Reseda bike rider dies of apparent natural causes; and eligibility reduced for CA ebike rebates, still no start date set

Sad news from Reseda, where someone died of an apparent medical crisis while riding a bike on the sidewalk on the 7000 block of Tampa Ave Tuesday night.

Despite initial reports of a traffic collision, authorities believe the victim collapsed on their own, and was beyond medical help by the time paramedics arrived.

There’s no word on the identity of the victim.

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

………

Calbike tells Governor Gavin Newsom that California needs more active transportation funding, not less, as he attempts to claw back half of the already approved funding in the coming budget.

And there’s still no date set for the start of California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program, though eligibility has been reduced from 400% of the federal poverty level to just 300%.

………

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, calls for volunteers for Saturday’s big die-in at LA City Hall to protest traffic violence and deaths in the City of Angels.

………

But it there was a bike path there, it would be closed.

Right?

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1615436151309078528

………

LADOT invites you to a family friendly ride on newly improved Anaheim Street in Wilmington next month.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1615832535912652806

………

The East Side Riders are hosting their annual Ride 4 Love on February 11th, just three days before Valentines Day.

………

More proof that bike people are the best people.

Although that looks like a pants suit, to me.

………

We’re always told no one will ride a bike in LA’s 60° winters.

So how do you explain Londoners riding to work at 26°?

………

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

An Indiana woman faces charges for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, after they had allegedly had a physical confrontation at her home.

A Scottish driver was fined for throwing a tub of hair gel at a pair of bike riders, after becoming angry because they weren’t moving fast enough. Either that, or he was kindly assisting them with the inevitable helmet hair at the end of their ride. 

Well, that’s a new one. Residents of an oceanfront British town formed a conga line to protest a new segregated bike lane.

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

A dozen or so teenaged bike riders stormed the San Francisco Bay Bridge, popping wheelies and swerving through traffic on the roadway where bikes are banned, before being escorted off the bridge by the CHP.

The US Marshall’s Service pats themselves on the back for capturing their Fugitive of the Week for November 30th, after arresting a repeat flasher who failed to register as a sex offender, and attempted to escape from authorities on his bicycle. And failed.

………

Local 

Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry took their two-year old daughter on a cold weather bike ride to the Los Angeles Zoo.

WeHoVille encouraged “residents and renters who’ve voiced their dismay” over proposed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Ave to make themselves heard at last night’s meeting to present a feasibility study on the bike lanes. Because evidently, their belief that the bike lanes are infeasible should outweigh whatever the study shows.

LA County has ordered a safety study of two Altadena roads after a pair pf pedestrian deaths; reports on Holliston and Fair Oaks avenues are due back in 45 days.

The annual San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS/Lifecycle fundraising ride will end near the Santa Monica Pier this year. Although I wonder how much that has to do with the death of Glen Brown in a solo fall at the end of last year’s ride in LA’s Fairfax district. 

Cycling Tips profiles Compton’s own Rahsaan Bahati, after the Black former national cycling champ founded his Bahati Foundation to get more people on bikes who look like him.

 

State

A Bay Area TV station says Marin County bike thieves are using sophisticated tools to steal bike from garages with glass windows, cutting a small hole in the glass, then inserting a long hook to defeat the lock. Doesn’t sound that sophisticated to me, but what do I know?

A Bay Area man will face a murder charge for intentionally crashing into a 52-year old man riding a bike three years ago; the passenger in his car testified that 40-year old Ric Acosta announced he was going to run the victim down; he had to wrestle the wheel from Acosta to keep him from running over the victim a second time.

Heartbreaking story from Oakland, where a local website examines the 35 lives lost to traffic violence last year. Maybe if every city did that, we might have fewer of them. 

 

National

Momentum offers a “quick and easy” guide to bike fenders, while a writer for CyclingNews provides lessons learned while traveling with a bike.

A Portland artist says he didn’t mean to offend anyone with his installations of all-white children’s bicycles as part of an anti-violence campaign, not realizing the significance ghost bike-like white bikes have for the bicycling community.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes is introducing a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for stability-challenged riders.

Tempe, Arizona’s new Culdesac development is intended to provide a walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented community of 761 apartments with blissfully carfree streets.

A Las Vegas nurse says she was just in the right place at the right time to save the life of a 61-year old man who suffered a massive heart attack while riding his bike.

Another Las Vegas bike rider wasn’t so lucky, the victim of a DUI driver who was on her way to the methadone clinic when she smashed into him at 4 am, before flipping her car.

A San Antonio, Texas man credits his Apple Watch with saving his life when he broke his femur failing to make a corner on his bike in the rain; his watch automatically called paramedics, and gave his exact location when he didn’t know where he was.

The parents of a three-year old girl killed riding her bike in a Chicago bike lane last year have filed a lawsuit against the city alleging “willful and wanton misconduct” for failing to maintain the bike lane, as well as against the power company whose driver parked in the bike lane, forcing the family into the traffic lane where the girl was killed by the driver of a semi-truck.

Speaking of Chicago, the city will begin a pilot program using city-owned cameras to ticket drivers who park in bus and bike lanes.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle says it may seem counterintuitive to slow traffic and remove lanes on a major Houston street, but it makes perfect sense when you consider the purpose is to save lives. Hint: Try stopping the page as soon as it loads to get around the paper’s paywall.

Contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant says she’s still suffering from memory loss following her July bike crash in Nashville, forgetting the lyrics to her songs and even the death of a longtime friend’s husband.

Video show the admitted killer of eight people in an ISIS-inspired attack running with what turned out to be fake guns at the end of his 14-block rampage on a New York bike path; Sayfullo Saipov is on trial to determine whether he will be executed for his crimes.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their picks for the best winter road bikes. Because evidently, N+1 dictates different bikes for fair and foul weather.

Bike Radar offers eight tips they wish they knew before they started mountain biking. Here’s one more — make sure your health insurance is up to date. Because sooner or later, you’ll need it. 

Talk about a silver lining. More Europeans are turning to bicycles and e-scooters to combat rising energy prices, with 69% of motorists now using their cars less than before.

The next time you can’t find a safe place to lockup your bike, try not to think about Amsterdam’s new 7,000 space underwater bike parking garage

A bicycling group slammed plans for an elevated bike and pedestrian pathway through Brussel’s European Quarter, calling it an unneeded vanity project.

A new Japanese study shows that traveling farther distances by walking or cycling may help older adults prevent early functional disability and mortality.

This is why you don’t try to stop a bike thief yourself. A 16-year old Australian boy is on trial for fatally stabbing a man who was trying to stop him from stealing a kids bike; he was reportedly overheard confessing the crime to his best friend by the other boy’s mother.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Grace Brown beat Amanda Spratt in a sprint to win the final stage of the women’s Tour Down Under, topping the podium for the three-stage race.

Rain put a damper on the men’s Tour Down Under prologue won by Italy’s Alberto Bettiol; Australia’s Rohan Dennis won stage 2.

Bicycling reports competitors in the Tour Down Under’s individual time trial went out of their way to bend the rules prohibiting time trial bikes. Read it on AOL, which somehow still exists, if the magazine blocks you.

British pro James Knox was kicked off the Tour Down Under for drafting on a team car after he crashed; needless to say, he was not pleased.

Mark Cavendish will get one more chance to set the record for most stage wins at the Tour de France after signing with Astana-Qazaqstan; the 37-year old pro from the Isle of Man is currently tied with the legendary Eddy Merckx at 34 stage wins. As it turns out, I have something in common with Cav, since the Isle of Man is my family’s ancestral home, as well. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when authorities attempt to thin the herd by placing a power pole in the middle of a cycle track. Or when you’re driving drunk on three wheels, when you should have four.

And more proof you can haul ass on your bike.

Or a donkey, anyway.

https://twitter.com/MazaCiclismo/status/1615380185171349506

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Two people killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver while riding against traffic in Rancho Cucamonga bike lane

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been murdered by a drunken hit-and-run driver.

Okay, make that two people.

KTLA-5 is reporting that an alleged drunk driver killed a man and woman riding salmon in a Rancho Cucamonga bike lane Tuesday night.

Although the fact that they were riding against traffic wouldn’t matter if the impatient driver hadn’t decided to use the bike lane as an illegal traffic bypass lane.

The victims, identified only as a 41-year old man and a 33-year old woman, both from Upland, were riding in the bike lane on Foothill Blvd and Etiwanda Ave around 8:20 pm.

That’s when 23-year old Fontana resident Robert Gubany allegedly swerved into the bike lane to bypass backed-up traffic, apparently without checking to make sure it was clear, and slammed head-on into the two victims.

The woman died at scene; her companion died after being taken to a local hospital.

According to The Daily Bulletin both victims were homeless; the paper also reports that the woman is 42-years old, rather than 33.

Gabney continued driving without stopping, until he was involved in another crash later that night.

He was arrested at the scene of the second crash on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hopefully, prosecutors will add a charge of felony hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators at 909/477-2800.

This is just the second and third bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the first two that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

They’re also the first two bike riders killed by a hit-and-run driver in Southern California in 2023.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

My diabetes got the better of me tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

Diabetes sucks.

LA Times fans OC ebike mayhem panic, City Hall die-in this Saturday, and Slate questions efficacy of bike helmets

No bias here.

The Los Angeles Times reports on complaints about ebikes in Orange County, where they face bans and draconian speed limits on and near beach trails.

No, just the complaints.

At least until you reach the bottom of the story, by which time most Times readers have already moved on to Marmaduke.

Instead of reporting objectively, the paper settles for reprinting the long list of complaints from Orange County’s anti-ebike crowd, who seem to consider them the worst tech advance since Elon Musk bought Twitter.

Here’s how the paper frames the story, starting with a longtime Newport Beach resident who compares the local boardwalk to the 405 Freeway.

Three decades ago, Levine moved to what some refer to as the city’s “war zone,” a nickname given not because of crime but for the reputation of summertime rowdiness along the boardwalk, which now includes an abundance of electric bicycles. The strip’s 8 mph speed limit means nothing to some of these people, he said.

He’s watched people get mowed down, dogs hit and too many near misses to count, he said. City leaders for years have studied how to manage the proliferation of e-bikes along the route but have stopped short of banning them.

“What we’re witnessing on the boardwalk is mayhem,” Maureen Cotton, president of the Central Newport Beach Community Assn., told the City Council during a meeting urging officials to address e-bikes last year.

So, let me get this straight.

It’s been a war zone for decades. But ebikes have somehow ruined everything.

Sure, that makes sense.

Then the paper moves on to repeating the same tired and previously discredited stats we’ve been hearing for months from PR staffers at the local hospital trying to fan the flames of an anti-ebike pyre.

During the first 10 months of last year, staffers at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo documented 198 e-bike injuries. Doctors saw 113 injuries in 2021 and just 34 in 2020, according to data provided by the hospital.

Between January and October of last year, 78 of the 198 people who suffered an injury on an e-bike were not wearing helmets and 99 suffered some type of head injury, data show.

“My feeling about the whole situation with e-bikes is that we got a device a little bit too fast, and the culture is not completely set for it,” said Tetsuya Takeuchi, the trauma medical director at Providence Mission Hospital…

Where to begin.

Evidently, some people who got injured riding ebikes weren’t wearing bike helmets. But most were.

And half of the people who were injured riding an ebike suffered a head injury. Which may or may not have been the 40% who weren’t wearing helmets.

It may come as a shock to the kind and caring people at Providence that some people who ride regular bikes don’t wear helmets, either. And some of them get hurt, too, though not always with head injuries.

Which is just one of the great, inexplicable mysteries of bicycling, that some people who don’t wear bike helmets don’t suffer head injuries, and some who do, do.

Then there’s the exponential increase in ebike injuries. Which just happens to coincide with the exponential increase in ebikes.

That doesn’t mean ebikes are dangerous. Just that a lot of people are using them now.

In fact, I’d consider 198 injuries a relatively small amount, given the untold thousands of Orange County residents who’ve adopted them.

Lastly, let’s consider the question of speed, which has apparently gotten “a little bit too fast.”

Under California law, which has been copied in most states, Class 1 and 2 ebikes, whether ped-assist or throttle-driven, are limited to 20 mph.

Which virtually anyone could top with a decent effort on a decent road bike. Never mind today’s lightweight, technological marvels engineered for every higher speeds.

The bikes, I mean, not the riders. Though some of them have been engineered for speed, too.

Yet somehow, those bikes aren’t considered too fast. And no one has banned 27 speed carbon-fiber bikes or their spandex-clad riders from the boardwalk.

And just wait until the good doctors at Providence learn how fast cars can go, and the damage they cause.

In fact, my stats show 12 people were killed by drivers while riding bikes in Orange County last year, a drop from the obscene 17 killed in 2021.

Ebike riders killed somewhere around zero in Orange County over that same time period, to the best of my knowledge.

So which of these is actually dangerous?

Then there’s the way the paper takes about halfway through the story, after fanning the flames of ebike haters, to even mention that there are different categories of ebikes, and dozens of different types.

And even then, fails to mention that the faster Class 3 ebikes are banned from bike trails that aren’t attached to roadways, beachfront or otherwise.

Or that even people on regular bikes struggle to meet those ridiculously low 8 mph speed limits without falling over.

But once again, no one is seriously suggesting that regular should be banned.

The key, as they finally get around to mentioning just before the end of the story, is behavior.

Someone who is a jerk in a car — or on a skateboard, or with a shopping cart — is just as likely to be a jerk on an ebike.

And a kid who has never been taught to ride a bike safely — electric or otherwise — is going to ride a bike or bike like a, well, kid.

Just what they’re riding doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it.

So let’s put away the torches and pitchforks, and learn to live with all those scary ebike monsters. Because really, they’re not bad, just new and different.

And seriously, LA Times, do better.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

………

We’ll let Streets For All put things in perspective with their call to participate in the Saturday’s City Hall die-in to protest traffic violence.

If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist in Los Angeles, you’re probably used to hearing about traffic fatalities in our community. But 2022 was a record-breaking year — in the worst way. Last year, there were 309 traffic fatalities in LA, breaking the 300 mark for the first time in more than twenty years. This is a staggering increase of almost 30% from 2020.

These statistics are tragedies in and of themselves, but they’re made even worse by the fact that pedestrians and cyclists are impacted the most by every measure. Cyclist fatalities alone went up 40% between 2020 and 2022.

We can’t keep living like this. Join us on the steps of City Hall on Saturday, January 21st at 9:30am for a die-in protest. It’s time for our electeds to start paying attention.

RSVP for more details

………

A writer for Slate examine the limited efficacy of bike helmets, noting that “When it comes to the dangers threatening cyclists, wearing a helmet is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.”

They make the same argument I’ve been making for years — bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high impact crashes with motor vehicles.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear one.

The overwhelming majority of bicycling injuries result from falls, not crashes. Which is exactly what they’re made for.

I still credit my helmet with saving my grey matter, and possibly my life, during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident, and never ride without one.

But they should always be considered the last line of defense when everything else fails.

You’re a lot better off not getting hit by a car and its driver in the first place, rather than count on your helmet to save your life if you do.

………

In a related story, the Manhattan Beach Police Department tells teenage bike riders not to be melon heads, as they gleefully smash watermelons as a metaphor for helmet-less bike riders.

Even though watermelons smash much easier that teenage skulls, and most heads aren’t filled with seeds.

And yes, I said most.

………

Ted Faber finds a pothole that could be the gaping maw of the gates of Hell.

………

This is who we share the road with.

An alleged drunk driver in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood backs through a crowd of people trying to stop him from getting behind the wheel, then takes off, leaving injured bystanders strewn in his wake.

Thanks to How the West Was Woke for the heads-up. 

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

An South LA man apparently angry about his pending divorce decided to take it out on his wife’s house, and all the cars in the neighborhood.

But sure, tell us again about those OC ebikes.

………

San Francisco Bay Area cyclist Nehemiah Brown is asking other people of color to join him in accepting the gift of gravel.

………

More proof of our auto centric world, as Irish Tic Tok’ers are shocked to see a man transporting a new flatscreen TV on his bike.

Even if he’s just using it as a cart.

@all_about_rosalilla

Who thinks this TV is making it home in one piece? #fyp #onlyinireland #tiktokireland #irelandtiktok #fypage #nanocelltv #whatsontelly #foryoupage

♬ Crash – The Primitives

………

And this video pretty well sums things up, I think.

………

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

No bias here. Plans for a Manhattan bike lane are being held up by judges who don’t want to give up their cushy curbside parking next to the courthouse, with one court official comparing their efforts to the French attempting to hold back Nazi Germany prior to WWII.

A road raging British driver is on trial for allegedly punching and choking a man riding a bike, after clipping the arm of the victim during a close pass; he blocked the victim’s path and got out of his car when the bike ride slapped it and called him an idiot.

Another road raging British driver gets a lesson in setting the handbrake before going off on a bike rider, who didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

 

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

A British runner justifiably blasts schmucks who park on the sidewalk to go mountain biking.

………

Local 

Longtime KPCC and LAist reporter Frank Stolze introduces the seven candidates who have qualified so far to run in the race to replace ex-councilmember Nury Martinez in LA’s CD6.

Speaking of Streets For All, Streetsblog reports on their call to transform current-day Mid City car sewer San Vicente Blvd into a linear park.

 

State

Orange County will install a new traffic signal at Oso Parkway and Coto de Caza Drive, just outside Coto de Caza, where eight-year old Bradley Rofer was killed by a pickup driver in September. As usual, the long-needed traffic fix only comes several months after Rofer was killed.

Former NBA great Bill Walton reacts to being harassed by homeless people while riding his bike through Balboa Park by suggesting all the city’s unhoused residents should get rounded up and sent to a camp on a military base — voluntarily, of course. Because that worked so well last time, apparently.

The CHP is looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a 22-year old Santa Barbara man riding his bike on PCH (scroll down) north of Ventura early Friday morning; there’s no description on the driver or vehicle, and no word on the condition of the victim.

 

National

Calvin, of “and Hobbes” fame, faces up to his greatest tormenters, including his bicycle.

Scott is recalling their 2022 Speedster road and gravel bikes due to a defective fork that could break during use.

Nonprofit group Black Girls Do Bike celebrates ten years of changing what the cycling world looks like by “providing welcoming, safe and fun opportunities for women of color to ride bikes.”

The Washington Post examines where cars outnumber drivers, let alone people. Surprisingly, California ain’t one of them.

In a report that should surprise absolutely no one, the Rhodium Group concludes that transportation is the leading source for climate damaging emissions for the sixth year in a row. To which bicycles contributed just this side of zero.

Apparently, not even Congresspeople are safe from traffic violence, as Oregon Representative Suzanne Bonamici and her husband were struck by a driver as they were crossing a Portland street Friday evening. Although CNN somehow manages to get through the entire story without mentioning that there was someone behind the wheel. 

A kindhearted Boise, Idaho group donated over 50 bikes to Ukrainian refugee children in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This is who we share the country with. Wyoming, the state where even Liz Cheney wasn’t considered conservative enough, continued its race to the bottom when state legislators proposed banning electric vehicles in a childish tantrum to protect the gas and oil industries.

The fight continues over a $12 million Houston road diet and bike lane project, as a county commissioner pushes it forward while a city councilmember works to halt it.

A pair of kindhearted Texas cops surprised a young boy with a new bike, after they fixed the chain on his old beat up bike so he could make it home from school.

Boston readers freak out over a single still photo of a woman on what looks like a bikeshare bike trying to merge onto a local highway, with her shopping bag dangling from her handlebars.

The New Yorker talks with the daredevil behind the city’s infamous bikeshare-riding stunt crew, the Citi Bike Boyz.

A DC proposal would give ebike buyers a $400 tax rebate, with an extra $500 for e-cargo bikes; low-income buyers could get up to $1,200 plus the e-cargo bike bonus.

At least 80 bike riders turned out to honor a pair of Baton Rouge, Louisiana high school cheerleaders who were killed in a collision with a cop at the end of a high speed chase; the cop was arrested and could face charges.

Young Miami bike riders conducted their annual MLK Day Wheels Up Guns Down ride. But somehow, all the local press could focus on was the usual heavy-handed police response, and the 58 felony and 11 misdemeanor arrests — not the hundreds, if not thousands, of peaceful riders and their message of hope. 

 

International

Havana, Cuba is installing their first public bikeshare dock, part of what promises to be a 300 bike fleet.

The former boyfriend of a Welsh woman killed while watching a mountain bike race in 2014 calls for more protection for bike race fans; she had come to see him compete.

Young “demon” ebike riders are accused of turning Amsterdam’s once angelic streets into a living hell, as they ride their souped-up ebikes at the unholdy speed of…24 mph. Which would make them relatively tame by Orange County standards.

India’s bike industry threatens a series of hunger strikes over a new requirement to install reflectors on bicycles; industry officials say the problem isn’t the mandate, but the penalties that would be imposed for failing to comply.

An Indian man was tied to a pole and viciously beaten and stomped after he was accused of stealing a bicycle. Look, I dislike bike thieves as much as anyone, but that’s going too damn far.

The bike boom continues, as Taiwan’s exports of bicycles and bike parts rose 23.11 percent annually to $6.15 billion. Or it could just means that more production is shifting to Taiwan from mainland China.

Gizmodo Australia misses the mark, insisting safety bikes came into widespread use about the same time cars did, and that bikes only enjoyed a few months as king of the roads before they were shoved aside by motor vehicles. Meanwhile, Adventure Journal marvels that bicycles were invented after the much more complex locomotives wereBut as Carlton Reid makes clear in Roads Weren’t Built For Cars, bicycles were widely adopted around the world long before cars ruled the earth. And if you haven’t read it yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Grace Brown kicked off the women’s cycling season by out-sprinting Amanda Spratt to win the Santos Tour Down Under, after Alex Manly led following the first two stages.

Sad news from the Netherlands, where 40-year old retired Dutch pro Lieuwe Westra was found dead, after suffering from depression for several years; nicknamed The Beast, Westra won stages at Paris-Nice, the Tour of California and Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as winning the Tour of Denmark and Driedaagse De Panne.

UCI is telling team cars to back off, instead of giving their riders an extra boost during time trials by changing the airflow behind the rider.

Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman has formally lost his medical license as a result of his involvement in a doping scandal, when he was caught ordering testosterone gel for an unnamed male cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you try a 30-foot jump on an ebike — and nail it. Maybe it’s time to put this “slightly used” VanMoof out of its misery.

And if you’re going to ride a kid’s Barbie bike across an entire country, always choose a small one.

Country, that is.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

38-year Maria Estrada killed riding a bike in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night, first SoCal bike death this year

It took less than two weeks for the year’s first person to lose their life riding a bicycle on the mean streets of Southern California.

My News LA is reporting that a woman riding a bike was killed in unincorporated Nuevo Thursday night.

Although how or why seems to be unclear at this time.

Thirty-eight-year old Perris resident Maria Estrada was riding with another person when she was apparently run down by a motorist around 7 pm last night.

The crash occurred on the 30700 block of Montgomery Avenue, just north of Nuevo Road. A street view shows a two lane rural roadway forking off from Nuevo Road, with a narrow paved shoulder on either side.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

There’s no word on the driver, or barely even a mention that the vehicle that hit her had one. There’s also no word on the other bike rider.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

This is the first bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maria Estrada and all her loved ones. 

Westlake hit-and-run victim in coma after 2 months, 7 candidates for CD6 special election, and bicycle Bollywood dancing

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A comment from J reports the victim of November hit-and-run may be moved to hospice care, following two months in a coma after a heartless coward left him bleeding in the street in LA’s Westlake neighborhood.

Luis Varela was just crossing street at Wilshire Boulevard and Park View Street around 7 pm on Nov. 11th when he was run down by the driver of a dark-colored SUV.

As usual, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury. That will rise to $50,000 if he dies of his injuries.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign started by Varela’s brother has raised just $1,325 of the $100,000 goal to help pay his medical expenses, and bring his mother in from out of the country to care for him.

The driver who left him there to die should be responsible for that.

And should get locked up for a lot longer than California’s lenient hit-and-run laws will allow.

But won’t be.

………

There are now seven people officially qualified to run in the special election to replace former City Council President Nury Martinez, who resigned following the public leak of the racist and otherwise offensive recording she was heard on, along with two other councilmembers.

Which serves as a reminder that the lone remaining councilmember heard on the recording, CD14’s Kevin de León, still won’t do the right thing and resign.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1613734893040852993

………

Norwalk is hosting its first community bike ride next Saturday.

………

Well, it wouldn’t be the first crappy bike path I’ve been on.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Look Ma, no hands!

An Indian woman takes Bollywood dancing to the next level by doing it while she rides handsfree.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnQ1QoeK5X_/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=b8c0d1ba-e1c3-4fcd-a3ed-1e074727506c

Then she does it again.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CmlXZoOqX3X/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=8f63a427-c0d3-4217-bb35-0724d019d08c

………

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

Seriously? Residents of Alexandria, Louisiana bring out the torches and pitchforks over a proposal for a bike path along the Red River levee, which would only occupy an otherwise useless strip of land that probably wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. After a Georgia bike rider was struck by a driver, a group of bystanders gathered around him to pray. Then just when he started to breathe again, another driver plowed into the group, sending six people to the hospital, with one in critical condition. And we can probably guess who that one is.  

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

A 75-year old London letter writer complains about “rogue” bicyclists who refuse to use bike lanes when there is a more convenient, but less legal, option available, writing “If people keep on demanding cycle lanes, then why do they not use the damn things?” Because it’s human nature to use a short cut when you find one.

………

Local 

Streets For All has created a voter guide to help yo select pro-transit candidates for the ADEM party delegate election, for all you Democrats out there.

More from the report prepared by the nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, we mentioned Wednesday, which addresses the rising rate of traffic violence in Los Angeles. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the die-in protest scheduled on Saturday, January 21st on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall. Because the City of Angels keeps insisting on making more of them.

 

State

The LA Times agrees with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reduce spending to close a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit, but argues the state will need to make up for the $6 billion cut in climate change funding, including investments in public transit, bike and pedestrian projects.

A nice biking photo claimed runner-up in Laguna Beach’s recent photo contest  for people who live, work or exhibit their art in the city.

Public TV station KBPS has more on San Diego County’s plan to revitalize unincorporated Casa de Oro with wider sidewalks, on-street parking, roundabouts, protected bicycle lanes, and mixed-use housing.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike late Wednesday night.

A Bay Area bike advocate and behavioral counselor is using Legos to teach kids bike safety.

Now you, too, can be the proud owner of a gently used, $4,000 Rock the Bike Fender Blender Pro Recharge Station that the former World’s Richest Man apparently doesn’t want, for the low, low opening bid of just 25 bucks. Then again, Elon may need the money

 

National

Shades of Nipper. Your next throttle-controlled, dirt bike-style ebike could be distracted by listening to its master’s voice, as RCA makes a leap into electric bikes. Let’s hope its better than their electronics have been in recent decades. 

PinkBike reminisces about the things they miss about older bikes, like external cabling and not having to charge anything. Except the bike itself, when you paid for it. 

A new study of Google searches concludes that residents of Hawaii are the most curious about ebikes, with California second and Utah third; Mississippi residents were the least interested.

Salt Lake City announced plans to join the national Vision Zero Network in the face of rising traffic deaths and injuries. Let’s hope they actually fund and implement the program, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new bill signed by President Biden at the end of last year will allow the construction of a 280-mile wilderness bike trail stretching from the Idaho border to south of Salt Lake City.

Police in Durango, Colorado have charged a pair of football players from the local college as co-defendants in an alleged drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a firefighter; the two are accused of helping a third man flee the scene, leaving his car behind with the victim still lodged in the car’s windshield, and his bike stuck underneath.

You know a Chicago intersection sucks when a reckless driver kills a man riding a bikeshare bike, then a year later another jerk takes out his ghost bike.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Indianapolis is setting up a commission to review fatal traffic collisions, and offer public recommendations to fix them.

 

International

Bike Radar sings the praises of mountain bike winter onesies. Otherwise known as snow suits. 

An Argentine man’s tour of the Western Hemisphere is on hold after someone stole his bike in Mexicali, just south of the US border, when he stopped briefly to get hot water to make mate tea; to make matters worse, they also took the dog he adopted along the way in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

No irony here. Ford has stepped up to save the popular RideLondon from the chopping block, with the American carmaker funding the ten-year old event that takes place on 100 miles of carfree streets.

The Guardian takes a guided ebike tour along ancient singletrack trails in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in a section of Britain so remote they still use the Julian calendar. Just don’t stick around if you see the locals building a giant wicker man. 

Bicycle Dutch looks at the effect the pandemic had on bicycling in the Netherlands, where bicycling rates dropped 21% in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.

The BBC recommends riding a bike to explore the hidden history of Louis XIV’s iconic bachelor pad, otherwise known as Versailles.

Who says bicycling is expensive? A new Spanish-made Ti bike with “additive 3D printing” retails for anywhere from the equivalent of ten grand to a shade under a whopping $19K.

An Aussie website previews the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under, which begins today.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, unfortunately, as a Dutch study has shown a high prevalence of low bone density in the pro cycling peloton. If bicycling is your primary form of exercise, you should think about adding weight training and/or high impact exercises. 

It looks like we finally have a winner for all those Tour de France titles Lance unwillingly vacated.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re so drunk, you think a backflip will get you out of a DUI. Seriously, who doesn’t love a stirring march played by a bike-riding Dutch marching band in wooden shoes?

And save all your old bike parts, and maybe you, too, can build your very own F-35.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Weigh in on whether to reopen Highway 39, ActiveSGV is hiring, and bike rider struck by driver during live Twitch session

Streetsblog’s Chris Greenspon reports you have until Monday to weigh in on how — or whether — to reopen Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The highway has been closed for the past 45 years following “massive mud and rock slides caused by heavy rains and floods.”

Greenspon writes that the closed roadway has long been a popular bucket list ride for many area bicyclists, and part of the more than 90-mile “Circle of Doom” loop.

The choices presented by Caltrans include a no build option, as well as options for emergency vehicles only, or active transportation use. Other choices include a full reopening, building a separate viaduct, or a single travel lane through the currently closed section.

Depending on the final decision, the rebuild could cost anywhere from $175-$325 million.

The question is why the road should be reopened at all, since the past nearly five decades have shown it isn’t really needed.

Do the absolute minimum to make it safer for hiking and biking, and leave it the hell alone.

I’m not sure where I found today’s generic mountain biking photo, but here it is anyway.

………

Here’s your chance to make a real difference for active transportation in the San Gabriel Valley, with one of SoCal’s most effective advocacy groups.

I can balance a checkbook most of the time. Does that count?

………

This is what it looks like when a Japanese influencer gets hit by a motorist while doing a live Twitch stream.

Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, although it clearly hurt. A lot.

………

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

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker wonders why plans to reduce traffic attract so many conspiracy theorists, as a project in Oxford, England is attacked as a global plot to strip people of their fundamental rights and personal possessions in the name of the environment.

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

No bias here. A bike-riding Karen goes ballistic, apparently because a man was walking his dog in a bike lane. Then a New York councilmember displays her own ugly prejudice by painting all bike riders with the same brush. Thanks to Ravener for the heads-up. 

A Florida man faces charges for a months-long hate-filled tirade against his gay neighbors, repeatedly riding his bike in front of their home shouting anti-gay slurs, as well as violently resisting arrest when police finally came for him.

Britain’s Daily Mail plays their twisted game of “Who was at fault?” when a salmon bicyclist rounds a corner and hits another London bike rider head-on. Hint: The one riding on the wrong side of the road. 

………

Local 

No news is good new, right?

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom is addressing an anticipated $22 billion budget shortfall by cutting costs, including clawing back funding for projects promised under the state’s Active Transportation Program.

A new land use plan for San Diego’s Casa de Oro neighborhood means residents can soon expect “roundabouts, bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly developments.”

Morgan Hill-based Specialized is joining the growing list of bike companies laying off workers; the company plans to let go of eight percent of workers worldwide, with around 120 US workers getting the axe.

Bad news from Modesto, where a man riding a BMX bike was killed in a head-on collision, after allegedly riding onto the wrong side of the road to pass a slow moving semi. The CHP naturally saw that as an opportunity to remind bike riders to wear a helmet, as if a thin plastic beanie could protect someone from a head-on crash with a motor vehicle. And yes, I believe in using a bike helmet, but they were designed to protect against slow speed falls, not crashes with cars. 

A San Francisco news site questions the effectiveness of the city’s Vision Zero program, in the wake of the city’s deadliest year in a decade.

SF Gate recommends a day trip pedaling to the Marin Museum of Bicycling in downtown Fairfax, as well as the US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis.

 

National

Bicycling says your Strava subscription is about to go up another four bucks a month, as the popular bicycling and endurance sports app lays off nearly 40 people. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Outside recommends gear to keep you riding through the winter, although the gear required to ride in usually sunny SoCal may be a tad different than what you’ll need in colder climes. After all, you don’t want to get a frostbitten “todger,” like a certain spare former prince says he did.

Habitat Magazine suggests building fireproof bike storage rooms as a possible solution to ebike battery fires.

This is what’s possible, Los Angeles. The company that operates the arena that’s home to Portland’s NBA team and dozens of other events is opposing a new offramp that could make a dangerous nearby intersection even worse, especially since half of their guests arrive by bicycle or on foot. There’s no reason The Crypt or the Coliseum couldn’t do the same with better infrastructure.

Security video shows a Colorado man get off an elevator and throw his bike at a light rail train from a snowy station, apparently because he missed the train. Although he didn’t miss it with his bike, causing $6,000 in damage.

Tragic news from Rhode Island, where a Brown University student was found dead from a broken back a day after he was reported missing; he was apparently riding in a construction zone closed to the public when he came off his bike.

New York is finally getting around to installing bike parking at the city’s subway stations, but only one in Manhattan.

The New York nonprofit behind the city’s extremely popular Five Boro Bike Tour is donating refurbished bicycles, helmets and locks to help refugees and other immigrants get settled in the Big Apple.

A pair of Argentine men describe how five of their friends were slaughtered in the 2017 vehicular terrorist attack on a Manhattan bike path; the group was celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation in New York when Sayfullo Saipov allegedly ran them down.

A 29-year old Florida woman is charged with hit-and-run and DUI manslaughter for killing a bike rider in November; investigators used geolocation data to show she’d been drinking, placing her at a number of bars in the hours prior to the crash.

 

International

CityLab examines the world’s most congested cities, where motor vehicle traffic grinds to a halt on a regular basis. Surprisingly, Los Angeles doesn’t even make the top ten, though Chicago, New York, Philly and Boston do. Neither does Mexico City, which consistently makes, if not tops, other similar lists. 

The New York Times says sales of electric vehicles are booming around the world. But you have to get down to the last paragraph before learning that Americans bought twice as many ebikes as e-cars in 2020 — and there are ten times as many electric scooters, mopeds and motorcycles on the world’s roads than there are electric cars.

Škoda’s We Love Cycling recommends six bicycling-inspired movies to watch when you’re too tired to ride. Although despite the picture, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid isn’t one of them, even if it should be.

Speaking of Prince Harry and his “todger,” Britain’s naked cross-country bicyclist says there’s no better place to lose your virginity than an open field, as the young prince says he did.

Road.cc offers a tutorial on hybrid bikes, the best-selling type of bike in the UK.

Honda unveils a trio of moped-style ebikes for sale in China, each of which does in fact have pedals; the bikes could eventually be sold in Europe and the rest of Asia.

This is why you shouldn’t try to reclaim a stolen bike yourself. A 15-year old Australian boy is on trial for fatally stabbing a 42-year old man who was trying to retrieve a bicycle stolen from a ten-year old boy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Tour Down Under makes its return this weekend, with the women’s three-stage race kicking off on Sunday, and the men starting Tuesday.

 

Finally…

Pedaling vegan doughnuts to Texans. That feeling when your vintage bicycle turns out to be a 95-year old time trial bike.

And when is a planter-protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When some schmuck turns it into his own private motorway.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Streets For All happy hour tonight, LA die-in to protest record traffic deaths, and crashes cost Americans $340 billion yearly

Say hello to my councilmember at tonight’s Streets For All virtual happy hour.

And tell her we need more protected bike lanes, fewer cars and a safe crosstown bikeway. 

Among many other things.

………

As I was working on today’s post, I received a press release from Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, the traffic safety advocacy umbrella group supporting Damien Kevitt’s Finish The Ride

What they have to say is important enough that I am including the entire press release verbatim.

Because too damn many people are dying on the mean streets of Los Angeles. And not enough is being done to change that. 

 

2022 Traffic Fatalities are at a Record High
A Report on Why and What Needs to Change to Start Saving Lives

Streets Are For Everyone, a Southern California-based road safety advocacy group has released a report called “Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles” about traffic fatalities in LA for 2022. The number of people killed in traffic violence on the streets of Los Angeles has seen record highs.

The report breaks down the numbers, who’s been most impacted, and what’s behind the numbers. More importantly, the report lays out 4 action items that Mayor Bass and the LA City Council need to take to start turning these numbers around.

Highlights of “Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles”

(The full report, including links to source data, can be found on the Streets Are For Everyone website by clicking here.)

There were 309 traffic fatalities in 2022, breaking the 300 mark for the first time in over 20 years, which is how far back we have records. This was an increase of five percent from the previous year and a staggering 28% increase over 2020.

Source: City of Los Angeles Open Data Portal. Taken from LAPD records. 2022 figures are preliminary and subject to change as data is reviewed and finalized.

This is a tragedy made worse by the fact that vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – are impacted the most by traffic violence in Los Angeles. Pedestrian fatalities were up by 19% (157 lives lost, also the highest in 20 years). Bicycle fatalities also increased by 24% (21 lives lost).

LA’s Unhoused are Killed FAR More by Traffic Violence

On average (2018-2022), housed pedestrians and cyclists in Los Angeles are killed at a rate of 2.9 per capita (100,000 individuals), a significantly higher rate than the national average of 2.2 per capita. However, on average (2018-2022), 116.6 unhoused individuals per capita are killed by traffic violence every year. That is 40.2X more than housed pedestrians and cyclists in Los Angeles and 53X the national average.

What is Behind the Numbers? SPEED!

We wanted to see what was behind these fatalities — what were the primary collision factors (PCF), as they are called by law enforcement. The resounding answer is speed. Speeding is the primary collision factor in 34.8% of the collisions in LA, resulting in some degree of injury or fatalities. Speed has been the largest PCF every year since 2010 but has worsened significantly since 2020.

Source: TIMS

Vision Zero on Life Support

The Vision Zero strategy was initiated in 2015 by the then mayor, Eric Garcetti, to protect the most vulnerable road users and reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2025. It launched with an impressive roll-out of grand plans, but, by statistics, it has largely been a failure, suffering from a lack of political will, lack of funding, and now, severe staff shortages.

In the 2022-2023 LA City fiscal budget, $50.6 million was allocated to LA DOT for Vision Zero related projects. This is a drop in the bucket compared to what cities that are serious about saving lives spend. For example, the City of New York, with fewer miles of streets – 6300 miles in New York City compared to 6614 miles in LA City – spent over $270 million on its Vision Zero program in the 2019 fiscal year alone. It also had fewer traffic fatalities than Los Angeles in 2021 (273 in NY compared to 294 in LA) with twice the number of people living there.

To make things worse in LA, due to a severe staffing shortage at LA DOT — per a May 2022 LAist Article, 50% of the Vision Zero and Active Transportation positions remain unfilled — approximately 15 million dollars for traffic signal upgrades was left unspent in 2021. That money rolled over to the 2022 budget. Many of those positions are still yet to be filled due to an understaffed and overloaded City of LA Personnel Department.

What Needs to be Done

If Mayor Bass and our City Councilmembers, many of them newly elected, are serious about actually saving lives on the streets of Los Angeles, they are going to have to make some drastic changes related to Vision Zero, not just for one year but for many years. SAFE’s 4 recommendations are:

  1. Cut the Bureaucracy.
  2. Reestablish Vision Zero with Accountability, Transparency, and PURPOSE.
  3. Prioritize Lives over the Right to Speed.
  4. Get Real About the Magnitude of the Problem.

The details of these 4 action items are contained in the full report. As broad strokes, all of these recommendations are vital. We — at SAFE, the citizens of Los Angeles, and the media — will know how much our elected officials actually care about the importance of saving lives in Los Angeles by how much these recommendations are embraced.

Dying-In LA, a Protest for Safe Streets

On the morning of Saturday, 21 January 2023, (weather permitting) SAFE along with many other concerned non-profits and community groups will be holding a die-in protest/press conference on the steps of City Hall to follow up and voice our demands for effective action to save lives on the streets of Los Angles.

Participating organizations will include Bike LA, So Cal Families for Safe Streets, Streets for All, Move LA, Street Racing Kills, Faith for SAFEr Streets, Walk n Rollers, Conor Lynch Foundation, SBBC+, and others.

For details about the die-in click here.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the protest can sign-up here.

………

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, reports that traffic collisions cost American society a whopping $340 billion in 2019, or more than $1,000 per person on the country.

Three-quarters of that amount is paid by people who aren’t directly involved in the crashes, through higher insurance premiums, taxes, lost time from road congestion, excess fuel consumption and environmental impacts.

Which means that you pay the cost of traffic violence, even if you don’t own a car.

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took a deep dive into Metro’s plan to “improve” the SR-57/SR-60 interchange, offering six detailed reasons why the Metro Board should drive a stake through the damn thing’s heart — including that the minimal bike infrastructure they recently added doesn’t meet, let alone improve on, the bicycling component of Diamond Bar’s general plan.

It’s long past time to stop flushing our tax money down the toilet with climate-damaging, congestion-inducing highway projects.

Let alone projects that increase freeway speed, resulting in even more traffic violence and deaths.

………

That feeling when your new ebike arrives looking like it fell off the truck.

But surprisingly turns out okay, anyway.

………

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

No bias here. The speaker of the North Carolina House says Charlotte NC needs to focus on road capacity, not bike lanes, if the city wants support from the legislature, even after a 30-year old woman was killed by a driver while riding an ebike.

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

Of all the many practical uses for a bicycle, throwing one at a moving train usually isn’t considered one of them. Police in Colorado are looking for a man who tossed his bike at a moving train, causing $6,000 in damage.

………

Local 

The NRDC calls plans to build bus lanes and extend the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, among other transportation improvements, a win for transportation and the climate.

KFI’s conservative Jon and Ken are supporting a petition calling for new CD11 Councilmember Traci Park to kick homeless people off the popular Culver Bike Path.

Pasadena approved plans to spend $182,700 for a citywide traffic safety media and outreach campaign. Because apparently, it’s more effective to tell people to drive safely than to fix the streets to ensure they do.

 

State

Popular Dallas Fort Worth bike shop Cadence Cyclery has opened their fifth location, and first outside of Texas, on Highway 101 in Encinitas.

Students at Cal Berkeley are pushing a proposal to ban cars from a few blocks of iconic Telegraph Ave above the university.

This is who we share the road with. Or maybe what, as video captures a Tesla in Full Self Driving mode suddenly swerve into the left lane and brake to a stop in front of oncoming traffic on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, causing a massive chain reaction crash. But somehow, we’re supposed to believe these cars are safe enough to ride a bike next to. Then again, they’re probably no worse than many of the human drivers we share the road with.

San Francisco proposes banning traffic stops for nine minor violations that are frequently used for pretext stops, in a city where Blacks make up just 5% of the population but account for 19% of traffic stops.

 

National

They say that like it’s a bad thing. Fox News reports the Biden Administration wants Americans to walk and bike more in an effort to eliminate climate harming emissions by 2050.

In a story that could just as well come from Los Angeles — or virtually any other American city — a Northwest website says dangerous drivers make commuting difficult for Seattle bicyclists, in part due to drivers parking in unprotected bike lanes. Although here in LA, they park in the protected ones, too. 

Michigan’s Detroit Bikes is taking deposits on their new 32-pound, belt drive American-made ebike, which doesn’t look at all like one. Meanwhile, ebike prices continue to drop, as SWFT reduces the price of their e-cruiser bike to just $650.

No longer the Mistake by the Lake, Cleveland approves $54 million in bikeway improvements, including a 4.3-mile protected bike lane and a 1.7-mile off-street two-way cycle track.

More proof just how worthless sharrows are, as a New York woman riding a bikeshare ebike was killed when she was rear-ended by a truck driver, after the protected bike lane she was riding in suddenly ended and became sharrows, forcing her into the traffic lane in front of the driver who killed her.

Two women from Belgium testified in the terrorism trial of 34-year old Sayfullo Saipov, who is accused of killing eight people in a murderous rampage driving a rented pickup down a Manhattan bike path; one of the women lost her sister in the attack, while the other lost both legs.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a West Palm Beach drawbridge operator was sentenced to spend a whole two days behind bars, after accepting a manslaughter plea in the death of a bike-riding woman who fell through the gap when the bridge opened while she was on it. But she walked right away, anyway, after being released on time served.

 

International

A Toronto mom couldn’t find a bike helmet to fit her Sikh sons’ turbans, so she did what any other mom would do — design and build her own.

No surprise here, as a new study shows the UK is hopelessly locked into car culture, with 47% saying they have no alternative to owning a car, and 71% says they expect to always own one.

An Irish semi truck driver changed his plea to guilty on a reduced count of careless driving in the death of a 54-year old man who went over his handlebars after the driver passed him with less than 20 inches to spare; the judge has told him to expect jail time when he’s sentenced next month.

Copenhagen-based Newton-Rider is introducing what they call the first foldable, semi-soft bike helmet, which uses a proprietary non-Newtonian thermoplastic elastomer to protect your skull.

An eight-year old Indian girl is nearing the end of a nearly 3,000-mile bicycle ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, accompanied by her bike-riding father, to call attention to the need to “Save the girl child” and protect the environment.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a truck driver faces just three months behind bars after being charged with careless driving in the death of a 28-year old woman riding a bike.

The Guardian conveniently helps you plan your next tour Down Under, with a guide to the best place to ride a bike in Australia for every month of the year.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Isle of Wight won’t be included in this year’s Tour of Britain, despite speculation after the final leg of last year’s race, which was scheduled for the Island, was cancelled when Queen Elizabeth died.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made of plywood. That feeling when a bike ride turns into an opera on two wheels.

And a new book tells the true story of setting out for a short bike ride to get over a breakup, and coming back home two years later.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

US traffic deaths down slightly, bike deaths up; CA not worst for bike riders; curb protected lanes coming to 7th Street

My apologies. 

I inadvertently posted this post and emailed it to subscribers before I had a chance to finish editing it.

So if you received a mistake-filled draft, I’m sorry for the mistake.

………

The Washington Post is reporting that traffic deaths fell slightly in the US in the first nine months of last year.

According to the paper, traffic fatalities were down 0.2 percent compared to the same period last year, a welcome if modest drop after record increases during the pandemic.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, showed nearly 31,800 people were killed in crashes from January through September. That follows increases of 7 percent in 2020 and 10.5 percent in 2021.

However, the news isn’t as good for bike riders and pedestrians. Deaths continued to climb two percent for pedestrians and eight percent for people on bicycles in the first six months of 2022; nine month figures aren’t currently available.

………

Hats off to Nebraska, which was named the nation’s safest state for people on bicycles, where just 15 people died in bicycle-related crashes over the past decade, even as the Bike League ranks it the second-least bike friendly state.

Neighboring South Dakota came in second in the NHTSA’s bike safety ranking, while placing fifth from the bottom in the Bike League’s assessment.

Not surprisingly, Florida and Louisiana ranked first and second from the bottom as the nation’s most dangerous states for bike riders.

California was apparently somewhere in the middle, since it doesn’t show up in the top ten states, or the bottom five.

………

Work is proceeding on the long-promised curb protected bike lane on 7th Street between Figueroa and San Pedro streets in DTLA, which was one of the conditions for approving construction of the 62-story Wilshire Grand Center.

………

LADWP is funding a half-million dollar program to rent out ebikes for up to nine months with a single $20 donation; however, the former Jump bikes used in the Pacoima program can’t be charged at home, and have to be taken to taken in to have the battery swapped.

………

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

No bias here. A Staten Island columnist complains about efforts to expand Vision Zero and speed cams throughout the state, taking away his God-given right to a) speed, and b) kill people with his car, apparently.

No bias here, either. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is proposing a daytime ban on bikes at the beach this summer, with bikes prohibited from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Because apparently, beaches are only for people in cars.

After a German bike rider slammed into the trunk of a turning car after being right hooked, The Sun newspaper tries to stir up controversy by asking who was in the wrong.

………

Local 

Let’s give a grateful thank you to Pasadena’s Lin Realty, whose staff built 150 bikes to donate to the city’s Boys and Girls Club.

The recently passed federal budget bill includes $22.6 million in earmarks for coastal cities, with $1 million of that budgeted to the Manhattan Beach Safe Cycling Project, which is intended to provide a safe bike route to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail by way of Highland and 45th Street.

 

State

The nationwide Black Girls Do Bike organization is celebrating its first ten years with a meetup in San Diego at the end of August, coinciding with the annual Bike the Bay ride. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Folsom man is suing the city over dangerous road conditions after he was struck by a turning driver while riding in a bike lane.

 

National

NPR talks with Cycling Savvy bicycle safety instructor John Schubert about how to safely ride a bike in the city.

Momentum Magazine examines three more American cities that have embraced bicycling. And no, Los Angeles is not one of them.

Bike Portland compares advisory lanes in the Oregon city with the ones in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where they originated.

Last year was a bad one for Las Vegas area bike riders and pedestrians, with 14 bicyclists and 72 pedestrians killed in Clark County.

This is what Los Angeles bike riders have to look forward to. An Austin, Texas bike rider recorded a self-driving General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi veering dangerously into a bike lane; fortunately, no one was riding in the bike lane at the time. Waymo is testing its autonomous vehicles in LA in anticipation of rolling out its robotaxi service; no word on whether they’re programed to respond to an extended middle finger. 

Tragic news from Houston, where a man riding in a bike lane with his wife was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at highway speeds on the surface street, killing both men in what a police spokesperson termed a “very avoidable’ crash.

That’s more like it. The Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to invest $250 million in bike and pedestrian projects.

The accused terrorist who killed eight people with a speeding pickup on a Manhattan bike path five years ago reportedly smiled to an FBI agent as he proudly confessed to his murderous rampage.

A Chattanooga, Tennessee woman is suing the local bikeshare provider for nearly $900,000 after she was knocked unconscious when she was thrown from what she says was a defective or poorly maintained bike.

Horrible news from Georgia, where an 11-year old boy was hospitalized after he was attacked by dogs while riding with a friend.

 

International

Good idea. Alberta mounties are using billboards in an effort to find the hit-and-run driver who killed a 45-year old woman riding a bike last July.

English actor Mark Williams is one of us, as the star of the popular Father Brown murder mystery series fell off his bike while filming; fortunately, he only hurt his pride.

Britain’s anti-bike lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole shocked visitors to his website by suggesting that drivers make it their New Years resolution to give bike riders more space when passing.

Dublin artists are concerned that plans for a separated bike lane could destroy a 40-year old tradition of an open-air art gallery, since the bikeway would mean they couldn’t park right next to the park fence they use to display their works. Because apparently, it’s impossible to park further away and use a dolly or some other device to transport their paintings another few feet.

An Irish court heard a 54-year old father riding a bicycle was killed by a semi truck driver who attempted to pass him just 20 inches from the victim’s handlebars — or the length of three or four soup spoons, as the prosecutor described it.

Hanoi will mark this month’s Tet lunar new year celebration by rolling out the city’s first bikeshare system.

Chinese bikeshare company Mobike’s Australian branch has gone into liquidation following a second failed attempt to crack the Aussie market, leaving over 1600 bikes worth about $1.3 million abandoned on the streets and in warehouses.

 

Competitive Cycling

The trial continues for two men accused of the masked home invasion robbery of British cycling great Mark Cavendish and his family, as Cavendish describes getting punched by a robber and having a knife held to his throat.

Forty-seven-year old Cat 3 cyclist Noslen Ruiz-Gutierrez received a four-year doping ban (scroll down) after a urine test revealed six — count ’em, 6 — banned substances; Ruiz-Gutierrez argued that his doping didn’t matter because he races for recreation, not competition. Sure, try telling that to the other racers he’s not competing against.

 

Finally…

At last, an ebike designed to move your anvils. And repeat after me — when you’re carrying meth on your bike at 2 am, put a damn light on it, already.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

13 years for Adam Milavetz in death of San Diego architect, and LA would be healthier if residents biked to work

Eighteen months after a noted architect was run down in San Diego’s Balboa Park, her killer has been brought to justice.

Thirty-nine-year old Adam David Milavetz accepted a plea deal on Thursday in the death of 57-year old Laura Shinn.

Milavetz pled guilty to to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after prosecutors dropped the initial murder charge; he’s expected to be sentenced to 13 years behind bars.

Shinn was riding her bike through the park on her way to work as director of facilities planning at San Diego State University when she was run down from behind by Milavetz, who was allegedly high at the time of the crash.

Witnesses reported seeing him run across the streets and dump a bag containing baggies of meth after the crash; police found still more meth, fentanyl and hypodermic needles in his car.

While there’s no mention of a Milavetz having a previous DUI conviction, the original murder count suggests that he may have signed a Watson notice, indicating he was aware he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

A new study examines the health impact of healthier commutes.

The authors considered the impact on public health if Los Angeles residents commuted 2.5 miles by bike each day for five years instead of driving.

The result was a 12.4% net reduction in mortality risk, and 600 fewer deaths over the five year period.

However, areas with more Black and Hispanic residents and a lower socioeconomic status showed a significantly lower benefit, suggesting a need for mitigation strategies in marginalized communities.

………

Another “alarming” study reports over one million children were found to have suffered broken bones as a result of bicycling collisions and falls over the past twenty years.

According to the study, 71% of the fracture patients were white males between 10 and 15 years old. Children who rode without a helmet were most likely to suffer an injury, with 87% of helmet-less riders suffering a skull fracture.

Although that last stat seems somewhat questionable. It seems more plausible that 87% of children who suffered a skull fracture weren’t wearing helmets.

And while that one million figure sounds alarming, it works out to an average of just 50,975 fractures a year across the entire US.

A 2014 study shows that one in three children will suffer a bone fracture before the age of 18. With approximately 73 million children under 18 in the US, that works out to an average of 1.35 million adolescent fractures a year.

Which makes 51,000 less than 4%. And a pretty insignificant figure.

………

Good question.

The New York Times asks why we keep widening highways when experts know it doesn’t work.

The paper examines projects in Houston and Jersey City, while also using LA’s cancelled 710 widening project as a prime example.

Interstate 710 in Los Angeles is, like the city itself, famous for its traffic. Freight trucks traveling between the city and the port of Long Beach, along with commuters, clog the highway. The trucks idle in the congestion, contributing to poor air quality in surrounding neighborhoods that are home to over one million people.

The proposed solution was the same one transportation officials across the country have used since the 1960s: Widen the highway. But while adding lanes can ease congestion initially, it can also encourage people to drive more. A few years after a highway is widened, research shows, traffic — and the greenhouse gas emissions that come along with it — often returns…

The cancellation of the Route 710 expansion came after California learned the hard way about the principle of “induced demand…”

When a congested road is widened, travel times go down — at first. But then people change their behaviors. After hearing a highway is less busy, commuters might switch from transit to driving or change the route they take to work. Some may even choose to move farther away.

Yet Caltrans and Metro continue to flush tax money down the toilet by pushing for ever wider highways, and “just one more” high speed interchange which promises to fix everything.

But only serves to make traffic worse in the long run. Not to mention damaging the climate even more.

It’s long past time to stop wasting billions on highways, and start investing in alternatives to driving.

And yes, that includes making it safer and more convenient to choose riding a bike instead of getting behind the wheel.

Chances are you’ll live longer. And so will our planet.

………

Now this is what I’d call a close pass.

Especially since passing vehicles usually look further away on camera than they feel in real life.

………

Gravel Bike California remembers the late, great Huell Howser and his visit to the Los Angeles Wheelmen’s annual Fargo Street Hill Climb.

………

Evidently, jumping rope while riding a bike has become a worldwide trend. Just days after we saw a Culver City bike rider performing the stunt, an Indian woman has posted video of herself doing the same thing.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cmtj1PJqggh/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=dac42c49-3683-4a3b-b525-dcffbcdaa34e

Then again, maybe Indian bicycle riders are just more skilled than the rest of us.

………

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

No bias here. Online conspiracy mongers have concluded that the concept of a 15-minute city is just a ploy by cabal of global elites to control the masses. Um, sure

A ghost bike for a Denver hit-and-run victim had to be taped back together after another hit-and-run driver crashed into it in the middle of the night, less than a month after it had been installed.

Kansas City has paused work on a seven-mile protected bike lane after business owners rose up to fight it, and a city councilmember drafted an ordinance to rip them out.

A Michigan bike path will be closed for the foreseeable future after someone drove a white truck onto it and crashed into an old wooden bridge; needless to say, the driver didn’t stick around afterwards.

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

A blind British Columbia woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging roundabouts and bike lanes create unsafe conditions for people with limited sight, after someone on a bicycle slammed into her as she got off a bus.

………

Local 

Micromobility provider Helbiz is now offering dockless ebikes in Santa Monica, complimenting their acquisition of the Wheels sit-down scooters last year.

 

State

Encinitas hosted a successful Cyclovia on Sunday, as thousands of people took over a section of Coast Highway 101 through downtown Encinitas.

Old Town Goleta’s Bicycle Bob’s bike shop is switching ownership as Bob Zaratzian retires after nearly 40 years, and Trek Bikes takes over.

Bad news from Santa Rosa, where a man is in critical condition after he was struck by a driver while attempting to enter a road riding his bike.

 

National

An 82-year old retired rocket scientist offers tips for using ebikes for commuting and errands, saying electric cars are good, but ebikes are better. Meanwhile, a Florida letter writer says he hated ebikes until he got one.

A writer for Engadget says she sold the family’s second car, and bought a RadRunner ebike to carry her kid and groceries, instead.

Bicycling offers advice on how to actually share the road with someone on a bicycle. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

A retired Spokane eye doctor shook off Ménière’s disease to ride her bike 3,000 miles through South America.

Utah’s governor released a public service announcement asking drivers to pay more attention to people on bikes, as bicycling crashes reach a record level in the state.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where an 81-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for killing a woman riding her bike; police initially blamed the victim, until location data from her smartphone proved she didn’t ride in front of the driver’s car. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to safely drive a car.

A New York Post op-ed credits the city’s new mayor with reducing pedestrian deaths down to pre-pandemic levels, but says he still has a lot of work to do.

Once again, the NYPD is accused of blaming the victim after concluding that a 25-year old woman was killed when she hit a parked car and fell into the street in front of a semi. But the owner of the car says his mirror was already broken, and she never hit it, with witnesses blaming the truck driver, instead.

The accused terrorist who plowed down several people on a crowded Manhattan bike path with a rented pickup goes on trial today in the first federal death penalty case of the Biden Administration; Sayfullo Saipov allegedly killed eight people in New York’s deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11.

 

International

Road.cc complains about the rising cost of bicycling, as high-end bikes continue to grow more expensive, and entry-level bikes suffer from feature creep. And no, the problem isn’t just due to the pandemic, inflation or supply chain issues.

Road.cc also reviews the new book Britain’s Best Bike Ride by John Walsh and Hannah Reynolds, about “the ultimate thousand-mile cycling adventure from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.”

A writer for The Guardian hits the nail on the head, asking how Britain can become a bicycling country if their bikes keep getting stolen. Which is exactly the same question I’ve been asking here. 

In a story that sounds all too familiar, a Kenyan newspaper says bicycle riders are on their own and in danger because town plans ignore them, with no bike lanes at all in two key regions.

Redditors continue to be entranced by South Korea’s solar panel-covered protected bike path running down the median of a major highway, although traffic noise and exhaust pollution continue to be problems. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

 

Competitive Cycling

If you can’t compete in the quadrennial Paris-Brest, try eating it, instead.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a police chase ends on a borrowed bicycle. Self-driving cars are becoming more like human drivers every day. And no, that’s not a good thing.

And a British inmate makes his escape on a bike he stole from the jail’s repair shop. But gets caught 41 miles away for illegally riding on a freeway.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

%d bloggers like this: