Archive for General

Morning Links: Doris Day was one of us, the war on bikes goes on, and this is who we share the roads with

Just a quick reminder that Doris Day was one of us, too.

The popular actress and singer who passed away over the weekend was a lifelong bike rider.

And the inspiration for one of the best quotes to ever come out of Hollywood.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going.

Sometimes literally.

An Oregon bike rider was run down by the driver of a Mercedes convertible after he stopped on the side of a road to check his map. And the driver — who witnesses said had been swerving recklessly all over the road — kept going, giving the victim the finger as he drove away.

Police are looking for a man in his 60s with a baseball cap and a Tom Selleck mustache.

………

Speaking of the war on bikes, KCRW’s Press Play talks with the president of Burbank-based Pure Cycles about the effect Trump’s China trade war will have on his business.

Thanks to the increase in tariffs, the duties for Pure’s most recent shipment of bikes jumped from $30,000 to $50,000.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Chicago driver speeding in reverse ran down a woman who was walking her dog in a crosswalk. And unbelievably, got off with just a pair of traffic tickets.

………

Local

Streetsblog talks with John Yi, the new executive director of Los Angeles Walks.

UCLA is considering changes to its bikeshare program, after confronting the same competition from dockless scooters challenging bikeshares throughout the US.

Culver City Walk & Rollers will host a bike themed student art exhibit this Saturday, addressing the question of “Why drive when you can…?”

Pasadena announces road closures for Saturday’s final stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Fortunately, the early announcement gives Rose City NIMBYs a full week to fume.

A Pasadena website looks forward to Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission. Which, of course, gives gives Rose City NIMBYs another full week to fume. Or make the same week, depending on how you want to look at it. 

A bike-riding JPL climate scientist hasn’t flown in seven years to reduce his carbon footprint.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition will host a pit stop at Claremont Depot on Bike to Work Day, along with a Pomona Color Wheels Ride on Saturday.

 

State

An advocacy group passed out free bike lights at an Encinitas farmers market in advance of Bike Week.

San Diego celebrated the completion of a $16 million road reconstruction project to give San Ysidro students a safer route to school, with bike lanes and sidewalks replacing a dirt path.

Robert Leone forwards news on a series of San Diego area bike projects, including the completion of a rail-adjacent coastal bikeway in Encinitas, and updates on additional projects.

Fresno bike lanes get fresh Kermit., while to local police celebrate Bike Week by cracking down on bicyclists and pedestrians.

San Francisco vows to fix its deadly intersections after 13 bike riders and pedestrians have been killed in the city so far this year. Something tells me LA’s total would be a hell of a lot higher; we’ve already seen six bicyclists alone killed on Los Angeles streets.

That’s more like it. Oakland has added adaptive bicycles for people with disabilities to its bikeshare system.

 

National

The Sierra Club offers tips to keep your bike from being stolen, saying it may be Bike to Work Week, but it’s steal a bike week for thieves.

USA Today asks if ebikes are the answer to health, traffic and environmental issues. Short answer, yes. But not without safer places to ride them.

A healthy living website gives us five reasons why bicycling is better than driving, while Consumer Reports says bicycling to work can transform your body and your well being.

An Arizona public radio site looks at the controversy over plans to build a bike ranch — think dude ranch, but with bicycles instead of horses — across the street from Saguaro National Park.

Des Moines, Iowa, rips out a parking protected bike lane after drivers couldn’t figure it out and local businesses didn’t back it.

Dallas police bust the hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike cop over the weekend; the Lyft driver turned himself in after seeing the news coverage.

Arkansas continues to make itself a center for mountain biking with new trails at a number of state parks. Meanwhile, tiny Silverton CO vows to get some of that action, as well.

Heartbreaking story from Michigan, where the brother of a fallen bike rider took his own bicycle to the exact spot where his brother was run down, and finished the ride his brother couldn’t.

Ohio bike couriers are still in business, despite the rise of e-filing for court documents.

Columbus, Ohio dockless ebike startup will offer a bizarre looking green fat-tired bike-scooter hybrid.

Evidently, if you want to grind a little gravel, go to Vermont.

