Archive for General

Move along, nothing to see here — extended edition

Despite my best efforts to get back to work, I’m still struggling with my health this week.

So I’m throwing in the towel, and taking the next few days to rest and try to feel better.

I’ll see you bright and early on July 5th.

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies. I’m significantly under the weather tonight. I’ll try to be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we’ve missed.

Move along, nothing to see here – migraine edition

My apologies.

I’ve been struggling to cope with a sick migraine — or rather, a migraine swarm — every day since last week, despite a complete diet change over the past month in an effort to prevent them.

Which was a hell of a way to celebrate my wife’s and my 25th anniversary yesterday.

So I’m giving up and putting my pain-filled head to bed before it explodes.

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

Then again, I did my best to be here today. And you can see how that turned out.

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels.

Debating the risk of riding on the roads, and whether we overemphasize it

Please forgive me.

I did my best to write today’s Morning Links, despite battling a killer headache. But it looks like the headache has won.

So I’m going to bed, and hoping it’s gone by morning. As usual, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

But before we go, let me share this comment from Rob X, followed by my response. Because it is a conversation worth having, and one that continues to come up from time to time, in one form or another.

I’m a cyclist who’s way past tired of the “SO DANGEROUS!” whining. Bicycling seems to be the ONLY activity whose fans actively discourage others by claiming their favorite activity is dangerous. Or by claiming that it can’t be safe until all territory is redesigned with them in mind.

So you beg for bike lanes. Those bike lanes fill with gravel, glass and junk because car tires never sweep them clean. You demand sweepers, then you demand posts or other barriers that prevent sweepers from fitting. You demand parked cars to hide the bikers from drivers then you complain when a turning car runs over an unseen biker – a biker who doesn’t bother to check for cars because, hey, she’s “protected!”

Look, there are fewer than 1000 bike deaths in the U.S. every year. That’s not “dangerous.” Biking is way safer than even walking, whether you figure total deaths or deaths per mile. Biking is way safer than swimming or motorcycling. It’s safer than walking down stairs! But where are the calls stair walking helmets and elevators at all stairways?

Half of biker deaths are the fault of the biker. Those people are too confused or ignorant to follow simple rules of the road. Complicating those rules things with special lanes, opposite-direction bike lanes, “mixing zones,” blind intersections and more won’t help.

Bicycling is literally safer than NOT bicycling. It has health benefits WAY bigger than its risks. Quit scaring people into their noisy, polluting cars!

Here’s my response:

“Evidently, you haven’t spent much time on this site. Right up there, under Facts & Stats, it says this:

How safe is bicycling? Cyclists suffered in an estimated 52,000 injuries in 2009; making your odds of returning home safely from any given ride nearly 77,000 to one; the chances of surviving any given ride were over 6.3 million to one in your favor.

Sounds pretty safe to me.

On the other hand, statically, an average of 2 – 3 people are killed riding bicycles in the US every day. So while your risk on any given ride is infinitesimal, it’s going to happen to someone, somewhere. And every one of those “less than 1000” deaths you cite is someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, friend or loved one.

I often hear from the relatives of people killed while riding their bikes. And I can assure you it’s no small matter to them. I also hear from riders all levels, from beginning bike riders to experienced cyclists, who have been frightened off their bikes by one too many close calls, or one trip too many to the emergency room.

I’ve made four trips there myself, as I enter my 40th year of riding a bike as an adult.

So should we just tell everyone bike riding is safe, so get out there and just enjoy the ride, when their own experience tells them otherwise? Should we just say “oh well” when yet another innocent person gets sacrificed on the altar of the almighty automobile? Or should we fight like hell to make our streets safer for everyone?

I know what my answer is, because I’ve been doing this for 14 years now.

But remember this. Bike infrastructure isn’t there for experienced vehicular cyclists who have no fear of mixing it up with traffic. It’s for all the little kids and older folks, all the timid riders who won’t bike without it, and all the people like my wife, who are tired of picking their loved ones up at the hospital.

I’m glad you feel safe on your bike. But I hope you open your heart a little more to those who don’t, and those who haven’t been.”

So what do you thinK?

Personally, I think an average of nearly 1,000 people killed riding their bikes is about 1,000 too many.

But I’m willing to listen if you disagree.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put my head to bed before it explodes.

Today’s post called on account of pain. Tomorrow’s, too. And maybe next week.

Let’s call it a week.

I was hoping to post one more time before I have surgery on my left wrist and elbow. But they failed tonight, leaving me with virtually no way to use my hand, let alone stop the pain.

So I will be out for a few days until I recover enough to get back to work. When they did the other arm last year, I was out for about ten days; however that was a more extensive surgery, which also included work on four fingers.

