Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Weekend Links: A wake-up call for Eric Garcetti, an endorsement tie in CD9, and upping the visibility arms race

Bike the Vote LA co-founder Michael Macdonald has penned a must-read Op-Ed for the LA Times, saying Los Angeles has seen too much talk and not enough action from Mayor Eric Garcetti when it comes to making our streets safer.

Couldn’t agree more.

Garcetti has done a great job setting priorities and policies for the city. But he’s done a lousy job of translating them to the real world, especially when it comes to our streets. Let alone his failure to even weigh in on street-level fights like ensuring human access on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, or the shameful, and ultimately successful, effort to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan.

Let’s hope he does better in his next term.

Our lives, and the future livability of the city, depend on it.

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Speaking of Bike the Vote LA, they continue their recent string of endorsements with a tie in LA’s 9th council district between Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera, saying the district has languished under current Councilmember Curren Price Jr.

And the Los Angeles Post-Examiner examines CD5 incumbent and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz’s recent call to ban bikes from Westwood Blvd.

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A new waterproof cycling jacket ups the visibility arms race, with hi-viz panels for day use, and LED lights and reflective panels on the front, back and sleeves.

A new sci-fi styled bike taillight includes turn signals, crash detector, automatic brake light, and a rear cam that projects images directly to your handlebar-mounted smart phone, so you can watch your bike get rear-ended in real time.

Thanks to Zwift, riding indoor doesn’t suck as much. Even ghosts are getting in on it.

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The season’s last World Cup track cycling stage starts today at the StubHub Center’s Velo Sports Center in Carson. Although the Aussie team may have to withdraw after their bikes got stuck in Columbia.

You don’t need to read French to get the message not to celebrate your victory too soon.

Lance will finally face trial in DC this November for the feds $100 million dollar doping fraud lawsuit.

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Local

The LA Times goes fat biking in the snow.

Not surprisingly, West Hollywood has a higher rate of DUIs than surrounding cities, given the high number of nightclubs and bars in the city.

Santa Monica is throwing a party today to celebrate four park projects.

Monday will be another day of enhanced traffic enforcement in Santa Monica, as police are once again on the lookout for violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it’s not you.

The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets lists seven can’t miss open streets events this spring, starting with their own 18-mile event next Sunday.

 

State

San Diego’s Padres Pedal the Cause raised $2 million for cancer research.

A San Francisco supervisor commits to supporting protected bike lanes on upper Market Street, which has one of the city’s highest collision rates.

 

National

National Geographic shares bike maps from the 1890s, while questioning whether the current urban bike craze will live on.

The Denver Post says yes, walking, biking and transit are good things, but let’s not make it harder for people to drive, noting that it would take a monumental shift in behavior to get commuters to leave their cars at home five days a week. On the other hand, if people left their cars at home just one day a week, it would probably solve all of the city’s traffic problems.

Caught on video: A Chicago TV station catches a bike colliding with a taxi during a live remote.

A Detroit bike rider was the victim of second-hand lightening when a bolt struck a utility pole, causing a live wire to fall and electrocute him.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who mugged a 79-year old Michigan bike shop owner, stealing several hundred dollars from the shop; the victim recognized the thief as someone he had once fixed a bike for.

The good news is New York traffic deaths are down 23% under the city’s Vision Zero; the bad news is the good news doesn’t include bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Pennsylvania man got three months to five years behind bars for the drunken crash that left a bike rider with life-threatening injuries. But he wasn’t behind the wheel; he was pedaling his own bike at the time.

A North Carolina runner was impaled by a nail purposely placed on a trail; investigators have found at least 40 more four-inch nails pounded into tree roots and logs so up to an inch was sticking out. Like similar cases affecting bike trails, this needs to be treated like the domestic terrorism case it is, rather than just a dangerous prank.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says your riding habits will change when you have kids, but that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Protected bike lanes on a major Toronto street have boosted bicycling rates 36%, while increasing rush hour drive times by 8.5 minutes. However, the city believes they can eliminate that delay by making adjustments to turns, parking and traffic signals.

The thrills of playing Pokémon Go by bike on London’s busy streets.

Maybe they didn’t tip him. A Brit food delivery driver is caught on video stealing a customer’s $250 kids bike.

It’s ten years behind bars for a stoned British driver who killed a bike rider while fleeing from police.

Chinese police crack down on bike-riding food delivery people.

 

Finally…

If you’re on probation and riding your bike at two in the morning, leave your stun gun and blow pipe at home. If you have a lifetime driving ban for too many DUIs, it’s probably not the best idea to ride a gas-powered bicycle when you’re wasted.

And that’s one way to build a DIY protected bike lane.

And fix your toilet, too.

 

Morning Links: Todd the Volunteer, double rainbows, more endorsements, and don’t read the comments

The most interesting people ride bikes.

