Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: Traffic violence on our streets, Metro Bike runs red light, and Westwood ignores needs of students

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Keep SoCal’s leading source for all the freshest bike news coming to you every morning. Give to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Today’s common theme is traffic violence, both literal and figurative.

USC fans were heartbroken to learn that former running back Joe McKnight was the victim of an apparent road age shooting on the streets of New Orleans; a tragedy made possible, if not inevitable, by a proliferation of short-fused drivers with easy access to guns.

Meanwhile, in an equally, if not more, heartbreaking case, a suspected drunk driver once again proved that no one is safe from the carnage on our streets, as a five-year old South Central boy was killed inside his own apartment. The driver plowed into the building after allegedly being cut off by another driver; inside, investigators found the boy’s letter to Santa asking for a new bicycle.

Which leads us to CiclaValley, who offers a bike cam compendium of drivers behaving badly. And yes, someone could easily compile similar video clips of scofflaw cyclists or pedestrians. But it’s the people in the multi-ton machines who pose the greatest risk to others by their bad behavior.

When cyclists break the law, they generally put themselves at risk. But when drivers break the law, it poses a danger to everyone on the street.

Or sleeping in their own homes.

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Frequent contributor Erik Griswold notes that at the 30 second mark of its Metro Bike Instructional Video, Metro appears to tacitly encourage users to ride through flashing red lights.

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A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin justifiably takes the Westwood Neighborhood Council to task for favoring policies that ignore the needs of the students who live and study in the area, including last year’s denial of desperately needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The heavy-handed demands of the area’s wealthy homeowners have killed any semblance of vibrancy in Westwood Village, leading to streets filled with empty storefronts, and driving students — and their money — to other parts of the city. Like a scene out of Footloose, the city even prohibits dancing at restaurants and bars within the Village.

No, really.

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Local

The LACBC is hiring an Organizing Director.

Former pro Phil Gaimon is on a one-man mission to erase convicted doper and dope dealer Nick Brandt-Sorenson’s name from the top of LA area Strava KOMs.

A 6th grade student is on a one-girl mission to provide safer access for bicyclists to the Ballona Creek bike path in Del Rey and Playa Vista.

 

State

About one hundred Laguna Beech mountain bikers rode through the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as part of the second annual Dirt Fondo Challenge, benefitting the Laguna Beach Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team.

For the second time in two days, a San Diego area bike rider has suffered a serious head injury, apparently without a car involved. This time a helmeted rider fell in San Marcos and struck his head on the pavement; fortunately, his injuries are not life-threatening.

Members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offer strategies on how to improve safety in the South of Market district.

San Francisco State University is California’s latest Bicycle Friendly University.

Soon you may be able to make plans for a wine and cannabis bike tour of Sonoma County.

A bike-riding Scrooge stole four citrus trees planted by an Eagle Scout at an Orangevale church to help feed the hungry.

 

National

In typically obtuse government-ese, the US DOT announces it’s forming a 15-member committee to advise the Secretary of Transportation on matters related to transportation equity. Which sounds great until you consider that the incoming administration could dissolve it next month.

A writer for Momentum Magazine considers the value of clipless bike shoes, and concludes they’re worth it.

The Seattle Times recommends taking your own folding bike when you travel.

Grind TV asks if Sedona’s White Line Trail is the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trail. Judging by the videos, it’s definitely not one for anyone with a fear of heights.

Bicycling Magazine profiles an ex-vegetarian New Mexico man who hunts elk by bike, with his miniature poodle at his side.

Des Moines, Iowa makes plans to hire a full-time bicycle coordinator, if it survives the budget process.

A small free library is unveiled as a memorial to a Wisconsin woman who was killed by a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. We can all agree this is a needless tragedy. But instead of fighting for higher fines to stop people from riding on the sidewalk, why not fight for safer streets so no one will feel the need to?

Caught on video: Philadelphia police are looking for a teenager who rode his BMX up to a garage before setting it on fire.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. A New York bike rider died after an apparent fall; however, police have been unable to identify him or notify his next of kin because he wasn’t carrying any identification.

A group of BMX riders recorded the action after sneaking into a Long Island water park; police are looking at the video as evidence of a trespassing violation.

Now that’s what I call a bike locker.

 

International

Cycling Tips considers why two bike brands haven’t moved their production to China.

Police in British Columbia recovered “dozens and dozens” of stolen bicycles and e-scooters when they took down a bike chop shop.

Torontoist makes the case for why delivering food by bicycle is good for neighborhoods.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider barely escapes a pass from a truck and trailer that looks like it would violate a one-foot passing law.

Two percent of Irish commuters go by bike, a figure that hasn’t changed in the last year.

The Guardian looks at the recent report that bicyclists now outnumber cars in Copenhagen, where a $145 million investment in bikeways has resulted in a 68% increase in ridership. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

Malta warns visiting EU officials not to cause a diplomatic incident by running red lights or carrying a passenger on their bicycles.

A man in the Southern Africa country of Malawi killed his own half-brother in a dispute over a bicycle.

Cyclists in the Australian state of New South Wales won’t have to carry ID when they ride after all, as the government belatedly realizes that most riders already do anyway.

 

Finally…

Maybe bicycling really is the new golf, especially if your bike is made entirely of golf clubs. It’s not just an ebike, it’s a two-wheeled boom box.

And it takes a hero cyclist to save a drowning panda.

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A special thanks to Michele Chavez for her generous contribution to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: San Diego bicyclist gravely injured in bike collision, and the absurd impracticality of bike licensing

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a bike rider was gravely injured in a crash with another rider.

According to NBC San Diego, the two riders came in contact when one tried to pass the other in a bike lane.

Both riders fell to the ground, with one suffering severe skull fractures.

Sadly, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, is not expected to survive.

The other rider, an 18-year old man, suffered injuries to his spine and feet.

Neither was wearing a helmet. It should be noted that relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Update: The video report from NBC San Diego shows the riders were in a protected bike lane, separated from the traffic lanes with bollards. 

Michael Muhammad, a former resident of the area, says the the crash occurred on a steep downhill, suggesting one or both people could have been riding at a high rate of speed, which could have contributed to the severity of the crash.

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City Lab looks at the absurdity of bike licensing, which keeps rearing its ugly head in response to the rantings of the anti-bike crowd.

I’ll let them explain why it’s a bad idea.

However, let’s not forget that LA cancelled its licensing requirement after it became a pretext for police to stop bike riders, usually people of color, in certain precincts.

