Tag Archive for bicycling crashes

Unidentified bike rider in Torrance crash, Reseda Blvd Complete Streets moves forward, and Colin Powell was one of us

Yet another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

LA County health officials are asking for help identifying a man who was injured in a collision while riding his bike in Torrance Thursday morning.

The victim is described as a man in his 50s or 60s, possibly Asian, 5’3″ and 150 pounds.

He has a muscular build, with short salt and pepper hair, possibly balding in the front, and was riding a bicycle spray-painted in a variety of colors.

While no information was given on his condition, he’s most likely unconscious and unable to identify himself.

Anyone with information is urged to call the hospital at 424/306-6310.

We’ve said it many times before.

Always carry some form of ID with you when you ride a bike, and preferably not something that’s likely to be stolen if you’re incapacitated.

And yes, that happens more than you might think.

I always wear a Road ID when I’m on my bike, and any other time I leave home, since it doubles as my diabetic alert bracelet.

I also carry a slip of paper in my seat pack with my name and emergency contact information, just in case.

Because emergency personnel need to know who you are to access your medical records.

And your loved ones deserve to know where you are if anything happens.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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Here’s something to look forward to.

LADOT offers a progress report on the $19.5 million Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project between Parthenia St and Victory Blvd, which remains a year and a half from completion.

Progress Report 

Over the past few months, City of LA crews have been actively working on the east side of the street starting at Victory Blvd. and moving north, reconstructing portions of the sidewalk and driveways in greatest need of repair, rebuilding corner curb ramps to meet current accessibility standards, and rebuilding broken curbs and gutters. The result will be safer, smoother surfaces for people walking, rolling, and driving on Reseda Blvd.

As of October 2021, crews have completed these elements between Victory Blvd and Sherman Way, and have started on the segment between Sherman Way and Wyandotte St. Crews will return to these segments in 2022-2023 to install the other project elements such as signals, bus boarding islands, and trees. Note that at intersections where changes to the traffic signals are planned, corner curb ramps will be upgraded later, at the same time that the signal work is completed.

What’s Next?

Sidewalk construction activity on Reseda Blvd will continue progressing northward toward Parthenia St, on the east side of the street, through Fall 2022. You can continue to expect intermittent sidewalk and driveway closures and temporary parking restrictions in this area.

Please be mindful of the work crews as you travel – we appreciate your patience as we work to improve this street!

Questions or Concerns?

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There may be a reason. But there’s no effing excuse.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Francisco Bike Index account was restricted on Twitter, apparently for somehow violating their rules by helping people recover their stolen bicycles.

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Always carry a spare bike in case you get a flat.

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

No bias here. A Canadian letter writer wonders when the madness will end, insisting there’s no reason to clear snow from a bike lane because no one in their right mind would ride a bike in the snow. Which is exactly why they need to clear the snow from the bike lanes, so no one has to.

Protesters vandalized planters blocking the street for one of London’s Limited Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, the country’s equivalent of Slow Streets on this side of the Atlantic.

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

The New York bike rider who went on a stabbing spree on and around the Williamsburg Bridge has been charged with attempted murder, as well as assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance; he could face additional charges for his second victim.

Tragic news from Florida, where a Hollywood police officer was shot and killed by a bike-riding car burglar; police arrested the 18-year old suspect.

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Local

Streets Are For Everyone is hosting a Halloween Finish The Ride & Run in Santa Clarita on the 31st.

An editor for the Loyola Marymount student newspaper says it’s time to get rid of the ban on e-scooters on campus, saying it only serves to encourage more driving.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, wants your input to develop an updated county transportation plan.

The San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, is offering grants up to $3,000 for “programs or projects that promote biking through outreach and education” during next year’s May Bike Month. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the man who assaulted an 11-year old boy as he rode his bike to school, standing in front of his bike and grabbing the boy’s wrists to keep him from leaving.

Patagonia examines the bakers behind San Luis Obispo’s Bread Bike, who deliver freshly baked loaves by bicycle, while making new friends by pedaling their way into the community. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

In a Bay Area takeoff on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, a San Francisco comic is hosting the new web series Comedians On Bicycles Getting Bobs, a local doughnut shop.

 

National

CityLab looks at the growing trend of city-owned ebike lending libraries.

Best Reviews gets a jump on the holiday season by recommending the best gifts for bike riders, which also doubles as an ad for Amazon.

A writer for Cycling Tips offers his wish list for the bike industry, including better quality control and backward compatibility, as well as a return to “rad” alloy frames.

Bicycling says light exercise in the days after a concussion may help shorten recovery time. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Utah man was killed when a woman “accidentally” right hooked him — then drove over him after hitting him a second time, before backing up and over him again, and finally pulling forward a third time and running over his bicycle; needless to say, no charges were filed. Although anyone that confused after a crash should never be allowed to drive again.

Evidently, people are tough in Montana, where a bike rider bounced back up after a pickup driver blew through the crosswalk he was riding in and slammed into his bike. Be sure you want to watch the video in the first link; even though the rider appears to be okay, it’s still hard to watch.

The chief of the Waller Police Department in Texas admitted that his agency screwed up mishandled the investigation into the six bicyclists who were run down by 16-year old pickup driver attempting to roll coal, and failing badly. Well, no shit.

Nice story from St. Joseph, Missouri, where fellow students pitched in to buy a high school senior a new bike after his was trashed in a collision.

A student at New York State’s University of Rochester filed a lawsuit alleging she was arrested while riding her bike back to campus following a protest for Black lives, and mistakenly labelled an outside agitator by the mayor and police chief.

New York firefighters issued a warning after a rash of fires caused by lithium-ion ebike batteries.

The National Park Service will work with the DC Department of Transportation to install a two-way protected bike lane along the National Mall.

 

International

Police in Toronto are looking for the owners of an unleashed hit-and-run dog after a man was seriously injured when he collided with it while riding his bike along the beach; no word on the dog’s condition after the crash.

London’s Evening Standard examines how bicyclists became the latest targets of the city’s violent, machete-wielding gangs on mo-peds.

A Streetsblog op-ed considers Britain’s School Streets program to reduce car traffic in front of schools, while improving safety and air quality.

A bike rider in the UK was hospitalized when he fell off his bike and was impaled by his handlebars — something that happens more often than you might suspect, particularly with kids.

While we have to struggle just to get paint on the street, Brussels will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians by building carfree underpasses at the city’s busiest canal crossings.

Your next bike could be a Mercedes-AMG — if you have a spare 16 grand laying around.

Dubai will employ artificial intelligence to detect people riding their bikes without helmets, which are mandatory in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers more details on the decision of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team to take a stand by withdrawing from the USA Crits series they dominated this year, after the race director was suspended by the US Center for SafeSport for undisclosed reasons; news also broke of his previous arrests for possession of kiddie porn in 2007 and 2008.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel intends to challenge for next year’s Grand Tours, but realizes he still has a way to go before he can effectively take on riders like Tadej Pogačar, Egan Bernal and Primož Roglič.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to ride the last ten miles to the bike shop clenching your broken saddle between your butt cheeks. If you’re going for a bike ride, maybe leave the loaded shotgun at home — along with the heroin and coke.

And Colin Powell was one of us, too.

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

LA may not be worst bike city in US after all, bicyclist killed in FL endurance race, and LAPD says they’re not coming

This is just bizarre.

A chart started circulating on Saturday, apparently showing just how bad we have it here in Los Angeles.

Along with just how good Santa Monica does.

The chart, produced by San Diego’s Tower Electric Bikes, allegedly based on stats from PeopleForBike’s City Ratings, ranks SaMo as the best bike city in the US.

And Los Angeles, not surprising, as the worst.

But while that often feels right, something just didn’t add up.

To start, the stats for Los Angeles on this chart aren’t remotely accurate.

Yes, riding a bike in Los Angeles sucks. But we average around 15 bicycling deaths per year in the City of Los Angeles. Not over 6,200 bicycling fatalities per year, which is what the figure they cite adds up to for a city of nearly four million. 

And the other stats don’t align with the source material from PeopleForBikes.

PeopleForBikes puts Los Angeles relatively near the top of their ratings with a 3.0 rating for 2020, compared to a rating of 3.5 — out of a possible 5.0 — for the top ranked cities of San Luis Obispo and Madison, Wisconsin.  

Which would undoubtedly come as a surprise to bike riders in SLO, if not Mad City.

With literally hundreds of cities rated below Los Angeles, there is no way those stats support ranking LA as the worst city bike in the US.

Even if it feels like it sometimes.

In addition, the PeopleForBikes City Ratings bizarrely rank bike-friendly Santa Monica far behind Los Angeles with a 1.9 rating. Not, as the chart claims, first in the country.

And Long Beach, which is generally regarded as the most bike-friendly city in LA County, rates even lower at a very sad — and highly inaccurate — 1.6.

It’s possible that the undated chart may have been circulating for awhile; I recall seeing something similar, if not the same, awhile back. But the stats don’t align with the City Ratings for Los Angeles for 2018 or 2019, either.

So I have no idea where Tower got their stats. But they’re not from the PeopleForBikes page, unless something got badly scrambled somewhere along the way.

And not even close to right.

Photo by Josh Kur from Pexels.

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Tragic news from Florida, where a driver “veered to the right” and slammed into three people riding in a bike lane at 2:30 am, killing one man and seriously injuring two women.

At least one of the victims was participating in the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race.

No word on whether the driver will face charges.

But anyone who knocks down three people riding bikes — let alone kills someone — certainly should.

But given that it happened in bike-unfriendly Florida, probably won’t.

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Don’t expect the LAPD to respond the next time you’re in a collision if no one gets badly hurt.

But you can at least report it online now.

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Yes, the former Mayor Pete, now Secretary Pete, is one of us.

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Somehow, I suspect the chances that Los Angeles would ever shut down a busy road and turn it over to bikes for more than a day are somewhere south of none.

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Another success story.

Bike Index offers free, transferable lifetime registration, as well as your best chance of getting your bike back if anything happens to it. And it’s now used by the LAPD register bicycles and trace recovered bikes.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Let’s see your bike club try this.

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Forget the now-banned super tuck.

Try descending backwards on one wheel.

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

A South Carolina man was shot by someone in a passing car as he rode his bicycle in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

A Birmingham, England bike rider was pushed in a lake when a young man jumped up off a park bench and shoved him for no apparent reason.

A British man punched a 16-year old boy gathered outside a store with his friends, knocking off his bike, again, for no apparent reason — then tried to punch another man who came to the boy’s aid.

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Local

Congratulations, Angelenos, apparently LA is sexy and San Francisco’s not.

Streets For All offers their endorsements for the upcoming LA Neighborhood Council Elections for Mid City West, P.I.C.O., Greater Wilshire, East Hollywood, Hollywood Hills West, and Wilshire Center-Koreatown.

Speaking of Streets For All, the bike PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on the 10th.

A letter writer says skip the elevated parks over the Los Angeles River, and spend the money on “greening the L.A. River banks with linear parks and making the bike path safe and welcoming.”

Santa Monica is testing out the nation’s first zero-emissions delivery zone in a one-square mile downtown district, with deliveries made by everything from electric trucks to batter-powered robots and cargo bikes.

Bikeshare is back in Long Beach, with all racks full for the first time since the program was temporarily shut down last year over Covid fears.

 

State

Carlsbad’s Veterans Memorial Park will center on a family-oriented bike park, complete with a pump track and trails ranging from beginner to expert.

He’s one of us, too. A 66-year old Spanish-speaking farm worker from the Central Valley rode his bike over an hour and took his place in a long line of cars to get his Covid-19 vaccination, after having a mild case of the virus last year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 38-year old man was killed by a truck driver while riding his bike at 3 am.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a shipping container full of donated bicycles from a Novato nonprofit that planned to send them to Africa to literally change lives.

Ebikes are booming in Sonoma County, with sales driven by older riders looking for a little boost.

 

National

Now that’s more like it. A bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate would provide $500 million every year to connect biking and walking and biking infrastructure into active transportation networks, allowing people to travel within a community, as well as between communities, without a car.

Your next ebike could be a $7,500 Jeep.

A beginner’s guide to shifting gears, whatever kind of shifter you have.

A lesson in DIY frame repair, as a writer for Jalopnik shows how to braze a broken Schwinn steel mountain bike frame back together.

Anyone want to move to Missoula, Montana to run a mountain bike advocacy group?

Who needs warm weather when you can ride a fat bike in the snow?

Now that’s more like it. DC’s Vision Zero law has real teeth, mandating that protected bike lanes have to be included on any street when road work is done, if it calls for one in the bike plan. If we had something like that here in LA, we might actually be making progress on both the dust-covered bike plan, and the city’s long-forgotten Vision Zero.

A DC website calls for moving a vital crosstown bike lane away from the White House to avoid frequent closures in Lafayette Park.

 

International

Help suck smog out of the air while you ride your bike.

A British Columbia court says if your ebike looks and rides like a motorcycle or motor scooter, it’s not a ped-assist bike and you need a license and registration to ride it.

After the leader of Toronto’s New Democratic Party party had his bike stolen, he said he hoped whoever took it enjoys the smooth ride and creates their own memories with it.

Manchester United soccer player Roy Keene is one of us, taking to his bike while urging drivers to run him over if they ever see him in Lycra. English soccer great Michael Owen is one of us too, even if he took a dive after forgetting to unclip from his pedal.

https://twitter.com/themichaelowen/status/1365233490686480386?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1365233490686480386%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-26-february-281217

Great idea. Devon, England is attempting to keep drivers in line by passing out free helmet cams to bike riders so they can report drivers who break the law. Maybe if we passed them out to bicyclists — and pedestrians — we might finally tame the mean streets of Los Angeles.

English author and commentator Will Self complains that pedestrians stood around like zombies in a George Romero film after his third bike collision, when a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street.

Richard Harrington is one of us. The Welsh actor, who’s appeared in The Crown, Poldark, Death in Paradise, and a number of other series, took a job as a bicycle delivery rider after screen roles dried up for seven months due to the pandemic.

A Belfast priest thanks everyone who rushed to his aid when he passed out after apparently becoming dehydrated and overheated riding his bike.

A British bike rider was killed while allegedly riding with his head down and at twice the legal alcohol limit; he was accused of running red lights before crashing into the side of a car in the equivalent of a US left cross crash.

A UK advocacy group took the unusual step of urging people not to ride their bikes after a York bridge was closed for flood work without providing a safe alternative.

Heidelberg, Germany is trying to give cars the boot, building bicycle superhighways and carfree neighborhoods to make motor vehicles unwelcome.

Hats off to a goodhearted 12-year old New Zealand girl, who rushed to help a bike rider who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Nothing like breaking your collarbone, then getting back on your bike under brutal conditions under the Australian summer sun to finish a race, just to win a beer — while dressed like Captain America, of course.

 

Competitive Cycling

Longtime cycling announcer Phil Liggett says Lance could have won even without doping, and still have at least some of his once record-setting seven yellow jerseys.

An Iowa newspaper remembers a Black cycling champ from the 1890s — not the legendary Major Taylor, but 15-year old Leo Welker, who overcame a five minute handicap to easily win a 14-mile race. But was blacklisted by the League of American Wheelmen six years later, which banned Black cyclists, including Welker and Taylor, from competing in sanctioned races.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to swerve your bike to avoid a giant sex toy. Riding to war on a spring-wheeled single speed.

And thankfully, I wear spandex.

Wait. What do you mean it’s the same thing?

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

Bike-riding boy injured in Hawthorne hit-and-run, car ID’d in Palos Verdes bike crash, and driver busted in NY assault

This has got to stop.

Hawthorne police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike in a marked crosswalk Friday morning on Rosecrans Ave at Doty Ave.

He was crossing with the light when the driver blew through the intersection at high speed.

And kept going without any apparent thought to the kid he or she left behind bleeding in the street.

The victim is hospitalized with serious head injuries.

Unfortunately, Hawthorne doesn’t share LA’s standing hit-and-run reward system.

But if you know anything, call the Hawthorne Police Department anyway at 310/349-2700.

The sad thing is, though, we already know how to slow traffic and improve crosswalks and intersections to prevent crashes like this. And there are things we could do right now to stop drivers before they flee.

If only our elected leaders had the political courage to actually do something.

But they don’t, and we don’t, because it might inconvenience impatient drivers just a little.

Thanks to Sindy for the heads-up.

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If you’re the driver who hit a bike rider in Palos Verdes yesterday, she’s got your number.

No, literally.

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About damn time.

Police in New York have finally arrested an 18-year old driver who was seen on video arguing with bicyclists taking part in a racial justice ride, before flooring his SUV and intentionally slamming into them.

He was charged with a single count assault and released on a desk appearance ticket.

Just one more example of police and prosecutors failing to take traffic crime seriously.

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Ted Faber forwards news of a newly protected bike lane on Manchester Blvd in LA’s Westchester neighborhood.

View this post on Instagram

The bike lane on #manchester is protected!

A post shared by Ted Faber (@snorerot13) on

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Lime wants to help you scoot to the polls next month.

Lime, the global leader in micromobility, today announced it will provide free e-scooter rides on Election Day, November 3, in an effort to reduce transportation barriers to voting, such as cost, lack of car ownership or COVID-19-related fears over public transit in cities throughout the country. Riders will be able to use the promotional code LIMETOPOLLS2020 to receive two free rides up to 30 minutes on Election Day.

“This is the most important election of our lives,” said Wayne Ting, CEO of Lime. “Healthcare, climate change and the future of so many cities we serve are on the ballot in 2020. At Lime, we’re focused on doing all we can to register voters, ease access to polls, and encourage our riders to vote.”

Offering free rides to the polls is just once part of Lime’s Roll Call initiative to increase participation in this election. The company has partnered with When We All Vote to promote voter registration to riders via email and within the Lime app. They have also joined Power the Polls to encourage riders to become Poll Workers and ElectionDay.org to provide employees with time to cast their vote on or before November 3.

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GCN explains how to remove and fit bike wheels, calling it an essential skill.

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

A road raging Portland driver took offense to a bike rider’s request to drive a little better because they both have a right to the road, firing two shots at the person on the bike. And apparently missed, fortunately.

Police in the UK are looking for a BMW driver accused of deliberately mowing down a man on a bike for no apparent reason; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

An 18-year old British driver walked with community service despite spitting at a pedestrian, throwing soda at a female jogger then tossing the bottle at 15-year old boy, knocking him off his bike, and hurling an egg at a passerby during a six-month “spate of violence” after passing his driver’s test. But other than that, he was a prince, right?

No bias here. After a vigilante Scottish driver punched a bike rider for attempting to filter past a long line of stalled cars, the only one held accountable was the guy on two wheels — for swearing at the driver who hit him.

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Local

Have a direct impact on our streets and your community by volunteering to fill an existing vacancy on your local Neighborhood Council.

Streetsblog looks at how Metro is retooling Westside Metro Bike bikeshare to get rid of the current smart bike system.

Streets for All is hosting a virtual happy hour with StreetsLA General Manager Adel Hagekhalil next Wednesday.

Speaking of Streets for All, they’re asking for your support for a protected bike lane on San Vicente Blvd between Fairfax and La Brea; answer this survey to voice your views.

Great Instagram post about Manny Silva, LA’s godfather of lowrider bikes.

Unbelievable that in 2020, we’re still planning to tear down people’s homes in Downey in order to widen freeways, as if induced demand didn’t exist.

 

State

Huntington Beach has followed Long Beach’s lead in attempting to ban bike chop shops by prohibiting the repair and sales of bikes and bike parts on city property (scroll down). Good intention, but that means you’d be breaking the law if you stop in a park or sidewalk to fix a flat or dropped chain.

A San Luis Obispo woman could face charges for the Tuesday morning hit-and-run that left a Los Osos bike rider with major injuries.

San Jose has passed a new plan calling for 550 miles of bikeways within the next five years, with just 140 miles remaining to be built. Unlike Los Angeles, where the 2035 bike plan has already been tossed aside with 15 years still to go.

More on Contra Costa County’s new $150 ebike rebate program, which should be expanded statewide. Meanwhile, Rice University’s Kinder Institute gets it, calling for ebike rebates to help people replace car trips with bikes.

Walnut Creek’s Rivendell Bicycle Works is taking their own step to provide reparations to address racial inequity, with a 45% discount for Black customers.

Over 3,600 people took part in the Bay Area’s Bike to Wherever Days, despite the pandemic and ongoing fires.

 

National

Sad news, as the publisher for Bike Magazine, which we frequently link to here, takes what could be a permanent pause in publication unless circumstances for print publications improve dramatically; the shutdown also includes sister titles Powder, Snowboarder, and Surfer magazines.

Your next bike shipping container could be made of cardboard.

Fifteen more for your bike bucket list, as Fodor’s Travel lists America’s most scenic bike trails. None of which are in Southern California, of course.

A Denver couple takes ghost bikes a step further, installing a ghost motorized wheelchair in honor of a disabled man killed while trying to cross a busy street.

Colorado Public Radio looks at a man’s 500-mile bike ride to remember the Colorado plane crash that killed nearly the entire Wichita State football team, 50 years after he went down on that plane with his teammates.

MIT compares the benefits of bikeshare and e-scooters, awarding the win to dockless scooters, at least in terms of popularity.

A New York attorney says a five-figure settlement with the city is proof that the shared bike and pedestrian pathway on the Brooklyn Bridge is dangerously overcrowded and must be improved.

Good news from Florida, where a local foundation started to honor a young car crash victim donated $1,300 to buy a new three-wheeled bike for a man with cerebral palsy after his was stolen last week.

 

International

A writer for Electrek examines what he calls a typical Asian-style ebike, while retailing for just $700.

Bicycling offers tips on how to save big on Amazon Prime Day. Although it looks like you’re on your own if you get blocked out by the magazine’s draconian paywall this time.

Canadian DJ Mike the Alien suffered a tragic mountain biking crash last weekend, paralyzing him from the waist down; a crowdfunding campaign has raised over $109,000 for his medical care.

A new insurance report says more bike lanes could help get another 15.7 million Brits on their bikes. Imagine what it could do in LA, where the weather is a hell of a lot better.

Ireland’s transportation minister says bicycling is safer than many people think, calling it statistically safer that it was 20 years ago.

A new app ensures a green wave for Düsseldorf, Germany bike riders, giving them a green light at over 70% of the city’s intersections.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of us. And so is her husband Peter Sarsgaard, as they go for a nearly incognito bike ride in Greece.

Russian bicylists ride nearly 700 miles from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Russia in 16 days, to help plan a route for an upcoming bike path.

That’s more like it. A New Zealand man got more than eight years behind bars for the drunken, high-speed and coke-fueled hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding father — then borrowed a woman’s phone to report his van stolen in a failed attempt to avoid responsibility for his crime.

Australia’s Victoria state has adopted the metric equivalent of three-foot passing law, becoming the final Aussie state to adopt a safe passing distance.

 

Competitive Cycling

A pair of American cyclists have pulled out of this week’s mountain bike world championships after testing positive for Covid-19.

Amazing photo finish in yesterday’s Giro stage, with the winner determined by millimeters.

For once, it wasn’t a race moto that injured a cyclist in yesterday’s Giro — it was a low-flying helicopter that blew debris onto the course, resulting in serious injuries to Italy’s Luca Wackermann, including a possible fractured vertebrae.

American domestic cyclist Sean Gardner smashed the world Everesting record, becoming the first to drop the record below seven hours at 6:59:38.

 

Finally…

Evidently, there is such a thing as a scofflaw bike shop. Not to mention scofflaw ball-chasing cocker spaniels.

And watch out for low flying trees.

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

Morning Links: LACBC calls for action on safe streets, bad day for San Diego bike riders, and anti-bike victim blaming bile

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I was knocked on my ass by another bout with dangerously low blood sugar. Except this time, I couldn’t get back up. 

It took four hours, three fig bars and two cookies to get my blood sugar back up to a minimal safe level. 

Yes, it’s true. 

Your sweets are my life-saving medicine. 

And as anyone with diabetes knows, the toll something like that takes on your body lasts for hours afterwards. 

Which is all a long-winded way to say diabetes sucks. 

So get tested if you’re at risk or have a family history of the disease. Then do everything you can to get your blood sugar back under control, and keep it there. 

Because you don’t want this.

Trust me. 

Now let’s get on with today’s news. Because we have a lot to catch up on. 

Photo by Dan Fador from Pixabay

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We’ve waited a long time for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC, to step up and take any real action on our streets.

Including during my five-plus years on the board, when I fought a losing rearguard action to encourage them to stop working only behind the scenes, and take good fight to the streets.

It looks like that time is finally here.

They even make it easy for you by including the email addresses for the mayor and city council.

  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
  • councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org
  • david.ryu@lacity.org
  • paul.koretz@lacity.org
  • councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.price@lacity.org
  • councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Smith@lacity.org
  • councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Let’s all take a few minutes and email the councilmember for your district. And remember, as the LACBC notes above, to include your address to prove you’re a real, honest to God constituent.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles, contact the councilmembers for any districts where you work or ride, and make it clear you want to be able to bike safely in the City of Angels.

I haven’t had a chance to write my email yet. But I’ll do my best to get it done today.

So I hope you’ll join the LACBC — and yes, me — in demanding safer streets for bike riders, and everyone else, throughout Los Angeles.

And maybe if we all respond, this won’t be the last time the LACBC tries something like this.

If you want to share your email on here, just let me know.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, here’s your chance to tell them to form an associated 501(c)4, so they can engage in direct political action without risking their tax-exempt status.

SoCal’s largest bike advocacy group, the LACBC wants your comments on what direction they should take at a Community Input Forum on Saturday, July 27th, as they regroup to confront the challenges of bicycling in Los Angeles.

You already know what I think.

If not, read these last two sections again.

………

Saturday was a very bad day in San Diego.

In what was initially a very confusing story, a 60-year old man suffered a life-threatening head injury when he allegedly descended too fast on a steep hill in the city’s Park West neighborhood around 3 pm, made an “unsafe” move to the right and somehow clipped a car mirror.

It made more sense when the Union-Tribune clarified that he clipped the mirror of a parked car; he was thrown several feet onto the pavement as a result.

Just three hours later, someone described only as a teenager was riding on Claremont Blvd in Kearney Mesa when he or she was struck by an SUV turning onto the northbound I-805 onramp; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim until it was too late.

Which should be seen as a confession, but usually serves only as a Get Out of Jail Free card to absolve drivers of any responsibility.

The driver remained at the scene, while his passenger jumped out to perform CPR on the victim.

Naturally, the CHP investigators blamed the victim, saying he or she wasn’t riding in the crosswalk. Even though bike riders aren’t expected or required to use a crosswalk.

And even though bicyclists still get ticketed for riding in a crosswalk, which is legal in California following a recent change in the law.

It’s not the first crash at that intersection, either.

Early reports indicated the victim had died, but other sources revised their stories to say it was unclear whether or not the victim was still alive.

Sadly, it seems like prayers and good thoughts are called for in both cases.

Chances are, we’ll hear more about one or both cases in the next few days.

Thanks to JMK for the reminder about the deadly intersection.

………

No bias here.

An anti-bike op-ed from an anti-bike writer in the generally anti-bike New York Post says it’s your own damn fault if you get killed.

The two things that might have prevented this horror — training and adherence to rules — are tellingly absent from the protesting cyclists’ list of demands.Not to put too fine a point on it, cyclists are frequently their own worst enemy, and their presence has made everyone less safe.

Of course, automobiles are more dangerous than bikes, but adding cyclists to the mix, many of whom refuse to obey traffic laws, has compounded that hazard.

Never mind that in many, if not most, of the New York’s recent bicycling fatalities the victim didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

But clearly, he doesn’t let that give him a moment’s pause.

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.

Of course, only affluent people ride bikes.

Even though bike commuters are more likely to come from low income households, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone saddled with monthly car payments — let alone gas, insurance, maintenance and taxes.

And as well all know, anyone who rides a bike arrogantly insists on not getting killed by some random jerk. Like say, the writer of that piece, for instance.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the disproportionately influential, ceaselessly kvetching bicycle-advocacy groups capitalized on every heart-rending fatality to further their agenda.

Nobody elected the advocacy outfit Transportation Alternatives to speak for New Yorkers. It isn’t a safety organization, a cadre of seasoned city planners or even some impartial arbiter seeking what’s best for everyone; it’s a bunch of mainly upscale cyclists trying to make the city more navigable for themselves.

Actually, they did.

TransAlt is one of the nation’s largest and most effective alternative transportation and traffic advocacy groups, composed of thousands of average, everyday New Yorkers who elected the group to speak for them.

Then there’s this BS.

It’s not at all unusual to see them texting or riding hands-free as they careen through traffic. Close calls have become a daily occurrence, especially for the elderly and disabled, whose reflexes aren’t ideal for evading speeding cyclists.

Case in point, two months ago, 67-year-old Donna Sturm died after being mowed down by a cyclist who ran a red light in Midtown. If bicyclists can ride fast enough to kill, they ride too fast to enjoy exemption from the training, certification, insurance and identifiable licensing required for the use of every other vehicle on our streets.

Just wait until someone tells him about cars, whose drivers have killed far more New Yorkers than the single person killed by a jackass bike rider this year.

Not to mention that simply bumping into someone while walking can cause a fatal fall — as can tripping over your own shoelaces.

Which by his reasoning means that every person who steps out of their home or apartment must be trained, licensed, insured and certified.

Good luck with that.

We’ll leave the discussion on this final outpouring of faux journalistic bile.

Bike lanes haven’t made anyone any safer, but they have inarguably taken traffic congestion from bad to intolerable. The narrowing of our city’s critical arteries to accommodate a tiny minority whose vehicles are rendered impractical all winter and on rainy days seems to have been irrationally prioritized with regard to triage.

Maybe he should do just a little research before guessing like that. And missing by a mile.

But then, what would you expect from someone who pops up periodically with his anti-bike, but seems to be a ghost otherwise?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

A Bay Area bike rider was pleasantly surprised when another bicyclist returned his lost money clip, completely intact, just an hour after tweeting that it was missing.

………

Driverless cars may not be coming anytime soon.

But a new company plans to introduce fully automated delivery pods in the near future.

And plans to take your hard-won space on the street to do it, knocking us from second class citizens to ranking somewhere behind a bunch of robots.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An Arizona man faces charges for swerving into a bike lane and killing a bike rider, while under the influence of a veritable pharmacopeia of legal and illegal drugs.

Taylor acknowledged taking methadone — a drug used to treat addiction — earlier that day, but he initially denied any other drug use. After failing several impairment tests, he was arrested at about 9 p.m., according to the report.

Taylor later tested positive for opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine and methadone, the police report said. He told officers he had used meth and heroin earlier in the week before taking methadone the same day as the collision.

Police also found heroin and paraphernalia in his possession, according to the police report.

 

Let’s hope he can manage to get clean in whatever deep, dark hole they throw him in.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the worldwide war on bikes just keeps going on, as someone has been sabotaging popular British bike paths by placing medieval-style booby traps across the trails.

………

Local

Mariah Banks pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year, despite reportedly confessing when she turned herself into the police weeks after the crash.

Metro wants you to help rank their priorities for Our Next LA.

An ebike magazine goes e-mountain biking with recently retired former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who helped get the department back on bicycles.

Burbank is studying how to improve safety for people riding bicycles as part the city’s Complete Streets plan, while the mayor calls for “quick and dirty” solutions.

 

State

Speaking of San Diego, the city has made the first installment in the promise by city leaders to remake the downtown area to be safer and more inviting for people on bikes, with parking protected bike lanes, bollards and green intersections appearing on three streets.

A group of bicyclists are riding across the US to raise money for families in need, starting at the site of the Poway synagogue shooting.

A Santa Maria paper says people in cars may be safer, but bike riders and pedestrians, not so much.

Oakland promises its new equitable bike plan will be accessible to everyone, regardless of identity.

 

National

The new Complete Streets Act introduced in both houses of Congress would require states to set aside 5% of federal highway funds for streets that serve all road users.

It’s getting rough in the Great Plains, as a Kansas cop rear-ended a fleeing bike rider while driving on the sidewalk. And an Oklahoma cop tasered an apparently intoxicated bike rider who refused to stop, even though the victim didn’t pose a direct treat to to the officer or anyone else.

Someone please tell this Illinois TV station that sharrows are not bike lanes.

Pittsburgh bike riders are leaving their bikes on buses. Or someone’s, anyway.

A Pennsylvania doctor thanks the four strangers who saved his life when he was struck with a sudden heart attack while riding his bike.

Speaking for NIMBY’s everywhere, a Boston writer says don’t mess with our street, promising to fight plans for a road diet and bike lanes, in an apparent effort to keep it dangerous.

No shit. New York’s police commissioner agrees that the NYPD’s longstanding policy of ticketing bicyclists following a fatal bike crash is just a tad insensitive. You think?

The New York Times wants to know what the hell happened to a city that was supposed to be getting better for bike riders, while Bicycling says it’s shocking just how badly New York is failing people who ride bicycles.

NYC councilmembers want to ensure the city’s expanding bikeshare program serves low-income residents, too.

Does it really surprise anyone that cars — or more precisely, the people operating them — are more dangerous than guns on the streets of the Big Apple?

A homeless man in Louisiana learned the hard way not to stick around the parking lot begging for money after you walk out of Walmart with a stolen bike.

An op-ed in the local paper says people should warned explicitly that riding a bicycle just about anywhere in the Charleston SC area is inherently unsafe, while the paper hopes the third time is the charm to get approval for a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

International

The good, the bad, and the ugliest bikeways around the world.

A Canadian driver swerved to avoid a crash as a group of Gran Fondo cyclists cut into his lane at the last second to avoid a fall in the peloton.

A Toronto newspaper politely explains the point of ebikes, calling them the great equalizer, while a writer in the city tries bikeshare for the first time, and decides it should be expanded.

A climate change protester shut down a British airfield for 20 minutes to protest a military air show as he road his bike on the runway, pursued by firefighters and service members.

A UK YouTube star became the first person in the country to be killed in an e-scooter crash.

Adding insult to injury, an English thief not only stole a teenage boy’s bike, he flipped the victim off while riding away with it.

Maltese bicyclists complain about dangerously substandard bike lanes. Especially the section that dead-ends into a brick wall. Oh, and the green paint is slippery, too.

An Indian ex-con hated life on the outside, and the abuse he suffered from his wife and kids, so much that he stole a bicycle to get back to his friends behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten won her second Giro Rosa in a row, only finishing out of the top seven twice in the ten-stage race.

In your spoiler-free Tour de France update, the difficult terrain on Saturday’s 8th stage shook up the standings.

Le Tour went gravel grinding last week, forcing French pro Romain Bardet well off the pace.

Amazing photo catches defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas in midair as he crashes, landing on teammate Gianni Moscon while snapping Moscon’s bike in two and sending him to the hospital.

Then there were three. Tejay van Garderen dropped out of the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a fall, leaving just three American cyclists in the raceVeloNews considers why such crashes are inevitable.

The newly reformatted Colorado Classic announced the course for the August race, as it transforms into a strictly women’s stage race.

Horrible news from the world of track cycling, where a 17-year old Italian cyclist was in intensive care after he was impaled when a piece of the track splintered and punctured his lung at the European U-23 and Junior Track Championships.

 

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever crash into outdoor cafes, and when they do, the result is usually a little spilled coffee and avocado toast. Before you sell a bike on Letgo, make sure it’s really yours.

And this is who we share the roads with, too.

Note the bike tally on his door.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in big rig crash on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles

This morning, I received two separate reports of a serious crash involving a bike rider and a tractor-trailer on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles.

David Drexler emailed to say he had driven past a crash involving a tractor-trailer at the southbound onramp to the 405 freeway on Santa Monica Blvd.

I could not get on the highway there at approx. 10 am, ramp was closed and highway patrol looked like it set up an investigation scene.  There was a very crumbled bicycle in the middle lane of the on ramp sitting at the back tires of the truck that was sitting in the lane as well.  The victim must have been removed earlier.

That was followed by this tweet from CG.

Then late this afternoon, Caltrans District 7 confirmed the death on Twitter.

As anyone who has tried to ride that section of Santa Monica Blvd knows, it is a very dangerous, poorly designed and overly crowded intersection, with a high risk of a right hook or left cross from drivers attempting to get onto the 405.

Not to mention the usual jockeying for position from too-often distracted drivers trying to snake through the congestion.

Most riders don’t try it second time, opting for the safety of Ohio Blvd a few blocks to the north; those who do usually stick to the sidewalks, which are often blocked by homeless people.

And even that requires coming off the sidewalk to ride past the onramp.

For whatever reason, this person sadly paid the price for that bad design.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: A GoFundMe page has identified the victim as Frank Guzman; it’s raised over $500 of the $5,000 goal in the first few hours.

A family member describes him like this.

She added this —

Frank was 31, lived in Glendale and is survived by his parents, two siblings, his girlfriend and niece who he adored. He worked full time and was also in school trying to further his education. He was a foodie. Loved to try new things & always seeking adventure.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Frank Guzman and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to David Drexler and CG for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Yours truly gets profiled, Danny Gamboa & Ghost Bikes LA, and LA bike crashes dropping

That’s what happens when you get mad during an interview.

You get labeled as a pissed off bicyclist.

That’s how I was described, accurately enough, in this profile by Jennifer Velez for the LA Taco website.

As I was being interviewed, I felt my anger rising as I described the efforts of Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Curren Price and Paul Koretz to block much needed bike lanes in their districts. Along with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s failure to back his own Vision Zero and Great Streets initiatives.

So I quickly apologized, calmed down and went on with the interview.

Then I later mentioned that I started this site because I was angry about the sorry state of bicycling infrastructure in the City of Angels. Even if I didn’t know it was called infrastructure back then.

Which only confirmed my pissed off status.

Anyway, it’s worth a read if you want to know who I am and why I do what I do.

If not, then read on.

………

It’s not every day I get mentioned in two separate news stories, but I unexpectedly found myself playing a small supporting role in the LA Weekly’s nice piece on Danny Gamboa, the co-founder Ghost Bikes L.A.

And yes, it’s definitely worth a read, as Gamboa has gone from installing ghost bikes to fighting for safer streets so they won’t be needed any more.

I can personally vouch for him as one of the true heroes of Southern California bike advocacy.

………

Bike statistician Ed Ryder has been examining the CHP’s SWITRS bike crash data for California and Southern California, which we’ll be taking a look at as the week goes on.

But here’s an interesting chart to get us started, showing a surprising decline in injury bike crashes in Los Angeles County after peaking in 2012; stats for last December are only partial figures, but still suggest a decline from the previous year.

The question is whether the streets are getting safer, or if fewer people are willing to risk riding on them.

………

Long Beach police shot a man they originally attempted to pull over for unnamed bicycle traffic violations after he tried to flee, then allegedly fought with an officer and attempted to grab his gun.

………

Local

West Hollywood will host a meeting tonight to discuss plans to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on deadly Fountain Ave, although a road diet requested by some residents appears to be off the table.

Patton Oswalt is one of us, as he bikes along the LA River with his kids to the Spoke Bicycle Café.

Long Beach business people are worried that the May 13th start of the Amgen Tour of California will destroy their business on Mother’s Day. Seriously, if you can’t figure out a way to make money off an event that draws an additional 10,000 or so race fans — male and female — to your street, maybe the event isn’t the problem.

 

State

Homeless people living along the Santa Ana River Trail wonder where they’ll go as Orange County finishes clearing out the massive homeless encampment. Unfortunately, there’s not enough housing and supportive services to take them in, which means the problem, for them and the community, will just move somewhere else.

A San Diego bike rider suffered a compound leg fracture when he was hit by an alleged red light-running driver.

Coronado’s mass infrastructure insanity clearly hasn’t improved, as a handful of residents come out to rail against a proposed median that would improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, including fears that transients would sit on it. This is the same community that blocked proposed bike lanes that residents complained induced dizziness and was like tattooing their daughters.

Victorville approves plans for a 4-mile class 1 bike path, as well as 7.1 miles of bike lanes.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light in Oildale.

A Santa Cruz-area driver shows his deep concern for the safety of bicyclists by complaining about two bike riders drifting in and out of a bike lane, forcing drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic to pass them, and saying there should be a law against riding two abreast. Never mind that riding two or more abreast is perfectly legal under most circumstance, as well as “drifting” in and out of a bike lane for any number of reasons. Or that it’s also perfectly legal for drivers to slow down and wait until it’s safe to pass bike riders. In fact, it’s required, whether or not they’re in a bike lane.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Bay Area man has ridden up 3,849-foot Mt. Diablo for 500 weeks in a row.

A mufti-clad pseudo Petaluma bike cop pulled over a motorist and demanded personal information and cash for on the spot to pay the fine for the alleged offense. A real bike cop will have a uniform and badge, and will never ask for payment on the spot. Unless he’s asking for a bribe, which is a different matter entirely.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed riding across a highway to get to a bike path.

 

National

A former mountain biker turned distance runner recommends micro-dosing with dope to reduce pain and improve performance. Which is now more or less legal in California, as long as you don’t tell the feds.

Bicycling says sharrows don’t actually suck if used correctly, and lists 25 milestones most new cyclists can’t wait to reach. Many of which countless new and old bicyclists have never done, nor wanted to. Myself included.

El Paso, Texas and Mexico’s Ciudad Juárez are in discussions for North America’s first international bikeshare system crossing the Rio Grande.

A Dallas paper questions whether leaving dockless bikeshare bikes on the sidewalk is more than an inconvenience to handicapped people, possibly violating the American’s with Disabilities Act. Good question. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Missouri couple are facing manslaughter charges after their dogs fatally mauled an 83-year old neighbor as he was riding his bicycle.

A Minnesota paper looks at ghost bikes in the Twin Cities, which are technically illegal in the state.

St. Paul MN takes a pass on a dockless bikeshare system being installed by its twin city.

Detroit is unveiling a new indoor velodrome with an inflatable roof today; just one of three in the US, including the VELO Sports Center at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Winter fat bike riding is increasing in popularity in Maine.

Nice piece in the New York Times, as a documentary filmmaker describes how getting back on her bicycle saved her life as she went through a separation, then a divorce.

Proof bike riders are tough. A New Orleans man rode several blocks for help before collapsing after he was shot several times.

 

International

Here’s what happens when city officials don’t back down on bike lanes, as opposition to Vancouver bike lanes has died away, and bikeways are no longer seen as a campaign issue.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail says we can’t assume streets are for cars if we want pedestrians to be safe.

The BBC asks what’s keeping women off bicycles, then points the finger at sexist and rude comments from drivers and male cyclists.

What’s more impressive? That a London management consultant quit his job to fish plastic out of the Thames, or that he built his own DIY floating bike to do it?

UK endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt passed away last week, apparently of natural causes, at just 40-years old; he held the record for the fastest crossing of Europe, traveling 4,300 miles in less than 22 days.

A British man uncovers a 199-year old hobby horse in an abandoned barn; the forerunner of the bicycle was one of just 320 built in 1819, and just one of 12 know to survive.

Former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher is one of us, too. Although it looks like he could raise his seat a tad.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a judge said he saw no point in sending a killer driver to jail.

Caught on video: A Dutch bike rider struggles against an intense headwind during last week’s storm. Been there, done that; I’ve actually been pushed backwards by a strong wind, as well as knocked off my bike by a sudden gust.

Alas, poor Yorick! Take a bike tour along the “Danish Riviera” to Hamlet’s castle.

City Lab looks at the long transformation of Paris into a more livable city, cutting driving mode share 45% since 1990, as traffic fatalities have fallen 40%. And if formerly traffic-choked Paris can do it...

Dubai continues to build cycle tracks, with 323 miles planned by 2021.

Caught on video too: An Australian cyclist captures a horrifying first person perspective as he gets stabbed by a road raging driver, after complaining a dangerous pass. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Singapore hasn’t been spared by the scourge of abandoned — and sometimes submerged — dockless bikeshare bikes.

A Scottish writer goes bicycling through the cars and cows and hens and fumes of Kathmandu, feeling like a medieval soldier hacking his way through enemy ranks.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African cyclist Daryl Impey won Australia’s Tour Down Under; he was tied with Richie Porte after Saturday’s penultimate stage, but was declared the leader after a tie-breaking countback of stage placings, and managed to stay out of trouble on Sunday’s final stage.

Women competing in the Tour Down Under got prize money parity with the men after the South Australian state government pitched in an additional $90,000; Australia’s Amanda Spratt took the general classification as well as Queen of the Mountain.

Pressure is increasing on Team Sky to suspend Chris Froome over his failed doping test for overuse of an asthma drug. Meanwhile, researchers say it’s time to scrap the Therapeutic Use Exemptions that were employed by Froome and Team Sky, for the short and long-term health of the cyclists.

 

Finally…

Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a fat-tired, handlebar-equipped, gyroscopic e-unicycle? Don’t wear a mask when you ride, or you may frighten schoolgirls and start a police investigation.

And more proof bike riders are tough. A 12-year old Aussie boy broke his back in eight places riding his bike off a cliff into a lake, then rode home after being dragged back to shore.

 

Morning Links: Surprising stats on CA bike crashes, and unarmed bike rider shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic

LA County is by far the most dangerous place in California to ride a bicycle.

Or maybe not.

Following up on his brief look at national bicycling crash stats, Ed Ryder is back with a more detailed look at bicycle injuries and fatalities on a countywide basis in California, from 2004 to 2016. And the results are both exactly what you might expect, and very surprising, depending on how you look at the data.

The good news is, bicycling fatalities dropped slightly in 2014, following a steady upward climb from 2009 to 2013, while injuries continue a gradual decline from a peak in 2012.

State Report 1

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles, as the state’s most populous county, led the way with 41% of bicycling injuries, followed by Orange and San Diego Counties.

State Report 2

The same held true for bicycling fatalities, as Southern California counties dominate the stats, led by Los Angeles at 30%, followed by Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino.

State Report 3

However, the surprise comes when you look at injuries and fatalities on a per capita basis.

When Ryder examined the rate of injuries per one million population, he found that Los Angeles County barely made the top ten, coming in just above the state average. Santa Cruz County led the way, followed by San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Marin and Yolo.

State Report 4

When he looked at the rate of fatalities per one million population, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top ten. It turns out that Stanislaus County is actually California’s deadliest place to ride a bicycle, followed by Tulare, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. However, Southern California was still well represented with Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange Counties making the list.

State Report 5

So what exactly does this mean?

It could be more evidence of the safety in numbers effect, as you’re more likely to be injured in less populated counties.

Or the low death rate could be evidence of lower average speeds and better access to emergency care in Los Angeles County.

But the main thing it shows it that too many people are still getting injured or killed on our streets.

And we need to keep fighting until the last person killed riding a bicycle in California really is the last person killed riding a bike.

You can read the full report on California bicycling injuries and fatalities here.

………

Questions are being raised after LA sheriff’s deputies shot an unarmed bike rider in Castaic Tuesday night.

The victim, a homeless man named William Bowers, reportedly jumped off his bike and tried to flee on foot as the officers chased him. He was shot when he allegedly reached for something in his waistband.

However, a witness says he was just walking down the street, after crashing his bike when deputies ordered him to stop, and had his hands down at his side when they opened fire.

The Times says it was unclear why the officers tried to stop him in the first place.

Local residents said the victim was well-known in the area. And despite suffering from drug problems, he never caused any trouble, though he did have a habit of trying to get away from deputies on his bike.

It wasn’t that long ago that shooting an unarmed man was enough to cost an officer his badge.

Now the accusation that someone reached for his waistband is enough to exonerate a cop.

Even if the victim was just trying to hold up his pants.

………

Cyclelicious takes a deep dive into the Caltrans/UCLA report on bicycle crashes in LA County. If you don’t have the time or patience to dig through the full 97-page report, he offers an excellent summary of the key details.

………

Bike SGV is hosting a used bike sale today through Saturday.

Bike SGV Used Bike Sale

………

Defending silver medalist Lizzie Armistead insists she’s clean as she prepares to lead Britain’s cycling team into the Rio Olympics; she claims the missed drug tests weren’t her fault. Although missing three drug tests in 12 months does not exactly inspire confidence; after the repeated denials from Lance, Floyd, et al, it’s hard to believe anyone who denies doping these days.

Bicycling gets in the mood for Rio with five crazy moments in Olympic cycling history.

………

Local

Metro votes to put the transportation tax increase, including funding for bike and pedestrian projects, on the November ballot.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses the new law requiring temporary plates on newly purchased vehicles, which should help identify hit-and-run drivers.

CiclaValley continues his report on the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

There will be a fundraiser this Saturday for bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali’s grass roots effort to unseat anti-bike CD1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, aka Roadkill Gil.

Covina police arrest a burglary suspect who fled by bicycle after breaking a car window and stealing a purse.

The host of Tom Explores Los Angeles will explore the history of Santa Monica later this month with a tour that’s part walking and part bikeshare.

 

State

Mind the letter of the law in OC this weekend, where sheriff’s deputies will be enforcing traffic violations involving drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, in the latest effort to improve safety for the latter two.

Exclusive La Jolla may get a few docking stations for San Diego’s bikeshare system whether they want it or not. Meanwhile, a La Jolla man has discovered the alleys of the community because he’s not comfortable riding his bike on the street.

The madness continues in Coronado, as a letter writer says a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge would just bring more transients. Because evidently homeless people can’t figure out how to take the ferry, or follow the bike path around the bay to the strange little town.

A suspected Palm Springs car thief fleeing from the CHP on a bicycle suffered minor injuries when he allegedly swerved left into the patrol car that was driving right beside him. Sure, that’s credible; a suicide swerve makes much more sense than the cops cutting him off with their car to stop him.

Congratulations to Bakersfield on 29 new bouncing baby bike racks.

Bay Area advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian bridge over an estuary near Jack London Square.

An Oakland man was shot in a bike-jacking. Seriously, if someone has a weapon, just let them have the damn bike. No bicycle is worth your life.

 

National

A new Streetfilm says building an equitable bikeshare system is possible.

A man and his dog traveling cross-country by bike were both banged up when their rear wheel “exploded” while riding in South Dakota.

A group of Columbus OH cyclists will ride in purple tutus this weekend to honor a friend who died of leukemia.

A bicyclist slammed into a pedestrian in New York on Wednesday. Notice how no one ever seems to suggest that it might not have been the rider’s fault in cases like this, even though the pedestrian was jaywalking.

A New York study shows protected bike lanes reduce bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities at intersections by a whopping 53%. Despite claims by some that protected lanes would leave riders more vulnerable at intersections.

A Pennsylvania bike rider offers seven reasons not to hit a bike rider with your car. Reason #8: I know a lot of good lawyers.

The coaching staff of the Washington Redskins commute to training camp by bicycle, despite what they describe as a wild ride dodging car doors and riding salmon.

She gets it. A Charleston SC columnist says it’s time to stop bitching about traffic caused by a bike lane on a bridge, and focus on building a community that serves and protects all people, not just the ones in cars.

An off-duty Charleston cop has been charged with assault and battery following a fight with a salmon cyclist; the officer resigned while the case was under investigation.

A pair of Hilton Head SC thieves stole a pickup from a driveway, and left a bicycle in its place. Sounds like the owner of the truck may have gotten the better end of the deal.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores the eternal question of what’s the right tire pressure.

If you build it, they will like it. Saskatoon, Canada residents are happy with a pilot bike lane network in the downtown area, even if it leaves a lot to be desired.

A Welsh woman was killed when she rode off a the edge of a ravine in the Pyrenees while cycling in a heavy fog.

Brit commenters argue over who’s at fault when video surfaces of a bike rider getting right hooked as he overtakes a taxi, whose driver failed to signal. So why does it have to be one or the other? Isn’t it just possible that both of them might have contributed to the situation?

An 81-year old Pakistani man is scraping by as a Lahore rickshaw driver after being hailed as a hero when he competed for the country as a cyclist in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Kiwi mail carrier goes out of his way to get a few licks from a nine-month old German Shepherd.

Malaysian authorities raided the country’s cycling officials after accusations of substandard tracks and a lack of safety barriers during the recent Malaysia Games, even though funds had been allocated for the courses.

 

Finally…

No, really. It’s okay if you blow that red light, because you’re just following the rules of calories. How to tell if you’re a Fred.

And yes, you can cart a caribou carcass by bicycle.

 

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