Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Raising funds for Woon’s baby, the Onion satirizes LA bike lanes, and taps for WeHo Pedals

And we’re back!

Let’s start with a special thanks to Steve S for debugging the new WordPress upgrade to get us back online in time for today’s post. 

Now grab th beverage of your choice and settle in for awhile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing Friday’s post. 

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It’s Day 18 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your screen every morning.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make this a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Let’s start with a small ray of hope this holiday season. 

A baby sized ray, in fact. 

Last April, Frederick “Woon” Frazier was run down by a heartless hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA. 

Now his infant son is just days from being born, eight months after Woon was killed. A tiny miracle bringing hope and joy to a family so desperately in need of it. 

Even if he will have to grow up and spend his entire life without a father. And without a father’s emotional or financial support. 

But you can help with the last part, anyway. 

crowdfunding campaign is raising money for his son to help cover medical costs related to the birth, and help him get off to the best possible start in life. 

Meanwhile, his killer has still not been charged, despite turning herself in a month later as police were closing in. And after painting her white SUV black in an attempt to cover up the crime

His mother, who has been outspoken in her calls for justice, is asking everyone to turn out for a candlelight Christmas vigil this Wednesday at the site where Woon was killed. Both to remember her son, and to renew the call to prosecute his killer. 

Thanks to Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up

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The Onion discovers the nation’s worst bike city, writing with satirical tongue planted firmly in cheek that LA will add a buffer lane for bike riders to recover after they’re hit by a car

 “L.A. has fallen short of bike-friendly places like Portland and Philadelphia for years, which is why the City Council voted today in a landslide 11-0 decision to finally create a bright green pathway where you can get doored and safely roll around, clutching your knee and writhing in unbearable agony,” said mayor Eric Garcetti… “Countless accidents occur every day because of our poor cycling infrastructure, reckless motorists, and many other factors within our control, but luckily Central L.A. will soon have miles of road fully dedicated to letting riders regain consciousness from these collisions. Never again will you be side-swiped, rear-ended, or cut off by a distracted Uber driver without having a place to tend to your wounds.”

Maybe a little open ridicule will be enough to get city officials off their metaphorical asses and actually do something non-satirical to improve safety. 

We can dream, can’t we?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the tip. 

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That music you hear isn’t Jingle Bells. It’s the sound of Taps for West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare program. 

The city is pulling the plug on its docked bikeshare system after two years of low ridership and mounting financial losses, and considering opening the door to dockless bikeshare providers as a replacement

Although oddly, not reconsidering their ill-conceived ban on e-scooters.

Much of the blame falls on WeHo’s lack of bike lanes, as well as a sparsity of docking locations in much of the city. And the lack of ebikes didn’t help users navigate the steep hills leading up to Sunset Blvd. 

Unfortunately, the closure will leave a large gap in the planned Westside bikeshare system, which was intended to link Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, UCLA and West Hollywood in a single, interoperable network. 

It’s questionable how long the others will be able to survive without private sponsorship, and as dockless ebikes and scooters dominate the bikeshare landscape. 

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Bad news from North San Diego County. 

Community leader and bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker was critically injured when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Encinitas around 6 am Saturday. 

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Walker was riding on North Coast Highway 101 near Phoebe Street when she was run down, resulting in serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. 

In a tragic irony, she was hit while riding on a section of the Coast Highway where she had advocated for significant safety improvements, including roundabouts and bike lanes, as part of the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project.

Thanks to JMK for the link

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Congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman on being named the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

I’m told he’ll take the helm of the LACBC in January, after moving over from his current position as ED of River LA

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Megan Lynch forwards word of a suspicious looking Craigslist post for a high-end recumbent. She identified the bike as a Haluzak Horizon, and says it’s very unusual for someone selling a bike like that to not know, or at least mention, the make and model. 

So if you know someone who’s had one stolen, give ‘em a heads-up. 

Lynch also says this one looks fishy, with three ‘bents available for sale in Santa Ana, but no brand listed for any of them. 

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After moving from Las Vegas to Reno this year, the Interbike trade show may have gone belly-up. Organizers have canceled the 2019 show, while making vague promises to return in 2020… somewhere. 

Bicycling Retailer says the country’s largest bicycle trade show died a needless death.  

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Before we go on, take a six-minute virtual self-supported mountain bike ride across the beautiful and treacherous volcanic Icelandic landscape.

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Local

We’re not the only ones raising funds this month. Streetsblog LA is holding a fundraiser, hoping to raise $10,000 before the first of the year

Bike Talk features Scott Gamzon and Terrence Heuston of Keep Rowena Safe talking about their efforts to fight attempts to rip out the successful road diet and bike lanes

Metro CEO Phil Washington made what may or may not have been a serious suggestion to implement congestion pricing, and use the money to make transit free

Good Twitter thread from Greg Spotts on where the newly arrived Lyft scooters aren’t welcome to be left or rented on the Westside. 

Forbes profiles Los Angeles-based Kym Perfetto, who’s gone from bike messenger to one of the first SoulCycle instructors to fitness social influencer, riding her bicycle across North and South America, Europe and Japan in the process. 

Riding a bike across the US may be challenging. But it’s nothing compared to a paraplegic Hollywood man rolling across the country in a hand-propelled wheelchair

The LAPD is forming a task force to deal with the rising rate of stolen bikes in the Venice area, as well as a number of open air bike chop shops. 

Curbed dubs Santa Monica the ebike and e-scooter capital of the world

The new Spectrum News 1 channel examines Santa Monica’s efforts to corral dockless bikes and scooters in designated parking areas.

State

Apparently, it takes two years for Cathedral City bicyclists to take off their clothes

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer complains about the county’s bicycle obsession and the money spent on bikeways, saying “bicycles should be registered and pay.” Never mind that dangerous drivers are the only reason we need safe bike lanes and paths. Or that bicycles don’t actually have any money.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city with crumbling pavement. Berkeley’s streets are falling apart, with no plans to pave anything this year

Tragic news from San Francisco, where a surfer died after being revived by paramedics; a passing bicyclist called 911 when he spotted the man floating unconscious in the water. 

A Marin public workshop will consider whether e-bikes should be allowed on the mountain considered the birthplace of mountain biking

National

A new report from American Progress says the dawn of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to redesign the surface transportation system to prioritize the needs of nonautomotive users, calling it a “transportation and urban development imperative.” 

Nice piece from Bicycling about a woman who cured her depression by taking off on cross-country ride with her ‘bent, a dog and a violin, traveling 4,000 miles, 12 miles at time. Then decided to kep going across Canada. And plans on riding the Pan-American Highway to Argentina next year.

Cycling Industry News asks if belt drive bikes are bad for local bike shops

Wired considers how e-scooters could save our cities

Seattle blames historic wet weather for a 20% drop in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, a local magazine makes the case for e-scooters after the city’s mayor call them too dangerous for the streets.

New Mexican bicyclist says he’s throwing in the towel because the cars have won. 

A local writer recommends biking Colorado’s Vail Pass from the top down, while a columnist in nearby Aspen suggests beating the winter blues by riding a bike during ski season

Denver plans to move e-scooters to the bike lanes, allowing users to ride on the sidewalk only when other options aren’t available — and only at 6mph. 

Baltimore has passed a Complete Streets law, requiring all new street construction to have a bike and pedestrian friendly design.  

A North Carolina pastor is bicycling across Africa to bring fresh water to the continent

International

Vancouver bicyclists rode in honor of a 72-year old bike advocate who died after falling off his bike. 

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored when a truck passenger opens a door into him. 

A bighearted 14-year old Yazidi boy who had been an ISIS captive is behind a Winnipeg program to provide his fellow refugee children with bicycles; thanks to a contribution from an American man, he’s been able to distribute 100 bikes so far. 

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has Christmas lunch at the world’s “oldest, poshest and most eccentric” — and exclusively male — Dickensian bike club.

London is the latest international city to get Lime’s e-assist dockless bikes.

A British bike rider is calling for more bike racks at the entrance to a local mall, after counting 200 empty bike racks hidden in the back. American bicyclists would be happy for any bike racks at most malls

Britain’s Cyclist magazine employs a wind tunnel in an attempt to answer what’s the best descending positionIn my case, it’s whichever one keeps me in one piece until I reach the bottom. 

bike-riding serial butt slapper walks with probation for attacking 21 English women after the judge rules he’s too intellectually impaired to cope with life behind bars. And no, there’s not a damn thing funny about that

The idea that won’t go away. A Swedish company is following in Volvo’s footsteps by encouraging bike riders, pedestrians and yes, even pets, to spray themselves head-to-toe with an invisible reflective paint.

In a frightening story, a South African bike rider describes how he used his bike to fend off an attacker armed with a broken bottle until a passing motorist intervened with a Taser. 

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Kiwi bicyclists are still riding competitively in their 80s and 90s, with the youngest racer a spritely 79. 

No bias here, either. A new “pro-car” political party in New Zealand has its sights set on bicycling, calling it a “150-year-old technology that cars have virtually eliminated.”

Or here. An Aussie website says the roads are plagued by coffee-swilling middle-aged men in Lycra, and that cycling will never succeed in the country without an “international embargo on epilepsy-colored activewear and padded undies.”

new tongue-in-cheek study in the Medical Journal of Australia says yes, MAMILs exist, even if they don’t ride to work. 

An Australian website looks at the Melbourne company whose innovative bike bell took Kickstarter by storm

Quietly exploring Hokkaido, Japan by bicycle, where “motorists are ridiculously courteous.” Let’s hope that’s contagious

A new Korean startup hopes to boost bicycling by ending the problem of abandoned and thrown-away bicycles through fixing them up and putting them back on the street. 

Bangkok, Thailand closed down 25 streets on Sunday, as part of a nationwide ciclovia

China’s massive abandoned bikeshare bike dumps caught in pictures. 

Competitive Cycling

Hour record holder Bradley Wiggins says his time at the top will be short-lived, insisting Belgian pro Victor Campenaerts will beat his record next year

Lance Armstrong: venture capitalist

Finally…

How to suck at cycling. How to ride rollers for 24 straight hours without going crazy. If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, you might want to take your license plate with you.

And your next mountain bike could be a Lego

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Thanks to Ralph D, Kirsten B, Glen S and Janice H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: LACBC Open House tonight, and Amgen Tour of California gets Santa Clarita to Pasadena finish

It’s Day 14 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will celebrate their 20th anniversary tonight with an Open House at LACBC headquarters on Spring Street in DTLA.

The event is open to members only. However, you’re welcome to join the LACBC at the door if you’d like to attend.

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Evidently, we got it right.

The Amgen Tour of California announced the host cities for next year’s race, starting in Sacramento on May 12th, and ending with a final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena a week later.

But you already knew that last part.

Or at least you did if you read BikinginLA yesterday.

After noting that the Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story about that final stage, we speculated that the paper may have jumped the gun on a news embargo by the race.

Sure enough, when the stages for next year were announced this morning, they included the aforementioned final stage.

So congratulations if you read that before the official announcement was made.

You got a jump on cycling fans around the world.

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Forget singletrack. Try mountain biking down ramps, jumps and endless flights of stairs at breakneck speed through the alleyways of Medellin, Columbia.

Sort of like this.

Okay, maybe exactly like that.

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This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Local

The LA City Council will vote next Tuesday to raise speed limits on 67 streets around the city to comply with the deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law.

Marketplace looks at LA’s efforts to bring e-scooters and dockless bikeshare to Boyle Heights and other lower income neighborhoods.

Bike SGV says Metro is scheduled to vote this morning on an unhealthy, unsustainable package of auto-centric proposals to replace the now-cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Not even a Welcome to Glendale sign  is safe from traffic violence.

 

State

Safe Routes to School is hiring a Southern California policy manager.

A Los Altos bicyclist says one size does not fit all when it comes to bike lanes. Or paths.

‘Tis the season. A group of St. Helena bike riders greet Santa Claus on the city’s kickoff to the holidays.

 

National

Walt Disney was one of us. So was Sylvia Plath.

Bike Snob argues for not wearing a bike helmet, saying you don’t have to wear one just because the pros do. On the other hand, you don’t have to not wear one just because he says so.

Quartz says scientists are still debating whether drivers pass helmet-wearing bicyclists closer than non-helmeted riders.

Bicycling continues their profiles of people who made positive changes in their lives through bicycling, like this man who was pushing 400 pounds before he lost 150 after he started riding.

A new study being conducted by Portland State University will look at how bicycle and pedestrian street improvements affect retailers and other businesses.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere, as Albuquerque NM traffic engineers are working on keeping cars out of a new bike and pedestrian crossing, because motorists keep ignoring the posted No Motor Vehicles signs.

A bike rider found dead on a Boulder CO bike path in October died of a meth overdose.

She gets it. A Lincoln NE letter writer says it’s cheaper for the city to go into debt to build a bike lane than pay for injured bike riders because they didn’t.

Memphis gets a road diet right, reducing a five lane boulevard in the medical district to three lanes, with wheel stop-protected bike lanes, hi-viz crosswalks and self-watering planters.

NYPD officials refuse to call the thumb tack attack on a city bike a terrorist attack, settling for describing it as a nasty crime. And insist they’re taking it seriously.

A New York driver was arrested for hit-and-run, even though the cops were probably at fault in the crash for parking in a bike lane, which forced the victim to swerve her bike around their van.

 

International

Modacity offers photographic proof that it is possible to take your Christmas tree home on a bicycle. And lots of people do it.

Great idea. Vancouver’s Spikes on Bikes program uses trained volunteers on bicycles to spot homeless people suffering from drug overdoses, and intervene in time to save their lives.

Calgary is overcoming growing pains in their two-year pilot program with Lime’s dockless bikeshare.

Fourteen bike riders from the UK combined to ride 4,200 miles in just four days, raising the equivalent of nearly $45,000 for cancer research; riders included a former Olympic-level cyclist recovering from a life-threatening brain injury.

A road raging British traffic instructor loses his job after being convicted of running a bike rider off the road because he had the audacity to ride in it.

Now they’re just showing off. The transport minister in the Netherlands is going far beyond Vision Zero to set a goal of no traffic collisions at all.

A market study for a newly opened New Zealand bike shop predicts that ebikes will make up 80% of bike sales in the country within five years.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling is using Zwift to identify the next British cycling star with a 3D virtual reality eRacing Championship next February.

The San Francisco Chronicle says summer won’t sound the same without Paul Sherwen.

 

Finally…

Maybe there really is a conspiracy to keep mountain bikes skittish. How to match your bike to your kit instead of the other way around.

And reviewing bike helmets is one thing. Firsthand testing by crashing headfirst into a pile of rocks is another.

And not particularly recommended.

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Thanks to Kevin G, Robert K, Amanda G and Stephen C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: Westbound PCH closures for fire repairs, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and more ‘Tis the season

It’s the 13th day of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Don’t plan on riding PCH anytime soon.

Caltrans will be closing sections of the right lane and shoulder on a 20-mile stretch of the westbound PCH in Malibu between Coastline Drive and Decker Canyon Road to repair damage caused by the Woolsey Fire.

The work will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Saturday; no word on when they expect to be finished.

The state will also close one lane in each direction on PCH between Puerco Canyon and Corral Canyon roads to work on a median project.

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CiclaValley has a notable ride to work for the second day in a row — and not in a good way — after yesterday’s high-speed buzz by a motorcyclist.

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A second Dutch bike rider barely avoided getting run down by a train after riding around crossing barriers, just days after video surfaced of a similar incident.

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‘Tis the season.

One hundred kids from a Gardena youth and family services program got new bicycles courtesy of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Rally Health.

London’s Telegraph offers a holiday gift guide for roadies.

An English news site is attempting to raise the equivalent of nearly $160,000 for the country’s MS Society this holiday season; woman with MS who bought an ebike with a grant from the group calls it a game changer.

And in less happy news, a Cape Town, South Africa bike shop was vandalized and looted in the wake of a festival kicking off the holiday season; authorities were able to get four of the stolen bikes back.

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Local

An environmental justice advocate is recruiting bicyclists to monitor air quality in Southeast and East LA.

Pasadena public radio station KPCC examines why California’s three foot passing law is so seldom enforced in the LA area, and how that contributes to the city’s well-earned status as America’s worst bike city; you can find the same report on LAist if you’d rather read than listen. Both versions have the extreme good taste to quote yours truly.

 

State

San Diego will spend $2.3 million to connect two existing bike paths in Carmel Valley, closing a missing link in the regional bike network.

A Palo Alto bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was run down from behind by the driver of a Porsche SUV, while riding in a green bike lane.

San Francisco voted to become the first major city in the US to eliminate minimum parking restrictions.

The City by the Bay will add parking protection to an existing bike lane to keep parents out of it when they drop off and pick up their kids from a nearby school.

On the other side of the Bay, Oakland approved plans for a purple and green parking protected bike lane.

 

National

Streetsblog offers suggestions of what a Green New Deal could look like.

The former head of the Chicago and DC departments of transportation says the solution to quickly and easily accommodating e-scooters and other forms of micromobility is restriping streets to create narrow “slow lanes.”

An 1896 Portland map shows the city’s bike culture goes back at least 122 years.

Oregon police use a bait bike to bust four bike thieves. That’s something that the LAPD still doesn’t use, despite the city’s soaring bike theft problem, due to the City Attorney’s office fears of entrapment.

A Washington man rode 4,233 miles through 13 Mid-American states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance. Although it doesn’t seem to have worked just yet.

The LA Times recommends a seven-day bike tour through the Arizona desert, beginning and ending in Tucson, for the low, low price of just $2,995. Or you could just, you know, go to Tucson, get on your bike, and start riding.

Now that’s more like it. A DC-area county has approved a new bike plan calling for an additional 750 miles of paths, trails and separated bike lanes, to go with 250 miles already on the ground; as usual, they just need the money to pay for it.

Florida bicyclists want to know why the distracted driver who killed two bike riders wasn’t charged; police say the sun was in her eyes, yet somehow it didn’t blind the group of riders she slammed into.

 

International

National Geographic offers their take on the world’s best bike cities. San Francisco made the list; oddly, Tucson got the only honorable mention, despite ranking just 24th in the US according to Bicycling. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

An Irish writer politely notes that some bicyclists are “bending the rules,” perhaps because the explosive growth in bicycling is outpacing bike infrastructure. Or it could be that some people are just jerks, whether on two wheels or four.

Dutch bike writer David Hembrow says overuse of motorized transport is destroying everything.

He gets it. The mayor of Tehran has joined the country’s Car-Free Tuesdays movement to help reduce the effects of air pollution, riding his bike to work this week, while taking a subway last week.

Apropos of today’s weather in Los Angeles, Bicycle Times offers tips from an Aussie rider on how to stay safe while biking in the rain.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story reporting next year’s Amgen Tour of California would end with a stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. So maybe you now have advanced word if they took it down because they jumped a news embargo. Or not.

VeloNews explains why elite women’s ‘cross is must-see TV.

Phil Liggett say the death of close friend and broadcast partner Paul Sherwen is hard to believe, and hints that it may cause him to rethink his role as the voice of professional cycling.

American pro cyclist Ian Boswell explains what happens when a bike racer turns race promoter.

 

Finally…

The bicycling model of financial management. Evidently, wearing a mask on your bike in the cold can get you arrested for frightening children.

And London’s bike shop to rock royalty.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Keith Richards riding a bicycle. Fortunately, you don’t have to

Morning Links: Performance Bike liquidation, car-focused street design in San Dimas, and LAPD gots ebikes

It’s Day 12 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote my time to doing whatever I can to make this world a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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I’m not a fan of liquidation sales as a rule, which feels like picking at the bones of a failed company.

And even less when it comes to national and online retailers that can undercut local bike shops. Especially when those sales are timed for the holiday season, which most bike shops count on to stay in the black and remain in business.

So I’m a little reluctant to relay the news that Performance Bike is offering a liquidation sale at all their locations — even the ones that won’t be closing.

But most of us can use a little extra savings this time of year. Just make sure anything you buy really is a bargain.

Before I went into advertising — and long before I began work on this site — I spent several years in retail, and got a first-hand look at liquidation firms in action.

And can attest that while you may find some decent bargains, there’s a good chance your LBS may offer you a better deal, especially in the long run.

Meanwhile, here are the Performance locations that are currently on the chopping block.

Let’s hope yours isn’t on the list. And that everyone who works for them will land on their feet.

Hint to bike shops: If you could use a few new employees, this is a great time to start looking.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Everything, according to Claremont Senior Bike Group member Robs Muir.

The newly rebuilt Golden Hills Road in San Dimas, long a popular route for bicyclists, appears to have been designed without giving people on bikes a single thought.

Here’s what Muir had to say about it.

Brand-new road (Lower Golden Hills) which is very popular with cyclists… No legal bike lanes, no signage to indicate that ‘Bicycles may use full lane’, no sharrows, completely unnecessary Botts’ dots across the entire road (very dangerous for narrow tires), Botts dots lining the center lines, no pedestrian sidewalk on south side of road, and double solid yellow lines which restrict vehicles from crossing over the middle of the road—preventing safe passing distances when overtaking bicycles.

Someone needs to hire a professional, knowledgeable, and responsible traffic engineer and get the developer to cough up the money to design a safe roadway appropriate to the year of 2018. This is pretty awful.

So much for California’s Complete Streets requirement.

But maybe they didn’t use any state funds for this. Or maybe they just didn’t give a damn about anyone who’s not in a car.

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LAPD’s got ebikes, as seen in this clip of bike cops from Sunday’s CicLAvia.

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Sometimes, you can hear it coming a mile away.

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Now that’s a close call.

One blamed on bad road design that puts bike riders and motorists in conflict.

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‘Tis the season.

A short 10-mile holiday toy ride could raise more than $450,000 and collect over 8,100 bikes for Southern Nevada kids in need.

A Detroit group refurbished over 1,100 bicycles to give to kids whose families can’t afford one for the holidays.

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Local

CicLAvia has announced the date and location of their next open streets event, to be held March 3rd of next year in Culver City, Palms and Mar Vista, with the exact route still to be determined.

Writing for Streetsblog, Carter Rubin says Metro is preparing to pour more gasoline on our climate change fire by spending $400 million in new roads projects after cancelling plans for the 710 Freeway extension. Meanwhile, a former climate change skeptic explains why he was wrong, and why other conservatives should admit it, too.

The new Spectrum News 1 channel reports on Santa Clarita’s new pilot program testing an app to trigger green lights on bike trails when the regular bicycle detectors don’t do the job.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Holiday Joy Ride in Balboa Park on Thursday. Note to CBS8: Seriously? It’s not exactly solid reporting when you get the group’s name wrong not once, not twice, but five times in five paragraphs — especially when it’s in the Facebook post you embedded in the story.

Santa Maria is nearing approval of a multimodal streetscape plan to “better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians while also balancing the needs for vehicular and truck traffic.”

 

National

Former pro mountain biker Mark Weir describes surviving the the deadly form of heart attack known as the widowmaker, and the warning signs he ignored. That same type of heart attack was seconds away from killing my wife a few years ago.

A writer for Forbes offers a reminder that bike helmets lose their protective qualities over time, and should be replaced every three to five years.

A Utah bike co-op is offering 18 kids as young as eight years old a chance to earn a bike by learning how to repair it.

A Streetblog writer discusses staying joyful riding a bike despite Chicago’s harsh winters. Which should be a lot easier here in LA, where winter’s worst just means a little rain. Okay, maybe a lot of rain. 

A Kentucky man has developed a business selling refurbished bicycles through Instagram, Facebook and eBay.

As Atlanta approves a new transportation intended to re-align the city away from cars, advocates demand action on its previous commitments to bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users.

After cancelling the city’s mandatory bike registration program, New Orleans is developing a new, voluntary registration system to combat bike theft in conjunction with Bike Index. Which serves as yet another reminder to register your bike for free as part of the nationwide Bike Index database.

A Tampa newspaper lists the city’s most dangerous intersections for bike riders, most of which are located in lower income areas where many people don’t drive.

Lime has introduced dockless ebikes in OrlandoThat may offer a hint of what could be in the wings for LA once Lime receives official approval to begin operations in the city.

Evidently, Florida is challenging Southern California as the hit-and-run capital of the world, as two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-run crashes in Central Florida less than four hours apart. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

 

International

A program to offer bikeshare to disadvantaged people in Glasgow, Scotland at a reduced rate has been a success, with 4,700 trips so far this year.

A 21-year old Scottish cyclist says he was on the brink of suicide before charity work saved him.

An Irish physiotherapist suggests that bicycling, or other forms of exercise, can help cancer patients overcome chemotherapy.

Wellington, New Zealand, has embedded 19 bicycle counters in city streets to gather accurate data on bicycling rates, with another three to come. Which compares somewhat favorably to LA’s zero counters. And explains why the city has no idea how many people ride bikes in Los Angeles, or where.

Now that’s an adventure. A group of Nepalese bicyclists ride gravel roads to Lo Manthang, the land beyond the Himalayas that served as the inspiration for the mythical Shangra-La.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling has more on the unexpected death of longtime cycling commentator Paul Sherwin, who partnered with Phil Liggett to broadcast the Tour de France for 33 years, after competing in it for seven. Cycling Tip’s Neal Rogers discusses why his death hurts so much.

Columbian cyclist Esteban Chaves will be back to racing next year after missing eight months due to the Epstein-Barr virus.

Writers for VeloNews debate whether Annemiek van Vleuten or Anna van der Breggen should be their female cyclist of the year.

The German cycling federation named Kristina Vogel as its Cyclist of the Year in an emotional return to the track, six months after she was paralyzed from the waist down in a training crash.

Forget a road race or triathlon. If you really want to test yourself, try a single-stage race through the wilds of Kyrgyzstan.

 

Finally…

No matter how hard it rains, SoCal riders hardly ever need studded tires for their bikes. Is it progress when even mob hitmen choose a bike as a getaway vehicle?

And clearly, restaurants should be required to wear helmets and hi-viz.

Morning Links: Sneak attack on traffic safety, BAC meets tomorrow, and ebikes benefit people with disabilities

Call it a sneak attack.

Over the weekend, supporters of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving tried — and failed — to get the LA Neighborhood Council Coalition on the record supporting a total ban on road diets.

The factually incorrect motion, which traffic safety supporters found out about less than 24 hours earlier, was tabled until next month after it met overwhelming opposition.

Here’s the full text of the motion, in case you want to mark your calendar for the next meeting.

BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a powerful message opposing the ban.

Today’s photo comes with a wish for a Happy Chanukah to all those celebrating this week.

Chanukah Sameach!

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold their regular bi-monthly meeting tomorrow night in the conference room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

The committee is the only official voice for bicyclists in city government. Even if elected officials usually just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Click to enlarge

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Or more precisely, the way ebikes and other bikes can benefit people with physical limitations.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker calls ebikes a game changer for people who need them.

And makes a point I’ve been making for some time now.

A 2018 study by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities that surveyed 1,800 e-bike riders found that they bike more often, take longer trips, and make different types of trips than they do on pedal bikes. Plus, not only did more respondents feel safer riding an e-bike than they did riding a pedal bike, the percentage of people who felt safer on an e-bike was even greater when the respondents were women, over 55, or had physical limitations.

“E-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle” reads the study, “many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so.”people

There are a number of bicyclists, especially roadies, who think ebikes are cheating.

I know, I used to be one of them.

And there many people who think older people and people with handicaps can’t ride bikes.

They’re both wrong.

Because unless you’re racing, bicycling is not a competition. Whether you’re riding for pleasure or transportation, anything that makes it easier to get on a bike is a good thing.

For the person doing the riding, for their community, and for the environment.

And ebikes make it possible for people who otherwise couldn’t ride a bike — because of age, physical condition, the length of their commutes, or any number of other problems — to get out and ride like anyone else. Going further and more confidently than they otherwise could.

Or at all, for that matter.

There’s another quote from the story that sums it up.

E-bikes are not a substitute for safer infrastructure, but they could help move more riders from “Interested but Concerned” to “Enthused and Confident.

And that’s a good thing. For all of us.

Meanwhile, a Boulder CO newspaper talks with a bike shop owner who says he used to be dismissive of ebikes, until he realized their benefits for people with physical limitations.

A British survey shows 72 percent of disabled bicyclists use their bikes as mobility aids, but half of respondents are afraid of being seen riding them for fear of losing their benefits.

And more than a quarter of the disabled commutes in Cambridge, England are made by bike.

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Speaking of electric mobility devices, apparently they’re a wise choice. And not just limited to humans anymore.

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Sad news, as longtime Tour de France commentator Paul Sherwen died unexpectedly at his home in Uganda; no cause of death was announced.

He was 62.

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It’s Day 11 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

Thanks to Adrienne G and Alan C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

………

Local

By all accounts, yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia was another successful event. But it comes just days after the organization was sued by a woman who suffered a brain injury when a careless rider clipped her wheel.

A sports tech website talks with LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon about the tech he uses and life as a YouTube star.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver, who claimed he never saw the victim until he was in front of him. Unfortunately, that’s not too surprising; let’s hope investigators get a warrant for the driver’s phone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a women’s bike, and their recommendations for the best bike in 11 different categories.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Walmart talks about his passion for mountain biking, saying he’s learned some of his best business lessons from the saddle. Something I can relate to; I often did my best work while riding my bike.

It may be a few years since their last basketball title, but the University of Kentucky can celebrate a national championship as the nation’s most Bicycle Friendly University.

A pair of New York bike advocates and engineers say they’ve figured out the exact optimal traffic signal timing to improve safety for everyone and ensure the highest number of green lights for both drivers and people on bikes.

A Virginia landscaper had the truck towed to be repaired and ordered employees to say a worker had hit a deer, instead of the bike rider he’d hit in a work truck and left to die on the side of the road.

 

International

An Op-Ed on Calgary website says traffic laws must reflect the new transport options, including dockless e-bikes. Meanwhile, the Calgary bike boom goes on, even in the winter months, after the city built out a network of protected bike lanes.

Sidewalk riding is a complicated issue, according to an Ontario, Canada letter writer in part because of poorly designed bike lanes and the people who drive in them.

The Guardian looks at who is behind the effort to have one of London’s most popular cycle superhighways ripped out, pointing the finger at a property company, and truck and taxi drivers.

A British man rode 3,200 miles from LA to New York in just 34 days — arriving at the airport half an hour before his flight back home.

A new paper by an English researcher argues that yes, drivers really do pass bicyclists who wear bike helmets closer than they do bare headed riders.

Brit mountain biking legend Hans Rey was the victim of bike thieves, who took eight bicycles, including custom bikes and bikes that aren’t currently available in the country.

Thanks to a new Dutch bike rack design, your bike could power the city.

Madrid bans cars built before 2000, and diesel vehicles built before 2006, from driving in the city center to battle air pollution. Los Angeles will need to do the same for the entire county if we’re going to meet pollution, let alone climate change, goals.

Malta’s prime minister suggests widening the roads to make more room for all road users, while creating preference lanes for bikes, buses and electronic cars.

Tel Aviv is building a 68-mile network of bike trails in an effort to become the Amsterdam of the Mideast.

After the first of the year, you’ll need a special driver’s license to operate an ebike in Israel.

More grist for the climate change mill, as a New Zealand study shows that bike lanes and pathways do, in fact, coax people out of their cars, resulting decreased emissions.

Australian football legend James Hird suffered a broken leg when his bike was hit by a driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

Anyone can win a bike race; the Eurosport website recounts the cycling world’s most spectacular flops of 2018.

Aussie cyclist Mark Renshaw will miss a number of events Down Under after he suffered a fractured pelvis when a driver when through a stop sign.

Cycling Tips talks with women’s cycling legend Marianne Vos about getting her grove back this year.

A roadie discovers he can do more than he thought, completing a 78-mile gravel race despite fears caused by a recent runaway heart rate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding a bike with crack and purple heroin, put a damn light on it, already. Call it Waze for bikes.

And yes, Vladimir Putin is one of us.

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

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This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

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A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

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It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: LAPD shames walkers, Mexico City driver’s anti-bike rampage, and former ‘cross star makes music

Apologies for my tardiness.

The hosting service I use went down just as I was getting this ready ready to publish. When it still wasn’t back by 4:30 this morning, I gave up and went to bed. 

Which means they probably got it back online by 4:35. 

Barring any more disruptions, we’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow. 

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The LAPD has already reached a new height — or maybe low — in victim shaming under new chief Michael Moore.

Under a new insurance company-sponsored initiative , the department will distribute 1,200 hi-viz reflective vests and clip-on lights to people stopped for jaywalking.

Because, as we all know, it’s far better to make regular people dress up like clowns than actually expect drivers to slow down like the law requires and look away from their smartphones long enough to see what the hell is in the road in front of them.

Or, you know, actually build an adequate number of safe crosswalks so people don’t have to cross without one, or anything.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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

And worldwide.

A road raging driver in Mexico City was injured — along with his intended victim, a restaurant hostess and two diners at an open air cafe — when he used his truck as a weapon in a attempt to run down a bike rider.

After arguing with a man on a bike, he slammed his pickup into reverse, striking the bike rider, then smashed into a parked car. Both vehicles appear to have crashed into the restaurant before coming to rest against a tree.

Let’s hope Mexican authorities charge the driver with four counts of attempted murder. And don’t write this off as just another crash.

Note: If you don’t read Spanish, you’ll have to translate the link, like I did. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Twenty-one year old former junior cyclocross star Gavin Haley is making a name for himself as a musician as he tours the Golden State.

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It’s Day 7 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

LA County is studying how to create harmony between e-scooters, bikeshare bikes, cars and pedestrians in unincorporated communities and county roads.

It looks like a new bike lane is coming to Stewart Street in Santa Monica.

Pomona residents recommend separated bike lanes and a shared bike and pedestrian path to improve access to a proposed Gold Line Metro station — if it’s ever built.

 

State

A Contra Costa County judge has blocked bike access through an East Bay country club, denying riders a long-time bypass route to avoid a dangerous roadway.

New parking protected bike lanes in Sacramento are filling up with wet, slippery leaves that can pose a risk to the riders using them.

The bighearted people at a Nevada County bicycle recycling project have donated 30 rebuilt bikes to victims of Northern California’s Camp Fire.

 

National

CNET says e-scooters could be sending as many as one thousand people to the ER every month, based on figures they apparently just made up.

Colorado’s playground for the rich and famous is trying to get ahead of the curve by writing regulations for e-scooters, even though no one’s offered to put them there yet.

What’s left of a Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the speeding, out-of-control driver who killed their wife and mother as she was participating in a randonneuring event. Naturally, the driver claims the sun was in his eyes. Which doesn’t explain why his foot was on the gas pedal.

When is an ebike not a bicycle? Evidently, when you’re in Ohio’s Amish Country, where people seem to be freaking out about them.

New York food delivery riders are organizing to fight for healthcare after one of the workers died from an untreated ulcer.

After New York councilmembers call for legalizing ebikes and e-scooters, Streetsblog says the city’s mayor, who opposes the measure, is blind to the real dangers on the streets. And it ain’t the people on two wheels, battery powered or otherwise.

Apparently, a New Jersey community has a lot of kindhearted cops. After a Roxbury police officer bought a man a used bike as he watched him commute in all kinds of weather on a rusted bike, he bought him a new one after that one wore out. Only to  learn that the man’s original bike had been a gift from another officer.

Bicycling says a close-knit cycling community is in mourning, following the crash that killed two Florida bike riders.

A 415-pound Puerto Rican man took up bicycling to lose 20 pounds, and ended up riding 27,000 miles and losing 167 pounds. And quit smoking, too.

 

International

Turns out even the best air pollution masks filter out less than half of the particles they’re exposed to. Which doesn’t sound much better than tying a bandana around your face.

Forbes says cargo bikes, not drones, are the future of delivery.

A Quebec letter writer says laws requiring drivers to use snow tires in the winter are ineffective. So we should extend them to bike riders, too.

You just can’t please some people. Montreal-area drivers are complaining that a new separated bike path is impeding traffic on the nearby roadway, even though officials didn’t actually remove any traffic lanes or reduce capacity to make room for it.

No bias here. Over a thousand tickets were issued to London motorists for distracted driving or not having insurance during a two-week crackdown on dangerous driving. Yet somehow, the headline was about the 519 bike riders who got tickets, too.

No bias here, either. A study commissioned by a pressure group dedicated to the removal of one of London’s cycle superhighways has found that it’s costing businesses the equivalent of $6.8 million a year. Even though no other study has found that it even causes traffic congestion, let alone huge loses due to it.

They get it. Over two-thirds of the residents of Perth, Scotland call for improving safety for bicyclists by installing protected bike lanes, even if that means less space for drivers.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a fondo in sunny Saint-Tropez. Unless you’d rather ride on the riverfront bike paths of Taipei.

A new Swiss study shows that switching to an active commute can help you lose weight, but says it isn’t clear if that applies to ebikes, as well. But a Norwegian study shows ebike riders exert almost as much energy as regular bike riders.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a drunk, speeding teenager who was driving without a license got just 25 months for killing a man as he was riding his bicycle.

A former Australian football great was injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African pro cyclist Willie Smit donated the equivalent of over $43,000 in bicycles and equipment to a Cape Town cycling academy dedicated to serving underprivileged kids.

Former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbot tells her own story of how even the best roadies can make the worst mountain bikers.

 

Finally…

Tres shock! Bike riders sometimes look at billboards and pretty people. When in Amsterdam, do like the Dutch and watch out for bikes.

And your next bike helmet could help prevent concussions, and call for help if it doesn’t.

Morning Links: Whittier hit-and-run fugitive captured in Australia, bad guys on bikes, and no justice for killer cops

It’s Day 6 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give today to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

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In a surprising development, Australian police have arrested a woman for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Whittier last year.

The FBI lost the trail of 33-year old fugitive Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes after tracking her to Asia when she fled the country, just five days after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

The father of four died when a driver stopped to let him cross the street on his bike, then was struck by Reyes after she swerved around the stopped car. She dragged Rodriguez and his bicycle the length of two football fields.

Reyes was found living in Adelaide and using 11 different aliases.

She now faces extradition to Los Angeles on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Reyes could spend up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

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Bike riders aren’t always the good guys.

LA County is offering a  $10,000 reward in the racially motivated shooting death of Long Beach resident Fred Taft, hours after he was harassed by a group of white men on bicycles. Long Beach is offering another $20,000.

In the same story, the Long Beach Post reports the county is considering renewing a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Cole Micek last March; Micek was run over by two separate drivers, who both fled the scene.

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Once again, LA’s DA refuses to prosecute a cop, declining to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy responsible for a crash that killed two small children.

The DA’s office also refused to file charges against the distracted sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, along with the trigger-happy Gardena cops who fatally shot the brother of a bike theft victim.

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No irony here.

Thanks to a crappy locking job, this Stolen Brand bike wasn’t. Just mangled and stripped to the bones.

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Local

Alhambra’s city council was scheduled to vote last night on whether to return to the recent auto-centric past by banning bikeshare and e-scooters from the city. Thanks to M for the heads-up; no, not James Bond’s boss in MI6. Probably.

A governing website talks with the policy director of Santa Monica-based Bird about the boom in e-scooters, and what cities should be doing about it.

Speaking of scooters, Long Beach wants your input on the city’s e-scooter program.

 

State

California’s former Governator is one one of us, proclaiming his desire to bicycle all over the world.

Monterey’s hugely popular Sea Otter Classic is exporting itself to sea otter-free Ontario, Canada.

San Francisco is on its way to becoming the first major US city to toss minimum parking restrictions out the window.

A Marin County bicycling organization is pushing for more bike access to Point Reyes National Seashore; as always, a group of equestrians wants to keep them out.

 

National

A Portland-area paper kvetches about streetcar tracks in the bike lane. Which is both dangerous and stupid; the streetcar tracks, not the kvetching. 

A popular Texas bike shop is trying to raise enough funds to stay in business after it was scammed out of $3,000 worth of bikes and accessories.

A longtime Denver talk show host with his head firmly planted up his…uh, in the auto-centric past complains about what he calls the “folly of bike lanes, insisting that no one uses them and they just get in the way of all those poor, put-upon drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on…and on. Bike riders in Boulder CO report finding tacks in their tires after riding on a popular bike route.

Chicago bicyclists faced treacherous conditions after the city failed to clear protected bike lanes after a snowstorm.

Gray-haired New Yorkers are furious over a plan to allow bicyclists to ride through a park they frequent to access a new esplanade on the East River.

New York’s city council is preparing to go to the mattresses over a proposal to legalize ebikes and e-scooters. Although someone should tell them it’s all those cars that make the city’s streets dangerous, not the people on two wheels.

America’s other ex-Tour de France champ is challenging the validity of Trump’s acting attorney general, using his nearly settled lawsuit against Lance as leverage.

Sad news from Florida, where a second bike rider has died after an apparently distracted driver slammed into a group of riders when she was blinded by the sun.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. Halifax, Nova Scotia is paying nearly a quarter million dollars to install side guards on a fleet of privately owned garbage trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from getting trapped underneath.

London’s Scotland Yard releases video showing its officers dealing with lawbreaking moped and motorcycle riders by ramming them with their patrol cars. Which would be assault with a deadly weapon if anyone else tried it.

Three British bicyclists attempted to ride 5,000 miles across Europe to raise money for a charity; only one finished the journey after one rider was hit by a driver, and the other injured a knee.

An Irish bike rider saw his case against the driver who hit him thrown out of court after the judge concludes the pedestrian path he was riding on wasn’t a bikeway, even though it was frequently used as one.

Wine Enthusiast considers the L’Eroica vintage bicycle tours through the sun-drenched wine country of Tuscany.

Ten Indian men set out to ride around the world in the 1920s and 1930s; seven made it.

Cycling legend Gary Fischer talks mountain bikes with an Indian newspaper.

A South African cyclist is riding over 1,200 miles to raise funds to save the rhinos.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist records six dangerous passes and left hooks — the equivalent of our right hook — in a single ride. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, any day that ends in Y.

Tickets for bicycling offenses have dropped dramatically in New Zealand, as police have shifted enforcement towards motorist behaviors that pose a greater risk to others.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says the elite women’s cyclists are saving cyclocross, even as the men’s races are becoming boring.

A Rwandan woman dreams of forming a cycling team, 34 years after she competed in a bike race as the only woman in a field of men; it was five years before she would face other female competitors.

 

Finally…

Look at your phone when you step into the street, and pay $200. A Sketchers ad is officially non-offensive, even if a bike rider crashes while staring at Kelly Brooks in a tight sweater.

And nothing says ’tis the season like Santas on bikes.

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Thanks to William S and Phillipa M for their generous donations to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your gift helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day! Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

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No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

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A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

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Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

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There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

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Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

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The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

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Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Florida driver plows into group ride, Bike Shop Day this Saturday, and ebikes are good for you

Welcome back. 

I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday weekend. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get down to business. 

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

Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

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Horrible news from Florida.

A driver plowed into fourteen bicyclists out on a group ride, killing one and injuring six; one of the injured riders was in critical condition with a head injury.

The driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming she was momentarily distracted by something in her car and the sun was in her eyes.

There is Facebook video of the aftermath if you really want to see it. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

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Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

The second annual event takes place this Saturday, which sounds like to perfect day to visit your favorite LBS and buy someone a Christmas or Chanukah gift.

Even if it’s yourself.

So far, just three LA-area bike shops have signed up to participate, along with another in Norco, and none San Diego, Ventura or Orange Counties.

See the map on the above link for more details.

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The LA West website offers details for this Sunday’s final CicLAvia of the year. Meanwhile, CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

Speaking of CicLAvia, the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the CicLAvia route before making a stop at Dry River Brewing for a little discounted liquid refreshment.

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Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

A new systematic review of 17 studies around the world concludes that riding a regular bicycle if better for you than riding an ebike.

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

Meanwhile, Pink Bike says ebikes are breeding the components that bike riders want.

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Now that’s more like it.

Britain considers mandating insurance discounts to drivers who take bicycle awareness courses as part of a program to improve safety.

The country is also in discussions to install cameras on bike lanes, and fine drivers up to the equivalent of $166 for driving in or blocking them.

In addition, the UK is planning to set up a special police unit to tackle road rage and dangerous driving.

Now if we could just get something like that on this side of the Atlantic.

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Clearly, not much has changed in the last 45 years.

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This is what you look like to a driver on a dark road when you ride without lights.

And if you miss the bike rider, that’s kind of the point.

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Local

No windshield perspective here. Business Insider says LA traffic is hell, and in desperate need of a transportation revolution. But fails to even mention any form of active transportation.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy calls out five major Westside hospitals for failing to promote active transportation, despite IRS guidelines that specifically encourage it.

Downtown News examines the $365 million plan to complete the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Speaking the LA River path, the new Spectrum 1 News takes a ride to the Spoke Cafe alongside the bike path. And Peter Flax races a car on an ebike, and comes out with a tie.

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s podcast talks with bike lawyer and Cycling in the South Bay author Seth Davidson.

Glendale opens the second phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk across the LA River from Griffith Park; a planned bike and pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the bike pathway with the LA River bike path. Oddly, the LA Times doesn’t seem to have the article online, so I’m linking to the story on the PressReader site.

The Signal offers an explanation of Santa Clarita’s new pilot program for an app-based traffic signal detection system at three problematic intersections. The project has been championed by the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Encinitas considers adopting Vision Zero in the wake of pedestrian deaths.

A San Luis Obispo man came up with the winning design for a bicycle-themed car license plate.

The LA Times suggests that a road diet on a primary roadway in Paradise contributed to the problems evacuating from the deadly Paradise Fire. Even though the mayor denies it had any impact, and they failed to talk with a single traffic planner or engineer.

 

National

An Oregon man was planning to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in five years, after he saved his own life by spending that time riding 25,000 miles around the world; he set out after nearly taking his own life following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the death of his wife in a traffic collision.

The University of Washington is testing an app-based system to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders at trail crossings.

Albuquerque NM is trashing the useless Share the Road signs in favor of the more instructive Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A New Mexico letter writer (2nd item) wants to make safety “fair and balanced” for everyone by making it less fair for people on bicycles. Unless maybe he also wants drivers to wear helmets at all times, paint their cars hi-viz, and only drive single file and yield to faster vehicles.

Denver adopts a cute little protected bike lane sweeper. Thanks to the Preven Report for the link.

Outside examines the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins, who was shot to death on a singletrack trail outside of Colorado Springs CO, noting that he is believed to be the first mountain biker known to have been slain while riding.

The Daily Beast suggests adding the Tex-Mex border to your bike bucket list, saying hundreds of miles along the border have been turned into a bicycling paradise.

Indianapolis IN bike riders want to know why safety isn’t improving, even as the city is becoming more bike friendly.

St. Petersburg FL discovers that some people will always prefer riding on the sidewalk, even if there’s a bike lane nearby. And even if sidewalk riding only offers an illusion of safety.

A Florida man took up bicycling to avoid having to wear size 50 pants, and lost 150 pounds in just two years.

 

International

Road.cc rounds up the best bike-related TED talksThen again, every time I open my mouth it’s a Ted talk.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker spells out ten ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe. Which is a polite way of saying they scare the crap out of us.

Calgary considers allowing skateboards, scooters and wheelchairs on the city’s cycle tracks.

The Guardian takes a bike tour to discover the real Barbados.

He gets it. An English columnist says it’s time for all of us to get on our bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old man rode the entire length go Great Britain on his Brompton.

Religious leaders in the UK are becoming evangelists for bike riding in an effort to get parishioners to leave their cars at home. And this is the perfect sign to promote it, while keeping the riders’ speed in check.

Ford is using virtual reality to allow British truck drivers to experience the road from a bicyclist’s perspective. Or they could just drop the virtual part, and put them on bicycles next to a big, speeding truck passing a foot off their elbows.

A Scottish columnist says he’s all in favor of bicycling to get people more active and fit, and he’s sure people who ride bikes will be all in favor of his plan to charge riders an annual registration fee and force them to wear numbered bibs similar to license plates. No, really.

They get it, too. An Indian city is installing new red-colored cycle tracks and fixing older ones in preparation for a coming bikeshare program.

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

New Zealand will spend $23 million to get more children on bikes. Which sounds impressive, until you consider it works out to less than $8 million a year.

A New Zealand bike builder discusses making the ebikes used by Israel’s bicycling paramedics.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a remorseful distracted driver will spend just nine months behind bars for killing a man riding his bike. She claims she was only distracted for ten seconds; unfortunately, that’s all it takes.

An Aussie bike rider says making the choice to be a non-driver should be a badge of honor.

A Kiwi writer relates the horrifying tale of taking a fall off his bike, suffering a number of severe facial cuts and broken bones in the process, including breaking his neck in three places. And of the fellow bike-riding tourists who simply turned their backs and rode away when he begged for help — after bizarrely lectured him for ruining their day.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A British Columbia bicyclist forsakes the Great Wall for a bike tour of China’s covered bridges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia remembers Reg Arnold, once one of the world’s greatest six-day cyclists; he passed away this summer at 92-years old.

At age 23, black South African pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini has ridden his bike out of poverty in the ghettoes of Johannesburg to a nomination for the country’s most prestigious sports award, and is considered the next big thing to come out of Africa.

 

Finally…

Apparently Britain banned e-scooters 183 years ago. There’s no shortage of people who can pop a wheelie, but how many can do it from Santa Monica to Cocoa Beach?

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

When there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of it.

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The 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is already off to a great start. Which means we’ve got a long list of people to thanks already.

So let’s all offer a round of thanks to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc, the Muirs, Al W, Douglas M, Plurabelle Books Ltd, Michael Y, Arthur B, Dennis F, Joel S, Mark J, Theodore F, David V and Elizabeth T for opening their hearts and wallets to help keep this site coming your way every day!

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