I’ll also point out that I’ve had a license on my Trek ever since I bought it in Baton Rouge, LA, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.

baton-rouge-bike-license

You couldn’t read it from more than a few feet away then. And you can’t now, especially since my seat bag usually blocks it anyway.

Which kind of defeats the purpose, since most people who call for bike licensing expect to be able to read it at a glance to report offending riders to the authorities.

And even if they could, unless the rider is suspected of a committing a felony, police aren’t to track them down the offending rider for a simple traffic violation or rude behavior.

In fact, California law prohibits police from ticketing anyone or making a misdemeanor bust unless they actually witness the violation themselves.

Which means that, while the idea of licensing bicycles may have some appeal to those who hold a grudge against scofflaw cyclists, it doesn’t serve a useful purpose.

And chances are, it ain’t gonna happen.

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Local

Investing in Place explains how you can get involved in the implantation of Metro’s Measure M, which promises to remake transit, active transportation and highways. Hopefully in a good way (see 405, failure).

The UCLA-based author of the recent LACBC/LA Walks bike count report offers his thoughts, as well as a link to the full report.

The Santa Monica Daily Press previews this weekend’s Electric Bike Expo on the pier.

The Women’s Cycling Association is hosting a ride to benefit the WCA Foundation Scholarship Fund in Calabasas on December 11th.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who reports he barely survived a Brompton ride on a Texas freeway after Google twice tried to kill him.

 

State

A bighearted Laguna Beach plumber has ridden over 45,000 miles and raised nearly $30,000 to fund scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers.

A traffic improvement program in North San Diego County will include two new separated bike/ped paths, as well as a ten mile addition to the North Coast Bike Trail. Although someone should tell them that adding traffic lanes to reduce congestion doesn’t work.

This is why you don’t try to reclaim your stolen bike yourself. A San Diego bike messenger was slashed with a knife when he tried to get his bike back after spotting a stranger riding it a few weeks after it was stolen.

Bakersfield is conducting a series of workshops and walking audits to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. And yes, I have walked the streets of Bakersfield.

A San Francisco paper says Vision Zero is intuitive, radical and has failed in the city. Meanwhile, the city has approved a moratorium on removing the ghost bikes Vision Zero is supposed to make unnecessary. Clearly, they need to do a lot more, but it’s a little early to call it a failure after just two years.

A Woodland man was acquitted of attempted murder charges but convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for deliberately running down three cyclists with a stolen car during a day-long meth fueled crime spree; his lawyer argued it was because he suffered a psychotic break.

 

National

The usual dispute over bike lanes versus parking rears its ugly head in a Wisconsin town, though this time compromise appears possible as residents agree it might be worth crossing the street to park their cars if it will slow down speeding drivers.

Maybe he doesn’t hate us after all. Donald Trump’s new Deputy US Commerce Secretary is a Chicago bike shop owner.

Safety improves in Boston as better signage and a dramatically increased bike lane network leads to an increase in ridership and a decrease in bicycling injuries.

Cambridge, Massachusetts considers a unique, peanut-shaped mini-roundabout complete with protected bike lanes to keep riders safe on a challenging seven-way intersection.

A trio of University of Connecticut instructors say the recent increase in traffic fatalities in the US is due to low gas prices and unemployment, not distracted driving. And that other developed countries rely on providing safer streets rather than expecting people to drive more safely.

A New York state appeals court rules it doesn’t matter whether a cop hit a bike rider with his police car or the other way around.

A New York man is stuck with the bill after someone stole his jacket, and used his Citi Bike key to steal a $1,200 bikeshare bike.

Safety experts often urge riders to wear hi-viz to improve visibility and avoid collisions. But it didn’t help a New Jersey store full of it.

A Louisiana sheriffs department is looking for donations to give 200 to 300 bicycles to kids that might not otherwise get a gift this year.

 

International

A Vancouver man was the victim of a bizarre reverse theft as someone broke into his truck to steal a bike lock, but left behind a nice mountain bike. And an umbrella.

If you build it, they will come. London’s cycling superhighways have seen up to 55% a jump in ridership, with one route carrying 26 riders per minute.

This is why you always wait until traffic stops before crossing at a red light. A British cyclist wisely waits as a bus driver speeds through the light.

Patriotic Brit cycling fans need to buy more lottery tickets.

An Aussie paper says bicycling is a vital part of Sidney’s transportation system, but it seems to have taken a wrong turn.

Chinese ebikes could face a European anti-dumping surcharge of up to 30%.

 

Finally…

Evidently, cyclists are considered a nuisance even if they never go anywhere. As if bike riders didn’t have enough to worry about, now turtles are out to get us.

And how exactly does one ride a bike in a suspicious manner?

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A special thanks to Wesley Reutimann, Felicia Garcia, Richard Neill, Mark Jones, and Plurabelle Books Ltd for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: Lankershim Great Streets Pop Up, Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge, and ebike with Nelson Vails

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s Day 6 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Let’s start with a couple of upcoming events.

First up, this Saturday’s Lankershim Community Pop Up will demonstrate what the boulevard could be if it’s reimagined as a Complete Street — complete with protected bike lanes — as part of the city’s Great Streets program.

Lankershim was scheduled to have bike lanes installed several years ago, but the plans were halted by then-Councilmember Tom LaBonge as part of his successful campaign to keep LA streets dangerous. Now that he’s been termed out of office, there may be hope for progress on the dangerously auto-centric street.

The LACBC will be hosting a #RideLankershim community bike ride as part of the event.

lankershim-pop-up

And a week from Sunday, Finish the Ride will host a Ride, Run, Walk ‘n Roll + Cyclocross Holiday Challenge at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, in conjunction with SoCal Cross and SAFE.

dec-finish-the-ride

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Local

Shinola has opened their latest Los Angeles location in the Arts District in DTLA (scroll down).

Bella Thorne is one of us, as the 19-year old actress and singer rode the streets of LA in her hoodie and ripped jeans.

Bike SGV invites bike riders to join them in tomorrow’s Monrovia Holiday Parade.

CiclaValley says riding the Cogswell Dam trail offers the solitude of getting away without much hassle.

You’re invited to ride a pedal-assist ebike with 1984 LA Olympian Nelson Vails at Saturday’s Electric Bike Expo in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will ride to the city’s December Nights celebration in Balboa Park Friday night to highlight bikes as transportation and a way to fight climate change. Meanwhile, the city is making the temporary Bicycle Advisory Committee permanent as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

A Corona bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when his bicycle was clipped by a train as he walked it along the railroad tracks.

Pedego is opening a shop in Palm Springs.

