Tag Archive for bicycling injuries

Morning Links: Gaimon badly hurt in track wreck, race rears its ugly head, and bike-riding Turkman Pres takes a few shots

Looks like Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever has hit the deck hard.

And not in a good way.

Gaimon recently announced his intention to make the US Olympic team in team pursuit for the 2020 Olympics. But his first attempt on the track has ended in a serious fall, and equally serious injuries.

The LA-based former pro cyclist was competing on the track in a Pennsylvania points race when he took a spill; he’s not even sure what happened.

Gaimon was hospitalized with multiple broken bones, including a broken scapula, collarbone and five broken ribs, as well as a partially collapsed lung.

However, in a major show of character, Gaimon said he’s got medical insurance to cover his injuries, and asked people odonate the money they might have sent his way otherwise to his Chefs Cycle campaign to raise $100,000 for No Kid Hungry to end childhood hunger.

Now that’s a big heart.

Let’s all send him our best wishes for a fast and full recovery.

Photo from Phil Gaimon’s Twitter timeline

………

Bad enough when we have to deal with conflicts with drivers. Far worse when race rears its ugly head.

In a decidedly ugly incident, a former Newark CA city councilmember and possible mayoral candidate called a bike rider an Aryan when the bicyclist repeatedly told him to move his car out of the bike lane, as well as calling him, his father, his god, and all other “Aryans” a homophobic slur.

A DC man is on trial for beating a black driver with his U-lock in what he claims is self-defense in a road rage incident that started with a too close pass; prosecutors accuse him of racial hatred, bolstered by claims that he repeatedly used the N-word, as well as an alleged pattern of racially charged incidents.

………

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

Here in SoCal, a man brutally beat a 65-year old bike rider after an argument at a Buena Park bus stop, then rode off on the victim’s bicycle.

After a San Francisco driver used his car as a weapon to repeatedly ram an ebike rider as he was attempting to pass a slower bicyclist, the police couldn’t be bothered to deal with it because he wasn’t injured badly enough. Evidently, when the SFPD gets a report of a shooting, they ask how badly the victim was injured before deciding whether to investigate, too. Thanks to WCoast for the heads-up.

Scary thought. A Brooklyn bike rider confronted a drunken, road-raging off-duty bus driver over a close pass — who may have been on his way to work.

A New Zealand bicyclist was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries when an impatient, road raging driver intentionally knocked him off his bike.

………

Sure, why not.

The president of Turkmenistan demonstrates his prowess with firearms and bikes for the troops in a video that couldn’t possibly be fake.

No, really.

………

Rapper A$AP Ferg officially drops his new line of BMX bikes made in conjunction with Redline.

………

Local

Three month’s into LA’s pilot scooter program, city officials say scooter companies need to step up and do better, saying none of them are currently living up to expectations.

Los Angeles has broken ground on a two-block section of South Robertson in the city’s latest Great Streets project. But can any street without bike lanes ever truly be great?

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is one of us, rolling out on a mountain bike through the ‘Bu.

Complaints are continuing about Long Beach’s Broadway corridor, as some residents and business owners say the new road diet and protected bike lane have made the street more dangerous, and led to a drop in pedestrian traffic.

In a perfect example of windshield bias, a Whittier letter writer can’t seem to conceive of getting to a Metro station without driving.

 

State

New walking and biking trails opened over the weekend in the 1.5-mile Bosque and Upper Bee green areas of the Orange County Great Park.

Santa Rosa residents are pressing the city to do more to improve safety on one of the more dangerous roads for bike riders and pedestrians — one that’s already claimed five lives in the past year.

After working for other Bay Area bakeries, an Oakland man has struck out on his own, baking bread at home and making his deliveries by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for the Sierra Club says trust is stronger than a Kryptonite lock, asking strangers to keep an eye on his bike instead of using a lock. Um, sure. What could possibly go wrong?

She gets it. A writer for Bicycling tells bike shops to lose the attitude and stop treating customers like garbage.

What were you doing when you were seven years old? A Seattle boy and his father are biking across the US, as he attempts to set a record for the youngest cross-country bicyclist.

They get it too. Wichita Falls TX considers changing two local laws, including a “must-use” bike path ordinance, in pursuit of a Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

An Iowa man made his getaway to another state by bike after stabbing another man in the arm, hightailing it from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska. All of 5.5 miles and a 32-minute ride, according to Google Maps.

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are accused of open hostility to bicycles as a form of transportation, after insisting on removing nearly all references to bicycles from a transportation bill that was passed with unanimous support from all sides in the House.

A fire in a New York bodega is blamed on an exploding delivery ebike battery.

Evidently, LA Councilmember Gil Cedillo has philosophical kin in DC, as a Washington councilmember questions the need for any bike lanes in his district — despite suffering the highest number of traffic deaths in the city this year.

Over 100 bicyclists ride for peace on the streets in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A Tallahassee FL columnist says bike riders shouldn’t feel safer riding in a big city than they do there, telling local drivers “we’re better than this.”

Horrible news from Florida, where a hit-and-run driver killed two bicyclists in a single collision; police have found the vehicle, but are still looking for the coward behind the wheel.

Mountain biking the hurricane ravaged trails of Puerto Rico.

 

International

The second Bicycle Architecture Biennale will celebrate the world’s “wow-factor” bicycling infrastructure and examine how bicycling will shape cities of the future.

A cargo bike-riding British Columbia mom says protected bike lanes are key to city transportation.

London’s cycling commissioner says someone will die after councillors from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea pulled their support for a two-way curb-protected bikeway through Notting Hill, based on complaints from a handful of people.

The father of a fallen bicyclist calls for bike riders to be banned from the English highway where he was killed; the local council agrees, saying improving safety would just encourage more people to ride there.

No bias here. Ten percent of drivers violated the 50 mph speed limit in a British village, yet they want to focus on the dangers posed by bike riders zooming by at a relatively pokey 35 mph.

No bias here, either. A Brit commuter was ordered to “get out of this fucking station now!” when he asked for a band-aid for his bleeding wrist, after falling off his bicycle on the way to the train station.

A bike rider in the UK got off with a relative slap on the wrist when he was jailed for just 16 months for fleeing the scene after crashing into a 70-year old woman as she was crossing the street, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. He pled guilty to a 150-year old law against “wanton and furious cycling,” which carries a maximum of two years behind bars.

British cycling commissioners say painted bike lanes are a waste of money, and call on the country to spend income from traffic fines on improving road safety.

An Irish political writer says he nearly became a statistic when a driver cut into the bike lane he was riding in, saying he was lucky this time, but bike riders can’t count on luck. Maybe they should start by lowering the speed limit to a more reasonable level, then try ticketing anyone who violates it, regardless of how they travel.

An Irish County is going to issue numbered license plates to bicyclists, saying it’s for their own good. No, really.

A writer for The Guardian explores the 100-mile Berliner Mauerweg bike trail tracing the route of the former Berlin Wall 30 years after its fall.

Here’s your chance to explore the countryside of lovely Transylvania by bike. But maybe replace that banana in your pocket with a few cloves of garlic just to be safe.

Bicyclists in Zagreb, Croatia will soon get a 75-mile bicycle highway.

An Indian newspaper calls ebikes the next evolution of mobility, suggesting they’re an alternative to polluting scooters and motorbikes.

A New Zealand health and parenting website talks with Julie Ann Genter, the parliament member who famously rode her bike to the hospital to give birth last year.

A Kiwi professor calls for a crackdown on ebike users on bike trails, after he suffered a serious brain injury in a head-on collision with one.

An writer in Kuala Lumpur discovers that riding on the city’s new blue bike lane loop during the evening rush hour is easier said than done.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says he’s lucky to be alive after hitting the wall — literally — crashing into the side of a house at 37 mph when a gust of wind hit his time trial bike. Shaken friend, competitor and fellow Brit Dan Martin thought he was dead after witnessing the crash from a trailing car.

Speaking of the four-time Tour de France winner, the director of the Vuelta a España wants to hand the title for the 2011 race to first runner-up Froome if the doping violation is upheld against General Classification winner Juan José Cobo, to avoid a situation like the many vacant titles in the doping era Tour after Lance, Landis and Contador were stripped of their titles.

Danish pro Jakob Fuglsang won the eight stage Critérium du Dauphiné, finishing ahead of American Tejay van Garderen.

VeloNews attends the unveiling of a Boulder CO monument honoring the late, great Red Zinger/Coors Classic stage race, recalling why it remains a legend over 30 years after its demise. As well it should bento only providing a stage for the best riders from around the world, but also giving women racers a near-equal platform racing slightly shorter distances on the same stages.

 

Finally…

When your ride to work is great, but the ride home feels like football players have been pounding on you all day. Sometimes it’s not the drivers you have to worry about.

And who needs a marching band when you can ride bikes, instead.

Morning Links: Woman bike rider critically injured in Long Beach, and Pure Cycles rescues Bike to Work bike theft victim

A woman was critically injured riding her bike in the Belmont Shores neighborhood of Long Beach early yesterday morning, after she allegedly went through a red light and was struck by a driver.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who actually saw who had the green light.

Or if Long Beach police relied strictly on the driver’s account, since the victim would have been unable to share her side of the story.

Either way, it’s a reminder to always stop for red lights and observe the right-of-way.

Because the consequences can be life changing. Or ending.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

At least one rider made it out for yesterday’s soggy Bike to Work Day.

And on a very cool Pedersen bike, no less.

And hats off to Michael Fishman and Pure Cycles for saving the day when the unthinkable, but all too common, happened to a rider in DTLA.

Meanwhile, LADOT hosted a pair of pop-up traffic safety installations, despite the wet Bike to Work Day weather.

………

Lots of news coverage from around the US for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence to honor injured and fallen bike riders.

Including right here in Pasadena, though the LA ride seems to merit nary a whisper.

Like Rides of Silence in Philadelphia, and a small Nebraska town. Lubbock and Houston, Texas. Ridgeland, Mississippi. Lansing, Michigan, where billboards also called out the dangers of distracted driving.

Not to mention San Francisco, where riders confronted winds and rain to go with the usual tears.

Meanwhile, Denver responded to the 88 people killed on the city’s streets last year by putting up signs marking the site of each needless death; the city’s mayor confessed to an inadequate response to the deadly streets.

………

Spectrum New 1 catches up with Keith Jackson, the bike rider who was nearly killed when he was run down riding on La Tuna Canyon last year.

Jackson has had to relearn how to walk, eat and talk after spending two months in a coma.

And as happens all too often, the driver who hit him sped off and hasn’t been seen since.

But at least his crash resulted in narrowing the wide traffic lanes on La Tuna and installation of a buffered bike lane. One of the rare instances of city officials responding to a near-tragedy by actually fixing the street where it happened.

Jackson will be at Sunday’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park to spread the need for safer streets if you want to wish him well in his recovery; registration ends at 6 pm tomorrow.

And give him my best wishes while you’re at it.

………

It’s not just drivers who give in to road rage.

Police in a Denver suburb are looking for a bike rider who yelled at a woman for blocking a bike lane, after she pulled her car over because her mother, who was in the passenger seat, wasn’t feeling well.

When the driver caught up to him at a red light, he allegedly kicked and punched the car, then reached in to grab her mother, before spitting on both women and riding away.

Let’s hope the woman he was riding with saw all that, and took it as fair warning before he turns that violent temper her way some day.

Although it does make you wonder what the driver said when she caught up to him.

………

Local

Today is the last day to submit comments on the shamefully inadequate Beverly Hills Complete Streets plan.

Popular offroad route Sullivan Canyon will close for maintenance for six weeks starting June 3rd. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says LA’s future is on foot, even though the city is still designing the streets for cars.

Metro is considering three alternatives for extending the LA River Bike Path.

WeHoVille looks forward to the August CicLAvia connecting Hollywood and West Hollywood. And so an I, since I should finally be back on my bike by then.

KNBC-4 says keep your eyes peeled for Gabe the Sasquatch at Sunday’s Mission to Mission edition of 626 Golden Streets.

The fight over moving a row of palm trees to make room for a Complete Street makeover of Long Beach’s Marina Drive goes on, despite a Coastal Commission ruling giving the okay for the move.

Long Beach will celebrate Bike Month with a three-mile Pedal & Picnic ride for all ages on Saturday.

 

State

OCTA has rescheduled the Orange County Bike Rally for next Thursday, following yesterday’s rainout.

Carlsbad pulled the plug on its planned bikeshare system, even though it would have been operated with no risk to the city.

A 63-year old Ramona man took a cross-country bike tour to ride himself into better health, and raise funds for a local museum; so far he’s raised just $640 of the $5,000 goal.

A bighearted high school freshman from Santa Ynez organized her second annual fundraising bike ride to provide bicycles and tools to girls in rural Cambodia, to help ensure they can get to school to receive an education.

A Fresno driver relies on the built-in cameras in his Tesla to prove a hit-and-run bike rider really did run into him, and not the other way around.

Sad news from Oakland, where an 83-year old man was killed attempting to ride his bike across a busy state highway.

Police arrest 30 homeless people in a warrant sweep along a Sacramento bike path.

 

National

Bike Snob says ignoring bike riders won’t make us go away.

Now both Uber and Lyft are encouraging their drivers and passenger to look for bicyclists to avoid doorings.

Outside offers advice on how to buy a mountain bike. And says softails are back, except now they’re on high-end roadies and gravel bikes.

That’s more like it. El Paso, Texas authorities say they know they screwed up by striping a bike lane that’s half gutter and so narrow the bike lane symbol won’t even fit in it. And are considering removing a traffic lane to fix it.

A Minneapolis newspaper offers a belated obituary of a longtime local bike advocate, who was found dead in his home last month due to complications from a lifelong struggle with alcohol.

Chicago bike riders are losing access to a popular shared use pathway along the riverfront after reconstruction partially blocked it, and private security guards have begun illegally enforcing a non-existent ban on bikes.

Police in Fort Wayne, Indiana are looking for a bike-riding man who shot an employee of a property management company before riding away in a full-face helmet, presumably to hide his identity.

Vermont ebike buyers can get a $200 rebate from their utility company. Which they’ll probably need once Trump’s tariff’s kick in.

A Massachusetts woman decides to take advantage of a beautiful spring day to ride her bike to the bank, and ends up at a dumpster. And then a dumpster fire of a car-choked intersection.

New York’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way where bikes are concerned, as the ten people killed riding bicycles so far this year already equal the total for all of 2018.

Maybe city leaders will listen to them now. Seventy DC bike riders fanned out across the city to count drivers blocking bike lanes, logging nearly 500 violations by early afternoon.

A DC writer offers advices on how to bike to work while spending as little as possible on it. People for Bikes offers their tips, as well.

A four-man troupe of bike-riding British Shakespearean actors made their US debut in Virginia this week; the performers have ridden their bikes between performances in 12 countries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A drunk driver in South Carolina walked with a lousy 24 hours of community service after she was caught on video crashing into a pedicab, then telling police she had no idea she’d hit anything; fortunately, the pedicab driver didn’t appear to have been injured.

The former chief accountant for the SEC won a whopping $41 million judgement against his Florida homeowners association after crashing his bike into a stanchion they erected on a bike trail.

 

International

Here’s something to look forward to. A writer for Forbes says distracted driving will increase exponentially on the path to self-driving cars.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers eight tips to bike commute like a pro.

An Ottawa, Canada traffic safety expert calls a painted bike lane “complete lunacy,” saying bicyclists will never be safe on the street as long as they have to share the same flat surface with cars and trucks.

A British MP says he’s going to keep claiming mileage expenses for riding his bicycle on official business, complaints be damned.

Video from an English bus shows the exact moment the driver swerved directly into a bicyclist, knocking the man off his bike; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured.

An Iranian prosecutor has decided that it’s sinful for women to ride bicycles and prohibited by Islamic law; police have been told to give women bicyclists a polite reprimand, then impound their bikes if they don’t have ID on them. Or they can use the equivalent of a bike burka so no one can see what they’re riding. No, seriously.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you still haven’t seen Wednesday’s stage of the Amgen Tour of California, what the hell are you waiting for, already?

But you might want to skip this next section.

American Tejay van Garderen lost his lead in the AToC, and then he didn’t, after race officials decided a massive crash near the end of the race unfairly delayed him and other riders. A writer for VeloNews says the jury made the wrong call.

Meanwhile, NBC catches you up with Thursday’s men’s and women’s races.

Bicycling wants to know who’s the 21-year old American kicking ass in the Tour of California.

A pair of women are fighting for greater equality in the race, instead of the lousy three stages — and no live TV time — women cyclists are now offered.

There was a lead change in the Giro, while much of the peloton went down in a massive crash on wet roads.

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay calls Ben King the humble king of American cycling. Unfortunately, the article is hidden behind the Journal’s paywall, so you may not get past the first few paragraphs.

Texas pro Lawson Craddock discusses his road back after riding the entire Tour de France with a broken collarbone last year, and refusing to give up despite finishing dead last as a result.

And last but not least, bike racing returns to LA — or Carson, anyway — with the newly revived La Grange Grand Prix on June 2nd.

 

Finally…

Six times around the world, and his bike its stolen in Californiaon the seventh. We may have to worry about LA drivers crashing into us, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into sheep.

And that’s one way to prevent a close pass.

 

Morning Links: Happy Bike to Work Day, Pasadena bike rider injured in hit-and-run, and close call on Orange Line Bike Path

Happy soggy Bike to Work Day!

Hopefully the weather will hold off, so you’ll be able to get out and ride your Bike to Work commute today.

And hopefully the LACBC and LADOT will both keep their promised morning pit stops, despite the forecast.

Especially since both promise fresh donuts and coffee instead of the usual Bike to Work Day energy bar fare.

https://twitter.com/zrch4light/status/1128787896897458176

If no one shows up on Bike to Work Day, they can feel free to send any leftover donuts my way, since it looks like at least another month before I can ride my bike anywhere besides my living room.

Meanwhile, another 74 pit stops are promised throughout the LA area, though no telling whether they will still be there if it rains.

If your commute is too wet, you can hop a bus or train; most local transit systems are offering free rides to anyone accompanied by a bike or helmet today, including Metro and Metrolink. And if the rain lets up, the unimaginatively named Metro Bike bikeshare will be free, as well.

On the other hand, Santa Monica has wisely moved their Bike to Work pit stops at City Hall and the Bike Center to tomorrow, when the forecast calls for drier weather.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.com.

………

A Pasadena man is recovering from critical injuries after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike across Orange Grove Blvd.

Police tracked the driver to a nearby apartment, where he was taken into custody on suspicion of being drunk and stoned behind the wheel.

And if the street sounds familiar, it’s the same one where Rose City NIMBYs were driven to a frenzy by a group affiliated with traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving to demand that the city keep the street dangerous.

Clearly, they succeeded.

………

Brayden Dakota captured bike cam video of a close call on a blind intersection near the Canoga Station on the Orange Line Bike Path.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve seen video of a similar near-collision at that location. Hopefully someone will finally do something to fix the problem, so it will be the last.

………

A new study from a German insurance company ranks Vancouver, British Columbia, as North America’s 2nd best city for bicycling.

The Canadian city was ranked 37th out of the world’s 90 top cities, compared to Montreal at 18th.

San Francisco was the best bike city in the US at 39th, followed by Portland and Seattle.

Not surprisingly, Utrecht in the Netherlands ranked first, followed by Munster, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium.

Despite its vaunted cycle superhighways, London failed to crack the top 50.

Very surprising, though, was Los Angeles actually making the list at 56th, primarily because we ranked first for the world’s best bicycling weather, though you couldn’t prove it today.

Although we did make another much shorter list awhile back.

………

Good long read from Curbed on reclaiming the feminist legacy of bicycling.

Recovering the feminist legacy of cycling requires overcoming the practical obstacles that keep women off bikes, and making sure women’s voices are heard in city planning. But perhaps most importantly, it will mean reclaiming the joy, pleasure, and sense of possibility that those early cyclists felt. Women deserve to reconnect with the idea that by riding our bikes we are creating a better future, for ourselves and for our cities.

………

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders.

A Wisconsin teenager was shot in the head as he was riding a bike, in an apparently random, apparently unintentional shooting.

And someone shot an Indianapolis man twice in the leg as he was on an early morning bike ride.

………

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere.

A British Columbia driver calmly cruises down a bike lane, passing traffic on the right, before eventually turning onto a freeway onramp.

………

Watch a hydraulic press destroy an odd assortment of helmets in a fun, but totally meaningless, demonstration.

………

Local

KCRW wants to know if Los Angeles can clean its dirty air. Unless the city provides viable safe alternatives to driving, no.

Streetsblog looks at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital in DTLA; Joni Yung offers photos from the event.

KABC-7 says the bike club at Los Angeles Leadership Academy is helping to keep kids motivated and headed in the right direction.

LADOT says plans are moving forward for safety improvements on Winnetka, including nearly a mile of bike lanes, spurred at least in part by the death of a 72-year old bike rider last September. I’m the first to criticize the city council when it’s called for, so let me thank CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield for responding to this tragedy and helping push this project through.

The Pasadena Star-News previews Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event, which will see streets closed to motor vehicles through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel, predicting a turnout of 20,000 people. With more rain forecast for Sunday, they may be right; turnout on a sunny day could be several times that.

The Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association will hold a pot luck meeting Thursday evening; among the items to be discussed are proposed enhancements to Cordova Street, including suggestions for a bike lane extending to Arroyo Parkway.

An internationally renowned Palos Verdes artist is staging his first show since he was nearly killed riding his bike on PCH in Malibu after finishing an organized century ride.

Long Beach votes to make e-scooters a permanent addition to the city, while tripling the number allowed.

 

State

Calbike says a pair of bike-friendly bills are making their way through the legislature, including tax vouchers for ebikes, which is scheduled for a vote in the Senate today.

A writer in an Ocean Beach paper says bicycling is great, but he’d rather have parking and his right turn on red back, thank you.

The 13th Annual San Diego Century ride rolls this Saturday, and will be passing through Ramona.

A 10-year old Cambria girl with cerebral palsy can ride a bike for the first time, after a nonprofit and a Texas bikemaker help provide her with an adaptive ebike.

Lyft promises to bring their Jump dockless ebikes back to the Bay Area by June, a full three months before they’ll return to the Big Apple.

Los Angeles should take a clue from Oakland, and add adaptive bikes for people with disabilities to the Metro Bike bikeshare.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paralyzed Richmond man’s mountain bike handcycle, a crowdfunding page to help pay for a replacement has raised $3,000 of the $10,000 goal.

No surprise here. A Sacramento teenager is suing the police for assault and excessive force, among other allegations, after officers intentionally ran him down on the sidewalk as he tried to flee a traffic stop — for not having a light on his bike.

 

National

A new study shows that 37 million Americans think they put themselves in danger from distracted listening while wearing headphones over the past year.

Uber tells its passengers to stop dooring bike riders already.

Let’s face it. What you really need is a good ale trail.

Forget the standard argument over bike lanes versus parking; near Salt Lake City, it’s bikes versus birds.

Denver is planning to add 17 miles of “high comfort” bike lanes this year, a down payment on the 125 miles planned for the next five years.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a Chicago-area driver fled the scene after running down a 6-year old girl on her bike, despite having a revoked license; the schmuck abandoned his truck — and his dog — then turned himself in the next day, most likely giving himself plenty of time to sober up.

A Minnesota letter writer says the law should be changed so kids can ride salmon, because her friend hit some bicycling teens 40 years ago.

No, 25News in Fenton MI, you don’t have to be an “avid” bicyclist to celebrate Bike Month.

A Boston bike shop manager and triathlete offers safety tips for riding your bike. And gets them right for a change.

A Syracuse NY public radio station discusses the meaning of Complete Streets.

A Pennsylvania TV station warns about breaking the law by allowing the bike rack on your car to block your license plate. That’s illegal here in California, as well, though it seems to be seldom enforced.

Baltimore’s drunken, killer hit-and-run ex-bishop is officially out of prison after serving just half of her seven year sentence for fatally running down a man riding a bike. Let’s hope she got sober while she was behind bars. And that a condition of her parole is no more driving. Period.

A Baltimore newspaper explains why car ownership continues to climb in the US, despite alternatives.

They get it. A North Carolina TV station says drivers need to do their part to improve safety by not parking in bike lanes and other multi-use lanes.

 

International

An Ottawa, Canada man is back in the saddle for the first time in a decade after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision, as he trains for a 2K ride on a walking bike — basically a three-wheeled adult balance bike.

Road.cc offers advice for British bike riders who’ve been in a crash, most of which applies on this side of the Atlantic, as well. We should all be jealous of a country where bicyclists are entitled to free legal advice.

The Department of DIY struck in the UK, where someone anonymously posted warning signs after a bike-riding girl was hit by a bus.

An English man rode his custom bike 9,500 miles across the US. And naturally had it stolen once he made it to California.

Um, okay. A Zambian witch-doctor was sentenced to 18 year hard labor for indecent assault against five elderly people that he blamed for using witchcraft to make a boy fall off his bike and die; he took them to a graveyard and made them undress and lie on a grave, then rolled on them to exorcize their powers.

Israeli authorities are charging an ebike rider for the death of a pedestrian after he went through a crowded crosswalk at 15 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wednesday’s Giro offered a preview of what the Amgen Tour of California riders may have to look forward to today.

French cyclist Remi Cavagna rode an “audacious” solo breakaway to victory in the Amgen Tour of California in Tuesday’s third stage. Although he could stand a few lessons on how to descend.

Evidently, Mark Cavendish is no fan of the AToC, comparing Monday’s second stage to sitting on an indoor trainer for seven hours.

Ventura sisters and pro cyclists Kendall and Alexis Ryan discuss women’s parity in cycling in advance of Thursday’s first stage of the truncated women’s Tour of California.

A sports website predicts misery and pain for the women’s teams in the Tour’s three stages, especially on Mt. Baldy and the final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena.

VeloNews calls the women’s race a dynamic route with a competitive lineup.

 

Finally…

Don’t just watch Stranger Things, ride it. Seriously, if you’re a known gang member carrying a gun and heroin on your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, not the gun. Or the heroin.

And why stop for lunch, when you can just have it delivered while you’re stuck in traffic?

 

Morning Links: LA club rider suffers life-threatening injuries, distracted driving addicts, and LACBC Bike Month calendar

Once again, we seem to be the bearer of bad news.

Very bad, in this case.

I’m told a Los Angeles-area man is on life support after a solo crash while on a club ride last weekend.

I was forwarded this Facebook post from his ex-wife. However, I’m withholding his name for now out of respect for his family.

As many of you know, my ex-husband was in a horrible bike accident on Saturday morning. He had ridden from the Rose Bowl to Duarte with his bike group, and while the group was riding in a parking lot at the Santa Fe Dam, he hit a parking curb at low speed and went over the bike’s handlebars. He hit the ground face first, so his helmet offered no protection. He fractured his skull, broke his neck and spine, and suffered many other injuries. Yesterday the neurologist said that he couldn’t detect any brain activity, and that there is about a 1% chance of the best case scenario at this point, persistent vegetation. The Don we knew is gone.

My heart aches for our children…Don loves them dearly and is very proud of them, as we all are. I am also sad for his loving family and friends who will miss him dearly. And I am so, so sad for Don, his suffering, and the lost opportunities and experiences he will never have…

I’m heading back to County USC with the kids this morning. Don is on a ventilator in an induced coma, and the hospital is still running diagnostic tests on him. Please send up a prayer or good thoughts for him and his loved ones. Show your family and friends how much you love them, savor the blessings you have and pay them forward. You never know what life will deal you.

 

As she says, prayers or good thoughts are in order, whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tell your loved ones how much you care now, before your next ride.

Because bicycling is usually a safe activity. But as this case reminds us, bad things can happen unexpectedly.

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

According to the LA Times, insurance companies are tracking distracted driving and smartphone usage by drivers. And the news isn’t good.

Although that shouldn’t surprise anyone who spends much time on the streets.

The report says one out of every 12 drivers is considered to be addicted to their phones, which they define as looking at a smartphone at least a third of the time while driving. A number that’s predicted to rise to 20% of all drivers within the next three years.

Yet remarkably, one-third of the worst distracted driving offenders consider themselves extremely safe drivers.

Right up to the point they run someone else down. And then probably blame the other person.

The story says apps that remind drivers to put their phones down or track how much they use their phones while driving can cut usage by 35% to 40%.

But the only real solution will be requiring smartphone makers and carriers to block everything but navigation apps and 911 calls on the driver’s phone while the car is in motion.

And yes, that includes the text readers and in-dash internet systems car makers inexplicably insist on building into their vehicles to satisfy their phone-addicted customers — and make them more dangerous for everyone else.

………

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for an LA Green New Deal was criticized for it’s auto-centric focus and waiting until it’s already too late to address climate change.

Not to mention halving the commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year that we were promised in the 2010 bike plan.

And since LADOT shifted to measuring distances in lane miles after the plan was adopted — in effect counting each side of the roadway as separate bike lanes — that actually works out to just 10 miles of new bike lanes per deal.

Not exactly a solid commitment to a greener, bike-friendlier future.

………

It’s May.

Which means Bike Month in Los Angeles, and most of the US.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has kindly provided a calendar of Bike Month events in the City of Angels.

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

Sadly, the annual Bike Month wrap-up at Union Station isn’t on it, which mens it’s probably not happening this year.

………

Congressional leaders met with Donald Trump yesterday morning, and left with an agreement for a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

Sort of.

After the meeting, the White House waffled on the price tag, and both sides agreed to meet in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.

And only then will discussions begin on what, exactly, the government will buy with that money — if, and only if, they actually agree on funding, which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

The good news is, along with highway and bridge repairs, airports, mass transit and high speed internet, there could be a few dollars left over for bikeways.

We hope.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches three bad drivers in the space of just two minutes.

Los Angeles has agreed to share data with Waze and other similar apps in exchange for excluding some streets from their rat run, cut through driving route recommendations.

LAist considers LA’s first two-way bike lane in context of the bikelash we’ve seen in other areas.

The mayor of Inglewood appeared to be responsible for a collision near USC that left an injured LAPD motorcycle cop as collateral damage.

Pasadena is in the final design process for its first two-way protected bike lane on Union Street. The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the project.

Santa Monica will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Monday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Despite widespread handwringing over e-scooter injuries, statistics from Santa Monica’s pilot program shows just 89 scooter related injuries last year; 49 of those involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

 

State

San Diego’s iCan Bike camp has been helping kids with disabilities learn to ride a bike for a full decade.

About damn time. A street in San Diego’s North Park and South Park neighborhoods will lose up to 420 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. That was my neighborhood when I lived in San Diego. So once again, somewhere I used to live finally becomes bike friendly long after I’m gone. Which means I may have to leave Los Angeles before it finally becomes the bicycling paradise it’s meant to be.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a World Cup mountain biker shows of the trails of his hometown.

A teenaged Vacaville robber was busted by a cop on a borrowed bike, when someone loaned the officer a bicycle to pursue the suspect through a rugged park.

Someone has been tossing nails on an Orangevale street for the past six months. And for a change, they’ve been nailing more than bike tires.

Railroad fans have filed suit against Sacramento to halt plans to remove unused rails to make room for a bike path, in hopes that they could be used for a vaporware excursion train someday.

 

National

Outside recommends the best cycling gear from their recent bike tests. I’ll take the Bontrager lights and Fizik road shoes, thank you.

Treehugger explains how to build a solar powered shed to recharge your ebike.

More proof that sidewalks aren’t the safest place to ride. A 16-year old Washington bike rider was injured when a driver decided to use a parking lot as his own personal cut-through lane to avoid stopping for a red light. But sure, tell me again how bicyclists never stop for traffic signals.

Montana police busted a pair of apparent bike thieves when they stopped a suspicious vehicle, and found a “high-value” bicycle in the back that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.

There may be a dispute over just how effective bike helmets are on the streets. But a North Dakota climate expert says put one on for tornado protection.

Tragic news from Tulsa OK, where a woman fled to Mexico before she could face charges for the death of her five-year old son, who was hit by a car after he fell off an e-scooter she was allegedly riding in a reckless manner; she didn’t even stick around for her own son’s funeral.

A Chicago boy received a new bike built for him by members of a girls soccer team, part of a program for high school students to give 100 bicycles to children of military service members.

A Minneapolis health company’s new office is designed around a bicycling theme, including bike seats and handlebars, to go along with the cycling team they sponsor.

That’s more like it. An Indiana city considers fining drivers $1,000 for dooring a bike rider.

Tragic news from Cincinnati, where a man pled guilty to accidentally shooting his own 13-year old cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang dispute as he rode his bike home after helping clean a community center after school.

Pennsylvania considers allowing parking protected bike lanes on state roads; they’re already legal on city-owned streets.

We so need this in Los Angeles. A beta app allows DC road users to report dangerous drivers and look up their license plates for citations and outstanding tickets.

The Washington Post offers nine things to consider before you decide to go carfree. Including whether you live in sprawling Los Angeles.

Baltimore’s drunken, hit-and-run Episcopal bishop will be released from prison this month after serving just half of her seven-year sentence for killing a bike rider; Heather Cook was defrocked after her conviction, but her victim’s children will spend a lifetime without their father.

As long as you’re going to break into a Florida bike shop and walk out with a $3,500 mountain bike, you might as well take the change from the cash register with you.

 

International

A new self-charging, belt drive, single speed ebike promises you may never have to charge it.

Yes, it may have pedals. But that doesn’t make it a bicycle.

Victoria, British Columbia, has appointed Canada’s first bicycle mayor.

Instead of expanding the Saskatoon bike network, city leaders vote to roll it back by removing a bike lane and slowing down further implementation.

A Toronto website lists the city’s best neighborhoods for people who ride bikes.

A European website says a new bike registration system in Brussels can guarantee you’ll never have your bike stolen again. Actually, it only means your bike could be recovered if it’s stolen and someone finds it.

Clearly, beauty is no protection from dangerous drivers. The runner-up to 2017’s Miss France was killed in a collision while riding her bike with a friend, when she swerved to avoid a driver and was struck by a tractor driver pulling a load of logs.

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

An elite Australian cyclist is dead, and a 21-year old woman will face charges for killing him, because she couldn’t resist texting her boyfriend seconds before running him down.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another bike racer has been killed in a traffic collision. Thirty-year old Australian amateur Damion Drapac was killed in a head-on collision while riding to a bike race. If the name sounds familiar, his father is the owner of the Drapac-Cannondale development team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a dog holds more world records for riding a bike than you do. Coworking in a parking space for a pocketful of quarters.

And who needs a tent when you can tow your home behind your bike?

 

Morning Links: Scooter rider killed in SaMo, others injured; dangerous drivers; and Marathon Crash is back

It’s been a rough few days in Santa Monica.

Starting with the death of a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood Friday night.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding a privately owned e-scooter headed south on the 2700 block of Third Street, when he apparently fell off and was struck by the driver’s car.

The driver initially stopped but fled the scene before police and paramedics arrived.

That was followed by another crash in front of the Santa Monica Public Library on Sunday afternoon.

A teenaged girl described as an experienced bicyclist suffered a broken jaw when she was struck by the driver of a Metro bus while riding in the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd.

Unfortunately, no other details are available.

David Drexler came upon the scene shortly after the crash, and took photos of the scene.

Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better on Monday.

Evan Burbridge came across the aftermath of another scooter rider who struck by a driver.

I just saw the aftermath of a woman hit by a car here in Santa Monica.  She was riding north on 14th across Olympic and the car was turning left onto Olympic.  My coworkers actually saw the incident, and she apparently went onto the driver’s windshield and broke it.  By the time I got there, all I saw was the ambulance driving her away and the mangled scooter on the center median.  

The frustrating thing is the conversations I had with people after the incident.  A woman at Tacos Por Favor who saw the accident said we should ban all scooters.  I informed her that it sounded like it was the car’s fault, and that cars cause hundreds of deaths every day in America.  Then, my coworkers used the classic victim-blaming argument, “she should have been wearing a helmet.”  

I try my best to explain the facts to people, and point out their biased perspective on the incident, but it’s so deep seeded that I don’t think people will ever let it go.

Then again, things weren’t much better in Los Angeles, where Josh Steich, aka Kierkegaarden Cop, reported seeing the aftermath of a crash involving a bike rider on his commute through Eagle Rock Friday evening.

That was followed by another crash involving a pedestrian a few minutes and several block later.

No word on the condition of either victim.

Let’s hope all the victims make a full and fast recovery. And offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim of Friday’s night’s scooter crash.

Photo is of a broken Lime scooter on my block in Hollywood.

………

Today’s common theme is justice for dangerous — and too often deadly — drivers.

An unlicensed Colorado driver got six years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; she had a string of traffic violations dating back to 2005.

A drunken, hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years for killing an Indiana bike rider; she was over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

And a Florida drunk driver got a well deserved nine years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider. He fled the scene, leaving the victim lying in the street, where he was run over by another driver; it was the second crash that actually killed him.

……….

The war on bikes continues. Except this time, it’s another bike rider who kicked the victim off his bike, leaving him in critical condition.

………

Local

Downtown News looks at the 15 new drop zones for dockless bikes and e-scooters in DTLA.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo continues his one man war against any form of transportation with less than four wheels, as he attempts to ban e-scooters from Chinatown in DTLA, as well as the rest of his district.

LAist wants to hear your complaints about parking in Los Angeles. And yes, that includes parking in bike lanes.

Los Feliz residents are calling for improvements on deadly Hyperion Avenue, two years after they first raised the alarm — and before a woman was killed by an out-of-control driver as she stood on the sidewalk. Needless to say, they’ve never received a response.

The Urbanist talks with LA chief design officer Christopher Hawthorne about the disastrous green bike lane blunder on Spring Street in DTLA.

A spokesman for the twice-weekly Rose Bowl Ride says Pasadena’s recent safety improvements are just an attempt to kill the 60-year old ride, and do nothing to make it safer for pedestrians and casual bicyclists.

Pasadena Now looks forward to this weekend’s Bike MS:Los Angeles, as 500 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual century ride, with a goal of raising $750,000 for research.

It looks like the unofficial LA Marathon Crash Ride is unofficially back this Sunday, after a failed attempt to make it legit. And more expensive.

State

A writer for the San Bernardino Sun explains how people should drive around hoverboard users, which basically boils down to use a little caution and courtesy, and don’t be a dick — on both sides.

San Francisco extended a protected bike lane in record time following the death of a bike rider, making advocates wonder why they can’t do that all the time.

National

I want to be like them when I grow up. A pair of bighearted, 82-year old Tucson bicyclists help refurbish used bikes for kids, as part of a group that gives away over 300 bicycles a year.

Yes, you can still race a Penny Farthing in Texas.

A Wisconsin lawmaker proposes expunging the record of first-time drunk drivers in an apparent attempt to keep dangerous drivers on the road. Seriously, what could possibly go wrong?

A Chicago area official was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was run down by a teenage driver who didn’t bother to scrape the frost off his windshield, even though he was riding on an eight-foot shoulder; the driver walked with a couple of tickets.

Chicago bike riders share their stories of being attacked fists, fluids and motor vehicles after confronting drivers parked in bike lanes.

New Jersey legalized ebikes and e-scooters, with a maximum speed of 20 mph and 19 mph, respectively.

International

It may be counterintuitive, but docked bikeshare systems and dockless bikeshare can flourish in the same city. Which offers hope for LA’s Metro Bike.

A tech industry analyst says forget bicycling, the micromobility revolution will be motorized.

Forbes highlights five exotic bicycling adventures, from a mountain bike safari from Zululand to Mozambique, to a coast-to-coast crossing of Sri Lanka. If you happen to have an extra several thousand dollars lying around.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker skillfully dismantles the latest misguided proposal to require licenses and liability insurance for bike riders in the UK.

A Scottish woman got her bike back six weeks after it was stolen after she confronted the teenager riding it, with the help of her boyfriend and a security guard.

Turns out the US ambassador to Greece is one of us, too.

A Maltese bike advocate says it’s very clear that whoever wrote the country’s bicycling strategy doesn’t ride a bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again a young cyclist has been killed in collision; 19-year old Stefan Loos died when a race marshal mistakenly sent a group of riders off the course, where they collided with a delivery van.

Finally…

Who needs an ebike when you can power one with compressed air? Your next bike used to be a wine barrel.

And yes, you can be charged with DUI, whether or not you’re on four wheels.

Even if you’re on four hooves.

Morning Links: New bill requires Complete Streets on state roads, and SD man suffers life threatening injuries

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to make changes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians whenever they maintain or improve any state highways.

And that includes requiring Complete Streets on state-owned surface streets such as LA’s Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd, and Pacific Coast Highway in the ‘Bu.

SB 127, sponsored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Weiner, would shift the focus of California’s transportation department to serving all road users, not just the ones in the big, dangerous machines. Unlike what it has done throughout its existence.

It would also require state transportation funding programs to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

According to Streetsblog California,

Senator Wiener said his goals with S.B.127 are threefold: to increase safety, to help people live healthier lives by encouraging more use of active transportation modes, and to create better climate outcomes by giving people the option to use environmentally friendly travel modes. “That can only happen if it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“Caltrans has historically treated these surface streets as if they were the same as a major traditional highway,” said Senator Wiener, “and they’re not. We need to make sure these streets are safe for all users.”

The bill will undoubtedly meet opposition from entrenched motorist interests, just like any other recent Complete Streets bill that seems to threaten the automotive hegemony on our streets.

But it could make a real, and lasting, difference in the way Californians get around.

………

Sad news from San Diego, where a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bike in the Linda Vista neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a message from a police watch commander makes it clear he’s not expected to survive.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

That hardly ever happens in real life.

After a very close call, a truck driver pulled over to apologize to the bike rider he nearly ran down.

………

There’s a reason why bike racers ride instead of rapping.

https://twitter.com/AstanaTeam/status/1084816681682300928

………

Local

Santa Monica provides a three-month update on the city’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program, including 52 bike and scooter parking zones throughout the city, with plans for up to 50 more. That compares favorably with LA’s zero.

A Dallas magazine says Santa Monica-based Bird has quietly backed off plans to give cities money to build more bike lanes, after apparently running out of venture capital cash.

State

San Jose’s mayor is back at work following his New Year’s Day bike crash.

A San Francisco-based company is using cellphone data to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic to improve traffic planning.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes local officials to task, correctly noting that Vision Zero requires a total commitment to safety and responsibility. Someone please tell our mayor and city council that. And LADOT. And the LAPD. And LA Vision Zero.

National

If you own a 2017 or later Specialized with Specialized’s Future Shock front road suspension feature, you should stop riding it immediately and take it back to a dealer for repairs under a recall.

Business Insider lists their picks for the best bike helmets in five different categories.

Bicycling says doing any kind of physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help you live longer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Police in Everett WA are trying to identify a man seen riding a bicycle in the area, after he was found dead in a local park.

A Washington man says if a BMX rider is wearing a mask or a bandana, police should assume they’re criminals and violate their constitutional rights. And let ’em sue if they don’t like it.

Writing in Bicycle Retailer, a staff member from Bike Utah says better infrastructure in the answer to growth in ridership and the bike industry.

Unbelievable. A road raging Illinois driver repeatedly slammed into a bike rider, then ran over him, breaking his arm, leg and pelvis, before she was arrested driving away with his bike still stuck under her SUV. Then was acquitted of attempted murder and six other felony counts a year later by reason of insanity. By that standard, there are a lot of crazy people behind the wheel. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Chicago and New York both held extensive public meetings on how and where to expand their public bikeshare systems — and promptly ignored the results.

A Massachusetts magazine calls for a “radical rethinking” of Boston’s major streets, describing them as “grotesquely overbuilt, inequitably allocating nearly all their space to single-occupant motor vehicles.”

Apparently having missed the memo that bikes are good for business, New York business owners are demanding that the city rip out new bike lanes that were installed as part of a now-cancelled plan to shut down a subway for maintenance. Because parking.

A Philly bike cop sues the department, alleging bias against Italian-Americans.

A Virginia newspaper remembers a local icon known for decades as Bicycle Charlie due to his ever-present bicycle. Except his name was Floyd.

International

The European Union is considering a plan that would require ebike riders to carry liability insurance — which is not required for any other type of bicycles — in an apparent attempt to kill the market for them.

A 12-year old London boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries after riding into the path of a bus as he tried to escape from older boys who were chasing him.

Irish police bust a suspect bike thief, and recover five hot bikes and a stash of coke and weed.

An Aussie rider’s high-end Pinarello road bike is now a melted carbon mess after his add-on ebike hub caught fire — and couldn’t be approached to put it out because the CO2 canisters in his seat bag started exploding.

Three Australian bicyclists suffered minor injuries in a rare bike on bike on bike crash.

No bias here. An Aussie motorcycling group has called for bicyclists to be forced to wear unique numbers somewhere on their body, so they can be charged for violating traffic laws. Never mind that unlike motorcyclists and drivers, bicyclists pose minimal risk to others.

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Jani Brajkovic got off with just a ten-month ban for failing a doping test, after he convinced officials he ingested it accidentally as part of a supplement.

The former team physician for Team Sky and British Cycling faces doping related criminal charges.

Great story about a Cat 2 bike racer from Arkansas, who lost his leg as a result of a crash while playing bike polo — then won a national championship in individual pursuit, along with another silver and a bronze, at the recent Paralympic National Championships.

A 15-year old British boy is the first champion of the five-day E-Bike Desert Challenge through the sands of the Moroccan desert.

Finally…

If you want to lose weight, get a job as a bicycle courier. More proof bike shorts look ridiculous in the absence of a bicycle, no matter what decade you’re in.

And if you’re riding your bike while drunk as a skunk and tossing the empties, half empties and full cans into your bike trailer, put a damn light on it already.

And don’t threaten the cops that pull you over.

Seriously.

Morning Links: Bikeshare ebikes, Long Beach bike rider seriously injured, and killer Claremont driver still in hospital

Today’s common theme is ebikes for rent.

LA’s Metro Bike officially unveiled new ebikes as part of their bikeshare program at Union Station.

Los Angeles isn’t the only major city experimenting with ped-assist ebikes, as Philly adds ten to their existing bikeshare program.

Paris is rolling out the world’s biggest fleet of ebikes, expanding to 20,000 ebikes available for long-term rental.

Although speaking of ebikes, nothing says your new electric vehicle has to has two wheels. Or any, for that matter.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from Metro Bike website.

………

More bad news.

The Press-Telegram reports that a Long Beach bike rider was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a crash on westbound Spring Street near the 605 early Wednesday morning.

And yes, the driver stayed this time.

It really shouldn’t be news when a driver remains at the scene. But thanks to LA’s epidemic hit-and-run culture, it is.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

According to the Claremont Courier, vehicular murder suspect Sandra Wicksted remains in the hospital for injuries she suffered when she allegedly ran down Leslie Pray as she ride in a Claremont bike lane; she continues to remain in custody on $6.1 million bail.

Meanwhile, CLR Effect’s Michael Wagner offers a beautiful, moving look at the ghost bike ceremony and vigil for Pray.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch says Metro and LA City Planning deserve Dubious Achievement Awards, in part because of a lack of bikeshare and accommodations for bike riders at new Purple Line stations, and the new transit neighborhood plan.

The LACBC wants you to tell them about blocked bike lanes — after you report them to LADOT.

An LA Times reader says impound distracted drivers cellphones. Or better yet, make them drive over their own phones; maybe the treat of that will actually make them put ’em down.

 

State

Grist looks at three climate change winners and three losers in this week’s California election — and includes people who ride bicycles and buses on the plus side.

Escondido is building a Missing Link Bike Path to connect two existing bike paths through the downtown area, with a combination of offroad bike paths and on-street protected cycle tracks.

Sad news from San Jose, where a 51-year old man died after he was hit by a driver on Saturday while allegedly running a red light on his bike.

Writing for the San Francisco Examiner, a bike lawyer explains the possible penalties for drivers who kill.

San Francisco approves plans for a combination parking-protect and curb-protected bike lane on busy Townsend Street leading to a Caltrain station.

Streetsblog SF calls Caltrain’s restricted bike cars easy picking for thieves, who can walk off with the unprotected bikes while their owners sit in other cars.

Twelve Sonoma high schools are attempting to cut their carbon footprints by developing safer routes to schools, allowing students to walk or bike.

 

National

A new report questions whether America’s love of driving has gotten stuck in traffic.

Bicycling says every bicyclist has to take part in an evening group ride. Even though many, if not most, never do.

Bike Portland says the jury is still out on the city’s new bike-friendly speed bumps, with channels cut into them to allow bicyclists to ride through, rather than over, them.

Tired of dealing with leaves piled in bike lanes, a Portland inventor built his own pedal-powered street sweeper.

The University of Oregon has kicked e-scooters off campus this year to give the school time to develop an official scooter policy.

Albuquerque bike riders say drivers are ignoring the 18 mph speed limit on the city’s bicycle boulevard, zooming through at up to 31 mph. I’d be happy if LA drivers just slowed down to 31 mph every now and then.

The Tulsa OK city council calls on the state to change the law to allow bike riders to legally take the lane.

An active transportation advocacy group worked with local residents to develop plans for a road diet and protected bike lanes on a deadly Chicago street.

One of the four Florida bicyclists critically injured by a 91-year old driver has died; he was described as an experienced, elite century rider who once finished third in the online Strava Challenge. Local residents have demanded safety improvements as a result of the crash.

 

International

Police in Derby, England are on the lookout for a bike-born serial groper who has been attacking women in the city center.

Bike riding has the second greatest gender gap among transportation modes in the UK, behind only motorcycles.

A British study concludes that driverless cars may have to be programmed to break the law at times to keep humans from taking advantage of them, while a US paper says they they may be programmed to kill you. So no different than human drivers, in other words.

Figures from Britain’s Department of Transportation show that an average of 10 pedestrians suffer lie-threatening injuries in collisions with people on bicycles each month, an increase of 17%. Which could be due entirely to more people walking and bicycling. And says nothing about who was actually at fault.

The Irish Times considers the best bike tech accessories.

A Maltese bike advocacy group says build safety infrastructure for pedestrians instead of criminalizing jaywalking.

Heartbreaking story, as an Australian bike advocate penned an open letter calling for safer streets just days before he was killed in a crash. In the wake of his death, Queensland police have decided to re-examine his complaints about dangerous passes by drivers.

Scofflaw cyclist and supermodel Elle Macpherson freaks out the Aussie press by going topless for a leisurely beachfront bike ride. Although in this case, that means without a helmet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian pro Rob Brittan recounts his 1,000-mile bikepacking trip across the wilds of Western Canada to prepare for the world championships. Judging by his last place finish at the worlds, maybe his next trip should be a little shorter. Or longer. Or something. 

 

Finally…

When life gives you too many bike wheels, make spherical art. Putting a 102-year old, two-wheeled bullet-scarred WWI vet on public display.

And don’t ride your bike because it’s green; ride because it’s fun and annoys drivers.

 

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

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

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

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

That was followed by this tweet from CG.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A family member describes him like this.

She added this —

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

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

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

 

Morning Links: Court sticks LA and Caltrans for $9.1 million in PCH crash, and Brown signs e-scooter helmet bill

In the latest massive court case against the City of Los Angeles, a jury awarded $9.1 million to a man injured while riding his bike on PCH.

The Los Angeles Times reports Robert Jeffrey Watts suffered a severe brain injury four year ago, when he swerved his bike to go around rocks and debris on PCH in Pacific Palisades, and was struck by the wing mirror of a passing truck.

Watts came across a pile of sand and rocks on the pavement, and steered into the travel lane to avoid the debris. He was struck by a truck’s side mirror and lost control of his bicycle, resulting in a crash that left him with a “significant amount of brain damage,” according to a complaint filed in 2015 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Watts was an experienced bicyclist who rode to his office in Culver City for years to keep fit, said his attorney, Boris Treyzon. Watts, who ran a successful freelance camera company, was left unable to work.

The jury split blame for the case, finding Caltrans 40% liable for the crash, with Los Angeles responsible for the rest.

Caltrans, which owns the highway, had hired Los Angeles to sweep the pavement at least once a month and keep it free of debris, but jury testimony and records left it unclear how often the work was performed, Treyzon said.

During the trial, he said, two city street sweepers testified that at the Tramonto slide, “they would simply swing around … and ignore it,” rather than remove the sand, gravel and rocks from the roadway.

No surprise there to anyone who has watched LA City street sweepers in action. Or had to ride through the debris they left behind.

The size of these awards keep climbing. And those payments come out of your taxes.

Money that would be much better spent to fund quality bike infrastructure and safer streets to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting injured.

Instead of paying out massive legal judgements after they do.

………

Go ahead and scoot without a skid lid.

To the surprise of some — okay, me — Governor Brown signed AB 2989, allowing adult users of e-scooters to ride without a helmet.

In addition, the law allows scooters on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph; current law limits scooters to streets with speed limits up to 25 mph unless they have bike lanes.

No word on when the law takes effect.

………

CiclaValley wants to know whether Decker Canyon or Westlake Blvd offers the scarier descent.

Although Phil Gaiman might vote for Tuna Canyon.

………

Cheetahs don’t pedal.

Just saying.

 

………

Local

Ride Metro Bike bikeshare free tomorrow for World Car Free Day.

A writer for City Watch takes a miserable walk down Fairfax Blvd, followed by a harrowing bike ride. And says Metro could fund trees, sidewalk improvements and bike lanes on Fairfax, as well as on Wilshire Blvd and all the major streets in the area that connect to Wilshire, for less than $50 million. Let’s hope someone is listening to him.

Downtowners weigh in on plans to remake LA’s Civic Center, calling for protected bike lanes and trails with bike and scooter parking.

Bicycling profiles the founder of LA-based women’s bikewear brand Machines for Freedom.

The third annual Gran Fondo Santa Clarita rolls next Saturday.

 

State

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is nearing completion, following the Truckee River 116 miles from the north shore of Lake Tahoe to Nevada’s Pyramid Lake.

 

National

A writer for Forbes explains in detail why you have a greater right to ride a bicycle than to drive a car, and proposes a Micromobility Bill of Rights giving you the same entitlement on smaller devices like e-scooters.

Bicycling looks at the “newest and coolest gear” from this year’s Interbike show.

Your next bike could be made of Super Magnesium.

No bias here. A Colorado columnist complains about “Bicyclist Entitlement Syndrome,” saying courteous bike riders are so rare you never see them. And the rest park their bikes on handicap ramps and run over kittens.

Omaha police agree to keep patrolling the city’s paved trails in response to bike riders’ concerns about “wrongdoers.”

A Chicago city alderman has proposed requiring bike riders to dismount and walk their bikes on the popular downtown Riverwalk, saying it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

The administrators of the bike-hating Northern Kentucky Facebook group we linked to earlier this week have turned it into a closed group after it got public attention, and changed the name to “Share the Road;” local bicyclists are worried it could incite violence against bike riders.

Police in Knoxville TN are the latest department to use an ultrasonic radar device to enforce the three-foot passing law. The LAPD, not so much.

A pair of Cleveland bike riders were brutally attacked and robbed in separate early morning attacks.

New York is closing a pair of key bike lanes, apparently for security reasons, in preparation for next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting — but leaving open a car tunnel that runs directly underneath.

A DC Twitter bot instantly uncovers the unpaid traffic tickets for any license plate, including one driver with 84 tickets totaling $10,700. Can we get that here in LA? Pretty please?

 

International

The co-founder of Zipcar warns the changes autonomous vehicles will bring could be paradise, or it could be hell.

Bike Radar offers tips on how to take inexperienced bike riders out for their first road ride.

Now that it’s legal north of the border, Canada’s military says don’t drive for 24 hours after you toke.

The Guardian looks at the colorful reinvention of city intersections.

Now that’s more like it. After a driver in the UK tweets that she should have run over a bike rider, police tell her to return her license because she’s clearly not fit to have one.

A British ebike maker says restricting ebikes to 15.5 mph in the UK and European Union is too slow for riders to be safe in traffic.

A Brit bike rider blames Strava for leading thieves to his home, where they stole five bikes worth nearly $16,000.

Heartbreaking news from the Netherlands, where four children were killed when the daycare cargo bike they were riding in was hit by a train.

VeloNews takes a tour of Italian bicycle factories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forty-three-year old Amber Neben continues to defy the calendar as she prepares to compete for her third road world championship.

But maybe you’d rather watch bike racers about 40 years younger.

 

Finally…

Forget bike polo, it’s Cycleball season. Now you can own your very own British bike chain; no, not that kind.

And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think those are bike racks.

………

Thanks David D, and everyone who has contributed this week, for their generous donations to help support this site. 

One final reminder, if everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep it going for a full year.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

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

Morning Links: Support injured bike rider with new T-shirt design, and new bill could end CA e-scooter helmet law

Here’s your chance to look good by helping out an injured rider.

Several months ago, a man who goes by the name of Hery reached out to me for help after he was injured by the driver of a car.

I gave him what advice I could; unfortunately, he’s still struggling, as the message below indicates.

Eight months ago while riding my bike to work I was hit by car. I woke up with wiring in my mouth and have been on disability ever since. Recently I was informed my Medi-Cal won’t be covering some medical expenses, and over these last 8 months I’ve also accumulated a lot of debt just trying to get by. So I’ve decided to design T-shirts to raise money for bills and other expenses.

This is what Hery’s bike looked like after he was injured in the crash

It’s a great looking design, and a good cause, helping someone get back on his feet after he was injured in a crash.

And it’s available on anything from T-shirts and hoodies, to stickers and coffee mugs.

………

A new bill passed by the state senate on Thursday would remove the ridiculous helmet requirement for dockless e-scooters — and the nearly $200 fines too many users have had to pay for breaking the law.

AB 2989 would also cap scooter speeds at their current 15 mph, while allowing cities to permit their use on more types of streets. Powered scooters are currently restricted to streets with bike lanes or speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The bill needs to return to the assembly before it goes to Governor Brown, where experience tells us it will face an uncertain fate.

………

Todd Munson does what I’ve often threatened to do, recording two minutes of scofflaw drivers running the stop sign near his home.

I could do the same thing at either of the intersections closest to our apartment, with the same results.

Yet so many drivers seem to get apoplectic they see bike and scooter riders doing the same things they do every day.

………

Los Angeles bike riders have to fight to get a bike corral. Riders in the the Netherlands get this, instead.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the heads-up.

………

There was a time when Bike the Vote was more than a slogan, as an academic journal site remembers when bike riders were a political block courted by the GOP. And helped deliver the vote to William McKinley in 1896.

………

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles.

Lincoln, Nebraska residents and bike riders support a lane reduction on major street, while a business association predicts a traffic apocalypse and calls it the first salvo in the war on cars.

In Jacksonville FL, the city wants to remove lanes from a street to improve safety, but local residents insist they like it just the way it is.

And an Edmonton, Canada letter writer says a lane reduction and two-way cycle tracks don’t make any sense, and he can’t understand why bike riders wouldn’t prefer a quieter, tree-lined street. The answer is they probably would, if it went the same places, with no stops and with signalized intersections at major streets, because bike riders need to get where they’re going just like drivers do.

………

Local

LA Magazine previews the My Figueroa Complete Streets project, which will be officially unveiled this Thursday.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a wealthy neighborhood gets street repairs on dangerous Griffith Park Blvd where a rider was injured, while a less well off neighborhood gets signs and a recommendation from the city attorney to remove the bike lanes instead of fixing them.

Curb extensions are installed on Pico Blvd to improve safety at Hauser and Curson. Although it clearly could have been the first step to installing protected bike lanes, instead.

 

State

An Oceanside bike rider is lucky to be alive after surviving a crash with a commuter train that left him with minor injuries. Let that be yet another reminder to never try to go around crossing gates, even if it appears to be safe at the time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks if the city is ready to eliminate parking requirements for downtown housing.

Members of Rich City Rides rode to Oakland’s city hall to protest the arrest of founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black.

Sad news from Austria, where beloved Oakland triathlete Alistair Eeckman was killed in a crash with a bus while on a training ride, just one day after finishing sixth in the Powerman Austria; he was just 23. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the news.

 

National

Streetsblog says America’s car culture is literally shortening your life.

Your next Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels. The ride-hailing company’s new CEO sees a shift to ebikes and scooters for short trips.

A Colorado couple literally wrote the book on cycling the Great Divide, with all proceeds going to the Adventure Cycling Association.

Sioux City, Iowa, has made progress when it comes to bicycling, but still has a long way to go.

Tour de France laterne rouge Lawson Craddock returns home to a hero’s welcome at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, after raising what could be as much as $400,000 to rebuild it following last year’s Hurricane Harvey. And announces it will be the site of USA Cycling’s new Olympic development program.

A Texarkana TX newspaper gets it, explaining that the city’s new sharrows don’t actually change anything, since bicyclists already have a legal right to ride in the traffic lane, but simply remind drivers of that fact.

Around a thousand people turned out for a bike ride to honor a Milwaukee bicycling icon who founded a chain of bike shops and created bike paths across the US.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Minnesota man rides his age to celebrate his 90th birthday, breaking it up into six 15 mile rides.

A Tennessee family has developed a device to fit on the handlebar ends on kids bikes, that will hopefully prevent puncture injuries that aren’t as rare as they seem. Something like that should be required for every kid’s bike sold; every year, several children are seriously injured or killed by worn bike parts.

Streetsblog says a single double-parked truck can undermine everything the New York Department of Transportation does to keep streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians, because it all falls apart without enforcement.

A DC bike advocate says our streets don’t have to make us unhappy.

A Florida singletrack rider rescued a baby raccoon by putting him in his backpack, and riding him to safety before the coyotes could get him. It may be cute, but most experts recommend against trying to rescue seemingly abandoned animals; chances are, the mother is hiding somewhere nearby.

 

International

Ottawa bike riders are taking to social media to try to track down their stolen bicycles.

Now that’s a close call. An Ottawa bike rider decides he needs to buy some lights after a driver makes a left turn directly in front of him in the dim twilight. Which he should have had long before this ever happened.

Speaking of close calls, a British bike rider was nearly sideswiped by a trailer pulled by a van in a near-miss caught on bike cam.

Pamplona has running with the bulls; Birmingham, England has wheelie-popping teens riding with the buses.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says bike helmets should be made mandatory in the UK, adding “I’ve put on a helmet more times than I’ve buckled a seatbelt.” Then tries to walk it back the next day.

A New Zealand Op-Ed says there’s no need for a war between bicyclists and motorists; just slow traffic and build some decent infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A reminder of the dangers of amateur racing, as 30 riders went down in a mass crash in a Wisconsin race, sending four people to the  hospital, and leaving a number of others with minor injuries.

Three years ago, Staci Nash was a two-time NCAA Division II track champ — the running kind, not cycling. Today, she’s a two-time national mountain biking champ.

Ritchie Porte says I beg your pardon, I never promised you I was going for the general classification in the Vuelta.

Speaking of the Vuelta, Deadspin calls it the strangest, hardest stage race of the cycling season, and predicts this year’s race will kick ass. Meanwhile, Cycling News says it’s the last chance for ten riders.

Great long read from Peter Flax, who recounts the strange happenings 70 years ago as two legendary racers faced off in the 1948 world championships, which neither one won.

 

Finally…

Sometimes riding down a freeway in rush hour traffic calls for nothing more than a g-string. Yes, you can still take a Sunday drive — as long as it’s on a bike.

And when you hear hoofbeats, stop and say hi.

 

%d bloggers like this: