved a motion to paint LA’s bike lanes a dull, non-reflective green, prioritizing the convenience of the film industry over the safety of bike riders. After all, it’s just so damn hard for film crews to cover-up a bike lane with some sort of mat, let alone fix it in post.

LADOT has installed what appears to be a very problematic bus loading platform in the bike lane on First Street in DTLA, which forces riders up a sharp ramp while creating a crowded conflict point when people board or get off; as passengers adjust to it, they will likely start to wait on the platform, blocking the bike lane.

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup has been honored with the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award, the highest honor offered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; Shoup’s work has changed the understanding of the hidden costs of parking around the world.

Musician Andrew Bird used the LA River as his muse, inspired by his bike rides along it.

CiclaValley M.A.S.H.s gears up the Bulldog.

 

State

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when a woman crashed into his bike in Pacific Beach.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old San Diego County man just finished a 4,300-mile ride across Canada.

Construction of a new bike path has Santa Barbara residents on edge, as road surface grinding is keeping them up at night.

If people in San Luis Obispo look depressed, it’s because they’re no longer the happiest city in the US. It’s probably no coincidence that every city in the top five is ranked silver or higher on the Bike League’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

A San Francisco bike cop is in grave condition after he was run down by a suspect, who was arrested several hours after fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to clean your dirty, dirty bike.

Rails-to-Trails recommends some haunted pathways for your pre-Halloween riding pleasure, including one with a ghost bike. No, literally.

No surprise here, as the Washington jerk bicyclist who injured a pedestrian after yelling “hot pizza,” expecting her to jump out of the way, is now facing a lawsuit; he uses the same excuse drivers do, saying 3 mph pedestrians shouldn’t mix with cyclists doing 15 mph.

What’s one way to jeopardize a football scholarship at Texas A&M? Stealing a bait bike is a good start.

Bike PGH meets up with carfree former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Now that’s more like it. A New York man was sentenced to five to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; more importantly, he received a lifetime revocation of his driver’s license. Which should be automatic for any driver in any hit-and-run.

DC has become a testing ground for dockless e-bikeshare.

 

International

A new documentary takes a look at MAMILs, following four men from the US, the UK and Australia. Which should be required viewing for anyone who makes fun of middle-aged people on bikes, spandexed or otherwise.

Road.cc explains how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

A Canadian newspaper talks with Danish bicyclist Ole Kassow, who created the Cycling Without Age program.

Ed Sheeran won’t be one of us for a while, after realizing the next day that he had fractured not one, but both arms when he was hit by driver while riding in London; he had to cancel his upcoming Asian tour.

Motorist and bicycling groups both condemn calls for British bicyclists to be required to carry numbered license plates.

A Turkish librarian operates his own personal book bike, towing books for children from village to village in a bike trailer.

An Aussie newspaper says kneejerk decisions to confine dockless bikeshare bikes to specified parking areas defeats the whole purpose.

 

Finally…

Maybe Bonin should have just used a coloring book. Evidently, we’re just sidewalk speeding cyclos.

And the left lane of the southbound 5 Freeway in Newhall Pass may not be the best place to walk your bike.

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

Morning Links: Bike SGV advocate Brian Velez passes away, new Vision Zero ad, and tips on videoing cops

More tragic news.

As if there wasn’t enough last week, the Los Angeles bicycling community suffered another big loss when one of the area’s leading advocates passed away unexpectedly.

Bike SGV reports that Brian Velez, outreach coordinator for the San Gabriel Valley advocacy group, died last Wednesday from an undiagnosed illness.

Velez also served as the co-host of Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast, as well as creating artwork for his blog.

He was just 33.

He is survived by his parents and his sister Diane, who worked with him as the Safe Routes coordinator for Bike SGV.

A scholarship fund is beingcreated in his name, and a memorial ride will be held in his honor on October 15th; you can find information on both on the Bike SGV website.

I hope you’ll join me in offering our deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Velez, and all those who loved him.

………

Vision Zero Los Angeles punts on its first TV spot, using LA Rams punter Johnny Hekker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to call on drivers to watch their speed and pay more attention to people walking and biking.

Not exactly the hard-hitting ad some of us were hoping for.

But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton reminds us, maybe it will mark a turning point in steering the conversation back to safety.