Mike Wilkinson encountered a bike-riding homeless man who calls himself Todd the Volunteer, and asked if he could share the man’s story.

Driving along Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove, in the distance I saw the silhouette of a man in the middle of the expansive street. As I approached, I realized he was sweeping up debris from the recent rains. I noticed his bike with a trailer and huge orange sign on the side of the road. Then, in a second, he was in my rear view mirror.

Finishing my errand, I remembered how my wife and I had agreed that we would want to help a homeless person who is doing something productive. I couldn’t forget this guy, so I resolved to find him on my way home. His bright orange sign made that easy.

Todd the Volunteer introduced himself as I handed him a five dollar bill. He posed for some pictures and told me he had recently cleaned several freeway underpasses from top to bottom. He was friendly and articulate. His energy and appearance was far from the stereotype of a homeless person with mental issues, addictions and poor hygiene.

He lives in a local park, and he is a busy guy. He has a Go Fund Me page, and there is a You Tube video about him. KNBC Los Angeles did a piece on him. He told me “I believe that if I help the community, the community will help me.” Last year the Orange County Register named him one of its 100 most influencial people. Now I know why.

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You also experience the world on a bike in a way you never would zooming by in a car. Like the double rainbow Sam Kurutz captured as he rode home Wednesday night.

A big cloudburst took place in Pasadena/Sierra Madre last night and produced a beautiful rainbow. I got soaked except for my chamois, by some miracle. Anyways… it was a tricky ride home because drivers were looking at the rainbow and not for a cyclist, so I had to be really cautious.

 

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More political news leading up to next month’s local elections.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Krystal Padley for Pasadena’s 5th city council district.

Walk Bike Burbank offers responses to their candidate survey from the people running for Burbank City Council.

And the LA Times provides a recap of their endorsements; they got it right on Joe Bray-Ali and Measure S, but missed the mark in endorsing career politician Paul Koretz over challenger Jesse Creed.

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As Erik Griswold points out, you really don’t want to read the comments on the San Diego U-T’s story about the proposed California Idaho Stop bill.

But you probably will. And you’ll regret it.

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A British pro calls for a ban on disk brakes after he claims one cut through his shoe at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Or maybe not, unless his shoes are made out of cardboard.

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Local

The Electric Bike Expo starting in Long Beach this afternoon makes LAist’s list of 20 of the coolest things to do in Los Angeles this weekend.

 

State

San Diego officials are accused of not taking Vision Zero seriously, saying zero traffic deaths is a nice goal, but “we know we won’t be able to meet that.” Nice lack of commitment there, guys.

San Francisco discusses possible safety improvements on 17th Street, where several riders have been injured after catching their tires in streetcar tracks.

The Napa Valley Register says tourist-designed bikeshare is coming to the area, but doesn’t bother to explain what the hell that means.

The mayor of Redding wants you to try riding the area’s trails as part of their Mountain Bike Challenge.

 

National

The Portland city council voted to overturn a decision by the city’s Police Bureau to exonerate an officer for using a Taser on a bike rider not once, not twice, but six times — three after he was already on his stomach with two officers on his back.

Michigan considers requiring drivers to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance, as well as proposing that all driver education classes include an hour on how to share the road with vulnerable users.

Boston’s mayor promises to make the city safer for people of all ages to walk, bike or drive, in part by reducing speed limits to 25 mph.

Never mind walking in Memphis. PeopleForBikes is looking to make historic South Memphis a comfortable place to ride a bike in as part of their Big Jump Project.

Bicyclists in Shreveport LA complain that a proposed bike path network doesn’t go where people want to go and won’t encourage new riders. The best way to ensure any bikeway will fail is to put it where city officials want it go, rather than where people want to ride.

 

International

Bike Radar offers five suggestions for things you can do behind the wheel to make the streets safer for bicyclists. They forgot to mention put down your damn phone, take your foot off the gas, and pay attention.

Saskatoon cyclists ask the city to change a number of bylaws that limit bike safety and the practicality of bicycling in the Canadian city, including a ban on carrying loads and a requirement to dismount and walk when passing pedestrians on bridges.

A Toronto teenager got a $350 fine and three points against his driver’s license for running a red light on his bicycle, even though that’s not supposed to happen. Bicycling violations aren’t supposed to count against your license in California, either. So if you get a ticket, make sure the officer marks on it that you were on a bike, not in a car.

Heartbreaking story of an Afghan journalist who fled on a rickety bicycle to seek asylum in Canada — not from the people back home who wanted to kill him, but from the political turmoil and anti-Muslim attitudes in the US.

London’s new mayor has come out in favor of three of the city’s Mini Holland bikeways in the face of a 6,000 signature petition from motorists demanding their removal.

That viral video of a Brit bike rider ripping the mirror off the van of a driver who harassed her has been taken down after it was proven to be fake.

Caught on video: A British bike thief tries, and fails, to cut through a lock and steal a bicycle.

Irish cyclists protest in front of the legislature demanding that 10% of the country’s transportation budget be set aside to promote bicycling and protect riders.

An unlicensed hit-and-run driver who killed an Irish bicyclist had his sentence increased by nine months after prosecutors appealed his original two and a half year sentence. He was also banned from driving for 15 years, although that didn’t seem to stop him before.

Move to France and get 200 euros — $212 — towards the purchase of a pedal-assist ebike.

A female rickshaw driver is breaking gender rules in Bangladesh. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An 18-year old Malaysian youth is under arrest for a Facebook post calling for the public to come together and meet with the sultan in charge of the state where eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision. Let that be a reminder not to take the freedom of speech and assembly we enjoy in here the US for granted.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything on your bike, even a dead deer. Who needs a speed gun when you’ve got a hi-viz vest and a blow dryer?

And if you’re the ethics chairman of county bar association, maybe you should consider the ethics of not driving distract and under the influence.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Angry DASH driver tries to run rider off road, and endorsement for Pasadena city council

Apparently, a LADOT DASH bus driver is in need of some serious retraining.

Or the city might find itself on the hook for violating the its own bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Or worse.

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

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Bike the Vote LA continues their run-up for the March 7th election by endorsing Andy Wilson for Pasadena’s city council district 7.

Meanwhile, the Burbank Leader reports on the Burbank city council forum, where one of the candidates actually called for better bike infrastructure.

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Lance says he loved wearing the US Postal Service uniform and hearing the national anthem played when he won, and being sued by the feds can’t take that away. Although they could take everything else.

Interesting piece from Cycling Weekly, as they look at ten racing inventors that changed cycling, with a few names you might know like Campagnolo and Cinelli.

VeloNews looks at the recent renaissance in French cycling, while Cycling News looks back at cycling’s “decadent” decade of the 1990s.

You may soon need a ticket to watch your favorite cyclists compete, as Belgian cycling promoters consider charging fans to watch the race.

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Local

A Covina bike rider was injured in what police believe was a gang-related shooting.

The Press-Telegram discusses the ebike expo coming to Long Beach this weekend.

Help restock books in the Silver Lake area on the monthly Street Librarians Ride this Sunday.

 

State

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers a review of bike-related legislation in the state legislature, including the possible elimination of the ride-to-the-right law we discussed yesterday, and an actual bipartisan bill to legalize the Idaho Stop — a term Masoner helped popularize — in California. The only thing more shocking than the Idaho Stop actually being considered in California is the concept of Democrats and Republicans actually working together to pass it.

A Newport Beach bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was apparently rear-ended by the driver of an SUV. Thanks to Lois for the link.

Sacramento police are looking for a bike-riding knife-bearing bike path robber.

Mountain View considers whether a 15 mph speed limit is too high — or too low — on a popular bike and pedestrian trail.

A Marin columnist contends mountain bikers who want to force the county to open all trails to bikes are acting like spoiled children.

Redding police identify the bike-riding victim in last week’s traffic shooting; the case is still under investigation, even though it’s being described as self-defense.

 

National

Friendship Circle is sponsoring their 6th annual adaptive bike giveaway program for kids and teens with special needs.

A new study from the University of Duh says improving cardiovascular fitness may help extend your life. And here we all thought sitting on your couch eating Cheetos and watching TV was the key to outliving all your friends.

Tragic news from Arizona, where a bike rider is dead in an apparent road rage shooting after arguing with a driver and his passengers.

A bill in the Iowa legislature would force drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, while requiring bicyclists to use front and rear lights at all times — even in broad daylight — while a competing bill would require riders to display a slow-moving vehicle flag.

Kindhearted Oklahoma firefighters replace a small boy’s bicycle after his was destroyed in a collision with a pedestrian.

A Boston man describes his decision to keep riding after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in and around his lower spine.

New York police confiscate two bikes from teenage cyclist accused of riding recklessly. Too bad that doesn’t seem to apply to reckless drivers, who just get a ticket — if that — and get sent on their way.

Good read from a Gotham website, which says Vision Zero only works when victim blaming stops and accountability starts.

A Savannah GA writer says traffic fatalities are the real American carnage, even if they weren’t mentioned in the inaugural address.

A quintet of bike-riding NASCAR drivers promote bike safety before turning their attention to qualifying for the Daytona 500.

A Florida woman gets 22 years behind bars for intentionally running over her bike-riding friend. Makes you wonder what she’d do to someone she didn’t like.

 

International

Caught on video: Nothing like standing on the pedals of your fixie with your fluffy white cotton tail bouncing in the breeze.

Caught on video too: A Brit woman responds to catcalls from a van driver by ripping off its wing mirror, then just rides away. Or maybe not.

