Morning Links: Bikemakers burned out in Camp Fire, Brit shrink calls bike riders narcissists, and Lake Wobegon drivers

It’s hard to find bigger hearts and more caring people than you’ll find in bicycling.

Like the two framebuilders who lost their homes and workshops in Northern California’s deadly and devastating Camp Fire.

Yet insist on helping others instead of themselves.

Custom bikemaker Alistair Spence moved to Paradise from Seattle earlier this year, and had just finished setting up his workshop a few months ago.

But even though he and his wife have lost everything, he’s only accepting $7,000 from the crowdfunding campaign to help him get back on his feet, and donating the rest to help other victims.

Meanwhile, former Portland resident Mitch Pryor also lost his home in the Camp Fire that has killed over 70 people. And like Spence, he’s only accepting $10,000 of the money raised for him on his GoFundMe page, and giving the rest to fire relief causes.

Between them, that’s over $6,000 that will go to victims of the Camp Fire thanks to their kindness and generosity.

Maybe we can do something to help push that total up a little.

Thanks to James Biffin for the heads-up. Photos of Mitch Pryor (top) and Alistair Spence from their respective GoFundMe pages.

………

No bias here.

A British psychotherapist, who probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near actual patients, has somehow diagnosed all bicyclists as narcissists.

I wonder what she’d say about medical professionals who diagnose people they’ve never met from the comfort of their studio chairs?

Let alone allow their own windshield bias dictate how they respond.

………

Call it the Lake Wobegon effect.

Like Garrison Keillor’s fictional town, where all the children were above average, British motorists seem to think they’re better than average, as well.

In fact, in a recent study, 91% of UK residents consider themselves good drivers — even though most also admit to speeding to get through yellow lights.

But not a hint of narcissism there.

Right?

The same study also shows that 77% of Brits would support an automatic driving ban for people convicted of causing death or serious injury.

And it suggests that bicyclists are 46 times more likely to be killed on UK roads than motorists on a per-mile basis.

Although the problem with that last stat is that bike trips tend to be far shorter than car trips; bike riders spend more time covering shorter distances.

So a more accurate measure would be comparing actual time spent on the road.

………

Here’s your chance to bid on a one-of-a-kind Specialized Allez Sprint custom painted by Spanish artist Felipe Pantone, valued at $45,000, to benefit World Bicycle Relief.

………

Best wishes to longtime SCAG Senior Transportation Planner Alan Thompson, who left his position with the Southern California Association of Governments last week to head up the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Bikeway’s Division.

While he’s somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight over the years, Thompson has been a forceful advocate for bicycling in Southern California, and will be very missed.

Oregon bicyclists will be lucky to have him.

………

Local

Hats off to Santa Monica College, which was upgraded to a silver level bike friendly rating by the League of American Bicyclists, and remains the only community college in California to be named a Bicycle Friendly University.

Streetsblog takes a look at the Wilshire bus-only lane leading to the 405 in Westwood, which drivers have illegally co-opted for another traffic lane.

 

State

Uber has deployed 300 JUMP dockless ebikes on the streets of San Diego, as a writer questions how long they’ll last after other bikeshare providers have pulled out of the city.

Apple is planning to take a hike to improve iOS Maps directions for bicyclists and pedestrians, after a successful test in San Francisco.

Someone please tell San Francisco’s KPIX-TV that there’s a slight difference between a $3 million price tag to complete the bike and pedestrian path along the Bay Bridge, and the actual estimate of $300 million. But really, what’s $297 million between friends?

It’s environmentalists 1, mountain bikes 0, after Marin County agrees to a two-year delay before opening any more trails to bicycles.

 

National

A local news site posted photos of Saturday’s Tour de Tucson, where an estimated 7,000 riders took part.

It takes a major scumbag to steal or tamper with a memorial to a victim of traffic violence. Yet thefts and vandalism of ghost bikes are on the rise in Albuquerque NM.

An Austin TX man was injured after pushing his wife to safety when he was hit head-on by someone driving in the bike lane they were running in.

Chicago marked the annual World Day of Remembrance by placing 132 pairs of white-painted shoes around the Federal Plaza to represent the victims of traffic violence in the city over the past year.

A cyclist pens a love letter to a Minnesota velodrome, soon to be sacrificed for a parking lot.

Grand Rapids MI is succeeding at their Vision Zero efforts, with bicycling crashes dropping to the lowest level since 2008.

NIMBY New York residents rally to demand their unsafe street back; the oddly misnamed Queens Streets for All wants to take the street back from all users, and turn it back over a cars.

Ignoring studies showing that bikeable, walkable streets are good for business, New York business owners complain about a lane reduction and newly widened bike lane that took away 150 parking spaces; a DOT spokesperson says the real problem isn’t the bike lanes, it’s drivers double parking in the only remaining traffic lane.

Now that’s more like it. DC now has a dedicated work crew to clear snow and ice from bike lanes, as well as clearing curb cuts for wheelchair users.

 

International

Once again, a British bike rider has had to withdraw a claim that injuries he suffered from hitting a pothole left him too badly injured to ride, after social media posts showed him competing in the “best obstacle-packed course on the planet.”

A man died after falling off a Belfast bar bike; the 15 passenger rolling pedal-powered pubs are popular with tourists.

A hard-hitting column from a Pakistani writer points out the harassment women face in the country just for riding a bicycle — unless they happen to be Westerners, and white.

Bengaluru, India bike riders are embracing bikeshare, even if the government is struggling to keep up.

A Kenyon paster wowed the country after riding his bike 190 miles to look for work as a driver in Nairobi.

A Wellington, New Zealand writer says the city is on the right track thanks to the city council’s bicycling plans.

An Aussie architect asks when Sydney will finally take bicycling seriously.

Shanghai bikeshare users who break the rules or leave their bikes in the wrong places will now be placed on a blacklist.

Schadenfreude is also a dish best served cold. Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been arrested on fraud charges in Japan for under-reporting his salary; Ghosn had told CNBC in 2016 that bicyclists usually “don’t respect any rules.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Prince Harry’s friend Dean Stott has denied allegations of cheating in his record-breaking ride along the full length of South and North America, blaming disgruntled support staff for the accusations. He broke the existing record by 17 days in order to get home in time for the prince’s wedding.

Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx is back on a bike, two years after suffering a severe brain injury in a crash with a race moto in the 2016 Tour of Belgium.

Relive Lance’s victory over Marco Pantani on Mount Ventoux in the 2000 Tour from the comfort of your theater seat.

 

Finally…

Maybe marathon isn’t the right word when  your country’s first-ever bike marathon only travels two miles. Ride your bike in the annual Macy’s parade; no, not that one.

And forget carbon, your next lightweight bike could be made of Super Magnesium.

Let’s just hope they’ve overcome that whole explosive/flammable magnesium thing.

 

3 comments

  1. Lets also hope they have overcome that whole easily corroded thing with magnesium, too.

  2. David says:

    The Jump bikes should be successful in San Diego. Like the scooters they are a ton of fun to ride.

    The Ofo and Lime bikes failed because as I experienced they were heavy, self powered, slow, cheap, uncomfortable bikes. You pray you never have to rent one again after one time. Complicating the situation in San Diego was the many bike rental shops damaging the bikes so they would not take away business over the summer season. Also the beach paths salts and ocean spray can be very harsh on bikes and what I encountered was all bikes with rusted drivechains and not properly mantained.

  3. David says:

    A ghost bike just went up at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and southbound 405 on ramp for Mr. Guzman killed there last week.

    This is an extremely high theft area and there is great risk the bicycle will be stolen by theives that don’t understand the purpose and believe it has value.

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