Morning Links: Santa Monica Blvd green lane, bicyclist survives fatal PCH crash, and keep your hands to yourself

Green bike lanes are finally making an appearance on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Which is trying to reform while turning itself into the Scooter Black Hole.

Given how unlikely it was just a few years ago, this is a huge step forward, even if the lane does seem very cramped, offering just enough space for a single rider, with no room to pass without swerving out into traffic.

And the narrow bike lane means unless you hug the gutter, all those buses on Santa Monica Blvd will buzz by your elbow at far less than the required three foot passing distance.

I’m not sure this will bring many more riders out, but the green paint may make those who already ride Santa Monica Blvd feel more comfortable.

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A bike rider was collateral damage in yet another fatal crash on SoCal’s killer highway in Malibu on Friday.

The driver of a minivan jumped the center divider on PCH near Trancas Canyon Road and struck a pickup head-on, demolishing both vehicles.

Sadly, both drivers were killed; a passenger in one of the vehicles was slightly injured.

The bicyclist, who was not seriously injured, was struck by a wheel that flew off in the violent crash as he rode in the painted bike lane.

Needless to say, authorities suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Another reminder that the deadly road most be tamed. And we’re all at risk until it us.

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Former pro and current author, fondo meister and YouTube star Phil Gaimon kicked over a hornet’s nest with this tweet over the weekend.

While most women agreed with him, some argued that they appreciate the help, especially from someone they know. And many men argued that they were just trying to help. Or something.

So instead of mansplaining, we get manpushing.

But there’s an easy solution to the problem. Just ask first. If a woman — or a man, for that matter — wants your help they’ll tell you.

And if they don’t, just nod politely and go on your way.

The same thing goes for offering advice.

Always ask for permission before you start spouting cycling tips; the other person may not want them, or may be following another program.

Although personally, I prefer to be a well, not a fountain. Most people will usually ask advice if they really want it.

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A New York bike rider shows what it’s like to ride in Gotham bike lanes. Which many LA bicyclists can relate to, as well.

Thanks to Patrick Murray for the link.

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Heartwarming story from Dayton OH, where someone left a pair of Target gift cards attached to a new bike helmet and riding gloves in a Target store, along with this message —

The note read, “Hi! Please enjoy this small, random act of kindness in honor of my father-in-law, Jeff-an avid cyclist, a lover of the outdoors, and an all-around awesome dude. The only thing that I ask is that you always wear a helmet when riding your bike, and that you send any spare good vibes and healing thoughts out his way to the Pacific Northwest.”

The woman who found it said she felt like it was meant for her, since she’d just started bicycling again after several years.

Let’s hope this sort of thing catches on.

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Local

LADOT has released a summary of the recent open house to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path, which resulted when local Cheviot Hills residents successfully fought the bike path when the Expo Line was built.

We haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay for awhile, as Seth Davidson says thanks to a long list of people for their help with the first annual sixth All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards taking place this Sunday.

 

State

Southern California athletes are gearing up for the 10th Annual Gay Games, which started in Paris on Saturday, with events ranging from cycling and track and field, to dance sports and table tennis.

Bakersfield applies for funding for three safety projects, including a proposed six-mile, $8.2 million bike path along the Friant-Kern Canal.

A San Jose columnist says the road up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo is too narrow and winding for full-size buses, after video shows a bike rider nearly hit head-on as a bus rounds a blind curve on the wrong side of the road.

Plans to expand San Francisco’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare across the city are on hold, as city supervisors complain about process, and residents say they’d rather have the parking spaces.

Oakland is planning major safety improvements to five intersections around the Lake Merit BART station, including protected intersections.

Sad news from Pleasant Hill, where a man was killed in a collision with a big rig truck while taking a bike ride on his lunch break; local residents insist something like this was bound to happen.

 

National

Bike Snob says he’s been ensnared in Strava’s seductive web. And he likes it.

An Aspen, Colorado woman says if dirt bikes aren’t allowed to use the roads, bicycles shouldn’t either. So there. Note to world: Bike riders are expected to obey traffic signals and crosswalks, even if some don’t.

A Boulder CO newspaper profiles Spencer Powlison, the 34-year old mountain biker who plans to compete in the Leadville 100 on 1983 Stumpjumper that’s older than he is.

One more to add to your bike bucket list. A Wyoming writer sings the praises of the packed gravel Medicine Bow Trail west of Laramie, where you’re likely to see moose, elk and mule deer, and possibly a bear or two. Or maybe you’d prefer a tour of Spain’s Basque Country.

Kansas City gets its first parking protected bike lane.

A colorful Des Moines IA lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes have reduced collisions by 2%, while dropping injury collisions a whopping 58%. And contradicting claims by anti-road diet forces everywhere, it has shaved 30 seconds off response times by the fire department.

Oklahoma City’s weekly Donut Ride has been going strong since the mid-1970s, still led by the same, now 90-year old ‘bent rider.

Plans to build five miles of mountain bike trails in a Minnesota park could be on hold after the discovery of an endangered bumblebee.

Instead of just talking about homeless people, Detroit bicyclists are holding a ride to call attention to the problem and raise funds for a homeless recovery service.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Cleveland man is in critical condition, and a woman injured, after they were both shot when they confronted two teens they accused of stealing their children’s bicycles. If you think you’ve found your stolen bike, call the police and let them deal with it; no bike is worth your life.

In a perfect example of automotive entitlement, a DC driver says she blocked a bike lane — and so what?

 

International

No bias here. The notoriously anti-bike owner of a Vancouver driving school says bike commuters are law-abiding, while daytime riders are a bunch of irresponsible scofflaws.

No bias here, either. A Vancouver mayoral candidate promises to rip out the city’s hugely successful bike lanes if she gets elected, and sic half the city’s parking enforcement officers on lawless bike riders and pedestrians.

No bias here, either. An Ottawa, Canada columnist says that instead of building bikeways, the city should crack down on bike riders and require riders be licensed, carry insurance and have license plates, to name a few on his long list of demands that he says would make bicyclists disappear. Which he thinks would be a good thing.

There’s a first. After an English driver buzzed a bicyclist, he stopped a little further down the road, got out and apologized. And the rider got the whole thing on video.

A Belgian bicyclist rode 7,500 miles from Lyon, France to Guangzhou, China on a solar powered ebike to win the first edition of a race intended to promote renewable energy.

A French mayor is warning about the dangers of illegally modified ebikes that can travel up to 30 mph, twice the country’s legal speed limit for ebikes.

Now that’s a bike ride. An annual night bicycle parade in Moscow drew an estimated 20,000 riders to call for better bike infrastructure, twice as many as last year.

Australia’s version of AAA says the country’s road safety strategy is failing and bicyclists are most at risk, as bicycling fatalities rise a frightening 80% in the past year.

He gets it. An Australian professor — and former UCSD prof — says it’s time to consider the needs of people above cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for VeloNews says Mexican cycling is failing at developing homegrown talent.

An elite Texas cyclist was airlifted to a Colton medical center after he was seriously injured after hitting a rock in the Tour de Big Bear; fortunately, he’ll be okay, though he’ll have to tend to an arm injury and some broken ribs.

Popular young Team Sky cyclist Egan Bernal suffered serious facial injuries in a crash with several other riders in Spain’s Clasica San Sebastian; he was later diagnosed with a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. Movistar’s Mikel Landa went to the hospital with a back injury as a result of the same crash.

The new six-part Amazon TV series Eat. Race. Win. follows Australia’s Orica-Scot team and the chefs who feed them as they compete in the Tour de France. The cyclists, that is, not the chefs.

Evidently, winning the Tour isn’t enough for newly famous Geraint Thomas, who wants to take on Eminem in an epic rap battle.

 

Finally…

If you want to see the pope, leave your car at home — but take your bike. We have to worry about crashing into cars parked in bike lanes; Colorado bike riders try to avoid crashing into mountain goats.

And you shoulda been in Bangalore in the ’70s and ’80, when bicycling was bliss.

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