Boston considers cutting speed limits to 20 mph to improve safety, while an advocate called for doing something about the city’s stroads — multi-lane thoroughfares that represent a cross between a road and a street.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The victim of a fatal Brooklyn bicycling collision was just biking home to watch Game of Thrones with his dad.

New York’s mayor continues his bizarre opposition to ebikes, while other officials go about the business of legalizing them.

A Gotham letter-writer calls on the city to crack down on bicyclists who ride like many people drive, but cause far less harm.

Half the bicycling deaths in New York this year have occurred in Southern Brooklyn, which lacks the bicycling infrastructure installed in other parts of the city.

A New York bike racing tradition could be over, after a private company jacked up the use fee for a former naval station a whopping 22566%. And no, that’s not a typo.

This is who we share the roads with too. A Florida man was busted for crashing into a police car while drunk as a skunk and high on coke — and driving a riding mower.

 

International

An Edmonton, Canada city councilor says bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists are all responsible for road safety. Even though statistics show the people in the big, dangerous machines are responsible for almost all crashes in the city.

Canadian police continue to turn to 529 Garage for bicycle registration to help stolen bikes find their way back home, this time in Ottawa.

A British teenager is called a hero after jumping into the ocean to save the life of a friend who lost control of his bicycle and fell 15 feet into the water.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, mais non? How about a scenic 560 miles bike route through France’s picturesque Loire Valley to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the original Renaissance Faire?

 

Competitive Cycling

Forty-one-year old former Olympic road cycling champ Samuel Sanchez has received a two-year ban for doping, even though authorities accepted his excuse that it was the inadvertent result of a bad supplement. And backdated the ban to cover the two years he’s already been out of cycling since testing positive in 2017.

VeloNews says America’s wide roads will have an impact on the outcome of this week’s Amgen Tour of California. And catches up with Belgian cycling legend Roger De Vlaeminck, who’s still racing today at 71.

It was a good day for a Danish rider at the Tour of California, and a better one for an American.

Upon further consideration, the winner of Monday’s third stage of the Giro didn’t.

 

Finally…

Apparently, fixies serve no purpose and only appeal to rich people, which probably goes double for e-fixies. Los Angeles is bike friendly, or maybe it isn’t.

And ask not for whom the bugle blows.

It blows for thee, if you’re competing in the AToC.

Today’s post called on account of pain

My apologies.

Sunday was one of those days I warned about last week, when the pain and medications combined to knock me out for most of the day.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow to catch up on what we missed.

Today’s post called on account of pain

I give up.

After struggling to write something, anything, over the past few days, it’s become clear that the idea I could return to work this week was overly optimistic.

To say the least.

So let’s just throw in the towel on our daily Morning Links updates for now, and try again next week.

We will have a guest post from my former Iditarod sled-dog racing brother tomorrow, as he recounts the tale of his snowy, 1000+ mile late fall bike tour from the Pacific Northwest to his home in Western California.

No dogs involved. Even if the weather was more appropriate for it at times.

And I’ll be available for any breaking news, which hopefully won’t.

With a little luck, the pain will finally let up and my head will clear, and I’ll see you back here next week.

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

After writing about yesterday’s fatal bike crash in Koreatown, and spending far too much time making preparations for my upcoming knee surgery, there’s just no time left to write today’s Morning Links and get it online.

As usual, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

And if anyone knows a good, reliable, corgi-friendly dog walker, let me know.

Morning Links: New bill requires Complete Streets on state roads, and SD man suffers life threatening injuries

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to make changes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians whenever they maintain or improve any state highways.

And that includes requiring Complete Streets on state-owned surface streets such as LA’s Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd, and Pacific Coast Highway in the ‘Bu.

SB 127, sponsored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Weiner, would shift the focus of California’s transportation department to serving all road users, not just the ones in the big, dangerous machines. Unlike what it has done throughout its existence.

It would also require state transportation funding programs to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

According to Streetsblog California,

Senator Wiener said his goals with S.B.127 are threefold: to increase safety, to help people live healthier lives by encouraging more use of active transportation modes, and to create better climate outcomes by giving people the option to use environmentally friendly travel modes. “That can only happen if it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“Caltrans has historically treated these surface streets as if they were the same as a major traditional highway,” said Senator Wiener, “and they’re not. We need to make sure these streets are safe for all users.”

The bill will undoubtedly meet opposition from entrenched motorist interests, just like any other recent Complete Streets bill that seems to threaten the automotive hegemony on our streets.

But it could make a real, and lasting, difference in the way Californians get around.

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Sad news from San Diego, where a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bike in the Linda Vista neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a message from a police watch commander makes it clear he’s not expected to survive.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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That hardly ever happens in real life.

After a very close call, a truck driver pulled over to apologize to the bike rider he nearly ran down.

………

There’s a reason why bike racers ride instead of rapping.

………

Local

Santa Monica provides a three-month update on the city’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program, including 52 bike and scooter parking zones throughout the city, with plans for up to 50 more. That compares favorably with LA’s zero.

A Dallas magazine says Santa Monica-based Bird has quietly backed off plans to give cities money to build more bike lanes, after apparently running out of venture capital cash.

State

San Jose’s mayor is back at work following his New Year’s Day bike crash.

A San Francisco-based company is using cellphone data to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic to improve traffic planning.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes local officials to task, correctly noting that Vision Zero requires a total commitment to safety and responsibility. Someone please tell our mayor and city council that. And LADOT. And the LAPD. And LA Vision Zero.

National

If you own a 2017 or later Specialized with Specialized’s Future Shock front road suspension feature, you should stop riding it immediately and take it back to a dealer for repairs under a recall.

Business Insider lists their picks for the best bike helmets in five different categories.

Bicycling says doing any kind of physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help you live longer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Police in Everett WA are trying to identify a man seen riding a bicycle in the area, after he was found dead in a local park.

A Washington man says if a BMX rider is wearing a mask or a bandana, police should assume they’re criminals and violate their constitutional rights. And let ’em sue if they don’t like it.

Writing in Bicycle Retailer, a staff member from Bike Utah says better infrastructure in the answer to growth in ridership and the bike industry.

Unbelievable. A road raging Illinois driver repeatedly slammed into a bike rider, then ran over him, breaking his arm, leg and pelvis, before she was arrested driving away with his bike still stuck under her SUV. Then was acquitted of attempted murder and six other felony counts a year later by reason of insanity. By that standard, there are a lot of crazy people behind the wheel. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Chicago and New York both held extensive public meetings on how and where to expand their public bikeshare systems — and promptly ignored the results.

A Massachusetts magazine calls for a “radical rethinking” of Boston’s major streets, describing them as “grotesquely overbuilt, inequitably allocating nearly all their space to single-occupant motor vehicles.”

Apparently having missed the memo that bikes are good for business, New York business owners are demanding that the city rip out new bike lanes that were installed as part of a now-cancelled plan to shut down a subway for maintenance. Because parking.

A Philly bike cop sues the department, alleging bias against Italian-Americans.

A Virginia newspaper remembers a local icon known for decades as Bicycle Charlie due to his ever-present bicycle. Except his name was Floyd.

International

The European Union is considering a plan that would require ebike riders to carry liability insurance — which is not required for any other type of bicycles — in an apparent attempt to kill the market for them.

A 12-year old London boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries after riding into the path of a bus as he tried to escape from older boys who were chasing him.

Irish police bust a suspect bike thief, and recover five hot bikes and a stash of coke and weed.

An Aussie rider’s high-end Pinarello road bike is now a melted carbon mess after his add-on ebike hub caught fire — and couldn’t be approached to put it out because the CO2 canisters in his seat bag started exploding.

Three Australian bicyclists suffered minor injuries in a rare bike on bike on bike crash.

No bias here. An Aussie motorcycling group has called for bicyclists to be forced to wear unique numbers somewhere on their body, so they can be charged for violating traffic laws. Never mind that unlike motorcyclists and drivers, bicyclists pose minimal risk to others.

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Jani Brajkovic got off with just a ten-month ban for failing a doping test, after he convinced officials he ingested it accidentally as part of a supplement.

