Morning Links: A very sad weekend in bike racing, and bikesplaining from a windshield perspective

You think?

The head of the Professional Cyclists Association says lessons have to be learned from the death of Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié, who was killed in a collision with a race moto on Sunday, and that rider safety must come first.

Then again, those lessons should have been learned by the collisions with race vehicles that left Taylor Phinney, Ian Crane and Matt Brammeier seriously injured, as well as mid-race collisions with motor vehicles that injured Sergio Paulinho, Peter Sagan and Jesse Sergent and Sébastien Chavanel.

And those are just in the last two years.

Meanwhile, Demoitié’s Wanty-Gobert team has withdrawn from its upcoming races, while pro cyclist Marcel Kittel argues that safety in the peloton should be as high a priority as doping.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing.

Twenty-two year old Belgian rider Daan Myngheer died of a heart attack while competing in the Criterium International in Corsica.

And 29-year old Oregon rider Randall Fox was killed when he hit a guardrail during a race in Washington on Saturday; he was a Ph.D. candidate competing for the Oregon State University cycling team.

………

A Clovis letter writer tries to explain bike safety and the law to bike riders from a decidedly windshield perspective, and gets it almost all wrong.

So just to clarify, there is nothing in California law requiring bicyclists to ride single file, nor is there any requirement that cyclists separate themselves by a few seconds distance.

In fact, bike riders are legally allowed to ride two or more abreast in any lane that can’t be safely shared with a motor vehicle — and it’s often safer to do so to increase visibility and control the lane to prevent unsafe passing. It’s also safer and more efficient for groups of cyclists to ride close together, rather than spaced out.

Despite his protestations, no passing zones prohibit drivers from crossing the center line to pass another vehicle; they are not intended to keep bicyclists from passing one another, or even slower cars, as long as they don’t cross the center line. There is also no requirement that cyclists enter the traffic lane to pass anyone if there is room to do it on the shoulder.

And someone should tell him who poses the real danger on our streets.

Because it ain’t the ones on bikes.

………

Local

A Santa Monica writer says if you’re traveling through the city at rush hour, you either need to walk, skate board or ride a bike, or find a new age CD to keep calm in your car.

A proposed Metrolink station near Rio Hondo College in Whittier would connect to the San Gabriel River bike path, giving Eastsiders an alternative to driving the freeway. Or driving, period.

A Lancaster family is trying to win a $5,000 adaptive bike for their 17-year old special needs daughter; she’s currently in first place in the voting with over 13,000 votes.

 

State

A San Bernardino man was shot while riding his bike following an argument with two men in a black Acura; no word on his condition.

Sad news from Fresno, as a 16-year old bike rider was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run. And a 15-year old Benecia boy died when he lost control of his bicycle and crashed into a street sign.

Modesto special needs kids learn to ride a bicycle at a five-day adapted bike camp.

San Francisco safety advocates question whether the city’s commitment to Vision Zero is being watered down to preserve parking.

 

National

IBM is helping the US women’s track cycling team gain an edge as they prepare for the Rio Olympics.

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid fading during a long ride. Tip #7: To avoid fading during your ride, don’t get faded before it.

In between races, Vermont-based cross-country pro cyclist Lea Davison mentors the next generation of female riders.

A local TV station looks at the lack of equity in Boston bikeways, as some neighborhoods have benefitted from decades of bike lane construction, while others remain virtually untouched. And you can probably guess which ones.

New Jersey officials are quarreling over bikeshare, as Jersey City complains that Hoboken’s Hudson Bike Share is hogging all the public bike racks that could be used by its own Citi Bike system.

 

International

A Brit octogenarian offers advice on how to keep riding into your 80s.

A 67-year old Sri Lankan cycling champ looks back on his 50 year racing career.

Recreational riding is growing on the quiet, remote roads of China, as locals say spring is the perfect time to ride.

Aussie advocates point out that a bike lane without any signage or pavement markings is nothing more than a confusing line of paint on the street.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can emulate motorists by turning your bike into a rolling ad. As if there wasn’t enough drama already in the relationship between drivers and cyclists.

And when you’re trying to make your getaway by bicycle, try to keep out of patrol car bumper range.

 

3 comments

  1. Peter says:

    It’s also safer and more efficient for groups of cyclists to ride close together, rather than spaced out.

    Citation on the safer part, please.

    I get the efficient part–it’s called drafting. But doing so in a car on public roads is generally considered to be unsafe because if the lead car has to stop suddenly, the drafting car may not be able to react in time. Yeah, the technique is used a lot in car races, but our public streets are not for racing.

    As for the riding double-file, there isn’t a law that specifically says it’s illegal for bicycles to do this. In that case, we look at the laws for cars and there is no law that says two cars cannot occupy the lane. Physics usually takes care of this for cars. There isn’t a need for a law that says two cars can’t travel double-file in the same lane in much the same way that there is no law that says you can’t put 20oz of beer in a 16oz glass. So while there is no law against riding double-file, it’s mostly because there hasn’t really been a need for one.

    My attitude, though, is that riding double-file and having a chat is rude. You’re not taking the lane for your safety, you’re taking the lane to have a conversation. Now, when I ride, I will take the lane if it safer for me to do so. My safety overrides your need to get where you’re going ASAP. However, my desire to chat with my friend does not. This is true whether we’re riding bicycles or driving cars–imagine two people driving cars right next to each other and holding a conversation. Would you consider that to be acceptable behavior if you were in the car behind them?

    I tend to agree with the letter-writer on that one–if you want to have a nice chat, find a cafe.

    • bikinginla says:

      I have to disagree about riding in a group. No one says it’s about racing on the streets; even friendly family rides are safer when riders stick together than when they are spread out, which encourage unsafe passing and allowing drivers to cut in-between them.

      You say you take the lane when it is safer to do so. Yet the exact same circumstances that allow you to take the lane also allow another rider to ride beside you to increase visibility and help control the lane, again to prevent unsafe passes. As long as you remain in a single lane, it’s both legal and safe.

      Yes, it’s nice to chat with another rider when safe to do so, and rude — and unwise — to do so when it’s not.

  2. Steve says:

    I was at the courthouse for jury duty earlier this week, and I agree with this description.

    Based on the small painted guidelines that I saw on the Civic Center Drive, it looks like the “buffer” will be about one foot wide, and the “bike lane” will be about two feet wide, with half of that being the rain gutter.

    I want to say “something is better than nothing”, but it looks like riding on Civic Center Drive is a death-defying act, and the soon-to-be lanes will do nothing more than confine bike riders to a small area so cagers can get a better aim on them.

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