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.

 

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