Tag Archive for bicycle safety

Debating the risk of riding on the roads, and whether we overemphasize it

Please forgive me.

I did my best to write today’s Morning Links, despite battling a killer headache. But it looks like the headache has won.

So I’m going to bed, and hoping it’s gone by morning. As usual, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

But before we go, let me share this comment from Rob X, followed by my response. Because it is a conversation worth having, and one that continues to come up from time to time, in one form or another.

I’m a cyclist who’s way past tired of the “SO DANGEROUS!” whining. Bicycling seems to be the ONLY activity whose fans actively discourage others by claiming their favorite activity is dangerous. Or by claiming that it can’t be safe until all territory is redesigned with them in mind.

So you beg for bike lanes. Those bike lanes fill with gravel, glass and junk because car tires never sweep them clean. You demand sweepers, then you demand posts or other barriers that prevent sweepers from fitting. You demand parked cars to hide the bikers from drivers then you complain when a turning car runs over an unseen biker – a biker who doesn’t bother to check for cars because, hey, she’s “protected!”

Look, there are fewer than 1000 bike deaths in the U.S. every year. That’s not “dangerous.” Biking is way safer than even walking, whether you figure total deaths or deaths per mile. Biking is way safer than swimming or motorcycling. It’s safer than walking down stairs! But where are the calls stair walking helmets and elevators at all stairways?

Half of biker deaths are the fault of the biker. Those people are too confused or ignorant to follow simple rules of the road. Complicating those rules things with special lanes, opposite-direction bike lanes, “mixing zones,” blind intersections and more won’t help.

Bicycling is literally safer than NOT bicycling. It has health benefits WAY bigger than its risks. Quit scaring people into their noisy, polluting cars!

Here’s my response:

“Evidently, you haven’t spent much time on this site. Right up there, under Facts & Stats, it says this:

How safe is bicycling? Cyclists suffered in an estimated 52,000 injuries in 2009; making your odds of returning home safely from any given ride nearly 77,000 to one; the chances of surviving any given ride were over 6.3 million to one in your favor.

Sounds pretty safe to me.

On the other hand, statically, an average of 2 – 3 people are killed riding bicycles in the US every day. So while your risk on any given ride is infinitesimal, it’s going to happen to someone, somewhere. And every one of those “less than 1000” deaths you cite is someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, friend or loved one.

I often hear from the relatives of people killed while riding their bikes. And I can assure you it’s no small matter to them. I also hear from riders all levels, from beginning bike riders to experienced cyclists, who have been frightened off their bikes by one too many close calls, or one trip too many to the emergency room.

I’ve made four trips there myself, as I enter my 40th year of riding a bike as an adult.

So should we just tell everyone bike riding is safe, so get out there and just enjoy the ride, when their own experience tells them otherwise? Should we just say “oh well” when yet another innocent person gets sacrificed on the altar of the almighty automobile? Or should we fight like hell to make our streets safer for everyone?

I know what my answer is, because I’ve been doing this for 14 years now.

But remember this. Bike infrastructure isn’t there for experienced vehicular cyclists who have no fear of mixing it up with traffic. It’s for all the little kids and older folks, all the timid riders who won’t bike without it, and all the people like my wife, who are tired of picking their loved ones up at the hospital.

I’m glad you feel safe on your bike. But I hope you open your heart a little more to those who don’t, and those who haven’t been.”

So what do you thinK?

Personally, I think an average of nearly 1,000 people killed riding their bikes is about 1,000 too many.

But I’m willing to listen if you disagree.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put my head to bed before it explodes.

A bike rider’s rant about bad drivers, rethinking traffic enforcement, and Bonin signs on to LA’s 25×25

Let’s start with an email I received earlier this week, which succinctly  captures what too many of us are feeling these days.

Here’s what Steven had to say.

Pardon my rant, but it’s just infuriating out there! While I agree with you that being seen is VITALLY important. Every “encounter” I have had with a car or truck has been with someone that definitely saw me or had no excuse for not seeing me! I am paranoidedly cautious doing my best to anticipate possible situations. I have lights, steady and blinking, I wear bright, colorful clothes, I ride the bike lane where I can and fully take the lane when there is no bike lane.  I have been ‘right hooked’ so many times I can’t count! So far the worst result of a right hook has been some minor scrapes to my bike and some minor ‘road rash’. (However, I did dent the passenger door of a car once!)  There have been a few that I have yelled at and they responded — the most common was “You were going faster than I thought” or just “Sorry” and one woman unbelievably said “Didn’t you see my turn indicator?” The only time I got sent to the hospital was when I was clipped by a side mirror and thanks be to God, released the same day with some major hematoma! The guy, to his credit, did stop. But he did say that “I thought I had enough room” AND THAT IS ON THE POLICE REPORT!!!! It’s getting to the point that I feel like I should start randomly swing a baseball bat and justify it by saying “Well, I didn’t hit anybody”

And just for completeness, I have been left hooked, brake checked, purposely cut off (both from the left and the right!), and have had things thrown at me. The urge to physically fight back is almost overwhelming!

I know that feeling all too well, when the urge to smash someone’s windshield — if not their face — becomes overwhelming.

It’s a natural, and perfectly understandable, reaction to having your life needlessly threatened.

But not exactly helpful.

I have a mantra I save for such situations, repeating over and over The world will not conform to my expectations, until the rage finally passes.

Because, too often, it won’t.

People will continue drive dangerously, despite my expectations that they should drive in a safe and responsible manner. Yet they will somehow blame me for almost getting killed. Or just for being on the road.

Or maybe the planet.

Meanwhile, bad street designs and poor maintenance can be aggravating at best, life threatening at worst. And too often the latter.

And I can’t do a damn thing about any of that.

All I can do is try to control my own reaction to it, and not let the jerks of the world ruin a good ride.

………

Cal Berkeley grad student Ethan Ebinger was honored by the university for his paper on rethinking traffic enforcement, offering a number of interesting proposals challenging current orthodoxy, including —

  • Decriminalize violations unrelated to traffic safety
  • Ban stops of non-vehicular road users
  • Rely on automated technologies
  • Improve data collection of crashes and stops, test for disparities
  • Balance downstream effects
  • Reframe traffic enforcement within Vision Zero
  • Move traffic enforcement operations to the transportation department

Whether or not you agree with him, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read the full paper to challenge your own beliefs, and maybe even start to see it in a whole new way.

https://twitter.com/BerkeleyITS/status/1481730718321446915

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Two down, 13 to go.

Although you can probably add whoever gets elected in CD5, where all of the announced candidates have endorsed the LA 25×25 plan.

LA 25×25 is an “aspirational yet actionable vision” to return 25% of LA’s street space to human uses, rather than motor vehicles, by 2025, and endorsed by a wide range of advocacy and public service groups .

Not surprisingly, while many progressive challengers have signed on to support it, most of the sitting councilmembers up for re-election this year have failed to respond, as have most of the leading candidates for mayor.

CD3’s Bob Blumenfield is a no, as is current city attorney and mayoral candidate Michael Feuer.

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Bike lanes are coming to Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

https://twitter.com/walkeaglerock/status/1479694058087870468

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It looks like the host of SiriusXM’s The Stephanie Miller Show is one of us.