San Luis Obispo’s Bike SLO County is working to help put low-income, homeless and at-risk children and adults back on bicycles; they’ve given refurbished bikes to 17 people so far.

 

National

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is starting a new program to help bike shops rent bicycles.

An Oregon woman rode solo on a 5,350 mile journey across the US by following Adventure Cycling’s northern tier route.

Houston plans to double the size of the city’s bikeshare system.

Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare system celebrates the season with a fully reflective, candy cane stripped bike.

Streetsblog Chicago calls it a waste of police resources to ticket bicyclists who cross the street during a leading pedestrian interval crosswalk signal.

A Detroit non-profit wants to spread bicycling to every neighborhood in the city, giving away hundreds of used bikes to make sure every kid can have a bicycle.

It takes a real jerk to steal a ghost bike for a fallen Kentucky rider.

Despite the mayor’s upbeat pronouncements, New York’s Vision Zero is headed in the wrong direction, as more pedestrians and bike riders have lost their lives in the two years the program has been in effect.

The NYPD has released a near-real time map tracking traffic collisions in the city, including crashes with bicyclists and pedestrians. Which is something Los Angeles can and should be doing as part of Vision Zero. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

Philadelphia women describe the harassment they experience working as bike messengers on the city’s streets.

 

International

A new study shows exercise really does lower your risk of death. Although bicycling drops your overall risk 15%, but oddly, doesn’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

Bike Radar says you don’t need an expensive bike to enjoy mountain biking, but it helps.

British police are looking for the bike rider who collided with a 71-year old woman, who later died of her injuries; the rider did stop and provide assistance until the woman was airlifted for treatment, but left without providing his contact information. Yet another reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, especially the elderly. And yes, you need to provide your ID and insurance information, just like drivers do.

Caught on video: A Brit driver barrel rolls into a ditch after hitting a bike that fell off the roof rack of another car at 70 mph. Always make sure to mount your bike securely. And double check it before you hit the road.

Britain’s Prince Charles was one of us, reporting that he was lucky to survive being hit by a bus while riding his bike as a youth.

An Indian rider describes the experience of riding the country’s first cycle superhighway.

A UNICEF program has donated 150 bamboo bikes to help girls in Ghana stay in school by providing the means to get there.

Caught on video too: A road raging Australian cyclist boarded a Brisbane bus and repeatedly punched the driver in the face before getting back on his bike and riding away. Once again, no matter what the driver may have done, violence is not the answer; take down the time, location and number of the bus and file a formal complaint instead. Preferably with bike cam video to back it up.

An Aussie website examines the history of bikewear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to scam someone out of a bike by dressing like fake cop and saying it’s stolen, at least make sure it’s worth stealing; no, this wasn’t him.

And if you’re going to sell your used bike, at least make sure the wheels face the right way.

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If you missed it yesterday, take a few minutes to read David Kooi’s insightful guest post explaining why you should support your local bike shop.

Guest post: Looking for a Bike? Shop Local and Shop Small. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

Last week, I asked if any bike shop owners or employees wanted to explain why you should do business with your local bike shop this holiday season.

First to respond was Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, who explained the importance of buying your ebike locally.

Today we hear from David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, one of the city’s most popular shops for road and off-road riders alike.

Not to mention the shop that created one of the bike world’s most brilliant marketing efforts by partnering with the car dealership across the street to allow people to trade in their car for a new bicycle a few years ago.

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By David Kooi

Are you looking for a bike? Here are some reasons why you should visit your local bike shop.

Personal Attention and Friendly Expert Advice

Choosing the right bike isn’t always easy. These days, there is a different bike for just about every type of riding and terrain. A good local bike shop is staffed with friendly, helpful experts. Go in and talk to them about the kind of riding you would like to do. They will help you make the right decision. Choosing the right bike will ensure that you’ll get the most from your purchase. If you pick the right bike, you’ll enjoy riding it. And, if you enjoy riding it, you’ll ride it more often. If you pick the wrong bike, it might languish, covered in dust, in your garage. And nobody wants that.

cute-kid-on-a-bike

Quality Products

The bikes you’ll find at your local specialty shop are usually better quality bikes than you’ll find online, at department stores, or at big box retailers. Why? Most of the best bike manufacturers only sell their bikes through local, independent shops. Why would they do that when they might be able to sell so many more bikes online or at Wal-Mart and Costco? It’s because they recognize the importance of dedicated specialty shops. They count on these shops to educate their customers on the value and features of their bikes. And they trust these shops to build, fit, and service those bikes properly and professionally.

A Professional Bike Build

When a bike arrives at a shop or at your local Target, it’s in a box full of parts. Some of it is partially assembled in a far-away factory, but it needs a good amount of work and fine-tuning to get it ready to ride. Whom do you trust to build your bike? At a good local bike shop, your bike will be assembled by an experienced professional mechanic and test-ridden for safety. When you go out for your first ride, you can be confident that the bike is safe.

Fitting

Bikes come in difference sizes. Then, within each size, the bike needs to be adjusted to the individual rider. If you buy the wrong size or don’t get a proper fit, you probably won’t be happy with your bike. When the bike is set up perfectly for you, you’ll be comfortable and happy – and you’ll ride it a lot more. And, if you’re a rider for whom speed matters, a properly fit bike will make you faster. When you buy your bike from a local shop, the bike fit is often included with the purchase of your bike. Further, if you need additional guidance on how to use the bike, most shops are happy to teach you about how to use the shifting, the brakes, and other essential features.

group-cruiser-ride

Maintenance

Bikes, much like cars, need maintenance. Some maintenance can be performed at home, like keeping the right amount of air in the tires, cleaning the bike, and lubing the chain. Your neighborhood shop can teach you how to do those things. More complex repairs and maintenance should be performed by experienced mechanics. A good local bike shop is home to such people. Furthermore, some amount of maintenance is typically included with your purchase when you buy from a local shop.

Accessories

When you get a new bike, you’ll likely need some other items to maximize your enjoyment of that bike. The friendly, knowledgeable experts at your local bike shop can help. The right pair of gloves can help with numb fingers. The right pair of shorts can literally save your butt. A good set of lights and a properly fitting helmet could save your life. A well-stocked flat/repair kit could save you from an Uber ride home. Or maybe you just want some flashy, fancy socks to match your new ride? Whatever you need, a good local bike shop will have the expertise and the selection to help you.

david-with-local-school-kids

Community

Your neighborhood shop is often a hub for the local cycling community. They can tell you about where to ride, about local events, and about local clubs and teams. They also might host clinics and classes about bike safety, bike handling, bike repair, and bike maintenance.

