Morning Links: LA misses newest list of US bike-friendly cities, best bike helmets, and All City Toy Ride on Friday the 13th

No surprise here.

A day after Los Angeles — which was named America’s worst bike city just one year ago — was inexplicably ranked 20th on a list of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, it didn’t even make the top ten American cities in another.

But Long Beach did.

According to real estate site Redfin, Minneapolis lead the list of the most bikeable cities in the US, followed by Portland, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco.

All of which have been busy building connected bikeway networks.

Then again, so have the others on the list. Including Long Beach, which checked in at number ten.

So while it hasn’t yet accomplished its goal of being America’s most bike-friendly city, Long Beach — by far the smallest city on the list — is getting there, at least by some standards.

And continues to lap its much larger neighbor to the north.

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Let’s talk bike helmets in the news.

LA-based Wheels e-scooters will now come with a bike helmet built into the frame, complete with a disposable liner to theoretically protect from whatever the previous user had in his or her hair. I’ll pass, thanks.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has come out with their latest list of the top ten bike helmets, based on rigorous testing. And finds that MIPS rules the roost, but Bontrager’s WaveCel isn’t far behind.

Dr. Oz jumps on the bike helmet bandwagon, saying 541,000 bicyclists were treated for head injuries between 2014 and 2017.

Just to clarify, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never forget that bike helmets are designed to protect against slow-speed falls, not getting hit by a speeding driver in an SUV. And should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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LA’s annual Midnight Ridazz toy ride will roll this weekend, making Friday the 13th a lucky day for kids who might not otherwise get a toy for the holidays.

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Forget the impeachment.

Clearly, the biggest year-end news remains that infamous Peloton ad. Which just won’t go away, no matter how much we close our eyes and click our heels together.

The actress who will forever be known as the Peloton Wife says she feels very lucky, and people have been so nice since the whole ad controversy broke. Unlike the way the Peloton Husband has been treated, who just hopes it won’t kill his acting career.

A CNN writer, and “hooked” Peloton user, considers it just a faux controversy.

The company’s stock dropped 6% yesterday to $32.55 after a short-selling analyst said it’s only worth $5 a share.

And with tongue placed firmly in cheek, Elle says the biggest snub in Monday’s Golden Globes nominations was the lack of noms for the entire Peloton Wife Cinematic Universe.

Now, can this all just please go away? Pretty please?

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Who says Contador has lost it?

Although his win may be given to Schleck in a few years pending dope tests.

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‘Tis the Season.

An unknown urbanist guerrilla secretly decorated a Chicago protected bike for the holidays.

The “Bike Man” of Springfield MA has dedicated whatever time he has left to building bikes for kids after being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease from his work as a bouncer; he’s given away over 1,400 bicycles, including a custom-made bike for a girl with dwarfism.

A North Carolina woman will give away nearly 1,500 bikes, continuing the tradition her late husband started 30 years ago.

An Alabama rural health association will team with a bank to give away 100 bikes to kids next week.

Runner’s World considers the best gifts for the bike rider in your life. Which means Bicycling will probably be out with a gift list for runners any day.

And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles once again played bike Santa for some LA kids.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

A Wichita KS bike rider hopped off his bike to write a racial slur in the middle of a residential street before riding off. But at least the racist jerk did it in chalk.

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Looks like the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is still going strong.

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to Paul F, Nina M and Dennis E for their generous donations to the fund drive.

Your support helps ensure all the best bike news and advocacy will keep coming your way every day!

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Local

A ghost bike will be placed Thursday night for the man killed in a collision while riding his bike at Victory and Kester in Van Nuys last week.

The mother of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier will host a protest walk on Saturday to remember her son and demand solutions to hit-and-runs.

A new interactive map shows LA’s most dangerous areas for pedestrians, with pedestrian injuries and deaths skyrocketing in the five years since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Vision Zero, but failed to implement it. The same streets usually correspond with the most dangerous places for bike riders, as well.

CiclaValley takes a video ride along DTLA’s new Main Street protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles is handing the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority responsibility for maintaining and patrolling the LA River Bike Path through the West San Fernando Valley, replacing a jumble of jurisdictions as part of a pilot program.

A Long Beach man was hospitalized in stable condition after his bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car; police found the vehicle after the driver ditched it in an alley and walked away.

