Tag Archive for bicycle safety

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.

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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.

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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

 

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

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

………

Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

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

………

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.

………

Call a happy bike surprise.

………

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.

………

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…

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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

 

Study calls for more and better bike helmet testing, bike/ped safety ratings for trucks and SUVs, and how to live carfree

We’ve said it many times before.

Bike helmets can help in a crash, but not as much as they could.

Or should.

Now Bicycling reports a new study confirms the same thing, saying more rigorous testing is needed to improve them.

  • Bike helmets are designed to protect you against a traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet testing them in a way that mimics real-world falls and collisions has been lacking, a new study suggests.
  • Current manufacturer methods tend to test helmets with falls from right angles, which is how you’d land if the bike was stationary.
  • The research describes a new method of helmet testing where crash test dummies hit the ground at an angle as they were moving—basically, the way you’d actually fall off a bike.
  • However, previous research indicates helmets still significantly reduce the risk of skull fractures and other TBIs, so it’s important to wear one while riding.

That last point is important.

I probably wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing mine during the infamous beachfront bee incident — which is exactly the kind of relatively slow speed fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Not the high speed collisions most drivers seem to think.

But even with one, I still spent a night in intensive care, and the better part of a week in the hospital.

That’s also the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding.

But I’m damn glad I had it on.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

………

Interesting idea.

A bill in the New York legislature would impose a safety rating system on trucks and SUVs to rank the danger they pose to bike riders and pedestrians.

But then what?

Studies have previously shown that the flat grills, high hoods and high road clearance of today’s trucks and SUVS — let alone their ever-increasing size — are a key factor in the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US.

And while it might be helpful to know which vehicles pose the greatest risk, it’s pretty meaningless if that’s as far as it goes.

There needs to be additional action to force improvements for the lowest rated vehicles, such as fines that increase with each drop in safety ratings.

Or better yet, force the SUVs and trucks with the worst safety rating off the road. Then give the next lowest tier five years to improve their safety before removing that one from the road, too.

And keep going until every truck and SUV qualifies for the highest safety rating — which, chances are, none do now.

Yes, safety ratings are a good idea.

But ratings without action will just mean more needless deaths on our streets.

………

They get it.

NACTO, aka the National Association of City Transportation Officials, came out against the proposed transportation bill introduced in the US Senate, arguing it “largely maintains the status quo that made American transportation so inequitable, unsustainable, and unsafe to begin with.”

………

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar tonight to discuss how to live your life carfree.

 

Then again, all you really need is three simple steps.

Step 1: Sell your car.

Step 2: Buy a bike.

Step 3: Ride it. Everywhere.

………

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, planting upright spikes on a Scottish mountain bike path where they were most likely to trap, and possibly seriously injure, unsuspecting riders. And once again, this should be treated as the serious crime it is, not just a mere prank.

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

Florida police arrested a 39-year old ebike-riding man for tossing a cooler full of human shit outside a Jewish school in a Miami suburb, two days after he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a bag of shit at the temple nextdoor.

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Local

Micromobility providers are ready to roll out again as America reawakens from its coronavirus slumber, including Santa Monica-based Bird and West Hollywood’s Wheels.

Nick Jonas credits his wife Priyanka Chopra with helping him recover from a broken rib he suffered falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project with his brothers.

 

State

A 64-year old San Diego man suffered serious injuries when he was cut off by a driver pulling out an alley in the North Park neighborhood, and slammed his ebike into the side of the car; the victim suffered a broken ankle, in addition to other non-life threatening injuries.

The Santa Rosa bicyclist who died last week after he and another bike rider were hit by an alleged drunk driver was a skilled winemaker with the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg; the 12-year old boy who was also injured was not related to him, and just happened to be riding in the same area.

A Sonoma County writer asks how safe it is to ride a bike in the county, then fails to answer the question.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with Little Bellas to encourage more “Black, Indigenous, Girls of Color” to start riding with Little Bellas, which is dedicated to encouraging girls to ride bikes, then to continue riding with the Black Girls Do Bike community once they outgrow the Little Bellas program.

In case you need a refresher, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition explains how to correctly wear a bike helmet. First step, make sure it’s not on backward, which I’ve somehow seen too many times.

A Las Vegas man was killed when he crashed into a small dog while riding a motorized bicycle; sadly, the dog didn’t make it, either.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is reintroducing The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, which would allow local managers to decide whether and how to allow bicycles in wilderness areas; the original bill expired in the previous congressional session before any action was taken.

Arkansas is hosting a statewide bike summit to talk road safety this month.

A Chicago writer says the city’s new bikeshare ebikes are a game changer — so stop tossing them into Lake Michigan.

Peloton is responding to last year’s shortages created by increased demand during the pandemic by building their first US factory in Ohio.

Charges have finally been filed against a Pennsylvania man who killed a man riding a bike back in 2019, while allegedly stoned on methadone, Klonopin and Xanax. The only question is what the hell took so long?

 

International

Road.cc rates the 15 best chain lubes, while examining the eternal question of wet vs dry.

A street-racing Liverpool man was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned for driving for four years for slamming into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with lasting brain damage after languishing in a coma for a full month; the 28-year old future inmate recently suffered a stroke, which he describes as “karma.” The other driver was sentenced to 13 months.

A London police commissioner called for a ban on e-scooters before their wide rollout in the city next month, warning that more people will be hurt. So wouldn’t it make sense to ban cars instead, since they hurt far more people, more seriously?

London should provide more cargo bike parking and make market deliveries by cargo bike, according to a new report from a sustainability think tank.

No bias here. A former Scottish deputy police chief says the bike boom means traffic laws have to be enforced — especially against the people on two wheels.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 76-year old man got just two and a half years behind bars for running over a ten-year old boy on a bike, then backing up and running over him again — as the boy’s father and others watched in horror — while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Fortunately, the kid survived, but with major injuries.

An Irish man faces charges for a strong-arm robbery in which he pushed a woman off her bike as she was riding to work, then punched her in the face as she lay on the ground before making off with her bike, all while “extremely intoxicated” on booze and Xanax.

Cycling Tips highlights six unique brands from the Australian Handmade Bicycle Show, including one that makes wooden handlebars, and another that makes a tail light designed to illuminate the rider’s legs, rather than the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal tightened his grip on the pink leader’s jersey by winning Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro, which was shortened by nearly 40 miles and two mountain passes due to rain and snow.

 

Finally…

No, you probably can’t get this much air on a mountain bike. And sometimes, two wheels are faster than four.

Especially when it’s this four.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Tres shock! LA misses safest bike city list, famed ped superhero at UCLA, and San Diego builds bike lane laps around LA

Is anyone shocked that Los Angeles didn’t make the latest list of America’s safest cities for people on bicycles?

I didn’t think so.

But congratulations to Davis, Chico and Santa Barbara, the three California cities that did.

Maybe in another decade or two we might finally have a shot.

We can dream, right?

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker profiles Mexico City pedestrian superhero Peatónito, who is finishing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UCLA.

And wants to have pedestrian defenders in every LA neighborhood when he leaves.

………

San Diego continues to build laps around Los Angeles, as they work to build out a full network of curb protected bike lanes.

Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

But while Los Angeles continues to rest on its non-laurels as America’s worst bike city, Glendale is installing a new curb protected lane on Los Feliz.

Even if it is just for a block.

………

Gravel Bike California gets a visit from Road Bike Action’s Troy and David to discover Gold Creek, a hidden gem between Big and Little Tujunga Canyons.

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The LACBC is offering a discount for their virtual bike challenge taking place this month.

Here’s what they have to say.

Inviting you to join us in June at LACBC’s new virtual LA Rivers Challenge:  Ride, Walk or Run LA’s Historic Waterways!  A flexible and fun way to ride, walk or run our beautiful L.A. County waterways, at your own pace on days, routes and mileage of your choice.  Suggested routes will be posted on the LARiversChallenge.com website.

Please use this special Friends & Family code “FRIEND5” to register at LARiversChallenge.com and receive a cool neck gaiter/mask, coaching/encouragement emails, routes and information about the historic L.A. County waterways.  Bonus Fun: An optional personalized fundraising webpage can be set up where riders can share progress on their ride(s) online and also raise money to support LACBC’s year-round advocacy on behalf of active transportation in L.A. County.  Rewards and prizes can be earned for meeting fundraising goals too!

Thank you.

The 2021 LA River Challenge – Good for You and Good for LA! For more information and to register for the L.A. Rivers Challenge, visit LARiversChallenge.com.

Challenge Video: https://vimeo.com/545718226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/274494824189732

Twitter: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@LACBC)

Instagram: @lacbc

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Bicycling author Richard Fox is back with the latest update to his comprehensive guide to SoCal bike routes.

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of my guidebook “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It contains 200+ scenic ride options at SoCal’s beaches, deserts, mountains, wine country, harbors, & historic city centers from San Diego to Cambria to Palm Springs, perfect for casual cyclists who enjoy beautiful scenery while avoiding car traffic and major hill climbs. The pandemic bike boom created many new casual cyclists who bought up 2017’s 2nd Edition a year earlier than anticipated. I revisited many of the rides with a Class I ebike, and added notes on how they impact rides, and where to rent or buy them near the rides. The book’s info was updated, more detail was added to many of the maps, and several new rides were added, including an option for a La La Land Griffith Park adventure on closed roads that was too hilly without an ebike for the casual cyclist before.  Other new fabulous rides were added for all in Irvine and Lake Perris, and options in other areas with new infrastructure like Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Coachella Valley, where I spent much of the pandemic lockdown cycling and working on the book update, ended up with a ton of new info and routes, including incorporation of the new CV Link regional path, now in various stages of construction. enCYCLEpedia.net contains additional rides, downloadable maps, features and updates for book owners.  The price of this edition is going up because of higher production costs in the USA vs Asia, but has started on Amazon at a lower price, available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638485380.

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The Oklahoma legislature has sent a bill legalizing the Idaho Stop to the governor for his signature.

And for a change, it’s the full version, allowing bike riders to treat red lights like stop signs, and treat stop signs as yields.

………

This.

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Somehow we missed this one last month, as Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a tutorial on how to politely shred on your fixie.

Meanwhile, Road.cc sings fixies praises, too.

………

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

Police busted a bike riding thief who robbed two women at gunpoint in New York’s Central Park.

………

Local

Bikeshare is officially back on LA’s Westside, with 54 docking stations ready to go, and another 13 in the works.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a 32-year old Paramount man who was last seen April 14th; the 5’7″, 230 pound Hispanic man frequently rides his bike through the area, though it’s unclear if he was on his bike when he disappeared.

 

State

Good news, as California’s proposal for a modified Idaho Stop Law allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields continues to move through the state legislature.

A 13-year old boy suffered moderate injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Seal Beach.

A bike-riding man suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by two drivers in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood in the midst of Wednesday’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations; he was left crossed by a driver trying to make a three-point turn, then hit by another when he was knocked off his bicycle.

A new survey shows Poway residents want more options to ride their bikes, among other concerns.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a Bakersfield bike rider seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver this past Saturday; another rider escaped the crash without serious injuries. The campaign has raised just $1,700 out of a goal of $5,000 in three days.

Nice gesture from the Chowchilla bicycling community, which turned out in force to accompany the body of a 45-year old man killed in a hit-and-run; the driver faces a murder charge after telling police he wanted to kill someone. Sadly, the disabled man, who rode a bike as his only form of transportation, had the misfortune of crossing the alleged killer’s path.

 

National

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bike Kitchen may be closed during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from refurbishing over 200 bicycles and donating them to kids in need.

A crowdfunding campaign for a 13-year old boy killed while riding his bike by a Moline, Illinois cop responding to an emergency call has raised more than $14,000 in just 24 hours, easily topping the original $10,000 goal.

Kansas City moved to legalize jaywalking and cancel bicycle inspections, along with other local laws too often used to target people of color.

Next City suggests Fayetteville, Arkansas could be America’s next great bike city.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan man could spend up to 80 years behind bars for the reckless, hit-and-run deaths of two women riding their bikes; he’ll have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he’s eligible for parole, and pay $250,000 restitution. None of which will bring either of the victims back, though.

New York’s Worksman Cycles traces its history back over 100 years, to the first three-wheeled bikes developed for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company.

A New York bike shop owner received $32,000 in fines for selling ped-assist ebikes, even though they were perfectly legal under city rules; fortunately, he didn’t end up paying a penny of it.

A DC clinic is helping people who’ve lost a limb regain the confidence to ride a bicycle.

 

International

A new bendable tail light raising funds on Kickstarter promises to mark off a safe passing distance; right now you can preorder one for just $35. No word on whether it will extend to a full three-foot passing distance, though.

Bikes really did boom in the UK last year, as 5 million people were “inspired” to buy a bicycle during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of a Dutch fan, LEGO may finally introduce a bike lane set, complete with bikes, bike racks and people to use them.

The Namibian bicycling community is mourning the death of a Canadian man who made a difference in the lives of countless people by talking his family and friends to helping him ship bicycles to the country, before eventually founding a nonprofit to ship and sell them to create jobs, and fund more bikes.

The former model who starred in David Bowie’s China Girl video is now a Kiwi restaurant manager who’s fighting a new protected bike lane, arguing that it will block her deliveries and no one will use it, anyway. Never mind that the first photo in the story shows a delivery driver unloading his truck next to the bike lane directly behind her.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. Grateful Aussie parents are looking for the man who jumped off his bike and leapt into a chilly lake without hesitation to rescue a three-year old boy, who accidentally rode his scooter into a Canberra lake; he then slipped away quietly after saving the boy’s life. No truth to the rumor that he left a silver bullet behind. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur previews the Giro, which kicks off tomorrow in Turin.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he’ll be under a microscope in the Giro, as he makes his comeback from a suspension for causing the crash that severely injured Fabio Jakobsen at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

Never mind the stolen election and deteriorating conditions in Belarus, the European track cycling championships are staying put in Minsk, despite offers from other cities and countries to host them.

Mark your calendar for the Balance Bike World Championships this August. It’s being held in the UK, so your little competitor may need a passport.

 

Finally…

Before you can bomb down the bike trails, you’ve got to get your bike up there. No, a bike lane isn’t a good nap spot.

And next time you want to participate in a Zoom meeting while driving, maybe lose the shoulder belt first.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

California slightly less dangerous for bike riders, Bonin runs for return to city council, and sabotage on a Scottish bike trail

Maybe we’re not quite so bad, after all.

A new report from transportation data analytics firm StreetLight Data creates their own ranking of the safest and dangerous states to ride a bike.

The report uses additional data points to scramble the rankings prepared by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Top 10 Riskiest States for Bicyclists
  1. Delaware (#2 on FARS* per capita report)
  2. South Carolina (#4 on FARS)
  3. Florida (#1 on FARS)
  4. Louisiana (#3 on FARS)
  5. New Mexico (#5 on FARS)
  6. Oklahoma (#9 on FARS)
  7. Mississippi (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. West Virginia (Not in the FARS top 10)
  9. Arizona (#7 on FARS)
  10. California (#6 on FARS)
Top 10 Safest States for Bicyclists
  1. Massachusetts (#1 on FARS per capita report)
  2. New York (Not in the FARS top 10)
  3. Illinois (#7 on FARS)
  4. Pennsylvania (#4 on FARS)
  5. Utah (#8 on FARS)
  6. Tennessee (#2 on FARS)
  7. Minnesota (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. Missouri (#5 on FARS)
  9. Arkansas (#3 on FARS)
  10. Washington (Not in the FARS top 10)

Which means we have just slightly less work to do to make our streets safe and inviting for everyone.

………

Councilmember Mike Bonin is tossing his hat in the ring for a third and final term representing coastal Los Angeles on the council.

One of LA’s most progressive councilmembers, Bonin, who used to bike commute to city hall when he was the top aide to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, has been one of the leading bike supporters on the council in recent years.

Which isn’t saying much.

But it was Bonin who was behind the simultaneous rollout of three much-needed lane reductions and bike lanes in Playa del Rey in 2017.

And who stood firm in the face of massive motorist opposition until he was undercut by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who disregarded his own Vision Zero program.

Not for the last time, either.

Maybe Bonin can use his last few years on the council to have as big an impact on our streets as his late mentor and predecessor.

………

Formerly staid Santa Barbara has taken a surprising turn towards becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly in recent years.

Here’s your chance to learn how, from some of the people making it happen.

………

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

This is who we share the parks with. When a Scottish man confronted a retired couple who had just placed a large log on a park bike trail, they confessed they were intentionally trying sabotage it to injure bike riders so they wouldn’t come there anymore.

………

Local

Supporters of Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan are asking you to reach out to Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to join County Supervisor Hilda Solis and other local leaders in supporting the plan to re-envision Colorado Blvd when a new Bus Rapid Transit line goes in.

Santa Clarita is challenging residents to go green by bike commuting next week.

 

State

Credit the CHP with calling on drivers to operate their vehicles safely around people on bicycles — and not considering bike helmets the beginning and end of bicycle safety. Although the idea of shared responsibility on the streets doesn’t exactly hold true when comparing a two-ton semi-ballistic weapon with a few hundred pounds of flesh and bone. Or less. 

They get it. The Orange County Transportation Authority calls on everyone to “stay active and get outdoors to safely travel by bicycle” during May’s Bike Everywhere month in the county.

’70s alto sax legend Sonny Simmons was down and out in San Francisco, busking on the streets for spare change, when a local jazz promoter happened by on his bicycle and revived his career with a sold-out gig opening for Branford Marsalis; Simmons died last month, six years after a fall left him partially paralyzed and ended his playing career. If he’d been in a car, he probably never would have heard Simmons, and that career revival might never have come.

 

National

Enough with the light bikes. Pink Bike contemplates what’s the heaviest mountain bike their could build for ten grand.

NACTO follows up on last year’s street design grants to ten cities across the US; Long Beach used theirs to create a parklet program to support restaurants in underserved communities.

Gear Junkie examines whether Apple’s new AirTag is the best anti-bike theft device, allowing you to track your bike down if anyone takes it. On the other hand, AirTag also makes it easier for someone to stalk you.

Speaking of Apple, a new iOS update will allow you to use Siri to report traffic hazards to Apple Maps, where they can be seen by other users. Although it’s questionable what it can do when the hazard is “all these damn cars and the people driving them.”

An Arizona website explains how to tour Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and other hidden Utah gems by bicycle.

A Salt Lake City alternative paper considers the best bike bags for riding around the city.

About damn time. A Colorado man has been arrested for 1st degree murder following the disappearance of wife last year, who set out on a Mother’s Day bike ride and was never seen again; countless searches have failed to discover her body.

A retired ranger says banning bikes from Yellowstone’s south entrance until the park opens to cars is like telling people on bicycles to wait until it’s too dangerous to ride there.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Hartford, Connecticut is reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes and better medians on a street where a bike rider was killed last year.

Connecticut is showing California how it’s done, as a proposal to place speed cams in a limited number of school, hospital and work zones around the state sailed through a second legislative committee with bipartisan support; the bill would also prohibit dooring, among other safety provisions. A similar bill to place speed cams in school zones was gutted by California Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach.

Buffalo NY is marking Bike Month with a number of pop-up Complete Streets in the city’s Fillmore District. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

 

International

London’s Independent considers the best cycling shorts for women.

Yorkshire’s historic Bolton Abbey denies using security guards to turn away people on bicycles, despite bike riders saying that’s exactly what happened over the weekend; the estate claims they were just explaining voluntary pandemic safety measures. Sure, let’s go with that. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went for a bike ride with the mayor of Stourbridge on the eve of the country’s local elections, with both looking surprisingly unsteady on their bikeshare bikes. Especially since London’s bikeshare system was popularly known as Boris Bikes when the experienced bike rider was mayor of the city.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali was honored with a Roman Catholic service on he 21st anniversary of his death; the Italian rider helped save over 800 Jews from the Nazis by smuggling papers in the frame of his bike during WWII.

A Slovenian composites company says they can build a road bike for everyday use that weighs less than nine pounds. Even if cycling’s governing body limits bikes to 15 pounds or more.

Hyderabad, India’s bicycle mayor is leading a group of volunteers fighting the country’s horrific Covid-19 crisis by using their bikes to deliver badly needed medicines to the elderly, as well as searching for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators and plasma donors.

 

Competitive Cycling

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says his performance in the upcoming Giro depends on how his balky back responds.

Amber Neben proves you’re never too old to go for the gold, competing against women half her age for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic road team at 46 years old.

The world road cycling championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time, going to Rwanda in 2025.

 

Finally…

Your next bike might have a steering tube — or a front fork. Nothing like a tall bike to make you stand out in any field.

And now you, too, can compete in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 bike race, without the inconvenience of attending the university.

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

……..

Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

………

LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

………

What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

………

If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

………

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

………

Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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