Tag Archive for bicycle collisions

CDC Bike Safety stats miss mark, Move Culver City adjusts lane markings, and Desmond Tutu was one of us

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive such a big success, with new records for both the number of donations and the total amount — topping last year’s record-setting total by over $1,200!

So please join me in thanking William C, Lois R, Carol K, David D, Julie C, Erik G, Bryan H, Audrey K and Jennifer P for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And let me give a special thanks for the comments so many people made along with their donations, which touched me more than I can begin to say. 

So to everyone who contributed, please accept my undying gratitude. Or at least until next year’s holiday season, when we’ll do it all again. 

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File this one under the heading of you’ve got to be kidding.

The CDC’s Bicycle Safety page helpfully suggests the main risk factors for bike crashes.

Never mind that children and adults over 50 are among the largest bike-riding age groups. Or that the well-documented gender gap means three times as many men as women ride bikes.

Let’s not forget that more people ride bikes in urban areas, simply because there are more people there.

And does it really tell us anything that either the driver or bike rider had been drinking in 37% of bicycling fatalities, without breaking out whether the bike riders or drivers had been drinking, and whether they were actually under the influence or just had a trace amount of alcohol in their blood?

All of which makes this set of risk factors just this side of useless.

And just to be clear, the information on alcohol consumption comes from the 2015 Traffic Safety Fact Sheet Bicyclists & Other Cyclists, which shows that 22% of bike riders killed were legally drunk, compared to 12% of drivers; another 4% in each group had some amount of alcohol in their blood, without being legally drunk.

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Culver City is responding to complaints about the new Move Culver City bike and bus lanes by making adjustments to the lane designs.

Which is exactly how it’s supposed to work.

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Newport Beach’s century-old Balboa Island Ferry will be bikes and pedestrians only for the next month, with cars forced to take the long way around to avoid electrical work near the ferry terminal.

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Turns out even the late, great Bishop Desmond Tutu was one of us.

And yes, I looked it up. He really did say this.

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1475186686816628759

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Literary great Henry Miller was one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1474968213221883908

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So was 1930s Western matinee hero Buck Jones, featured here in a Schwinn brochure produced in the final year of his life.

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Who needs headphones when you ride a bike?

Which seems like an opportunity to remind everyone that it’s illegal under California law to ride a bike with earbuds in, or headphones over, each ear.

Even though someone on a bike would have to have their headphones cranked up pretty damn high before they’d hear as badly as someone in a car with the windows up and the music system on.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only one struck by the number of bicycles in this year’s Rose Parade.

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

A San Diego grandmother is conducting her own search for the road-raging driver who ran down her 22-year old ebike-riding grandson, making a U-turn to chase down him down in what appears to be an intentional attack. The question is, why was she able to locate security video that the police didn’t?

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 49-year old woman got a lousy fine — the equivalent of just $1,100 — for pushing a 15-year old boy off his bike for the crime of riding on the sidewalk, then bragging about it on Facebook, saying he “wouldn’t be so lucky” the next time.

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

A British doctor is now afraid to walk alone after she was run down from behind by a hit-and-run bike rider descending at high speed; she now wonders if the crash was deliberate.

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Local

LA County sheriff’s deputies blame culture and training for aggressively policing bike riders — usually Latino — in unincorporated areas, despite finding illegal materials in less than 10% of their searches. And don’t forget, you are under no obligation to consent to a search of you or your bike.

Get two-thirds off the cost of a one-year Metro Bike Hub membership through the end of this month.

London’s Daily Mail oddly gets all hot and bothered over Harrison Ford riding the streets of Los Angeles swathed in spandex.

 

State

Electrek visits the sprawling new production facilities for Newport Beach’s Electric Bike Company, which sounds more like a kids show on PBS.

Encinitas will host a carfree Cyclovia for four hours this Sunday.

There’s no lower form of human scum than anyone who would steal an adaptive bike from an 18-year old disabled San Diego woman.

San Diego Trek locations are collecting used bicycles for the next month, hoping to net more than 1,000 bicycles for a bike giveaway in collaboration with the San Diego chapter of Free Bikes 4 Kidz and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

A Highland newspaper complains about a $6.4 million demand from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offset the environmental effects of a planned Class 1 bike path through the Upper Santa Ana River Wash, which is nearly 50% more than the cost of building the actual pathway.

This is who we share the road with. A two-time DUI loser now faces a murder charge for causing a chain-reaction Palm Springs crash that took the life of a 36-year old former Marine from Chula Vista; 41-year old driver Andrew Watson Hibbard had previous DUI arrests in Oregon and Palm Springs. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

Salinas cops and firefighters are competing for the affections of their favorite fan, a teenage boy who rides his bike to follow them around the city; they pitched in together to buy him a new bike after someone stole his.

An Oakland bike thief faces up to 40 years behind bars after he was convicted of fatally shooting a man who was trying to get his bike back as the thief was making off with it.

Sad news from Rancho Cordova, where a bike rider was killed in a collision just trying to cross a roadway Saturday evening.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says with used car prices going through the roof, there may never be a better time to go carfree. And unlike his other recent columns, this one isn’t hidden behind a paywall.

Fast Company examines how cities across the US are making the temporary changes they’ve made to the streets during the pandemic permanent.

The US Public Interest Group warns about unfixable bikes that are only made to last a matter of months.

The Motley Fool says it’s time for Apple to spend some of its cash, and buy indoor cycling provider Peloton.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A 30-mile ride around Oregon’s Crater Lake, at 7,000 feet above sea level with 4,200 feet of elevation gain.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old New Mexico man continues to ride his titanium bikes every other day, and has biked through France, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Scotland, Lichtenstein, Spain and New Zealand since he took up bicycling in his early 50s.

A bike pump ordered from Amazon gets the credit for saving a young family from the extreme fires outside Boulder, Colorado last week, after the Amazon driver gave them a lift to safety after trying to deliver their order.

Kansas woman was convicted of second-degree murder for downing several drinks, then running down a 16-year old girl riding a bicycle and leaving her to die in the street.

She gets it. Writing for The Atlantic, Cleveland-based planner Angie Schmitt says big cars are killing us, and the government can’t keep letting the auto industry treat people walking or on bikes as collateral damage.

Businesses in the Kentucky-Indiana area are collecting bicycles for victims of the recent Kentucky tornadoes.

An editorial from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the public deserves to know why a 51-year old Black man was killed by police, who tased him repeatedly for the crime of riding a discarded bicycle around the block; nine officers have been disciplined for his death, though what that means is still unclear.

Newly sworn-in New York Mayor Eric Adams is one of us, too, riding a Citi Bike bikeshare to his second day at work on Sunday. Thanks again to Victor Bale for the link.

Outgoing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves office with the highest traffic fatality rates of his tenure, despite eight years of the city’s Vision Zero program, which showed promise in its first few years.

Newly released bodycam footage shows a Virginia cop tackling a Black bike rider for the crime of riding without a headlight.

When a Louisiana donut shop employee’s bicycle seat was stolen, kindhearted customers pitched in to buy him a used car. But did anyone bother to ask if he’d rather just have a new bike seat?

This is who we share the road with, too. Florida police arrested a hit-and-run driver who jumped a curb and plowed into a group of little kids on the sidewalk, killing two children and injuring four others. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could just drive away after that.

 

International

Cycling Weekly gazes into its crystal ball to predict the top road bike trends of 2022.

