Morning Links: An interview with yours truly, bikeshare around the world, and what’s left after the La Tuna Fire

I’m back.

In more ways than one.

The latest computer problem was solved with the painful realization that Apple’s iCloud is not your friend. Once that was mostly shut down, the problems I was having seem to have disappeared.

But while BikinginLA was down yesterday, my words were going up somewhere else.

Wes Salmon, host of the popular Seattle podcast The Group Ride, recently made the big move down to Southern California.

And for reasons known only to him, one of the first things he wanted to do after moving here was to invite me to appear on his show.

Personally, I would have gone to Disneyland instead.

Although talking to me was about a hundred dollars cheaper. And only slightly less likely to induce you to lose your lunch.

Nevertheless, yesterday he posted his full 42 minute interview with me. Which should make the perfect soundtrack to today’s post, if your ears and eyes can manage to multitask better than mine.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, so let me know if I embarrassed myself.

Or more likely, how badly.

………

Today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Dockless bikeshare company Spin didn’t bother waiting for city permits before rolling their first bikes out in San Francisco. And San Franciscans didn’t bother waiting to break the rules on where those bikes could be left — or walking off with a wheel.

Seattle bikeshare riders aren’t being ticketed for riding without a helmet, even though they’re required in the city; meanwhile, the privately owned dockless bikeshares are looking promising. And yes, one may have something to do with the other.

Bikeshare is about to become more practical, as DC will be one of the first cities in the US to get a dockless ebike system, while Chinese dockless bikeshare company Mobike makes a beachhead in the US with its new DC system.

A South Carolina writer insists helmets should be required for bikeshare users. Although it should be noted that there have been just two bikeshare fatalities anywhere in the US, with or without helmets. Which makes it seem like a solution in search of a problem.

A new bikeshare system at a Pakistani university is bringing greater freedom to female students.

Even North Korea has jumped on the bikeshare bandwagon, as fuel supplies get tighter.

………

In a heartbreaking post for anyone who knows the area, the Radavist rides through the Verdugo Mountains to examine the damage caused by the La Tuna Fire earlier this month.

………

Chris Froome couldn’t make it a three-peat as Tom Dumoulin won the time trial at the world championships.

Caught on video: A Norwegian cop levels a fan who got a little too close to the action at the worlds, while bored fans cheer a leaping squirrel.

Cycling’s governing body has a new president, as France’s David Lappartient takes the helm at UCI after outgoing president Brian Cookson gets the boot.

Recently retired cyclist Tyler Farrar says despite the recent drought, US men’s cycling is just in a transitional phase, with new top riders on the horizon. One of whom may be Colorado’s Sepp Kuss, who’ll be riding for Team LottoNL-Jumbo next year.

……….

Local

LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield says the old Rocketdyne site in the San Fernando Valley would be the perfect site for Amazon’s new second headquarters. However, he seems to forget that the company insists on locating in a bikeable community; something LA’s current anti-road diet, anti-bike lane hysteria is likely to preclude.

Four LA bicyclists — some of whom you may recognize — describe their favorite LA-area rides to see the city from a different perspective.

An editorial in the LA Times says entitled drivers are getting in the way of California’s climate change goals. Too bad the rest of the editorial doesn’t hit as hard as the headline.

The student newspaper at Santa Monica College offers a look at the controversy over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The Argonaut says the proposed campaign to recall Mike Bonin is off to a rocky start, as both sides trade accusations.

West Hollywood is considering changes on three streets to improve bike and pedestrian safety, including sharrows and bike traffic signals. Tell them they can save the money they’d spend on sharrows, which only seem to help drivers improve their aim.

 

State

A Thousand Oaks letter writer accuses the city of social engineering by requiring apartment builders to provide “only” an average of two parking spaces per unit, and allowing adjacent street parking to count towards that requirement. Never mind that the entire history of driving could fit that description.

A Santa Barbara paper says yes, you can go grocery shopping by bicycle.

Great story. One year after a South Carolina man was nearly paralyzed in a collision while riding his bike, he’ll be running in a Napa half marathon, accompanied by the surgeon who saved him — and the driver who hit him.

Davis is the first American city to host the International Cycling Safety Conference.

 

National

Curbed offers 101 ways to improve transportation in your city, several of which include bicycling.

A writer for VeloNews says Interbike may be moving, but it’s still worth a trip to Las Vegas just to ride the trails.

The Denver Bronco’s C.J. Anderson is one of us, regaining his starting job after building endurance by riding his bike.

Denver is about to get a curb-protected bike lane in front of the city’s train station to keep drivers from blocking the lane, but only green paint on the other side of the street.

My hometown built an entire five-mile neighborhood bikeway for just $1 million, as part of the city’s low-stress bicycle network. Exactly what LA’s bike plan calls for, but none of which has been built.

An Indiana task force is considering building a 500-mile bike path around the state.

A Boston bike rider is led away in cuffs after she refused to stop for a bike cop who tried to pull her over for rolling a stop on a bike path; she said she kept riding as a protest against police ticketing bicyclists instead of drivers. Seriously, when a cop tries to pull you over, on two wheels or four, just stop already.

A road-raging off-duty New York cop faces charges for pulling a gun on a bike rider after making an illegal U-turn, then knocking the other man off his bike.

Once again, a bike rider rides to the rescue, as a bicyclist in Mississippi discovers two people who had been trapped in a car for over two hours after it had rolled over in a wooded area.

Nice gesture from a kindhearted Georgia man, who bought a homeless man a new bicycle after witnessing the other man’s bike get run over by a truck.

 

International

After a British bike chain stops advertising in right wing newspapers in response to a campaign to stop funding hate, the blacklisted Daily Mail calls it a publicity stunt, while a writer for another paper calls for journalists to boycott the company, describing it an enemy of free speech.

A cyclist in the UK could have been ticketed for a fatal crash with a pedestrian. Except he was the one who died.

An English writer says she’s fed up with selfish, racing cyclists who only have themselves to blame for not getting hell out of the way of drivers who take up the entire road with their SUVs.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a new cycling law to criminalize collisions with pedestrians won’t improve safety, and could delay laws that actually would; he notes that an average of just two of the 400 pedestrians killed in traffic collisions in the UK every year are hit by people on bikes.

The war on bikes goes on. A rider was injured in the UK when someone strung wire at neck level across a bike path.

The Netherlands is seeing a jump in fatal collisions as ebikes gain in popularity.

A group of wounded British vets ranging in age from 28 to 74 rode 450 miles through the French Pyrénées along some of the world’s most challenging cycling routes.

The president of Burundi is one of us, too, as he goes for a ride in the suburbs followed by armed soldiers and a full presidential convoy.

 

Finally…

Here’s the solution to hit-and-run drivers — just rip the license plate off the car that hit you. You may want to reflect on your next bicycle. No, literally.

And seriously, don’t ride your bike on the escalator.

……….

Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous donation to what he describes as the BikinginLA Computer Repair Fund. 

 

5 comments

  1. Raquel Jorge says:

    Hi, Loved the podcast, I found it hugely inspiring. Have been a urban cyclist since 1989 (using my bike as a mean of transportation). Learnt the hard way, riding on the busy streets of São Paulo on a time where helmets, bike lights and gloves were unheard of. Learning now my ways in LA (been here for 4 months). The structure and safety in here are much higher than back home, but still a long way to go!

  2. David Drexler says:

    One thing for sure is that California is not getting Amazons new Headquarters.

    Requirements are low cost of living, low housing costs, not subject to natural disasters, low taxes, lots of land for expansion, land to build a super large campus that is bike connected, low regulation, low crime rate, not a sanctuary state or locality. Amazon jobs will pay an avg of 50 k a year, high paid tech and development stays mainly in Seattle.

  3. Mom of enough but not needing fewer says:

    The news of what two bucks can do for us in half an hour is huge, and about more then ‘hill’ effort in DC.

    The press release photo shows a otherwise overly bulky easy on and off vehicle. The battery allows anyone to ride without fear of tens of pounds making it a snail turtle paced ordeal.

    The ‘heavy’ (half a car seat?) frame allows step thru shape. It is a _safe_, emission free, no insurance or license required to operate full body cardio exercise facilitating motorcycle for mere bucks to board. I wish it great success.

    The energy is insignificant. We need moviepass level investment though to overcome terrorists who may molest them.

    Opposing parking mandates is opposite of such innovation. Housing can include transportation can provide surface for Jump ebikes to hover, the investment new construction makes needs diversity like it. Monthly HOA can support transit, not just garage maintenance.

    Custom housing is answer. Buyers can collect online, build what they choose not have law and developers accused of social engineering but rather decide for themselves to provide carless homes risking there own future only.

    We exist, need greater agency. A saddle nearby to spin us nicely costs less, works better. The budget is greater, that matters. Higher or much higher quality for same or little more rocks.

    Hundred percent human power bikes are a waste of shared space. The motor can be optional to use, if minimum speed on path is maintained, but is no vice, no threat, and need not raise cost much. The pioneer is a bargain, but once mature free rationed accesss is nearly certain… smartly permitted limiting essential as nothing is free. Nothing yet so much more then but parking for idiotic dumbest still and always carish vehicles distant evil on only entities benefit from.

    Governance is sharing. Vehicles unshared has been mobility ungoverned. We need Social bikes to protect us from, monopoly in parking access cars, have hurt us via.

    Uber and Lyft delay us while teasing robotic control, bikes we can steer fine already as they move fast enough, just need sharing and energy storage to win in free market first place with ease.

    There will be robotic shared bikes sure… even safer someday. Bikes first even, if we so invest soon enough.

    Few understand why cars needed to go so fast in cities…. it was to increase road capacity mainly. This time, with powered bikes, we can afford to keep them sane if shared. Use what you only need, no more, and need to rush ends!

    The war of all vehicles on roads is fueled by physics. Not evolution rather corruption has driven it.

    The old ordinary bike is like cars, for rural use mainly!

  4. Ralph says:

    Listened to the podcast. You sounded intelligent, sane and have good things to say. Are you sure you are a cyclist 😉

    “Tell them they can save the money they’d spend on sharrows, which only seem to help drivers improve their aim.” Yes to the money saving but too many drivers don’t need help improving their aim…..

  5. David Drexler says:

    Just has a chance to listen–The interview was great Ted!

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