The former team physician for Team Sky and British Cycling faces doping related criminal charges.

Great story about a Cat 2 bike racer from Arkansas, who lost his leg as a result of a crash while playing bike polo — then won a national championship in individual pursuit, along with another silver and a bronze, at the recent Paralympic National Championships.

A 15-year old British boy is the first champion of the five-day E-Bike Desert Challenge through the sands of the Moroccan desert.

Finally…

If you want to lose weight, get a job as a bicycle courier. More proof bike shorts look ridiculous in the absence of a bicycle, no matter what decade you’re in.

And if you’re riding your bike while drunk as a skunk and tossing the empties, half empties and full cans into your bike trailer, put a damn light on it already.

And don’t threaten the cops that pull you over.

Seriously.

Move along, nothing to see here, 2019 edition

Okay, I’m throwing in the towel.

Between last night’s bad news, and a bout of high sugar caused by a minor medical procedure, I haven’t been able write a word of today’s Morning Links.

And at 1:30 in the morning, it’s a little late to start. Especially on something that usually takes me four to five hours to finish.

As much as I hate to do it — especially this early in the year and just one day removed from taking the holidays off — I’m going to have to give up on getting anything done tonight.

We’ll be back as usual tomorrow, and catch up on anything you might have missed today.

So get out and ride your bike. And take a few minutes to read yesterday’s epic post-holiday post if you haven’t already.

I’ll see you back here bright and early on Friday.

Happy holidays to all — and thank you for your support!

Thanks to Eric L, Michael D, Hamid V, Don E’s Store, Penny S, Gregory S and Brian N for their generous donations to support this site. And to everyone who gave to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive this year.

As usual, we’ll be taking off between the holidays to spend time with family and do a little work behind the scenes. But as always, we’ll be available to bring you any breaking news in the meantime.

Please accept my best wishes for joyful Christmas, and a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

And ride safely. I want to see you back here bright and early on January 2nd.

Last chance to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy

Okay, that’s not true.

You’re more than welcome to make a donation to this site anytime.

But it’s the final weekend of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

The last two days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy during our one and only fundraising campaign of the year.

And the only time we’ll come right out and ask for your support.

Or beg, even.

It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small, to help keep this site coming your way every day. And ensure the Corgi has a little kibble under her tree Christmas morning.

So what are you waiting for, already?

Thanks to Evan B, Robert H and Karen K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Move along, nothing to see here

Apparently, the new WordPress 5.0 has broken my site. After installing the upgrade Thursday night, I’m no longer able to access any of the internal pages — including the ones I’d need to fix this train wreck.

Hopefully we can get this fixed, and be back on Monday.

It’s the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

It’s that time of year again.

No, not the season of incessant holiday music, ugly sweaters or bizarre Christmas flavors leaping out of your coffee cup.

Or even palm trees swaddled in red and green lights lining the sidewalk.

It’s time for the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The one time of year when, like your favorite public radio station, I ask you to open your wallets and dig deep to help keep Southern California’s leading source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Except unlike your favorite public radio station, we don’t block most of this site to make you pay up.

It started as a joke four years ago — hence that whole 4th Annual thing. But the funny thing was people actually took it seriously, and wanted to give their hard-earned money to support this site.

Which surprised the hell out of me.

Thanks to donations from people like you — along with the generosity of our sponsors, and a very understanding wife — I’ve been able to turn BikinginLA into a more than full-time job. And devote whatever time I have left in this world to doing whatever I can to make the streets safer for people on bicycles.

Which takes us back to that whole dig deep thing.

You can contribute with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that came with the banking app that’s probably already on your smartphone; just send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated. And will help keep the Corgi in kibble while keeping this site up and running.

If you can’t afford to give anything, or just prefer not to, that’s cool too. You’re more than welcome to keep coming back, and contributing to our online community.

Either way, thanks for taking a moment to consider it. And thanks for visiting this site.

Because it doesn’t matter what I write if you’re not here to read it.

Thank you to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc. and an anonymous donor for their generous contributions to this fund drive even before it officially began.

And let me offer a special thanks to Todd Rowell, who came up with the idea for a holiday fund drive in the first place.

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