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Today’s common theme is uproar that arose when the Times of London apparently decided to create a controversy, by asking Britain’s transportation minister if the government would consider requiring all bike riders to wear helmets.
Then bizarrely took his non-answer as confirmation that a helmet law was in the offing, when he said nothing of the sort.
Unfortunately, the original story is hidden behind a paywall. Although they did at least change the headline to say the policy was under review.
But even that isn’t true.
It’s a sad decline on the subject for the paper that led the campaign to improve safety for bicyclists just five years earlier.
And it didn’t take long for the rest of the Fleet Street newspapers to jump into the fray.
The Telegraph said bike safety advocates — or campaigners in Brit parlance — warn against mandating helmets, while hiding a column behind a paywall that said helmets and hi-viz would shackle the freedom of bicycling.
The Guardian cites safety campaigners as saying there was no justification in making helmets compulsory, while columnist Peter Walker writes that you don’t make bicycling safe by forcing everyone to dress like urban warriors.
Britain’s Chris Boardman says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer.
A columnist for the Daily Mail says requiring everyone to wear a helmet will put more lives at risk by discouraging people from riding.
Meanwhile, official stats show that bicycling is about to surpass driving in London. But forcing everyone to wear a helmet could drive them back into their cars.
And an Aussie columnist jumps in, saying nanny state or not, bike helmets save us all. Even though the decline in head injuries after Australia instituted mandatory helmet laws can largely be attributed to a decline in ridership.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear a helmet. I never ride without mine.
But it should always be your choice.
This week’s Bike Talk features longtime advocate Don Ward debating Mike Bonin recall leader Alexis Edelstein.
Membership in UCLA’s bikeshare program exceeded projections for the first year in just the first two months.
Mark your calendar for LA’s most challenging hill climb race, Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, on December 17th.
South Pasadena asks Metro for funding for bike lanes after parents say it’s too scary to ride a bike with their kids in the city.
Long Beach restaurant owners are already worried about losing business due to the start of the Amgen Tour of California returning to the city for the first time in 11 years.
A San Diego bike rider suffered a broken shoulder in a crash with another rider on a steep hill; no word on how the crash occurred.
Cyclists call on Moorpark to encourage more bike-friendly businesses, which are currently lacking in the city.
Palo Alto is set to approve construction of a $16 million bike bridge, settling for a simple design after a previous attempt at an iconic crossing turned out to be too expensive.
It takes some serious chutzpa — or maybe just stupidity — to steal a police bike from a Cheyenne WY squad car.
I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin man rides 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday.
A New Hampshire town tears up a multi-use path and tells bicyclists to ride in the street after 91-year old woman was killed in a crash with a bike rider last month.
A Pittsburgh bike rider plans to once again tackle the city’s steepest hills on a 37-pound bikeshare bike after failing to finish the 12-hill competition last year.
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is one of us, riding 17-miles along a DC canal every morning.
In a truly sickening case, a Louisiana man faces multiple charges for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had to pull the victim’s body out of his windshield before dumping him on the side of the road and driving away.
Caught on video: A Vancouver driver confronts an “aggressive” bike rider who swerves around a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Yes, the rider was a jerk; he should have stopped to wait for the woman to cross the street. But I’m just as concerned about the vigilante driver who felt a need to confront the cyclist himself, then followed the rider for several blocks.
Speaking of Vancouver, the city set an ambitious goal of making 50% of all trips by bike, walking or transit by 2020 — and met it five years early. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.
Toronto bicyclists push to make drivers at least partially responsible for dooring bike riders, and teach the Dutch Reach on driver’s exams. Meanwhile, a Toronto columnist says it’s time to realize that the killing and maiming on our streets isn’t normal, and the law needs to change when driving in your sleep isn’t considered dangerous.
Caught on video: A rugby coach chases down a London thief riding off with a stolen bike slung over his shoulder.
The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver deliberately knocked a man off his bike. And will apparently get away with it unless more witnesses come forward.
Britain considers a national code of conduct for dockless bikeshares. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea here, at least on a statewide level.
The UK’s bike-riding Labour Party leader says bike safety is a social justice issue.
Over 1,100 people from 57 countries took part in Qatar’s largest cycling event.
A New Zealand man plans to finish the last 23 miles of a 108-mile bike trip home from boarding school that he abandoned 50 years ago as a teenager.
A Malaysian paper talks with the Swedish ambassador to provide a primer on Vision Zero.
Now that’s a fat bike ride. British track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy will attempt to ride his bicycle 400 miles across Antarctica in record time.
A British woman gave up her career as a veterinarian to train for the country’s cycling team.
And now you can own your very own cycling team bus.
Thanks to David R, Calla W, Gil S, Terrence H, Theodore F, Penny S and Felicia G for getting the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive off to a roaring start.