Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: US cycling legend Rebecca Twigg homeless in Seattle, hero bike rider, and the war on bikes

Back in ’80s, I was in love with Rebecca Twigg.

Then again, so was just about other every straight male who knew a derailleur from domestique.

She won my heart, and so many others, when she claimed the ’83 Coors Classic stage race, followed by a silver medal in the road race at the ’84 Olympics, finishing second to her American teammate Connie Carpenter.

And followed that with a pursuit bronze medal in ’92.

Along with six world track titles and 16 US championships before, after and in between.

She was brilliant, charming and beautiful. And could drop you like freshman English without breaking a sweat.

So it broke my heart to learn that Rebecca Twigg has spent nearly five years living on the streets of Seattle.

According to the Seattle Times,

Twigg, 56, agreed to share her story to convince the public that not all homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol; that there are many like her, who have struggled with employment and are “confused,” as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives. She did not want to discuss mental health but feels it should be treated more seriously in Washington.

“Some of the hard days are really painful when you’re training for racing,” Twigg said, “but being homeless, when you have little hope or knowledge of where the finish line is going to be, is just as hard.”

She ended up homeless after two failed marriages, and struggling to fit into a workplace where she felt she just didn’t belong.

It was a familiar position, after her mother had kicked her out at 14, and she settled into the nomadic life of a bike racer.

Sadly, it’s not unusual for athletes to struggle after retiring, having spent a lifetime training and competing in a highly structured world.

And the article hints at another possible reason, mentioning a Texas crash that resulted in 13 stitches to her head — and probably a concussion.

Likely not the first one either. Or the last, in those pre-helmet, leather hairnet days.

But the saddest part of all is that Rebecca Twigg been forgotten by the cycling world she sacrificed her youth for.

And allowed to fall through the cracks, and onto the streets.

Let’s hope this news wakes up women’s cycling and bike racing’s governing bodies. So that someone, somewhere gives her the hand up she needs to get her life back together, and off the streets, once and for all.

And gives her the job she deserves in the sport she used to love, and knows so well.

Photo from Wikipedia.

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Once again, a bike rider was the hero.

An Anaheim man went on a wild crime rampage in Lake Forest on Wednesday, breaking into a home, stabbing a woman multiple times, jacking her car, crashing it into another woman walking on the sidewalk, threatening some Good Samaritans, and trying to jack a couple more cars.

All in just nine minutes.

It all came to a burning end when 56-year old bike rider Eric Young pepper sprayed the man after nearly getting run down by him and witnessing the crime spree.

After four or five doses of pepper spray, the one-man crime wave sat down on the curb and waited for police to take him into custody.

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

A British bike rider was bloodied and suffered a badly broken nose after he was knocked off his bike by a speeding driver, then punched repeatedly by a passenger in her car.

Then again, people on bikes aren’t always the good guys. A New York woman was punched in the face by a man on a bike, who shouted “This is my bock, bitch!” before riding off. Shockingly, the NYPD didn’t seem to care, despite their usual policy of siding with anyone against people on bicycles.

And Boston police are looking for a bike-riding man who shattered a bus window with his fist in an attempt to get the driver to open the door. Because terrorizing bus drivers and their passengers is always the best way to get them to let you in.

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A word for the wise, as demonstrated by a dirt biker.

Always make sure there’s solid ground directly in front of you. Because bikes, motorized or otherwise, still can’t fly.

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Local

No shit. County officials consider removing mobile shooting ranges from the sheriff’s station in Marina del Rey, after a suggestion that having a shooting range in close proximity to one of the county’s most popular bike paths may not be the best idea.

State

No, Outside, it’s not the perfect Highway 1 road trip along the California coast unless you do it on two wheels.

Caltrain goes the wrong way on accommodating bike riders.

The man who stole a $5,000 bicycle from Costa Mesa’s Cyclist bike shop returned it because his face had been plastered everywhere, and he was hoping to get the $1,000 reward.

In a bizarre ruling, a California appeals court barred the unacknowledged daughter of fallen OC cyclist Amine Britel from suing the woman who killed him, ruling she didn’t have standing because she wasn’t a legal heir since she didn’t establish paternity until after he died. And didn’t suffer a loss because she never knew him anyway. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Bakersfield wants your input on how to improve bicycling and the city’s streets. I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that removing cars from them is probably a nonstarter.

San Francisco is installing a protected bike lane on one of the city’s most dangerous streets. But only in some sections.

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike Wednesday morning.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that ped-assist ebikes really do get people out of their cars; up to half of all ebike trips in the study would have otherwise been made by motor vehicle.

National

NACTO says e-scooters have overtaken docked bikeshare as the nation’s third most popular form of shared transportation, behind cars and transit. Although most cars are hardly ever shared.

Lyft can undoubtedly relate to Boeing these days, as their rapid expansion into e-bikeshare has come to a screeching halt due to brake problems. Then again, Lyft hasn’t killed anyone yet, and dealt with the problem once they became aware of it.

No shit part two. A new poll shows Americans think distracted driving is the greatest threat on the roads. Which doesn’t appear to actually stop anyone from doing it.

A teenage boy is a key witness in the case against a Minneapolis cop accused of shooting a woman who had called police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home, although his credibility was questioned after admitting he had smoked weed and downed several shots of whiskey before getting on his bike.

A Rhode Island public radio station says the state’s potholed streets pose a danger to bike riders. Kind of like the streets of Los Angeles, and much of Southern California.

Vision Zero appears to be working in Boston, where the crash rate has gone up, while fatalities were cut in half. People often misunderstand the purpose of Vision Zero, which isn’t to prevent crashes, but to redesign roadways so those crashes don’t kill anyone.

Speaking of Boston, Bicycling looks at that city’s version of LA’s Marathon Crash Ride.

A Delaware man with a rare heart condition embarked on a 5,000-mile bike ride to Alaska in the name of science, even though doctors warned it could kill him.

After a DC resident witnesses a large Critical Mass-type ride roll through her neighborhood, she naturally concludes that all bike riders are a bunch of law-breaking scofflaws who won’t follow the rules, and don’t deserve protected bike lanes.

A New Orleans bike thief is caught on video entering an unlocked gate to steal an unlocked bicycle, then ghost riding the new bike away with his own in tow. But at least he had the courtesy to shut the gate after him.

Taking a page from ghost bikes, a Georgia bike advocate placed a ghost wheelchair at the site where a handicapped man was killed earlier this month.

International

A Vancouver letter writer strains to make the argument that installing bike lanes will lower homeowners’ property values, even though countless studies show the exact opposite.

Life is cheap in Ottawa, Canada, where a driver walked on charges of fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike, and covering up the crime by fixing his truck and hiding out at a motel. The judge bought his explanations that he 1) fell asleep while driving, 2) hadn’t been drinking, and 3) fled the scene, hid out from police and destroyed the evidence because he was afraid of racist cops. And no, the judge’s name wasn’t Gullible. But maybe it should be.

An Irish man returned home from an internship in the US to face charges for killing a bike rider in a collision.

Competitive Cycling

About time. A bill under consideration in the California legislature would require bike races and other sporting events to provide equal prize money to men and women.

Bicycling examines the time trial bike Victor Campenaerts used to set a new hour record in Mexico this week.

The apparent leader in a women’s race is nearly taken down by a race moto. And appears to respond the same way anyone else would.

Finally…

How to not smash your bike to bits when you use a rooftop rack. When you’re afraid to ride the local bike path because of all the drivers using it.

And if an ebike can stabilize itself to prevent falls, does it really need you at all?

Morning Links: DA throws book at killer driver, temp road diet flows on Temple, and how to dismount a very tall bike

Before we start, let me offer a special thank you to Ryan Jones for giving me his CycleOps trainer to help rehab my knee and get back on my bike.

Ryan made his very generous offer after I’d tweeted last week that my physical therapist would let me start using one.

I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity that so many people have shown since my surgery.

Now if anyone wants to pick up that hospital tab…

And yes, Im kidding. There are people out there who need your help a lot more than I do.

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For once, the LA District Attorney’s office is taking a traffic death seriously, after an e-scooter user was killed in Hollywood early Saturday morning.

And throwing the book at him, according to KCBS-2.

Jared Walter Anderson, 26, is facing a murder charge in addition to one felony count each for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person with allegations of causing great bodily injury and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death, according to the LA County District Attorney’s Office.

Which sounds good, until you consider they’ll probably bargain it down and let him walk on careless driving, if prior history is any indication.

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A new video shows just how disastrous the planned Temple Street road diet would have been if Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo hadn’t cancelled it.

Wait.

You mean it doesn’t?

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Brendan Lyons.

The executive director of Look! Save a Life writes in a op-ed for an Arizona paper that it’s time to stop driving under the influence of electronics.

Lyons founded the nonprofit group after his dream of becoming a firefighter was shattered by a distracted driver while riding his bike.

But let’s extend his call to include all those WiFi-enabled devices that carmakers are building into dashboards in an apparent effort to keep drivers distracted all the time to reduce the excess population.

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Now this is what I call a beautiful bike.

This 1935 Dayton Safety Streamliner sold for nearly $9,500 at a recent auction, despite a pre-sale estimate topping out at five grand.

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In case, like me, you’ve ever wondered how extreme tall bike riders get on and off their bikes.

While moving, no less.

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Local

Former Duarte school board member Edwin Ferguson passed away in his sleep last week at 93; he and his wife were both “avid” bike riders, taking his last bike tour through Croatia when he was 83.

A Long Beach man told police he suffered a superficial wound to his lower torso when he was shot while riding his bike in the Zaferia neighborhood Monday evening, though police could find no evidence of the crime when they searched the area.

State

Calbike is co-sponsoring SB127, which would require Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets policy on every repaving, maintenance, and rehab project on state highways, which often double as surface streets in urban areas.

The Daily Hive recommends 11 stunning stops along PCH between San Francisco and San Diego for your next ride along the coast. After all, it would be such a waste to drive on a trip like that.

A homeless man in San Francisco was lucky to dodge a manslaughter charge for beating another homeless man with an axe handle in a dispute over a bicycle, after autopsy tests showed his victim actually died from a meth overdose.

San Francisco will keep a closer eye on bikeshare companies after defective brakes were found on Uber’s Jump ebikes, as well as the Lyft-owned Ford GoBike ebikes that were pulled from the streets earlier this week. Jump quietly fixed their brakes, but some riders were still injured.

The attorney for an alleged killer driver says a Sebastopol woman died when she crashed into her boyfriend as they were riding together — which ignores the black scuff mark on her jersey that appears to match the tread of the driver’s tire. He’s charged with vehicular manslaughter for causing the crash, whether or not he actually hit her.

National

A writer for an electric vehicle website calls for a national license to ride ebikes, e-motor scooters and e-motorcycles capable of traveling up to 45 mph. A much better idea is to just treat ebikes like bicycles, while capping speeds at a more reasonable level.

Speaking of ebikes, Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says older riders may get a surprising brain boost from riding ped-assist electrics.

A Washington couple gives away 500 free bike helmets for kids every year in honor of their granddaughter, who died seven years ago after falling off her bike without one.

For once, it really was an accident. An Oklahoma girl is recovering after suffering critical injuries when the bike she was riding broke underneath her as she was speeding downhill; her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

A Missouri cop sort of gets it, saying sharing the roadway works best if we all treat others with respect. Then follows it up by reminding bike riders that cars are bigger than we are, as if anyone traveling by two wheels or two feet could ever forget that.

Chicago approves a $50 million plan to expand its docked bikeshare throughout the city.

Bicycling takes a look at a little bike ride in the Big Apple — the 40-mile, 32,000 rider Five Boro Bike Tour.

New Orleans bike riders approve of a new bollard-protected bike lane on an overpass bridge — even if the rider in the photo is going the wrong way. Meanwhile, a New Orleans councilmember says bike riders need to learn the rules of the road. Unlike, say, motorists, who always obey the letter of the law and never pose a risk to anyone.

Alabama is considering half of the Idaho Stop Law. But instead of allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, as other states have done, it would let bicyclists and motorcyclists treat red lights like stop signs.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walked without a day in jail for killing a man on his bike, despite the obvious violation of the state’s three-foot passing law. But at least he’ll lose his license for a whole year.

International

Writing for Forbes, Carleton Reid says experts agree that painted white lines are not cyclist-protecting force fields; Bikehugger’s Lloyd Alter calls painted bike lanes car magnets.

Be glad you don’t live in British Columbia, where it’s illegal to pass traffic on the right, even when it comes to a full stop. And yes, they expect you to stop next to the cars and wait, even if your path is clear.

A Scottish writer gets on a bike for the first time in 20 years to visit a new Rembrandt exhibit at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, calling the artist the world’s first Instagrammer.

No surprise here, as Austria joined Germany in reporting record ebike sales, which now make up a third of the country’s bicycle market.

Competitive Cycling

We have a new hour record holder, as Victor Campenaerts topped Bradley Wiggins’ four-year old record by riding 55.089 kilometers — 34.23 miles — in 60 minutes.

Ayesha McGowan, who is working to become the first black women’s pro cyclist, accuses the announcers at the Sea Otter Classic of making racist and sexist comments.

Finally…

If you’re going to break into a home to watch TV while the family that lives there is still home, try not to leave your bike outside. Probably not the best idea to attack the paramedics who come to your aid after crashing your bike while riding drunk.

And if you get caught with meth in your purse while driving, just tell the cops they’re “healing crystals.”

No, really.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA endorses in CD12, Watch for Me in NC, and the war on bikes keeps going on

It’s a light news day, after today’s bike news apparently got crowded out by the tragic burning of Notre Dame Cathedral.

The good news is, however, until John Snow learns to ride a bicycle, or Cersei starts driving, this will continue to remain a Game of Thrones spoiler-free zone.

And before we move on, I hope you’ll join me in thanking Josh Cohen and Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship of this site for a sixth consecutive year.

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Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the special council election in LA’s 12th Council District.

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A new public service campaign tells North Carolina drivers to “Watch for Me” to reduce bike and pedestrian crashes.

Doesn’t do it for me. But what do you think?

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Repeat after me. The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Milwaukee man was severely beaten after flipping off the driver who nearly hit him while he was riding in a bike lane.

My own hard-won advice — never flip off the driver behind you.

For reasons that should be obvious, but for some reason, wasn’t at the time.

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Local

The Long Beach Post wants to know why the city isn’t improving safety on the bridges over the 710, despite the deaths of two people since the first of the year, including a 64-year old woman riding her bicycle.

626 Golden Streets looks forward to nine upcoming open streets events in the LA area. Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this spring’s events, including the Wilmington CicLAvia at the end of this month, but should be back on my bike in time for the Hollywood/West Hollywood CicLAvia in my own backyard later this year.

State

A Bakersfield letter writer gets as proprietary as any privileged motorist, saying bike trails are for people on bicycles, not people walking or their dogs. Except under California law, any separated pathway without a parallel walkway is considered a multi-use path, regardless of what it’s called.

Bike Magazine looks at some of the new products introduced at last weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Berkeley police have issued an arrest warrant for a 45-year old driver accused of fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider in a crash.

Now you can pedal your way across the Oakland Bay. Okay, so it’s an estuary. That doesn’t rhyme.

Stanislaus County bike riders will gather to remember a man who was killed while riding his bike earlier this month; his daughter says the popular rider shouldn’t have been out on his bike that day, after being told to take it easy following a heart procedure.

National

A new survey from the National Safety Council shows that most Americans support lowering speed limits slightly, installing speed and red light cameras, and conducting more sobriety checkpoints. All of which would save lives. And all of which entitled drivers will undoubtedly fight.

Performing intervals twice a week could help you live longer.

A Missouri man got his bike back after spotting it for sale on Craigslist. Except after arranging a sting, the cops got diverted to a domestic disturbance on the way — which just happened to be at the thief’s home, finding the man’s bike inside after the suspect ran away.

Another case of keeping a drunk driver on the streets until its nearly too late, as an alleged drunk driver lost control and just missed a Wisconsin bike rider before slamming into a light pole and running away on foot.

University of Dayton students designed a voice-controlled shifting mechanism for the recumbent belonging to a military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan.

After a Louisiana man’s bicycle was stolen while he was working at a restaurant, his kindhearted coworkers raised $300 in just 30 minutes to replace it.

International

CityMetric contributes ten things you should know about ebikes, including that they’re not cheating — and they’re the future.

A local paper says it’s hard to predict the impact of bike lanes versus parking on property values in a Vancouver neighborhood. Even though studies show quality bikeways tend to increase home values.

A British serial bike thief is back behind bars for the next six months after confessing to stealing a bike while already on probation — and while legally prohibited from even touching one.

Speaking of bike theft, an Irish man was lucky to get his bicycle back after spotting it for sale online and contacting the police to set up a sting.

A US Air Force appeals court re-affirmed the conviction of a senior airman sentenced to four years for negligent homicide in the death of a bike rider at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base.

Finally…

Using bikes to paint a portrait of Elvis on the streets of Nashville. Your next bike could have four wheels — but only use two at a time.

And if you’re riding a bike while under the influence and carrying a concealed weapon, put a damn light on it, already.

The bike, not the gun.

And don’t jump into a river trying to get away from the cops.

Morning Links: DUI, murder in H’wood scooter crash; Costa Mesa bike thief busted; and building bike lanes pays

Go ahead and call it murder.

The police are.

According to KTLA-5, a suspected drunk driver is being held on $2 million bail on suspicion of murder and DUI after police watched him hit a e-scooter rider in a Hollywood crosswalk.

The victim was crossing Sunset Blvd at Vine Street at 3:30 Saturday morning when he was struck by a pickup driven by 26-year old Utah resident Jared Walter Anderson.

Anderson then allegedly backed the truck up, and drove over the victim, who was described only as a man in his 30s.

He fled the scene, but was chased down by an LAPD sergeant who had witnessed the crime.

Anderson was previously convicted of DUI in Utah, which makes him eligible for a murder charge under California law.

Then again, murder could be warranted even without the previous conviction, considering that he drove over his victim after hitting him the first time.

Which raises the question of whether the crash may have been intentional.

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Good news on the bike theft front.

The schmuck who stole a $5,000 bicycle from Costa Mesa’s Cyclist bike shop has been arrested after returning the bike at the urging of relatives.

Paul Verdugo Jr, a 42-year old transient, pled not guilty to charges of grand theft, identity theft and receiving stolen property, the latter two for the false ID he handed a shop worker before riding off with the bike while on a test ride.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes keeps picking up speed.

A Maryland woman was charged with first degree assault for making a U-turn after passing a bike rider, then intentionally attempting to run him down, forcing the man to jump off his bike before she crashed into it.

They always tell you to make eye contact with drivers. But fail to mention that the sidewalk-blocking Florida driver you’re trying to get past may get out of his car and punch you repeatedly.

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It pays to build bike lanes.

No, literally.

A new study shows that if Kansas City fully built out its bike plan, local businesses would benefit to the tune of $500 million in increased sales over the next 20 years.

And more importantly, over 700 lives would be saved.

Which makes you wonder just how many lives, and how much money, Los Angeles is needlessly throwing away by leaving its bike plan gathering dust on the shelf.

Like every other LA bike plan that’s come before it.

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Local

Streetsblog says the push for safety improvements is picking up speed in Silver Lake. And not just on Rowena.

Uber and Lyft are holding off on finalizing their permits to put dockless e-scooters and bikeshare on the streets of Los Angeles over concerns about how their usage data will be used.

The Rose Bowl will open its roads for a 3.1-mile mini-ciclovia after next month’s final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, though you may have to register first.

This is who we share the roads with. A man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for a street racing crash that killed three people in two other vehicles three years ago. Now if we could just see that kind of justice for people on bicycles for a change.

Great news! The fundraiser for the infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier now sits at nearly $8,000 — just $2,000 short of the $10,000 goal.

State

They get it. San Diego is installing 330 on-street parking corrals for dockless bicycles and e-scooters in the downtown area. Unlike Los Angeles, which prefers to use precious sidewalk space instead of putting them in the street where they belong.

The San Diego Union-Tribune picks up the story of state wildlife officials blocking access to illegal trails in the Carlsbad Highlands Ecological Reserve, and telling miscreant trespassing bike riders to stay the hell out.

Life is cheap in El Cajon, where a red light-running hit-and-run driver is expected to be sentenced to just four years behind bars for a crash that left a nine-year old boy with permanent injuries — despite driving without a license, and with drug paraphernalia in her car.

Sunnyvale is re-evaluating its commitment to bikeshare after Lime left them in the lurch.

Specialized teams up with a Stanford researcher to figure out how bicycling affects your brain. Aside from making you unusually happy, that is.

A Santa Rosa man was busted for DUI after crashing into two bicyclists while allegedly driving stoned —  at 7:30 in the morning, no less; the victims suffered moderate to major injuries.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly riding through a red light.

National

A writer for the Conversation says crowdfunding money for bicycle infrastructure helps reduce the risk of bikelash. Something tells me Los Angeles bike riders could fully fund the cost of every bike lane and road diet in the mobility plan, and it still wouldn’t satisfy the city’s angry drivers.

Bike Snob writer and self-described avid driver Eben Weiss says sometimes just driving a car is an act of violence, and wonders why drivers can’t see that they’re the worst. I wouldn’t go that far; a lot of good people drive cars. But it does seem to bring out the worst in people.

Uber says riding a bicycle without a helmet is dangerous. But hopes to have us all riding in jet packs in the near future.

Lyft has pulled its ebikes from San Francisco, DC and New York after reports of brake problems on their dockless bikeshare systems, replacing them with regular bikes for the time being.

Bicycling says your next custom-made frame could come out of an Airstream trailer.

She kinda gets it. A Tucson columnist says let’s keep each other alive on the streets, but admits to being distracted behind the wheel.

A San Antonio TX nonprofit paper — not that many papers make a profit these days — calls for a bike advocacy group in the city.

Six years after bicyclists were first allowed on Colorado’s Pikes Peak, the guy who runs the roadway says it’s been a pleasant surprise, and even the drivers have been courteous. Although I’d like to hear that last part from the guys on bikes, thank you.

The Boston Globe says ten years from now, bicyclists in Cambridge MA may take the city’s protected bike lane network for granted, after the city passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring protected lanes in any new roadwork in the bike plan.

An upstate New York letter writer complains about the county tearing up his lawn to widen the roadway and install a “bike path to nowhere,” telling riders they can just use the rail trails; a commenter calls it the “worst anti-bicycle twaddle” he’s seen in some time.

A Virginia woman learns the hard way you can’t tow your kids in a bike trailer behind your 40 mph moped.

As promised, Atlanta bike riders bring traffic to a crawl by slow rolling during the morning commute. But how many of those drivers actually got to work or school after crawling in traffic, and decided that the people on bikes had a point? Probably somewhere south of zero.

Tiger Woods says his big comeback at the Masters golf tournament was like riding a new bicycle. But without all the angry drivers and bike lane-fighting NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

International

Road.cc offers a guide to tandems.

Apparently, the Royal Canadian Mounties have invented bicycle registration.

Country singer Keith Urban is one of us, using a two-hour bike ride around London to clear his head and discover Irish singer Foy Vance.

More proof that bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a Glasgow bike rider angrily accuses cops of being lazy and risking his safety by parking in a bike lane near the police headquarters.

Benedict Cumberbatch learned the hard way not to mess with an angry bicyclist, getting slapped in the face by a man Cumberbatch knocked off his bike with his Lamborghini SUV on the Isle of Wight last year — and just a year after he rescued a bike rider from a London mugging.

Surprisingly, after what may be our first-ever news report from the Isle of Wight, we have another, as a bike-riding letter writer suffering from a severe case of windshield bias says bike riders should be forced to use cycle tracks, both for their own safety and so they don’t interrupt the flow of vehicle traffic. And inconvenience people like him.

The Irish Times says rampant bike theft in Dublin is putting people off bicycling. Same could be said of any major city, including Los Angeles; people who have their bikes stolen often decide it’s just not worth it. Which is why fighting bike theft has to be a priority in getting drivers out of their cars.

A Dutch woman explains how she biked her way around the world for 18 months on the equivalent of just $6,500.

Horrible story from India, where a young woman on a motor scooter was killed when she passed too close to a shepherd who was riding his bicycle with a scythe on his shoulder, slicing her throat as she rode by.

An Aussie stockbroker talks bicycling — including the admonition to just have fun, on the good days and the bad.

A Canberra, Australia paper wants to know why bike riders keep dying on the area’s country roads; a driver recounts barely missing endurance cyclist Mike Hall just 12 miles and a few hours before he was killed by another motorist.

A determined Vietnamese boy hopped on a rusted bicycle with no brakes and rode 62 miles of a 200 mile journey to Hanoi to see his sick baby brother, using the soles of his sandals to brake the bike down going downhill; a kind stranger drove him to the next town and arranged transportation the rest of the way.

Road rage doesn’t pay in Singapore, as a bike rider who tangled with a truck driver is fined the equivalent of around $2,000.

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Philippe Gilbert won his fourth monument on the cobbles of Sunday’s Paris Roubaix, topping Germany’s Nils Politt in a cat-and-mouse battle at the end.

Belgium’s Wout Van Aert, one of the pre-race favorites, struggled to make it to the finish line after a crash and multiple mechanical problems.

Road.cc considers eleven ways the pros prepare for the rough roads of Paris Roubaix. Apparently, repeatedly smashing their testicles with a wooden mallet to get used to the cobbles isn’t one of them.

Dozens of mountain bikers are racing 400 miles from San Diego to Idyllwild to benefit the San Diego Mountain Bike Association.

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a gun and burglary tools on your bike, don’t leer into cars while wearing latex gloves. When you’re carrying meth and a hidden handgun while walking a freshly spray-painted bike, try to not to let the paint rub off on your hands.

And if someone punches you in the face, steals your speakers and rides off on your bike, he’s probably not really your friend.

Morning Links: LADOT & Ryu keep Rowena safe, Monterey bike news, and back when LA was a bike town

Chalk one up for the good guys.

After years of protests from traffic safety deniers and what turned out to be a relative handful of local residents, LADOT has decided to keep the highly successful road diet on Rowena Ave in place.

And surprisingly, Councilmember David Ryu, who many feared wanted to unceremoniously rip out the Rowena road diet — myself included — apparently saw the light, and went along with LADOT’s recommendation.

According to the Los Feliz Ledger, the results of a $90,000 traffic safety study demanded by opponents show the effectiveness of the half-mile Complete Streets project.

Among LADOT’s findings are that the road diet has reduced collisions, from an average of 12.4 per year in the five years prior to the road diet’s installation, to an average of 7.8 in the five years after. 

The city agency also found that mid-day traffic speeds went from 39 miles-per-hour both east and westbound pre-road diet to 36 miles-per-hour eastbound and remained at 39 miles-per-hour westbound post-road diet. 

Traffic volume on the street has remained consistent both before and after the road diet, according to the LADOT’s report.

Additionally, the department found, “Adjacent residential streets Waverly Drive and Angus Street … experienced no discernible increase or decrease in collisions after the implementation of the road reconfiguration.”

Meanwhile, an email forwarded to me from Scott Gamzon notes that the study calls for making the bike lanes on Rowena even safer.

It also includes a recommendation for protected bike lanes on Rowena: Enhanced Bikewav: Installation of the Rowena reconfiguration was intended to improve safety for all road users. Based on the growth in bicycle use along Rowena, upgrading the existing striped bike lane to accommodate a wider Class II buffered bike lane, or Class IV separated bikeway may provide additional safety to people bicycling. The street width can accommodate this facility without additional changes.


Adding: Implementing bike lanes was not a primary motivating factor for the road diet. Nonetheless, LADOT also reviewed bicycle counts along Rowena Avenue and found an increase in bicycle use during peak periods from a high of 14 to an average of 71 bike trips after the reconfiguration.

And Terence Heuston, aka LA Bike Dad, offered some good stats and insights on the subject.

It’s worth clicking on one of the tweets to read Heuston’s full Rowena thread. Because he lays out an effective roadmap to victory in the seemingly endless battles with traffic safety deniers that have cropped up throughout the LA area.

And allowed an angry, vocal minority to put a stop to too many desperately needed safety improvements.

But fortunately, not this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

………

In honor of the Sea Otter Classic, a Monterey County weekly took an in-depth look at bicycling in the area, with a series of articles in this week’s edition.

………

‘Nuff said.

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Local

KABC-7 catches on to LA’s hit-and-run epidemic.

State

Newport Beach considers waving minimum parking requirements for Balboa Village, with one business owner saying that people should be riding bicycles on the island, anyway.

A new community park provides San Diego’s first free public parkour area and bike pump track.

A 42-year old salmon cyclist suffered serious injuries when he was struck by the driver of a commercial truck while riding in a Kearny Mesa bike lane Thursday morning. Which is just one more reminder to never ride against traffic if you can avoid it. It may seem safer to see the cars and trucks coming, but it actually increases your risk.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a man died suddenly, a month after he suffered a severely broken leg in a hit-and-run collision; however, the actual cause of death is yet to be determined.

Thanks to a Silicon Valley company an a boutique bikemaker, your next ebike could come with a 3D-printed, unibody carbon fiber frame.

National

A writer for Bicycling praises the health benefits of eating nuts. But fails to mention that eating too many is one of the best ways to get kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A Microsoft employee in Redmond WA credits riding his bike to work for saving a toddler’s life, after the 20-month old boy survived falling six stories through an open window, when he landed on the roof of the car the Microsoft worker had left behind.

Evidently, that fatal shooting of a bike rider in Las Vegas last month wasn’t a random act after all; police announced the arrest of a suspect, saying he’d had an altercation with the victim prior to the shooting.

A Denver bike shop is making waves in the industry by selling certified, pre-owned bicycles at reduced prices, while guaranteeing to buy them back at predetermined prices after 6, 12 or 18 months.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? The owner of a Cleveland blue-collar bar fears the arrival of a bike path in front of his business because it will mean the loss of 12 to 15 parking spaces that people use to stop in and down a few drinks on their way home from work.

A New York councilmember says if you want a better bike network, and want to speed up the implementation of new bike lanes, take approvals from community boards out of the process.

Atlanta bicyclists plan to slow roll a major street during today’s morning rush hour to protest traffic danger and call for Complete Streets. As tempting as it is sometimes, we don’t win any friends by making people late to work, or keeping them from getting home at night.

Wednesday was Bike to Work Day in the Big Easy. LA’s version will take place next month, though the city has seen declining interest in recent years.

International

Curbed looks at how cities around the world are rewarding people who ditch their car commutes.

That’s more like it. Bogotá police are responding to a series of violent muggings of bike riders by assigning 170 officers to patrol the city’s bike lanes, along with 800 security cameras and a roving helicopter during the evening commute.

He gets it. A writer for a Canadian driving website says building more roads never was, still isn’t and never will be a solution to gridlock, because induced demand will just fill them again.

The Conversation says Canada’s best urban bike maps are made by volunteers with open source data. Something that’s just as true on the other side of the border.

Despite being annoyed at the “uncivilized” and “ridiculous” response, Hamilton, Ontario officials decide to back off on their ridiculously dangerous plan to allow parking in bike lanes. This is one case where a little uncivilized ridicule is entirely appropriate.

A new English survey shows that bicycling outdoors is on the decline, while cycling indoors is growing more popular, apparently because of the country’s “toxic road environment.”

Hundreds of members of an Irish bike club formed a hi-viz, spandex-clad color guard to honor a founding member who died suddenly while riding home with friends from a charity ride.

A Dublin paper has today’s candidate for the world’s worst headline — “No helmet, no chance if you come a cropper on your bike.” As if everyone who comes off a bike without one will die, and everyone who has one will be perfectly fine. Like the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

A Kiwi columnist says it’s time for speeding bike riders to slow down.

An Australian advocacy group proposes paying people five dollars a day to bike to work. Which would probably be one of the most effective and least punitive ways to get people out of their cars.

Cycling Tips talks with the author of the Aussie study that shows bike lanes may be more dangerous than streets without them. However, before anyone starts demanding their removal, it’s important to consider that this study only examined how closely drivers pass riders in painted lanes, and not actual collision and injury rates. Other studies have shown that painted lanes improve safety by up to 50%.

Bike-hating former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says swapping his car for a bike during a year in Southeast Asia left him a broken man, but in far better shape. Sure, let’s go with that.

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas and Michał Kwiatkowski were cleared to keep riding after a mass crash that took out much of the peloton on the Tour of the Basque Country; the jury is still out on Julian Alaphilippe,

Finally…

Like cocaine, Peloton bikes are “God’s way of saying you have too much money.” If it has e-assist pedals and four wheels, is it still a bike?

And if you’re going to take a food delivery man’s bike, make sure you can ride it.

Morning Links: Safety improvements on Riverside Drive, and bike riding makes you happier than money

Just weeks after advocates and local residents demanded action on Riverside Drive, they’re actually getting it.

LADOT has announced it’s making safety improvements to the Riverside Drive intersection where 17-year old Christian Vega was killed when he was struck by a driver.

Although that news is tempered by the LAPD’s conclusion that the driver wasn’t at fault, after security video showed that Vega was crossing against the light.

Now if we could just get fast action like that before someone gets killed.

………

Somehow we missed this one last week.

A new study from researchers at Yale and Oxford shows that exercise makes you happier then money.

But you already knew that, right?

Then again, riding a bike with a fat wallet would probably put a smile on anyone’s face.

………

That GoFundMe account for the son of fallen South LA bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now over $5,000, halfway to the $10,000 goal.

That comes just 24 hours after Peter Flax’s article appeared in Bicycling with a link to the fund.

Which will undoubtedly come as a huge blessing to his desperately poor family, after losing Woon’s income that helped pay for half their rent and expenses.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. Even Rolls Royce drivers in DTLA don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a crash.

CiclaValley goes gravel biking on the Santa Clara Truck Trail.

State

This is who we share the roads with too. An Orange County man got 15 years behind bars for killing two road workers in a drunken crash when he slammed into their truck as it was stopped in a bike lane; he was arraigned on a previous DUI in 2014, but never bothered to show up to court.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says painting sharrows on the street to encourage more bicycling is just wishful thinking.

A Corona teacher started a nonprofit called Bicycles for Children, which has helped keep kids in school by donating over 4,700 bikes to elementary school kids in the last seven years.

A 13-year old Los Alamos boy who was riding salmon suffered major injuries when he was struck by a right-turning driver.

National

Bike Mag explains the differences in the technologies behind various helmets designed to reduce your risk of concussion. Although the best way to avoid a concussion is to stay on your bike.

An Oregon paper says stop means stop, and bicyclists shouldn’t be any exception.

So much for U-locks. A pair of Denver bike thieves are caught on video using a grinder to cut through a Kryptonite U-lock and steal the bike in just 12 seconds, start to finish. And when the owner opened the app for his Tile tracking device, he found two years worth of weak battery notices and no clue where his bike was.

A Green Bay Packer tradition of borrowing a kid’s bike to ride to the first day of practice led one player to develop a lasting friendship with the boy whose bike he borrowed. And organizing a benefit concert when the boy’s father went into a coma suffering from necrotizing fasciitis.

Chicago’s transit authority says combination bus and bike lanes could be the solution to a faster commute.

When his bike turns up missing, along with the entire storage unit it was in, Minnesota man decides it can’t hurt to enlist the help of every elected official this side of the president in the hunt.

A Cleveland site asks if Vision Zero is the answer, saying the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians need more than a little paint on the street. The clear answer is yes — if, and only if, political leaders fully commit to the program, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers. Unlike a certain SoCal metropolis we could name.

Maybe you should check under your bed. A Boston family did, and discovered a long-lost masterpiece by a Nigerian artist that hadn’t been seen since it was first exhibited in 1961. The painting, worth an estimated $100,000, shows four children on bicycles swerving out of the way of a truck. Something we can all relate to.

A group of Massachusetts bicyclists will ride to the Statue of Liberty in support of immigrants.

No bias here. A New York TV station sounds the alarm about “two-wheeled terrors” racing along a Hudson River path, after a four-year old girl was left bloodied when she was struck by someone on a bike. Somehow, the reporter seemed shocked when other bike riders refused to offer a collective mea culpa for the actions of one person. But we all need to slow down and ride safely around pedestrians, especially kids.

A Brooklyn jury gave a man a massive $110 million judgment after he was paralyzed when transit worker dropped a railroad tie on him while he was riding his bike next to an elevated subway track.

Great idea. A New York state legislator wants to use traffic cameras to crack down on people who drive or park in bike lanes. Can we do that here? Pretty please?

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a woman in New York state killed a man on a bike in a drunken crash, despite six previous license suspensions. A driver should lose their license for at least a year after their first DUI. And have their driver’s license revoked after a second offense — and the car impounded so they can’t keep driving it anyway.

A South Carolina firefighter decides to adopt the puppy he rescued from under a pile of rocks, after some bike riders heard the dog crying; naturally, he named the dog Rocky.

No bias here, either. A witness told a Louisiana TV station that a bike rider collided with the front of a car, which had the green light. Unless the rider rode head-on into the car, the driver hit the bicyclist. And chances are, the “witness” was inside the car at the time, since they described the victim as coming out of nowhere, which is an unlikely observation from someone on the street.

Apparently taking a clue from Los Angeles, mostly white-haired St. Petersburg residents rise up against “lane loss,” as the city moves forward with its Complete Streets program. Because why would you want a street that safely serves everyone when you can continue to go “vroom, vroom,” instead.

International

Cars are killing us without even hitting us. A new study shows that pollution from car exhaust causes four million cases of asthma worldwide every year. And never mind what it’s doing to the planet.

Treehugger says 37,000 lives could have been saved over the past 25 years with lower speed limits.

A London ebike maker will pay its employees the equivalent of 68¢ a mile to ditch their cars and commute by ebike; workers who prefer traditional bikes will get just 26¢.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired woman was convicted of killing a bike rider in a collision. Yet the judge said she wouldn’t sentence her to jail because the death resulted from “a second or two moments” of inattention. Sort of like most crashes, fatal or otherwise.

A British expat discovers a bicycling paradise in Spain.

Police in an Australian town were forced to delete a victim blaming tweet after a driver hit a seven-year old bike-riding girl, when outraged Twitter users rose up to complain.

An Australian study suggests that bike lanes actually increase the risk for bicyclists, because drivers pass riders in bike lanes closer than they do otherwise.

The price is going up for China’s dockless bikeshare.

Competitive Cycling

Olympic gold-medal cyclist Marty Nothstein filed suit against USA Cycling, alleging the organization defamed him and invaded his privacy by leaking an allegation of sexual misconduct during his failed run for congress.

Lance talks doping to Rice University students, saying he started because everyone else was doing it. And would have won even if he hadn’t doped. Which kind of begs an obvious question...

Finally…

Your next helmet could collapse so your head doesn’t. If you’re carrying weed, meth and a narcotic pill on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And your next handlebars could be as kinky as you are.

Morning Links: Tearjerking look at Woon tragic death, Pasadena flirts with e-bikeshare, and fix for Spring St

Seriously, they’re just trying to make us cry now.

Just days after Sahra Sulaiman’s moving story on how Frederick “Woon” Frazier’s mom is coping with the death of her only son a year later, former Bicycling editor-in-chief Peter Flax steps up with a heartbreaking look of his own for his former publication.

And no coincidence, in either case, that today is the one-year anniversary of needless, cowardly hit-and-run that took his life.

Or that, despite the announcement of pending charges against the speeding, uninsured driver who left him to die in the street — then attempted to coverup her crime by repainting her Porsche Cayenne — no charges have actually been filed a full year later.

Even though she turned herself in and confessed to the crime when investigators were closing in on her.

Maybe they’re waiting for today to do it with a big splash.

We can only hope.

Flax describes the day of Woon’s death in painful new detail.

When Woon got to the busy intersection of Normandie and Manchester avenues, less than a mile from home, he arced a slow right turn. Almost instantly, the Porsche was upon him. A nearby security camera caught the moment when a driver in a white Cayenne, who had been speeding in the gutter lane, closed the gap to Woon’s rear wheel and struck him from behind.

The impact was fierce, more than enough to shatter the rear triangle of his carbon-fiber frame. Then the driver took off, leaving Woon to die on Manchester Avenue before an ambulance could take him to the hospital.

Perhaps an hour after her son left the house, Owens (Woon’s mother) heard a knock on her door. On the front step stood three LAPD officers. One detective pushed up his shades—his eyes were red, Owens recalled—and told her that Woon had been in a crash and didn’t make it.

It’s a must read, as Flax delves into the extreme loss, emotionally, physically and financially, for a family that can least afford it, in any sense. Yet refuses to give up on long-delayed justice, even without hope of a civil judgement.

But be sure to have some tissues on hand.

Flax ends his story with a visit to Woon’s ghost bike. And an unexpected encounter, as a monthly South LA group ride came pedaling by.

Everyone was staring and shouting at the ghost bike. Two dudes popped synchronized wheelies. 

I later recalled something Owens told me that afternoon. She and her son had been talking about the dangers of riding a bike in South Central, and Woon looked up at his mother and tried to reassure her. “Don’t worry, Momma,” he said. “If something happens to me, they’ll ride for me.” She said she didn’t understand it then, but she understood it now.

A Latino guy on a tricked-out fixie was riding shotgun at the back of the Fixie Goons. As he passed the ghost bike, we made eye contact for a second. Then he titled his head back and shouted to the sky: “Long live Woon!”

Long live Woon, indeed.

Although the best part of Flax’s story isn’t even part of it.

He mentions, almost in passing, the crowdfunding page set up for Woon’s three-month old son.

Sitting in the small and crowded living room in South Central, Beverly Owens spent a few hours talking about her son and her heartbreak, but there was one more bittersweet disclosure to come. On the day of Woon’s funeral, Owens said, his girlfriend found out she was pregnant. 

The baby is three months old now. The boy’s mother is trying to raise him on her own, but it’s tough. An ongoing GoFundMe campaign helped buy a crib and car seat, but diapers are expensive. A settlement in civil court would have really make a difference for the people Woon left behind.

When I last checked the GoFundMe site on Sunday night, it had been languishing at just over $1,000 for four full months.

But within hours of Flax’s story appearing online, it had jumped to over $3,000. And now sits at $3,555 as of this writing.

A happy ending to a very sad story.

Photo of Woon’s mom looking at his photo from GoFundMe page.

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In a surprise announcement, Pasadena may be getting back into the bikeshare business.

Less than a year after pulling the plug on the Metro Bike docked bikeshare program, the city is considering buying into an ebike bikeshare proposed by San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

The program will roll out 1,000 bikes which can be ridden in ped-assist or fully electric mode, across ten SGV cities.

Just don’t plan on riding an e-scooter in the Rose City anytime soon.

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It looks like LADOT heard the complaints about the notorious Spring Street parking lane protected bike lane, and will be making some much needed improvements soon.

At least, we can hope they’ll be improvements.

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

A San Francisco driver chased a man on a bike and intentionally ran him down with his car after the two got into an argument; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.

Yet somehow, police inexplicably failed to make an arrest.

Something tells me they wouldn’t let the suspect go if he’d pistol whipped the victim, which is no different in any real sense than using a motor vehicle as a weapon.

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Usually I’m loathe to share a commercial TV spot on here, especially for an insurance company. And especially without getting paid for it.

But this gecko-less Geico semi-PSA is worth a small exception.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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A new Mobility Lab video shows that walkers and bike riders are the happiest commuters.

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Local

Work has finally begun on the new bike and pedestrian bridge across the LA River using the piers originally used by the Red Car trolleys, which will allow access for people on bikes and on foot to cross the river once work begins on remaking the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Riders using the Expo Line bike path will have to deal with a three-year detour — 1,096 long days (don’t forget leap year) — for construction of an oddly spelled “creative” high-rise office complex at Jefferson and National.

Not everyone likes LA’s demand that dockless bikeshare and e-scooter companies share their usage data with the city; the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the ride tracking pilot program is out of control. Thanks to Steve S for the link.

A Santa Clarita man was seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of a car while riding his bicycle on Sunday; a witness worried the victim would never walk again. Meanwhile, Santa Clarita collisions are down 24% since the implementation of the city’s Head’s Up safety campaign.

The Laemmle theater chain — run by bike-riding former LACBC board member Greg Laemmle — will screen The Bikes of Wrath, a documentary following five Australians as they ride from Oklahoma to California, following the westward Okie migration described in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

State

San Diego gives the boot to DecoBike, operator of the city’s docked bikeshare, alleging an unspecified breach of contract.

How about a three-day self-paced bike tour through the wine country surrounding Los Olivos?

National

Walmart is moving beyond their typical low-end bicycle shaped objects to introduce a high-end mountain bike selling for up to $6,000.

The question of how many bike shops there are in the US, and whether they’re shrinking or expanding, depends on how you define “bike shop.”

A Seattle radio station offers a discussion on how to ride a bike in a town without enough bike lanes. Which is probably required listening for all of us here in America’s Worst Bike City.

Bike Mag takes a ride in the heat, thorns and amazing desert blooms around Tucson AZ.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago grandmother stops by the Grand Canyon on a cross-country bike ride, as part of a group of 14 senior citizens riding across the US the hard way, going east to west headfirst into the prevailing winds.

Once again, a bicyclist visiting this country has been killed, this time in New Mexico, where an Australian man was run down from behind by an “inattentive” driver. There’s something terribly wrong when someone can’t ride a bike while visiting this country without getting shipped back home in a coffin.

There’s a special place in hell for the Texas thief who rode off with a nine-year old boy’s bicycle as he pleaded with him not to take it.

A bike-riding Maine letter writer freaks out at the sight of a group of bicyclists riding two abreast, which appears to be perfectly legal in the state. Besides, anyone who uses the too-tired phrase that bicycling is a two-way street belongs in cliche jail.

Now that’s more like it. Cambridge, Massachusetts has passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring it to add permanent protected bike lanes anytime they reconstruct a road in the city’s bike plan. LA advocates fought for a clause like that when the bike plan was adopted. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far.

Seriously? A Massachusetts TV station reminds viewers to wear a helmet when they ride a bike, after someone sent them a photo of a helmetless rider popping a wheelie in the middle of a busy intersection. Call me crazy, but I’d think better advice would be don’t pop wheelies in intersections. with or without one.

International

A new study shows the cognitive and psychological benefits of bicycling are the same whether you pedal yourself or let an ebike do it for you. So just get out there and ride, already.

Argentina’s national soccer coach Lionel Scaloni is one of us; he was lucky to escape with a few cuts and bruises when he was hit by a driver while riding in Spain. Just a pity that we too often find out who rides a bike when they get knocked off one.

Montreal tried to close a popular park to motor vehicles after a bike rider was killed — then reopened it after motorists rose up in anger. Which might sound familiar to anyone who remembers LA’s Playa del Rey fiasco.

Adventure cyclist Ishbel Holmes set out on an around-the-world bicycle tour, only to adopt a stray dog in Turkey that she says changed her life forever.

Competitive Cycling

British Continental cyclist Ian Bibby said he’s devastated after thieves broke into his garage and stole his bike.

Cyclist considers the favorites for Sunday’s infamous Hell of the North, aka Paris-Roubaix.

Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix launched a crowdfunding campaign to make up a $200,000 shortfall in funding in their planned comeback as a UCI women’s race.

And this is how you give a post-race interview.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

Finally…

Discovering that bike riding can actually be fun if you try. Why did a bike-riding Domino’s worker get run down with a full load of Little Caesars pizzas?

And adding insult to injury.

Literally.

Morning Links: Report of fatal bike crash in Gardena, what not to do on a bike, and an oopsie vehicular assault

Unfortunately, we have to start with bad news today.

I’ve received an unconfirmed report from a credible source that a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a big rig truck in Gardena yesterday.

There’s nothing in the news yet, and no notice from the Gardena police.

Which sadly, isn’t too unusual.

We’ll let you know when there’s more information.

Update: I’ve been informed that the crash actually occurred on the other side of the 110 Freeway at South Broadway near 157th in unincorporated West Rancho Dominguez.

However, there’s still no official confirmation, and nothing in the news.

………

A Virginia bike rider stars in his own what not to do video.

Seriously, try to remember that red lights and right-of-way laws exist for a reason.

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

A Dallas-area man intentionally rammed his car into a 13-year old boy in a case of mistaken identity; the victim was just sitting on his bike waiting to ride into the crosswalk when the man drove into him, thinking he was someone else.

Let’s hope an “Oops, my bad” isn’t enough this time.

………

Local

Police are looking for a gunman who rode his bicycle up to a man in South LA and shot him to death around midnight Sunday night.

Curbed catches up with LA’s new plan to create permanent memorials for people killed on bikes. But fails to mention that the city will only post 20 year. So unless Vision Zero succeeds in lowering the city’s rate of bicycling fatalities, someone will be left out.

E-scooters finally invade DTLA. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, they have on Downtown’s docked Metro Bike bikeshare.

Santa Monica-based Bird has reportedly taken repair of their eponymous scooters in-house; a lawsuit alleges the company told freelance mechanics to ignore loose screws and wobbly parts.

State

San Francisco’s popular semi-protected Wiggle bike route puts bike riders at risk by abruptly throwing them into traffic in dangerous mixing zones.

The New York Times examines the heartbreaking story of Olympic cyclist and Stanford math grad student Kelly Catlin, who took her own life just months after suffering a head injury while racing.

National

People for Bikes announced it is merging operations with fellow industry nonprofit Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, allowing the two groups to speak to government leaders with a single, unified voice. Which is only slightly repetitively redundant.

One by one, micromobility companies are throwing in the towel on dockless bikeshare in favor of scooters.

Business Insider lists five tools every home bike mechanic needs for easy repairs. Although I’ve somehow managed to ride nearly four decades without needing any of them, except for the torque wrench.

Oregon considers importing half of the Idaho Stop Law from their neighbor to the east, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs and flashing red lights as yields, but still requiring them to come to a full stop at red lights.

A Nogales AZ man has gone from being a bike skeptic to a bicycling evangelist in just a few years, founding a weekly ride that started with three people and building to over 100. And they don’t take excuses from prospective riders, providing bikes, helmets and lights to anyone without them.

A local paper says suburban Illinois bike riders want a little respect from drivers. Personally, I don’t care if they respect me, as long as give me some space, leave me alone and don’t run over my ass.

Ouch. A Pittsburgh woman is suing REI, alleging that they failed to properly install or adjust the stem on her bike, causing her handlebars to drop while she was riding and throwing her into a concrete barrier.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A bike club composed of riders ranging from 68 to 94 is taking to the streets around their North Carolina retirement community. Not to mention these bike-born AARP badasses call themselves the Cyclepaths.

No bias here. After a Baton Rouge LA bike rider was found lying dead in a ditch just a block from his home, police concluded that he was the victim of a traffic collision. But insisted there was no foul play, even though the driver who apparently killed him was nowhere to be found. Evidently, leaving someone to die alone in a ditch just isn’t considered foul in the Pelican State.

International

No bias here, either. After an Alberta police chief witnesses several distracted pedestrians put themselves in danger, he watches a lone bike rider roll a red light. But feels the need to stress that bicyclists must share responsibility.

Um, okay. A Canadian triathlon magazine offers tips on how run faster off the bike. Because it’s so hard to run on one, apparently.

A 71-year old English driver offers yet another reminder that no one, ever, comes out of nowhere. Not even a 58-year old bike rider dressed in hi-viz.

Horrible story from the UK, where a 15-year old boy has been charged with murder after allegedly throwing a bicycle into the path of a motorcyclist.

Britain’s Lord Winston, who says he only dislikes scofflaw bicyclists even though his anti-bike proposals target everyone on two wheels, is now calling for bike riders to be required to carry some sort of electronic tags that can presumably be read by some sort of device for no apparent purpose.

You can no longer ride your moped in Amsterdam bike lanes.

We need this here. A German app not only names and shames drivers by posting photos of their vehicles blocking bike lanes, it automatically notifies the appropriate authorities to — hopefully — do something about it.

According to Vox, Barcelona is attempting to shatter the dominance of motor vehicles by creating a network of superblocks where “pedestrians, cyclists and citizens mix in safety.” So that means people who walk or ride bikes aren’t citizens, right?

The Philippines is considering legislation that would create the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law.

Budget ebike maker Xiaomi has introduced a ped-assist bike capable of going 50 miles on a single charge for less than $400. But once again, if you’re not in China, you’re out of luck for now.

Competitive Cycling

This is the cost of traffic violence. Five members of the Bahrain National Cycle Team were seriously injured by a distracted driver while on a training ride, with three suffering what was described as severe injuries, when the texting driver swerved into the peloton — even though the team’s coach was following the group with a danger sign.

Peter Kennaugh, a veteran cyclist from the Isle of Man, has decided to step away from pro cycling to focus on his mental heath and well-being; Bicycling considers what we can learn from his painful decision.

Finally…

Your next ebike could fold in just 10 seconds. Who says you can’t go to college to study bicycle design and fabrication?

And at least he didn’t try to stuff the bike into his pants.

Morning Links: Murder charge for OC hit-and-run, justice for Woon finally coming, and keep fighting Vision Zero

Once again, Orange County takes traffic crime seriously.

Garden Grove resident Victor Manuel Romero faces a single count of murder for the hit-and-run death of homeless bike rider Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach last weekend.

He’s being held on $1 million bond. Which either reflects the seriousness of the charge, or the depth of his bank account.

No word on whether he will also be charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Although they may be waiting for toxicology tests to come back before deciding on DUI charges.

However, the seriousness of the charge suggests they suspect DUI this may not be his first offense; a DUI conviction in California requires signing a letter stating that killing someone while under the the influence can result in being charged with murder. Which presumably is what happened here.

Or it could just be that they’re finally starting to get it.

Meanwhile, MacDonald’s mother left a heartbreaking comment on this site, including the news that he was killed just hours after celebrating his birthday with her.

………

No official word yet, but the advocacy group Justice for Woon has revealed that charges will finally be filed against 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks for the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

Frazier was fatally run down as he rode his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA nearly a year ago.

Banks reportedly turned herself in last May as investigators were closing in, despite allegedly repainting her formerly white Porsche Cayenne to hide evidence of the crime.

Authorities may be waiting until the one-year anniversary of Frazier’s death on Wednesday to announce the charges.

Or they may be trying to go under the radar after last June’s farce, when charges against Banks were announced with great fanfare, then quietly withdrawn with no further word.

Read more from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Just a day after we linked to a knee-jerk, anti-Vision Zero comment, we saw the real cost of that kind of attitude.

Two girls were run down by the driver of a big rig gravel truck as they were walking in a crosswalk with the light, on their way to school near Exposition Park.

The driver swears he never saw them as he was turning, even though they were directly in front of him. And kept driving until another driver flagged him down to say he was dragging them beneath his truck.

Now one of the girls, a 14-year old student at Clinton Middle School, has died, while her 12-year old sister clings to life.

But sure.

Let’s all keep dragging our feet on Vision Zero. And all you NIMBY traffic safety-denying drivers keep on fighting it, because a few moments of inconvenience is certainly more important than a human life.

And no need to redesign trucks to provide a 180 degree view from behind the wheel, so drivers could actually see what’s in the road directly in front of them. Or require sideguards so innocent bike riders and pedestrians don’t get dragged underneath them.

Seriously, it’s just a couple of kids.

No big deal, right?

Right?

………

If you’re looking for somewhere to ride on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than stopping for the spring Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach.

………

Local

Authorities can’t prove the injuries a drunk driver suffered were the result of an alleged beating by sheriff’s deputies — including one who was just reinstated after being fired for the incident — because the driver admitted head-butting a bicyclist just before he was stopped.

A writer for the Daily Breeze says after 34 years bicycling up and down the coast, he’s ready for his ‘bent phase. After his ElliptiGo phase, that is.

An Aussie writer takes advantage of a layover at LAX to go mountain biking in Topanga Canyon.

Despite the panicked reported from ER physicians, a study commissioned by Santa Monica-based Bird shows similar injury rates for e-scooters and bicycles.

Santa Clarita wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

State

Bike riders call for a protected bike lane on 30th Street in San Diego’s North Park, calling it a test of the city’s commitment to climate action.

The local community is rallying around the family of an 11-year old Fontana boy after he was killed when he touched wheels with another kid’s bike while riding around his apartment complex last weekend.

The Southern California Chapter of the Police Unity Tour will make a stop at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Sunday’s ride to honor Sgt. Ronald Helus, who was killed in the shooting, as well as the other 144 police officers who died in the line of duty in last year.

A 36-year old Morgan Hill man was shot in the leg while he was riding his bike Wednesday night.

A Streetsblog op-ed says 20 should be plenty under San Francisco’s Vision Zero plan.

More bike lanes are coming to San Jose, even if that means — gasp! — removing parking spaces.

Sad news from Stanislaus County, where a bike rider was killed in a crash yesterday morning; the driver faces charges for manslaughter and DUI.

National

Consumer Reports wants to know why traffic deaths remain so high when safety tech has made so many advances. Simple answer: Too many badly designed roads, too high speeds, and too many fallible human beings behind the wheel.

Curbed says open street festivals can help cities practice for congestion pricing by showing residents there are other ways to get around without driving.

Outside suggests that maybe a roof rack isn’t the best way to haul your bike.

People for Bikes has released their third annual Participation Survey, showing one-third of all Americans ride bikes, but half of adult Americans don’t even own a working bike.

The former police chief of Kauai, Hawaii is still recovering two months after he was seriously injured in a collision while participating in a time trial.

A Seattle website examines the reasoning behind the city’s recent retreat on proposed bike lanes.

They get it. A paper in Grand Junction CO tells drivers that with or without sharrows, bike riders have a right to be in the roadway, and we all have a right to feel safe. Let’s hope they pay attention, because my brother lives and rides there now.

A bike boulevard in Lawrence KS — actually, just an intersection — lasted just two weeks before officials scrubbed it off the streets when people complained.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a drunk driver walked with just probation after killing a bike rider in a crash. Naturally, her lawyer blamed the victim, and claimed his client wasn’t really drunk at the time of the crash because the booze hadn’t hit her yet.

A Chicago weekly wonders what can be done about those damn scofflaw cyclists.

Neighbors of an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago are still keeping his bicycle for him.

Presidential candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of us, after going on epic bike rides through the state with her newspaper reporter dad.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Ohio man is still riding at 92, though he recently switched from two wheels to a three-wheeled recumbent.

He’s got a point. A long-time New Orleans bicyclist says the No. 1 rule for riding in traffic is to ride with traffic. And the No. 2 rule is never ride against traffic.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Florida cop is off the hook for killing a 15-year old boy as he was crossing the street because speeding — even at a whopping 21 mph over the limit — isn’t enough to justify a manslaughter charge under Florida law.

International

Forget helmets. Now you need a wearable inflatable air bag.

A couple of Vancouver cops could face criminal charges after the bike rider they were tailing in an unmarked car suffered serious injuries falling off his bike.

Repeat after me — This is Saskatoon, not Amsterdam.

A writer for Forbes says Chinese dockless bikeshare has descended into a horrible game of chicken.

Finally…

Look at the new ebike Look. Nothing like listening to a bike-riding brass band.

And this is how Peter Sagan trains.

No, seriously, I want those little toy cyclists.

Morning Links: LAPD corrals South LA Slasher, Arkansas adopts Idaho Stop, and LA isn’t the happiest place in US

Looks like they finally got him.

We hope.

After a nearly two week, bike-born crime spree that left nine men and women with severe cuts to their necks and faces, LAPD detectives announced yesterday that they have made an arrest in the South LA Slasher case.

Police identified 19-year old Len Rey Briones, a homeless man residing in South LA, as the suspect.

Briones would allegedly ride his mountain bike up to the unwary victims and slash them in the face with a knife or some other sharp object, then ride off before they had time to react.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

………

Call it the Arkansas Stop Law.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that will bring the Idaho Stop Law to the state, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, as long as there is no conflicting traffic.

This makes Arkansas just the second state to adopt the full Idaho Stop Law, though Delaware allows riders to treat stops as yield, but not roll through red lights.

Colorado also permits riders to roll stop signs, but leaves it up to local jurisdiction whether or not to actually allow it.

You can probably guess which state was the first to adopt the law.

Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas is attempting to promote itself as a mountain biking destination, catapulted onto the global stage by winning the 2022 world cyclocross championships.

This new law certainly won’t hurt.

And it’s proof that promoting safe bicycling isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.

Just a human one.

Can’t wait to hear the first person argue that a similar law won’t work here because “This isn’t Arkansas.”

………

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that communities with a high level of bike commuting also rank high on the list of America’s happiest cities.

Which probably explains why Los Angeles checks in at a lowly 82nd.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Colorado Springs CO bike rider suffered three broken ribs and a broken clavicle when someone booby trapped a popular bike trail, stringing a rope across the trail just half an hour after he and a companion had passed through in the opposite direction.

………

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is riding with this year’s Chef’s Cycle for No Kid Hungry; he has just over $1,800 to go to meet his $7,500 fundraising goal.

And hopes to raise an additional $100,000 for No Kid Hungry over the summer.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 examines the Venice Great Streets project, and the road diet that sent opponents into fits of apoplexy. Then again, they only need to see the words Vision Zero to get the pitchforks and torches out.

Keep Rowena Safe offers their endorsements for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

LA Walks introduces new Executive Director John Yi, replacing outgoing ED Emilia Crotty.

Santa Monica will host a Repair Cafe at the Camera Obscura at Palisades Park on Saturday to fix common household items; a bike mechanic from the Santa Monica Bike Center will be on hand, as well.

You’re invited to join an exploratory ride for the upcoming Mission to Mission 626 Gold Streets open streets event this Sunday.

The LACBC hosts their rescheduled tour of historic San Fernando and environs on Sunday as this month’s Sunday Funday Ride.

CiclaValley celebrates spring with a gravel bike ride on Sulphur Spring Road.

State

California considers joining Utah in dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.8. to 0.5. Which is probably the most effective way to increase the number of legally drunk drivers on the road.

The 405 Freeway will be shut down overnight between Beach Blvd and Goldenwest Street in Westminster this Saturday as part of a project to replace the Bolsa Ave bridge, eventually providing new bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as two additional lanes.

Caught on video: A thief makes off with a $5,000 bicycle from a Costa Mesa bike shop after giving a fake ID and riding off during a test ride.

The San Diego bike rider seriously injured in a crash with a scooter user was reportedly riding salmon on the boardwalk near Belmont Park; he suffered several fractured vertebrae and two broken ribs.

A Pismo Beach resident filmed a bike chop shop operating openly in the Oceano Dunes Nature Preserve, along with other illegal activities common to homeless encampments.

VeloNews looks forward to next weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Cupertino is not so impressed with Apple’s proposal to pay for $9.1 million in bike and pedestrian improvements, in lieu of an employee head tax on local businesses.

San Francisco may beat Los Angeles to be the first California city to impose congestion pricing.

National

A new nationwide study shows an average of 25 children are treated in emergency rooms for bicycling injuries every hour; there was no significant difference in the rate of injuries whether or not the children were wearing bike helmets.

Outside offers their picks for the country’s best supported bike rides, including California’s Sierra to the Sea ride this June.

Salsa has issued a recall for their Warbird and Vaya bicycles due to a risk of the frame breaking.

Hundreds of Lime dockless bikeshare bikes ended up stacked in a Reno scrapyard after the company was unable to reach an agreement to continue its contact with the city. Evidently, there are no poor or homeless people up there who could have put the bikes to better use, or kids who could use a new bike.

A Texas bar is being sued for serving a man who got behind the wheel after getting extremely intoxicated and plowed into a group of bicyclists, killing one and seriously injuring another; naturally, the bar’s owners blame the victims for throwing themselves in front of a drunk. Unfortunately, California law prevents bars from being held accountable for the actions of their customers, no matter how drunk they help them get before driving home.

An 87-year old Texas man suffering from macular degeneration showed off his new bike, after a group of kindhearted people pitched in, with the help of a retired bike shop owner, to replace the one he had stolen.

Great idea. Springfield IL will install location markers on its 20 miles of bike paths to help first responders know where to go in an emergency. Docked bikeshare will return to Minneapolis this spring, though not to its twin city.

A Maine man will spend just 48 days behind bars for riding his bike up to a man in a drug store parking lot, threatening him with a knife and demanding money. Note to centralmaine.com — Seriously? Was the thief’s mode of transportation really his most important identifying feature? Would you describe a criminal who drove there as a motorist under the same circumstances?

Gothamist wants to know why the New York Department of Transportation ripped out a popular bike lane, and what happens now.

A Pennsylvania doctor is happy to be back on his bike less than a year after receiving a heart transplant, even if he can’t compete any more.

International

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — bicycling the streets of Montevideo. I’m in.

Supporters say regular bicycles will survive, despite the competition from ebikes. If only because the growth of electric cars will put pressure on supplies of lithium, cobalt and other rare metals they both depend on for batteries.

London introduces a plan to replace commercial vans with cargo bikes, while hospitals are trying them out to deliver blood and tumor samples in anticipation of a new toxic air tax on motor vehicles to curb pollution.

Caught on video too: A pair of tag-teaming British bike thieves steal a locked bike in five seconds flat.

The Guardian examines how English workers built a 1951 bike tunnel under the Tyne River; it’s scheduled to reopen this year after an extended restoration. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

A very forgiving bike-riding woman tells an Irish court she doesn’t want the stop sign-running driver who seriously injured her when he crashed into her bike to go to jail.

Just days after an Aussie study said over half of all drivers think bike riders are less than human, a new study from the UK says over two-thirds think we’re inconsiderate. I’m not sure if that’s progress, or just typical Brit understatement.

Young South Africans use bicycles to bridge the divides left by apartheid.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a 26-year old man walked with probation following a conviction for attempted murder; he got angry during a fight with a relative, and threw a bicycle off the 12th floor of a building, striking a 76-year old woman walking in the courtyard below. Fortunately, she escaped with just a nearly six-inch gash in her forehead.

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever engage in a one hour and 40 minute stand-off over a parking space. At least we don’t have to worry about deadly kite strings.

And if you’re riding with meth on your bike, despite being released on an earlier meth charge after your case was overturned, don’t run red lights.

And put a damn light on it.

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