Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, why people stop going to public meetings, and a look at a friendly little OC bike shop

Let’s start with a few upcoming bike events.

The GiddyUp! Cycling Film Tour will unreel tonight at the Ahrya Fine Arts by Laemmle theater in Beverly Hills, offering a global showcase of films capturing why we love to ride.

Celebrate NoHo’s new Metro Bike Bikeshare with an informal bikeshare celebration ride tomorrow. And yes, there will be donuts involved.

Metro will be offering another of their BEST bicycle education classes this Sunday in West Hollywood, with emphasis on developing group riding skills to see you safely through next weekend’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

The Orange County Wheelmen will be hosting a new century ride from Irvine to Carlsbad on September 7th.

………

If you’ve ever wondered why people stop coming out for important public meetings, these tweets should give you a pretty good idea.

By all reports, last night’s public workshop in Eagle Rock to discuss plans for a North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit line was much better managed, without the anti-transit threats, harassment and intimidation of previous meetings.

You can sign here to show your support for the plan, which preserves existing bike lanes.

………

This is why you need to support your local bike shop.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting talks with a former domestique who runs a tiny bike shop in Rancho Santa Margarita, where customer service and ensuring everyone leaves with a smile matter more than pumping out high priced merchandise.

You’ll never find that kind of service online.

Or at most bike shops, for that matter.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

https://twitter.com/DashCamTwats/status/1156659172836040707

………

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

Someone continues to sabotage Australian bike trails, this time in Adelaide by stringing fishing line at neck height; fortunately, a woman discovered it before anyone got hurt.

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

A Michigan cop suffered minor injuries trying to stop a bike-riding leaf blower bandit when he attempted to knock the man off his bike, but missed. And missed with his taser, too.

Tragic news from New York, where police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who killed a 60-year old pedestrian. And as often happens, it sounds like bicyclist wouldn’t be in trouble if he’d just stuck around after the crash.

………

Local

Sixteen Metro Bike stations are now up and running in North Hollywood, Valley Village and Studio City in the San Fernando Valley.

We already know that Katy Perry is one of us, taking her bicycle with her torrid to her shows; she’s also taken her $19 million Beverly Hills mansion off the electric grid to reduce her carbon footprint.

Burbank is cutting speed limits around schools to 15 mph in a much-needed effort to improve safety.

A pair of bike-riding transients were busted for a failed attempt to steal a pair of bronze statues from a Covina business after the shopping cart they were towing them in toppled over. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

State

Irvine bicyclists can now expect to share the streets with Amazon Prime delivery robots and their human minders, at least for now.

San Diego mountain bikers are on edge after a man was shot in the hand by a robber who stole his bicycle on Tuesday.

The Voice of San Diego says the city is undermining its own climate action goals by continuing to prioritize cars over people on Morena Blvd.

A salmon cyclist suffered minor injuries when he was hit by an SUV driver while riding the wrong way in a Ramona bike lane.

A San Luis Obispo paper looks at why the city has lost two bikes shops in a single week. Like the owner of one having to work a second job just to keep the shop afloat.

A Los Altos writer says yes, it is legal to ride a bicycle in many places in California, but there’s no good reason to scare or inconvenience others.

 

National

If you lost your fully loaded AR-15 rifle while riding on an an Anchorage AK bike path, a man found it while walking his dog. And the police would like to talk to you.

A Utah woman reflects on the life-changing moment when you learn to ride a bicycle.

Denver announces plans to lower speed limits on several streets in response to recent bicycling deaths.

A Lutheran bishop rides RAGBRAI, and considers the spiritual aspects of the popular ride across Iowa.

A Chicago woman turns herself in for a hit-and-run so bad her bike-riding victim remains in critical condition over three weeks after the crash; she’s been charged with felony hit-and-run and DUI counts. She should also face charges for attempting to coverup the crime by replacing her car’s mirror and windshield the day of the crash. Although it will be interesting to see how they can make the DUI charge stick without a blood, breath or field sobriety test.

A group of young men are apparently mugging bike riders in the Windy City. A bikeshare rider was the victim of the third attack in less than a week.

After taking up bicycling in honor of her late bike-riding husband, a Chicago woman was crushed when someone stole her bike in South Carolina. Until she got it back when the thief tried to sell it to a legitimate dealer.

Jeff Goldblum is one of us, going to Detroit to visit a bikemaker and take part in a slow roll ride, and leaving the city with a new bicycle.

Indianapolis bike riders are getting new bikeways, courtesy of a dollar per day fee on scooters.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York responds to recent bicycling deaths by rushing to install 45 blocks of new protected bike lanes in Brooklyn.

Take a 13-mile sightseeing bike tour of Manhattan on the Hudson River Greenway.

A writer for c|net credits his new WaveCel helmet with saving his life when he was hit by driver in an unprotected New York bike lane.

 

International

Road.cc offers an updated bicycle to English dictionary, while Rouleur provides all the bicycling quotations your two-wheeled little heart could desire.

No bias here. An Ottawa letter writer generously allows that not all bike riders break the law, just 95% of them, while calling for mandatory licenses and insurance. Just wait until someone tells him how effective that’s been for motorists.

The CEO of British foldie maker Brompton says ebikes will lead to a mega transformation of the bike industry in the near future.

Evidently, it helps to be British royalty-adjacent to get your dogs’ stolen cargo bike back.

No bias here, either. A UK motorists group says it doesn’t matter if traffic deaths are down, London’s Vision Zero is a “counter-productive road safety fantasy.” And suggests that if you really want to reduce bicycling crashes, stop encouraging people to ride bikes.

Or here, either. A trucking website says forget requiring new truck standards so drivers can actually see the road around them, because bikes just don’t belong on London’s narrow streets, and all bike riders should be required to pass a proficiency test instead.

Paris plans to expand a network of bike paths to the outlying suburbs to make it easier for commuters to bike to work.

Vienna, Austria is fighting motor vehicle usage with a subsidized cargo bikeshare program.

Right-wing Austrian politicians are calling for a ban on bike trailers after two small children were killed when a driver slammed into the trailer their mother was pulling behind her ebike, while calmer voices say the real problem is cars and the people driving them.

Turns out Luxembourg isn’t all that bike friendly after all.

Heartbreaking story from Hiroshima on the 70th anniversary of the first atomic bomb attack, where a three-year old boy was buried with his tricycle until his bones were exhumed 34 years ago and moved to the family cemetery.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Chloe Dygert Owen honored former teammate Kelly Catlin after winning her second gold medal at the Pan American Games with a runaway victory in the individual time trial. She previously won silver with Catlin, who took her own life earlier this year, in the team time trial at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

 

Finally…

The next time a seagull attacks you on your bike, try giving it the stare down. Apparently, if you want to keep bicyclists safe on both sides of the road, you have to ask pretty please.

And you may not be going anywhere, but at least you’re art.

Or maybe riding art.

 

Morning Links: 15-year old fixie rider dragged 1,000 feet by hit-and-run driver, and a flaming bagpipe unicycle ride

Horrible news from South LA, where a 15-year old boy was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who sped off, leaving him bleeding in the streets.

While the story identifies him as a pedestrian, he was actually riding or walking with what appears to be a fixie when he was run down by a heartless coward at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue around 9 pm last night — then dragged over the length of a football field under the driver’s car.

That’s around 1,000 feet.

Police described the victim as barely alive.

Officers are looking for a 2007 or 2008 dark blue or green Honda Accord with tinted windows and front-end damage.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run involving serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles, which will increase to $50,000 if the worst happens.

Let’s hope they catch this murderous jerk.

And pray that the boy he tried to kill by not stopping makes a fast and full recovery.

Update: The victim has been identified by his mother as Roberto Diaz, who was riding in a crosswalk after buying a soda at a nearby store when he was run down by a driver who blew through a stop sign. 

The driver stopped briefly when he or she was followed by witnesses before taking off again. 

………

Apparently, parking is a common theme today.

Harbor Area planning commissioners approve plans for a new 80-room hotel in San Pedro, with 56 parking spaces for drivers, and all of five — count ’em, 5 — spaces for people with bicycles.

A massive new San Diego commercial development will feature just 90 short-term bike racks, along with 90 long-term bike lockers, to compliment nearly 1,400 parking spaces for motor vehicles. Not exactly the way to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

A bike-riding Seattle business owner says he’d rather keep the street parking in front of his cafe and put a planned bike lane somewhere else, evidently preferring his current customers to getting more business from people like him. And before someone says Seattle isn’t Amsterdam, maybe it should be. Then again, so should Los Angeles.

………

Trek’s podcast talks with the founder of Black Girls Do Bike, who deserves the Medal of Freedom. Or sainthood. Or something.

………

Security video captures a Kansas City-area driver plow through a crosswalk without looking, and right into a bicyclist riding in it.

Then the police ticket the driver, as well as both bike riders for not waiting for the walk signal even though they had the green light.

………

Former Top Gear host James May calls on drivers to live in peace with fellow road users, and not “buy into the anti-cycling thing.”

………

Local

The LA Weekly goes on a bicycle pastry tour through LA’s Fairfax District and points east. And gives a shout out to former Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali’s popular Get Some Dim Sum rides

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton explains LA’s wonky and acronym-heavy shift from LOS to VMT, saying it’s “likely to have big ramifications for making L.A. healthier, more walkable, more bikeable, and transit-friendly.”

Plans to redevelop the aging South Bay Galleria include what are obliquely described as “bicycle connections,” whatever that means in real life.

No need for guilt when you attend a track cycling race at the VELO Sports Center on the complex that houses Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, which Los Angeles Magazine calls the world’s most sustainable soccer facility, right down to its fleet of cruiser bikes for workers to traverse the expansive grounds.

 

State

In today’s faux soap opera report, ebikes have infiltrated the Real Housewives of Orange County, as Kelly Dodd presents her plastic surgeon boyfriend with a William Shatner-approved Pedego. And no, I had no idea who Dodd is, or anyone else on the show for that matter. But hey, good taste in gift giving.

A man was shot in the hand by a bike-jacker just after dark on bike path in the San Pasqual area near Escondido; he was shot as he raised his hands after the armed thief jumped out from behind some rocks and demanded his bicycle.

Everyone was on their best behavior as thousands of people turn out for Santa Barbara’s long-running Fiesta Cruiser Ride, after police cracked down on previous rides.

These are difficult days for local bike shops trying to compete in today’s online shopping world, as demonstrated by two bike shops closing in San Luis Obispo in just the last week.

The Davis Enterprise offers a quartet of stories celebrating the US Bicycling Hall of Fame on its 10th birthday, calling it the most bikey thing about the bike-mad town and part of the fabric of the community, while noting that the hall may shift gears in the future.

 

National

If anyone is shocked that Uber and Lyft are making traffic congestion worse, you need to get out more. But at least they finally admit it.

Ebike price continue to drop, as Electrek and Verge like the new Swagtron EB12 city bike, which checks in at penny under $1,000; the best part is it looks like an actual bicycle. And hopefully rides that way.

Great idea. A new bike light currently crowdfunding online offers dual lights, with one forward-facing 500 lumen LED to light the road, and another back-facing LED to make the rider more visible to drivers.

C|net compares a pair of low cost GoPro alternatives to the real thing.

A pair of cancer survivors just rode 4,000 miles across the US to promote bone marrow donations and raise $24,000 for the organization that helped save their own lives.

The mountain bike front derailleur isn’t dead yet, it’s just 90% off.

Hats off to a Boise, Idaho pawnshop owner, who helped bust a serial bike thief trying to unload $40,000 worth of bicycles reportedly stolen in Washington, California, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina.

After 45 years, savage serial killer Ted Bundy’s last case was finally closed, 45 years after he took the life of a young Colorado woman as she was out for a bike ride.

A Kansas man is on trial for aggravated battery for critically injuring MMA fighter Carmella James while she was riding her bicycle to work; police believe he was under the influence, but don’t appear to have tested him.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was shot in the back in a drive-by.

An Arkansas bicycle coordinator says bike helmets are great, but mandatory helmet laws aren’t.

Yes, 288-pound NFL star JJ Watt replaced a young Green Bay Packers fan’s bicycle, after breaking the boy’s bike riding it to training camp.

Broadway actor Noah Galvin is one of us, riding along Manhattan’s Riverfront Park when he’s not performing in the hit show Waitress.

It takes a humongous schmuck to steal not one, not two, but three ghost bikes dedicated to a Virginia woman’s sister, who calls them a powerful symbol of a life lost.

A North Carolina city legalizes riding on the sidewalk as a stopgap measure until they get a planned bike lane network installed, recognizing that their streets aren’t currently safe for people on bicycles. On the other hand, riding on the sidewalk usually isn’t any safer; in fact, it usually increases your risk due to limited sight lines.

They get it. In a New Orleans podcast, bike advocates say we’ll have peace on the road when everyone has a piece of the road; meanwhile, the host of the podcast says progress on the city’s bike network is “worth the inconvenience of adapting to it.” I like him already.

 

International

No bias here. European truck drivers say they’ll give bike riders a safe passing distance as long as we’re required to wear hi-vis and and use daytime lights.

The family of a fallen London bike rider call for safer streets after the pioneering physician was fatally doored last September.

WTF? A local UK council gets an injunction preventing bike riders from meeting or congregating at a new cycling café. Which raises the obvious question of what exactly is the point of a cycling café if cyclists can’t use it. And if you bump into someone there who also rides a bike, does one of you have to leave?

The former Posh Spice is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride on a romantic Italian getaway with husband David Beckham and their four kids.

Travel and Leisure says the best way to see the scenic Swiss countryside is by bicycle, even if you’re a beginning rider.

A Luxembourg website lists the most common traffic violations for the country’s bicyclists, while noting that bike riders were only held accountable for 40% of bike crashes. The question is how many drivers were ticketed for the same crashes.

News reports question whether the president of Turkmenistan is suffering from a serious illness — or worse — despite recent news clips showing him riding and participating in other activities, which could have been outtakes from previous clips.

 

Competitive Cycling

Underscoring the danger pro cyclists face on a daily basis, the director of the Tour de Pologne, aka Tour of Poland, blames the tragic death of 22-year old Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht on a single “moment of hesitation.”

Yesterday’s stage of the Tour of Poland was transformed to a solemn memorial procession with the peloton riding in Lambrecht’s honor.

A writer for Cycling Weekly recalls the pivotal role Lambrecht played in an extraordinary day of racing at a U-23 race trough the Pyrenees.

Cycling Tips questions how long on-and-off road cycling champ Mathieu van der Poel can keep up his torrid pace.

Who says women can’t compete with the men? Twenty-four-year old German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to win the European Transcontinental Race, covering 2,485 miles across the continent in just 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes to beat 265 other riders. And it was her first bike race.

Finally…

This is what you might call an epic bike lane fail. Take your pooch on a Jump bike ride.

And we’ll just end on this one without comment.

Morning Links: A little good news, new NoHo Metro Bikes but no Lankershim bike lanes, and anti-bike Redondo official

After recent events, I think we could all use a little good news to start the day.

After an Indiana woman’s bicycle, which was her only form of transportation, was stolen, a pair of kindhearted Indiana bike cops gave her an extra bicycle one of them had at home.

A Maine bike co-op allows new immigrants and low-income residents to earn a bicycle by learning how to refurbish and repair it.

Thanks to a Virginia nonprofit founded by a US Army vet, 21 special needs kids now have new adaptive bicycles to ride.

And hats off to a couple Georgia cops who spotted a 71-year old man riding his bike on a busy highway without any lights or reflectors to get something to eat. So they put his bike in a patrol car, drove him to the restaurant, then went to Walmart to buy safety gear for his bike.

Photo of bike-riding family by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

On the local front, the good news is Metro Bike has made its first appearance in North Hollywood.

The bad news is, we could have had a safe place to ride them if CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian hadn’t blocked plans for a lane reduction and parking-protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd.

Krekorian killed the fully funded and shovel ready plan two years ago, bizarrely claiming that the project needed more public outreach.

As if five years of meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes isn’t enough.

And someone should tell him we’re still waiting on the additional public outreach and those alternative Lankershim options he promised us.

Or maybe Krekorian is just waiting until he’s termed out of office and it becomes someone else’s problem.

………

Nothing like a Redondo Beach official finding a little humor in running your ass over for no apparent reason.

Except maybe people commuting, exercising, recreating or having fun just annoys the crap out of her.

That would be this Recreation & Parks Commission, in case you were wondering.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

The Green Bay Packers take their traditional bike ride to training camp, borrowing bicycles from little kids, who carry their helmets for them.

Unfortunately for one kid’s bike, the Houston Texans joined them.

………

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

Someone is shoving people off their bicycles on Portland OR bike paths.

………

Local

The LA Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet in Hollywood tonight; unfortunately, the posted agenda here is from December — 2018.

LA City Planning announces that LOS, which measures how many cars can move through a given point, is out, and VMT, or Vehicle Miles Traveled, is in; the latter counts people on bikes and buses, too.

Adam Conover, host of TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything talks about living carfree in the City of Angels, and how it’s cars that actually ruin everything.

A Frogtown artist bought a small slice of the LA River to give himself a bigger voice in plans to restore it.

The last candidate forum for next week’s special election in LA’s 12th Council District will be held in Chatsworth Wednesday night. You owe it to yourself to be there if you live in CD12. Unless you’ve already decided to vote for Bike the Vote LA and LA Times-approved Loraine Lundquist, in which case you have my permission to stay home tomorrow night.

Los Angeles County puts forth a sustainability plan for a carbon-free county by 2050. Which could be about 30 years too late. Then again, the way things are going on the international front, the long-sought solution to global warming may turn out to be a nuclear winter.

 

State

Camarillo is starting work on a road widening project to add bike lanes on Pleasant Valley Road.

San Diego bike riders turn out to support plans for protected bike lanes on 30th Street; however, some in the area evidently prefer parking spaces to more customers and saving lives.

A San Jose driver complains that she right hooked a bike rider and was actually held responsible for it. And columnist Mr. Roadshow says that’s because she was. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A San Francisco newspaper watches a bike lane for 30 minutes just before rush hour, and observes drivers blocking it an average of once per minute.

No bias here. A bike-riding Sausalito marketing flack says all the people in his neighborhood “resent the awful attitudes, rude demeanor and reckless actions” of roving packs of scofflaw cyclists who terrorize the city at speeds of up to 50 mph.

A popular Sacramento riverfront bike path will be shut down for a month to realign the path and repair a damaged embankment. Someone might want to point that out to officials in Los Angeles, where repairs to the LA River bike path are usually measured in years.

 

National

Bicycling recommends a more comfortable bike seat for women, who have to sit on often-painful parts men don’t.

A Washington columnist says yes, it’s legal to ride a bike on a freeway in the state, which doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

For the second week in a row, a triathlete has been killed during a competition, this time a 68-year old man who crashed his bike in an Illinois race.

Sad news from Minnesota, where an off-duty cop was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver while riding his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who killed a nine-year old Gary, Indiana boy as he was riding his bike, then burned the car to hide the evidence.

Police and the press in upstate New York freak out over a group of around 60 kids on bicycles riding in the roadway. And by all reports, taking the lane just like they should.

A New York op-ed says the way to stop the recent rash of bicycling deaths is to do what it takes to cut the number of cars on the streets.

Bike Snob says New York Mayor and presidential candidate Bill di Blasio’s “audacious” plan to prevent bicycling deaths just isn’t enough.

The University of Virginia offers suggestions on how to stay safe while you’re riding your bike. And for a change, most of them make sense.

The bike rider killed in a collision with a pickup truck driver during a Mississippi charity ride was a respected structural engineer for the U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution presents six of the city’s best bike trails for your next journey to the Peach State.

Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy riding in the Big Easy these days, as the city ranks  fifth in the US in bike commuting per capita, with 3% of people riding to work. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t the list.

 

International

Forbes‘ Carlton Reid offers advice on the easy way to teach your kid to ride a bike.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a 400-mile network of dramatic British Columbia rail-to-trail conversions, including 18 former railroad trestles in just one 12-mile stretch.

It takes a massive asshole — and I use the term advisedly — to sell an apparently purloined UK ghost bike online. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

A British author says narrow bike lane traffic islands turn bike riders into human traffic calming islands.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a heartbreaking reminder that cycling is a dangerous sport, 22-year old Belgian pro Bjorg Lambrecht, a member of the Lotto-Soudal team, was killed yesterday while competing in the Tour of Poland.

Lambrecht reportedly fell into a concrete culvert 60 miles from the finish of Monday’s stage, and died during surgery after being resuscitated at the scene.

Race organizers cancelled the traditional post-race podiums and festive atmosphere when the news about Lambrecht broke; today’s stage remains in question.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Finally…

Bikeshare today, furniture tomorrow. And don’t park in a bike lane, bro — especially if you’re armed and drinking.

 

Morning Links: Tough bike riders, how dangerous rumors start, and tell Fletcher Dr. shops road diets are good for them

Who says bike riders aren’t tough?

When a Cuban Paralympian’s titanium leg fell off during a race in my hometown, he finished the race with just one leg.

Friends say Damian Alfonso Lopez never lost his love of bicycling — or life — despite losing both arms and half his face when he tried to rescue a kite stuck in power lines as a child; he lost one of his legs two years ago when he was hit by a bus.

And a British Columbia mountain bike describes fighting off an attacking grizzly bear with a pocket knife.

Photo by jdaypix from Pixabay.

………

This is how dangerous rumors start. A Colorado Facebook user posts video of a skitching bike rider, along with a thirdhand rumor that someone was doing hanging onto cars like that to follow the drivers and rob them with a knife.

The local police respond by saying if someone is doing that, it’s news to them.

………

Vancouver’s former chief planner makes an important point about bike lanes:

While business owners often fight them at first, they usually fight to keep them after they’ve been there awhile.

Someone might want to tell that to the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce, which opposes plans for much needed lane reductions on Fletcher Drive.

Evidently, they’d rather let drivers continue to zoom past than improve safety on the deadly street.

Not to mention making it more appealing to shoppers. Especially the ones who don’t come by car.

………

A new study from the University of Duh concludes what most of us already knew — signs that read Bikes May Use Full Lane are more effective than sharrows and Share The Road signs.

………

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

A Utah bike rider is filing a lawsuit against a cop he claims ran him down with his patrol car when the officer mistook his friendly wave for giving him the finger; the 14-year police veteran says the victim just hit a curb and fell over. Naturally, there’s no body cam, bike cam or other video of the alleged crash.

A Texas man had to bail from his bike when his ex-girlfriend tried to run him down with her car at full speed; she only succeeded in killing his bike and leaving him with a deep cut. He might want to try avoiding her until she cools off just a bit.

………

Local

Metro announces the Metro Bike bikeshare system will come to North Hollywood this week; maybe someday they’ll drop the “north” and come to that other Hollywood on the other side of the Cahuenga pass. Thanks to Streetsblog and NoHo Arts District for picking up the ball I dropped by failing to mention this last week.

Speaking of Metro, they’re offering their BEST bicycle education safety training class en español next Sunday.

Los Angeles could get a new pedestrian plaza, as officials consider converting Stanley Ave to a carfree people spot above Melrose.

A writer for Strong Towns visits Los Angeles, and discovers it’s possible to spend a carfree week in LA.

The Los Angeles Times says maybe that e-scooter isn’t as green as you think it is. Meanwhile, no surprise here, as LA Times letter writers really don’t like scooters.

If you missed last month’s Which Way LACBC workshop, you can still offer your suggestions on what you want from the organization.

 

State

Irvine plans to join other Orange County cities in developing a climate action planSan Diego’s climate plan has been the driving force in that city’s recent transformation into a more bike and pedestrian friendly community, while LA’s plan is nothing more than a few vague promises from the mayor, and councilmembers who say we need to declare a climate emergency, while continuing to block bike lanes.

A Bakersfield bike rider suffered what was described as major injuries to his legs when he was hit by a train Friday night. Seriously, trains are the easiest crashes to avoid, because you know where they’ll be and usually have to illegally cross warning gates to reach them.

A scholastic mountain bike team in inner-city Richmond is changing lives one bike at a time. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Not even bike-friendly Davis is immune from officials caving to a bikelash from angry drivers, following a road diet to provide kids with a safe route to school.

 

National

Seattle’s bicycling community gets its freak on with the Dead Baby Bikes Downhill, described by one of its leaders as “gleeful mayhem on freak bikes.”

After a rash of Colorado bicycling deaths, the Boulder Camera’s editorial advisory board offers four different takes on bike safety, from calls for better infrastructure to the usual windshield bias.

An unbanked, DIY grass velodrome built on the Kansas prairie could provide a low-cost model for developing track cycling in other communities. If riders can get used to the bumps. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

A Texas bike rider is suing Specialized and a local bike shop after the Specialized wheel he bought cracked during a race just six months later.

A reporter for CNN goes riding across Iowa with the popular RAGBRAI ride for the first time. And uses the tall corn for a bike rack.

He gets it. A Wisconsin writer says drivers aren’t looking for us, so we have to look for them — and ride defensively. Evidently he means drivers like this Milwaukee man who plowed into an anti-violence protest march; fortunately, no one was injured.

There’s not a pit deep enough for a Minnesota man who faces well-deserved charges for allegedly grabbing a little girl off her bicycle and attempting to force her into his car, then placing her hand on his crotch; fortunately, a witness yelled and scared the creep off.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an Ohio special needs girl’s three-wheeled adaptive bike.

Connecticut authorities throw the book at an alleged hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after hitting a red light-running bike rider. He was captured after a short chase, saying he got scared because cops had shot at him before when he was the driver in a shootout with police; meanwhile, the victim just got up and rode away while police were otherwise occupied.

A self-described Staten Island old guy rails against the “small majority” of scofflaw bike riders — especially the ones with earbuds.

Good question. A Long Island bike theft became a racial issue when people questioned why police took so long to file charges against a 36-year old white man wrestled a bicycle from a 15-year old black young man in front of witnesses and on camera, and why it wasn’t charged as a hate crime.

Gothamist examines why trucks and their drivers have become the biggest offenders of New York’s Vision Zero.

A New York rider films what he describes as a death-defying journey on six bicycling corridors, finding numerous blocked bike lanes and dangerous drivers.

She gets it. A writer for the New York Times says bike riders have been blamed for crashes with drivers since the 1880s, but maybe it’s time for drivers to face more serious consequences.

A Louisiana driver told police yes, she hit someone on a bike, but drove off because someone had apparently taken the victim away — except he was still trapped under her car as she dragged him the length of a football field as she fled the scene. Needless to say, police suspected she was under the influence when they caught up to her shortly afterwards.

A bike rider was killed when he was hit by a pickup driver during a 62-mile Mississippi charity ride.

Kindhearted Alabama cops buy a new bike for a seven-year old boy after they found the bike his grandparents bought him, but the guy who stole and chopped it couldn’t figure out how to put it back together again.

When you’re carrying meth, pipes, beer, vodka and shoplifted clothes on your bike, try not to call attention to yourself by nearly getting killed by Georgia drivers.

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to ride in honor of a former Orlando FL Marine who was killed when a truck driver swerved into the bike lane he was riding in.

 

International

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a British Columbia man killed by a drunk driver. Not to mention one of the prettier ones I’ve seen.

A local activist group gets aroused by the Edmonton, Canada edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, demanding that police enforce their morals and protect their innocent eyes by busting any bike rider who dares to go bare.

Thousands of Londoners took part in the city’s annual two-day, 100-mile, carfree bike fest.

A writer for the Independent says former London Mayor and newly seated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson might be an effective leader after all, based on the job he did getting popularly named Boris Bikes on the streets of the city.

The owner of a UK trucking firm says the county government will have blood on its hands if one of his drivers kills someone riding on the new bike lane in front of his yards, claiming truck designs and a tall hedge will keep the drivers from seeing them. Because evidently, it’s impossible to trim a hedge or buy trucks offering greater visibility.

A British animal rights protester will need a new foldie after stopping his bike in front of a sheep truck, whose driver proceeded to crunch it; fortunately, he jumped off his bike before it went under the truck.

Forbes considers how Ireland has managed to cut traffic deaths by 31% since 2010, including morning roadside stops to catch drivers who are still drunk from the night before.

An Aussie father and daughter ride through a narrow dust devil and come out the safely on the other side.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Jennifer Valente took gold in the women’s omnium at Peru’s Pan American Games, winning three of the four events.

A couple of British medical professionals discover that it is possible to work full-time and still train for the grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM.

Like father, like daughter. A Colorado Springs CO man will take part in his 25th Leadville 100 mountain bike race, dating back to the first one in 1994, while his 22-year old daughter will ride her first.

It’s one thing to ride the Tour de France ona racing bike. But let’s see the pros race a Brompton around Buckingham Palace.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the handlebars come off your Kmart bike — while you’re riding it. If you’re too drunk to walk, you’re too drunk to ride.

And it’s hard to get hit by a train; even harder to hit one.

 

Morning Links: Koretz wants scooter ban but goes for stickers instead, anti-bike bias in NYC, and faking cancer for charity

Maybe this makes sense to someone.

Or not.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has called on the city to place stickers reading No e-scooter riding on the sidewalk. It’s the law. on the sidewalks of his district.

I continue to be very concerned about the e-scooter explosion here in Los Angeles and decided to proactively alert riders of the illegality of riding on sidewalks for the safety of the pedestrians in my district,” said Koretz, whose Fifth District stretches from the Santa Monica Mountains to parts of Hollywood.

“In addition to my concern about riders on the sidewalks, I am equally worried about e-scooter riders’ own safety entering commercial traffic. In reality, there are few places where e-scooters can be ridden safely.

Not that scooter users aren’t already aware of that, since it’s clearly marked on every damn scooter currently available in Los Angeles.

And as he suggests, scooterists use the sidewalks because they don’t feel safe on city streets — thanks in part to Koretz own efforts to block bike lanes, and keep streets dangerous in his district.

But like Elizabeth Warren, he has a plan for that.

I would be thrilled to see e-scooters banned until we have an adequate bicycle/e-scooter lane infrastructure for them,” Koretz said. “In the meantime I am hoping these decals can alleviate some of the e-scooter danger occurring in my district.

So, the solution, in his typical auto-focused way, is to ban scooters until he’s out of office, and let someone else come in and build the bike lanes and safe streets he hasn’t. And won’t.

And in the meantime, he’ll just maintain the current level of automotive hegemony on our streets by keeping it too risky and uncomfortable to ride a scooter on the Westside.

Or a bike, for that matter.

Just another example of making it look like he’s doing something to improve safety without actually doing a damn thing.

………

No bias here.

A New York writer says the reason bike riders keep dying in the city is we’re all a bunch of maniacs with no regard for the law or our own safety.

Okay, that may be paraphrasing just a tad.

But still.

He starts by complaining about the recent decision to let bike riders use the leading pedestrian interval signals to get a jump on traffic, and cross intersections — where most urban crashes occur — safely.

But then quickly moves on to make it clear his problem is with bikes and the people who ride them.

The city also plans to splurge another $58.4 million on more bike lanes. But nobody — not Mayor Bill de Blasio, not council Speaker Corey Johnson and not Transportation Alternatives, the bicycle-advocacy group that curiously holds dominion over our streets — is calling for mandatory training or demanding adherence to traffic laws.

Both moves are all too symptomatic of city politicians’ infatuation with the bicycle ideology and the elite interests that promote it — as well as their corresponding indifference to pedestrians…

The bike lobby’s utter silence on education and accountability is a cruel betrayal of all law-abiding, safety-conscious bicyclists — and undeniable evidence of its reckless ideological zeal.

He wastes a lot of ink defending New Yorker’s God-given right to own an automobile, and park it wherever the hell they want.

As if the overwhelming majority of the city’s streets aren’t already given over to the gasoline cult. The people who ride bicycles are just trying to scrape back a tiny portion to protect their own lives, and encourage more people to willingly leave their cars at home.

And actually succeeding, unlike some West Coast cities that unanimously approve hard-fought bike plans that just gather dust on the shelf while people die on our own streets.

Okay, maybe one city in particular.

Then there’s this.

Not only are bikes rendered impractical in bad weather, for many people, including the elderly, disabled and anyone who doesn’t want to show up at work smelling like an anchovy’s armpit, they aren’t a viable alternative to automobiles or public transportation.

Apparently, he’s never heard of ebikes. Or hand cycles. Or adult tricycles. Or any of the other ways the elderly, disabled and business commuters ride bikes every day.

Never mind that countless New Yorkers commute by bike year round, regardless of the weather. Because unlike witches and bike-hating writers, we don’t melt in the rain or snow.

Besides, anchovies don’t have armpits.

It goes on, and gets worse. But we’ll spare you the rest; you can click on the link yourself, or just bang your head against the wall for several minutes until you lose any sense of reality.

Either way, the effect will be the same.

………

Speaking of New York, confused NYPD officers ticketed a grown man for not wearing a helmet — even though the state’s helmet law doesn’t apply to anyone over 14.

………

The definition of a bike lane fail.

………

I only wish this was unbelievable.

An Ohio man became a star fundraiser for a local charity ride to fight cancer after announcing he had stage 4 brain cancer.

But seven years later, he still showed no outward signs of the disease, and refused to give any details about his treatment.

When organizers confronted him, he confessed to faking the whole thing. As well as stealing a small portion of the money he raised.

And going so far as to hide the truth from his own partner of 17 years.

………

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

A Chicago TV station says tensions remain high after a driver punched a bicyclist in a video we linked to last month; the road raging driver reportedly lost his job with a law firm after the video went viral.

An off-duty New York transportation department worker hits a bike rider with his car, then gets out and slaps the victim’s phone out of his hand and pushes him before driving away.

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

New York police are on the lookout for a sexual assault suspect who faked a bike crash as an excuse to grab a woman’s breasts — then broke into her home and was standing over her bed when she woke up at 4:30 am. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough.

………

Local

The LA Times says the city’s most controversial and divisive issue right now may be e-scooters, and scooter companies should be responsible for their users’ bad behavior. They’ve got a point. I watched yesterday as a Wheels user carefully parked his scooter and took a picture to prove to the company he’d done it correctly. Then walked off, leaving it parked directly in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking foot traffic from both directions.

Dodgers stadium is scheduled for a $100 million makeover before next season, including improved bicycle and pedestrian access. No word on whether that will include a secure bike valet, like their arch rivals in San Francisco.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in Point Mugu State Park and Sycamore Canyon.

Pasadena will host a class tomorrow designed to help you become a more confident urban bicyclist, along with a ride on the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail.

Caltrans is beginning a $5.5 million pavement repair and slurry seal project they promise will result in a smoother ride for motorists and bicyclists on PCH above Santa Monica.

The Jewish Journal celebrates renaming the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for the late cycling king of Hermosa Beach. But no matter who they honor, sharrows are not and will never be a bike lane.

 

State

Better bike lanes are making it safer and easier for people on two wheels in downtown San Diego.

A San Diego writer says everyone has their NIMBY moments — his neighbors don’t want bike lanes to replace their on street parking, and he never wanted them and their massive SUVs as neighbors.

Speaking of San Diego NIMBYs, City Beat accuses a mayoral hopeful of going full NIMBY in calling for a complete ban on e-scooters, noting the search for someone else to blame is always successful. To paraphrase a movie from a few years back, everybody knows you never go full NIMBY.

Evidently, riding a bicycle to see a San Francisco Giants game makes you a security risk.

Lyft pulls their new ebikes from the streets of San Francisco after some of them spontaneously burst into flames. Because the alternative would be to require all users to wear asbestos bike shorts.

 

National

A Senate committee has passed a bi-partisan bike-friendly transportation bill favored by PeopleForBikes. Now the question is whether Mitch McConnell will even allow it to come up for a vote.

He gets it. An editor for automotive website Jalopnik says a big-ass truck doesn’t make you tough. Now if they could just make sure all the drivers of those massive trucks and SUVs read that before being allowed back on the streets with bike riders and pedestrians.

Outside offers advice on the right way to clean your bike, while GQ considers the best pants for your bike commute.

Rock band The Distillers has cancelled their American tour after the drummer was doored, resulting in a truly nasty cut on his hand that took 40 stitches to close.

A Seattle bike shop owner was caught on security cam attempting to fight off a bike thief with a wrench, crushing her fingers, as he walked off with a new bike after she returned the one he brought in for repair to its original owners.

An Arizona city learns the hard way that pulling over law-abiding drivers to give them fake tickets offering free drinks at Circle K is a bad idea, after someone points out that’s it’s against the law to stop drivers without probable cause. So they decide to just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead, evidently assuming the Constitution doesn’t apply to us.

Several hundred Denver bike riders came out to honor fallen bicyclists and call for safer streets. The Denver Post says motorists can honor those victims by pledging to be a better and safer driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $40,000 handicapped-accessible van from a Denver nonprofit, and used it to smash into a bike shop.

According to the local sheriff, an 81-year old Michigan man was killed when he tried to jump a curb with his adult tricycle, then tipped over and fell into the street, where he was run over by a semi. No, really, that doesn’t strain credibility at all — especially when getting right hooked by the truck driver seems a lot more likely.

One kindhearted person gave a bike to another. A Tennessee police chief gave one of the department’s extra bicycles to a young woman, after she gave hers to a coworker who needed it more.

A Knoxville TN law firm is looking for plaintiffs to sue bike helmet makers who don’t include MIPS or Wave Cel tech on every model.

Once again, wealthy New York condo owners have sued — and lost — in an attempt to block a new bike lane that would result in the loss of 400 parking spaces.

New Yorkers remember artist and yogi Em Samolewicz, the city’s 18th bicycling victim this year, as a gentle, kind soul and a magical creature; Gothamist says the city is doing basically nothing to keep riders like her from getting fatally doored.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have a chance in hell of becoming president, but we shouldn’t laugh off his call for a nationwide Vision Zero. Even if it doesn’t seem to be working so well in his own city right now.

A New Jersey bike rider learns the hard way to always secure your empty heroin packets before you pull out your ID for the cops.

The lawyer for a driver accused of killing a man and woman when he plowed into a group of nine bike riders near a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade will stipulate that he was driving drunk when he hit them, virtually guaranteeing his conviction on two counts of vehicular homicide and 14 other charges. But they dispute that his blood alcohol level was over .20, would could result in 60 years behind bars.

 

International

Bike experts say the city’s new network of bikeways explains why bicycling has increased London, despite dropping in the rest of England.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his favorite thing is his bike hemet, which he always keeps with him in case a sudden urge to ride should strike.

South African police have opened a murder investigation after a popular local character known as Santa on a Bicycle died after spending four days lying in a ditch.

A New Zealand website says it’s time to give the streets back to children and protect the most vulnerable road users.

Brisbane, Australia opens a new inner-city protected bike lane five years after a woman was killed riding her bike there. So once again, someone has to die before officials actually do something to improve safety.

An Australian study says the way to reduce car congestion and pollution is to eliminate parking spaces.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s not just the pros who are tough. A 19-year old Nebraska woman finished a triathlon in just over two hours, despite two broken arms suffered when she collided with another rider during the cycling portion of the race — then still had to ride the last ten miles, and run another three.

The future of American cycling may involve getting dirty on mountain bikes.

Cyclist looks at how much Egan Bernal was paid for winning the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Nothing amuses small minds and motorists like epic bike fails. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike over a cop who pulls you over for not having lights — or urge a cop to tase you when he stops to help after an apparent drunken bike crash.

Congratulations, we’re all superfluous now.

And if you’re going to have sex with your bike, bring plenty of lube so nothing gets stuck.

………

Let me offer a belated but heartfelt thank you to Mark Jones for his generous donation to help keep BikinginLA coming your way, and to Matthew Robertson for his equally generous monthly contribution. 

Donations of any amount are always appreciated, whether to help support this site or defray the Corgi’s mounting medical bills.

Especially now.

Move along, nothing to see here, part two

My apologies once again.

Yesterday’s Ontario hit-and-run put me far behind schedule last night, after spending the evening caring for a sick wife and a dying dog. And the difficulty I had just writing the story tells me I’m still not caught up on my rest, despite sleeping most of the day.

So please forgive me if I have to beg off on today’s Morning Links for the second time this week.

I’ll do my best to be back tomorrow to catch up on all the highlights from the past few days.

And the lowlights, too.

 

Update: Man riding bike home killed by alleged drunken hit-and-run driver in Ontario

Once again, an innocent person has been murdered by a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

A driver who somehow couldn’t manage to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking, with predictable results.

Allegedly, of course.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a short time later, and not far away.

According to the Fontana Herald News, the victim was riding west on Mission Blvd near Baker Ave in Ontario, just south of the airport, when he was run down sometime early Wednesday morning.

He was found on the shoulder of the road by a passerby, who called police at 1:10 am; no word on how long he’d been there before being discovered.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the paper, he was on his way home, riding west on Mission, when he was somehow struck by a cowardly hit-and-run driver, who left him there to die.

Nearly an hour and a half later, police received a report of a suspicious vehicle less than a block away in a parking lot at 1320 S. Baker Ave.

They found it had major front end damage matching the evidence at the crash scene, while the driver, 31-year old Ontario resident Julio Tapia, was still inside with minor head and face injuries.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, hit-and-run, and gross vehicular manslaughter.

If there was any real justice, he’d be charged with second degree murder for making a conscious decision to leave the victim of his hit-and-run to die there in the street, rather than calling for help as the law and basic human decency demands.

Assuming he was actually capable of making a decision, and wasn’t so drunk he had no idea what the hell just happened.

He’s being held on a quarter-million dollar bond pending arraignment on Friday.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Ontario Police Department at 909/986-6711 or Officer Brandon Resendez at 909/408-1805.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Pomona resident Thomas Shane Pinto.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Shane Pinto and his loved ones.

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies once again.

I’m still dealing with the after effects of staying up all night Sunday when my wife made an unexpected trip to the ER.

Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing too serious. But I’m learning the hard way that I can’t pull all-nighters anymore without throwing my diabetes, and everything else, out of whack.

Just one more complication to add to all the others we’re dealing with right now.

So I’m giving up on getting anything done tonight, and going to bed.

As usual, we should be back bright and early on Thursday to catch up on anything we missed.

Morning Links: Seattle jock attacks bike zealots, CD4 candidate offers hope, and LAPD ignores drivers to ticket bike rider

No bias here.

A Seattle radio jock says “bike zealots” are trying to force the city’s traffic problems on the the Bellevue area, apparently by calling for a road diet and bike lanes.

He also claims only 25 bike riders a day currently use the street in question, and doubts the number is likely to increase once the bike lanes go in.

Maybe someone should tell him you can’t judge the need for a bridge by how many people swim across the river.

Or if a new road is needed by how many people currently drive across the fields.

Then again, maybe he could learn something from the bikeway on Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge, which many motorists called an unnecessary failure on a road few bicyclists used when it opened ten years ago.

And now may be the busiest bike lane in North America.

All those bike riders must have been busy swimming against the tide a decade ago.

………

CiclaValley offers a painful reminder that once upon a time, we actually had the mayor’s support for safer streets and hope for the future of our city.

Even if it does seem like a fairy tale now.

On the other hand, the following response to that tweet is exactly the attitude we need from our elected officials. And why Sarah Kate Levy has my personal support for LA’s 4th Council District set currently held by David Ryu.

Even if she isn’t one of us.

Yet.

………

An LAPD cop ignored drivers rolling a red light, and ticketed the guy on two wheels for jumping the light by a few seconds.

………

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

Someone booby trapped a Colorado bike trail, stringing potentially deadly wires across the path at neck level; one bike rider was lucky to escape with a bloody nose.

Someone painted “No Bikes” on a Tulsa OK bike lane — and bizarrely, “Kayaks Only.”

Then again, the people on two wheels aren’t always the good guys. 

A man is under arrest for attacking a woman after colliding with her as he was riding on an Irvine bike trail; a Good Samaritan intervened to stop the assault and hold him for police.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Calbike’s Dave Snyder says the Complete Streets bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would benefit bike riders and pedestrians.  Everyone else, too. One way or another.

No bias here, either. The story says very clearly that police in San Diego conducted a safety operation “focused on enforcing safety laws involving motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.” Too bad the headline is all about a crackdown on bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman has died nearly a week after her bike was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

Now that’s more like it. A new San Francisco program provides a variety of hand-cycles, side-by-side tandem bikes and adult tricycles for people with mobility-related disabilities during carfree Sundays in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog San Francisco calls for regulating killer trucks. Trucks don’t kill, drivers do. But no truck should ever be allowed on the roads with massive blindspots that can prevent drivers from seeing bike riders and pedestrians, or without sideguards to keep people from getting swept underneath.

Hats off to a Santa Rosa bike shop for giving a Utah triathlete a new $5,000 bike after her’s was stolen the day before the race.

Marin County sheriff’s investigator have released the name of a suspect who allegedly stole $25,000 worth of bicycles from a bike shop earlier this month; they’ve recovered the bikes from a storage shed, and have a warrant out for his arrest.

 

National

A new study shows falls at home are the leading cause of nonfatal head injuries in American kids. Which is why your kids should wear BikinginLA’s patented new HomeHelmet™ from the day they’re born until they turn 21.

Anyone who wants a 20 mph e-cargo bike for just $1,500 raise your hand. Sorry, I may be typing one-handed for awhile.

Evidently, bikes as props are a thing for scantily-clad models this year. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Anne de Paula rides a bike in some exotic-looking beach location while wearing a “cheeky” one-piece swimsuit. Which may be a BikinginLA record for most hyphens in a single sentence.

Twitter erupted with predictable outrage after Arizona police announced plans to give good drivers faux tickets containing coupons for Circle K; the cops backed off after realizing the plan was of “questionable legality,” deciding they’d just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead. But if it’s questionable to pull over drivers who aren’t breaking the law, why wouldn’t the same thing apply to people walking or riding bikes? Or do civil rights only apply to people in cars?

Why bother breaking in to a Denver-area bike shop, when you can just drive a bus through the front door?

The death toll continues to climb in New York, where a 30-year old art teacher was killed when she was doored while riding her bike and knocked into the path of a semi for the city’s 18th bicycling death so far this year; New York Mayor de Blasio reminded drivers that it’s against the law to open a car door into the path of a bicyclist.

South Brooklyn community boards tell de Blasio where he can put his plan to expand protected bike lanes; apparently they don’t care how many bike riders die on the streets.

They get it. A Charleston SC newspaper says it takes a special kind of logic to reject a safety project over fears it would be unsafe, and that ignoring bike and pedestrian safety won’t fix anything.

For one brief instant, it seemed like we had reason to be excited, and maybe there was actually hope for Los Angeles. Except the new Complete Streets project is on the wrong Hollywood Blvd, in the wrong Hollywood, in the wrong state, on the wrong side of the country. 

This is why you always need to maintain your bike. A Florida man is dead after he threw the chain on his bike and fell into the street, where he was struck by a driver.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Jacksonville FL man will face charges for the hit-and-run deaths of two women as they rode their bikes, after police found “biological material” in his shattered windshield; he has been charged with at least six other moving violations dating back to 1999.

 

International

A Vancouver man gets his bike back less than a day after it was stolen — and with a better front wheel — when a bike courier spotted someone riding it and negotiated its return for $60.

She gets it too. A Vancouver letter writer says “Maybe it’s time to end the debate of cyclist vs vehicle driver and just ask your city to provide safe infrastructure for both.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a paraplegic’s custom adaptive bike from a Calgary hotel parking lot; the theft victim had continued to ride despite losing the use of his legs in a mountain biking accident three years ago.

Toronto newspaper readers go ballistic when a columnist suggests bicycles don’t pose the same threat to pedestrians that drivers do. The simple fact is, someone on foot is far less likely to be killed in a collision with a bicyclist than with a driver, for reasons that should be obvious. But it can and does happen. So it’s your responsibility to ride safely and carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as drivers think we are.

Huh? A British columnist bizarrely spends most of his column talking about smoking, vaping, coffee drinking and otherwise distracted drivers. But then says we should pity the drivers who get blamed for the sins of modern bike riders if they actually hit one. Personally, I’d rather pity the person who gets hit. 

So much for that. It only took 60 seconds to steal Dutch bikemaker VanMoof’s $3,000 theft-proof ebike.

The US has a long way to go to catch up with Poland’s glowing bike path.

Four people were seriously injured when a driver crossed over the center line and plowed into their bicycles in a Japanese tunnel; four other people were injured when a second driver crashed into his car, including a two-month old baby who suffered major injuries.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Sacramento Bee says the future of French cycling looks bright, even if the country had its Tour de France dreams dashed once again.

The Independent talks with a man who mentored new Tour de France champ Egan Bernal in his teens, and talked him out of giving up the sport.

The Washington Post examines 2016 Olympic cycling silver medalist Kelly Catlin and the massive hole left in the lives of her family and friends after she took her own life following a series of injuries, and the untreated depression that may have resulted from a concussion suffered during a bike race.

 

Finally…

We may have hit-and-run drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about hit-and-run deer. If you’re going to break into a garage and steal a bike, try not to leave a scent for the police dogs to follow.

And this is why country music is called three chords and the truth. Just hang up and drive already.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last video.

Morning Links: Triathlete killed in crash during race, bicyclist talks abductor into freeing her, and Riverside cyclist t-boned

Just a quick warning.

We’ve got some rough stories to start with today. So you might want to skip the first few items if you don’t want to deal with that this morning.

………

A triathlete was killed when she was run down by a semi while competing in the bicycle portion of the Ohio 70.3 Ironman triathlon.

Police say the right lane of a highway was coned off to provide a safety zone for competitors, but for some reason she was outside the safety zone.

Which apparently made her fair game.

Never mind that organizers somehow thought a few orange cones would offer sufficient protection from high-speed traffic and heavy trucks.

Or that no one participating in a race would go outside the cones to, say, pass other participants.

Meanwhile, Stephen Collins points out the sheer idiocy of noting that the victim was wearing a helmet, as if that would somehow protect her from getting run over by a massive truck.

Or that the driver was wearing his seatbelt.

Seriously.

Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels.

………

In another outrageous story, an Australian triathlete was knocked off her bike by the driver of a delivery van, bound with electrical tape, then kidnapped and driven to a rundown house on the outskirts of town where she was stripped and beaten.

Yet somehow, 27-year old triathlete and former cycling champ Nathalie Birli managed to talk her abductor into releasing her — by complimenting his orchids.

Police later used the GPS on her racing bike to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Let’s hope they toss him in a very deep hole until he gets the help he obviously needs.

Meanwhile, Megan Lynch reminds us that this case is eerily reminiscent of the killing of American biologist Dr. Suzanne Eaton on Crete, who was struck twice with a motor vehicle before the driver abducted and raped her, then abandoned her in a World War II bunker to die.

The difference is that Birli was able to talk her way out of it.

Raising the question of just what the fuck is wrong with these people?

As well as just how easy it is to turn a motor vehicle into a weapon.

………

Robs Muir forwards a Facebook post reminding us all to be careful out there, after a Riverside bicyclist was t-boned by a stop sign-running driver.

But aren’t the people on two wheels supposed to be the dangerous ones who run stop signs and jeopardize all those poor, innocent motorists?

Maybe not so much.

………

Evidently, Denver has some pretty spectacular NIMBYs, too.

Even after a woman was killed by a garbage truck driver while riding her bike, residents of the street she was killed on still oppose a bike lane.

So a local newscaster called them out, suggesting that maybe they shouldn’t argue for the aesthetic appeal parking while bodies are lifted off the street.

………

He makes a good point.

………

Unbelievable.

A Milwaukee bicyclist was the victim of a strong-arm robbery while he was competing in a 24-hour race, after a man confronted him, then wrestled his bike away and rode off with it.

………

 

Local

Los Angeles looks to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA and Vernon, creating a single 32-mile pathway in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The Long Beach Post goes riding with the Pedal Movement bike tour to visit the Pow! Wow! murals of the city.

 

State

Police in San Diego will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today. So the usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

San Diego bike riders remember a fallen bicyclist a year after he was killed while inexplicably riding on a busy freeway.

A San Diego op-ed says everything is fine, just keep on driving and don’t let those bad, bad bureaucrats force you onto a bike or transit.

One last item from the self-proclaimed America’s Finest City, as Good Samaritans chased down a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light and knocked down a bike rider; the victim refused to go to the hospital, despite suffering a head injury.

A San Francisco op-ed by the head of Policy Initiatives for dockless e-scooter provider Spin says it’s time to rebuild cities for people, not cars.

Horrible tragedy in Turlock, where a bike rider was killed on the way to the hospital when the ambulance he was riding in after getting hit by a car rolled over when it was hit by a truck driver; five other people were injured. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Davis columnist says the city was dissed in PeopleForBikes ranking of California’s top ten bicycling cities, which was topped by San Diego and didn’t include Davis at all.

After seven year’s, Truckee’s bike park is still going strong.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling asks drivers if their time is really more important than his life. That loud roar you hear is impatient drivers across the US screaming “yes!”

An expert on autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence suggests the solution to getting more kids to ride bicycles is to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road — which will presumably be safer and not bang into them as much. I won’t hold my breath. Especially since current AVs have a problem recognizing and avoiding people on bicycles.

A pair of Oregon women spent their Saturday night shoplifting from TJ Maxx, then running down a bike rider as they made their getaway, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

An Iowa priest overcame a stroke to take part in this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, with the help of friends and a ‘bent built for two.

Former Texas congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s dad was one of us, hopefully passing along his passion for bicycling across the country, as well as his ability to lose well.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers rode borrowed bicycles to training camp, as area kids competed to to get their heroes attention and loan them their bikes.

A Chicago alderman wants to ban bikes on the city’s popular Riverwalk. Or maybe just the entire city.

The spirit of Major Taylor is energizing a Minnesota bike club, as they try to get more African Americans on bicycles.

She gets it. A St. Louis letter writer politely excoriates the local paper for calling a bike-car crash an accident.

Pennsylvania kids as young as 13 say the Bike Life movement helps keep them off drugs and out of trouble, even if they annoy the crap out of drivers when they swarm the streets.

Streetsblog says the Green Wave plan presented by New York’s mayor is “long-overdue — and not truly visionary,” but should make a clear difference, while the Daily News says now its up to the mayor to actually deliver on his promises.

No bias here. The traditionally anti-bike New York Post says in response to the previous news that “bike supremacy” is ruining the city, with “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.” Never mind that bike lanes don’t take an inch from sidewalks. Or that bike delivery people who use those bike lanes are just doing their jobs, just like the delivery drivers the Post champions. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Aussie model Jordan Barrett is one of us, illegally riding on a New York sidewalk on a bikeshare bike with his newly bleached hair.

A North Carolina bridge dedicated to a fallen bike rider finally gets a plaque in his honor, 28 years after he died.

An Atlanta columnist kind of makes fun of Atlanta’s people protected bike lane last week but manages to get through the entire piece without saying much of anything. Although the protesters called it an LIT lane, for Light Individual Transport, to include scooters and other forms of micromobility.

 

International

An Ottawa newspaper succumbs to a severe case of both side-ism, telling everyone to act like adults and not attack one another when it comes to bicycle safety. Except the attacks were coming from a city councilor in response to bike riders saying they don’t want to get killed.

Speaking at a 288-mile fundraising ride in her honor, the family of assassinated British Member of Parliament Jo Cox says the country’s politics has gotten more toxic since she was killed by a far-right gunman.

Victoria’s Secret model Alexina Graham is sort of one of us, posing for a UK photoshoot astride a bicycle in the very practical riding attire of work boots and a tiny red bikini.

No, it’s not the English bikeshare system that failed when only 25 of the 5,000 promised bikes were ever delivered in the first place, it’s the people running it.

A doctor from the UK raised the equivalent of over $130,000 for a breast cancer charity by competing on a two-man team in the Race Across America.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a member of Parliament who champions the benefits of bicycling and walking as the country’s new roads minister.

An Edinburgh couple agreed to bike around the world in their initial Tinder message; 18 months and 19,000 miles — and one Yosemite marriage — later, they’ve made it back home.

Evidently, banning cars is more popular than they thought. Madrid’s new mayor is backing off a campaign pledge to reverse the ban on cars in the city center after a citizen backlash rises to defend it.

Four New Zealand bicyclists ended up in the hospital following a car-free crash at “reasonably high speed” while on a club ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Egan Bernal won this year’s Tour de France after gaining the lead in a controversial finish to stage 19, when organizers stopped the race early after hail covered the the course leading up to the finish, depriving France’s Julian Alaphilippe the opportunity to make up for lost time and defend his yellow jersey.

Newsweek tells you everything you need to know about Egan Bernal but were afraid to ask.

Team Ineos — the former Team Sky — marked Bernal’s win by turning Bernal’s bike yellow down to the water bottles, with special yellow-accented kits for his teammates.

Bernal says he doesn’t even know how to describe the feeling of happiness his victory gave him.

Billboard celebrates Bernal’s win with five bicycle-themed songs, most of which are, appropriately, in Spanish.

The Guardian says the only surprise is that it took a Columbian so long to win the Tour de France. Or anyone from South America, for that matter.

It wasn’t just Bernal. Bicycling lists the winners of all four categories that are celebrated with a colored jersey.

The pain of crashing out of the Tour with serious injuries is more than just physical. Especially when you’re carrying the hopes of the home country on your shoulders.

Outside says the motor-doping tests at the Tour de France are a joke, accusing officials of just going through the motions rather than actually looking for motors on competitors bikes.

Canadian Michael Woods became the first person to both run a sub-four minute mile and finish the Tour de France.

Gear Patrol questions when athletic gear so innovative it might be cheating should be banned from the sport, like Graeme Obree’s record-setting homemade track bikes.

 

Finally…

Never leave your bigass truck unlocked with the keys inside, or someone on a bike may ride up, toss his bike in the back and drive off with it. Pedal your bike up to your secluded treehouse; no, literally up.

And seriously, if drivers can’t see a rider on a one-ton horse, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

 

%d bloggers like this: