Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Weekend Links: Bike rider critically injured in solo Burbank crash, and LACBC’s Tamika Butler honored

A 74-year old Bell Gardens man was critically injured after somehow slamming his bike into the back of a parked commercial truck in Burbank early Friday morning.

The victim suffered severe head injuries despite wearing a helmet; he reportedly had his head down and didn’t notice the parked truck ahead of him.

Which should be a reminder to all of us to always watch the road in front of you.

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Congratulations to LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who will be honored as the 2016 Professional of the Year ­– Nonprofit Sector by the Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals.

As a former member of the LACBC board, I can honestly say this honor is richly deserved. No one does more on a daily basis to make this city safer and more equitable for everyone who rides a bike.

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A Charlotte NC bike lawyer comments on the road raging Charlotte driver we mentioned here yesterday, who buzzed and brake checked a group of 30 cyclists, then screamed and flipped them off when they tried to calmly talk to her.

And she notes that even though bicyclists have been highly critical of her, online comments when cyclists are killed or injured are far more hateful. Even though the local press is desperately trying to turn her into the victim.

Meanwhile, a columnist for the Charlotte paper says he doesn’t feel sorry for the driver, and the whole thing could have been avoided if she just hadn’t acted like an idiot. And adds that the TV station that interviewed her was irresponsible in painting her as the victim.

Amen, brother.

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Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson says he’s lucky to be alive after hitting a speed bump and going over his handlebars while descending a hill in the British Virgin Islands — which were not named after his company — and watching his bike go off a cliff.

Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured, despite the photos, though his bike did not survive.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

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Hats off to 16-year old Inglewood cyclist Rafael Solorzano, who won two gold medals in the Junior Track Cycling National Championships in Trexlertown PA this month, for team sprint and team pursuit.

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It’s happened once again. An Estonian cyclist was forced to withdraw from the Vuelta after he was hit from behind by a car for another team; his team director stressed that it was a complete accident, rather than the result of careless driving. Which doesn’t make it better; motor vehicles don’t belong on course during bike races.

Alberto Contador went down hard after touching wheels with another rider in the Vuelta, which could ruin his plans for the race.

An 86-year old Catholic nun owns the triathlon record for her age group.

And sad news from Michigan, as seven time world champion triathlete Karen McKeachie was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.

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Local

Streetsblog discusses the future of bikeshare with the project manager of the North American Bikeshare Association.

Beverly Hills encourages everyone to walk or bike to tonight’s free Next Night celebration on South Beverly Drive. Never mind that there are no bike lanes to get you there, and nowhere to park your bike if you do.

Burbank police will be holding a free bike registration event from 8 am to 2 pm today, with Bike Walk Burbank on hand to provide bike safety inspections and minor repairs. Or you can just click here to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their periodic bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations this Monday. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the SaMo city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

Just Ride LA is hosting a ride Tuesday night in honor of Michael Jackson, on what would have been the self-proclaimed King of Pop’s 58th birthday.

 

State

A Carlsbad woman will attempt to set a new bicycle land speed record this September.

A Redlands boy passes it forward after police recover his stolen bicycle, donating the bike police offers gave him to replace it to another child.

Just one day after San Francisco Streetsblog wrote about a vital bike bridge that was blocked with homeless encampments, the city cleared them out, while denying any connection to the story.

 

National

The Institute of Transportation Engineers tells the US Department of Transportation it should focus less on moving cars and more on moving people, regardless of how they travel.

Based on stats for the first six months of 2016, this is shaping up to be the deadliest year on American roads since 2007.

People for Bikes is looking for a project manager for their PlacesForBikes program.

Bicycling offers ten things cyclists wish drivers knew, including we’re just people, too.

Not surprisingly, Portland residents have embraced bikeshare, as usage has exceeded expectations since the system’s launch last July.

Who says you can’t make things in the US? The world’s best bike pump is made in Minneapolis, even if it does cost $450.

Despite being required to avoid drugs as a condition of his measly $5,000 bond for killing a bike rider while driving salmon and apparently under the influence, a Wisconsin man was sent back to jail for using heroin and faking a drug test with a bottle of freshly purchased urine.

A writer for the New York Times says everyone remembers their first bike, even if it gets killed by a defective roof rack.

Fox News commentator and prospective New York mayoral candidate Bo Dietl becomes just the latest politician to pander to bike haters by promising to rip out the city’s bike lanes his first day in office.

An arrest has finally been made in the fatal shooting of an Atlanta teenager who confronted two men over the theft of his sister’s bicycle.

 

International

In a series of tweets, a conservative and sadly misguided Toronto senator blames bike lanes for turning the city into the equivalent of a third-world country, comparing it unfavorably to New York, London and Paris. All of which have bike lanes, and none of which are third world.

The Toronto cab driver caught knocking a delivery bike rider off the road in a viral video has finally been arrested on an assault charge.

The mayor of Montreal calls for changes to the highway safety code following a series of collisions involving bicyclists, while the opposition accuses him of not doing enough to protect riders.

Who says bike helmets don’t improve safety? A British bike rider credits his with saving his skull when he was beaten over the head with a bottle by a notorious thug and drug addict.

A Brit bicyclist thanks the mean hearted git who stole his bike’s wheel, even though it was locked up in front of the police station overnight, since it kept him from riding when he started suffering dizzy spells.

Caught on video: A cyclist recorded himself covered by swarms of biting midges on a ride through the Scottish countryside.

 

Finally…

Who needs a cargo bike when you can just carry your refrigerator on your shoulders while you ride?

If you’re riding your bike while high on drugs and carrying meth and an illegal handgun, put a damn light on it — and don’t struggle with the cops when they try to stop you; on the other hand, if you’re carrying a sawed-off shotgun on your bike and have an outstanding warrant, don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And no, you can’t get compensation from her parents if you crash your car while staring at a woman riding a bike in a bikini and short skirt.

Though I must confess to riding my bike into a parked car under similar circumstances.

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver as victim, cyclists are not obstructions, and going full superman on a bike

So who exactly is the victim here?

A group of around 30 Charlotte NC cyclists were riding in a bike lane when they were dangerously buzzed and brake checked by a road raging driver, who proceeded to swear at them and give them the rare double bird when they caught up to her at a red light, all for no apparent reason.

Charlotte NC double bird

And with her child in the car, no less.

Although she was probably unaware that two of those riders she threatened happened to be off-duty cops.

Oops.

So the riders filed a complaint with the police, while those cops had a nice little chat with the undoubtedly surprised driver.

But that’s when the story took a bizarre turn.

Because when the local TV station was done with it, the victim wasn’t any of the innocent cyclists whose lives she’d threatened.

It was the driver herself, who was said to be working with the police and seeking legal council after alleging she’d been threatened once the story became public.

So instead of focusing on the would-be Dr. Christopher Thompson, the news report approached it from the perspective of how she didn’t deserve to be harassed for what she did.

Which she didn’t.

No one deserves that. Which is why I often withhold the names of drivers accused of criminal acts until they become common knowledge, after seeing the outrage that poured out in the first few days following the Mandeville Canyon brake check — including late night death threats directed at the wrong Dr. Christopher Thompson.

Let alone the person who once politely offered to track down a driver who harassed me and bust his windshield, if not his legs. Or his head.

But while she didn’t deserve the alleged response, let’s not forget she was the one who started it by attempting to threaten, if not injure, a group of people whose only crime was riding their bicycles in the lane designated for just that purpose.

Because they didn’t deserve it, either.

Thanks to Michael Hart of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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Patrick Lynch forwards a report of a legal case in which police refused to blame a scofflaw driver for breaking the law. And his insurance company tried, and failed, to convince a jury that the bike rider he hit was just an obstruction in the roadway.

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A cyclist goes full Superman in an ad for a fixie maker.

Although it’s been done before.

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Wish Los Angeles a happy 235th birthday this Saturday with a walk and bike ride from the San Gabriel Mission to Olvera Street, retracing the steps of the city’s original founders, who didn’t even have a Garmin to guide their way.

LA Birthday Ride

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Once again, victory in yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta went to someone other than the favorites; the winner was just back from a four-month suspension for failing a drug test.

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Local

LADOT explains the new cycle hoops pilot program allowing you to legally lock up to parking meters in Westwood. But for now at least, only in Westwood.

Unlike the LA Rams football stadium coming to Inglewood, the new soccer stadium for the coming LAFC franchise promises to be easily accessible by bicycle, with parking for 440 bikes.

Saturday’s Gravel Trofee #4 offers a gravel grinding grid from the Backbone Trail to the beach.

The 17-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postponed from last June due to the San Gabriel Complex fire could be rescheduled for spring of next year, possibly in March.

 

State

A Laguna Beach radio host observes that the wife of fallen cyclist John Colvin has forgiven Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby, the 19-year old driver convicted of taking his life. And notes that there hasn’t been another bicycling fatality in the city since, crediting luck, along with a network of sharrows directing riders off PCH.

Orange County officials are blocking access to a maintenance road used as a de facto bike path along seven miles of the Santa Ana River following complaints about homeless camps along the roadway. However, the Santa Ana River bike path remains open.

Not surprisingly, the driver who killed Redlands cyclist Randy Stephenson in Loma Linda while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Simi Valley votes to remove ghost bikes and other roadside memorials after just 30 days. After all, why would they want to bum people out by reminding them to drive, bike and/or walk safely?

The UC Santa Barbara student newspaper traces the history of bicycling at the bike friendly university, where musician Jack Johnson met his future wife by locking his bike to hers in his rush to get to class.

The New York Times says Silicon Valley group rides are the new place to pitch ideas and make deals, if you can keep up; VeloNews responds that cycling is not and never will be the new golf.

The San Francisco Chronicle offers proof that Bay Area bike activism goes back nearly 45 years, including photos taken by the man who shot the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising.

The former Napa Valley Bike Angel is launching a drive to donate bikes and helmets to families affected by the recent Clayton Fire.

 

National

People for Bikes considers what can be done to improve safety on roads filled with distracted drivers.

Evidently, bicycles really are dangerous. A Texas woman was injured by one that fell off a vehicle and struck the car she was in.

A Wisconsin writer says hell yes, cyclists are entitled to their place on the road, and people driving cars and trucks have a responsibility to honor that. Note: Michael Hart points out the writer is the former mayor of Madison WI, and the current president of the Wisconsin Bike Federation.

A security guard for the Chicago ABC affiliate gets credit for catching a wrong-way, probably drunk driver who tried to flee the scene after running down a bike rider; fortunately, the cyclist wasn’t seriously injured.

A woman on Martha’s Vineyard puts out cold drinks to comfort strangers passing by on a bike path in a gesture of hospitality.

It’s not just pedestrians who are at risk from collisions with bicyclists, despite the breathless stories in the press. A New York cyclist was seriously injured going over his handlebars after swerving to avoid a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him while he was riding in Central Park. And in a similar incident, a Texas woman died a month after she was injured going over her handlebars in Central Park, possibly after being cut off by a pedicab.

The New York Times says the death of a 78-year old bike rider shows biking perils persist in the city, as advocates grow angry that the city isn’t doing more to address them.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare expands further into Brooklyn, with an additional 139 stations coming by year’s end; however, not everyone is happy with the loss of parking spaces.

A Pennsylvania town is being terrorized by teenage bike riders who pop wheelies, and force drivers to remember where their brakes are.

Road diets can do more than just improve safety; a New Orleans street is being reconfigured in hopes the narrower street and bike lanes will bring life to a crime-ridden neighborhood and encourage businesses to invest there.

A St. Petersburg FL bridge is the latest to be sabotaged by someone throwing tacks in the bike lane; police and DOT officials insist they don’t know anything about it, even though a reporter picked up 30 tacks herself.

A Florida jury deliberates for a whole 10 minutes before giving a bike thief three years for stealing a bait bike. Unfortunately, LA still doesn’t use bait bikes, despite a rampant bike theft epidemic. And most bike thieves here don’t get three days, let alone three years.

 

International

Ella Cycling Tips offers tips on what to do if your lady bits hurt after riding. Assuming you have lady bits, of course.

A Winnipeg man fled on a bicycle after placing a backpack containing a bomb in front of the courthouse; fortunately, no one was injured in the explosion. Meanwhile, a kindhearted Winnipeg couple is fixing up bikes to donate to refugee children. And no, let’s not jump to any connection there.

A man in the UK was the victim of a strong arm robbery after being pushed off his bike by a someone who then rode off on it.

An Indian man plans to become the first visually challenged cyclist to conquer the Himalayas on a tandem.

A new Aussie ER study shows most cycling injuries occurred while the victims were riding on the street, often in bike lanes, and usually in broad daylight.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. A Japanese driver has killed one pedestrian and seriously injured another while playing Pokémon Go instead of watching the road.

 

Finally…

If not being able to ride drives you crazy, you may be right. If you’re going to steal your neighbor’s bicycle, don’t ride past her house on it, especially not while she’s filing a police report.

And do they make these in adult sizes?

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

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Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

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Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

Morning Links: Problems with Vision Zero, fallen Loma Linda cyclist hits hard, and a pedal-sparked forest fire

Co.Exist offers a good look at the problems in implementing Vision Zero, saying cities have to get bolder if it’s going to be more than just the latest trend.

What’s missing, according to the article, is the funding and political will to make the changes necessary to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths. Along with the determination to overrule NIMBY opposition.

Which so far at least, sums up Los Angeles in a nutshell.

As they point out, the city just finished a series of outreach meetings to get input from advocates and neighborhood groups already working on safety issues.

But we’ve yet to see decisive leadership from the mayor office, or any hint of a backbone from the city council or LADOT. Let alone the funding to pay for the changes that will be necessary on our streets if they’re serious about eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, as they claim.

So we’ll have to see what comes out of that.

But without a major commitment from city leaders, the chances of Vision Zero succeeding here in LA are pretty much zero.

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Both KNBC-4 and KCBS-2 report on the collateral damage death of cyclist Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a domestic violence suspect trying to flee police in Loma Linda.

According to KNBC-4, the chase only lasted a few seconds, as Eric Tafoya drove in the bike lane in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic; Stephenson’s friend suggests sheriff’s deputies should have just let him go and made the arrest at a later date.

Meanwhile, friends describe Stephenson to KCBS-2 as funny, outgoing and a super nice guy, who loved working on his bike and hanging out at his local bike shop.

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Bicycles hardly ever cause fires.

