Archive for December 29, 2017

Woodland Hills bike rider killed in Lake Balboa crash; 2nd rider injured

This is the news no one wanted during the holiday season.

According to the LA Daily News, 48-year old Woodland Hills resident Matthew Dale Barnett was killed as he was riding his bike with another rider in the Lake Balboa area Wednesday evening.

Barnett and the other victim, who was not publicly identified, were riding north on the 7100 block of Hayvenhurst Ave, south of Sherman Way, when they both were struck from behind by the driver of an SUV around 6:30 pm.

Barnett was pronounced dead at the scene; the other rider was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver, who was not even mentioned in the Daily News story, remained at the scene. Police were unsure if drugs or alcohol were involved, and no word on whether the driver may have been distracted.

No arrest was made at the scene.

A street view shows Hayvenhurst has two lanes in each direction with a center turn lane, and parking on either side. The street would have likely been busy at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Bill Bustos at 818/644-8021.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County. Barnett’s death is the ninth in the City of LA since the first of the year.

And hopefully, the last.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Barnett and loved ones.

Morning Links: LA’s woeful bike lanes, Calbike supports Idaho Stop law, and risky riding with Hugh Jackman

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year. May the coming year bring you 12 months of safe roads and enjoyable rides.

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Local

A former Los Angeles City planner takes a bike ride to the beach with his wife, and discovers the woeful state of the city’s bicycle infrastructure. And says it’s no secret how to build successful grade-separated bike lanes. Other than getting LA’s entitled drivers to make room for them, of course.

A La Mirada man is riding to eradicate polio in honor of his father, who contracted the disease as a child and suffered from its effects the rest of his life. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica will hold a public meeting on January 10th to discuss plans for a new bridge leading to the pier, including one that would replace the current bridge with a bike and pedestrian bridge. Unfortunately, none of the options include removing cars from the pier and making more room for people.

CICLE and Metro’s BEST program are hosting a free tacos and churros ride in Lincoln Heights tomorrow.

This should be fun. Former pro Phil Gaimon, author of Draft Animals, will talk with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Pages bookstore in Manhattan Beach next Friday.

 

State

Calbike is collecting signatures in support of the Idaho Stop law, which will be before the state legislature next year.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a three-wheeled bike from a Costa Mesa man suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is offering $30 million in competitive grants for projects that will increase walking, biking and transit use.

Simi Valley police bust a bike thief who stole four bikes worth $10,000 from a truck belonging to an evacuee from the Thomas fire. But at least the victim had the sense to rescue his bikes from the fire first.

If you’re going to burglarize an Oxnard bike store, try to come up with a better escape plan than riding them away one at a time.

San Jose improves safety near a high school, including adding bollards to separate an existing bike lane.

Redding police are working with the National Bike Registry to register bicycles and help reduce bike theft. You can register your bike for free right here with Bike Index. But whatever service you choose to use, do it now — before it’s too late.

 

National

Momentum Magazine discusses the scientifically confirmed health benefits of urban bicycling, and even Dr. Oz says make time to ride a bike.

A new Kickstarter campaign promises to replace your current brake pads with brake lights that work without batteries, wires or friction generators.

LimeBike is working to solve the problem of irresponsible parking of their dockless bikeshare bikes in Seattle. I saw my first LimeBike, parked responsibly, at a coffee shop in DTLA yesterday, a long ride up from their home in LA’s port cities.

No, riding 350 miles from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas in five days is not a “mammoth cycling challenge,” even if it is for a good cause.

A new movie looks at the “whack jobs” who fat bike the snow covered Michigan backcountry in the dead of winter.

A Harvard Business School student is hoping to improve bike safety with a $24 neon yellow T-shirt reading Bikes May Use Full Lane, Change Lanes to Pass.

New York will try out a bike valet parking program near three transit hubs in the city.

 

International

A Toronto writer blames a popular bike lane for driving stores out of business, insisting that no one is using the path in the winter. Seriously, if your business can’t survive something like that, your problems go a lot deeper than a bike lane. And there’s a major lack of imagination on display if a bookstore owner can’t figure out how to make money off people who ride bikes.

Zac Efron is one of us, as is Hugh Jackman, while the latter nearly gets the former run over by a double decker bus in London traffic.

The Guardian looks at how tech is hopefully, but probably not, improving bicycling.

A British letter writer says cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads to weed out bad riders. After all, it works so well with drivers, right?

Scottish police are still looking for a man who disappeared without a trace while trying to ride his bike home in September.

One-third of Scottish children don’t receive bicycle safety training in school. That compares to nearly three-thirds in the US.

Former Indian Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi is one of us, too.

An Aussie driver gets a $500 fine and a three-month license suspension for driving with meth and THC in his system; remarkably, it was considered his first offense since he’d just gotten a new driver’s license after losing his previous license following seven — count ‘em, seven — previous DUI convictions, and eight convictions for driving without a license, as well as killing a 10-year old girl in 2003. Another example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late. Some people simply shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Ever.

Caught on video: Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Chinese man jumps off his bike to save the life of an elderly woman who had fallen into a frozen river, breaking the ice with his bare hands to bring her to safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ella Cycling Tips recounts the most memorable moments of women’s cycling over the past year.

You’ve got to be kidding. Banned cyclist Riccardo Riccò swears he’ll once again be part of the pro peloton when his 12-year doping ban finally expires, and insists he’ll still be competitive when he returns at age 40. And that doping with drugs is better than motor doping.

Speaking of dopers, former pro Thomas Dekker’s tell-all book is now available in English.

Now that’s a real hero. A 26-year old Spanish man with cerebral palsy is planning to compete in a six day bike race across the Sahara Desert, despite being paralyzed in 76% of his body.

 

Finally…

No, repeatedly slamming a dockless bikeshare bike into the ground is not among the recommended uses for it. On the other hand, flooding someone’s yard with them may be.

And now you can get in on the cryptocurrency craze just by riding a bike.

Although you might have to move to Singapore first.

 

Morning Links: Glendale Narrows trail moves forward, Vision Zero in the US, and bike-riding kung fu nuns

Thanks to Mark G, Stephen A and Stephen C for their generous donations to close out the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And to everyone who gave from their hearts to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

The kindness and generosity of the readers of this site never fails to amaze me.

And let’s all give a special thanks to over there on the right sponsors, without whom this site wouldn’t be possible.

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Local

Things are looking good for Metro’s trial bikeshare station at Echo Park.

Glendale approves the next phase of a bike and pedestrian path that will eventually connect the Glendale Narrows to Griffith Park.

The head of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association writes the LA Times to say mountain bikers will not be taking over the Pacific Coast Trail, even if a new bill allowing bicycles in federal wilderness areas passes.

 

State

An Orange County nonprofit provided six special needs kids with customized adaptive bikes.

A San Diego weekly calls the possible advent of dockless bikeshare “Chinese bicycle torture.”

Sad news from Tulare, where a homeless man was killed riding his bicycle on Christmas Eve.

More bad news comes from Santa Rosa, where a 67-year old man died two days after his bike was hit by a car.

A Sacramento parolee was busted as he was riding his cruiser bike for injuring several drivers by tossing boulders off a freeway overpass; he has two previous arrests for similar crimes.

It takes a real scumbag to leave an 11-year old Rancho Cordova kid bleeding in the street after crashing into his ebike.

 

National

NBC News looks at the spread of Vision Zero across the US, including the failure of the Playa del Rey lane reductions here in LA.

In a couple months, you could be riding your very own $400 Ikea bike. And yes, you have to assemble it.

Slate calls the lighted Lumos bike helmet something every bike commuter needs. Ignoring the fact that countless bike commuters successfully ride without it every day.

X-Shifter is developing voice and gesture controls that could allow more disabled people to ride bicycles.

Iron Chef Cat Cora is one of us.

Bicyclists are calling Seattle streetcar tracks a death trap after one rider is killed falling on the tracks and another seriously injured.

A Washington bike cop gets credit for busting a pickpocket by racing to the store where the alleged thief was using the victim’s credit card.

Las Vegas is planning to pilot a program that would use computer analytics to warn drivers about the presence of bikes, as well as warning bicyclists about encroaching drivers and how to time traffic lights.

The next time someone tells you LA’s 60° winter weather is too cold to ride in, point them to this guy riding in a -40° wind chill factor in Fargo ND.

Don’t Tase me, bro. New Chicago guidelines forbid shocking bike riders, or other fleeing suspects, with Tasers.

An Illinois city exonerates its police department after officers arrested two boys for riding a single bike, with one on the handlebars. Which was probably the single most asinine police action of 2017.

A Minnesota woman and her son were released from custody after they were arrested for a hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider; police still haven’t been able to locate the killing machine.

A kindhearted Michigan cop buys a bicycle for an 11-year old boy after learning he’d never had one.

A 10-year old New Hampshire boy received an inspiring New Year’s greeting from hockey star Milan Lucic after he fell riding his bike, lacerating his liver and damaging his pancreas.

A Massachusetts woman was sentenced to up to four years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, as well as intimidating a witness; her boyfriend was previously sentenced for helping to hide the victim’s bicycle.

No bias here. Residents of a New York community say they’re not opposed to bike lanes, but they don’t belong on historic streets or in front of schools. Never mind that bicycles have a longer history track record in the city than the cars that no one seems to object to.

A New Jersey man is suing a railroad after his bike tire got caught in a gap in a rail crossing near their home.

CityLab looks at how DC built a bike boom. Meanwhile, DC authorities say please don’t call 911 to complain about dockless bikeshare riders.

 

International

Strava says their stats show bicyclists around the world rode a total of 4.5 billion miles this year. Even more impressive when you consider how small a percentage of the worldwide bicycling community actually uses the app.

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to ride a bicycle at 125 mph on a Brazilian roadway.

A British Columbia letter writer says bike riders should be forced to carry liability insurance, citing the death of a London woman killed by a sidewalk riding bicyclist. Here in California, your car insurance should cover you in the event of any crash while riding your bike.

Ottawa, Canada police have your back, at least when it comes to anti-bike distracted drivers.

A pair of San Diego men pass through India on an around-the-world bike ride, after deciding they were having so much fun riding from Vancouver to Tijuana that they wanted to keep going.

In the best story of the day, 200 Kung Fu nuns on bikes swap their traditional robes for Lycra leggings on a month-long ride around Kathmandu.

Nairobi’s deadly streets could be getting safer and more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

Sydney, Australia area cities combine to impose new regulations on dockless bikeshare providers, including a requirement for geo-fencing to keep them within approved areas.

Two Malaysian men are riding their bikes to the seven wonders of the modern world to raise money to fight cancer. Only one of which is really all that modern.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lance loved the Icarus doping documentary. Maybe it reminded him of the good old days.

The four-day Colorado Classic bike race and music festival will return this August.

A Turkish rider quits the new Israeli cycling team over the controversy started when Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Peter Flax looks at the “comedy, tragedy and pure circus” of the past year in pro cycling.

 

Finally…

Nothing like celebrating Christmas with Santa on a sex-toy bike. Sure, anyone can ride naked in the middle of summer.

And save a little bike-riding kid from a dog attack, and get honored in the Rose Parade.

Especially if you have four feet and a tail.

………

I’ll try to be back tomorrow. But if we don’t meet here, for whatever reason, stay safe on the streets and we’ll see you again next year.

Morning Links: Gardena motorcyclist murdered by road raging driver, Brompton recall, and bike giveaways

It’s penultimate day of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just two days left in this fundraising campaign, the only time all year we beg shamelessly for your financial support.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Jennifer S, Katherine D and Richard S for their generous contributions to help keep this site coming your way every day. And to everyone else who has opened their hearts and wallets over the past month.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A 21-year old motorcyclist was killed by a road raging driver in Gardena yesterday, and the driver arrested on a murder charge.

One life has ended far too soon, leaving a hole that can never be filled in the lives of his loved ones. And another life has been thrown away, facing years behind bars.

What a senseless waste.

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If you bought a Brompton in the last three years, your bike could be subject to a recall.

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‘Tis the season.

Forty-one Dana Point children got new bicycles, locks and helmets through an earn-a-bike program run by the YMCA.

The family of a fallen bicyclist donated 13 bicycles to troubled Kentucky kids in memory of the man, who was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver; his killer is serving a 35-year sentence for the crime.

An Ohio counseling center gave 50 bicycles to children with a history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

A Georgia Baptist church gives 160 new bikes to local kids as part of their annual bike giveaway.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton samples LA’s three dockless bikeshare systems, with LimeBike coming out the clear winner.

Despite the anti-road diet hysteria on LA’s Westside, the Eastside’s Alhambra Ave will be getting a road diet and new bike lanes in the El Sereno neighborhood; work is scheduled to begin next month.

A Burbank bike rider finally achieves his goal of getting a contestable ticket for riding a bike on the Mariposa Bridge leading to Griffith Park, where equestrians have succeeded in getting bicycles banned.

Long Beach will offer a free bike valet at their monthly 4th Fridays on 4th Street tonight.

Another great piece from Peter Flax, who created his perfect year on the bicycle by cutting the tech cord and embracing his life as a bike commuter and advocate.