An Anchorage, Alaska bike wrench is riding 1,560 miles solo through Baja California to raise funds to fight ALS; he already has $20,000 in pledges, and hopes to raise over $50,000.

A Toronto woman describes how avoiding public transportation during the pandemic turned her into a four season bike rider.

A London college professor explains why you can’t blame bike lanes for an increase in traffic congestion. In London, or anywhere else.

London’s transportation department is under pressure to remove a dangerous pass that sets off a road rage altercation from a new ad urging everyone on the road to try seeing things from the other guy’s perspective. Except there shouldn’t be another side to using a car to threaten the safety of someone on a bike or on foot.

After a local English official criticized new segregated bike lanes, saying drivers now feel hemmed in, an active transportation group does a little expert-level trolling by offering their sympathy for anyone who feels “rather claustrophobic” in their “one ton sofa-carrying steel boxes.”

A Scottish program to help low-income residents buy new ebikes fell flat, after no one took them up on the offer in the first three months, despite 290 people expressing interest.

He gets it. In an op-ed for The Guardian, a writer for Cycling Weekly asks how Britain can ever become a great bicycling nation when people on bicycles are subject to driver abuse, intimidation and terrible infrastructure. Then again, you could say the same thing about any city in the US, Los Angeles included. Or you could, if any of them actually wanted to be one.

Life is cheap in the UK, where relatives and advocates are calling for reforms after a driver got less than six years behind bars for the drunken, distracted hit-and-run that took the life of a 15-year old boy riding his bike.

Road.cc looks back fondly at the ten best British bike brands from the ’70s and ’80s. Any one of which I would have been happy to find in my Christmas stocking.

A game-changing UK traffic cam has captured 15,000 drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel. Which is exactly what we need here. Although drivers would complain about how unfair it is to get caught breaking the law.

A reminder that a driver doesn’t actually have to hit you to cause serious damage, as an Irish bike rider broke his collarbone when he was blown off his bike by the slip stream from a passing truck; needless to say, the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Because this new cliffhanging Kiwi bikeway is what rail-to-trail conversions are all about.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch national road champion Amy Pieters remains in a medically induced coma after suffering a serious head injury in a fall while training in Spain; there’s no way to tell if she’s suffered any lasting damage until she wakes up.

No surprise here, as the ever expanding world of Covid-19 is already forcing restrictions on the year’s first pro bike races in February.

Pez Cycling News reviews a new book about the legendary 7-Eleven cycling team from a former editor of VeloNews.

Former pro and current Worst Retirement Ever rider Phil Gaimon is teaming with a trio of off-road cyclists, a ‘cross and track rider, and a 12-year old kid to form the multidisciplinary Jukebox Cycling team, but doesn’t expect it to change anything but whose banner he rides under.

Last week’s devastating pre-New Year’s fires outside Boulder, Colorado destroyed entire neighborhoods in Louisville and Superior — including the home of Tom and Alie Hopper, who both work for the EF Pro Cycling professional cycling team. A crowdfunding page to help them rebuild has raised over $102,000, more than doubling the $50,000 goal.

Two-time Mexican national champion and former EF Pro Cycling rider Luis Villalobos was banned for four years for doping. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike with a sword in your backpack, try not to fall off and stab yourself with it. Your next bike seat could have had a wedge to fit up your butt crack; thankfully it didn’t catch on.

And it looks like someone had a very good Christmas.

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

Study shows bicycling got safer last year, new Beverly Hills protected bike lane, and cops bust Mar Vista bike chop shop

Maybe things have gotten safer.

Or maybe not.

A new study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that collisions involving bicyclists decreased during the pandemic last year, as bike riders shifted from rush hour commutes to more midday rides, and from crowded roadways to offroad trails.

However, other reports suggest that bicycling collisions increased last year as the bike boom encouraged more riders to take to the roadways, with greater lethality as less crowded streets allowed motorists to drive more aggressively.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until statistics for 2020 come out next year to know what really happened in the last one; right now, 2019 is the most recent year available.

And it remains to be seen whether things have reverted to previous levels as more traditional traffic patterns have resumed as businesses reopened this year.

But I’d put my money on things being worse, not better.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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For any of us who remember the bad old days of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills before it unexpectedly got bike friendly, hell has officially frozen over.

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After entirely justified criticism for failing to investigate a bike chop shop being openly operated on a Mar Vista Street, the LAPD discovers it can, in fact, do something about it.

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Once again a bike rider is a hero to man and beast.

https://twitter.com/haverkamp_wiebe/status/1461587023379283969

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

This is who share the road with.

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

A British man was knocked out by a pair of men who’d been following him on their own bikes, and when he woke u, they’d stolen his.

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Local

CleanTechnica doesn’t pull its punches, accusing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of leveraging poor bicycle infrastructure to deprive people of color of their human rights, and hacking the Fourth Amendment to allow questionable, if not illegal, searches of bike riders.

Metro’s universal basic mobility pilot program starting in South LA next summer will allow users to ride a bike, scooter, car, bus or train with a single low cost transit pass.

 

State

A chance meeting with an elementary school principal led to a donation of 24 balance bikes for Huntington Beach kindergarten students courtesy of BMX pro Mike Clark, as part of the All Kids Bike program.

Nonprofit advocacy group BikeVentura is opening their second Bike HUB co-op, in downtown Oxnard.

Palo Alto is opening the city’s long-planned new $23 million bike bridge tomorrow.

LA’s Metro Bike isn’t the only California bikeshare system facing change, as San Francisco’s Bay Wheels faces an uncertain future.

 

National

Spy considers the best cycling caps. I’ll take the Bianchi cap in the classic celeste, thank you.

Men’s Health looks forward to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on bikes.

The U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation announced a plan to draw on funds in the new infrastructure bill to refocus transportation in National Parks on greener options, including expanded bike trails and shared micromobility programs.

A bighearted crew of Austin, Texas BMX and stunt riders dug into their own pockets to buy a new custom-made bike for an 11-year old boy after his bicycle was stolen, and made him their guest of honor on their weekly 16-mile joyride through the city.

A pair of Indiana radio personalities are living atop a scissor lift for five days to encourage donations to the station’s bike drive, which has distributed over 11,000 bicycles to kids in need in the past five years.

A New York writer hires a bike whisperer, after a crash into the metal bollards on the Hudson River Bikeway led to a fear of bike paths.

New York takes a big step towards secure bike parking with the first Oonee curbside bike lockers, capable of holding up to ten bicycles each in a single parking spot, and fully insured against theft.

The New York Post offers a video “biker’s guide to not dying” on the city’s streets.

Seriously? Virginia considers a wrong-headed plan to ban bikes from in front of the state capitol, forcing crosstown riders to dismount and walk for several blocks, all because a state official has “occasionally seen near-collisions” between people walking and riding bikes in the area. It’s like every collision or near miss inevitably gets blamed on the people on bicycles, as if pedestrians never step out without looking. 

A Florida weekly examines the weekend biker boys of the Bikes Up, Guns Down movement.

 

International

A Toronto website offers the reasons why they love ebikes — and hate them at the same time.

Brompton introduces a new lightweight line of foldies that checks in at less than 22 pounds.

London’s mayor warns of major transportation cuts, including cutting back on bike lanes and pausing the city’s Vision Zero program, as the city’s transportation department faces a budget hole equivalent to $1.7 billion.

Spanish bikemaker Orbea addresses the bike shortage with a new online tool allowing you to check the availability of their bikes, and reserve the one you want.

A Pakistani woman is teaching girls how to ride a bike so they don’t have to rely on others to get to school, despite the country’s long-held conservative attitudes.

An Australian stroke survivor was struck by a driver while on a 5,600-mile recumbent ride across the continent to raise money for stroke support services, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and broken leg.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes rides with former pro cyclist Ian Boswell, who traded the pro peloton for Vermont’s gravel roads after a bad crash left him with a lingering brain injury.

 

Finally…

Turn your bike into a two-wheeled Demogorgon. Confronting the mythical ninja cyclist.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wannabe TikTok stars.

Right?

https://www.tiktok.com/@lucasmcmillan1/video/7031737239692381445?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2F&referer_video_id=7031737239692381445&refer=embed&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

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

Tennery pleads guilty in Oceanside hit-and-run death, end suffering caused by cars, and riders injured in SoCal crashes

It looks like we’ll see justice for fallen bike rider Jackson Williams after all.

Such as it is.

Twenty-four-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery pled guilty to killing Williams on Friday, three months after she left the 27-year old Carlsbad resident dying on an Oceanside street.

Tennery faces just four years behind bars when she’s sentenced for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, and will likely serve less than half of that.

Just one more example of California’s failure to take hit-and-run seriously.

Tennery was arrested a week after the crash when a transient person alerted authorities to the damaged car parked at her home.

Let’s hope there’s a reward for a conviction, so at least some good will come from this needless tragedy.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Powerful opinion piece from NBC reporter Erin Sagen, who writes that we have to stop normalizing the suffering caused by cars.

The threat car emissions pose to the environment gets some attention. But what we Americans are still in total collective denial about is how lethal our car dependency already is. Every year, nearly 40,000 people die in crashes, and at least another 3.3 million are seriously injured. Cars put us in clear, imminent danger every day, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized: Motor vehicle traffic is a leading cause of death for children, well ahead of firearms or drownings. Among adults, Black and brown people are more likely to die or be injured by cars than white people are.

This year so far, 21,450 people have died in motor vehicle accidents, up 17 percent from 2019, according to preliminary estimates by the National Safety Council released last month. More than 2.4 million have been injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Usually when millions of Americans are being killed or injured at these rates, it triggers public outcry, even widespread movements. But when it comes to car accidents, we’ve mostly shrugged our shoulders and accepted the carnage as an unavoidable fact of life.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post explores five myths about highways, including the fallacies that wider roadways move traffic faster, congestion pricing hurts the poor, and gas taxes pay for the roads.

Then there’s this.

Some myths have mysterious origins. This is not one of them. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a reportabout vehicle crashes that stated “the critical reason, which is the last event in the crash causal chain, was assigned to the driver in 94 percent of the crashes.” That figure, often stripped of its context, has had a long shelf life, particularly among transportation agencies. For instance, in 2019, the North Dakota Department of Transportation published a report claiming that “94% of motor vehicle crashes can be attributed to a preventable human behavior.” Autonomous-vehicle companies frequently cite the statistic — as Waymo does on its FAQ webpage — when touting the supposed safety benefits of their technology.

But laying blame on the driver lets many other parties off the hook — such as transportation engineers who could have created a safer road. For instance, slip lanes at intersections are intended to allow drivers to maintain speed while making right turns. That design can work well in rural areas, but in cities it often places too much onus on a driver, who must monitor her speed, watch for traffic while merging and yield to pedestrians crossing the slip lane at a crosswalk. If a collision ensues, police will find the driver to be at fault, ignoring the engineers who placed her in a dangerous situation…

And our own Michael Schneider looks at America’s disastrous SUV arms race, as vehicles keep getting bigger and bigger, and deadlier and deadlier.

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A man riding a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who swerved into the Oxnard bike lane he was riding in Friday night.

The 19-year old driver claims he was avoiding a tractor-trailer that swerved into his lane when he crashed into the victim, who has not been publicly identified.

Just one more example of a driver crashing into the soft, squishy person instead of a big, hard machine.

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While we’re on the subject of SoCal bike crashes, I was forwarded a notice of a man apparently run down from behind while riding in a bike lane on Palos Verdes Drive North in Rolling Hills Estates on Saturday.

Initial reports are he seemed to be okay, but let’s keep our fingers crossed anyway.

And maybe push for a protected bike lane on a dangerous corridor where this crap happens all too often.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Buyer beware.

Shimano is warning that a clearance website purporting to sell their fishing and bicycling products isn’t legitimate. The company is trying to get the shimano-clearance.store website shut down.

But avoid it in the meantime, because there’s no guarantee what you’ll get from the site.

If you get anything.

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If the goal is to move people more efficiently, cars aren’t always the answer.

Okay, cars are hardly ever the answer.

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The only thing that could make this photo of hundreds of bikes parked at UC Davis in the 1960s seem any cooler is noting who took it.

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Evidently, Monty Python’s Michael Palin wasn’t just the Bicycle Repairman.

He was also one of us.

Nice bike, too.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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

After a Portland driver decided he didn’t like the barrels blocking his access to a Slow Street, he just moved them out of the way while leaving a passive-aggressive note explaining why they inconvenienced him.

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

A San Francisco woman has avoided charges for running down an 81-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk in violation of local laws; the victim suffered a broken elbow and shattered hip, as well as hitting her head.

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Local

Metro is beginning work on a long-discussed bike and pedestrian corridor connecting Little Tokyo with Union Station, including “crosswalk improvements at 19 intersections, bike/walk esplanades with double rows of street trees and nearly 1.7 new miles of bike lanes.”

Ride your bike to Union Station for a scary good time this weekend.

A 30-year old bike rider was airlifted to a hospital in unknown condition Sunday afternoon after he was injured in Santa Clarita’s Whitney Canyon. That came one day after another rider was airlifted out of Placerita Canyon with a possible broken arm.

 

State

A 31-year old SoCal man went from bike-riding Rialto tagger to one of the creative world’s most in-demand young illustrators.

Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the completion of the first 3.5 mile segment of the CV Link bike trail in Palm Desert, part of a planned 50-mile loop around the Coachella Valley. Meanwhile, a local TV station wants to know why drivers are using it, too.

The brother of famed 86-year old Bay Area bicyclist Joe Shami, called the legend of Mt. Diablo after riding up the mountain every week for 500 weeks, has filed suit against the city of Lafayette over what he alleges is the poorly designed roundabout where Shami was killed by a driver earlier this year.

 

National

Heartbreaking news from Honolulu, where an 89-year old man died over two weeks after he was run down by a cowardly hit-and-run driver, who left the victim lying in the street. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to leave an elderly man to die, rather than get the help that might have saved his life.

The man who has administered Tucson, Arizona’s Pima County for a quarter of a century was critically injured when he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers while on a weekly group ride.

Denver bike riders have a new curb and bollard protected bike lane to help get into the downtown area; the city is also replacing a painted bike lane where a mother was killed riding her bike two years ago with a new protected lane. Someone mention that last one to Rolling Hills Estates, k?

Life is cheap in Boulder CO, where the hit-and-run driver who ran down former Bicycling writer Andrew Bernstein as he was riding home from a velodrome session two years ago got a lousy two years behind bars, with another two years probation, despite leaving Bernstein paralyzed below the knee in one leg, and dependent on catheters. As usual, you can read the top link on Yahoo if Bicycling block you.

A Nashville advocacy group works with a high school design team to fix a dangerous intersection, including a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk, although it’s oddly described as an art installation.

Residents of the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx rallied to protest plans for a bike lane that would require removing 150 parking spaces in what they claim is a parking-poor area, arguing that they’ll have to park their cars in dangerous areas, and that no one would use it from October to April. So they’d rather make people on bicycles ride on dangerous streets. And maybe they haven’t noticed that many New Yorkers ride their bikes year round.

A 23-year old man from Queens, New York was arrested for the murder of a delivery rider to steal his ebike; the 51-year old immigrant was working to send money back home to his wife and kids in Bangladesh.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers more information than you ever wanted about riding tubeless.

A Toronto writer says the economic and environmental benefits of riding a bike are huge, calling bike lanes integral to the global movement away from cars, while connecting those benefits to the local level.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly likes the bespoke bike President Biden gave him so much he’s riding it, despite refusing to pay for it as British law requires for an official gift.

Paris Mayor Anne Hildago is making her push for a 100% bikeable, 15-minute city the springboard for her candidacy as the Socialist candidate for President of France, although her campaign is starting with just single-digit support.

French fashion icon Christian Dior’s sister Catherine was a hero of the French Resistance during WWII, riding her bicycle up and down the coast of Southern France to draw maps and gather intelligence.

NPR looks at the roaring success of Barcelona’s Bicibús, or Bike Bus, enabling hundreds of children to safely ride their bicycles to school.

A team of volunteers headed by Hyderabad, India’s Bicycle Mayor is fixing up old, unloved bicycles to pass on to people in need.

 

Competitive Cycling

Horrible racing crash in Spain on Saturday, when a woman ran across the finish line just as a rider was crossing it; both victims were hospitalized in unknown condition. The look of sheer terror on the cyclist’s face is gut Twrenching.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 20 bikes from the Italian cycling team at the world track cycling championships, including a handful of gold track bikes worth nearly $35,000 apiece.

Twenty-seven-year old American Alexis Ryan’s rejoins her sister on the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which also allows her to rejoin founders Justin and Cory Williams, who she rode with on the Major Motion team. Meanwhile, the team has also signed 23-year old American cyclist Ian Garrison, who comes on after two years on the WorldTour.

Cycling Weekly talks with Clay Davies, the first openly gay elite male cyclist in the UK.

 

Finally…

We often have to deal with bearish LA drivers; actual bears, not so much. That feeling when you repurpose bathroom accessories on your handlebars.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero.

https://twitter.com/ImSpeaking13/status/1451703729032515587

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

LA bike crashes plummet during pandemic while deaths don’t, and fight for safe streets on your neighborhood council

Yes, collisions involving bike riders really are down in Los Angeles.

According to a Crosstown analysis of LAPD crash data, the lighter traffic resulting from the coronavirus lockdown led to a nearly 71% drop during the 11-week period starting March 15th.

That’s just four days before the shutdown orders in Los Angeles and California.

Surprisingly, despite the return of motor vehicle traffic and the recent jump in SoCal bicycling fatalities, bicycle crashes remained significantly below last year as of the middle of last month.

More surprising is that LADOT is actually moving forward with bike projects outside the Downtown area.

It seems LADOT is paying attention. Despite facing a shortfall of nearly $31 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department has expedited multiple bike lanes and safety projects since the “Safer at Home” order was issued on March 19. According to Colin Sweeney, LADOT’s public information director, there have been nearly 28 miles of bike lanes installed or upgraded, and an additional 5.5 lane miles are under construction in the city…

In addition to Downtown, Sweeney said LADOT also implemented more than 12 miles of new bike lanes to Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles since May.

“In South Los Angeles, the Manchester-Broadway, Our Way project has just begun construction and will add new parking-protected bike lanes from Manchester to Century on Broadway,” he said.

So maybe there’s hope, after all.

At least if you live or ride in those areas, because there are large swaths of LA where the city doesn’t appear to be doing anything.

Thanks to Ethan Ward for the heads-up.

Illustration by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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On a related subject, the dramatic drop in SoCal bicycling deaths in March, April and May during the coronavirus shutdown, followed by a big jump in June and July as people started back to work, is a reminder that bikes aren’t dangerous.

Cars — and the people in them — are.

And streets are safer with fewer cars on them.

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Maybe the most effective way to counter LA’s legendary NIMBYs and fight for safer streets is on the neighborhood level.

And the best way to do that is by serving on your local neighborhood council, with openings available right now throughout the LA area.

………

Maybe with more bike riders on LA’s neighborhood councils, we might see less of this crap.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1290348082681401344

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Ted Faber says Culver City’s efforts to provide social distancing for diners is good for people on bicycles, too.

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GCN examines whether you’re better off riding solo or as part of a group.

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Most mountain bikers have enough sense to stay the hell away from forest fires.

………

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

Police in Orange, California are looking for a man riding a bike who sexually assaulted three women on the Santiago Creek bike path.

British authorities are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who attempted to solicit a sex act from a woman, before performing a lewd act in front of her.

……..

Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this Friday. The usual protocol applies — be sure to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits. Or just avoid riding in the Rose City until Saturday.

Sierra Madre and Arcadia are moving forward with bike lanes as part of an actual bicycle network in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Costs Mesa is asking local residents, bike riders and pedestrians to reimagine what busy 19th Street can be. Although the latter two are often residents, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Santa Maria man is rapidly approaching 100,000 lifetime miles on his bike, despite not taking up riding until he a relative spring chicken of 67.

A new study confirms the effectiveness of Oakland’s low-cost, quick-build protected intersections.

 

National

Streetsblog says the Covid-19 pandemic could take 14 million cars off American roads, and keep them off — but only if we move quickly to provide valid alternatives to driving.

The founding president of the American Planning Association says planners must actively confront structural racism embedded in the design of our cities.

Bike Portland asks what the city plans to do with a thousand high-mileage analog bikes from the city’s bikeshare program, which is replacing them with ebikes.

Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek is gearing up to meet the booming demand for bicycles, after initially preparing for the bike industry to implode as a result of Covid-19. Although one of the best ways to bankrupt any business is by chasing boom and bust cycles.

A new Chicago group is getting more Black people out on bikes while supporting Black-owned businesses.

An Indiana hit-and-run driver was sentenced to a whopping 48 years behind bars for killing a local a local coach and teacher who was riding his bike; the sentence included an additional 20 years for being an habitual offender. Even I think that might be just a tad extreme; the judge could have ordered the sentences to run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

Heartbreaking news from Massachusetts, where a 94-year old man faces a homicide charge for running down a 67-year old bike rider. Yet another example of allowing an older driver to remain behind the wheel until it’s too late.

There’s a special place in hell for the woman who drove off after running down a couple nine and twelve year old boys riding their bikes on a Long Island service road; the 31-year old driver was busted ten hours later, which could have given her plenty of time to sober up if she was under the influence.

Good point. A New York writer wants to know why the mayor is cracking down on Revel after the Vespa-style scooter-share service suffered two deaths, but not motor vehicles, which cause far more.

 

International

Road.cc gets it, recommending the best road bikes under the equivalent of $650. And yes, there are good bikes in that range these days. Although whether you’ll be able to find any at your local bike shop after the coronavirus bike boom is another matter.

