Tag Archive for anti-bike bias

A foster corgi’s 15 minutes of fame, anti-bike lane bias in San Diego, who we share the road with, and sax on two wheels

Before we get started, the LA Times City Beat column about the corgi we’ve been fostering, and the homeless man who wanted him to have a better life while he got back on his feet, is online now.

It’s the story of a traumatized dog who slowly got his smile back, and made friends out of three people who probably would have never met under other circumstances.

And helped all of us get to a better place, while we thought we were helping him.

There’s also an unmentioned bike angle to the story. The corgi’s owner is one of us, and commuted by bike by choice for years before it turned into his only form of transportation. 

Take a few minutes to read it, because it’s probably the most moving thing you’ll see today. Or this week, even. 

After you read the story, if you want to help, you can donate to the foster corgi and his owner here.  

And thanks to Nita Lelyveld for telling it so well. 

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No bias here.

A San Diego writer complains about an uphill bike lane that apparently doesn’t inconvenience anyone, because he can’t imagine anyone but a “colony of fit Europeans preparing for the Alps leg of the Tour de France” ever using it.

As if it’s possible to go very far in San Diego without going uphill.

And he considers it a poor substitute for the jet packs his generation was promised.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Washington state driver reportedly drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway when she took her eyes off the road to light a cigarette. And when she looked up, saw she was about to hit a man riding a bicycle.

So rather than do the sensible thing and jerk her car back to the left to avoid him, she jerked the wheel directly towards him, apparently preferring to slam into the squishy person on a bike over maybe hitting something hard, like another car.

Then kept going until she crashed into a sign and a barrier, without ever touching her brakes.

Let’s say that again. In this entire process, she never put her foot on the brake pedal to maybe avoid hitting another human being.

The 56-year old man on the bike suffered a broken leg and hand, a concussion and facial cuts. But can probably count himself lucky that he’s still be here with us.

Meanwhile, the 19-year old unlicensed driver faces a well-deserved charge of vehicular assault, for showing a disregard for the safety of others.

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This is who we share the road with, too.

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Great piece from the UK, where a Welsh writer offers ten things drivers will never understand about people on bicycles.

Flip the road references from left to right, and it applies just as well right here in the states.

I particularly like this simple, but effective, explanation for why we sometimes wear spandex. Or Lycra, as the rest of the English-speaking world calls it.

7. I’m not trying to be all ‘Tour de France’

Please don’t make fun of my lycra – I know you don’t have to wear lycra to ride a bike. But when I’m doing 50-100 miles, lycra and padded shorts really are essential.

Cycling jerseys, cycling shorts and cycling shoes are actually functional – they’re not about looking like you think you’re in the “Tour de France” (because, firstly, there isn’t a women’s one) – they just make the rider more comfortable, and thus more capable, and safer.quick-build project

The rest is just as good, and worth a few minutes from your day.

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A reminder to get yourself a good lock — and always use it.

And register your bike, already.

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So you think you’re talented on a bike?

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Why indeed?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for forwarding what he calls a “cheeky” Cape Town, South African wayfinding sign.

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Local

Not only is Christian Bale one of us, he can ride the mean streets of Brentwood with one hand, while balancing a tray of hot coffee in the other.

Santa Monica stats show that the number of bike and pedestrian crashes are going down in the coastal city, even though deaths are up slightly.

 

State

A change to the state’s Active Transportation Program may shift funds to more quick-build projects that can transform streets simply and inexpensively.

UC San Diego finally completes a long promised bike and pedestrian bridge connecting grad students with the rest of the university. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. Also for the correction, after I misplaced the bridge as being at San Diego State. But at least I got the city right, right?

The CEO of Morgan Hill-based bike brand Specialized discusses his promotion of ecstasy, psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs to treat depression, trauma and addiction, as well as using bicycles to relieve ADHD. Or you could just combine them to celebrate next month’s Bicycle Day

Sad news from Palo Alto, where a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike on Friday.

Sunnyvale wants your input on the city’s draft active transportation plan. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Apparently having never heard of induced demand, a Marin paper calls for allowing drivers to use the new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during peak traffic hours, saying an average of 116 bikes per weekday doesn’t compare to 80,000 motorists. Even if those 116 people are riding in the middle of winter, on a bridge with no connecting bikeways yet.

A Sacramento woman has filed suit claiming a bike cop broke her leg by inexplicably ramming his bicycle into her during a protest over a police shooting.

 

National

Bicycling says NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson could become bicycling’s biggest advocate as he nears retirement, after becoming a two-wheel evangelist among his fellow drivers and mechanics.

Pickups and SUVs are getting so big, they’re outgrowing the spaces to park them in. As every bike ride who’s had to go around one, or felt the implied threat of a massive truck revving behind them, can attest.

A 13-year old Oregon boy and his friends have refurbished and donated more than 600 bicycles in the past five years, starting when he was just eight years old.

No bias here, either. An Arizona letter writer says he hates California expats because he can’t stand their politics, and blames them for a curb-protected bike lane he doesn’t like, either.

The death of professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag last Wednesday sent shockwaves through the southern Colorado bicycling community, causing other riders to recall their own close calls.

Now here’s the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting we all can benefit from, as a Dallas writer explores the city’s best breweries for bike riders.

A Minnesota hospital gave children with disabilities a chance to sample adaptive bikes, and experience what it’s like to ride a bicycle.

A University of Michigan lecturer says America’s aging population needs walkable, bikeable cities. And not just the people running for president.

Good Samaritans in Brooklyn chased down and tackled a van driver who fled the scene on foot after running down a woman on her bike.

A New York woman is suing a New Jersey heliport operator, alleging a rising helicopter blew her off her bike and into a wall.

Awful news from Maryland, where a driver plowed into a group of seven bicyclists, including the president of a local bike advocacy group, injuring two riders and killing one.

A pair of kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his bike was stolen, along with his mom’s bike.

He gets it. A Florida columnist says don’t accept and shrug off bicycle and pedestrian deaths, because the status quo is unacceptable. Or obscene.

A Florida man became a suspect in the burglary of a 97-year old woman’s home when his fitness app showed he was frequently in the area. Because he, you know, lived there.

 

International

A writer for Pinkbike marks International Women’s Day by considering how to get more women to work in the bicycle industry.

An urban governmental website wonders if Great Britain needs stronger regulations for ebikes, while e-scooters are still prohibited.

Convictions for dangerous driving are soaring in the UK, thanks to videos submitted to police by bike riders and others. That’s currently illegal in California, where police officers are required to witness a violation themselves before they can ticket a driver or file a misdemeanor charge. Just one more law we need to change.

Apparently, British social media runs slow, as a driver just now posts video of a young woman on a bike drifting across a busy highway back in September.

A Nigerian man is biking across the width of Africa to perform the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, after repeatedly dreaming of routes across the continent.

The streets were dotted with naked Kiwis on wheels as the 2020 World Naked Bike Ride kicked off in New Zealand. Cape Town, South Africa joined in on taking it off, as well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite rising fears over coronavirus, the eight-stage Paris-Nice race kicked off from the outskirts of Paris on Sunday. If you had Maximilian Schachmann in a sprint for the first stage, you win. And so did he.

Meanwhile, French cyclist Warren Barguil got the boot from the race for drafting on his team car following a spill. Proving that doping isn’t the only way to cheat.

 

Finally

What 007 would ride if he rode an ebike. Clearly, bike theft is nothing new.

And seriously, if you’re carrying weed and ecstasy on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign.

 

Bike and civic giant George Wolfberg dies at 82, Mariah Kandise Banks prelim a bust, and anti-bike bias in CA Senate

Happy International Winter Bike to Work Day.

Oh, and Valentines Day, too. 

And sorry if I leave a tear or two on your screen today.

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Giants are usually invisible.

You seldom notice them hiding among the rest of us, doing the same things we do.

Until one falls. And it’s felt all over the city.

Like my friend George Wolfberg, an invisible giant of the Los Angeles bicycling community.

And virtually every other community in the City of Angels.

It was just yesterday, flipping the pages of the LA Times, that I recognized Wolfberg’s face looking back at me from the obituary pages, and learned he’d passed away last week after an extended illness at the age of 82.

His death did not go unnoticed in Pacific Palisades, where he was a longtime resident, chair emeritus of the community council, and the former leader of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association.

I first met the longtime bicycle and community advocate nearly a dozen years ago, when he was fighting a battle to extend the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path to Malibu.

One he ultimately lost to a group of fellow advocates who preferred the danger of keeping bicyclists on deadly PCH to the optics of such an expensive bikeway project.

But George quickly got me involved in other projects, from joining the PCH Task Force to represent the needs on bike riders on the dangerous corridor, to connecting me with just the right people in the city and county governments to get finally piles of sand swept off the beachfront path months after a storm.

Which wouldn’t have happened without Wolfberg’s help.

Because George Wolfberg knew almost everyone at every level of the city, county and state governments. And even set up meetings with state Assembly Members and Senators to present my approach to halting hit-and-runs.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to convince them at the time that hit-and-run was that big a problem.

I wonder if they get it now.

For years, I could count on finding links to some bicycling story or another from the Wall Street Journal or New York Times popping up in my inbox on a regular basis, with the email address invariably leading back to him.

And he never missed contributing to this site’s holiday fundraiser every year; it breaks my heart to think this last one was, in fact, the last one.

But that’s the funny thing about giants.

They don’t always tell you they are one. Or why.

I’d known for some time that George Wolfberg was one of the first members of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advocacy Committee.

But it wasn’t until yesterday that I learned he’d also served on the LA County BAC. Or that there even was an LACBAC.

I was familiar with the late LA bike legend Alex Baum’s work to bring the ’84 Olympic Games to Los Angeles, and that he was instrumental in bringing women’s cycling to the Games for the first time.

But I never knew Wolfberg had worked hand-in-glove with him, writing the original proposal for the Games that forced the International Olympic Committee’s hand by including women’s cycling as a demonstration sport.

Or that he was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to Los Angeles in ’94. Let alone that he fought the horrific South African apartheid by working to get the city to divest from the racially divided county, later earning thanks from Nelson Mandela himself.

And worked just as hard for the residents of South LA, setting up a meals program for soccer playing kids who didn’t get enough to eat at home.

George never told me any of that. Or the countless other civic and athletic accomplishments on his resume that have made this city a better place for all of us.

Because that’s not what giants do.

I am poorer today, because I lost a friend and ally.

But more importantly, this city is poorer because it lost a true giant of a community leader. A man who did everything Los Angeles asked of him, then kept on doing more.

We will all miss George Wolfberg, even if most of us will never know it.

May his memory be a blessing for all of us.

Photo from Pacifica Palisades Community Council

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Our anonymous courtroom correspondent attended yesterday’s hearing for Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier, which turned out to be a prelim, rather than the actual trial.

But for no apparent reason, as it turned out.

Banks’ public defender couldn’t get herself extricated from another case that’s currently at trial (these things happen), so today’s preliminary hearing was delayed until March 17th, and I’ll be there.

A film crew from USC was there to cover the proceedings, which were brief. Bogart was there, Spencer was there. I met a budding activist, new to LA from Chicago, who had lost his fiancee of 8 years, and another activist fresh from Corvallis.

Nobody’s bike was stolen during the hearing, but Bogart et al were in the elevator (with Courtroom 38’s bailiff!) when it jammed, so their arrival was delayed for 20 minutes.

Woon’s mama was there and holding it together as best she could, which of course meant rivers of tears. She wore a t-shirt with a picture of young Woon and his bike, from which his face beamed. She repeated the words he said to her as he walked out the door for the last time, and I could just about hear them in his voice. Then her body heaved with sobs. So many arms were there to comfort her, but there’ll never be enough.

After Banks accepted the motion for continuance, the Assistant DA spoke to us in the hallway, providing a basic overview of the prosecution process and a chronology of expected future events. Woon’s mama indicated that she’s unlikely to actually be in the same room with Ms. Banks.

God damn. I wish I could suffer her pain for her.

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No bias here.

Streetsblog reports that the Republican Vice-Chair of the California Senate Transportation Committee buys into the myth that bike lanes increase traffic emissions.

Bates has made it clear that she is hostile to taxing people to pay for transportation, and hates the idea of paying for transportation infrastructure that doesn’t involve cars. At the hearing, she said that active transportation projects–“translated as ‘road diets,’ which is the term used these days,” she said, further muddling the topic–contribute to higher emissions by causing “mounting congestion on some of the primary arterials.”

“I think [the Active Transportation Program] had more to do with moving people out of automobiles and onto bikes and things where you create less greenhouse gas and the emissions, but when you’ve got the other two lanes and people are sitting in their cars, running, you have the same problem,” she said.

The transportation site’s Melany Curry had this to say in response.

And a lot more.

This actual data is in sharp contrast with the kind of fearmongering promulgated by groups like Keep L.A. Moving and Keep Pasadena Moving, whose anti-bike advocacy has prevented safety measures in those cities, and resulted in the removal of a road diet in Playa Del Rey before data could even be collected. Those fears are also fed by awful click-bait headlines like the one on the recent story in the S.F. Chronicle blaming bike lanesvery wrongly — for congestion on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

Sure, it’s possible for a poorly designed road diet to increase congestion. But that’s not what happens, for the most part. And Senator Bates’ repeating the idea that they do is unhelpful, at best.

And blaming bike lanes for vehicle emissions is just gaslighting. Senator Bates is not alone in doing this, and she needs to stop. And she also needs to stop pushing that as a reason for the state to stop funding active transportation projects.

