Strava data shows LA bike rate double last year’s; and gun charges yes, but nothing for driving through Pasadena protesters

One quick note. 

Santa Monica Spoke founder Cynthia Rose informs me that the 5 mph speed limit signs on the beachfront bike path we mentioned on Monday was installed temporarily for a construction project, and have been removed. 

So that’s one bit of good news to start your day. 

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Apparently, LA’s bike boom wasn’t an illusion.

According to Strava data, bicycle use in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles nearly doubled in May, jumping 93% over this time last year.

Among the six U.S. cities for which Strava provided data, Houston and Los Angeles, two sprawling metropolises where just .5% and 1% of the respective populations biked to work in pre-pandemic times, stand out. In Houston, the total volume of cycling trips in Houston was 138% higher in May 2020 than in May 2019. In Los Angeles, the jump was 93%. Unlike their peers, these two places also saw cycling increases in April, the first full month of widespread stay-at-home order and economic shutdowns.

Never mind that Strava is still used by a subset of bike riders, meaning the actual numbers could be even higher, as the LACBC’s Eli Akira Kaufman points out.

Eli Akira Kaufman, the executive director of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, said the data also likely leaves out many of the essential workers he’s observed hopping on bikes instead of the bus, which could mean that the numbers are even higher than what the Strava data shows. Now his thoughts are towards the future. Cities like Houston and L.A., with their thousands of miles of car-oriented streets, have their work cut out building protected bike lanes and other infrastructure to encourage cycling even after the pandemic ends

“How do we keep the riding coming?” he said. “That’s the question now.”

The obvious answer to that is to provide a safe, convenient and connected network of bikeways that allows riders to traverse the city, and their own neighborhoods.

Which is exactly what LA’s three-tiered 2010 bike plan, now part of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, calls for.

And exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Meanwhile, bikes are still booming, as SoCal bike shops report double and triple their normal sales.

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A San Marino man who drove through a group of peaceful Pasadena protestors last month has been charged with conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines, as well as making a false statement to police.

During a search of Hung’s truck, police found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, multiple high-capacity magazines loaded with ammunition, an 18-inch machete, $3,200 in cash, a long metal pipe and a megaphone, according to the affidavit.

Evidently, endangering innocent people with a motor vehicle is just dandy, though.

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This is who we share the roads with, hit-and-run edition.

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 70-year old woman in Chinatown as she walked in a crosswalk with the right-of-way, leaving her with a brain bleed and a broken neck.

Security video shows the heartless coward get out of his Mercedes to look at the victim, then get back in and simply drive away.

As usual, there is a $25,000 standing reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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Streets for All has released their endorsements and Voter Guide for the November election, in both English y Español.

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They get it.

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LADOT has begun work on a curb-protected Complete Streets project on Reseda Blvd in Reseda and Northridge.

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Then there’s this.

Secure bike parking is a good thing. But maybe we can do a better job of considering the needs of disabled riders next time.

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Germans know how to promote World Car Free Day.

https://twitter.com/BirgitHebein/status/1308390818756079618

That tweet translates to,

Take public transport, walk or cycle and thus set an example for more space in the city.

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It’s not everyday a hospital ad is worth sharing.

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Bike stunts, without the bike.

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

A London bike rider suffered a broken shoulder when a road raging bus driver allegedly swerved into him, knocking him off his bike; passengers on the bus reportedly begged the hit-and-run driver to stop.

An Aussie man faces charges for pushing a friend in a shopping cart into a group of bicyclists traveling at over 25 mph, taking out a number of riders. The man, who had been drinking for a dozen hours, claims his actions weren’t deliberate and he just lost control of the cart, despite how it looks on security cam video.

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

In a tragic story from Milwaukee, a 54-year old man was fatally gunned down by a bike rider in a dispute over a traffic “mishap.” There is no excuse for violence, especially at the risk of someone’s life. Just suck it up and ride away, already.

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Local

Los Angeles joined with New York, London, Berlin and eight other cities in Europe and North America in pledging to divest from fossil fuel companies to fight climate change.

LADOT wants your help in identifying low-stress travel corridors in Central Los Angeles.

A new self-guided audio bike tour through DTLA leads you through the hidden histories of Latino Los Angeles, while the slower pace on a bike allows you to take it all in.

Metro is pulling the plug on its smart bike bikeshare program on LA’s Westside, replacing them with “classic” bikeshare bikes in Venice, Palms, Playa Vista and Santa Monica, while adding nine more docks.

REI is offering adult classes on how to ride bike in Redondo Beach next month, as well as one-on-one adult instruction in Redondo Beach and Santa Monica; the outdoor co-op is also offering kid’s classes in Santa Monica.