 

State

A San Diego weekly issues a call to arms to fight a proposal to allow bicycles in wilderness areas, accusing a mountain biking group of working with Republicans to roll back protections of public lands. Although they seem somewhat confused about what a wilderness area is, since neither of the places they mention would be affected by the bill.

The CHP has found the damaged Prius that was involved in the hit-and-run that left a Fallbrook bike rider seriously injured last week, but haven’t been able to locate the driver.

A Visalia restaurant owner thanks the strangers who came to her aid when she was hit by someone riding a bike on the sidewalk; she is recovering despite being knocked unconscious in the crash.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in an early morning hit-and-run as he rode in a bike lane.

A Berkeley cycle track made People for Bikes list of the country’s best new protected bike lanes.

Sad news from Santa Rosa, too, where a 67-year old man died nearly three days after his bicycle was rear-ended by a driver.

Oher cycling groups jump in to help after the Santa Rosa Cycling Club lost $150,000 worth of bikes and equipment when a wildfire destroyed the home they were renting for their headquarters.

Bighearted Chico fifth graders spent a month refurbishing old bicycles to give to kids through the Boys & Girls Club.

 

National

After Seattle bicycling rates drop .3% to a 2.6% mode share — still a number most cities, including Los Angeles, would envy — a radio host says bicycling will never catch on in the hilly city, despite “placating militant bicyclist activists.” Or maybe they’re just average people who want a safe place to ride their bikes.

A Phoenix homeowner was pepper sprayed by a bike riding “porch pirate.”

A Chicago bicyclist says the way the city designs protected bike lanes makes them death traps for bike riders.

Treehugger says bike riders in New York and Toronto are dead because trucks aren’t required to have side guards.

Business owners in Queens, New York blame a new bike lane for a drop in sales.

Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks is one of us, shown riding an NBC Universal bike in a New York Times profile.

 

International

Life is cheap in Canada, where the death of a 17-year old girl riding her bike is officially considered just a tragic accident.

Calgary bicyclists say riding in foot-deep snow is no big deal. Meanwhile, Los Angeles drivers insist that no one will ride a bike in a sunny SoCal winter.

A letter writer says he can spot bike thieves from his seat at a popular Canadian diner in the middle of the night; he knows they must be bike thieves because they ride a different bike every night, and don’t use lights or reflectors.

After Canadian police recover a bicycle stolen from a British bike tourist in Niagara Falls, he donates it to a woman whose family helped him when he was stranded in the town.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a killer driver walks with just probation in the death of a bike rider, despite being convicted of careless driving.

The head of a British bike advocacy group was infuriated to have his own folding bike stolen from a train while he was talking bike safety with a stranger.

Caught on video: An Irish bicyclist is clipped by a driver after failing to signal or look before swerving into traffic.

Solar-powered ebikes outfitted with trailer chairs are serving as ambulances in Namibian villages.

In what has become an all-too common crime in South Africa, a cyclist was pushed off his bicycle and beaten with a pipe by robbers who took his bike and cellphone.

An Aussie rider received a six-figure court judgement three years after he was forced off the road by a truck driver, who was never identified; now fully recovered, he’s planning to ride as part of a two-person team in next year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM.

An Australian website explores what bikeshare programs need to succeed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A transgender Canadian cyclist is suing cycling’s governing body after she was forced to undergo humiliating gender verification exams, contending that rules allowing unqualified people to conducts the tests amount to a violation of human rights.

VeloNews names Dutch pro Anna van der Breggen their female cyclist of the year.

Chris Froome’s reputation is tarnished forever according to Lance Armstrong, who should know.

Suspended New Zealand cyclist Karl Murray will have to restart his nearly completed two-year doping ban after he illegally coached two young riders.

 

Finally…

Do you really need a concierge to tell you to ride a bike on Christmas Day? If your significant other won’t ride with you, don’t take it out on the koi.

And yes, car makers really are trying to kill us.

………

Please accept my best wishes for a very happy holiday.

And stay safe out there this weekend. Remember that many drivers will be drinking, and those who aren’t are likely to be more focused on finishing their shopping than on looking for you.

I’ll be taking Monday and Tuesday off, but will probably be back with a post or two next week.

Merry Christmas!

Morning Links: More frontline news from the war on bikes, and more heartwarming holiday bike giveaways

It’s a light bike news day today, which is no surprise as the world starts gearing down for the holidays.

But you can make up for it by checking out yesterday’s massive 2,600+ word missive, which we finally got online and working Wednesday afternoon.

Although you may need to take the rest of the day off to make it through both of these.

Hopefully the tech problems that knocked us offline for the first part of the week are finally behind us.

Fingers crossed.

And be careful riding out there. These next few days will be jammed with office Christmas parties and people stopping off for a few holiday drinks on their way home.

So use the standard protocol — ride defensively, and assume every driver on the road has already had a few too many.

And be especially careful around malls and shopping districts where drivers are likely to be more focused on looking for a parking spot — and their cellphones — than watching for you.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bike riders is all too real.

An English driver intentionally swerves into a bicyclist he says made a gesture at him; fortunately, the rider wasn’t seriously injured.

A passenger in a passing car got out and punched a New Zealand bicyclist who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, breaking his nose.

………

‘Tis the season.

Two kids from LA’s Harbor City earned new bikes donated by Full Factory.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated 30 bikes and 15 skateboards to be distributed to local kids.

A seven-year old Florida girl shows her holiday spirit after she received a new bicycle from a toy ride, and gives it to another girl since she already had one.

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Just three days left in the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

Damien Newton talks with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and Wes Reutimann of Bike SGV in the final SGV Connect podcast of the year.

West Hollywood is installing speed feedback signs along sharrow-tattooed Fountain Ave in an effort to slow down speeding drivers. I have a hard time believing they actually do any good, but Wired insists they worked in Garden Grove; thanks to Brad Milison for the last link.

 

State

A local paper talks with Folsom Prison Inmate Mauricio Argueta, who spent the past year refurbishing 250 bicycles to donate to kids this Christmas. Too often, prisons just warehouse people until they’re released; it’s nice to see someone using his time behind bars constructively to help others.

Sad news from Sacramento, as chef and former Cat 2 cyclist Christopher Davis-Murai, owner of The Bicycle Chef restaurant, has passed away at age 51 after collapsing in his home.

 

National

People for Bikes ranks America’s ten best new bikeways this year, none of which are anywhere near Los Angeles.

Cyclocross Magazine offers ten maintenance tips before you put your bike away for the winter. Or you could just keep riding all year, especially if you live here in SoCal.

A new video looks at Seattle’s Bike Batman, who has used Bike Index to help return over 40 stolen bikes to their rightful owners.