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That feeling when riding a bike is a bad idea because of all the other people out there who don’t.

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Local

Leah Shahum, the founder and executive director of the Vision Zero Network, writes to the LA Times to say Los Angeles, and the entire nation, needs to move past the outdated “Five E’s” approach to Vision Zero, and have the political will to create an effective and equitable Vision Zero effort built on proactive strategies such as designing streets and managing speeds for safety. Let’s hope the mayor reads it while he’s packing for India. Or the new interim mayor, anyway. 

The good news is, Metro Bike is expanding their docked bikeshare system in North Hollywood. The bad, they’ll be shutting NoHo Metro Bike locations down during the upgrade work, starting Monday.

Santa Monica has unveiled new bollard-protected bike lanes on 23rd Street. And for a change, they’re the kind of substantial bollards that might actually keep someone out, as opposed to the flimsy, car-tickler plastic bendy posts usually used in LA.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Fresno Bee remembers the much-loved, 61-year old retired high school English teacher who was killed by a truck driver while riding his recumbent Wednesday afternoon.

A San Francisco paper says the debate over the city’s Slow Streets and street closures have become a political minefield.

 

National

Denver demonstrates what a city can do with a little commitment, as they reach the halfway point in a five year, 125-mile bike lane building program, with 73% of city residents now within a quarter mile of a protected bike lane.

A writer for D Magazine applauds the new Vision Zero plan for Dallas, Texas, but questions whether it will actually save lives. Only if the city’s leaders have the political courage to make substantial changes to the streets, unlike the spineless wonders in charge of a certain Left Coast megalopolis we could name.

Northwest Arkansas is upping their offer to recruit tech workers to move to the area, providing recruits with a new bicycle and $10,000 in Bitcoin. Which will probably be $6,000 before you can get around to spending it.

What the hell is wrong with some people? A pair of Chicago gang members face murder charges for fatally shooting a mentally disabled man as he rode his bicycle last May, for no apparent reason; a third man was allegedly involved, but not charged.

 

International

Strava will now show points of interest within the app, including local landmarks, bike shops, cafes, start points and photo spots, as well as to get fresh water or a toilet break.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter discusses how to dress for winter ebike rides. You know, for people who live in places where that matters.

Good question. Cycling Weekly writes that 1,100 bicycles are stolen in the UK every day, so why isn’t bike theft a higher priority? I’d like to hear an answer to that one here, as well.

On a related note, a new bike sculpture was installed outside a London train station, made with parts from 45 different bicycles — the average number of bikes stolen in the country every hour.

A judge told a 76-year old Scottish driver to expect a “substantial” prison sentence next month, after he was convicted of killing a popular primary school teacher while attempting to pass two large vehicles at once, hitting the teacher’s bike head-on. Let’s just hope the judge meant what he said.

A news site names a 29-year old woman as the best mountain bike mechanic Lesotho, in case you find your self in need in the mountainous South African country.

 

Finally…

Now we’ll have to worry about getting buzzed by drivers from above, too. More evidence ‘cross is really hard.

And that feeling when your bicycle apparently goes out into the street of its own volition, and gets struck by a car that doesn’t seem to have a driver.

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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.

Metro motion rethinks bikeshare system, Flax says sharrows are bullshit, and McSweeney’s says fuck you, I’m a cyclist

Metro is rethinking their bikeshare program.

Which could be a good thing.

A board motion submitted LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Shiela Kuehl and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval proposes a number of changes to the Metro Bike system, in part to address theft of the bikes.

Currently, Metro only has 38% of the total original fleet remaining in operation. Metro Bikes have been targets of theft, and rates of fleet loss ebb and flow as new methods of theft are discovered and addressed. The Metro Bike Share team has increased efforts to recover lost and stolen bicycles but this is not sustaining the fleet and the program does not have an established fleet replenishment strategy. As a result, fewer Metro Bikes are available for use, which degrades the quality of service available to the public.

Although I’d think having nearly 40 percent of the original bikes still in operation after five years is pretty damn good.

Regardless, the five are requesting that the Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins report back in 90 days on a number of proposed changes, most of which have nothing to do with addressing bike theft.

A. An action plan to stabilize the current fleet size including actions for how to identify, prioritize, and address new mechanisms of theft as they arise.

B. An action plan to address equitable access in the current program and in any future form of the program. This plan shall include recommendations on issues such as serving people who may be unbanked, addressing the digital divide, and keeping fare cost low.

C. A plan to provide uninterrupted service as the next iteration of the program is determined and executed.

D. A plan to convene an industry forum (as was performed for Metro Micro) to bring together academics, cities with existing bike share programs, community stakeholders, and industry experts to provide recommendations on advancing Metro Bike Share beyond the current contract in one of several forms including but not limited to

  • Continuing Metro Bike Share as a contracted service,
  • Operating the program In-house with Metro employees,
  • A private-sector model with financial subsidy provided by Metro.

E. Performing a market survey to identify best practices and business models among existing bike-share systems in the US, and comparable global systems (e.g., Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Mexico City), and to develop comparative data on subsidy cost per ride, total ridership, size of fleet, vehicle technology, theft and damage loss and prevention, and alternative financing sources like sponsorship and advertising.

F. Recommendations for continuing and evolving the Metro Bike Share program to meet the goals of the agency, with countywide stakeholder engagement and consideration of cost-sharing, with the goal of expanding service area and local participation to all subregions in the County. These recommendations should include eligible local, state, and federal funding sources for capital and operations budgets, as well as legislative opportunities to expand such funding eligibility.

All of these should be positives, if they’re carried out with a clear intention to maintain the bikeshare system and improve service.

Especially finding better ways to equitably serve low income communities.

As it stands right now, there doesn’t appear to be reason for concern. The question will be what form the response takes when Wiggins reports back in February.

That’s when we’ll want to give her recommendations a close look. And make sure the program is moving forward, not back.

Thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up. 

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Somehow I missed this one from our friend Peter Flax, who politely proclaims that sharrows are bullshit.

But we haven’t even gotten to the suckiest part yet. These days sharrows are deployed as a bad-faith alternative to actually making roads safer for bike riders. In recent years, sharrows have become increasingly popular as cities try to balance calls from safety advocates to install quality bike lanes — you know, so folks feel more encouraged to ride and get killed a little less often — and grumpy motorists who don’t want to relinquish driving lanes or parking spaces for bike infrastructure. To the politicians and engineers stuck in the middle, sharrows seem like a devilishly perfect compromise — a way to placate the pro-car populists while still being able to claim you did something.

In short, they are perfect for city officials who care enough about safety to do the very least. There’s only one problem: Sharrows are make believe safety infrastructure.

By now, you probably already know my take.

That sharrows are nothing more than an attempt by transportation agencies to thin the herd, with little arrows painted on the pavement to help drivers improve their aim.

The best you can say is they offer a placemaking guide for people on bicycles, while showing riders where they should position themselves to control the lane.

If they’re placed correctly, that is.

And if riders feel comfortable in the middle of the lane in front of too often impatient and angry drivers.

Instead, you usually see people riding next to them on the right, increasing the risk of unsafe passes. If you see them at all, since many riders seem to prefer other routes that place them in less risk of getting run over.

Which is probably smart. Because as Flax notes, a 2018 study found that sharrows are actually worse than nothing when it comes to safety.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because he’s right.

Sharrows really are bullshit.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip

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Then there’s this bizarre, incomprehensible, and supposedly tongue-in-cheek screed from McSweeney’s.

It gets worse.

That was followed by this tweet from McSweeney himself, justifying the piece.

It’s a sure sign you missed the mark when you have to tell people something is funny.

Or when you have to say, no, really, we ride bikes, too.

Because it ain’t satire if it’s not funny.

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When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking lot for government cops.

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Recently retired pro Tejay van Garderen had his own bikes stolen recently while moving to Denver.

So if you’re in the Denver area, keep an eye out for them. And it wouldn’t hurt to watch out wherever you are, because high-end bikes like these could turn up anywhere.

According to Jonathan Vaughters, that second bike is the one that put van Garderen in the white jersey signifying the best young rider in the 2012 Tour de France.

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Love this photo that’s the very definition of fin de siècle style and cool.

https://twitter.com/PeterPeterbox/status/1460964802310938625

Here’s what the tweet says, for those of us who are Español challenged.

Bicycles have remained remarkably the same for over 100 years, elegant in their efficiency and simplicity; the look of the cyclists has not changed much either.

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Another reminder of the exceptional efficiency of bike lanes.

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Tonight would be great for a not-so-moonlit ride, with the eclipse starting around 9 pm on the West Coast, and reaching it’s peak around 1 am, if you can get away from the coastal fog and clouds.

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

Singapore police are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing head-on into woman on a bicycle.

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Local

Long Beach’s multi-modal, bike-commuting captain of the annual floating Christmas tree display is retiring after 39 years on the job, without a single day driving to or from work.

 

State

A 75-year old man was seriously injured when he was run down from behind by a driver while riding his bike on Cushing Road near San Diego’s Liberty Station; fortunately, his injuries aren’t expected to be life threatening.

 

National

Talk about a misguided take. A writer for the New York Times calls out “obscure” “fringe, niche” measures and “special interest breaks” included in the Build Back Better bill currently under consideration in the US House — like the not-so-obscure $900 tax rebate program for ebike purchasers, which has been openly discussed and debated.

The hometown paper in Grand Junction, Colorado, when my former Iditarod-mushing brother lives and rides these days, says there’s plenty more the city could do to make riding a bike a safer and more enjoyable experience. Pretty much like everywhere else.

Colorado police have busted an eight man bike theft ring responsible for $1.5 million worth of stolen bicycles; they face a combination of more than 200 charges.

Chicago Streetsblog calls out a Chicago-style hot dog stand for banning bikes from its drive-through. Although another Windy City hot dog purveyor says bikes are more than welcome at theirs.

A Cleveland TV station talks with several bike commuters about their safety concerns, including better infrastructure and getting more respect from drivers.

A 22-year old hit-and-run driver will now face a murder charge after a preliminary investigation showed he was speeding on his way to work, and high on weed, when he slammed into a six-year old Detroit boy just riding his bike across the street.

The Philadelphia Inquirer joins a mounting chorus saying the recently signed infrastructure bill may be big, but it won’t change America’s misguided focus on cars.

‘Tis the season. Alabama’s 91-year old “Bicycle Man” rescued and repaired 30 discarded bicycles for a holiday giveaway program for children in need.

The mother of the 14-year old Palm Beach, Florida boy who was found dead hours after leaving for a bike ride says he lost control and flipped his bicycle, and there was no foul play involved.

 

International

Treehugger rates the best cargo bike trailers of 2021.

Cyclist offers a beginner’s guide to every part that makes up a road bike.

Smart move. Montreal is setting up an online reporting system just for pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the downtown area, where most such crashes occur. Something we could use here, where police too often don’t even want to take a report unless someone is seriously injured.

In another step backward, the Swiss government is calling for mandating bike helmets for anyone over the age of 12. Before anyone gets upset, I never ride my bike without a helmet. But helmet laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, while giving police an excuse to target people on bicycles. And too often people of color and homeless bike riders.

What to give your favorite Philippine bike rider this holiday season.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič says he’s not the cycling Terminator everyone thinks he is.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you rescue a bike from the trash because it has the weirdest, coolest brakes you’ve ever seen. Nothing like a casual bike ride up an 18,000 foot Peruvian peak through two feet of snow.

And what’s the underwater equivalent of Viking Biking?

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

No charges for teen coal-rolling Texas driver who slammed into six bicyclists, and putting bike safety in perspective

Texas bike riders are justifiably up in arms after police investigators allowed the 16-year old driver who slammed into six bicyclists to walk free.

Or rather drive, in his mangled pickup truck, after mommy and daddy showed up at the crash scene he caused, in a failed attempt to envelop the riders in a cloud of exhaust by rolling coal.

Never mind that four of those six riders weren’t able to walk, drive or ride anywhere, after they were rushed to the hospital — two evacuated by helicopter due to the seriousness of their injuries.

Authorities wouldn’t say if charges will be filed at a later date, or if they’ll simply let a bike-hating little criminal escape justice.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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A graphic from Momentum Magazine puts bike safety in perspective.

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This is what a protected intersection looks like in practice.

And we could use a lot more of them here in Los Angeles, too.

https://twitter.com/JATompkins/status/1442573139502788608

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

The driver in the Las Vegas instant karma crash has pled guilty, nearly a year after a passenger in his van leaned out the window and pushed a 56-year old woman off her bicycle — then fell out of the window himself, tumbling 150 feet along the roadway before slamming into a streetlight. Bike-riding victim Michelle “Shelli” Weissman and her killer, 23-year old Rodrigo Cruz, both died at the scene.

Another case of sabotage in the UK, as someone pounded large metal spikes into a roadway in an apparent attempt to injure anyone passing through.

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

A Iowa man was busted for riding his bicycle on people’s yards until he crashed into someone’s dog, then fleeing from police on foot; no word on the dog’s condition.

Police are looking for an armed man who has been riding a bicycle around North Carolina’s East Carolina University robbing people at gunpoint.

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Local

Yo! Venice looks at the recently installed protected bike lanes on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, asking a bike-riding surfer if they’re working as intended.

 

State

Cal State Fullerton philosophy lecturer and former Foo Fighters sound engineer Austin Duggan is one of us, building his own BMX ebike on a titanium frame.

San Diego’s newfound commitment to safer bike infrastructure comes too late for too many grieving families.

Lime evidently decided they could turn a profit in San Diego after all, returning their e-scooters to the city after pulling out last year, citing their limited “path to profitability.”

 

National

A new book explains how Everesting grew into a global phenomenon.

A Tucson, Arizona church is promoting bike safety after the pastor was the victim of a hit-and-run.

A writer for the Denver University student newspaper calls out the city for failing implement the safe bike lanes a sustainable city demands.

Cyclist Magazine spends some time with the folks at Colorado-based Moots, discovering how a little two-man backroom operation became one of the most desirable names in titanium bikes.

A Texas DA has dropped sexual assault charges against the then 18-year old son of ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, even though the underage victim allegedly recorded him confessing to having sex with her, and four of the six people she told remembered her saying it was nonconsensual.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a visually impaired man who’s already ridden 4,100 miles across the US to spread random acts of kindness; his bike was stolen in Missouri when he suffered a flat, and had to hide his bike on the side of the road to get the tire fixed.

The New York e-scooter rider who killed Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, with a potential sentence ranging from probation to 15 years behind bars.

Florida deputies are passing out bike lights to lightless bicyclists instead of writing tickets.

 

International

Advocacy group London Cycling Campaign called on supporters to help restore its online reputation after an organized campaign branded the group as militant, racist and destructive, among other non sequiturs.

Talk about leaving a dangerous person on the street until it’s too late. A British man will likely walk out of jail for time served after being sentenced for a hate crime for attacking a man who caught him trying to steal his bicycle, while insulting the victim’s Islamic faith. He was sentenced to just 14 months behind bars, despite 33 previous convictions for 75 offenses.

A memorial festival will honor the legacy of British blues legend Julian Piper, two years after the 72-year old bluesman was killed when his bicycle hit a bollard.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a distracted delivery driver will spend just three years behind bars for killing a 64-year old man riding a bicycle, after he took his eyes off the road for nine seconds to look up an address on the smartphone.

Denmark discovers used wind turbine blades make ideal bike parking shelters.

Police in Brussels, Belgium will now fine bike thieves the equivalent of $292 on the spot, in an effort to combat an epidemic of least 230 stolen bicycles every day.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Ama Nsek won the final stage in the 10-race USA CRITS series on Saturday, while Erica Clevenger took the women’s race.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about aggressive moose bike thieves on the bike path. Or overly aggressive river otters, for that matter.

And if you’ve been riding a bike around the Bucks countryside buck naked, put some damn clothes on, already.

………

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

Stop as yield bill passes state senate, Sunset4All meets public/private funding goal, and LA’s bike lane parking lot

Now it’s up to the governor.

Or maybe not.

Reports indicate that AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, passed the California State Senate yesterday, after passing the assembly in April.

The bill would allow a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law in the state, following the lead of several other states that have passed it in recent years.

It allows someone on a bicycle to treat a stop sign as a yield, preceding through the intersection only when it is safe to do so after yielding to other traffic and pedestrians.

In other words, it legalizes the way most people on bicycles already ride. However, it does not allow the rider to roll a stop when someone else has the right of way.

It also does not allow bike riders to go through red lights, as the full Idaho Stop does, by treating them as stop signs.

You will still be legally required to come to a full stop behind the stop line until the light turns green, just as you would in a car; failure to do so can result in a ticket, whether on two wheels or four.

The bill was also modified in the Senate to clarify that it does not change a driver’s liability in the event of a collision. Which as I read it, means drivers won’t be able to claim they’re not at fault in a crash because someone on a bicycle legally rolled the stop.

However, that minor change to the text — along with revisions to the existing law changing “which” to the grammatically correct “that” in the absence of a comma — likely means it will have to go back to the state assembly for what should be a pro forma vote for final approval.

And it’s important to note that the law contains a sunset provision, which means it would cease to be in effect as of January 1, 2028, unless it’s extended by the legislature.

Let’s hope they move quickly, so Newsom can sign the bill before the recall vote on September 14th, in case he’s removed from office.

Correction: Even if Newsom is recalled, he’d have 38 days after the election to sign the bill before his replacement can take office. Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the correction. 

Here’s how the legislative council’s digest describes the bill, as it was passed.

This bill would, until January 1, 2028, require a person riding a bicycle, when approaching a stop sign at the entrance of an intersection, to yield the right-of-way to any vehicles that have either stopped at or entered the intersection, or that are approaching on the intersecting highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and to pedestrians, as specified, and continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles and pedestrians until reasonably safe to proceed. The bill would require other vehicles to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle that, having yielded as prescribed, has entered the intersection. The bill would state that these provisions do not affect the liability of a driver of a motor vehicle as a result of the driver’s negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of a motor vehicle.

The bill would also require the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to submit a report to the Legislature, as specified, regarding the effects of this bill.

So it’s a big win.

But we still need to get it over the finish line.

………

Congratulations to Sunset4All on meeting their $25,000 goal to fund LA’s first public/private partnership to improve safety and livability on our streets.

Better yet, that total will be matched by angel donors, for a total of $50,000.

Which definitely calls for a celebration.

https://twitter.com/SunsetForAll/status/1432524536679854080

 

………

I’m sure the owner is a lovely person, though.

………

It may be touching.

But doesn’t driving alongside your kid while he rides his bike to school kind of defeat the purpose?

https://www.tiktok.com/@thenewtonfamily/video/6995613307377929477?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdk79lclgtez2i.cloudfront.net%2F&referer_video_id=6995613307377929477&refer=embed

………

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

A San Diego letter writer suggests he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, so we should all just stick to our cars.

No bias here. A Massachusetts letter writer says a new bike lane confuses him, so people should just ride their bikes on the sidewalks, since no one uses them anyway. And get rid of parking meters while you’re at it.

A Glasgow, Scotland writer says everyone has a role to play in making the city safe for people on bicycles, after a bus driver deliberately cut into her to pull into a bus stop as she rode in a bike lane, rather than simply wait patiently for her to move ahead.

………

Local

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s completely blocked with a massive amount of truck, forcing anyone on a bicycle out into speeding traffic.

 

State

Stephen Taylor Scarpa went on trial for murder Monday in the allegedly stoned death of Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he was riding his bike in Mission Viejo three years ago; Scarpa reportedly had meth, fentanyl and several prescription medications in his system at the time of the crash.

Renée Zellweger and Ant Anstead are each one of us, as the celeb couple went for a ride through Laguna Beach on their matching Pedego fat tire ebikes.

San Francisco Streetsblog complains that politicians may talk about climate change, but inevitably revert to that status quo when push comes to shove, using the reopening of the city’s Great Highway to cars while the world is on fire as the case in point. Sadly, LA’s leaders appear to be cut from exactly the same cloth.

 

National

A new survey says walking has bizarrely become part of the culture wars, with liberals wanting walkable communities while conservatives want to drive everywhere.

That’s more like it. The new electric Cadillac Lyric will come standard with a bicycle warning system to alert the driver if there’s someone on a bike in their blind spot.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey offers advice on how to choose a bike for the gravel-curious.

A new Portland study confirms what we already know — speed kills. An analysis of crash data shows that speeding drivers are the leading cause of pedestrian deaths in the city.

This is who we share the road with. An Oregon man got seven well-deserved years behind bars for running a red light while speeding, and killing an 11-year old boy walking in a crosswalk on his way to school, while stoned on “central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers.” Better yet, he will permanently lose the right to drive in the state.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a deaf father of seven was killed in a collision when he was struck by a driver while lying on the roadway, after somehow coming off his bicycle; he leaves behind a fiancé pregnant with twins.

Cincinnati has put the removal of a successful bike path on hold pending a vote by the city council after a petition was started to save the on-street pathway, which has resulted in a 40% drop in speeding drivers. And that’s probably why they don’t like it.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. A New York man was busted for DUI with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit while driving his riding lawnmower on city streets.

 

International

London skate brand Palace is teaming up with Cannondale to create their first signature hybrid city bike.

An environmentally minded Irish father finds his plans on hold when the new cargo bike he intended to use to ferry his kids to school was backordered; the lack of a viable bus system means he had to rely on the kindness of neighbors to drive the kids to class. Something too many carfree Los Angeles residents can probably relate to.

A Kiwi company says forget aluminum and carbon fiber, your next handlebars should be bamboo. Although what that has to do with Forrest Gump I have no idea.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once and future mountain bike champ Nino Schurter won his ninth world title, becoming the oldest men’s world champ at 35, after the Swiss rider was the youngest when he won his first at 22.

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar says he’s just a bike rider, not a pop star.

 

Finally…

Yes, it’s still bike theft if you’re just trading up. That feeling when your bougie handlebars are replaced with a sickle and hammer.

And Megan Lynch calls this the best recumbent fairing ever.

So who am I to argue?

………

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

Malibu meeting on PCH widening tonight, LAPD whiffs on crosswalk law, and warning about scam bike websites

If you ride PCH — or want to — clear your schedule for tonight.

The Malibu Planning Commission will hold a virtual meeting this evening to consider a proposal to improve the median and widen the shoulders on a two-mile section of PCH, between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road.

As you may recall, we sounded the alarm about this proposal last month, which is described as a plan to improve safety for people on bicycles by providing more space to ride on the shoulder, while also providing additional curbside parking.

Put another way, the proposal appears to put bikes in the door zone, instead of providing protected bike lanes.

Or maybe not.

Someone who claimed to be involved in what he described as a decade-long process to develop the plan insisted I’d gotten it all wrong and the plan wouldn’t add a single parking spot — even though it said just the opposite.

And that it would be a big safety improvement for the deadly highway, especially for people on bicycles.

Although what PCH really needs is narrower traffic lanes and far slower speeds.

Admittedly, while I used to be involved with the PCH Task Force, I haven’t been able to keep up with it since the one-two punch of diabetes and neuropathy knocked me on my ass half decade ago.

So I can’t speak to just what this plan does or doesn’t do, other than what was in the description.

But if you ride PCH, you owe it to yourself to voice your concerns and tune into the meeting to see whether it would help tame LA County’s killer highway and keep you — and everyone else — safer as you ride through the ‘Bu.

Or if this one needs to go back to the drawing board.

Okay, so it’s not PCH. But this photo of a bike-riding surfer resting on his board is the only decent shot I’ve got of Malibu.

………

Nothing like cops doing the right thing, but getting the law wrong.

They’re right that drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in painted crosswalks.

But drivers are also required to yield to pedestrians at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, per CVC 21950. And every intersection is presumed to have a crosswalk, whether marked or not, unless signage prohibits crossing.

So bottom line, drivers have to yield to pedestrians at any crosswalk, painted or otherwise.

And don’t get me started on whether people on bikes are allowed to use the crosswalk.

But like I said, at least they’re doing the right thing.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

………

Road.cc is warning about a sudden proliferation of fake websites designed to take advantage of the bike boom to scam you out of your money.

Or rather, the website is real. But the deals and companies offering them aren’t.

With bikes currently being in such strong demand globally, it has become increasingly difficult to get the bike you want when you want it, with lead times often running into several months – and in response, we’re hearing more reports of fake websites trying to part people from their cash for bicycles that don’t exist, apparently offering deals that seem to good to be true, because they are.

While that alone may set alarm bells ringing among many prospective purchasers who will quickly realise that they risk being scammed, what the operators of such sites are banking on is that human nature being what it is, others will place an order and never see the bike, or their money, again.

They also include this sage advice from Trek’s British website on how to spot scammers.

The deal is too good to be true

If an advertisement is telling you that the bike you want is now 70%-90% off, they are lying to you. Do not click on the ad. Do not give them your money or any personal information.

The contact information is suspicious

Trek and our retailers hold ourselves to a very high standard of customer service. If you cannot reach the person you are buying from, do not buy from them.

The site is relatively new

You can check to see how long a website has existed by entering it into archive.org. If the site is brand new and offering steep discounts, do not purchase anything from them.

The site does not ask you to pick a preferred retailer

All current model Trek bikes ordered online must be delivered to an authorised Trek retailer for assembly. If you are not asked to select a retailer to dispatch a bike to, do not buy from the site. Previous model year Trek bikes can be delivered directly to consumers, but only through an authorised retailer’s website or BikeExchange.com.

In other words, stick with sites you know. Or better yet, check with your local bike shop before you buy anything online.

And caveat emptor.

………

Let’s consider a few more stories to restore your faith in humanity.

A generous Texas business owner bought a young boy a new bike after his was stolen while he was playing near a church parking lot; that bicycle had replaced another one that was stolen just weeks earlier. Let’s hope they also bought him a decent lock this time.

After already giving away 80 bicycles to kids in need, a Michigan man hopes to donate another 20 bikes this weekend.

A bighearted Pennsylvania man gave a young girl a new bicycle after the bike she’d just received from a youth program was stolen days after she got it; police found the stolen bike heavily damaged in a local creek. However, you may have trouble getting past the paper’s paywall.

………

Local

Culver City Crossroads fills in the blanks on the long and tortured process that led to the city’s close decision to finally open the Jackson Ave gate to the Ballona Creek bike path.

Aussie actor Luke Hemsworth is one of us, as he goes for fat-tired ebike ride through the ‘Bu. Even if he is less famous than brothers Chris and Liam.

 

State

San Diego State University is finally lifting the school’s micromobility ban, allowing dockless bikes, e-scooters and other devices to be used and parked on campus.

The Santa Barbara Independent dives into bike life this week, with reports on the teenage Wheelie Generation, local resident and Trek CEO John Burke’s plans to save the world, and a local shop giving new life to unloved mountain bikes.

San Francisco celebrates new painted bike lanes on Anza Street, which quickly turned into a parking lot.

 

National

A new report on the economic benefits of bicycling investments recommends investing billions into bike projects to generate thousands of jobs while greening transportation in the US.

Another new study suggest bicycling can be a literal backbreaker, with a full 81% of sports-related spinal injuries among U.S. adults due to bicycle falls and crashes.

Popular Mechanics offers their picks for the best hitch-mounted bike racks. Just remember, any rack that obscures the license plate is illegal, although it’s one of those things where you’ll probably get away with it, until you don’t.

Have guitar, will travel. Colorado singer-songwriter Shanna In A Dress is touring the US by bicycle for a series of shows from Oregon to Massachusetts, while raising funds for the Pangea World Foundation.

A Salt Lake City woman with a long criminal record faces murder and gun charges for fatally shooting her girlfriend as she tried to get away, following an argument while they were riding their bikes together.

Life is cheap in South Dakota, where you can run down and kill an innocent person walking on the side of the roadway while driving home after drinking at a fundraiser, then just tell the police you thought it was a deer when they knock on your door, and end up walking away with a plea deal for a lousy misdemeanor traffic violation. Or at least you can if you’re the state attorney general.

That’s more like it. A new Illinois law requires the state to conduct a traffic study anytime a pedestrian is killed on a state roadway, including recommendations for possible design improvements, with the results to be publicly posted. Add people on bicycles to that, and that’s what should happen whenever someone is killed on any roadway.

A Rhode Island bike rider unexpectedly discovers signs for a useful, but forgotten, cross-city bike route that no one seems to know about anymore. Or care about, which could be worse.

A North Carolina paper looks back to three teenagers’ life-changing, five day, 425-mile ride through the state’s Outer Banks, which led one to devote his life to researching the region’s maritime history.

 

International

You could get a belt-drive urban ebike for just $1,300 — but only if you move fast.

CyclingTips considers that $28,000 Louis Vuitton bike with the bizarre backward suicide handbrakes. Which is a lot of money for something that will probably get you killed the first time you have to make a panic stop. Then again, if you can afford the bike, you can probably afford to pay someone to ride it for you. 

Take a tour of Colombia’s Boyacá region with native son Miguel Angel Lopez of the Movistar cycling team. Bonus points if you spell it “Colombia,” rather than “Columbia,” which I inevitably do before correcting myself.

Glasgow, Scotland has adopted a Vision Zero plan, with the goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2030. Although as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, it’s meaningless without the political will to make the hard choices, which we clearly lack.

Life is still cheap in the UK. Earlier this week, we mentioned the English driver who was sentenced to three years and four months behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bike. But what was missing from the the original story was that the driver abandoned the borrowed car he was using, and calmly took a cab home without bothering to even mention the crash to anyone. No wonder people are calling the sentence a joke.

Industry insiders say God only knows when the Great Britain’s bike shortage will finally end.

new German-made, four-wheeled, self-propelled bike trailer promises you won’t have to work any harder to pull it, and it will easily follow your bike wherever you go, at speeds up to 19 mph. It might be just a bit pricy, though, available for rent for a tad under $600 a month.

Why let a little bad weather stop you, even if it means floating your mountain bike through neck-high Singapore flood waters.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Primož Roglič took Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, reclaiming the red leader’s jersey by a whopping three seconds.

How to watch this week’s 2021 UCI mountain bike world championships.

Rouleur offers an early preview of next month’s 2021 Women’s Road Race World Championships in Flanders.

Elite British cyclist Clay Davies called out a culture of homophobia and a lack of support for LGBTQ riders in the sport, several years after he publicly came out following a near fatal collision.

The first cycling gold of the Tokyo Paralympic Games went to cyclist Paige Greco, while her fellow countrywoman Emily Petricola soon followed in the 3,000 meter individual pursuit, with American Shawn Morelli winning silver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own hydrogen powered ebike for the low, low price of just $11,700 — or $8,800 if you clip the coupon. At last, a lightweight wooden balance bike for your eco-conscious toddler weight weenie.

And at least someone is taking crosswalk safety seriously for a change.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

Arraignment set for pickup driver charged with murder, Culver City opens Jackson gate, and San Diego debates bike safety

My News LA reports Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 2nd for using his truck as a weapon to murder a bike rider last month.

As we reported over the weekend, Gutierrez allegedly made a U-turn in his massive Ford pickup and deliberately slammed into Benedicto Solanga on July 29th, in an apparent road rage attack.

Solanga died three days later, while it took nearly three weeks for authorities to conclude Gutierrez had been behind the wheel, after finding his truck hours after the crash.

Gutierrez is expected to be charged with murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for using his truck as a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

………

Chalk this one up as a win for people on two wheels or feet.

For anyone who’s wondered why one of the easiest and most convenient entrances to Ballona Creek has long been closed to everyone but maintenance workers, the Culver City Council just voted to change that last night.

And better yet, to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the city also voted to support extending the Ballona Creek bike path the full length of the creek from where it emerges from underground.

………

The San Diego Union-Tribune explores the ongoing debate over bike lanes in a series of op-eds, saying the city is experiencing unintended consequences in the quest to get more people on bicycles.

Not everyone is in favor of the city’s move to expand bike lanes and get more people on bicycles, however.

Just wait until someone tells that last guy what it costs to keep building more traffic lanes.

………

CicLAvia has officially unveiled the route for October’s return to the Heart of LA, running from MacArthur Park to Chinatown, and east to Mariachi Plaza.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

 

The perfect bike for when you’re ready to live your dream to chuck your job and become the neighborhood fruit vendor.

………

Today’s mountain biking break is a first-person view of a “beyond black diamond” bike trail from Canadian mountain biker Dave Herr.

Unless maybe you’d prefer a first impression of the new Killington, Vermont Bike Park.

………

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

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a Black teenage taekwondo star was killed when a driver slammed into his bicycle as he was trying to escape a group of alleged drug dealers armed with large knives.

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

A Washington man faces charges for allegedly chucking rocks at a road crew when they asked him to move his bicycle, before he escalated to shooting arrows at them.

………

Local

The New York Times takes a look at the effect of pandemic era street dining and Slow Streets in the Los Angeles area, saying it’s chipping away at Southern California’s notorious deference to cars.

Speaking of which, hundreds turned out for Santa Monica’s first carfree weekend on Main Street this year, with two more planned for September and October.

 

State

A homeless man has been convicted of second degree murder for fatally stabbing another homeless man outside an Escondido Burger King, because he thought the man was trying to steal his bicycle.

Fremont is using plastic pylons to buck the trend of rising bike and pedestrian deaths, with a 45% reduction in major traffic crashes involving death or severe injury in the three years since they adopted Vision Zero, and a 23% drop in major crashes involving bike riders.

 

National

After concluding that Amazon was a driving force behind the problem, a company in the Pacific Northwest pulled their bike parts off the platform, taking a hit in sales to directly supply bike shops affected by the pandemic-driven shortage of bikes and parts.

Reno bike riders are staying inside as smoke from the massive California wildfires forces them off the streets.

Phoenix officials shoot down longstanding plans to install bike lanes on a major street, instead telling bike riders to be happy they’ll get new sharrows on an existing bike boulevard.

A writer for Singletracks tries racing a then top-of-the-line 1990’s mountain bike, surprisingly finding that it held its own against more modern bikes. And ends up selling it to a collector who promised to give it a good home.

A Pittsburgh children’s charity is devoted to letting kids be kids, while giving them more independence by providing them with adaptive bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

International

Treehugger offers a review of the new longtail e-cargo bike from Blix, which sells for a relatively reasonable $1,999 for the twin battery version.

A Canadian man is finishing his summer-long bike tour to visit all 18 of the country’s residential schools in an effort to reconcile with Indigenous students.

Another Canadian man rode 745 miles on his recumbent bike, despite a broken collarbone, to benefit a nine-year old Alabama boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, four decades after beating the disease himself.

Officials in Dorset, England are defending a road makeover that narrowed traffic lanes while installing a spacious 11-foot bike lane, saying the bike lane has to accommodate wobbly riders traveling in both directions, while the traffic lanes are more than wide enough if drivers just obey the speed limit.

Forget the Hound of the Baskervilles. An English mountain biker encountered the apocryphal big cat of Cornwall.

In a bizarre tragedy, a British search and rescue team stumbled on the body of a mountain biker who had apparently crashed his bike while they were on an unrelated call to rescue a teenaged old boy suffering from hypothermia.

A UK driver got three years and four months behind bars for the speeding, hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News peers into its crystal ball, and predicts the Vuelta is Primož Roglič’s to lose.

VeloNews credit’s Jennifer Valente’s physical and intellectual gifts for her gold medal in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, along with a lifelong background in track cycling.

World ‘cross champ Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of this week’s mountain bike worlds due to lingering back pain stemming from a crash in the Tokyo Olympics, though he still hopes to ride in next month’s road championships.

 

Finally…

That feeling when proper bike lanes are too “ideological” for LEGO. Who needs gas when you can buy a cool used bike for the same price?

And when building a shed for your bike would create to much “visual clutter.”

………

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

Questions raised about PCH door zone warning, and driver crashes into home built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

Yesterday, a series of tweets were directed my way to tell me I got it all wrong about the proposed changes to PCH that would seem to put bike riders in the door zone.

Those were quickly followed by a comment on here, and a series of increasingly rude and insulting private messages blaming me for somehow ruining 20 year of bicycle advocacy by repeating what was said in a news story from a Malibu paper.

Which I was apparently supposed to somehow be able to deduce had made some yet-to-be confirmed error in reporting the story.

Then again, I was also accused in those private messages of somehow plagiarizing that same story by someone who had apparently never read it, and clearly has no idea what plagiarism means.

Seriously, feel free to do a side-by-side comparison, and see for yourself if I copied anything.

While I wasn’t involved in this project, and had no idea it was even in the works before this week, I have long fought for bike safety on PCH in Malibu. And worked with and supported Eric Bruins in his surprisingly successful campaign to turn the city from extremely anti-bike to a newfound commitment to welcoming people on two wheels.

And this project was definitely not what I remember asking for.

I also don’t remember meeting Mr. Laetz during all those years that I represented the LACBC on the PCH Task Force, before illness forced me to step down.

Which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, or wasn’t working for bike safety in other ways. With all the meds I’m on these days, I have trouble remembering last week, let alone what happened a decade or so ago.

But maybe he’s right.

My reaction to this project was based entirely on Wednesday’s story in the Malibu Surfside News, which said this in the very first paragraph —

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.

Note that last phrase, “adding motor vehicle parking.”

The writer of that piece, Scott Steepleton, the editor of the Malibu Surfside News, cited a Malibu Planning Commission document as his source.

According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”

I never hid the fact that this was my source, and linked back to the story in my original post. I also sent the link to Mr. Laetz when he objected to my story to confirm where the information came from.

Yet he continued to attack me, both publicly and privately. Right up to the point I told him what he could do with himself, and blocked him from my personal Twitter account.

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

This is how he describes the project in a comment Mr. Laetz left on here.

WAIT A MINUTE, The city’s plan is to WIDEN the shoulder, by narrowing the median and shifting the traffic lanes to the center, No parking will be added, none will be eliminated. Te (sic) plan will leave shoulders that are in excess of 14 feet wide. It will also add marked bike lanes at the traffic lights. The Coastal Commission will not allow the city to add parking (reducing coastal access to bicyclists) or decrease parking (reducing parking access for people in vehicles). This plan is parking neutral. It will eliminate much of the wide, unused median. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Despite repeated requests, he never sent me a link to any source to back up his description of the project, though he did reference a story he claimed to have written for the Malibu Times, which I haven’t been able to find on their website.

However, assuming the shoulder will in fact be a minimum of 14 feet wide, while that may be enough room to safely pass an average parked car, it would leave only a sliver of space outside the door zone of today’s massive pickups and SUVs.

And that’s if the driver pulls all the way to the right, which hardly ever happens the real world.

It also raises the question of whether that space could be better used to provide a parking protected bike lane that would keep riders safely out of the door zone, as well as away from drivers cutting over to park their cars or pull out of a parking space.

And why maintain those plush eleven-foot traffic lanes, which encourage higher speeds, when they could easily be narrowed a foot to help slow traffic, and provide more space to work with on either side?

As I tried to point out to Mr. Laetz, even if this project would be wholly beneficial for people on bicycles, the worst thing that resulted from calling it out is that hundreds of bike riders are newly aware of it, and prepared to give it the scrutiny any bike project should have.

So go ahead and email your comments and concerns by Sunday night, if you haven’t already. And attend Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission to learn more about it if you can.

Full disclosure, I won’t be able to make it Monday evening. Somehow, I suspect my wife’s birthday has to take priority if I don’t want to see a permanent change my sleeping arrangements.

I’ve also offered to let Mr. Laetz write a guest post for this site to clarify anything he thinks we got wrong.

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

………

I do my best to be as truthful and accurate as possible in everything you read on this site.

If I get something wrong, I’m more than happy to correct it, which I’ve done more times than I can count. Just reach out to me, either in the comments below, at the email address on the About page, or on Twitter @BikinginLA.

Just be able to back it up. And don’t be a jerk about it.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts driver slammed her SUV through the side of a 371-year old house built by the great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, after swerving to avoid an early-rising squirrel.

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

Although it may have been the house’s fault, since the owners say there have been a number of near-misses since they moved in.

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Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1031213754724372480

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A Utah TV station wins the award for best attempt to remove any agency for an injury collision, with a headline that suggests some unidentified “person” was injured when a car without a driver somehow collided with a bicycle without a rider.

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Call a happy bike surprise.

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Maus/status/1415896935374802946

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

After a Denver man attempted to stop a woman from stealing his neighbor’s $5,000 mountain bike, she returned in a beat-up SUV and smashed into another car while attempting to run him down. But even after they tracked the attacker to a nearby homeless camp, the police have refused to go in and do anything about it.

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

Must have been in a hurry. A New York “transit menace” snatched a bikeshare bike out of the hands of the person who rented it, rode it to the subway station, the jumped the turnstile to catch his train.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. Bicycling talks with a 77-year old Lake Forest man who still rides a bike every day, despite two serious heart surgeries. Or maybe because of them. I mean, without all the heart problems and stuff. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

San Diego letter writers continue to beat a dead bike lane horse, still complaining about the new protected bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park that are already under construction.

Police in Salinas are asking for the public’s help identifying a thief caught on camera stealing a mountain bike.

 

National

CyclingTips examines the custom Trek Domane Richard Branson pretended to ride to Sunday’s space launch, in what they accurately describe as part of a billionaire “dick-measuring competition.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

A culture website suggests four exciting US cities to ride a bike in. If you really want excitement, though, it’s hard to top mixing it up with LA drivers. Although it may not be the kind of excitement you want.

Nearly a hundred Portland-area kids now have newly refurbished bikes, thanks to an organization dedicated to giving kids free bikes who might not be able to get one otherwise.

No surprise here. Las Vegas is being sued by the family of a Black man who died in police custody in 2019 with a cop’s knee planted firmly in his back; Byron Williams was recorded saying 24 times that he couldn’t breathe, after getting stopped for the capital crime of not having a light on his bike. The family is being represented by the same lawyer who filed suit in the George Floyd case.

Montana’s first shuttle mountain bike park is now open near the Flathead Lake resort area, incorporating a shuttle service to carry riders from the end of one gravity trail to the start of another.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an off-duty cop in a jacked-up truck ran over a little boy and dragged him to his death; nine-year old Hershel Weinberger was riding his bike in a crosswalk when the driver reportedly ran the stop sign, even if the local union head swears he stopped and looked both ways. But investigators failed to hold the off-duty officer accountable after he played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, by claiming he just didn’t see the boy. Although chance are, just flashing his badge was probably enough.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a driver faces a single year behind bars for killing a 16-year old boy riding a bike, after prosecutors allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor moving violation. Sad to know that’s all a kid’s life is worth to them.

A new study suggests 30% of DC crashes involving a bike rider or pedestrian go unreported, reducing the reliability of the data Vision Zero relies on.

 

International

Talk about flash photography. A British woman snapping a selfie captured the exact moment she and her brother and sister were struck by lightening as they were sheltering under a tree, after getting caught in a thunderstorm while riding their bikes to see their aunt; fortunately, they were all okay after being treated for burns.

The final stage of the Tour de France is just the start of festivities as Paris bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns, as only Paris can.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Thursday’s final hors catégorie climb, which was pretty much Wednesday on repeat.

Here we go again. CyclingNews is reporting that French authorities raided the hotel and team bus of the Bahrain Victorious cycling team before Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, as prosecutors open a preliminary investigation into doping allegations. But we all know the doping era is over, right?

Road Bike Action wants to help you build the perfect bike for Sunday’s Belgian Waffle Ride.

 

Finally…

Why pro cyclists dance with their bikes. Your next (really weird looking) touring bike could come with a built-in chair and day bed.

And if you have to ask…

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

 

Man injured in Show Low vehicular attack dies, and Phil Gaimon and fiancé threatened by road raging LA driver

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where one of the victims of last month’s vehicular assault on a senior’s bike race has died.

Fifty-eight-year old Jeremy Barrett took a turn for the worse after initially showing improvement following the crash, and passed away on Saturday.

Barrett had been flown to a hospital in Flagstaff suffering from internal injuries, and was due to be transferred to a hospital in Tucson before suffering a stroke and deteriorating in the days that followed.

He was described by friends as someone who went out of his way to help others, and frequently hosted touring bicyclists in his home.

A police spokesperson says that additional charges are likely to be filed in the wake of Barrett’s death, on top of the 20 felony counts already faced by 36-year old driver Shawn Michael Chock for the alleged intentional attack.

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You really hate to see this.

Everyone’s favorite retired pro cyclist and his fiancé had an ugly run-in with a road raging driver, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to slow his Porsche down on his way to the golf course.

While Phil Gaimon and Emily may not be able to make a case for assault with a deadly weapon, the driver could and should be charged with battery after allegedly shoving the petite woman confronting him.

It’s also a textbook case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows for a civil case with an award of three times the actual monetary damages or $1,000, whichever is higher.

And the driver could be required to pay any attorney’s fees they may incur while preparing the case.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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West Hollywood offers advice on how bike riders and pedestrians can avoid getting run over by motorists.

But sadly, not one word for drivers on how to avoid running over anyone.

Overall, though, their tips for people on bikes aren’t bad.

Although someone should remind them that signaling while stopping isn’t a great idea for people with hand brakes. And you should stop signaling before starting a turn so you can have both hands on the handlebars.

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UCLA’s Chris Giza talks with KNX-1070 radio about the benefits of turning a fake pandemic commute into the real thing.

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After failing to be named to this year’s Tour de France roster, Aussie Lachlan Morton took it on himself to ride the entire race route, alone and unsupported, and try to beat the peloton into Paris.

Yesterday he got there, beating the riders competing in the race by nearly a full week.

And still got the traditional champagne at the finish.

https://twitter.com/EFprocycling/status/1414792643163435010

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

A Las Vegas man faces a murder charge for intentionally running over a homeless man riding a bicycle, after exchanging words in a parking lot. However, this wasn’t a random incident; the two men knew one another, and had once been roommates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with California Streets Initiative board member and CD5 city council candidate Jonathan Weiss.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 72-year old Diamond Bar man as he was walking in a crosswalk; his niece says Bruce Bodel preferred to walk or bike rather than driving.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom happy hour from 5 to 6 pm this evening with UCLA parking maestro and professor emeritus Don Shoup.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop bring you the return of the popular Tour De Taco ride this Saturday. Say hi to my friend Carlos Morales if you go.

 

State

Bay Area firefighters are preparing to ride across the country to Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

National

Maybe they finally get it. The new federal infrastructure plan includes a focus on smart infrastructure and Vision Zero to maybe actually build and fix roads so they don’t kill people, along with $20 billion specifically earmarked to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians. Now let’s hope it can somehow get through our hopelessly divided and dysfunctional Congress.

The Wall Street Journal examines the cycling fans who hoard hundreds of team jerseys. Although, as usual, half their story is hidden behind a paywall.

Tech Radar rates the year’s best bike locks, ranking Kryptonite one, two and three.

Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez offers advice the Singletracks podcast on how to get and stay fast on the mountain.

This one’s going on the top of my bike bucket list. A Navajo-owned Dzil Ta’ah Adventures is offering overnight bikepacking and half-day tours of the spectacular Southwestern US Navajo Nation, combining unspoiled wilderness with tribal creation stories.

Hundreds of retired and active duty police officers will ride nearly 1,000 miles around Indiana, visiting twelve cities across the state to honor fallen officers and law enforcement survivors.

 

International

Germany’s version of the Auto Club is now offering roadside assistance to bike riders in Berlin and Brandenburg, with plans to expand the service throughout the country. AAA offers similar services in someparts of the US, but not in Southern California, where the group prefers to pretend that its members don’t ride bicycles.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University will work with experts in machine learning to develop new technologies to capture data on dangerous interactions between bike riders and motorists, in order to map where bicyclists are most at risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a record-setting run of stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has no plans to retire anytime soon.

With the yellow jersey seemingly wrapped up already, Bicycling considers what else there is to look forward to in the final week of the Tour. Cavendish, anyone? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Rouleur considers the youngest and oldest riders in this year’s Tour, and how they rank in the race’s history; at 41, Alejandro Valverde would be the oldest stage winner ever if he claims one this year, while 22-year old Brit cyclist Fred Wright is the youngest rider in the peloton.

Cyclist goes straight to the top, talking with the French woman who runs the company that owns the Tour de France.

Bicycling asks how high Colorado’s Sepp Kuss can climb after winning his first stage in the Tour, suggesting he could win a Grand Tour one day — if he really wants it. Although the Yahoo version of the story has a much better headline, in case Bicycling blocks you. Thanks to our friend Richard Duquette for the link. 

Bicycling questions the legitimacy of the obscure crypto currency company that’s now the new co-sponsor of the Africa-based Qhubeka cycling team, which will be Qhubeka-NextHash starting next year. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Bicycling says the racers turned out for an outstanding Giro Donne stage race won by Anna van der Breggen, even if women cyclists deserve “far more than pathetic payouts and embarrassingly bad livestream coverage.” Here’s the Yahoo link if…well, you know.

Three-time world road champ Peter Sagan is in danger of missing the Tokyo Olympics following surgery to treat an infection caused when he gashed his knee on the chainring in a crash during the Tour.

 

Finally…

So that’s where Luca got his rusty, old bike. Tom Hanks is one of us, thanks in part to wife Rita Wilson.

And that feeling when you’re riding your bike on a haunted highway, and find a head dumped by a mafia hitman.

Good times.

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

 

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