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. Unfortunately, he didn’t take any action to encourage bike riding, walking or transit use to make those vehicles unnecessary.

Hold your pony in check. Newport Beach adopts an ordinance aimed at ebike users on the city’s boardwalk, stating that no one may exceed the posted 8 mph speed limit, regardless of what they’re riding.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies will crack down on traffic safety violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians in Dana Point today, regardless of who commits them. The usual 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.

San Diego’s new Mid-City Bikeway project is nearly half-finished, as the city unveiled eight new traffic circles installed to improve safety at intersections.

Condolences to San Diego bike riders, who will soon be stuck with the city’s first sharrows on a three block section of Hancock Street. As we’ve said before, sharrows only serve to help drivers improve their aim in an effort to thin the bike riding herd.

Our friend Michael Wagner of CLR Effect visited Santa Barbara’s newly closed State Street, saying restaurants and businesses are benefitting from the carfree foot and bike traffic, and comparing it to a 24/7 CicLAvia. Which sounds like a damn good idea to me.

I’ve found lots of things while riding a bike. Fortunately, a human skull on a Tahoe bike trail ain’t one of them.

 

National

Good news for my fellow diabetics, as a new study shows bike riding reduces cardiovascular mortality in diabetes, as well as mortality risk from all causes. If the coronavirus doesn’t get us first, that is.

The Verge visits the makers of Rain-Bow bike fenders.

C|net reviews Garmin’s new rearview bike radar systems and rides away impressed.

Mashable says Ridepanda is your one-stop shop for all things ebike and e-scooter.

Specialized gets spanked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which has rejected the company’s trademark application for its latest bike, ruling it’s too similar to a tire brand.

Singer-songwriter Laura Veirs is one of us, riding her bike “all over Portland” to cope with her divorce after 20 years of marriage.

A manager with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission patiently explains why allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields is better for everyone.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, with an easy bike tour around Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado.

A new Indianapolis mural will honor Black cycling legend Major Taylor — even if it means removing another mural that has been there for 45 years.

Kindhearted Connecticut cops pitched in to buy a little boy a new bike after his was stolen.

A New York State assembly member says the state must subsidize ebike purchases. The same goes for California, except more so.

Nearly 130 people rode their bikes 300 miles from New York to DC last month to protest police brutality and racial injustice as part of the March on Washington. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you’re blocked by Bicycling’s draconian paywall.

DC adopts a Vision Zero bill intended to eliminate traffic deaths within the next four years, including plans for red light and stop sign cams, as well as bus lane cameras. Let’s hope they have better luck with it than we did, since LA’s Vision Zero has devolved into a nearly forgotten footnote in city history.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Georgia man on the cusp of 90 has been buying and refurbishing bicycles for the past decade, giving away the finished bikes to children, schools and charities.

They get it, too. Miami is planning to permanently ban cars from the city’s beachfront Ocean Drive, while prioritizing pedestrians first in the city’s entertainment district, followed by bicyclists and transit, with personal vehicles last.

 

International

Medical staff with Britain’s National Health Service continue to be targeted by bike thieves, as one man has now had two bikes stolen in just the past three months.

Electric cars won’t solve the UK’s pollution problem. Or California’s, for that matter.

Blue-tired, Netherlands-based Swapfiets is reportedly taking Europe by storm with its long-term bike rental business model, and a promise to fix your flats for you.

Cyprus intends to invest half a million euros to encourage more people to walk and bike. However, that only equates to $585,000, which won’t go very far.

Los Angeles could soon get lapped by Tehran, as Dutch officials offer recommendations to get the city on the right track for bicycling, while noting that several Iranian cities have the potential to be bike friendly.

Talk about not getting it. A Philippine city is considering a proposal to mandate helmets and reflectorized vests for bike riders, as well as limiting riders to carrying minimal loads, since “bicycles are not designed to carry much cargo.” Which would come as a hell of a surprise to many bike commuters and cargo bike owners.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur profiles Trinidadian cycling star Teniel Campbell, saying she’s on the brink of breaking big in women’s cycling.

Red Bull shares the playlists that get mountain bike, ‘cross and cross-country pros ready to ride.

Former Vuelta and Giro winner Nairo Quintana has denied any wrongdoing in a doping investigation targeting members of his entourage. Then again, that’s what Lance said. And Landis. And Contador. And…

 

Finally…

If you’re going to propose on the Brooklyn Bridge, tell your photographer to stay out of the bike lane. If you didn’t drive on a narrow bike trail, your Jeep wouldn’t need to be rescued in the first place; thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

And you be you.

https://twitter.com/CarHelmets/status/1308499866411134977

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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