Santa Fe cyclists will now have a tunnel under the rail yards to improve safety.

Caught on video: LA bike riders have to dodge cars, Tennessee bike riders have to dodge dogs.

A Louisville KY paper looks at the massive cave holding the world’s largest underground bike park, which is drawing tourists from around the world.

Philadelphia’s mayor says he wants to provide protected bike lanes to improve safety, but paying for schools and trash and police are more important; Next City says there’s no simple formula for when to roll out new bike lanes.

Speaking of Philadelphia, a 52-year old father was killed by a street racing hit-and-run driver as he rode his bike to work.

The rich get richer, as New York adds another 25 miles of protected bike lanes; the city is racing to provide safe alternatives before a subway line is shut down for reconstruction.

 

International

Halifax, Nova Scotia bicyclists hope the city’s new networked bike plan will mean no bike lanes to nowhere. Which is exactly what LA bicyclists were hoping for with the 2010 bike plan; let’s hope Halifax riders have better luck with it.

The London School of Economics considers what the rest of the world can learn from Mexico City’s bikeshare system, which has cut private car use by 5%.

No disconnect here. A British member of Parliament says bicyclists must use bikeways to improve safety — at the same time he’s trying to cut the budget for them. Bike advocates call his comments “unhelpful,” but he insists he was just misunderstood.

Sort of caught on video: A Bristol, England bike cop pulls over a Bentley when he sees the driver talking on her cellphone. And spent 30 seconds staring at her through the window before she noticed him.

A Dublin, Ireland advocacy group is warning that someone will get killed from getting a bike wheel caught on tracks for a new light rail line, as a local paper maps where riders are turning up with nasty injuries. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike rider gets hit by a cab while blowing a red light.

London’s Telegraph calls Croatia’s Istria peninsula Europe’s most beautiful but unexpected bicycling destination.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the new advocacy organization formed to fight for living wages for women pro cyclists. About damn time; let’s hope the people running pro cycling take them seriously.

The other shoe may not have dropped yet, as French authorities investigate an alleged motor doping conspiracy involving “very notable riders” with “links between international teams, private companies and cycling’s highest authorities.”

A new study shows that the opioid pain killer Tramadol, which is widely used in the pro peloton, may improve performance, but at the risk of reduced concentration and increased falls. Can’t speak for anyone else, but it definitely affects my performance; I won’t even take it if I have to drive anywhere.

 

Finally…

Now you can pedal and purify water at the same time. When two people appear to become one on a bike.

And now you can make your very own protein-packed, sexless gingerbread people.

  

Morning Links: Fix deadly La Tuna Canyon, LimeBike off to a fast start, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Well that was a major pain in the tukus.

Please forgive the extended unplanned and unexcused absence this week. Sometime between Friday night and early Monday morning, a problem developed that prevented me from posting anything or saving any changes to this site.

After extended troubleshooting, the problem was tracked down to an invisible folder hidden on the webhost’s site. We still don’t know why it was acting up, but the problem finally seems to have cleared up, at least for now.

The good news is, you haven’t missed anything. You’ll find all the news from the last five days included in today’s massive post.

So make yourself comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Thanks to Steve S, without who’s invaluable help we’d still down for the count.

………

A new petition calls on LADOT to immediately implement long-delayed safety improvements on La Tuna Canyon to reign in speeding drivers and improve safety for bike riders and equestrians.

There’s no way to know if that would have prevented the hit-and-run crash that has left Keith Jackson in a coma for the past week.

But it may help prevent the next one.

………

Dockless bikeshare provider LimeBike released a year-end report detailing its impact in cities across the US, from DC to Seattle.

As well as a pilot project in LA’s CD15.

Although those figures pale compared to the 103,000 active riders and 220,000 miles traveled on their bikes in Seattle in just the last five months.

………

‘Tis the season.

Note: There’s so much bad news out there, it helps to take a few moments to realize that there are a lot of bighearted people trying to do a little good in this world.

A Santa Clarita landfill company donates 60 bicycles and helmets to kids through a pair of local groups, part of a nationwide effort to donate 2,000 bikes across the US.

Fontana police gave nearly 200 bicycles to local kids.

Eighteen Adelanto students got new bicycles after winning a drawing for bringing non-perishable food items to their schools.

A group of Lompoc mountain bikers have given 120 bicycles and helmets to children of military personnel stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s office donated 150 kids bicycles that were refurbished by inmates at a local honor farm.

A local property company donated 50 bikes to kids at a Fresno elementary school.

Fifty kids in Coarsegold CA received new bicycles thanks to donations from people throughout the Central Valley.

An Idaho group gave 400 bicycles to kids in need; no one was turned away, even if they weren’t registered for the program.

Hundreds of people in Austin TX volunteered their time to distribute thousands of bikes and other gifts for families who struggle to put presents under their tree.

GM employees donated 260 bicycles, along with toys for 30,000 North Texas children.

An Arkansas church bought and built over 400 bicycles for struggling families.

A thousand Michigan volunteers helped build bikes to be given to kids in need.

A Kentucky Audi dealer has donated 262 bikes through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program; a local bike club gave funds to include bike helmets and locks for each kid.

The son of a late Pennsylvania school nurse has continued the woman’s bike giveaway drive, donating 150 refurbished bicycles to local school kids.

Eight Pittsburgh-area special needs kids received new adaptive bicycles, enabling them to ride for the first time.

The wife of North Carolina’s late Bicycle Man is carrying on his tradition by giving 1,200 bikes to kids.

Seventy kids in Savannah GA received new bicycles thanks to a pair of local nonprofits.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man continued a 26-year tradition by giving 1,500 bikes and helmets to kids in need.

A Florida artist is teaching 24 kids how to build their own bicycles that reflect their personalities.

………

It’s the last four days of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Steven F and Dennis F for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way!

………

Local

More theater of the absurd in the fight against road diets by overly entitled LA drivers, as Keep LA Moving is continuing their lawsuit against Los Angeles — even though they’ve already won by getting the Playa del Rey road diets ripped out. All because some of the traffic lanes are narrower than they were before, and a few small sections of bike lanes still remain on the streets where there was enough room for them after the traffic lanes were reinstalled.

No surprise here. Our old friend Richard Lee Abrams once again confuses the cure with the disease, insisting densification is killing Los Angeles. What’s really killing the city are the NIMBYs who fight growth, creating more sprawl and forcing people live miles from their jobs. The solution is more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods served by adequate transit, so people don’t have to drive to get to work or shopping.

No surprise here. The British tourist who was accidently shot by an LAPD cop last year as she was riding on the Venice beach bike path has filed a suit against the city; the bullet passed through the dog the cop was trying to shoot and hit her in the calf. The city might as well just open the treasury and let her walk out with as much as she wants; it will still be less than a jury is likely to give her.

A Georgia man will arrive at the Santa Monica pier at the end of this month, completing a 10,000 mile ride around the perimeter of the US that he began 17 years ago; he’s raised $75,000 to fight childhood cancer along the way.

A Long Beach letter writer says bike lanes need to be maintained, and trash and broken glass removed. It doesn’t do any good to build bike lanes if they’re not kept in a safe and ridable condition.

Ofo is bringing their bright yellow dockless bikeshare bikes to Bellflower.

Monterey Park’s vote on its first protected bike lane has been put off until next month.

CLR Effect discovers that basketball great Reggie Miller is one of us, too.

 

State

The LA Times says the car can no longer be king of the road if California is serious about climate change, as proposed new CEQA guidelines will make it easier to build bike lanes and transit oriented development projects.

Chula Vista was honored by the San Diego Bicycle Coalition for their efforts to make the city’s streets safer for people on bikes.

Riding to the Coachella festival should be a little easier in 2019, as plans are underway for bike lanes in Indio leading to the festival site.

A San Luis Obispo Op-Ed points out that not only do bike riders pay for the roads, bicyclists were responsible for paved roads in the first place.

Even the trees are out to get us. A Palo Alto man was severely injured when a tree fell on him as he was riding his bicycle during high winds.

Sacramento bicyclists complain that the closure of a bridge leaves no safe route into the city.

 

National

If the GOP tax plan passes today, you can kiss your paltry $20 a month bike commuting benefit goodbye. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

The LA Times examines Rep. Tom McClintock’s bill to allow mountain bikes in wilderness areas, which has split the offroad community.

Slate says the dockless bikeshare invasion is going to be messy, but worth it.

A writer for Road and Track says traffic calming just makes drivers angry. And that Vision Zero won’t work without a scientific approach to reducing fatalities. Which is exactly what Vision Zero is supposed to be, anyway.

A new study says the pollution you suck in on your bike commute may be killing you after all.

A singletrack site offers advice on how to buy a new bike without your significant other catching on.

Bicycling offers advice on what to do if your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere. I always carried wire, a bandana and a roll of duct tape in my seat pack when I rode far from civilization, which was usually enough to patch it up — or stop the bleeding — long enough to get home.

Bike-friendly Portland is going the wrong way, tearing out a popular bike route to widen a freeway.

Seattle will continue with dockless bikeshare through at least the middle of next year, even though the pilot program technically ends this month. And decides to install bike racks where they’re not needed to discourage homeless camps.

Arizona police are looking for an elderly woman who right hooked a bike rider, then drove off after giving him $100 for a new bike.

A Santa Fe NM writer says the way to make bicycling safer is to build more separated bike paths, and improve the ones they have.

No bias here. An Indianapolis radio host says people complaining about the plot of The Last Jedi are the worst people in the world — even worse than people who ride in bike lanes.

Memphis will remove the bollards from a protected bike lane in front of a 72-year woman’s home, because she wants to be able to “twirl” into her driveway.

A Syracuse NY scumbag asshole cycling coach gets seven years for sexually abusing a girl under the age of 15 who he was training.

New York considers proposals for dockless bikeshare to serve areas where the city’s successful Citi Bike system doesn’t reach.

Over 200 New York delivery people protest the city’s absurd ban on ebikes, which are legal to own as long as you don’t use them on city streets.

New York appears to be practicing Vision Zero in reverse, with bicycling deaths up nearly 50% this year. But all the mayor wants to talk about is busting delivery people for riding ebikes.

No bias here, either. The NYPD bends over backwards to blame a bike rider in a fatal crash, saying he just happened to fall over as he was trying to pass a truck. A more likely explanation is the driver didn’t see the rider, and passed him close enough to knock him off his bike.

A proposed DC rail bridge could include a parallel crossing for bikes and pedestrians.

Louisiana’s West Baton Rouge Parrish is prepared to meet a court challenge over plans to build a five-mile recreational bike path atop the Mississippi River levee; they’re being sued by four landowners who have refused to grant access to construction crews.

 

International

The researcher following the migration of the Monarch Butterflies finally finished her journey in Mexico, after over nine months and 10,000 miles.

A British Columbia columnist says separated bike lanes squeeze buses and other drivers. But a letter writer says that’s why we need protected bike lanes, because there are enough angry drivers out there already.

Nice piece from the Guardian, where a writer says bicycling helped him overcome depression and panic attacks.

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling has surged another 15% in central London after the city built a network of protected bikeways. Which suggests what could happen here, where the distances may be longer, but the weather is a hell of a lot better.

An English community concludes that reducing speed limits to 20 mph in some areas has actually resulted in an increase in fatalities, but it would cost too much to roll it back; a nationwide study shows lowering speed limits is more effective when done in conjunction with other traffic calming measures.

A British man has refurbished roughly 1,000 bikes a year for the last 18 years, donating them to local charities or selling them for the equivalent of $13 to pay for parts.

British black box driving data shows women are safer drivers than men, and speed is the single biggest risk factor.

Authorities are looking for a UK mountain bike rider who allegedly went berserk after a driver accused him of preparing to run a red light, by attacking her car and threatening her with a knife.

A new movie will tell the story of Scottish BMX star John Buultjens, who rose from a battered childhood to portraying his own abusive father on film.

An Australian writer says drivers and bicyclists break the rules of the road in equal proportions, that there are aggressive drivers as well as cyclists, and that no motorists have been killed by anyone on a bicycle. So don’t hate us because we wear Lycra.

A test of bicycling paramedics on Australia’s Gold Coast has proven so successful that it’s spreading to other cities.

Former Aussie pro Adam Phelan writes movingly about the healing power of riding a bicycle. Something I think most of us have experienced at one time or another.

Over 120,000 people voted to name Seoul’s bikeshare system the Korean city’s favorite public service. Personally, I’d vote for indoor plumbing, but that’s just me.

A Japanese ebike rider is accused of gross negligence in the death of a 77-year old woman while using a smartphone in one hand and holding a drink in the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

Let’s just get all the Chris Froome news out of the way first.

Lance’s invitation to speak before next year’s Tour of Flanders is called “absolutely reprehensible.”

Former pro Alexander Vinokourov faces charges for paying a competitor to take a dive in the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The women’s pro peloton has formed a union to fight for better treatment and a living wage.

Britain’s Tour de Yorkshire has set an example for the rest of the cycling world by replacing podium girls with successful local businesswomen.

Sad news from the UK, where former British national champ Sharon Laws died of cervical cancer; she was just 43.

 

Finally…

No, the shoulder of a roadway is not a bike lane, even if it has a bike route sign. Your next bike could be a classic seat tube-less mountain bike worth $6,500. If you’re going to sell a hot bike, try taking the sticker with the owner’s name on it off first.

And an Italian bicyclist fulfills every rider’s fantasy to shoot down threatening motorists.

And yes, I know that last one is probably fake. But still. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Ed Rubinstein for the heads-up.

My apologies. There’s a problem with my webhost that’s keeping me from being able to make any updates or changes for now. Hopefully we’ll have a fresh post later on Tuesday.

Morning Links: A busy weekend for bike events, more bike giveaways for the holidays, and more doping news

Let’s start with a long list of bike events on a very busy weekend.

Beginning with a vintage bike ride in the San Fernando Valley.

Earlier this summer, local vintage bike enthusiast Peter Glenn started a vintage bike ride in the Valley. The final vintage ride for this Sunday rolls from 19600 Plummer St in Northridge at 9am, with a 20 mile loop, and free coffee and pastries afterwards. Peter describes it as a rolling bike show, with a mixture of beautifully restored American and European bikes from the 70’s and 80’s.

Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t own a vintage bike. And unlike Eroica, there’s no anti-Lycra brigade.

Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

Finish the Ride and Safe Streets for Everyone will hold a ride to support hit-and-run victim Keith Jackson, who remains in a coma after he was struck from behind on La Tuna Canyon last weekend.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley writes about the search for his killer. And a crowdfunding campaign has raised over $1,100 in the first 24 hours to help pay Jackson’s medical bills.

………

Still more events:

Bike SGV is holding a Cycling Santas Holiday Lights Ride on Saturday.

The final SoCal Cross races of the year take place Saturday and Sunday in Moreno Valley.

Bike Walk Glendale and the LACBC are hosting a Holiday Lights Ride on Sunday, with a stop in Gauchos Village for a hot cocoa treat.

SC Velo and Incycle Bike Stores are holding a Toy Ride in San Dimas on Sunday.

One of the nation’s most challenging hill climb competitions rolls Sunday with the 12th edition of Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

The Bikerowave will host a talk on getting more women bicycling with London Bike Kitchen founder Jenni Gwiazdowski next Friday; she’ll sign copies of her new book afterwards.

Bike SGV will ride the streets of Glendora January 6th to gather data the city can use to “make more informed decisions about their bike and walking infrastructure.”

………

‘Tis the season.

LA Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has teamed with the Rally Cycling Pro Continental team to build 150 bikes for SoCal kids.

Burbank’s appropriately named Bike Angels have refurbished 150 bicycles to a nearly new condition for kids who might not otherwise be able to afford one.

The Cameron Park Rotary Club will be distributing over 200 bicycles refurbished by a single inmate at Folsom State Prison.

Fifty Fresno kids received new bicycles courtesy of a local property company.

Singer, songwriter and Broadway star Sara Bareilles is teaming with bikemaker Priority Bicycles and Santa Rosa’s North Bay Bike Project to provide bicycles for kids affected by the recent North Bay fires.

A Newport RI advocacy group has restored 30 bicycles for local kids.

The widow of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man has kept up his holiday tradition, refurbishing 1,200 bikes for children whose families couldn’t afford one.

………

It’s the last day of the penultimate week of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

It looks like the long-promised protected bike lanes on 7th Street may finally be moving forward, after the LA City Council voted to approve funding for the 7th Street Streetscape Improvements Project; they were promised as part of the approval process for the Wilshire Grand Center.

The Monterey Park City Council will vote on city’s first protected bike lanes on Monterey Pass Road at their meeting this Wednesday.

LA County is looking for input on a planned Complete Streets project on Rosemead Blvd in Pico Rivera and the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

Long Beach has received a $150,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education. Although the money would be much better spent educating drivers, since they’re the ones who pose a risk to others.

 

State

The Orange County Register talks with a San Clemente cruiser ebike maker who started the company after getting bad customer service when he bought an ebike.

Riverside sheriff’s deputies are searching for whoever who beat a Menifee man to death, shortly after he was seen riding a bicycle towing a trailer to collect recycling.

No surprise here. The CHP and Alameda County District Attorney decided not to file charges against a driver who swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid a bike rider signaling a left turn, hit his outstretched arm, and kept going. Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the tip.

 

National

Bellingham, Washington police have busted nine people for bike theft using a GPS-equipped bait bike.

The Colorado man who killed mountain bike legend Mike Rust has been sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole, as well as concurrent sentences of 12 years for burglary, 18 months for tampering with evidence and 12 months each for theft and abuse of a corpse. Rust had disappeared in 2009 after setting out to track a burglar; his body was discovered early this year.

A Michigan driver got three to 15 years for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone; she had five crashes in the previous eight years, as well as citations for careless driving and hit-and-run.

An allegedly drunk driver killed a bike rider while cutting donuts with his car. Yet another case of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late; it was his third drunk driving arrest, yet somehow, he was still allowed behind the wheel.

The New York Times looks at a bike rider’s confrontation with a state senator who blocked a bike lane, then allegedly pretended to be a cop when the rider approached him.

More proof that bikes are good for business, as a new study using data from MasterCard shows higher receipts at New York restaurants near bikeshare locations.

A Louisiana bike rider says before you call an angry cyclist a nuisance, consider what made them so angry in the first place. And build better infrastructure, already.

 

International

Your 2018 Specialized Allez may be being recalled because of a bad fork.

Bike thefts are continuing to spike in Calgary, as riders are feeling ignored by the police.

Good idea. A proposed bill in Ontario, Canada would require anyone who killed a bicyclist or pedestrian to undergo renewed driver training, perform community service and appear in court to hear victim impact statements.

Here’s a surprise. A Toronto bike advocacy group has disbanded after nearly 25 years, saying conditions had improved enough in the city that they were no longer needed.

A British city has received the equivalent of $7,600 from a Chinese city to teach lower-income residents how to fix their bikes.

A Dutch consortium has developed an ebike designed to improve stability for elderly riders.

A study from the Netherlands shows GPS equipped decoy bikes cut bike theft up to 50% in areas where’s they’ve been used. Maybe that will be enough to finally convince the LAPD to give them a try.

Germany’s national bike industry trade association warns about the dangers of unsafe dockless bikeshare bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome continues to insist he’s innocent of doping accusations, as Germany’s Tony Martin decries the double standard, questioning why Froome wasn’t immediately suspended.

Belgium authorities aren’t pleased Lance has been invited to attend next year’s Tour of Flanders as a special guest.

Italian cyclist Nicola Ruffoni will be 30 years old before he can compete again after getting a four-year ban for doping.

Dutch team LottoNL-Jumbo has sent three riders home for possessing a legal sleep aid that had not been approved by the team.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be powered by hydrogen. Forget three feet; how about a 20-foot passing distance and a 6 mph speed limit? Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

And if you’re going to unveil the new national team, it might help if you actually named them.

Just saying.

Morning Links: LA debates dockless bikeshare, more bike giveaways, and handlebar mounted tiger repellent

Once again, bikeshare was the common theme in today’s news.

LA officials debate proposed regulations for dockless bikeshare programs that allow them to expand beyond a handful of test programs currently underway.

The San Diego Reader reports that dockless bikeshare companies are pouring money into the city to lobby for favorable regulations.

Coronado took a pass on a pilot dockless bikeshare program after residents argued that the community already has too many bikes. But sure, just keep bringing in more cars.

Video shows New Yorkers swarming a bikeshare station while cars sit parked idly at the curb, suggesting that the 150,000 acres of curbside parking in the city could be put to better use.

………

‘Tis the season.

Ninety-two San Diego third graders go crazy when they’re given new bicycles by the Padres, the last remaining major league sports team in the city that hasn’t yet bolted for Los Angeles.

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System gave new bikes to 100 elementary students in the Logan Heights neighborhood.

A pair of San Diego-area organizations gave new bicycles to all 187 second and third graders at a Spring Valley elementary schools.

Corona firefighters are taking time between emergency calls to build 72 bicycles donated by a local businessman for disadvantaged kids.

Over 100 Georgia students will receive new bicycles donated for needy families.

………

It’s Day 21 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Mike W and Plurabelle Books for their generous contributions to help keep bringing the best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning, from around the corner and around the world.

………

Local

A new pop-up museum in DTLA celebrates notable failures, from the Edsel and a Donald Trump board game to a plastic bicycle that melted on hot days.

CiclaValley looks at this weekend’s holiday ride sponsored by the LACBC and Bike Walk Glendale.

Bicycle Retailer looks at LA-based Team Dream Team and their new San Marino Cub House.

Bike Talk chats with custom bike maker Art Ramirez.

 

State

A Fallbrook man was seriously injured when his bike was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver; police are looking for a charcoal grey vehicle with damage to the right front. Best euphemism of the day: the driver “failed to safely maneuver” around the victim’s bike, which is another way of saying the cowardly jerk plowed into him from behind.

Take a 10-mile bike tour of life-like metal sculptures representing the Pleistocene age in Borrego Springs.

Indio will add a pair of bike lanes this spring, including a separated bike lane.

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help in identifying a Camarillo bike thief.

A Fresno man took revenge on a suspected early morning car burglar by cutting his bike in half and nailing it to a tree. Although it’s entirely possible that the bike he cut in half may have been stolen from someone else.

Yes, you can take your Christmas tree home by bike, as these photos of Bay Area bike riders prove. Or a Chanukah bush, for that matter.

A San Raphael man was busted for stealing a cheap guitar after smashing a music store window, when police spotted him riding a bicycle carrying the purloined instrument a few hours later.

 

National

Treehugger says it’s time to start thinking about driving like we do smoking.

Bicyclists in Tucson are angry over the city’s ranking as the second most dangerous city for people on bikes in the US. Meanwhile, no one really seems to care that LA was ranked as the tenth most dangerous city.

A Minneapolis columnist is angry over an LA letter writer’s suggestion that the city shouldn’t go backwards on bike lanes, saying maybe we should put bike lanes on Sepulveda Blvd so we can understand what it’s like. Maybe someone should tell her that we already have bike lanes on Sepulveda, crappy though they may be in places.

Turns out the New York state senator who attempted to impersonate a police officer after illegally blocking a bike lane has a long history of dangerous driving, including speeding through a school zone — three times.

Philadelphia is responding to a recent cycling death by upgrading six blocks of bike lanes in the downtown area. Although I have a hard time calling a few plastic posts a protected bike lane.

 

International

An Instagram account documents a man’s unique collection of classic stamped, forged and cast steel dropouts.

Caught on video: A Vancouver cab company apologizes after one of its drivers was caught on dashcam driving in a bike lane before running a red light with people in the crosswalk.

The human-protected bike lane movement has spread to London.

Bloomberg visits the UK’s Sven Cycles to discover what goes into making a handmade bespoke bike.

A British driver was acquitted of killing a bike rider after saying he just didn’t see her. Which should be seen as an admission of guilt instead of an alibi.

An Australian radio station asks how the country can change drivers’ open hostility towards people on bicycles. Easy. Just make them all ride bikes for a month.

Five people were killed in China when ebike batteries caught fire after being plugged into a homemade recharging system.

A Bangkok writer explores one of the few places where people can ride their bikes free from motor vehicles or joggers, thanks to monks who agreed to abandon the land after moving to a new temple.

 

Competitive Cycling

Does it really surprise anyone to learn that four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome failed a drug test at last year’s Vuelta? Froome had a controversial Therapeutic Use Exemption, or TUE, for salbutamol to treat his asthma, but tested at twice the allowed level. Which he quickly explained away. Just like everyone else who’s gotten caught.

 

Finally…

Once again, throwing a bicycle in front of a train is not a recommended usage. If you’re going to get drunk and ride your bike on the wrong side of the road, at least put a damn light on it.

And always keep a bell on your bike in case you’re ever attacked by a Bengal tiger.

 

Morning Links: Father fighting for his life after La Tuna hit-and-run; NC member attacks “cycling zealots”

Earlier in the week, we mentioned the La Tuna Canyon hit-and-run that left a bicyclist in a coma.

Today the news media caught up, as KNBC-4 offered a report on the crash that has Keith Jackson fighting for his life; KTLA-5 had a similar report.

The father of three was riding with his son and daughter-in-law when the driver of a black Mazda plowed into him, then fled the scene without so much as slowing down. His son says the driver was veering all over the road, possibly driving distracted, before slamming into Jackson as he rode on the shoulder.

He remains unconscious in the ICU, four days after the crash.

A ride will be held this Sunday to finish the La Tuna Canyon ride Jackson started, but was unable to complete, departing from the LA Zoo parking lot at 8:30 am.

CiclaValley says the deadly street is slated to have bike lanes under the city’s mobility plan; however, that would be little protection against an out-of-control driver.

Meanwhile, the person who left him bleeding in the middle of La Tuna remains free. LA’s hit-and-run reward program means there’s an automatic $25,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this heartless coward.

Let’s hope someone collects it soon.

………

Mar Vista’s self-appointed traffic expert is at it again.

Dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member Kenneth S. Alpern offers a remarkably biased attack on “cycling zealots” who “eschew scientific data,” while doing exactly the same thing himself.

There’s a reason or five why myself and others have decried the Venice Blvd. “road diet”.  Not only does it hurt motorists, it got in the way of a better, safer solution for both bicyclists and pedestrians and motorists, and safety problems have gone up, not down. (Ed. note: That does not appear to be true; the most recent stats from LADOT show just the opposite.)

Bicyclists want safety and respect, but reconfiguring roads in a way that purportedly help a few but tell the majority to go pound sand (the ones who are otherwise very pro-transit, and happy to pay for it) isn’t helpful.  That road diet interferes with Micro Transit, bus operations, and the ability for small businesses to thrive on what should be Great Streets.

However, the studies he conveniently ignores contradict his attacks.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), road diets have been shown to reduce crashes from 19% to 47%. Other studies have shown that bike lanes reduce injuries and deaths up to 40%, while protected bike lanes, like the ones on Venice, reduce injuries and deaths up to 90% — and not just for people on bikes.

In addition, projects like the one on Venice have been repeatedly shown in cities across the US to improve retail sales, reduce business vacancies, and increase property values in the surrounding neighborhood.

But who would want any of that, right?

It’s far better to pretend the science is on his side, and engage in character assassination of hard working and dedicated city employees.

As well as his fellow Angelenos who are simply fighting for safer, more vibrant and livable streets, and the basic human right to be able to travel safely, and get home to their families in one piece.

Regardless of how or where they choose to travel.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

‘Tis the season.

Caught on video: Bighearted LA Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth had a surprise for the students of Grape Street Elementary School in Watts when he showed up to award new bicycles to a few outstanding students — giving new bikes and helmets to each of the nearly 600 students in the school, which he paid for out of his own pocket. Watch the video below if you want to see a lot of really happy kids. And remind yourself what really matters.

A Michigan cop was honored for saving the life of a 12-year old girl who was being attacked by a dog; his department gave the girl a new bicycle and a gift card as early Christmas presents.

………

It’s Day 20 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Paul F for his generous contribution to help keep bringing you the best bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world.

………

Local

The city council Transportation Committee will consider rules for dockless bikeshare today, proposing the establishment of a pilot program to develop regulations — even though at least three bikeshare providers are already on the city streets.

East Hollywood’s bike trailer-delivered Bicycle Coffee will open a second location in Little Tokyo next year.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy reviews the school’s new strategic plan, and likes the call for better civic engagement.

Curbed says Burbank is leading the way to a more affordable, walkable — and bikeable — future.

 

State

The Moreno Valley Unified School District is looking for volunteers to help contest-winning kids build the bicycle of their dreams.

Former pro cyclist Roy Knickman returned to his hometown as a Paso Robles firefighter to fight the ongoing fires in Ventura County; Knickman won bronze in team time trial in the ’84 Olympics, and had a long pro career before joining the fire department.

A kindhearted Sacramento bike rider is raising funds for a woman who lost her legs when she was hit by a driver after she pulled her car over to help another motorist.

 

National

A recent high school graduate has set out to talk to one veteran of WWII every day, beginning by riding his bike to retirement homes to talk to vets; he estimates it will take 10 years to complete the task. You can see his website here, and contribute to his efforts.

HuffPo offers 12 reasons why bicycling will continue to grow.

Forty-two bike shops in 23 states — and one in Russia — observed the first Bike Shop Day on Saturday.

A long-planned Oklahoma City bike lane somehow disappeared during a series of secret meetings, and no one seems to know who was responsible.

A Tucson running coach traded her car for an ebike for a month. And liked it.

Austin, Texas is transforming a major auto-centric roadway into a bike, pedestrian and transit focused corridor, leaving just one lane for motor vehicles in each direction. Hopefully, Texans will have better sense than to revolt over positive changes to the street, unlike overly entitled drivers in some SoCal cities we could name.

A Boston woman has dropped 55 pounds and quit drinking after taking up bicycling.

When a New York bike rider complained about a state senator’s limo blocking a bike lane, the politician responded by impersonating a cop and trying to pull the rider over. Then his driver floored it, driving on the wrong side of the road and running red lights to get away when bicyclist tried to take his photo.

A Brooklyn bicyclist is preparing to sue the NYPD for wrongful arrest after a judge threw out a ticket he received for arguing with the cop that nearly ran him over.

Florida residents complain that new bike lanes will mean they can’t park in front of their own homes; the state DOT responds saying they can park in their own driveways, and the space in front of their houses was never intended for parking anyway.

 

International

A Canadian ebike rider says sorry he’s not sorry for being happy.

A British driver tells the court he should have slowed down before hitting and killing a man on his bike. You think?

Yesterday we mentioned that a Brit bike rider was facing jail for crashing his bike into a couple of pedestrians; it turns out that the victims were his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and the crash was anything but accidental.

A UK advocacy group says stop making it so hard to ride a bike to school.

Dublin bike riders protest new signs telling them to dismount at a rail line by doing exactly that. Meanwhile, a Dublin cyclist chases down and confronts a man he sees stealing a bike, causing the thief to drop the bike and run off.

Bike sales in Poland are shifting from mountain bikes to urban cycling, and bucking international trends by going from the internet back to brick-and-motor bike shops.

Australian police are looking for a road raging bicyclist who hit a woman’s car several times before reaching in and throwing her car keys down an embankment. And scaring her Down Syndrome daughter.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist riding in a crosswalk with the light is hit by a right-turning driver; fortunately, he appears to bounce back up. But even though the video clearly shows the red light stopping cross traffic, a Kiwi website blames him for ignoring the traffic signal. Maybe red means go Down Under.

It was a deadly year for bicyclists in New Zealand, as cycling traffic fatalities were triple last year’s total.

American cycling great Rebecca Rusch writes about bicycling the 1,200 mile Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of the place where her late father’s plane went down during the Vietnam war.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI announces the 18 teams that will compete on this year’s WorldTour.

The Giro may have to move the start of next year’s race from Jerusalem in light of the tension caused by Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to the city.

Transgender former cyclist Philippa York says cycling’s conservative culture suppresses LGTBQ issues, pointing out there’s not one openly gay cyclist in the men’s peloton.

 

Finally…

If you’re already out on bail while you appeal your conviction for hitting a bike rider while high, try not to get busted in an underage prostitution sting. At last, a cure for helmet hair, also known as a headband.

And it may not be the best idea to crash a holiday boat parade by riding your bike through the crowd and loudly asking if anyone wants to buy heroin.

………

Please accept my best wishes to all celebrating the Festival of Lights this week.

Chag Urim Sameach!