Morning Links: Bike helmets alone don’t prevent injuries, scofflaw cops in bike lanes, and upcoming bike events

Someone please forward this to state Senator Carol Liu, author of SB 192 that would mandate helmet use by all bicycle riders.

A new medical study concludes that bike helmets alone can’t prevent serious bicycling injuries, and the solution may lie in separating cyclists from motor vehicles.

Because just trying to tame traffic and get motorists to drive safely would never work.


Great piece on risk communcation from Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, who says yes, bicycling may be dangerous, but no more than driving. And so is walking, bathing and shopping.


CiclaValley discovers scofflaw cops parking in downtown bike lanes, forcing riders to protect and swerve.

He said it, not me.


Lots of great bike events coming up.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting their first fundraising event this Saturday, with the South Bay Bike Night and Bike City Awards, honoring Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Lawndale for their efforts to become safer and friendlier for bike riders. The proceeds will be used will be used to pay for the SBBC’s bike helmets for kids program,  bike education classes for elementary school students and adults, and advocacy for safe biking practices, infrastructure and enforcement.

More on this weekend’s bike and hike-a-thon to raise funds to provide orphans throughout Africa with bikes; the charity was founded by a La Canada high school student.

Don’t forget this Sunday’s Pastrami Ride, which sounds like the tastiest LACBC Sunday Funday ride yet.

Mark your calendar for March 14th, when the LACBC will host a two-hour women-only bike safety workshop.

San Diego’s St. Paddy’s Palomar Punishment, billed as the city’s most fun cycling event, rolls on March 7th to benefit the San Diego Humane Society, with rides from 10 to 97 miles.

Looking further ahead, Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual non-sectarian Blessing of the Bicycles will be held on Tuesday, May 12th as part of Bike Week/Month. Because a little divine intervention couldn’t hurt.



Streetsblog reports the highlights from Monday’s Live Ride Share Conference to discuss shared mobility, including bike share.

Richard Risemberg says nobody bikes in LA. Except for all the people who do.

LA Magazine is waiting impatiently for the MyFigueroa project, noting the much-needed changes can’t come soon enough.

Good news for PCH riders, as the highway is expected to reopen this week after a nine-mile section was closed down to repair storm damage.

KCBS-2 reports on last Sunday’s Milt Olin ride.

Long Beach officials hosted the LACBC’s Operation Firefly bike light giveaway Tuesday night.



For once, bike lanes win out over parking, as the Vista city council votes to remove parking spaces on Civic Center Drive to make room for bikes. Motorists are undoubtedly getting out the torches and pitchforks as we speak.

Carlsbad police are looking for witnesses to a Valentines Day hit-and-run that left a bike rider injured.

Bad news from Oakland, as a 60-year old bike rider is killed in a collision with a pickup truck.

Oakland bike riders get secure bike parking at the new Bike Station; parking your bike will be free during the day and just $5 overnight.

San Francisco considers closing down streets in popular entertainment districts on weekends, something that should be seriously explored here.



The Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway will provide bicycles for hundreds of special needs kids.

Denver considers a two-way protected bike lane on one of the city’s busiest streets.

Evidently ignorance is bliss, as Wyoming legislators vote not to collect data on bicycle safety or explore building a statewide bikeway.

Iowa considers changing the law to require a rear-facing light on bikes after dark, rather than allowing reflectors; that’s also under consideration here in California.

An Indiana cycling instructor calls for ticketing irresponsible bike riders, while acknowledging that cyclists are much less likely to cause harm than motorists.

A Cincinnati letter writer says let’s develop a network of bike paths for recreational riders, but keep those crazy transportation cyclists off the damn roads, already.

A Baltimore bicyclist clearly explains the vigilance cyclists have to maintain, and what it’s like to share the road with motorists.



Bike Radar offers up five reasons mountain bikers should try skinny tired bikes.

London authorities list the city’s most dangerous intersections for cyclists, as the city sets aside the equivalent of $140 million to re-envision bicycling in the suburbs.

Judging by these letter writers, bicycling in Ireland isn’t any better than it is here.

Good problem to have, as Amsterdam plans an underwater bike parking garage because they’re running out of spaces for bikes.

Unbelievable. A New Zealand cyclist may have died because a truck company placed advertising on the passenger side window of their vehicles.

Thai cyclists demand changes in the country’s laws to protect people on bikes.



Okay, so it’s got three wheels, but you could hit 100 mph with this pedal powered electric-assist car. Speaking of assists, if your bike doesn’t fly, just add a few fans.

And this is so not the way to promote a bike race to women. Or anyone, for that matter.



  1. JD says:

    We offer up our prayers for the family and friends of Ms. Barbara Burns.

  2. Serge Issakov says:

    “A new medical study concludes that bike helmets alone can’t prevent serious bicycling injuries, and the solution may lie in separating cyclists from motor vehicles.”

    The solution to what, exactly, lies in separating cyclists from motor vehicles? The prevention of serious bicycling injuries? That’s not only nonsense, it’s impossible anyway. Worse, the idea that separation is necessary for bicycling safety is KILLING bicycling. Besides laziness, the single biggest factor keeping more people from cycling is fear of cars. Separation promotion simply fuels those fears.

    There are many other ways to prevent the incidence of cyclist injury that are far more effective and practical; most involve adopting well-known defensive best practices by cyclists, primarily by using conspicuous roadway positioning. Compared to separation the cost is negligible and the availability is now rather than centuries from now (yes in a culture like ours it would take centuries to build separated infra allowing for bicycle travel totally separate from motorists).

    • I would agree that it seems the study authors made a big (and erroneous) jump to only mention separation as a possible solution. But that being said, I think separation works quite well and I’m a big fan of it, having experienced it first hand in Europe, Australia, Canada and even some here in the states.

      As to the reality of it happening here in the US on a mass scale in a timely manner? No way. But I feel it’s certainly something worthy of discussion when designing roadways.

      • Serge Issakov says:

        It’s a classic Catch-22 situation.

        How do you justify costly separation unless it’s necessary for safety? But if it’s necessary for safety, that presumes that bicycling without separation is unsafe.

        False dichotomy? I don’t think so. A certain lack-of-safety threshold has to be met to justify the high cost of separate infra. But if you argue that cycling w/o separation is that unsafe, then that discourages cycling. It’s the opposing of advocacy. That is, separation advocacy is anti-cycling advocacy.

        • I guess in my opinion, safety isn’t the only argument for separation. One way to justify separation is that when done correctly it is a much better infrastructure for different modes of transportation and travel speeds. The separation of bicycles from traffic in many countries doesn’t feel as though cyclists are second class citizens. It feels as though cyclists have an infrastructure which is expressly designed for them.

          And to be clear, I’m not arguing for separation as the only solution or main solution. In addition to simply taking the lane (as you point out), there are examples of well-designed calmed traffic areas shared by cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. I also feel there are many low speed zones (25mph) where bikes and cars share the road pretty nicely as is.

          • Serge Issakov says:

            I understand, but “better” is not a very compelling argument, especially to the vast majority who could care less about making anything better for bicycling.

            You’d have better luck with arguing that infra gets bikes out of the way of cars, but that too carries baggage (therefore bikes should not be in the way of cars).

            • Well, lessee, there is a country that has the lowest obesity rate in the Western world, the lowest cardiac disease rate, rated the best to raise kids in, and has about a 30% commute share and a 50% mode share for bicycles, and they do their damndest to segregate bicycles from other traffic. Those who know say this is because cycling “feels” safer there. And they will tell anyone how they did it in excruciating engineering detail for €90 translated into English.

  3. Brian Nilsen says:

    There’s one other biking event going on this weekend, the Firecracker ride in Chinatown on Saturday morning. 30 mile ride rolls at 9am, 20 mile rolls at 9:15. Online registration is closed but you can sign up on-site beforehand.

    I did the 30 miler last year and it was a lot of fun, though my wife was a little irritated to find out it was as hilly as it was.

  4. Ted, you guys are way behind the curve on cops blocking the bike lane.

    See what a jump NYPD has on you?

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