Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

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LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

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The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

………

This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

………

Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

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Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

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Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

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Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

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

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

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Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

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A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

Morning Links: Mar Vista dermatologist reads minds, cool surfaces make people hot, and Film LA blocks DTLA bike lane

A Mar Vista dermatologist and self-appointed traffic planning expert is back, suggesting that anyone who supports road diets spins and distorts the facts to support their hidden agenda.

And that we only want those poor motorists to suffer.

Right.

Somehow, he professes to know that anyone who complains about “white, rich, noncaring (sic) motorists” are themselves very rich and use their cars more than most. And are white, though he says that shouldn’t matter.

Which begs the question of how he managed to check the bank accounts of everyone on the other side of the debate. Let alone their odometers.

Or why he brought up race if it doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, he does get a few things right.

1) Transportation isn’t social engineering, but rather a search for a better way (or ways) to get from Point A to Point B.

2) Ideology and wishful thinking have no business being prioritized over engineering when it comes to the laws of physics, environmental science, and safety.

Which, oddly, is exactly the opposite of the approach he’s previously taken in criticizing city engineers and planners who he disagree with, based on his extensive knowledge of, uh, dermatology.

He’s also right about this.

3) Being pro-train, pro-bus, pro-van/carpool, pro-bicycle or pro-pedestrian is NOT the same as being anti-motorist…and vice versa. We should all have reasonable access to all forms of transportation.

This from someone who’s fought for two years to have the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd through Mar Vista removed, and the street restored to six lanes.

Apparently, reasonable access means drivers get as much space as they want, and people on bikes get whatever’s left. And anyone on foot would have to return to scrambling to cross a raging six lane river of cars — including the elderly who formerly struggled to get across.

He goes on to complain about road diets affecting emergency response times. Yet average response times for the Mar Vista fire station, which is right next to the road diet on Venice Blvd, averages just 30 seconds more than the citywide average.

Granted, every second counts. But that hardly seems like the emergency apocalypse opponents make it out to be

Finally, there’s this odd statement.

5) We didn’t, as a community, fight and pay for the Expo Line and other lines only to have service drop–we’ve proudly paid a heap of money for better rail transit, and we deserve nothing but the best for our blood, sweat, tears, and money). And we definitely didn’t pay for bike lanes to be implemented OVER bus and rail projects and service, only as a nice and necessary supplement.

Can anyone seriously make the claim that bike lanes, in Mar Vista or anywhere else, had anything to do with the highly unpopular service cut on the Expo Line, which have affected train users with bicycles as much as anyone else?

And to the best of my knowledge, there were never any plans for bus lanes on Venice — or anywhere else where bike lanes took precedence over bus lanes. Which the NIMBYs and entitled drivers would probably fight just like they’ve fought bike lanes.

All this leads up to tomrrow’s “National Conference” sponsored by traffic safety denier pressure group Keep LA Moving at the Mar Vista cafe, which must be the only national transportation conference small enough to fit in a local restaurant.

Apparently, it’s open to anyone.

So it would be a real shame if some road diet and bike lane supporters decided to show up.

Photo of Venice Blvd in Mar Vista by Joni Yung.

………

LA’s experiment with cool road surfaces may be failing, after researchers discovered an unexpected effect.

While the light colored street toppings succeeded in cooling the street, it made everyone around them hotter as the sun’s heat was reflected back into the surrounding air.

………

A bike rider in DTLA encounters an apparent film shoot without any of the required warning or safety cones.

But while it may look like a guerrilla shoot, the video shows what appears to be couple of hi-viz vested cops standing around.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

A Maine company has developed a three-wheeled, pedal-less “bike” that enables people with mobility issues and disabilities to walk around recreationally.

………

Local

The Metro Bike bikeshare has expanded into Thai Town and East Hollywood. Hopefully, that means Hollywood itself won’t be far behind.

The Los Feliz Ledger looks at the new bike and pedestrian bridge nearing completion over the Los Angeles River, saying it’s changing the face of Atwater Village.

The Beib is one of us, riding the streets of Los Angeles on a fat tire ebike and learning to ride a unicycle.

SoCal Cycling looks forward to this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia celebrating the 100th birthday of UCLA.

 

State

This is who we share the roads with. A 29-year old Orange County woman could be 80 by the time she gets out of prison, after being convicted of three counts of 2nd degree murder for the drunken crash that killed three teenagers and seriously injured a fourth; she was over three times the legal alcohol limit an hour after the crash.

New Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins is one of us. And tougher than most, competing in the grueling, high altitude Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race ten times.

A Leucadia columnist decries the ruination of her fair city, in part by a planned Complete Streets project that would add (gasp!) bike lanes to the Coast Highway.

A San Diego grand jury blames the city for how it handled the e-scooter rollout.

Salinas will hold a ciclovía this weekend, too.

Work is finally beginning on installing a barrier-protected bicycle and pedestrian lane on the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, even as a study continues to turn it into an additional traffic lane, instead.

Bighearted Modesto teachers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a student after his was stolen.

 

National

The Guardian takes a deep dive into why American streets are deadlier than ever for people on foot, even as cars continue to get safer for the people in them. And they’re not that that great for people on bicycles, either.

A writer for Popular Science explains how she went from barely riding a bicycle to finishing a 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride in one year. And the stuff she recommends to do it.

Hunters are worried that ebikes will give too many people too much access to the wilderness. Ebike riders should be worried that hunters might mistake them for a deer.

Your next ebike could tell you when speeding drivers coming up from behind get too close.

Streetsblog takes issue with the $90 ticket issued to an Idaho bike rider by a windshield-biased cop for running a red light, even though she was hit from behind by a driver who admitted not even seeing her. She said she stopped at the light before proceeding through the intersection, which is legal in Idaho.

Fargo, North Dakota’s 75-year old Bike Man has died, after fixing and giving away thousands of bicycles to children and families.

A Denver woman is getting used to walking after she had two bicycles stolen within one month of moving to the city.

One of Denver’s best bike mechanics is a 33-year old woman.

A Dallas man admits to fatally shooting a 59-year old man in a shopping center parking lot and stealing his bicycle.

Streetsblog Chicago reads Peter Flax’s recent interview with Effective Cycling author John Forester, and calls him a dinosaur still pushing a discredited anti-bikeway credo.

The man whose dogs killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she rode her bicycle near her home will face a 2nd degree murder charge, as well as charges of involuntary manslaughter and having dangerous animals causing death.

Good question. A student newspaper at Boston’s Northeastern University asks whether bike theft is avoidable, or if it’s just inevitable.

An Alexandria VA letter writer takes issue with the stereotype of supporters of a planned road diet as a secret cabal of spandex-clad liberals from outside the city. Which should be very familiar to anyone who’s attended a public traffic safety meeting in Los Angeles.

A New Orleans man continues to ride his bike, 24-years after receiving a double lung transplant to treat his cystic fibrosis.

 

International

Road.cc ranks the best rear tail lights, not all of which will be available on the side of the Atlantic. And the best bicycling movies, most of which should be.

Members of the Canadian ski team are stunned by the mountain biking death of ski cross racer Mikayla Martin.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers tips on how to give your bike a fast clean up after a messy ride.

A European bike biz site says Trump’s tariffs are causing chaos in the North American bike market.

A British rider discovers things have changed since he last rode a bike in the ’80s, after he takes delivery of a new ebike.

Amsterdam is trying to reduce car usage by eliminating 10,000 parking spaces, and encouraging people to use bicycles or transit instead.

Belgian officials are concerned about a “worrying” trend, after setting a new record for bicycling fatalities in the first half of the year.

 

Competitive Cycling

The oldest continually held mountain bike race started as a contest to see whether horses or mountain bikes were faster.

A former bike racer rode Zwift indoors to ride her way back to competition after five years of motherhood.

A Belgian cyclist is really, really sorry he punched another rider following a crash near the finish of a German bike race. Although it was really just a slap to the helmet; I’ve seen kittens hit harder than that.

Slovenian cyclist Matej Mohoric suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung when some idiot decided to run with — and in — the peloton as it neared the finish line in the Tour of Croatia.

 

Finally…

Who needs two wheels when you can ride eight feet over one? Before you try to reclaim your stolen bike, make sure the thief doesn’t have a machete.

And if you’re going to confront a driver in a road rage dispute, make sure to take the orange tip off your toy gun before threatening anyone with it.

Or better yet, just don’t.

Period.

Morning Links: Another ill-conceived bike license letter, rough road to Arroyo Seco, and Santa Ana River bike open house

Here we go again.

A Cleveland driver and motorcyclist trots out the same old ill-conceived demand that bike riders should pay a fee for the use of the roads.

And says we should all have a license plate on our bicycles so we can be held accountable for our misdeeds.

Unlike now, evidently, when people on bicycles get tickets just like anyone else.

But maybe he thinks he’ll be able to read a small, bike-sized license plate at a distance, and call the cops to have them track down and arrest the rider for running a stop sign.

Even though most states prohibit police from making an arrest for a simple traffic infraction. And cops aren’t even allowed to write a ticket unless they actually see the violation themselves.

But maybe his real concern is that people who ride bikes need to pay our fair share for the use of the roads.

In which case every bike rider should get a rebate, since almost every adult bike rider already pays the same gas taxes and registration fees drivers do, because most of us are one.

And we all pay the same state and local taxes, which pay for the overwhelming majority of non-freeway roadwork. Whether or not you use more than a slim fraction of it, striped or otherwise.

However, if his concern is that we should pay for damage to the road surface caused by our lightweight vehicles, he should add some zeros to that check. Because bikes cause an infinitesimal fraction of the damage caused by a typical car, let alone a massive SUV.

This chart originated on the now-defunct Pedal Fort Collins website, now found on streets.mn. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Granted, many people who ride bicycles could and should show better adherence to traffic laws.

Just like most motorists. And pedestrians, for that matter.

Never mind that mandating bike licenses creates yet another barrier to riding a bicycle, pushing people back into their cars and making traffic that much worse for everyone.

But sure.

Let’s require virtually unreadable and practically useless license plates on every bike. And cut everyone who rides one a fat check for their share of the roads.

Because it will make people like him feel better.

Oh, and he also wants you to have a mandatory stroke light on the back of your bike.

Because drivers just love being blinded by bright lights. And they don’t complain enough about the flashers we use now.

That’s the license on my old Trek, measuring a whopping 3″ by 2.5″. Just try reading that on a moving bike from several feet away.

………

Maybe things aren’t looking so good on the Arroyo Seco Bike Path after all.

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Riverside and San Bernardino counties are hosting a bike day and open house on the Santa Ana River Trail this Saturday.

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Vice looks at the thriving brotherhood of New York bike riders — particularly from Harlem and the Bronx — who prefer riding on one wheel.

Or maybe standing on the frame with no hands.

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CONTROL > COMBOS 🛸

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Meanwhile, this New York ride out is exactly what has Long Island officials in a panic.

Maybe it’s less about what they’re doing on their bikes than who’s doing it.

………

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

A Boulder CO bike rider tells drivers I know you hate me, but please don’t kill me.

Someone tried to sabotage an Arkansas century ride by spreading tacks across the road the night before, leading to complaints of at least a dozen blown bike tires that could have resulted in serious injuries. Or worse.

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

New Jersey police are looking for a trio of bike riding porch pirates.

………

Local

Los Angeles marked California’s Clean Air Day with free LADOT bus rides and Metro bikeshare rides.

No surprise here, as bike theft is up at USC, with 37 bicycles reported stolen last month.

UCLA reaches its lowest drive-alone rate yet, as just under half of students and staff members commuted to campus alone in their cars.

Keep Pasadena Moving, the Rose City offspring of traffic safety denying pressure group Keep LA Moving, will conduct an online survey to determine what people in Pasadena think of upcoming traffic safety projects. Anyone really believe their poll will be fair, unbiased and scientific? I didn’t think so.

Caltrans has killed plans for the proposed High Desert Corridor Freeway, which would have build eight to ten traffic lanes through the northern section of LA County, along with a bike path and rail corridor. Maybe they can take the nearly $2 billion in savings and apply it to building bikeways in the rest of the county.

 

State

Business owners on San Diego’s 6th Street are complaining that new protected bike lanes mean there’s no place to unload supplies.

A San Diego man suffered serious head and spine injuries when he lost control of his motorized bicycle in the Barrio Logan neighborhood.

A new report from the Circulate San Diego nonprofit group calls for a Vision Zero program for the North County region.

A 53-year old woman is fighting for her life after suffering major injuries in a Ramona-area hit-and-run; police thought they had the driver’s license plate number, but the plate turned out to be stolen.

Oxnard police are looking for the heartless coward who ran down a 46-year old man on his bike, dragging him 100 feet under his car and leaving him in critical condition with major injuries. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

Mountain View approved an $81 million Complete Streets makeover of El Camino Real, including protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and new signalized crosswalks.

San Francisco bike advocates want to know if someone really has to die before the city finally gets around to finishing the protected bike lanes on Valencia Street.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a group of Roseville kids turn junior detectives and set out on their bikes to find a missing 97-year old woman.

 

National

Electrek takes a look at the new Tern HSD e-cargo bike, and likes it. But unlike most Terns, this one doesn’t fold.

Who knew there’s a nearly 3,000-acre wetlands park outside of Las Vegas — let alone with a 14-mile bike path?

Yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Or nearly too late, in this case, as a Utah driver faces multiple charges for fleeing the scene after hitting a six-year old boy and driving home with his bike still wedged under the car, leaving the kid with facial and skull fractures; the unlicensed driver had long list of traffic violations, including repeated failure to install an interlock device after a 2014 DUI.

A trio of Illinois priests are on a five day, 350-mile bicycle trek across the Peoria diocese to encourage young men to join the priesthood.

A Michigan Planet Fitness gave a new handcycle to a man who was paralyzed in a motorcycle crash so he can compete in a Detroit marathon.

Indiana is planning to build a 90-mile bike path through five counties along the Wabash River. Which means one day, you might be the famous Wabash Cannonball.

A judge has ordered the release of an Indiana man convicted of murdering a college student in 2000 after she went for a bike ride, ruling he had ineffective legal representation.

A Columbia University grad student has developed a sustainability index to rank 35 American cities. Needless to say, the LA area checked in near the bottom, trailing every other California city listed.

That’s more like it. A US senator from Delaware hopped on a bike for a tour of state bikeways to promote the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019. Maybe if every elected official would try that, we might actually get safer streets.

I want to be like them when I grow up. The Baltimore Sun talks with a group of spandex-clad Maryland seniors who are still riding their bikes in their 70s and 80s, including one man who’s still doing half centuries at 89.

 

International

Lime is launching an international influencer campaign, tapping local advocates to promote their e-scooters. And maybe bikes, if they still plan to have them.

Kids in Columbia’s second largest city say they live for gravity biking.

Tragic news from British Columbia, where 22-year old Canadian ski cross racer Mikayla Martin died after crashing her mountain bike while riding on a trail with a friend.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a driver faces just two years for killing a woman riding her bike as she trained for a triathlon.

The BBC offers a photo essay of bicycling women and non-binary people of every description.

A British driver got lousy 21 months behind bars and a five-year driving ban for fleeing the scene after speeding through a red light and slamming into a bike rider, leaving him with multiple fractures; naturally, he tried to blame the victim for the crash.

A distracted driver in Great Britain was sentenced eight years in prison for killing a bike rider while chatting on his cell phone and driving the wrong way on a one way street.

A 16-year old English boy is on trial for murder, accused of tossing a bikeshare bike into the path of a motorcyclist and causing him to crash.

 

Finally…

Some cycling fashion trends are best forgotten. When bike cops police them, rather than ride them.

And the next time you can’t remember if an LA roadway is a boulevard, avenue or street, just check this handy-dandy color-coded map.

Map by Erin Davis

Morning Links: A Linton family bike tour, Arroyo Seco Bike Path sort-of reopens, and a different way to walk your bike

Today is National Walk to School Day.

So if you see kids walking to or from class today, give ’em a figurative pat on the back.

Because actual touching is a big no no. For obvious reasons. 

And it’s California Clean Air Day, with free rides on LADOT buses. Not to be confused with Metro buses, which aren’t.

Then again, riding a bike is always free, and even cleaner.

………

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, who describes a recent family weekend trip biking from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles with his six-year old daughter in tow.

Literally.

Our Weehoo trailer works for longer and less bike-friendly trips. It looks and works like a recumbent bike, and she has pedals but most of the time she doesn’t help much in propelling the bike. She needs to balance, as well – although with her relatively light weight, even if she’s off balance, it hardly affects my balance…

For our three-day weekend trip, we took the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to Santa Barbara on Saturday morning, and explored a bit there. Then, over the course of Sunday and Monday, we biked back to Los Angeles, riding about fifty miles each day. We didn’t carry camping gear; instead we stayed at a hotel in Santa Barbara and an Airbnb in Oxnard. When we arrived in Santa Monica, we loaded our bikes onto the Expo Line and took Metro home. For what it’s worth, we rode between fifteen and twenty miles in Santa Barbara/Goleta on day 1, 53 miles from Santa Barbara to Oxnard on day 2, and finished the last day after completing 46 miles from Oxnard to Santa Monica.

It’s a nice read, with several good photos.

Maybe it will inspire a two-wheeled road trip for your family.

………

Good news, as the Arroyo Seco Bike Path has finally been reopened.

More or less, anyway, as one segment remains closed due to storm damage.

https://twitter.com/LADOTlivable/status/1179123885582819333

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew celebrates CicLAvia with his new project Bike Angeles, in advance of this Sunday’s Heart of LA open streets event.

 

I won’t be riding this time. But I hope to stop by for awhile with my wife, so say hi if you spot us. 

Although we may be harder to recognize without a corgi in tow.

………

Once again, someone has given a whole new meaning to walking a bike.

Or maybe the same person, this time outfitting his bike in matching Nikes.

If that looks familiar, it’s because it is. That’s clearly the same bike, even though he’s switched brands.

Maybe it didn’t run right on Adidas.

………

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

Or in this case, scooters, as a Florida man has been busted for vandalizing e-scooters and cutting their brake lines.

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

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding groper who grabbed a woman as he rode past on the sidewalk.

………

Local

Century Blvd is being extended a half mile through Watts for a redevelopment project, including wide painted bike lanes — with a buffer on the wrong side, judging from the photo.

LA/Burbank US Representative Adam Schiff is one of us, as rightwing site Breitbart notes in a surprisingly positive profile.

Kesha is one of us too, as she goes for a casual bike ride along the beach in Venice.

 

State

California bicycle touring company Wheeltales wants your input on a number of proposed bike tours for the coming year.

A new report says the Coast Highway and Escondido’s Valley Parkway are the most dangerous streets in San Diego’s North County area.

A San Diego heart transplant recipient is riding his bike across the country to Florida to meet the mother of the Navy officer whose death gave him a second chance at life.

An op-ed in Cal Berkeley’s Daily Californian says get off your high horse and onto a bicycle.

 

National

If you’re looking for somewhere to ride, Outside recommends seven uncrowded national monuments “you’ve never heard of.” Can’t speak for you, but I’ve already been to just under half, let alone heard of them.

After an Idaho bike thief stole a two grand mountain bike, police in Ketchum caught ’em.

A Davenport, Iowa TV station doesn’t know what to make of a tall cargo bike “contraption” ridden by a banjo-playing Pittsburgh man and his dog wandering aimlessly across the US.

Who cares if he had a record. Famed 1930s ’round the world aviator Wiley Post was one of us, saving up to buy the first bicycle in his Oklahoma county when he was just 13.

A Chicago bike thief learns the hard way to look out for new high-def surveillance cameras before going to work.

Who needs a gun when you’ve got a car? A Michigan man was robbed as he rode his bike away from a store after a thief ran into him with an SUV, knocking him off his bicycle and making off with his wallet.

It’s a sad commentary on our streets when an Ohio bike rider isn’t even safe when he’s not on them.

A Jersey City letter writer is convinced that a road diet and parking protected bike lane is a “clear and present danger” to everyone on the street.

No surprise here, as an op-ed in the anti-bike New York Post complains about a ban on cars from a planned bus lane. And naturally, blames the hairy hand of the “bike lobby.”

Maybe in response to the Post piece, someone hacked a New York detour sign to read Cars ruin cities.

Just months after donating a kidney to a total stranger, a Florida PE teacher was critically injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike as he trained for a triathlon; a crowdfunding account to help pay his medical bills has raised over $8,000 of the $50,000 goal in less than a day.

 

International

The maker of Cannondale and Schwinn bikes saw its stock prices plunge 32% to a 23-year low after Trump’s trade tariffs led to the loss of a regular dividend.

Apparently, motorcycle ghost bikes are a thing now. A ghost bike was installed for a Calgary motorcyclist who was killed in a crash; it’s the second one in the city.

James Cracknell blames getting booted from the UK’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars on the massive brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a driver while on an aborted bike ride across the US, which kept him from learning the steps.

A British two-time suicide survivor is riding his bike through Europe to raise funds and awareness for men’s mental health. If you’re thinking of harming yourself, talk to someone. And if you don’t have anyone you can open up to, pick up the phone. There really are people out there who care.

After his sister was killed in a collision while riding her bike, her brother calls for 10% of Ireland’s transportation budget to be dedicated to bicycling.

A 29-year old Turkish man has been wandering across the country on his bicycle for the last seven years.

An Indian website says everyone is equal on a bicycle, calling bikes the solution to many urban problems.

A Sydney, Australia man confesses that at 37, he’s never learned to drive. But in today’s world, that’s a good thing. And once again, Los Angeles is used as the poster child for what cities don’t want to be.

Aussie motorists freak out because a trio of spandexed bike riders chose not to ride in a narrow protected bike lane, evidently preferring to ride in the roadway.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to vandalize a locked bike, first make sure it doesn’t belong to an investigator for a law firm. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a parking lot for cop cars.

And here’s your chance to get a free bike shop near the base of an Australian mountain range.

 

Morning Links: Giving the cops a hand, Dorothy Wong fights for bike safety, and Froome is back in the saddle again

It’s a light news day for a change. 

Which is probably a relief for both of us after yesterday’s massive missive

So settle in for a few minutes, and we’ll get right to it. 

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels.

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A Scottish Uber Eats delivery rider gave police a hand, skidding to a stop and chasing down a moped thief to help take him into custody.

………

Local

Altadena councilmember, League Cycling Instructor and former pro mountain biker Dorothy Wong continues her fight for bike safety and protecting the Hahamongna Watershed.

 

State

Streetsblog says the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, can’t see the future for the cars, after the board overrules staff members to invest funds in widening highways. Although invest might not be the right word.

A Silicone Valley bike tour was scratched due to sick chickens.

The Sacramento Bee explains how drivers’ choices can help cut traffic deaths, including using the Dutch Reach and not stopping in bike lanes; the capital city has the deadliest streets for children under 15 for any large California city.

 

National

You, too, can get your very own bicycle designed specifically to fit a woman’s anatomy — if you have a measly $12,300 hidden under your sofa cushions.

Bike Snob says bicycle tech has advanced so far that it’s almost impossible to buy a bad bike these days. There may be some big box bike buyers who’d probably disagree.

A new portable, quick-release bike saddle promises to eliminate the problems of rain soaked or stolen bicycle seats by allowing you to take it with you; it’s currently raising funds on Kickstarter.

Popular Mechanics lists their choices for the best bike apps.

A Washington writer patiently explains why someone would want to ride on the left edge of what drivers might see as a perfectly good bike lane.

An Idaho judge decides a badly fractured ankle isn’t punished enough, and fines a woman $90 for running a red light on her bike, which led to collision with a driver.

After his grandparent’s neighbor was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike, a bighearted Colorado 8th grader raised $1,200 for a state bike advocacy group in the victim’s honor.

Clearly, we’re not safe from heartless, cowards anywhere. An Illinois pedestrian was run down by a hit-and-run golf cart driver while walking on a bike path.

No shit. A Dutch man visits his sister in Minnesota, and finds riding a bike here is just a tad different than over there.

An Indianapolis official apparently thinks his constituents aren’t bright enough to grasp how a parking protected bike lane works.

An Arkansas man participating in a century ride was killed when he fell down a 30-foot embankment after apparently suffering a blown tire.

A Maine bike rider is lucky to be alive after a man trained in CPR found him lying unconscious on the side of the road, despite wearing a helmet.

Providence, Rhode Island decides to rip out a two-way protected bike lane over fears that emergency vehicles can’t get through on the newly narrowed traffic lanes. Even though they could easily fit in the wide bikeway or run over the plastic bollards separating the lanes from vehicular traffic if they don’t.

A Long Island teenager learns the hard way that popping a wheelie in traffic may not be the best idea

New York bike riders rally at city hall to demand passage of bills that would improve bicycle safety, including more protected bike lanes, limiting where garbage trucks can go, and targeting the city’s most dangerous drivers.

A DC bike rider says he was lucky to escape with a bent rim when he was jumped by a group of bike-riding teenagers on the National Mall.

Chapel Hill NC considers banning right turns on red lights at several mostly downtown intersections to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

A New Orleans radio station says the city may be on its way to becoming carfree.

A very drunk, 51-year old Florida man went back to school without an invitation, riding his bike past security at a high school and taking a seat in a classroom before police led him away in cuffs.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar tries a handlebar mirror for the first time. And after reflection, comes away unimpressed.

Speaking of Bike Radar, they can’t wait for the next Trek bike — or the next bike name based on an anagram of Madone — so they invented their own.

A couple in Mérida, Mexico explain how they met while riding their bikes to work. Try doing that in a car.

He gets it. Instead of the usual call for more bike helmets, an Edinburgh trauma surgeon calls for lower speed limits to prevent crashes and save lives.

There’s a lesson here somewhere. A 60-year old British man on a bike tour to Venice collapsed and died while watching porn in an Italian sex shop. Maybe he should have worn his helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Ellen van Dijk is getting her stolen bike back, after German police recovered the purloined Trek Madone that went missing on the final day of the Lotto Ladies Tour.

Colorado Springs CO is planning a $50,000 four-day mountain bike race on the dirt roads, four-wheel paths and mountain bike singletrack of legendary Pikes Peak.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is back in the saddle again, 14 weeks after a crash while training for the Critérium du Dauphiné sent him to the intensive care unit.

 

Finally…

Doesn’t everyone wear skintight leather pants for a tandem ride — and stand on the pedals to pose for the camera? Surely, you joust.

And your next e-scooter could do 50 mph.

But that’s not necessarily a good thing.

 

Morning Links: A friendly talk with the father of vehicular cycling, gap closure on SaMo Blvd, and Popeye Doyle is one of us

Sorry about that. 

My brother Eric decided to spend a few more days than expected to rest up on his bike tour of the Western US. And after 74 days and 3,500 miles, with at least another 1,000 mile to go, he certainly had the right. 

But now that he’s safely on the road again, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. 

So grab you coffee and settle in. You may need a refill before we’re done. 

………

Bike scribe Peter Flax sat down for a surprisingly friendly conversation with John Forester, honored and derided as the father of vehicular cycling.

It’s a good read, presenting the human side of a man often seen as dogmatic and cantankerous.

PF: Well, as someone who presently lives and rides in Los Angeles, I’m curious what it was like to ride a bike in LA in the 50s and 60s

JF: Well, when I was with Los Angeles Wheelmen, we published a newsletter that got posted in bike shops, and some rides would start at a corner of Venice Boulevard somewhere in West LA. Or else they would car start — go in a car to a certain location and unload your bike and go off for the ride. Even then we knew that Los Angeles was just too damn big — if you wanted to get out of town, about the only way you could do it was on the coast highway. On any other route it a long, long time to get out of town, other than the mountains just behind Los Angeles. And the same sort of mix took place in Northern California — some rides starting at a local place, but for Marin rides I’d go up by car.

PF: So talk to me about this period, you’ll probably know the exact start of it better than I do, the late 60s and early 70s, when this bike boom finally came to the US.

JF: What I noticed toward the end of the 60s — I was still in Los Angeles in this time — was that there were road people, meaning Americans who drove sports cars, showing up with bicycles aboard. Good bicycles — I mean semi-racing or racing bikes. I’d upgraded my equipment by that time, too. I ordered a Holdsworth bicycle and parts to make up an all-Campy bike, and I switched to tubulars because they rolled easier. So I saw more people coming in cycling and they were not poor people, they did it because they enjoyed doing things on the road — driving cars and riding bikes.

Yet Forrester is someone who has probably had a greater influence on bicycling infrastructure, or the lack thereof, and how we’ve ridden for the past 50 years than anyone else.

And continues to defend his perspective.

PF: They put in a protected bike lane on Venice Boulevard for a mile a couple years ago, and I ride that stretch often. And what I perceive as a rider is that probably more than before I have to be more attentive when I get to intersections, but when I’m on the mid-block portion, I feel more relaxed because I feel protected. Perhaps it’s rearranged the risk, but my perception is that when you look at both the US and abroad, the data indicates that there are fewer fatal crashes when that kind of infrastructure is put in. That there are instances — like just a couple months ago in San Francisco where a young woman who works in the tech industry had someone open a car door in front of her and she swerved to avoid the door and got hit by a delivery truck. People see those kinds of incidents happening and then when protected lanes go in, they feel like that particular kind of risk has been erased for that kind of rider.

JF: Well, in the first place, don’t ride in the door zone. That’s one of the early rules of the game. And also, what you’re reading is people killed; you don’t read about broken ankles, concussed brains, cracked ribs, they don’t make the news. Only 2% of car-bike collisions are fatal; you’re making the tail wag the dog. And not only are just 2% of car-bike collisions fatal — they’re much more likely to occur during darkness and on rural roads than other car-bike collisions. Furthermore, as I’ve said only 5 percent of car-bike collisions are caused by same-direction motor traffic; 95 percent by turning and crossing movements. In other words, the people who you are quoting are making the tail wag the dog. And doing that because they are more frightened of traffic from behind than they are of anything else. That’s their phobia; it is a phobia because it is an unrealistic fear contrary to scientific knowledge.

It’s a long read.

But worth it to understand how we got where we are today.

For better or worse.

………

The good news is Los Angeles has finally closed the gap between the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes that previously ended in Century City, and the relatively new bike lanes through Beverly Hills.

The bad news should be pretty obvious.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood leaders showed a little more political courage, voting to remove parking on one side of Santa Monica Blvd to connect their long-time bike lanes with the ones in Beverly Hills.

………

Gene Hackman is one of us.

Patrick Dempsey is one of us, too. But you knew that, right?

………

A writer for the Orange County Register considers why almost no one wears a bike helmet in the Netherlands.

But like most who tackle the topic, he neglects to consider the benefits of a step-through frame on a typical Dutch bike, which allows riders to simply step off in the event of a fall.

Sort of like this.

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‘Nuff said.

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Call me crazy, but maybe they’re taking this “shrink it and pink it” thing for women’s bikes a little too far.

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

The road-raging Singaporean truck driver caught on video squabbling with a bicyclist swears he only swerved his truck at the man to avoid a taxi. Because when you’re faced with a crash with something hard, like a taxi, always aim for something soft. Like a person.

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

Police in Santa Clara are looking for the vicious jerk who attacked a 91-year old man with a rock while he was visiting his wife’s grave, then made off on a bicycle with the victim’s belongings.

Police are looking for a bike rider who smashed the drive-through window on a Bronx Burger King with a bike chain when they refused to serve him because he wasn’t in a car.

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Local

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu unveils a new HAWK beacon — short for High-intensity Activated crossWalK — to protect pedestrians on 6th Street, where local residents fought to have a life-saving road diet installed instead. And lost.

UCLA looks forward to this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia, which celebrates the 100th birthday of the university in its former Downtown location.

CiclaValley is a fan of the new Euro-style raised crosswalks in Beverly Hills.

Santa Monica has begun a project to improve the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail from Muscle Beach to the city limit north of the Annenberg Beach House to widen the current path and build a separate walkway; bicyclists will be required to get off their bikes and walk them along a temporary trail through the construction zones.

Brooks McKinney talks with Frank Ching, Metro’s head of alternative mobility and transportation demand management programs.

 

State

A newspaper in Santa Clarita recommends what they call the great eight California bike trails, including LA County’s Marvin Braude Bike Trail, as well as bike paths in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Tragic news from Orange, where a man died from multiple stab wounds after falling off his bicycle; he was apparently riding his bike to get help when he collapsed.

The Coast Highway in Encinitas will soon get buffered bike lanes. Unfortunately, it comes several years too late to save the life of Encino randonneur Jim Swartzman.

More bad news, as a 28-year old man was killed in a drive-by shooting while walking his bike in San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood, after exchanging words with the men in the car.

A Victorville man was hospitalized in grave condition after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. Although judging by the headline, what really mattered was the road closure that followed.

It was a bad week in Fresno County. A bike-riding man from India was killed in Selma by a 19-year old woman who was allegedly driving without a valid license, and reportedly has other undisclosed traffic crimes on her record. Three days later, a 76-year old man was killed in nearby Reedley when he reportedly rode out of an orchard into the path of another 19-year old driver.

Things weren’t much better in neighboring Merced County, where a man was killed when his bike was right hooked by a truck driver.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an entire truckload of donated bicycles intended for a class of Alameda 4th graders.

Megan Lynch forwards more on Cal Poly’s successful effort to set a new collegiate human-powered vehicle record, with a former Davis High grad manning the pedals.

 

National

CBS looks at the great scooter backlash.

CityLab celebrated my birthday with a ranking of the best and worst places to live carfree. Not surprisingly, San Francisco topped the list; shockingly, the LA metro area checked in at number ten. On the flip side, better keep your car if you live in San Bernardino or Riverside counties.

CityLab also says yes, a mass switch to electric vehicles could help bring down planet-killing emissions, but the real solution is for Americans to cut back on their driving right now. And Sacramento is ground zero in the fight.

A Seattle woman wants to know what happened to her ten years ago, when she was found next to her bike on the side of the road with a burst spleen and 22 broken bones, and no memory of what happened. Naturally, police blamed a fall caused by bad pavement, instead the far more likely possibility of a hit-and-run.

A Washington woman proves the old axiom, if you want to place high in a half-marathon, cheat by riding a bike.

Apparently order in the courtroom doesn’t extend to the streets, as a New Mexico judge slammed her car into a pair of bicyclists, killing one person and injuring the other.

A formerly homeless man in my hometown lifted himself off the streets, and turned his hard luck into a nonprofit dedicated to providing bicycles to those in need. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

A Kansas man is suing the police for unlawful arrest after he refused to give his birthdate when he was stopped for riding on the sidewalk without a headlight. He served three months of a 17-month sentence when police found meth on his bike after the arrest; his conviction was later thrown out on appeal when the court ruled he was under no obligation to tell them, and that it’s against the law to arrest anyone suspected of committing a traffic violation.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Wisconsin driver faces charges for killing a 43-year old bike-riding teacher while driving at nearly three-times the legal alcohol limit; it was his third DUI in just three years.

Chicago police are writing fewer tickets to bike riders. But most are still going to people in predominantly black neighborhoods.

A Kentucky cop flipped his police cruiser during a chase. So naturally, someone on a bike gets the blame.

Authorities in Long Island continue their assault on teenage ride outs, monitoring social media to crack down on planned rides, impounding kids’ bikes and fining their parents up to $100 to get them back; advocates describe the ride outs as an effort to escape poverty and drugs, while opponents call it the most dangerous subculture on two wheels.

A Brooklyn town hall called by a bike lane opponent devolved into angry pushing and shoving, accompanied by a lot of shouting. Proof that LA public bike lane meetings can get worse. But not much. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A New York driver faces life in prison for allegedly murdering a bike rider by running him down with his SUV after the man allegedly tried to break into his SUV, then cut a woman with a screwdriver.

Apparently, a call to kill people on bicycles is what passes for satire at Penn State. Unfortunately, it’s an independent publication, so the unfunny schmuck who wrote it can’t get the F he so richly deserves.

The speeding driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while attempting to evade police last April has been sentenced to eight and a half years behind bars in a plea bargain; he had faced up to 30 years if the case had gone to trial.

Video from Florida shows why you should always inspect a dockless bike or scooter before riding, as a man is seen tampering with two scooters in Fort Lauderdale.

This is who we share the roads with. A Florida man looks almost overjoyed to get his fifth DUI and 12th ticket for driving with a suspended license. Seriously, this is why people keep dying on the streets. Just taking away someone’s license doesn’t do a damn bit of good if they keep driving anyway. We need to impound their cars, and send the drivers to jail for repeat violations. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link. 

 

International

A 12-year old Montreal boy has a new bicycle thanks to Canadian pro cyclist James Piccoli, who replaced his stolen bike after reading the boy’s angry social media post.

They get it. A UK organization for disabled bicyclists introduces a campaign to promote bicycles as mobility solutions. Which should be required viewing for everyone who claims handicapped people can’t ride bikes, and bike lanes are a barrier for them. Because it ain’t necessarily so.

A British designer insists this is a bicycle. Something tells me you might not want to ride it, though.

No bias here. An English writer accuses “ultra-slick, leg-shaved, aerodynamic-obsessed Lycra louts” of being “yobs in tight shorts” who keep other people from riding bikes with their bad behavior.

Dubliners question why it should cost more to park a bike than it does to park a car. Or why it should cost anything, period.

Sexual harassment on the streets is one reason only one in 250 teenage girls bike to school in Ireland.

The prime minister of the Netherlands explains why he rides his bike to work.

Belgian bike riders can now get back to nature on a circular elevated bike path through the woods. Thanks to Fred Davis for the tip.

Horrifying story as a woman on a bicycle was dragged by a German train at 75 mph after she got her hand stuck in the door helping someone else board; remarkably, she only suffered cuts and bruises.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a ride through Italy’s Tuscan countryside from Florence to Siena.

Residents of the former Indian principality of Gondal needed a license to ride a bicycle. And continued to renew their licenses for a decade after the law and principality came to an end with Indian independence in 1948.

More proof that some drivers think they own every inch of the road, as a road raging Brisbane driver screamed at a bike rider to get out of his way — while he was illegally driving in the bike lane.

An Aussie opposition leader trots out the ultimate insult, saying an underground highway project will turn Sydney’s west communities into a “Little Los Angeles.” Even though Los Angeles doesn’t have any buried highway junctions like that; all our misery-inducing freeway intersections stand proudly above ground.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s worlds were a Dutch affair, as Annemiek van Vleuten finished first in a 65-mile breakaway, while her fellow countrywoman Anna van der Breggen finished second, a little over two minutes later.

American Chloe Dygert prevented total Dutch women’s world domination, winning the rainbow jersey in the individual time trial, and beating van Der Breggen by over a minute to become the youngest ever women’s world champ at just 22 years old.

Twenty-three-year old Dane Mads Pedersen became the youngest men’s world champ in 20 years, when the favorites floundered after a soggy six and a half hours riding in the rain.

An 18-year old Columbian cyclist broke down in tears on the side of the road after losing a tire, as any hope of winning evaporated when the team car couldn’t get to him. Meanwhile, the drama continued as the apparent winner of the men’s U23 race was disqualified for drafting a team car while fighting his way back to the peloton after suffering a mechanical.

The era of doping may be officially over, but someone forgot to tell the Columbian cyclists.

An African website considers the story of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, who became America’s first black sports hero.

 

Finally…

Maybe a fish needs a bicycle after all. If you’re going to ride a bike topless after shoplifting a pair of flip flops, always take the lane.

And if there’s a bear in your way, just jump it.

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L’Shanah Tovah Umetukah to everyone observing Rosh Hashanah today.

 

Update: Drinking, unlicensed hit-and-run driver slams into four bike riders in El Centro, killing 44-year old man and injuring 3

It’s not often we hear from Imperial County. And when we do, the news usually isn’t good.

That’s the case today, when an unlicensed driver swerved off the road and struck a group of people who were riding their bikes in El Centro Sunday morning.

The four were riding north on the shoulder of State Route 111, just south of Interstate 8, when they were rear-ended by a 31-year old woman around 7:30 am, killing a 44-year-old man and severely injuring a woman.

Two others suffered minor injuries.

The driver was arrested shortly later after fleeing the scene. Officials said she had been drinking, but was not legally intoxicated, and didn’t have a valid license.

The victims were all reported to be Mexican citizens.

This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Imperial County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Emeterio Millan of Mexicali, Mexico. 

The most seriously injured victim was flown from El Centro to Palm Springs for treatment, while the Mexican consulate was working to help the other victims and get Millan’s body back home to Mexicali. 

The driver, a resident of El Centro, is being held on $150,000 bond on felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Emeterio Millan and all his loved ones. And best wishes for a fast and full recovery to all those injured in the crash. 

 

Update: Man killed in Carlsbad train collision in what may be first San Diego County bike death this year

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 24-year old man was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks in Carlsbad Thursday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly named, was riding east on the sidewalk near Grand Ave and Washington Street when he rode onto the tracks, and somehow struck the side of the train around 7:30 pm.

He was taken to an Oceanside medical center, where he died.

Sadly, he was on his way to meet friends in Carlsbad Village, the Times of San Diego reports.

A street view shows the railroad crossing is controlled by warning lights and crossing arms. However, the arms don’t extend to the sidewalk where the victim was riding. No explanation is given for why he apparently either didn’t notice the train, or was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be the first in San Diego County.

As we’ve noted many times before, a train crash is the easiest kind of collision to prevent because you know exactly where it will go, and get a clear warning of when it’s coming; it’s also the most difficult to survive.

So never ride through or around crossing arms or warning signals, and never stop on the tracks.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim has been identified as 37-year old San Diego County resident Jason Lynn Holsinger, despite initial reports that the victim was 24.

The San Diego medical examiner confirms that Holsinger rode around the crossing gates and into the side of the train.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Lynn Holsinger and all his loved ones.

 

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