Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: More bike helmet studies, bicyclist badly injured in Burbank crash, and booby trapped trails in West SFV

A quick note — My brother should arrive in Los Angeles Monday evening on his bike tour of the Western US, I plan to publish on Monday, after all.

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More fuel for the never-ending bike helmet debate.

Another new study suggests that wearing a bike helmet can significantly reduce the risk of severe injury or death.

The British study examined over 6,600 people brought to hospital emergency rooms for bicycling related injuries, and found 61.5% of the injured bicyclists for whom data on helmet use was available were wearing a bike helmet at the time of the crash.

That compares to just 22% in the recent American study, which was limited to bike riders with head and neck injuries.

The British study showed that use of a bike helmet was associated with a “reduction in severe traumatic brain injury, death within 30 days of the injury, the need for intensive care, and ‘neurosurgical intervention,'” as well as a reduction in traumatic brain injuries and facial injuries.

Although as I’ve been reminded many times, correlation does not equal causation.

Meanwhile, neurosurgeons at a Toronto hospital are calling for mandatory bike helmets for children and adults, but the city rejected a proposal to require them for kids.

And Road Bike Action Magazine reviews Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmets, and finds the improvement in safety is offset by it feeling hot on slow rides and heavy on long ones.

Bike helmet photo by Projekt_Kaffeebart from Pixabay.

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Bad news from Burbank, where a bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision; unfortunately, there’s no further information at this time.

Thanks to Bean for the heads-up.

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Michael Kim sends word that someone has been booby trapping mountain bike trails in the West San Fernando Valley.

As we’ve said before, when they catch the jerk — or jerks — responsible, they should face attempted murder charges at the very least, if terrorism charges, because this is a blatant attempt to frighten bicyclists off the trails.

Thanks to Michael Kim for the news.

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I’m told that Alana Ealy, the road-raging driver who intentionally slammed her car into bike rider Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection where Frederick “Woon” Frazier was killed in a hit-and-run the day before, has been sentenced to a well-deserved five years behind bars.

Ealy had quarreled with several other protesters, left the scene and returned prior to the exceptionally violent assault captured in the video below.

She was finally taken into custody after a two month manhunt by police; no word on who, if anyone, will get the standing $25,000 reward for her capture and conviction.

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The US House of Representatives has voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

The resolution to honor Greg LeMond now must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump. 

However, Trump’s approval should be a given, since LeMond competed in the president’s eponymous bike race as he was making his comeback after getting shot by his brother-in-law.

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A pair of bighearted LAPD officers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a hit-and-run victim whose bike was destroyed in a head-on collision.

Complete with panniers, no less.

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CiclaValley visits the Valley Glen intersection where LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday.

The crowdfunding page for her family is now up to $3,555 of the $15,000 goal.

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The annual Eastside Mural Ride takes place tomorrow. I’m told it’s a great ride. And one I’ll look forward to doing myself one of these days.

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Here’s your chance to grab a free poster honoring SoCal’s two new junior world champs.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

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No surprise here, as a British police department sent an undercover cop out on a bicycle, and discovered exactly what bike riders face on the roads.

Clearly, things are no different on that side of the Atlantic than they are here.

Although just 84 drivers behaving badly in a metropolitan area of nearly three million seems just a tad low.

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Now that’s a smart idea.

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Congratulations to LA-based Cero, whose e-cargo bike won gold at the recent Euro Bike show.

Everyone who thinks Cero should sponsor my site with a new cargo bike raise your hands.

Seriously, I could use one to replace my car, and give our next dog a ride in that big basket when we find one. 

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A New York bike rider was attacked by a pedestrian who kicked him off his bike and threatened to kill him. But says gaslighting by the cops was worse than his injuries.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Or in this case, a grocery chain, as the Whole Foods in New York’s Bowery neighborhood is hogging the sidewalk with industrial-strength bikes and trailers for their Amazon Prime Now delivery service.

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Local

Nice to see Josef Bray-Ali is continuing his old Flying Pigeon tradition of the Get Sum Dim Sum ride, following the implosion of his failed city council campaign in CD1.

Curbed looks forward to next year’s Arroyo Fest, which will shut down a seven-mile stretch of the historic Arroyo Seco Parkway, aka the 110 Freeway, to cars and open it up to people for the first time in 16 years.

 

State

Streetsblog says California’s proposed Complete Streets bill needs your support as it sits on Governor Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature.

Encinitas is considering installing protected bike lanes on the coast highway, replacing the current painted lanes.

Sad news from San Diego, where a 47-year old man suffered major head injuries after allegedly riding his bike through a red light on a T-shaped intersection in Kearny Mesa; he was allegedly riding salmon, as well.

If you’re headed to the annual Adams Avenue Street Fair in San Diego this weekend, ride your bike and take advantage of the bike valet.

Drivers were so confused by new bicycle traffic lights on a Monterey bike lane that the city covered them up until they can come up with a fix.

The San Francisco Chronicle hops in the way back machine to go 25 years into the past for a look at the original Critical Mass rides.

 

National

Tsk tsk. Indoor cycling firm Peloton is facing $300 million in damages, up from $150 million, after music publishing companies discover even more tunes they allegedly used without permission.

Your bike already looks like a work of art, so hang it like one.

Lyft is adding bike lane maps to their apps to encourage safer bikeshare and e-scooter rides.

Life is cheap in Oregon, where a red light-running driver who killed a blind man walking in a marked crosswalk won’t spend one lousy day behind bars.

You only have ten more days to buy a new cargo ebike from a Texas startup designed especially for riding with your dog.

Go hogs! The University of Arkansas is offering a free bike valet to cut vehicular traffic to their stadium for Saturday’s football game. Maybe UCLA and USC should consider doing the same. Except maybe not maybe.

Wisconsin prosecutors rule that a police officer was justified in fatally shooting an armed 18-year old bike rider who fled after getting pulled over for not having a light on his bike. Even though he had dropped his gun and doesn’t appear to have made a move for it before he was shot.

Chicago police are looking into whether a masked bike rider who shot a woman walking along on a sidewalk is linked to a similar attack in June.

They get it. Kalamazoo MI approves plans for a road diet, bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Yet no word on residents rising up to demand their car lanes back, unlike a certain SoCal city we could all name.

Horrible news from Kentucky, where a little girl was killed when she fell off her bike, and her neck was impaled by the hand brakes on her handlebars; even worse, it happened on her ninth birthday. Unfortunately, tragedies like that happen several times a year, yet bike makers continue to sell kids bikes with dangerous brake levers. And the government continues to look the other way.

That’s a new one. An arsonist in Ithaca NY has been setting Lime Bike handgrips on fire.

Yet another Long Beach NY community wants to criminalize teenage bike riders for scaring and inconveniencing people in cars with ride-outs, instead of trying to find a way to accommodate an otherwise healthy activity intended to keep kids out of gangs.

Despite the seemingly endless rants of bike lane opponents, the New York Fire Department says cars and construction, not bike lanes, are the reason their response times are up nearly 30 seconds in the past four years.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why he loves riding in New York City, despite the risk. But adds that “cycling in this or any city should not be the exclusive domain of the death-defying.” Amen on both counts.

A writer for Streetsblog says NY mayor and still presidential candidate for reasons no one can comprehend Bill de Basio’s Vision Zero is just a blood-soaked joke.

A Newark NJ mom writes a friendly letter to the thief who stole her bike, complete with the toddler seat in front.

No windshield bias here. A Kentucky congressman says DC shouldn’t become a state because it would make it too hard to park. And yes, he appears to be serious.

A Florida man faces charges for a sword fight with an unarmed pregnant woman in a dispute over a bicycle.

A bike co-op in Florida is allowing community members to ride out with a new bicycle as long as they’re willing to work a little for it.

 

International

Who needs paint when you can just wrap your frame in vinyl?

London, Ontario police and officials are coming under fire for a traffic safety crackdown that also targets pedestrians and people on bicycles. Just like all the ones frequently held in California. Although that’s required under California law, which prohibits targeting any specific group. Like drivers, for instance.

Dutch companies will be able to provide their employees with company bicycles starting next year, just like they do company cars. But employees will lose the 19¢ per mile they get for riding their own bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Apparently, all it takes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Cycling Team is winning a world championship, like world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney.

Outside profiles former world mountain bike champ Kirt Voreis and his many injuries.

Odd story from the UK’s The Courier, which says pro road cycling is on the right tracks (sic), then goes on to discuss the problems with team sponsorships and racing’s failed financial model.

Unless you want to fork out the cash for NBC’s cycling pass, you’re screwed if you want to watch next week’s road world championships.

 

Finally…

Signs maybe you’ve been riding your bike too much. If you ride naked with a group of people, it’s a statement; if you ride naked alone, you’re just a two-wheeled flasher.

And maybe they meant along instead of across. Otherwise, it’s going to be a very short trip.

Morning Links: Ex-Angeleno Maria Sipin honored, closing LA River bike path gap in DTLA, and no drop in solo LA drivers

Just a quick note before we start.

I’m planning to post again tomorrow, despite the call for websites to go dark in observance of the Global Climate Strike.

While I support the goals of the strike, I expect to take a couple days off next week to spend time with my brother once he arrives on his 4,000-plus mile tour of the western US.

I’ll also be observing my birthday on Tuesday, even though it’s going to be a sad one without the Corgi.

I just don’t want to risk going three or four days in a row without posting anything. So call me a scab, but I’ll be crossing the virtual picket lines tomorrow.

And if you want to give me something for my birthday, I’m registered with Don’t Get Your Ass Run Over On A Bike.

Seriously, ride carefully out there. I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone else, unless it’s good news. 

Capisce?

Photo of Maria Sipin shamelessly stolen from Alice Awards website; see next item.

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Let’s start out today with a pair of my favorite ex-LA advocates.

Former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson sends word that former LACBC volunteer and current People for Mobility Justice board member Maria Sipin is being honored with the Emerging Leader Award at Oregon’s Alice Awards, presented by the Street Trust.

Here’s how they describe the awards.

The Alice Awards celebrate our transportation heroes who continue to fight for safe and convenient walking, biking, and transit.

And here’s what they had to say about Sipin.

Maria Sipin will receive the Emerging Leader award. She is a transportation planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).  In addition to her work at ODOT, Maria works for the community via several venues, and she participates in The Street Trust’s Women Bike Program.

Maria is in her fifth year as a board member for the non-profit People for Mobility Justice based in Southern California and is a certified cycling trainer by the League of American Bicyclists.

Maria is active in working for the community on transportation projects and activism supporting the needs and rights of low-income communities of color, teen health, and LGBTQ youth of color.

I’ll add that she’s also one of the nicest, most upbeat and indefatigable people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

So I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Maria Sipin.

She deserves this one.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up.

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We may finally get a bike path from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

As long as you’re willing to wait another six to eight years. And if Metro can find a spare $158 million or so under their cushions.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved moving forward with required environmental studies for three options to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Vernon and DTLA.

Which, if you’ve ever tried to ride it, is a major pain in the ass right now.

The good news is, Metro already has $365 million in Measure M funding to pay for it.

The bad news, depending on the option they choose, it could run as little as $329 million, or as much as $523 million.

And won’t be finished until 2026 at best.

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Is anyone really shocked that new census data shows single occupancy driving is down throughout the US — but not in auto-centric Los Angeles?

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It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Long Beach expats and professional bike tourists The Path Less Pedaled, who take bicycling and painting excursion to Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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You still have time to be entered to win free Cycliq bike cams just for reporting obstructed bike lanes.

And no, for those of us who live in Los Angeles, “all of them” is not acceptable.

I tried that already.

They also offer a page full of tips and reviews for buying a bike cam. Just in case you don’t win.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Physicians had to scrape a 67-year old British man’s elbow down to the bone to remove road debris after he was pushed off his bicycle by a masked passenger on a passing motorcycle. Yet remarkably, says he bears no malice towards his attacker.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Police are looking for masked gunman who rode a bike up to a Chicago woman, and shot her in broad daylight on a crowded sidewalk; fortunately, she’s expected to survive.

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Local

If you have a little extra cash lying around, give some serious thought to donating to the crowdfunding page for LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan, who was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday; so far it’s raised just over $2,400 of the $15,000 goal in the first day.

CiclaValley takes a challenging ride up to the Hollywood Sign.

 

State

Police in Porterville are accused of using excessive force to arrest five bike riders in their early to mid teens, including throwing one boy off his bike; they were apparently participating in a ride-out with up to 100 other people. Naturally, the police denied they did anything wrong.

A letter writer in Half Moon Bay makes a call for bike bells to give a warning to pedestrians. Or at least put them on all the rental bikes.

Frequent contributor Robert Leone says he’ll be volunteering with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s bike rodeo at this Sunday’s Viva Calle San Jose open streets event in San Jose. If you go, try to find him and say hi for me.

Biking and walking advocates in San Francisco offer their suggestions on how to stop people in cars from killing people. They can start with reducing speed limits and installing speed cameras, as the story suggests, then block cellphone signals in moving cars — all of which would require changes to state law. Then move on to reducing the number of cars on the street.

Speaking of which, San Francisco is considering banning cars from some neighborhoods to address safety concerns. A similar proposal in Los Angeles would probably result in NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers rioting in the streets.

Concluding our San Francisco trifecta, bike advocates are applauding approvals of protected bikeways on both sides of the bay.

 

National

Men’s Health ranks the 100 fittest cities in the US. Shockingly, car-centric Los Angeles checks in at #16, while San Francisco tops the list, with San Diego and San Jose close behind.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says federal transportation policy is undermining climate progress.

PeopleForBikes is giving away prizes for completing their 2019 Community Survey, including a bike from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

A writer for Gear Patrol says a $6,000 ebike doesn’t beat his motorcycle for commuting to work, but it’s a lot of fun, anyway.

San Antonio TX police bust a serial burglar who terrorized a downtown neighborhood by stealing high-end bicycles and tools.

Fascinating, yet gut wrenching story of a Minnesota renaissance man — named Genghis Muskox, no less — who rafted down the Mississippi, built his own bikes and rode across Europe. Then was brutally murdered by an Iraqi war vet and fellow alcoholic suffering from PTSD.

Officials in Dayton, Ohio may remove a requirement to have bike bells on bicycles, which has been described as burdensome and a “ticky-tack” excuse to make a police stop.

The rate of regular bike riding in New York appears to have dropped by 5% over the last two years, even though it’s increasing in Manhattan and bikeshare memberships are up. However, a lack of infrastructure in the outer boroughs and this year’s rash of bicycling deaths could be contributing factors.

New York’s Streetsblog refutes “the five stupidest things” that were said at a recent community meeting called to address the mythical war on cars.

Yes, adults can learn to ride a bicycle, even if they’ve never done it before. A DC man took an adult bike training class, and managed to stay up upright for the first time in his 38 years.

 

International

London’s buses will soon try out new safety systems to prevent driver fatigue and keep them from running over you.

A British man is happy to get his stolen bike back, even though he had to pay the equivalent of $45 to a man who claimed he bought it; several accessories were missing, but they did fix his flat tire.

After catching a close call on his cam with a driver drifting into the bike lane he was riding in, a bicyclist in the UK concludes that paint isn’t infrastructure.

An Aussie website says painting eyes on the back of your helmet or attaching cable ties won’t keep magpies from attacking you.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at why the punishing 3,000-mile Race Across America, aka RAAM, is cycling’s hardest race. I once met a competitor in several of the first races who said he started hallucinating by the time he got to Missouri, warning his support crew to watch out for dinosaurs on the freeway.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine considers how much the world championships have changed in the 37 years since they were last held in the UK.

Germany’s Tony Martin is bouncing back from a nasty crash in the Vuelta, and preparing to lead his country’s team in next week’s worlds, despite looking extremely worse for wear.

Probably not the best idea to tweet a photo of the broken bike that made a Swiss pro crash spectacularly (see below), since team bike sponsors usually don’t like things like that.

 

Finally…

Maybe it’s time for shower helmet shaming. Kids, don’t bring your handlebars to class or unless you want to put the school on lockdown.

And more proof you can do just about anything on a bike.

Morning Links: Driving on the Ballona Creek bike path, shaming a helmet shamer, and cute dog on a bike

Let’s start the day with a few observations from Chris Buonomo from his weekend ride.

On Saturday morning while rolling southbound down the Ballona Creek bike path, we rounded one of the few sharp turns (the one north of Duquesne) only to encounter a silver Mercedes driver inching south on the path. When he realized there were bikes behind him, he waved us through the narrow gap between his door and the fence. I asked him why he was driving on a clearly marked bike path, and he said, “the GPS told me to go on here” and laughed it off. We told him to go to the next ramp so he could exit, and we made sure to alert all the bikes traveling in the opposite direction. I hope nobody was hurt out there.

But then we reached the Manhattan Beach Pier and their bike-hostile signage which sign shows a cyclist in a supertuck and a big red X. Pedestrians always always always have the right of way, but that sign sets up anyone who rides responsibly for failure. Roll through at 5 mph and risk getting a ticket. Do you think it’s necessary for the guy in the picture to walk his bike? Perhaps if the city didn’t offer abundant parking 3 feet from the pier and opened up that space a little more, bikes and peds could easily coexist.

The upshot is this: Cars go wherever they want with impunity. Cars dictate how much space is allocated to non-car. Yet the onus is always on bike riders not to get the drivers angry, look out for everyone else and not get themselves injured (or worse).

Will elected officials ever chip away at this systemic double standard?

Seems like double standards are what politicians do best these days.

Especially when it comes to cars and the people in them.

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Some people just don’t get it.

It’s funny how so many people seem to think bike helmets are magic devices that make their wearers impervious to injury from two-ton vehicles whose drivers are typically exceeding the speed limit.

Take this columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Please.

Rex Huppke, armed with exactly zero scientific studies, and apparently averse to even a modicum of research prior to ranting in print, beyond calling an ER doc at the local hospital, transforms into older, get-off-my-lawn troll for mass helmet shaming.

No, really.

I’ve seen a lot of stupid in my day, most of it coming from politicians, but peddling around with nothing to protect your noggin? That’s high-level stupidity. What exactly makes you think your skull is dent-resistant?

You think you’re invincible? Guess what, diddlepants? You’re nothin’ but meat stuffed into a skin suit, and if a car or curb or tree or pothole decides it wants to play natural selection, guess who’s gonna lose?

DID YOU GUESS?!? THE ANSWER IS: THE MORON WHO ISN’T A WEARING A HELMET!

With all due apologies to the doctor on the other end of his phone, bike helmets were never intended to protect against a crash with a compact car, let alone today’s massive wall-fronted SUVs.

Instead, they’re designed to cushion the impact to your head from a relatively slow speed fall off your bike. And if you don’t spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models, do absolutely nothing to protect against traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body. Which should be self-evident, but evidently isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in wearing a bike helmet, and never ride without mine.

But I also recognize their limitations. And don’t count on it to keep me safe.

A bike helmet should never be the first — or only — means of protecting yourself. It should always be seen as the last line of defense, when all else fails.

So if you actually give a damn about bike safety, skip the helmet shaming, learn to ride defensively, and fight for protected bike lanes and safer streets.

Then decide for yourself whether to wear a helmet.

Or as someone else put it,

If finger wagging and shaming actually worked, America would be the safest country in the world.

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Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than a dog on a bicycle.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Enough said.

Gotta give the guy on the bike some respect for staying on his bike and maintaining a placid demeanor through all that.

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Local

Good news on the political front, as Loraine Lundquist isn’t taking no for an answer, and running for a full term as councilmember for CD12, after losing a close race to John Lee in the special election.

Blame the geofence if your e-scooter suddenly craps out on you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-something letter writer in the LA Times says he still rides his bike for minor errands, as well as taking other steps to reduce his carbon footprint.

A USC student was hit by a driver while riding her bike on University Ave Tuesday morning, joining four other Trojans hit by motorists while riding their bikes so far this month.

Robin Wright is one of us, riding the streets of LA with her husband on industrial strength fat tire ebikes as their dog trots alongside.

 

State

Calbike lists 187 streets and highways it says would be affected by the new Complete Streets bill currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, including Santa Monica Blvd, Glendale Fwy and Angeles Crest Hwy in the Los Angeles area.

Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of induced demand, Costa Mesa officials present strictly car-centric proposed designs for Newport Blvd through the city, with nary a thought towards the needs of anyone not in a motor vehicle.

A San Diego advocacy group presented their vision for a Vision Zero in four East County cities.

Outside asks if the removal of Uber’s Jump bikes from San Diego and Atlanta marks the death knell for dockless e-bikeshare. Or it could just be the result of greater popularity for e-scooters. And in San Diego’s case, overregulation.

Congratulations to the Human Powered Vehicle Team from Cal Poly SLO, who set a new collegiate land speed record of 63.68 mph.

Chico cops bust a man for riding off from a bike shop at 4:30 am with a newly purloined bicycle; police credit a witness for helping them track down the thief.

 

National

Bicycling says style matters, and you want to look good when you’re getting dropped. And they want you to drool over the vintage ’80s bikes in It: Chapter Two.

Drivers in Pittsburgh — no, the one in Missouri — get some shiny new sharrows as a reminder to share the road with people on bicycles.

I want to be like her, too. An 80-year old Minnesota woman just rode 800 miles traveling to Wyoming and back. And has ridden 25,000 miles since she turned 60.

A woman who uses her bike as her primary means of transportation will be walking for awhile, after it was stolen from a badly installed bike rack at a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association train station. To which the transit agency responded, that’s not our problem.

Once again, a bicyclist has been critically injured in the battle for space in New York’s Central Park, as a 60-year old woman went over her handlebars trying to avoid a pedestrian. And yes, she was wearing a helmet. And no, it didn’t save her.

Speaking of helmets, New York Council Speaker Dave Carlin politely shut down a reporter from an anti-bike TV Gotham station who insisted bike riders are dangerous and suggested bike helmets should be mandatory.

Once again, New York shows Los Angeles how it’s done, presenting a plan that would add 50 miles of protected bike lanes every year, along with another 30 miles of bus lanes. That compares somewhat favorably with LA’s complete and total lack of commitment for either one.

Streetsblog wants to know when will New York accept that bikeshare has become a vital form of transit, and finally begin subsiding it.

DHL is dropping their standard delivery trucks in favor of cube-like delivery bikes, after losing a wheel to qualify as bicycles under New York law.

A DC father says he’s not taking his kid to school in his cargo bike anymore, thanks to a “perfect storm of road rage, reckless driving, terrible street design, and total lack of any kind of recourse” after being chased down the street for several blocks by a horn-honking dump truck driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike from a Georgia Tech student, who’s suffered from mobility issues since he was hit by a car when he was five years old; kindhearted campus cops are trying to get him a new one. And remember him the next time someone says handicapped people can’t ride bikes.

 

International

Thought provoking piece from Forbes‘ Carlton Reid, who says Apple’s coming Tag chip could help you find your stolen bike and keep autonomous cars from running over your ass — as long as you can afford a new iPhone and subscription service. And could lead to the dystopian Big Brother future the company promised to smash.

Not surprisingly, London police catch a little blowback when their bike cops tweet that half of their tickets go to scofflaw bicyclists.

A London sociologist says as bicycling becomes more popular and more people compete for road space, the city must take steps to make riders feel safer on the streets.

A new British ebike folds in less than ten seconds.

Italian bikemaker Bianchi recognizes that an road ebike doesn’t have to look like one. Or feel like one, for that matter.

Students in Mombasa, Kenya have to ride across dangerous roads with no bike lanes just to get to class.

Malaysian teenagers freak out drivers by doing the full superman pose on custom chopped bicycles while riding on a major highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Very disturbing news for long time bike racing fans, as 70-year old Michael Aisner, former race director of the legendary Coors Classic, has been arrested for secretly recording men showering after renting out his Boulder CO home.

So that’s what pro cyclists keep in their jersey pockets. Spanish cyclist Jesus Ezquerra finished the final stage of the Vuelta with one more fiancé than he had at the beginning of the stage.

 

Finally…

Who needs Amazon when you’ve got your own private library in a cargo bike castle full of books? Presenting the love child of an ebike and a scooter, or maybe a scooter with pedals.

Or something

And if you’ve already been busted with your significant other for biking while extremely drunk, you might as well just schtup in the back of the patrol car.

 

Morning Links: Why LA’s Vision Zero is failing, rebutting SaMo Jump bike death rumor, and getting the helmet story wrong

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The LA Times belatedly discovers the rising pedestrian death toll in the US, but neglects to mention the corresponding jump in bicycling fatalities.

And they put the national figures in context with the City of Angels, along with what passes for an LA Vision Zero program.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The city has completed hundreds of projects, but the pedestrian death toll has soared — up 80% from 2015 to 2017, when 134 died. The number killed last year dipped slightly, to 127.

Eliminating traffic deaths is an “aspirational” goal, Dan Mitchell, chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said. “But what other goal is acceptable? How many people, if it’s not zero? How many people should be allowed to die just getting around the city streets?

And there’s the problem.

We were told the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was “aspirational” shortly after it was unanimously approved by the LA city council, too.

That’s exactly why Vision Zero is failing here, when it’s succeeding in other places. 

Because Vision Zero isn’t aspirational. And it’s not a goal.

It’s a commitment.

It’s an unshakeable commitment to do whatever it takes to stop traffic deaths, and not settling for a lousy “aspirational” vision.

And until our elected leaders and the people charged with carrying it out get that, people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Whether they’re on two feet or two wheels.

Or surrounded by two tons of glass and steel.

………

Two bike riders were seriously injured in Santa Monica collisions over a three-day period last week.

Persistent rumors have spread online saying the first victim, a teenage boy riding a dockless Jump ebike, was killed when he was struck by the driver of a Mini Cooper at 20th and Santa Monica Blvd Thursday afternoon, or that he passed away sometime afterwards.

As of Monday afternoon, neither was true.

At last word, he was still receiving care at a local hospital, though medical privacy laws prevent the release of his name or condition.

So let’s all say a prayer or send a few good thoughts in hopes that remains the case until he’s able to walk out on his own power.

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Talk about getting the story wrong.

A Boston TV station says a new UCLA/Drew University study shows that the vast majority of bike riders don’t wear helmets.

Except it shows nothing of the sort.

As we mentioned yesterday, the study measured how many people who suffered head and neck injuries while bicycling were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

It had absolutely nothing to do with measuring bike helmet usage in general.

The study concluded that just 22% of those injured bike riders were wearing helmets.

Not that only 22% of bike riders do, which is a completely different thing

………

For today’s video entertainment, the world’s first front flip tsunami on a downhill bike. And no, I didn’t know what that is, either.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Gangs of UK moped riders are getting their jollies filming themselves pushing people off their bicycles, which could result in serious injuries.

But sometimes, it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding groper who’s attacked four women in recent months.

And sometimes it’s both.

Road-raging bike and Vespa riders come to blows — and kicks — in a Denver park. As the news anchor says, that’s not a good look for anyone.

Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, not C-R-A-N-E as I mistakenly wrote yesterday — for the heads-up.

………

Local

CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is looking for a $4 million grant to complete a 2.2-mile bike path on the east side of the LA River in Atwater Village. Los Angeles officials love bike paths, because they get people on bikes off the streets without annoying people in cars. Maybe he could look for a similar grant to fund the road diets and protected bike lanes that might actually improve safety in his district. Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.  

A man on a bike was fatally shot in South LA’s Florence-Firestone neighborhood Sunday night; unfortunately, there’s no information on the shooter, or the victim.

KNBC-4 reports on a possible bike chop shop at a homeless encampment in Playa del Rey, apparently failing to notice what goes on at virtually every other homeless camp in the LA area.

Santa Clarita is adding new bike lanes in Saugus and Valencia after making sure they won’t affect traffic circulation. Because God forbid you should slow down a few cars to save a life or two.

Streetsblog looks back at Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica.

Groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor was one of us. And so is legendary actress Pam Grier, who bought him a bicycle so they could ride on the beach together.

 

State

He gets it. A writer for a car and motorcycle enthusiast website says California’s new law allowing some low-income people to trade their cars for ebikes is great, but it’s another thing to ensure they’re safe on the streets once they do.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Diego, where someone posted flyers claiming that everyone now supports the controversial bike lanes on 30th Street, copying the ones posted by opponents a few weeks ago. Note to KUSI TV — The message on them may be fake, but the flyers are real.

Palm Desert plans to start work next year on their five-mile segment of the planned 50-mile CV Link multi-use path around the Coachella Valley.

A Palo Alto driver, who says he’s wished for safer biking conditions for decades — honest! — wants to know who decided  to “make driving harder, slower, more dangerous and difficult” to do it. And insists on trotting out the myth that whole classes of older and disabled people can’t ride bikes.

Streetsblog SF says San Francisco police were quick to blame the victim when a 73-year old bike rider collided with a driver last week, even though the intersection itself could have been to blame.

A 67-year old Oakland man says that as a lifelong bicyclist, he’s never obeyed all traffic laws, nor should he, because trying to make bicyclists obey laws written for cars is like trying to herd cats (scroll down). Which brings up one of the best commercials ever.

 

National

Now that’s a bikepacking trip. A woman rode solo, much of it off paved roads, to map all 2,200 miles of the Pony Express route from St. Joseph MO to Sacramento.

Oregon welcomed Bontrager’s new WaveCel technology to its new home in a Wilsonville warehouse.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is one of us. Or was, before someone stole her ebike from a doubly secured garage; fortunately, she had the good sense to register it for free with Bike Index and add it to their nationwide stolen bike database. Although a Seattle radio host wants to know why Bagshaw’s stolen bike mattered more to police than her daughter’s did.

A Bellingham WA newspaper asks what the proper hand signals are to use when riding a bike. That depends entirely on how pissed off you are at the time.

Sad story from Washington, where a hit-and-run driver marked a stranger’s 34th birthday by fatally running him down with his car as the man was riding his bike back home to his family. Let’s hope they find the schmuck.

Kindhearted Tucson police buy a new bicycle for a young man whose bike was stolen after learning it was his only form of transportation.

A Utah researcher spent 125 days riding 2,300 miles around the Great Salt Lake on a mountain bike pulling a trailer — and getting shot at — to study the risk of dust pollution as the lake continues to dry up.

Two years later, there still hasn’t been an arrest, or any named suspects, in the murder of mountain biker Tim Watkins, who was shot while riding on a Southern Colorado roadway; the non-suspect list includes a man who was arrested shortly after Watkins death for threatening hikers and bicyclists with a hatchet on the same road.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists have had enough, and are planning a die-in to protest recent bicycling deaths.

Chicago puts its money where its Vision Zero is, investing $6 million to improve dangerous streets on the city’s West Side.

An Illinois cop’s own body cam shows him citing the law to a well-versed bike rider, who politely points out that he got it wrong. And insists on a ticket so he can prove in court that the officer doesn’t know the law. It’s a common problem. Most cops receive little or no training in bike law, so they go by truncated cheat sheets or what they think it is. And too often, they’re wrong.

Maybe he’s not paying attention. Detroit’s mayor said reports of e-scooter injuries are BS.

That more like it. Ohio officials will install an 11-mile bike lane on a highway where two bike riders have been killed in recent years, while noting that it can’t keep drugged drivers off the roads.

Bicyclists in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood are calling a protected bike lane on Grand Street a grand failure due to the city’s failure to use stronger barricades to keep cars and trucks out.

New York has finally decided not to ban bicyclists during the UN General Assembly next week, instead creating a special protected bike lane to replace two being shut down for it. But they will have to pass through a security check.

Gotta hand it to a New Jersey bike thief, who swapped his bike for a better one at a train station, but at least had the decency to lock it up using the victim’s own bike lock and replaced the victim’s helmet on it before riding off. Although he or she might want to consider investing in a better lock next time.

A bike-riding Miami high school student was seriously injured when he was struck by an on-duty police sergeant headed back to the motor pool.

 

International

The president of the European Cyclists Federation says the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of the EU Commission are the perfect opportunity for legislators to turn their words into action and refocus on safe bicycling and walking.

Edinburgh bike riders are gearing up for this weekend’s worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride, a movement that began in Turkey seven years ago to mark World Car Free Day and encourage more women to ride bikes. If there’s an LA edition of the ride this weekend, let me know.

Paris is planning to offer residents a 500 euro incentive to buy an ebike — the equivalent of $550 — to help get more cars off the streets. Something Streetsblog says the US should be doing. Or at least something Los Angeles should do when and if they actually give us a safe place to ride them.

A 20-year old Malawi man is facing a murder charge for twisting his 12-year old nephew’s neck after catching him riding the man’s bicycle, then dumping the boy’s body in a pit latrine. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. And you probably wouldn’t want to.

The swooping Magpie that caused a fallen Australian bicyclist to crash was so well known to locals that they named it…wait for it…Swoop Dog.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? South African pro Willie Smit finished another 16 stages of the Vuelta with 16 stitches in his knee following a mass crash in stage 15.

https://twitter.com/williesmurfy/status/1170612880594673664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170612880594673664&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcyclingtips.com%2F2019%2F09%2F16-stitches-and-a-life-of-pain-willie-smit-is-cyclings-toughest-rider%2F

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on a bicycle, try to make sure the cop chasing you isn’t in “near Olympic shape.” Complete Streets, you complete me.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: New helmet study finally studies head injuries, stop fat shaming bike riders, and the war on bikes goes on

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after Friday’s unexcused absence. 

So grab your coffee and settle in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

………

Finally, a bike helmet study actually looks at head injuries for a change.

Most previous studies have compared helmet use to fatalities — but without saying how many of those deaths actually involved head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable with one.

At least this one is different.

A new study from researchers at UCLA and LA’s Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science examined ten years of data on bicycling injuries from the National Trauma Bank.

They found that only 22% of adult bicyclists who suffered head and neck injuries were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, a number that dropped to just 12% for riders under 17.

Or looking at it another way, a full 78% of adult bike riders who suffered head and neck injuries weren’t wearing a helmet, along with 88% of riders under 17 years old.

Yet somehow, the authors conclude that the solution is mandatory helmet laws. Even though 21 states and over 200 local jurisdictions already require them for anyone under 18.

Call me crazy, but when 88% of injured riders under 17 weren’t wearing one, that would seem to suggest that helmet laws just aren’t that effective.

The study also found that women were slightly more likely to wear a helmet, at 28% versus 21% for men; helmet use was even lower for people of color.

Then there’s this.

Bicyclists who were wearing helmets when accidents occurred generally had less severe injuries, spent less time hospitalized, including shorter stays in intensive care, and were less likely to have died as a result of the accident…

Men were also 36% more likely die as a result of a crash.

Black bike riders were 16% more likely to be killed than white riders, while Hispanic riders were 17% percent more likely to die due to a bicycling crash. However, that may be due to well-documented differences in medical outcomes for people of color.

So whether or not you wear a helmet is up to you. And should stay that way.

It’s also important to remember that bike helmets should always be seen as a last resort when all else fails.

But if it does, you may be better off with one that without one.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

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A self-described fat cyclist says she’s an athlete now, not in some alternative thin body.

And she doesn’t need to fix herself, thank you very much. But the attitudes of the fat-shaming bike world could use some work.

Seriously, take a few moments to read this one.

Because there’s an inherent bias in the bicycling community in favor of strong, thin and “healthy” bicyclists. And an all-too-real tendency to look down on anyone who doesn’t fit that mold.

I’d be the first to admit I was one of them, albeit unconsciously, even though there’s been no shortage of large and fluffy women in my life, including my own mother.

I should have known better.

But it took getting to know women who didn’t let their size dictate what they could and couldn’t do on a bicycle to get it through my thick skull.

Just one of the many lessons I’ve learned from the readers of this site. And for which I am eternally grateful.

………

Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A New York woman was the victim of an apparently random attack by two men who knocked her off her bike and punched as she was riding in a bike lane; in traditional New York fashion, dozens of people allegedly watched but did nothing to help her.

A British Member of Parliament said there was a major problem in his district with car passengers pushing people off their bicycles; local police said it actually happened just once, with the victim suffering a broken shoulder blade. Then again, once is enough.

A British man out riding with his kids had to use his mountain bike to fight off a man who lunged at them with a kitchen knife.

………

Local

A West Adams bike shop owner and real estate agent led a bike tour of the historic — and historically black — neighborhood, leading to the same questions of gentrification that have rocked Boyle Heights in recent years.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Los Angeles man’s $2,000 custom handcycle. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 the difference between a quadriplegic and a paraplegic, because they don’t appear to know.

In a bizarre crime, a burned body was found stuffed in a shopping cart at a homeless encampment along the bike path through Balboa Park; police say the victim was burned somewhere else and moved to the site. However, they’re not ready to label it a homicide, despite a rash of fire attacks on homeless people in the LA area.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A driver crashed into a parklet in front of Book Soup on the Sunset Strip, apparently due to a mechanical failure.

 

State

Plans for a makeover of the nearly defunct Brea mall include over 300 apartments, and a walk and bike path connecting the mall to the civic center.

Uber has pulled its Jump ebikes and scooters from the streets of San Diego, blaming the new rules the city adopted in April; San Diego is also threatening to revokes permits for Lime, and previously suspended permits for Wheels until the company made modifications to its scooters.

Imperial Beach has jumped on the Vision Zero bandwagon, joining just two other cities in San Diego County in committing to end traffic deaths.

A hit-and-run driver has been charged with murder, manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license for killing a 61-year old Visalia woman as she rode her bike; he has a long string of priors ranging from animal cruelty to assault with a deadly weapon.

The CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group was lucky to escape with minor injuries after he was clipped by the wing mirror of an apparently driverless motor home while on a charity ride from Big Sur to Hearst Castle. There’s not one mention in the piece of the driver of the vehicle, or even if it had one. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

This is who we share the roads with. Pedestrians are taught to walk facing traffic, drivers not so much — especially on major highways — as two people were killed in Mountain View when a driver somehow sped the wrong way on a freeway. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link.

Now that’s more like it. A San Francisco councilmember responds to a rash of traffic deaths in the Tenderloin district by proposing to ban cars entirely in the neighborhood.

Something doesn’t add up. San Francisco police blame a 73-year old man for making a left turn and crashing into a car traveling in the opposite direction, suffering life-threatening injuries.

San Francisco’s “Fruit Jesus” travels the city towing a half-ton of fresh fruit on a trailer behind his bike, delivering carfree to customers throughout the city.

An Oakland bike cop is a hero after resuscitating a clinically dead man who collapsed in the parking lot of the Raider’s opening game against the Denver Bronco’s.

A Berkeley woman was busted after fleeing the scene of a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured after she left crossed the man with her SUV, dragging him underneath it for several seconds.

A bike and pedestrian bridge in Mill Valley has been closed indefinitely after inspectors discovered one of the 12 piers supporting it has been “compromised.”

An obelisk made entirely of children’s bike parts has been named Project of the Year by the Sacramento chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Next time you visit Lake Tahoe, you’ll have a place to park your bike, after the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition installed 126 new bike racks, for a total of 340 in the past two years, along with two public fix-it stations.

 

National

Bicycling recommends eleven bicycling accessories that they say aren’t necessary, but will enhance your ride. I can personally vouch for the Polar Bottles to keep your water cool and drinkable for hours.

Outside reviews the new documentary Motherload, saying the story of one woman’s emancipation from the drudgery of the carpool foretells the coming cargo bike revolution.

Gear Junkie takes a ride on Walmart’s new $6,000 29er hardtail mountain bike, and likes it. And concludes it’s priced much lower than comparatively spec’ed bikes.

Apple is rumored to be working on a tracking chip that will be far more accurate than Tile, and could revolutionize the ability to track down a stolen bicycle. Or anything else, for that matter. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Arizona investigators offer a driver a Get Out of Jail Free card after he plowed into a group of bicyclists, injuring “five or six” bike riders, in a crash police blamed on glare from the sun. So apparently, in Arizona it’s perfectly legal to step on the gas when you have no idea what the hell is in front of you.

A new Denver map shows 400 miles of low-stress streets to encourage more people to get out and bike. We could really use something like that here in LA, since our existing bike “network” isn’t one, and isn’t likely to be one anytime soon.

A Boulder CO bicyclist says greater density means more cars. And more cars are bad for people on bicycle. Except the main benefit of increased density is that locations are closer, so people don’t have to drive long distances to shop or dine. As a result, it accommodates population increases without increasing the sprawl that forces people into their cars.

After a short rant about getting t-boned by a blond bike rider, a Durango CO writer gives a look at the vitriol, bile and threats spewed towards bicyclists on Facebook. But says the solution is for the people on two wheels to stop annoying the people threatening to kill us.

Good question. A Montana sixth grader wants to know why would anyone steal a kid’s bike.

A Nebraska mayor has summarily decided to rip out a six-year old road diet and bike lanes after the previous mayor spent $300,000 to put them in, because he says they confuse out-of-town drivers. No, really.

After being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative brain disease, a Massachusetts man set out to spend his last days giving bikes to kids in Massachusetts and Vermont; he now employs 34 people and has a stock of 2,000 bicycles ready to give away.

New York’s Central Park is now an obstacle course, no matter how you try to get around it.

Philadelphia church and temple goers enjoy relaxed parking regulations, avoiding the tickets they’d otherwise get. Even when they park in a bike lane.

A Virginia man describes what it’s like to move from bicycling’s second-class status in the US — if that — to ruling the roads as his family learns to ride like natives in the Netherlands.

Seriously, you just can’t win with some people. A retired Georgia police chief complains about a group of bicyclists riding single file on a narrow road, then complains when they start riding abreast when the road widens. And just can’t comprehend why people like to ride on narrow, curvy roads.

Some kindhearted Savannah GA cops bought a new bike for a 10-year old boy after the one he received for being student of the month was stolen just a week after he got it.

 

International

It’s back. Just when you thought it was safe to ridicule expensive airbags for bike riders, the inflatable Hövding bike helmet is out with their third generation, promising improved performance and faster response times. Though I’m going to hold out until they offer a full bodysuit that inflates on impact.

A Vancouver, British Columbia cop will face a traffic charge for colliding with a suspect who was trying to make his getaway on a bike as the officer pursued in his patrol car.

A nonprofit’s donation of 43 bicycles to two elementary schools in Canada’s Yukon Territory hit a snag when officials discovered it would cost more to ship them than the bikes’ $30,000 price tag.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist says “cycling zealots” are demanding “a cycling Shangri-La superimposed on the Toronto grid.Apparently she’s still angry over her failed attempt to ride a bike, and insists on taking it out on everyone who can.

Royal-in-law James Middleton, brother of Kate and Pippa, appeared thrilled to be riding his stolen and recovered bakfiets on the streets of London, as was his Labrador retriever.

No surprise here, as the Times of India says Bengaluru just isn’t bike-friendly, calling the city’s drivers “very rash.”

Vigilante justice can be swift in India, where a drunk man was beaten to death for attempting to steal a bicycle when the owner and three of his relatives spotted the man riding off on it. Not something I’d recommend, tempting though it may be. 

They get it. An Aussie website asks who’s really paying for free parking? Hint — It ain’t the people not paying to park there. Or even just the ones driving.

Strange and tragic news from Down Under, as a 76-year old Australian man died after crashing his bike to avoid an attacking magpie.

A 64-year old Singapore man opened a bicycle cafe along a popular bike path with views of jets taking off and landing at the airport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-year old former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič carried the Vuelta’s red jersey to victory in Madrid. Meanwhile, Movistar’s directeur sportif called out cycling’s governing body for letting Roglič use a team car’s slipstream to catch up with the peloton after a crash on stage 19.

About damn time. California takes the lead in creating equity in pro cycling, mandating equal prize money for men’s and women’s cycling. Meanwhile, VeloNews asks the experts what’s the best way to build interest in the women’s sport.

Great story from Outside, as 78-year old Thomas Camero was happy to finish his third self-supported Trans-Am transcontinental bike race on his $700 second-hand Surly in 99 days — dead last and 58 days behind everyone else.

A British Paralympic cyclist opens up about the surgery she endured to relieve her painful saddle sores.

Bicycling examines the newest frontier in cheating, comparing e-sports hacking to the next generation of doping.

 

Finally…

Call it a very roundabout way to set a record. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, try not to leave your shoes, phone and bike behind.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you already have a record and you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already.

 

Morning Links: 49% of LA car trips doable by bike, inspiring girls with best bike quote ever, and LA River bike path reopens

They get it.

A new report says ebikes and e-scooters are better for short trips than cars.

Electric scooters and bikes have a “universal potential” to provide more efficient, cheaper ways to get around U.S. cities than driving a car…

Why? It’s largely because drivers in many U.S. cities are taking short trips and sitting in traffic when they could be taking another transit mode.

Not surprisingly, the study ranked Los Angeles as having the ninth-best potential to replace motor vehicle trips with micromobility — or a regular bike, for that matter — with 49% of all car trips in the city just three miles or less.

All we need is safe places to ride them.

Ebike photo courtesy of Metro Bike.

………

With all due apologies to Lance, Eddy Merckx, Einstein and Steve Jobs, this may just be the best bike quote ever.

You can be feminine and girly and sparkly and be a really badass bike racer as well.

That’s from newly crowned world cross-county mountain bike champ Kate Courtney, the first American in 17 years to win the title.

And something that should be a mantra for every little girl from the time they’re old enough to ride a bike.

………

CiclaValley discovers the construction barriers have finally been removed from the LA River bike path between Zoo Drive and the Riverside Bridge.

And provides a detailed tutorial on plans for the pathway, and why it’s still far from finished.

His movie making skills are improving, too.

………

Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin is one of us. That’s the good news.

………

Rock star and former Amy Winehouse boyfriend Pete Doherty is one of us, too, walking his dogs on a London bikeshare bike.

https://twitter.com/JordanMolinari_/status/1170994419618713600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170994419618713600&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nme.com%2Fnews%2Fmusic%2Fwatch-pete-doherty-get-pulled-along-huskies-boris-bike-2547011

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A 17-year old British bike rider may have been deliberately targeted by the 16-year old hit-and-run driver who ran him down and dragged him underneath his car, and is now facing a murder charge. This is the same crash we mentioned yesterday where bystanders picked up the car to lift it off the victim in a failed attempt to save his life.

But sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

After trading blows — or mostly receiving them — with the driver of an SUV, an Aussie bicyclist picked his bike up and tried to ram it through the car’s window. Which may have been satisfying in the moment, but couldn’t have done the poor bike a lot of good.

………

Local

A Palmdale letter writer says asking bike riders to pay a reasonable fee is the right thing to do, since car, truck and mobile home owners have to pay DMV fees. Never mind that DMV fees and gas taxes cover wear and tear on the roads, which bikes don’t cause. And that the overwhelming cost of local streets and roads, where bicyclists ride, come out of general tax funds, which we all pay. So in reality, he’s asking for bike riders to pay twice for damage we don’t cause. Seems fair.

A development company has proposed building a six-story, 236-unit apartment complex on environmentally sensitive land between the confluence of Ballona and Centinela creeks, just south of the Marina Freeway. The good news is that it includes plans for a much-needed bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the south bank to the Ballona Creek bike path; the bad new is, the bridge will be private.

Torrance police have finally identified the man who murdered an 11-year old girl, 47 years after she disappeared while riding her bike. And 16 years after the asshole her killer died.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer whose sole form of transportation is a bicycle says bring on the controversial 30th Street bike lanes.

Tragic news from Visalia, where a 61-year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike, dragging her the length of two football fields under his car as he made his getaway; police arrested the allegedly drunk driver a short time later.

Monterey — which my brother should be passing through today or tomorrow on his bike tour of the left coast — is nearly finished with a new $8.5 million Complete Street makeover of North Fremont Blvd, including protected and physically separated bike lanes, as well as bike crossing signals.

They get it, too. A Petaluma newspaper says the city needs to do a lot more to make it friendly for bicyclists, calling bicycling one of the best ways to fight climate change.

They’ve got a point. Berkeley bike riders complain about hefty $238 fines for rolling stop signs — before court costs. Which is one more argument for a California version of the Idaho Stop Law; bike riders who carefully roll stops without jeopardizing anyone’s safety shouldn’t be punished that severely. Or at all.  

 

National

Bicycling takes a look at the hottest new bikes for fall.

Forbes looks at American bike part maker SRAM, saying it came out of nowhere with a single product to take on the established manufacturers.

Nonprofit bicycle registry Bike Index has introduced plugins for bike shop point-of-sales software to automatically register bikes in the background when customers purchase new bikes. Or get a free, lifetime registration with Bike Index here.

CityLab says instead of fighting it out, cities and private mobility companies should work together for a brighter multimodal future. Or we could just wait for the inevitable collapse of our gridlocked street systems, and wave at all the people trapped in their cars as we zoom by.

Curbed takes Amazon to task for putting 20,000 new delivery vans on the streets, calling for smaller, right-sized vehicles and delivery bikes to cut emissions and improve safety.

Portland offers a five-year progress report on their 2030 bike plan, only five years late. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet. Although something tells me Portland’s made a lot more progress than we have.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bicycle from a 12-year old Arizona boy with cerebral palsy.

Streetsblog Chicago offers some decent advice for casual bicyclists to keep riding a bike from being intimidating.

An Ohio high school teacher will be very late for class, after she was taken to a hospital when a driver ran into her bike on the way to school.

Seriously? A Kentucky letter writer says bikes are great fun! But rip out all the damn bike lanes because cars rule the road!

As New York Mayor Bill De Blasio continues his quixotic quest for the White House, back home advocates take him to task for a recent call for mandatory bike helmets and bike licenses, and demand that he focus on the real issues killing bike riders instead, like bad streets and reckless driving.

A Virginia letter writer says more cars aren’t the answer. And for every idiot he’s seen on a bicycle, he’s seen 10,000 more in cars.

A Florida woman organized a bike ride to honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center —including her own brother, a New York firefighter killed when the buildings came down.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Weekly discusses things you’ll inevitably have to explain to your non-cycling partner. When my wife and I first moved in together, she said my bike belonged on the balcony. I patiently explained that yes, I loved her, but I’ve known my bike a helluva lot longer. And if my bike has to sleep out there, so do I.

Vancouver cops bust a massive bike theft ring, recovering 150 purloined bicycles, including ebikes and high-end bikes. Makes you wonder how many they stole and moved or chopped before they got caught.

Employees at a British Columbia Starbucks pitched in to buy a new bike for an 18-year old Iraqi refugee after his was stolen from the patio as he worked there as a barista.

London — no, the one in Ontario, Canada — introduces the province’s first bicycle mayor, tasked with promoting bicycle infrastructure in a car-oriented city. Which sounds a lot like a certain SoCal city I could name, which hasn’t even considered appointing a bike mayor.

A Toronto man returned a stolen bicycle to its owner after the thief upgraded to his bike, slicing through the lock with a power tool in broad daylight

A UK thief gets eleven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police in a stolen SUV, along with another 18 months for a pair of burglaries.

No, Road.cc, it wasn’t a five-year old cyclist that got knocked off his bike by an adult hit-and-run bicyclist. It was a five-year old little boy on a bicycle.

The bike-riding, but apparently not very observant, former editor of the prestigious medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journalsays the time has come to license and register bicyclists, so they’ll obey the law like other road users. Most of whom don’t, regardless of license and registration.

After making an ill-advised pass around a group of bicyclists, a Scottish woman avoids a head-on crash with an oncoming car by steering back into the soft, squishy people on bikes instead, injuring two people.

An Irish father fights back against accusations that he put his eleven-year old son at risk by letting him ride to school without a helmet or hi-viz, saying he didn’t think a hemet would help in the event of a collision.

Philippine bike riders say banning bicycles from the bridges connecting Mactan Island and Mandaue City isn’t the answer.

A Buddhist bell maker in Kyoto, Japan is producing handmade Orin temple bell-style bike bells, designed to resonate through the bike frame to amplify the sound and warn people a bike is coming, while it drives away evil thoughts at the same time. Seriously, if anyone has me on their secret Santa list, this is what I want. Or a corgi.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s Wednesday stage was the fastest ever Grand Tour stage over 125 miles; riders said gusting crosswinds and aggressive tactics made the stage ruthless.

While the Vuelta lumbers on, the Tour of Britain rolls through its fifth stage.

VeloNews looks at world championship favorite Mathieu van der Poel’s murky future in road cycling, as he prepares to focus on mountain biking in the 2020 Olympics.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly profiles 77-year old John Allis, who went from novice bike rider to co-founding the Princeton cycling team to a three-time Olympian.

 

Finally…

No, really. You’re not a bike thief, you’re a bicycle collector. If you’re planning to walk out of a pawn shop with a $4,000 bike, maybe don’t leave your name first.

And why suffer in traffic when you can just drive your cab down a protected bike lane?

 

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, SF fixie legend dies, and Seattle radio station wants to kill their listeners

Yet another study confirms that bikes are good for business

As Treehugger notes, anytime someone proposes installing a bike lane on a commercial street, business owners complain it will put them out of business.

But the reality is just the opposite.

After an initial transition period as customers adjust to the changes, sales usually go up for some businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, while remaining unchanged for others.

That was the case in Toronto, where businesses fought tooth-and-nail against a protected bike lane that most would probably fight to keep today.

According to the study,

The number of merchants on Bloor Street reporting more than 100 customers per day increased substantially and significantly for food service/bar and retail establishments on both Saturdays and weekdays. No significant changes were detected for service establishments…

Our results indicate the business environment on Bloor Street improved during the time of the study: Reported visitor spending rose, visit frequency increased, estimated customer counts show growth in the number of customers, and vacancy rates held steady… Other data we collected from the visitor survey are consistent with positive changes in the pilot area. The proportion of shoppers driving to the neighborhood remained unchanged at 9%, and that of shoppers arriving on bicycles rose considerably from 8% to 22%.

Just most evidence that businesses in retail districts that fight bike lanes are just shooting themselves in the foot.

And chasing more business away.

………

Sad news from San Francisco, where the city’s Yellow Bike Company announced the death of fixie legend Keo Curry.

Curry also explored LA’s rising fixed gear scene in the groundbreaking documentary To Live & Ride in L.A.

No cause of death was given.

………

What the hell is wrong with some people?

Apparently annoyed at people on bicycles taking a shortcut through their precious parking lot, on-air personalities from a Portland radio station set up barriers to block them, while joking about clotheslining anyone who still comes through.

https://twitter.com/1080TheFAN/status/1169732695460499456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1169732695460499456&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikeportland.org%2F2019%2F09%2F10%2Fportland-radio-show-hosts-say-jerk-bikers-deserve-clothesline-wire-for-riding-through-parking-lot-304509

Apparently, they neglected to consider that some of their listeners — the people who keep them employed by tuning in — might just ride bikes themselves.

And that someone might actually be offended by that crap.

So they issued the sort of non-apology apology that’s become standard these days.

My advice would be to just avoid their station.

In the parking lot. And on the dial.

………

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

………

Unbelievable.

New York cops try to chase off a group of young bike riders hanging out in a parking lot by ordering them to leave.

Then one cop starts beating on a rider’s spokes with his baton in an apparent effort to keep them from doing exactly that.

Or maybe just for the hell of it.

………

A Michigan state agency offers a 360° view of a new mountain bike trail that looks more like a very shaky 140° view, at most.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Denver bike rider is lucky to be alive after a truck driver apparently ran him down on purpose for the crime of being ahead of him at an intersection, escaping with just cuts and bruises; however, his bike was not so lucky.

A seriously disturbed Illinois man faces charges after chasing a 12-year old kid with his truck as the boy desperately tried to pedal away from him, eventually running over his bike, then grabbing the boy and threatening to kill him before strangers eventually intervened. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

A North Carolina man faces charges for intentionally slamming his car into a man on a bicycle following a dispute. But give him credit for one of the best booking photos ever. And by best, I mean worst.

A road raging British driver got six months behind bars and a ridiculously short 15-month driving ban for running down a teenage bike rider who got ahead of him at a red light, then getting out and punching the kid, shouting “Little shit, you’ve done this.” A 15-year ban on driving would be more like it. Oh what the hell, let’s just make it a lifetime prohibition, which is what it should be.

But sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

London police put out an APB for a head butt butt head after the bike-raging man turned around to knock his noggin into a pedestrian, who apparently had the right of way, after nearly colliding with him on the street.

………

Local

Both The Argonaut and TV station KNBC-4 look forward to Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica; the somewhat shorter CicLAvia equivalent runs from 10 am to 4 pm.

Spectrum News 1 examines the sorry state of Sunset Blvd, where bike riders argue that replacing the street’s narrow door zone — and often truck-blocked — bike lane with a protected lane would improve safety for everyone.

The chef behind Santa Monica’s new French restaurant Pasjoli is one of us, meeting a reporter in his not-yet-open bistro with his black roadie propped against the wall. I like the joint already.

The Daily Breeze reviews Manhattan Beach restaurant Jimmy’s Kouzina, now operated by the son of the original chef and owner, who was killed in a bicycling crash ten years ago, before the restaurant could be rebuilt following a fire.

 

State

The state legislature passed California’s Complete Streets bill, which now moves on to the governor’s desk for signing; the bill requires Caltrans to include all road users in any new work on streets controlled by the state.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a teenaged mountain biker is paralyzed from the shoulders down after missing a 32-foot jump.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is partnering with a local artist for a bike-themed art exhibition this Sunday.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a cancer survivor is planning to ride his bike from San Diego to Florida to meet the family of his heart donor.

Berkeley police use federal traffic funds to target people riding through stop signs on bicycle boulevards, where they might possibly pose a risk to, uh…someone. Yes, everyone should stop for stop signs, at lest until we finally pass an Idaho Stop Law here. But there are probably places where targeting people for running stop signs would do a lot more good.

Six yeas later, a Chico family struggles to forgive the drunk driver who killed their daughter as she rode her bike home from college classes, as her killer is about to be released from prison.

 

National

They get it. The National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, wants to fit self-driving cars into cities designed for people, rather than the other way around.

Good idea. A Seattle writer takes an anti-bike city council candidate out for a bike ride on a dangerous street. And maybe sort-of wins him over.

Life is cheap in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a woman walks without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, as the judge somehow decides that a ten year suspended sentence is justice for taking an innocent man’s life. Seriously, if she’d accidentally shot him instead of using a car, the sentence would probably have been a lot different. Yet the result is the same.

Talk about getting the story wrong. Writing for her college paper, a Wisconsin journalism student somehow conflates the Milwaukee bikeshare’s new ebikes with e-scooters, saying they increase the danger for everyone. She should get an F for this oneThe slightest bit of research would have told her that ped-assist ebikes are no better or worse than any other bike when it comes to safety or ease of operation. 

A small Ohio bike shop is surviving competition from chain stores and online businesses by building their own one-of-a-kind bicycles customized for riders with special needs, as well as hosting their own podcast.

Maybe it’s lower overhead. The owner of a Buffalo NY ice cream bike wants to ride every street in the city, selling ice cream bars for just a buck — and giving them away to anyone who can’t pay.

A 13-year old Schenectady NY boy was stabbed in the back by a 12-year old boy who wanted his bicycle. And got it, until the police showed up. Fortunately, the victim should be okay; police described his wounds as minor.

A new New York study shows if you want to get across Manhattan, ride a bike, saying two wheels will get you there faster than four.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to convert an existing bike lane near their new second HQ into a protected lane, saying it could be done for as little as $20,000.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter concludes that maybe buying an ebike online isn’t so bad after all. My advice is still to buy any bike from a local bike shop if you can find the one you want; the service you get should more than make up for what you’d save buying online. If it doesn’t, find another LBS, ’cause that one’s broken.

Road.cc looks at the latest bike tech products from the recent Eurobike show, practical and otherwise.

After a London driver ran down a teenage bike rider and dragged him under his car before fleeing on foot, a group of bystanders lifted the still-smoking car off the victim to free him; sadly though, police described his injuries as life-changing, despite their efforts.

A UK advocacy group calls for banning parking in bike lanes and on sidewalks in the country. It’s shocking that either is actually legal — but especially the latter.

Seriously? A British woman says Copenhagen — and the rest of Denmark — is a virtual hellscape for anyone not on two wheels.

A German sociologist calls cars weapons of mass destruction, and argues that driving is a drug that kills millions of people.

An international group of yoga instructors will bike nearly 2,500 miles across India to the Himalayas, offering free classes to school children along the way.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclocross rider Andrew Juiliano describes struggling with ulcerative colitis before doctors at LA’s Cedars Sinai finally got his disease under control, allowing him to finish the race he abandoned two years earlier.

Bicycling says Australia’s Bec McConnell might be the comeback story of the year for finishing third in the XC MTB worlds, after sitting out last year due to a persistent illness.

What’s worse than doping? Former pro cyclist and Olympic cycling champion Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow Russian cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev could face up to six months in jail for allegedly fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Anyone who thinks six months is an adequate sentence for fixing a bike race raise your hands.

Eurosport remembers Belgium’s Deloor brothers, who ruled the Vuelta after winning the first edition in 1935, before WWII interrupted their careers; Gustaaf Deloor was captured by the Nazis, survived a concentration camp and later emigrated to the US. And helped build engines for the first moon landing.

 

Finally…

Don’t bet on how long an African despot will live if you’re not going to give up your bicycle if you lose. Why just ride to the bay when you can bike on it?

And giving it the old college try to pedal their way to a human powered vehicle record.

 

Morning Links: Getting crushed by car culture, safety versus convenience, and LA’s new sideways bike lane sweeper

Let’s start with today’s must read, as an editor for The Outline says he’s seen the future.

And it’s not us.

There is also the unrelenting, often murderous hostility of drivers toward pedestrians and people on bikes. No cyclist I know has not been menaced by an enraged driver — brushed past within inches, bumped at an intersection, run off the road — and most of us have been menaced more than once. No pedestrian who has to cross at a mid-block crosswalk is unfamiliar with the experience of a driver actually speeding upwhen they see you; no one who has crossed at a regular intersection is unfamiliar with a turning driver laying on the horn and waiting until the last second to jam on the breaks as you scurry out of the way.

The car is a very specifically American symbol of freedom, but like so many instruments and symbols of American freedom, it is a tool of domination and control. A car is a missile and a castle, a self-propelled, multi-ton fortress, hermetically sealed against the intrusions of weather, environment, and, of course, other people. Drivers view the world through the lenses of speed and convenience — most of the anger at cyclists, in my experience, is at having to drive at something resembling a normal urban speed limit because there’s a bike in front of them — but also through the lens of ownership. Streets belong to cars. The rest of us are interlopers, invaders, invasive species.

He goes on to blame car culture, not the internet, for the crushing disconnection and loneness rampant in out society, as we move things further and further apart, forcing us to live more and more of our lives in motor vehicles.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it.

We’ll wait.

Then take a couple more to see just how right he is, as a new traffic congestion study is criticized for being too pro-car, while ignoring the “new realities of multi-modal transport.”

Making it all too clear that the auto-centric way of thinking won’t die easily.

Photo by John Howard from Pixabay.

………

Then there’s this one from Grist, questioning whether New Orleans can keep bike riders safe, as it revamps the streets with 75 miles of bikeways surrounding the downtown area in the next few years. 

This is a life-saving effort,” De Wulf said of his krewe’s push. “Would you rather have someone die on a bicycle, versus someone being inconvenienced for five minutes of their day?

Sadly, I’ve heard the answer to that one too many times, in dozens of public meetings, and in the comments online.

Because far too many Angelenos would rather get home a couple minutes earlier, your life or mine be damned.

And that, my friends, is what we have to change.

………

On the other hand, it looks like Claremont bike riders may have won that battle, at least on Foothill Blvd.

Michael Wagner’s excellent CLR Effect reports on the progress of Claremont’s nearly completed curb-protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd, which is looking pretty damn good at this early stage.

Hopefully neighboring cities will pick up on it, and extend them beyond Claremont’s city limits.

Although, like anywhere else, some drivers are a little slow to take the hint.

One of my major regrets lately is that I don’t have time to keep up with some of my favorite blogs. Starting with Wagner’s, which does an exceptional job of keeping up with biking in the Far East. 

Of LA County, that is. 

So don’t make my mistake. Bookmark CLR Effect now, and keep checking back to see what’s new.

It’s okay if you got so caught up you miss a new BikinginLA every now and then. Just don’t let it happen too often.

………

After trying out several models, Los Angeles is ordering a cute little mini-street sweeper for protected bike lanes.

Hopefully it will work upright, as well as sideways. Although it won’t get a lot of use either way unless LA builds some more protected lanes.

………

A new study shows women who say they have genital pain and numbness while riding a bike are far more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

So don’t grit your teeth and try to ignore it.

Get to a bike shop and buy a new seat to take the pressure off. Or get a good bike fit to change your positioning in the saddle.

Even if you have to get a friend to help and do it yourself.

………

Local

A writer for City Walk talks with bike and Complete Streets supporter Sarah Kate Levy about her race to unseat David Ryu in LA’s 4th Council District; Glendale has an election coming up next year, too.

WeHo sheriff’s deputes wrote 72 tickets to e-scooter riders over an 18-month period ending in July, mostly for riding on the sidewalk, compared to 800 scooter tickets over the same period in Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, Pasadena is working on a return of the legendary ArroyoFest next year; the original 2003 event may have been the region’s first modern day open streets event, shutting down the historic Arroyo Seco Freeway, aka the Pasadena Freeway, to motor vehicles, and opening it up to all human-powered forms of transportation.

Boulder CO-based Bicycle Retailer and Industry News is looking for sponsors for an ebike tour of Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica bike shops next month. Or better yet, just sponsor me and I’ll be happy to ride an ebike almost anywhere you want.

Long Beachize’s Brian Addison reports that 20 people have been killed in motor vehicle collisions in the city this year, including ten pedestrians and three people on bicycles. Yet no one there is calling for a ban on cars, unlike bikes or scooters if their users dare ride on the sidewalk or collide with someone.

Simon Cowell is one of us. And so is his son, as the TV talent show judge hopped on his bigass ebike to take the five-year old boy for a ride through the ‘Bu.

 

State

A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has pled guilty to sexually assaulting 16 women while on duty, including a woman he groped while she was riding her bike; he faces a well-deserved five years behind bars, and will have to register as a sex offender.

 

National

A new app promises to let you use bikeshare, scooters and transit systems across the US, including Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Outside profiles a 57-year old African-American grandmother who rode her bike across the US just five years after suffering a stroke, learning about gears along the way. And she plans to do it again.

A Milwaukee convenience store owner says he’s fed up with getting robbed by roving gangs of bike riding kids, saying he’s losing $5,000 to $6,000 worth of merchandise a day.

After retiring, a kindhearted Michigan man spends his days fixing up bicycles to donate to kids in need.

A Connecticut Bikes for Kids program gave out 36 bicycles and helmets to underprivileged kids over the weekend, a small part of the 500 bikes they give out each year.

A writer for the New York Daily News says a new bike lane will endanger children because they might get run down by speeding bike riders. Or maybe because emergency vehicles might get stuck in traffic. Or, something.

The NYPD continues to blame the victim, saying an ebike rider was at fault for the crash with a garbage truck that left him critically injured; not surprisingly, Steetsblog sees things differently.

Maybe they could have a chat with the CHP. After a South Carolina high school guidance counselor was killed in a rear-end collision, state troopers charged the driver with driving too fast for conditions. The same law is on the books in California, but the CHP doesn’t seem familiar with that section of the vehicle code. Then again, LA County Sheriffs could use a brush up, too.

 

International

A British woman is planning to swim the English Channel, five years after losing a leg when she was run over by a truck driver while riding her bike; she’ll be joined by a pair of air ambulance paramedics on her swim, including the one who saved her life.

Just heartbreaking. Moments after finishing a 45-mile Scottish charity ride, a man learned his father had collapsed and died while taking part in the same bike ride.

The family of a fallen Irish bike rider calls for safer infrastructure and a ban on dangerous passing to protect bicyclists on the Emerald Isle.

Your next Dutch bike could be very strange, heavy, uncomfortable-looking and 3D-printed.

A new study suggests Barcelona’s plan to limit car use and reserve 70% of street space for bicyclists and pedestrians could save 667 lives a year. Which seems like an oddly specific number.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews explains why Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic finds himself in the Vuelta’s red jersey instead of competing in the Tour de France earlier this year. And looks at former mountain biker Sepp Kuss’ rapid rise to a stage victory in the Vuelta.

The next time someone tells you ebikes are cheating, point them to Belgian pro cyclist Wout Van Aert, who’s using one to rehab a severely torn muscle suffered during the Tour de France.

London’s Independent looks back on legendary 1960s Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi, one of just seven riders to win all three Grand Tours, including his first Tour de France when he was just 22. Even in his best dope-fueled days, Lance never even tried to win any of the other Grand Tours. 

If James Joyce was a mediocre bike racer. Or writer, for that matter.

 

Finally…

Until you get eyes in the back of your head, a new bike helmet could be the next best thing. If you’re going to break out of prison, at least try to change clothes before getting on a stolen mountain bike the next day.

And we may have to deal with f’ed-up LA drivers, but at least we don’t have cope with schtupping copperheads.

Or toxic plants, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Sunland ghost bike tonight, limiting cars in city centers, and ATL rapper rides — and is — a Lil Bike

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for a 55-year old Tujunga man who was killed in a Sunland hit-and-run two weeks ago, one of two bicycling deaths that came to light over the weekend.

The second was an 82-year old man killed on a killer intersection on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach.

Ghost bike photo by Matthew T Rader from Pexels.

………

Today’s common theme is a mostly one-sided debate over whether it’s possible to encourage bicycling and other forms of so-called alternative transportation to reduce motor vehicle traffic. 

And for a change, the bikes are winning.

The short-sighted editors of LA County’s Antelope Valley Press say car-free streets are just an impossible dream, ignoring the fact that several European cities are already banning private cars from their urban centers.

A local paper says Spokane WA was built for bicycles, before those bullies in cars came along and took over the streets. But an Indiana college professor says we can get back there with a commitment to Complete Streets and better bike infrastructure.

And a writer for the Washington Post says European cities show it’s not only possible, but beneficial to limit cars and encourage bicycling.

………

Trek develops an Aussie accent to introduce their new offroad bike in a tongue-in-cheek ad that just keeps going on…and on…

………

When your rap name is Lil Bike, you’ve got to include at least one in your new video.

………

Building your own DIY bike horn to scare the crap out of anyone.

Except, of course, for modern drivers in their hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof vehicles, who can’t even hear a firetruck bearing down on them.

Unfortunately, I lost track of who forwarded this to me over the weekend, so my thanks and apologies, whoever you are. 

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A group of young men shouted profanities at an English bicyclist as they passed by in a car, then made a U-turn and came back to physically push him off the road, the fourth such attack in the area this year.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

It takes a major schmuck to just ride off on his bike after knocking a five-year old boy from the UK off his bicycle as he rode home from school; the middle-aged hit-and-run bicyclist left the kid lying in his own blood with a number of cuts and bruises.

………

Local

LAist wants to know what’s up with the long-closed Arroyo Seco Bike Path, concluding a big part of the problem is a “virtual Russian doll” of intertwined jurisdictions. And don’t hold your breath on the promised September re-opening.

Santa Clarita’s mayor invites people to come out and bike the city’s numerous bike paths and trails, as well as the fourth annual Santa Clarita Gran Fondo later this month.

A new road project on Palmdale’s Rancho Vista Boulevard will widen it to three lanes in each direction, while adding five-foot bike lanes on both sides.

 

State

California’s ebike voucher bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom; it will allow some low-income drivers to trade in their inefficient cars for vouchers good for bikeshare or ebike purchases. Unfortunately, I suspect my 1994 car is still one year too recent to qualify, dammit.

The co-founder of an Irvine-based kids bike maker says the whipsaw effect of Trump’s tariffs will force small businesses like his to go under.

It was a bad few days in San Diego, where a 64-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a Point Loma bike lane. And a 22-year old woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by an SUV driver after allegedly veering in front of her vehicle.

San Diego officials plan to redevelop the city’s Mission Valley to accommodate 28,000 new homes, with new neighborhoods designed around bicycling, walking and the San Diego River.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, and struck again by the driver of a second vehicle. As always, there’s no way of knowing if the victim would have survived if the asshole heartless coward in the first car hadn’t left him bleeding in the street.

A San Jose man is behind bars after a sharp-eyed Milpitas mall cop spotted the suspected burglar who rode off on a homeowner’s bicycle after an early morning break-in; police were able to return the bicycle just hours after the theft.

San Jose police bust an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike in a crosswalk last month.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle an 81-year old Sacramento man used to ride to the library.

 

National

A hard-hitting piece from Vice says bicycling deaths are exploding because American cities are car-friendly death traps, citing New York and Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest cities for people on two wheels.

Inspired by a celebration of life after his brother’s death from leukemia, a 60-year old Los Angeles man with no bicycling experience is riding diagonally across the US, covering 4,764 miles from Neah Bay, Washington to Key West, Florida — including at least one mile a day on his brother’s 1982 bike.

A Washington bike rider says if drivers can’t afford a 15-second delay caused by someone on a bicycle, they need to plan their trip better.

A Reno bike co-op is expecting four truckloads of bicycles abandoned by Burning Man revelers, which will be fixed and recycled for use again next year.

A Montana newspaper doesn’t appear to be a fan of new Trump administration rules to allow ebikes on some National Park and BLM trails.

My favorite Scottish bike and bunny blogger takes a ride on Iowa’s 46-mile High Trestle Trail, so called because it takes you over a former railroad bridge.

A Fargo, North Dakota man is angry after getting hit with a special assessment on his home to pay for a new bike path, which the mayor says is needed to attract millennials to the city — even though it will cost him just $10 a year.

With Ohio bicycling deaths piling up, staff members for a Cleveland website debates what to do about it.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says New York Mayor and mostly ignored presidential candidate Bill De Blasio’s call for mandatory bike helmets isn’t the answer, suggesting this is how Vision Zero dies.

A New York mother faces charges after her five-year old special needs son was found riding his bicycle alone in the middle of the night.

So much for that whole pedtextrian myth. A new study from New York shows there is “little concrete evidence that…distracted walking contributes significantly to pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” to which the windshield-biased New York Times responds, yeah, but it’s still annoying.

A writer for the New Yorker says let’s just give up on climate change already, because the battle is already lost since people aren’t going to change their behavior. That’s the same kind of clear eyed, rational thinking that led John F. Kennedy to say, “Oh just forget it. The moon’s too far away anyway.” And Winston Churchill to tell the people of England “I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat and tears. So just fuck it and start learning German.”

The motorcycle rider who fatally shot a man on a regular Miami group ride was formally indicted on charges of 2nd degree murder aggravated assault; his lawyer says he’s never been in trouble before and is devastated to be behind bars. There’s a simple solution to that — just don’t shoot people. 

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says ebikes are great; buying them online, not so much.

Road.cc offers advice on how to pick the right bike cam. Which is your best protection against drivers and cops who blame you for a crash or blowing a stop signal you actually observed.

She gets it. An Ottawa columnist says the trick to a healthier population is designing public spaces in ways that naturally nudge people into moving around more without having to think about it.

Truly horrifying video of a 15-year old Toronto sidewalk rider literally getting run over by a pickup driver blowing out of a parking lot, who somehow didn’t notice — or maybe didn’t care — they’d just knocked him over; thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries. Be sure you really want to see this before you click on the link; even though he wasn’t seriously hurt, this one is very hard to watch. And to forget.

Powerful protest from the UK, as hundreds of Londoners stage a funeral procession through Trafalgar Square led by three horse-drawn hearses to protest bicycling deaths.

British police tell a doctor “that’s not my problem, it’s your problem” when it comes it bike theft, saying people understand that it’s not a big priority compared to other crimes. Except for the people whose bikes get stolen, of course.

In calling the Netherland’s Utrecht a “cycle-crazed” city, an architecture website demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of people’s psyches in the Netherlands. It’s not that they’re crazy about bicycling — it’s just normal. People hop on their bikes in the morning the same way most Americans walk to their cars.

Bollywood movie star Salman Khan is one of us, riding a bicycle through rain-drenched Mumbai streets to get to the set of his latest film.

 

Competitive Cycling

You know you’re having a bad year when a kitchen knife puts you back in the hospital; four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome severed a tendon on his thumb, just months after a major crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné knocked him out of action for most of this year’s racing season.

After a chaotic first week, no new lead changes in the Vuelta, as 24-year old American Sepp Kuss solos to victory in stage 15, notching his first long-range climbing win.

VeloNews says 27-year old Norwegian pro tour rookie Carl Fredrik Hagen continues to impress in his first Grand Tour, holding on to eighth in the Vuelta after finishing 18th in the Tour of Poland.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to hit a bike cop with your truck’s wing mirror. And who needs a water bottle when you can carry a six-pack and a spare on your bike?

No surprise it took an Aussie to figure that one out, either.

 

Morning Links: Jeff Jones Memorial Sunday, the cost of traffic violence, and biking through a 6-year old’s eyes

Before we move on to today’s news, I received word yesterday that a memorial service will be held this Sunday for Jeff Jones.

The popular photographer was killed in collision while riding his bike on Griffith Park Blvd last month.

Exactly the kind of residential street so many people insist we should ride on. And one that was supposed to get new bike lanes under the LA bike plan passed nearly a decade ago.

See larger version of memorial flyer below.

………

Sigh.

Another brilliantly heartbreaking piece from Peter Flaxabout a young New York bike messenger who lived to ride.

And the effect their — as the victim preferred to be called — death had on the people left behind.

It’s definitely a must read piece.

One that also reflects the marginalization too many people experience when they decide to get on a bike.

Even in New York, which has done far more than most major cities to tame its streets.

There remains a public perception that most cyclists are entitled hobbyists, but even normally privileged individuals who get on a bike can experience what it feels like to exist in the margins of society, where one’s right to exist without threats is frequently challenged by systematic animosity, flawed infrastructure, and inadequate legal protections. And for someone like Robyn Hightman—who had struggled to find stability in their daily life and who rode a bike as their primary mode of transportation and employment—that marginalization was exponentially more intense. Robyn had endeavored to find a safe place through riding and was denied in the most extreme way possible.

As I did the reporting for this story—talking to more than 30 people who knew Robyn well—one unexpected theme emerged: Every single person who rides a bike told me about getting hit.

And it’s far worse here in Los Angeles, where little has been done in recent years to make our streets safer and more inviting for anyone who chooses not to drive.

We all deserve better.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Rising country singer Kylie Rae Harris was killed in a collision while making her way to her next gig in a tiny Texas town; she was just 30 years old. For someone I’d never heard of before yesterday, she was pretty damn good.

A Milwaukee mother teaching her teenage son to drive was shot to death by a road raging driver because of a fender bender with the killer’s van — after he had cut her son off by making a left turn from the wrong lane.

………

Take a couple minutes to see an urban bike ride through the eyes of a six-year old.

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Local

Los Angeles officially opened a new half-mile segment of the Los Angeles River Greenway, better known as the LA River bike path, in Studio City yesterday; eventually the pathway should extend the entire length of the LA River.

A two-block section of Glendale’s Artsakh Avenue is scheduled to get a $7.3 million pedestrian-friendly makeover. Now if LA would just do the same with Hollywood Blvd at Highland, which is begging to be a pedestrian plaza.

CiclaValley conquers Topanga State Park on the Send It Sunday gravel ride. Although it should be noted that the park was unarmed, and refused to fight back.

Hermosa Beach’s bicycle traffic school allows bike riders to attend bicycle education classes in lieu of paying a traffic ticket, just like the people in cars have been doing for decades.

A man was critically injured while apparently trying to cross dangerous Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach on his bicycle; for a change, the driver stuck around. If LCD isn’t the deadliest street in the city, it’s pretty damn close.

 

State

Governor Newsom signs a bill that will allow bike riders to go straight through marked left or right turn lanes, rather than having to “thread the needle” between turn lanes and high-traffic through lanes.

The New York Times visits San Diego, and can’t see the ocean for the scooters.

A 22-year old San Diego woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she allegedly made a left turn on her bike in front of a driver traveling in the same direction.

A domestic violence suspect accused of trying to escape police by riding his bicycle into a Martinez Home Depot armed with a sawed-off shotgun has pled not guilty to felony counts of assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.

A local paper calls on car-centric Petaluma to do a lot more to encourage bicycling to fight climate change.

 

National

Former Chicago and DC DOT director Gabe Klein examines the stats, and says cities should focus on Vision Zero and traffic safety to fight crime affecting every resident on a personal level.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your confidence back after crashing your bike. My approach has always been to get back on my bike, and ride the same route I crashed on to drive that fear out of my head.

Kindhearted Portland police and 911 dispatchers buy a 12-year old girl a new bike to ride to school after the one her grandmother had saved up for was stolen.

The Sierra Club magazine goes riding on what they call the “American Serengeti” in Montana, where ranches have been combined and fences torn down to form the American Prairie Reserve at the edge of the Great Plains.

A retired marine living in Milwaukee says bicycling saved his life, losing 141 pounds after his doctor warned he could be dead in ten years.

A New York condo and co-op site says a building’s failure to securely maintain a bike room is just a lawsuit waiting to happen, regardless of any warning signs.

Curbed NY says, despite Mayor De Blasio’s musings, more regulations aimed at bicyclists won’t make New York’s streets any safer.

A DC protected bike lane is on hold because the sergeant-at-arms for the US Senate doesn’t want to give up 37 street parking spaces, even though there are roughly 12,000 more surrounding the capital building.

A writer for City Lab takes one of DC’s new 30 mph dockless electric mopeds out for a spin. And likes it.

In an apparent effort to increase traffic congestion on a new Maryland bridge, a letter writer says bicyclists and pedestrians should pay their fair share and be subject to the same tolls drivers are. Because Lord knows you wouldn’t want to encourage people to walk or bike across the bridge instead of getting back in their cars and making traffic worse for everyone. Besides, if bike riders and pedestrians were charged our fair share, they’d have to pay us to cross. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walks with loving caress on the wrist for killing a nine-year old boy riding his bike, after the judge gives her a lousy $1,000 fine and suspends her license for a whole six months. It’s hard to call that justice when it was her carelessness that sentenced an innocent little kid to death.

 

International

Streetsblog looks at people of color expressing themselves through bikes, art and music, from Philly to Chile.

A recent British Columbia design school graduate won a bronze award at an international conference by placing barcodes on a bike jacket to keep bicyclists from getting run over by autonomous cars. Which, however well intended, is just another way of making humans subservient to motor vehicles, autonomous or otherwise.

Someone in Hamilton, Ontario could be getting their bicycle back, after police bust a man on a failure to appear warrant, and discover the bike he was riding had been stolen four years earlier. Which is why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

A Montreal city councilmember wants to require all bike riders younger than 18 to wear helmets.

A 78-year old Australian man was forced to lie on the side of the road for over 90 minutes after he fell on his bike and broke his hip, while people passing by ignored his cries for help.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews catches up with lifelong bike racer and industry veteran Andrew Bernstein, who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver in Boulder CO in July.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t ride on water? Probably not the most effective move to try to escape police by setting a kid’s bicycle on fire.

And it takes a special kind of person to say offensive things about people on bicycles, then get offended when they take offense.

 

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