Last weekend, it seemed like every bike rider in Los Angeles had the privilege of being muted by self-described “science-based advice columnist & radio host” Amy Alkon.
Or at all the ones on Twitter.
Not content to merely be part of the crowd calling for the removal of the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, Alkon upped the ante by calling parents, and soon-to-be moms, who rode bikes on the street with their kids “assholes” who should have their children taken away for child endangerment.
And anyone who disagreed with her, no matter rudely or politely, was seen by her as part of a mob of “cycling ideologues” — or worse — who were attempting to bully her into silence. And then summarily muted before they could contradict her.
Once again, myself included.
Never mind that I can’t recall a single instance of a child being killed while riding with a parent anywhere in the LA area in the six years I’ve been keeping track.
Neither, apparently, can Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, writing about it in Outside Magazine.
Can carrying a kid on a bike be dangerous? Sure. I’d imagine hillbombing in San Francisco on a brakeless fixie with junior in tow could end pretty badly. Then again, so would doing the same thing with a Bugaboo, and it’s a virtual certainty you’re not going to be attempting either. The bottom line is that, despite drivers’ best efforts to hit us, cycling itself just isn’t that dangerous (you can even argue it’s the safest form of transport)—and the conservative approach any halfway sensible parent takes to riding with a kid onboard is even safer.
On the other hand, if your goal is to endanger your children in transit, then you can’t do any better than using a car. Setting aside the thousands of children who die in collisions every year, an average of 37 kids are killed annually due to being left in hot cars, and even more suffer “backover deaths,” which are exactly what they sound like.
It’s a good read, and more than worth a few minutes of your morning.
Because these are the people we have to deal with on a daily basis, whether fighting for safer streets or just trying to ride down them in peace.
And like Alkon, too many refuse to listen to reason.
Or anything else.
By far the best story of the day.
A Florida bike shop was cited for installing a pair of spiral bike racks on the sidewalk without the proper permits or inspections.
Except they had actually been installed by the city two weeks earlier.
Brace yourself for wet riding, with heavy rains predicted for the LA area over the next few days.
Voting is open for Streetsblog’s Civil Servant of the Year.
A letter in the LA Times says a proposed bill wouldn’t automatically open wilderness areas to mountain bikers, but leave it up to local administrators instead.
The New Yorker takes a walking tour of sites used by Nazis, fascists and the spies who fought them in the City of Angels in the years leading up to WWII, which you could undoubtedly do by bike, as well.
Planning is moving forward for a 1.7 mile Complete Streets project on Broadway in Long Beach.
Ventura police bust a bike thief using a bait bike. Something that’s still not being used here in Los Angeles.
Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are trying to attract bike tourists with a 160-mile grand loop though the both counties.
Google is losing up to 250 of their company bikes every week, as some residents of Mountain View see them as a community asset, and others see bike snatching as an act of retribution.
Sad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike went off the road on a descent.
A Marin County driver got his road rage case tossed after completing an anger management course. Never mind that he was caught on video threatening to get a shotgun and shoot a bike rider’s head off.
A writer for Bicycling talks about falling in love with bikepacking.
Your next bike could be a weird-looking DIY front-wheel drive cross between a bicycle and a unicycle.
Even in cold and windy Laramie WY, it’s possible to ride a bike year-round. And yet people still think you can’t ride through the winter in sunny Southern California.
A Dallas TX suburb decides the solution to dockless bikeshare bikes being left in inconvenient places is to ban them entirely; although this might have something to do with it.
Bicycling is now the official exercise of Illinois. Unlike California, where the official exercise appears to be complaining about bike lanes and the people who use them.
I think I’ve found my new career. A Philadelphia man is riding around the city with his dogs on his bike, charging people to take their picture.
A Canadian letter writer says a bike path extension was a waste of money because it doesn’t get plowed after it snows. Which seems to be a better argument for clearing the path so it can be used all year.
London will roll out e-cargo bike deliveries in the historic city center in an effort to cut pollution, following a successful trial over the holidays.
A UK paper writes about a 13-year old boy whose bike was stolen shortly after Christmas. Then illustrates the story with a photo of a kid’s balance bike.
Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist nearly gets nailed by a driver who rolls through an intersection onto the wrong side of the road.
A British business site talks with the CEO of Brompton, who says the secret of the folding bike’s success is to focus on the product, stick to what you know and obsess about it.
Get your very own semi-bespoke British bike for the equivalent of $2,400.
After a UK parliament member loses his license for distracted driving, people in his district start a pointed crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bicycle.
A pair of Indian bicyclists are riding nearly 12,500 miles across the country to raise awareness of polio, health and hygiene.
More proof that bicyclists everywhere face the same problems. An Australian writer says ordinary bike riders are afraid of drivers — especially the ones who honk, shout and hurl profanities.
Speaking of profanities, an Aussie bicyclist was caught on video screaming obscenities at a woman and smashing the side mirror on her car after she apparently cut him off. Don’t do that. Period.
A Kiwi writer asks New Zealanders to imagine a country where everyone rides ebikes and public transit.
A Japanese train just for bicycles and their riders rolls out of Tokyo every weekend, headed from the prime bike riding routes of Chiba Prefecture.
Singapore opens an automated bike parking garage that can hold over 500 bicycles.
Head up to Lake Tahoe for the Cyclocross National Championships starting this Wednesday.
Atlanta music teacher Ayesha McGowan is on a mission to become the first African American female pro cyclist. It seems ridiculous that there haven’t already been many, let alone one.
American pro Tejay van Garderen has traded Aspen for Girona, Spain.
Pro cyclist Mia Manganello qualifies for the US Olympic team on her return to speed skating after a five-year break.
Note to self: If you see something that looks like a hand grenade while riding your bike, leave it alone. Anyone can ride around the world sober; the challenge is to do it stoned.
And nothing like turning a city into your personal Strava doodle pad.
Or Labra-doodle pad, in this case.