Seriously, give it a read.

Because we have to know who and what we’re up against out there.

And how to respond to made-up facts with real ones.

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This is who we share the roads with. And the airspace, apparently.

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It may not be romantic, but chances are, you’ll still love killing a little time this foggy downhill run.

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Local

Crosstown LA at USC crunched the numbers, and came up with a list of the most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles; surprisingly, all but three are in the San Fernando Valley, with the others in South LA. Hint: You might want to avoid Sepulveda and Sherman Way. 

Curbed looks at CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar’s proposal to permanently prohibit cars from a 1.5-mile stretch of historic Broadway in DTLA.

Active SGV will host their first Emerald Necklace Bike Train of 2020 this Sunday.

The Santa Monica City Council voted to approve the bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of deadly Wilshire Blvd.

You can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, as CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew unveils his Karate Kid custom hand-painted bike shoe; he showed off the other one earlier this week.

 

State

New polls show San Diego residents want parking more than bike lanes, and stricter regulations on e-scooters — even though the current regs have already chased some providers out of town.

An 11-year old Ventura boy was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike on a private roadway in a condo complex; needless to say, the driver played the Universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see the kid.

UC Santa Barbara’s HOPR bikeshare will be hopping off campus this spring.

The garlic capital of the world considers establishing bicycle parking minimums for apartments and commercial buildings, including both long and short term bike parking.

A Modesto paper welcomes a road diet and protected bikeway, as long as it’s accompanied by affordable housing.

A debunking website says yes, Amazon’s first CFO really was killed by one of the company’s own delivery subcontractors while riding her bike in San Jose.

San Francisco’s shortest protected bike lane could be here to stay — assuming all goes well at a hearing next week, after it was already ripped out once.

 

National

Streetsblog says don’t hold your breath waiting for a Democratic presidential candidate who’s committed to breaking car culture.

Writing for Bicycling, a woman describes how her fellow mountain bike coaches got her through the darkest days of her divorce.

It’s 44 days into Oregon’s new Idaho Stop Law, and the sky hasn’t fallen.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thief who stole a beautiful, $4,000 custom-made low rider bike from an Arizona barbershop.

Colorado Public Radio offers tips on how to keep riding in the snow. Which is not a problem you’re likely to encounter on International Winter Bike to Work Day here in Los Angeles.

A Michigan School got a visit from professional mountain biker Jeff Lenosky, and every 1st and 2nd grader got a new bike and helmet, thanks to Lenosky and a local nonprofit.

Over 2,000 safety-minded people signed a petition calling for protected bike lanes downtown Nashville TN.

A Boston TV station comes to the rescue of a college student, who got stuck with a $1275 bill when she was unable to dock a bikeshare bike after a $2.50 ride.

Singer and rapper Ray J discusses his Scoot e-bike/scooters on a Gotham morning talk show.

 

International

A red light-running London driver has been convicted in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, who slipped away after 18 months in a coma; his father, cousin and younger brother were convicted of helping him coverup the crime.

The driver of a commercial skip loader got a well-deserved three and a half years for killing a bike rider while high on coke and cannabis.

A British woman refused to accept the diagnosis when doctors told her she’d never ride a bike again following brain surgery; now she rides a bike, runs, climbs mountains and jumps out of perfectly good airplanes.

A woman in the UK is furious after thieves stole her $1,000 bike, then came back to take her hot tub, too.

Forget CicLAvia. Paris will now ban cars from four arrondissements — aka districts — on the first Sunday of every month, opening the streets to the people.

German bicycle and trucking associations say the country has to do more to improve safety for bicyclists, with over 400 people dying while riding their bikes in Germany every year.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Oman, where a driver was busted for fleeing the scene after running over a bicyclist; no word on the condition of the victim.

 

LA blames Vision Zero fail on texting drivers, anti-bike bias on Bay Area bridge, and Arroyo Seco repairs underway

The Los Angeles Times pretty well sums up LA’s Vision Zero failure in two short paragraphs.

Last year, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets, a decrease of 0.8% compared to 2018, according to preliminary figures from the city. The victims included 134 people who were walking and 19 people biking.

The data may change slightly with additional analysis, officials said. But the early figures suggest another year of lackluster progress for Vision Zero, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths on city streets by 2025.

That’s two more bicycling deaths than I showed in my records. Which isn’t too surprising, since too many fatal crashes never make the news.

But instead of placing blame on the city’s insistence at nibbling on the edges of traffic safety, rather than making the wholesale changes to LA streets that define a true Vision Zero program, the city insists on pointing the finger at texting drivers.

Which is a major problem, of course.

But Vision Zero is supposed to be about accepting that people will always make mistakes behind the wheel — like texting, for instance. And designing roadways in such a way that those mistakes don’t become fatalities.

According to the story,

The Transportation Department made more changes to streets in L.A. in 2019 than in the prior two years combined, said spokeswoman Connie Llanos. Those 1,529 modifications to crosswalks, traffic signals, intersections and other elements of the street are designed to improve the safety of the street.

Yet none of those modifications included a single road diet or protected intersection.

Or, to the best of my recollection, a single new protected bike lane.

Rather than making simple changes to intersections, the city needs to take aim at changing the city’s car culture, said John Yi, the executive director of Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group.

If zero deaths is really the city’s goal, “we need to have a visionary plan that matches the scope of that goal,” Yi said. “We have failed to do that.”

There is every argument for making those kinds of wholesale changes to the streets, from saving lives to reducing traffic congestion and fighting climate change.

And only one reason not to — city leadership that fears angry voters, and lacks the political will to do what they know must be done if this city, and the people in it, are to survive and prosper.

As exemplified in the mayor’s action in unceremoniously ripping out the Playa del Rey road diets and bikes lanes less than a month after they went in, before they had a chance to prove themselves and drivers could adjust to the changes.

Yet they were elected, not to follow the will of those who scream the loudest, but to actually lead their constituents by making the hard choices to do the right thing, and build a city that works for all of us.

Not just impatient drivers. Or wealthy homeowners.

And not one that continues to kill too many of it’s most vulnerable road users.

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels.

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Just in case anyone wants to argue that Vision Zero doesn’t work, Helsinki, Finland didn’t have single pedestrian death last year, following a slow decline from a high of 60 in 1970.

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He gets it.

Then again, Peter Flax always does.

This time, the former editor-in-chief of Bicycling and near-daily bike commuter goes on a polite rant over a recent highly biased article blaming bike lanes on the Bay Area’s Richmond–San Raphael Bridge for making poor, suffering teachers late for work.

Not, say, all those other drivers on the bridge.

This is how efforts to build safe and convenient places for cyclists are demonized—as something that screws up the lives of motorists struggling to get somewhere important. This is how American car culture operates in 2020, when record numbers of cyclists are killed by drivers and efforts to do something about it are viewed as impractical and an attack on the driving public’s way of life.