Caught on video three: This is what it looks like to be sideswiped by a passing van.

It’s been too long since we checked in with Scotland’s Town Mouse, who gives one more reason you otter ride a bike.

A Kiwi bike rider urges drivers to just look, already.

A Chinese writer tells his countrymen to stop creating bikeshare companies.

A new study suggests the implementation of a minimum passing distance in Australia’s Queensland state isn’t having a significant effect on the amount of harassment bicyclists experience.

We can’t seem to get away from Malaysia this week.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with SoCal drivers, but at least we don’t have to ride in front of runaway bulls — although we do have to contend with machetes. Yes, blowing through red lights and clipping a cyclist while driving on just three tires was probably a very bad idea.

And hi-viz may not be necessary, but some clothing is usually recommended.

 

Morning Links: Info needed on fallen rider, a triple endorsement in CD7, and reforming CA ride-to-right rule

A family in pain needs your help.

Last September, a man was killed riding his bike on PCH in Malibu. Word has just now reached his family in Memphis, Tennessee, who lost touch with him after he left the city and apparently moved west to the Los Angeles area.

They’re hoping that anyone who knew Neville Williams will contact them to provide whatever information they can to give them a little closure.

You can find his full comment here, along with his email address.

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Bike the Vote LA strikes a three-way tie for their endorsement in race for LA’s 7th Council District between Monica Rodriguez, Fred Flores, and Jose Castillo.

You can see their responses to the Bike the Vote questionnaire, along with fellow candidate Connie Saunders, below.

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A new attempt is underway to eliminate the unsafe and confusing requirement that bike riders must ride as far right as practicable.

Which LA County sheriff’s deputies routinely misinterpret as meaning a) cyclists should ride on the shoulder instead of taking the traffic lane, and b) riding two abreast is not allowed, since the outside rider is not riding as close to the curb as practicable. Never mind the many exceptions to that rule under CVC 21202, or that the shoulder is not legally part of the roadway.

Under AB-694, the new rule would clarify matters by saying that bicyclists “shall ride in the right-hand lane or bicycle lane, if one is present,” unless the lane is wide enough to safely share with a motor vehicle.

And doesn’t change the fact that riding abreast is not prohibited, or even mentioned, under California law.

There was some concern that this bill would eliminate the exceptions allowing riders to leave a bike lane under current law; however, it would not change CVC 21208, which provides a number of circumstances where the requirement to use a bike lane does not apply.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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More fallout from the Malaysian massacre, in which eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision with an alleged speeding and distracted driver, and another eight injured.

A Malaysian paper follows-up on the deaths of eight teenagers riding bicycles modified to look like motorcycles, placing blame on a lack of safe places to ride.

The president of a parent-teacher association calls on the state to build a bike racing track where younger riders can blow off a little steam.

A state executive urges people to stop blaming the parents of the victims on social media, and leave the questioning to the police.

And a former government minister is accused of politicizing the tragedy.

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British cycling champ Chris Boardman calls three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome a statesman for rising above the country’s doping controversies.

Lance thumbs his nose at the government lawsuit over doping when he was with the US Postal squad by competing with his former fellow-doper teammates in the unsanctioned 24-Hour Old Pueblo mountain bike race in Tucson, finishing third.

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Local

A new study concludes Los Angeles is the world’s most congested city — although other studies would disagree. Building our way out of traffic has clearly failed; if Los Angeles is going to survive — let alone thrive — it has to offer safe, convenient alternatives to driving, while increasing density to reduce the need for long commutes.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Caltrans has not approved plans to add a right turn lane on PCH at Cross Creek Road in order to accommodate a planned shopping center, which would eliminate the shoulder used by thousands of cyclists every weekend.

 

State

The Register’s David Whiting considers the state of OC’s trails following the recent rains. The fire department airlifted an injured hiker from Runyon Canyon this past Sunday, a reminder that trails can remain unstable even days after the rains.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bike was killed by an Amtrak train Monday afternoon after going around the crossing arms. As we’ve said before, never, ever go around the gates at a railroad crossing, even if it looks safe.

 

National

PeopleForBikes celebrates Presidents Day with photos of past presidents riding bicycles, including the only color photo of Abraham Lincoln on a mountain bike. That’s past presidents, since our current chief executive swears he hasn’t been on a bicycle since he was a child, and isn’t likely to anytime soon.

Bicycling offers a beginners guide to riding in traffic.

Utah’s plans to remove protection from a pair of national monuments has cost it a trade show for outdoor retailers, as well as a chance to host the Interbike trade show.

A Texas man has traveled over 8,000 miles through 31 states with his dog since 2013 to promote non-profit animal shelters and discourage puppy mills. I can relate. The Corgi overcame health and socialization problems from being shipped to a wholesaler when she was just six weeks old, and came to us through a non-profit rescue when her first owner couldn’t care for her anymore.

A 78-year old Minnesota woman has ridden her bike across the continent four times, as well as riding to Cheyenne WY for both her 50th and 60th high school reunions, despite not taking her first long-distance bike trip until she was 60.

Falling off her bike led to twin silver medals for an upstate NY woman with MS at last year’s Paralympic Games.

Big step forward for Pittsburgh bike icon Danny Chew, as he takes to hand cycling for the first time since he was paralyzed from the waist down in a September riding fall.

A self-described bike lane vigilante literally takes the law into his own hands, slapping homemade parking violation stickers on cars and trucks blocking Philadelphia bike lanes.

A DC bike columnist discusses whether hi-viz really does any good.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at 12 “madcap” cycling records that aren’t likely to get broken anytime soon.

Police in Manchester, England crack down on inconsiderate cyclists, ticketing 41 riders over a two week period. Even though they say drivers committed traffic violations at twice that rate.

Where to stay on your next bike tour of Scotland.

France is offering up to 700 euros towards the price of an ebike — the equivalent of $738 — as part of a two-year push to get people out of their cars. Although Dutch riders are discovering the downside of ebikes when they’re forced to pay an average of 500 euros for new batteries.

An Aussie writer says open season on bike riders is just insane, as the shooting of a 72-year old man riding on a bike trail appears to have been a random attack for no other reason than he was on a bike.

More turmoil from Malaysia, where a bike rider was arrested following a scuffle with police during a protest over the impounding of illegally parked bicycles, despite a shortage of bike parking; he faces up to two years behind bars if he’s convicted. Meanwhile, the city government admits damaging a delivery rider’s bike when they impounded it.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can take your bike on the subway; no, you’re not supposed to ride it. There’s more than one way to carry a dog on your bike. Or back.

And at last, cold-weather gloves for two-fingered bicyclists.

 

Morning Links: Eight teenage riders killed in horrifying Malaysian tragedy, and the war on bike riders continues

Heartbreaking news from the other side of the world, where eight Malaysian teenagers participating in a late night bike ride were killed and eight injured, two critically, when a 22-year old driver plowed into them, claiming she just couldn’t stop in time.

However, one of the survivors said they were stopped at the side of the road at the time of the crash, and that the driver had been speeding and using her mobile phone. Despite that, she was out on bail within hours of the crash, while police threated action against the victim’s parents.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation said it was up to parents to ensure their kids ride safely, while other voices condemned the parents for allowing their children to be out on the streets at 3 am.

The prime minister expressed his condolences, while a member of parliament urged past and present leaders not to politicize the tragedy. The state education department promised to look into the group of riders like the one involved in the crash, but a government minister said they’d known about the problem for ten years, but hadn’t come up with a solution to the late night rides.

The state government will give the equivalent of $225 to the families of the eight injured riders.

Meanwhile, an editorial calls on the government not to stifle the creativity of students who modify their bikes to express their individuality, and accommodate them by closing certain roads late at night to give them a safe place to ride.

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The war on cars may be mythical, but the war on bike riders goes on.

San Jose police are investigating a pair of blow gun attacks, including one man who was struck as he was riding his bike.

Someone stretched plastic wrap across an Omaha NE trail in an apparent attempt to injure bike riders.

A British rider was pushed off his bike by a car passenger and beaten with a bat.

A British man was fined the equivalent of just $261 for punching a bike rider in the face after the rider pulled out in front of his girlfriend’s car.

A group Britain’s top riders say they were attacked by a driver they recognized as the co-owner of a Taiwanese wheelmaker, who allegedly brake checked one rider and deliberately swerved into the group of riders two times, striking one man.

Two South African cyclists believe they were deliberately targeted by a driver who crashed into them, then may have hit a third rider just a few minutes later.

A 74-year old Australian man was shot six times while riding on bike trail; he survived the shooting in serious, but stable condition.

But no, really, let’s talk about how bike lanes take away a few parking spaces.

………

Retired Luxemburg pro Andy Schleck ties the knot, walking out with his new wife under a canopy of handheld bike wheels; Schleck backed into the 2010 Tour de France title when Alberto Contador was stripped of his win for doping.

Speaking of doping, legal or otherwise, former Team Sky pro Michael Barry discusses what he calls the team’s unethical use of the painkiller Tramadol.

Britain’s Cyclist Magazine looks at the 12 toughest men in cycling history, including America’s first Giro winner, Andy Hampsten. Except they left off Greg LeMond, who twice won the Tour de France with a body full of buckshot.

Pro cyclists are complaining that competitors are drafting behind race motorcycles.

………

Local

A photo blogger reports on last week’s CD1 debate, which did not appear to go well for anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

CiclaValley reports there’s an open house this Wednesday for the Lankershim Great Street. This is your chance to correct the mistakes made when former Councilmember Tom LaBonge killed the bike lanes planned for the street, in an apparent attempt to keep it dangerous for everyone.

The Bikerowave bike co-op is hosting a movie night this Friday, showing Adaptation.

There’s just one week left to nominate someone for the LACBC’s Diversity Program for this year’s Climate Ride.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re hosting a feeder ride to the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event on March 5th.

The Irwindale Lions Club is hosting a 75-mile Rooting for Kids Along Route 66 fundraising ride on March 11th.

Santa Clarita wants to know if you want a bikeshare system in the city. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

 

State

North San Diego County cities are working to make PCH safer and more welcoming for people on bikes, despite the inevitable auto-centric bikelash.

In an effort to cut traffic, Moreno Valley is buying ebikes for city employees to use for short errands instead of driving.

Exploring Ventura’s waterfront by bike.

A Fresno letter writer tells bike riders to stay in the city and keep off foothill roads with no bike lanes. Apparently local motorists are incapable of slowing down and driving safely on winding roads.

The battle over bike access in Marin County goes on, as the executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says mountain biking is here to stay, and saying no to every potential legal trail just won’t work any more.

A Sacramento bike rider is expected to survive after riding in front of a light rail train. Yet another reminder to always wait until the lights stop flashing before attempting to cross the tracks.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says the best thing about commuting by bike is the chance to go full caveman by screaming at offending drivers and righteously riding away. Um, no. Let’s hope this was intended as satire.

A heartless jerk faces a felony hit-and-run count for hitting a teenage bike rider in Las Vegas, then driving for two and a half miles with the bicycle still stuck under his truck before tossing it into a trash bin.

A Denver website looks back at the successful efforts of a local bike club to bring the national championships to town. In 1894.

A Texas writer discusses what it takes to ride 200 miles without stopping as he prepares for a RAAM qualifier.

A Minnesota man upcycles old bicycles by turning parts in jewelry and art.

The bicycle belonging to the late bike-riding fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has been donated to a New York historical society, along with his books and other items.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A North Carolina man killed a woman riding her bike, despite having his license permanently revoked ten years earlier. Clearly, taking away a license — even permanently — isn’t enough; we’ve got to find a way to keep the most dangerous drivers out of their cars and off the streets before they kill someone.

 

International

London’s new bike czar insists the city is safe for cyclists, allowing his own children to ride on the streets.

A new study from the UK shows that the earlier you teach your kids to ride a bike, the more likely they are to keep riding.

A unlicensed British driver gets five years for killing a 71-year old bicyclist while high on crack and fleeing from police.

Caught on video: UK readers blame a cyclist for slamming into a trailer when the driver cut him off, because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane that was blocked by parked cars. And never mind that the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Brit riders compete in the annual Penny Farthing championships.

A moving story from Liberia, where a 12-year old boy wants a bicycle. But first he had to get a new leg to replace the one he lost when he was shot as a baby.

South African police offer good advice for riders everywhere — keep an eye on your bike if you stop for something to eat or drink after your ride.

A former Kiwi criminal is helping young gang members turn their lives around by taking up mountain bike racing.

A Japanese teenager faces charges for taking a stolen bicycle on a 560-mile joy ride.

Better news from Malaysia, where one city is setting up a free bikeshare program; bikes can be checked out for 24 hours using a card issued by city hall.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want to get hit by a driver while riding your bike, don’t steal his truck. Sometimes it takes Mother Nature to build a protected bike lane.

And who says you can’t carry heavy things on a bike? Like an 82 pound stolen safe, for instance.

 

Morning Links: Tell ‘em what you really think, and remembering recent victims of traffic violence

PeopleForBikes wants to know what you think about biking in Los Angeles, or wherever you ride.

They’re asking everyone to complete a brief, 10 minute survey with the goal of ranking every city in the US in terms of how safe and pleasant it is to ride.

Which means LA is bound to be one of the top rated cities, right?

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

You’re welcome to answer anonymously, or you can provide your name and email, and be entered for a chance to win a $1,500 Trek bike.

………

Today’s common theme is a sad one.

Friends and family members remember Agustin Rodriguez, Jr., who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Whittier last month. The woman who so needlessly took his life with her erratic and aggressive driving remains at large, though police say they do have some leads.

San Juan Capistrano father of five Steve Schenkenberger remains in a coma, ten days after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; a crowdfunding site to help pay his medical expenses has raised nearly $86,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Friends remember Laguna Nigel school teacher and triathlete Scott Clark, who died two weeks after he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers as he was crossing a street in a crosswalk; he was the second pedestrian killed in the city since the start of the year, along with the collision that critically injured Schenkenberger.

………

The pro cyclists union is trying to stop the current disk brake trial over safety concerns.

British racing great Chris Hoy says the future is bright, despite cycling’s “challenged’ reputation.

Cycling’s golden couple find a clever way to announce they’re expecting their first child, posting a photo of a kids bike next to theirs. He or she should have some good bike racing genes, since Laura and Jason Kenny have 10 Olympic gold medals between them.

A rider with the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk tells children with the disease that it doesn’t have to mean career death for elite athletes.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine says the long-delayed MyFigueroa Complete Streets project offers a glimpse into LA’s transportation future. Let’s hope that’s a glimpse at what our streets can be, not how long it will take.

626 Golden Streets lists the activities at the eight hubs along the 26-mile route through the San Gabriel Valley for the March 5th open streets event.

Laura Friedman, who represents La Cañada Flintridge in the state legislature, says collaboration is key to transportation projects, but fails to mention any form of alternative transportation.

Santa Monica will host Parks Day, Come Play! on the 25th of this month, featuring the grand opening or dedication of several parks, along with a bike ride with the mayor.

 

State

Apparently San Diego’s Bikeway Village project is hostile to hostels, as the Coastal Commission votes to go with a brewery on the site instead.

The bike-riding buddy of the San Bernardino terrorists will plead guilty to charges he illegally provided them with a pair of rifles.

More controversy over the inexplicably controversial plan to build a 50-mile bike path around the Coachella Valley, as residents of a seniors community express concerns that bike riders will peer into their bedrooms and break into their homes. Because peeping Toms and burglars never come by car.

Ventura police bust a bike-riding burglar.

It’s legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Cupertino, as long as you have child under 13 with you.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike; a CHP spokesman said he died because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. No, he died because he was hit by a car.

 

National

Self Magazine considers what cycling, including the indoor kind, is doing to your vagina. For those who have one, of course.

Lifehacker offers advice on what to look for when you’re buying a used bike. First thing to look for: make sure it’s not stolen.

North Dakota voted down the bill that would have allowed drivers to run down anyone who was intentionally blocking traffic, without fear of prosecution. Which could have included cyclists taking the lane, if police concluded they didn’t belong there.

A bike-riding Houston editor says there’s no one simple answer to safer streets, and the city needs to put the same energy and ambition they demonstrated in hosting the Super Bowl behind making the city safer for everyone.

Kentucky considers a mandate for kids to wear bike helmets, but only if they’re 12 or younger. They’re also moving forward with a three-foot passing law that, unlike California, allows drivers to briefly cross a yellow line to pass a bike rider.

 

International

The Toronto paper explains right-of-way rules for bike lanes, stressing that drivers turning right have to yield to bicyclists.

An Ontario man was lucky to avoid jail for his third DUI offense. On an ebike. On the other hand, everyone who has to share the road with him, not so much.

British dog owners are looking for the man crashed into a small dog with his bike, then kept on going; the three-year old dog lost all but two of its teeth as a result. Seriously, it takes a heartless jerk to keep riding after injuring any animal; but it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep their dogs safe and out of harms way.

A new study shows the world’s most dangerously polluted cities, where the health risks of riding a bike outweigh the benefits, include Zabol, Iran, Allahabad and Gwalior, India, and Doha, Qatar.

A group of Tasmanian cycling legends in their 60s and 70s ride together every week; an 85-year old rider is still one of the fastest and fittest members of the group.

Now that’s performance art. A Zimbabwean history professor will be riding around Cape Town on a bicycle with bull horns and speakers, delivering lectures and spinning records.

 

Finally…

So what do you call the person who sits on the bottom of a bamboo tandem? Even government ministers get their bikes stolen.

And a man was fired for not pushing his bike across a plaza instead of riding it; then again, it’s hard to push a bike when you don’t have any arms.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Political news and endorsements, Caltrans feints at engagement, and how to lose bike vote

Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.

Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.

First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.

While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.

And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.

Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.

………

Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.

In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.

That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.

Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.

But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.

After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.

Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.

………

That’s one way to lose the bike vote.

A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.

Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.

However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.

When they cast their ballot for his opponent.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

People on bikes are heroes once again.

Or make that twice.

A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.

And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.

………

They’re one of us, too.

Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.

New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.

And Lily Allen doesn’t just sing about riding her bike through London, she actually does it.

………

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.

Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.

………

Local

The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.

Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.

This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.

 

State

AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?

An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.

Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.

Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.

Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.

An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.

Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.

Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.

Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.

 

National

Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.

Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.

Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.

Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.

A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.

A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.

 

International

A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.

Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.

A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.

Hundreds of Londoners stage yet another die-in to protest the dangers bike riders face on the city’s streets.

London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.

A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.

FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.

A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.

British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.

After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.

And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan needs work, LA could miss out on speed cams, and SPPD finds a Felt

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s presentation of the proposed Vision Zero Action Plan to the city council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Linton, the plan “takes a lot of words and charts to say very little” and rather than listing specific actions to be taken, merely lists “40 key corridors where something unspecified might happen.”

Evidently, committee chair Mike Bonin agreed, pressing LADOT and LAPD to come back in 60 days to report on implantation, citations for the five leading violations that contribute to traffic fatalities, and a “no profiling” pledge.

………

Speaking of Vision Zero, page 38 of the Action Plan says the city will “consider” legislation to allow automated speed enforcement.

Something that is already being considered in the state legislature. But only for San Francisco and San Jose, which have been pushing for legalized speed cameras for some time.

If LA is serious about eliminating traffic deaths, which seems questionable given the lack of specificity in the plan, they will work with SoCal representatives in the state legislature to ensure that Los Angeles is included in any pilot program.

The city can’t afford to hire enough cops to provide round-the-clock patrols of all 6,500 miles of streets within its jurisdiction. And without adequate speed enforcement, Vision Zero will fail.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the link.

………

If this is your Felt, the South Pasadena Police Department may have some good news for you.

………

The former head of the US Postal team says Greg LeMond is obsessed with Lance Armstrong, which is why he’s so focused on possible motor doping. Maybe so, but he was right about Lance’s doping when no one else wanted to believe it, myself included.

Former Tour de France champ Federico Bahamontes says race radios are ruining pro cycling, and racing should go back to being more about attacks and less about tactics. Meanwhile, USA Cycling decides to expand their use instead.

A dozen pro cyclists anonymously discuss their experiences with sexism and abuse in women’s cycling. Clearly, there’s a major problem here that has to be addressed.

………

Local

CHP officers in Santa Monica fatally shot a Simi Valley man who fled on a bicycle after stabbing his roommate last week; investigators said it appeared to be a case of suicide by cop.

A large mixed-use project in Santa Monica would include a 1,700-foot Bike Center, if it gets built; opponents are pushing for a park at the site instead.

The rich get richer, as Long Beach votes to update its pedestrian and bicycle master plans to make the bike-friendly city even more welcoming for people on foot and bikes, by focusing on low-income communities that have largely been left out up to this point.

 

State

Caltrans is looking for comments on its first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, with a goal of making it safe, convenient and comfortable for anyone to walk or ride a bike by 2040. Which is a long damn time off.

China Daily says Chinese app-based bikeshare company Bluegogo is now seeking permits from city leaders to operate in San Francisco, while an Op-Ed in the Examiner accuses them of bringing chaos to the city’s public spaces.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Wednesday morning.

A Bay Area cyclist writes about the struggle to find a balance between bicycling and an eating disorder.

A Fairfield driver faces felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run for allegedly intentionally crashing into a woman riding her bike after his passenger yelled insults at her out the window.

 

National

A writer for Bike Portland asks if the city’s lack of gated communities has contributed to its success as a bicycling community. On the other hand, LA’s relative lack of gated communities hasn’t exactly made it a bicyclist’s paradise.

A trio of Colorado counties are about to finalize a 670 acre land swap with the US Bureau of Land Management to open up more land for mountain biking.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 78-year old great-grandmother from Montana has been bicycling across Europe and North America for the last 14 years, traveling an estimated 10,000 miles so far.

A Chicago weekly questions why a drunk driver got off with just ten days in jail for killing a man on a bike, comparing the sentence to the Brock Turner rape case at Stanford.

The New York Times offers lessons on aging well gleaned from 105-year old French cycling champ Robert Marchand.

A writer for a DC paper explains why it’s so hard to get a driver charged for running down a bike rider.

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who shot an unarmed bike rider in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and resulting to a $22 million judgment, is now in charge of security at the Palm Beach airport whenever President Trump flies into town. No, seriously. What could possibly go wrong?

 

International

A writer for Torontoist offers a great response to the city’s bike-hating columnist, with tongue planted so firmly in cheek it may pop out the other side.

A British soccer star is under investigation for a crash that injured a cyclist; he says the rider darted in front of him on a green light.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A British bus company responsible for killing a bike rider earlier this week had been the subject of numerous complaints, yet the company director insists cyclists have to take responsibility for collisions. Because you can’t actually expect drivers to operate their buses safely. Right?

Caught on video: A British driver just misses a bike rider in a painfully close pass, rather than step on the brakes, slow down and pass safely.

Caught on video too: A Brit cyclist unleashes a foul mouthed tirade at a bus driver following a far too close pass to avoid a pedestrian. Considering the language I’ve directed towards various motorists over the years — all well-deserved, of course — I’m the last one to judge anyone’s choice of words.

Four childhood friends are riding a pair of tandems 420 miles from Wales to Scotland, despite never riding one before. Or riding much, period.

An Australian website discusses the problem with Strava, saying it still has a way to go before it becomes a valuable tool for all bike riders

 

Finally…

What to wear when you’re riding your bike, but still want to hide from the paparazzi. Whatever you do, don’t take your bike on Air Canada.

And apparently, motorists abhor a vacuum.

 

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