A good local bike shop also gives back to your community. At my shop, we work with local elementary schools to help get more kids on bikes. We teach local Boy Scout troops about bike safety. We donate bikes to the local Boys & Girls Club for kids in need. We sponsor a mountain bike team at a local high school. And we’re always looking for opportunities to do more. That’s how communities work.

boys-and-girls-club

You can also get to know the people who work at your local shop. Most employees are passionate about cycling and excited to talk about it with anyone. Employees don’t turn over at the same high rate as the big box retailers. You can get to you know them. They’ll recognize you when you come in the door. In these days of the Internet and Big Box domination, you might find it nice to have a small, welcoming place to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. At most shops, you are welcome to stop by and say hello and check out the newest gear – even when you don’t have any plans to buy anything new. Or, imagine you find yourself out riding and want to refill a water bottle. Someday, a drone sent by Amazon.com will fly up to you to refill it for you, but in the meantime, feel free to stop by a shop along your route.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

A Vibrant Local Economy

Do you want to make a difference in the local economy and in the lives of your neighbors? When you spend $500 at a small local business, you change their day. You get noticed. You get remembered. When you shop local and shop small, your money matters. The money you spend helps to pay the rent. Your money keeps the lights on. Your money pays the salaries of people working there. Those people, in turn, use that money to shop locally and the cycle continues. They pay for tuition. They buy stuff for their kids. They go out to eat at local restaurants. Your money keeps storefronts occupied, keeps your streets and sidewalks clean, and helps sustain a vibrant community. When you shop local, you make a difference.

When you spend $500 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, you won’t move their quarterly earnings per share one tenth of one penny. You’re just a tiny part of a larger demographic.

Price

Don’t assume that you’ll get the better deal online. Give your local shop a chance. You might be surprised to discover that your local shop is competitive with online prices, especially when you factor in the value of the products they are selling and other services provided. And, in the end, maybe you’ll find yourself willing to spend a few extra bucks for the friendly, expert service, the quality products, and to contribute to your community and local economy.

storefront

About the Author

David Kooi is the owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, California.

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, 21526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

david@smmcyclery.com

818-456-4105

www.smmcyclery.com

www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-mountains-cyclery-woodland-hills

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If any other bike shop owners or employees want to weigh in on the subject, just email me at the address on the About page.

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

Donate to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

 

 

 

Morning Links: Where to give on Giving Tuesday, emus and rams on the attack, and how to annoy women cyclists

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

Be sure to come back later today, when we’ll have a great guest post from David Kooi of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills.

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Today is Giving Tuesday. If you’re looking for a good bike-related cause to support, here are a few suggestions.

The Milt Olin Foundation is raising $35,000 to fight distracted driving; the organization was founded by Louise Olin after her husband was killed by a sheriff’s deputy distracted by his onboard computer.

Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE) is a non-profit dedicated to improving street safety and ending hit-and-runs, led by Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt.

Richmond, CA’s Rich City Rides is raising $10,000 to help serve communities in San Francisco’s East Bay area. This is how they describe their mission: “We unite people with bicycles! By infusing high crime marginalized neighborhoods with social ride celebrations of life, unity and health we decrease violence and increase familiarity and humanity across cultures, ethnicities and communities.”

The California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike, works at the state level to fight for fairer treatment for bike riders, increased funding for bike projects, and changes in California law to better protect riders.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition works to make LA and surrounding communities healthy, safe, and fun places to ride a bike through advocacy, education, and outreach. And a donation to the LACBC will enter you in a drawing to win a bicycle from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

While they don’t seem to have donation pages online, the San Gabriel Valley’s Bike SGV and South LA’s East Side Riders both deserve support.

Note: I somehow forgot to include LA’s iconic CicLAvia, as well as World Bicycle Relief, an organization that works to end poverty by giving bicycles to students in Africa.

If we didn’t include your favorite bike organization or cause, be sure to mention it in the comments so others can see it.

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LA riders may have to deal with distracted, road raging drivers. But at least we don’t have to worry about charging emus.

Or head-butting mini rams, for that matter.

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This could be a look at LA’s future, as an 18-year old New Zealand man rides 15 miles on broken, rubble-strewn roads to get to safety after a 7.8 earthquake.

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Former pro Tyler Hamilton opens up about his painful doping past. Which of course has nothing to do with marketing his presumably dope-free training camps.

Doping spreads to the world of fixies, as a Columbian cyclist earned a lifetime ban by testing positive for EPO at the Milan Red Hook Crit. Evidently, he didn’t get the memo that the doping era is over.

Caught on video: Two Belgian cyclocross riders were disqualified when push came to shove. Literally.

Maybe they all could learn something from some balance bike racers. Credit Peter Flax with finding the video.

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Local

Metro has to fork up another $300 million for the contractor on the 405 Freeway boondoggle, raising the total cost for the failed widening project to $1.6 billion. Lets hope they learned something before dumping their new Measure M funds down the same auto-centric toilet.

The Westside’s Bikerowave co-op is hosting a bicycle swap meet on December 11th; members of the public are welcome to sell bike-related items.

No bias here. El Monte police conduct the first of ten planned Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations by ticketing 41 bicyclists, 14 pedestrians — and just six drivers. Evidently, scofflaw motorists don’t pose much risk to others there.

Somehow this one passed under the radar, as Cudahy will host a ciclovía/open streets event from 11 am to 3 pm this Saturday.

The CSU Long Beach student newspaper looks at the national bike helmet safety campaign founded by Carmen Lofgren following the death of her son, CSULB alum Gary Lofgren two years ago.

 

State

Residents of San Diego’s exclusive beachside La Jolla neighborhood just say no to bikeshare, complaining about the unsightly advertising on the city’s DecoBike system, as well as a feared traffic nightmare if bikes were to besmirched their jewel-encrusted streets.

Yelp now considers bike parking in its reviews, while Cyclelicious observes that one upscale Silicon Valley mall offers free, secure bike lockers. Hopefully, that’s an idea that will spread down this way; I’d be much more comfortable riding my bike to shop if I didn’t have to field strip it to lock up and knew it would be there when I get back.

The Sacramento Bee says transportation advocates are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for active transportation under a Trump administration. Evidently, they haven’t been talking to the same advocates I have.

 

National

A writer for Car & Driver is just the latest to say he’s given up riding a bike out of fear of texting, talking and otherwise distracted cellphone-using drivers. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

Caught on video too: This is why you always lock your bike securely to your roof rack, as a Seattle bike thief needs just a few minutes to make off with one.

