Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Windshield bias from CHP, widening street so Gold Line can take cars off it, and upping the bad driver stakes

Looks like the CHP should get their windshields cleaned.

And maybe get rid of the bias that’s stuck on there.

The CHP marks Bike Month by calling for everyone to share the road responsibly.

So far, so good.

The again, that’s just the headline.

Unfortunately, they follow it up by citing eight laws bicyclists are expected to obey. Yet just one for motorists, reminding them to give a three-foot passing distance.

And they get two of those wrong.

Yes, bike riders are required to “pull off the roadway if five or more vehicles are lined up behind them.” But only on roads with a single lane in each direction, and only when those drivers are stuck behind them and unable to pass.

And yes, bike riders are required to yield to pedestrians, but only under the same circumstances drivers are.

Like when crossing in a crosswalk. But not when someone just steps off the curb in the middle of the block.

Although you’re more than welcome to do either one out of courtesy anytime you want.

Photo from CHP website

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Meanwhile, the CHP uses the passive voice to absolve a driver of responsibility for injuring a woman riding her bike before driving into a canal.

Investigators have not substantiated why, but say that Vega allowed his car to steer to the right, partially off the roadway onto the gravel shoulder as he approached the cyclist.

The front of the car struck the rear of the bicycle and the rider.

Evidently the car was driving itself, and the driver just didn’t stop it from driving onto the shoulder to slam into her.

But as every good Catholic knows, sins of omission are just as bad as sins of commission.

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Seriously?

Residents along La Verne’s White Ave oppose the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority’s proposal to widen White Ave.

The authority wants to widen the street to make room for more cars in anticipation of the Gold Line extension coming to town.

The purpose of which is to get people out of their cars.

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The crowdfunding page for the infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier appears to have stalled out just $614 short of the $10,000 goal.

Which means this would be a great day for some generous person, or people, to push it over the top.

Just saying.

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The other day, CiclaValley offered us video showing three dangerously bad drivers in just two minutes.

A very wet Chicago rider, who prefers to be anonymous, says hold my beer.

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Culver City is kicking off Bike Month with a family friendly Walk & Roll Festival this Sunday, including free bike skills lessons and free bike repair.

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Local

The LACBC is holding their popular Sunday Funday Ride along the LA River this Sunday, offering a preview of the annual LA River Ride.

Streetsblog is hosting its annual awards dinner on Thursday.

CiclaValley is sponsoring this year’s Ride of Silence on May 15, with a ride from Vermont and Wilshire to LA City Hall. Think any LA officials will stick around to meet them on the steps of City Hall? Me neither.

Metro is celebrating Bike Month with a $1 30-day pass and free rides on Bike to Work Day.

The popular Tour de Laemmle is taking this year off.

Pasadena Now looked forward to last night’s discussion of the city’s first proposed two-way protected bike lane; if you couldn’t make the meeting, you can still offer comments online.

Speaking of Pasadena, the Rose City’s nationally recognized Director of Transportation is moving on after 11 years.

 

State

Solvang saw a 400% increase in turnout for the faux Danish city’s annual bike ride to promote bicycle safety and call for more bike lanes. Which it would probably already have if it really was a Danish city.

A San Jose writer says incrementalism in traffic safety is literally killing us.

Touring bike friendly Davis on two wheels in one day.

 

National

A new CDC study says wear your scooter helmet, since nearly half of all e-scooter injuries involve head trauma; not surprisingly, you’re most likely to get hurt on your first ride. The obvious solution is to just skip the first ride, and start with your second.

A Seattle outdoor equipment chain is the latest bike retailer to go belly up. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Salt Lake weekly promotes Warmshowers for a safe overnight stay for touring bicyclists.

Now that’s more like it. A proposed Colorado law would automatically suspend the license of any driver who injures a vulnerable road user.

A Missouri woman writes that bicyclists should understand and obey the laws and bike etiquette. But unlike most, she actually gets it right.

One hundred fifty people turned out for a memorial ride for a “legend” of the Minneapolis bike scene, who died at just 43 after a long-time battle with alcohol.

Boston bicyclists protest the city’s glacial pace on building protected bike lanes.

New York’s police commissioner admits what everyone already knew, that a crackdown on riders without bike bells was just an excuse to stop a semi-organized ride. Even though he didn’t have one on his own bike.

New Jersey’s bicycling community is mourning the death of a longtime bike shop owner and advocate who died of cancer at 69.

She gets it. DC’s mayor calls for hiring 20 additional parking enforcement cops to ticket drivers who park in bike lanes.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere. Tampa, Florida drivers turn sidewalks and separated bike lanes into their own personal parking lots.

A Sarasota FL artist is leaving decorated bicycles all over town as a guerrilla public art project.

 

International

Not even Canada’s most conservative provincial government sees a need for bicycle licenses.

A British man gets his nearly $12,000 tri bike back from a Polish bike shop nine months after it was stolen.

Dame Judy Dench gave a four leaf clover charm to an English cancer survivor for good luck on his four and a half month, 7,192-mile ride to Tokyo to see a World Cup rugby match.

Caught on video: A bike rider in the UK was the victim of a drive-by egging.

No bias here, either. London’s Daily Mail says for the first time, more people were killed by cyclists in Holland than by drivers. Except what they really mean is that more people were killed while riding bicycles, since most, if not all, of those victims were the bike riders themselves.

A Swiss company is preparing to introduce their 30 mph dockless bikeshare ebikes to the US. Although they’ll have to overcome laws in many cities, including Los Angeles, that limit shared dockless devices to half that speed.

Save this one for your next trip to Spain. A culinary website recommends bicycle friendly cafés, restaurants and bars in Barcelona.

New Zealand bike advocates blame efforts to promote bicycling without building safe infrastructure for a spike in bike crashes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal profiles world-class mountain bike, cyclocross and road racer Mathieu van der Poel, calling him the “unicorn prince of bike racing” — if you can get past their paywall.

Legendary Italian cyclist Gino Bartali is being honored with a bicycling academy named after him in Israel; Bartali risked his life during WWII by smuggling papers to save hundreds of Italian Jews from the Holocaust. Although the honor he really deserves is sainthood, so someone please hurry up and have a miracle or two, already. And no, making it home on your bike after too many beers doesn’t count. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the ghost bike for 19-year old fallen cyclist Tate Meintjes just three days after it was placed where he was killed while practicing for the Redlands Classic — except they brought it back, so maybe just a place in Purgatory. Somehow, this is turning into a very Catholic post today. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

When you’re reluctant to ride a bike, turn it into art. If you have to get hit by a car, try to do it when you’re sober and not carrying an open cup of beer.

And here’s a tip. If you’re going to go carfree, don’t get shot by a homeless person.

 

Morning Links: Pasadena anti-bike lane bias, sharing shared scooter helmets and return of LaGrange Grand Prix

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I accused the Pasadena Star-News of showing an anti-bike lane bias for a story that said protected bike lanes would come at the expense of traffic lanes, even though city’s the first one, on Union Street, wouldn’t.

Except it does. 

My understanding was that only parking spaces would have to be removed to make room for the bike lanes. But the truth is just the opposite. 

Advocacy group Active SGV informs me that local residents and business want to preserve as much parking as possible, preferring to give up a largely unused traffic lane to losing parking spaces. 

I’m not sure how I got it wrong, but clearly, I did. 

My apologies to the Star-News for the error. And thanks to Active SGV for the correction. 

Here’s what I originally wrote:

No bias against bike lanes here.

The Pasadena Star-News considers the proposal for Pasadena’s first two-way cycle track, imagining that protected bike lanes must come at the cost of traffic lanes — even though the one proposed for Union Street won’t.

They also suggest that the protected bike lane on Temple City’s Rosemead Blvd is a failure, because one councilmember says he seldom sees more than one or two riders using it at any given time.

Which would actually make it pretty busy, given the few seconds a passing driver can devote to noticing it.

And bearing in mind that anecdotal evidence isn’t worth the traffic study it’s not based on.

Credit Joe Linton with the photo, which was shamelessly stolen, uh, borrowed from LA Streetsblog.

………

Unfortunately, the story is hidden behind a paywall.

But evidently, LA-based sit-down scooter company Wheels has applied for a patent to build a detachable helmet directly into the scooter itself.

Which means you’ll share that helmet with whoever used it before you. And unless they can also build some sort of disinfectant and insecticide into the scooter, whatever was on their heads and in their hair.

I’ll pass, thanks.

………

I’ve been expecting someone to introduce this sooner or later.

A new clip-on device promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike, yet is small and light enough to fit into a backpack. Allowing you to carry it with you, and snap it on when you need a little extra boost to make it up a hill or get back home.

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LA’s Velo Club LaGrange has set a date for the return of the bike club’s formerly annual Grand Prix, which will now be held in Carson, rather than Brentwood.

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Local

LA Times letter writers says traffic deaths won’t end until drivers change their attitudes. Meanwhile, the Times’ Steve Lopez says a carfree future doesn’t sound all that bad.

Metro talks Bike Month in a sponsored Streetsblog post.

Santa Clarita jumps back in the saddle with a number of events to celebrate Bike Month.

 

State

San Francisco is getting new red light cameras to help stop dangerous drivers. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t, after they were yanked out several years ago to appease angry drivers.

A new study shows that capping the number of e-scooters in San Francisco just drives more people back into cars, while Bird announces a monthly rental program to get around those restrictions.

Alaska Airlines is offering Bay Area residents airline miles to bike their commute on Bike to Work Day.

 

National

The Oregon house passes a bill to correct a bizarre court ruling that concluded bike lanes don’t exist in intersections unless they’re striped all the way across.

A San Antonio TX public radio program looks at the city’s Vision Zero, and concludes its roads aren’t safe for people on bicycles.

Auto-centric Houston TX puts Los Angeles to shame, building 50 miles of bike lanes in the past 12 months, while LA’s mayor is only willing to commit to ten. And “commit” may be a strong word.

Great idea. A Milwaukee ferry company offered free tickets worth $161 to anyone who brought in a gently used bicycle they could donate to local kids for Earth Week, even though they exceeded their own 500 bike limit.

A Memphis morning news anchor was lucky to escape with a leg broken in two places when her bike was hit head-on by a driver.

Streetsblog talks with the mayor of Cambridge MA, crediting him with finding a way to neutralize anti-bike lane NIMBYs.

New York police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who collided with a woman in Queens, leaving her with a broken arm.

The father of a fallen bicyclist calls on New York’s mayor to stop senseless traffic deaths.

A New York cop was busted for beating an ebike delivery rider who nearly hit the officer’s little girl. Which may be understandable, but is still wrong. And illegal.

A DC website says the Red Cup Project shows how vulnerable people are riding without protected bike lanes.

A Baltimore letter writer says a parking protected bike lane is a disaster waiting to happen, and should be ripped out because there are more children, parents and grandparents than there are bike riders. Because evidently, children, parents and grandparents don’t ride bikes. Or care about safety.

The stumbling drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others near a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade was indicted on two counts of vehicular homicide and seven counts each of hit-and-run and vehicular injuring.

A Florida safety expert explains why it’s the deadliest state in the US for people on bicycles.

 

International

A British grocery chain refuses to let bicyclists leave their bikes inside on “hygiene grounds.” Yet allow people to walk inside with their shoes on, which touch the same dirty streets bike tires do.

Pink Bike looks at eight “gorgeous” bikes from the Aussie Handmade Bicycle Show.

No bias here, either. The Japanese edition of Stars & Strips relates the rules of the road for the bike riders, while saying most most riders are oblivious to the laws, and many are crazy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls Nebraska’s Ashton Lambie the most interesting bike rider in America, as he prepares for the Olympics after just two years of racing.

 

Finally…

If you know when and where a group ride will be coming by, just stay out of their way, already. That feeling when your massive corporation somehow feels the need to fight a bike path logo that no one would ever confuse for yours.

And more proof bikes can go where cars can’t.

Morning Links: LA club rider suffers life-threatening injuries, distracted driving addicts, and LACBC Bike Month calendar

Once again, we seem to be the bearer of bad news.

Very bad, in this case.

I’m told a Los Angeles-area man is on life support after a solo crash while on a club ride last weekend.

I was forwarded this Facebook post from his ex-wife. However, I’m withholding his name for now out of respect for his family.

As many of you know, my ex-husband was in a horrible bike accident on Saturday morning. He had ridden from the Rose Bowl to Duarte with his bike group, and while the group was riding in a parking lot at the Santa Fe Dam, he hit a parking curb at low speed and went over the bike’s handlebars. He hit the ground face first, so his helmet offered no protection. He fractured his skull, broke his neck and spine, and suffered many other injuries. Yesterday the neurologist said that he couldn’t detect any brain activity, and that there is about a 1% chance of the best case scenario at this point, persistent vegetation. The Don we knew is gone.

My heart aches for our children…Don loves them dearly and is very proud of them, as we all are. I am also sad for his loving family and friends who will miss him dearly. And I am so, so sad for Don, his suffering, and the lost opportunities and experiences he will never have…

I’m heading back to County USC with the kids this morning. Don is on a ventilator in an induced coma, and the hospital is still running diagnostic tests on him. Please send up a prayer or good thoughts for him and his loved ones. Show your family and friends how much you love them, savor the blessings you have and pay them forward. You never know what life will deal you.

 

As she says, prayers or good thoughts are in order, whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tell your loved ones how much you care now, before your next ride.

Because bicycling is usually a safe activity. But as this case reminds us, bad things can happen unexpectedly.

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

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This is who we share the roads with.

According to the LA Times, insurance companies are tracking distracted driving and smartphone usage by drivers. And the news isn’t good.

Although that shouldn’t surprise anyone who spends much time on the streets.

The report says one out of every 12 drivers is considered to be addicted to their phones, which they define as looking at a smartphone at least a third of the time while driving. A number that’s predicted to rise to 20% of all drivers within the next three years.

Yet remarkably, one-third of the worst distracted driving offenders consider themselves extremely safe drivers.

Right up to the point they run someone else down. And then probably blame the other person.

The story says apps that remind drivers to put their phones down or track how much they use their phones while driving can cut usage by 35% to 40%.

But the only real solution will be requiring smartphone makers and carriers to block everything but navigation apps and 911 calls on the driver’s phone while the car is in motion.

And yes, that includes the text readers and in-dash internet systems car makers inexplicably insist on building into their vehicles to satisfy their phone-addicted customers — and make them more dangerous for everyone else.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for an LA Green New Deal was criticized for it’s auto-centric focus and waiting until it’s already too late to address climate change.

Not to mention halving the commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year that we were promised in the 2010 bike plan.

And since LADOT shifted to measuring distances in lane miles after the plan was adopted — in effect counting each side of the roadway as separate bike lanes — that actually works out to just 10 miles of new bike lanes per deal.

Not exactly a solid commitment to a greener, bike-friendlier future.

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It’s May.

Which means Bike Month in Los Angeles, and most of the US.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has kindly provided a calendar of Bike Month events in the City of Angels.

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

Sadly, the annual Bike Month wrap-up at Union Station isn’t on it, which mens it’s probably not happening this year.

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Congressional leaders met with Donald Trump yesterday morning, and left with an agreement for a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

Sort of.

After the meeting, the White House waffled on the price tag, and both sides agreed to meet in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.

And only then will discussions begin on what, exactly, the government will buy with that money — if, and only if, they actually agree on funding, which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

The good news is, along with highway and bridge repairs, airports, mass transit and high speed internet, there could be a few dollars left over for bikeways.

We hope.

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Local

CiclaValley catches three bad drivers in the space of just two minutes.

Los Angeles has agreed to share data with Waze and other similar apps in exchange for excluding some streets from their rat run, cut through driving route recommendations.

LAist considers LA’s first two-way bike lane in context of the bikelash we’ve seen in other areas.

The mayor of Inglewood appeared to be responsible for a collision near USC that left an injured LAPD motorcycle cop as collateral damage.

Pasadena is in the final design process for its first two-way protected bike lane on Union Street. The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the project.

Santa Monica will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Monday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Despite widespread handwringing over e-scooter injuries, statistics from Santa Monica’s pilot program shows just 89 scooter related injuries last year; 49 of those involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

 

State

San Diego’s iCan Bike camp has been helping kids with disabilities learn to ride a bike for a full decade.

About damn time. A street in San Diego’s North Park and South Park neighborhoods will lose up to 420 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. That was my neighborhood when I lived in San Diego. So once again, somewhere I used to live finally becomes bike friendly long after I’m gone. Which means I may have to leave Los Angeles before it finally becomes the bicycling paradise it’s meant to be.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a World Cup mountain biker shows of the trails of his hometown.

A teenaged Vacaville robber was busted by a cop on a borrowed bike, when someone loaned the officer a bicycle to pursue the suspect through a rugged park.

Someone has been tossing nails on an Orangevale street for the past six months. And for a change, they’ve been nailing more than bike tires.

Railroad fans have filed suit against Sacramento to halt plans to remove unused rails to make room for a bike path, in hopes that they could be used for a vaporware excursion train someday.

 

National

Outside recommends the best cycling gear from their recent bike tests. I’ll take the Bontrager lights and Fizik road shoes, thank you.

Treehugger explains how to build a solar powered shed to recharge your ebike.

More proof that sidewalks aren’t the safest place to ride. A 16-year old Washington bike rider was injured when a driver decided to use a parking lot as his own personal cut-through lane to avoid stopping for a red light. But sure, tell me again how bicyclists never stop for traffic signals.

Montana police busted a pair of apparent bike thieves when they stopped a suspicious vehicle, and found a “high-value” bicycle in the back that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.

There may be a dispute over just how effective bike helmets are on the streets. But a North Dakota climate expert says put one on for tornado protection.

Tragic news from Tulsa OK, where a woman fled to Mexico before she could face charges for the death of her five-year old son, who was hit by a car after he fell off an e-scooter she was allegedly riding in a reckless manner; she didn’t even stick around for her own son’s funeral.

A Chicago boy received a new bike built for him by members of a girls soccer team, part of a program for high school students to give 100 bicycles to children of military service members.

A Minneapolis health company’s new office is designed around a bicycling theme, including bike seats and handlebars, to go along with the cycling team they sponsor.

That’s more like it. An Indiana city considers fining drivers $1,000 for dooring a bike rider.

Tragic news from Cincinnati, where a man pled guilty to accidentally shooting his own 13-year old cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang dispute as he rode his bike home after helping clean a community center after school.

Pennsylvania considers allowing parking protected bike lanes on state roads; they’re already legal on city-owned streets.

We so need this in Los Angeles. A beta app allows DC road users to report dangerous drivers and look up their license plates for citations and outstanding tickets.

The Washington Post offers nine things to consider before you decide to go carfree. Including whether you live in sprawling Los Angeles.

Baltimore’s drunken, hit-and-run Episcopal bishop will be released from prison this month after serving just half of her seven-year sentence for killing a bike rider; Heather Cook was defrocked after her conviction, but her victim’s children will spend a lifetime without their father.

As long as you’re going to break into a Florida bike shop and walk out with a $3,500 mountain bike, you might as well take the change from the cash register with you.

 

International

A new self-charging, belt drive, single speed ebike promises you may never have to charge it.

Yes, it may have pedals. But that doesn’t make it a bicycle.

Victoria, British Columbia, has appointed Canada’s first bicycle mayor.

Instead of expanding the Saskatoon bike network, city leaders vote to roll it back by removing a bike lane and slowing down further implementation.

A Toronto website lists the city’s best neighborhoods for people who ride bikes.

A European website says a new bike registration system in Brussels can guarantee you’ll never have your bike stolen again. Actually, it only means your bike could be recovered if it’s stolen and someone finds it.

Clearly, beauty is no protection from dangerous drivers. The runner-up to 2017’s Miss France was killed in a collision while riding her bike with a friend, when she swerved to avoid a driver and was struck by a tractor driver pulling a load of logs.

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

An elite Australian cyclist is dead, and a 21-year old woman will face charges for killing him, because she couldn’t resist texting her boyfriend seconds before running him down.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another bike racer has been killed in a traffic collision. Thirty-year old Australian amateur Damion Drapac was killed in a head-on collision while riding to a bike race. If the name sounds familiar, his father is the owner of the Drapac-Cannondale development team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a dog holds more world records for riding a bike than you do. Coworking in a parking space for a pocketful of quarters.

And who needs a tent when you can tow your home behind your bike?

 

Morning Links: Garcetti unveils LA Green New Deal, sharing the road with texting drivers, and Woon fund nears $10,000

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled his proposal for an LA Green New Deal, calling for a net zero carbon footprint for the city in just 31 years.

Sort of like that 20% drop in traffic fatalities we were promised by 2017.

So how’s that working out for you, anyway?

In addition to other proposals to fight climate change, Garcetti is calling for a zero-emission transportation network by 2050, driven — if you’ll excuse the phrase — by a major shift to buses and trains, resulting in a 45% drop in miles driven.

And yes, he does include bikes and scooters in that LA Green New Deal. Though just how much emphasis they’ll receive remains to be seen.

Which means safe riding routes will be necessary if the city is going to come anywhere near that 45% goal. Let along allow more Angelenos to go carless altogether.

As always, however, the question is whether Garcetti and LA’s other elected leaders have the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to get nearly half the city’s cars off the streets. Or to maintain those goals when new leaders come in to take their place.

Because so far, at least, saving lives hasn’t been enough to do it.

But maybe the city’s climate-conscious councilmembers, such as self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, will finally support bike lanes if it means saving the planet.

We can dream, can’t we?

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Pasadena police wrote 366 tickets in just four days for texting while driving during April’s Distracted Driver Awareness Month, along with another 273 tickets for other violations.

Which means that if you think you’re surrounded by distracted drivers every time you get on your bike, you’re probably right.

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It’s been a few days since I checked in on the crowdfunding campaign to give the impoverished infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier a better start in life.

So I was surprised to learn it’s now just $614 short of the $10,000 goal.

Credit Peter Flax for the jump in donations, whose story for Bicycling called attention to the tragedy of Woon’s death, and the heartbreaking impact his loss has had on those who loved him.

And led to over $8,000 in donations in less than a month.

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

A Tulsa, Oklahoma bike rider was shot in the leg three times by someone in a passing car.

A Peoria, Illinois truck driver threw a water bottle at a bike rider, followed by threatening him with a gun, after yelling at the bicyclist to get out of the road. Must be a rough town; a jaywalking pedestrian was threatened with a gun by another driver two days earlier.

Horrifying news from Michigan, where a hit-and-run driver dragged a bike rider under his car for more than a mile before he shook loose; the victim was hospitalized in critical condition. Seriously, what kind of walking human scum could be so cruel, uncaring and violent towards a complete stranger?

A British man drove 65 miles to deliberately slam his car into a bike rider he blamed for ruining his life — then got out of his car to hit, kick and strangle the victim as he lay in the street with gaping wounds and multiple fractures to both legs.

………

Local

More on the opening of LA’s first two-way protected bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the LACBC says they’re already talking with LADOT on how to improve the new lanes.

A Los Feliz newspaper recognizes a number of local streets on LA’s Vision Zero High Injury Network; the city says it’s working to make safety improvements to some. Without, you know, actually inconveniencing drivers or anything.

 

State

A new Riverside bike commuter wonders why everyone yells at him when he rides on the sidewalk. Maybe it’s because sidewalk riding is illegal in Riverside. Or maybe just because bike riders are actually safer riding in the street under most circumstances.

Outside follows a San Francisco bike commuter on his two-hour, 35-mile mountain bike ride to and from work along some seriously technical singletrack trails.

There’s a special place in hell for the coward who drove off and left a Sacramento bike rider unconscious and bleeding in the street.

You never know when the owner of your favorite Berkeley coffee shop could turn out to be a former BMX star.

A 15-year old Carmichael boy was critically injured when a red-light running driver crashed into him as he as riding in a crosswalk with the green light. Yet somehow, the police still manage to blame him for failing to wear a helmet or reflective clothing.

A knife wielding Chico man was severely beaten by another man using an unspecified bike part. Which makes me wonder just what part he was using, and whether the rest of us could use it for self-defense against road raging drivers.

 

National

Speaking of Outside, the magazine is conducting its mountain bike testing in my brother’s new hometown.

A writer for Singletracks says all bikes are gravel bikes if that’s where you ride them.

More proof bike thieves are among the lowest forms of human life. After a Portland man was busted while burglarizing a bike shop, police discovered  he was responsible for the hit-and-run death of an 85-year old woman who was run down on her daily morning walk.

A bighearted Washington cop dipped into his own wallet to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen and the police couldn’t recover it.

Nice story, as a Utah community gathers to celebrate the 70th birthday of a man known to everyone as Bicycle Brent, who makes a point of honking his bike’s horn and waving to the people he passes.

A San Antonio TX newspaper asks if the city can convince — or force — scooter riders to wear helmets. Short answer, no. Longer answer, no one is going to carry a helmet with them all day on the off chance that they might ride a scooter; they’ll either skip the helmet, or skip the scooter and drive instead.

An Ohio bike advocate is urging the police to take a report on all collisions involving a bicycle whether or not anyone says they’re hurt, because bike riders often don’t know they’ve been injured until the adrenaline wears off. That’s a common complaint, which is why I always advise telling police you were injured, whether or not you feel any pain.

I like it. When a Pennsylvania bike rider got tired of being harassed and run off the road, she responded by strapping a BMUFL sign on her back.

After a Texas paper’s DC bureau chief sent a tone deaf tweet calling bike and scooter riders who run red lights “adult assholes” — on the same day bike riders rallied for safer streets following the death of leading advocate Dave Salovesh — a writer responds by comparing the actual stats on how many people are injured or killed by bike riders to those injured or killed by motor vehicles. And no, there’s no comparison.

The NYPD is being sued for fining delivery riders using banned ebikes, instead of following department policy and fining the restaurant owners.

Former NY Rangers hockey star Sean Avery is one of us, calling it therapeutic to confront drivers who illegally park in bike lanes.

Baltimore bicyclists rally to keep a parking protected bike lane from getting ripped out because drivers can’t figure out how to park in it.

Horrifying news from Georgia, where a teenager fatally shot a 60-year old man just to steal his bicycle.

Four Florida bike riders were seriously injured when the wheelchair lift gate on a medical lab truck fell open, and the driver kept going without realizing he was mowing people down.

 

International

An op-ed in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the bikelash to the city’s efforts to improve safety for bike riders is unwarranted and short-sighted. Pretty much like the opposition to safer and Complete Streets anywhere else.

The Beeb — as opposed to the Bieb — recounts the history of the bicycle, and explains why the future of bikes is so bright it has to wear shades.

An English soccer legend was seconds away from getting hit head-on by a red light-running driver, as he set out on a long-haul triathlon across the country.

A pregnant, cocaine-binging British mom was busted for driving on a suspended license, after she was released from a year behind bars for slamming into a bike rider while high as a dragon in Westeros.

A man in the UK has put together a Twitter thread to demonstrate just how differently bike riders and drivers are treated after killing someone. Which is an exceptionally rare thing for bicyclists; for drivers, not so much.

Brussels, Belgium is planning a protected bike lane on the auto-centric street in front of the European Union Parliament building.

Now that’s more like it. An estimated 10,000 bike riders turned out in the rain to demand safer streets in Budapest.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has named the riders who will compete for the national team at next month’s Amgen Tour of California, which rolls in less than two weeks.

 

Finally…

When you have meth at home and your carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, maybe riding salmon in the left lane isn’t the best idea. Nothing like installing the bollards in the wrong place on a two-way, now unprotected, bike lane.

And there could be an Android smartphone hidden inside your bike computer.

 

Morning Links: New Spring Street bike lane goes both ways, red cup protected bike lanes, and ebikes up in smoke

Before we start, congratulations are in order for frequent BikinginLA contributor and behind-the-scenes proof reader Mike Wilkinson, who was recently elected to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors.

Couldn’t happen to a more passionate or deserving person.

Even if he does ride a tandem.

………

Los Angeles’ first two-way protected bike lane is coming to Spring Street in DTLA, with a companion lane to follow soon just one block east on Main Street.

Actually, they’re already here.

Here’s how both the Spring Street and coming Main Street bike lanes are supposed to work — if LA drivers can resist the urge to park in them, which is a big if.

………

Bike riders across the US took part in Friday’s Red Cup Project by placing red plastic drinking cups on existing bike lanes to make their own DIY protected lanes.

And sending a message that paint is not enough. Such as the Pittsburgh advocates who called for more parking protected bike lanes.

Although not surprisingly, many didn’t last long before drivers ran them over, either failing to see the bright red cones, or simply not caring.

Like in Denver, where tomato-capped cups were soon turned into marinara. And where the project got its start, in honor of fallen DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was riding in a painted lane when he was killed.

Meanwhile, hundreds of DC bicyclists converged on city hall to hold a die-in to demand streets that don’t kill people in the wake of Salovesh’s death. Although one local TV station seemed more concerned with scofflaw bicyclists than keeping law abiding ones alive.

And yes, the Red Cup Project even touched down in auto-centric Los Angeles.

And on the other side of the Orange Curtain, as well.

………

Traditional bicycles seldom catch on fire.

Ebikes, not so much.

An Australian woman’s home was gutted by fire when the battery on her ebike unexpectedly burst into flames.

A Singapore woman and her son were injured when the ped-assist ebike they were riding burst into flames after they were struck by a van driver.

………

Local

British singer Pixie Lott is one of us, following up on her recent Coachella appearance with a Dutch bike ride on the beachfront bike path in Venice. Maybe she ran into Simon Cowell while he was riding in Santa Monica.

Pasadena’s first-ever human sculpture took the shape of a bicycle at the Rose Bowl on Friday, in anticipation of the Pasadena finish of the Amgen tour of California next month.

The city managers of Alhambra, Pasadena and South Pasadena accuse Metro, which should know better, of ignoring people-powered transportation in favor of more cars after pulling the plug on the 710 Freeway extension through those cities.

A group of bicyclists set out from the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, hoping to raise a thousand dollars per mile for their 2,499-mile ride on Route 66 to Chicago, which would bring in $2.499 million for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The Coastal Commission gives Long Beach the okay to move palm trees along Marina Drive to make room for sidewalks and bike lanes, but only if it doesn’t bug the birds.

 

State

A Garden Grove man was sentenced to 26 years to life behind bars for the unprovoked attack that left a passing bike rider dead; 19-year old Bryan Ortega was knocked off his bike and repeatedly stabbed by 23-year old Troy David Son, even though there was no history between the two men, who did not appear to know each other.

Pro mountain biker Jeff Lenosky had $30,000 worth of bikes, cameras and other gear stolen when someone broke into his team van at a Santa Ana Holiday Inn.

A Ventura bike rider calls the city’s crumbling streets an embarrassment, complaining that the state’s gas tax money doesn’t seem to be fixing them.

Thanks to the help of a fellow church member and musician, a Bakersfield man is continuing to ride a bike despite losing his eyesight.

The news from Sunnyvale just keeps getting worse. In the story we’ve been following since last week, police now say the speeding driver who intentionally steered his car into eight pedestrians and bike riders at a Sunnyvale intersection did it because he thought they were Muslim; the FBI is now investigating it as a hate crime.

The Trader Joes of bike shops is making its second foray onto American shores with a new store in Emeryville, after pulling out of the US market thirteen years earlier.

 

National

A bipartisan bill pending in Congress would extend and expand the successful Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to build bikeways and sidewalks to reduce traffic congestion and support safe routes to schools. Unfortunately, bipartisanship is out of fashion in DC, so its immediate prospects could be questionable.

Bicycling examines the mechanical failures that led Lyft to lift its ebikes from city streets across the US.

This is what happens when you try to drive your pickup camper over a Portland bike and pedestrian bridge.

A writer from Cheyenne, Wyoming heads south to my hometown to ride the bike path along the Cache la Poudre River, which I used to ride on a near daily basis back in the day. Cheyenne is where I used to go to buy booze before I turned 21, or whenever I wanted to get beat up by a cowboy for looking at his girl the wrong way. Good times. 

Omaha NE has completed a 38-mile interconnected bicycle network just in time for next month’s Bike Week. But those damn bike riders are just never satisfied, saying it’s not enough. Unbridled sarcasm aside, at least they have an actual network, unlike LA’s disjointed and inadequate patchwork of bikeways that don’t connect to anything or go anywhere.

An Iowa letter writer calls for bicyclists to pay their fair share, and get a motorcycle license because they move too damn fast. Because evidently, it’s not enough for bike riders to subsidize drivers with their tax money.

This is what can happen if you do bikeshare right. Houston’s booming bikeshare system is reshaping the car-centric city, with the biggest jump in ridership coming from people who swapped car rides for bike rides.

Apparently, it takes a village to find a stolen Michigan girl’s bicycle.

Massachusetts legislators advanced a bill creating a three-foot passing law and 25 mph speed limits, but rejected a clause that would have expanded the use of interlock devices to fight repeat drunk driving. There’s no excuse for driving drunk, ever. Some people will tell you anyone could get caught after having a few drinks, but the easy solution is just don’t drink if you have to drive.

A group of 26 bicyclists are riding from Newtown, Connecticut to Baltimore, then back up to Pittsburgh to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre and call for an end to gun violence.

The New York bike rider who allegedly blew through a red light and seriously injured a pedestrian was a homeless man, who told police his gears and brakes weren’t working right. The victim’s boss issued a statement calling for license plates for people on bicycles, saying lawbreaking bike riders put peoples lives in peril. Never mind that the last time a person was killed by a bike rider in Gotham was 2014, while 64 people have been killed by cars this year alone.

Rapper J Cole is one of us, too, riding the streets of New York to get a haircut.

A Jackson MS man faces a murder charge after fatally shooting a 14-year old boy who may have been attempting to steal his bike.

After a group of Florida mothers got suspicious of a man who kept riding his bike past an elementary school when kids were getting out, they discovered he was a registered sex offender.

 

International

Kicking your car to the curb in favor of an active commute could help cut the risk of death for overweight people.

Environmental activists swarmed central London and held a die-in at the Tate Modern museum to protest insect die-offs linked to climate change.

Britain can’t seem to figure Brexit out, but they are turning a 1790s Scottish cashmere mill into a world-class mountain biking research and development lab.

Despite earlier reports of a decline in bicycling, the UK enjoyed a record year for bike commuting last year, as new bike superhighways and improved networks helped bike lane usage boom across the country.

The BBC belatedly discovers that bicycling is not just for MAMILs. Although it’s hard to call women bicyclists rare when they make up nearly a third of Irish riders.

A Chinese bike factory town is dealing with the fallout after the bust of the bikeshare boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sadly, Dutch Continental cyclist Robbert de Greef has died, three weeks after suffering a heart attack while competing in a race.

Santa Clarita Magazine looks forward to next month’s Amgen Tour of California visiting the valley, calling it America’s greatest cycling race.

 

Finally…

In Los Angeles, we have car chases; in Indiana, hot bike chases. If you’re just riding around the perimeter of Great Britain, is it really a world record?

And apparently, your love of bicycling is nothing more than a basic, garden variety Satanic possession.

Which totally explains that whole N+1 thing.

 

Morning Links: DIY red cup protected bike lanes today, LA traffic deaths up despite Vision Zero, and a busy bike weekend

It’s National Red Cup Project Day. 

So go out and stake out your own protected bike lane by using your favorite brand of plastic red cups to mark your favorite bike lane for just a few bucks.

And knowing LA drivers, for just a few minutes before they run them over anyway.

But still.

Then send me the photos or video, and I’ll post them on here.

………

Good piece from the LA Times’ Laura Nelson, who writes that, despite Vision Zero, traffic fatalities are up significantly in Los Angeles; advocates blame inaction by the city and a lack of commitment to improve safety if it means inconveniencing drivers.

I’d say that about sums it up.

………

It’s a busy bike weekend in the LA area.

Culver City is looking for volunteers to clean up Ballona Creek on Saturday, presumably including the bike path.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosts his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride in Reseda Saturday morning.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event takes place on Saturday, as well.

And the ever-popular CicLAvia rolls through the streets of Wilmington on Sunday, with their first event of 2015.

………

KCBS-2 looks forward to Monday’s arrival of LA’s first two-way bike lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

Although unlike the photo they use to illustrate the story, it probably won’t be cobbled.

………

Kindhearted Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies surprised a young boy with a new bike after his was stolen; credit the local Bicycle John’s outpost for donating the bike.

Thanks to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

Speaking of Santa Clarita, the city’s mayor looks forward to next month’s visit by the Amgen Tour of California, while encouraging residents to explore the city by bicycle.

And a columnist for The Signal decries a “relative bloodbath of pedestrian and bicycle accidents” in the area, saying more must be done to improve safety, especially on busy six-lane McBean Parkway.

………

Today’s common theme: mountain bikes.

Recently retired football great Rob Gronkowski is one of us; Bicycling offers a little unsolicited advice as he takes up mountain biking.

Congratulations to gun maker Smith & Wesson, whose attempt to enter the mountain bike market ranks 41st on USA Today’s list of the 50 worst product flops of all time.

Finishing our mountain bike trifecta, Outside offers seven tips for beginning mountain bikes, whether or not they answer to Gronkowski.

But wait, there’s more!

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting takes a docent-led mountain bike tour through the volunteer-managed Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which he says most people have never heard of, even though at 40,000 acres it’s nearly as big as Bryce Canyon National Park and even more spectacular.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 is the latest LA news outlet to look at the city’s new program to install permanent memorials to fallen bicyclists.

A former LA city planner states the obvious, suggesting that LA traffic congestion is only going to get worse and that solutions like walking and biking remain woefully underfunded, without the safe infrastructure necessary to make them work. However, he also blames increased density and transit oriented development, as well as reduced parking requirements, calling them frauds, without citing evidence to back it up.

An op-ed in the LA Daily News says California drivers won’t willingly give up their cars.

This is who we share the beach with. A woman tells what it was like to get run over by an LAPD SUV while sunbathing on Venice Beach.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program could be on the chopping block due to competition from dockless bikes and e-scooters, as the city faces budget cuts and layoffs under a program to speed payment of its $448 million unfunded pension liability. 

He gets it. An op-ed from the vice chair of the Long Beach Transit board of directors says everyone deserves safe streets.

This is who we share the roads with. A Long Beach bus driver faces charges for sideswiping more than a dozen cars while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Signal Hill police will be cracking down on violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians net month.

 

State

California’s Complete Streets bill moves forward after passing through the Senate Transportation Committee; SB127 would require Caltrans to consider the safety of all road users on any state-owned road.

That’s more like it. An El Cajon woman driving with a suspended license got three years behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a nine-year old boy who was riding his bike to school.

A San Diego TV station says bike riders and skaters at a new pump track think the park isn’t big enough for both of them.

A 75-year old Indian Wells man was hospitalized with significant injuries after he somehow crashed into the back of a parked city van Thursday morning.

Riverside sheriff’s deputies are still on the lookout for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 21-year old Eastvale man as he was biking home from work five years ago; deputies originally arrested a man who admitted to driving while “drunk out of his mind” and thought he had hit something that night, but phone records placed him miles from the crash site.

The speeding driver in the Sunnyvale crash who intentionally rammed eight pedestrians and bike riders as they waited at a red light was reportedly suffering from PTSD from his time in the Army; witnesses said they heard him repeatedly moan “Thank you, Jesus” following the crash.

 

National

A tax bill pending in Congress could mean an extra $53 a month in your pocket for commuting by bike.

Fast Company says people only realized just how much they’d miss ebikes after they were taken away.

Breaking a sweat today can provide health benefits up to a decade later.

An Oregon weekly offers its annual bicycling edition, with stories ranging from BMX and gravel grinding to low stress bicycle networks.

Phoenix says what’s a few traffic deaths between friends, bucking the national trend by voting not to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

A new study from an Arizona professor recommends leading bicycle intervals or split LBIs to reduce the risk of collisions with right-turning drivers.

Colorado comedian Wally Wallace discusses the second edition of his bicycle and comedy festival in tiny Trinidad CO, choosing the city of slightly more than 8,000 people because it’s halfway between Los Angeles and Chicago by train.

A Boise, Idaho bike cop is about to log 100,000 miles on his bike.

A Minneapolis transportation columnist says if you want a happy commute, travel by bicycle.

The NYPD is cracking down on red light-running bike riders, after a woman suffered a fractured skull that left her in a coma when she was struck by a food delivery rider who blew through the light. Seriously, unless you live in Idaho or Arkansas, stop for the damn red light, already — especially when pedestrians are present.

A DC website says it’s very charitable to conclude that the cop who hit a bike rider as he rode in a crosswalk actually had the right-of-way, as the local police insist.

Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a speeding driver who killed an 18-year old basketball star while he was riding his bike walked with just 75 days behind bars — and even that was suspended.

A travel writer visiting New Orleans says bikeshare is a surprisingly good way to tour the city.

 

International

Research papers usually tell just half the story about exercise science, since they too often leave women out of the equation, according to a Cycling Weekly writer.

Heartbreaking video from England, where a balance bike-riding three-year old became collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers; remarkably, the truck driver who killed him was cleared of wrongdoing. Evidently, road rage is perfectly legal in the UK, even if it kills an innocent person.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Britain, where a “remorseless” hit-and-run driver walks without a single day behind bars for leaving a triathlete with serious injuries after deliberately cutting in front of her bike — and saying she deserved it, calling it karma, for the crime of delaying his car for a few moments. Let’s wish him well, because karma’s got a nasty way of coming back to bite you in the ass.

Seriously? Japan Today points out the dangers of reckless bicycling, while noting that police blame bike riders for “nearly 100%” of crashes with pedestrians. While we have an obligation to ride safely around people on foot, anyone who’s ever had someone step off a curb or turn around in front of them knows that’s pretty damned unlikely.

The Japanese man whose wife and three-year old daughter were killed when their bike was struck by an 87-year old driver calls attention to elderly people who can no longer drive safely. We’ve got to find a better way to identify unsafe drivers and take the keys out of their hands. Because despite what Elon Musk says, self-driving cars are a long way off.

 

Finally…

When you’re sexually harassed by your e-scooter.  Here’s your chance to tour Winterfell by bike.*

And yes, I would.

In a heartbeat.

*dragons not included

Morning Links: Red Solo Cup protected bike lanes Friday, CiclaValley leaves LACBC, and more on Sunnyvale attack

Oh the joys of diabetes. 

I’ve been on a blood sugar roller coaster for the last 12 hours, spiking, then crashing, then spiking and crashing again.

I’ve done my best to fight through it and finish today’s post, despite the swimming head and uncontrollable full body shakes that come with it. 

But I finally have to throw in the towel. 

I’m about two-thirds through what promised to be another epic post. So instead of holding off posting anything until tomorrow, I’m publishing what I’ve got so far. 

I’ll catch up on the rest after I’ve managed to sleep off this awful feeling.

Which could take awhile. 

………

Get your red plastic Solo Cups out on Friday. And make your very own protected bike lane.

All week we’ve been keeping up with stories about the tragic death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was killed in a collision by the driver of a stolen van.

One thing Salovesh was famous for was making his own DIY protected bike lanes using the iconic red cups.

So this Friday, bicyclists around the country will honor him while making the case for improving bicycle safety by with their own red Solo Cup protected bike lanes.

Just head down to your local store, buy a bag or two, and place them on any bike lane you want turned into a protected lane.

Maybe if enough of us do it, in enough locations around the city, our civic leaders might actually get the point and do something about it.*

We can dream, can’t we?

Meanwhile, a DC paper looks at the long journey the ghost bike for Salovesh took to get to the street, including the city’s long-time failure to improve safety that led to his death. 

*I’m using us here, when I really mean you. Unfortunately, there are no bike lanes in Hollywood close enough for me to hobble to with my cane. So go out and mark one for me. And let’s hope someone finally gets around to striping a few around here before I regain my mobility, grab some spray paint and make ’em myself. 

………

It looks like the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition is going to be even more short handed for awhile.

After the departure of three staff members due to a budget shortfall caused by the bike coalition’s previous, short-lived executive director, now comes word that Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, is leaving after four years.

Rynew announced his decision on Facebook late Wednesday after struggling with it for several days.

When pressed for the reasons behind his departure, he said he was making himself available for today’s NFL draft, in hopes of being the oldest and most seriously out of football playing shape player taken in the first round.

If he said he was declaring for the NHL draft, I might believe him.

His departure leaves the LACBC seriously understaffed, and with a loss of experience and knowledge that will take some time to replace. Which is compounded by the board’s decision to implement four-year term limits, leading to a significant loss of institutional knowledge.

It’s not unusual to have staff turnover when a new ED comes in, as various people decide they don’t fit with the new leadership. Or have that decision made for them.

Let’s hope the new leadership can keep the coalition on track and active in the streets while they deal with all these staff changes.

Because frankly, we need them if we’re ever going to improve safety on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

………

The FBI has joined the investigation into a speeding driver who intentionally slammed into eight people waiting at a Sunnyvale intersection, including bike riders and pedestrians, seriously injuring four of the victims.

The driver, Isaiah Joel Peoples, now faces eight counts of attempted murder.

………

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

After attempting to run a pair of bike riders off the road for no apparent reason — even though they were in a bike lane — a Utah driver pulled in front and brake checked them, then sped off with one victim still caught on the car’s spoiler.

A London driver yelled at a man on a bike to get to the side of the road, even though he was waiting legally at an advanced stop, then intentionally rammed his bicycle before driving off. Which other kindhearted and concerned drivers immediately responded to by honking at the bike rider to get up off the road and out of their damn way.

………

Local

The accused bike-riding South LA Slasher was finally arraigned on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea.

LADOT somehow concludes that a speeding hit-and-run driver and the wet roadway caused the crash that took the life of a woman on Hyperion Ave this past January, rather than the unsafe conditions on the street itself. But decide to make some fixes to it anyway.

Fox 11 looks at LA’s new plan to provide permanent memorials for fallen bicyclists.

The Press-Telegram reports you can’t drive on Long Beach’s Pacific Ave on Saturday due to this weekend’s Beach Streets open streets festival, but says that’s a good thing.

 

State

San Diego approves a permitting process for dockless bikeshare and e-scooters, as angry residents get out their torches and pitchforks. Meanwhile, a San Diego planning board calls for a protected bike lane on Point Loma Blvd.

You can still sign up for Saturday’s Joshua Tree 55 Bike Ride in Twentynine Palms.

San news from San Francisco, where a dump truck driver killed professional skateboarder Pablo Ramirez Tuesday afternoon; in a tragic irony, the San Francisco Chronicle says his stunts were death defying.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Tuesday night.

Zombie cars strike again. A Loleta news site writes that a woman was struck by an SUV while riding her bike, without ever mentioning that the vehicle had a driver.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the most beautiful custom and handmade bikes from this year’s North American Handmade Bike Show.

No bias here. An Arizona newspaper writes about the problem of “rampant cyclists” on the town’s streets, as one woman calls for rumble strips or speed bumps to slow the riders down — even though that could result in countless crashes and serious injuries. But hey, that would slow them down, right?

Forget Bike to Work Day. The next town over from my hometown is challenging businesses to encourage their employees to bike to work for the next two months.

An Iowa paper encourages drivers to share the road, after record flooding forces bike riders off popular trails and onto the streets. Whether they want to be there or not.

My favorite story of the day. A bighearted Ohio motorcycle cop stopped to help a couple of kids learn how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Buffalo NY college students reinvent the laufmaschine, aka dandy horse, in response to the current climate challenge.

Advocates call the NYPD’s heavy-handed crackdown on bell-less bicyclists racist and wrong, while some of the harassment victims tell their own stories.

No bias here. After a Virginia cop hit a bike rider, police somehow conclude he had no responsibility to look to the right to ensure the sidewalk was clear before making a right turn on a red light; here’s video of the same crash from another angle. Thanks to Janet Lafluer for the second link.

A North Carolina writer worries authorities will be coming after his bikes, after a Republican legislator introduces a bill requiring licenses for bicycles.

Kindhearted St. Petersburg police officers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man who biked to work every day after his was stolen.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Canadian bike rider was seriously injured when she was sideswiped by a truck driver, the case against the driver who hit her was dismissed because prosecutors didn’t establish that she was riding a bicycle.

Once again, businesses are shooting themselves in the foot, this time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where they’re opposing bike lanes on a downtown street — despite multiple studies showing bike lanes are good for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike Snob says bike racing, I wish I knew how to quit you.

An Illinois attorney set two age-group world records for women over 50 at a Mexico City track cycling event earlier this month.

 

Finally…

When you somehow think riding a Penny Farthing will get you a Brexit job. If you just stole a bike, try not to sell it back to the bike shop that originally sold it.

And it may be rented out by a bike shop, but this is definitely not an ebike.

 

Morning Links: 92% of LA hit-and-runs unsolved, 8 hurt in Sunnyvale assault, and Complete Streets in Beverly Hills

Don’t county on the LAPD to catch any driver who runs you down.

According to the LA Daily News, only eight percent of reported hit-and-runs were solved by police in the City of Angels in 2017 — a one third drop from the year before.

Police blame a new statistical formula for the drop from the already far too low total.

Which is why it’s better to stop hit-and-runs before they happen, rather than try to catch fleeing drivers afterwards.

If only our elected leaders cared enough to actually do something about it.

………

Horrible news from Sunnyvale, where a speeding driver slammed into a group of people, allegedly on purpose, sending eight victims to the hospital.

The police are saying they were all pedestrians, however, photos from the scene show a number of backpacks and bicycles strewn about the crash site.

………

It must be getting pretty chilly in hell these days.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot is asking for your input on the Beverly Hills Complete Streets draft plan.

Yes, Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole.

The newly bike-friendly, though decidedly anti-scooter, city is even proposing enhancements to its nascent bicycle, pedestrian and transit networks.

Which is something no one who participated in bike plan talks ten years ago would have expected, when city leaders effectively blew off anyone who showed up for meetings on two wheels.

And scheduled those meetings for times when bike riders who wanted to participate couldn’t.

Things have changed.

But as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, it only takes a new election cycle or a handful of angry drivers to lose that newfound support for active transportation.

So add your comments to the plan.

And keep up the fight until the lines on the map turn into paint on the street.

………

I don’t even know what to say here.

In a truly bizarre ruling, the US 6th District Court of Appeals concluded that marking the tires of a car to track how long it’s been parked constitutes an “unreasonable search,” and lacks probable cause.

Even though it’s just marking the outside of the vehicle, which is open and in full view of the public.

It doesn’t seem likely stand up on appeal. And only applies to the 6th District, which is made up of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

But it’s one more example of the privilege drivers enjoy.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Pasadena will promote the upcoming Amgen Tour of California by forming a human bicycle sculpture at the Rose Bowl Friday afternoon.

Reservations are required if you want to take part. And the first 100 people to confirm will receive free VIP passes to the Final Friday Foodtruck Festival,

………

Bike Culver City discovers fresh Kermit on Overland Ave.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

The crowdfunding page for Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now up to nearly $9,000, just short of the $10,000 goal.

Hopefully some very generous and kindhearted people will push it over the top soon.

And yes, I’ve done my small part to help.

………

Local

There will be a community meeting in Compton tonight to discuss the future of the LA River, hopefully including plans for completing a 51-mile bike path along its banks.

Santa Monica-based Bird is working to make their e-scooters more sustainable. And more durable, so they don’t fall apart while you’re riding them.

A Santa Clarita woman is calling for more bike lanes in the city after her mother was killed when she was rear-ended while riding her bike last month.

 

State

San Diego police release a sketch of the — alleged — perv who tried to lure a bike-riding nine-year old girl into his van next month.

Dockless bikeshare could be moving into San Diego’s North County this summer.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news of a new study from UC San Diego confirming that “talking on a cellphone while driving quadruples the risk of a crash even when a driver is using a hands-free device,” while texting results in an eight-times higher risk.

As San Jose’s Better Bikeway San Jose project nears completion, not everyone is on board. On two wheels or four.

 

National

Just a tad bit of roadie bias here. Women Fitness offers “must-have tips for girls who love bicycling.” Although it may come as a shock to them that many women somehow manage to ride a bike without spandex and clipless pedals.

A new study shows Americans are still sitting too much. Blame me for skewing the results; I’m still spending most of the day flat on my ass when I’m not rehabbing my new knee.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says states are finally coming around to Stop as Yield Laws — aka the Idaho Stop Law. And that’s a good thing. Maybe if enough states adopt it, we can finally stop hearing the tired refrain that California is not Idaho. Because evidently, they don’t think we know that.

Curbed considers how five American cities are expanding bikeshare to underserved areas.

JFK Jr was one of us.

A Colorado paper says Denver’s 20-year transportation plan will solve traffic congestion — if drivers don’t rise up against it. Then again, that’s what they said about LA’s mobility plan, which is gathering dust after the city backed down in the face of angry drivers.

An Illinois man faces up to 12 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a bike rider; he told police he knew he hit the man, but panicked and drove home instead of stopping. Sure, let’s go with that. Because no one would just try to sleep it off, then turn himself in once he sobered up, right?

Oops. Just days after the NYPD ticketed bike riders for not having a bell — and confiscated their bikes in some cases — Gothamist posts photos showing New York’s police commissioner doesn’t have one on his bike, either.

Great idea. The University of Kentucky offers its students $400 vouchers for a new bike, as long as they promise not to drive for two years. Make it enough for an e-cargo bike, and I’ll promise never to drive again.

A North Carolina man was injured when his bike was rear-ended by a speeding driver who had been weaving through traffic. Since he was deaf, he couldn’t hear the driver approaching and had no chance to get out of the way.

You’ve got to be kidding. A plainclothes Miami-Dade FL cop is being investigated by internal affairs after swearing at a bike-riding mom and her two kids to get out of the road, insisting — incorrectly — that it’s against the law for them to ride their bikes in the street. Then the cop intentionally doored her 14-year old son, knocking him off his bike.

 

International

Road.cc offers money saving tips for bike riders, including patch your own tubes and don’t be such a weight weenie.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of Canadian men spotted a duck in distress while on a bike ride, and rescued her eight ducklings from certain death by fishing them out of a storm drain.

A Canadian city and its bikeshare provider defend their decision to junk dozens of outdated bikes, saying they were no longer road worthy.

English police found the body of a 78-year old flautist, a month after she went missing while on a bike ride.

More on that Scottish bus service that ferries mountain bikers nearly 40 miles from Edinburgh to trailheads in the Highlands, eliminating numerous car trips.

A Scottish suicide survivor’s sixth attempt to ride his bike around the world was cut short after it was stolen before he could even cross the British Channel. You know what they say. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

About damn time. Welsh police are setting up a special road rage unit to investigate video evidence of assaults on bicyclists and pedestrians.

A 23-year old Zimbabwe bike rider pled guilty to negligence after hitting and killing a pedestrian while riding 21 mph; he had been facing a charge of culpable homicide.

A pair of Philadelphia-area women are riding over 6,000 miles from Thailand to Spain to raise funds for street children in Nepal; they’ve made it as far as Turkey after 406 days on the road.

 

Finally…

Nothing like finding a pair of 500-pound safes on the side of a bike path that were stolen 772 miles away. That feeling when you let your guard down, and your bike stolen gets along with several others at a cobbled sportive.

And probably not the best idea to knock London’s first bike mayor off his.

………

A special thanks to Steve S for getting me back online after software issues locked me out of this site for over an hour last night. Without his help, you wouldn’t be reading this today. 

Although I’d probably be sleeping instead of writing right now.

Morning Links: Roads closed in Griffith Park, Lyft fights dooring, and bike transponders aren’t the answer

You might want to put off that Griffith Park ride for a few weeks.

Or maybe find another route. 

The roads leading to and around the famed Griffith Observatory will be closed to all traffic for the next two weeks for construction work.

And yes, that includes bicycles.

KNBC-4 has a map showing which roads are closed

Photo from the Griffith Observatory’s Facebook page.

………

They get it.

Lyft will start sending its customers a notice ten minutes into their rides telling them to watch for bikes and scooters at the end of the ride. 

They’ll also encourage ride hailing users to employ the Dutch Reach when they open the door to get out, to avoid dooring anyone. 

Which only makes sense, since some of those people at risk of dooring could be their own bikeshare and e-scooter users

………

No, the solution to traffic safety is not to make bike riders and pedestrians wear transponders so we don’t get killed. 

But congratulations to a pair of Florida university students who won second place with the idea

Now, if they could just invent one to create a force field that would repel any motor vehicle that came within three feet of me and my bike, I’m in. 

………

More on the heartbreaking death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh. 

A DC website gives a glimpse of just how much his death impacted the city, including a statement from the local Bicycle Advisory Council, as well as comments from a number of city council members. 

The Greater Greater Washington website relays the grief of the bicycling community

Streetsblog says Salovesh’s death shows the slow progress DC is making towards safer streets

DCist says frankly, it’s personal this time, as the cycling community ramps up activism in the wake of the crash

An American expat and former DC resident now living in the Netherlands talks about the loss of her friend.

And a woman writes that no one should lose a friend to a traffic crash

Meanwhile, an advocacy group will hold a Portland, Oregon rally calling for no more traffic deaths after a woman was killed crossing the street. 

Sadly, things like that happen in Los Angeles nearly every day. But except in very rare cases, no one does a thing. 

That has to change. 

Now. 

………

Local

A gang member convicted of killing an LA cop was found dead in his Death Row cell Saturday morning; he was convicted of killing Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety Capt. Michael Sparkes while the off-duty officer was out for a bike ride. 

A writer for Wired says your cellphone could help Metro with a radical remake of the LA bus system, showing when, where and how far Angelenos actually travel, regardless of mode; surprisingly, it shows that only 16% of trips in the city are longer than ten miles. 

Bicycling looks at LA’s new plan to install permanent signs as memorials to fallen bike riders

LA Taco wants to know if you can live without your car for a day

After moving from New York to Pasadena, a bike commuter suddenly finds his coworkers riding to work because they didn’t want him to show them up

A chef at Gladstones in Long Beach is riding in this year’s 300-mile Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry.

 

State

The Santa Ana River bike trail will be closed off and on for the demolition of a bridge on the 405 where it crosses the river; OCTA promises there will be a well-marked detour in place when the trail shuts down. 

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Jurupa Valley bike rider Saturday night. 

A man ran off after he was caught spray painting a bike path on the Santa Barbara City College. No word on what he was painting

A San Francisco columnist says the best of the outdoors is always a surprise after encountering a pride of peacocks while riding with his wife. 

You’ve got to be kidding. The case against a 75-year old Healdsburg driver for killing a bike rider ended in a hung jury — even though the man was driving on the wrong side of the road to pass a slow-moving truck when he struck the woman as she was participating in a charity ride. 

 

National

Great idea. In addition to rating cities for bike friendliness, People for Bikes is now providing user generated bike routes in cities around the US. You can download the app here. Do I really need to mention that the bicycle advocacy  group ranks my hometown as the country’s best bike city. Which only happened decades after my last ride there

A website devoted to fighting poverty says fining poor people for jaywalking won’t stop traffic fatalities when the real problem is dangerous streets and drivers.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus explains why Oregon should adopt the Idaho Stop Law the third time around. The same argument holds for California. And pretty well everywhere else

No bias here. After a woman drives onto the shoulder of a highway and kills a man on a bike, the Idaho state police feel compelled to point out that he wasn’t wearing a helmet, as if that somehow contributed to the crash. And at highway speeds, a crash like that probably wouldn’t have been survivable, with or without one

Houston is adding 19 miles of bike lanes, many in underserved communities where people rely on their bikes to get around

Speaking of Houston, there’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a 94-year old woman’s wheelchair. Fortunately, her neighbor was able to record the theft, and chase the man down to get it back; police recognized the man in the video, and made a quick arrest. 

Bicycling will now be an official part of PE classes in Tulsa OK elementary and middle schools

Los Angeles bike riders will be happy to learn bike lanes are coming to Melrose. Except in this case, the Melrose is in the Boston area. Meanwhile, the Boston Globe says instead of redesigning streets for people on bikes and on foot, we should wait so they’ll accommodate vehicles that don’t even exist yet.

The NYPD continued its bike-unfriendly ways, arresting the organizer of an informal bike relay race and baked goods ride for a four-year old open container violation before the race could even start. Then confiscated participants bicycles for not having bike bells. 

New York Streetsblog relates the story of a bike rider who was hit by an apparent cop in an unmarked car making an illegal U-turn, and the uniformed cops who showed up refused to do anything about it before the man drove off without identifying himself. Naturally, the NYPD denied he was one of theirs. 

New York bikeshare users are getting lawyers after suffering “grotesque” injuries caused by the braking problem on ebikes provided by Lyft, which operates the city’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare. 

The case against a Virginia landscaper will go before a grand jury; he’s accused of helping one of his employees coverup the hit-and-run that killed a bike rider, fixing the company truck and telling his staff to swear it was a deer. And to stick to their stories. 

There’s a special place in hell as well for the 41-year old man who fatally shot a 14-year old Jackson MS boy to take his bicycle

Jimmy Buffett’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama is getting a new green bike lane, as the mayor works to make the city’s waterfront more welcoming for bike riders and pedestrians

A Georgia bike rider was busted for beating up another man who was riding on a bike path with his wife, after swearing at them about the “rules of the trail.”

 

International

Once again, dozens of dockless bikes end up in a trash heap, after a bikeshare provider in Kingston, Ontario replaces them with a newer model. And once again, dozens of kids and low income people who could have put them to good use won’t. 

A writer for the New York Times rents a Dutch bike, and rides through Holland in search of Rembrandt’s tulips.

A New Zealand automotive website wants to know why Aukland is hiding crash data.  

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo has officially gotten the boot from Singapore

 

Finally…

From pro cyclist to Goblin-inducing healer. No, a 16-person boat is not a bike, pedal-powered or otherwise. 

And if you’re riding drunk, try not to pound on a driver’s window and rip off a windshield wiper after a close pass. 

Then again, don’t do it sober, either.

Morning Links: DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh killed, DTLA cycle tracks starts work, and Metro Bikes free today

I lost a follower on Twitter last weekend. 

Which is nothing new.

Except this time it happened the worst possible way. 

Like a number of other people, I’ve followed Dave Salovesh, aka @darsal, for some time. And vice versa, for reasons only he knew.

The extremely popular DC bike advocate has been an outspoken supporter of protected bike lanes and safer streets, as well as taking action now to fight climate change. I’ve enjoyed his humor and insights, and learned a lot from him over the years.

Sadly, we won’t be following each other anymore.

Salovesh was killed Friday morning when the speeding driver of a stolen van ran a red light, crashed into a car and slammed into his bicycle before crashing into a tree.

It could be argued that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, collateral damage to someone else’s crime.

Except he was riding on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, where Salovesh had been fighting to get a protected bike lane.

Whether that would have been enough to save him, we’ll never know.  

Meanwhile, a bicycle columnist for a DC weekly remembers Salovesh as his good friend, confessing to raw emotions while adding that bike advocacy will go on, but it will be far less meaningful without him.

Over two hundred bike riders held a vigil and ghost bike ceremony in his honor on Sunday, starting and ending at the spot where the speeding car thief took his life. 

DC TV station calls his death a cruel irony, while bike riders attending the vigil demand for safer streets for all bicyclists

And the city announced, just a little too late, that it would increase enforcement against drivers who stop or park in bike lanes.  

Which is another of the issues Salovesh had long fought for.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost an ally and a friend, albeit one Ive never met. 

And now, never will.

Photo of Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike and the spot where the driver’s car came to rest by Ryan Keefe

………

LADOT is beginning work next weekend to convert the bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets in DTLA to two-way protected cycle tracks. 

Now let’s just hope they also do something to keep drivers the hell out of them. 

………

Metro, Metrolink and other SoCal transit systems are offering free rides today in honor of Earth Day.

They’re also providing free rides on the Metro Bike bikeshare system. 

Or you can just ride your own bike, which is always free, with or without a code. 

Meanwhile, Metro celebrates Earth Day by beginning a three-year detour of the Expo Line bike path next to Jefferson Blvd today

………

LA’s hit-and-run epidemic struck close to home last week, when a man was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Sunset Blvd just walking distance from our apartment.

Even with the cane I’m currently confined to.

Compounding the tragedy, the victim was an Australian man who had been released from prison 12 years after he was wrongly convicted of murder.

……….

Pinkbike celebrated the weekend with videos of epic mountain bike fails. 

On the other hand, at least these people were out there riding, so there’s that.

………

Local

Westwood Village applies for grants to improve the appearance and walkability of Westwood Blvd, as well as install bike racks. But apparently forgets to improve the actual streets and add bike lanes so people might actually use them. 

A writer for the USC paper says the future of LA sustainability begins with students, urging them to get involved at every level of planning and policy, including supporting more bike lanes. 

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride rolls May 5th, offering a preview of June’s popular LA River Ride

Claremont police ticketed bike riders and drivers in a crosswalk crackdown for rolling through the crosswalk instead of stopping for pedestrians, as the law requires. 

Food delivery drivers will get their own dedicated parking spaces in front of two restaurants in downtown Santa Monica for a three-month trial to keep them from double-parking in the bike lane. Now maybe they can do something about the FedEx and UPS drivers who park in the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente on a daily basis

 

State

Turns out the thief who stole a $5,000 bike from the Cyclist bike shop in Santa Ana just wanted to ride it, and cut off the ends of the handlebars because he’s a Phil Gaimon fan.

A San Diego community planning board voted to approve plans for a new cycle track in Point Loma

A bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries following a crash with a hit-and-run driver near the University of San Diego. 

A “gypsy family” of pedicab drivers stops in Coachella to provide rides at the music festival, one of several they serve as they make their way around the country. 

A San Jose newspaper says the popular road up Mt. Diablo needs more bike turnouts allowing drivers to pass bike riders without crossing the center line, and hopefully avoid the next crash. 

In a horrifying story, the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Merced woman to die on the side of the road after crashing into her bicycle; her body was found at 1 pm, hours after she was struck the previous evening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if she would have survived if she had been found sooner. Or if the coward who hit her had stopped to get help. 

 

National

Seattle bicyclists rode to all 27 public library branches in the city in an 11-hour, 70-mile ride to support investing in the city’s library system.

Speaking of Seattle, the city is bucking the trend by maintaining a fleet of dockless bikeshare bikes, even as providers pull dockless bicycles in favor of e-scooters. 

Talk about not getting it. A Texas man will spend the next ten years behind bars after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had originally gotten out after serving just 17 days of a two-year sentence thanks to a loophole in the law. You’d think someone would have enough sense to keep their nose clean after a gift like that. But apparently  you’d be wrong

She gets it. A Chicago letter writer says make safer bike lanes the norm

A Michigan outdoor campaign is putting a face on distracted driving by plastering photos of the victims of distracted drivers on billboards.

A Rhode Island man has spent the past nine years looking for a pair of nurses to thank them for saving his life after his front wheel locked up on a bike path.

A 74-year old New York man says he was attacked by a lawless gang of teenage bicyclists swarming down a riverfront path. 

The head of New York’s TransAlt advocacy group says the NYPD has to stop going out of its way to blame the victims

DC bike cops bust a prodigious bike thief, but aren’t able to find any of the bicycles he allegedly stole. 

Kindhearted Virginia deputies pitched in to buy a physically and emotionally impaired man a new bicycle when his was stolen, after they learned he had overcome the odds by learning to walk again following a crash left him in a coma.  

A South Carolina newspaper says not every street in the state has to be a Complete Street, but there are some where it’s necessary.   

 

International

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults

London’s formerly bike-friendly Sunday Times now says a reported drop in bicycling levels in the UK is a victory for motorists “in their long-running battle with cyclists.”

A writer for The Guardian says cars are ruining our lives and triggering environmental disasters, and must be phased out within ten years

Dutch bike maker VanMoof has sold 11,000 ebikes worth a cool $33 million and change

Afghan women are demanding that their rights be preserved in any peace talks, including the hard-won ability to ride a bicycle. 

South African police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene on foot after plowing into a 10 bicyclists, killing one and injuring seven others.

In a case of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, an 86-year Australian man faces charges for dragging a food delivery rider under his car the length of a football field before fleeing the scene; the 23-year old woman he hit suffered extensive injuries, including severe burns. 

In yet another case of an elderly driver who shouldn’t be, a Japanese man crashed his car into a group of people waiting at an intersection, killing a mother and daughter who were sharing a bicycle and injuring eight others. Police suspect the 87-year old driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake

Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, made up of more than 90 islands and islets, is promoting bicycling tourism, saying it’s the best way for tourists to explore the area

Beijing is opening a four-mile, bicycle-only roadway with one lane in each direction, along with a reversible lane in the middle. 

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling will field a national team at the Amgen Tour of California, naming ten young riders the team will be chosen from, including one who competes for an LA team. 

Belgium is mourning the death of track cycling great Patrick Sercu, considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

Finally…

Banned from riding your bike in a not-so-public public park. When you decide anyone who doesn’t ride like you do and go out of their way to ride in a bike lane is a selfish, entitled jerk.  

And if you’re carrying a number of controlled substances on your bike, don’t break any bylaws.

Whatever that means. 

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