Archive for Advocacy & Politics

Morning Links: Goodbye and thank you to Michelle Mowery, and improvements and closures on LA River bike path

Bittersweet news from LADOT, as longtime bicycle and active transportation coordinator Michelle Mowery announced today that she is leaving for a position with the mayor’s office, focusing on the LA River Bike Path.

On  Monday, October 24th, I will be beginning a new assignment with Mayor Garcetti’s LA Riverworks Team to focus on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path.  While I am excited about working full-time on the River; it will be very, very difficult to leave my home at LADOT.  I will miss working with all of you on projects that have, and continue, to make bicycling more accessible in the City of Los Angeles.

The last 22 years with the City have been the most exciting and fulfilling of my 39 years in public service.  I can’t tell you all how wonderful it has been to see cycling established a real means of transportation in Los Angeles.  I will miss many of you as I shift my focus in the City but expect to continue to see you in my efforts on behalf of the River.  It has been my greatest pleasure to serve the City as a transportation professional on two wheels.

Thank you all for your cooperation and support over the years.

When I first got involved in bike advocacy efforts in Los Angeles, I found myself loosely allied with a group of advocates who blamed Mowery for the city’s decades of failure to do anything to protect the safety of bicyclists, and who made it their not-so-secret goal to have her fired.

I resisted those efforts, to the point that I found myself ostracized and attacked because I questioned whether she was really to blame.

And openly wondered what she could do with the actual backing of the city, instead of the old school, auto-centric senior LADOT engineers, who have since retired or otherwise moved on, squashing her every effort.

I think the last several years have more than answered those questions.

Since bicycling first received the attention and backing of the mayor’s office during the Villaraigosa administration, Los Angeles has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, including the city’s first parking and curb protected bike lanes, as well as an actual bike network in Downtown LA.

Under her tenure, Los Angeles was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for the first time in 2012. And made Bicycling Magazine’s biannual list of the country’s best cities for cycling, currently checking in at a lofty 24.

Which is not to say we don’t still have a long way to go. It only takes a few hours riding the mean streets of Los Angeles to realize just how inadequate LA’s bicycling infrastructure is for a car-centric city this size.

But it made huge leaps under Mowery’s guidance, once she was finally allowed to do her job.

We owe her a big round of thanks for sticking in there and doing the best she could when the job was impossible, and she was the focal point for every cyclist angry over everything that didn’t get done.

And showing us all what this city could be once she was given the chance.


The LA Weekly takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the call for banning bikes on the LA River Bike Path through Elysian Valley, in the wake of an elderly woman who was seriously injured in a crash with a bike rider.

Not to mention they have the good taste to quote yours truly.

The story notes that that someone placed an illegal, DIY sign at the entrance to the path reading “Bike Path Closed,” which was largely and justifiably ignored.

Meanwhile, LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell says the city will be making safety improvements to the path to notify riders to slow down or dismount in areas with a high level of pedestrians.

As well as increasing police presence on the path. Which is something bike riders, as well as pedestrians, have long called for.

Although the call to dismount is highly questionable. Especially since people somehow seem to manage sharing the path on the far more crowded beachfront bike path.

And it should be noted, as we mentioned here yesterday, that the rider stopped and cooperated with police following the crash.

Although none of it may really matter now, since the bike path is once again being closed for the winter, for reasons that have yet to be explained.


The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. CiclaValley in his off-duty hours, sends word about the organization’s new team kit, which is available for preorder right now.

LACBC’s 2017 Kit is now for sale by preorder for a limited time until October 30th. To support the local cycling community, LACBC collaborated with L.A.-based collective superdomestik on design and California-based manufacturer Voler on production.

Go to LACBC’s Facebook Page to find out how you can win gear and go to the team store to purchase from the 2017 collection.



USA Cycling announces the Pro Road Tour racing schedule for next year. The tour comes to California just twice, in April and May, for the Dana Point Gran Prix and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.



CD1 city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali writes about how to get the people who ride for fun to join forces with people who ride for transportation, and make the city more bike-friendly without additional funding.

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot and killed a man in San Fernando Thursday night.

The Santa Monica College student newspaper looks at last weekend’s CicLAvia in the Heart of Los Angeles.

Metro is sponsoring a free Bicycle 101 class at the El Monte bike Hub.



There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a four-wheel, surrey-style bike from a school for autistic children in San Diego.

Authorities are looking for the heartless coward who hit a young child in Victorville as he was riding his bike and left him lying in the street; the boy may have suffered serious head trauma in the hit-and-run collision.

The new bikeway over half of the San Francisco Bay is finally expected to open this Sunday.

Chico approves a free citywide bike registration system, while a 93-year old Chico man remains in critical condition eleven days after he was hit by SUV while driving his bike.



CityLab urges you to ride with a boombox on your bike instead of headphones, so you can annoy more people with your excellent taste in music. However, it may take some practice to develop the retro skills required ride your bike with a massive boombox perched on one shoulder, ‘70s style.

Eyewear maker Bollé introduces a mountain bike helmet with features that actually make sense for a change, including a detachable visor, slots to store your glasses and space for an embedded tail light.

Anti-bike terrorists have struck again, sabotaging a Colorado mountain bike trail with spike-embedded boards buried in the dirt. If you question the use of that term, consider what would happen to a rider who suffers a blowout while zipping down a trail.

The Michigan senate responds to the Kalamazoo massacre by passing bill requiring a five-foot passing distance, and another requiring three hours of bike and motorcycle safety training in all driver’s ed courses.

New York bike messengers form a union to fight for better treatment from Uber and other delivery firms.

A Philadelphia cyclist correctly resists police efforts to make him stop recording an arrest and to hand over his phone as evidence. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in a public place, and police have no right to stop you as long as you don’t interfere with their actions. And they can’t seize your phone without probable cause, or delete any of the contents. Which does not mean they won’t try.



A new report from the United Nations Environment Program calls for countries around the world to spend at least twenty percent of their transportation budget for safe bike lanes and sidewalks, noting that people on foot and two wheels, with or without motors, make up nearly half of the 1.3 million people killed in crashes worldwide each year.

A London hospital spent the equivalent of $12,000 to fight a protected bike lane in an apparent attempt to drum up business; 315 bike riders were killed or injured on the roads approaching the hospital over the last ten years, including some directly in front of their entrance.

A British man has been jailed for 28 months following a racist attack on a bike rider; he was one of three men who swerved at the victim in their car, doored him and forced him off his bike, then violently attacked him while screaming racial epithets.

Winston Churchill’s grandson is one of us.

A six-year old Irish boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is able to ride a bike for the first time thanks to a new medication. Nice to finally see some hope for this cruel disease.

Caught on video: A British railway worker saves an apparently drunk bicyclist at the last minute after he had fallen on the tracks. Or maybe not.

The brother of a fallen cyclist begs a Dublin county council to reconsider its decision not to include safe routes to schools in their draft development plan.

Security camera footage shows thieves casually bicycling on their way to rob Kim Kardashian in Paris, then back again with her $10 million jewelry in tow.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist loses a piece of his ear when a Magpie swoops down and attacks without warning.

Justice and common sense prevailed in Australia, where a drugged-out driver will spend at least three years in jail for killing a bike rider, despite attempting to use her newborn baby as a Get Out of Jail Free card.



Your next U-lock could raise a real stink. Does this bike really look like a Lamborghini to you?

And anyone can ride a bike the usual way. But how many can do it facing backwards?


Morning Links: An honor from the South Bay, People for Bikes endorses LA measures, and Lompoc shames LA

My apologies for the continued lack of email notifications for subscribers. We’re still working on it.


Look what came in the mail.


As honored as I am, it’s just this side of impossible for me to make it to the South Bay on a Saturday night.

On the other hand, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been killing this year in advocating for bike safety on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

I’m just saying.


People for Bikes made a couple of endorsements in November’s LA County election.



Mike Wilkinson forwards photos from Lompoc, showing a complete, built-out, actual bikeway network connecting every part of town.

This is what he had to say.

Lompoc is a simple town of about 42,000 near Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California Central Coast. My wife and I were there on business a few weeks ago, and we stopped to admire the welcome sign near the city limits. I noticed there was a smaller sign to the left that had a map of the city’s bike routes.



The map was impressive not because Lompoc has a vast array of bike paths, but because the paths they have make a lot of sense. There is a bike route every few blocks, and most of the routes are continuous, instead of the stop-and-starts routes I see near my home. They are elegant in their simplicity.

It amazes me that a small, somewhat rural town has managed to do a better job with bike routes than many of the big, busy cities in southern California. They may have been motivated by a steady stream of bike tourists traveling through their town on the way up or down the coast. Tourists and their dollars are a legitimate motivation, and the town has responded well. Nice!


This sign from Brisbane, Australia comes courtesy of B2 H, spelling out how to share a shared path, for those who can’t seem to figure it our for themselves.



German pro Tony Martin tied a record by winning his fourth world time-trial championship in Qatar. Twenty-two-year old Irishman Ryan Mullen finished fifth in his first worlds by preparing for the heat on a turbo-trainer in a sauna.

The 2019 road cycling world championships will be held in the Yorkshire region of by then non-European Britain.

The Giro is finalizing routes for what should be an epic 100th edition.



Actress Lea Michele is one of us, keeping a bike on the set to ride around the Paramount lot during breaks in the filming of Scream Queens.

Richard Risemberg cites the unreasonable lack of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd as a key reason to support Jesse Creed in his bid to unseat anti-bike lane incumbent Paul Koretz.

Is this the bike rider who was injured in WeHo Tuesday? Seventeen-year old actress Joey King writes on Instagram that her older sister was injured in a collision with semi-truck while riding to work that morning, but thankfully is on the road to recovery.

A Pasadena city council committee voted unanimously to approve funding for the Union Street cycle track, while asking if the long timeline for construction could be speeded up.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune asks if the 17-mile Emerald Necklace bike trail connecting the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers can ever be built, as plans move slowly forward.

BikeSGV invites everyone to their Spooky Train night ride through some of San Gabriel Valley’s historic districts this Saturday.

A SaMo documentary maker credits a chance meeting with actor Eddie Albert while on a bike ride for his decision to become a filmmaker.



San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs rolls this weekend to raise funds to help fight breast cancer before it starts.

San Francisco’s DIY bike advocacy group continues to install their own bike lane bollards under the cover of darkness.



Apparently, sidewalks, parks and bike lanes are the keys to happiness in big cities. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

An Arizona man builds his own DIY sidecar for his dog. Which is exactly what I need to take the Corgi to CicLAvia this Sunday.

People for Bikes is seeking a marketing coordinator to work in their Boulder CO office.

An Oklahoma man who fixes up bikes to donate to kids every Christmas needs fixing himself after he was rear-ended while riding his own bike.

After a New York truck driver injured a bike rider, the NYPD naturally responded by ticketing cyclists; the driver wasn’t ticketed, even though the truck appeared to be too large to legally use on the streets of the city.



A Canadian writer says it’s depressing to come home from bike-friendly Seville to a poorly thought-out bike lane non-network.

The Alberta, Canada health department has wisely taken down a webpage urging parents not to let their kids ride bicycles, even when they ride with them in a bike lane.

A Toronto report says the city’s cycling strategies must focus on women, who make up less than 30% of current riders. Meanwhile, a female bike shop employee says sexism is part of Toronto’s bike scene, saying bike shop workers didn’t take her seriously, and customers often don’t either. Like pretty much everywhere else, unfortunately.

A writer for the Guardian says London’s new mayor must avoid the mistakes made by former mayor Boris Johnson in building bikeways, and try harder to build a consensus to accommodate pedestrians and other road users, as well.

British TV personality Jeremy Vine records a driver cutting around another car at an intersection, then zooming around the corner directly in front of him. Yet people still justify the driver’s actions and accuse Vine of overreacting.

An Irish writer says cyclists have to be mindful of others, like all road users. Then cites the example of a reckless bike rider who only put himself at risk

Be grateful you live in semi-bike friendly LA, or wherever you may be, as a Critical Mass rider in Minsk is sentenced to two years behind bars on seemingly trumped-up charges.

Once again, Indian authorities humiliate a medal-winning paracyclist by forcing him to remove his leg before being allowed to board a flight.

Bicycles take over Tel Aviv as people leave their cars at home in observance of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

An Aussie writer celebrates National Ride2Work Day by insisting bicycles don’t belong on the roads, and should be registered if they are, while deflecting legitimate criticism by dismissing it in advance.



A badly injured bike rider gets the blame for a wreck — with a rabbit. This GoPro-equipped helmet looks oddly familiar.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a collision, maybe you shouldn’t leave your license plate imprinted on the other car.


Morning Links: Bike collection stolen in burglary, Bike the Vote LA endorses, and new AZ bike safety PSAs

My continued apologies for the lack of email notifications for subscribers. None of the suggested fixes have solved the problem yet.

Which may be why I once again failed to win the Nobel Prize for bike blogging.

Maybe next year.


Keep your eyes peeled for a collection of Cicli Devotion team kits and bikes, parts tools and other gear stolen from a Calabasas storage unit, along with a number of other personal items.


Which should serve as yet another reminder to register your bikes for free with Bike Index before anything like this happens to you.

Thanks to Bryan Hance for the heads-up.


Bike the Vote LA has been busy in the weeks leading up to the November election, including an endorsement of US Representative Janice Hahn for LA County Supervisor in the 4th District.

They also voice their support for LA County Measure A to build and rehabilitate parks, beaches, natural areas, and multi-use trails used by bike riders. As well as Metro’s Measure M sales tax increase to build out the county’s transit system, and provide funding for bicycling and walking projects.


Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the tip.


Tucson-based Look Save A Life — founded by a cyclist and former firefighter who was nearly killed by a distracted driver — has introduced a series of public safety videos made in conjunction with local law enforcement.


Sadly, the bike rider who died of a heart attack during the Long Beach Marathon on Sunday was a well-known member of the South Bay cycling community, and a board member of Lightening Velo.


Pro cyclist Tom Dumoulin is no dummy, but his stand-in is.

Irish cyclist Daniel Stewart talks about stepping away from international cycling to battle his depression.

A new Israeli cycling team becomes the first to compete in the World Championships, let alone in an Arab country; meanwhile, an Iranian woman becomes the first from her country to finish the Kona Ironman Triathlon.

The New York Times dives into the world of bike messengers and last weekend’s North American Cycle Courier Championship.



CiclaValley discusses the conflict between bicyclists needing a safe place to ride on Forest Lawn Drive and people parking in the bike lane near the Mount Sinai cemetery for the High Holidays.

A German filmmaker offers a documentary about the battle over the Burbank Mariposa bridge and the ongoing efforts of equestrians to keep bike riders the hell off it. Thanks to Doug Weiskopf for the link.

BikeSGV reports the Pasadena city council will vote on the Union Ave protected bikeway at their 4pm meeting today. So if you live, work or ride in the area, be sure to attend the meeting to support safer bikeways.

Speaking of BikeSGV, mark your calendar for their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards night on Thursday, November 10th.

Cycling in the South Bay reports the Palos Verdes Estates city council bizarrely voted not to install Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Even though that remains the law, with or without the signs.



KPCC asks if California’s roads are ready for recreational marijuana, which appears likely to be approved by California voters next month. There shouldn’t be any major issues beyond what we already face; afterall, anyone who wants dope can get it now by claiming some sort of physical problem. Like nausea caused by the presidential campaign, for instance.

A Santa Maria credit union uses their Columbus Day holiday to build 200 bicycles to donate to abused and neglected children.

With LA’s CicLAvia coming this Sunday, Salinas hosts a 1.5 mile ciclovía of their own.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a man was killed in a collision with a bus while he was riding his bike.



You can find a lot of things when you ride, including some you really don’t want to. Like a human body in a Washington retaining pond.

Seattle opts to replace their failing bikeshare system with a city-wide fleet of ebikes.

Nice gesture from the Oklahoma State University marching band, as they pay tribute to a member of the Baylor marching band who was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last week.

A Missouri columnist writes about the dangers of right hooks and dooring, suggesting cyclists should always ride in the traffic lane. Whether or not PVR posts signs saying you can.

Country singer Luke Bryan explains his solo bike crash at the end of a 28-mile ride last week; he had surgery to repair a broken clavicle over the weekend.

A Rochester NY pastor could soon be jumping through flames again; his prayers were answered when someone returned the 80 pound, custom-made bicycle he lost when it fell off his rack as he drove home from an August performance. On the other hand, riding through flames without divine intervention probably isn’t the best idea.

A man riding a Citi Bike bikeshare bicycle was beaten and robbed by five teens in New York’s Central Park.

Philadelphia police are looking for a bike-riding man suspected of attacking two prostitutes in recent days; he is believed to be the same man who killed one woman and attacked another earlier this year.

Kindhearted Philly police buy a new bike for a kid riding a beat-up borrowed chopper during the city’s Peace Ride.



Despite the efforts of Toronto’s former mayor to rip out the city’s bike lanes, it’s now a bicycling role model for other cities.

Caught on camera: A London bus driver clips a bike rider, apparently intentionally, for the crime of not getting the hell out of his way.

A Brit bicyclist is crowdfunding a motion-sensor theft alarm that emits an ear-piercing shriek as loud as a jumbo jet focused directly at anyone on the bike.

The creepy clown phenomenon has spread to the UK, as a bike rider gets harassed by masked occupants of a car.

A little windshield bias from Romania, where cyclists are blamed for causing 630 collisions since the first of the year. However, they fail to mention what percentage of bike crashes that represents, implying that the people on two wheels caused all of them, which is highly unlikely.

IKEA unveils their new belt-drive, car-replacement bicycle Down Under.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a truck driver gets community service and a curfew — yes, a curfew — while losing his license for a whole year for killing a bike-riding Chinese tourist.



Why use an expensive parking lot to store cars for your dealership when you can just park them in the bike lane? You can thank a cyclist for every Ford that runs you off the road.

And this time of year, everyone needs to know what beer to pair with Halloween candy after a long ride.


Thanks to Vincent Malgren and John P. Lynch for their generous donations to support this site. If everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.


On a personal note, thanks to everyone who expressed concern for the Corgi; she’s doing a little better, and seems to be on the road to recovery after a full weekend on the extreme weight loss plan.

Although she is in mourning right now.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for that last link.


Morning Links: Fanning the fires of bike hate, LB hit-and-run suspect busted, and bike smash seen round the world

My apologies for the continued problems with email notifications for subscriber to this site. We’re still working on getting it fixed.


It doesn’t take much to bring out the bike hate.

Especially when people are allowed to post their comments anonymously.

Yesterday’s LA Times featured a well-reasoned Op-Ed from Tom Babin, author of “Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling,” and the bike blog Shifter.

In it, Babin argued that the laws governing traffic weren’t written with bicycles in mind, and don’t always work effectively for people on two wheels.

It’s true that Los Angeles is finally taking its first serious steps toward making the city more bike-friendly. But the focus is on building bike-dedicated infrastructure, which can be slow and expensive to build.

The Idaho stop law shows there are other ways for municipalities to encourage cycling while their infrastructure catches up. Cities around the world are demonstrating that simply changing the rules in favor of cyclists can make roads more welcoming.

He continues,

Yet streets are already governed by different rules for different users, such as laws that require slower speed limits for big trucks, or that mandate school buses to stop at uncontrolled railway crossings. Rather than demonize cyclists for their inability to conform to rules designed for cars, laws should recognize that riding a bike is different than driving.

All in all, a reasonable request to simply acknowledge that bikes are different that cars, yet bicyclists are forced to act like motor vehicles, regardless of whether it makes sense.

Yet based on some of the comments, you’d think he declared war on anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.

Like this from OptimisticOrgan, for instance. (Unfortunately, the Times makes it impossible to link to any one comment.)

Stop sign being a yield is fine by me. Cycling culture needs to change, though. Too many jerks are going 15 in a 45 in the middle of the lane. Then they act like yr the bad guy for being annoyed by the fact they’re impeding traffic flow. It’s like “I’m sorry brother, trying to stay far enough behind you,” but the cyclist is still pissed that your car is faster than his bike and projects ill will toward you.

Many commenters went great pains to point out that Los Angeles isn’t Idaho, with many times the population, in case we had somehow missed that point. Apparently failing to notice where he pointed out that the Idaho Stop Law is now in effect in auto-clogged Paris, with it’s 2.24 million population, and a reputation for roadway rudeness that makes our streets seem downright polite.

Other, such as feaco11, apparently couldn’t grasp Babin’s key point that bikes and cars are different.

Better yet, let’s change the law so that motorists can treat a stop sign as a yield sign. Just think of the gas that will be saved if our cars do not have to lose momentum going through an intersection. Maybe the same could be applied to red lights. It would certainly free up the court system because there would be less tickets written.

Then there’s this confession to illegal harassment from boneme8978.

i would not consider riding a bike on a suburban street . but i love the people that do . keeps me laughing all the time . you should see them jump when i blast them with my train horn ! the 300 i spent at ‘summit racing ‘ to buy that bad boy was worth every penny !

And it goes on and on, ad nauseum, just like on any other pro bike piece that appears online, filled with constant reminders of that one time a bike rider broke the law, which somehow projects onto every person on a bicycle who ever lived.

Damnable scofflaws, all.

It’s a reminder of who we share the road with. As well as the Internet.

Protected by layers of glass and steel on one, anonymous pseudonyms on the other.

Spelling and punctuation challenged though they might be.


Long Beach police arrested a hit-and-run suspect at gunpoint after he was found hiding under a car. Witnesses said the speeding driver hit a bike rider after running a red light, then drove erratically, running red lights and nearly striking pedestrians as he attempted to escape.

Both the victim and the driver were transported to a local hospital; no word on their conditions.


Turns out the bicycle smashed in two by an angry rider in Milan’s Red Hook Crit wasn’t even his.

Deadspin calls it the pinnacle of human rage, though anyone who has dealt with a road raging motorist — or an angry online commenter — would probably disagree.

Meanwhile, VeloNews puts it in the context of other great bike throws in recent years.



Bicycling finally gets around to posting last year’s profile of LACBC executive director Tamika Butler online.

LAist calls the coming My Figueroa project the city’s first truly protected bike lane.

Bike the Vote LA offers a guide to the candidates in November’s Santa Monica city council election.

In the latest round of anti-developmentism, Redondo Beach residents could vote on whether to cancel ambitious plans to redevelop the city’s aging waterfront, including plans for an improved bike path through the area.



New tests from Stanford conclude the unnamed Hövding airbag helmet actually works. And reduces impact up to six times over conventional bike helmets.

A Chico couple propose to replace their daughter’s ghost bike with a sign memorializing her, along with the phrases “How to save a life? Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Share the Road, Drive with Care,” pending approval from Caltrans. Which is not likely, unfortunately.



A Portland Op-Ed writer complains about car-hating social engineering, while completely missing the point of Vision Zero.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a Nebraska man takes up bicycling and a better diet, and loses 75 pounds while bringing his illness under control.

An Arkansas paper takes a look at bikepacking.

A road raging DC driver gets offended when a cyclist slapped the back of his car after he deliberately tried to run her off the road, then gets out and repeatedly slaps her before stealing her phone when she tried to call 911.



A body found near a Halifax trail could be a missing mountain biker who disappeared without a trace two years earlier.

A Scottish parliament member says even a small increase in bicycling could lead to an improvement in air quality, while calling for a decrease in speed limits around schools and residential areas.

At least it’s a creative protest. A Scottish man shows his objection to a new separated bike lane by rowing in it.

Any writer who uses the tired cliché that bike safety is a two-way street should receive a six-month sentence in journalist jail.

A San Francisco rider joins 400 other cyclists in the Haute Route timed cycling event in the Pyrenees; a US event is planned for the Rocky Mountains next year.

Glamour admires the glamorous Iranian women defying the religious edict against bicycling in public.

A South African provincial transport minister says bicycling must be seen as a form of mobility, disputing plans by the mayor of Johannesburg to halt bike lane construction in the city.



You can’t compete in your first pro race if you’re stuck in traffic. If you’re fleeing police on your bike, you really just need two legs.

And your next helmet could give a whole new meaning to helmet hair.

Or you could let your kid steer you like a bike.


Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.


This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.


If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.


Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.


The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.



The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.



Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.



A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.



Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.



It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.


Morning Links: LACBC endorses Measure M, cars used as weapons, and Bill Nye teaches bike riding

The LACBC officially endorsed Metro’s Measure M in the November election

The half-cent sales tax extension is projected to raise $120 billion over its 40-year lifespan, with $4 billion set aside for bike and pedestrian projects

The remainder will be invested in transit projects and wasted on highways.


The only good thing about these next few stories is there were no bicycles involved.

A horrifying story from Oregon, as a white supremacist couple is charged with using their car as a weapon to intentionally run down and kill a young black man following an argument.

Meanwhile, a Phoenix driver apparently used his car to deliberately run down three cops; fortunately, none appear to be seriously injured.

Funny that we screen gun purchases in the US, but we’ll let any homicidal maniac drive a car.



A Dutch intern reminds CiclaValley learns not to take riding the Angeles Crest Highway for granted.

Hawthorne is the latest city to announce their police department will be stepping up enforcement of violations that can cause bike and pedestrian crashes tomorrow. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits; thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

The New York Times talks with LA author Edward Humes about his new book Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, which discusses the inefficiency and wastefulness of the automobile, as well as its potential to kill.

BikeSafe USC is hosting a free bike ride and workshop one week from today.



The Army Corps of Engineers will shut down the San Luis Rey Bike Trail in Oceanside for six months to remove sediment in the river.

The next phase of the project to widen Highway 101 through Carpinteria began Monday; plans include sidewalks and bike lanes — hopefully separated from the highway.

Santa Barbara County will clear out supposedly abandoned bicycles in student-friendly Isla Vista, despite giving only two days notice; if your bike disappears, check with the sheriff’s department.

Napa police return two stolen bikes to their owners and bust the transients riding them.



Seattle is thinking about getting serious about Vision Zero by lowing speed limits by 5 mph all over town.

A Fairbanks AK newspaper says the city needs changes in attitudes as well as infrastructure if it’s going to meet its goal of becoming a more bike-friendly community.

Caught on video: A Utah bike rider walks away after being run down from behind by a distracted driver; remarkably, the 16-year old driver wasn’t even cited, despite saying she never even saw the cyclist. Which should be taken as an admission of guilt, not an excuse.

Pueblo CO votes to rip out a protected bike lane, calling the design dangerous from the beginning. So if it was such a bad design, why did they install it in the first place? And why not fix it instead of removing it?

The New York Times calls North Dakota’s Maah Daah Hey Trail the longest, and arguably most grueling, single track route in the US. And stunning, too.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a distracted driver faces a whopping $750 fine for leaving a cross-country bike rider in a wheelchair.

A Houston paper asks if the city’s comprehensive new bike plan, which calls for 1,700 miles of “safely designed bike lanes and trails,” will end the battle between bicyclists and drivers. Only if they actually build it, unlike most bike plans in most cities. And it’s not much of a battle when ones on two wheels are the only ones getting hurt.

The Illinois Project Mobility works to put disabled vet on specially adapted bicycles to help them re-engage with the world. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog says New York Mayor De Blasio should get serious about Vision Zero instead of getting defensive about his bike policies.

Cyclists call Pennsylvania’s Reading 120 Classic of the Americas the toughest one-day bike race in the US. Thanks to Mike Bike for the tip.

A new study from Virginia’s James Madison University says consuming protein supplements while you ride may help build muscle, but won’t improve your performance.



You’d have to ride nine hours and 50 minutes a day in peak London pollution before the risks of bad air would outweigh the benefits of bicycling; in Delhi, it would take just five hours a week.

A driver in the UK will face private prosecution for killing a cyclist after a crowdfunding campaign raises $60,000 to fund the trial; government prosecutors twice refused to file charges. Too bad we can’t do that here.

A new UK app will power a first-of-its-kind peer-to-peer bikesharing system.

Caught on video: A British motorcyclist gets off his bike to threaten a bicycle rider after he and a second rider nearly take him out passing on both sides on a roundabout, even though he’s hugging the side of the roadway.

A new poll says that one in four Brits are worried about having a wreck while they bike, while “only” 9% of British workers ride to work. There aren’t many places in the US that wouldn’t be overjoyed to have half that many bike commuters.

An Aussie city council considers requiring all bicyclists to wear hi-viz any time of the day or night, evidently because the councilors can’t be bothered to pay attention to where they’re going.



Caught on video too: bike cleats and slick floors are not a good combination. Your next ebike could have a Ferrari pedigree.

And learn to ride a bicycle with Bill Nye the Science Guy.


Morning Links: Torrance tri canceled, Riverside carnage continues, and bike advocate ponders if it’s time to quit

If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest post Letter From St. Louis, from CyclingSavvy’s Karen Karabell.

Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Then buckle in. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.


Don’t bother showing up for this weekend’s triathlon in Torrance.

Word comes from Todd Munson that the race has been called on account of apparent greed and billing irregularities from the cities involved, and not involved.

This is what the organizers had to say.

Yesterday, the city of Torrance canceled the 2016 LA Triathlon at Torrance Beach.  With much regret, we are forced to announce this cancellation to our participants and sponsors only 4 days prior to race day.  We understand that the cancellation will come with great disappointment to those of you who have worked hard and prepared for months toward this year’s triathlon.  We are disappointed by the unexpected and unprecedented circumstances and demands that have unfolded to cause this cancellation.

We have listed the key points that led to the city’s cancellation of our event in an effort to offer some immediate transparency to all participants:

  1. On August 31st, the City of Torrance sent to Pacific Sports an email demanding advanced payment, in full, to the city, prior to the event, for city services.  There was no detail of the charges, simply amounts in total and the requirement to bring two cashier’s checks by 5pm.   This is not standard practice in other municipalities and certainly not in those where all previous invoices had been paid in a timely fashion.
  2. In the same email on August  31st, we were informed that a significant separate payment was also required to be paid to the neighboring City of Palos Verdes, a city in which we have no footprint, no permit, no participants enter their city as part of our course, no liability coverage, and no relationship of any kind.  This demand is unprecedented in our 36 year history as an event production company, and to our knowledge unprecedented in the event industry in the United States.    This payment is demanded by Torrance (to be paid to Palos Verdes) although we have never been made aware of the apparent business relationship (although it has been requested) between Torrance (where we do have permits) and the city of Palos Verdes.
  3. Also in this email, it was finally revealed by the City of Torrance, after an audit requested by Pacific Sports, the city had significantly overbilled us by an amount in excess of 30% to the total in 2015 for city services.   We have strong evidence that the 2014 invoice may have been overbilled as well.   Importantly, we have no reliability that the advance payment demanded for 2016 (without detail of its calculation) is backed up by verifiable charges which will only be available after the event has occurred.
  4. Since August 31st, we have worked tirelessly with all levels of the city government including the city council and Mayor’s office in an attempt to bring resolution.  We offered a structured and fair written compromise on these issues in attempt to  insure the event went on as planned on September 11th.  Ultimately, the city offered no compromise or proposed solution and informed us they had unilaterally canceled the event.

We are upset and deeply disappointed by the cancellation, but the requirements were unreasonable and excessive.  Accepting the terms would have compromised the entire event and were untenable for us to continue at the current site for the LA Triathlon.


Yet another teenager has been injured riding her bicycle in Riverside, where it’s apparently open season on bike-riding school kids.

A 14-year old girl is in stable condition after being hit by a pickup while riding in a crosswalk just 100 feet from her school Wednesday morning. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly; she was taken into custody on a nearby highway about 10 minutes later.

Although despite what the story says, it’s hard to imagine the driver was “fully cooperative” with police when she tried to make a getaway before being caught.


Lucas James Guidroz pled not guilty to in the hit-and-run death of math and music teacher, musician and cyclist Rod Bennett as he was riding on Placerita Canyon Road last May. Guidroz faces felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury.

Note to Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Show a little respect, and get the victim’s name right in the caption.


In the wake of yesterday’s blog post from Surly’s Skip Bernet, in which he said he’s done riding on streets due to the dangers posed by cars, long-time LA bike advocate Examined Spoke questions whether he wants to keep riding his bike.

Is cycling in traffic safe? I can find statistical support for any answer I want: yes, no, who knows. My own experiences suggest the answer should be no, not safe. In 2009 I was rear-ended while riding on Los Feliz Boulevard; last year I was brushed (side-swiped) on Fountain Avenue. I can recount several other close passes, terrifying moments — the usual stuff that you will hear from almost any cyclist. I shrugged off these experiences when they happened, but they still haunt me. They’ve also made me into a poor advocate; I cannot argue for cycling’s essential safety, I am a personal testament to its dangers. As much as I want to believe the opposite, little by little I’ve had to admit to myself that I don’t feel safe on the road. I never feel safe out there.

It’s a very well-written and challenging piece, and one that poses some very difficult questions.

If anyone wants to respond to it, let me know. I’ll be happy to share your thoughts here.


The bus carrying Britain’s Team Sky pro cycling team nearly made mince pie out of a cyclist on a narrow country road.

The team contacted him a few hours after the video went online to apologize.

They should give him an autographed team bike, at the very least. And a new pair of shorts, since he probably needs them after that.

Meanwhile, Lance’s doping ban has been partially lifted, so he is now free to compete in non-bike related Olympic sports, like ski jumping, pole vaulting and synchronized swimming.



Props to CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo for beginning work to create a pedestrian plaza, including bike racks, on the Hoover Triangle in University Park. Now if he could just do something to make it safer to bike or walk there.

More honorees at the LACBC’s upcoming Firefly Ball include Culver City Council Member Meghan Sahli-Wells and The Walt Disney Company.

CiclaValley shares video of the new Spring Street bike lane between 1st and 2nd Streets in DTLA.

Damien Newton talks with Marisa Creter of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments about plans for a 200 mile bike superhighway crisscrossing the entire valley.

WeHoVille examines the 18-month timeline to reconstruct Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills; the street will be widened, providing enough room for the bike lanes that won’t be installed. Increased costs and the objections of residents to widening one narrow section of the street was given as the reason not to install much-needed bike lanes on the boulevard. So why won’t they commit to adding them now that the street is being widened anyway?

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic Safety Committee as only he can.



A Canadian man is riding over 1,500 miles to attend next month’s Desert Trip music festival in Indio on his Pedego ebike.

Pismo Beach votes to move a bike path into a busy parking lot to keep it from besmirching a coastal subdivision for wealthy homeowners.

Fresno jurors find an accused career criminal not guilty of attempted murder of a police officer in a struggle that began when the cops tried to stop him for riding without a light.



Streetsblog says the US has the worst per capita traffic fatality rate in the developed world because we drive too damn much. Not to mention too damn fast, too damn drunk and too damn distracted.

Zocolo Public Square says modern roads resulted from a coalition of early bicyclists and rural farmers banding together to demand better streets, only to see cyclists squeezed out with the advent of the automobile.

Build your own DIY ebike that looks like it would probably alert the bomb squad.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride through your pregnancy.

Exploring Hawaii’s Lanai island by bicycle, where only 3,200 people live and there are no traffic lights.

The Tacoma teenager tackled by police as she rode her bicycle through a mall parking lot is suing the police department, as well as the officer in question, the mall and its security company.

American Denise Mueller hopes to set a new motor-paced bicycle land speed record of over 168 mph at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats this weekend.

A Chicago area writer can’t seem to figure out if he’s pro or anti bike, saying allowing bicycles in wilderness areas is a bad idea, but giving bicyclists the same rights as drivers is a good one — especially if it means more riders get tickets.

An Op-Ed writer in the Chicago Tribune complains about a parking protected bike lane, and insists that bike riders can’t be ticketed — or pay fees — because they don’t have operators licenses. Never mind that most bicyclists have driver’s licenses, like most other human beings in this country, and can be ticketed even without them.

Cleveland officials say the bike lane that was removed to provide parking for the Hilton hotel wasn’t really removed because it was never really a bike lane to begin with.

A retired Boston doctor encourages drivers to open their doors with their right hands to avoid dooring cyclists.

New York protected the security of the presidential candidates from bike riders by forcing the riders onto a busy highway at rush hour.

A Pennsylvania website says bicyclists face a life and death struggle for space on the state’s roads.



Ottawa officials say it’s okay that bike lanes on a newly opened bridge are too narrow to meet official guidelines, because they’re not really bike lanes. Evidently, they’ve been talking with the people in Cleveland.

It only took 120 years to get a bike lane on one Toronto street.

The Guardian looks at the Rails to Trails movement in the UK, where abandoned rail lines are being turned into world class biking and walking trails.

Curbed introduces Amsterdam’s first Bike Mayor, elected as an unofficial representative for the city’s bicyclists.

Apparently Belgrade, Serbia fails to make the grade when it comes to being bike friendly.

A new report says Adelaide, Australia isn’t ready for bikeshare because of its immature bikeway network, mandatory helmet law and crushing car culture. Los Angeles can cop to two out of three.

An Aussie writer calls for a network of segregated cycle routes to replace painted bike lanes, augmented by a network of shared quietways where cars don’t own the roads. Which sounds a lot like the apparently forgotten Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in LA’s Mobility Plan.



Bicycling may be good for your health, but good sex may kill you. Seriously, if you’re already on probation for drug charges and carrying an “unknown white substance” on your bike, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And just in time to beat the Halloween rush, a bicycle on a kickstand pedals itself, both forward and back, with no one but the camera around.

Guest post: Letter from St. Louis

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from St. Louis correspondent Karen Karabell. 

While I don’t always agree with her, I’ve found Karen to be one of the most agreeable people to disagree with I’ve ever encountered. In fact, she’s become one of my favorite people, even if we’ve never managed to close the 1,800 some odd miles separating us. 

I do agree that knowing how to ride anywhere, under any circumstances, makes all the difference in both your safety on the streets, and your enjoyment on your bike. And taking a course in bike safety is one of the the fastest and best ways to get there.


The news this summer from Southern California has been thrilling. Three cycling clubs have offered CyclingSavvy to their members. Big Orange is considering making participation in a CyclingSavvy workshop mandatory for membership.

Wow! Before we know it, cyclists everywhere will recognize CyclingSavvy as a quantum leap forward in bicycle education. Bicycle safety instructors throughout the land will retrain themselves to start teaching CyclingSavvy.

A new tagline for selling truly useful bicycle education that changes people’s lives will be: “Got Savvy?”

Is she crazy?

Those who follow the politics of bicycling might think so. Perhaps you’ve heard of CyclingSavvy, but not actually taken the course. Be aware that much of what you’ve heard may be unintentionally inaccurate at best, and even deliberately misleading at worst.

Such are politics! Be that as it may, things are changing, and fast.

I want to introduce you to Shawn Leight, incoming president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The ITE is an international scientific and educational association, with 13,000 members working in more than 90 countries.

I met Shawn through a Facebook post:


The screen shot excerpted above is after our first IRL meeting.

Shawn and I decided to meet the old-fashioned way. We both live in the St. Louis area. For our first meeting, he suggested lunch. I said no.

I prefer not to sit down with a transportation professional until we’ve done something else together: Ride.

I needed to show Shawn that I was a regular human, not a person reeking with ideological certainty cyclist. It worked! Our ride together allowed us to move beyond the caricatures that permeate discussions about bicycling in America.

Shawn and I rode together in heavy afternoon rush hour traffic. I loved showing him how we cyclists can easily share our existing roadway network, especially when we take advantage of the hallmarks of the U.S. transportation system: Communication, Cooperation, and Courtesy.

On one stretch, I controlled our space on a narrow two-lane road without shoulders. I waved on or held back other drivers as circumstances dictated. We received complete lane changes and zero incivility.

He later told me that I earned his respect when he asked if I’d control an uphill travel lane on a busy St. Louis County arterial road. “Heck no!” I responded.

My visceral response assured him that I was not crazy. But savvy cyclists know that my response could not be as simple as that. It never is when the topic is bicycling.

I told Shawn that I would try to find an alternate route. Failing that, I’d take advantage of the “platoon effect” and ride on the road when it was empty, moving to the shoulder to facilitate passing. On the shoulder I’d be slow and cautious! I would monitor conditions constantly in my rearview mirror, ready to bail if an errant motorist headed my way.

This all becomes second nature when you’re riding on a shoulder, or practicing what we now call “Edge Behavior,” thanks to Dan Gutierrez.

Dan has earned a place in history for creating an easy way to think about bicyclist behaviors. He coined the typology “Pedestrian,” “Edge,” and “Driver” behavior to describe how bicyclists operate their vehicles. Successful bicyclists use all three behaviors to their great advantage. We CyclingSavvy instructors show people how to use each behavior safely and effectively.


Unlike any other form of transportation, bicycling is an art. Trains, planes, boats, pedestrians and motorists have fairly standard operating characteristics. But we cyclists have choices.

So many choices! Also: Safety is a product of behavior. This is something that I did not truly appreciate until I got savvy.

Even after I took my first CyclingSavvy workshop, it took me a long time to become a savvy cyclist (but that’s another story).

Before I understood savvy cycling, I was a typical bicyclist, exhibiting what psychologists call “unconscious incompetence.” This is a technical term to describe people who don’t know what they don’t know. The term fit me perfectly when I first went to Florida to check out CyclingSavvy.

I’m not criticizing myself! At the time I simply shared our culture’s prevailing mindset regarding bicycling. Most people are clueless regarding safest and best practices.

Again, it’s not their fault! People don’t know what they don’t know.

So, Smarty Pants, what exactly is it that “most people” don’t know yet about bicycling?

Thank you for asking! I’ll be glad to touch on some salient points:

It is possible to ride safely and easily on any urban street, right now.

In CyclingSavvy we give people the tools to do so. We do a whole lot more than this; I’ll write more about that in a minute.

I’ll never forget my conversation with a prominent local cyclist and former board member of the League of American Bicyclists. I was practically begging her to take even just only the classroom session of CyclingSavvy. She refused. She already was an “expert.” She had nothing to learn, especially not from me and my ilk who dared find issue and speak about safety flaws with the special infrastructure that she so fervently promoted.

The conversation did not go well. She finally yelled at me in frustration.

“Education doesn’t work!”

She was right, based on what she knew. As a League Cycling Instructor, I could not make education “work,” either. That’s why I decided to go to Orlando in 2011 to see what this “savvy cycling” thing was about. The experience set me on a whole new path, mainly because it wasn’t about bicycling.

The biggest thing we do in CyclingSavvy is bust myths.

Myth #1: Rules were created for cars. The rules of the road were created long before automobiles were common. In fact, the rules were created in part because of the behavior of reckless bicyclists, who were injuring people in the road and startling horses pulling carriages.


The guy who created the rules was nothing short of brilliant. He devised something so simple and elegant that it would become—and remains—the basis for the most boring transportation network on Earth.

Nothing wrong with that, right? When the topic is traffic safety, “boring” equals “good.”

Myth #2: When operating a human-powered vehicle on the road, it is not safe to mix with faster, heavier, motorized traffic.

I can see how people believe this. Especially because we regularly see bicyclists do all kinds of crazy shit practice all sorts of behavior. But bicyclists usually get along just fine, however they choose to ride.

Remember, we are talking about bicycling. This is an inherently safe activity. Don’t take my word it. Go be a Salmon Wedgie Ninja on any road you want. You probably will be terrified. Yet you will likely get home unscathed.

Myth #3: We must have special facilities in America to ride safely. Nope. As my colleague John Brooking has observed: Educated cyclists do not need special infrastructure. But safely using special infrastructure requires education.

As a corollary, Myth #3.5: CyclingSavvy opposes special infrastructure for bicyclists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Our job is to show people how to keep themselves safe, wherever they ride.

Myth #4: What is considered “safe” is typically the opposite of safe.


‘Nuf said with the graphic above.

Myth #5: Cyclists cause delay. Ugh. This idea needs its own PR campaign to be dismantled and abolished.

A successful campaign to kill the myth of delay would lead to the demise of many entertaining YouTube videos, as angry dudes start changing lanes to pass, like everyone else.

It is very easy to change lanes to pass bicyclists. Fat chance passing anyone else on the 405/10.


I asked my cousin to send me a photo of his favorite traffic-clogged Los Angeles freeway. We have traffic jams here, too, though none that look as deadening as in this scene from LA.

Whenever I see people stuck like this in traffic, I think:

You all are crazy. I’ll haul groceries on my bicycle any day to avoid that.

Myth #6: There will always be antagonism between motorists and cyclists.

This may be the biggest myth that we savvy cyclists bust, day after day after uneventful day.

We busted it again last month in a CyclingSavvy workshop with novices. Check out what happens when we use “driver behavior” on fast and scary roads:







Well, that’s not exactly true. We get where we want to go, safely and easily.

I have yet to meet a CyclingSavvy graduate who is not thrilled by the possibilities of being empowered to use a bicycle to go anywhere.

CyclingSavvy has a marketing conundrum. I decided to be frank about this in a classroom session held this summer with Shawn Leight at his engineering offices. Joining him was another transportation professional, a magazine editor, and two “regular folk” able to rearrange their Monday afternoon schedules. Yep, that’s five people. We need 500 in these sessions. Thousands!

As we moved through the presentation, they clearly were impressed. It is impossible not to be. CyclingSavvy uses powerful graphics and video to pack practical information into a fast-paced interactive format.

I was teaching alone, and decided to give myself a break by using two videos from the new (and not yet finished) CyclingSavvy Online. This group was impressed—as is everyone we manage to cajole into attending a session.

I asked them: “This is good information, isn’t it?” They nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

“Yet nobody wants it,” I said, “because they don’t know what it is.”

This isn’t exactly true. There certainly is a buzz among the cognoscenti. Yet with fewer than 100 people in the nation certified to teach, it’s not easy to find a CyclingSavvy workshop. Now we can point them to CyclingSavvy Online, which offers this information to anyone with Internet access.

The early reviews are impressive and encouraging. I recommended CyclingSavvy Online to my sister, who bought a recumbent tricycle this summer.


I have no doubt that many will find the online course useful. And that others will not believe a word, until they try CyclingSavvy strategies for themselves.

Safe traffic cycling is totally counter-intuitive (see Myth #4). And people are not convinced by argument. People are convinced by experience. The rearview mirror on my helmet convinced me that what we teach are safest and best practices.

We savvy cyclists want everyone to discover what we know: That bicycling can be easy and fun and safe, wherever one chooses to ride.

(Dude, I’m not talking about riding on freeways. Stay. Off. The. Freeway.)

It is a challenge to counter experiences people refuse to let go of. I don’t even waste my breath trying anymore. Still, I am heartbroken each time I am regaled by someone who has tried bicycling on the road, and therefore is certain that it is not safe. By golly, she was riding in a bike lane and some idiot cut across her path and turned right in front of her. She could have been killed!!!

CyclingSavvy Online saved my sister from the terror of that experience.


She took her recumbent this summer to the Gulf Coast, affectionately known as the Redneck Riviera. She was triumphant as she later described her experience on Perdido Beach Boulevard, the main drag with its commodious bike lanes:

“Because of those videos, I knew that I had to get out of the bike lane before every intersection so that I wouldn’t be right hooked!”

This observation made me think of my conversations with the traffic engineer, Shawn Leight.

He believes everyone should be accommodated; it doesn’t have to be an “either-or” proposition.

“Our transportation system is big enough to have bicycle facilities for those who want to use them and at the same time support bicyclists who prefer to ride as part of traffic,” Shawn said.

I understand Shawn’s perspective. I am grateful that he insists on inclusivity. Other influential engineers and advocates have ignored or dismissed us because we already know how to keep ourselves safe (i.e., the “strong & fearless” hogwash).

What is wrong with EVERYONE knowing how to keep him- or herself safe? Yes, I’m shouting, for a good reason:

BECAUSE of the rise in facilities, our job as bicycle safety educators has become more important than ever.

Mighk Wilson, executive director of the American Bicycling Education Association, has said it best: “We cannot design ourselves out of the need for education.”

Shawn points out that transportation safety for decades has been built upon three Es: Education, Engineering and Enforcement. “We all can accomplish a lot more with engineers and educators working together,” he says.

We savvy cyclists add a few more Es to the list. We frankly want nothing less than to change the culture. We want to make bicycling as easy a choice for everyone as motoring.


It is obviously a big conversation, and we’re having it! I cordially invite you to meet Shawn and Mighk—and people from all walks of life who are passionate about the topic—the old-fashioned way this fall in St. Louis.

The ABEA is holding its first national conference, but second confab. The first gathering led to the formation of the ABEA and I Am Traffic.

At I Am Traffic 2 we are building upon our successes and strategizing for the future.

Nothing beats face-to-face conversation…and bike rides, and parties. Let’s have fun getting savvy!

Speaking of which: I’m looking for a marketing genius or two to enroll in a CyclingSavvy workshop. There’s a workshop being held in St. Louis right before IAT2.

The marketing genius will get savvy, and then create the campaign demolishing the myths surrounding safe and easy bicycling. This campaign will cleverly show people how to protect themselves and control their space.

I can’t help but think of the marketing wizards who made “Got Milk” an unforgettable idea.


Got Savvy, anyone?


Morning Links: Westwood & Central out of LA Mobility Plan, SD bike lanes are no sweat, and more family biking

No surprise here.

The LACBC reports the LA City Council passed amendments removing Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the city Mobility Plan adopted earlier this year, as expected.

Photo from LACBC

Photo from LACBC

Rumors have circulated for some time that the removal was assured, as a result of a backroom deal of the sort we’re assured doesn’t happen here.

The only surprise is that two councilmembers voted against it, as opposed to the council’s near-constant unanimous agreements, which would seem to be virtually impossible without some sort of deal making going on behind closed doors.

So now Westwood and South LA cyclists can take comfort in knowing that the dangerous streets they ride are assured of remaining that way, at least as long as their current councilmembers are in office.

And here in Los Angeles, Vision Zero is just two meaningless words.


You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Diego Reader continues to post responses to their recent misguided Op-Ed calling for sacrificing planned bike lanes to continue the automotive hegemony on their streets.

Including this truly bizarre missive from Robert Burns of Ocean Beach, who should give one of the world’s great poets his name back.

I used to bike everywhere, and was known as “the bicycling barrister.” But, I eventually realized in my bicycling and in my representation of bicycling-accident victims, that it is unreasonably dangerous to bicycle with or without motor vehicles and that the workplace could not afford or appreciate generating profuse sweating.

In a colder climate like Great Britain or San Francisco, bicycling has a greater chance of factoring into the workplace, but definitely not in Southern California. This is a frivolity seemingly perpetuated by brainwashed true-believers.

So evidently, bike lanes are a bad idea because you might sweat.

Got it.


Good news from Riverside, as the 16-year old girl hit by a Dial-A-Ride bus remains in critical condition, but is expected to survive.


Today’s common theme is biking with your family.

LA Bike Dad discovers the joys of the LACMA Jazz Night, where adults can enjoy the music while kids look at the cement mixers.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes a family bike tour along the central coast, and offers advice on how to do the same yourself.


A challenging read from Surly’s Skip Bernet, who says he’s done riding his bike on the streets, where drivers have to be reminded that people on bikes are human, too. Thanks to Michael from Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.


When Laugh Out Loud says don’t touch my car, it’s clearly a joke. Even though the commenters seem a tad touchy themselves.



Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren is one of us, riding 15 miles from his home in Pasadena to Dodger stadium before every home game.

The Ovarian Psychos will be honored with the Alex Baum Excellence in Advocacy Award at the LACBC’s Firefly Ball on October 27th. And speaking of the LACBC, Next City talks with the coalition’s Executive Director Tamika Butler.

A ride through Westlake Village reminds a writer to slow down and admire the Lantanas.

Southern California Bicyclist guides you on a 41 mile pier-to-pier ride from Santa Monica to Seal Beach.

Bike SGV invites you to ride to the LA County Fair tomorrow, with free tickets included.



The Advocacy Director of Bike East Bay says Berkeley’s draft bike plan may be good, but it’s not good enough.

Two San Francisco cyclists were the victims of brazen bike jackings, one a strong arm robbery and the other after being shown a gun.

People in Oakland’s Lake Merritt have been leaving tributes to a street salesman who disappeared without a trace in July and was feared dead; it turns out he was in a hospital after being beaten by two men who jumped him while he was riding his bike and stole his belongings.

A 67-year old bike rider was badly beaten when he asked a group of people to turn down their radio after he stopped to rest at Folsom’s Lake Natoma.



A real estate website looks at the next big-city meccas for cycling. None of which are Los Angeles, for reasons which should be painfully obvious given yesterday’s council vote.

An e-bike entrepreneur says once you get used to one, you won’t want to go back to a regular bicycle again.

A Portland bicyclist reports being attacked by a driver who got out of his car to punch him, yelling “I won’t have you impose your will on me with that fucking bike, I’m sick of you people.” Although how you can impose your will on someone in a car with your bike is a skill many of us would like to know.

An Idaho mountain biker learns he’s tougher than he thinks after competing in the 2,704 mile Tour Divide.

Denver plans to fill in the gaps on the city’s High Line Canal trail to create a bikeway 71 miles long through four counties.

A Cleveland bike lane is truncated to preserve parking for the downtown Hilton after being painted for the GOP convention.

A Florida letter writer insists Boston is, was and always shall be a city dominated by motor vehicles, and says he won’t “even touch on the pervasive arrogance and rule-bending of so many bicycle riders.” Which is, of course, is doing exactly that.

A New York cyclist says there are simply too many cars driven by stressed out, impatient drivers, putting cyclists in peril every time they push off from the curb.

A writer in the New York Times argues for keeping bikes out of wilderness areas, insisting that if they get in, it’s only a matter of time before ATV enthusiasts will push to let their motorized vehicles in. Even though there seems to be quite a difference between a human-powered bicycle and a gas-powered motor vehicle.

Evidently, bikes are a security risk when it comes to NYC presidential forums, but cars aren’t.

A Philadelphia writer says the best way to ensure you’re hated on every street in the city is to ride a bicycle, which seems to be personal affront to many drivers.

More anti-bike terrorism, as a Virginia university student was shot at close range with a BB gun by the passenger in a passing car as she was riding her bike home. Lets hope the police treat it like the crime it is, instead of writing it off as just a prank.



Caught on video: A Brit bike rider crashes into a road closure sign blocking a pathway with no warning.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver threatens to knock a bike rider off his effing bike after nearly doing exactly that.

The Telegraph travels Britain’s most beautiful bike route.

An Aussie-American TV producer quit her job to bike around Ireland, and wants a date to an Irish wedding.

It’s official. The world’s largest rideable bicycle is this 1.08 ton German behemoth.



When you’re already awaiting sentencing on a previous burglary conviction, probably not the best idea to bust a bike lock with a hammer in public. If you’re going to crash your car while fleeing from the police after slapping a bike rider on the ass, at least try to dress more presentably.

And who needs backup musicians when you can perform Sia’s #1 hit on a bicycle?

No, literally on the bike.

Morning Links: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index; OC rider critically injured; cyclist jailed for riding in traffic

LA may have seen its first stolen bike recovered through Bike Index.

According to the Beverly Press, when LAPD detectives arrested a suspect on weapons charges last month, they recovered a bicycle they believed to be stolen.

After checking the Bike Index stolen bike registry — the same one you’ll find right here on this site — they were able to identify the owner and return the bike.

The story also notes the department recommends Bike Index as “a valuable tool for reuniting owners with stolen bicycles.”

It’s good the see the LAPD is checking the listings, and recommending it. And even better that a hot bike has finally made its way back home because of it.

But don’t wait until it’s too late.

Register your bike for free with Bike Index now, so you’ll have all the information available in an instant if anything should ever happen to it.

Think of it as the cheapest anti-bike theft insurance you can get.

And as this shows, one of the most effective.

Just to be clear, this site receives no compensation for hosting or promoting the Bike Index registry, financial or otherwise. Just the satisfaction of helping stolen bikes get back to their rightful owners.


Prayers are needed for an Orange County woman after she and her husband were hit by a car while riding in San Juan Capistrano.

Leonie Mckenna reportedly was in critical condition with major trauma, including head injuries, after a driver rear-ended the couple as they rode together on newly opened La Pata Avenue Saturday morning; her husband, Kevin B. Mckenna, was less seriously injured.


Authorities are attempting to revoke the bond of a Pittsburgh PA area man for the crime of riding a bicycle.

The 57-year old cyclist is charged with delaying traffic by riding in the middle of a traffic lane, preventing drivers from passing, not once, not twice, but eight times since 2012.

He was released from jail after posting bond in February, after apparently spending seven months behind bars without being convicted of a crime — for a damn traffic violation, no less — on the condition that he not ride a bicycle.

Never mind that bike riders are taught to ride in the traffic lane to avoid the door zone and debris on the shoulder, while increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

Whether he was riding safely and legally, or took taking the lane to a dangerous extreme remains to be determined. But there is something seriously wrong when a simple traffic violation results in a single day in jail, let alone months.

And let alone without a conviction.

Although he’s clearly no saint; he also faces charges for threatening the staff of the DA’s office with a rock and several knives last year.


Like any good serial, some bike stories keep revealing new twists and turns as they go on. And on.

Eighty-nine-year old former New York Mayor David Dinkins insists he had no idea he hit a bike rider as he rushed his wife to the hospital, and returned to the scene as soon as someone told him about it. He swears the rider hit him, rather than the other way around. Which seems strange; if he didn’t even know it happened, how could he know how it happened?

The Toronto cyclist who was run off the road by a cab driver faces charges himself for allegedly reaching into the car to assault the driver before the attack caught on viral video.

The road raging driver who repeatedly attacked bike-riding BBC personality Jeremy Vine last week says he provoked her; police evidently disagree, arresting the woman on an assault charge.

Meanwhile, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson says it was extremely rude of Vine to selfishly ride safely outside of the door zone, blocking the poor angry driver from whatever imaginary emergency she most likely wasn’t rushing to.


It shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point to say Nairo Quintana may have put the Vuelta away over the weekend, as long as he can stay upright the rest of the way.

A man is caught on video pulling down a barrier in a French bike race, causing six riders to crash.

Worse, it was the father of one of the competitors who did it; Jonathan Boyer’s dad reportedly did it in anger because the peloton failed to wait for his son after he fell earlier in the race.

And an Aussie Paralympian apologizes for doping after he’s sent home for using EPO. Funny how people only seem to apologize after they get caught.



A 17-mile July bike ride explored environmental injustice along the LA River.

Santa Monica police say to prevent theft by locking your bike in a well-lit and populated area, and secure it with a U-lock. Although that didn’t help one guy, even though he was able to buy it back after it was stolen.

A new rest stop on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail in Pico Rivera features a Fixit station with tools and an air pump for minor bike repairs.



A new poll shows 83% of San Franciscans think bicycling is good for the city, and over half report riding a bike occasionally themselves.

Heartbreaking news from Oakley, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a traffic collision, just a month before he was scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from his mother after a lifetime of kidney disease.



As we all know, good beer and bicycling go together; a beer publication offers advice on where to plan your next brewery ride in the US.

Two injured vets in my hometown credit bicycling with saving them from depression and disability.

Nebraska revises the law to give cyclists the right-of-way in a crosswalk where a bike path crosses a roadway.

Columbus OH is the latest city to ditch Share the Road signs for the much clearer Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Although drivers are often confused when the signs go up, thinking they give riders new rights, rather simply clarifying the rights we already have.

More kindhearted people, as a New Jersey paramedic went to Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year girl who had been impaled by the brake handle of her bicycle; the Walmart manager donated a bicycle after hearing the story. This sort of injury happens far too often; there’s clearly a major design defect when children are put at risk by their own bikes.

An 89-year old man now faces up to 30 years behind bars after being convicted in the hit-and-run death of a former pro football player as he rode in a Florida bike lane. Even with good behavior, he could be well over 100 years old before he gets out.



A British cyclist discusses the 16,000 mile ride around North America he took after learning he had early onset Alzheimer’s at age 39.

Bicyclists say some of the existing portions of the nearly finished 15,000 mile bike path across Canada are better on paper than in reality.

A British driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while texting — after eight previous convictions for using his phone while driving. You’d think that after three or four convictions, someone would have taken his phone away. Or maybe his car. Or both.

Dublin is ordered to stop work on bicycle projects, after funding is pulled and resources diverted in favor of a massive traffic project. Proving once again that cyclists are second-class citizens virtually everywhere.

A 22-year old Namibian man hung himself following an argument with his brothers over who could use the family bicycle.

A New Zealand teen is building a prosthetic hand so his younger brother with cerebral palsy can ride a bike two-handed for the first time.

Maybe you could wear a disguise. Not only do magpies Down Under attack bike riders they perceive as a threat, they also remember and attack again the next time they see you. And every time after that.

A new bicycling jacket from New Zealand can automatically signal your turns. Manufacturers continue their attempts to improve bike safety by turning us all into cars, instead of expecting people in cars to operate them safely.



If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle after torching your ex’s car, make sure it’s the right car first. Your next bike could be a treadmill.

And everything you need to know before letting a helicopter drop you off for your next downhill ride.


%d bloggers like this: