Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Smith vindicated for BWB, Beverly Hills Complete Streets meeting, and more e-scooter news

Good news.

The Alameda County DA’s office has dropped the charges against Najari Smith, founder of the Richmond, CA bike co-op Rich City Rides.

Smith was arrested by Oakland police on August 3rd while leading a weekly social bike ride, ostensibly for illegally playing amplified music.

However, witnesses at the scene were convinced he was busted for Biking While Black.

A statement released by the Oakland Police Department in response to the public outcry over the arrest said Smith was “impeding traffic” and “refused to provide identification or any information that would assist the officers in identifying him.”

Even though Smith says he cooperated with the officers and provided them with two forms of ID.

Fortunately, he won’t face any serious consequences for the misguided arrest. Although no one can give him back the two days he spent locked behind bars before making bail.

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Beverly Hills will hold a workshop to discuss Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole tomorrow night.

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Long Beach’s first evening Beach Streets event takes place this Saturday. Let’s hope CicLAvia follows their lead and schedules a few evening or nighttime events.

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Today’s common theme is yet another return to the e-scooter debate.

After a Cleveland woman was killed by a DUI driver while she was riding a scooter, the focus was on the dangers of scooters, rather than the dangers of drivers who admit snorting heroin before getting behind the wheel.

Streetsblog gets it, saying scooters aren’t a public safety hazard, but streets designed only for cars are.

He gets it, too. A Portland writer says if it makes sense to charge for scooters to use city streets, then it also makes sense to charge proportionately for cars to use them.

No bias here. The Philadelphia Inquirer says the e-scooter sky is falling, and it’s time for panic before they besmirch the city’s streets.

BuzzFeed says people with broken bones and missing teeth are turning up in ERs around the nation as a result of scooter crashes, although no hard data is available.

Bloomberg may have the smartest take, saying scooters pose a serious challenge to the reign of cars by providing convenient first and last mile solutions, as well as transportation for quick errands.

And Santa Monica is dealing with the problem of haphazardly parked scooters by providing designated scooter parking on the sidewalk. Although a better solution would be to replace a car parking spot with parking for the more efficient scooters.

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Local

Streetsblog offers a review of Sunday’s sparsely attended open streets event in Huntington Park and Vernon, which could have benefited from better promotion.

CiclaValley previews Bike Walk Burbank’s 4th Annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

Still no word on who is behind the rash of shootings at Malibu Creek State Park, or whether bike riders, hikers and campers are safe there after a camper was murdered earlier this year.

 

State

The California Sun lists seven must-see California destinations operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 11th Annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday across the iconic San Diego Coronado Bridge and around the San Diego Bay.

Stockton residents have installed a ghost bike for a rider who was killed in an unsolved 2016 hit-and-run.

This is who we share the roads with. A San Jose woman called the police after she got home at 2 am, and discovered a dead pedestrian lodged under her truck; she was not arrested, despite driving with a suspended license and an outstanding warrant for theft.

 

National

The Seattle Times applauds nearby Bellevue for a pilot bike lane project that uses a variety of separators, from bollards to planters, to determine what works best and how it’s accepted by the public and business owners.

An Albuquerque man offers an impassioned Op-Ed calling for drivers who hit bike riders to face justice and for the city to do more to protect bicyclists, after his friend who refused to own a car was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Texas Senator John Cornyn welcomes riders to this week’s Hotter’n Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, after helping out as a volunteer last year.

An Iowa bicyclist offers advice on how to avoid killing someone on a shared use path. Because someone recently did.

A Catholic monk stops in Oklahoma on an unsupported cross-country ride to promote religious unity; his indirect route has taken him over 4,000 miles to get just halfway across the US.

Video has been released of the crash involving the hit-and-run Kentucky mayor that sent a 16-year old girl to the hospital. It’s hard to see, but it appears to show the mayor’s SUV hit the girl’s bike without knocking her down, supporting his contention that she rode off without stopping.

A Detroit website examines the Motor City’s use of road diets to successfully remake its streets.

Pacific Standard magazine looks at ghost bikes, including a moving ghost bike prayer written by Pittsburgh minister.

New ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are the alternative transportation alternative for New Yorkers stranded by the shutdown of a major subway line. Not surprisingly, the mayor didn’t show up for his own widely promoted ride to promote them.

Oops. A New York cop admits on video that his supervisor ordered officers not to ticket people who park in bike lanes.

Pennsylvania police crack down on groups of teens who block traffic with their bikes and shout obscenities at drivers.

Now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike, because Ofo may be no more in DC, but a local bike co-op is selling off some of their bikes for the low, low price of $100.

 

International

A writer for the New Republic says the modern automobile must die in order to fight climate change.

The Mother Nature Network provides photos of 18 spectacular pedestrian and bike bridges around the world.

A European website looks at Complete Streets design in Vancouver, where they’re busy doing it right.

A Toronto writer recommends having your bike tattooed with a registration number from Britain’s Bike Registry to prevent theft and help recover it if it is stolen. I recommend the free Bike Index registration, but whatever you do, register your bike somewhere. Now.

WTF? A Toronto newspaper asks if bikeshare users give “real” cyclists a bad name. Unless your bicycle is imaginary, you’re a real cyclist until the moment you step off it.

A Hamilton, Ontario website calls a newly resurfaced road design “deranged” after the city blocks off space where a curbside bike lane could go, then paints sharrows in the traffic lane.

An Irish mayor has turned his own reserved parking space into a bike corral.

A bill in the Israeli Knesset would require all ebike riders to wear a helmet any time they’re on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling tells you how to watch the Vuelta, if you’re willing to fork out the bucks; the race starts this Saturday, but won’t be carried on American TV. Let’s all send a big FU to NBC, which has decided to charge to stream the races they used to carry on cable.

No wonder women’s cycling is so exciting. A new study shows female cyclists race at a greater intensity than their male counterparts, who sustain more load and volume over longer courses.

Pro cyclist Lauren Hall retired after winning the final stage of the Colorado Classic, ending a career that included three national track cycling championships, and two second place finishes in the US road cycling championships.

The pros are going with snub nosed saddles.

 

Finally…

When your on-camera bike ride is only for the cameras. This is who we share the roads with, too; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And always try to look up from your phone before hitting a parked car.

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Eid Mubarak to all observing Eid al-Adha today.

 

Morning Links: The press gets it, people still riding in their 80s and 90s, and reporting cab drivers via Twitter

They get it.

A rabbi considers the complaints about e-scooters in the LA area, and the vandalism that has taken place as a result, and has this bit of advice: “The surest way to restore civil society is to act with civility, towards all people at all times.” That’s not so hard, is it?

Bike Snob continues his newfound advocacy, saying drivers should be held to a higher standard, because even seemingly minor infractions can turn fatal.

The New York Times says e-scooters could be a real help to people trying to get around the city — if the mayor gets more serious about protecting riders. Maybe we should all email that message to LA’s mayor, as well.

London will now charge drivers of higher polluting vehicles more money to park them. If Los Angeles is serious about fighting climate change — which seems pretty unlikely, based on recent experience — officials will be on the phone to the British capital before the day is out.

A British broadcaster deflates the myth of freeloading scofflaw bicyclists, and says the onus should be on drivers to look out for us.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

A retired UConn professor is still riding his age at 91 years old. Or 90, anyway.

An 82-year old British man beats intestinal cancer, and celebrates with a 311-mile ride from London to Paris to raise funds for the hospital that treated him.

Three generations of a British family go bike riding in the Austrian Alps, including an 88-year old grandfather on an ebike.

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You can now report bike lane blocking taxi and car sharing drivers via Twitter.

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Local

It’s too hot for a tweed ride, so Bike SGV is hosting a vintage Seersucker Slow Roll Bike Ride this Sunday.

Speaking of Bike SGV, they’re bringing back their free City Cycling Classes in Glendora this weekend.

 

State

San Jose will remove parking spaces to install bollards on bike lanes and build protected intersections.

City Lab says San Francisco’s sidewalks are the city’s last shred of public space, so it’s no wonder everyone is fighting over them. And the same goes virtually everywhere else, as well.

Caught on video: Sacramento police run down a 16-year old boy who was fleeing after being stopped for not having a light on his bike, then blame the crash on vehicle understeer.

 

National

A Kiwi writer recommends five bike trails to ride throughout the US. Although “trail” is stretching it, since one of the recommended routes is the coast highway through Big Sur.

A serial vandal has been cutting the brake cables on Seattle bikeshare bikes, putting the lives and safety of bike riders at risk; London’s Daily Mail gets it right, calling the perp sick and deranged.

A Utah man is building custom handmade bikes with unique designs from recycled parts, including one based on his son’s drawing of a dinosaur.

The rich get richer. My platinum level bike friendly hometown opens a 4.4-mile bike path connecting with the neighboring town, which used to be much further away.

New York Mayor de Blasio is planning to ride from city hall to Brooklyn on a ped-assist ebike to inaugurate the ped-assist bikes as part of the city’s bikeshare system.

Former world track cycling champ and Olympic medalist Marty Rothstein was booted from the board of a Pennsylvania velodrome after allegations of sexual misconduct, which he claims are merely an attempt to derail his run for Congress.

A trio of Rutgers University students have formed a group called Girls Do Bike to empower girls by teaching them how to ride bikes.

Philadelphia bike riders sue to force the installation of plastic delineators to keep hotel valets from parking cars in bike lanes, turning to the courts when they can’t make any progress with elected officials to improve bike infrastructure. Can we do that here? Pretty please?

Louisiana bike riders find out the hard way what happens when people who don’t ride bikes try to write laws for those who do. And then cherry pick the people they want to discuss it with.

Caught on video: A road raging Alabama driver faces charges after blowing through a group of bicyclists stopped for a stop sign.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Vancouver, British Columbia sees a record number of riders on major bike routes after building out a connected bikeway network.

An Edmonton, Canada bike rider tells drivers “We come in peace.”

Police in Waterloo, Canada take bike cam video seriously, talking to drivers and writing tickets based on GoPro video a rider posts online and forwards to the police. California law currently requires that police witness an infraction to write a ticket, but is unclear on whether video evidence is sufficient; most departments say no. That needs to change.

Once again, two new European studies show bicycling is the healthiest way to get around, and can help you lose weight.

Huh? An English letter writer calls for putting bollards as close together as possible on a street to keep bike commuters from terrorizing residents. And says that will increase property values.

A British triathlete was killed when her bicycle hit a pothole, after the contractor hired to repair it mistakenly fixed one three miles away, instead.

Bike thieves in the UK are cutting bike racks, then returning to steal the bikes after riders lock up to them. That’s a common technique on this side of the Atlantic, as well. Always check the rack to make sure it’s secured to the ground, and doesn’t have any hidden cuts; thieves will often use stickers to hide a cut in the rack.

Berlin has a lot to learn from Münster when it comes to bicycling. And LA could learn from both.

Bikeshare comes to Tehran, with smart bikes based on the Internet of Things.

A Rwandan writer says bicycling has become embedded in the lives of his countrymen and women, from cyclists approaching the level of Tour de France riders, to the growing amount bike infrastructure remaking the streets of the country.

The number of bicyclists fined for not wearing a helmet under New Zealand’s mandatory helmet law has dropped 75% over the last five years. The question is whether the number of bike riders has dropped, as well.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A New Zealand government minister and her husband rode their bikes to the hospital to give birth.

An Aussie bike advocate says it’s time for everyone on the roads to take responsibility for their actions, and respect each other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The UnitedHealthcare team swept the Colorado Classic, finishing first and second in both the men’s and women’s races. But the team may not exist next year after the sponsor pulled out; in fact, three teams may go under.

Cycling scion Taylor Phinney won the most aggressive rider jersey, as well as the adoration of his hometown crowd, after finishing the race just two weeks after breaking his face in the final mountain stage of the Tour de France.

The Velorama festival accompanying the final stages of the Colorado Classic worked most of the bugs out in its second year, drawing up to 30,000 people.

French cyclist Geoffrey Soupe was lucky to escape with a badly slashed neck after crashing into barbed wire at the Tour de Limousin last week.

Former cycling great Jan Ullrich is in rehab following his recent arrests for attacking a neighbor, and an escort; no word on what he’s rehabbing for.

A writer for Bicycling learns that a famed Belgian climb that once defeated the great Eddy Merckx isn’t so easy, even on a modern bike.

Slate looks at the Zwift Academy, which gives you a chance to become a pro cyclist in the comfort of your own living room.

 

Finally…

It’s only been 122 years since the first driver crashed into someone on a bicycle — and clearly, nothing’s changed. The next time someone makes fun of your skintight bike shorts, tell them its this summer’s must-wear trend.

And Shakespeare as it was meant to be performed.

On bicycles.

 

Morning Links: Council splits on speed for scooters, cabs banned from bike lanes, and 10 years for Oceanside driver

The city council’s Public Works Committee recommended that e-scooters be allowed on LA streets with their current top speed of 15 mph, rather than the 12 mph limit recommended by the Transportation Committee.

The full city council will now have to make the final decision.

The committee also approved a lengthy laundry list of other proposed scooter requirements, while leaving the door open for other providers to step in, in addition to the current Bird and Lime.

You can thank bike-friendly Joe Buscaino if the higher speed limit gets approved.

Today’s photo reflects a more subtle form of vandalism, spotted on the streets of Hollywood.

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As long as we’re talking about scooters, we might as well keep going.

The Santa Monica Daily Press looks at Tuesday’s demonstration at SaMo City Hall in support of Lime and Bird scooters, and finds somewhat underwhelming. Although the 20,000 or so form emails city leaders received were just the opposite.

Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole reminds us that even though the process for legalizing scooters hasn’t been easy, few remember how the first motor cars turned cities upside down.

Streetsblog says the hyperventilating stories about scooters have been blown out of proportion, because the rollout is going well in most places.

And an Atlanta doctor gives a e-scooters a negative review, calling them dangerous to people on and off them, and recommends giving them the boot.

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The Los Angeles Taxi Commission has officially barred cab drivers from parking or waiting in bike lanes for any reason, other than to pick up or drop off handicapped passengers.

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The stoned driver who killed 70-year old endurance cyclist Paul Cornish in an Oceanside bike lane last year will spend 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Twenty-six-year old Felix Ruiz Bazan was high on meth, and driving a stolen car without a license when he ran down Cornish, who once set the record for fastest crossing of the continental US by bicycle.

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While we’re at it, let’s catch up on a few other updates on more recent crashes.

A young father of two has been identified as the victim of Monday’s collision in Bellflower; Timothy Maurice Lewis was allegedly riding against traffic when he was struck and killed. A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay his funeral expenses.

A GoFundMe page has also been created to raise funds for funeral expenses for Apolinar Venancio; the popular Glassell Park resident known as Don Polo was killed while riding his bike last week.

And the road cyclist killed in East San Diego County earlier this month has been identified as 61-year old Daniel Lusteg of La Mesa.

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Forget the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. Security video shows a British bike thief making off with one in about four.

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Local

Curbed suggests five ways to make isolated Dodger stadium more accessible that aren’t Boring, including improving bikeways and making Vin Scully Ave a pedestrianized street.

The Morning Ride Cycle Club presents photos from last weekend’s LA Handmade Bicycle Show.

Santa Monica-based Bird has established a global safety advisory board to help improve safety for e-scooter users — and presumably, those around them.

A Malibu program teaches kids how to be safe on PCH, where even adult bicyclists take their chances with drivers distracted by topless selfie takers.

 

State

Seriously, what’s the point of doing a story about a San Luis Obispo bike show if you’re not going to include photos?

The JUMP dockless e-bikeshare has been a success in Santa Cruz.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 65-year old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in the city’s Tenderloin district; the driver was later arrested on DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

San Francisco unveils plans for a protected bike lane along the Embarcadero, where a pedicab operator was killed earlier this year.

Richmond’s mayor and at least one councilmember decry the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari “Naj” Smith in neighboring Oakland for apparently Biking While Black.

 

National

No, the problem isn’t that self-driving cars can’t spot humans, on two wheels or two feet. It’s that human beings are too unpredictable. So autonomous car makers want to make us follow the rules, or else.

Strong Towns makes the case for why drivers should support bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five scientific reasons why riding a bike is the best way to get around. And why you get addicted to bicycling social media, and what to do about it.

Portland’s master bike thief is at it again, getting 25 months in prison for violating his probation with his 80th arrest in 20 years of stealing bicycles. Yes, eighty.

Reddit solved a Washington hit-and-run, as an online discussion helped identify a tiny part left behind by the driver who killed a bicycling grandmother.

The Seattle Times recommends adding a ferry to your rides.

If you have a little extra cash lying around — preferably in pounds — consider investing in a documentary about a 75-year old man’s attempt to break the record for a human powered vehicle at Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Three hundred fifty bike riders turned out for a 350-mile ride around the Yellowstone region.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a speeding, allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider got seven years behind bars — but will probably only serve four months.

Illinois will now teach the Dutch Reach to all student drivers, as well as adding a question about it on the driver’s test to help reduce dooring.

Minneapolis is preparing to take the middle ground between docked and dockless bikeshare, while providing marked parking spaces for the latter.

A local paper talks with Massachusetts custom bikemaker Alex Meade, who took over an old factory for his business.

A Gettysburg PA bike rider explains for motorists why we do the things we do.

 

International

Fifteen cities around the world are fighting air pollution by curbing the use of cars. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not one of them.

A story in Outside tells how bikepacker Kate Harris saw more than Marco Polo ever did. On the other hand, no one’s ever played “Kate Harris” in the swimming pool.

Cycling Tips‘ Angry Asian says enough with the ebike hate. Couldn’t agree more. It’s a damn good rant, and damn well worth reading.

Can’t decide whether to buy a roadie, commuter or mountain bike? Then just get all three in one. Or maybe you’re tired of riding everywhere and want to go un-carfree.

A crowdfunding campaign for the five Edmonton, Canada bicyclists injured by a driver who couldn’t manage to see two lines of riders directly in front of her has raised over $10,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Forget whether it’s safer for Edmonton bicyclists to ride single file or two abreast; real safety requires separated bike lanes.

Winnipeg bans right turns on red lights to protect bike riders and pedestrians. But only in one district.

A Toronto city counselor and a Vision Zero advocate debate how to make the streets safer. Hint: Don’t do it the first guy’s way.

A Toronto man walked away from his MBA and law degree to co-found titanium bikemaker No. 22.

A Guardian writer goes fat biking on the beach.

Talk about blaming the victim. London’s Daily Mail urges the UK government to crack down on Ofo’s yellow dockless bikeshare bikes because people are vandalizing them and dumping them in lakes and trees. Because God knows, they wouldn’t want to go after the vandals who are destroying them or anything.

Not even people a heartbeat away from royalty are safe on the streets, as the Queen’s personal homeopath was killed in a crash while riding his bike just seconds from the hospital where he works.

Oxford, England shut down its docked bikeshare in the face of competition from dockless bikeshares.

A British man is riding 211 miles on his daughter’s little pink bicycle to raise money in her memory, after she died of a brain tumor at age seven.

The Chicago Tribune asks if Tajikistan is safe for American tourists after terrorists killed four bike tourists, including an American couple. And no, they weren’t trying to make a point by riding through ISIS-controlled territory — and no, they weren’t naive to try.

An Indian website talks with bike clubs across the country to take the temperature of India’s bike scene.

An Aussie website explains how riding two abreast improves safety. And why it’s good for drivers, too.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a judge tells a driver who smashed into a bike rider that driving with a windshield so frosted over he couldn’t see where he was going was a mistake anyone could make.

Forget a custom bike. What you really need are custom Kiwi bike shoes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The four-day Colorado Classic bike race kicked off on Thursday, as women cyclists wonder what they have to do to get a little attention, and one rider asks who you’d rather see in spandex. Good point.

Chris Froome and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas will skip the Vuelta in favor of the Tour of Britain.

Ritchie Porte will ride for redemption at the Vuelta and the World Championships.

A New York cyclist got tired of bike races. So he created his own.

A 20-year old Israeli cycling champ was killed in a left cross when a turning driver cut her off.

A writer for VeloNews says Donald Trump’s alleged Russian connections date back to his sponsorship of the Tour de Trump bike race in the 1980s.

 

Finally…

Yes, you’re invited to ride on a new highway before it opens — just don’t bring your own bike. If you name your company Cycling Porn, don’t be surprised when it gets blocked on social media.

And your next bike helmet could text for help if you crash.

Note: We originally ended with a police report that turned out to be a hoax. Thanks to Sam for the correction.

 

 

Morning Links: City Atty says scrap Griffith Park Blvd bike lanes, and bike riders victim of London terrorist attack

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has recommended removing the bike lanes on Griffith Park Blvd due to the crappy condition of the aging concrete pavement.

His recommendation comes after paying out a total of $700,000 following lawsuits from a pair of bike riders — only one of whom was actually injured on the section of Griffith Park that has bike lanes.

And even though it would increase the city’s liability the next time someone gets injured where the lanes used to be. Which is a given considering the condition of the street.

The obvious solution is to actually fix the crumbling pavement on Griffith Park, as the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee voted to recommend, which would solve the real problem.

That’s something we thought was in progress after the $200,000 settlement with Patrick Pascal, who was injured on the street beyond where the Griffith Park bike lanes end near Los Feliz Blvd, before they actually enter Griffith Park.

But they only fixed the section that took him down. And only after the city settled with him, despite countless calls to fix it prior to his injury.

Which is how it usually seems to work in the City of Angels.

In the photo, LA’s Bureau of Street Services repairs the section of pavement on Griffith Park Blvd where Patrick Pascal was injured. 

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Once again, bike riders were the victims of a terrorist attack.

Last time it was New York, this time in London, where a man in his late 20s was arrested after driving into a group of bicyclists and pedestrians in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack outside the British Houses of Parliament, though at least two people were injured, and a number of bikes mangled — a surprisingly good outcome considering the suspect drove an estimated 50 mph along the sidewalk for at least 130 feet.

And in typical British fashion, a bicyclist who chased the suspect until police intervened said “you just have a cup of tea and a biscuit and you carry on.”

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Local

LAist offers a refresher on how to drive safely around kids headed back to school, including advice to watch for bicycles. And presumably, their riders. Speaking of which, remember that bike riders are required to stop for school buses, just like drivers, to avoid collisions with kids running across the road — or getting on or off the bus, if riders try to pass on the right. And yes, I’ve seen that.

The James Beard award-winning celebrity chef behind DTLA’s NoMad Hotel is one of us; Daniel Humm was a professional mountain biker before he won his first Michelin star at 24.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz wrote a letter to the LA Times explaining his call for a temporary ban on e-scooters in the name of pedestrian safety, something he never seemed to give a damn about before. A Streetsblog reader kindly fixed it for him to focus on the real threat.

Lime and Bird scooters were shut down yesterday in Santa Monica in advance of a protest that reportedly drew hundreds to SaMo city hall to call for the e-scooter providers to be allowed to remain in the city; a proposal under consideration would boot both in favor of new scooters from Uber and Lyft. You have two more days to voice your opinion before the city cuts off the comment period.

 

State

Police data reveals the most dangerous intersections in Mountain View.

San Francisco’s Masonic Ave remains a work in progress as safety measures are unveiled by the city, with the city’s new mayor promising protected bike lanes are on the way.

Bay Area bike advocates are calling on San Francisco to lift the restrictive caps that are preventing bikeshare from growing in the city. Meanwhile, the city apparently has no idea what to do about e-scooters, which are banned in the City by the Bay until it figures it out.

A Eureka physician displays a remarkable amount of windshield bias, saying bike riders don’t need to use a particular bike path if the wind blows because there are several others, even it they don’t go the same way. And that there are no reproducible studies showing bicycling prolongs life, or that road diets work (hint: there are, on both counts). The remarkable thing is how he can still treat patients when he can’t seem to see past his own dashboard.

A group of bicyclists stop in Humboldt County on a ride from Seattle to San Diego to promote the Dream Act.

 

National

A post on Bike Portland says sidewalk cycling can be a savior for family biking.

Public tips led to the arrest of a Washington man who left a grandmother dying in a ditch next to her crumpled bicycle.

A Boise ID woman says a speeding, spandexed bicyclist sent her to the hospital to have a one-pound blood clot removed after crashing into her on a park pathway.

As we mentioned yesterday, the driver who killed two German bike tourist in Kansas earlier this year won’t face charges; the county attorney explains that it’s because she wasn’t under the influence or otherwise operating the vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. Although you’d think running over two people directly in front of you would be prima facie evidence of the latter.

Caught on video: Onboard cameras catch an Austin TX bus driver sideswiping a bicyclist — and nearly running him over — as he rode in a bike lane. It’s hard to watch, so be sure you really want to see it before clicking on the link. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Two air conditioned teepees await bike tourists in an Arkansas city, as long as you’re willing to pay the price of a regular hotel room.

Chicago police double down on claims that a crackdown on bike riders in predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods is an effective tool to prevent violence.

A New York councilmember responds to the death of a bike-riding Australian tourist by calling for a two-way protected bike lane on Central Park West. Meanwhile, a New York radio station asks listeners to imagine safer streets where bike riders are protected from things like that.

A Baltimore firefighter has been sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to an off-duty assault on a bike advocate at a community meeting to discuss bike lanes. At least we can be grateful that the bikelash over LA bike lanes haven’t turned violent. Yet.

A writer for the Washington Post tries, and fails, to understand the rights of bicyclists through his decidedly windshield perspective, before concluding that maybe bikes just don’t belong on the road.

 

International

A Canadian university professor says it’s odd that Toronto officials espouse the same 100-year old approach to bike and pedestrian safety that failed so spectacularly in the past.

The shooter who killed four people in Fredericton, New Brunswick last Friday is also one of us.

France’s first lady is one of us, too.

Now that’s bike friendly. A vote in Switzerland next month could enshrine bicycling in the nation’s constitution, committing the country to promoting bike transport and building suitable infrastructure.

An Indian website recommends riding a bike to pedal your blues away.

New Zealand police conclude that the truck that critically injured a champion triathlete doesn’t exist.

A Malaysian website says riding a bicycle is the healthiest form of urban transport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Santa Rosa native and defending Leadville 100 champ Larissa Connors arrives at this year’s race mourning the damage done to Trabuco Canyon by the devastating Holy Fire.

A writer for The Guardian complains that women’s cyclists will compete on a watered-down road course at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it shows the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” only applies to men. Seriously, we should be long past the days when women were considered the weaker sex, especially in athletic competition.

Vincenzo Nibali says pro cycling has become a circus due to the aggressive behavior of racing fans, following his fan-caused crash in the Tour de France.

America’s most famous ex-Tour de France champ says he’ll do anything in his power to help former rival Jan Ullrich recover from his downward spiral.

 

Finally…

When your GPS may not have your best interests at heart. Evidently, there’s a backspace button for bike corrals.

And biking across the US is no joke, even for a former pro cyclist turned comedian.

And neither is fighting domestic abuse.

 

Morning Links: It’s a Day Without a Scooter in SaMo, progress on Beverly Hills bike lanes, and NACTO visits LA

Still more news on the scooter beat.

Supporters of Lime and Bird e-scooters are urged to head to Santa Monica City Hall tonight to protest plans to boot the popular scooter providers out of town.

City staff has recommended using scooters provided by Lyft and Uber, instead, the latter of which clearly intends to monopolize every form of shared transportation humanly possible.

Call me crazy, but it makes far more sense to me to work with the scooter companies that have already established a solid foothold in the city, then bring in other companies to compete with them on an even basis.

Meanwhile, an Ohio city shows that it is in fact possible to take a common sense approach to scooters.

………

Patrick Pascal sends word that bike lane striping on the westbound side of Santa Monica Blvd is about one-third finished, currently stretching from Doheny to Palms in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

………

NACTO will be meeting in Los Angeles in two months.

The group, formally known as the National Association of City Transportation Officials, will be coming here the first week of October to discuss Designing Cities.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti paints a glowing picture for attendees of a city transforming the way we get around.

Maybe we can get the mayor to take them on a tour of Temple Street, and 6th Street, and Lankershim Blvd, and Westwood Blvd, and Central Ave, and North Figueroa, and all the other streets where LA councilmembers have blocked that “transformation.”

Not to mention Rowena Ave, where Councilmember David Ryu apparently wants to rip out one that’s already been successfully transformed.

………

No bias here.

An Ohio TV station reports that a 60-year old bicyclist was killed in a collision after he ran a stop sign.

But what they fail to mention is that he was competing in a triathlon at the time.

………

Local

CiclaValley looks at how the North Hollywood Block Party I couldn’t talk my wife into going to claimed the streets, if only for one day.

Councilmember Jose Huizar officially opened the new and improved Alhambra Avenue, including 1.5 miles of lane reductions and door zone bike lanes. Proving that it is possible to implement a road diet in Los Angeles, as long as it doesn’t affect entitled Westside drivers.

Burbank opens far more appealing buffered bike lanes on Riverside Drive, with the buffer on the curb side to keep riders out of the door zone; it could be coming to 1st Street soon, as well.

Pasadena authorities are urging drivers to be cautious as thousands of children head back to school this week. That goes both ways for bikes — ride carefully around children, and ride defensively around their parents as they drop them off.

 

State

California’s record wildfires are having a negative effect on bicycle sales across the state.

A real estate website ranks the nation’s most affordable “outdoorsy” cities, with Bakersfield coming in number two on the list behind Spokane WA.

Berkeley is installing a hybrid traffic signal designed to automatically detect bicycles and trigger a flashing yellow light, followed by a red light.

A bike-riding Stockton minister led the installation of a ghost bike for a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago; he also runs the bicycle ministry for a local Episcopal church.

That’s a safe bet. A Chico letter writer says the driver who struck and killed a bike-riding physician apparently didn’t give the victim a three-foot passing distance.

 

National

NFL legend Emmitt Smith is one of us, as the three-time Super Bowl champ has traded his running shoes for a bicycle. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Bicycling recounts 30 “insane” cycling records, including the world’s tallest rideable bike, Stoopidtaller built by LA’s own Richie Trimble.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where no charges will be filed against the driver who ran down and killed two German bike tourists last May. Apparently not noticing two people on bicycles directly in front of your car before you run them over is perfectly legal in Kansas.

A Texas bus driver blames a bike rider after sideswiping him, even though the rider was in the bike lane the bus driver kept drifting into.

A conservative writer calls a Chicago bike rider’s decision not to report a crash with elderly Latina driver who was in the country illegally “lefty compassion run amok,” even though she once did exactly the same thing. Except in her case, he was Irish. Which I’m sure had nothing to do with her change of heart. Right?

A 15-year old Kentucky girl says she’s not going to ride her bike again after she was hit by the town’s mayor while riding in a crosswalk; the mayor was cited for hit-and-run after he drove off, then returned later, claiming he had no idea he hit anyone despite knocking the girl off her bike.

A Vermont police chief survives the dreaded death wobble after crashing while descending at 45 mph. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the link.

He gets it. An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News says it’s time to stop blaming bicyclists for their deaths, adding “those of us who don’t drive SUVs everywhere are not just second-class citizens — we’re disposable.”

A Pennsylvania county adopts an ambitious bike plan calling for 800 miles of bike-friendly paths, even though it currently has just 19 miles of bike lanes. Although as we’ve learned the hard way in Los Angeles, a bike plan is meaningless until you can actually ride it.

Great idea. A coalition of bicycling organizations has released a subway-style map showing what an actual network of connected bikeways could do to better serve the DC area.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists are calling for the legalization of riding two abreast after five riders were run down and injured in Edmonton; a bike club was riding abreast when the driver somehow failed to see them right in front of him. One of the injured riders understandably says it’s heightened his fear of cars.

Speaking of Edmonton, local bicyclists say the proposed location of a protected bike lane is just an attempt to make drivers happy.

Police in the UK defend their actions after being criticized on social media for stopping 50 kids who were popping wheelies and riding their bikes in an “anti-social manner.”

Britain’s Conservative Party has deleted a tweet accused of demonizing bicyclists, as they attempt to crack down on the perceived threat of dangerous bicyclists. Cycling Weekly responds by noting that you’re more likely to be killed by cows than someone on a bike, while Chris Boadman says you’re more likely to be killed by Christmas decorations, and asks why they hate us. Good question.

In a sad commentary on the state of British roads, a 95-year old English couple is giving up riding their tandem after 78 years because of disrespectful drivers.

A Freedom of Information request shows Dublin’s city council is failing to meet demands for bicycling infrastructure. Which sounds like another city council we could name, in a city NACTO will be visiting soon.

Maybe you’d like to try a little Irish speed dating on two wheels.

A German vehicle association has developed a new standard for measuring the range of ebikes, promising to level the playing field in comparing one ebike to another.

Boston-based bikeshare startup Go Bike is focusing on Nigeria as the first step in their goal of becoming the leading bikeshare provider in Africa.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has developed their own ebike with a top speed of 12 mph. Which is the same slow speed a Los Angeles proposal would limit scooters to.

 

Competitive Cycling

The all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk makes a Rwanda radio DJ eat his words after he said diabetics can’t compete and that the team was a joke, by coming back to win the Tour of Rwanda.

Cycling Tips admires the climbing ability of Tour of Utah winner Sepp Kuss. Then again, who doesn’t?

You may be seeing double at the Vuelta, as the Yates twins make late decisions to ride.

A 33-year old British man set a new record by running the entire course of the 2018 Tour de France, beating the cyclists to Paris, in the latest moving piece by Peter Flax.

 

Finally…

Your next Pashley could be a Morgan. Your next Yamaha could have pedals — and a battery.

And someone should tell the paper this sequence of events is highly unlikely.

 

Update: 27-year old bike rider killed in Bellflower crash Monday afternoon; fifth SoCal bicycle death in 10 days

It’s already been a bad month for Southern California bicyclists.

And today it got worse.

According to the Press-Telegram, a 27-year old man was killed riding his bike in Bellflower Monday afternoon.

The paper reports the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by the driver of a truck at the intersection of Somerset Boulevard and Woodruff Avenue around 2:40 pm.

A Bellflower Facebook group says the victim was African American.

The driver remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other details are available at this time.

A street view of the intersection shows two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction. No word on which way the victim or the driver were going, or how the crash occurred.

A photo taken by Serena Grace shows an older SUV with the right rear window broken out, and pulling a trailer.

Photo by Serena Grace

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the fifth SoCal bicycling death in just the last ten days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 27-year old Bellflower resident Timothy Maurice Lewis.

The Press-Telegram reports that Lewis was riding against traffic on eastbound Somerset when he was hit struck by the driver of a truck traveling north on Woodruff.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred.

However, given the limited description, it’s most likely the truck driver, who hasn’t been identified, was turning right and didn’t see Lewis coming from the wrong direction. Otherwise, it would mean that one of the two had to have run the red light.

Lewis’ older sister has started a GoFundMe page to help pay his funeral expenses. So far, it’s raised just $265 of the $5,000 goal.

He leaves behind his long-time girlfriend, a five-year old daughter and a two month old son.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Timothy Maurice Lewis and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Serena Grace for the heads-up. 

Photo of Lewis’ ghost bike by Chris Goodwin.

 

Morning Links: LA backslides on Spring Street bridge bike lanes, and NY crash shows why blocked bike lanes matter

Once again, the City of Angels is backsliding on commitments to build the bike lanes called for in the mobility plan.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, the Spring Street bridge was widened and rebuilt for the express purpose of installing bike lanes and improving sidewalks.

But now that the $50 million project is finished, the long-promised bike lanes aren’t there.

Instead, there’s a stripped-off area where the bike lanes would normally be, nominally directing riders into the traffic lane, where most riders would have to struggle uphill in front of speeding traffic.

The question of what happened to the missing lanes appears to come in the next to last sentence, where Linton mentions that the councilmember representing the project is our old bike-hating friend, Gil Cedillo.

Yes, the same Cedillo who has singlehandedly halted the much-needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on North Figueroa. As well as cancelling the planned Complete Streets project on Temple Street, in conjunction with neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who should know better.

It was also Cedillo who attempted to remove all the bike lanes in his district from the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, he’s just kept them from getting built.

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

………

If you’ve ever had someone tell you that blocking a bike lane in no big deal, this is why it matters.

A 23-year old Australian tourist was killed when an livery cab driver swerved into the New York bike lane she was riding in, forcing her out into traffic where she was hit by a dump truck.

It probably didn’t help any that the driver had been drinking.

The New York Times quoted the city’s mayor about the crash —

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw the creation of more than 66 miles of bike lanes last year under his Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities, visited the scene on Friday and said he was disgusted by what happened.

“This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving, and we’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences for anything that happened here that was illegal,” he added. “A 23-year-old, that’s very painful.”

Yet that same Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said that he doesn’t think drivers should be ticketed for blocking bike lanes. And has done it himself more than once.

Maybe he’ll want to rethink that now.

………

So-called experts insist bike riders have to wear hi-viz to make sure drivers see us.

On the other hand, 15 people riding side-by-side in the middle lane of a highway should be pretty damn easy to spot. Yet somehow, an Edmonton, Canada driver couldn’t manage that, either, injuring five riders after plowing into them from behind.

Meanwhile, the president of the bike club says don’t blame the victims, because the law requiring cyclists to ride single file doesn’t make sense.

………

A new law proposed by the British government could mean that bike riders who kill a pedestrian or other riders could face up to 14 years behind bars.

The bill, which would create the crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, comes in response to the death of a woman earlier this year, when authorities struggled to find a crime to charge the reckless rider with.

On the other hand, it didn’t help when the country’s Conservative Party tweeted that the law would protect the “most vulnerable road users” from dangerous cyclists.

As if bike riders aren’t vulnerable road users themselves.

Or that 445 of the 448 pedestrians killed in the country in 2016 were killed by people in the big, dangerous machines, not the people on two wheels.

Needless to say, bicyclists were not pleased.

………

Opponents of bike lanes will inevitably claim that they only benefit fit, able-bodied young people who can ride a bicycle.

Nothing is further from the truth. Especially given the popularity of ebikes, which virtually anyone can ride.

Case in point, Yusuf Çelebi, the head of the department for the disabled in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who had this to say on the subject —

“The disabled also need bicycles, just like everybody else. They’re ideal for avoiding traffic jams and getting exercise,” Çelebi said.

“I ride my bike to show that we stand together with the disabled, not only in the home or office, but in every field.”

 

Its also worth mentioning that the bike he rides is a tandem, which his official driver uses to steer around the city’s traffic problems, since Çelebi is blind.

………

Local

That study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu to reconsider the Rowena Ave road diet has finally been released. And as expected, three of the four options involved removing all or part of the bike lanes. Which is not surprising, since that seems to have been the whole point all along.

Lime says LA’s proposed 12 mph speed cap for e-scooters could increase the risk for users, noting that the slower speed could disrupt the flow of traffic in bike lanes. However, at 15 to 20 mph, they vastly overestimate the speed of an average bicyclist, who is more likely to travel at a relatively sedate 10 to 12 mph.

LA-based nonprofit Bikes4Orphans has just delivered four bicycles to an Indian orphanage; the group, which was founded by a high school student, uses bikes to help children get an education and lift themselves out of poverty.

The Long Beach Post looks at adventurous ways to escape the city by bike or on foot.

 

State

At least one person was critically injured when an out-of-control San Clemente pickup driver slammed into a light post, jumped the center divider and smashed into a pedestrian and a pair of bike riders before crashing into four parked cars. Police say it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role, but it’s a safe bet excessive speed did.

A retired Alameda County sheriff’s deputy has finished a 68-day ride across the US to honor his partner, who was killed in a shooting in 1998.

An employee-owned San Francisco bike shop was cleaned out by burglars last week, losing 21 bicycles worth $60,000 as the thieves took every bike in the shop.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is demanding changes after a rash of bicycling deaths in recent weeks.

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a bike lane under construction in Seattle with fireworks; a group fighting the lanes denies doing it. Which doesn’t mean their supporters didn’t.

A South Dakota TV station says bike shops and riders could be in the bullseye for Trump’s next round of tariffs, with a proposed 10% increase on most bicycles, parts and accessories, to go along with a 25% tariff on ebikes that just went into effect.

When technology put an end to his bike courier business, a Minneapolis man switched gears to open a bike food delivery service.

Even the recent death of a bike rider doesn’t seem to be enough to get a protected bike lane built on the South Side of Chicago.

A Chicago woman decides not to report a crash to police, after the driver who crashed into her bike begged not to have her deported — which means she can’t collect payment for her injuries. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses.

A writer for Streetsblog captures New York pedestrians running in fear, cyclists blocked, and drivers fuming as they try to funnel into a too-small street near the Holland Tunnel.

This is who we share the streets with. A cab driver is accused of biting another driver in an ongoing Battle Royale that raged down a New York street

Streetsblog looks towards the death of a North Carolina man as a prime example of how lazy reporting obscures the dangers on our streets; the 80-year old victim was accused of running in front of oncoming traffic, and not wearing reflective clothing even though the crash occurred in daylight. Too many news outlets simply retype whatever the police say without question, regardless of whether it makes any sense.

 

International

A psychologist offers advice on how to overcome the fear of getting back on your bike after a crash.

In a bizarre Catch-22, a ban on cars in a Toronto Park is in jeopardy after it made the park more dangerous because too many drivers ignored the ban and drove there anyway.

Road signs intended to slow Toronto drivers down have been removed because they actually worked.

Caught on video: Three thousand young bike riders take over the streets of London to call for an end to knife crime.

A new app confirms that bicycling is the fastest way to get around London.

London’s Metro newspaper vows to be more careful when tweeting from now on, after initially blaming a bike rider who was nearly run over by the driver of a large truck in the British equivalent of a right hook.

A British driver was severely beaten following a dispute with two men on bicycles. No matter what started it, violence is never the answer. The riders can, and should, be prosecuted for the attack.

Edinburgh will celebrate Scotland’s first open streets events, making select streets carfree on the first Sunday of every month.

Five ways to find a bike on your next trip to the Netherlands.

They get it. A Ghanian website asks how safe is it to ride a bike in the country, while saying drivers should direct their anger at the authorities who failed to consider bicycles when designing roadways.

Speaking of the war on bikes, the Australian press has finally discovered the death threats and hate comments and emails that bike riders receive.

Evidently, foreign tourists aren’t any safer in Australia than they are in New York, as a Dutch tourist was killed by a car thief making his getaway as she rode her bike on a busy street; police are looking for the killer, who ran away after crashing into a pair of parked cars, saying he may have been on drugs.

A Malaysian letter writer says something must be done to stop the “mat lajak menace,” groups of reckless teen bicyclists who take over highways to perform stunts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Lars Ullrich continues his recent meltdown, as he was sent to a psychiatric facility after attacking a prostitute in his Berlin hotel room; he suffered a panic attack after he was released following his arrest for investigation for attempted manslaughter. That comes a week after he was arrested for fighting with a neighbor in Mallorca, Spain.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine talks with former world champion Johan Museeuw about his three Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders wins, his comeback from a shattered kneecap that nearly cost him his leg, and confessing to doping after he retired.

Former US mountain bike champ Sepp Kuss dominated last week’s Tour of Utah; the 23-year old rider finished second last year in the same race last year in just his second year as a pro road cyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like catching your mountain bike faceplant on your bike cam. Why push yourself on your bike when you can just shvitz your way to better health?

And this is how you define a Dad of the Year candidate.

 

Morning Links: Help East Side Riders buy a Buddy Bike, LA proposes 12 mph scooter limit, and drivers aren’t looking

As we mentioned earlier, the East Side Riders Bike Club is working with adaptive bikemaker Buddy Bike to buy one of their bikes for special needs kids.

The company is offering a tandem Buddy Bike, which normally sells for around $1,700, to the East Side Riders for just $900.

As they describe it,

The Buddy Bike allows riders with disabilities to experience the thrill of riding a bicycle with the whole family – or in this case their community. A Buddy Bike would be helpful for any riders in the club with special needs or for some of the new riders who aren’t comfortable riding on their own yet. The Buddy Bike can help riders of all ages to learn cycling skills while keeping up with the crew.

You can contribute by calling Buddy Bike’s Shelley Patterson at 786/489.2453 or emailing [email protected]

You can also contribute through the ESRBC GoFundMe page by specifying that funds are for the Buddy Bike, since the club is also raising funds for their BEAST bike safety classes.

………

Apparently, the real problem on our streets are that scooters are too damn fast.

In an apparent effort to keep the city’s fastest growing form of alternative transportation from spreading, Los Angeles councilmembers seem to be attempting to regulate dockless e-scooters to death.

Including a proposal to shave a whole three miles an hour off their top speed, limiting the scooters to just 12 mph.

As if that 3 mph will make much of a difference when riding in traffic on 25 mph streets, where scooter users are currently required to ride unless the street has a bike lane.

Other that to put them at greater risk from speeding drivers, that is.

There may be some limited benefit to lowering speeds, particularly when users illegally ride on sidewalks.

But the current panic over scooters is like worrying about squirrels stealing your nuts, when there are tigers roaming the streets.

Until the city does something about LA’s notoriously dangerous streets — like slowing traffic, fully implementing Vision Zero and providing the bike lanes we were promised — slowing down scooters isn’t going to make a hell of a lot of difference.

………

A new study confirms exactly what you always suspected.

According to the study from the University of Toronto, over half of all drivers failed to look for biked riders and pedestrians before making a right turn.

Which explains why bike rider have to dodge right hooks, and pedestrians have to dart out of the way of cars, even in a crosswalk.

Confirming once again that you have to watch out for turning drivers, because they sure as hell aren’t watching for us.

………

The penultimate edition of Wolfpack Hustle: The Forsyth Cup 2018 rolls tomorrow at the Encino Velodrome, complete with free hamburgers and hot dogs courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

………

Members of my old college fraternity are nearing the end of a 3,000-mile ride across the US; by the time they reach DC, they will have raised over $600,000 for people with disabilities.

However, that’s trumped in miles, if not dollars, by a group of riders from the University of Illinois, who’ve raised $110,000 on a 4,750-mile ride from San Francisco to New York.

………

Local

A Playa Vista developer decides to go carfree on the area’s new main shopping street.

A pair of off-duty Malibu lifeguards are being hailed as heroes after saving the life of a 76-year old man who suffered a heart attack while riding on PCH.

Los Angeles bikebuilder Montenegro Manufacturing celebrates its fifth anniversary by throwing LA County’s first Handmade Bike Show this Sunday.

 

State

Readers of the San Bernardino Sun complain that the paper, now part of the parent company behind the OC Register and LA Daily News, ignored the Redlands Bicycle Classic in favor of covering more distant beach volleyball.

The Daily Bulletin reports on Ontario’s Re-Imagine Downtown event, part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign to show what a bike and pedestrian-friendly Euclid Ave could be.

San Rafael is building a $3.3 million bike and pedestrian bridge that will connect the bisected city while improving safety for students at the local high school.

 

National

Bike Snob reviews a custom bike built four years after WWII.

City Lab looks at the history and meaning of ghost bikes.

Grist looks at the success of Lime’s Seattle ebike bikeshare system, even if they have to fish them out of the bay. Yes, it still exists, even if kids no longer have to go door-to-door selling subscriptions.

No bias here. A columnist for a Seattle talk radio station accuses a city councilman of collusion with supporters of bike lanes — no, really — saying the councilmember feels a “moral imperative to kill parking.” Even though he actually said “We have a moral imperative to decrease our carbon emissions that are causing climate change.”

A Wisconsin woman is taking on the fight for safer streets as the investigation into the collision that killed her bike-riding husband drags on.

Something is seriously wrong in Chicago, where four bike riders have been killed in right hooks by dump truck drivers in less than two years.

Indianapolis unveils a two and a half mile long protected cycle track.

A DC letter writer responds to a WaPo Op-Ed where a driver said so what if she blocks a bike lane, saying if the city wants to improve safety, they need to keep self-centered drivers like her out of the bike lanes — and off the roads.

Baton Rouge LA bike advocates plan to tear down the institutional barriers that keep the city’s streets dangerous. Chances are, nothing has changed from when I lived their decades ago, when most major streets had high speeds, and no sidewalks or shoulders. And drivers weren’t willing to give an inch.

Atlanta finds a home for orphaned and abandoned Ofo dockless bikeshare bikes after the company pulled up stakes in the city.

A Florida newspaper questions how to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in the most dangerous state for people on foot.

 

International

A newsmagazine says bikepacking, like life, is about the journey, not the destination.

Cycling Weekly looks at what doesn’t work in the rain, including white kits that turn see-through when wet.

A contributor to Bike Biz pushes bike shops to be more inclusive for customers with disabilities.

Bike riders were the victims of strong arm robberies on an English bike path for the second time in less than a week.

For once, a touch of justice from the UK, where a drunk driver gets six years for killing an 82-year old woman as she was riding her bike; he was over three times the legal alcohol limit after downing a full liter of vodka before getting behind the wheel.

Welsh police are riding bikes in plainclothes to bust drivers who don’t give riders a safe passing distance.

Chinese dockless bikeshare companies are rushing to fill the void as the wheels fall off the Paris Vélib dock share system.

Coming soon to a street near you — 30 mph moped-share, already in successful use in Spain. Unless the LA city council gets involved, of course.

Take your next bike tour through Italy and the home country of America’s first lady.

 

Competitive Cycling

Austrian cyclist Bernhard Eisel reflects on missing most of the 2018 racing season after he suffered a life-threatening subdural hematoma in a March race.

Bicycling calls back-to-back US amateur crit and road race champ Justin Williams the most important cyclist you don’t know, as the African American rider fights for more inclusion in the sport.

A Welsh website offers photos from Geraint Thomas’ wild welcome home from his victorious Tour de France campaign.

 

Finally…

An Aspen bike trail did to Lance what a number of cycling fans probably wished they could. A bike-riding rescue dog becomes an international superstar.

And when you wheelie want people to clear out of your way.

 

Morning Links: A warning on riding through smoke, Arts District bike lanes, and is Ryu plotting to undo Rowena?

Last night, we watched as the edge of the devilish smoke plume from the Holy Fire slowly approached our apartment.

And as the evening wore on, we began to smell a hint of smoke in the Hollywood air.

Which for us, just means dealing with my allergies and my wife’s asthma. And slipping the Corgi a benadryl to stop her sneezing.

But if you live or ride closer to the fire, smelling smoke should serve as a warning to stay off your bike for awhile. Or at the very least, wearing a protective mask so you don’t suck in ash and other particles carried on the smoke.

Smoke from wildfires can cause a host of health problems, short term and long, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

During one of the Malibu fires a few years back, I thought it was far enough away that I could get in a quick ride. And paid the price with breathing problems that lasted long after the smoke cleared.

So learn from my mistake, and if you can smell smoke, just take a few days off.

Chances are, the roads will still be there when the fire is out.

………

Local

LA Councilmember Jose Huizar calls for a new mobility strategy for the Arts District, including bike lanes on Traction Ave, Sante Fe Street and Mateo Street.

A writer for Los Angeles Magazine examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, saying we could all stand to see a little more of the city from its sidewalks.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on a seemingly secret study prepared for Councilmember David Ryu that appears to lay the groundwork for removing the highly successful Rowena road diet to appease local residents and return automotive hegemony to the street.

 

State

A Calistoga bike shop displays a collector’s racing bikes, including some of the first carbon and ti bikes, dating back to a 1930’s bike mode by early Italian cyclist Giovanni Gerbi.

Eureka votes to conduct a pair of road diets to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Maybe councilmembers have more courage up there than they do here in Los Angeles. Or maybe they just care more.

 

National

Bicycling says the economic success of gravel bike rides like Dirty Kanzaa is saving small-town America.

The Portland Business Journal talks with BikePortland founder Jonathan Maus, who says the city has lost its status as a bicycling leader.

They take a long time to get there, but an Idaho TV station finally says yes, bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast. And they can use the Idaho stop, because they’re, like, in Idaho.

A Catholic website looks at the spiritual side of Iowa’s RAGBRAI, which in this case could be called biking with the bishop.

Gothamist maps out the most dangerous areas for bike riders and pedestrians in NYC.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says you’re most likely to be killed by a car in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, whether you’re on a bike or on foot. The same is true in Los Angeles, and probably most other cities, where poor neighborhoods are usually older and neglected.

Don’t be this guy. After a DC driver honked at him, a road raging bike rider attacked the driver and his car with a U-lock while shouting the N-word at him. The racist jerk is now being held behind bars without bail on hate crime charges.

 

International

A new European medical study compares the health benefits of various modes of transportation. And once again, bicycling comes out on top, for mental and physical health, both real and perceived.

Another new study looks at the effects of bike lanes next to parallel parking, saying that dooring is underreported. And recommends sharrows instead of bike lanes to get riders out of the door zone. Although it’s my belief that the arrows in sharrows are only there to help angry drivers improve their aim.

A Winnipeg poll says 70% percent of bike riders worry about being passed too closely, while 40% of drivers worry about doing it. Simple solution: If all drivers would just stop doing it, no one would have to worry about it.

No bias here. After a group of British cyclists post bike cam video of a pair of dangerous drivers, the tabloids focus on a commenter who called them a bunch of “Lycra wankers” in response.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Glasgow man’s bicycle as he was being treated by paramedics after a crash.

No bias here, either. The Irish Times says it will take a massive change in attitude to cut the country’s record bicycling fatalities — no, by the people on two wheels. Oh, and people need to stop drinking and driving, too.

A Nordic business site says the Hövding air bag helmet is the safest and trendiest bike helmet, and it’s going global. Safest, maybe. But trendiest? How many have you actually seen in the wild? That’s what I thought.

Politico looks at the slow, painful death of the famed Paris Vélib docked bikeshare system. Or maybe not, as a cyclist celebrates the end of the Tour de France by touring Paris with his fiancé by Vélib.

Berlin swings and misses in its attempt to be more like Amsterdam, building a bike path that zigs and zags with more right angles than a hopscotch grid.

A writer offers advice on how to avoid injury while riding a bicycle in Uganda, starting with riding defensively and being patient. Although advising riders to wear elbow pads and knee guards seems a little extreme.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver may avoid jail for fleeing the scene after leaving a 13-year old bike rider with life-threatening injuries, telling the court she just panicked and has realized the error of her ways. But what the hell is with expecting a 13-year kid to act like an experienced rider? 

He gets it. According to an Aussie writer, no one says you have to like cyclists, just don’t kill anyone. And stop saying you want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie cyclist Ritchie Porte says the only way to beat Team Sky in next year’s Tour de France is for all the other teams to gang up and keep attacking.

Sad news, as American cyclist Adrien Costa lost his right leg above the knee in a climbing accident last month; the 20-year old rider for Hagens Berman Axeon team walked away from racing after winning Le Tour de Bretagne and finishing second in the Tour of Utah in 2016. A GoFundMe page to help pay for his treatment has raised over $46,000 of the $100,000 goal.

 

Finally…

In the US, it’s the dog days of summer; in Australia, it’s the start of Magpies swooping at bicyclists season. When your $120,000 track bike turns out to be worth $15,000 US. Which is still a lot.

And don’t chase a grandmother into her home while naked and masturbating.

Especially if she’s armed.

 

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

………

What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

………

Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

………

Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

………

Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

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