Morning Links: Energizer Bunny says upgrade your bike for a motorcycle, and a SaMo bad driver triptych

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton justifiably takes Energizer Batteries to task for a badly off-base ad in which the Bunny magically converts bicycles into high-powered motorcycles.

In the Energizer commercial’s world, there are lots of cyclists, but all their bikes are old and crappy. One bike, at o:02, has a derailleur but no chain. Few of the bikes actually fit their riders, so the cyclists look cramped and uncomfortable.

Secondly, how does electricity help cyclists? Does transforming a bicycle – a truly environmentally-friendly human-powered vehicle – into a petroleum-burning motorcycle really serve the environment? Do urban cyclists really want to ditch their trusty steeds?

Seriously, the takeaway from Energizer’s misguided ad isn’t that their batteries are good for the environment, but that motorcycles are better than bicycles.

Which is a load of crap.

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Now that’s more like it.

A Niagara-area town supervisor makes a video supporting his vision of converting an eight-mile parkway into a bikeway.

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While we’re on a video kick, bike commuter and KCRW sound engineer Steve Herbert posts series of Facebook videos depicting a triptych of Santa Monica drivers who insisted on making his ride to work far more dangerous than it needed to be.

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The AP says Chris Froome is turning into a master tactician on the bike, although he was outsprinted on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France. But seriously, don’t film Mark Cavendish when he’s taking a leak.

Yahoo offers a offers a bizarre report that blames cycling’s doping culture of the of the ‘80s and ‘90s for corrupting East European cyclists — like East Germany’s Jan Ullrich — after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Never mind that the former Soviet Block countries maintained extensive systematic doping programs, which undoubtedly included many, if not all, of their top cyclists. Something that clearly continues today.

As for that doping culture, at least some of it may have been a placebo effect. Although cyclists aren’t the only ones doing it.

And it’s been 49 years since Britain’s Tommy Simpson died while riding up Mont Ventoux, possibly as a result of chasing amphetamines with brandy before the race; the peloton will likely pause to remember him when they climb Ventoux in today’s stage.

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Local

The Milt Olin Foundation, started by the wife of the fallen cyclist, has launched the #HandsOff app to encourage drivers to pledge not to use their phones behind the wheel. The sheriff’s deputy who killed Olin on Mulholland Highway in 2013 had been texting with his wife, and was using the patrol car’s onboard computer at the time of the crash.

KCET rides the LA River bike path with the Senior Lead Officers from the LAPD’s Northeast Division, helping bust a bike thief in the process.

New Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte is promising to improve safety on PCH, such as implementing some of the 130 suggested improvements listed in the recently completed the PCH Safety Study, including proposed bike lanes.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports from Tuesday’s Palos Verdes Estates council session, where bicyclists turned out en masse to call for improved signage in the not-so-bike-friendly community.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a white man who rode up on a bicycle before yelling racial slurs and throwing a rock through the door of a black family.

Another homeless man was attacked in San Diego, the fifth in the last few weeks; the hammer-wielding attacker was riding a blue mountain bike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will ride to remember a local man who lost his life while riding in Chicago recently.

Menlo Park is planning to remove up to 18 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. Although the torches and pitchforks will likely come out once the affected homeowners get wind of it.

How do Bay Area chefs love cycling? Let me count the ways…

A Santa Rosa cyclist is 90% of the way through his campaign to ride up the top 100 climbs in the US; he’s now planning to ride up Mt. Whitney — starting from Death Valley — then climb the last 6,000 feet of elevation on foot.

A Truckee woman passed away in her sleep, just hours after she was involved in a bicycling collision. No matter how you feel after a wreck, always assume you’re injured. And if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, get to an emergency room immediately.

 

National

The BBC looks at how the “humble” bicycle is making a comeback in US cities, including a visit to LA’s own newly renamed Pure Cycles.

Portland’s transportation chief talks bikeshare, and explains why women seem to like it.

Nevada cyclists question the lack of serious penalties for drivers who injure or kill bike riders. Which is pretty much the same concerns held by bike riders everywhere.

Nice story from Kansas, as a father works with students at a local community college to develop a 3D-printed device to allow his three-year old son, who was born without his left hand, to ride a bicycle.

A Chicago weekly wonders what’s behind the recent rash of serious bicycling collisions.

The Michigan driver who ran down nine cyclists in Kalamazoo reportedly downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxants before getting behind the wheel; police also found marijuana, meth, more pills and a pipe in his car.

Bloomberg looks at Detroit Bikes, which specializes in making bikeshare bikes, including assembling bicycles for New York’s Citi Bike.

A Pennsylvania cyclist helps save the life of a woman who drove off the road, after he found her unconscious in a stream.

A Florida bike rider was killed when he rode over a live power line that had fallen on a bridge; the line may have been down for as long as seven hours. Never, ever cross or touch a downed power line, even if that means finding another way to get where you’re going.

 

International

A Montreal study shows building bike lanes really does get a few people out of their cars.

Peru reopens a historic outdoor velodrome that had been closed for nearly 30 years.

A Canadian columnist calls for bicycling training, and asks why encourage people to ride their bikes if they’re just going to break the law anyway? After all, licensing drivers has worked so well to discourage any form of scofflaw behavior, right?

Toronto puts its money where it’s mouth is, considering a $12.2 million boost in spending for bikeway construction over the next five years, on top of the $68.1 million already approved.

A London bicyclist says it was like hitting a brick wall when he slammed into a distracted man who stepped into a bike lane without looking.

“Despicable” is the right word for whoever stole an ambulance bicycle from a London paramedic as he was treating a patient.

Bicycling levels remain flat in the UK over the past year.

Scottish authorities are looking for a driver who made a U-turn to deliberately crash into a cyclist after they had exchanged gestures following a close pass.

 

Finally…

Pedal your way to cleaner clothes. Evidently, it’s not considered self-defense if you slap the driver who almost ran you over.

And if you’re thinking about commenting on a woman’s body, just… don’t.

Whether you’re on a bike. Or anywhere else.

 

2 comments

  1. Brian says:

    It looks like Steve Herbert has only made that video available to people he’s directly friends with, so most of us can’t see it :/

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