 

State

The LA Times says maybe the reason Californians can’t drive is because they can’t decipher the DMV’s confusing driver’s handbook.

Caltrans new executive director says his primary goal is improving safety, followed by a switch to multimodalism.

Donate just five bucks to support San Diego trails, and you would win a free Canyon Strive mountain bike courtesy of Canyon, the Belgian Waffle Ride, and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

Opening a new front in the never-ending battle against induced demand, a Lake Elsinore freeway interchange will get a $45 million expansion. But at least they’ve got the good sense to improve walkways and bike lanes as part of the work.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? After a Sunnyvale man suffered a non-life threatening injury in a drive-by shooting, police found him half a mile from the crime scene because he kept riding, despite the injury.

A Palo Alto columnist says Idaho Stop or not, you’re putting your life at risk by riding through stop signs or red lights — especially without lights on your bike.

A San Francisco bike shop plans to reopen in a week or so after it was damaged in a strip mall fire early Friday morning, along with another shop.

Sad news from Empire, where a 27-year old man was killed when he rode around railroad crossing arms in the fog and was struck by an Amtrak train. One more tragic reminder to never go around lowered crossing arms, even if you don’t see a train. They’re down for a reason.

 

National

City Lab says carfree streets will soon be the norm. We can only hope.

Paul Reubens — aka Pee-wee Herman — is going on tour next year to mark the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, including stops at the Wiltern in Los Angeles next February, as well as in San Diego and San Francisco.

Outside honors their Outsiders of the Year, including teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and American world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney.

The late Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volker was one of us, riding his bike across Europe instead of writing his doctoral thesis while attending the London School of Economics in the 1950s.

Condo shoppers in Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland are considering the building’s bikeability as the determining factor before buying.

Boise, Idaho mountain bikers got a shiny new bike park for Christmas this year, complete with double black diamond trails.

A Milwaukee bike burglar was busted for multiple break-ins to steal bicycles, including hitting a bike co-op dedicated to providing repairs and jobs for youths four times.

Seriously? An apparently well-meaning Minnesota college student says it’s time to study the problem of distracted bicycling. Trust me, that’s not what’s killing them.

No surprise here, as a new study from Queens NY shows that women are more likely to bike if there’s a protected bike lane.

A writer for Patch in Pennsylvania confirms the site’s lack of veracity, by saying Vision Zero isn’t working because its primary goal is to increase daytime traffic congestion. Um, no. And Los Angeles and Chicago weren’t the first cities to adopt it, either.

 

International

A writer for London’s Independent newspaper says Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party claims to support bicycling, but their platform suggests just the opposite.

Stranded in London overnight, a tourist rented a bikeshare bike and rode it 67 miles around the city, visiting 25 landmarks in eight hours.

An English bike rider says he survived a sudden heart attack while riding thanks to some Good Samaritans and a nearby defibrillator.

A British rider rented a three-geared bikeshare bike, drove 680 miles to France, rode it up the legendary Alpe d’Huez and returned it to the docking station, all within 24 hours.

Thieves backed a truck up to a UK bike shop and made off with 60 new bikes, many still in the box.

She gets it. A Dublin, Ireland writer says the city has to make alternatives to driving into the city more attractive to commuters. More proof that the problems, and the solutions, are the same all over the world.

Your next custom bicycle could come from a 100-year old Parisian bespoke bikemaker. I mean, just in case anyone has me on their Secret Santa list this year.

Amsterdam’s bike mayor says bicycling can save the world.

An Aussie mom-to-be says she’s still biking to work while eight months pregnant, despite the comments of concerned onlookers.

Fortune considers the rapid rise and fall of China’s bikeshare companies. And says you might want to consider those lessons before investing in the country’s artificial intelligence startups.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sprinting great Mark Cavendish will be looking to regain his former speed with the newly-unveiled Bahrain-McLaren cycling team, after the famed sports car builder took half ownership of the team. Maybe this will help.

Oregon’s Bicycle Racing Association will allow a board member accused of “pervasive transphobia” to keep his position.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying coke, meth and weed in your coat, put a damn light on your bike. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, pain killers and a metal club in your backpack, don’t hand your bicycle to someone fleeing the police on foot.

And it appears the well-dressed manatee will not be wearing a bicycle tire this holiday season.

 

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