I’ll be back as soon as I can, hopefully sometime next week; if not, the week after. Meanwhile, check back next week when we’ll have at least one guest post while I’m out.

Be well, stay safe and enjoy the ride. I’ll see you again soon.

Photo from Pexels.com.

Bike rider killed in pre-dawn Palm Springs collision; 7th Riverside County bicycling death already this year

What the hell is going on in Riverside County?

The county, which has averaged nine bicycling deaths per year for the past three years, had already suffered six deaths, less than three months into the year.

Now you can make that seven.

According to multiple sources, a person riding a bicycle on Indian Canyon Drive, between Garnet Avenue and Palm Springs Station Road in Palm Springs, was struck by a motorist around 5:40 am Saturday.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where they later died as a result of unidentified major injuries.

Both the victim and the driver were described only as local residents.

The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence; needless to say, no arrest was made and no one was ticketed at the scene.

There is a narrow paved shoulder on Indian Canyon, a painted stripe the only protection from drivers speeding by at — or more likely above — the posed 55 mph speed limit.

There’s no other information available at this time. No word on which direction they were both traveling, or why the driver wasn’t able to avoid someone on a bicycle in the early morning darkness, over an hour before sunrise.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Division of the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8125.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Which is too damn many.

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

Fullerton man riding DIY ebike killed in possible hit-and-run; 5th Southern California bike death this week

Please make it stop.

After a terrible start to the year — and one of the worst weeks in memory — yet another bike rider has lost his life on the mean streets of Southern California.

And once again, it may have been a hit-and-run.

My News LA is reporting that 58-year old Fullerton resident Ivars Borsteins was found lying in the street at Malvern Ave and Basque Ave in Fullerton around 9:30 pm Thursday.

Borstens was discovered suffering from serious injuries, next to a mountain bike that had been converted to an ebike.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are investigating the crash as a possible hit-and-run, but acknowledge it’s possible that Borstens may have fallen off his bike for some reason.

Officers stressed that Borstens’ bike had been modified to add an electric engine, rather than manufactured as an ebike. There are any number of conversion kits on the market that can turn any bike into an ebike.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fullerton Police Department at 714/738-6812.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County. It’s also the fifth SoCal bicycling death in just the last week.

If this turns out to have been a hit-and-run, it would be the eight fatal bike hit-and-run since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ivars Borsteins and all his lived ones.

 

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

But after writing about two fallen bicyclists tonight — let alone the other 20 people killed riding bicycles already this year — I just don’t have it in me to even think about bicycling, let alone write about it.

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

MLK Jr. was one of us — so let’s all try to be more like him today

Dr. King was one of us, too.

So just for today, let’s challenge ourselves to be more like him, and remember that every person we meet today is our brother or sister.

And strive to show each and every one the kindness, courtesy and respect that is the birthright of every human being.

Because if we can do it today, we can do it tomorrow. And every day after that.

And yes, I said we, because I fail at that as much as anyone.

Stay safe and enjoy the ride today.

We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on al the good, the bad and the ugly from the world of bikes.

Thanks to Ted Faber for forwarding this tweet.

It’s the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today!

Donate now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

It’s that time of year again.

No, not the holiday season, which seems to start around Halloween these days.

It’s that wonderful time of year when, just like that guy with the red kettle front of the market, we shamelessly, beg, plead and/or cajole you for your hard-earned cash.

But without all the bells.

I could give you a sob story about how tough this past year has been with my wife and I both out of work. Or what a challenge it’s been to keep this site up on a daily basis as my own body seems determined to kill me.

But hey, we’ve all got problems.

Instead, I’ll ask you one simple question.

Do you enjoy getting all the best bike news on your favorite screen every morning? Or almost every morning, anyway.

And if so, how much?

Okay, so that’s two questions.

The simple fact is, it takes hours every day to scour the internet for news sites, from around the corner and around the world, to find all the latest news from the wild, wonderful and sometimes wacky world of bicycles.

And hours more to present it to you as clearly and succinctly as possible, to help keep you on top of everything you need to know in just a few minutes each day.

Well, almost everything.

Trust me, there are some things you just don’t want to know.

So what’s that worth to you?

I count on your donations to get through the usual dry spell before our sponsors start to renew each spring, assuming they do. Not to mention keep our spokesdog in kibble until things turn around.

But if you can’t afford to give, don’t worry about it. Everyone is welcome here, no questions asked.

Or if you can only afford to give a little, believe me, any amount is deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. I know how hard it can be when you’re struggling to get by.

But please give what you can, if you can.

Or I may have to start ringing that damn bell on here.

And trust me, I have one.

………

Special thanks to Robert L, Eric L, David V, Mitchell G and Olivia K for their generous donations to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, even before we officially kicked things off this morning!

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