Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: New scooter hits Westside LA, ambivalent results in LA helmet study, and stay off the sidewalk

There’s a new player in LA’s Westside scooter wars.

The Wheels scooter program has started spreading across the US, offering riders the opportunity to sit rather than stand.

Which means a lower center of gravity and greater stability — especially with the wider tires.

Unlike ebikes, there are no pedals, just small pegs to support your feet.

I’m told they’ve been a hit in San Diego, where they’ve already been on the streets for a few weeks. And from what I saw over the weekend, they’re proving pretty popular here as well.

Even if their website doesn’t show up on a Google search.

………

More grist for the great helmet debate.

A new study shows 1,454 bike crash victims were treated at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center over a three-year period; 70% were injured in a crash with a motor vehicle.

Just 14% of the patients were wearing helmets. Yet the prevalence of significant head trauma was virtually the same whether or not the victims were wearing helmets — 35% of the victims were without helmets, compared to 34% of the patients with helmets.

Something tells me just what that means will depend entirely on whatever you already think about bike helmets.

………

A New Yorker flips the script, calling for no more car lanes until drivers get off the sidewalk.

………

Then there’s this from the dawn of bicycling.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. Pasadena police targeted dangerous driving on Friday, ticketing 158 drivers over a nine-hour period. And for once, not a single mention of a scofflaw bicyclist.

The sharrows on Hermosa Ave in Hermosa Beach have been renamed in honor of former Public Works Commissioner Julian Katz, known in the community for his love of bicycling.

Long Beach is partially closing 2nd Street at the end of the month to remove the median and build a new bike lane between Marina Drive and the Seal Beach city limits.

State

A Cambria bike shop lost over $100,000 worth of bicycles when thieves cut through a wall from a warehouse, making off with over 50 bikes.

Lime is continuing its recent nationwide pullout from the bikeshare business, withdrawing its bicycles from the Bay Area to focus on e-scooters.

A Bay Area transportation columnist displays his windshield bias, doubling down on a request for pedestrians to wear reflective clothing —  and carry flashlights — so drivers don’t run them over, despite well-deserved criticism.

National

Trek CEO John Burke pens a lengthy op-ed calling for the bike industry to increase its advocacy efforts and funding. Someone tell him he could always start by buying an ad here. Just saying.

Bicycling recommends the best and worst airlines for bike-riding travelers.

Strava’s new route building app promises to help you find the best route to your destination in any city — even someplace you’ve never been..

Mountain bikers near my hometown call on the county to reverse a ban on ebikes on unpaved trails.

A Denver bike rider won a jaw dropping $52.5 million judgement after he was paralyzed when he was hit by a business truck while riding in a bike lane, then run over by a hit-and-run driver.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a 19-year old driver got the minimum sentence in the hit-and-run death of a man riding his bike. Note to Hays Post: If you’re going to run a story like that, you might want to mention what that actual sentence was. And no, the car didn’t flee the scene, the driver in it did.

Friends call for improvements after a beloved Boston librarian was killed when she was hit by the driver of a cement truck.

That’s more like it. Atlanta commits $80 million to redesigning city roadways after 75% of people attending community meetings call for complete streets.

New York delivery riders are fighting back against the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, calling it persecution against the mostly immigrant workforce.

The Bieb is one of us, going for a bike ride with his minister in New York.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d rob three New Orleans kids at gunpoint to steal a bicycle.

A 19-year old man is under arrest for the drunken, underage hit-and-run that killed a Louisiana man and injured his grandson as they were riding together.

International

Treehugger says bike lanes are transportation and should be kept clear year-round. While we don’t get snow in LA, our bike lanes are too often blocked by parked cars and trucks, trash cans, sofas, sand and other assorted obstacles.

A British man credits a fall off his bike with saving his life when paramedics discovered a lump that led to a diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Caught on vide: A Scottish bike rider dresses down a pair of cops who drove through a red light, nearly hitting him.

Cork, Ireland officials say yes, several retail shops have closed recently, but the carfree makeover of a downtown street is not to blame.

A Kentucky newspaper asks if it’s safe to ride the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, following last year’s ISIS terrorist attack that left four bicyclists dead, including two Americans.

Mumbai appointed its first bicycle mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has.

A New Zealand site looks at the bikelash on the country’s streets, and wonders what can be done to calm drivers’ irrational anger.

A writer says it looks like a bleak future for bike riders on streets dominated by cars in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Competitive Cycling

The

Finally…

If your girlfriend is pressuring you to pay the electric bill, riding your bike to rob a burger joint probably isn’t the best answer. The Warner Brothers — yes, those Warner Bros — were bike shop owners before they got into the movie business.

And If you’re carrying meth and crack on a stolen moped without a license plate, stay the hell out of the bike lane.

Or better yet, just stay the hell out of the bike lane, period. And off the sidewalk, too.

Morning Links: Help fund prize money for women cyclists, no Redhook Crit, and getting Vision Zero wrong

The USC Cycling Team needs your help to do the right thing.

The cycling team is hosting its first bike race in six years, and wants to offer equal prize money to both men and women.

Which is the way every race should be run. But usually isn’t.

As a result, they need your help to crowdfund just $1,500 to make up the difference in purses mandated by the sport’s arcane rules.

Here’s how they explain it.

Why are the women paid less? That is an existential question plaguing professional cycling, and it trickles down to amateur and collegiate cycling. There are fewer female riders, fewer female teams and promoters are less likely to provide big money for a race that can potentially only draw 12 women. At most races, if the number of registrants surpasses a given threshold, then the prize money doubles. This is how we first modeled our prize structure.

However, this traditional model misses the point. If women knew that equal prize money were up for grabs, teams would show up in full force.  But many racers, both men and women, often wait until the week before a race to register, especially if they are local and don’t have to plan travel. So, women are checking the registration page in the days leading up to a race, weighing the costs of registering against the possibility of their winnings. Field-contingent prize money holds many back from registering.

The event takes place the first weekend in March, with the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race for collegiate cycling teams on Saturday, March 2nd, and the first ever USC Brackett Grand Prix on Sunday the 3rd.

As of this writing, they’ve raised $271 of the modest $1,500 goal, leaving a gap of just over $1,200.

Which we should be able to help them raise without breaking a sweat. Or maybe someone with slightly deeper pockets would like to sponsor the women’s races.

Because frankly, they race just as hard as the men do.

And deserve every bit as much.

Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would require sporting events that take place on state-owned land to provide equal prize money for men and women.

About damn time.

………

You can cancel those plans for New York this year.

In a surprising announcement, the Red Hook Criterium has been cancelled for 2019 due to rising costs and insufficient sponsorship funding.

Organizers promise the popular fixed-gear race will be back next year after they reorganize.

Although past experience tells us not to hold our breath, as races that are cancelled over funding too often don’t come back.

Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

………

Huh?

An Alexandria, Virginia woman says Vision Zero isn’t working in the US because people are choosing cars over public transportation.

Which has little, if anything, to do with reducing traffic deaths.

She cites as proof the factually incorrect, traffic safety-denying Wall Street Journal op-ed recently penned by a Los Angeles lawyer.

And dissected and discredited right here.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of op-eds and letters to the editor on the subject is starting to raise questions over whether this is concerted effort to spread misinformation about Vision Zero and road diets across the US.

And we can probably guess who’s behind it.

………

Local

Watts-based Grammy award winning rapper Jay Rock is one of us, saying he was supposed to perform on the awards show three years ago, but couldn’t because he was laid up in the hospital following a bike crash.

Long Beach says e-scooters are here to stay, as they decide to expand the pilot program while imposing new fees and regulations on scooter companies.

State

The Voice of San Diego says the city can’t meet its state transportation goals without an entirely new vision dictating major changes in transportation. The same goes for Los Angeles, which will have to make wholesale changes in how people get around as part of its LA version of a Green New Deal. But don’t count on it anytime soon.

That’s more like it. Encinitas voted to lower the speed limit on the northern section of the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders.

A 32-mile Santa Cruz rail-to-trail conversion that’s been in the works for decades finally got underway with work to widen a railway trestle to make room for a bikeway.

The victim of Sunday’s fatal bike crash in Stockton is described as a talented sushi chef who was riding his bike to work after loaning his car to a friend with a new baby; sadly, he never got there.

National

We already knew NASCAR favorite Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he says he loves the suffering that’s part of long runs and bike rides.

Bicycling tells the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost her fiancé when he was killed in 2015 competing in just his fifth mountain bike race. And restarted her life by moving to the Colorado town where he died, founding a company to help first responders deal with backcountry bike crashes like the one that took his life.

Riding a tandem can make your riding and your relationship stronger. Or it could end it. Or so I’m told.

More ridiculous jurisdictional issues in Colorado, where the state brings ebike classifications up to the national standards established in California, but leaves the actual regulations up to each community. Which one again means what’s legal in one city could be illegal across the street — without riders ever knowing that they had crossed into a different community, let alone one with different rules.

Common sense wins the day in North Dakota, where legislators overwhelmingly defeated a bill to require bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night. Not that wearing reflective gear is a bad idea, but mandating it is.

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists shows Oklahoma City is the deadliest city in the US for bike commuters.

Lime continues its retrenchment on bikeshare, turning what used to be a fleet of dockless bike into a pile of trash after pulling out of St. Louis.

A Michigan man confessed to the 70 mph, hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after police found his damaged car hidden in a field under a tarp and a sheet of snow.

Nashville is close to approving an ordinance that would lower speed limits from 30 to 25 mph.

A federal judge ruled that Trump’s call to execute the driver who killed eight people in a terrorist attack on a New York bike path did not taint the case, leaving the driver eligible for the death penalty.

DC considers building a three mile bike and pedestrian path along the Potomac.

A DC policy site considers how bikeshare can be made more family friendly.

International

The LA Times says love is in the air when you ride a bicycle in Santiago, Chile.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers the pros and cons of traveling with your bike as opposed to renting one once you get there.

Nice guy. A Toronto letter writer says if you can afford a bicycle, you can afford to buy a license for it. And if you can’t, you can just walk.

Advocates call for more tolerance between Kiwi bicyclists and drivers; one rider says “just chill out and relax.”

The former world leader in dockless bikeshare continues its rapid decline, as Ofo gets the boot from Singapore after its license was suspended.

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay joins in on a fat tire race through the snowy Rockies in Crested Butte CO, complete with a brief video. As always, the Journal’s usual paywall issues apply.

A top Scottish mountain biker was none too pleased when she had to borrow a bike to compete in Spain, blasting British Airways for losing hers.

Cycling Weekly looks back at the rollercoaster career of the late, great Marco Pantani.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won’t be prosecuted on corruption charges by Belgian authorities — not because he didn’t do it, but because the statute of limitations has expired.

Finally…

Finding true love, if not your stolen bikes. Your next ebike could come from General Motors — but only if you live in Europe.

And your next dockless bikeshare bike could have lasers.

But not the kind that will let you singe distracted, angry or aggressive drivers.

Damn it.

Morning Links: Video of Incycle bike thieves, LA’s Green New Deal, and don’t set your mom on fire over a bike

More on the attempted theft of a $10,000 mountain bike that left the manager of the Incycle Chino store critically injured.

Incycle store manager Megan Rodriguez suffered a broken hip, ribs and foot, as well as a fractured skull, when she was run over by the thieves’ truck as they tried to get away with the bike.

Store mechanic Raul Ureno was able to retrieve the bicycle from the back of the truck after chasing them down in his car, but wasn’t able to prevent them from getting away.

According to KTLA-5, police are looking for the following suspects.

Police described one of the suspects as a white male, possibly in his 20’s, standing at around 5 Feet 9 Inches tall, weighing 190 Pounds. He had a full beard and was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, sunglasses, black Hollister hooded sweatshirt, ripped denim jeans and black shoes.

The second man was described as a white or Hispanic male in his 20’s, standing at around 5 Feet 11 Inches tall, weighing 165 Pounds. He was last seen wearing a white and blue baseball cap, sunglasses, a black jacket with a gray hood, a red and blue flannel shirt, black pants and black shoes with white lining.

The driver was described as a white female with a thin build and short stature. She has light-colored hair and was last seen wearing round frame sunglasses, a thick black hooded sweatshirt and red lipstick.

The truck they ran down Rodriguez with is described this way.

The three fled in a blue-gray GMC Sierra truck with a black paper plate on the rear and chrome detailing on the sides, handles and mirrors. The rear driver door is missing the chrome trim. It is possibly a 2008 model.

Security video shows the suspects casing the San Dimas Incycle store before moving on to hit the Chino Incycle location.

As of this writing, a crowdfunding page for Megan Rodriguez has raised over $16,000 of the $25,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

However, it also shows Rodriguez slipping under the truck’s rear wheel as she tried to stop the thieves; you may not want to see that.

There’s a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

Let’s catch these assholes.

Photo of Megan Rodriguez from GoFundMe page. Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

Curbed looks at the proposal for a Green New Deal for Los Angeles to fight climate change.

We’ll know city leaders serious when they finally commit to efficient, clean transit and safe bike lanes and sidewalks, and take concrete steps to reduce the number of cars on the street.

Including in Paul Koretz’ and Gil Cedillo’s auto-centric districts.

Until then, it’s all just more talk. And more BS.

Just like all the other far-reaching the city has adopted, and forgotten.

………

No, it’s not a safety measure to make pedestrians wave a brightly colored flag to cross the street.

The flags should be white.

Because it’s a failure of street design and a surrender to the dominance of motor vehicles.

………

Yes, the dispute was over a motorcycle, not a bicycle.

But the point remains: Don’t set your mother on fire if she refuses to buy you a new one.

Seriously.

………

Local

South LA residents held a vigil for fallen bicyclist James Findley, who was killed by a speeding, street-racing driver on Monday.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 says e-scooter injuries — and the resulting lawsuits — continue to climb.

The Eastsider looks at plans to build a 1,000-foot bikeway to connect the Arroyo Seco Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail with the Arroyo Seco Bicycle Path along the LA River.

Lawndale residents are concerned that bike thieves are targeting their neighborhood. Someone should tell them that bike thieves are targeting every neighborhood.

The Santa Monica Police Department will conduct their next bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations this Friday and Monday, targeting any violations that put people on bikes or on foot at risk, regardless of who commits them. So once again, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

State

A San Diego man warns against the dangers of e-scooters after he barely survived a crash when he rode out in front of a driver. The easy way to avoid that is just obey the right-of-way and don’t ride out in front of anyone.

A new Ventura workshop gives homeless people a place where they can fix their bikes and buy low cost parts, while allowing them to work for store credit.

Caught on video: A trip down a San Jose bikeway shows all three major kinds of bike lanes in just three minutes.

A San Francisco TV station says homeless people have set up a used bike shop behind a children’s playground. Or more likely, a bike chop shop, just like the dozens in the LA area.

National

The Bike League outlines a Green New Deal for bicycles.

Bicycling offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle. Although they left out the most important one — make sure it’s not stolen.

A VeloNews podcast examines why the remaining Performance Bicycle stores are going belly up.

A proposal intended to fight bike theft by homeless people in Alaska would make it a crime to possess a bicycle with the serial number removed, with a fine up to $10,000; that would allow police to seize the bike to search for the real owner. Then again, if homeless people could pay a $10,000 fine, they probably wouldn’t be homeless.

Utah’s on-again, off-again bill to legalize the Idaho Stop Law is back on again, after passing a vote in the state House.

The first Colorado city has taken advantage of the state’s new modified Idaho Stop law allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields; the law allows each town to decide for themselves whether to let it go into effect. The problem with that is that what’s legal for bike riders in one town may not be legal across the street, with no way to tells you’ve gone into another jurisdiction, or what the law is there.

The traffic safety denier attack on road diets continues to spread across the US, as demonstrated by an op-ed from the Waverly, Iowa branch of Keep the US Moving — the offspring of LA-based motorist pressure group Keep LA Moving — claiming that road diets prevent emergency vehicles from getting through.

Chicago will host the city’s first-ever summit of black bike riders next week.

A carfree Detroit resident describes how he survived the polar vortex.

A Buffalo NY newspaper marks the passing of one of the few blind bike mechanics in the US.

Good for them. A DC proposal would prohibit drivers from stopping, standing or parking in a bike lane, while limiting the situations where they can even drive into one.

The latest Shift Up Podcast discusses an Atlanta tour company’s use of bikes as a gateway tool to celebrate history and explore the city.

A New Orleans TV station says bike riders are afraid of getting hit by cars in shared bike lanes. Someone should tell them that sharrows aren’t bike lanes. And I’d be scared too.

Miami Dolphins cornerback Dee Delaney kept his word, buying a custodian at The Citadel the new bicycle he promised him as a freshman.

International

Cambridge, England residents are outraged that police apparently have better things to do than ticket people for riding bikes on the sidewalk.

A British man forgives the truck driver who put him in a coma for a month by crashing into his bike when the driver changed lanes without warning, and tells him to get on with his life. The court was almost as kind, settling for a weak slap on the wrist by fining him the equivalent of just $641 and letting him keep his license.

Darn those pesky bike riders, getting in the way of the Netherlands becoming the world leader in driverless cars.

An Aussie writer examines how a Green Wave can make bicycling easier, by setting traffic lights to give bike riders continuous green lights.

Competitive Cycling

Cycling scion Taylor Phinney says he’s all in for April’s Paris-Roubaix classic after last year’s eighth place finish.

The Movistar pro cycling team is the latest to offer a virtual cycling competition, allowing you to compete against the pros from the comfort of your own home.

Pro cyclist Fabio Aru gave the pope his Colnago racing bike to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to an aid project.

Finally…

Science says sports drinks work, even if they are overhyped. Evidently, you’re not allowed to carry cats on your bike.

And your next car-mounted bike rack could be held on by suction cups.

No, really.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all.

If you find yourself alone this year, take a few minutes to do something nice for yourself today.

Just don’t ride your bike until this rain lets up if you don’t have to. And if you do, light yourself up so drivers can see you despite the limited visibility.

San Diego man killed in collision after falling off his bike

More bad news.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood on Tuesday when he was hit by a driver after apparently falling off his bike.

The victim, identified only as a 66-year old man, was riding against traffic in the left lane of northbound Fairmont Ave, between Home Street and Federal Boulevard, when he somehow tumbled from his mountain bike around 6:45 pm.

A 61-year old woman ran over his sprawled body after thinking he was just a shadow in the street, and was unable to stop in time when she realized her error.

She stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators, despite initial reports that it was a hit-and-run.

It’s unknown whether the victim lost control because he was under the influence, suffered from some kind of health condition or fell for some other reason.

It’s also unclear why he was riding in the left lane, rather than in the bike lane.

Other sources identify the area of the crash as the Ridgeview/Webster or Chollas Creek neighborhoods of San Diego.

This is at least the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Bike lanes promote safer passing, and Chino Incycle manager run down by bike thieves

Maybe that painted bike lane is safer than you think.

In a new study from a Canadian university, researchers rode bicycles equipped with sensors and a handlebar-mounted camera to measure how close drivers pass people on bicycles.

The results show that on two lane roads without bike lanes, motorists passed people on bicycles too closely 12% of the time, based on the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

But on roads with bike lanes, that dropped to just 0.2%.

On four lane streets, incidents of close passing dropped from 6% to just 0.5%.

The university plans to use that data to develop tools to determine where bike lanes would do the most good.

………

Bike thieves walked out of the Chino Incycle Bicycles with a $10,000 mountain bike, then ran over the manager when she tried to stop them.

Bike mechanic Raul Ureno chased the thieves in his car and managed to get the bike back, though he was unable to stop them.

The manager, who wasn’t named, suffered a broken pelvis, crushed ribs and fractured skull.

There’s a $10,000 reward for the suspects. Let’s hope someone takes them up on it.

………

A Rancho Mirage-area Strava user posted a photo of a powerful billboard featuring fallen cyclist Will Campbell.

Too bad we don’t have the money to put these up everywhere, one for every rider who loses their lives on the streets.

