Morning Links: No, road rage is not your fault, braving sexual violence to ride a bike, and filming Tesla porn on autopilot

Evidently, road rage is your fault.

A British triathlete living in Mallorca, Spain, has put together a “guide to safe (and courteous) riding” to avoid pissing off drivers.

Despite being the victim of road rage herself — and holding herself blameless for the driver’s actions — she believes the rudeness of her fellow riders results in the anger too often directed our way.

Which is, to put it politely, bullshit.

Yes, we all have an obligation to safely share the road. As well as to show courtesy to our fellow human beings whenever practical, regardless of how they — or we — travel.

But to blame the victims of road rage for stirring up anger in motorists is no different than telling victims of domestic violence that they had it coming.

Nothing a woman — or a man, for that matter — does justifies violence from their romantic partner.

Period.

It’s up to each of us to control our anger, and never strike another human being, let alone those we profess to love.

If you can’t manage that, the problem is yours, and yours alone.

The same goes for road rage.

Yes, drivers may become angry because of the actions of those of us on two wheels. Justifiably or not.

But failing to control that anger, and taking it out on someone else, isn’t the fault of those it’s directed at any more than the black eye sported by a domestic violence victim is their fault.

So ride safely, and show a little courtesy.

But it’s up to all of us to keep our fucking tempers under control.

Especially the people in the big, dangerous machines that can too easily be turned into weapons.

………

Beautiful piece from a Mexican woman, who braves sexual violence and harassment to ride her bike through the Sonoran desert and learn from the indigenous peoples.

And at the same time, learn about herself.

In Mexico it’s hard, as a woman, to travel by bike; it’s a country engaged in constant violence against women. It’s hard for us not to imagine being one of the women for which the rest of us claim justice. It’s hard for us not to imagine being the one who’s photograph is next to a Ni Una Menos (Not One [Woman] Less) banner. And this feeling is reinforced by how people ask, “Are you traveling alone?” “Aren’t you afraid?” “How do you dare to do it?” and by the expressions “What a relief to know you have company!” “How brave you are!”

What we want is not to be brave — but to be free. We know these comments and questions are not directed at men who travel by bike. Men in Mexico have liberties and privileges that the patriarchal system has granted to them.

Even so, Mexican women have dared to travel by bike and use it as a tool of autonomy.

 

She ends the piece with this thought. But it’s what’s in between that makes it worth reading.

And learning from.

So, when asked constantly whether I’m afraid of traveling by bike, the answer is yes, but the things you learn, the natural and cultural history, the social relationships that result because of it; the self-discovery of the body and mind of the resisting women, make it worth it. Traveling by bike is a political act and of resistance in Mexico and the world.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides along with the fabled 50-mile Rosarito-Ensenada ride on it’s 40th anniversary edition.

And credits the “friendship ride” with breaking down border barriers as families from both sides find common values.

We could all use a little of that these days.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A porn star shot her latest film while riding in a Tesla on autopilot with no one holding the wheel.

Or evidently, paying attention to anything outside it.

………

Local

Riding Metro trains and buses will be free on Bike to Work Day for anyone with a bicycle or helmet this Thursday.

Speaking of Bike to Work Day, there will be a discussion and walkthrough of the photo exhibit Los Angeles Bike Rebels: The Sequel at the Caltrans museum in DTLA on Thursday. Thanks to Velocipedus for the tip.

Apparently, it’s bad luck to try to steal a bike from a Skid Row loading dock when the workers are watching. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

This is who we share the roads with too. Pasadena police wrote 639 tickets for distracted driving last month, with over half of those for texting behind the wheel. If they’d just crack down like that the other 11 months of the year, our streets might actually get a little safer.

LAist looks forward to the return of 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event on Sunday the 19th.

Santa Monica will celebrate Bike Week with a pair of bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Monday and Thursday. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara will have one tomorrow. In both cases, police will ticket traffic infractions that put bicyclists or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror accuses officials in California of having an anti-car agenda, and says drivers won’t willingly give up on their cars. Never mind that many of us already have. Or that he takes pride in promoting an unproven, snake oil cancer “cure” while accusing the government of trying to squelch it.

Long Beach gets the okay to move some palm trees lining Marina Drive to make way for a Complete Streets makeover.

 

State

A 72-year old Huntington Beach woman accuses the DMV of discrimination against older people for making drivers over 70 take a written test and eye exam every five years, saying that should be required of anyone who has a crash or gets a ticket. Sounds like a plan to me. But let’s keep testing older drivers, too.

A survey from Lime shows that San Diego residents are taking scooters instead of driving.

San Jose’s mayor shows he’s fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Day bike crash by riding to work on Thursday.

The rich get richer. San Francisco’s mayor used that city’s Bike to Work Day to announce plans to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes, and start ticketing drivers who park in bike lanes. Anyone think LA’s mayor will make a similar announcement at our Bike to Work Day next week? Me neither.

They get it. A San Francisco TV station says traffic congestion is worse than ever, in part because of double-parked ride hailing-drivers, and because the city’s dangerous streets are chasing bike riders off them.

A new study shows that Uber and Lyft are responsible for two-thirds of of the increase in San Francisco traffic over the last two years. So now maybe drivers can stop blaming bike lanes, already.

A group of Google employees bike 40 miles to work on a regular basis, riding from San Francisco to Google’s office in Mountain View. Then again, you almost have to work for Google or another tech company just to afford to live in the City by the Bay.

Good question. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle wants to know why “a man who’s minding his own business, riding his bicycle, end(s) up dead at the hands of a police officer” who says he wanted to educate him about bike safety.

A new obelisk sculpture was installed in bike-friendly Davis; naturally, it’s made of bicycle parts and children’s bikes.

Sacramento wants to copy Los Angeles, and get their paramedics on bicycles to improve response times during large events.

 

National

By the time you read this, you’ll have to pay 25% more for your bike parts. And maybe your next bike, as well.

Streetsblog says the coast-to-coat Great American Rail-Trail is really happening, providing a 3,700 mile bike route from Washington coast to Washington DC.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker visits Seattle for the first time, and calls out glaring gaps in the city’s bike network. And says if you really want to get people out of their cars, you need to make it difficult to drive.

Nice move from the family behind Walmart, as the Walton clan decides to open up their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers.

El Paso, Texas bike riders are complaining that a bike lane is too narrow. Which isn’t too surprising since it’s half in the gutter, and so narrow the bike lane symbol barely fits without going up on the sidewalk.

A writer for Popular Mechanics was called a cheater for riding New York’s iconic Five Boro Bike Tour on an ebike.

Once again, Atlanta Complete Streets advocates will risk road rage and the enmity of everyone else on the road by slow rolling a dangerous street during the morning rush hour.

Yes, hit-and-runs have reached epidemic proportions. But somehow, shooting a Georgia driver in the stomach to keep him from fleeing seems like a bit of an overreach.

A Florida dentist says he’s always loved his bicycle.

 

International

Fast Company says ebikes are helping to keep older people young, while alleviating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms.

Great idea. For the seventh year, Canada will host a nationwide series of Ride Don’t Hide bike rides next month to raise funds and promote mental health.

Speaking of The Guardian’s Peter Walker, he explores whether bike riders think we’re above the law — and whether it even matters. Hopefully you can get the video to play, because I couldn’t despite repeated attempts.

A British school has found the ultimate solution to bike theft on campus — just ban bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Ireland, where a man was killed during a bike race when he ran into a motorcycle parked along the course.

Cycling News offers a preview of next week’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Bay Area woman who fought for, and won, equal prize money for women surfers is now alleging a civil rights violation against the Tour of California for giving women just three stages and 177 miles of racing routes, compared to seven stages and 777 miles for the men.

In a surprise move, German pro Marcel Kittel walked away from the Katusha-Alpecin team after he was left off the roster for the Tour of California, following a dispute with team officials last month.

 

Finally…

Forget avocado toast; stick one on your bike instead. One day you’re a 10-year old in elementary school, the next you’re on tour as a BMX champ.

And your next tire pump could stick to your bike like magic.

Unless your bike is aluminum.

Or carbon fiber.

Or titanium.

 

  1. Looks to me like that bike pump could stick like magic to your bike if it’s aluminum. Or carbon fiber. Or titanium. Or bamboo.