Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

Man killed riding a bicycle on the Gardena Freeway in Compton Thursday morning

Once again, a bike rider has been killed while riding on a SoCal freeway.

According to a story from the City News Service, 43-year old Compton resident Nelson Mariano Velez-Segovia was inexplicably riding in the right lane of the 91 (Gardena) Freeway near Wilmington Ave in Compton early Thursday morning.

At 6:40 am, a driver was reportedly unable to avoid him, and slammed into Velez-Segovia at roughly 55 mph.

Not surprisingly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The LA County Coroner’s office places the location as the freeway onramp; however, neither source mentions which direction he was traveling in.

No explanation is given for why he was riding on the freeway, particularly in the traffic lane; bicycles are prohibited from all limited-access highways in Los Angeles County.

It’s possible he may have been riding on the shoulder, and moved into the traffic lane when the shoulder disappeared at the onramp. Or he may have been forced into the lane by cars entering the freeway.

Unfortunately, we’ll probably never get any answers beyond what is contained in the brief story.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Nelson Mariano Velez-Segovia and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Why LA’s Vision Zero is failing, rebutting SaMo Jump bike death rumor, and getting the helmet story wrong

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The LA Times belatedly discovers the rising pedestrian death toll in the US, but neglects to mention the corresponding jump in bicycling fatalities.

And they put the national figures in context with the City of Angels, along with what passes for an LA Vision Zero program.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The city has completed hundreds of projects, but the pedestrian death toll has soared — up 80% from 2015 to 2017, when 134 died. The number killed last year dipped slightly, to 127.

Eliminating traffic deaths is an “aspirational” goal, Dan Mitchell, chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said. “But what other goal is acceptable? How many people, if it’s not zero? How many people should be allowed to die just getting around the city streets?

And there’s the problem.

We were told the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was “aspirational” shortly after it was unanimously approved by the LA city council, too.

That’s exactly why Vision Zero is failing here, when it’s succeeding in other places. 

Because Vision Zero isn’t aspirational. And it’s not a goal.

It’s a commitment.

It’s an unshakeable commitment to do whatever it takes to stop traffic deaths, and not settling for a lousy “aspirational” vision.

And until our elected leaders and the people charged with carrying it out get that, people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Whether they’re on two feet or two wheels.

Or surrounded by two tons of glass and steel.

………

Two bike riders were seriously injured in Santa Monica collisions over a three-day period last week.

Persistent rumors have spread online saying the first victim, a teenage boy riding a dockless Jump ebike, was killed when he was struck by the driver of a Mini Cooper at 20th and Santa Monica Blvd Thursday afternoon, or that he passed away sometime afterwards.

As of Monday afternoon, neither was true.

At last word, he was still receiving care at a local hospital, though medical privacy laws prevent the release of his name or condition.

So let’s all say a prayer or send a few good thoughts in hopes that remains the case until he’s able to walk out on his own power.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

A Boston TV station says a new UCLA/Drew University study shows that the vast majority of bike riders don’t wear helmets.

Except it shows nothing of the sort.

As we mentioned yesterday, the study measured how many people who suffered head and neck injuries while bicycling were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

It had absolutely nothing to do with measuring bike helmet usage in general.

The study concluded that just 22% of those injured bike riders were wearing helmets.

Not that only 22% of bike riders do, which is a completely different thing

………

For today’s video entertainment, the world’s first front flip tsunami on a downhill bike. And no, I didn’t know what that is, either.

………

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

Gangs of UK moped riders are getting their jollies filming themselves pushing people off their bicycles, which could result in serious injuries.

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

New York police are looking for a bike-riding groper who’s attacked four women in recent months.

And sometimes it’s both.

Road-raging bike and Vespa riders come to blows — and kicks — in a Denver park. As the news anchor says, that’s not a good look for anyone.

Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, not C-R-A-N-E as I mistakenly wrote yesterday — for the heads-up.

………

Local

CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is looking for a $4 million grant to complete a 2.2-mile bike path on the east side of the LA River in Atwater Village. Los Angeles officials love bike paths, because they get people on bikes off the streets without annoying people in cars. Maybe he could look for a similar grant to fund the road diets and protected bike lanes that might actually improve safety in his district. Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.  

A man on a bike was fatally shot in South LA’s Florence-Firestone neighborhood Sunday night; unfortunately, there’s no information on the shooter, or the victim.

KNBC-4 reports on a possible bike chop shop at a homeless encampment in Playa del Rey, apparently failing to notice what goes on at virtually every other homeless camp in the LA area.

Santa Clarita is adding new bike lanes in Saugus and Valencia after making sure they won’t affect traffic circulation. Because God forbid you should slow down a few cars to save a life or two.

Streetsblog looks back at Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica.

Groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor was one of us. And so is legendary actress Pam Grier, who bought him a bicycle so they could ride on the beach together.

 

State

He gets it. A writer for a car and motorcycle enthusiast website says California’s new law allowing some low-income people to trade their cars for ebikes is great, but it’s another thing to ensure they’re safe on the streets once they do.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Diego, where someone posted flyers claiming that everyone now supports the controversial bike lanes on 30th Street, copying the ones posted by opponents a few weeks ago. Note to KUSI TV — The message on them may be fake, but the flyers are real.

Palm Desert plans to start work next year on their five-mile segment of the planned 50-mile CV Link multi-use path around the Coachella Valley.

A Palo Alto driver, who says he’s wished for safer biking conditions for decades — honest! — wants to know who decided  to “make driving harder, slower, more dangerous and difficult” to do it. And insists on trotting out the myth that whole classes of older and disabled people can’t ride bikes.

Streetsblog SF says San Francisco police were quick to blame the victim when a 73-year old bike rider collided with a driver last week, even though the intersection itself could have been to blame.

A 67-year old Oakland man says that as a lifelong bicyclist, he’s never obeyed all traffic laws, nor should he, because trying to make bicyclists obey laws written for cars is like trying to herd cats (scroll down). Which brings up one of the best commercials ever.

 

National

Now that’s a bikepacking trip. A woman rode solo, much of it off paved roads, to map all 2,200 miles of the Pony Express route from St. Joseph MO to Sacramento.

Oregon welcomed Bontrager’s new WaveCel technology to its new home in a Wilsonville warehouse.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is one of us. Or was, before someone stole her ebike from a doubly secured garage; fortunately, she had the good sense to register it for free with Bike Index and add it to their nationwide stolen bike database. Although a Seattle radio host wants to know why Bagshaw’s stolen bike mattered more to police than her daughter’s did.

A Bellingham WA newspaper asks what the proper hand signals are to use when riding a bike. That depends entirely on how pissed off you are at the time.

Sad story from Washington, where a hit-and-run driver marked a stranger’s 34th birthday by fatally running him down with his car as the man was riding his bike back home to his family. Let’s hope they find the schmuck.

Kindhearted Tucson police buy a new bicycle for a young man whose bike was stolen after learning it was his only form of transportation.

A Utah researcher spent 125 days riding 2,300 miles around the Great Salt Lake on a mountain bike pulling a trailer — and getting shot at — to study the risk of dust pollution as the lake continues to dry up.

Two years later, there still hasn’t been an arrest, or any named suspects, in the murder of mountain biker Tim Watkins, who was shot while riding on a Southern Colorado roadway; the non-suspect list includes a man who was arrested shortly after Watkins death for threatening hikers and bicyclists with a hatchet on the same road.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists have had enough, and are planning a die-in to protest recent bicycling deaths.

Chicago puts its money where its Vision Zero is, investing $6 million to improve dangerous streets on the city’s West Side.

An Illinois cop’s own body cam shows him citing the law to a well-versed bike rider, who politely points out that he got it wrong. And insists on a ticket so he can prove in court that the officer doesn’t know the law. It’s a common problem. Most cops receive little or no training in bike law, so they go by truncated cheat sheets or what they think it is. And too often, they’re wrong.

Maybe he’s not paying attention. Detroit’s mayor said reports of e-scooter injuries are BS.

That more like it. Ohio officials will install an 11-mile bike lane on a highway where two bike riders have been killed in recent years, while noting that it can’t keep drugged drivers off the roads.

Bicyclists in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood are calling a protected bike lane on Grand Street a grand failure due to the city’s failure to use stronger barricades to keep cars and trucks out.

New York has finally decided not to ban bicyclists during the UN General Assembly next week, instead creating a special protected bike lane to replace two being shut down for it. But they will have to pass through a security check.

Gotta hand it to a New Jersey bike thief, who swapped his bike for a better one at a train station, but at least had the decency to lock it up using the victim’s own bike lock and replaced the victim’s helmet on it before riding off. Although he or she might want to consider investing in a better lock next time.

A bike-riding Miami high school student was seriously injured when he was struck by an on-duty police sergeant headed back to the motor pool.

 

International

The president of the European Cyclists Federation says the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of the EU Commission are the perfect opportunity for legislators to turn their words into action and refocus on safe bicycling and walking.

Edinburgh bike riders are gearing up for this weekend’s worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride, a movement that began in Turkey seven years ago to mark World Car Free Day and encourage more women to ride bikes. If there’s an LA edition of the ride this weekend, let me know.

Paris is planning to offer residents a 500 euro incentive to buy an ebike — the equivalent of $550 — to help get more cars off the streets. Something Streetsblog says the US should be doing. Or at least something Los Angeles should do when and if they actually give us a safe place to ride them.

A 20-year old Malawi man is facing a murder charge for twisting his 12-year old nephew’s neck after catching him riding the man’s bicycle, then dumping the boy’s body in a pit latrine. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. And you probably wouldn’t want to.

The swooping Magpie that caused a fallen Australian bicyclist to crash was so well known to locals that they named it…wait for it…Swoop Dog.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? South African pro Willie Smit finished another 16 stages of the Vuelta with 16 stitches in his knee following a mass crash in stage 15.

https://twitter.com/williesmurfy/status/1170612880594673664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170612880594673664&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcyclingtips.com%2F2019%2F09%2F16-stitches-and-a-life-of-pain-willie-smit-is-cyclings-toughest-rider%2F

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on a bicycle, try to make sure the cop chasing you isn’t in “near Olympic shape.” Complete Streets, you complete me.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: Sonoma man faces retrial in death of bike rider, new video in South LA hit-and-run, and Florida duck murderer

Maybe two times will be the charm this time.

A 75-year old Sonoma County man will face a second trial in the death of a Sebastopol woman, who was killed while taking part in a 2016 charity ride.

The driver faces a single count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for either striking the bike rider while driving on the wrong side of the road, or causing her to lose control and fall.

The driver said he thought he had plenty of room to pass a slow moving truck without hitting the pair of bicyclists coming in the opposite direction, and only realized he might have been wrong when the driver’s side mirror fell off his truck.

An investigator for the CHP somehow concluded that there was no evidence of a crash, apparently believing the man’s mirror just happened to fall off the same time he passed the victim.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

An earlier trial ended in a hung jury, leaning 10 – 2 in favor of a conviction.

Apparently most of them didn’t buy it either.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD has released another video of the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a 15-year old boy as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk.

Fortunately, Roberto Diaz survived the crash, though he remains in the ICU following five surgeries, with at least one more planned for today.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at 213/833-3713.

………

Looking for a good cause to support?

The One Bicycle Foundation urges you be a hero to a kid by supporting their efforts to give bicycles to children in poor countries.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An apparently drunk Florida man was arrested for duck murder after witnesses say he deliberately ran over a family of ducklings swimming in a puddle in the roadway, killing two and seriously injuring a third.

Schmuck.

………

Still more kindhearted people, as a Houston TX truck driver collects and refurbishes old, unloved bicycles, and gives them away to people in need.

After a nine-year old Cleveland girl calmly called 911 to report the bike she got for her birthday had been stolen, dispatchers pitched in to buy her a new one, with a helmet and lock, too.

After police rescued a five-year old Boston-area boy who wandered off in his pajamas, while pushing a bike with flat tires and a missing training wheel, an anonymous donor gave him a new one, along with supplies for the new school year. 

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the toxic vitriol directed at supporters of the proposed Nordhoff bus rapid transit (BRT) lane by local NIMBYs, including one woman who called a 19-year old American-born college student an “ignorant Oriental.” Nothing like trotting out outdated, racist slurs to win friends and influence people. Then again, that seems to work with some people these days.

LAist nails it, reporting that yes, Uber and Lyft are contributing to LA’s traffic problems, but LA drivers should take a hard look in the mirror before pointing fingers.

A writer for LA Downtown News ponders bikes, rivers and homelessness in Berlin, Paris and Los Angeles, concluding that if two great European cities can come up with the answers, a great metropolis like LA should be able to, too.

Great piece from LA Taco on how to ride public transportation in Los Angeles, including tips on taking your bike on Metro buses and trains.

Do we really need to see more photos of “ruggedly handsome” Arnold riding his massive fat tire bike through the streets of LA? I didn’t think so.

WeHoVille calls on everyone to get out of your house and out of your car for Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

 

State

No surprise here, as a San Diego group has filed suit over plans for protected bike lanes on 30th Street, alleging it’s illegal because they’re not included in the community plan, and the community didn’t have enough time to weigh in on the loss of parking spaces.

Coronado police use a bait bike to bust three bike thieves in just 72 hours. Meanwhile, the LAPD won’t use bait bikes over fears of being accused of entrapment, even though they’ve been successfully used throughout the state.

Sad news from Clovis, where a bike rider was killed when a 17-year old driver drifted onto the shoulder of the roadway.

Modesto police have issued a BOLO alert (aka, be on the lookout) for a red light-running, hit-and-run driver who injured a bike rider this past July.

 

National

Dominos is turning to ebikes to solve the problems of parking and traffic congestion for their pizza deliveries, while allowing the company to hire people who don’t have a car or driver’s license.

Now that’s more like it. A Seattle councilmember wants to force the city to build bike lanes by requiring them on any street that gets at least $1 million in roadwork.

Boise, Idaho is considering a petition to make a key bike route less safe by reversing a road diet and ripping out the bike lanes, along with the improved crosswalks kids use to get to and from schools. But hey, if it allows drivers to go zoom! zoom! again, that’s all that really matters, right?

South Dakota property owners sing the refrain of NIMBYs everywhere, saying they support bike lanes — just somewhere else.

Residents of a disadvantaged Kansas City neighborhood are questioning why new bike lanes took priority over more pressing community needs, like dealing with blight, crime, illegal dumping and aging infrastructure.

It takes a major scumbag to steal a bicycle after the Houston man riding it was killed in a crash. Unless maybe it was taken by the man’s riding companion, for reasons known only to him or her.

Minnesota police bust a serial bike thief who was selling the purloined bicycles through Facebook to support his drug habit.

New Haven CT police put out a BOLO alert for a wheelie-popping reckless bike rider who allegedly almost caused drivers to crash.

The recent rash of New York bicycling deaths has bike riders wondering if drivers have a license to kill. Short answer, given the reluctance of the NYPD to hold drivers accountable, yes.

New York’s part-time mayor and full-time presidential candidate Bill de Blasio calls for charges against the speeding, red light-running teenage driver who caused the crash that killed an innocent bike rider, while his fellow politicians put the blame on de Blasio. Meanwhile, the victim was remembered as an advocate for bike safety.

New York will soon have a 750-mile biking and walking trail crisscrossing the state. Meanwhile, California doesn’t. And won’t anytime soon, if ever.

Next up on DC’s micromobility agenda, 30 mph dockless mopeds.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to help build a protected bike lane on the street in front of their planned second headquarters in Arlington.

 

International

A Vancouver website says don’t place construction signs in the middle of the damn bike lane. Okay, I may have added the invective to that; they politely called it a terrible mistake. But still. 

The family of an Ottawa man is demanding answers after he was critically injured in a collision, saying not enough is being done to protect people on bicycles. Nice reporting job by the Ottawa Citizen, which managed to get through the entire story without mentioning that the vehicle that hit him had a driver.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia city councilor wants to copy Oregon in placing a $10 to $20 tax on the purchase of any new bicycle. But that’s just the start; he also want bicyclists to be registered, insured and licensed, just like the cars they’re not.

Good question. A British letter writer wants to know why some people always have it in for bicyclists.

Yesterday we mentioned the London woman who was looking for the man who gave her a bicycle as a child in a Dutch refugee camp; the Guardian reports she found him, and will soon get to thank him in person.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hundred of people turned out for the funeral of fallen pro cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht in his Belgian hometown; the 22-year old Lotto-Soudal rider was killed when he struck a concrete culvert while competing in the Tour of Poland. And yes, his teammates attended the funeral.

Denver will celebrate the new four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race with a free bike expo and open streets event.

 

Finally…

A-tisket, a-tasket, find your perfect basket. Forget ebikes; your next bike could run on a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.

And peak NIMBYism is fighting the bike lane that was never in the plans to begin with.

 

Morning Links: Which Way LACBC tomorrow, New York takes Vision Zero seriously, and Rutger Hauer was one of us

Thank you everyone for your kind and comforting words about the Corgi.

I apologize if I haven’t been able to get back to you yet, but I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to reach out or leave a comment. It’s brought some real comfort in a difficult time. 

The Corgi still has a smile on her face, and you helped put one back on mine. 

………

Let’s start with a reminder about the Los Angeles Bicycle Coaliton’s Which Way LACBC open house this Saturday, to get your input on what you’re looking for from the county’s leading bike advocacy group.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman about the organizations drift and mismanagement following the departure of former ED Tamika Butler, and the opportunity for reinvention.

Who should come on Saturday?

Everyone. Literally anybody who’s ever been on a bicycle. Anybody who’s ever ridden mass transit, Metro, buses. Anybody who considers themselves a pedestrian. And scooter-ists, as well. And drivers, we want to hear from them, too. It’s an open invitation…

This Saturday’s Which Way L.A.-CBC? is meant to be a bit of a reckoning. There’s a moment in the program where I plan to just speak frankly about how we arrived at this moment.

I’m going to own the fact that I don’t think we are justifying our existence as we stand today. We need the help of basically everyone to become a better resource and a better support to the mission that we are fighting for.

I understand that the stakes are high. This is the moment that we need to turn this thing around. It starts with the input and the thoughtfulness of the people that we need to partner with to get this thing done.

The Which Way L.A.-CBC? community forum will take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 27, at LACBC headquarters at 634 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time; for the foreseeable future, I’ll be home tending to a sick corgi who can’t be left alone more than a few minutes.

But I urge you to attend.

And maybe you could offer my input for me.

  • The LACBC should immediately form an associated 501(c)4 allowing it to engage in political activity; we desperately need a strong voice that can force our elected leaders and candidates to take the bicycling community seriously.
  • The LACBC should stop being afraid to take action, and be willing to take to the streets to demand real safety and protect the rights of bike riders.
  • The LACBC should be willing to back bike riders, and take a stand to support those who step up on their own to demand change, whether or not they’re members of the coalition.

And one more thing.

The LACBC — and the LA bicycling community — needs you now more than ever.

Yes, you.

So take a few minutes to join if you’re not a member, or renew your membership if you are. And make a donation if you can spare the change.

It’s up to you to help the LACBC return to what it was just a few short years ago.

And what we all need it to be again.

Photo shamelessly purloined from LACBC website, via Streetsblog LA.

………

This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

New York mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $58.4 million to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes, in the wake of a shocking jump in bicycling deaths.

The city will also crack down on dangerous drivers at crash-prone intersections, as well as drivers who block bike lanes.

Although the NYPD might want to brush up on bike law first. And whether that crackdown on blocking bike lanes applies to the cops themselves remains to be determined.

Meanwhile, an op-ed in the Daily News says bike riders are terrified, and the city must take steps to break the deadly car culture on the streets.

But maybe if LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was still running for president, he might actually feel the pressure to get off his ass and do something about our own deadly streets.

………

The late Rutger Hauer was one of us, too.

………

Cannondale is recalling 10,000 CAADX Cyclocross Bicycles from the model years 2013 – 2016 after one person died and seven others suffered serious injuries due to a defective carbon fork.

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

An American woman living in the UK was slapped by a bike-riding woman for no apparent reason as she crossed a pedestrian bridge, then saw her attacker go on to slap the man walking behind her, as well.

………

Local

The LA Explorers Club will take a bicycle tour of ’80s movie sites in the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday; the ride is free, but RSVPs are required.

The third annual Health Fair and Bike Ride will be held in South Central LA on Saturday, August 3rd. Thanks to Sis for the heads-up.

 

State

Pacific Grove says feel free to ride your ebike on the city’s Rec Trail — as long as you don’t engage the engine.

San Jose bike riders are concerned about a growing homeless encampment affecting a key commuter bike path — a problem affecting cities across the state. However, people without a home have to be somewhere. If we want them off our sidewalks and bikeways, we need to pressure our leaders to help put a roof over their heads, and get them the help they need to rebuild their lives.

San Francisco is finalizing plans to close the city’s iconic Market Street to private motor vehicles. That would be like shutting down Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles — which isn’t a bad idea.

A Chico writer tells the story of her stolen bike, which a police detective said was probably already in pieces across the city hours after it was stolen. And now she’s afraid to ride to the market because she doesn’t want her new, cheaper bike to end up the same way.

 

National

More Americans have died in car crashes in the past 19 years than were killed in both world wars.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why we all should care that fewer kids are riding bikes.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. A 73-year old Oregon man and his two dogs are alive today after a man riding his bike discovered him nearly unconscious on the side of the road after they became stranded with no food and only a little water.

Bicycling fatalities are up in Colorado, too, as a serious cyclist’s loved ones look for the heartless coward who left him for dead after a crash; the victim is former Bicycling editor Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, who who was riding home from a velodrome when he was run down.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a dog owner walks with a warm caress on the wrist for allowing his dogs to run free, and allegedly kill an 85-year old man as he rode by on his bicycle.

Thanks for nothing. After a Texas man found his stolen bike for sale online, a Houston cop told him to just buy it back from the thief.

A Houston man took his girlfriend on a 15 mile bike ride spelling out the words “marry me,” before getting down on one knee at the end to ask for her hand. And the rest of her, presumably.

A Chicago scooter rider was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who pulled over when police tried to stop the scooterist for leaving the scene after crashing into a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk.

A Chicago bike tour will revisit scenes from the city’s violent past on the 100th anniversary of the 1919 race riots.

Talk about not getting it. A Minnesota letter writer says we don’t need any more bike lanes, because most people just ride their bikes on the sidewalk anyway.

Bike riders in the greater Cleveland area remain wary of sharing the road with motorists.

Something tells me there’s a lot more to this story. An Ohio woman is charged with evidence tampering and falsifying vehicle registration in an attempt to coverup her involvement in a hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman seriously injured.

The problem with a new Vermont bike lane isn’t the squiggly lines that suggest someone was partaking in the state’s newly legalized cannabis while painting them. It’s the fact that what passes for a bike lane is barely wider than some bike tires in places.

A Long Island community says forget dangerous drivers, the real problem on the streets is teenagers on bikes who block traffic and annoy the people behind the wheel.

Liev Schreiber is one of use, making out with his dog on the streets of New York on his double-seated, wine crate-equipped cargo bike.

Holy exploding ebikes, Batman! A New York bike rider suffered burns on his legs when the lock battery on the dockless Lime Bike he was riding suddenly exploded and burst into flames; a company spokesperson said someone had apparently punctured the battery with sharp object while trying to break the lock, and there’s no need to panic. Honest.

Good luck outrunning these New Jersey bike cops on their new 50 mph ebikes.

Atlanta protesters form a human-protected bike lane to demand safer streets after a bicyclist was killed by a city bus last week.

A woman with eight grandkids was shot and killed while riding her bike in Florida’s Orange County.

 

International

Turns out bikeshare isn’t just for wealthy hipsters after all; many of the “super users” around the world come from lower income brackets.

Copenhagenize ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities; not surprisingly, given who was doing the ranking, Copenhagen comes out on top. No surprise either, that no American city made the list.

Architecture and Design says the solution to pollution, sprawl and congestion is getting rid of parking spaces.

Forbes takes a long, lingering look at the many iterations of the World Naked Bike Ride, as people around the globe go as bare as they dare to demand safety on our streets.

A Vancouver man plans a one-person protest of a dangerous bike lane, riding up and down the lane all day to call attention to the one-year anniversary of when another rider was fatally doored on the street.

A British Columbia man on a 1,600-mile bike tour through the Yukon says he’s been blown away by the people and beauty he’s found along the way.

A Montreal blogger says it may be the best bike city in North America, but riding there still sucks.

Keep your eye on Britain, where plans are in motion for “genius” CYCLOPS — Cycle Optimized Protected Signals — intersections to maximize opportunities for safe bicycling and walking, without adversely affecting motorists.

A British bike lawyer explains why a bike rider getting sued for crashing into a pedestrian is actually a good thing for bicyclists.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired cop walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider while high on meth, which his lawyer claimed was a byproduct of his Parkinson’s medication. At least he was banned from driving for five years.

An Indian general is one of six people from the county’s military to be accepted for this year’s 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris ride.

An Indian girl holds the world record for the longest bike trip in a single county, riding over 12,000 miles without ever leaving India. Never mind that the “girl” is a 28-year old woman.

Thai officials are rushing to repair an elevated bike path along the Mekong River that collapsed due to erosion on the bank, leaving a gap the length of a football field in the popular tourist attraction.

 

Competitive Cycling

While Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continues to wear yellow, seven cyclists still have a chance to win this year’s Tour de France with just three stages left.

The sweat-drenched peloton struggling through the French heatwave provides a lesson in what we can look forward to due to climate change.

Cycling Tips considers the sports brutality and bizarre mythologizing of suffering through the lens of New Zealand cyclist George Bennett, who had two hard crashes on Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, possibly suffering a concussion, yet still finished 27th.

 

Finally…

Forget scooters. Now you can cruise the beach on 7 mph, ADA-compliant purple stuffed…uh, thing. Apparently, God does not have an account at Sonic, whether or not you’re on a bike.

And forget the recovery drinks. Just grab yourself an ice cold Sufferfest.

 

Morning Links: US bike and pedestrian deaths up in 2018, Mehta convicted in OC hit-and-run, and e-scooters in the news

Traffic deaths are down slightly in the US.

But only if you’re in a car or truck. Otherwise, it appears to be open season on anyone walking or riding a bike.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, overall traffic deaths declined last year to a three-year low of 36,750.

But preliminary numbers show bicycling deaths were projected to rise a whopping 10%, while pedestrian fatalities are up 4%.

Officials would like to put the blame on distracted drivers, but are having a hard time getting accurate figures. Because — tres shock! — drivers are reluctant to admit they were distracted after killing someone.

No word yet on the actual number of deaths for either group.

But whatever it turns out to be, it’s too damn many.

Photo shows an abandoned bike carcass that someone undoubtedly loved once, left carelessly on the sidewalk.

………

I’m told that Medium contributor Pratiti Renee Mehta has been convicted by a jury of her peers in the Costa Mesa hit-and-run that left a 56-year old bike rider with a compound ankle fracture this past March.

She was arrested following numerous tips from the public after police released photos of her black Mercedes following the victim just before running him down.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of assault with a deadly weapon before the case went to trial.

She’ll be formally sentenced on July 17th.

………

Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

Lots of e-scooters.

According to a San Francisco op-ed, a bill under consideration in the state legislature would ban liability waivers for scooter providers, opening the companies up to countless lawsuits, frivolous and otherwise.

Someone vandalized dozens of dockless bikes and e-scooters in San Diego’s Ocean Beach with graffiti containing “inappropriate” words, including “Bird sucks.”

A Nashville writer says e-scooters are not the transportation revolution we need.

New York is finally deciding to join the 21st Century with a bill that would finally legalize ebikes, as well as e-scooters.

E-scooter riders face a $600 fine in British Columbia, where the devices fall into a grey area where they’re neither permitted or banned.

………

Add one more to our recent collection of WWII bike photos, this time from a sailor stationed in Panama (see the last photo).

And a pretty snappy dresser, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this one.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British magazine jokes about using razor wire to stop bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk.

At least, let’s hope they’re joking.

………

Local

The Daily News highlights six transportation projects that will transform the San Fernando Valley in coming years. We’ll have to fight to ensure they include bikeways, like many other light rail and BRT (bus rapid transit) projects in the LA area.

Metro will consider first mile/last mile options for the Gold Line at Wednesday’s meeting of the Planning and Programming Committee.

Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program will team with the Pasadena Public Library, LA River Path Project and People for Mobility Justice to present a Bicycle 101 class in Pasadena this Saturday.

 

State

That feeling when good news about a Santa Barbara bike rider turns out to be an ad for the local trauma center.

The leaders of a San Francisco transit workers union say the city is sabotaging its own bikeshare system.

Streetsblog San Francisco congratulates Caltrans for winning an award for creating “another bike and pedestrian hellscape,” complaining the agency has no idea what constitutes safe infrastructure.

A Stockton newspaper recommends exploring the “old pioneer trail” from Old Sacramento to Folsom. And notes that you can easily do all, or part, by bicycle.

 

National

Uh… Seattle spanks Jump and Lime for failing to report complaints about illegally parked dockless ebikes by reducing the number of bikes they’re allowed to deploy on the streets to… 700 more than they do now. That’s going to teach ’em alright.

Apparently having solved the problem of deadly, speeding drivers, Denver is turning its speed guns on bike riders who exceed the city’s 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, threatening $100 tickets for the first offense — whether or not you have a speedometer on your bike.

An 18-year old Wisconsin man is dead after being shot by police in an incident that began with riding a bike without lights after dark; he allegedly dropped his bike and ran, then turned and fired at officers after they used some sort of non-lethal weapons to get him to stop.

Riding 180 miles across Maine — on one wheel.

They get it. Gothamist says no other commute beats the sensory experience of riding a bike.

The NYPD apparently likes bikes without riders more than the ones with one, pausing to rescue a locked bike from a swarm of bees.

Now that’s more like it. A Pennsylvania combination coffee shop and bike shop wins permission to open a taproom, as well. Is it just a coincidence that it’s located in the hometown of Bicycling magazine? Probably not.

A Delaware town says all those wobbly, inexperienced bike riders need to be more courteous.

A Virginia motorcyclist faces a variety of charges after crashing into an eight-year old boy on a bicycle after fleeing from police, who wanted to pull him over for speeding; fortunately, the boy’s injuries were not life-threatening.

 

International

They get it. A Montreal newspaper says it’s time to turn accepted logic that customers arrive by cars and bike lanes are bad for business on its head.

A Nova Scotia bike rider learns the hard way that bicyclists aren’t allowed to ride in the traffic lane if there’s a bike lane on the road, otherwise known as a “must use” law. The same law applies in California, though there are numerous exceptions — including if you’re riding at the speed of traffic.

A Trinidad actor appeared in court for the first time to face charges in the horrific crash that killed two bike riders on the island last year; two other riders survived their injuries.

London residents call for an end to bicycle tours, saying they pose a risk to participants and others. Just wait until they hear about tour buses.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker considers the depressing lessons of the failed flagship bikeway through London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea borough, saying the defeat came after a campaign centered on myths. Including one truly despicable woman who posed as the aunt of a fallen bicyclist to oppose the plan; the victim’s actual sister said blocking the plan was unforgivable.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — bikepacking through the Scottish Highlands. I’m in as long as we can add a few Bobby Burns sites somewhere along the way.

More on Irish County Mayo’s wacky plan to improve bicycle safety by requiring bike riders to mount license plates on their bikes.

Cities in the Netherlands have traffic jams, too — they’re just on bicycles.

The Guardian offers photos of 15 of the world’s best bicycling infrastructure projects from the Bicycle Architecture Biennale in Amsterdam. Guess how many of those are in Los Angeles? No, really, go ahead and guess.

Forget bikeshare. A Dutch company wants you to dump your bike in favor of a monthly bicycle subscription service.

The world’s biggest bike maker says Trump’s tariff’s are the final nail in the coffin, as Giant prepares to move manufacturing to Taiwan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Amity Rockwell shares the secrets to eschewing meat, and winning the Dirty Kanza gravel race anyway.

Cyclist considers what Jakob Fuglsang’s victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné means for the upcoming Tour de France.

Australia’s Will Clarke won’t be riding in his inaugural Tour de France after all, after the 34-year old cyclist suffered multiple broken bones in a horrific crash in a Belgian race after leading most of the way.

https://twitter.com/wcsbike/status/1140242280584007680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1140242280584007680&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.examiner.com.au%2Fstory%2F6220187%2Ftour-hope-gone%2F

 

Finally…

First it was angry drivers, now the deer are out to get us, too. Evidently, there’s no age limit to bike theft.

And no, there is no National SUV Month.

For good reason.

Morning Links: LA approves memorial signs instead of fixing streets, BAC agenda, and Yerba Buena Road closed

I honestly don’t know what to think about this one.

The LA City Council has approved a plan to replace ghost bikes with semi-permanent memorials to fallen bike riders.

The signs can be requested by the families of fallen bicyclists, memorializing the victim while offering a general nod to bike safety.

They’ll stay in place for five to seven years, after which families can pay to have them replaced.

However, a maximum of just 20 signs will be installed each year, which will barely keep up with the number of riders killed on an annual basis in Los Angeles.

According to LAist,

In an interview withKPCC’s Take Two, (Councilmember Bob) Blumenfield explained how the idea for the signs was borne out of a tragedy in Woodland Hills last April. On Easter Sunday, 15-year-old Sebastian Montero was struck by a car and killedwhile riding his bike on Burbank Boulevard.

Blumenfield was in contact with the boy’s family, as well as local police officers— together, they discussed ways to prevent future tragedies. 

“I’ve been to too many of those ghost bike ceremonies, and they’re heartbreaking,” Blumenfield said.

After one officer, Duke Dao, suggested the idea for the memorial signs, Blumenfield ran with it.

I’m told be someone who worked closely with Blumenfield on the proposal that he’s absolutely sincere in wanting to do something to both remember the victims of traffic violence, and keep it from happening again.

But a simple sign’s not going to do that.

Blumenfield is one of the city’s better councilmembers on traffic issues, and is working to get a bike lane installed where Montero was killed.

But many of his peers have taken active steps to block desperately needed, potentially life-saving bikeways.

Despite the unanimous vote to establish the memorial program, we have to wonder how many of the councilmembers voted for memorials to fallen bicyclists instead of taking active steps to prevent their deaths.

Because it’s a lot easier to put up a small memorial sign than to fix the roads to avoid the need for them.

Among those voting yes,

All voted to approve the memorials, while helping create — or at least not alleviate — conditions likely to require them.

Meanwhile, there’s a reasonable fear that the memorial signs will just blend into the streetscape, no more noticeable than the street signs indicating where police officers have been killed.

And if you haven’t seen those, that’s exactly my point.

Ghost bikes are intrusive and evocative. Granted, many drivers don’t know what they are. But once they do, they notice them every time they pass, and that drives the meaning home.

I’m not sure that will happen with these.

Especially if the limit of just 20 a year stays in place. It should be expanded to include not just those riders killed in the future, but the many riders who have needlessly lost their lives in the past.

And it should include pedestrians, as well, since they die in much greater numbers on LA’s mean streets than we do.

Maybe if hundreds of these memorial signs started to appear every year, blanketing every part of the city, people might finally get it. And realize that too damn many people are getting killed just because they rode a bike or went for a walk.

Then the council might finally do more than put up a sign.

Maybe.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

Note: I’ve been reminded that today is the one year anniversary of Sebastian Montero’s death.

No word on whether the alleged speeding driver who killed him was ever charged.

Photo by Steve S

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its bimonthly meeting this Tuesday. As always, the meetings are open to the public, and you are encouraged to attend.

………

Don’t plan on riding Yerba Buena Road anytime soon.

………

Fed up with people driving under the influence, Taiwan is considering instituting the death penalty for killing someone while driving drunk or stoned.

I’d like to think that might actually make someone think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking, smoking or downing pills.

But the threat of the death penalty hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from murdering other people.

So there’s that.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

………

Local

LAist notes the problems with LA’s troubled Vision Zero program, including a lack of social media presence for the past seven months. What the city doesn’t seem to get is that most of us really, really want to support Vision Zero LA — if they ever get their shit together.

Famed bike rider LeBron James has gone Hollywood, building a production company on the Warner Bros. lot that has made him a major player in the industry. Word has it he also plays a little basketball.

This is who we share the roads with. A 17-year old boy will likely face a vehicular homicide charge — or worse — for killing one person and injuring three others in a violent crash while apparently street racing in Woodland Hills.

Good for him. A chef at the Long Beach Gladstones will be joining this year’s edition of the 300-mile No Kid Hungry ride. You can donate to support his goal of raising $7,500 by next month’s ride, and help ensure every child has enough to eat.

State

What the hell is wrong with some people? An Irvine man will spend the next 50 years behind bars for killing the person he accused of stealing his bicycle, after vowing to do exactly that.

San Diego police are looking for a man who approached a nine-year old girl as she rode her bicycle and offered to take her to a game; fortunately, she knew to ride home and her parents called the police.

The San Francisco Chronicle complains about the mythical war on cars, exemplified by a discussion of congestion pricing. Never mind that congestion pricing is intended to help improve traffic flow, which is hardly anti-driver. Or that nearly 100% of the roads are already dedicated to motorists, and the rest of us are just hoping for a few crumbs.

Sad news from Selma, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bike Saturday night; police believe he was targeted by the killers.

An Oakland man was busted for trying to break into a secured bike storage area.

An Irish writer takes a ride through California’s wine country.

Even in bike-friendly Davis, local residents break out the torches and pitchforks following a road diet to improve traffic safety.

National

ABC New has caught up with what most of us already know — killer hit-and-run drivers seldom face jail time.

Small towns can have bikeshare too, thanks to a startup dedicated to bringing bikeshare to towns the larger providers pass by.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says Trek’s WaveCel claims aside, it’s better to get more asses on bikes than get more heads in helmets. Meanwhile, Bicycling lists the 16 best helmets you can buy right now.

NPR hops on the e-scooter injury and blocked sidewalks bandwagon.

A Tucson writer says a bike resort is a great idea, just not across the street from Saguaro National Park.

A Grand Junction CO shelter is helping to house homeless youths on Colorado’s Western Slope, while a local bike shop is reconditioning unwanted bikes to get them onto two wheels.

Two Kansas men were killed when a driver slammed into their bicycles from behind. No word on why the driver apparently didn’t see a couple grown men on bikes directly in front of him, but I’m sure we could all take a pretty reasonable guess.

An Oklahoma man learned the hard way not to wear a skull mask while carrying meth and weed on his bike. Although his lawyer might want to argue that simply wearing a mask, scary or otherwise, on a public street is not probable cause for a traffic stop. Which makes everything that followed moot.

Slate tells the tale of a bike-riding Ohio teenager who scandalized the nation by wearing bloomers to church.

An Ohio college student discovers you’re never too old to learn how to fall off a bike.

A ti bike from a Schenectady NY builder was the first place winner at the recent National Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.

The upstate New York jerk who wrote a ten-year old boy a letter of non-apology after a judge let him off easy for sideswiping the boy’s bike will now have to perform community service.

A Bronx councilmember loses his perfect ranking from a conservation voters’ group for not supporting ebikes and scooters.

A New York cop resigned after getting caught writing a ticket to a nonexistent bike rider when he was actually still in the precinct. Then billing the city for the overtime he didn’t work.

Taking a cue from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s playbook, Baltimore’s mayor decides to rip out a protected bike lane, and says no way to a planned road diet. Although to be fair, she’s replacing the protected lane with a painted green lane. And she gave it four years, while Garcetti removed the non-protected bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey after just one month of driver complaints.

New Orleans is slowly building a bicycle culture, though in typical Big Easy style.

International

A Vancouver radio station asks if bicyclists and drivers will ever see eye-to-eye. Short answer, not until people are required to ride a bicycle in city traffic before getting a driver’s license.

Vancouver’s former chief planner writes in praise of slow cycling and upright bikes.

Only after he passed away at the ripe old age of 93 on Saturday was it revealed that a Montreal man was the secret “Mr. Bike Man” who gave away over 1,700 bikes, helmets and locks to children in the Montreal area for the past 34 years.

This one’s hard to watch. A Brit bike rider gets hit head-on by a driver cutting a corner at an intersection, despite stopping at a stop sign and using daytime lights.

Britain’s anti-bike Lord Winston is back at it, renewing his call for all bike riders to be licensed and insured after claiming he was attacked by a woman when he reprimanded her for riding on the sidewalk. Except he never bothered to report it to the police and no one can seem to verify his claim.

French drivers are apparently vandalizing speed cameras, costing the country the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars. And it may have contributed to a jump in traffic deaths.

An automotive writer rides a borrowed Peugeot racing bike up France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, and finds it a lot easier to do in a borrowed car.

Amsterdam plans to reduce driving by turning 1,500 parking spaces into trees and bike parking each year for the next six years.

Vitaliy Klitschko, former world heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kyiv — or Kiev, to most non-Ukrainians — is one of us, riding his bike to cast his ballot in this year’s presidential election.

American cycling legend and newly married Indian resident Alexi Grewal says bicycling is seen as a poor person’s vehicle, and that needs to change.

Sydney, Australia residents rise up against what they term a “nonsensical” bicycle superhighway, fearing it would somehow jeopardize pedestrians more than all those cars zooming past. Seriously, why is it that people continue to fight bike lanes that have repeatedly proven to be a net benefit to the surrounding community, regardless of any loss of parking?

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia looks at the all-Type 1 diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, and how they overcome diabetes to ride competitively.

Chris Froome proved he’s comfortable in his domestique role, giving Team Sky leader Egan Bernal a ride back to the bus on his handlebars, after a mechanical forced Bernal to walk across the finish line.

The Australian press is suitably scandalized that Lance was paid $1.5 million in taxpayer funds to compete in the 2009 Tour Down Under, an agreement that was under seal for ten years.

Evidently, it’s considered bad form to toss another racer’s bike off the course after you crash with her, as Italian cyclist Elisa Longo Borghini learned the hard way on Thursday.

Finally…

Next time time you get attacked by a gang of kids, all you really need is a Good Samaritan armed with a bicycle seat. When the bike stencil doesn’t fit in the new bike lanes, it may be just a tad too small.

And taking a cue from Kafka, that angry driver may see you as a cockroach.

………

Thanks to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Morning Links: Pendleton bicycle restrictions take effect, and LA’s not the deadliest place to bike after all

Let’s start off today with a reminder that this is the last weekend you can ride through Camp Pendleton without registering first.

To make matters more complicated, you have to register in person, on base at Camp Pendleton, at an office that’s only open Monday through Friday.

Which is a problem, considering that the popular route through Pendleton is the only way to get from southern Orange County to North San Diego County by bicycle without riding on the 5 Freeway.

One more reason Caltrans needs to create a protected bikeway — if not a separate bike path — through the base.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

A new study from the Wall Street Journal pinpoints the most dangerous place in the US to ride a bike.

And for a change, it’s not Los Angeles. Or even in Southern California, for that matter.

Instead the study, which ranks bicycling deaths per capita, lists the Sacramento area as the nation’s fifth deadliest, after four Florida cities.

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida ranked number one, with an average of seven deaths per 100,000 people.

Previous studies have shown Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest city for people on bicycles. However, those fail to consider that LA is the nation’s second largest metropolitan area.

While even one death is one too many, Los Angeles ranks just ninth on the Journal’s list at 2.8 deaths per 100,000 people, above San Jose and behind Riverside San Bernardino.

So we still suck when it comes to providing safe streets for bicyclists.

We just don’t suck as much as some other places.

Note: You may or may not hit a paywall when trying to access the Journal article; I was blocked trying to access it directly, but was able to get in by clicking the link in the Sacramento pieces.

………

Unbelievable.

A Florida man is under arrest for grabbing a woman’s bicycle and throwing it off a bridge as she was walking across it with a flat tire.

Then he threw her boyfriend off when he tried to intervene.

Fortunately, he only suffered a cut and a bloody eye in the 30 foot drop to the ocean, and was able to swim to a pylon to await rescue.

The whole thing was witnessed by a cop who just happened to be crossing the bridge at the same time, and caught part of the incident on video.

………

Sometimes, showing a little courtesy and respect is appreciated.

And it’s not that hard to do.

………

Local

Good piece from CiclaValley, as he accuses CD4 Councilmember David Ryu of having a one-size solution to traffic on Rowena Ave, and pursuing 20th Century solutions to 21st Century problems.

The Verge looks at LA’s scofflaw underage e-scooter underground. Which is ridiculous, when you consider that a 16-year old can legally operate two tons of high powered glass and steel, but can’t legally ride a 15 mph scooter.

 

State

Abandoned Ofo bikes are still strewn about in San Diego after the dockless bikeshare provider pulled out of the city, but left its bikes behind.

The annual Eroica California ride for classic bicycles will now be based in Cambria.

Marin bike shops are the latest to feel the effects of Trump’s trade war with China.

 

National

A new baseball cap-style bike helmet folds down to the size of a water bottle.

Texas Monthly looks at the cyclist safety that isn’t happening in the Rio Grande Valley, after city commissioners walked out on a 19-year old woman as she spoke passionately about the death of her friend, who was killed in a collision as he was riding.

The Vision Zero program in San Antonio, Texas awarded a $10,000 prize to the city’s safest driver, after an app tracking the winner’s speed, hard braking and distracted driving showed he beat out over 14,000 other participants.

A local paper says that despite what people say, thousands of people bike and walk in Houston; the proof is the number of people hit by cars.

Bizarre tragedy in Chicago, where a motorist chased down a driver who fled after striking a bicyclist — moments after telling another rider in the group that he was going to jail — then was shot and killed by someone in a third vehicle as he argued with the hit-and-run driver. He was facing trial for discharging a weapon in a road rage incident last year, which he claimed was self-defense. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

A blind DC woman now rides a tandem bike once a week, after not riding since she was a girl. And discovers that riding a bike really is just like riding a bike, whether or not you can see.

Instead of demanding safer streets, the Washington Post calls for kicking e-scooters off the sidewalk and requiring helmets for users. Never mind that mandatory helmets are impractical for a device that encourages spur of the moment usage, and could halt their rapid spread; few people just happen to carry a helmet with them everywhere they go on the off chance they might want to ride one.

 

International

Business Insider ranks the best bike lights.

A writer for Bike Radar examines ten things to consider when commuting by bike.

New aero wheel fairings — think hi-tech fenders — claim to cut wind resistance more than aero wheels.

The new VeloGuide website developed by a pair of Calgary men acts like a combination of Tinder and Airbnb for bicyclists, connecting riders with local guides in cities around the world.

Hamilton, Ontario police blame a bike rider for not wearing a helmet and riding on the sidewalk after she swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed into a stone wall, instead of blaming the dangerous street that made her feel safer on the sidewalk.

A Cayman Islands website says danger lurks around every corner for bicyclists, on a daily basis.

A Manchester, England teen pleads guilty to beating a man to steal his bicycle in a daylight attack that that went viral.

An annual program in the UK has given away over 750 refurbished bicycles to Londoners who can’t otherwise afford them.

Strava says it hasn’t seen any verified cases of bicycle theft related to the platform, after a British rider blames the app for leading bike thieves to his home.

This is who we share the roads with. A road raging Brit driver was sentenced to three years behind bars for deliberately running down a bike rider after the victim complained about a dangerous pass.

Great idea. A new website in the UK is designed to help local bike shops compete with internet dealers by allowing bicyclists to shop online from multiple shops across the country, and have their purchases shipped to them or pick them up at the store.

The director of a Scottish sportive has dropped charges against two farmers who allegedly attacked participants with sticks to protest the road closures during harvest time, saying they’ve learned their lesson. And that the decision doesn’t give others a green light to attack bicyclists.

Well organized Dutch bike thieves stole 33 bicycles worth over $117,000 from a single shop.

Bike riders in the Netherlands face a ban on distracted bicycling.

University students in India can now take a short course in bike culture and learning how to use European bikeshare systems.

An Aussie woman says the key to a happy marriage is a spouse who keeps your bike in working order.

Two other drivers report nearly hitting famed enduro cyclist Mike Hall on the morning he was killed while competing in an cross-Australia endurance race, saying he came out of nowhere — even though other drivers said he had front and rear lights, as well as reflective gear.

Hong Kong will lift bicycling bans on 16 bridges and underpasses, while keeping them in place on another 324.

Singapore will deal with the problem of dockless bikeshare bikes blocking sidewalks and private property by charging users $5 for improperly parking bikes; three fines in a single year will result in a 12 month ban.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Bicycling says the cyclocross race between Dutch veteran Marianne Vos and young American Ellen Noble was a battle for the ages. Even though she didn’t actually, you know, see it.

Cycling Tips gives a shout out to the “ageless” six-time cyclocross World Cup winner Katerina Nash, who finished third behind Vos and Noble.

An Emirates website goes behind the scenes with the UAE Team Emirates at the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

No spoiler here; this race ended — tragically — 122 years ago. Why choose between beer and bikes when you can roll out the barrel with a single Octoberfest?

And who wins a fondo when neither rider finishes rubber side down?

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Is Los Angeles America’s most dangerous city for bike riders, and near road kill on Texas hwy

A new report ranks Los Angeles as the nation’s most dangerous city for people on bicycles.

But take it with a grain of salt.

Or maybe even a bag.

First, because LA can be expected to rank high in bicycling fatalities — which are weighted heavily in the report — simply because it’s the nation’s second largest city. The only accurate measure would be to consider such deaths on a per capita basis.

Which is not to say too many people aren’t dying on our streets, due to the city’s failure to build the safe streets and bike infrastructure we were promised. Or to tame the toxic entitlement expressed by too many LA drivers.

Second, because this study is nothing more than click bait to get you to visit their site. It’s put out by a home security company that has absolutely nothing to do with bicycling or dangerous streets.

Unless you count the risk posed to bike riders by their own private security cops.

Yes, Los Angeles may be a dangerous place for people on bikes — and one that has done far to little to fix the situation.

But is it really the most dangerous place in the nation to ride one?

Probably not.

And probably not even the most dangerous place in Southern California.

Meanwhile, Davis is the anti-LA according to the study, ranking as the safest city for bike riders in the US.

And Iowa is ranked as the most dangerous state, which will probably come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever ridden there.

………

Thanks to F Lehnerz for forwarding the following trio of outrageous links.

A San Jose man says pedestrians have too much freedom already, apparently wanting people on foot to be herded and channeled so as to pose less of an inconvenience when he zooms down the streets.

A Boulder CO woman says out-of-control bicyclists and pedestrians have made it one of the most dangerous cities in the US for drivers. Which probably explains why there are so many ghost cars to honor all those drivers who were almost killed when they had to slow down or tap the brakes to a avoid a human being.

And a Texas woman was inches from becoming road kill when a pickup driver passed her at high speed with two wheels on — or over — the white line. Yet the response from the local police was, literally, “So what do you want us to do about it?

………

Local

The LA city council’s Transportation Committee has approved regulations for dockless bikeshare, ebikes and e-scooters, allowing up to 3,000 devices in the initial rollout, plus another 7,500 in disadvantaged communities. And they’ve eliminated the absurd prohibition in areas served by Metro Bike.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the lawsuit we mentioned last week to halt road diets on five Westside streets is just a tad off base, since no road diets are actually planned for those streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on last week’s rally and press conference to demand justice for fallen hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier, and the suspiciously timed South LA safe streets meeting that was scheduled at the last minute — and at the exact same time.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders circumnavigate Coronado Island in an annual pre-4th of July tradition.

Palm Springs is getting several new bike lanes and a road diet.

There’s a new bike shop in Thousand Oaks.

 

National

The Daily Beast says forget the car, and ride a bike if you really want to see your state.

Dockless ebikes and regular bikes are coming to New York, where the traditional Citi Bike docked bikeshare has been exceptionally successful.

 

International

Cycling Industry News says the next big thing in bicycling is smarter bikes.

One more for your bike bucket list — riding the premier wine regions of Chile.

Vancouver’s former chief planner says cities are literally wasting public money by not investing in smart bike infrastructure, noting that the costs amount to a rounding error in most city transportation budgets.

A 17-year old Saskatoon, Canada high school graduate will be spending his gap year on a 19,000-mile bike tour around the world.

An Estonian bicyclist on an around the world trip should have skipped Winnipeg, Canada, where thieves broke the garage door where he was staying and made off with his tent and bicycle.

Elderly pedestrians say they’re being scared off a Nova Scotia multi-use trail by bike riders who speed and don’t signal. Seriously, it’s not that hard to slow down and show a little courtesy around other people. Although it’s hard to see how signaling would help when passing pedestrians from behind.

Record numbers of people are taking advantage of London’s heatwave to get out on their bicycles.

A UK court has cleared organizers for the death of a spectator who was killed by an out of control mountain bike racer.

Over half of British parents want bike eduction to be taught in the schools.

Just like London, half the traffic in Dublin, Ireland at rush hour is on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A creative website ranks the top ten prints inspired by the Tour de France. I only want all of them. But I’d settle for number eight.

Chris Froome asks cycling fans to just let him ride in peace, and no more urine, please. Meanwhile, ESPN says it’s time to take a deep breath and reassess doping regulations that benefit wealthy riders.

New Zealand Ironman champion Terenzo Bozzone is in stable condition after being run down by a hit-and-run truck driver.

Now that the feds have settled with Lance, they’re suing former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel to recoup $1.2 million.

Toxicology reports appear to indicate that 23-year old cyclist Michael Goolaerts had no drugs, alcohol or other medications in his system when he collapsed and died during the Paris-Roubaix race earlier this year.

 

Finally…

Giving your bike a bath could make you faster. Your Children At Play sign is stupid and ineffective

And no, red light running will never be cool.

 

Morning Links: Why LA bike riders keep dying, Caltrans gets bike friendly, and Forsyth Cup rolls tomorrow

Yesterday morning, a reporter from outside of LA emailed me with a single, very simple question. 

But the answer was just the opposite. 

She wanted to why Los Angeles continues to be one of the nation’s deadliest cities for bicyclists. 

This is how I responded.

………

That’s a complicated question.

There are a number of factors involved, but let’s start with the most obvious. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, so ignoring any other factors, we could be expected to have one of the highest traffic fatality rates.

We also have roughly 6,500 miles of surface streets, the most in the US. And due to the city’s mistaken obsession with LOS (Level of Service) until recent years, virtually all of those streets have been over-engineered to move as many vehicles as fast as possible, with little or no regard for safety.

That’s complicated by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot. So you have streets that have been designed like highways, despite their original speed limits.

As a result, drivers naturally speed, which results in a continual raising of the speed limit until some LA streets have speed limits of 50 mph or more. And on those that don’t, drivers routinely exceed the limit by 10 to 15 mph — and complain in the rare instances that they get pulled over, because everyone else is doing it.

Add to that the smallest police force of any major city, resulting in just a few hundred officers patrolling the streets at any given time, most of whom are too busy dealing with major crimes to bother pulling anyone over for an illegal U-turn or weaving in and out of traffic. And until recently, police couldn’t enforce speed limits on most of the city’s streets, because LA failed to conduct the speed surveys required by the 85th Percentile law.

So is it any wonder that LA has what may be world’s most entitled drivers, who seem to feel they have a God-given right to do anything they want, with little or no fear of consequences?

Then there’s the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure in the city. While the city made great gains under the previous mayor, who committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes a year, that has trickled to a crawl under the current administration, resulting in less than 10 lanes miles a year. We have just a handful of parking protected bike lanes, no curb-protected lanes — the first is expected to open this summer on South Figueroa — and a few of what are questionably called protected lanes, guarded only by thin plastic flex posts, which are easy to drive over with no damage to your car.

To complicate matters, there is nothing even resembling a bikeway network in Los Angeles. With the exception of Downtown LA, it is virtually impossible to plan a safe route from one part of the city to another. Bike lanes start and stop at random, and usually don’t connect to anything, forcing riders to contend with high speed traffic and aggressive drivers.

As a result, a disproportionate number of LA riders use sidewalks instead of riding in the street, putting them at significant risk when they have to cross a side street or driveway. In addition, LA has a large immigrant population, many of whom ride bikes as their only form of transportation. And many of whom learned to ride against traffic in their home countries, and continue the practice here; in some neighborhoods, salmon cyclists make up most, if not all, of the bicycling victims according to the LAPD.

Do I even need to mention that there is no bicycle eduction in most California cities? Some of the local advocacy groups offer adult bike education, but that reaches only a handful of people each year. And usually not the ones who need it most.

Finally, Los Angeles has a weak mayor political system which gives the mayor limited authority, while placing most of the power in the hands of individual councilmembers. As a result, while the mayor has set some bike friendly policies, such as Vision Zero, actual implementation falls on each councilmember to approve or deny safety improvements in their own districts.

A fear of angry drivers — and voters — has resulted in the cancellation of shovel-ready road diets and bike lanes throughout the city, virtually halting any real progress on Vision Zero, let alone providing any alternative to driving for most people. And famously led to the reversal of several road diets installed in Playa del Rey last year when pass-through drivers, mostly from outside the city, rose up in revolt.

Los Angeles has great potential for bicycling. If the city actually builds out its Mobility Plan 2035, and the bike plan within it — which seems highly unlikely at this point — it will transform itself from the nation’s most traffic and smog-choked city into one of the safest and most livable communities anywhere.

But that’s a big if.

………

Caltrans celebrates the last day of Bike Month by discussing the role bikes can play as a legitimate form of transportation in reducing greenhouse gasses.

………

If you’re looking for some serious bike action this weekend, check out Saturday’s second edition of the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup under the afternoon skies at the Encino Velodrome.

And enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos while you watch some of LA’s best track cyclists, hosted by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

………

The Guardian offers a video explaining why forcing bicyclists to wear helmets won’t save lives.

Just to be clear, I’m a firm believer in using helmets on American roads, and always wear a one when I ride. But they should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

We’ll save a lot more lives by taming traffic and building better bikeways than by making everyone wear a helmet for every ride.

………

Speaking of the Guardian, the paper picked up Peter Flax’s story about the death of bicyclist  Mark Kristofferson at this year’s Tour of Palm Springs, and asking why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murdering cyclists.

It’s an important, if difficult, piece.

So if you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes and give it a read.

We’ll wait.

………

Local

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler reminisces about Bike Month — and feeling excluded by members of the bike community.

 

State

Congratulations to San Diego for being named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; newly bike friendly Las Vegas got promoted from Bronze to Silver. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains on the list at the Bronze level, for no apparent reason.

Two participants in next week’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride discuss why they’re riding 450 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic really wants to hate e-scooters, but can’t.

Bicycling lists their take on the best bicycling apps, including the Red Cross’ free First Aid app, for reasons that should be obvious. And lists the 25 best American companies for bicyclists. But you have to have the patience to click through 25 times.

Couldn’t agree more. Treehugger says it’s time to stop arguing about helmets, and start building safe infrastructure.

Nashville gives Bird the bird.

The argument over a proposed protected bike lane in New York’s Sunnyside neighborhood boils down to the same old dispute — business owners want parking spaces, while bike riders just want to stay alive.

The New York DOT puts its foot down, and says a protected bike lane is going to be installed on Queens Blvd, whether or not the local community board approves. Which is exactly what needs to happen in Los Angeles, but won’t.

The hotest perk in Gotham real estate — deluxe bike storage rooms.

Neighbors demand bike lanes along a Maryland highway. But as usual, the call for safety comes after it’s too late.

 

International

Bike Biz looks forward to the first ever World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

A writer for the Weekly Standard spent two months riding his bike along both sides of the US – Mexico border, from Tijuana to Brownsville TX. And says the region has much bigger problems than people trying to cross it to find work.

Montreal will invest $15 million over the next year to improve the city’s bicycling network; they expect to have nearly 550 miles of bike paths by next year, connecting 16 boroughs and four cities.

Toronto celebrates Bike Month by promising to clean up its existing bikeways.

A self-described “keen cyclist” in the London’s Waltham Forest borough says bicyclists have turned a local pedestrian plaza into a death trap. Yet he somehow fails to note that no one has actually been killed by bike riders there. Which is not to say riders shouldn’t show extra care and consideration around people on foot.

A severely disabled British woman plans to ride 2018 miles with her service dog in tow to raise money for assistance dog charities.

According to a new study, potholes and trucks keep people from bicycling on UK roadways; 56% of the people surveyed said they would ride more if they felt safer on the streets. Just like pretty much everywhere else outside of Denmark and the Netherlands.

An Australian bike advocacy group says a petition demanding that bicyclists ride single file and banning bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph has no merit. Meanwhile, another bike group cites massive fraud, suggesting the petition is full of false names, while Cycling Tips says we can all learn from the misguided petition.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great interview with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Cycling Tips talks with Greg LeMond about what he’s learned.

 

Finally…

Your next new tires could come with a complete bike attached. Don’t put aero bars on a gravel bike — or do if that’s what you feel like.

And why wait for someone else to fix your pothole, when you can just do it yourself?

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in South LA hit-and-run

Yet another LA bike rider has been killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

According to a tweet by LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tom, a person riding a bicycle died after being struck by the driver of a white Porsche Cayenne at Manchester Blvd and Normandie Ave in the Manchester Square neighborhood.

A photo from the scene shows a shattered bike with debris scattered across the roadway.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD South Traffic Detectives at 323/421-2500, or anonymously at 800/222-TIPS (8477)

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Frederick Frazier.

KABC-7 reports the crash occurred around 12:47 pm today; they place it in the 1300 block of West Manchester Ave.

Update 2: Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman has written a moving — and graphic — description of the final moments of the man known as Woon to his friends, described as a strong an experienced cyclist. 

She also reminds us that, thanks to LA’s hit-and-run reward system, there is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killer.  

And in a tragic irony, after several people blocked the intersection where Frazier was killed in an impromptu bike protest the next day, one person suffered minor injuries when a driver deliberately slammed her car into his bike

And naturally, fled the scene.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Frederick Frazier and his loved ones. 

%d bloggers like this: