Morning Links: PeopleForBikes leads ebike fight, CHP victim blaming, and the best 3 minutes 27 seconds of your day

I recently received the following press release from People for Bikes — or as they now call themselves, PeopleForBikes (I should talk, I know).

I don’t normally repost PR stories in their entirety, if at all. But it’s a good message and a battle worth fighting.

Besides, it’s a quarter to four, I’m tired and cranky, and the Corgi needs her beauty sleep and won’t go to bed until I do.

Research over the past year has extolled the virtues of e-biking: Studies have shown that e-bikes significantly bring down cities’ CO2 emissions, reduce noise pollution, get people active, and even have the capacity to create car-free households. Simply put, e-bikes form a certain way to help our planet as it enters an uncertain future. That’s why PeopleForBikes has made e-bike advocacy a core part of their work, working to drive the conversation that’s building towards an “e-bike revolution.”

PFB has supported pages and pages of research and resources that have been instrumental parts of legislation giving people access to and infrastructure around e-biking. PFB has generated information on state-by-state e-bike policy, easy-to-read research and statistics, and e-bikers’ favorite city-by-city routes. They’ve seen some awesome results: Through the work of advocates and legal advisors, 22 states have passed PFB’s model e-bike legislation, which regulates e-bikes like regular bicycles. This is a huge win for the health of our cities, the planet, and e-bike riders.

Of course, many challenges remain ahead. Most states have confusing laws saying where e-bikers can and can’t ride, and tariffs make bike motors and e-bikes themselves more expensive than they need to be. PFB wants to continue to be at the forefront of this conversation as we push for accessible e-biking for all.

………

No windshield bias here.

A Santa Rosa bike rider was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who continued without stopping, throwing him onto the opposite side of the roadway, where he was struck by another car.

But instead of addressing the heartless coward who murdered an innocent man, the CHP blamed the victim for possibly riding in the traffic lane instead of the bike lane, and wearing dark clothing on a dark street.

Which shouldn’t matter in the slightest if the victim had the legally required lights and reflectors on his bike, which they don’t mention at all.

And maybe someone should tell the CHP about the numerous exceptions to CVC 21208 that allow bicyclists to leave a bike lane whenever necessary.

Not to mention that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the exact point of contact for a bike crash unless the driver braked before impact, which doesn’t seem to have happened here.

But sure, let’s keep demonstrating that notorious CHP windshield bias.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

………

Watching this video could be the best 3 minutes and 27 seconds of your day.

Or maybe you have a more exciting life than I do.

But still.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Someone has been planting dangerous medieval-style booby traps on biking and hiking trails in national parks across Australia’s New South Wales; one local official called the people responsible “complete scumbags,” which pretty well sums it up.

………

Local

City Watch talks with environmental justice advocate and CD10 city council candidate Aura Vasquez, who wants to fix our streets and build more bike and micromobility lanes.

Dodger Stadium is scheduled to get a $100 million makeover next year. But that huge parking crater surrounding it will remain, despite previous plans to replace it with housing and an entertainment district. Let’s hope they at least improve bike access, and provide safer places to park your bike. Or better yet, a bike valet.

 

State

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department busted a Dana Point bike chop shop on Tuesday; if you recently had a bike stolen in the area, they may have found whatever is left of it.

The owner of a new Encinitas gelato shop talks about his only other job as a pro cyclist in Italy until a knee injury forced his retirement at the ripe old age of 22.

A San Diego TV station considers SB 127, the Complete Streets bill currently working its way through the state legislature, which would mandate bike and pedestrian accommodations any time a state roadway is resurfaced.

Sun-baked Banning will build a bike lane crossing the entire city in an effort to improve the health and waistlines of its residents; the city expects the lane to draw 400 bike riders a day, while a Safe Routes to School Coordinator bizarrely responds they’ll be lucky to get that many in a year, because no one bikes in Banning. Maybe they would if they actually had safer places to ride, as he should well know.

Deadly Rancho Mirage has introduced a $400,000 bike and pedestrian safety plan.

After 20 years, Victorville is nearing completion of the Mojave Riverwalk, an eleven-mile bikeway with four miles of offroad shared use paths.

San Francisco bicycling and walking advocates turn out to demand safer streets and call for the declaration of a traffic emergency in the city after the deaths of 21 people walking or riding bicycles so far this year.

A woman has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a Crockett bike rider, after another woman overheard her telling the second woman’s roommate she’d been in a crash, but wasn’t sure what she’d hit because the sun was in her eyes. God forbid she should have stopped her car to find out — especially in full daylight. Let alone stopped once she realized she couldn’t see, and avoided the crash altogether. 

 

National

A new nationwide study confirms that protected and separated bike lanes improve safety for everyone on roadway, not just the people on two wheels. And that cities with the greatest number of bike riders also have the best safety records. Which brings up the whole chicken/egg thing — do safer streets attract more bike riders, or do more bike riders improve safety?

Surprise your best friend with a dog-friendly e-cargo bike, complete with his or her own set of handlebars.

Slate examines what happens to all the old bikes when bikeshare providers pull out of a city or shut down entirely. In most cases, the picture isn’t pretty.

Your next steel frame bike could be printed, not built. And have a really weird looking kink in the seat post.

You can now legally ride your bike — or your e-scooter — through any Portland fast food drive-through.

Seattle considers adopting Dutch-style intersections to improve safety for bike riders.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheels of a disabled Nebraska man’s bicycle, in broad daylight as people walked by, leaving him without any form of transportation; fortunately, the local Trek dealer gave him a new set of wheels and tires worth up to $500. And a lock to secure them.

The Texas driver who ran over a bike cop’s bicycle while fleeing a traffic stop last month and dragging his partner by the arm, has been arrested after being identified in a photo lineup.

A Chicago bike rider was killed when he somehow fell off a train station platform and landed on the electrically charged third rail; three other riders were also injured in separate incidents last week.

Ohio State University collects over 500 abandoned bikes each year and donates them to a local bike co-op.

Four “reckless” Connecticut bike riders were busted for loitering near a park, harassing residents and blocking traffic with their bicycles. No doubt it’s just a coincidence that they all happened to be biking while black.

No bias here. New York approves a pilot program to allow bike riders to use leading pedestrians intervals to cross intersections before drivers get the green light. But the anti-bike New York Post insists on calling it a “green light for cyclists to run red lights.” Just wait until someone tells them about the Idaho Stop Law.

So much for Vision Zero under presidential candidate Bill de Blasio. New York’s death toll keeps getting worse, as two more bike riders lose their lives in collisions with the drivers of large trucks; 17 bike riders have died in the city this year, compared with ten for all of last year. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

The driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while fleeing a traffic stop pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, after the DA reduced the charge from second degree murder. The city will install a road diet and bike lanes that Salovesh had long fought for on the street by 2021 — just a tad too late to save his life.

A new study shows drivers are actually less likely to stop for bike riders who activate a crossing signal on a New Orleans greenway than if the riders simply crossed the street without it.

Shameful. Florida police use deadly force to stop a fleeing teenage bike rider, ramming his bicycle for the crime of, yes, popping wheelies. And yes, biking while black.

 

International

A Victoria, British Columbia letter writer insists the city’s newly appointed bike mayor is crazy for thinking that safer streets will improve bike safety more than requiring bike helmets. And somehow feels the need to inform her she’s not in Amsterdam, in case she was unaware.

An Australian driver insists on demonstrating that fatal hit-and-runs against bike riders aren’t just an American phenomenon. Although unlike most Americans, he turned himself in 40 minutes later. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Make a good impression on your next trip to Korea by talking bikes in the local lingua franca.

An English language website makes the case for bike commuting in Hong Kong, where most people only ride recreationally.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France riders adopt the risk and rewards of the super tuck to increase downhill speed. And prayers to make it down safely.

Defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas hit the pavement for the third time in 16 stages, saying he was thrown from his bike when the gears jammed. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang crashed out of the race.

Rising Belgian star Wout van Aert left the hospital following successful surgery to repair a deep cut to his upper thigh acquired when he caught a retaining barrier during the individual time trial in this year’s Tour; doctors want him to stay off his bike for another two months.

Esquire asks pro cyclists what it feels like to ride in the Tour de France, while London’s Telegraph examines the not-so-secretive inner workings of the race.

A former Tour de France reporter looks back on Greg LeMond’s remarkable comeback victory exactly 30 years ago yesterday, after he was nearly killed by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident.

Rouleur makes the case for Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and the late Robert Sherwen to be inducted into the Cycling Hall of Fame.

 

Finally…

Your next water bottle could come back as a collapsable bike helmet. That feeling when your eight-year old gets his low-rider bicycle back after it was stolen — both times.

And every bike ride should end with pie.

Or beer. Or maybe both.

 

4 comments

  1. David Erickson says:

    I tried twice yesterday (using 2 different browsers) to post a comment but it didn’t work. Possibly it was too long, so I will try just posting the 1st part. If that works I will post the rest in another comment.

    Regarding the (7-23-19) link to the Rolla, MO newspaper commentary about bike lanes (and his previous article linked to within it), the articles are a mishmash of observations and opinions. He is correct about the fact that some bike lane designs are confusing, but that is just because bike lane design is not very well standardized yet. Every place I have biked in, which includes L.A., Sacramento, Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, among others, seems to have a different philosophy on bike lanes. Some of them are confusing, but others are very intuitive. Road design for autos was very confusing 100 years ago before the different states standardized their design according to the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). The MUTCD is still poorly written for bike infrastructure. If and when they ever standardize on (good) bike infrastructure design this won’t be a problem anymore.

  2. Barry says:

    Mark Friis is a well respected voice on cycling in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, having founded the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

    While it’s always great when cities invest in cycling infrastructure, he’s right that no one rides in Banning and there is no way they’ll get 400 daily riders.

    • bikinginla says:

      I’m very familiar with Mark, and have a lot of respect for his with ghost bikes and the IEBA. And maybe it’s true that Banning may never see 400 riders a day. Personally, I think he was joking. On the other hand, it defeats the cause of advocacy to suggest that installing a new bike lane is a wasted effort, joking or not. Because the people who oppose it are sure to take it seriously.

  3. Ralph says:

    Regarding the fastest or most aero positions for cycling on a regular road bike I saw this before. Superman wins but I wouldn’t want a technical descent with it…. BTW my abs aren’t good enough either..

    https://www.roadbikereview.com/reviews/study-reveals-most-aero-position-on-bike

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