Swan’s story is better reported than its clickbait headline might suggest, but upon close examination it reads like inadvertent propaganda. Though she name-checks the real problems plaguing miserable commuters, the central premise of her piece lends credibility to the absurd idea that the basic needs of embattled, working-class commuters are being trampled upon by people riding bikes…

He goes on to point the finger where it really belongs.

Let’s be frank. The congestion on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (and roadways in every U.S. city) can really suck. But it doesn’t suck because of cyclists or bike lanes. The traffic sucks because of sprawl and cheap gas and Americans’ love of cars. The traffic sucks because cities and states don’t put enough effort into housing, carpooling, telecommuting, micromobility, and financial tools like congestion pricing (in which motorists pay a modest surcharge to use roads at busy times, a tactic that has decreased traffic in European cities). These systemic problems—less suited to cranky populist headlines—are the real cause of traffic.

As with anything Flax writes, it’s a good read.

But more to the point, it’s an important one. Because we face this same sort of seemingly innocuous bias on a daily basis, with drivers failing to the real traffic problem is facing them back in the mirror.

And it’s not caused by bikes, bike lanes, or the people who use them.

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Repairs are finally underway on a storm damaged section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

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The LA Daily News is hosting another candidate forum in CD12 on the 17th.

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The 2020 Regional Bike Summit kicks off today, hosted by the San Diego Bike Coalition. The mayor of Encinitas, in North San Diego County, will be taking part.

Then again, so should every other mayor in the area.

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A beautiful handmade lowrider bike takes first place in a bent wood competition.

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Sometimes, though, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Edinburgh, Scotland police are looking for a sidewalk-riding “bike thug” who got off his bike and beat a total stranger for no apparent reason, sending him to the hospital with facial injuries.

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Local

Congratulations to Sunset For All, after the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted to support protected bike lanes on dangerous Sunset Blvd.

Voice your opposition to plans to widen deadly Magnolia Blvd — one of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network streets — next Monday at the North Hollywood Neighborhood Council meeting

 

State

Uber’s self-driving cars are on their way back to California, three years after the company got its hand slapped by the DMV for unleashing them in San Francisco without permits.

As we noted earlier, San Diego’s popular Ocean Beach bike path will be closed for construction work for the remainder of this month.

Nice gesture by a Santa Maria man, who returned a Kobe Bryant jersey that belonged to a fallen teenage bike rider to the boy’s mother nearly 13 years after he was killed in a collision; the boy had left it at the man’s apartment shortly before his death.

The Vallejo police union blames the victim after a cop is cleared in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager who fled a traffic stop.

A new San Francisco report contradicts the usual narrative from motorists, finding that drivers were responsible for two-thirds of collisions with pedestrians in the city last year.

Lime Bike wants to make a comeback in the Bay Area, despite pulling out of other cities in favor of e-scooter rentals.

Plans are underway to link 15 towns in Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Butte County with more than 300 miles of new motorized and non-motorized trail bike trails in the Lost Sierra region.

 

National

The New York Times says new digital data streams are driving new approaches to transportation, using LA’s data-sharing requirement for e-scooters and dockless bikeshare as a prime example.

On the topic of bikes going nowhere, Flywheel cops to ripping off Peloton’s patented streaming technology.

Specialized has a new e-mountain bike for you, if you’re willing to fork out $6,500 — or $16,500 for the carbon model.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a man walked with time served after copping a plea to vehicular homicide for fatally right-hooking a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, despite a commitment to never drive after using medical cannabis for a bad neck. Evidently, DUI and homicide is just no big deal up there.

This is why I love the bicycling community. When the owner of a Cincinnati mom-and-pop bike shop had to go to the hospital, ten bike mechanics from other shops offered to fill in for him. And a crowdfunding page raised over $9,000 since Sunday night — nearly double the modest $5,000 goal.

Chicago Streetsblog says the city needs a Rapid Response Team, arguing that inaction in the wake of tragic crashes is unacceptable. Which is exactly what I argued for before and after Los Angeles announced its Vision Zero program; every death should be immediately investigated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine contributory causes and prevent another one.

Speaking of the Windy City, the Department of DIY struck once again, spray painting bike lane markings at a Chicago intersection where a woman was killed, after the city failed to maintain them.

New York City could soon require side guards on large trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from being pulled underneath. These should be mandatory everywhere, for reasons that should be obvious.

Pennsylvania votes to allow protected bike and pedestrian lanes on state roadways.

A DC website questions whether “war on cars” is a useful term, after a WaPo reporter insists the district is waging one. Probably not, considering only one side is dying, and it ain’t the people in motor vehicles.

A local website discovers that some people actually like an Alexandrian VA road diet that’s being maligned by very vocal opponents.

 

International

Treehugger confronts the recurring myth that fuel for a bike rider causes as much CO2 emissions as someone in car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

They get it. A column in Cycling Industry News says if the bike industry wants to draw new customers, people need to feel safe riding their bikes. Which is the best argument for why bikemakers and bike shops should get involved in local advocacy. But few do.

Even the Cayman Islands need better bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five tips from the world’s coldest bike ride, Canada’s Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, to help keep you warm here in frigid Southern California.

Saskatoon, Canada, could soon remove a requirement for bicyclists to ride in bike lanes, arguing that faster riders should be allowed to ride in traffic lanes if they feel more comfortable.

Great Britain is debating whether to allow e-scooters in the country, where they are currently banned; a Swedish professor argues that cities should embrace them.

One place you can cross off your bike bucket list — the mean streets of Gaborone, Botswana, where bicycles are unwanted and unwelcome, along with the people who ride them.

A teenage Aussie driver faces multiple charges for killing two men out for their usual early morning bike ride while driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

The San Diego Union-Tribune says USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini is taking the organization in bold new directions after years as an afterthought, as the sport went its own way without its help or oversight.

VeloNews says they already miss the Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled this year after a 14-year run.

 

Finally…

If one shade of bikeshare doesn’t work, just keep going through the colors until one catches on. If you’re going to steal a bikeshare bike, at least be casual about it.

And world famous bike rider LeBron James wants to get you on a bicycle; rumor has it he also plays basketball or something.

 

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

………

No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

………

No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

………

And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

………

That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

………

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

………

Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

………

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

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

………

Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

………

Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

Morning Links: Bike-riding animal shelter burglars, bike rider attacked on Arroyo Seco path, and anti-bike bias in the news

Smile for the camera.

A pair of bungling bike-riding burglars broke into the spcaLA Pet Adoption Center in Los Angeles’ West Adams neighborhood, apparently looking for drugs before making off with a small safe.

Both burglars were clearly caught on security cams, one still wearing his bike helmet. Which raises the question, what kind of schmuck steals from a freaking animal shelter?

Thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Maybe the newly re-opened Arroyo Seco bike path isn’t all that safe after all.

A bike rider posted on Next Door about his encounter with a homeless man who tried to attack him with a steel pipe.

I’ve removed his name to protect his privacy.

This attack is no different than what riders have experienced on the LA River bike path, the Orange Line bike path, or along Ballona Creek. Or any other bikeway out of sight of the public.

While the pathways provide a route safe from the dangers posed by cars and their often distracted and/or aggressive drivers, secluded paths provide cover for those who would harm or rob bike riders and pedestrians.

Although to be honest, it doesn’t happen often.

But it does happen, and will keep on happening, until the LAPD, sheriff’s department and other police agencies finally figure out who the hell has jurisdiction on the paths. And begin regular bike patrols to keep riders safe, just as they patrol the streets in cars.

It also couldn’t hurt to provide better training for 911 operators so they have a clue where the bike paths are, and who has responsibility for policing them.

So the next time someone calls for help, they might actually get it.

Thanks to Harv for the tip.

………

No bias here.

Someone in Boston is warning about the vast bicycle lobby and non-resident conspiracy coming to take your traffic lanes.

They’re on to us, comrades.

Meanwhile, a WaPo columnist says bicyclists are pushing for stricter laws and enforcement in DC in an attempt to gain supremacy on the streets.

Rather than just, you know, stay alive.

………

More proof that registering your bike works.

………

Apparently, there’s a lack of functional bike racks in the South Bay.

………

Nope. Nothing odd here.

Nothing at all.

………

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

Once again, English police are looking for a man who leaned out of a car window and pushed a bicyclist off his bike into a hedge. This time, however, the grinning jackass was caught on camera, so hopefully that won’t be the only way he gets caught.

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

A 25-year old Chicago man faces charges for spitting at a bank employee after being told the bank was closed, then throwing his bicycle to the ground before going back and punching an employee in the face. Evidently, it’s the only bank in the world that doesn’t lock its doors at closing time.

………

Local

Letter writers take the LA Times to task for recent stories about gas tax money being used for transit and active transportation projects, saying taxes from non-drivers pay for services for motorists, and alternative forms of transportation are necessary to fight climate change. They’re right.

The LA City Council approved a motion by CD14 Councilmember José Huizar to install a two-way protected bike lane on Main Street in DTLA, instead of the previously planned one-way lane. The new lane will complement the two-way lane a block away on Spring Street; construction should be finished next month.

 

State

The new coach of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is one of us.

Yet another payout for bad sidewalks in San Diego, where a bike rider received a $1.25 million settlement from the city for his injuries.

San Diego police are looking for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down a 64-year old man walking his bike in an Ocean Beach bike lane, leaving the victim with multiple severe injuries.

A Cathedral City bike rider was injured when an 86-year old woman suffered an undisclosed medical emergency behind the wheel, crashing into him and continuing on before hitting another car.

A Bay Area writer says yes, some e-scooter riders are obnoxious, but scooters could help solve crippling congestion.

They get it. The San Francisco Chronicle says banning cars from Market Street will save lives, shorten commutes and improve street life; a rendering shows what a more livable, human-scaled Market Street will look like. Meanwhile, San Francisco Curbed asks what other streets should ban cars, and concludes, probably most of them.

 

National

Wired says the death of cars has been greatly exaggerated, as car ownership is climbing, despite predictions. No shit.

A Portland-area weekly says sell your car and buy and ebike, and promises it will change your life.

After suffering one too many concussions, former pro cyclist Scott Nydam is opening a combination bike and coffee shop in Gallop NM to help train young members of the Navaho Nation as bike mechanics and baristas; he’s already sponsoring a Navaho mountain bike team for middle and high school students.

Montana bike riders are recording roadkill to help officials find hotspots for animal crossings and fatal collisions. There’s an obvious joke there, but we’ll let it pass this time.

More on Iowa’s great RAGBRAI rift, as the organizers of the cross-state ride leave to form their own seven-day tour in a dispute with their longtime newspaper sponsor; fans fear for the future of the popular ride.

An Oklahoma City man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars after police chased him down for not having a rear light on his bike, and found a baggie full of a white powdery substance in his backpack — which turned out to be powdered milk, despite a false positive test for cocaine.

A Milwaukee hit-and-run driver was busted after he stole a bicycle to flee from a collision, then broke into an occupied house in a vain attempt to escape the cops.

An Illinois bike rider was lucky to survive a crash with the driver of a semi-truck who drove directly into him as he was crossing a gas station driveway on the sidewalk; remarkably, the driver claimed he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, even though the driver honked at him and he was directly in front of the truck. Be sure you really want to see the video, because it’s hard to watch someone get hit like that, even if he does get up afterwards.

An Indiana man is back home after a four-year bike ride around the world, or as he puts it, “a kind, generous earth.”

This is who we share the roads with. Two road raging brothers are under arrest for fatally shooting a St. Louis man in front of his four kids. Let’s hope those two never see the light of day again.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old diabetic Cincinnati man is taking part in this week’s JDRF Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes; he’s already raised over $47,500 for the ride. I’ve already got the diabetes. And a bike.

Good idea. Pittsburgh bike riders are out to track drivers blocking bike lanes. Think of it as a bike count, but for scofflaw drivers.

Stealing a Pittsburgh man’s ebike is one thing. But taking his dog is just going too damn far.

A group of professional flat track motorcycle racers will take off next month on a six day, 580-mile bicycle ride down the Florida coast to raise funds for injured riders; they’ve already raised $5,000 of the too low $10,000 goal.

 

International

Your next bike could be covered in sawtooth bumps for better aerodynamics.

Cycling Tips asks if you could live with just one bike for a year. Shouldn’t be too hard, considering most people only have one. Myself included.

A Vancouver professor says yes, bike riders really do pay taxes, just like everyone else.

A partially paralyzed British Columbia man got his three-wheeled recumbent ebike back more than a year after it was stolen, thanks to kind hearted cops who dipped into their own pockets to get it back to rideable condition.

The parents of 19-year old Harry Dunn, the English motorcyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run by the wife of an American diplomat who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, call a meeting with President Trump a stunt and ambush, after he offered to introduce them to their son’s killer with cameras waiting in the wings. And made it clear he’s not planning to send her back to face charges.

More Parisiens are riding bikes than ever before, thanks to new bikeways in the City of Lights, combined with a transit strike and more government support for bicycling. Someone should tell LA Mayor Garcetti and the city council that could happen here, too. And our weather is better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former cycling scion Taylor Phinney announced his retirement, five years after suffering a career-threatening crash trying to avoid a race moto during the 2014 road race nats, just days after winning the national time trial title. He was told he might never walk again, let alone ride, but returned to win his third national time trial title two years later; unfortunately, though, he wasn’t able to recapture the road race magic that had made him a fan favorite. His last race will be in Japan this weekend.

Life is cheap in Australia, where the driver who killed 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes is unlikely to spend a single day in jail, despite texting just 68 seconds before the crash.

Bicycling says next year’s Tour de France could be one of the most unpredictable ever.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to attack strangers while butt naked, maybe choose a better weapon than a bike wheel. Nothing like a little used inner tube haute couture.

And this seven-year old gives a whole new meaning to “ride like a girl.”

 

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.

………

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. 

………

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: Driving on the Ballona Creek bike path, shaming a helmet shamer, and cute dog on a bike

Let’s start the day with a few observations from Chris Buonomo from his weekend ride.

On Saturday morning while rolling southbound down the Ballona Creek bike path, we rounded one of the few sharp turns (the one north of Duquesne) only to encounter a silver Mercedes driver inching south on the path. When he realized there were bikes behind him, he waved us through the narrow gap between his door and the fence. I asked him why he was driving on a clearly marked bike path, and he said, “the GPS told me to go on here” and laughed it off. We told him to go to the next ramp so he could exit, and we made sure to alert all the bikes traveling in the opposite direction. I hope nobody was hurt out there.

But then we reached the Manhattan Beach Pier and their bike-hostile signage which sign shows a cyclist in a supertuck and a big red X. Pedestrians always always always have the right of way, but that sign sets up anyone who rides responsibly for failure. Roll through at 5 mph and risk getting a ticket. Do you think it’s necessary for the guy in the picture to walk his bike? Perhaps if the city didn’t offer abundant parking 3 feet from the pier and opened up that space a little more, bikes and peds could easily coexist.

The upshot is this: Cars go wherever they want with impunity. Cars dictate how much space is allocated to non-car. Yet the onus is always on bike riders not to get the drivers angry, look out for everyone else and not get themselves injured (or worse).

Will elected officials ever chip away at this systemic double standard?

Seems like double standards are what politicians do best these days.

Especially when it comes to cars and the people in them.

………

Some people just don’t get it.

It’s funny how so many people seem to think bike helmets are magic devices that make their wearers impervious to injury from two-ton vehicles whose drivers are typically exceeding the speed limit.

Take this columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Please.

Rex Huppke, armed with exactly zero scientific studies, and apparently averse to even a modicum of research prior to ranting in print, beyond calling an ER doc at the local hospital, transforms into older, get-off-my-lawn troll for mass helmet shaming.

No, really.

I’ve seen a lot of stupid in my day, most of it coming from politicians, but peddling around with nothing to protect your noggin? That’s high-level stupidity. What exactly makes you think your skull is dent-resistant?

You think you’re invincible? Guess what, diddlepants? You’re nothin’ but meat stuffed into a skin suit, and if a car or curb or tree or pothole decides it wants to play natural selection, guess who’s gonna lose?

DID YOU GUESS?!? THE ANSWER IS: THE MORON WHO ISN’T A WEARING A HELMET!

With all due apologies to the doctor on the other end of his phone, bike helmets were never intended to protect against a crash with a compact car, let alone today’s massive wall-fronted SUVs.

Instead, they’re designed to cushion the impact to your head from a relatively slow speed fall off your bike. And if you don’t spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models, do absolutely nothing to protect against traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body. Which should be self-evident, but evidently isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in wearing a bike helmet, and never ride without mine.

But I also recognize their limitations. And don’t count on it to keep me safe.

A bike helmet should never be the first — or only — means of protecting yourself. It should always be seen as the last line of defense, when all else fails.

So if you actually give a damn about bike safety, skip the helmet shaming, learn to ride defensively, and fight for protected bike lanes and safer streets.

Then decide for yourself whether to wear a helmet.

Or as someone else put it,

If finger wagging and shaming actually worked, America would be the safest country in the world.

………

Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than a dog on a bicycle.

………

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

Enough said.

Gotta give the guy on the bike some respect for staying on his bike and maintaining a placid demeanor through all that.

………

Local

Good news on the political front, as Loraine Lundquist isn’t taking no for an answer, and running for a full term as councilmember for CD12, after losing a close race to John Lee in the special election.

Blame the geofence if your e-scooter suddenly craps out on you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-something letter writer in the LA Times says he still rides his bike for minor errands, as well as taking other steps to reduce his carbon footprint.

A USC student was hit by a driver while riding her bike on University Ave Tuesday morning, joining four other Trojans hit by motorists while riding their bikes so far this month.

Robin Wright is one of us, riding the streets of LA with her husband on industrial strength fat tire ebikes as their dog trots alongside.

 

State

Calbike lists 187 streets and highways it says would be affected by the new Complete Streets bill currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, including Santa Monica Blvd, Glendale Fwy and Angeles Crest Hwy in the Los Angeles area.

Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of induced demand, Costa Mesa officials present strictly car-centric proposed designs for Newport Blvd through the city, with nary a thought towards the needs of anyone not in a motor vehicle.

A San Diego advocacy group presented their vision for a Vision Zero in four East County cities.

Outside asks if the removal of Uber’s Jump bikes from San Diego and Atlanta marks the death knell for dockless e-bikeshare. Or it could just be the result of greater popularity for e-scooters. And in San Diego’s case, overregulation.

Congratulations to the Human Powered Vehicle Team from Cal Poly SLO, who set a new collegiate land speed record of 63.68 mph.

Chico cops bust a man for riding off from a bike shop at 4:30 am with a newly purloined bicycle; police credit a witness for helping them track down the thief.

 

National

Bicycling says style matters, and you want to look good when you’re getting dropped. And they want you to drool over the vintage ’80s bikes in It: Chapter Two.

Drivers in Pittsburgh — no, the one in Missouri — get some shiny new sharrows as a reminder to share the road with people on bicycles.

I want to be like her, too. An 80-year old Minnesota woman just rode 800 miles traveling to Wyoming and back. And has ridden 25,000 miles since she turned 60.

A woman who uses her bike as her primary means of transportation will be walking for awhile, after it was stolen from a badly installed bike rack at a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association train station. To which the transit agency responded, that’s not our problem.

Once again, a bicyclist has been critically injured in the battle for space in New York’s Central Park, as a 60-year old woman went over her handlebars trying to avoid a pedestrian. And yes, she was wearing a helmet. And no, it didn’t save her.

Speaking of helmets, New York Council Speaker Dave Carlin politely shut down a reporter from an anti-bike TV Gotham station who insisted bike riders are dangerous and suggested bike helmets should be mandatory.

Once again, New York shows Los Angeles how it’s done, presenting a plan that would add 50 miles of protected bike lanes every year, along with another 30 miles of bus lanes. That compares somewhat favorably with LA’s complete and total lack of commitment for either one.

Streetsblog wants to know when will New York accept that bikeshare has become a vital form of transit, and finally begin subsiding it.

DHL is dropping their standard delivery trucks in favor of cube-like delivery bikes, after losing a wheel to qualify as bicycles under New York law.

A DC father says he’s not taking his kid to school in his cargo bike anymore, thanks to a “perfect storm of road rage, reckless driving, terrible street design, and total lack of any kind of recourse” after being chased down the street for several blocks by a horn-honking dump truck driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike from a Georgia Tech student, who’s suffered from mobility issues since he was hit by a car when he was five years old; kindhearted campus cops are trying to get him a new one. And remember him the next time someone says handicapped people can’t ride bikes.

 

International

Thought provoking piece from Forbes‘ Carlton Reid, who says Apple’s coming Tag chip could help you find your stolen bike and keep autonomous cars from running over your ass — as long as you can afford a new iPhone and subscription service. And could lead to the dystopian Big Brother future the company promised to smash.

Not surprisingly, London police catch a little blowback when their bike cops tweet that half of their tickets go to scofflaw bicyclists.

A London sociologist says as bicycling becomes more popular and more people compete for road space, the city must take steps to make riders feel safer on the streets.

A new British ebike folds in less than ten seconds.

Italian bikemaker Bianchi recognizes that an road ebike doesn’t have to look like one. Or feel like one, for that matter.

Students in Mombasa, Kenya have to ride across dangerous roads with no bike lanes just to get to class.

Malaysian teenagers freak out drivers by doing the full superman pose on custom chopped bicycles while riding on a major highway.

https://twitter.com/Thehulkey/status/1172461714345906176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1172461714345906176&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.malaymail.com%2Fnews%2Flife%2F2019%2F09%2F17%2Fwannabe-rempit-kids-take-joyride-with-modified-bicycles-on-plus-highway-vid%2F1791323

 

Competitive Cycling

Very disturbing news for long time bike racing fans, as 70-year old Michael Aisner, former race director of the legendary Coors Classic, has been arrested for secretly recording men showering after renting out his Boulder CO home.

So that’s what pro cyclists keep in their jersey pockets. Spanish cyclist Jesus Ezquerra finished the final stage of the Vuelta with one more fiancé than he had at the beginning of the stage.

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/1173279110380081152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1173279110380081152&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthebiglead.com%2F2019%2F09%2F17%2Fla-vuelta-proposal-cycling-jesus-ezquerra%2F

 

Finally…

Who needs Amazon when you’ve got your own private library in a cargo bike castle full of books? Presenting the love child of an ebike and a scooter, or maybe a scooter with pedals.

Or something

And if you’ve already been busted with your significant other for biking while extremely drunk, you might as well just schtup in the back of the patrol car.

 

Morning Links: Permanent memorial for young Valley bicyclist, Aussie distracted driving cams, and more NY anti-bike bias

One tragic note before we get started.

I’m told that a man from Altadena has been gravely injured in an apparent solo fall while riding with a friend in the Northern California backcountry.

The victim is currently being treated in a Bay Area hospital for severe neck, spine and brain injuries.

I’m withholding his name and other details for now out of respect for his family and their privacy.

But prayers or best wishes are definitely in order.

………

He gets it.

Bike advocates rededicated the ghost bike for 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike in Woodland Hills on Easter Sunday last year.

The ceremony also saw the installation of the city’s first permanent marker honoring a fallen bicyclist, one of up to 20 per year the city will install with a reminder to drive safely.

Photo from Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s Twitter account

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield struck the right tone, reminding the small audience about the big hole Montero’s death left in the lives of everyone around him.

And that a simple sign wasn’t going to fix anything.

“The signs themselves are wonderful,” said Blumenfield. “[But] they’re not going to solve our problems with people dying on the roads.”

It will take a renewed commitment to Vision Zero by the people elected to serve all of us — not just the people in the big, dangerous machines.

And a willingness on their part to stand up to NIMBYs and angry drivers that has been sorely lacking in the city in recent years.

………

Great idea.

Inspired by the death of his friend James Rapley, the Australian bike rider killed on Temescal Canyon while on a layover at LAX six years ago, an Aussie entrepreneur has developed an automated camera system designed to capture drivers illegally using a handheld cellphone.

The automated cameras from Acusensus are designed to work like red light or speed cameras to provide photographic proof of the driver breaking the law, along with the license of the car.

Presumably, tickets would follow in the mail.

It would likely require a change in the law to use them in California, where red light cameras are allowed at local discretion, but speed cameras are currently prohibited.

However, it should withstand privacy concerns, since there is no legal expectation of privacy for anything that is readily visible in public.

Although the state’s overly entitled drivers would likely rise up to complain, just like too many do over any attempt to hold motorists accountable and keep them from breaking the law.

But there are few things the state could do virtually overnight that would have a greater impact on safety and do more to save lives.

………

No bias here.

The bike-hating New York Post says bike riders are killing pedestrians, and accuses the city of not doing anything to stop it.

Then they go on to explain there were seven pedestrian deaths in the last nine years — something works out to less than one a year, along with another 250 injured each year.

While one death is one too many, the paper doesn’t bother to mention how many bike riders were injured or killed in crashes with pedestrians.

Never mind who was actually at fault in those crashes.

And as anyone who has ever had a pedestrian step out into bike lane without looking, or turn suddenly in front of your bike can tell you, it ain’t necessarily the person on two wheels.

Nor do they bother to put it all in perspective by citing the 100-plus pedestrians killed by motorists each year.

Which only works out to a margin of slightly 100 to one, anyway. Making it pretty damn clear who represents the real danger to people walking.

But who cares about facts if it sells newspapers.

Right?

………

Speaking of which, a New York study shows zombie pedtextrians isn’t really a thing after all.

………

Go for a Monday mountain bike ride with the great Peter Sagan.

But maybe drop a little dramamine first.

………

Thanks to Sgt. Helper for forwarding video of a bike-riding nun who could probably drop most of us.

Well, me anyway.

https://twitter.com/TrumpPatriotPL/status/1167874990810648577

………

Local

Hats off to LAPD officer Andrew Gonzalez, who rode his bike 300 miles from LA to Stanislaus County to deliver a flag to the family of a fallen Newman police officer who was killed during a traffic stop last year.

Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt are two of us, as they enjoy married life on a mountain bike ride in Los Angeles.

NoHo’s Chandler Bikeway is set to get $1.2 million in improvements. None of which is apparently aimed at improving safety for bike riders.

E-scooters are officially banned in the ‘Bu.

The Daily Breeze recounts the story of deadly Vista Del Mar, including the failed 2017 attempt to install a road diet, which was ripped out when drivers insisted on their God-given right to go zoom zoom even if it keeps killing people.

 

State

A San Diego woman suffered severe head trauma when a driver leaving a parking lot smashed into her bike as she rode on the sidewalk. Yet another example of why riding a bicycle on the sidewalk isn’t as safe as most people think.

After a Murrietta boy was hit by a car while riding his bike, the kindhearted people at Target gave him a new one.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 56-year old bike rider died after allegedly making an abrupt left turn into the path of a pickup driver.

San Jose police bust ten suspects in a series of burglaries targeting bike shops, as well as construction sites and school districts in the Bay Area.

A San Jose columnist goes for the jugular, arguing that a bike rider killed in a head-on collision on popular Mount Diablo would be alive today if parks officials hadn’t ignored a judge’s 27-year old order to improve the roadway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Officials identified the victim in last week’s fatal hit-and-run in East San Jose as a 44-year old San Jose man. Thanks to Ralph Durham and Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Indicating a total misunderstanding of what speed limits are for, a Santa Rosa-area letter writer says drivers should be required to drive the speed limit, and bike riders should get the hell out of the way so they don’t slow down the more important people in cars. Just like drivers, bicyclists are required to pull over when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles stuck behind them and unable to pass; the law does not apply if there are two or more lanes in each direction, or if the people can safely pass them.

Three new members were named to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis; the trio will be inducted November 2nd.

A Eureka woman was busted for trying to pass a phony $100 bill at a bike shop to buy a bicycle for…wait for it…$5.46. Sound like maybe she was getting a fake bike for her fake money, anyway.

 

National

New rules for the national parks system would allow ebikes on any trails other bicycles are allowed on, providing new access to the wilderness for older or less able-bodied riders.

Buzzfeed says Amazon’s next day delivery is bringing chaos and carnage to America’s streets, while the company avoids responsibility for the harm they’re causing.

New street design guidelines from the American Society for Landscape Architecture show why inclusive cities start with safe streets.

Guarantee your kid wins playtime at the park with his or her very own Harley-Davidson e-balance bike.

Portland police finally busted the bike thief who stole a 69-year old man’s $11,000 bicycle in a strong-arm robbery in July; a friend of the victim had filmed the thief riding it shortly after the theft.

A hit-and-run bike rider rode over the hind leg of an eight-month old Labradoodle puppy on an Idaho greenbelt, snapping it in two, then simply rode off. Which makes him no less of a cowardly a-hole than any heartless hit-and-run driver. Schmuck.

Kansas City MO develops the usual factions in the fight over bike lanes, as advocates argue for improving safety and boosting local businesses, while opponents fear harm to businesses and want to keep their dangerous streets just the way they are.

A Texas man refuses to take no for an answer after doctors told him he’d never ride a bike again when he lost his leg in a horseback riding accident, completing a 168-mile ride on a prosthetic leg he designed and built himself.

An 18-year old girl rode 550 miles on a tandem bike with her father from Chicago to Toronto for her first day of college, while a Flint MI bike shop owner saved the day when they developed a crack in their tandem’s steering tube.

More proof hit-and-run isn’t just a California thing, as Chicago police are looking for the heartless coward who slammed into a mountain bike rider, and left him to die on the side of the road. Thanks to Art S for the tip.

After a legally blind Indiana man’s bike was stolen, a friend spotted it on someone else’s porch and stole it back.

Congratulations to Ohio officials for keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until he killed someone. The alleged drunk driver who killed a bicyclist on Saturday had been charged with driving while impaired seven years ago, but prosecutors pled it down to a single count of reckless driving with a small fine; the victim was chief counsel to a former Ohio governor. Which means his blood is on their hands.

A driveway vigilante is under arrest after a New York driver took the law into his own hands, deliberately slamming his SUV into the screwdriver-toting bike rider he suspected of breaking into his vehicle, and killing him.

New York’s former parks commissioner says bike and pedestrian traffic in Central Park has become so chaotic and dangerous due to its growing popularity and lack of pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure that he won’t ride his bike there anymore.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News says sure, bikes are all fine and good, but the city’s Belmont neighborhood needs its parking. Unlike, say, every other neighborhood that says the same thing, until they find out they’re actually better off with more bikes and fewer cars.

Need a haircut? A bike-riding New York barber says he’ll go anywhere to cut hair, traveling from Machu Picchu to Tokyo.

Now that’s more like it. A Philadelphia man is suing a delivery company for repeatedly blocking a bike lane, as well as the city’s parking authority for failing to enforce it.

A Delaware man who is “hardly a bike-phobe” says they’ve already had several bike riders killed in the area, and its totally the fault of those careless, lawbreaking vacationers on bicycles.

An op-ed in the Washington Post says we can have an enormous impact on improving our cities by making it easier to ride a bike and harder to drive a car.

Life is cheap in Virginia, where a woman walks without a single day behind bars despite a conviction for reckless driving in the death of a man riding his bicycle.

A new Clemson University study confirms that daytime taillights can significantly improve your safety. Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve had far fewer close calls since I’ve started riding with multiple taillights and an ultrabright headlight during the day. As much as it really pisses me off to have to do it. 

 

International

London is changing building design rules for skyscrapers to reduce the wind tunnel effect for bicyclists.

A British writer calls for taming the automotive hegemony on our streets by banning all car advertising.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is one of us, too, going for a casual ride with her two daughters.

A new study shows cargo bikes are more efficient than delivery vans in urban areas, so the UK government put its money on…flying taxis.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary, and an Irish columnist just wishes you’d show a little respect and use your bike bell on the way there.

Yet another study confirms the safety in numbers effect, as a new Belgian study shows motorists will adjust how they drive in relation to the number of bicyclists on the street.

South African police ended a nearly two-year reign of terror when they arrested a Zimbabwean man for murdering a bike rider and a hiker in a national park, as well as eight other nonfatal stabbings and muggings.

A New Zealand charity refurbishes bicycles to give to refugees, and teaches the recipients how to ride them, giving them new hope in the process.

An Aussie op-ed says just painting bike lanes on a street and assuming bicyclists will be safe and motivated to use them is delusional, and does nothing to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.

The Philippines considers a bill that would require elected officials to use public transport. We need something like that here, like requiring officials — elected and otherwise — to walk, bike or use transit at least once a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A “crazy week” ends at the Vuelta with yet another leader change.

Cyclist looks at the winners and losers in the Vuelta’s first week, while Cycling Weekly confines itself to five talking points from stage 9.

One of those losers was Tejay van Garderen, who was forced to drop out with a broken finger following a crash on Thursday.

Rouleur considers how tiny Slovenia rose to the top of the cycling world.

A Mexican cyclist got a two-year ban after getting busted for doping. But the doping era is completely and totally over, right?

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a bicyclist competing in a Russian bike race loses control and veers off the course, but grabs a little girl to protect her as he falls.

Finally…

Yes, a bike lane can save your life the next time you inhale a wasp while riding. If you’re going to take your loaded shotgun into Home Depot, at least get off your bike first.

And don’t toss trash out the window of your chrome-covered Lambo.

Especially if there’s a bicyclist around.

………

One final note. 

This is exactly how I feel when I post most mornings. Now if I could only figure out how to include a decent bottle of booze as a downloadable attachment.

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.

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.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1155855285220605952

………

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.

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