Tag Archive for bike bans

Covid closes SoCal beaches for holiday weekend, Metro reveals recovery plans, and a visit with a bike-riding paletero

Santa Barbara became the latest SoCal county to close its beaches for the holiday weekend yesterday.

That means a nearly unbroken string of city and county beach closures stretching from north of Camp Pendleton through Santa Maria. The closures include the beachfront bike paths in LA County, but it’s not clear if it includes bike path closures in other counties, so check before you go.

State run beaches will remain open, including paths for biking and walking, but parking lots will be closed through Monday to discourage overcrowding.

All of which means San Clemente is likely to get overrun with beachgoers this weekend.

Let’s just hope they’re right about coronavirus not spreading easily outdoors.

But wherever you ride, do it safely and defensively.

I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone one else, this weekend.

Photo by David Drexler.

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Metro’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is out with plans for how the LA area can move forward as the city recovers from the coronavirus, without the seemingly inevitable gridlock as people go back to their auto-centric daily routines.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at Metro’s plans, including an increase in dedicated bus lanes, and possibly taking bikeshare in house to better meet the needs of underserved communities.

Then there’s this.

Metro’s task force recommends a “quick roll-out of more bike infrastructure.” The lack of safe, convenient places to bike has long been a limiting factor inhibiting bicycling in Southern California. What is tricky for Metro is that bikeways are largely out of Metro’s jurisdiction. Metro has roles to play, but municipalities – primarily cities – are ultimately responsible for the bike-unfriendly state of local streets. The task force says Metro should “partner with cities on strategies for rapid deployment of bike improvements.”

So let’s hope Metro can give LA a much-needed push in the right direction.

Linton also goes on to quote a certain bike website writer’s reaction to the plans.

But you’ll have to read his story to see what I had to say.

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Moving piece from the LA Times, which spends a day with an immigrant paletero, or pushcart ice cream vendor, who begins and ends every day riding his bike to and from work.

Mauro Rios Parra is one of the countless Angelenos, immigrant and otherwise, who depend on their bikes for transportation and to earn a living. And who are too often ignored by city planners and elected officials.

According to the story, Rios Parra hasn’t seen his family in Oaxaca for 16 years. But his modest pushcart has helped put one child through med school, and two others through law school.

Which he probably couldn’t have done if he had a car instead of a bike.

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Bicycles allow bike cops to respond quickly and quietly to rapidly changing situations. Unfortunately, that appears to include attacking seemingly peaceful Seattle protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s see Peter Sagan pull this one off with the pro peloton if they ever get back to racing in real life.

https://twitter.com/engineeringvids/status/1278755531352662016

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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WTF? Why would any family need an SUV that does one eighty? They should send this cat straight back to the hell it came from.

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Local

Somehow we missed this Streetsblog piece on family-friendly bike rides accessible by Metro transit.

Police are still looking for the second bike and skateboard-riding groper who sexually assaulted a number of women in the Venice and Culver City areas; another suspect was arrested recently.

 

State

The CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who sideswiped a bike-riding Santa Rosa woman with a trailer; the CHP politely gave the driver a built-in alibi, saying they may not even know they hit anyone.

 

National

Forbes offers advice on how to buy a new mountain bike.

Bicycling tries out the updated 2020 edition of the 1965 Schwinn Collegiate. And likes it.

How to use your water bottle to brush debris from your tires without risking stitches.

A Portland group has created a guide to corking intersections with your bike to protect social justice protests.

Back in my hometown, a university cop is pledging to ride her bike 400 miles this month to benefit Black Lives Matter, and mark the 400-plus years African Americans have been fighting for social justice.

After recovering from testicular cancer, a Texas man who grew up with the nickname Porky got serious about bicycling, which helped him drop 167 pounds while riding up to 200 miles in a day.

A Massachusetts minister suggests taking a spiritual spin on your bike. But don’t be a bicycle Bozo.

The New York Times looks at the city’s bicycle Black Lives Matter protests that have brought thousands of bike riders to the streets to demand social justice.

An off-duty New York cop faces charges for hit-and-run and assault after crashing into a man on a bike, then pushing a bystander before fleeing the scene.

A New York writer says the city’s new e-scooter pilot program is great, but all he really wants is a safe place to park his bike.

 

International

Pink Bike turns into Bicycle Vogue, with a focus on summer mountain bike fashions for men, while Refinery 29 seems more concerned with keeping you stylish on your commuter bike.

The Department of DIY struck in London once again, as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion painted their own popup bike lane through Kensington.

A Scottish program is providing the equivalent of $1.25 million to help local councils, community groups and universities buy ebikes and e-cargo bikes; a previous $2.37 million bought 875 ebikes and 41 e-cargo bikes to replace car trips. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The BBC examines how helmets, including bike helmets, can keep your fragile brain safe.

A new study shows France is rediscovering the bicycle, with sales up 117% in the first month since the country’s pandemic lockdown was lifted.

 

Competitive Cycling

The actual Tour de France won’t take place until late next month, but a virtual version will kick off this weekend. Maybe they’ll have virtual jostling in the peloton, with virtual falls and virtual road rash. And virtual failed dope tests, too.

Speaking of virtual racing, an Indian army colonel finished fourth in this year’s virtual RAAM, becoming the fourth Indian rider to finish the grueling race, more or less.

A New Zealand navy veteran plans to compete in cycling events in next year’s Invictus Games using a 3D-printed metal pedal spacer and cleat, after injuries from a helicopter crash left one leg shorter than the other.

 

Finally…

If your friend tries to sell your bike without your permission, maybe you need to rethink your friends. Apparently, take one, leave one applies to bike thieves, too.

And nothing like going out for a bike ride and getting stuck in traffic.

Funny how they seem more willing to share the road than LA drivers, and less likely to use their horns.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

Morning Links: LA rider intentionally doored, and Montana politician tries to ban bikes from state roadways

Now this one’s scary.

An LA bike rider was harassed by the road raging occupants of a car, and intentionally doored by a passenger in the back seat.

Even though the door never made contact with him or his bike, this is a clear case of assault, since the passenger obviously intended to threaten, if not injure, the victim. As such, any case like this can and should be reported to the police — especially when there’s video evidence.

And yes, the cops do want to know about cases like this.

Even if the authorities aren’t able to press charges, it could establish a pattern of behavior if the driver or passengers do something like this again.

The video also provides strong evidence to make a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which entitles victims to $1000 or actual damages, whichever is higher, plus triple damages. As well as reimbursement for any legal fees.

It’s not easy to make a case under the law, since you have to have witnesses and/or corroborating evidence to prove the harassment occurred.

But with a video like this, it should do the trick.

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After blocking a three-foot passing law in the state legislature, Montana Senate Leader Scott Sales plans to introduce legislation to ban bike riders from many state highways.

Sales’ legislation would prohibit bicycles from any two lane roadway with less than a three-foot shoulder, and require riders to place reflectors on their bodies as well as their bikes. And he’d require bicyclists to pay a special tax to ride on state roadways that they already pay for with their tax dollars.

Never mind that, as Bicycling points out, his proposal would kill the state’s burgeoning bike tourism industry.

His apparent distaste for bicycles and the people who ride them stems from his observation that bike riders are “some of the rudest and most self-centered people [he’s] ever encountered.”

Evidently, he’s never looked in the mirror, since he freely admits to blaring his horn at riders who have the audacity to get in his way. Or encountered many of the motorists he shares the roadways with, for that matter.

Meanwhile, a massive new study says bike riders aren’t really rude, we’re just trying to stay alive.

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The state issued another $56 million in grants to fund 25 active transportation and Safe Routes to Schools projects in six SoCal Counties, including $15 million for bike lanes in the Arts District in DTLA, bike lane connections at Cal State Long Beach, and a bike track in Santa Ana.

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Scandal-plagued British Cycling could now risk losing the equivalent of over $21 million in funding for grassroots programs due to concerns over governance of the organization.

A former rider for Team Sky says he broke cycling’s no needles rule to inject himself with vitamins leading up to the Vuelta. Vitamins, sure. Let’s go with that.

A new crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise $10,000 to make a movie about the legendary Major Taylor, America’s first great bicycling champ, and a groundbreaking African-America athlete.

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Local

No one was hurt, but a bicycle was mangled when a 45 foot shipping container fell off a big rig. No word on whether someone was riding the bike and jumped off, or if it had been parked.

A writer for City Watch calls CD1 challenger Joe Bray-Ali a ray of hope, saying “If Mr. Smith rode his bike to Washington, he’d look and sound a lot like Joe Bray-Ali.” We could find out today if Bray-Ali will be in a runoff with incumbent Gil Cedillo, when the latest vote counts are released.

The formerly anti-bike LA Weekly looks at seven group rides for cyclists new to LA streets, starting with next week’s CicLAvia.

The LACBC is hosting a Green on the Ground bike ride at noon today in Downtown LA.

DASH bus service to the Griffith Observatory will begin next week, part of a so-far successful effort to keep Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park from being opened to motor vehicles.

Travis Stork, host of The Doctors, is one of us, keeping his three bikes on the walls of his Hancock Park apartment, including a $10,000 Specialized Roubaix.

Santa Monica is considering new plans to make it safer for students who walk or bike to school at the city’s Edison Language Academy.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, sheriff’s deputies arrested a homeless man for riding his bike at night without lights, then says he was issued a citation. Something is seriously wrong if he was actually arrested, since riding without lights is a simple traffic violation, not a misdemeanor or felony offense subject to arrest. He should have been stopped, cited and sent on his way; let’s hope that’s what really happened. And someone please tell them it’s not that homeless people refuse to disclose their occupation; they usually just don’t have one.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will take a two-day, 90 mile tour of the coastline this weekend in honor of a beloved local bike advocate and cycling instructor who was killed in Oregon in 2014 near the beginning of a planned ride from Canada to Mexico.

A pitcher for the Padres has been on the bench since he pulled an endo last weekend when the front tire of his bicycle blew and he went over the handlebars.

The Inland Empire region receives a $13 million state grant for active transportation, including bike projects in Highland, Redlands and the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Tulare, where a 69-year old bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly running a red light. As always, the question is whether anyone other that the driver involved witnessed the crash and saw whether the light was red or green.

Berkeley police say it wasn’t excessive speed or impairment that was responsible for the collision that killed a 78-year old bike rider last month, blaming poor lighting, rain and a wet roadway. Yet that would suggest a violation of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Or is that only used as an excuse the ticket bike riders these days?

More bad news, this time from Sacramento, where yet another bike rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; police are looking for the owner of a two-tone utility truck.

Caltrans plans to install center rumble strips on a 30-mile segment of Highway 1 in Marin County, while widening the shoulders to improve safety for bicyclists.

 

National

People for Bikes makes clear what many of us had feared — Trump’s proposed new budget will be bad for bikes.

Apple applies for a patent for a new way to calculate a cyclist’s performance from wind resistance and other factors, suggesting they may develop a new form of power meter.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, you could turn your bicycle into an ebike just by swapping out your front wheel, for less than half the price of the Copenhagen Wheel.

Judging by the headline, Texas police apparently arrested a self-driving car for hit-and-run; or maybe someone was actually driving it, after all.

A Missouri mother is organizing a non-profit to aid the victims of hit-and-runs. Great idea, but sad that it’s even necessary.

A Chicago crash shows the difficulty bike riders face in getting justice following a hit-and-run.

Witnesses report the suspect in the shooting of two Detroit cops had been seen riding a bicycle similar to the one used by the person who killed a Wayne State University cop last year.

Defense attorneys argue that second degree murder charges should be dropped against the — allegedly — stoned driver who killed five Kalamazoo MI bicyclists because prosecutors failed to show that a combination of amphetamine, meth, hydrocodone and tramadol would have affected his ability to drive. On the other hand, they certainly didn’t improve it.

Now that’s what I call a bike tour. The owner of a Rhode Island bar plans to ride across the US sampling microbrews along the way to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

The rich get richer. New York cyclists can look forward to a new two-way protected bike lane leading eight miles up to the Brooklyn Bridge. And actually resulting in more parking spaces for a change.

A local news site asks if South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island is doing enough to keep bicyclists safe; the only gold-level bicycle friendly community in the Southeast, it ranks just 17th out of 20 in terms of safety.

Friends have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Florida bike advocate and bicycle writer Alan Snel, who was injured in a collision last week; it has raised nearly $6,400 of the $10,000 goal as of Thursday night.

 

International

A globe trotting guide to bicycling through the wine country, from Napa to Tuscany.

A one-woman Canadian performance illustrates the role bicycles played in the emancipation of women, starting with the story of Annie Londonderry, the first woman who biked around the world.

A new study of London bicycling shows bike riders experience an average of one close call at intersections every two weeks.

A man takes one of London’s bikeshare bikes on a tour of seven cities on three continents, and returns it with a £300 late fee — the equivalent of $371.

Caught on video: Passersby confront a masked Brit bike thief, but back off when he brandishes an axe.

The British man who put up his own No Cycling signs on a pathway where bicycling is allowed says he can’t be anti-cycling since he rides a bike himself.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. A UK van driver was given a suspended sentence for running over a doored bicyclist who fell into his path — even though he fled the scene and was three times over the legal limit for drunk driving. His lawyer claimed he only started drinking after the wreck, though he was still drunk from the previous day. Seriously, that’s an excuse?

After elite German police shoot a man on a bike who was carrying a horror mask, the press speculates he may be a terrorism suspect.

In the latest criminal scandal from Down Under, cyclists are breaking the law by removing bells and horns from their bicycles, making them subject to fines as high as $775 — around $600 US — if they fight the ticket in court.

Chinese app-based bikeshare company Ofo has decided the way to get users to take better care of their bikes is to flood the streets with even more, so they know another bike will be readily available. Um, probably not.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who doesn’t need an environmentally friendly bamboo ebike? Nothing like riding with a Jack Russell on your back.

And clearly, stunt cycling is nothing new; check out this performance on a golden fixie from1965.

USC officials ban bikes from campus; more enlightened UCLA wins Metro award

You don’t have to go to Blackhawk, Colorado or  St. Charles County, Missouri to find misguided leaders banning — or attempting to ban — bikes.

You only have to go as far as the University of Southern California campus.

Just days after a writer in the school’s Daily Trojan called on university officials to develop a more effective way of dealing with USC’s estimated 10,000 to 15,000 bikes a day, Dr. Charles E. Lane, Associate Senior Vice President for Career and Protective Services, responded in typically kneejerk fashion by banning bikes from the two major pedestrian thoroughfares on campus — one of which is listed as a bike lane on Metro’s new bike map.

It’s not that careless riding isn’t a problem. In fact, in a story about the ban, LADOT Bike Blog reports that a majority of students surveyed claimed to have been hit by a bike two or less times in the past year. Although the same study also shows that a majority of students feel bike congestion on campus is average or not a problem.

But the solution isn’t banning bikes. Especially not by an institution dedicated to higher education.

As LADOT BB and the Daily Trojan both point out, the problem isn’t bikes, or even the high number of bikes on campus. It’s the university’s complete and total failure to do anything to accommodate bikes or educate students on how to ride safely.

But instead of doing something about it — just what part of education don’t they understand? — they respond by banning bikes from a large segment of the school, and asking incoming freshmen to leave their bikes at home.

Then again, this is the same school that ticketed cyclists for riding in the crosswalk — even though that’s legal anywhere it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk.

Like L.A., for instance.

Now contrast USC’s bike ban with archrival UCLA, which actually encourages students and employees to ride to campus, and gives them secure places to park once they get there. Not to mention all the other schools that are busy implementing their own bike share programs, not banning them.

For a school that claims to be a leading educational institution, USC gets an F in transportation planning.

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Congratulations to the far more bike-friendly UCLA Transportation and the UCLA Sustainable Resource Center, who will be honored tonight for their short film Bike-U-mentary.

Directed by Brent Parnell, it looks at Herbie Huff and Mihai Peteu, campus bike commuters active in L.A.’s cycling community, and offers their perspectives on riding to campus and how to get started with bike commuting in the Los Angeles area.

The film will receive a Metro Rideshare Diamond Award at a ceremony this evening.

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The League of American Bicyclists is out with their latest list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

Davis remains the only city in California to earn Platinum Status, along with Boulder CO and Portland OR. Palo Alto, San Francisco and Stanford University — not USC — remain Gold, while Folsom, the Presidio of San Francisco, San Louis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz are Silver. Long Beach and Santa Monica retain the Bronze status, along with Thousand Oaks, Irvine, Riverside, Santa Clarita. Honorable Mention goes to Menlo Park, Merced, North Lake and Palm Desert.

Los Angeles evidently remains in the dishonorable category, despite our Mayor’s Road to Damascus — or in this case, Culver City — conversion to bicycle advocate.

And don’t get me started on those Trojans.

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Joaquin Rodriguez enjoys the red leader’s jersey on Vuelta’s Tuesday rest day, then loses it in a disastrous time trial as Vincenzo Nibali survives a wheel change to claim the lead. And this year’s Tour of Britain turns into absolute carnage.

A new website says Lance Armstrong needs your help to fight doping allegations; isn’t that the approach Floyd Landis took? Meanwhile, Armstrong’s Team RadioShack gets a belated invitation to the Tour of Lombardy.

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Santa Monica’s Agensys development is approved with no bike path, though the City Council did toss in a few bucks to ease the pain. L.A City Council candidate Stephen Box takes current Councilmember Greig Smith for overreacting to complaints about new bike lanes on Wilbur Ave, and LADOT for not doing enough to avoid the problem. LADOT Bike Blog concludes its study of sidewalk riding in Los Angeles County with a look at the eastern San Gabriel Valley; evidently, the Claremont Cyclist is on his own. Streetsblog offers a photo tour of Long Beach’s new Vista Street bike boulevard. Authorities continue to investigate the woman who switched seats with her drunk boyfriend and drove away after he killed a German cyclist in San Francisco. The U.S. Department of Transportation is planning a Distracted Driving Summit on Tuesday the 21st, with online access for those of us at work or home. Time looks at where the transportation stimulus funds went. More women now bike in New York. If an angry driver would murder someone over a speed bump, what would they do over a road diet — or God forbid, a bike boulevard? The inaugural Crooked Roubaix takes riders on dirt roads through the Colorado high country at up to 10,000 feet elevation and temperatures as low as the 20s; hopefully they read these tips on fall riding wear. A Portland school reverses a ban on biking and encourages riding to class. The Guardian asks why a woman on a bike has to deal with sexual comments from jerks. Bike friendly Nottingham has been named England’s least car-dependant city, while Southport offers a bike-friendly escape for vacationing Brits. Rescued by a knight in shiny red overalls with a tire pump. Feast your eyes on the new 2011 Pinarellos and the Canyon Strive enduro bike.

Finally, a new campaign warns London cyclists of the dangers posed by large trucks but may only discourage people from riding, while cyclists launch their own campaign to get dangerous trucks off the streets.

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