Maybe then drivers would start to pay attention.

Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

In yet another example of LA leaders’ rhetoric exceeding their actions, bike-friendly Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez were joined by the decidedly unfriendly Paul Koretz in calling for a Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles.

Never mind that Koretz has consistently blocked much-needed bike lanes in his Westside district, forcing residents to rely on carbon fuel-driven motor vehicles. And gone out of his way to fight the density that would cut trips for work, school and shopping.

Koretz has long positioned himself as LA’s most ecologically minded councilmember.

But until his actions catch up with his words, they’ll remain just that.

Words.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

……….

Mountain biker Brandon Semenuk tells the full story behind the most viewed mountain bike video of all time.

If you’ve got four minutes to spare, it’s worth taking a brief break in your day to watch the original video. Which is a lot shorter than the 24-minute explanation.

………

Local

Good news, Los Angeles. You no longer have the worst traffic in the US. In fact, we’re not even in the top five.

CiclaValley offers a video essay on the best route from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, suggesting Fryman Canyon to Franklin Canyon, with a surprisingly low 442 feet of climbing. I’m going to save that one for my next trip over the Hollywood Hills.

State

A San Diego site says it’s time to reign in e-scooters, as the city’s mayor proposes to do just that.

More sad news, this time from Bakersfield, where a man was killed when he allegedly rode his bike out in front of an oncoming car at an intersection.

Redding prepares to open a new bike path connecting downtown to the Sacramento River, replacing what residents call a harrowing one-mile journey.

Work crews with the California Conservation Corp destroyed three popular, but unsanctioned, bike trails in the forests around Arcata, which a local news site called “the lifeblood of the community forest for generations of bike riders.”

National

Bicycling offers nine tips on how to get a stolen bike back, including recommending Bike Index as your best bet to register your bike after the theft. You can report your stolen bike with Bike Index right here on this site. Then again, why wait until it’s too late?

You can kiss the last remaining Performance Bicycle locations goodbye; if you don’t make it in before March 2nd, it will be too late. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

If you can get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, you can read about a Hawaii man who took a five-day ride around the coast of the Big Island once the Kilauea volcano settled down.

The rich get richer. Portland is attempting to reclaim its title as America’s leading bike city by building 16.5 miles of protected bike lanes. And getting rid of 1,000 parking spaces in the process.

Crosscut profiles the active transportation director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, asking if she can save bicycling in the state.

Caught on video: Police in Mesa AZ are looking for three people who attempted to run over a group of bike cops, crushing their bikes as they jumped out of the way.

Utah’s legislature is moving forward with a bill that would allow bike riders to go through red lights if they don’t change after stopping for 90 seconds, over the objections of law enforcement.

Um, sure. An allegedly drunken San Antonio driver who killed a bike riding surgeon says she fled the scene because she got frightened after thinking she ran over something. Meanwhile, his accused killer is out on $50,000 bond. Sure. Doesn’t everyone get terrified when they drive over a stick or a speed bump or something? Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

Lime is pulling the plug on it’s bikeshare service in Hartford CT, leaving the city scrambling for a replacement.

While Los Angeles bike riders wait for the DA’s office to finally file charges against the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier, the NYPD has failed to make arrests in four recent hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, including two where they know the identity of the driver. Which begs the question, why should drivers take hit-and-run seriously when police and prosecutors apparently don’t?

About damn time. A well-funded global alliance launched in the nation’s capital with the goal of finally putting people before cars on our streets.

After that Greenville SC boy jumped on his bike to get help for his unconscious father, bighearted local firefighters surprised him with a new bicycle.

International

Vancouver police help a group of college engineering students recover their custom-designed, hand-built, one-of-a-kind racing ebike after it was stolen.

London is responding to the death of a bike rider by banning cars entirely from three roads leading into a busy junction in the city’s financial district.

Caught on video too: A London bike rider discovers an air horn can move mountains. Or at least pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Be sure to stay to the end for the totally unsurprising response; thanks again to Steve S.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is one of us, riding a bicycle into the English Premier League team’s Spain training camp, as they take a break from the title chase.

Amsterdam has a nine-year old junior bike mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has, junior or otherwise.

Bari, Italy is now the first Italian city to pay residents to bike to work, up to the equivalent of $28 a month.

They get it. Melbourne’s leading motoring organization is recommending that bicycle superhighways move to the top of the state government’s infrastructure plans to fight traffic congestion in the city.

An Aussie writer calls for a little sympathy and tolerance after reading the disturbing comments following the death of a bike rider.

A Singapore man has been spotted again riding a bicycle while towing a strange ladder-like metal extension. Unless it actually is a ladder, in which case it’s not strange at all.

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock, the pro cyclist who finished dead last in his first Tour de France after riding the entire race with a broken collarbone, is working his way back to this year’s race with a new attitude as a new father.

Fifty-eight-year old former Tour de France stage winner Sean Yates has turned to an ebike to keep riding after suffering a heat defect that limits his pulse rate to just 90 beats a minute.

Rouleur talks with 1960s six-day race superstar Patrick Sercu.

Finally…

Apparently it’s against the law to ride a moped while carrying a bicycle in some places. Climbing the legendary Mont Ventoux without a seat.

And it may be about to get wet out there, but at least this is one problem we don’t have in LA.

South LA man killed in possible street racing crash while riding his bike in Florence neighborhood

This morning we mentioned a breaking news report about a fatal crash between two drivers in South LA’s Florence neighborhood that may have involved two people on bicycles.

Sadly, our worst fears have bee confirmed, although several of the details were wrong.

According to multiple sources, 54-year old James Findley was killed when he was struck by a single driver around 10:35 pm at the intersection of 82nd Street and South Broadway in the Florence neighborhood of South LA.

The reports indicate Findley was riding on 82nd Street when he was run down by one of two drivers who were allegedly street racing north on Broadway.

That driver remained at the scene after crashing into several parked cars, while the other took off without stopping.

Findley was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other bike rider was involved in the crash, despite the presence of two badly mangled bicycles, as seen in this screen shot from the KNBC-4 broadcast, with one attached to a bike trailer.

Findley may have been ghost riding the other bicycle, which is where a person rides one bicycle while towing another riderless bike alongside.

It’s also possible that the second bike may only appear to be damaged, and could have been left by a bystander.

He was just a half block from the Florence home he shared with his sister, who heard the crash and immediately recognized his bike.

Findley is described as the second youngest out of nine brothers and sisters, and leaves behind an adult son.

According to KCBS-2, the driver who hit him admitted to street racing; however, that has not been confirmed by other sources. He was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter.

Police are searching for the missing motorist on a possible charge of hit-and-run. Drivers can be responsible for hit-and-run if they leave the scene after causing a crash, regardless of whether they were actually involved.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Findley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Steve S and Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Yes, bikes can ride abreast, killer NM meth driver set free, and attempted murder over a snowball

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reports there was a fatal crash between two drivers at 82nd and Broadway in South LA’s Florence neighborhood, which appears to have involved a pair of bike riders in a collateral damage crash.

No word on who was killed, but chances are, it was one or more of the people on bicycles.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Update: Sadly, our fears were confirmed. The only good news is that there was only one victim.

………

The Riverside Press Enterprise tries, and fails, to answer the question of whether bicyclists are allowed to ride two or more abreast.

Not so simple answer: There is nothing in California law that forbids riding abreast.

Some police agencies attempt to use CVC 21202 to forbid riding abreast, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, concluding that the outside rider is violating the law.

However, they fail to consider the many exceptions to CVC 21202, which make it clear that the requirement to ride to the right does not apply on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is most of the right hand traffic lanes in Southern California.

In which case there is no limit to the number of people who can ride abreast — as long as you remain within a single lane.

However, you still have to pull over to the right when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles following behind you and unable to pass. But once again, that does not apply in some circumstances.

Like if there are two or more lanes in the direction you’re traveling, in which case drivers can simply change lanes to pass.

It’s also worth noting that the law doesn’t apply if you’re riding at the speed of traffic around you.

So if you’re riding the speed limit, or drivers are slowed to your speed by congestion, you can ride wherever the hell you want.

Including riding abreast if that’s what you want.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Albuquerque man remains free despite killing a bike rider in a horrific hit and run, and testing positive for meth at least twice; his lawyers say the case should be dropped because he suffers from PTSD, ADHD and depression.

And yes, there is video, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Some things you just can’t unsee.

At least the judge told him not to drive, though. And everyone knows meth heads do exactly what they’re told.

Right?

Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the heads-up.

………

This is what’s known as a disproportionate response.

A road raging Seattle woman tries to run people over after someone hit her car with a snowball. Then gets out of her car and physically attacks them until she was restrained.

Seriously.

Attempted murder is never an appropriate response.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards a new video that explains how Toronto increased bicycling rates a whopping 1095% on two busy roads for a paltry $1.25 million.

Or less than one million in US dollars.

………

Evidently, dockless bikeshare is pretty chill in Seattle these days.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

State

San Diego agreed to pay $1 million to a bike rider who seriously injured his face and jaw after hitting a pothole; advocates say it illustrates the city’s inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

A San Jose newspaper takes a look at bike and pedestrian safety from a decidedly windshield perspective, telling the people not in the big, dangerous machines to wear reflective clothes and pay attention in parking lots so drivers won’t hurt them. Or worse.

Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare service is cutting into the company’s eponymous ride-hailing service in San Francisco.

Lyft donates $700,000 to Oakland to provide bikes and transit discounts to underserved community members, including establishing a bicycle lending library and starting a process to bring bikeshare to the city.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed when he was struck by two drivers as he was crossing an intersection, one of whom fled the scene.

National

A new report says US bicycling fatalities are at their highest level since 1991. Or at least they were in 2016, which is the last year for which national stats are currently available. And chances are they haven’t gone down much since then, if at all.

Bike Snob grabs a pipe and dons his cardigan sweater to offer some fatherly advice on how to teach your kid to have a positive attitude about bicycling in a bike-unfriendly world.

NBC says riding a bicycle with her husband helped “reignite the lust” in a woman’s marriage, even though she just says it reconnect them with the romance of earlier days. Which isn’t exactly the same thing.

A writer for Bicycling shares nine tips she learned from riding almost every kind of bicycle.

Next month, you can trade your current bike in for a new Trek roadie with disc brakes.

That Portland woman who killed a bike rider while high on her dog’s Xanax got a well-deserved 15 years behind bars. Hopefully that comes with a mandatory drug treatment program for both of them.

A Seattle man recovered his stolen Bianchi with the help of a local Facebook group and a BOLO alert among Jimmy John’s delivery riders.

If there can be peace between Alaskan winter bike riders and cross-country skiers, maybe there’s hope for our nation’s political divide.

Over 200 people turned out on a night with a wind chill of 50 degrees below zero to honor a fallen Chicago bicyclist who was killed in a crash while riding home from work last week.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner will fix up 200 bicycles donated by the state police to give to local kids who don’t have one; last year they collaborated to give away over 2,000 bikes.

No surprise here. Pittsburgh bike riders say they’re more comfortable sharing streets with self-driving vehicles than with their human counterparts.

A South Carolina second-grade teacher helped save the father of one of her students; she spotted the seven-year old riding his bicycle on a busy highway to get help after finding his dad passed out from a diabetic episode.

He gets it. An op-ed in a Florida paper says the three E’s — education, enforcement and engineering — aren’t enough to lower the state’s worst in the nation bicycling death rate; it will take solid data, and real action based on that data.

Florida lawmakers consider making the same mistake California made by raising the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $1,500, although the Golden State only made it $1,000. Problem is the value of most bicycles is far less than that, making it the equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card for bike thieves.

A Florida woman is suing Lime for a crash that left her daughter in a persistent vegetative state over instructions that tell e-scooter users to ride in the street, even though that’s illegal in the state. In California, it’s illegal to use motorized scooters on the sidewalk. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip. 

International

Another day, another smartphone app promising to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders and pedestrians. But only if the driver and the person on the bike or on foot both have it installed and turned on. Not to mention convincing drivers they don’t have to pay attention because the app will do it for them.

A writer from Calgary offers tips on relatively cheap ways to keep warm riding your bike on winter days.

An Irish cycling coach says 2019 will be the worst year ever for bicycle crashes, because too many people are learning to get fast on virtual trainers before they develop the skill to ride safely on the streets.

Colnago celebrates the 87th birthday of founder Ernesto Calnago with a $56,000 gold-plated bike.

A former Nigerian governor died nearly 45 years after he escaped an army general by fleeing to Lagos on his bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Italian cycling pros launch a petition calling for better laws to protect bicyclists in the country in memory of fallen Giro winner Michele Scarponi, including a requirement for bike lanes and a safe passing distance.

More proof the Era of Doping hasn’t ended yet. A 50-year old amateur cyclist from Alabama was banned for four years after she failed a urine test.

Finally…

Who needs Vision Zero when you have some of the nation’s crappiest drivers? Seriously, when you’re riding your bike with five outstanding warrants while carrying drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon, obey the damn traffic laws, already.

And it’s probably not the best idea to text your husband to say you’re at the local tavern after just attempting to run his bike down with your car.

Morning Links: Bike-riding spy in Nazi Germany, Inside the Issues clips, and solving US health crisis with bikes

There’s not much about bikes in this story.

But something tells me you’ll want to read it anyway.

A 98-year old woman, now living with her husband in Los Angeles, describes what it was like to infiltrate Nazi Germany as a 24-year old, blue eyed blond Frenchwoman who lost her sister and 29 other relatives in the Holocaust.

As Allied forces entered Germany, she borrowed a bicycle to ride to the southern part of the country. And posing as a frightened German citizen, found out from a Nazi officer where the remnants of the German army were waiting to ambush the Allied Forces.

There’s no telling how many lives she may have saved, or how much her bravery may have shortened the war.

A reminder that you never know who that little old lady once was.

Like maybe a 4’11” bike-riding hero who helped save the world.

………

Unfortunately, I can’t link to Friday’s Inside the Issues report about LA bicycling issues on the Spectrum News 1 channel, since they don’t archive their shows online.

Never mind that people paying for their cable and internet service might actually want to see it if they missed the initial broadcast. Let alone everyone else who doesn’t get SoCal Spectrum service.

Let alone Inside the Issues.

But at least they’ve tweeted a few clips from the show, including one with yours truly talking about the Frederick “Woon” Frazier tragedy.

And yes, my choice of attire was entirely intentional.

They also posted this too-brief clip of new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, followed by a clip from their report on ghost bikes.

Which I didn’t know they were doing until I arrived at the studio wearing that shirt.

Hopefully they’ll post clips from the same Inside the Issues show with Curbed’s Alissa Walker and CicLAvia ED Romel Pascal.

………

A 409-page benchmarking report from the League of American Bicyclists says more bicycling and walking could solve America’s public health crisis, as well as reduce traffic congestion, and shows where it’s getting better and worse to ride a bike in the US.

………

To help get you in the mood for Valentines Day, CBS News says the key to a happy marriage may be a tandem bike.

Or at least it’s worked for a New Jersey couple who’ve been riding together for 45 years.

………

Bystanders in Oaxaca formed an impromptu cheering squad for a late night family bike ride.

Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

………

Nothing will cure a case of the Mondays faster than this thread from Peter Flax, showing a number of classic Hollywood celebrities were each one of us, too.

………

Local

LA Magazine examines how the mostly student-led group Westwood Forward successfully created the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, splitting off from the existing Westwood NC, which had fought to restrict “bike lanes, nightlife, and new housing.” And anything remotely resembling fun.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says forget expensive highway projects in the mayor’s 28 by 2028 program to accelerate Metro projects for the ’28 LA Olympics; instead, he says focus on transit and equity, as well as expanding open streets, bikeshare and protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles could be about to fix a “bureaucratic quirk” that left hundreds of streets unrepaired because they were officially withdrawn from use. Even though no one actually bothered to close them, or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly stoned driver plowed into a crowd of people in Fullerton as they left local nightspots early Sunday morning, seriously injuring ten people. But sure, tell us again how you were nearly killed by someone on a bicycle that one time.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. An apparently drunk or stoned woman carefully drove around security barriers and into the lobby of the San Pedro police station, then backed out with a cop hanging onto her open door — and with her baby in the car.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, aka AQMD, is moving forward with a proposal for a half-cent sales tax increase to fund clean air projects. Someone should tell them there’s nothing cleaner than bicycles and bike lanes.

State

San Diego faces a more than half a billion dollar deficit in funding to fix a backlog of transportation infrastructure projects, including streetlights, bike lanes and sidewalk repair.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist says he’s the one who was seriously injured in a crash with a truck driver on Gibraltar Road last year; he’s now fully recovered and back to riding the popular climb, though he’s now descending at 12 mph instead of 30 mph.

Santa Barbara is planning a pair of road diets to slow traffic and improve safety under the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Santa Maria is stepping up police enforcement and working on new bike and downtown streetscape planes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Napa County’s new bike plan proposes another 453 miles of bikeways, to compliment the county’s existing 142 miles. Although those totals include bike routes, which are pretty meaningless except for wayfinding. And not always then.

A Marin columnist says a six-month trial period for a bikeway on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge makes sense, saying it should go back to a car lane if it has low ridership during peak hours. Only if cars get just a six-month trial period to prove it actually cuts congestion before reverting back to a bike lane.

National

Bloomberg endorses the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings and save bicyclists’ lives.

Bicycling celebrates Black History Month with 15 “rad, influential and super-fast cyclists” they say you need to follow on Instagram.

More from Bicycling, arguing that if Congress is serious about fighting climate change, any Green New Deal has to include support for bicycling.

The Onion says always make eye contact with drivers, so they’ll feel guiltier when they run you over. The satirical newspaper adds that “only 62 total Americans are intelligent and thoughtful enough to operate a motor vehicle.”

Inspired by Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, five Australian musicians rode their bikes from Sallisaw OK to Bakersfield to recreate the Joad family’s journey on just $420 — the modern equivalent of the $18 the Joads got for selling all their belongings — busking and relying on handouts along the way for the rest.

A Minnesota man raised $30,000 dollars for charity by riding his bike 11,000 miles around the permitter of the lower 48 states, saying it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be.

A bike-riding Tennessee columnist says bicyclists don’t deserve the treatment we get from motorists. Amen, brother.

A speeding drunk driver gets a well-deserved five years behind bars for killing a 74-year old Boston grandfather as he was riding his bike.

She gets it. Writing for The Conversation, a Harvard research scientist says bicycle-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just wealthy white cyclists.

A Connecticut man is living his best life as a self-appointed, bike-riding costumed traffic superhero.

A columnist for the New York Post gets it, saying drivers need to start paying to use the city’s streets in order to fight traffic congestion.

No one seems to know why bicycle and pedestrian deaths are up in the DC area. Although I think most bike riders and pedestrians could take some pretty good guesses.

International

An automotive website asks if a McLaren designer has created the perfect folding ebike.

A travel writer for the LA Times experiences a carfree ciclovia in Santiago, Chile.

The late, great Albert Finney got his start playing a blue collar worker in a British bicycle factory.

British comic Rowen Atkinson is one of us in real life, as well as on the screen.

An 82-year old English great grandmother is back riding a bike despite losing her vision, thanks to a local bike library’s program to get blind people on tandems.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland hold hands to form a human-protected bike lane to call for a more concrete one. Thanks to Megan Lynch.

The Winter Bike to Work Day was a success in Minsk, Russia.

A pair of German bike tourists pause in the United Arab Emirates on their three-year journey around the world, saying the country has the worst traffic they’ve seen.

No bias here. The Daily Mail says Aussie truck drivers are outraged after bike riders won a three-year battle to have large trucks banned from a busy street, rather than focusing on a successful effort to improve safety and traffic flow.

An Australian website asks if it’s a country of horn-honking hulks and road-ragers, noting that one in five Aussies say they’ve experienced road rage or aggressive driving directed towards people on bicycles.

“Anarchistic” rogue mountain bikers are being blamed for the extinction of the endangered plants in an Australian national park.

An Australian professor bizarrely compares advocates calling for an end to the country’s mandatory bike helmet laws to climate-change deniers and anti-vaxxers.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere. Four days after opening the Philippines’ first protected bike lane, drivers are already using it as just another traffic or parking lane.

A Japanese newspaper says bike riders need to have better manners and be prepared to pay significant damages for crashes with pedestrians, as a government panel considers what would be the right level of compensation.

Competitive Cycling

British pro Scott Auld tells how survived a chain reaction crash caused by a careless driver that sent him down a ravine, and nearly cost him his life.

Sad news from Pakistan where a 4-time national champion died of cancer at just 32 years old.

Finally…

When you’re setting off on a bike tour of another country, it’s usually best not to start out riding salmon on a major highway. Who needs an ebike when you’ve got a strong dog?

And at last someone’s come up with a solution to LA’s crushing traffic problems.

Just let me know when Fleet Week rolls around.

………

Thanks to Danila O for her generous donation to support this site, and keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Donations of any amount are welcome any time, for any reason.

Morning Links: Report on bicycling in LA goes well, even if few will ever see it, and Ride 4 Love rolls tomorrow

Good news and bad news.

The good news is yesterday’s taping of Spectrum News 1’s Inside the Issues went well.

And the finished product offered an effective overview of the good, bad and very ugly of riding a bicycle in the City of Angels.

The bad news, Spectrum doesn’t post their programs online.

Which means there’s nothing we can link to. And anyone who didn’t tune in last night, or who doesn’t subscribe to Spectrum Cable, is out of luck.

That also means that most of the people in Los Angeles who need to see it most will never get the chance.

Hopefully, they’ll put a few segments online, which I’ll try to share with you when they become available.

………

One of these days, I hope to actually make it down to South LA for the annual Ride 4 Love, which rolls tomorrow.

………

Local

LA-based Swrve makes Bike Radar’s list of the best cycling clothes for rain.

The LACBC is hosting a training ride up Franklin Canyon tomorrow.

Over 500 bicyclists are expected to ride up to 100 miles through the San Gabriel Valley starting and ending at the Rose Bowl in next month’s Bike MS: Los Angeles 2019 ride.

Congratulations to Palmdale, which officially has the longest commutes in the US.

State

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board is riding off into the sunset as the city replaces it with a new Mobility Advisory Board.

The new bridge to UC San Diego over I-5 opens today, bringing a more direct walking and biking route for students and faculty.

A Ramona firefighter returned home after raising $12,000 for charity by riding 2,500 across the US from San Diego to Florida.

Greater equity is coming to Modesto, as the city plans to invest over $6 million in new sidewalks and bike lanes in one of its poorest neighborhoods.

One more reason why drivers shouldn’t be allowed to steal a lane from bicyclists on the double-decker Richmond-San Rafael Bridge — bikes are lighter than cars, as large chunks of concrete fell from the top span onto unsuspecting drivers below.

National

You can kiss the last few Performance Bicycle stores — and the people who work in them — goodbye, as the company plans to close all remaining brick-and-mortar stores within the next month; however, they will continue to do business online. Meanwhile, an industry website considers how bike shops can buck the trend of retail store closures.

That’s more like it. A Bellingham WA housing development will open with 164 units, but just 100 parking spaces, along with spaces for 392 bicycles.

An Arizona driver kindly helped a young girl to the curb after hitting her bicycle, told her the same thing had happened to her as a girl — then drove off, leaving her victim stranded on the curb with a dead cellphone.

A Texas woman has ridden at least 100 miles in every state in the US, finishing last year with a ride through South Dakota.

A gang of bike thieves is breaking into small Chicago bike shops and stealing at least $70,000 worth of high-end bicycles.

A Chicago minibike rider will face well-deserved charges for groping a woman riding a bicycle, then punching out her husband when he chased her assailant down.

Instead of responding to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian death by going after the people in the big, dangerous machines, New York police are cracking down on the people on two wheels, in some cases ticketing bike riders from violations that don’t actually exist.

Meanwhile, an NYPD officer physically assaulted a bike rider, pushing him off his bicycle to issue a simple traffic ticket, just a block from where another rider was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this week; New York advocates plan a massive rally in protest. That’s like grabbing a driver and throwing him out of his car into the street just because he didn’t use a turn signal.

International

A new conversion kit will allow you to turn your existing bicycle into an ebike for about $700.

A Montreal veterinarian makes house calls by cargo bike.

No shit. A Canadian woman says justice wasn’t served in the hit-and-run death of her bike-riding father, after his killer served just one month of an all-ready too lenient six month sentence.

After his father called the police on him, a British man asked if he could change his shirt before being arrested, then trapped the officers in his own living room before escaping on his bicycle.

A man from the UK rode 10,000 miles through 20 countries in memory of his brother, starting in his hometown and ending in China.

The Wall Street Journal offers a video look at Tel Aviv’s unlikely embrace of e-scooters. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A new Australian study claims the country’s mandatory helmet laws have cut bicycling fatalities nearly in half, suggesting 1,332 lives have been saved since the laws were introduced in the 1990s, and finding no evidence that bicycling rates have been reduced as a result of them.

Competitive Cycling

Ex-Tour de France champ and current cannabis purveyor Floyd Landis returns to his Mennonite roots, opening a bike, coffee and CBD shop in Lancaster PA not far from his childhood home.

The good news, former Columbian pro Juan Pablo Valencia Gonzales wasn’t accused of doping. The bad, he was arrested by Italian authorities on drug trafficking charges after he was found in possession of over 60 grams of cocaine he had allegedly transported in the seat tube of his bike.

Finally…

Edinburgh’s bikeshare system is going downhill — literally.

And when you get impatient waiting behind a group of bike riders at traffic light, try not to pull out into a garbage truck.

Morning Links: BikinginLA on Spectrum News 1 tonight, the war on bikes, and brazen bike theft in DTLA

Once again, we have a veritable metric ton of bike news today.

But before we start, I’m going to be on the Spectrum News 1 channel’s Inside the Issues program tonight, hosted by former NPR and KPCC anchor Alex Cohen.

I’ll be joining Curbed LA’s inestimable Alissa Walker, new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, and Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAvia to paint the Spectrum audience a portrait of biking in Los Angeles, good, bad and otherwise.

I tried to recommend a few other bike advocates with better insights and more TV-friendly faces, but for some reason, they wanted mine.

Go figure.

So let’s just hope I don’t break your TV.

Inside the Issues airs at 7 pm on channel 1 if you’re an LA-area Spectrum Cable subscriber. If not, it should be posted online at the above link sometime after it airs.

Who knows. Maybe I can parlay this into a talking head role as the highly paid bike pundit for CNN.

It could happen.