Good news from Colorado, as Olympian Mara Abbott gets her stolen bike back. And in better condition than when it was taken from her garage.

After a Kansas art professor and competitive cyclist was killed in a collision, her case was handled by a lawyer she had mentored as a young bike racer.

A Minnesota grad student partners with a professor to develop sensors that attach to your bike to tell you when a car is approaching.

Pittsburgh cyclists finally have the crash data they need to advocate for safety improvements.

New York releases stats on pedestrians and cyclists killed or injured on Gotham streets last month. Which is something Los Angeles has never done, if it even bothers to track that information in real time. And which Vision Zero will be meaningless without.

New York debates expanding the Citi Bike bikeshare system throughout the city.

Two Baltimore teens have been convicted of robbery and first degree assault in the stabbing death of a bike rider last January, but acquitted of murder charges, as their younger accomplice shoulders the blame.

 

International

Now that’s a fat bike. An Edmonton, Canada man builds a $1,700, customized four-tired bicycle designed to take him over 750 miles of ice and snow from the South Pole to the Antarctic coast.

A British bike site concludes that fake tans are just appearance doping.

Brit bike designer Isla Rowntree wants to convince parents to spend $350 on a high-performance kid’s bike, instead of dropping fifty to a hundred bucks on a kid-sized bicycle shaped object.

A kindhearted Scotsman buys a new bike for the “wee daughter” of a crossing guard after hers was stolen at a charity event.

Caught on video three: A Scottish paper is quick to blame a foul-mouthed bike rider who went off on a driver after being “beeped” at. It’s hard to blame the rider for crossing in front of the driver when the car had just rounded a curve which would have hidden it from view. On the other hand, even if you’re right, don’t be a damn jerk about it.

A TV show in the UK follows eight pseudo-celebs as they train for the 75-mile Etape du Tour.

The husband of an American cruise ship passenger killed while riding her bike in New Zealand says it was just an accident and no one was to blame. Although local riders were quick to blame the lack of safe streets.

An Aussie stunt rider gives a whole new meaning to riding the rails, while another freaks out a driver by skitching a bus.

Brisbane, Australia decides to remove unsafe safety rails from city bikeways.

A 13-year old New Zealand boy is riding the 1,000 mile length of the country’s North Island, accompanied by his mother, to raise funds for a new playground.

Taipei has revolutionized its cycling culture in just eight years, increasing bike ridership 30%, while the city’s bikeshare costs half the price of subway ride. Which is just the opposite of LA, where renting a Metro Bike costs up to twice as much as a train ride; if they really want it to succeed here and get people out of their cars, the cost has to come down.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Why bother obeying traffic laws when you’re carrying meth, drug paraphernalia and stolen debit cards on your bike? Don’t blame your bike for a failed romance.

And how to annoy women cyclists.

………

A special thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous contribution to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Morning Links: A close call in WeHo, rider injured in Echo Park, and Complete Streets coming to Mar Vista

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

I nearly saw the thing I fear most on Black Friday.

As my wife and I were walking through West Hollywood on our way back from the market Friday afternoon, I watched in horror as a driver preoccupied with his handheld cellphone made a sudden, and very unsafe, lane change to go around a driver waiting to make a left turn.

Except there was a man on a bike already occupying the space he was trying to cut into.

I’m not sure he ever saw the cyclist as he cut hard to the right, then jerked his wheel back to the left to zip around the stopped car, missing the rear wheel of the bike by less than 18 inches.

The rider kept going, barely reacting to the close call; I don’t know if he even realized just how close it had been.

Which is why a Duke University professor says he’s hanging up his bicycle until drivers hang up their phones.

But at least most drivers only use one phone at a time.

………

Bobby Peppey reports he came across the aftermath of a bike wreck at the intersection of Echo Park Ave and Montana Street in Echo Park on Friday.

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25

 

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25-2

He says the paramedics didn’t appear to be in a hurry to transport the victim, which hopefully is a good sign.

………

Cycling Weekly looks forward to four of next year’s pro road races.

The Guardian looks at the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, saying their use of insulin to compete is a positive application of the therapeutic use exemption.

An Arizona writer examines the recent victory of transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden in a Tucson women’s race, saying it’s not as unfair as it seems.

A Swiss rider has been fined the equivalent of nearly $400,000 for causing the death of another cyclist during an amateur race.

………

Local

Los Angeles reclaims control of Venice Blvd from Caltrans, clearing the way for a Complete Streets project in the Mar Vista area.

Chinese electronics and smart bike maker LeEco is opening a pop-up store at the Grove through December 27th.

A writer for a Bay Area LGBT website advises readers to ditch the car and have fun in Los Angeles, in part by taking advantage of bike tours and bikeshare.

Bighearted Pasadena Rotary Club members assembled 200 bicycles to donate to the Salvation Army for underprivileged kids. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Bike SGV invites you to help build the San Gabriel Valley’s first bike park over the next two weekends. The group is also hosting a holiday-themed Cycling Santas Bike Train on December 17th.

 

State

Newport Beach moves forward with plans to remake Bayshore Drive in an effort to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Orange Coast College students ride their bicycles to feed the hungry in Costa Mesa with leftovers from the campus cafeteria.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying on the street with a head injury and a broken leg on Friday; the victim reportedly ran a stop sign before being hit. The driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences for the collision if he’d just stopped. Now he could face a felony count once they find him.

Streetsblog says the convenience of motorists still trumps the safety of bike riders in south San Francisco. Sort of like almost everywhere else.

 

National

Politics may divide us, but bicycling holds the US together.

A disabled Washington woman argues that banning ebikes from national forest trails violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole Olympic cyclist Mara Abbott’s bike from her Boulder CO garage; Abbott was minutes from medaling in the Rio road race when she was passed by three riders just a few hundred meters from the finish line. Then again, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves, period.

The Walton Family Foundation is funding a study of protected bike lanes near the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville AK to see if they will encourage people to bike for transportation.

A Wisconsin driver passed out in her car after driving several miles on an off-road bike trail while allegedly high on meth.

A writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer is surprised to learn that no one keeps statistics on how many drivers are charged, let alone convicted, of traffic crimes, suggesting car crashes should be investigated with the same seriousness as fatal plane and train crashes.

 

International

Pinarello and Rapha could soon join Rodeo Drive luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Christian Dior and Bulgari.

An Aussie bike writer reminisces about riding in Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death.

British Columbia will employ ATV and bike riding paramedics to fight an epidemic of drug overdoses.

The prospect of bike licensing once again rears its ugly head in Canada, as Hamilton councilmembers consider whether the city has the authority to license riders to raise funds for bike lanes. Never mind that it would likely cost more to set up the program than it would bring in.

A bike hating Toronto columnist says the east part of the city is being cut off by the “plague” of bike lanes being built for the “handful of kooks who bike in December.”

LA doesn’t have a monopoly on hit-and-runs, as over 900 London bicyclists were injured by fleeing drivers last year.

Someone clearly doesn’t like a helmet cam-wearing Brit bike rider, threatening to kill his neighbor’s pets if they don’t shun him.

A Welsh mother lost her life while descending a steep French roadway when she missed a turn in heavy fog and rode off a cliff.

Three out of four mountain bikers surveyed in the UK believe right-of-way laws are archaic and aren’t suitable for off-road riding.

A new study from the India branch of the University of Duh shows that speed humps in the roadway are more uncomfortable for bike riders than people in cars.

India opens a new 128 mile long cycle superhighway leading to the front gates of the Taj Mahal.

More Adelaide, Australia bicyclists are riding without helmets to protest the country’s mandatory bike helmet law, resulting in fines averaging $1,000 a day.

A Kiwi columnist says both local bicyclists and visitors are being put at risk by an outdated bike safety plan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a gun with a homemade silencer, don’t ride reluctantly. If you’re using your bike as a burglary getaway vehicle, don’t bite the cop that tries to bust you.

And anyone can ride forward to promote world peace.

………

A special thanks to William Clare, Pedego 101, Joel Steinberg, Jeffrey Fylling, Russell Smeall and Elizabeth Trautmann for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive this past weekend.

 

Guest post: Support your local ebike dealer or local bike shop on Small Business Saturday

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

These days, a lot of people are considering ebikes, for obvious reasons. They’re a great way for beginners to get into bicycling, to ride without fear of hills or going too far, or commute to work without breaking a sweat.

Not to mention they’re a lot of fun.

But where you buy your bike matters, as Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village explains.

………

At least once a week we receive a call from someone asking if we can help fix the e-bike they bought online. “It was a really good deal,” they say. “Their website has excellent reviews,” they continue. “But they don’t respond to phone calls or emails now that I have the bike.”

This is exactly why you buy a technologically-advanced machine from a local bike shop, preferably one that specializes in e-bikes. You certainly can’t test-ride a bike online. Many times a customer comes in after doing a lot of Internet research thinking they know exactly what they want but after trying a variety of styles, sizes and power options they often fall in love with something very different.

The staff of your local e-bike shop have likely ridden in the neighborhood. They know how each bike will perform on that monster hill and in the riding conditions that you will encounter. Most local bike shops host group rides and will be happy to give you directions to great ride locations. You may even end up making some new friends!

And of course, when you buy local you meet the actual people who will be there for you in case a problem should arise. Most local shops handle warranty repairs and will get your e-bike set-up just right. They will make sure the accessories you choose will fit and even install them for you.

So support your small and local business owner on Saturday, and every day. It’s good for you and it’s great for the community.

………

I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop, because they’re the ones who will take the time to ensure you buy the right bike or gear for the way you ride, and be there to support you long after they take your credit card.

I’m told some shops even accept cash.

So take a few minutes out of your frenzied Black Friday, or tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, to stop by your favorite LBS and buy something. Anything.

They’ll appreciate the business.

And if you’re new there, take the time to introduce yourself and get to know them, so you won’t be a stranger the next time you come in.

 

Morning Links: Buffered bike lanes on Van Nuys, Arroyo Seco goes au naturel, and Bike Monkeys in Santa Barbara

Before we start, I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, however you spend it.

There’s a lot I’m thankful for this year. But as always, at the top of my list is the gratitude I have for the readers of this site, and all those who support and contribute to it. It’s only because of you that I’m able to do what I love, and continue this conversation we started nearly nine years ago.

So thank you, sincerely.

………

Local

LA’s Council District 7 celebrates the official unveiling of new buffered bike lanes on Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima.

The principal of Hollywood High proposes paying for books by installing a digital billboard at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections, where 10 bike riders have already been struck by cars. After all, what’s one more distraction for LA drivers, right?

The LA River may not be the only local stream to be restored by the Army Corps of Engineers, as plans are announced to return the Arroyo Seco to a natural, free-flowing state.

Santa Monica will host the free Electric Bike Expo December 2nd through 4th at the Santa Monica Pier.

Next month’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will celebrate LA’s remarkable religious diversity. A nice gesture in these troubled times.

 

State

OC cyclists are invited to burn off all that Thanksgiving stuffing at the 13th Tour de Tryptophan in Fullerton this Friday.

An accused distracted driver should learn her fate today for the death of a little girl and injuring another, after she drifted through a buffered San Diego bike lane and jumped the curb to strike them both earlier this year.

Santa Barbara’s Bike Monkeys keep 200 middle school students rolling on their school’s annual bike trips.

Bicycling Monterey reminds us that bike riders have a lot to be thankful for.

Palo Alto considers giving up police radar in order to avoid raising speed limits under the deadly 85th percentile rule.

Five-time Olympic swimming champ Katie Ledecky is one of us, as she learned to ride a bike before going to Stanford, where freshmen students are not allowed to have cars; she also assembled bicycles for Bikes for the World while in high school.

It takes a real jerk to steal nine bikes worth up to $2,000 each from the Napa High School Cycling Club.

The Davis bike and pedestrian coordinator offers tips on how to safely share a multi-use path.

 

National

The Vision Zero Network looks back at Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for traffic victims. Speaking of which, the organization is looking for a new Policy & Communications Director.

Cyclelicious reminds us that your favorite bike kit may have contributed to help Make America Great Again, since many of the top performance fabrics are owned by the conservative Koch Brothers. Which means if you want to boycott them, you may have to ride naked.

No bias here. After a transgendered woman wins an Arizona bike race, a right wing website complains about how unfair it is to make women compete against a “biological male.”

A new Tucson AZ foundation is devoted to supporting low-income female professional cyclists. Which would be most of them, unfortunately.

A Wyoming cyclist raises over $20,000 for charity by riding from Cheyenne to Orlando, FL.

A Texas cyclist becomes the first woman to ride a penny-farthing across the US.

Bighearted Missouri residents band together to buy a new customized bike for a special needs boy after his was stolen, replacing it before he even knew it was missing.

Sad news from Detroit, where a police officer was shot by a bike rider after he stopped the cyclist; the five year veteran is in critical condition.

Upstate New York officials force the family of a fallen cyclist to move his ghost bike because it was a whole three feet too close to the roadway.

A Savannah GA website says the city is becoming a destination for high-end bike tourism, but it’s going the wrong way when it comes to bike friendliness. Meanwhile, when a cyclist was struck head-on by a hit-and-run driver who drifted onto the wrong side of the road, a local paper somehow felt the need to remind cyclists they have to obey the law, too.

 

International

A British Columbia letter writer says don’t lower speed limits when there’s no alternative to driving; build sidewalks and bike paths instead.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider captures a first-hand view of crashing into the turning car that cut him off, with his bike spinning in the air as he falls to the ground and the driver speeds away. Yet the newspaper still asks readers who was to blame. Seriously?

London’s deputy mayor for transport says the city’s new mayor is on the side of cyclists, and is committed to being the most bicycle-friendly mayor the city has ever had. Then again, it’s not a cycle superhighway if no one bothers to maintain it.

A British investigative news site reports dozens of people convicted of dangerous driving have walked free, while no one in the UK has received the maximum sentence for the crime.

A 16-year old cyclist from the UK continues to rise despite being diagnosed with diabetes three years ago; he’s received an offer to ride for the all-type 1 Team Novo Nordisk next year.

More absurdly misdesigned bikeways from the United Kingdom.

Spend your next vacation on a wildlife bike safari in Tanzania.

An Aussie coroner calls for a safe-life limit on bike parts, after a cyclist died when the carbon fork on his bike collapsed due to an undetectable flaw in the steering tube, even though his $4,000 Trek was only nine years old.

 

Finally…

Why use your hand to draw a turkey when you can use a bike? It’s one thing to keep your eye on the ball; another to carry it on your head for 64 miles.

And instead of the usual call for bicyclists to have licenses, maybe we should insist drivers do.

………

holiday-fund-drive-with-type-2Come back over the holiday weekend, when we may have a guest post or two, and possibly a update for the weekend.

And save the spare change from all your shopping for the return of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive starting this Friday, to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

Now get out and ride your bike. And stay safe out there.

Morning Links: New signs for unclear cops, a Lankershim Great Streets pop-up, and Paris Seine traffic goes “poof”

Thankfully, we have a little lighter news day today after yesterday’s massive post. So put your feet up, relax a little, then get out on your bike.

Or better yet, get out again, if you already did.

………

Local

LA tries out a new sign on the Sunset Blvd/Cesar Chavez Ave bus lane reading Buses Bikes & Right Turns Only, after an LA Country sheriff’s deputy told a bike rider he couldn’t use a bus only lane on Wilshire Blvd despite being directly under a sign reading “Bikes Okay.”

A new movie refutes the myth that nobody walks, bikes or uses transit in LA.

CiclaValley asks you to come out for the Lankershim Blvd Community Pop Up and bike ride on December 3rd, part of the mayor’s Great Streets initiative. The street was supposed to have bike lanes by now, but they were blocked by former councilmember Tom LaBonge, who preferred to keep the street less than great.

Despite the misleading headline, Burbank expects to finish construction of a new bikeway along the Western Flood Channel by summer of 2018; work won’t even begin until the end of next year.

 

State

Hesperia residents tell the city what they want, which includes bike lanes.

More bad news from Central California, as the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver after a cyclist was found lying in the roadway.

Kern County plans to use a $25,000 grant to educate people on bike and pedestrian safety. The question is whether they will use that money to tell the people how to avoid getting hit by cars, or tell the operators of the big, dangerous machines how to not run over innocent people.

A new Menlo Park program encourages residents to bike to shop through the end of the year.

San Francisco may allow ghosts bikes to remain for up to one year; meanwhile, the city plans to install parking protected bike lanes in the SoMa district. Which will hopefully result in fewer of the former.

 

National

According to the LA Times, infrastructure isn’t infrastructure in Trump’s new stimulus plan. And good luck getting bike paths built.

An Ohio driver will spend the next four years behind bars after killing a bike rider while high on coke, Fentanyl and morphine.

The 15-year old Baltimore boy who fatally stabbed a bike rider eleven times during a botched bike-jacking and robbery will be tried as a juvenile, while his slightly older co-defendants who didn’t hold the knife will face more time after being tried as adults.

 

International

Cycling Tips catches up with former world mountain bike champ Roland Green; the Canadian rider mysteriously disappeared in 2005 after a six-month suspension.

Canadian police bust eight bike thieves in just three days using a bait bike.

Ottawa, Canada went against the consultant’s recommendation in choosing a less-safe option for bike lanes in order to avoid inconveniencing motorists; three riders have already been hit by cars in the three weeks since they opened.

Toronto considers new rules allowing drivers to stop in separated bike lanes to load or unload someone with a disability.

London’s Evening Standard recommends the best nighttime views of the city as seen from a bicycle. Most of which I’m happy to say I’ve seen, though on foot rather than two wheels.

Britain’s treasurer reportedly offered to pay London’s mayor to rip out one of the city’s popular cycle superhighways that runs past the Parliament building. Apparently it’s not as popular with lawmakers and government officials as it is with people on bikes.

A writer for the Guardian says that maintaining the status quo on British streets may work great for motorists, but can force people to give up on riding and walking.

A member of an Irish cycling club will spend nine months behind bars after sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at the hotel they were staying in. Which hardly seems sufficient, but is better than his original sentence of nothing.

New Dutch rules will reclassify ebikes that can go up to 28 mph as mopeds, and require users to wear a special cross between a bike helmet and a motorcycle helmet. And since the new helmets won’t be available until February, owners will have to park their bikes until they are.

Berlin becomes the latest city to ban private cars from a major street; when Paris banned cars from the Right Bank of the Seine, half of the traffic simply disappeared instead of moving onto other streets.

Egyptian girls start a bicycling equality campaign to protest widespread intolerance and harassment of female riders.

According to the Guardian, Australia’s New South Wales government is winning its war on bicyclists, as draconian fines for minor offenses have driven riders back to their cars.

A 71-year old American cruise ship passenger has been killed in a collision with a truck while riding a bike in New Zealand.

 

Finally…

Squirrels don’t get mad, they get even. Yes, sometimes even Campy and Shimano get it wrong.

And if a Wisconsin thief had just stayed on his bike, he might still be robbing banks today.

 

Morning Links: Riding from LAX to DTLA, bike helmets may be bad for jaws, and biking through blobs

I know it’s just Monday. And a short, holiday week at that.

But we’ve got a lot of ground to cover here. So grab the beverage of your choice, and let’s get started.

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Gary Cziko offers bike cam video proof that it is possible to ride from LAX to DTLA without dying.

No, really.

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Your helmet may protect your skull, but your jaw is another matter. A new research study shows that bike helmets can significantly increase the risk of mandibular fractures (pdf).

In other science news, silkworms fed graphene and carbon nanotubes produce a new fiber that is super strong, lightweight and conducts electricity, opening the door for a whole new class of high performance clothing that could prevent road rash or light up on its own.

………

Seattle advocates placed 240 white silhouettes on the streets to remember victims of traffic violence on Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance; members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition did the same in Boston.

New York bike advocates ride to honor fallen cyclists and call for better safety.

………

In a truly heartbreaking story, an Ohio Marine sergeant died last month from wounds he suffered eleven years earlier in Iraq; after his return he learned to ride a bike, despite being paralyzed and unable to speak.

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Who’s faster? The mountain biker or the dog?

Then again, that depends on the mountain biker. And the dog.

………

Peloton tells the story of American Davis Phinney’s first stage win in the Tour de France in 1986.

A smashed face at last year’s Paris-Roubaix classic isn’t enough to keep Aussie cyclist Mitch Docker from trying again next year.

Evidently, quitting pro cycling is harder than it seems, as Ireland’s Martyn Irvine un-retires to compete again.

Nice gesture from Team Novo Nordisk’s Phil Sutherland by reaching out to a 12-year old Japanese boy with type 1 diabetes and riding with him the day before the all-diabetic team competed in the Japanese Cup.

Transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden took the women’s title at El Tour de Tucson, where the world’s fastest woman competed, as well.

Santa Cruz cyclists are excited to find Dutch pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam has moved to town, and turns out to be a regular, if somewhat superhuman, guy.

………

Local

Los Angeles will hold meetings on December 6th and 13th to discuss plans for the LA River Valley Bikeway and Greenway Design Completion project, to fill in the missing 12.5 miles of the LA bike path in the San Fernando Valley between Vanalden Ave and Forest Lawn/Zoo Drive.

KPCC reports on the LACBC bike count showing a jump in bicycling on streets with new bike lanes, but an overall decline as the city has largely halted bike lane expansion.

Writing for Streetsblog, Jonathan Weiss says CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz is quick to take credit for the Expo Line, but blames its problems on everyone else, including the needless one-mile gap in the Expo Line bikeway through Cheviot Hills.

CiclaValley writes about placing the ghost bike for 15-year old Saul Lopez in Pacoima last week.

 

State

Calbike petitions Caltrans to live up to changes in state law to eliminate Level of Service guidelines and make it easier to build better streets.

It was a bad weekend for cyclists in Central California; a bike rider was killed in Bakersfield when he allegedly rode into the side of a car, and a Santa Barbara rider was found dead after apparently suffering a medical emergency.

A Palo Alto man was arrested for using a circular saw to cut through a pair of Kryptonite bike locks to steal a bike from a train station in broad daylight.

Family members of traffic victims form a new Bay Area traffic safety group.

Sacramento tames a high speed, auto-centric street with a road diet, turning it into a more human-focused Complete Street.

 

National

It looks like conservative Fox News is getting on the road safety bandwagon, reporting that cyclists are at higher risk when intersections aren’t at right angles.

A Portland bike rider has started a petition to require all bikeshare users in the city to wear a helmet. Even though only one bikeshare rider has ever been killed in the US. And even though cities like Seattle, and Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, that require helmet use have failing bikeshare systems.

A New Mexico father finally gets justice six years after his son was killed while riding his bicycle on a tribal reservation, as he was traveling across country to raise money for breast cancer research.

A new study shows bicycling contributes $1.6 billion to the Colorado economy, while nearly half of the state’s residents rode a bicycle last year. Which is a hell of a lot more than the highly touted revenue the state generates from legalizing dope.

Kindhearted Texas TV viewers pitch in to buy a disabled vet a new and better three-wheeled ebike after his was stolen last week.

Once again, a bike rider comes to the rescue, spotting a Wisconsin driver passed out on coke and Fentanyl with her four-year old in the car.

A Chicago alderman was seriously injured when debris got caught in his bike wheel and threw him over his handlebars. Correction: Make that a squirrel

A very forgiving Minneapolis bike rider feels sorry for the suicidal driver who ran him down after attempting to hang a toddler at a daycare center.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette checks in with Danny Chew, the city’s iconic cyclist who’s dream of riding one million miles came to an abrupt end when he was paralyzed from the waste down in a solo fall.

It’s not just LA. A New York Daily News editorial says that city is suffering from a hit-and-run epidemic, too.

A writer for the Washington Post says Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure plan is a trap.

 

International

How to ride on dirt and gravel.

A writer for Bike Radar says the world is a mess, but it’s also a beautiful place to explore on a bike.

London’s Telegraph takes a surprisingly even-handed look at how to improve bicycle safety.

No bias here. A British paper reports a bike rider rode up out of the blue to verbally abuse a driver and pound on her car for no apparent reason. Violence is never justified, except in self-defense. But chances are, the driver may have had something to do with the rider’s anger, valid or not.

A UK cyclist may admit to riding through red lights, but swears he won’t ride without lights at night.

Caught on video: a Brit thief lurks in the shadows before snatching a 14-year old paperboy’s bike.

Life is cheap in Scotland, where the death of a bike rider at the hands of a careless driver who claimed he didn’t even see the victim only merits the equivalent of an $800 fine — and not even the loss of his license. Saying you didn’t see the victim should be a confession, not an excuse.

Brussels takes the Idaho stop law a step further by allowing cyclists to ride through red and amber lights.

Spend your next vacation bikepacking in Mongolia.

Caught on video: Australians are calling for a car passenger to be prosecuted for smacking a cyclist on the ass. One more reason to have a rear-facing camera on your bike. So to speak.

You know your city sucks when a Tour de France winner in afraid to ride there; Cadel Evans says riding in Sydney, Australia is too intimidating.

A Bloomberg columnist says bikes are back in China due to worsening air pollution and road congestion.

A writer tries one of China’s bikesharing apps for a day, and concludes that people are assholes.

Singapore attempts to improve safety by recruiting 200 bicycle ambassadors to teach safe cycling and bike etiquette in local neighborhoods.

 

Finally…

It’s not usual to encounter obstacles in a time trial; a full-blown police chase on the other hand, not so much. LA drivers are bad enough; but at least we don’t have to worry about emu attacks. Or coyotes, for that matter.

And when there’s a potentially toxic foam spill, the obvious thing is to ride your bike through it.

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