Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

Tour de Foothills co-founder dies after bike collision, Streets For All happy hour, and a little entitled driver schadenfreude

If you missed it last night, the SoCal bike community lost a good friend over the weekend.

Tom Thomas, who spent two decades on the Upland city council, died on Saturday, two days after he was struck from behind by a motorcyclist while waiting at a Montclair red light.

So much for the myth that bike riders never stop for them.

Thomas was a founder of Upland’s Tour de Foothills and a supporter of the Pacific Electric Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, as well as a noted local philanthropist.

One more reminder of the high cost of traffic violence.

Photo by pixel2013 from Pixabay.

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Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour next Wednesday, featuring LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

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No, we probably shouldn’t feel good about an overly entitled driver ending up feeling a little deflated.

But it’s kind of hard not to.

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Pink Bike offers a beginners guide to American mountain biking.

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

No bias here. San Diego letter writers debate the value of the new 30th Street bike lanes, with local residents claiming no one uses them, because they don’t see anyone riding on them at the exact moment they happen to look.

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

Even fictional bike riders get blamed, as the mother of a character in 9-1-1: Lone Star was killed off when she stepped off a curb and was hit by a man on a bicycle.

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Local

Los Angeles police are looking for a man who was seen riding a bicycle nearby when a woman’s body was set on fire in Chinatown and left burning in a shopping cart.

Streetsblog checks out the new 4.2-mile extension to the San Fernando Road bike path, which will result in a ten mile path extending north from the Burbank airport, parallel to Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line railroad tracks, when it’s finished around the end of the year.

Montebello received a nearly half-million dollar grant to build a better connection to the Rio Hondo River bike trail from the Grant Rea Park.

 

State 

Governor Newsom announced $296 million in Clean California grants to remove litter and beautify underserved communities, as well as building walking and biking paths, and other Complete Streets features.

Calbike highlights workshops for next month’s California Bicycle Summit in Oakland.

Santa Barbara’s one-year old bikeshare system is still operating at just 50% of capacity, after struggling through a number of problems in its first year.

Palo Alto decides to keep California Street carfree at least through the end of next year. Meanwhile, a former Palo Alto bike shop could be home to 124 below-market-rate apartments for low-income residents.

Around a hundred people turned out to demand that San Francisco’s JFK Drive be kept carfree, rather than returning it to a high-traffic throughway bisecting Golden Gate Park.

Sad news from Concord, where a teenage boy who had recently immigrated from El Salvador was killed when he was struck by several vehicles as he rode his bike to school; a crowdfunding page has raised over $21,000 to send his body back home.

 

National

Forbes examines the recent study that shows children in bike trailers breathe in more exhaust fumes than the adults they’re riding with, due to their lower position.

Momentum Magazine reviews the new $5,000, carbon-fiber Dutch-style ebike made by America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

The Arkansas man who drove home with the body of a bike rider in the back of  his pickup will face reckless manslaughter and hit-and-run charges, as well as being changed as a habitual offender; he claimed he didn’t know the man was in there until he got home — and then just went to bed until police tracked him down.

A “boneheaded” New York bill could make it harder to install or remove bike lanes and bike racks by requiring electronic and written notification to local community boards and elected officials before any action is taken, which could result in a six-month hearing process. To which Los Angeles bike riders respond “Welcome to our world.” Except most of us would be overjoyed if the process only took six months. 

New Jersey drivers will now be required to change lanes to pass bike riders and pedestrians, or give at least a four-foot passing distance if that can’t be done safely. Although like California’s three-foot law, there’s a loophole allowing drivers to pass closer than four feet if they slow down and pinkie swear they really, really had to.

He gets it. A New Jersey columnist says cities must embrace ebikes to break their dependency on motor vehicles.

A sportswriter for The Washington Post learns it’s okay to show weakness and rely on friends when she decides to ride her age for her 42nd birthday, and they won’t let her quit — even if it takes her nearly seven hours.

Here’s your big break to get into television, as long as you’re a bike rider in Key West.

Florida authorities are investigating a drawbridge operator for possible manslaughter charges after a 79-year old woman was killed when the bridge opened while she was walking her bike across it.

 

International

You know a London intersection is designed to kill when eight bike riders have died there in just 14 years, and no one does a damn thing about it.

Once again, life is cheap in the UK, where a 23-year old driver will spend a whole two years and three months behind bars for killing a ten-year old boy as he was riding bikes with his dad, as a result of an ill-advised passing attempt. Meanwhile, the boy’s family will face a sentence of life without him, without being guilty of anything.

A German startup is making a bike cam with distance measuring technology and other sensors to reveal hidden dangers, while preserving detailed evidence in the event of a crash; the data can be combined with other riders and analyzed to create urban heat maps of individual cities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A horrible story from Bangladesh, where a passenger van driver and its owner face charges after killing six of seven brothers as they were walking home from their father’s funeral.

A South African bike advocacy group is fighting back against dangerous streets and drivers with a campaign declaring #CyclistsLivesMatter. Which I would probably appreciate more if it wasn’t co-opting a fight for racial justice.

An Australian man pled guilty to using meth before he got behind the wheel and killed a 57-year old man riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling’s governing body responded to the invasion of Ukraine by banning all UCI teams, national teams, regional teams and race commissaires from Russia and Belarus; UCI is also removing all cycling events in both countries from the calendar. However, individual athletes will still be allowed to compete for teams from other countries.

 

Finally…

Evidently, a mountain bike is an important bicycling accessory. It’s perfectly okay to call new traffic rules the “Lunatic Highway Code.”

And tell me again why you can’t carry groceries home on a bike.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1498745270733094919

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

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

Someone is

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

A

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Local

Gabe the Sasquatch

 

State 

Governor Newsom announced $296 million in Clean California grants to remove litter and beautify underserved communities, as well as building walking and biking paths, and other Complete Streets features.

Palo Alto decides to keep California Street carfree at least through the end of next year.

Around a hundred people turned out to demand that San Francisco’s JFK Drive be kept carfree, rather than returning it to a high-traffic throughway in the middle of Golden Gate Park.

 

National

New Jersey drivers will now be required to change lanes to pass bike riders and pedestrians, or give at least a four foot passing distance if that can’t be done safely. Although like California’s three-foot law, there’s a loophole allowing drivers to pass closer than that if they slow down and pinkie swear they really had to.

Here’s your big break to get into television, as long as you’re a bike rider in Key West.

 

International

You know an intersection is designed to kill when eight bike riders have been killed there in just 14 years, like this “infamously hostile” London gyratory (a more complex version of a roundabout), and no one does a damn thing about it.

Once again, life is cheap in the UK, where a 23-year old driver will spend a whole two years and three months behind bars for killing a ten-year old boy riding bikes with his dad during an ill-advised passing attempt. Meanwhile, the boy’s family was sentenced to a life without him, despite not being guilty of anything.

Britain’s official press watchdog has ruled that it’s perfectly okay to call the country’s new traffic rules the “Lunatic Highway Code.”

A German startup is making a bike cam with distance measuring technology and other sensors to reveal hidden dangers, while preserving detailed evidence in the event of a crash; the data can then be analyzed to create urban heat maps of individual cities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Horrible story from Bangladesh, where a passenger van driver and its owner faces charges after killing six of seven brothers as they were walking home from their father’s funeral.

A South African bike advocacy group is fighting back against dangerous streets and drivers with a campaign declaring #CyclistsLivesMatter. Which I would probably appreciate more if it wasn’t co-opting a fight for racial justice.

An Australian man pled guilty to using meth before he got behind the wheel, and killed a 57-year old man riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling’s governing body responded to the invasion of Ukraine by banning all UCI teams, national teams, regional teams and race commissaires from Russia and Belarus; UCI is also removing all cycling events in both countries from the calendar. However, individual athletes will be allowed to compete for teams from other countries.

 

Finally…

Evidently, a mountain bike is an important bicycling accessory.

And tell me again why you can’t carry your groceries home on a bike.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1498745270733094919

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

Repeat hit-and-run driver gets 31 years for killing Riverside bike rider, and LA city council votes to ban outdoor bike repair

That’s more like it.

A California judge got a one-man hit-and-run crime wave off the road by sentencing a 35-year old man with a long criminal record to a whopping 31 years behind bars.

Steven Allen Watson Jr. was convicted for the Riverside hit-and-run that killed bike rider Brian Sabel, as well as another hit-and-run 21 months later that left a 56-year old woman walking with a cane.

He served time for car theft in between — just one of his 17 other felony convictions, along with three misdemeanors.

Watson will have to serve at least 85% of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole, which means he’ll be at least 61 years old when he’s released.

Hopefully, he won’t be allowed to drive once he is.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council voted 10 to 4 to draft an ordinance banning bike repair or sales on city streets.

The ordinance is intended to halt the bike chop shops that have proliferated in plain view around the city, contributing to the rash of bike thefts.

However, it would also criminalize legitimate bike repair services for homeless residents, and prevent them from earning a modest income by repairing and selling abandoned bicycles.

Hopefully the city attorney’s office will find a way to split the baby that halts criminal activity without preventing other legal activities.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

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That 2.7 earthquake in Silver Lake yesterday was probably just the shock of drivers finding out LA’s Riverside Drive is getting a road diet (scroll down).

A half-mile stretch of one of the two northbound lanes between Glendale and Los Feliz Blvds will be removed to calm traffic and make room for protected bike lanes on either side.

You can only imagine the shockwaves that would have resulted if they had tried to remove parking spaces, too.

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NBC’s LX site talks with the founders of the East Side Riders Bike Club the about using bicycles to cross gang lines and stop the cycle of hunger and violence.

As a child, East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III was told there were lines he couldn’t cross in the neighborhood of Watts, Los Angeles. Today, he and his organization — co-founded by his father — regularly cross those gang lines by bicycle to deliver meals to anyone struggling with homelessness or food insecurity.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed this one.

But take a few minutes to click the link and watch the video. And see how bicycles can do so much more than just get you from here to there.

It may just be the best six minutes of your day.

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They get it.

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Take a guess how much Monterey’s leading bike advocacy organization operates on.

And no, I don’t know the answer, either. But after years of working on a low budget myself, I can take a guess.

https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/1491278239918362624

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

A Canadian truck driver was fired after he was caught pushing a bike rider out of his way with the grill of his semi, as a group of riders apparently tried to stop him from joining the country’s protests over vax mandates.

No bias here. The Irish Times reviews a Czech-built Toyota SUV from the perspective that “cities are no longer that welcoming to the motor car” so you need a “rough and tumble off-roader to survive the cyclists’ scorn and snide remarks.” And the higher view puts drivers at eye-level to bike riders and pedestrians, “so you can look your abusers in the eye.” No, really.

No bias here, either. A BBC host was under fire for discussing the recent bike and pedestrian friendly changes to the country’s Highway Code by asking her guests a series of highly slanted questions about why they hated people on bicycles.

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

Police in Manchester, England stopped 30 bike riders for blowing through red lights in just 90 minutes, joining a growing list of British cities cracking down on red light jumpers.

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Local

You can now visit the previously fenced-off Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, complete with bike racks, on your next ride on the Ballona Creek bike path. For those of you outside LA — and some inside — it’s pronounced bi-yoh-na.

Pasadena Now talks with State Senator Anthony J. Portantino about his new bill to improve bike and pedestrian safety by requiring local communities to develop a High Injury Network map, and commit to fixing it within 15 years.

 

State

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin has been appointed to lead the California State Transportation Agency, aka CalSTA, after less than two and a half years on the job; he’s credited with shifting the state transportation agency’s focus from widening highways to building Complete Streets. Which means Governor Newsom needs to appoint someone who will continue that shift.

San Marco is opening a new two-way protected bike lane in ten days.

Streets For All is teaming with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on a new Twitter-based crash tracker, which will tweet news of San Diego bike and pedestrian crashes in real time. You can follow the one-year old Los Angeles version here

San Diego will settle a lawsuit filed by an injured bike rider for $1.3 million, to compensate for the severe facial injuries he suffered when he crashed his bike due to a broken sidewalk in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood. Just the latest in a series of multimillion dollar settlements due to the city’s damaged sidewalks.

This is who we share the road with, too. Weeks after Elon Musk questionably claimed that no Tesla using the Full Self-Driving Beta had been in a crash in two years, a San Jose YouTuber filmed his car crashing into a protected bike lane bollard, just moments after it ran a red light. Oops.

Streetsblog says Berkeley ripped out a section of a new protected bike lane in front of a hospital, alleging the medical center lied about not being able to get oxygen deliveries.

 

National

Prism says efforts to make American cities more welcoming for people on bicycles are being hindered by over policing of Black and brown bike riders, as well as poor infrastructure in lower income areas.

This is the cost of traffic violence. American Olympian Colby Stevenson took silver in the Men’s Freeski Big Air, after spending five years fighting his way back from a near-fatal car crash caused when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to pick a kids bike helmet.

The New York Times Wirecutter asks whether it’s a bad idea to buy a Peloton right now, as the company dumps 2,800 employees in response to crashing stock prices. But at least their severance packages include free fitness classes.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders are counting on the city expanding its bicycle network, which is currently limited to a single bike lane.

A new petition calls for an anti-dooring ordinance, after a North Carolina man was killed when a driver threw their car door open in front of his bike. And as we mentioned last week, the local press immediately blamed the victim.

A heartbreaking story gets even worse, as the Florida woman who fell to her death when a drawbridge opened while she was walking her bike across has been identified as 79-year old woman. The obvious question is why isn’t there someone or something in place to watch for people so that doesn’t happen? Thanks to Mike Burk and Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who fled the scene after running down a Florida boy, even if he wasn’t hurt.

 

International

This is who we share the road with. After an English man drove a company van into the back of another car, his boss checked the in-cab video, and watched him swigging champagne strait from the bottle and rolling a cigarette while driving with no hands.

A British MP suffered a broken arm falling off his bike while riding to Parliament.

An Indian writer says better bicycling policies, combined with designing cities to better support the working class, could help the country pedal to a more sustainable future.

A photographer catches a Pakistani street vendor walking a bicycle loaded down with wooden stools.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Zealand driver is appealing his sentence for injuring a bike-riding lawyer and totaling his $7,000 bicycle, because he wasn’t told the lawyer had a previous drunk driving conviction. Which has nothing to do with why he was riding his bike, or why the driver slammed into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome now has his own bikewear line, including a $95 t-shirt and $220 hoodie. Um, I’ll pass, thanks.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin was filmed drafting a truck with a few of his teammates on a training ride, and internet commenters were not kind.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you drive F1 for a living, and would still rather ride a bike in the rain than spend 20 minutes stuck traffic. Who doesn’t need $1,100 titanium mudguards on their bike?

And see all the WorldTour team kit colors in 46 seconds.

https://twitter.com/procycletrumps/status/1491019894208753664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1491019894208753664%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-february-2022-290155

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

$5,000 reward for felony hit-and-run, repaving Rose Bowl Loop, and still no details in bike rider killed by Azusa cop

The LAPD wants your help to bring a heartless coward to justice.

Last month, we reposted a plea from a man who was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike on Glendale Blvd, near the offramp from the 2 Freeway, on January 16th.

He was lucky to escape without serious injuries, somehow scrambling to safety as the driver crushed his bicycle.

We couldn’t embed video of the crash at the time, instead including stills from a dashcam video from a driver who captured the whole thing.

But the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division solved that problem, tweeting a hit-and-run alert yesterday that not only included a link to video of the crash, but also the dashcam driver chasing the hit-and-run suspect as he fled the scene.

As usual, be sure you really want to see the crash before you click on the first video, because many people may find it disturbing.

The LAPD report indicates there’s a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver, which is the standing amount for any hit-nd-run involving property damage in the City of Los Angeles.

However, the driver is being sought on a charge of felony hit-and-run, even though the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

Usually, any hit-and-run just involving property damage would be considered a misdemeanor under California law, but it can be charged as a felony if the amount of damage exceeds a certain level.

And no, I haven’t been able to find out just what that level is. But apparently, the damages in this case exceed it.

Meanwhile, Wesley Burt forwards a Nextdoor exchange from a couple of women who can’t seem to conceive of someone driving around with a dashcam, without some nefarious purpose.

Naturally, they blame the victim for being up to no good.

And Streets For All founder Michael Schneider points out this rash didn’t have to happen in the first place, if the city had taken its own mobility plan seriously.

Let alone Vision Zero.

Here’s how KCBS2/KCAL9 described the crash.

The suspect vehicle is described as a 2012 to 2016 Hyundai Elantra, with likely right front-end damage and a missing right front hubcap.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or email 31480@lapd.online. You can remain anonymous by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 800/222-TIPS (8477), or going online at LA Crime Stoppers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn and Thomas Riebs for the heads-up.

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The popular Rose Bowl Loop is getting a new coat of asphalt.

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Nothing fishy here.

Three days later, there has still been no information released about the crash that killed a bike rider when he was struck by an Azusa motorcycle cop.

Nothing.

We don’t even know anything about the victim, except that he’s a man.

This lack of openness by the Azusa Police Department makes you wonder just what they’re trying to hide.

And creates doubts about their credibility when and if they finally get around to telling us what the hell happened.

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This is who we share the road with.

Because aggro fools like this have to leave the freeway sometime.

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Your periodic reminder that bike lanes aren’t just for able bodied people wrapped in spandex.

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

No bias here. After a A Buffalo, New York paper says safer bike infrastructure is helping attract the younger residents the area needs, a columnist says go ahead and build all the bike paths you want, as long as they don’t inconvenience drivers.

An infuriating story from a North Carolina newspaper says a bike rider was critically injured when he rode into an open car door. No, he was doored by a barely mentioned careless driver who threw open the damn car door without checking to see if anyone was there.

No bias here, either. After a British bike rider posts video of a Range Rover driver buzzing a little girl riding her bike as evidence of why people on bicycles should take the lane, the Daily Mail calls him a cycling zealot and drivers complain she wasn’t wearing a helmet. As if a little bit of plastic would protect her from a three and a half ton vehicle.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the armed robber who held up a pair of elderly women at gunpoint as they were having lunch in Palo Alto, before fleeing on a cruiser bike. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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Local

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 13-year old Long Beach boy bleeding in the street after slamming into his bicycle.

The LA Times offers a positive spin on America’s deadly streets, saying there may be a national crisis, but we can fix them.

BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners writes that if you’re in a collision in California, there’s a one in six chance that the driver who hit you won’t have liability insurance.

The rich get richer, as bike friendly Long Beach intends to complete 15 bikeway projects totaling 33 miles within the next three years, as part of an effort to finish 300 miles of bike lanes by 2040, as well as a promise to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

 

State

A pair of Santa Barbara brothers have been honored for their short documentary exploring gender, equality and two-wheeled empowerment among Kenyon schoolgirls; Jacob Seigel Brielle and Isaac Seigel-Boettner won the same award for their first film in 2010.

They get it. Berkeley’s Berkeleyside website says the city’s bike plan needs to treat people on bicycles better, noting that bike boulevards should have the same safe and convenient street crossings that drivers get.

San Francisco bike riders swarmed the city’s Bike Kitchen hoping for deep discounts as the co-op tried to solve the problem of having too many bicycles, which kept coming in even as the shop was closed because of the pandemic.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls on Caltrans to build “incomplete streets” by banning cars from off-road bicycle highways, physically separated lanes, bridges, and pedestrian paths and plazas.

 

National

Fast Company calls for building bridges for people instead of cars.

The Atlantic suggests scaling traffic fines along with income, so wealthy people pay more for breaking traffic laws than people who can less afford the fines.

A writer for Electrek calls the new $1,200 Aventon Soltera the most beautiful low-cost ebike he’s tested, while Cycling Tips says the $7,000 Urban Arrow e-cargo bike is a pickup on two wheels.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Maui driver is being held on half a million dollars bail for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a 73-year old man riding a bicycle, just a week after he plead guilty to DUI in another case. Which is exactly when his keys should have been taken away, and car impounded.

Sad news from Portland, where Bud Clark, the bike-riding mayor who set the city on its bike-friendly course, passed away Tuesday at 90 years old.

Interbike could unexpectedly rise from the ashes, as its parent company explores reviving the Las Vegas bicycle trade show.

A New York program is helping essential workers buy ebikes to get to work, offering microloans between $500 to $1,500 with no minimum credit score required.

New York Streetsblog wonders what happened to two promised rule changes that would allow bike riders to roll through red lights after stopping in some limited circumstances.

 

International

The petition backed by US bike mechanics calling for an end to built-to-fail bicycles is gaining traction in Vancouver, as well.

The NFL is paying a Canadian university to look into whether substances found in cannabis can prevent and treat concussions. It can definitely prevent concussions if people get too stoned to get off the couch.

London’s Evening Standard looks at their picks for the best bike locks.

An aide to London’s mayor argues that the risks to people walking or riding bikes should be considered before any road safety programs get the axe, saying bike riders get injured in the city every day.

An Irish paper warns that Dublin bike riders and drivers are on a collision course as commuters start heading back to work next week, after record numbers of people took to their bikes during the pandemic.

A Vietnamese website recommends a bike tour to see Hanoi from a different perspective.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal faces a second operation on his spine, as he remains in intensive care after nearly losing his life crashing into a poorly parked bus while training in Colombia.

The news about Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters isn’t good, as she remains in stable condition in a deep coma more than a month after she was critically injured in a training crash just before Christmas.

Clean Technica urges the Tour Down Under to ditch its sponsorship by Santos, saying a fossil fuel company shouldn’t sponsor a bike race. Although these days, pro cycling can use every penny they can get.

Pro cycling’s Riders Union warns about dangerous conditions at the Saudi Tour, including hidden hazards in a gravel section and rule-breaking roadside barriers near the finish.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is taking another swing at founding a cycling team, after the collapse of the Floyd’s of Leadville founder’s previous effort in 2019; the team will ride new Canadian brand Squad Bicycles.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you bust your teenage friend out of the joint by hauling him off in a kid’s trailer behind your bike. Your bike glove could tell you where to go.

And who doesn’t need a bike light with a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can annoy everyone around you with your taste in music?

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

Website wildly exaggerates LA bike deaths, taking a deep dive into LA’s Vision Zero fail, and muscle car driver kills 9

Maybe biking in LA doesn’t suck as much as we thought.

On Friday, we linked to yet another ranking of the best and worst bike-friendly cities in the US.

And to the surprise of almost no one, LA checked in at the very bottom of the bottom, once again being named as the nation’s worst city for bicycling.

But it ain’t necessarily so.

The chart from Tower Electric Bikes shows a bicycling fatality rate of 15.6 per 10,000 residents.

In other words, they say Los Angeles averages 15.6 bicycling deaths per capita for every 10,000 people in the city.

But with a population of nearly 4 million, that works out to 6,162 people killed riding their bicycles every year in the City of Angels.

Which is a little more than seven times the total number of bicyclists killed in the entire US in 2019.

As if the 18 people who needlessly lost their lives riding a bike in the city last year wasn’t bad enough.

Where they got that figure, I have no idea. A footnote on the chart says the stats came from PeopleForBikes annual rankings, but there is no mention of fatality rates on the Los Angeles page, and no reference to that 15.6 per 10,000 figure.

And it doesn’t seem to correlate to any other actual statistics, from any credible source.

So take it with a grain of salt. Or maybe a bag, given just how far off they are from anything close to reality.

Riding here can certainly suck at times, for any number of reasons.

But at least we aren’t that bad yet.

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LAist takes a deep dive into the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program, with city streets claiming the deadliest traffic toll in two decades last year.

And just how we got in this mess, six years after the mayor signed the program into being, and just three years before Los Angeles traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Safety activists believe that work is going far too slowly. Pedestrian and cyclist groups say the city has spent decades prioritizing fast car travel on its streets at the expense of everyone else using the roads — and the rising death toll is the tragic but inevitable result.

“This is not the trajectory of a modern city,” said John Yi, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks. “The last thing we want is to double down on cars while other cities are reimagining what their streetscapes would be without cars.”

That total of nearly 300 people killed on city streets last year — including 18 people on bicycles and 132 pedestrians — could rise even further as more detailed analysis is done.

Meanwhile, a listing of the city’s most dangerous intersections give us all a roadmap of places to avoid.

Two of which are within a short walk from my own home, let alone a ride.

For pedestrians:

  • Caesar E. Chavez Ave. and Soto St.
  • Avalon Blvd. and Imperial Highway
  • De Soto Ave. and Lassen St.
  • Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.

For cyclists:

  • Humboldt St. and San Fernando Road
  • Anaheim St. and King Ave.
  • Valley Vista Blvd. and Van Nuys Blvd.
  • La Brea Ave. and Sunset Blvd.

For total collisions:

  • San Pedro St. and Washington Blvd
  • Florence Ave. and Vermont Ave
  • Oxnard St. and Van Nuys Blvd
  • Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave

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This is who we share the road with.

Absolutely horrible news from Las Vegas, where nine people were killed in a multi-vehicle collision when the driver of a Dodge Challenger ran a red light at high speed, striking five other vehicles in what was called a mass casualty event.

In other words, driving exactly the way the company actively encourages in its ads.

Hopefully, the survivors of those victims will get good lawyers, and sue the hell out of Dodge, not just for making machines capable of mass mayhem, but promoting their use in the most dangerous ways possible.

And if they need a good lawyer, I’m happy to recommend a few.

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Things are looking up in Eagle Rock, even if you do have to ride in or near the door zone.

………

Note to LADOT — This is what real bollards look like, not those little white car-tickling bendie posts you seem to prefer.

This is also exactly what we need on Hollywood Blvd, particularly at Hollywood & Highland, where the city has done absolutely nothing to protect tourists and pedestrians from motor vehicle terrorists and out-of-control drivers.

More proof that the city has learned absolutely nothing from the automotive attack on the Venice Boardwalk, and the catastrophe at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

Let alone dozens of motor-driven attacks in New York, London and other sites around the world.

………

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

Congratulations to the Fort Myers, Florida New-Press on what may be the worst bicycle-related headline in human history; only after reading the story does it turn out the victim had a little help getting killed, rather than just keeling over. 

No bias here. A writer for The Spectator complains about “the ceaseless self-pity of cyclists,” and complains about hulking male bike riders on huge bikes speeding down sidewalks, plowing everyone out of their way. Evidently, there must be a class of bicycles in the UK at least twice the size of regular bikes. Or maybe she hasn’t seen an actual bicycle since the Penny Farthing went out of fashion. 

………

Local

They get it. Following the announcement by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin that he won’t run for re-election, the LA Times writes that the current vitriol in politics is driving good people out of public service.

Los Angeles is getting its first ebike cargo delivery service, with package-laden riders spreading out from four hubs throughout the city.

We Like LA takes a walk on the the LA River bike path through Frogtown.

If you found the LA River path blocked by police activity in Long Beach Saturday afternoon, it’s because a man was shot near the bike path around 11:15 am; the victim was hospitalized in critical condition.

New bike lanes could be coming to Western Ave on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, running from San Pedro through Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles, Lomita and Torrance.

 

State

A Seal Beach police lieutenant warns against riding ebikes discourteously, and says bike riders should slow and come to a complete stop at all intersections, unless they have a green light. Which is guaranteed to piss off every driver on the road around them.

A Las Vegas website recommends bicycling amid the breathtaking beauty of Death Valley’s Artist Road.

 

National

Slate talks with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the safety crisis on American streets, and what his department plans to do about it.

Salon considers why Peloton has suddenly become television’s latest punching bag.

Texas is fighting to keep the roads deadly, moving to rescind an eight-year old transfer of a state roadway to the city of San Antonio, apparently because the governor doesn’t like plans for a lane reduction to improve safety and livability along the corridor; bike riders call for public outrage over the loss of promised bike lanes along the corridor.

More evidence that we all face the same problems, as advocates push for a better bike network in Western New York, while auto-centric drivers push back hard.

New York Magazine says ebikes are a simple solution to getting cars off the road right now.

 

International

A massive pile of junked bicycles has become a local landmark for London bike riders.

British drivers — and at least some segments of the press — are freaking out over new changes to the country’s Highway Code requiring operators of more dangerous vehicles to take greater care to avoid crashes, while advising bike riders to take the lane and ride two abreast under some circumstances to improve safety.

The Sun warns of an avalanche of lawsuits over the changes, while the Daily Mail insists drivers are powerless to stop bicyclists from riding in the middle of the road. Apparently, they can’t comprehend the difference between riding in the middle of the traffic lane and the middle of the roadway.

Remembering Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp, who rode his bicycle 8,000 miles to Mt. Everest, then climbed the mountain without oxygen.

An Indian man rode over 4,600 miles across the country to raise awareness for road safety, despite being totally blind. He was guided by navigators in cars traveling ahead of and behind his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The great Marianne Vos won her eighth world cyclocross women’s title.

Belgium turned tables on the Dutch, sweeping the podium in the men’s U-23 ‘cross championships a year after the Netherlands did the same thing. But the Dutch women held their own, sweeping all three podium spots in the women’s U-23.

The Eritrean cycling team was barred from participating in the Tour of Rwanda because none of the riders have been vaccinated for Covid-19; riders from the country won the race in 2019 and 2020, but no one in Eritrea has been vaccinated yet.

A crowdfunding campaign for Irish champ Imogen Cotter has raised the equivalent of over $25,000, after she was hit head-on by a speeding driver while training in Italy.

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal says the damage from a training crash last week was bad enough that there was a 95% chance he would end up a paraplegic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when clown bikes get their own rutted lane. Be on the lookout for a serial size 46 bike shoe thief.

And the image below is supposed to be a leopard; it’s He Who Must Not Be Named who’s a cheetah.

………

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

Bravo to face trial on fatal Indio hit-and-run, Schrödinger’s Taylor Yard bridge, and Firecracker bike ride goes virtual

It’s taken almost a year.

But there may be justice for fallen bicyclist Anthony Duran after all.

My News LA is reporting that 29-year old Indio resident Mark Christian Bravo will stand trial for felony hit-and-run involving injury or death, with a sentencing-enhancement of committing the crime while on bail.

The convicted drug dealer was out on bail on an assault charge when he ran down Duran as he was walking his bicycle across an Indio street last February. Bravo kept going without stopping, leaving his victim to die alone in the street.

There’s no indication how long Duran’s body lay there before he was discovered.

Bravo is currently free on $75,000 bail, as well as $85,000 bail for the previous assault case.

If there was any real justice, Mark Bravo would face a 2nd degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to let his victim die, rather that a mere four years for the fatal hit-and-run.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is finally open.

Or not.

Like Schrödinger’s cat, it seems to depend on the observer.

https://twitter.com/awalkerinLA/status/1485505272751689731

………

Disappointing, but probably predictable, news, as Chinatown’s annual Firecracker 10k celebration has gone virtual once again.

A press release from the organization says the event, which also includes a 20 or 40 mile bike ride, was changed due to the recent surge in Covid cases due to the Omicron variant.

The 2022 L.A. Chinatown Firecracker events will now take place virtually only with extended participation from now through February 27, 2022. Participants will be able to complete their event(s) by downloading and activating the RaceJoy app on their mobile device. The app will track the participants’ events as they run/walk/ride and record their results. The RaceJoy app provides live GPS progress alerts, tracking, Send-a-Cheer (where participants may receive supportive audio cheers from remote friends and family) and virtual results. Participants may also submit their results manually on the L.A. Chinatown Firecracker registration site.

L.A. Chinatown Firecracker will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all participants and volunteers, including a focus on adherence to public health guidelines. Each registered participant receives a commemorative 2022 Firecracker race bib, exclusive-collectible finisher’s medal, limited edition t-shirt and goody bag.

………

Clearly, you can carry anything on a bicycle.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/GardenerHolger/status/1484254862384799754?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1484254862384799754%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-21-january-2022-289711

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

Today’s mountain bike break takes us on hand built trails carved into the Welsh countryside.

Although you may have to click through to see it if the video below isn’t visible.

………

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

No bias here. London’s Daily Mail predicts chaos and road rage as a new British traffic code takes effect requiring drivers to yield to more vulnerable road users, and allowing bike riders to use the full lane to increase visibility under some circumstances.

On a related subject, Road.cc accuses major newspapers of misrepresenting the new rules, including mistakenly telling drivers they can be fined if they don’t use the Dutch reach.

………

Local

Metro wants you to make a commitment to ride more next month.

Today is the last day to offer your input on how Metro should spend their money. Or rather, our money.

Maybe Arnold should stick to riding his ebike, after a woman was nearly killed when his massive Yukon SUV rolled on top of her car after they collided.

Former BMX pro and current road and gravel rider Andrew Jackson offers a guide to the best rides in Los Angeles. And more importantly, where to get the best tacos.

The Arts District in DTLA now has an LGBTQ-centered bicycle cafe.

 

State

Truly appalling news from Coachella, where a pair of 13-year old boys were arrested for stealing a bicycle from another boy at gunpoint; one of the boys was also arrested for attempting to stab another boy walking home from school. The gun turned out to be a prop gun designed to fire blanks, although the victim had no way of knowing that.

 

National

Surprisingly, Popular Science wants to tell you how to turn your bike into a DIY ebike. No, the surprise is that the magazine is still a thing.

The best-selling electric vehicles aren’t cars, with bicycles outselling motor vehicles in the US by nearly 140,000 last year.

 

International

Off-Road.cc offers tips on how to make your mountain bike faster. Without, you know, buying a new one.

Cycling Weekly gives Cannondale a chance to respond after a review of the company’s SmartSense technology embedded in the new Synapse ebike drew an unusual amount of hostile comments.

A Montreal bike messenger considers the challenge of keeping warm on the job in the Canadian winter.

Riding cross-country is nothing new. Unless maybe the country is Iceland, in subfreezing weather with snow coming.

The Daily Mail profiles London bike cam vigilante Mike van Erp, who’s recorded over 2,000 distracted drivers and reported them to the police for prosecution, earning the undying enmity the driving public. We desperately need the law updated to allow prosecution of drivers based on photographic and video evidence on this side of the Atlantic.

British track cycling hero and bike advocate Chris Boardman has been appointed as the UK’s first bicycling and walking commissioner. And no, there is no comparable position here in the US, even though there should be.

A judge in the UK notes that some bicycles are more expensive than many cars, as he sentences a pair of high-end bike thieves to 40 and 66 months, respectively. Now the courts just need to accept that some people need their bikes just as much as others need their cars, if not more.

Tyler the Creator is sort of one us, writing the score for the final Louis Vuitton fashion show designed by the late Virgil Abloh in Paris, and finishing the show by walking a bicycle down the catwalk and riding across the stage.

 

Competitive Cycling

French pro Alexandre Geniez could be racing under a cloud this spring, with a possible six-month sentence for domestic violence against his ex-wife hanging over his head.

Sad to see that retired American pro Andrew Talansky has become a raving Covid denier.

 

Finally…

That feeling when fictional Peloton users keep dropping dead. When you’re already on probation and riding your bike with an outstanding arrest warrant, put a damn light on it, already.

And only Snoop D O Double G could pull off a lowrider bicycle with a microwave on the back.

………

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

At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

………

The older term was more accurate.

………

Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

………

A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

………

Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

………

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/yitgordon/status/1480610900444778496

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

………

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

18 Los Angeles bike riders killed in 2021 Vision Zero fail, speed cams improve safety, and Sidney Poitier was one of us

It’s worse than we thought.

A lot worse.

Tracking bicycling deaths in Los Angeles last year, it became clear that what I was seeing was clearly a major undercount.

Because the numbers I was seeing were too good to be true, as if LA’s Vision Zero has suddenly started showing results, despite years of just nibbling at the edges of traffic safety.

It’s a problem that has developed over the past few years, as local newspapers and TV stations stopped reporting many bike crashes after the pandemic forced major cutbacks in the newsrooms.

At the same time, the LAPD has taken to telling the public about bike and pedestrian deaths only when there’s a crime involved — and even then too often waiting weeks, if not months, to issue a press release in some parts of the city, particularly in the case of hit-and-runs.

And LADOT has backtracked from their promises to track bike and pedestrian deaths under the Vision Zero program, which has receded to where it seems more like an inconvenience than a priority for the city’s transportation agency.

As a result, I counted just eight people killed riding bicycles in the city last year, a fraction of the 15 to 20 or more deaths that would have been expected in pre-pandemic days.

Sadly, I was right.

According to the Los Angeles Times, that was less than half of the actual total of 18 people killed riding their bikes in the City of Angels in 2021 — a 20% increase over the 15 people killed on bikes in the first year of the pandemic.

The paper points out the ongoing failure of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s underfunded Vision Zero pledge to cut traffic deaths by 20% by 2017 — a target the city didn’t come close to meeting. And the virtual impossibility meeting his commitment to ending traffic deaths in the city entirely by 2025.

According to Los Angeles Police Department data through Dec. 25, 289 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, 21% more than the same period in 2020 and 19% over the same period in 2019. A total of 1,465 people were severely injured, a 30% increase over the same period in 2020. The LAPD defines severely injured as needing to be transported from the collision.

The city’s streets are increasingly dangerous for pedestrians in particular, with 486 being severely injured by motorists — a 35% increase over 2020. Pedestrian deaths rose 6% to 128.

The numbers frustrate transportation advocates, who’ve long argued that Vision Zero — a program to end traffic deaths unveiled in 2015 by Garcetti — is underfunded and given a low priority by the mayor and City Hall leaders.

Then again, that’s what can be expected when our elected leaders quake in fear of getting recalled by angry drivers, and lack the courage to make the hard choices and changes necessary to save lives.

But Garcetti isn’t one to take such criticism lying down.

Garcetti cited the distraction of cellphones as a cause of collisions and said the city has added bike lanes during the pandemic, studied the city’s most dangerous intersections to come up with solutions, and supported a new state law designed to help cities have more control over speed limits.

“But it shows how tough it is,” Garcetti said Thursday.

He pushed back against criticism that he doesn’t mention Vision Zero as frequently as he touts other initiatives. “I speak out all the time,” Garcetti said. “I do on panels, I go out there, internationally, to kind of be part of this movement to make sure that we have more walkable, livable cities.”

So it’s nice to see Garcetti has done what he seems to do best.

Talk and attend conferences.

To be honest, I’ve wracked my brain in recent months, but can’t recall any elected official I’ve voted for and actively supported who has been a greater disappointment than Eric Garcetti. 

He started out great in his first term, before apparently setting his sights on higher office — including the presidency — and appearing to lose interest in the daily work of being the mayor of Los Angeles.

But I can tell you this.

I will not vote for anyone for mayor this year who does not fully commit to making Vision Zero a top priority, and funding it at levels necessary to result in real change. And commit to making the difficult choices and changes we need on our streets to actually reduce deaths and make our streets survivable.

And I won’t support anyone for city council who doesn’t, either.

It’s clear that homelessness will be the primary issue in this year’s campaign. We need to fight to raise traffic safety to a top priority, as well.

Because our lives literally depend on it.

………

A new Chicago study shows speed cams really do work. And they really do save lives.

A review of the city’s 162 automated speed cams, which state law allows to be installed only within one-eighth of a mile of a park or school, showed that serious crashes went up in those areas.

But not as much as they did in the city as a whole.

According to Chicago Streetsblog,

  • Fatal or serious injury crashes increased only 2 percent near speed cameras between 2012-13 and 2018-19, as compared to a 21 percent increase citywide. This is similar to the 1 percent and 19 percent findings of last year’s study, which compared 2012-13 with 2017-18.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2018-19, overall crash totals increased 1 percent in the cam locations, compared to a 25 percent increase in all crashes citywide. The figures from last year’s study were 4 percent and 26 percent.
  • Speed-related crashes increased 18 near speed cams between 2012-13 and 2018-19, compared to a 64 percent spike city-wide. Those are smaller increases than were seen in last year’s study: 25 percent and 75 percent.

Two bills under consideration in the state legislature during the past session would have established pilot programs for speed cams here in California.

But both died on the vine, apparently because they would have inconvenienced speeding drivers, which tend to make them mad.

Fortunately, Calbike and SAFE — aka Streets Are For Everyone — say they’ll make getting a bill through the legislature one of their top priorities.

So there may be hope yet.

………

Los Angeles Bureau of Streets Services Assistant Director & Chief Sustainability Officer Greg Spotts is one of us.

Which should inspire confidence that he’ll get the job done right.

https://twitter.com/Spottnik/status/1479884374053056515

………

Now if all cars were just made like this.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up. 

………

The immortal Sidney Poitier was one of us. So was his friend and fellow 1940s alum of Harlem’s American Negro Theatre.

………

I want to be like him when I grow up.

………

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

No bias here. Instead of complaining about the one rude bike rider they encountered, a New Jersey father addresses his complaints to “all the arrogant jerks who ride on New Jersey trails and roadways.” On the other hand, if you’re not an arrogant jerk, his message apparently doesn’t apply to you.

No bias here, either. Two cops were disciplined after Irish officials allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the streets until he killed a man riding a bike, despite 42 — yes, 42 — previous convictions, and being out on bail from three separate courts. But the police commissioner quashed their fines and sanctions.

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

A Montreal bike rider responds to being told to stay in the bike lane by smashing his bike against the driver’s car. Which probably hurt his bike more than it does the car. Seriously, violence is never the answer, as tempting as it is sometimes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYcErfYoi8V/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=310f8a6c-bbd3-4df9-8baa-2b82c601f84b

………

Local

Metro Bike is offering a one-month bikeshare pass for just $1.

The director of the LA chapter of the Sierra Club complains that there are no programs in place to encourage customers to ride their bikes to local businesses.

 

State

A California inventor is working on a bike lane sweeper you can pull behind your bike.

Encinitas residents turned out for the city’s Cyclovia open streets event on Sunday, which shut down four letters worth of the Coast Highway to cars, and opened them to people for four hours from D Street to J Street.

Police in Temecula are looking for a pair of burglars who broke into a local bike shop and stole a pair of high-end mountain bikes.

Riverside’s SMART Tire Company has released the second-generation of their airless metal tire prototype, developed in conjunction with NASA in an effort to reduce weight — and the $2,000 price tag — before it goes to market later this year. Although the investors on Shark Tank didn’t approve.

San Luis Obispo kicked a homeless encampment off a local bike path before closing it for the next eight weeks to make improvements along the route.

A San Francisco writer says he won’t be renewing his membership in the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, thanks to their demands to return “car-free JFK Drive…to a dangerous highway used mostly by shortcut-takers zipping between destinations outside the park.”

 

National

They get it. Wired says if the US is serious about climate change — which remains to be seen — our leaders need to start treating bicycles like replacements for cars, and not toys.

Mashable considers all the ebikes and scooters presented at last week’s CES in Las Vegas — including one with treads and no pedals to get through the snow.

A series of reports about the “the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans” recounts the horrific tale of a Montana mountain biker who rounded a blind curve and ran directly into a massive grizzly, who did not take to it kindly.

Once again, an ebike battery spontaneously combusted, sparking a four alarm fire in a Bronx apartment building early Saturday. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, unlike Sunday’s apartment fire sparked by a space heater that killed at least 19 people.

Nearly 40 injured vets took part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual ride through the Florida Keys.

 

International

He gets it, too. A British Columbia columnist says yes, he always wears a bike helmet, but bike lanes will do a lot more to improve safety.

A British automotive website looks forward to the upcoming ebikes that are revving their engines.

UK residents laugh at the idea that people could carry their trash to drop-off sites on their bicycles during a garbage strike. Apparently, no one has ever told them about cargo bikes. Or racks. Or baskets. 

National Geographic examines what makes the Isle of Man one of Great Britain’s best places to ride a bike.

Milan is getting serious about bicycling, unveiling a $272 million plan to build an entire 466-mile network of concentric and radial bike paths connecting 80% of the city.

NPR visits Iraq, where women riding bicycles are often seen as promiscuous, though the women see themselves as activists.

A man from Kazakhstan plans to ride 500 miles from Busan to Seoul, South Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is targeting a record-tying number five this year, insisting that he’s fully recovered from a near fatal crash two years ago. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, before he didn’t.

Cycling Weekly considers who has this year’s best looking pro cycling kit.

 

Finally…

Anyone can hold a naked bike ride in the middle of summer, but a January ride takes balls, uh, guts. If you have to steal an ebike, probably not the best idea to take one marked “evidence” from the police impound yard.

And someone get me some ice and a skate, quick.

………

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

Pity the poor oppressed drivers, killer Texas driver blind in one eye & can’t see out of the other, and ’tis the season

It’s the final week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just five more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. 

It was a record-setting weekend, easily topping last year’s record 73 donations.

So let’s all thank Alissa C, Joel S, Gregory S, John C, Adrienne G, David A, Steven Y, Heather J, Matthew R, Steven F, Brer M, Mitchel D, Jeff M and Joel F for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Which raises the question, what are you waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Today’s must read comes from The Guardian.

Columnist Catherine Bennett writes in sympathy to all the poor, oppressed drivers forced to share the road with the rest of us.

Reports from the frontline of the war on motorists have made distressing reading for some vehicle owners. With low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) surviving both physical and media assault, improved protections for pedestrians and cyclists in a revised Highway Code will weaken still further, they discover, a right to road domination long understood to be, if not divinely ordained, something even better: unassailable.

She goes on to discuss an unfortunate driver who was sentenced to a whole 18 months behind bars and a three-year driving ban for chasing, and ultimately running over a man on a bicycle, recording the entire intentional attack on his dash cam accompanied by his screaming wife.

And leaving his victim “fortunate to survive injuries including a fractured pelvis, torn genitals, six broken ribs and a punctured liver.”

She concludes this way.

Teachable moment: if you want to behave recklessly and dangerously on a road without incarceration, inconvenience, or even incurring a large fine, it’s advisable to do it inside a car. As for almost killing a stranger in a moment of madness: that too, as demonstrated by Mr Moult, is best done, for the avoidance of more stringent penalties, from a seatbelted position inside, for preference, one of the car industry’s more environmentally objectionable models.

Seriously, read it.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 66-year old Texas driver who slammed into a group of cross-country bicyclists, killing a Massachusetts man and injuring two others — including a Santa Rosa woman —  explained the crash by telling police he’s blind in one eye and can’t see very well out of the other one.

So why the hell was he still allowed to drive?

Someone, somewhere, should have noticed his vision problems and got him off the streets before he killed someone.

Not after.

Just one more example of the convenience of drivers being given priority over the safety of everyone else.

………

‘Tis the season.

Orange County’s Bicycle Santas are back after last year’s forced hiatus, donating 80 bicycles to FaCT (Families And Communities Together, Orange County).

Around 200 Portland kids can expect new bikes, thanks to a group collecting bicycles and tricycles for children in need under five years old.

A Boulder, Colorado program has provided anywhere from 300 to 500 refurbished bikes for local kids each year for the past 15 years, as well as 50 ebikes for essential workers this year, funded by a state grant.

A massive bike donation program in Syracuse NY celebrated its 25th year by giving away 2,000 bicycles to people in need.

Donations are still being sought for a Virginia Beach VA foundation, where organizers hope to distribute 300 bikes to kids this Christmas.

Fayetteville, North Carolina’s famed Bicycle Man charity is giving away around 1,000 new and refurbished bicycles, after delaying last year’s giveaway due to the pandemic. The longtime community activist started by repairing bikes in his garage; his wife took over following his death eight years ago.

A church in Columbia, South Carolina is continuing their tradition of refurbishing around a hundred bicycles a year to give to local kids.

Louisiana’s Terrbone Parish hosted a bike and toy giveaway, with 300 bicycles given to children in need, including families still suffering from 2009’s Hurricane Ida.

A Cajun Country car club donated three custom-built adaptive bikes to special needs kids in Louisiana.

Nearly one hundred kids got new bicycles in a Daytona Beach park.

Today’s list also includes one of our own sponsors, San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, who is now among latest sponsors of the Bikes 4 Kids Project.

………

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

As usual, there’s no shortage of anti-bike letter writers, who put their bias on full display in response to Michael’s Schneider’s recent op-ed calling on officials to drop their opposition to bike lanes; one writer said people on bicycles are usually very fit and very brave, and so there’s no point wasting our streets on a tiny niche. Cleary, he hasn’t met many of us.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish man walked with a suspended sentence after threatening a female bike cop, promising the court he’s a changed man and will never, ever do it again — even though seven of his 72 previous convictions were for threatening behavior. Yes, 72.

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

Authorities in Florida are on the lookout for a man who fled on a cruiser bike after robbing a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun.

A bike-riding man in Osaka, Japan is under investigation for an apparent arson fire that killed 24 people at a mental health clinic where he was a patient.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times asks if drivers are angrier these days, and goes on to answer their own question — an average of 42 people a month were shot or wounded in road rage shootings in the past year, double the previous average. And one person was shot or injured every 18 hours in the US this year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the new MOVE Culver City project, and concludes Downtown Culver City just got more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

Electrek says if you’re still waiting for a new ebike, it’s probably stuck on a ship off Long Beach.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at what’s in the new federal infrastructure bill for the state.

A Chula Vista bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was rear-ended by a driver following some “miscommunication,” because the bike lane was clogged with storm debris.

Family members remember Ricardo Serrano, the 15-year old boy killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle in Victorville less than a mile from his school earlier this month.

 

National

Nice tradition in one Billings, Montana neighborhood, where residents still light luminarias every Christmas Eve in memory of a 12-year old boy who was killed  by a driver while riding his bicycle in 1962.

A 22-year old Mad City, Wisconsin man operates a one-person bicycle recovery program within the police department.

One person is dead, and seven injured, after nine ebike batteries blew up while being recharged in New York overnight, sparking a massive fire; two teens were forced to shinny four stories down an exterior pipe to escape the blaze.

A Steetsblog op-ed observes that bike booms come and go, so the New York’s new mayor has to seize the moment to make transformative change.

A stoned Long Island utility worker faces 3.5 to 10 years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle while high on meth, amphetamines and fentanyl; he slammed into five separate vehicles after running a red light, fled that crash before hitting the victim, fled again and ultimately attacked another driver after slamming head-on into the man’s truck.

A certified cycling instructor in Jersey City NJ says there’s currently a de facto ban on bicycling for transportation in the city.

She gets it. A DC columnist says a five-year old girl recently killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk with her father deserved better, and should leave behind a legacy of safer streets.

A Norfolk, Virginia man has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the local police for excessive use of force, after a cop tackled him off his bike for the crime of riding without a headlight, breaking his leg in three places; needless to say, an internal investigation concluded the cop didn’t do anything wrong.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to make progress on accommodating people on bicycles, with plans in the works for a bike path that would wind through five parishes, the Louisiana equivalent of a county. And it only took four decades after I left.

Miami bike riders complain that new widely spaced rubber armadillos placed on a causeway to protect them from drivers have just replaced one danger with another one.

 

International

Road.cc examines the science behind flashing versus steady bike lights. So why does it have to be one or the other? I ride with a solid beam illuminating the roadway, and a flashing light to get drivers’ attention. 

Meanwhile, Road.cc’s off-road edition considers whether titanium is the ultimate frame material off-road bikes.

Buzzfeed considers 18 places around the world where cars are banned, and “no one seems to miss them.”

Life is cheap in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a parole board told a woman who was sentenced to five years behind bars after killing a man riding a bicycle and fleeing the scene while driving drunk last year can go home during the day.

London’s Independent considers the huge change a bicycle can make in a refugee’s life, and how you can contribute. Even if you have to read the story on Yahoo.

According to a recent survey, even though bicycling is up 30% in Scotland, 61% of bike riders say a lack of safe riding routes keeps them off their bikes.

It may be a long way to Tipperary, as the song says, but you may not find anywhere to park your bike in the Irish city once you get there.

A 70-year old blind Japanese woman has authored a picture book based on her own experience riding a bike for the first time at age 60.

A New Zealand woman can credit her two-year old rescue dog with saving her life following a bike crash, climbing up an embankment to get help after she had ridden off the edge.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can own the bike Wout Van Aert rode to victory on Mount Ventoux in this year’s Tour de France; bidding currently stands at nearly $15,000.

USA Cycling announced a new national crit series with a $100,000 purse, although it currently features just six of the previous ten races.

 

Finally…

Learn how to ride a bike in real life, in the metaverse. That feeling when you go on to become a famous actress, even if your first stunt double was a bike-riding boy in a padded bra.

And yes, he gets it.

………

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

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

Time’s running out to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just 12 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

Thanks to Nick R, Steve M, Sean M, Penny S and David M for their generous donations to help support this site, and keep the corgi in kibble for the next couple months.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed.

………

Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

………

More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

………

Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

………

‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

………

Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

………

Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

………

The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

………

Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

https://twitter.com/JonasBrosBros/status/1469468216367845376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1469468216367845376%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2021-12-10-joe-jonas-rode-his-bike-through-new-york-city-to-get-to-jingle-ball%2F

………

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

………

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

………

Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

………

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

Vegas driver gets up to 26 years for pushover death, bikes are good for the world’s health, and more ’tis the season

My apologies for the earlier proofreading errors to this post. Server problems combined with an internet outage to keep me making any corrections. Hopefully I’ve caught everything now. 

………

It’s the 13th day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Bryan B for his generous donation to help keep everything you need to know about the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes coming your way every day.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, far more than I could ever put into words. 

So donate today, and let’s make this a lucky 13 for both of us!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

………

That’s more like it.

In the conclusion to a tragic story we’ve been following for the past year, a Las Vegas man will spend a well-deserved 10 to 26 years behind bars for the death of a 56-year old woman as she was riding her bike.

Rodrigo Cruz was driving the van when he swerved close to the victim, Michelle “Shelli” Weissman, as his friend leaned out the passenger window to push Weissman off her bike, killing her.

In the ultimate tragic irony, the passenger, Giovanni Medina Barajas, fell out the window and died at the scene, as well.

Cruz’s attorney tried to write the whole thing off as a “some sort of dumb, childish prank.”

Now two lives have been needlessly snuffed out, and another irreparably damaged, all because two people thought harming an innocent person was funny.

………

A new study from my hometown university shows that bicycling is good for the world’s health, too.

According to the study, as many as 205,000 premature deaths could be prevented every year worldwide if cities encouraged people to use a bicycle instead of a car. Although that figure depends on replacing all car trips with bikes by the year 2050.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

In what the authors describe as a more realistic scenario, 18,589 annual deaths could be prevented worldwide if just eight percent of people switched from cars to bikes.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Waco, Texas builders association donated 87 bikes to Toys for Tots, while complaining that the pandemic-driven bike shortage kept them from giving more.

The county engineers office in Ohio’s Wayne County built 21 bikes to be given away to kids, including three for a domestic abuse treatment center.

A trio of Georgia bike clubs teamed up to deliver 88 bicycles that will be donated to kids in need by a local church.

After spending four days living atop a scissor lift, a Florida DJ collected 450 bicycles, as well as helmets and toys, for local kids.

………

This is what a Slow Street can bring to life.

……….

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

No surprise here, as San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag lives down to its name by taking glee in a very unscientific DIY study showing hardly anyone is using the city’s new 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Prepare to dodge even more distracted drivers, now that Teslas allow drivers to play video games on the in-dash video screen while the car is in motion.

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sabotage of a protected bike lane with tacks and bricks.

………

Local

Typical. Even though there’s an approved plan for bike lanes on Rosecrans Avenue, Metro will only make room for them in an overhaul of the street in anticipation of high speed rail, rather than actually building them. Evidently, a few bucks worth of paint would just add too much to the $156 million project.

 

State

San Diego’s bicycle-powered Coffee Cycle coffee cart now is now a brick and mortar coffee roaster in Pacific Beach.

This is who we share the road with. When a couple teenagers hit his pickup with water balloons, a 63-year old Ridgecrest man responded by shooting their truck with a 12-gauge shotgun; to make matters worse, he’s an ex-con who’s legally barred from owning a weapon, let alone using it.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco approves funding for another protected bike lane, this time in the city’s Panhandle neighborhood.

 

National

This is what the bike boom really means, as half of today’s bike riders either started riding in the last two years, or came back to their bikes after an extended layoff.

A former Aston Martin engineer has designed what looks like the first practical folding helmet.

A writer for Bike Portland says she’s obsessed with ebikes, even choosing to get drenched in pouring rain instead of hailing an Uber because they’re so much fun to ride.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is teaching third, fourth and fifth graders how to safely ride their bikes to school.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could hit a 13-year old kid in the Bronx with their car, and just keep going; fortunately, the kid wasn’t seriously hurt.

 

International

Bike riders from 195 countries around the world uploaded 10 billion riding miles to Strava over the past year. Speaking of which, you could devote all your working hours to managing Strava’s social media.

A writer for Cycling Tips hopes every bikemaker imitate’s Britain’s Brompton’s bike rental program, which allows people to rent a bike for up to 30 days for the equivalent of just $6.61 a day.

A serial bike thief who targeted an English train station walked with the equivalent of probation, but was ordered to repay his victims.

After conservative politicians ripped out a bike lane in the UK, a petition calling for its reinstatement collected three times the signatures as one demanding its removal.

Traffic speed matters more than traffic volume in deciding where to ride, according to a new British study, which showed most people prefer to ride their bikes on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or less.

A new study from the UK shows we’re losing the youngest generation, as a full 36% of primary school kids haven’t ridden a bike in the last year. And one in 20 has never ridden one.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. French authorities accuse a British expat of murdering his wife by flooring his car and running over her as she stood in front of it. Naturally, he says it was just a tragic accident.

When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, this is the bike you’re helping deliver to people in Africa.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand pro Olivia Ray says she’s still waiting for her $15,000 check for winning the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den crit, founded by L39ion of Los Angeles’ Williams brothers.

 

Finally…

The science of how your bicycling shoes work. It doesn’t do any good to catch a bike thief if you can’t keep him in your rusty jail.

And making cities more dog friendly, one bike ride at a time.

………

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

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