But the recent Rock Creek Fire in the Inyo National forrest appears to be the exception, as the Forrest Service has traced the ignition point back to a mountain bike pedal striking a rock.

So either put rubberized pedals on your mountain bike, or keep a safe distance from rocks until we get a little more rain.

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VeloNews recaps stage four of the Vuelta. What all four stage winners have in common so far is that none of them are among the expected leaders. However, American Andrew Talansky is confident he can finish in the top 10.

The former head of British Cycling credits the Japanese concept of kaizen for the country’s Olympic success; the philosophy of continuous improvement through small gains helped Japan rebuild after WWII.

Two more amateur masters racers have been caught doping. No, seriously.

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Local

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez talks with the former state senate leader who led a 1972 bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help preserve the California coast; 89-year old Jim Mills still has the yellow Schwinn Super Sport he rode.

KCET looks at plans to complete the missing links in the LA River bike path though the San Fernando Valley to create a single continuous pathway from Canoga Park to the Elysian Valley, and profiles the firms hired to design the path and determine its feasibility.

CiclaValley says Pt. Magu State Park is the perfect spot for your first gravel ride.

Time Out Los Angeles considers whether it’s legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in LA. Short answer, yes in LA; no in the county, maybe, or maybe not, everywhere else.

Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — is having a pop-up sale at their Burbank headquarters this Saturday.

Questions surround a planned bikeway along the San Gabriel River in Baldwin Park after the city council approved spending up to $120,000 without further council approval, and the city hired an Oregon firm accused of bribery, against the recommendation of the city’s then-Public Works Director.

The Santa Clarita Valley has seen four serious hit-and-runs resulting in injury or death in the last three months, starting with the death of music teacher Rob Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon last May; the driver in that case faces charges for manslaughter, DUI and fleeing the scene.

 

State

Orange County Transportation Authority approves a $1.11 million bicycle corridor in Garden Grove.

Good news, as a San Clemente mountain biker has regained the use of his legs after falling 300 feet off the Telonics trail last April.

A Palm Springs bike rider is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup. Although the local TV station seemed more concerned about the effect it had on local traffic.

A bike bridge called the crown jewel of a San Francisco bicycle safety project that enables cyclists to bypass a complicated freeway interchange has now become a homeless encampment.

Already two years behind schedule, the bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is still a path to nowhere, with completion of the section leading to Yerba Buena Island now delayed until October.

Bicycling relates the tale of two San Francisco cyclists who engaged in a slow-speed bike chase to retrieve a stolen bicycle and tackle the thief before police arrived.

Security cameras will be installed on bike paths around the Chico State campus to improve safety for students.

 

National

Portland officials are planning to use lottery funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway.

Evidently, you can kill someone in Idaho while not paying attention to the road, with the sun in your eyes, and reaching down for something on the seat next to you, and it’s still just a misdemeanor if you didn’t do it on purpose. If we ever hope to end traffic deaths, our legal system has to take the careless killing of another human being seriously.

A 12-year old Montana girl fought city hall for two years to get a guard rail installed on a bike path to protect riders from a steep drop off.

DNA tests confirm it was a 20-year old grizzly bear who killed a mountain biker last June after he and a companion evidently surprised the bear as they rode on a trail near Glacier National Park.

Life is cheap in Iowa, as a woman gets two years probation, despite fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in a pouring rainstorm. Yes, probation, without a single day behind bars, despite leaving her victim to die in the street.

No bias here. A bike rider gets the blame when a Missouri school bus driver goes off the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was passing the cyclist. Evidently, it’s impossible for drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass, let alone slow down or put on the brakes.

Who says you can’t build bikes in the US? A new high volume bike manufacturer opens in Little Rock, Arkansas to build carbon-frame bicycles.

A Minneapolis bike commuter complains about rude cyclists in spandex, accusing them of patriarchal sexism and male entitlement. And not looking awesome in those shorts. Or maybe it’s possible that some people are just assholes sometimes, whether on two wheels or four.

An Indiana family of seven takes in their son’s best friend after his mother was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle.

New York police actively discourage a bike rider from filing a police report, despite witnessing her being assaulted by an Uber driver.

A bike-riding, 80-year old woman living on the streets of DC told everyone the government owed her $100,000. And finally proved it.

A Savannah GA writer complains about the attitude that bicycle safety improvements have to be earned through good behavior by cyclists, a standard that is never applied to motorists. I’d love to see officials say no more freeways until drivers stop speeding and start signaling their turns and lane changes. Or maybe just no more freeways, period.

 

International

An off-duty Halifax police officer is being called a hero after helping save the life of bike rider following a hit-and-run.

A letter writer in the UK complains that the real problem with bikeshare is that it’s too expensive, no one wears helmets, and everyone except him rides like a jerk.

A British man faces charges after allegedly driving across the road and onto the sidewalk to assault a man who was riding on a bike path and smash his bicycle; bizarrely, a couple of men stopped to intervene during the attack, but drove off after seeing the victim was okay.

One man’s bike shop is popularizing bicycling in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

 

Finally…

You could be the proud owner of a bicycle formerly ridden by Sir Edmund Hillary for the equivalent of just $182. If you’re carrying meth on your bike and already have two outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it.

And probably not the best idea to ride a bicycle home with a fishing hook still caught in your penis.

 

Morning Links: One year for killing OC cyclist, new video of LAPD beating bike rider, and bike hating sportswriters

We have way too much news for one day. So grab yourself a cuppa Joe and buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

………

Just one year for the hit-and-run death of a Laguna Beach bicyclist.

Twenty-one-year old Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby plead guilty Monday to one count of felony hit-and-run with injury and one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of John Colvin over two years ago.

Sure, you could call death an injury.

Rand-Luby swerved his car out of his lane and into the bike lane where Colvin was riding, striking him from behind, then continued on for another mile with a windshield too shattered to see through before finally pulling over.

He had faced up to four years in prison, but accepted a plea deal calling for just one year behind bars, with three years formal probation upon his release.

You can read the OC District Attorney’s full press release here, including the very moving impact statements from Colvin’s family.

Thanks to Edward M. Rubinstein for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times released security camera video of the beating of South LA bike rider Clinton Alford, Jr. by an LAPD officer following a brief chase on bike and foot.

Yet despite what you see, the LA District Attorney’s office inexplicably let the officer who kicked Alford in the head, beat him for several seconds, then kneeled heavily on his back for a couple minutes — even though Alford was in handcuffs and laying face down on the street the whole time — off with community service and a $500 fine.

And he could have his felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor once he completes the terms of his plea deal.

This is the third time DA Jackie Lacey has let a cop off with a slap on the wrist — or less — in a case involving a bike rider, following her refusal to charge the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, and the three Gardena cops who fatally shot the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Clearly, the DA has someone’s back.

But it’s not ours.

………

Where to even begin with this one?

The online bike world blew up over the weekend when not one, not two, but three sportswriters felt a need to display their ignorance, anti-bike bias or just plan willingness to risk the lives and safety of those on two wheels.

Starting with a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King showing his co-worker driving in the bike lane in order to get to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for an interview. A move that did not sit well with a number of people, including the San Diego Police Department.

Properly chastised, King apologized on Monday. Although generally, if someone is truly repentant, they don’t bury the apology at the bottom on an exceptionally long column.

Then there’s Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who felt compelled to chime in, saying it’s hard not to drive in a bike lane down there since it’s all they have, claiming there’s 10,000 miles of bike lanes for just ten bicyclists.

Never mind that San Diego ranks third nationally for bike commuting among cities over one million population.

This is what San Diegan Frank Lehnerz had to say in an email to Canepa’s colleagues at the U-T.

No, it’s not okay to violate CVC 21209 as Mr. King bragged on social media last weekend. There are plenty of normal traffic lanes for motorists to use. Bike lanes are far from “all we have.” Nearly every mile of freeway in the city prohibits cyclists and the infrastructure is only usable to only the most competent and attentive cyclists.  If your colleague can’t learn, respect, and follow the laws, he should do the public a favor and surrender his driving license. In addition to the few dangerous drivers, bicyclists here in San Diego have to deal with potholes, train tracks, cracks, non-functioning signals, and bikes lanes which end all the sudden at intersections and where roads cross over freeways. Personally I’ve dealt with several close calls of people driving motor vehicle swerving into the bike lane in order to pass stopped traffic or get a head start on making a right hand turn. These drivers often do this with no turn signal or with a cell phone in hand. It’s not a joke when a cyclist is struck and injured or killed. In some cases it’s a hit and run, in others the cyclists is either dead or unable to recall the actions and thus his or her side of the story is never told.

Motorists should not be in the bicycle lanes unless it’s for one of the exemptions given under CVC 21209 and after they’ve ensured the lane is clear of cyclists.

And last, and certainly least, there’s former footballer and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who may have absorbed one hit too many before hanging up the cleats.

Because it was Evans who took it a step further by expressing his desire to run down people on bikes, apparently because he was briefly delayed by a couple cyclists in Venice.

SI7O0H2T.jpg-large

Funny how no one ever says they want to kill motorists because they were stuck on the 405 for hours, but a few seconds behind someone on a bike is enough to bring out murderous rage.

Like King, but apparently, not Canepa, Evans apologized after debating the matter with rightfully enraged members of the Twitterati, even as he expressed bewilderment that bikes don’t actually belong on the sidewalk.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read what Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has to say on the subject. And even New York’s famed Bike Snob couldn’t resist adding his two cents to the West Coast blow-up.

Because, as ignorant as these comments and actions were, these are the people we share the streets with.

And as much as we might like to think they’re extreme examples, the attitudes they express are a lot more common than any of us would like to believe.

Thanks to Cuong T. for the tip.

………

Good luck to Mark Friis, formerly the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance.

Friis recently stepped down from his position, and yesterday the reason became clear. He’s about to embark on an around-the-world bike tour.

You can follow his journey on his new website. And contribute to his efforts online, if you’re so inclined.

………

Still more kindhearted people.

Pomona police dig into their own pockets replace the bike a 12-year old boy was rebuilding after it was stolen; it only took 20 minutes for eight cops to step up after the call went out looking for officers willing to pitch in.

Clovis police recovered a boy’s stolen bicycle after it had been dismantled, so they rebuilt it themselves before returning it to him.

Bighearted volunteers in Calgary are refurbishing donated bicycles to provide reliable transportation for Syrian refugees.

………

Local

CiclaValley takes a late night ride with Walk Bike Burbank’s Midnight Ramble.

Pasadena is taking steps to become more bike friendly in the next 10 to 15 years — apparently not five as the headline suggests — by conducting road diets and installing buffered and protected bike lanes.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza and Jose Jimenez, Education Director for Bike SGV.

 

State

Cyclelicious says thank you, but he did not coin the term Idaho Stop, although he was among the first to popularize it.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open streets event returns on October 30th after a two year hiatus. Meanwhile, San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood will get a new bike co-op, including a weekly bike valet.

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks at the state of protected bike lanes in the US, and around the world.

Sunday marks the ninth annual Bike the Bay in San Diego, offering riders a once-a-year opportunity to ride across the arching San Diego – Coronado Bridge. Although you’ll find yourself among the bizarrely anti-bike Coronado denizens once you get to the other side.

A law firm is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the hit-and-run death of Moreno Valley resident Duane Darling as he rode his bike in Mead Valley last month.

The Redlands cycling community mourns Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a driver fleeing sheriff’s deputies in Loma Linda last week; the long-time member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Co bike club had just left Don’s Bike Shop in Redlands when he was run down.

 

National

The Bike League looks at how cycling can help solve global warming.

A Chicago website reports on the booming, spandex-free underground bike scene that roams the city every Monday night.

Eleven cities in the US and Canada are now using the sonar system developed by the Chattanooga Police Department to measure whether drivers give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law. Sadly, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The New Yorker looks at the challenges of transforming the Motor City into a bike making center.

A Rochester NY minister is offering a $1,000 reward for his stunt BMX bicycle that apparently fell off his car on the way back to his church — after using it to jump over a helicopter into a burning wall.

New York needs a better system for removing abandoned bicycles clogging up the city’s bike parking.

Tragic irony, as a Florida man who served time for killing a man in a road rage incident was himself the victim of a road raging driver.

 

International

Bike Radar says the formula for how many bikes you need is N+1 = CX, offering five reasons why your next bike should be a cross bike.

New cars should be able to see you by 2018, even if their drivers don’t.

A Columbian startup is rewarding riders in Bogotá and Mexico City with points for each kilometer they ride, which can be exchanged for discounts at participating merchants; they will expand into Vancouver next.

A Toronto sportswriter tries riding the new Rio bikeways without luck, including the rebuilt cliff-side trail that collapsed earlier this year, killing two people.

Winnipeg bike riders are advised to use two locks when they lock up, as bike thefts jump nearly 75%.

A Brit bike rider claims to have set a new world record for the longest distance traveled on a bikeshare bike in a single hour, at just over 20 miles.

A British woman wants signs posted in a park warning pedestrians about bikes after she was knocked down by a bike rider. Seriously, anytime there are pedestrians around, slow the hell down.

Apparently not satisfied with winning most of the cycling medals in the Rio Olympics, British Cycling looks to build on its success.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about getting back on your bike after a vasectomy. No, those aren’t bike shorts.

And if you’re going to use an axe to try to hack through a bike lock in broad daylight, try not to whack the bike.

 

Morning Links: Fundraiser for Joe4CD1, traveling LA by bike and Metro, and taking auto-eroticism a tad too literally

Josef Bray-Ali, who’s taking on anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in the race for Los Angeles’ 1st Council District, is hosting a fundraiser at NELA’s Café de Leche on Sunday.

………

Wired looks at the physics of Olympic BMX, while the US took a different approach to training for the BMX events this year.

A Dutch rider managed to qualify for the next round despite smashing his bike on the BMX course and carrying it across the finish line.

Velonews says the Olympics have forced mountain biking into shorter race formats, which one rider describes as more like a long BMX race.

Colorado considers creating a major event to replace the USA Pro Challenge, which went belly up after six years of bringing top pro cyclists to the state.

Outside examines how to motor dope your own bike, while Cycling Weekly looks at what it’s like to ride one.

And a Russian soccer player insists all cyclists dope, saying cycling is “simply impossible without doping.”

………

Local

An administrator for a Century City financial management firm touts the benefits of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare.

When a Chatsworth actor’s car needed major repairs, he took to his bike and Metro. And found he actually liked being able to get around the city without a car, especially for the senior off-peak rate of just 35¢.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says his heroes are the ones who show up for meetings about bike safety.

Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a serial bike-riding groper in Cerritos.

The Long Beach Gazettes looks at the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd in North Long Beach. But why, pray tell, did they file it under “Entertainment?”

 

State

Good news from Salinas, as a teenager who was broadsided by a car is recovering from serious injuries.

Bad news from Palo Alto, as a 73-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a stop sign. Funny how often bicyclists are blamed for crashes when they aren’t around to tell their side of the story.

San Francisco advocates fight the removal of ghost bikes; city policy calls for any memorial to be removed after just two weeks.

A candidate for the San Francisco board of supervisors responds to a fellow candidate’s call to register bikes and license their riders, saying bike licenses make good crankbait, but bad policy. Is it too late to move to the Bay just so we can all vote for him?

San Francisco launches a pair of 15-second radio spots promoting the Vision Zero program in English and Spanish, without really saying anything.

 

National

A writer for science website PLOS examines the problems with painted bike lanes that are squeezed onto the side of the road, saying if a car can park there it’s not a bike lane, it’s just the side of the road.

A writer for a left-leaning website goes on an extensive anti-mountain bike diatribe, insisting they have no place in national parks, and are “inbred with a culture of lawlessness and aggression.” And we all know inbreeding is a bad thing, right?

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske calls on bike riders to show a little courtesy to other users on multi-use paths, noting that the way we treat pedestrians could influence the way they treat us when they get behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a young woman was released after spending just 74 days behind bars for running down a cyclist and leaving him to die in the street, after a night of partying.

A Colorado letter writer points out that it’s not just bike riders who break the law, noting how rare it is to see a motorist who’s not illegally putting others at risk in some way.

Football players at a Texas university tackle a bike thief — literally — as he was riding off with a super fan’s bicycle.

An Illinois shop owner calls for action after his wife was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she stepped out of a restaurant. We all have an obligation to ride safely around pedestrians. But instead of calling for enforcement to keep cyclists off the sidewalk, why not call for making the streets safer so people on bikes don’t feel compelled to ride there?

The Chicago Tribune harvests honey with the city’s bicycling beekeeper.

In the wake of the Kalamazoo massacre, city officials consider a three-foot passing law. Which would have done nothing to prevent the drunk and stoned driver from plowing into any of the nine victims.

A New York actress was barred from driving in the state after killing a cyclist while driving distracted last year, even though a botched police investigation allowed her to escape charges. However, she can still drive in New Jersey, where she holds her license, despite four previous moving violations.

Virginia Tech researchers work on creating a rating system for bike helmets.

Atlanta cyclists let their money do the talking by holding a cash mob event to call for protected bike lanes and demonstrate that bike riders make good customers.

A former Air Force colonel is riding 2,500 miles down the East Coast to raise funds for families of fallen soldiers.

 

International

The World Health Organization has named former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg global ambassador for road safety, with a portfolio that includes preventing deaths from traffic collisions.

A British TV sports reporter is in a coma after contracting a rare form of malaria while bicycling 3,000 miles on a charity bike ride from London to Rio.

An author says the bicycle has become a tool for radical activism in Afghanistan, as he flies into the country to photograph the women’s national cycling team.

The Wall Street Journal says a luxury cycling tour of Japan with a pro racer as your guide will make you a better rider.

Take a bike tour of the remote Ha Giang region of Vietnam, which was recently opened to visitors. Unlike previous fully supported tours of the county operated by Uncle Sam, this one will set you back over three grand. But no one will be shooting at you.

 

Finally…

Why choose between bicycling and yoga when you can do both at the same time? If you’re going to use your bike to steal a cellphone from a car passenger, try to stay upright long enough to get away.

And an Iowa man is under arrest for having sex with a parked van.

Note that it says with, not in.

 

Morning Links: The terrible tyranny of two-wheeled tribal wear revisited, and dream bike rides around the world

It happened again.

This past Sunday, I rode to CicLAvia from my home in Hollywood and back again, my longest ride yet since I’ve been back on my bike.

Along the way, I passed numerous riders, some heading to or from CicLAvia, others appearing to be making their way back from a weekend ride.

I was dressed in casual clothes, preferring to leave my spandex at home for such a popular and populist event.

But as I passed the various riders, I noticed a phenomenon I’ve written about before. Riders dressed casually, in similar attire, would smile and nod as they went by, while spandexed cyclists in their club kits would pass by without a hint of recognition, as if I my choice in bikewear had rendered me invisible.

Experience has taught me it goes the other way, as well.

If I’d been wearing my riding kit, the other spandex-clad riders would likely have acknowledged me, while the casually dressed cyclists would pedal by without so much as a glance or nod in my direction.

Even though I was the same rider, with the same skills, I would be seen differently depending on what I was wearing, and unconsciously assigned to one bicycling clan or another, acknowledged by those who saw me as one of their own, and ignored by those who didn’t.

And as I note in the piece above, we somehow insist on subdividing ourselves into countless other cliques and niches, based on everything from what we ride to why.

Yet we all face the same problems on our streets. And we are all bound by the desire to ride our bikes in peace and safety, and return home again to those we love.

We are stronger together than we are apart. Whether calling for safer streets and an end to bike theft, or confronting angry homeowners who value their free parking over our lives.

So the next time you see someone on a bicycle who you seem to have nothing in common with, give them a nod and a smile anyway.

We have more binding us together than the superficialities that set us apart.

………

For those who missed it yesterday, here’s the link to the Harvard Med School article listing the five top health benefits of bicycling, along with their bizarre advice to wear spandex and a helmet while you ride your beach cruiser, but not on the street. PDF courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch.

………

Today’s common theme is where to go one your next dream ride.

HuffPo lists the best rides in the US and Canada, none of which are in California.

An Irish paper list nine beautiful bike rides around the UK.

And a Kiwi website ranks the ten most epic bike rides you can ever do — including biking to the South Pole.

………

Great news, as Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten is back on her bike after her terrifying crash while leading the women’s Olympic road race.

Here’s an impressive stat. Every member of Britain’s Olympic cycling team has won at least one medal in Rio. Including British cyclist Becky James, who recovered from a cancer scare to win two silver medals.

Britain’s cycling coach responds to accusations that they somehow manage to peak at the Olympics every four years by saying the other teams just didn’t show up. German gold medalist Kristina Vogel insists the Brits have an unfair advantage, though she can’t figure out what it is.

Congratulation to Azizulhasni Awang, who became the first Malaysian to ever medal in track cycling.

The San Diego Union-Tribune describes BMX, which starts Olympic competition on Thursday, as part horse race and part roller coaster.

And former pro Ted King says he has a lot more fun now that he’s retired.

………

Local

CiclaValley questions whether Metro’s new $22 million tunnel connecting the Orange and Red Lines in North Hollywood is worth the money, arguing that the intersection it bypasses remains dangerous and could be tamed with bike lanes. I’ve made the same argument; Metro could — and should — have saved millions and improved safety by fixing the intersection instead of tunneling underneath it.

The LACBC is looking for volunteers for a bike and pedestrian count in Inglewood this September.

A new Echo Park restaurant focusing on mescal cocktails promises to have plenty of bicycle parking. Which is certainly better than getting diners drunk and sending them out to their waiting cars.

Pasadena is planning to conduct a road diet and build a curb-protected bike lane on Union Street, after receiving a Metro grant to build ten new bicycle corridors throughout the city.

 

State

San Diego bike rental shops say their business has been adversely affected by the city’s DecoBike bikeshare system.

A plan to restore wildlife habitat in Oak Park could jeopardize dirt jumps popular with off-road and BMX riders.

Instead of preventing injuries, a San Francisco cyclist’s helmet may have caused them, as it appears to have been used to beat him severely in a vicious assault he can’t even remember.

San Francisco’s Arguello Blvd is about to trade parking spaces for bike and pedestrian safety enhancements.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a panel discussion on how to get more diversity in bicycling, which included the LACBC’s Tamika Butler.

An 18-year old Sonoma bike rider was seriously injured when he swung wide to make a sharp curve on a steep descent, and was hit head-on by a mail truck.

Bodega Bay is opening a new bike and pedestrian path named in honor of a long-time resident who lost her life in a traffic collision.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the history of the chamois.

Kids, don’t try this at home. An 80-year old Washington man was injured when he jumped on the back of a moving pickup after he saw the driver making off with his bike.

Seattle cyclists complain about dangerous crashes caused by streetcar tracks. But the city doesn’t know if there’s really a problem because they don’t bother to track it.

Life is cheap in Idaho, as a driver pleads out to a reduced charge in the death of a man riding home from work, and walks with a net of just three days in jail and $457.50 in fines and court costs.

A Missouri mother credits police for getting her young son’s bicycle back after it was stolen at gunpoint. Seriously, what kind of lowlife scum pulls a gun on a little boy?

Chicago cyclists angered by the death of a bike rider who was killed when a truck swerved into a bike lane responded by smashing the windshield of a construction truck that was parked in the same bike lane the next day; the victim was described as a radiant and shining star who would have made beautiful art. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Illinois changes its vehicle code to say every bicyclist is entitled to the same rights as motor vehicles, including that of right of way.

Boston’s mayor backs lowering speed limits in the city to 25 mph in order to save lives. LA’s Vision Zero will fail unless our leaders somehow find the courage to do the same here. And enforce it. Which seems unlikely when they don’t even have the courage to preserve bike lanes called for in the Mobility Plan.

New York gave in to community pressure to remove a parking protected bike lane and go back to an unprotected driver’s side lane; a councilman says you don’t inconvenience the entire community for the sake of a few bike riders. Which misses the point entirely.

 

International

Bike safety is still an issue for women in Toronto. And everywhere else, for that matter; women riders face threats, harassment and dangers beyond those faced by male riders.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver got a whopping £165 fine for careless driving — the equivalent of just $215 — for killing an aspiring bike racer.

Ten cyclists were injured in what was described as a horrific pile-up during a regional race in Wales.

A German cop was able to bust a fleeing drug suspect after he commandeered a kid’s bike when his car got stuck on a narrow path.

A kindhearted Israeli man does what his country should have, and buys a new bike for the eight-year old Palestinian girl who had hers confiscated and destroyed by border guards.

An Indian bike rider was killed, along with two children in cars, by glass-coated kite strings used to battle other kite flyers. As if there weren’t already enough hazards on the roads.

 

Finally…

Why settle for just one bike cam when you can record 360-degree video for a mere $4999.99? If you’re going to drive drunk on a street closed to private vehicles, and nearly hit a cyclist after a cop tells you to slow down, might as well pop a cold one when they finally pull you over.

And we only have to worry about drivers raising a stink.

Morning Links: More LA bike events, and columnist calls for confining those irresponsible cyclists to bike lanes

Let’s catch up on coming events.

Assemblymember Anthony Rendon and Supervisor Hilda Solis will host a bike ride and run to promote revitalization of the LA River this Saturday. Link courtesy of Streetsblog.

The Tour de Laemmle that was postponed due to smoke from the Sand fire earlier this summer has been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Walk Bike Burbank’s second annual Midnight Ramble Ride rolls Saturday night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a goodbye event for board member Maria Sipin on Sunday as she prepares to move to Portland. In just a few short years, Sipin has grown from a quiet volunteer to one of SoCal’s leading bike advocates, and will be very missed.

Speaking of Burbank, fixie-maker Pure Cycles is holding a pop-up sale at their headquarters in the city on the 27th.

Here’s your chance to get to know CD5 city council candidate Jesse Creed with a meet and greet in Century City on the 31st, as he prepares to take on incumbent Paul “No bike lanes on Westwood Blvd” Koretz.

………

If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could spend all day just shooting holes in the arguments made by this Boston columnist, who says the city should make bike lane use mandatory.

Since they’ve paid to build them and all, while apparently stealing precious roadway from those poor, deprived drivers who never, ever do anything wrong.

No, in her fantasy world, every one of the 400 Boston bike riders hit by cars each year evidently has it coming, as she calls them the most irresponsible group on the road.

And they could be damn near impervious to injury if they’d just strap on a damn bike helmet, which she mistakenly equates to seat belts, while trotting out the long discredited claim that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 85%.

They don’t.

Most objective studies show bike helmets offer some protection, though just how much is debatable.

While it’s true that some bike riders blow through stop lights and weave in and out of traffic, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the greatest risk to those around them. Especially when they can’t manage to put down their phones or take their foot off the gas.

And before she talks about confining cyclists to bike lanes, maybe she should insist that drivers stop parking in them and using them as a way to bypass stalled traffic.

Let alone that the city install barriers to protect the people using them. Or that they should actually go somewhere, and connect with others to form a real bike network.

It’s easy to dismiss her comments and say it doesn’t matter since she’s on the opposite coast.

But there are thousands of people who think just like her in every city and town in the US.

And we’ve got more than our share right here in LA.

………

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer claims her second silver of the Rio Olympics with a second-place finish in the omnium.

The mountain bike course at the Rio Olympics is threatened by a wildfire which could affect practices scheduled to start today. However, officials say the course is currently unaffected by the fire; unanswered is the question of air quality. Slovakia’s Peter Sagan says no one knows what the hell to expect in this weekend’s competition.

NPR says Kristin Armstrong’s victory in the Olympic time trial shows that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting slower.

A writer for the New Yorker looks at the magic of track cycling, while Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze says her heart hurts more than her wounds after crashing out in the keirin.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish says he feels awful about crashing into a South Korean rider during the omnium, but apparently not enough to give back the silver medal he won. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling calls the event more complicated than Quidditch.

Despite their dominance in Rio, there were innovations to shave a off few seconds that the Brits didn’t think of.

Romantically involved Brit cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott really are a golden couple, as they share ten gold medals between them.

And in non-Rio news, a number of pro cyclists tried, and failed, to win the famed Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Saturday.

………

Local

CiclaValley offers a video reminder to not drive in the bike lane on the first day of school. Or any day, for that matter.

Pasadena met Tuesday night to discuss cycle tracks planned for Union Street.

 

State

Encinitas police are looking for the heartless hit-and-run driver who left a seriously injured bicyclist lying in the street Sunday morning. Tom Scott, who says he rides that road himself, forwards the Reddit post from a friend of the victim reporting he suffered multiple broken bones and has gone through a number of surgeries already.

A Simi Valley woman was pulled off her bicycle and stabbed repeatedly by another woman; no word on whether the victim knew her attacker or if it was a random attack.

The Sacramento Bee says it’s time for the city to take off the training wheels and approve an updated bike plan.

Calbike wins a reversal, if not retraction, of the CHP’s victim blaming in a Sacramento-area bicycling crash.

Yolo County gets its own book bike.

 

National

An Arizona medical school professor rode his bicycle across the US, from DC to Seattle, to listen to Americans’ attitudes about Obamacare.

Colorado authorities throw the book at a 20-year old former star athlete who killed an eight year old girl riding her bicycle, with nine counts including vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield.

The Denver Post talks with ex-Tour de France winner, former doper and current medicinal dope peddler Floyd Landis about his new line of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products designed for discrete athletic use.

A bike rider says the man who shot and killed a New York imam and his friend was acting crazed and out-of-control as he fled the scene before driving past the cyclist once, then turning around and plowing into him.

A Philly columnist feels vindicated when a local TV station shows “arrogant” bike riders breaking the law. Never mind all those arrogant drivers who speed, fail to signal, don’t look and routinely violate right-of-way laws. But sure, let’s focus on the ones on bicycles.

That disgruntled Georgia bicyclist who stole a series of pedestrian safety signs says he’s not, and offers to pay for them, insisting he only took the signs because they were blocking the trail.

 

International

A Toronto hit-and-run has been ruled a homicide after the driver appeared to deliberately drive up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist, then back over him in a possible dispute over drugs.

A columnist calls a promised study of a new Toronto bike corridor just window dressing for another attempt to ram active transportation down the throats of drivers.

London’s mayor is urged to appoint a full-time walking and cycling commissioner.

Good Samaritans form a human chain around a London cyclist to protect him from traffic after he was injured in a collision.

Ebike prices are dropping; the new Danish MATE folding ebike retails for just $599.

Caught on video: When an Estonian BMXer insists on riding in an off-limits area, a security guard confiscates his bike. And busts some mad moves himself.

Bikeshare comes to Mumbai with a trial program offering just 20 bikes at five docking stations. Which is just enough to virtually guarantee failure.

A Cape Town ward councilor blames a six-year old girl for crashing into his extended cab pickup, never considering that he might have cut her off as he sped out of his gated office driveway.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bicyclist riding on a separated bikeway is nearly nailed in a left cross by a driver who crossed over two lanes to make the turn.

 

Finally…

When you’re riding you bike after dark with burglary tools and a half-dozen outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it — and get your ass out of the bushes, while you’re at it. Forget the pandering conviction, tell us more about that bicycle modified to be a sex toy.

And no one says you need a saddle to win a bike race.

………

Note: I was originally going to end with an item about Harvard Medical School’s bizarre advice to don a helmet and sweat-wicking spandex to ride a beach cruiser or adult tricycle with a cushioned saddle and no pedal clips, but only on a bike path, and not on the street.

Unfortunately, they’ve since hidden the article behind a paywall. Perhaps they were unprepared for the unbridled ridicule they knew was coming.

Update: Courtesy of J. Patrick Lynch, we now have a PDF of the Harvard Med School article. So feel free to ridicule at will. 

Morning Links: A human speed bump at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and a miscarriage of justice in Ventura County

Sunday marked yet another successful CicLAvia, as thousands turned out for the shortened course on Wilshire Blvd despite the heat.

However, some aspects left something to be desired, as dangerd explains.

Vision Zero L.A Style at CicLAvia

Do you want to know how much the LAPD cares about your safety and “Vision Zero”?

At the Wilshire CicLAvia this Sunday my girlfriend and I were making our way back to where we parked mid-route at our hotel near MacArthur Park when at 3:30pm a LAPD motorcycle cop escorting the DOT truck reopening Wilshire Blvd. pulled up behind us an announced over his loudspeaker “Get over to the right, the street is re-opening, this is L.A. You are just a speed bump.”

I pulled aside the cop on my bicycle and said, “I am not a speed bump I am a road user and I would appreciate it if you enforced the traffic law. If someone runs me off the road I expect that you will give them a ticket.”

To which he answered, “How can I give them a ticket after they run you over, you will already be dead?”

In my opinion we will not achieve “Vision Zero” by 2035, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, Not with a police force who is unwilling to enforce traffic law even at a CicLAvia event, and makes jokes about cars running over pedestrians and bicyclists.

Are you listening Eric Garcetti?

………

I got to CicLAvia late myself, but still managed to grab a few photos along the way, presented in no particular order.

Church-&-Bikes

Bike-Rodeo-Course-smallCicLAvia-Van-small

Nice to see the City Attorney's office represented

Nice to see the City Attorney’s office represented

Indodnesian-Band-small

An Indonesian band performed, drawing a large crowd

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

Gen. Otis, founder of the LA Times, not the namesake of MacArthur Park

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

A very moving memorial to Robert Kennedy, steps from where he was assassinated

The LA Public Library book bike

The LA Public Library book bike

CicLAvia-Van-small

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

As usual, businesses that catered to CicLAvia participants were richly rewarded

Soon to be the Left Coast's tallest building

Soon to be the Left Coast’s tallest building

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

KCBS-2 anchor Jeff Vaughn is one of us, as he rode the full route with his charming family

……….

In a truly bizarre miscarriage of justice, a 27-year old Camarillo woman who killed two people while allegedly texting is allowed to plead out to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges.

The CHP concluded that Rachel Hill was “distracted by a portable electronic device” when she ran down Emmy Award-winner Maciek Malish as he rode his bike on the shoulder of Moorpark Road, then overcorrected and hit Jesse Cushman as his motorcycle came from the opposite direction.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA concluded that the death of two innocent people at the hands of a distracted driver really wasn’t that big a deal, and didn’t merit felony charges.

And can’t seem to explain why, other than to respond in an unsigned form letter to say the decision was not made lightly.

Which really makes you wonder just who Hill knows in the DA’s office.

She’ll be sentenced to a slap on the wrist on September 20th.

………

BMX rider Kevin Robinson came out of retirement to set a world record with an 84” power-assisted backflip, after crashing hard on his first attempt.

Or maybe you’d be more impressed by a mountain biker leaping over a train gap — aka a railroad track running through a ravine —  in British Columbia; although that’s still not as impressive as doing it over an actual train.

………

A Dutch cyclist rode on the wall — vertically — in an attempt to avoid a crash in the women’s keirin.

The Australian cycling team is going bust at the Rio Olympics.

A Detroit artist’s work was along for the ride when Kristin Armstrong won her third consecutive gold in the time trial. Although it does have some rather operatic competition.

The British women’s pursuit team pens a note of congratulations to their medal-winning countrymen, with a friendly reminder not to drunkenly stumble into the wrong room. And apparently, it worked.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the silver medal winning US pursuit team.

A Brazilian cyclist was suspended for failing a drug test. Meanwhile, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, looking oddly like Rodney Dangerfield, says Americans shouldn’t throw stones when it comes to doping at the Olympics.

And no, a Canadian parliament member did not win cycling gold in Rio.

………

Local

Metro’s $22 million underpass connecting the Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood is set to open today.

A San Marino man plans to ride 17,500 miles from Alaska to Argentina to honor his friend, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a Las Vegas traffic collision.

The Santa Monica Spoke will host an August “Go Public” Ice Cream Ride visiting three gourmet ice cream shops in the Santa Monica area on the 27th.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider was hurt in a hit-and-run Sunday morning; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

A Carlsbad dog escaped from its home and attacked a bike rider, then lunged at police, who had to use pepper spray and a beanbag gun to subdue him. Bad dog!

The madness continues in Coronado, where a candidate for city council says no to a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, because transients, homeless people, drug addicts and alcoholics would use it along with the bike riders and tourists. “I’m going to build a wall, a beautiful wall, across the bay. And I’ll make the homeless drug addicts pay for it.”

A bike rider was airlifted to a local hospital following a collision on PCH in Ventura County. Which seems unusual since she was listed as suffering just minor injuries.

A San Francisco bicyclist says it’s time to require bike riders to register their bikes, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, using the money to design and build safer roads. In other words, the people most at risk, who do the least harm to the roads, should pay prohibitively to protect themselves from those who do the most damage and pose the greatest danger. Got it.

 

National

After a recording proves a Utah councilmember said bike riders should be run off the road, a woman writes that’s exactly what happened to her husband, and she wouldn’t wish that pain and sorrow on anyone.

Denver business owners are worried about how a new six mile, two-way cycle track will affect their businesses, even though studies show it could actually help.

Colorado authorities are investigating after someone spray painted messages on the roadway suggesting bike riders should be killed in advance of a Gran Fondo.

 

International

A Toronto driver complains that she was left with a $500 deductible payment after a careless bike rider scratched her car while she was stopped at a red light, and wants the law changed to hold bicyclists accountable. Which it already does, but she chose not to file a case in small claims court.

An Irish cyclist is nearing the finish of a 14 month bike tour from New Zealand to Ireland, through 23 countries on three continents.

An Aussie cyclist has his bike stolen three months into a one year, 12,000 mile charity ride around the continent.

A Wellington, New Zealand columnist pens a piece that could have been written here, saying that local leaders are reluctant to make the hard choices to improve bike safety, in a city where cars form the top of the transportation pyramid and everything else is on the bottom.

Philippine police are surprised when no admitted drug users show up for a bike ride with drug enforcement cops. The only real surprise is that the cops were surprised.

Bikeshare comes to Shanghai, even if some riders are hording the orange-wheeled bikes for their own use.

 

Finally…

Don’t buy meat from skinny Brits in hi-viz. If you’re going to wrestle a bike away from its owner, don’t hang around and watch when the police come to investigate.

And seriously, when you’re riding with outstanding felony warrants, don’t weave in and out of traffic.

 

Morning Links: PVE locals attack 12-year old girl online, spoiler-free Rio bike news, and interstate police bike chase

Proving that some people have no shame, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes that some Palos Verdes Estates residents are attacking a 12-year old girl online.

Because she had the audacity to speak up in front of the city council to support bicycle safety.

Not unlike the truly offensive bikelash that rose up in the Silver Lake area when 11-year old Matlock Grossman dared to say he didn’t want to get run over when he rides his bike.

As Davidson puts it,

We teach our kids that sometimes the right thing is the hard thing, but maybe we’ve lied to them a little bit: The right thing is always the hard thing. The right thing is the Gandhi thing, the MLK thing, the Lincoln thing. It’s the path everyone wants to take until they note it’s overgrown with weeds, and each blade of grass is the serrated edge of a knife.

It shouldn’t be that way.

Whether or not you agree with them, kids should earn our respect just because they have the courage to get up there and say something.

They deserve to be listened to simply because they have something to say.

And if the haters of the world would just pause long enough to hear them, they might actually learn something.

………

Bicycling says the US women’s pursuit team is poised to win gold in Rio.

ESPN profiles Kristin Armstrong, who goes for her third straight Olympic gold in the time trial today, just one day shy of her 43rd birthday.

The Economist calls last weekend’s Rio road races the most dangerous in recent history, while the New York Post calls these games “the Olympics of terrifying, body-maiming bike crashes.”

This whole fourth place in Olympic road cycling events is getting old for Team USA.

Mark Cavendish says he doesn’t believe Britain’s Lizzie Armistead doped, but she’s responsible for creating suspicion by missing three drug tests prior to the Olympic Games.

………

Local

Now that Robertson Blvd is no longer trendy, LA Magazine suggests four streets that could take its place, and considers the bike and transit options for each.

West Hollywood officially unveils the first four stations for its new WeHo Pedals bikeshare. Which, if it follows the pattern of other bikeshare systems, will cost taxpayers little or nothing.

CiclaValley considers the difference in attitudes towards bicycling between LA and Orange County. Or maybe just the difference between those who ride and those who don’t.

The second Asian American bike tour rolls this Saturday through El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley.

Just Ride LA is hosting a post-CicLAvia Happy Hour Shindig at the DTLA Plan Check this Sunday from 2 to 6 pm.

 

State

If you’re missing a bike on the Central Coast, check with the Santa Rosa police, who recovered 16 hot bikes when they busted a bike thief; at least 34 other bikes had been stripped beyond recognition.

A Hanford man was arrested on meth charges when police searched his backpack after stopping him for an undisclosed bicycle violation.

 

National

City Lab says a collapsible paper bike helmet could revolutionize safety for bikeshare users. On the other hand, only one person has ever been killed while using bikeshare in the US, and she was already wearing a helmet. So just what problem are they trying to solve?

A writer for Bicycling makes the case for ebikes after her mother falls in love with riding one.

An ABC reporter rides his bike 500 miles between the Republican and Democratic conventions, talking to voters along the way.

Not surprisingly, people are questioning the wisdom of having motor vehicles travel side-by-side with bicycling competitors in the Boulder CO Ironman, where a woman was killed in a collision with a truck when she reportedly veered into the traffic lane.

El Paso TX approves a new bike plan that could eventually create a comprehensive network of bikeways resulting in up to 1,100 miles of bicycling infrastructure.

It’s not always the driver who’s drunk; an Ohio cyclist is the victim of a solo crash after allegedly imbibing. And there’s the difference: Drunk bike riders pose the greatest danger to themselves, while drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone around them.

Hoboken NJ police bust a 12-man bike theft ring.

Caught on video: A New York bike rider captures the harrowing conditions of riding across the overly crowded Brooklyn Bridge on her bike cam — including a head-on crash with another cyclist. Evidently, pedestrians don’t like it much, either.

 

International

We’re winning, comrades. Ebikes are outselling electric cars by seventy to one worldwide.

A Calgary columnist says mounting evidence shows just how pointless extending bike helmet laws to adults really is. Meanwhile, a caller to a radio show calls the city’s separated bike lanes a moral outrage. No, seriously; protected bike lanes are as bad as, say, racism, or attacking a 12-year old girl online, or any other morally reprehensible thing you might come up with.

Only 19 drivers have been charged under Ontario, Canada’s equivalent to the three-foot passing law. Which is 19 more than most places.

Montreal will reopen a bridge after two years of reconstruction, with a shiny new bike path that disappears halfway across.

The rich get richer. The Dutch city of Utrecht expands its traffic information network to direct cyclists to open bike parking spaces throughout the city.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee after trying to steal a bike, try not to leave your shoes behind. Don’t lead police on a six-mile bicycle chase across state lines on an Interstate highway — and fall down when they tase you, dammit.

And, no, really. We should all feel sorry for those poor drivers who are forced to kill scofflaw cyclists through no fault of their own.

 

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