Speaking of Road.cc, the bike site Investigates an “innovative new risk-management philosophy” that says it’s time to drop the “us vs them” attitude, and build a road system that accommodates people’s errors.

Cycling Weekly explains what you should look for in a commuting bike.

Treehugger offers tips on what you’ll need to bike with small kids, while The Guardian covers the same topic.

North American bike riders need more than just white lines on the street to stay safe.

A pair of British Columbia bicyclists are lucky to be alive after they were struck by a load of lumber a truck driver carelessly left overhanging his pickup bed.

One in five British residents say they’d consider riding a bike as part of their commute, but fears of bike theft and dangerous streets hold them back; meanwhile, only ten percent of Brits think the country takes road safety seriously.

An English ambulance driver, who should know better, tells a bicyclist to get off the road and ride on a parallel cycle track, even though the rider is traveling at up to 30 mph. Maybe he’s just trying to boost his business if there are any slow bike riders or pedestrians on the path.

An English blues musician was killed when he crashed his bike into a bollard that was placed on a bike and pedestrian bridge after an elderly couple drove onto it by mistake — and even though another bike rider had already been injured in the same spot.

Nice story from the UK, where an 83-year old man is looking for the racing cyclist who crashed into him, ripping off his lip, which had to be reattached — not to hold him responsible, but to thank him for staying with him and holding his hand all the way to the hospital.

A British woman says the country’s new bike-focused anti-obesity campaign will fail because it ignores the complex causes of obesity, insisting she’s neither lazy or lacking self-discipline.

German grocery chain Aldi is selling a full-featured folding bike for the equivalent of just under $400; no word on whether this offer is only available in the UK, or if they’ll ship to the US, though. Although if I had an extra four hundred bucks lying around, I’d find out.

 

Competitive Cycling

The next pro cycling star may be Remco Evenepoel, as defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal says he’s astounded by the 20-year old Belgian rider’s “massive” talent.

After winning the Strade Bianche, Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert held onto his jersey and the winning bike for a planned museum after he retires.

USA Cycling pulled the plug on this year’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Finally…

Who needs a washing machine when you can ride a bike? We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about careless sheep violating the right-of-way.

And don’t hang your face mask from your car mirror.

Or anything else, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: Pasadena’s VMT under attack by drivers, LA County District 2 survey, and what to do after a crash

Before we get started, Spectrum News 1 reporter Jada Montemarano reached out to say she’s working on a story about bikeshare and e-scooters, and wants to talk with frequent users, especially people who use it to get to or from work or public transportation. 

If you’d like to talk to her, you can reach her at jada.montemarano@charter.com, or on Twitter via @JadaMontemarano.

………

Pasadena could take a big step backwards at tonight’s city council meeting.

Reportedly under pressure from Pasadena’s traffic safety denying pressure group Keep Pasadena Moving, the city is considering going back to the outdated and discredited LOS — Level of Service — method of measuring traffic flow.

The problem is that LOS only measures automotive throughput; that is, how many cars can be moved through intersections as quickly as possible.

That contrasts with the more accurate VMT — for Vehicle Miles Traveled — that counts people, rather than vehicles, regardless of how they travel.

As usual, the auto-centric NIMBY crowd will likely be out in force. So anyone who bikes, walks, uses transit or yes, drives in Pasadena owes it to themselves to turn out in force for tonight’s council meeting:

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
Pasadena City Council Chambers, 100 Garfield Avenue, 2nd Floor
(Note: The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition notes the item is last on the agenda and it’s likely to be a long meeting!)

Or if you can’t make it, you can email your comments to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net; the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition includes a pre-written email you can customize with your own thoughts.

Meanwhile, the VP of a neighborhood association somehow blames VMT for turning the Rose City into a copy of LA’s Westside.

Which is a bad thing, evidently.

………

Bike the Vote LA is on the case in LA County’s 2nd Supervisor District with a hard-hitting survey to get the candidates on the record before the March primary.

And in another important, if not vital, race, a large turnout for the Democratic presidential primary could make the difference in lifting Democrat Laraine Lundquist over short-term incumbent Republican John Lee in LA’s nominally nonpartisan election in CD12.

In the short time he’s been in office since squeaking by in November’s special election, Lee has already shown himself to be one of the city’s most regressive councilmembers, attempting to block plans for a high-speed busway, and remove the city’s first protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

………

Last week a friend of mine was rear-ended by a driver.

Fortunately, he and his bike are mostly okay. But it serves as yet another reminder of what to do following a crash.

To start, never say it was your fault. In the moments immediately following a collision, you may be confused, or unsure exactly what happened. Give yourself time to analyze the situation before saying something you can’t take back.

The same goes for injuries. Never tell the other person, police, insurance companies or anyone else you weren’t hurt immediately following a crash. Chances are, you might be and just don’t know it yet. Get yourself to a doctor to get checked out. Or at the very least, go home and wait to see if anything develops overnight.

Exchange ID and insurance information with the driver. If you leave without the driver’s information, you’ll be on the hook if it turns out you are injured. And you could be cited for hit-and-run, even if you weren’t the one who hit or ran.

And if you end up with significant injuries, medical bills or lost work, at least talk to a lawyer. The job of an insurance claims adjuster isn’t to settle the case fairly, it’s to settle for as little as you’ll settle for. Which means you’re the one who could get screwed.

You don’t have to hire a lawyer if you talk to one. And you should never pay anything upfront; a liability lawyer should take his fee out of your settlement, only after everything is settled.

If you do need one, I can recommend three damn fine ones over there on the right; you can’t go wrong with any one of them.

And here’s a little more advice about what to do following a collision I wrote a few years ago.

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Loos like South LA’s Eastside Riders is continuing their good works in the local community. And need your help to do it.

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Here’s what you can look forward to seeing on the roads in the near future.

Too bad they may not be able to see you.

https://twitter.com/bikepedantic/status/1216484945784340480

Never mind that high, flat grill, which was apparently designed to inflict maximum damage to any bike riders or pedestrians who might get caught in its path.

But hey, it’s perfectly legal, right?

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Local

An ArtCenter professor is teaming with biotech billionaire and LA Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiung to market a wide, fat tired scooter capable of doing up to 30 mph. The question is, what happens when it hits the streets, where e-scooters are often limited to 15 mph. And will it require a helmet, like ebikes capable of doing up to 30 mph?

 

State

Not only did San Diego police bust the thief who stole an ebike from a man suffering from Parkinson’s, they recovered another hot ebike — they just don’t know who it actually belongs to. Seriously, register your bike now, before something happens. And immediately report it to the police if it gets stolen, then add it to the free, nationwide Bike Index database of stolen bikes. Because the cops can’t return a recovered bike if they can’t prove who it belongs to.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a cool $90 million to keep regional bike lane projects on track.

Say hello to San Diego County’s first bike park in Bonita, thanks in large part to the efforts of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

The new 3.9 mile Mojave Riverwalk bike and pedestrian path connects the Mojave Narrows Regional Park with a seven-mile loop of bike paths and bike routes through Old Town Victorville.

Once again, an Apple Watch saves the day, with its fall detection software automatically calling paramedics when a San Francisco ebike rider was struck by a driver.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission thinks a carfree street next to the city’s new transit center would make a marvelous site for a parking garage ramp for a new hotel tower.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether ebikes can really replace cars, given their popularity in the Bay Area.

 

National

Vision Zero has finally made it onto the American political stage, with an endorsement for a national plan to eliminate traffic deaths from South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; unfortunately, he doesn’t include a deadline for the country’s last traffic death. And someone needs to explain the concept of induced demand to him.

Bicycling offers their take on the most exciting bike tech from last week’s CES trade show. But somehow missed the tiny little $8,800 solar powered ebike car.

Outside says dress warmly, and you won’t get stuck riding a Peloton all winter. Is it just me, or is everyone taking shots at Peloton lately?

Steve Harvey may or may not be one of us, but his grandson is now, after the erstwhile talk show host teaches him to ride on his Spider-Man bike.

A Washington writer says he was wrong, because it turns out Vision Zero isn’t just aspirational at all.

There’s a special place in hell for a San Antonio thief who shot a homeless man five times when the victim refused to give up his bicycle; now he’s under arrest, while the man he shot remains in critical condition. Just let it go. No bike is worth your life, even if it’s all you have.

A kindhearted Texas cop showed up at a little girl’s house with a new bike after hers was stolen just a week after she got it for Christmas.

Speaking of Vision Zero, Kansas City could become the latest city pledging to end traffic deaths. Someone should tell them that just talking about it isn’t enough, however, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

That’s more like it. An Ohio driver will spend the next three and a half years behind bars without parole after copping a plea in the drunken death of a bike rider; she’ll also have a drivers’s license revoked — for life.

A new app will crowdsource data about bad drivers. But only people in the DC area will be able to call up the driver’s DMV record.

A new app being field tested in Arlington VA uses traffic cameras to look for blocked bike lanes.

The kindhearted kids of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — site of a mass shooting two years ago — have collected 1,000 bicycles for impoverished kids in around Durbin, South Africa.

 

International

Road.cc picks their road bike of the year, with the price capped at roughly $4,500.

A law enforcement officer offers pro tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen. Hint: Lock the damn thing already. And register it.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says forget electric cars, ebikes could be the real answer to greener transportation.

A Vancouver letter writer accuses the city of pandering to a few bike riders, insisting that removing 700 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes won’t result in even 17 more bike riders. Which may be a reasonable argument, if you ignore the results from almost every other city around the world.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, looking decidedly dapper riding in London after fixing a flat.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole an e-bike from a 13-year old boy in the UK after pulling a sawed-off shotgun out of his pants. Honestly, though, who among us doesn’t keep a shotgun in their pants?

A Spanish website credits kindhearted cops with buying a delivery man a new bike after his was run over in a crash — except they were the ones who ran a red light and crashed into him.

A formerly homeless Singaporean man used a food delivery job to get off the streets, then lost weight after switching from an e-scooter to a road bike in response to the city’s scooter ban on sidewalks and pathways.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to pedal ski bikes, either. Don’t let a little blizzard keep you off your bike.

And why let a little thing like flooding stop you from riding your balance bike?

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Good news on LA bike collisions, and Floyd Landis goes from doper to dope purveyor

My apologies for the late post; blame a late night Internet outage that kept me offline until this morning.

……….

A couple of interesting tidbits from yesterday’s LAPD bike liaison meeting.

While traffic collisions are up overall in the San Fernando Valley compared to last year, there’s been a 23% decrease in bicycling collisions. And a 37% drop in collisions resulting in serious injuries to bike riders.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of bike lanes in Downtown LA has resulted in an overall slowing of traffic speeds, as well as improved compliance with traffic laws by bike riders. Demonstrating once again that if you want bicyclists to obey the law, just give them a safe place to ride.

Speaking of the department’s bike liaison program, you can find email addresses for each of the bike liaisons for the city’s four traffic divisions listed on the Resources page.

These officers are here to help if you have any problems resolving bicycling issues involving the police. So feel free to reach out to them when you need help, whether it’s dealing with harassment or dangerous traffic conditions on your ride, unfair treatment by police, or officers refusing to accept a report or complaint.

No, seriously. That’s what they’re here for.

………

Disgraced ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis used to insist his Mennonite upbringing meant he wouldn’t have doped.

Now he’s in the dope business.

Landis, who won the 2006 Tour on an artificial hip, has teamed with former teammate Dave Zabriskie to create a new line of marijuana-laced lotions called Floyd’s of Leadville to treat pain and inflammation.

So far, it’s only available in Colorado, where virtually all things marijuana are legal.

But we may eventually see it here under California’s medical marijuana laws.

………

An Italian judge concludes that cycling great Marco Pantani really did die of a cocaine overdose and wasn’t murdered by the mob.

An Aussie pro cyclist says living the lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, explaining why she’s stepping away, if not retiring, at the ripe old age of 20.

All those crashes in the Amgen Tour of California are finally explained; the riders were running on Microsoft.

………

Local

If you want your kid to perform well in school, buy ‘em a bicycle.

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds testifies before the US Senate on the Internet of Things.

CiclaValley feels the sting of bicycling in bee season.

Monrovia is expected to adopt a new bike plan next month, including seven miles of protected bike lanes.

Just one day after a bike rider was shot and killed in Compton, another bike rider shot three men in a car, killing one.

Forty cyclists ride to protest a lack of infrastructure and police action to protect bike riders in Palos Verdes Estates by scrupulously obeying the letter of the law; one driver who clearly didn’t get it swore at riders because he had to go around them. Which is kind of the point.

 

State

Someone on a bicycle attacked two homeless people in San Diego using a rock and a golf club.

After partying all night, an Oceanside driver crashed into a pedestrian and kept going for nearly a mile — with his body still embedded in her windshield.

Solvang puts a planned bike and pedestrian bridge on hold after Caltrans finds deficiencies in a nearby vehicle bridge, which could require replacement while costing the city $600,000 in funds allocated for the bike/ped project.

A Visalia woman was critically injured when her bike was rear-ended by a car.

San Francisco cyclists pen a letter to the mayor asking for safer streets.

A Sacramento salmon cyclist is lucky to walk away from a crash with a light rail train.

 

National

The Atlantic says America’s automotive hegemony is insane.

An East Coast group is working on completing a continuous bikeway stretching from Florida to Maine. We can’t even get a continuous bikeway across Los Angeles.

An anonymous bicycling superhero rides to the rescue of a paint-covered kitten someone abandoned in an Albuquerque dumpster. Which is exactly what should happen to the person who put it there. Without the rescue part.

A Michigan paper asks if the Kalamazoo bike crash reflects a statewide trend, where bike-involved collisions were up 57% last year.

A Boston drunk driver gets eight to twelve years behind bars for the collateral damage death of a teenage bike rider, after he crashed into a car stopped at a red light and knocked it into the waiting cyclist. Although someone should tell Patch that when a person drives drunk, whatever happens as a result is not an accident.

No bias here. An upstate New York paper blames a cyclist for crashing into the side of a car, which apparently wasn’t moving and didn’t have a driver.

Famed bike-riding New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away at age 87 after suffering a stroke; a petition calls for naming a Gotham street corner after him, while the Financial Times says he should be admired for his principles.

A New York judge rules it violates a driver’s constitutional rights to require them not to crash into people.

A writer for the Washington Post offers tips on traveling in a car with a bike on the back.

Hammering out the Democratic Party platform be a messy process, but at least they reached unanimous agreement on the need for more bike paths.

Battling petitions circulate in Lafayette LA, calling for the removal, or not, of a bike lane that’s part of a citywide loop.

 

International

Who says Rapha doesn’t support women cyclists?

Cycling Magazine lists bicycling’s 14 most influential Canadians.

Police in Ottawa, Canada are using a sonar device to help catch drivers who pass too close to cyclists.

A crazed Brit cyclist who was deliberately holding up traffic reached in and stole the car keys from a BBC presenter who was acting in an entirely reasonable manner. Or at least, that’s his version of the story; something tells me the rider in question might see it a little differently.

Rome plans to create a 27-mile inner city bicycling route linking the city’s tourist attractions. Unlike LA, where there’s no viable way for most tourists to visit the city’s many attractions by bike.

Apparently, Pakistani bike riders need a helmet with front and rear cams, blind spot detection, brake lights, turns signals, Bluetooth and WiFi, and built-in GPS. But no word on whether it will actually protect your head if you fall off your bike.

An Aussie driver’s grandmother says he just made a mistake and he’s terribly sorry for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which makes it all okay, of course.

 

Finally…

It takes a real loser to slap a six-year old in the face in a dispute over a bicycle. Sometimes it’s nice just to ride your bike and fiddle around.

And congratulations, you are now superfluous.

 

Morning Links: Bike collisions down across LA, hit-and-runs up in IE, and special offer on a new lighted backpack

How about some good news for a change?

According to LAPD statistics presented at yesterday’s bike liaison meeting, bike-involved collisions are down dramatically throughout Los Angeles compared to this time last year.

  • 49% reduction in bike collisions in the Valley Traffic Division, with serious injuries down 83%
  • 18% reduction in bike collisions in the Central Traffic Division
  • 30% reduction in bike collision in the South Traffic Division
  • No stats were available from West Traffic.

No reason was given for the sudden improvement in bike safety; as one officer said, it might just be luck.

But it’s a good way to start the year.

………

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking as good in the Inland Empire.

Hit-and-run collisions involving pedestrians are up 73% in San Bernardino County and 51% in Riverside County over the last five years, while hit-and-runs involving cyclists are up 34% and 40%, respectively.

………

An Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a collision while crossing South Beach Blvd Thursday evening.

Let’s all hope he’s okay.

………

I’m normally not a big fan of the visibility arms race, in which it seems like every rider has to outdo everyone else to capture the attention of drivers.

But this new backpack seems like a great idea.

The Bluetooth-enabled Aster backpack from India’s Lumos Design Technology, currently raising funds on Indiegogo, lights up the night with side and rear LED lights, as well as forward white lights on the front straps. Not to mention turn indicators and automatic brake lights.

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It also functions as a commuter backpack, unfolding completely to provide easy access to your stuff, while offering helmet and U-lock holders, and a detachable shoe compartment.

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And it was designed for use in the US, and product tested right here in California, with feedback from 50 or so riders from the Bay Area.

As a special offer for BikinginLA readers, the first person to pledge at least $75 on the Aster Indiegogo page will also get their Lumos Thrillseeker Solar Daypack, designed to convert sunlight into electricity to charge your USB devices while you ride. Just include “BikinginLA” in the comments when you make your pledge.

But remember, this offer is limited to the first person to make a $75 or higher pledge; there’s no way of knowing if someone may have beaten you to it.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says that as planned, Metro’s proposed transportation tax increase will “build a fantastic system that people won’t feel safe walking and biking to.”

CiclaValley recaps Wednesday’s Traffic Safety Summit in Valley Village.

The LA River is slowly coming back to life in the San Fernando Valley, with plans for a walkway on one side and a bike path on the other.

Monrovia police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a cyclist with minor injuries. Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the link.

The lead guitarist for the band Pennywise is suing Uber after he was doored while riding in Hermosa Beach last year; the passengers stayed to help, but the driver fled.

Bike-friendly Long Beach wants to extend bicycle improvements to the city’s Southeast Area.

The Armenian Youth Federation’s annual Cycle Against Denial will be held in Santa Monica for the first time on April 10th; the event marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide had previously been held in the San Fernando Valley.

 

State

San Diego horses can be trained to share trails with bicycles, unlike the ones that use Burbank’s Mariposa bridge, apparently. Maybe they have smarter horses down there.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer is the first American cyclist to qualify for the Rio Olympics; the multiple silver medal winner hopes her third Olympics will bring gold. Although she may have trouble winning anything if they don’t get the track installed in time.

The OC Register suggests a two-wheeled wine tasting tour through the Santa Barbara wine country.

A Contra Costa county bike rider is under arrest for randomly hitting and blocking people on a local pedestrian pathway.

Sunnyvale’s mayor accepts a student’s challenge to ride a bike to a local high school, and sees first hand what students have to deal with.

San Francisco’s red transit lanes are forcing cyclists out of the right lane and into traffic.

After a speeding tour bus driver crashed into pedestrians and a cyclist in a crowded San Francisco neighborhood, injuring 19 people, police basically say “oops.”

Fremont becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan, while Daly City considers it.

Someone must not like mountain bikers in Folsom Lake. Three riders were forced to take cover when bullets flew over their heads, even after they called out to stop shooting.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on riding during your period. Or maybe gel for your hoo ha would help.

Treehugger says the cargo bike is the new family car.

The Department of DIY strikes in Portland, as someone puts up fake speed limit signs saying 20 is plenty.

A Washington bike commuter suggests it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you’re wearing dark clothes and not using lights.

Police in my hometown finally make an arrest in the case of the courteous hit-and-run driver who apparently moved a bike and backpack to the curb, but left his victim lying in the street.

A protected bike lane in Nebraska suffers $2,500 in damages when a wrong-way driver plows into the concrete divider. On the other hand, without it, that could have been a bike rider.

When a Pennsylvania man walked over to the local police station to see if they’d found his stolen bike, a bighearted cop dipped into his own pocket to buy him a new one. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up from his home town.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at ambitious mountain bike products that failed big time.

Folding bike maker Brompton calculates it costs the equivalent of $62 a month to store a bike in your London home. Not that you have a London home, of course. And not like they have a vested interest in suggesting you might want a bike that takes up less space.

A British cyclist is riding 1,400 miles across England to collect signatures for the Queen’s birthday card.

A new Irish study says the perception that you’re only riding a bike because you can’t afford a car is slowing efforts to get people out of theirs.

 

Finally…

When police can’t identify the vehicle a piece of plastic came from, the Internet can. If you take your imaginary friend for a ride, does he need his own bike?

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken wreck, maybe it’s best not to be painted gold from head to toe.

 

Morning Links: Rough week for LA bike riders, Streetsie Award celebration, and more sexist bike marketing

Last week was a rough one for LA area cyclists.

Santa Monica police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a bike rider on Ocean Avenue last Wednesday; anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954.

An 82-year old cyclist from Marina del Rey was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Palos Verdes Estates on Friday.

And a bike rider suffered major injuries when he was hit by a UPS truck turning into a driveway in Baldwin Park Friday evening.

………

Streetsblog will honor two of their 2015 Streetsie Award winners this Thursday, Santa Monica’s Cyclehop/Hulu for the Breeze bikeshare program, and CA Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

………

Specialized builds the bike of the future, sort of.

Yet that doesn’t seem to be the only thing they specialize in, as they somehow resort to the sexist marketing of the past to promote their new e-bike.

Maybe bike companies should be required to hire women to head up their marketing departments so the industry will finally stop shooting itself in the foot.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

German pro cyclist Marcel Kittel says there’s no longer a systematic doping culture in the sport. Then again, that’s what Lance said.

Of course, doping isn’t the only way to cheat; France’s Arnaud Demare is accused of getting a tow from a team car before winning Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race in a tight finish, while the peloton rode through a wall of smoke along the way.

If you have a USA Cycling license, your personal data may have been hacked.

………

Former pro Phil Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma after losing an arm when he apparently crossed the center line and crashed into a pickup while riding with a group in Boulder CO; he also sustained facial fractures, broken ribs, a shattered femur and an undisclosed head injury.

A gofundme account has been started to raise $300,000 for his medical care and to support his family.

………

Local

Streetsblog reviews Sunday’s Beach Streets open streets/ciclovía in Long Beach; a commenter calls it more relaxed and less bike-oriented than most CicLAvias. Meanwhile, the Press-Telegram says over 50,000 people turned out to enjoy the day. Which is over twice as many as supposedly attended last year’s far more crowded Culver City to Venice CicLAvia.

Investing in Place and the LACBC call for more funding for walking, biking and safe routes to school in Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure.

Joel Epstein writes that density is LA’s destiny, and says a proposed anti-growth measure comes at the wrong time as Los Angeles is embracing its bike, pedestrian and transit-oriented future and putting it’s auto-centric focus in the past.

LA’s Pure Fix offers advice on how to photograph your bike.

You know the new Ovarian Psychos documentary has had an impact when their story reaches Pakistan.

Caught on video: A Long Beach cop walks away when a BMX rider schools him on the law allowing bikes on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.

 

State

Orange County’s Transportation Authority has $20 million to invest in boosting bikeways in the county.

The Marines finally got around to releasing some of the mountain bikes that were seized for trespassing on trails crossing the Miramar base in North San Diego, after reaching agreements with the owners.

If you’re still jonesing for open streets, head out to El Centro in the desert north of Mexicali this Saturday.

Unbelievably, Fremont uses Safe Routes to Schools funding to make the street in front of a high school less safe by removing a bike lane to make room for a left turn lane. Update: It turns out the bike lane removal is only temporary during the construction, although using SRTS funding for a turn lane is questionable; thanks to Robert Prinz for the heads-up.

Sausalito continues to struggle with how to deal with bike-riding tourists.

 

National

The AP looks at lax penalties for errant drivers who hit cyclists. About damn time the press finally noticed.

Good idea. An Austin TX company offers e-bike foodie tours of local restaurants.

A Minnesota reporter wonders why the state shouldn’t adopt the Idaho Stop law now if it improves safety for bicyclists, and police aren’t enforcing the law against riding through stop signs as it is. Apparently, a British cardiologist would concur.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus explains why he left his corporate job behind and rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the country.

A TV station asks if DC is moving fast enough on bike lanes; local cyclists say not really.

 

International

A new kind of bike rack promises to block bike thieves; since they were installed at a London stadium and park, not a single bike has been stolen. Can we get some here? Pretty please?

After a British bike courier was injured by a distracted hit-and-run driver, he turns to a crowdfunding site to raise money to pay his rent; so far he’s raised over five times the original £300 goal.

An Irish cyclist is injured in yet another anti-bike attack, as someone strung a wire at neck height across a bike bridge. Note to press everywhere: a deliberate attempt to injure or kill someone riding a bike may be many things, but a prank isn’t one of them.

A disabled Indian cyclist tries to crowdfund the money he needs to compete in the Rio Paralympic games.

Israeli cyclists ride in honor of the legendary Gino Bartali, following the route he rode from his home in Italy to the convents of Assisi, where he passed on documents that were hidden in his bike to save Jews in WWII.

A Kiwi website asks if it’s time to reevaluate New Zealand’s and Australia’s mandatory bike helmet laws. Although they may provide some protection from dead kangaroos.

An Aussie feels guilty about the bike he used to get home from a drunken night out, and takes out an ad to find the owner he stole it from.

The next time someone calls for registering bikes and licensing cyclists, remind ‘em that’s the way North Korea does it.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to leave an explosive device on a bike path, make sure police can’t defuse it by simply unscrewing the cap. When you’re riding after dark, try to keep your candles blowing out.

And evidently, they have some very bad swans in Florida.

 

Why Attorneys Tell You To Never Admit Guilt

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP 

Pocrass Photo 6-15

Immediately after any type of motor vehicle “accident” (bicycle, pedestrian, motorcycle, car), most people have two reactions: 1.) to blame the other person or 2.) to say “I’m sorry; it was my fault.” As a personal injury lawyer, I counsel people to NEVER admit guilt after a crash of any type. Whether you are or are not liable, I guarantee such a statement will come back to bite you in ways you never expected.

The most important reason for not admitting guilt, which is, in legal terms, admitting liability, is because you probably don’t really know the cause of the collision.

Example: We recently had a client who was in a Santa Monica bicycle collision. He came up to a four-way stop and rolled slowly through it, getting halfway through intersection. Meanwhile, an 80-something-year-old woman drove up to the intersection, stopped, and went, hitting our client in the intersection.

During the deposition, the woman insisted that she never saw anyone or anything in the intersection. (I admit, I laughed inside at the insurance company lawyer’s expression.) The insurance company settled for a five-figure settlement.

This was an unusual situation, but the point is, you really don’t know exactly what the complete cause of your bike collision is, and, therefore, who is liable. Yes, you might be partially liable if you do not follow the rules of the road, but there may be extenuating circumstances that contributed to the collision. These could be:

  • Road Design: the road or signage was not designed well, maintained, in disrepair, or missing.
  • Product Liability: your bike or the other vehicle could have defective parts or been repaired, maintained, or manufactured incorrectly.
  • Other Driver: also might not be following the rules of the road.

If any of these conditions exist, your case — even if you are partially liable for the collision — could allow me as your bike lawyer to argue for comparative liability.

California recognizes comparative liability, which states that each party might hold some responsibility for the collision. If your case were to go to trial, the judge or jury decides IF each party is liable for the collision and, if so, what percentage of liability each party is responsible for.

Consider this hypothetical situation: You are riding your bike at night. You have no lights on your bike. As you ride past a parked car, the driver opens his door and you are “doored.” You suffer serious personal injuries and your bike is trashed. The case goes to a jury trial.

The jury decides that because you were riding at night without lights — clearly against the law — you are partially liable for the collision. They may determine that you are 10% responsible and the driver is 90% liable. In that situation, if they awarded you a $100,000 verdict, you would receive $90,000 from the driver’s insurance company rather than the full $100,000.

Once you have admitted guilt at the scene (or in follow up conversations with the other driver’s insurance company), it becomes more difficult for your attorney to argue comparative negligence. It also means that it is more likely that the insurance company will either refuse to settle or low-ball its offer.

Trials are always more expensive in cost and in time than settlements, so if a fair settlement is possible, that is the more desirable route. (Of course you wouldn’t say THAT to an insurance company either because if it thinks you’re not prepared to go to trial you’re back to them either refusing to settle or low-balling their offer. It’s all a chess game with serious consequences for you.)

I have a friend who is a criminal attorney. He once told me the most difficult part of his job is trying to undo what his clients have told the police. As a civil attorney, I understand. It is very difficult to “unring a bell.” So, please, don’t admit liability or guilt. Let us sort that out later.

 

Jim Pocrass TrimmedFor more than 30 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com, or visit www.pocrass.com.

 

 

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