………

The LAPD offers tips reaffirming your 1st Amendment right to film and photograph police officers in public, and how to avoid getting into trouble in the process.

Which is not to say every officer has gotten the memo, or agrees with it. So you may want to copy print this out and carry it with you or commit it to memory.

………

A couple items were inadvertently left out of last week’s listing of upcoming bike events.

Starting with the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards, hosted by Cycling in the South Bay author and bike lawyer Seth Davidson. If you make it, say hi to everyone; a great group of people and some very dedicated advocates down there.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is holding their 5th Annual Pumpkin Patch Pedal this Sunday.

And the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tomorrow night in Hollywood.

………

Once again, today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Bikeshare has officially opened on the UCLA campus. Your move, USC.

A Venice writer tries out the area’s new Metro Bike bikeshare, and ends up loaning it to a stranger who tried to wrestle it away from her.

As bikeshare flourishes in DC, questions arise of whether the city has the infrastructure to support it.

A bikeshare bike stopped a teenage Australian boy who was terrorizing the public when a bystander threw it under the boy’s SUV, to keep him from running over people on the street.

An Australian professor explains how dockless bikeshare providers actually make money.

………

Another case of motor doping has been uncovered, as a French amateur rider was caught using a motor hidden inside his bicycle.

Former world team time trial champ Carmen Small retired after suffering her third major concussion since 2006.

Retired Spanish cyclist Oscar Freire says pro racing was much harder back in his day. After which he yelled at the kids to get off his lawn.

Trek is credited with giving men and women equal prize money for a recent cyclocross cup, even though cycling’s international governing body doesn’t believe in equal pay for equal results.

Ventura officials see virtually unlimited potential in hosting next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Malibu Times reports on last month’s Malibu Triathlon.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about her experience with the LACBC’s recent bike and pedestrian count in South LA.

LAist says Angelenos need to atone for routinely driving a half mile when they could walk, bike or take a bus.

New plans to restore the Ballona Wetlands include options that would remove the concrete and restore Ballona Creek to a more natural state, requiring a realignment of the bike path.

Funding for the $20 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge connecting Glendale and Griffith Park has been approved by the state legislature, and is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.

South Pasadena will establish a Bicycle Friendly Business District (pdf) in the downtown area, as part of the Bike Friendly San Gabriel Valley program. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up and pdf.

Santa Clarita has installed a solar-powered bike counter along a commuter bike trail.

 

State

San Clemente proposes narrowing existing traffic lanes and installing eight-foot wide buffered bike lanes on Calle Saluda.

San Francisco announces another plan to clear the homeless off a popular bikeway known as the Hairball, after encampments made it nearly impossible to ride through.

Kindhearted Antioch cops teamed with a local bike shop to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year old hit-and-run victim.

A Marin hiker says he was beaten by a trio of mountain bikers who were illegally using a singletrack trail where bikes are prohibited. Seriously, never resort, or respond, to violence except to defend yourself or others.

Modesto plans to sell a $9,000 trained police dog to the family of his handler for just $1, after the officer was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

Ford has patented a method to maintain stability on a bicycle and help keep the rider upright. Which in theory could allow countless people who aren’t comfortable balancing on two wheels to get out and ride.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a truck driver who killed a bike rider was fined just $90 — yes, nine zero — for “inattentive driving;” the victim’s wife was not even allowed to tell the jury her husband had died as a result of the crash.

Country music star Luke Bryan is one of us, as he takes a tour of Austin TX with America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

An Ohio woman rode 1,900 miles from Ohio to Arizona, recreating the route her son took before he died of Ewing’s sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

A New Hampshire city appoints the country’s first bike mayor.

Buffalo NY bicyclists ride to raise funds and awareness for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

More New York bike couriers are mistakenly riding through the Lincoln tunnel, riding past the signs indicating no bikes in the process.

An 84-year old Virginia man faces charges after making a wide turn at high speed and crashing into a woman carrying three children on her bicycle. Once again bringing up the difficult question of how old is too old to safely drive. And how to get older people off the road once they’ve lost their ability to drive safely, which varies from one person to another.

 

International

A NASA astronaut will join a pair of scientists in bicycling 600 miles across the Amazon to document the effects of climate change.

City Lab reports that bicycles and parks were lifelines for people affected by last month’s Mexico City earthquake. A reminder that owning a bike with durable tires could be a lifesaver for those of us who live in earthquake country.

A hard-hitting piece by a Toronto columnist says the city’s streets are deadly by design. Not unlike the streets of Los Angeles, which some Westside and South Bay drivers are fighting to keep that way.

British bike advocates have mapped out every bicycling fatality in the UK from 2005 to 2016, discovering in the process that roundabouts are risky for bike riders.

Not a hint of eccentricity here. A Welshman is riding 5,000 miles to Africa to follow the swallows that live in his shed.

A UK cyclist calls out his fellow riders for leaving their trash behind on the road. He’s got a point; it always saddens me to see gel wrappers, blown tubes and spent CO2 cartridges littering popular riding routes.

A bicyclist from Malta says he started bike commuting because he wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And lost 30 pounds in the process.

Athletes in Turkmenistan gave the country’s president a golden bicycle, which inexplicably appears to be painted green. Although it’s hard to tell what the story’s really trying to say in its broken English.

Brilliant idea from a South African writer, who says drivers should be given an automatic 15-minute timeout on the side of the road when they get pulled over by police for bad driving. Although here in LA, that could result in a massive traffic jam of stopped cars on the side of the roads.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to do a good deed, at least keep an eye on your bike. Go to your next Halloween party as a self-driving car.

And congrats, roadies. Your spandex bike shorts are now fashion forward.

………

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

And let’s all take a moment to remember the victims of last night’s shootings in Las Vegas. And dedicate ourselves to keep things like this from happening again.

 

Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

………

Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

………

Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

………

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

……….

Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero in reverse on Vista del Mar, and an indignorant self-pious anti-bike lane cyclist

This is not how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

Bowing to complaints from angry motorists, Los Angeles reversed the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the reconfigured street is now a “desolate, 4-lane highway,” with nothing to keep drivers from exceeding the already too high 40 mph speed limit.

And exceed it, they will. And already are.

Which means it’s just a matter of time until the next death on a roadway that has already seen far too many.

Except this time, the inevitable lawsuit will settle for far more than the $9.5 million paid out by the city recently in the death of a 16-year old girl. Because they had a chance to fix the problem and not only didn’t do it, but undid the fix they made.

A cost that will be born, not by the South Bay drivers who use the roadway as their personal speedway, but by the people of Los Angeles.

Or the South Bay cities that believe in calming traffic, but only inside their own city limits, for that matter.

It’s too early to give up on Vision Zero.

But this is exactly the wrong thing to do. And for exactly the wrong reasons.

Photo of deconfigured Vista del Mar by Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

………

Once again, the specter of an indignorant, self-pious cyclist raises its ugly head.

This time in the form of a San Luis Obispo columnist who says he obeys the law when he rides, but accuses the city council of appeasing those damn scofflaw bike zealots with a cycle track he insists no one else wants anyway.

Maybe someone should tell him that many law abiding bike riders desperately want safer places to ride their bikes, and better bikeways have been shown to reduce illegal bike behavior.

And no, drivers don’t pay all the taxes and fees for the construction and maintenance of our roads.

Or even most of them.

………

BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth will team with Wolfpack Hustle to host the Forsyth Cup at the Encino Velodrome on September 16th.

………

Team USA announced the women’s team for the coming world road championships, including 42-year old defending world time trial champ Amber Neben, Chloe Dygert, Megan Gaurnier and SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera.

The Colorado-based Cannondale Drapac cycling team — home to Taylor Phinney, Alex Howes and Rigoberto Uran — has reluctantly started a crowdfunding campaign to stay afloat after losing a key sponsor for next year; the Denver Post reports it’s already raised around $1.5 million.

Chris Froome shrugged off concerns that his Team Sky has an unfair financial advantage over the other teams, comparing efforts to level the playing field to communism. Which is easy to say when he’s guaranteed a job for next year.

Good thing the doping era is over. This year’s Dana Point Grand Prix winner Kayle LeoGrande was banned for a whopping eight years after a drug test revealed seven separate prohibited substances.

……….

Local

West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow at Sal Guarriello Park at Santa Monica Blvd and Holloway from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. In case you’re wondering, the traditional gift for a one-year anniversary is paper; do with that what you will.

Pasadena’s planned two-way Union Street cycle track could start construction before the projected 2021 kickoff date.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement program tomorrow, ticketing people for behavior that can jeopardize the safety of either, regardless of who commits it. Which means ride to the letter of the law until you’re out of their jurisdiction, which extends beyond the city limits.

The Expo Line bike path continues to be closed for maintenance work between Centinela and Stewart Street in Santa Monica; SaMo is also conducting a bike technology demonstration project at the intersection of Pico and 11th this week.

 

State

The OC Register gives you the lowdown on California ebike laws.

Nearly 20 special needs kids in Ventura get new adaptive tricycles, thanks to a Los Angeles-based nonprofit.

A Fresno school bus driver apparently right hooked a teenage bike rider, and just kept going.

The victim of Sunday’s Guerneville hit-and-run that killed a bike rider as he checked his phone on the side of the road has been identified as the chief legal counsel for UC Berkeley; a 28-year old Rio Nido man has been named a person of interest in the case.

Sacramento State University students will be greeted with several new green bike lanes leading to campus, as well Sacramento’s first bike boxes and bicycle traffic signal on a dangerous corridor near the school.

A large landslide nine months ago will keep a popular Sacramento riverfront bike trail closed until at least next spring.

 

National

PlacesForBikes’ Michael Andersen says improving bicycling is as much about slowing traffic speeds as it is building bike lanes.

A Seattle woman celebrates bike riders of all sizes with stickers reading With These Thighs.

The war on bikes continues, as a 72-year old Arkansas bike rider was seriously injured when he ran into barbed wire that had been strung at chest level across a bike trail. Lets hope they catch the jerks who did it and lock them up for a very long time.

A Pittsburgh website says new bike lanes are a good first step, but more has to be done to ensure safety.

Boston cops have accepted an invitation from the founder of a Boston stunt-bike group to ride with them, after the riders were booted from a parade that banned bikes over the weekend.

The New York Times examines dockless bikeshare companies, which are currently banned from the city.

 

International

Montreal bike cops accidently bust one of the United States’ most wanted criminals.

Six-time Brit Olympic champ Sir Chris Hoy says pretty much anyone who weighs more than 112 pounds looks awful in Lycra, and looks ridiculous in fluorescent colors or a full team kit; he later issued an apology for some of his remarks. Although I do have to agree with him about white bike shorts, which don’t look good on anyone.

A paper in the UK offers advice on how to keep your bike from getting stolen.

Organizers of a British mountain bike race face charges for not doing enough to ensure the safety of spectators after a young woman was killed by an out-of-control bike in 2014.

After months of reports that self-driving cars can’t recognize bike and riders would have to wear some sort of transponder to improve safety, German auto parts maker Bosch is introducing a radar system designed to recognize and automatically respond to bicyclists even in heavy fog, as well as spotting riders coming from behind in order to prevent doorings.

A sharp decline in Australian imports of children’s bikes prompts fears that children are less active in the country. It could have something to do with the country’s dangerous, auto-centric streets, and a mandatory helmet law and draconian fines that discourage their parents from riding. Or it could have something to do with dangerous bikes, after an Aussie teenager was impaled by the gear shift on his bicycle.

 

Finally…

Your next foldie could weigh just 15 pounds. Who needs spin class when you can just pedal your desk?

And why let a little thing like a hurricane keep you from riding?

 

Morning Links: Laguna driver runs down cyclist and tries to hit another, stolen bikes, and Vision Zero news

Talk about getting the story wrong.

The Daily Pilot reported yesterday that a Laguna Beach driver had attempted to crash his car into a bicyclist who tried to stop him after he’d hit another rider.

But what they failed to mention was that the first crash was intentional, as well.

The Laguna Beach Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the driver fled after intentionally crashing into a man riding his bicycle, then trying to run over the second rider as he attempted to confront him.

Thankfully, he missed.

Fifty-three-year old Laguna Beach resident Kevin O’Neill was arrested on Saturday, after witnesses and victims picked his photo out of a lineup following the twin attacks Thursday morning at Bluebird Canyon Road and South Coast Highway.

No word on the condition of his victim.

Fortunately, this took place in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime seriously. We should expect a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

But let this serve as yet another reminder that it’s not worth your life to confront an angry driver.

Gather whatever information you can, from the make, model, color and license of the vehicle to a description of the driver, as well as any photos or video, if possible.

Then get hell out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Mug shot of Kevin O’Neill from Laguna Beach Police Department Facebook page.

………

Let’s catch up with a couple of quick stolen bike announcements.

Bobby Close of LA’s popular Velo Club La Grange sent the following notice.

One of our members had his bike stolen recently in Ventura California, his name is Marc Thomas. His bike should be easy to spot as it’s a 66cm custom made Landshark bicycle YES Marc IS TALL!!! Marc is one of the great members we have in LaGrange as he is constantly teaching new and old cyclists in his world famous “ Drills for Skills” clinics. Along with being a key member of the club he was one of the many people instrumental in making the Brentwood Grand Prix happen for so many years.

Attached is a picture of the stolen bike. The bike should stand out as only NBA basketball players are tall enough to ride it.

I’ve asked for additional information on exactly when and where the bike was stolen, but haven’t heard back yet.

And Mina Moskol of the LACBC’s Santa Clarita Chapter forwards a flyer for a bicycle stolen from one of the competitors in the World Police and Fire Games staying at a Palmdale hotel last week.

………

In the never-ending battle over the Playa del Rey traffic safety improvements, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will debate a motion to approve a letter calling for a reversal of the all the Playa del Rey lane reductions at tonight’s meeting.

Despite what opponents of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project are saying, Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream in Mar Vista may be closing, but it has nothing to do with the lane reductions.

And a new online petition asks you to show your support for Vision Zero in the face of attacks from angry drivers and talk radio jocks.

………

Forget the worst retirement ever; LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon ranks the top ten cookies in the United States.

……….

We’ll catch up with bike events later this week, but I can’t resist this one. Which could be the best idea for a kid’s bike safety workshop ever.

Correction: This event takes place on Saturday the 19th, not on the 21st. Thanks to the LACBC for the correction.

……….

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t the final stages of the Colorado Classic yet, skip this section.

And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

Italy’s Manuel Senni and Romanian Serghei Tvetcov held off the peloton to win the inaugural Colorado Classic after a two-man breakaway in Saturday’s Stage 3, as Colorado’s Alex Howes lost the lead he gained on Stage 2.

Despite the accusations that her birth sex gave her an unfair advantage, trans cyclist Jillian Bearden finished in the middle of the women’s field, while 21-year old Canadian Sara Poidevin swept to victory.

The race introduced a number of young American cyclists to international competition. Or maybe the other way around.

Cycling Tips offers some great photos from the four stage race, as well as the women’s two-stage competition.

A Denver business site offers a look at the festival that accompanied, and helped pay for, the bike race.

Cycling News points out a number of problems with the race and accompanying festival, but the chairman of the Colorado Classic says based on feedback, the race will probably be back next year.

……….

Local

The Source offers photos from Sunday’s CicLAvia, while some local businesses in San Pedro complain about traffic and say they weren’t consulted. CicLAvia always puts a significant effort into outreach, for as long as a year prior to a new event; businesses that respond and cater to the people passing by are usually richly rewarded; those who don’t, aren’t.

The Expo Line bike path was abruptly closed for the next three months between Centinela and Stewart Street for undisclosed maintenance work on Monday; Santa Monica Next says the detour around the work zone could be made safer simply by moving a few parking spaces.

A new bike and pedestrian pathway and bridge along the Pacoima Wash should offer a significant cut in non-motorized travel times through the northern San Fernando Valley.

While LA is busy battling NIMBYs, Burbank is reinventing itself as a denser, more walkable and bikeable community.

The LACBC is offering a free indoor class on basic bicycling skills tonight.

CiclaValley offers video evidence that going down Mt. Baldy is a lot faster than going up.

 

State

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run scumbag who left a 29-year old woman in a medically induced coma after running her down in Encinitas on Friday.

A San Diego mountain biker was airlifted out of Sycamore Canyon suffering from head and neck pain.

In a horrific crime, San Francisco police are looking for a man on a bicycle who blinded a woman by pouring bleach on her after telling her to leave.

San Francisco bikeshare bikes are vandalized once again, as a local columnist says bikeshare is resented as a sign of gentrification.

A kindhearted San Francisco cop bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Nineteen bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes finish a 4,248-mile from New York to Napa County.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where yet another hit-and-run coward killed a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a roadway.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends reforming the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows speeding drivers to dictate speed limits. Or better yet, just get rid of the damn thing entirely.

People for Bikes offers free photos and a detailed explanation of what makes an effective neighborhood greenway, formerly known as bicycle boulevards. AKA bicycle friendly streets here in LA, though no one seems to have any plans to actually build any anytime soon.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get police to take your bike cam video seriously. Which is a problem with most police departments — including here in LA.

Bike Snob says “on your left!” needs to die already, even though there’s no way to pass anyone on a trail without scaring the crap out of them. I’ve found that simply adding the word passing, as in “passing on your left,” in a polite, conversational tone solves the problem almost every time. But what the hell do I know?

Treehugger says cars really should wear hi-viz, their drivers should wear helmets, and car radios should be banned. The latter would have the added benefit of keeping radio shock jocks from fueling drivers’ anger and contributing to road rage.

A Washington bike rider was killed by a driver with a suspended license. Proving once again the difficulty of keeping dangerous drivers off the road unless their vehicles are impounded as well. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park invites you to bike the park on September 30th.

An Arkansas man finishes an extreme Alaska triathlon just within the cutoff time, despite losing a leg 32 years earlier.

The famed Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to get back to riding a bicycle. And why.

Despite testifying that he was simply riding safely by taking the lane, the Pennsylvania cyclist on trial for obstructing traffic was convicted last week; sentencing is in three months, even though he’s already served a full year in jail awaiting trial. It sounds like the real problem was that he was too militant about his rights as a bicyclist, refusing to move over even when traffic backed up behind him.

New York tells dockless bikeshare companies to get lost.

The NY Daily News says only in New York could a truck driver leave the scene after running down a bike rider, and not be charged. Obviously, they’ve never been to Los Angeles.

Speaking of Bike Snob, as we were earlier, his alter ego offers 15 unwritten rules of bicycling in New York City you’re probably breaking. Or maybe would be, if you actually rode there.

Delaware state police blame a rider for wearing dark clothes in low light conditions and taking the lane after he’s rear-ended by a driver. Correction: I originally criticized the police for bending over backwards to blame the rider after noting that the crash occurred two hours before sunset. However, as Andy S pointed out, the crash actually took place before sunrise, not sunset. I apologize for the confusion.

A Louisiana astronomer has been riding across the US for the last 450 days to educate Americans about next week’s solar eclipse, covering over 9,000 miles before his planned finish in Nashville on Monday.

 

International

A fifth of all bicycling deaths in Montreal are caused by collisions with trucks, usually when riders are right hooked and dragged under the truck. Something that could be avoided by requiring sideguards.

A London court is told a fixie rider could have avoided a fatal collision with a pedestrian if he hadn’t been riding brakeless; he blamed the woman for walking distracted, instead.

Bicycle Dutch reviews the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage.

Cycling Weekly lists seven rides in Italy to add to your bicycling bucket list.

An Aussie parliament member who opposes same sex marriage says he loves the guys he bikes with, but he doesn’t want to marry them. And apparently doesn’t get it, either.

An Australian study shows men are more likely to commit acts of violence on the road, but women drivers tend to be angrier.

 

Finally…

The problem isn’t potholes, it’s the fairies. Most bike riders only have to worry about dog bites, not two-foot long iguanas — or bears.

And just what every single cyclist needs, bicycle speed dating.

 

Morning Links: August bike events, hard-hitting LA Vision Zero video, and more pellet gun attacks on bike riders

Let’s catch up on a few upcoming bike events.

Walk Bike Burbank is hosting their third annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will explore the South Bay beach cities with a pair of rides this Sunday.

Also this Sunday, API Forward Movement and Healthy Active Streets will team with Metro to host a Blue Line Summer Bike Ride and Interactive Pop-Up.

Mark your calendar for the 12th, when Public Bikes will begin a going out of business sale at their Santa Monica store. Thanks again to Erik Griswold.

LA’s favorite street party rolls next Sunday when the San Pedro meets Wilmington CicLAvia takes place from 9 am to 4 pm at the Los Angeles Harbor. Or leave your bike at home, and walk it.

On Saturday, August 26th, the Michael Ray Vega Memorial Ride will be held in Huntington Beach to remember the 5th anniversary of the rider’s death.

Bike SGV will hold their August Bike Train on Sunday the 27th.

………

Let’s take a few minutes and let Los Angeles explain Vision Zero with a hard-hitting video.

Show that to the next person who just doesn’t seem to get why human lives are worth a few moments of inconvenience.

I’ve criticized the city a lot for crappy communications over the years.

But this time, they got it right.

………

The war on bikes goes on, as bicyclists continue to report being shot with pellet guns.

A 34-year old Virginia man told police he’s been shot in the back with a pellet gun while riding his bike earlier this week, but didn’t want to pursue charges.

And a 73-year old Florida man was shot with a BB gun from a passing car while he was on a group ride; the group had been threatened earlier by someone who leaned out of a car and fired a Taser at them.

………

A Chinese website profiles the life of a 30-year old Tibetan professional cyclist, who’s been pursuing his passion since he was 16.

And nothing like a pony in the peloton. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/893133035029372928

……….

Local

A writer for the Fox & Hounds business and politics site says if LA wants to be successful in changing attitudes about our streets they need to show more respect for drivers and do a better job of communicating. He’s got a point. With the exception of the above video — not the pony, thank you — it’s hard to picture how LADOT could do a worse job of communicating the benefits of safety projects, too often leaving it up to advocates to sell projects to a skeptical public.

A JPL climate scientist offers advice on how you can fight climate change; naturally, he recommends riding a bicycle instead of driving, and using an ebike if pedaling isn’t an option.

Monrovia has begun implementing the city’s Bike Master Plan with sharrows and Share the Road signs on Magnolia Avenue. Someone should tell them Bikes May Use Full Lane signs are a lot more effective.

Eleven years before the Olympics are expected to come to LA, the World Police and Fire Games are coming to the city next week, with the cycling events to be held in the Santa Clarita Valley.

 

State

A Palm Springs writer opposes the planned CV Link multi-use trail through the Coachella Valley for fear it will turn into a homeless camp like the Santa Ana River Trail.

A Thousand Oaks planning commissioner wants to bring bikeshare to the Ventura County city.

A 12-year old Vacaville girl won her age group at the BMX World Championships in South Carolina.

A Healdsburg driver will face a vehicular manslaughter charge in the death of a cyclist, even though he never made contact with her; prosecutors allege he made an unsafe pass that caused two riders to crash into each trying to avoid him.

Sacramento installs its first two-way cycle track.

 

National

Now your touring bike can have its own sleeping compartment in your new tent.

A Spokane bike shop used social media to track down a stolen mountain bike after a customer failed to return from a test ride, finding it at a pawn shop just a few blocks away.

Interbike will abandon Las Vegas next year, and set up shop in surprise winner Reno-Tahoe. But at least you’ll still be able to gamble all night.

A Boulder CO cyclist opposes the Idaho Stop Law because he’s afraid it will confirm the windshield bias against bike riders.

Houston police have written less than 36 tickets in the last 30 months for violations of the city’s three-foot passing law. Which is about 36 more than most places.

The bicyclist injured in last month’s Natchez Trace hit-and run in Tennessee will be riding a new Cervelo when he competes in a triathlon this Sunday, after members of the cycling community pitch in to replace his damaged bike.

It takes a real pair of schmucks to steal a 12-year old Connecticut boy’s bicycle at gunpoint.

A group of artists created a pair of installations along a Boston bikeway to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Advocates claim a proposed New York state law that would require bike helmets only in New York City would make bicycling less safe, rather than better.

The Miami Herald examines the increase in road rage and aggressive driving. Best advice, just keep cool and ride, walk or drive away. Which is easy to say, much harder to do.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A British bike rider catches a driver pulling out directly in front of him on his bike cam.

Even bike-friendly Amsterdam is taking issue with dockless commercially owned bikeshare bikes.

Sounds like fun. A five-day fully supported bike tour of fortified Romanian churches will promote the importance of reading; best of all, it only costs the equivalent of $133.

Aussie police team with the local Rotary Club to buy a new bicycle for a young boy whose bike was stolen just days after his father died.

 

Finally…

Now you don’t have to choose between pedaling and working on your term paper. Before you shoot a bike rider with a paint gun, make sure he doesn’t have a real one.

And nothing like discovering a haunted pet cemetery while riding your bike.

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