Let’s all play a drinking game tonight.

Take a sip every time I mention aggressive or distracted drivers, and take a shot every time I say “traffic safety deniers.”

If I do my job right, by the time the show’s over, no one will care whether I screwed up or not.

………

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

Leaders of a town in Maine wisely rejected a draconian anti-bike ordinance proposed by a local man after being told that parts of it conflicted with state law.

Or more likely, nearly all of it.

According to the local paper, the ordinance would have imposed the following restrictions, which probably would have killed bike riding entirely in the town.

  • Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on streets that have no bike safety lane
  • Bicyclists are  not allowed to ride side by side and must be at least 10 feet apart.
  • Bicyclists older than 16 must register their bike with the town;
  • Bicyclists are not allowed to wear head phones, sound-preventing device or any type of hearing distraction; and
  • Bicyclists could be fined $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent ones.

The man claimed he drafted it “out of concern for ‘human lives'” after seeing some people ride unsafely.

Just a reminder that there are people out there who would gladly take away our right to the road based on the actions of a few.

Or just restrict it in ways that serve the same purpose.

………

The war on bikes, part two.

A San Diego cyclist says a truck driver attempted to run him and his riding partners off the road.

Reporting the miscreant driver to his employer was the right thing to do.

However, it’s also a crime; attempting to deliberately run down someone on a bicycle or run them off the road is assault with a deadly weapon. Which means he should also be reported to the police, especially if there’s video evidence of the attack.

Even if the police can’t do anything now, they’ll have a report on file that may be useful if the driver does it again to someone else.

It was the prior police reports that didn’t result in prosecution that finally helped make the case against Dr. Christopher Thompson in the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check.

………

Somehow we missed this one last month.

David Drexler forwards video of a brazen tag-team bike theft in broad daylight on a busy street in DTLA, directly in front of Whole Foods.

Watch to the end to see just how much teamwork went into it.

………

The Anaheim Police Department says share the road in a new video posted on Facebook, explaining to an angry driver that bike riders have the right to take the lane.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

………

British TV personality Jeremy Vine had what has to be the close call of the day, if not the year, as an impatient and overly aggressive driver buzzed him while passing in the bike lane he was riding in.

………

Local

Los Angeles has opened applications for Great Streets Challenge Grants to improve a traffic corridor near and dear to your heart. Or not.

Metro Bike’s docked bikeshare hasn’t been a hit in San Pedro, where it has the lowest use rate of any of the four regions in Los Angeles County.

Metro’s Boyle Heights public meeting to discuss plans to close an eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path was briefly interrupted by anti-gentrification activists. The final meeting will take place tonight in Cypress Park — hopefully without further interruptions.

A Moreno Valley bike rider was busted in Santa Monica for riding salmon, riding without a light, and delaying a police officer — evidently by making them look for her when she tried to flee the traffic stop. The first two are just ticketable offenses, so she must have really pissed them off.

State

State officials announced the latest round of active transportation grants; a project in Compton was removed from the list, while Pomona received $9.2 million to improve bicycling and walking, including 10 miles of new bike lanes.

A homeless man was sentenced to two years behind bars for beating another transient with his bicycle before attacking two Santa Ana police officers who tried to intervene.

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board held a news conference yesterday calling for more protected bike lanes.

A woman in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood is on a one-woman crusade against e-scooters.

A San Diego County bike rider is suing the county and Caltrans after he was seriously injured as he attempted to dodge a clump of asphalt in a bike lane not far from a road construction site.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns this weekend, with a focus on safety after the death of Mark Kristofferson in last year’s event.

Cycle Central Coast recommends a romantic bike weekend for two in Cambria this Valentines Day.

Horrifying story from Fresno, where a pair of 22-year old twins got a well-deserved 12 years for beating up a Good Samaritan who rode his bike to the rescue of a woman they were attacking, and leaving him lying in the road, where he was run over by a passing motorist.

Maybe you want to try a little Viking trail biking around Mount Shasta.

National

At least one American company is absorbing Trump’s 25% tariff on ebikes, rather than passing the added costs onto their customers.

Curbed looks at plans for the coast-to-coast, offroad Great American Rail-Trail rail-to-trail conversion bikeway.

Hawaii’s Big Island is establishing a Vision Zero program.

You could soon go mountain biking at Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum. Yes, that’s the one where a massive sinkhole swallowed eight classic Corvettes.

Hugh Jackman is one of us. The Daily Mail says he risked a $50 fine for texting while riding in the Big Apple. Except photos show he’s fully stopped on the sidewalk with one foot firmly planted on the ground.

New York advocates says the city shouldn’t cancel plans for improved bike lanes and other commuting projects, even though a planned shutdown of a major subway has been cancelled.

A Mississippi bike shop is taking community service a step further by offering naloxone to reverse the effects of a drug overdose, after the owners’ son died of an OD.

A teenaged serial horse molester — yes, that’s a thing — was arrested with a large sex toy while riding his bike in Mobile, Alabama.

International

A hacking website considers ways people around the world hack their bikes to serve various purposes, from knife sharpening to carrying multiple gas cylinders.

Snowy Halifax, Nova Scotia is gearing up for Friday’s International Winter Bike Week with a full week of winter bike events. The forecast for Halifax calls for a rainy 45° on Friday; Los Angeles should be sunny and 15 degrees warmer. Just saying.

An English man recovered his bicycle the same day it was stolen, after he spotted it being sold online by a drug dealer.

British bicyclists and pedestrians will get to be guinea pigs for self-driving cars, with autonomous vehicles hitting the street starting in 2021, even though critics say the tech isn’t ready yet.

No surprise here, as a new survey shows Brits would still rather drive a car than ride a bike or take a bus; four in ten people had a favorable view of bicycling, while nearly half took the opposing view.

Royal-adjacent James Middleton — brother-in-law to the UK’s future king — once again drew stares taking four large dogs for a ride in his covered bakfiets.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. A British woman overdosed on heroin in her Paris apartment as she struggled to cope with killing a teenage bike rider; she had moved to Paris after the breakup of her marriage following the crash.

Unbelievable. Life is really cheap in Australia, where a road raging driver who killed a bike rider walks with the equivalent of home arrest, community service and a $5,000 fine.

The Philippines has opened the country’s first protected bike lane along the National Highway.

Competitive Cycling

Downhill snow biking is now officially a thing, with a UCI World Cup planned for next year.

Finally…

Do your cycling inside and you might get booted if Madonna wants your stationary bike. That feeling when you announce the death of BMX star just three years after it actually happened.

And that feeling when you have to cancel the annual bike ride scheduled for the worst weather day of the year, because of the worst weather of the year.

Thanks to Bob Wilkinson for the last link. And yes, that’s frequent contributor Mike Wilkinson’s dad.

%d bloggers like this: