Tag Archive for bike commuting

Bike riding Sacramento amnesiac identified, calling out Manhattan Beach hypocrisy, and bikeshare for circus bears

One quick note before we get started.

It’s my birthday this weekend.

One I’ve tried to put off as long as possible, because it’s one of the big ones — marking the official demarkation between angry young man and crotchety get-off-my-lawn curmudgeon.

So do me a favor.

Ride just a little safer and more defensively for the next few days. Because we don’t want to ruin your weekend, or mine.

And I want to see you back here on Monday.

Even if I will be a crotchety old fart.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.

………

Good news from Sacramento, where the man who lost his memory after he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, and had no idea who he is, has finally been identified thanks to tips from the public.

Unfortunately, we may never learn who he is, though, because the hospital won’t identify him, citing patient privacy.

And yes, it’s yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID with you when you ride.

………

This pretty much puts it in perspective.

Manhattan Beach commuters insisted on keeping Vista Del Mar a deadly throughway, while following a completely different set of rules in their own community.

………

This tweet from the UK kind of sums up the current state of bike commuting almost anywhere.

https://twitter.com/TheCycIist/status/1441020478978764809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1441020478978764809%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-september-2021-286571

………

Here’s your chance to be a somewhat different kind of bike messenger.

And you can still use the bike lane.

………

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

No bias here. A Yorkshire, England county councilor insisted that people on bicycles “do drive motorists somewhat insane,” and are “making themselves a great number of potential enemies and therefore dangerous situations.” And as an added bonus, trotted out the old myth that bike riders don’t pay for the roads.

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

A 19-year old Missouri man was busted for vandalizing homes by riding a bicycle around his own neighborhood with a backpack full of spray paint, and marking walls with phrases like “Blood Gang” and “Death to America.”

An op-ed writer says the only things keeping Brussels, Belgium from being a pedestrian-friendly city is a long list of problems, from bad drivers to embarrassingly reckless bicycle riders. (Emphasis hers.)

………

Local

Long Beach is finally getting around to building the long-delayed Wrigley Greenbelt Project along DeForest Avenue from 26th Way to 34th Street, including what appears to be a meandering bike path.

Residents of remote Del Sur in the Antelope Valley are outraged after their hand-built BMX track was plowed under by the city.

 

State

Encinitas is the latest California city to adopt Vision Zero. Let’s hope they take it seriously, unlike a certain megalopolis to the north we could name.

San Diego belatedly installs car-tickler bendie posts along the bike lane through Balboa Park, too late to save the lives of a bike-riding woman and a scooter-riding man in recent months. But at least they’re doing something.

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog says traffic engineers and DMVs need to learn from the aviation industry how to make Vision Zero work.

Life is cheap in Contra Costa County, where prosecutors have apparently concluded that the killing od long-time NFL coach Greg Knapp was no big deal, declining to file criminal charges against the driver who swerved into the San Ramon bike lane Knapp was riding in to run him down from behind; Knapp died five days later. More proof, if we needed it, that a little stripe of white paint doesn’t keep drivers out. And that authorities don’t always care when it doesn’t.

In a case of corporate Biking While Black, a Google product manager says he was stopped by security while biking across the company’s massive Mountain View campus, because they couldn’t believe he worked there.

 

National

Cycling News explains the difference between a hybrid and a gravel bike.

The Washington Post looks at efforts by Congress to combat climate change by encouraging alternative transportation, including a proposed $750 tax rebate for buying an ebike. Although if they were really serious about fighting climate change, they wouldn’t have reduced the proposed $1,500 rebate down to a paltry $750. Especially when e-car buyers get ten times that amount.

Smart Cities says “we can’t forget public transit, walking and cycling in the push to decarbonize transportation,” adding that preserving private vehicle use won’t move us to a more equitable transportation future.

CleanTechnica wants to know why bikes are booming in the US, while sales of electric motorcycles are stagnant.

A new PeopleForBikes campaign encourages commuters to fight climate change one ride at a time.

A commercial trucker’s website says you can thank bike riders, along with early “automobilists”, for today’s highways.

Newsweek says Vision Zero is gaining speed across the US. Unfortunately, so are most drivers.

Spy considers the best bike gloves for every season.

A pair of kindhearted Massachusetts cops dig into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a six-year old boy after his was stolen for the second time in weeks.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts group has refurbished and given away over 340 bicycles since it was founded last summer.

New York’s bicycle delivery riders won first-of-their-kind protections from the city council, guaranteeing them bathroom breaks, minimum delivery payments and the right to keep whatever tips they earn.

A Savannah, Georgia physician and columnist reflects on life’s priorities, and the “vast amounts of irrelevant garbage that distracts us from the wonder of life’s everyday miracles” after surviving a hit-and-run collision while riding his bike.

 

International

The Guardian wants to know why other big bike brands aren’t following Trek’s lead by tracking their environmental impact. And then doing something about it.

Tragic news from Ontario, Canada, where a man was found dead in ditch next to his bicycle; he is believed to be the 81-year old man who went missing after leaving home on a bike ride a week ago.

A Canadian op-ed writer pens a loving ode to the amazing bicycle.

He gets it. A UK letter writer says it’s angry and selfish driving that kills people on bicycles, not the actions of the victims.

An Irish woman was convicted of dangerous driving for running over a bike rider following a collision; the woman, who was driving alone despite only having a learner’s permit, said she panicked after the crash and hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy is coming to America, after rapidly becoming one of the most popular brands in Europe, although they’re only making one model available in the US for now, at an early bird price of $1,990.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as the Croatian town of Vodnjan has built walking and bike trails to explore the city’s many churches, some several centuries old, as well as hundred of artworks and holy relics dating back to the fifth century. Okay, maybe just my bucket list. But still.

A man in Bangalore, India is lucky to be alive after he was knocked off an overpass when a motorcyclist sideswiped his bicycle; he survived by hanging onto some loose wires dangling over the side.

Hundreds of Mumbai bike riders took to the streets on two wheels to celebrate World Car Free Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

Road.cc says no, the pros aren’t switching to disc brakes just to get you to buy a new bike.

Cycling Weekly looks at UCI’s new gravel bike series, as well as a new ‘cross format and the relatively new sport of Snow Bike.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the nice cops explain you’ve been driving over a mile on walking and biking trails. At last, an ebike with an attached sidecar for your corgi…uh, dog.

And it’s about time Moscow had a bikeshare for circus bears.

………

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

Unconfirmed report of West LA bicycling death, fighting for racial justice and equity in bicycling, and Metro Bike turns 5

One quick note —

Get out on your bike and enjoy the summer weather with the three-day Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend.

But remember drivers are likely to be distracted, and possibly under the influence after outdoor barbecues and picnics. 

So have fun. But remember to ride safely and defensively. 

I expect to see you back here safe and sound on Tuesday. 

………

Once again, we have a credible report of a fatal bicycling collision, but still have to wait for confirmation.

KNX 1070 helicopter pilot Scott Burt tweeted that traffic had been halted on a dangerous stretch of Sunset Blvd between the 405 Freeway and Veteran Ave in West Los Angeles, due to what he termed a deadly vehicle versus bicycle incident.

The photo appears to line up with the intersection of Sunset and North Lenroy Ave. Although it’s hard to tell just what we’re looking at in the photo, beyond the officers and patrol cars securing the scene and investigating the crash.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am of this crap.

Is it really too much to ask for the right to ride a damn bike and expect to return home in one piece afterwards?

………

Bike equity and racial justice advocate Tamika Butler has penned another powerful piece for Bicycling, arguing that we’re still not seeing the inclusivity promised by the bike industry in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.

Never mind that people of color don’t experience the same level of safety on our streets as white riders.

Or rather, the lack of it.

We ride bikes, we get how dangerous this can be. Yet, white advocates didn’t realize that the color of someone’s skin meant that they were more likely not to be seen by a driver while at the very same time exponentially more visible to police. For bicycle advocates of color, especially Black advocates, the goal was never to make streets safe-er. Instead, we are fighting for the same baseline level of safety that white cyclists enjoy.

We worry about being doored or hit by a careless and distracted driver just like all cyclists. But we also carry the burden of knowing that our risks are amplified because we can’t ride around with the protection of whiteness. We too want the experience of riding our bikes without worrying whether people think they look too expensive for us to own, or living in a neighborhood that isn’t deemed too poor or too Black to deserve infrastructure.

Seriously, read it.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, apparently forgetting their commitment to widely share stories about racial equity.

………

Happy birthday to Metro Bike, which is celebrating five years since the bikeshare system was introduced in DTLA.

To mark the occasion, they’re offering free 30 minute Metro Bike rides and the sticker below, or half off an annual membership.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Amazon announced a new program to reimburse employees up to $400 a month for using a bicycle to commute to work instead of driving.

The exact amount will vary by city — it’s just $175 a month for workers in Nashville. However, it’s unclear if it just applies to the company’s five regional centers, or if the benefit will be available to workers at Amazon’s distribution centers and warehouses, as well local delivery drivers.

Now we just need to convince other employees that it’s in their benefit to pay workers not to drive instead of paying for employee parking.

………

A London bike rider was lucky to walk away from a head-on crash, as a driver suddenly swerved onto the wrong side of the street before continuing on to crash into a pole on the sidewalk.

https://twitter.com/standardnews/status/1410646692416925697

………

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 25-year old Detroit man, who can expect to spend the next 14 to 25 years behind bars after admitting to breaking into a woman’s home and raping her, then fleeing by bike.

………

Local

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives busted a pair of men accused of mercilessly shooting two other men as they rode past the victims on a bicycle and skateboard; they also arrested three other people, and seized a number of ghost guns.

 

State

Encinitas will hold a meeting to talk ebikes at some underdetermined date, to address fears from residents freaking out over the ped-assist bikes in the coastal San Diego County town.

Oakland bike riders will have one last chance next Tuesday to fight to keep the highly successful protected bike lane on Telegraph Ave.

 

National

The US House approved a $715 billion transportation infrastructure plan, with $920 million specifically marked for projects throughout California, including a bicycle garden in Antioch. San Diego County would get $97 million, but much of that would be wasted on demand-inducing freeway projects.

PeopleForBikes wants you to Ride For Freedom this month, offering patches to riders who complete 7, 14 or 21 rides of at least for miles before the end of the month.

Bicycling lists some of the best 4th of July sales on bike gear. Here’s the Yahoo link if the magazine blocks you.

The bike boom goes on, especially for ped-assist bikes, with someone in the US buying an ebike an average of every 52 seconds.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Thirty-eight-year old Boryana Straubel, a philanthropist and founder of sustainable jewelry maker Generation Collection, was killed in a head-on collision while riding her bike in Nevada’s Washoe County, outside of Reno. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Texas court decides to lock up a deadly driver and throw away the key, sentencing him to life without parole for intentionally slamming his truck into a group of riders participating in a bike race, killing a man and a woman, and injuring three others.

A Black-owned startup benefitted from a Milwaukee business incubator program to bring their next-gen, IoT-enabled ebike to market.

A new Ohio law prohibits the use of eminent domain to take land for a planned bike path for the next five years, delivering a victory for property owners but a significant delay, if not defeat, for anyone hoping to ride it.

 

International

An English man has set out on a 3,100 mile ride up the UK’s steepest ascents to raise money to fight homelessness, after being told he’d never ride a bike again following a major high-speed collision.

You’ve got to be kidding. More proof that life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver was sentenced to a lousy 12 weeks behind bars for killing a 71-year old man out for a bike ride. And even that was suspended for 18 months.

Portuguese bike riders are planning a 30-minute sit in and vigil to call attention to too many people being killed and injured while riding their bikes, in the wake of a bike-riding expectant mother who was killed by a driver.

An engineering website takes a look at South Korea’s 20-mile solar panel-covered, electricity-generating bike path. Which has the misfortune of being located in the center of a freeway, exposing riders to noise and smog from passing cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Make that 32 stage wins in the Tour de France, as Mark Cavendish closes in on the once-unreachable record of 34 set by the legendary Eddy Merckx.

At least some members of the peloton think arresting a fan is a step too far, even if the 30-year old sign-carrying Frenchwoman did cause a massive crash in first stage of the Tour while giving a shoutout to her grandparents. Meanwhile, the operators of the Tour backed off a threat to sue the woman when she was caught. Which she was.

He may not wear the yellow jersey, but 29-year old Australian cyclist Lachlan Morton intends to be the first rider to reach Paris, as he rides the entire route of this year’s Tour de France — plus an extra 1,302 miles — on a self-supported bikepacking tour to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; so far he’s raised enough money to donate over 1,400 bicycles to help change lives in need. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

We all admire cyclists who get up from a major crash and keep riding to the finish. But a writer for Cycling Tips says racing with broken bones isn’t something to admire.

The world’s biggest women’s stage race, the Giro d’Italia Donne, kicks off today, with rising American star Katie Clouse making a surprise debut in the 19-year old cyclist’s first year on the world stage.

US mountain bike champ Chloe Woodruff withdrew from the US Olympic team, citing personal reasons; she was replaced by Erin Huck.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t move your entire apartment by bicycle?

And here’s your vertigo-inducing mountain bike ride of the day.

………

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

Morning Links: Bike commuting down in US, PA man faces jail for riding a bike, and $500,000 bike shop thefts

USA Today examines the recent Bike League report showing bike commuting is down in cities across the US, and the reasons behind it.

Although the story also notes that ridership is up in some cities, particularly where they’ve invested in safe bike networks.

Around the country, city transportation officials wish there were more bicyclists like Dandino as they seek to cut traffic congestion, promote health and identify alternatives to cars. After rising for several years, the percentage of commuters turning to bikes declined for the third year straight, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.

Nationally, the percentage of people who say they use a bike to get to work fell by 3.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, to an average of 836,569 commuters,  according to the bureau’s latest American Community Survey, which regularly asks a group of Americans about their habits. That’s down from a high of 904,463  in 2014, when it peaked after four straight years of increases.

Census Bureau figures are notoriously unreliable, however, since they only count people biking to work, and not commuting or riding for other purposes.

And if someone uses a bicycle as part of a multimodal commute, it’s usually not categorized as a bike commute.

Meanwhile, the news was mixed in Long Beach.

Long Beach, California, saw a 23.1 percent increase in the number of bike commuters from 2016 to 2017, though it was down 19 percent from 2011 to 2017, the league’s report says. Over the past decade, Long Beach added bike lanes throughout the city and dedicated routes separated from traffic, including some that recently opened. Its bike-sharing program continues to grow, having 11,000 members.

“I think we are getting a lot of commuters coming into the downtown,” Public Works Director Craig Beck said. “A separated bike lane that goes four blocks doesn’t really do anything. It’s about point-to-point safety.”

And as usual, the view from Los Angeles was far less rosy.

In a push to make the city more bike-friendly, Los Angeles started installing miles of protected bike lanes and embracing “road diets,” or slowing streets to make them safer for bikers and pedestrians. In a city where the car is king, a backlash from motorists drastically cut back those efforts.

As a result, Bicycling magazine named Los Angeles the worst biking city in America in October.

Something LA city leaders still haven’t addressed. Or even seem to care about.

The story goes on to quote the author of a certain humble LA bike blog.

“The City Council and the mayor’s office are only listening to angry drivers who don’t want their commute to be slowed down by anyone,” said Ted Rogers, a veteran bike rider who writes the BikingInLA blog.

“I hear from countless people who say they quit” biking, he said. “They just don’t feel safe on the streets anymore.”

………

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger.

After spending nearly two years behind bars for the crime of taking the lane — or rather, violating a judge’s order to stop doing it — a Pennsylvania bike rider could be going back to jail for violating his probation.

By riding a bicycle.

Authorities had accused David Smith of repeatedly riding in the traffic lane on narrow country roads, causing major traffic backups and — allegedly —  posing a danger to motorists by not allowing them to pass.

His defense had been that his bicycle is his only form of transportation, and that he was only riding where he was supposed to by taking the center of the lane.

Evidently, though, the local authorities weren’t fans of vehicular cycling. Smith was sentenced in 2017 to up to two years in jail, but released on probation after having already served a total of 20 months because he refused to accept a mental health evaluation that could have led to his release.

One condition of his probation was that he not ride a bicycle until his probationary period ended in 2020.

A condition he allegedly broke by riding this past October.

Still, there’s something very wrong when what a simple traffic violation — if that — can lead to serious jail time.

………

Either something is a little fishy, or a Colorado bike shop owner may be the world’s unluckiest pedal peddler.

Because he’s now lost half a million dollars worth of bicycles in two separate break-ins less than three years apart.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that thieves stole up to $300,000 worth of bikes, tools and other merchandise from the Boulder bike store in a carefully planned New Years Day break-in.

That follows an unsolved 2016 break-in at the store’s Miami location, where thieves smashed their van into the storefront and made off with $200,000 worth of bikes.

………

The perfect solution for those leisurely afternoon bike rides across the lake.

………

Local

Enough with the bleak news already. Curbed offers 19 things to look forward to in 2019, including a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, ebike dockless bikeshare, and half-hearted improvements to six LA streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Westside traffic safety deniers cynically rushed to blame the Venice Blvd Great Streets project for the death of a pedestrian on Centinela Ave over the holidays, even though the crash occurred four full blocks away. And even though the tragedy makes a better argument for implementing similar safety improvements on Centinela.

Bicycles have been banned from westbound 1st Street in DTLA through 2021 for work on Metro’s Regional Connector Transit Project; a detour is in place to get around the construction zone.

A Playa del Rey scooter rider was collateral damage in a wild police chase through three counties Thursday afternoon; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

The new Spectrum news channel looks at the efforts of Watts-based East Side Riders to use bikes to keep kids on the right track.

CicLAvia is hiring an Event Production Assistant and a Social Media Manager. If they ever need an anti-social media manager, I’m all in.

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is back from the dead, thanks in part to Oprah’s favorite LA-based ebike maker.

State

California announced the winners in the latest round of funding for active transportation projects, including several in SoCal and the LA area.

Arraignment was postponed for the allegedly stoned driver who killed Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last November. That’s nothing unusual; preliminary hearings and arraignments are often postponed several times before anything actually gets done.

A Cardiff railroad crossing will be closed for three weeks to install new crossing guards and build new bike and pedestrian paths.

No surprise here. San Diego’s docked bikeshare provider Discover Bikes says it’s being negatively impacted by dockless bikeshare. Which will inevitably be the case for most docked providers unless they make major changes.

The family of fallen Riverside County mountain biker Andres Marin is suing over a delay in searching for him after he called home to say he had been injured, which may have contributed to his death.

A Minnesota man visiting San Diego suffered nine broken ribs and a punctured lung when the crank snapped on his fixie as he stood on the pedals to beat a traffic light.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was released from the hospital just one day after he slammed his bike into the side of an SUV whose driver cut him off, despite suffering a broken vertebrae and sternum. Apparently, when you’re the mayor, they actually ticket the guy behind the wheel for a change.

A 14-year old Oakland boy was critically injured in a hit-and-run that’s equal parts horrifying and infuriating; the fleeing driver dragged him for three blocks after smashing into his bike before the poor kid was able to roll free. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

Now you can take Alexa everywhere you ride. Why you’d want to is another question.

A Seattle man lost 50 pounds by taking up bicycling after his car died.

Ride Uber’s electric JUMP bikes too far in Seattle, and it will cost you a cool $25.

A Seattle bicyclist’s conscience gets the better of him, or possibly her, for yelling at an older couple to hurry up crossing the street.

Trump’s tariffs are taking a toll on little kids in Denver, because a non-profit bike shop can’t afford parts to recycle bicycles as part of an earn-a-bike program.

Clever piece from a Dallas man who rode 1,617 miles to work over the past two years; he started riding after leaving his car at the office Christmas party, then riding his bike back to get it the next day after he sobered up.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was lucky to escape unharmed when he hid behind a bus after a man started shooting at him, apparently at random; the gunman was shot and killed by police.

An Austin TX bike rider leads police to the body of a woman who had been murdered and dumped in the woods.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, riding his Australian-made single speed around the streets of New York. Apparently, fellow actor Bruce Campbell is, too. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The NYPD finally instructed its officers to ticket business owners who use banned ebikes, rather than the low-wage delivery workers who ride them.

International

A 64-year old London woman uses her bicycle to get around after suffering a stroke. But bikes are only for the young and fit, right?

A British health institute calls for improving public health by remaking the country’s streets to give bicyclists and pedestrians priority over motor vehicles.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an unlicensed, road raging driver got just five months behind bars for using his van as a weapon to ram a rider off his bicycle. It’s questionable whether he would have gotten the same light sentence if he’d used a gun instead of a motor vehicle.

Ireland’s attorney general has scuttled a proposal to establish a minimum safe passing distance in the country.

Two Chinese boys were lucky to survive with minor injuries when they were run over by a large truck and dragged 30 feet in a crash caught on security cam. As usual, be sure you really want to see it before clicking the link; even though the boys weren’t seriously injured, the image is horrifying.

Evidently, those step-through bikes are stronger than they look. After a Chinese salmon cyclist was hit head-on by a driver, the car suffered major damage to its bumper, while the bike and rider were relatively unscathed.

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Bike racing’s governing body has finally banned the use of the opioid painkiller Tramadol during competition, even though the World Anti-Doping Agency is still allowing it.

Finally…

If you’re trying to lose weight, forget the bike ride and just take a bath. More proof you can steal anything by bike.

And seriously, if you’re riding a bike with coke hidden under your hat, put a damn light on it (scroll down).

The bike, not the hat.

Morning Links: LA transit and biking termed a “utopian fantasy,” and riding a bike to shed emotional weight

One quick note: Come back after 11 am today for a guest post from CSUN staffer and Bikecar 101 co-founder Mike Kaiser about the Englander motion to stop LA dockless bikeshare in its tracks.

………

No bias here.

Evidently, making alternative transportation practical in LA is just a “utopian fantasy.”

And relying on transit — or riding a bike, or walking to work, for that matter — will only drive Angelenos into poverty.

Apparently, your bike commute is making you broke, and no one will ever do it if it takes longer than driving.

Because it’s so much cheaper and more pleasant to own, drive and maintain a car. Right?

………

Great piece from Peter Flax, describing how a single bike ride can help shed emotional weight as he struggled with the loss of friends and a loved one.

But the reality is that despite all the shit weighing me down, I already had shed quite a bit of ballast. I had just spent an hour in a place where I could grapple with my demons, where I could turn the pedals and truly think. I felt this very real sense of peace to be on a bike, suffering a little bit and tending to myself in the best way I know how.

It’s a feeling I know well.

I remember waking up to the news that a plane had struck New York’s World Trade Center on 9/11, just in time to watch as the second one hit. And sat there transfixed before my TV until I couldn’t take another word.

I finally grabbed my helmet, got on my bike, and just started riding, ending up in Santa Monica where someone had tied ribbons around every tree in sight.

Nothing had changed when I got back. Yet somehow, the grief and despair of that day seemed a little easier to take.

………

Absolutely horrifying story from South Africa, where a top triathlete was severely injured when attackers tried to cut off his legs with a chainsaw.

According to the LA Times, Mhlengi Gwala was riding to a morning training session when the men attacked, refusing offers of his bicycle, cellphone and wallet.

Several attackers pulled Gwala off his bicycle as he cycled up a steep hill and sawed into his right calf, damaging muscle, nerves and bone, according to Jackson, who spoke by phone to the triathlete about the ordeal. They missed a main artery and surgeons are confident they can save the leg, Jackson said.

The attackers also started sawing into Gwala’s left leg before fleeing, enabling the athlete to crawl to a road and flag down a passing car to take him to a hospital

………

Local

A Pasadena columnist gets to experience a punishment pass, as well as angry drivers, in the debate over whether to make Orange Grove Blvd safer for everyone.

 

State

Milestone Rides offers their take on SoCal’s top five overnight bike trips.

 

National

Treehugger says Vision Zero is a lovely, but meaningless response to tragedy, and calls for an American Stop de Kindermoort movement.

Transportation professionals are asked to weigh-in on how speed limits should be set.

Good question. Santa Fe NM bicyclists want to know why the local sheriff’s department only gave a traffic citation to a road-raging driver who slammed on his brakes, then allegedly backed up into a group of cyclists on a senior citizens ride, sending one to the hospital — and won’t even reveal what that ticket was for.

Chicago bicyclists call for fair enforcement after reports that black riders were far more likely to be ticketed than white bicyclists. A black transportation equity advocate delivered a manifesto to city hall calling for a halt to racially biased ticketing.

A University of Cincinnati student newspaper says the city must become bike friendly.

The Kentucky legislature moved forward with a three-foot passing law.

Boston truckers are worried about the addition of 1,200 bikeshare bikes in the city. Apparently, they’re concerned that they aren’t capable of driving safely.

The New York Times offers a belated obituary for Lillias Campbell Davidson, a remarkable woman who founded the first women’s bicycling organization.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A New York driver suffering from seizures has her license suspended, one day too late for the two little kids she killed.

Thanks more like it. A Virginia woman was sentenced to five years behind bars for the drunken crash that seriously injured two young women who were riding their bikes.

 

International

A British man is facing sexual assault charges after using his home bicycle shop to lure young boys. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Los Angeles is far from the only city where potholes and crappy streets threaten the safety of people on bikes. Nearly 400 bicyclists were seriously injured in the UK over the past decade due to bad roads, and four others killed; the country’s auto club calls for fast fixes.

Yes, please. Paris will offer the equivalent of up to $744 towards the purchase of ebikes, and an equal amount for anyone willing to give up their car.

Swiss politicians call for higher fines for “renegade” cyclists. They want the penalties for people on bikes to match the fines for driving infractions, even though lawbreaking bike riders pose far less danger to others.

Mumbai bicyclists are demanding safer storm grates that won’t trap bike wheels and send their riders tumbling. LA only addressed that problem in the last decade, though there still may be a few dangerous grates left behind in the streets.

A Kiwi stroke survivor is riding the length of New Zealand to call attention to the disabling condition and give hope to others.

A new Aussie study confirms once again that women are less likely to commute by bike if they consider it unsafe.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body calls for an investigation into whether Britain’s Team Sky broke any doping rules. Which at this point, seems about like asking if the Russians interfered in the last election or if sea levels are rising.

Organizers of the Tour of Britain have lived up to their promise to give women riders equal prize money to the male cyclists. About damn time. Now let’s see the other races not only match the money, but the competitive opportunities provided to men, as well.

Speaking of potholes, as we were earlier, Britain’s Mark Cavendish was hospitalized with a head injury after apparently getting his back wheel caught in one during an Italian time trial.

Cycling Tips talks with 106-year old world record-holding cyclist Robert Marchand.

 

Finally…

Does it still count as green for St. Paddy’s Day if you smoke it instead of wearing it? Drink your way through America’s 49th state.

And as we face the prospect of a soggy weekend, remember it could be a lot worse.

………

Thanks to Margaret W for her generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Contributions of any size, for any reason, are always appreciated

Morning Links: Bike commuting Op-Ed video from LA Times, and another attack on bikes and urban planning

Sometimes it’s better just to show what bike commuting is really like, rather than try to explain.

That’s what LA Times reporter Matthew Fleischer did Monday, accompanying an Op-Ed with 360° video of his three-mile commute to work at the paper.

Come join me on my morning bike commute. Ride three miles in my shoes. Maybe you’ll be outraged enough by what you see to write your city councilperson, demanding safer streets. Maybe you’ll decide cycling in L.A. isn’t so bad after all and go for a ride. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll decide not to froth at the mouth in protest when road safety improvements to keep cyclists safe add a couple of minutes to your morning commute.

If nothing else, you’ll get to see what it looks like from the other side when you honk your horn as you blow past a cyclist who momentarily inconveniences you — and, I hope, decide never to do that again.

………

One of LA’s most questionable urban planning writers is at it again.

In his latest post for City Watch, Richard Lee Abrams a) confuses light rail with trolleys, b) blames bike lanes, not all those people in single occupancy vehicles, for all that traffic congestion, and c) says the quote below proves the city has an anti-car policy, when it does nothing of the sort.

Bicycles are such a slow means of locomotion that they impede faster vehicles. As a result, bicycles cause increased traffic congestion. The City admits that its policy of adding Bike Lanes to city streets is a part of an anti-car policy. Director of Planning, Vince Bertoni stated in a July 13, 2017 LA Magazine interview:

“…[We want streets that don’t] just revolve around the automobile. We’re looking at what it’s like to walk, bicycle, even skateboard down these streets and all the other ways we’ll get around. We’re going to be putting in wider sidewalks, trees, bicycle lanes that people feel protected in.”  

That’s before blaming corruption for LA’s Transit Oriented Development policies, and prescribing solutions to LA traffic that would only make the problem worse and degrade the quality of life he claims to be trying to save.

And after claiming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti could face criminal prosecution for placing bike lanes on busy streets where children would be exposed to pollution from passing cars.

Never mind that, despite presenting himself as a Los Angeles attorney, he does not appear to be a member of the California Bar Association, and a Google search does not show a practicing attorney by that name in Los Angeles.

Though it does turn up some of the lengthy public comments he’s submitted.

………

The head of Team Sky took advantage of Monday’s rest day in the Tour de France to launch an attack on a writer for Cyclingnews; Sir Dave Brailsford disinvited him from an interview session with Chris Froome because he’d been “writing shit” about Brailsford.

Peter Sagan echoes the sentiments of most cycling fans, saying booting him out of the Tour was a mistake. Nairo Quintana defends his Movistar team after his father trashed it in the press.

An Irish writer says cycling has been vilified for doping, but other sports haven’t faced the same scrutiny — especially since the doctor in Spain’s Operation Puerto doping scandal also had clients in soccer, athletics, tennis and boxing, none of whom have been named.

The Bahrain Merida cycling team competing in the Tour is accused of being part of an effort by Bahrain’s ruling family to whitewash a history of torture and human rights abuses.

And a young Dutch cyclist shows that crossing the finish line first isn’t always the most important thing.

………

Local

The Venice Neighborhood Council will consider a motion at tonight’s meeting to host a town hall with Councilmember Mike Bonin, where he’s sure to get an earful from the anti-bike lane/lane reduction contingent.

CiclaValley looks forward to this Thursday’s Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles in Burbank.

 

State

Orange County has evicted a number of homeless people from a nearly half-mile long section of the Santa Ana riverbed near the Honda Center, following complaints from bicyclists and hikers along the Santa Ana River trail. But apparently only managed to move them onto the trail, instead.

An Ocean Beach man writes an open letter to the thief who stole his bicycle but didn’t ruin his day.

Despite earlier reports that he might not be charged, a member of a prominent Kern County farming family was pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run and DUI charges for the January death of a rider. His lawyer claimed the empty vodka bottle found in his back seat just happened to fall out of a box or backpack.

San Francisco celebrated their equivalent of a CicLAvia in the Mission District on Sunday.

Cal Berkeley’s Daily Californian complains that Ford’s Bay Area goBike doesn’t serve underserved communities in Oakland, while one underserved community in San Francisco says they don’t want to be served.

In a preview of what US cities have to look forward to with dockless bikeshare, the Google Bikes the company provides for the free use of its employees are ending up unceremoniously dumped in a Mountain View creek.

A Santa Rosa man is under arrest for teeing-off with a golf club on a man riding a bicycle, knocking the victim into the windshield of a parked car, following an argument between the two men.

 

National

Studies show bicycling is a social affair for many Latinos.

It’s not often that bike advocates find themselves on the same side as the anti-tax wing of the GOP, but that’s the case in Oregon where the governor is expected to sign a $5.3 billion budget that incudes a $15 excise tax on new bicycles over $200. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

A seven-year old boy completed a 203-mile, two-day ride from Seattle to Portland, and still sped up when a group of riders tried to pass him after 170 miles.

Boise police are looking for a bike rider who ripped off the side mirror of a car, causing $1,000 damage to the vehicle. Needless to say, the driver disavows any knowledge of what he could have possibly done to make the rider so angry. We’ve said it before — no matter what a driver might do, violence is never the answer. It only makes things worse in the long run.

Plastic dividers have gone up to separate a three-mile long section of bike lane from motor vehicle traffic on the popular South Padre Island vacation resort in Texas, after a woman was killed and four other bicyclists injured by an alleged DUI hit-and-run driver.

Bicycling crashes have dropped dramatically in Austin TX following construction of new bikeways in 2014.

NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson rides with Detroit’s famed Slow Roll crew.

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo is one of us, riding a Lousiville KY bikeshare bike on stage to finish out their set at the end of a three-day music festival.

A Vermont psychotherapist and bike advocate wants to cure the world of “automobilism” through bicycling and “automobile reduction therapy.”

 

International

A new Canadian study shows bicycling is the least stressful way to commute to work.

The driver who hit a red light-running Ottawa bike rider in the dash cam video we linked to yesterday says he’s still shook up by the crash; the rider was ticketed for running a red light.

Caught on video: A British driver has been fined the equivalent of $196 after speeding up to crash into a bicyclist, because police say they can’t prove who was behind the wheel of the rental car.

An English town councilor wants to separate bike lanes with pink armadillos he designed himself. Which should be enough to convince any number of drivers it’s time to quit drinking.

 

Finally…

This is why you want to be careful riding around storm grates. Who says you can’t carry a big load on a bike?

And don’t wear underwear under your spandex.

Or over it, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Bike commute rates in LA area, Bike the Vote endorses Bray-Ali, and LACBC’s take on Vision Zero

Today is the last day for local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry to get deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

………

So much of the oft-cited figure that one percent of Angelenos commute by bicycle.

Instead, it clearly depends on where you are.

Bike wonk Dennis Hindman took a deep dive into the latest ACS data released by the Census Bureau last December to examine bike commuting by LA-area zip code.

What he discovered was that the rate of bike commuters ranged from a whopping 10% for DTLA and 9% for the USC area, to a lowly .8% for Wilmington. Meanwhile, bike-friendly Santa Monica checks in at 3.8%, while Culver City comes in at a surprising 2.2%.

He also notes that the heaviest rates of bike commuting follow the route of the Expo Line, which had a wait list for bike lockers a week after the new extension to Santa Monica opened.

And which once again demonstrates the need for safe bike lane connections to the Expo Line, especially on Westwood Blvd leading to the UCLA campus.

You can see his full examination of bike commuters per zip code here.

………

To the shock of no one, Bike the Vote LA has endorsed community advocate and former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali for LA’s 1st council district over anti-bike incumbent and professional politician Gil Cedillo.

The only surprise is that a second candidate in the race, Giovany Hernandez, offered some very good responses to their candidate survey, while Jesse Rosas did not.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cedillo evidently decided it was more prudent to simply not respond to the survey, rather than lie about his support for bike lanes like he did last time around.

………

The LACBC released their response to LA’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, saying while it’s a positive development, it “lacks a clear vision for making the streets safer for people who ride bicycles.”

The coalition also has concerns about the city’s commitment to unbiased policing and equity when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.

You can read their full response here.

………

Apparently unhappy with being cut off by someone who actually belonged there while riding illegally in a San Francisco bike lane, a motorcyclist attempts to intimidate a bicyclist. And discovers he should work on his own riding skills first.

………

More on the 60 Minutes motor doping report. Team Sky stands accused of having heavier bikes than normal during Tour de France time trials, which could be evidence of hidden motors. Or not.

A British sprinter won a race in Mallorca on Sunday, but was unable to avoid a photographer at the finish line who refused to get out of the way.

A Cat 3 rider in a Santa Barbara road race was lucky to avoid serious injury when he flipped over a retaining wall, and had to hang on for dear life to keep from slipping down a 30-foot drop; his bike was not so lucky. Thanks to CiclaValley for the video.

………

Local

The new Riverside Drive Bridge officially opened today, with a protected bike lane offering a vital connection to the LA River bike path, as well as the city’s first modern roundabout. However, not everyone approves, particularly regarding the lost opportunity to use the old bridge as a High Line-style park.

The LAPD is looking for a Los Angeles man who allegedly stabbed a Sylmar man to death before fleeing on a bicycle.

Construction finally kicks off on the long-awaited My Figueroa project, with work starting on 11th Street next month, and moving to Figueroa itself in March.

No, this is not recommended bike behavior. A homeless man on a bicycle attacked a car with a machete at a Pasadena intersection. Seriously, there’s been times I’ve wanted to, but still. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who got a hearty “eff you, asshole” from the driver who gave him a dangerous punishment pass, telling him he belonged on the side of the road.

Nice move from Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club, as they gave new adaptive tricycles to 14 special needs kids.

 

State

Anaheim is looking to add nine acres to the Anaheim Coves, including a new mile-long bike path.

The 62-year old victim of a Simi Valley hit-and-run last month remains bedridden following a coma, numerous injuries and three weeks in intensive care, but is gradually becoming more aware of her surroundings; the stoned driver faces felony DUI and hit-and-run charges.

The editor of San Francisco Streetsblog decides to take his own advice and put a camera on his bike.

Oakland’s parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lanes are a success, reducing speeding and cutting crashes overall crashes by 40% in the first year, even though bicycling is up 78% and walking has doubled.

A NorCal cyclist climbed one million feet in total elevation last year, according to his Strava records.

 

National

Wired discusses how to not screw up Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. But doesn’t even mention bikeways until the last paragraph.

Bicycling offers advice on how to survive group ride mishaps.

A Boston bike rider says winter bicycling in like boiling a frog; if you ease into it slowly, you don’t notice how cold and wet you are until you’re in the middle of it.

Talk about a lack of perspective. An investigative story by a New York TV station reports that at least 2,330 Manhattan parking spaces have been taken away to make room for bike lanes and bikeshare stations. Except New York added nearly 10,000 spaces from 2006 to 2010, for a net gain — not loss — of over 7,000 spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the 3.4 to 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in the city.

A Philadelphia bike advocate makes the case against mandatory helmet laws.

A bike-riding Florida man faces kidnapping charges after demanding that a mother hand over her toddler.

 

International

Canada considers a National Cycling Strategy that would fund a nationwide expansion of bicycling infrastructure and support the bike industry, although not everyone seems happy about it.

Caught on video: A Brit teen driver on a five hour reckless driving rampage slams into a man on a bicycle, flipping him over the car. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, while the driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars and an eight and a half year ban on driving. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Not surprisingly, a new German study says people are more accepting of bicycling under the influence than drunk driving.

A Canadian newspaper says bicycling through Cambodia offers an experience like no other.

Bike Shop Hub offers a fascinating history of how the bicycle won the Vietnam war.

 

Finally…

Bad enough we have to deal with LA drivers, at least we don’t have to worry about a ‘roo to the head; then again, we don’t have to worry about loose bulls on a bike path, either. Really, who doesn’t go for a bike ride carrying brass knuckles, bolt cutters, syringes and yes, bear spray?

And Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch goes for a Skittles bike ride in the other Houston. The one in Scotland.

Morning Links: New blog considers how to bike commute with kids; LA takes over planned bike/ped/horse bridge

At virtually every public meeting regarding bicycles, someone will inevitably complain that they couldn’t possibly ride a bicycle because they have kids who need to get to school and soccer practice.

Never mind that there are people who somehow manage that seemingly impossible task every day.

Which is why a new blog by LA bike rider Terrence Heuston is so important.

Here’s how he explained it in a recent email.

An article in The Guardian that illustrated how Amsterdam became a cycling mecca due to the advocacy of moms, convinced me that we need L.A. moms on our side.  When a NIMBY stands in front of a city councilman and rails against bike lanes, the NIMBY and often the councilman picture a bike messenger on a fixie running a red light.  To win the battle for safer streets we need to change that image to parents with kids on bikes.  Since I am one of the few people in the city who regularly bikes for transportation with a kid, I came to the conclusion that I needed to start a blog that parents can use as a resource to start biking with their families in LA.

It is part lifestyle mag, travel blog, and “how to” guide.  I’ve also tried to use my very limited writing “skills” to instill some humor into the posts for some sugar to help the medicine go down.  The blog also subtly refutes the argument that young men can bike, but parents need cars.  On the contrary, raising a kid on a bike is better in every way.

Having bike commuted thousands of miles through LA traffic by bombing down the most direct arterial and taking the lane when necessary, I can promise you that navigating the city with your kid on a bike requires a completely different style of riding.  On my blog, I map out my family friendly routes and give turn by turn directions to help parents dip their toe in the water.

You can check it out at labikedad.com, along with recent post on how to bike commute from Silver Lake to DTLA with two kids.

And check out his deceptively simple set-up for carrying two young kids on a single bike.

LA Bike Dad

………

Los Angeles will take over planning and construction of a planned bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River connecting Atwater Village with Griffith Park.

However, the city plans to re-evaluate the cost and design of the project, which could further delay or complicate, if not kill, the project.

Meanwhile the horse people are already raising questions about the long-settled design. So how long before they try to get bikes banned, like they did in Glendale?

………

The LA Times looks at keirin, calling it NASCAR on two wheels. Although I prefer to think of it as bicycle roller derby.

The Wall Street Journal examines how Great Britain became a powerhouse in cycling at the Olympic Games; a ban on bikini waxes and adjusting saddle angles didn’t hurt.

A US Paralympian cyclist has a new arm cast allowing him to grip the handlebars, custom made by fellow teammate and two-time gold medalist Allison Jones.

………

Local

LA Councilmember Felipe Fuentes will abandon his San Fernando Valley district for a presumably high-paying gig as Sacramento lobbyist, leaving his district unrepresented in the council and starting a mad scrum to replace him. Nothing shows a lack of integrity like just walking away from the people you were elected to serve before the term is up.

Streetsblog offers photos from Sunday’s Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia, and asks for your thoughts.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson relates the cost of shaving a few seconds off your racing time to ensuring children have food in their bellies, eyeglasses for school, and computers to do their homework.

 

State

Registration for Calbike’s California Dream Ride down the Pacific Coast is half priced this week.

The city of Orange is about to lose its popular BMX track, which is being shut down because the nearby YMCA keeps jacking up the rent.

The Ventura County Star says the safety of children walking, biking and being driven to school is more important than whatever delay drivers may face on the road.

San Francisco police raid a bike chop shop, arresting a man who claims he just does repair work for poor people.

Turns out the San Fran columnist who called for registering bikes and licensing their riders is a candidate for city supervisor, who undoubtedly lost a lot of votes. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition asks if joy should require a license, while British bike scribe Carlton Reid responds by shooting holes in his arguments with examples from around the world.

 

National

The Feds have stopped claiming bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury up to 85%, yet that stat continues to pop up long after being discredited. I always wear a helmet when I ride. But bike helmets should be considered the last line of defense when all else has failed, not some magic hat that makes you imperious to injury.

A former president of the International Mountain Bicycling Association calls proposed legislation to open wilderness trails to mountain bikes a sham, saying backers have been duped by a false promise. Needless to say, the president of the coalition backing the bill begs to differ, suggesting it will boost conservation as well as bike sales.

A Colorado triathlete says the woman killed competing in the Boulder Ironman race didn’t have to die, blaming organizers for forcing cyclists to ride on a damaged road shoulder 12 inches from cars doing 60 mph.

Sad news from Nebraska, as a woman cleaning up trash on a trail died in a collision with a bike rider; the rider tried to warn her, but was unable to avoid hitting her.

A 74-year old Texas veteran rode his bike 1,550 miles to the US Capital to get 74 names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff rode the last few miles with him.

El Paso TX antes up in the bike plan arms race with a plan to build over 1,000 miles of bike lanes. The winner will be whichever city actually builds the lanes in their bike plan rather than just drawing them on a map. Which means Los Angeles is losing.

A hit-and-run driver who fled after colliding with a bike rider has been arrested as a person of interest in the murder of a New York imam and his friend; the suspect rammed police vehicles with his SUV in an attempt to avoid arrest.

New York City’s protected bike lanes have done more than just reduce injuries; they’ve also improved traffic flow and speed.

A North Carolina writer relates the tale of a 23-year old mother of three who accepted a challenge to ride her bicycle around the world. In 1894.

This is why you let the police deal with bike thieves. An 18-year old Atlanta man is dead after trying to retrieve his little sister’s stolen bike; witnesses said he was shot three times after confronting pair of men selling water and phones in a grocery store parking lot.

After Georgia posted signs calling for pedestrian safety, a man on a bike pulled them out, calling the signs trash and a nuisance.

 

International

A writer in Bogota, Columbia takes to two wheels for his short commute to college, despite the challenges of riding the city’s streets.

Edmonton, Canada residents show their support for a planned road diet and bike lanes on a major street, even though it won’t be built for another 20 years. But a local columnist calls the plan a fiasco that will only inconvenience those poor, suffering drivers.

New research from the London branch of the University of Duh shows that drivers weigh more than bike riders. Shockingly, people don’t seem to get a lot of exercise or burn many calories when they drive, unlike bicycling.

Hate and stupidity knows no borders, as a Dublin, Ireland cyclist was gay bashed by a band of bike-riding teenagers, who shouted they need to kill as many fags as possible. I’ve had too many friends who’ve been the victims of gay bashing — including one who was murdered in a Cleveland hotel room. There’s no fucking excuse. Ever. Period. Anyone capable of that kind of hate-filled violence deserves to be thrown into the deepest hole the prison system can find.

A 104-year old French cyclist has been named the world’s greatest centenarian athlete; Robert Marchand can still ride nearly half as fast as Bradley Wiggins’ one hour record.

No criminal charges for the Israeli border guards who took a Palestinian girl’s bicycle, broke it and tossed it into the bushes.

An Australian bicyclist continues her one-woman fight against the country’s bike helmet law, as a judge misses the point entirely by saying one person riding a bike will do nothing to stop global warming. He’s right that one woman not driving won’t stop a glacier from melting at the North Pole. But improving safety and removing needless barriers to riding so others can join her might.

 

Finally…

Now you can buy a used road bike formerly ridden by a British Olympic cycling champ. We may have to deal with road raging LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our bicycles to fight off tigers.

And the only snakes we have to deal with on the road are the ones behind the wheel.

 

Describe Your Ride: Commuting to work on the beach path and tourist-lined streets of Santa Monica

Adra and Ellie at the beginning of their commute

Adra and Ellie at the beginning of their commute

Today we’re starting a new feature in which bike riders tell us about their ride — the good, the bad, the ugly, the everyday experience of riding a bike, wherever and however they ride.

First up, bike commuter Adra Graves describes her daily bike commute through Venice and Santa Monica, partly on the bike path, partly in bike lanes and partly on city streets.

If you’d like to share your ride with us, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page. It can be anything you want, from a few sentences to a detailed description, a rant, rave or anything in between. Or maybe you tell the story best visually, verbally or musically.

And no restrictions on location, where you ride here in LA, SoCal, or anywhere in the world.

Let’s get a conversation started.

………

Bike path at Ocean Park

Bike path at Ocean Park

I may have one of the best commutes in LA county. At the very least, I have 75% of one.

Every morning around 9:30, I load my purse and laptop into my pannier, my dog into my front basket, and ride the half block to the Venice boardwalk, where I turn north and take the beach bike path a mile and a half up to Santa Monica. There are no stop lights, no cars, few pedestrians, and even the sun is at my back. I have to look out for the occasional sand puddle, which can make me skid out of control (it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way), but for the most part, I can ride along and try to glimpse the waves across the sand to my left, with few distractions.

Company on the bike path, and Santa Monica Pier in the distance

Company on the bike path, and Santa Monica Pier in the distance

Just before the Santa Monica pier, I leave the bike path and make my way up to a small street called Appian Way. At this point, the nice part is over.

I ride towards the pier on Appian and make a right up a steep hill that will bring me up to Ocean Avenue. (If I’m feeling super energetic, I’ll take advantage of my bike’s gears and ride up in first gear, but more often than not I walk.) At the top, there’s no good way to immediately get to the northbound side of Ocean, so I ride along the sidewalk for a block (less than ideal: I would normally never advocate for a cyclist to do that, but this stretch doesn’t have any other palatable options) to the pier and cross Ocean at Colorado Avenue.

Up the hill at Appian Way, looking up at Tongva Park

Up the hill at Appian Way, looking up at Tongva Park

From here, I do my best to stay in the bike lane, but there are cars pulling in and out of the hotel, buses (sightseeing + regular) taking up the entirety of the lane at Broadway, and a nasty angled section (pictured) where I’m forced to dodge into traffic if there’s a car parked (entirely legally) there. This is part of why I cross where I do: a red light stops other northbound traffic and so I have a little more protection for if and when I need to ride outside the bike lane.

Worst case scenario (biking north on Ocean Avenue at Colorado)

Worst case scenario (biking north on Ocean Avenue at Colorado)

At Broadway, I make a right, and head inland for a mile or so. There’s a green bike path from 5th Street on, but west of there, we only have sharrows. If you’re on the westbound side of the road, as I am when heading home, there’s a bus lane that I usually ride in so as not to draw the ire of the cars making their way through the area. (This works great when there are no buses.)  Once across Lincoln, I’m at my destination.

My ride home is all downhill along Ocean Avenue (after it diverges from Neilson) if I so choose. During the summer, I don’t—there are too many cars searching for parking on that stretch—but in the winter, I’m often the only person there.

Sharrows are great and all but...

Sharrows are great and all but…

My fiancé is the one who pushed me to start riding to work five years ago, when I lived and worked in Santa Monica and had a mere mile and a half to go to work, almost entirely along streets with bike lanes. Aside from a short stint last summer when I was working in Culver City, I’ve biked to work almost every day since then. We chose our apartment in Venice partly because we love the area, and partly because it allows both of us to walk or bike to work. (He walks to work along Abbot Kinney, also an enviable commute.) While I consider myself lucky to have this setup, it wasn’t an accident, either. Our apartment search was a bit more difficult because of location constraints, but being able to bike to work is important to both of us.

From sharrows to bike lanes (yessssss)

From sharrows to bike lanes (yessssss)

Being able to bring my dog with me is the cherry on top. She’s small enough to fit in the bike basket, and well-behaved enough to stay there. Yes, it took some time to get her used to it—she immediately leapt out the first time I tried to put her in!—but she’s a pro now and knows what to expect. In cold weather, she wears a red hoodie to stay warm, and it is the cutest damn thing you’ve ever seen.

I have no idea what we’ll do when El Nino rears its head—with a dog, I don’t think the bus is an option—but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. (Probably in a raincoat.)

AG Bike Map

Guest Post: A detailed look at commuting mode share in Los Angeles, and how bikes lanes fit in

Not many people have the ability, or patience, to dig deep into various data sources to paint a detailed picture of just how people get to work in the City of Angeles.

And how bicycles fit into that portrait.

Dennis Hindman does.

He’s written a number of detailed analyses for this site, including a look at the causes of bike-involved collisions, and how the economy and bike lanes affect them.

Today he offers a look at the influence of bike lanes on LA commuting rates in the context of the overall commuting picture.

It’s fascinating stuff, and worth a few minutes to read. And maybe bookmark for future reference.

I’ll be back tomorrow with our usual Morning Links.

………

In 2008, there were 147 centerline miles of bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, according to League of American Bicyclists survey results from 90 of the largest U.S. cities.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation substantially increased the centerline miles of bike lanes installed per calendar year after the 2010 bike plan was approved by the LA city council in 2011. The centerline miles of bike lanes is now at least 375, according to the bikeways inventory listed on the website ladotbikeblog. Which is 2.55 times more than in 2008.

Chart-1

There have been two periods of time since 2005, using Census Bureau household survey results (ACS), where the bicycle commuting percent of workers residing in the city of Los Angeles has increased. One was 2008 through 2009 after there was a sharp increase in the price of gasoline in 2008. Interestingly, the bicycle commuting share increased further in 2009 after the price of gasoline dropped, then dropped by 10% in 2010 (within the margin of error) and increased back to 1% in 2011 and 2012. According to the margin of error for the ACS results, it’s possible that the 2009 percent could be .9% as it is for 2010 and 2008, and then rose to 1% in 2011. Although if you look at the LAPD collision reports during that time, the bicycle collisions sharply increased in 2009 compared to 2008.

The number of bicycle commuters increased by an estimated 46% from 2007 through 2010.

Compare that to 2011 through 2014, when there was a 41% increase in the number of bicycle commuters and nearly 200 miles of bike lanes were installed.

There was a 143% increase in the ACS estimated number of bicycle commuters in the city of Los Angeles from 2005 through 2014 and a 9% increase in the amount of workers commuting by car, truck or van. Commuting by transit increased 15%.

Chart-2

Chart-3

When the number of bicycle commuters increased by 46% from 2007 through 2010 in the ACS results, the motor vehicle involved bicycle collisions reported by the LAPD increased by 61%.

If the installation of almost 200 miles of bike lanes from 2011 through 2014 had either decreased, or had no effect on the overall level of safety for bicycle riding on streets, then the number of motor vehicle involved bicycle collisions reported by the LAPD should have substantially increased based on the greater number of bicycle commuters — as happened from 2007 through 2010 when much fewer additional miles of bike lanes were installed.

It turns out that the LAPD reported motor vehicle involved bicycle collisions went from an increase of 7% in 2012, to less than a 1% increase in 2013 and a 6% decrease in 2014.

Chart-4

Traffic collisions and fatalities reported by the LAPD are given to the California Highway Patrol and these results can be obtained through their SWITRS data, as I have done for the chart above and below. These data collection results are about 7 months behind from when the collisions took place. Even given the incomplete data for 2015, the number of bicycling fatalities reported by the LAPD is already the second highest since 2001.

Chart-5

For comparison, here is my estimated number of car, truck and van commuters derived from ACS survey results on percentage chart S0801.

Chart-6

Also, the estimated percentage of workers who primarily commuted by car, truck or van and resided in the city of Los Angeles. Notice how the percentage has remained relatively stable from 2008 through 2014.

Chart-7

The ACS estimated number of transit commuters has not yet increased to the amount that it was in 2008, even though the estimated number of workers has increased by 3%. Metro’s transit boarding’s throughout the county decreased by 2.8% in calendar year 2014 and continued to fall through August of 2015.

Chart-8

The percent of workers residing in the city of Los Angeles who primarily use transit to commute. Metro transit rail boarding’s, along with bus boarding’s, fell in Los Angeles County in calendar year 2014. It might seem that increased bicycle commuting took away from rail ridership, but the average bicycle trip tends to be a shorter distance than an average transit rail trip. These two forms of transportation would tend to be more complementary, rather than competitive with each other.

Chart-9

The percent of workers residing in the city of Los Angeles who primarily work from home has increased from 2005 to 2014, probably due to greater use of the internet.

Chart-10

The last category of journey to work on the ACS data is primarily commuting by motorcycle, taxi or other means.

Chart-11

Adding together the ACS estimated percent of workers residing in the city of Los Angeles who primarily commuted by walking, bicycling or transit has, except for 2011, remained fairly stable from 2007 through 2014. I didn’t calculate the margin of error for this category.

Chart-12

……..

Dennis adds a few final notes on how he compiled the data and graphs.

I’ve tried to simply give data available from SWITRS, ladotbikeblog and ACS in the form of graphs. This is so that anyone can check the accuracy of this information quickly on-line. Unfortunately, to make it as unbiased and the changes between years as clear as I can, I created separate charts for each category. Combing categories made each category more of a straight line.
I used the Census Bureau American Community Survey chart S0801 which gives results in percent of workers and converted that into the number of workers using each type of transportation for journey to work. There are two other charts that give the estimated number of workers for each type of transportation, but they do not include the year 2005–which S0801 does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: The Benefits of a Bicycle for Urban Transport

Every now and then — okay, nearly every day — I get a request to write a guest post for this site.

Most turn out to be from marketers hoping to slip in a link to their client’s website. Which are promptly ignored.

But this week, we’ll feature three new guest posts; two from a long-time contributor, and one from a new one.

The first comes from Nik Donovic, who describes himself as a lifelong, if casual, cyclist and new-found fixie enthusiast with a passion for road safety — especially after a driver hit his dad a few months ago.

And yes, before you ask, his father is okay, though it was scary for both of them.

This may be preaching to the choir on here. But it’s worth reading.

……..

Remember your first bike and how exhilarated you felt when you were finally freed from the confines of the wobbly training wheels? Your first bike is memorable. The polished chrome that was almost blinding in the sun, the smooth curve of the banana seat, and the streamers that whipped around from the end of your handlebars as you rode fast and without a care in the world. Your bike was your main source of transportation from trips to the park, to school, and to your best friend’s house. Jump ahead 20 years and you consider yourself lucky if you’re able to hop on your bicycle to ride to the neighborhood coffee shop on a Saturday morning. Part-time bicycle riders are full of excuses as to why they “don’t have time” to ride: I’ve got groceries to pick up. I don’t have proper riding gear. I’m too tired. I can’t ride THAT far. It’s not safe. I would, but…

 

Are There Any Valid Excuses Not to Ride?

The reasons seems endless, but what’s the point of owning a bicycle if you aren’t going to ride? Sure, bicycling requires a time commitment, but so does sitting in your car while commuting to and from work. While a substantial amount of bicyclists are hitting the streets, more than a decade ago, the majority remains to be strictly recreational riders.

In a 2014 U.S. Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Report, commissioned by PeopleForBikes, 16,193 adults were surveyed on their bicycle usage. The results revealed that 54% of adults believe that bicycling is a convenient form of transportation, but 48% of adults don’t have access to a bicycle at home and 52% of adults fear being struck by vehicles. 46% of surveyed adults would ride a bicycle if motor vehicles and bicycles were physically separated. Finally, 70% of bicyclists only ride for recreation or leisure while 46% ride to travel to and from school or work.

Although the concerns are reasonable, bicycling is safer and more accessible than people may think. While it’s true that sharing the road with motorists can be dangerous (and a little scary), bicycling is often safer than driving. The National Safety Council reports that for every million cyclists in the US, about 16.5 die each year in comparison to the 19.9 motorist deaths each year.

In regards to the not having access to a bicycle at home, there are several great public bike sharing systems throughout the U.S. in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, and San Francisco. Don’t have a bike share system in your town? Check out a local bike shop. You don’t need a top of the line, multiple geared bicycle to get from place to place. So, no more excuses. Just ride.

 

Urban Cycling Leads to Better Health

Maybe you’re only a “weekend rider” because you feel too tired or out of shape to ride a bicycle on a regular basis and maybe the “out of practice” aches and pains keep you from riding more regularly. However, like other forms of exercise, your body gets stronger and healthier with consistent movement. Sure, a sore rear end and tired legs may persist after your first few rides, but over time, you will forget that riding was ever a struggle. Unlike running and other sports, bicycling is a gentle form of exercise, putting less stress on your body and making it accessible to people of all ages and abilities. All the times that you ride, remember how good it feels after you hop off your bike? Your blood is pumping, your endorphins are high, and you might even say, “I can’t wait to ride again.” Don’t make bicycling an “every now and then”, but rather remember how good it feels to ride and use that as your motivation. From heart to lungs, there are so many health benefits related to bicycling.

In addition to all the physical and mental health benefits, a 2012 study conducted in Iowa revealed that bicycling can save a significant amount of money typically allocated to health care. When looking at statistics surrounding the cost of diabetes, breast/colorectal cancers, heart disease and stroke related treatments, recreational and commuter cyclists saved money by simply being more healthy. For instance, in Des Moines, savings from commuter cyclists includes $254,797 and in Johnson County, cyclists are estimated to save $1,018,347 in health care costs each year.

 

Don’t Add to the Urban Congestion

As a recreational bicyclist, you may stick to areas within your cities that have trails and other areas designated for bicyclists. While such areas provide a great opportunity to be “one with nature”, get exercise, and keep cyclists off the road, they aren’t as practical for commuting cyclists. As a commuter, you often need to ride side by side with other vehicles which can feel overwhelming, a little dangerous, and far from “taking your mind off of stress”.

Still, being a commuter cyclist doesn’t need to be stressful. A lot depends on space allocated for cyclists. As a commuter cyclist, you’re doing your part to reduce urban congestion, but you’re only really making a difference if there are bike lanes in place. In “bicycle friendly” cities like Minneapolis, traffic volume increased but was less congested when bicycles had separate lanes.

Here’s an example of bike lanes working correctly: in San Francisco, on busy Valencia Street, vehicle lanes were reduced from four to two and a center lane and two bike lanes were added. As a result, pedestrians were not only 36% safer, but there was a significant increase of bicycle riders by 140%. In the same report released by Smart Growth America, pedestrians and bicyclists combined (about half and half) have reduced congestion by about 30% in the nation’s 100 most congested cities. If bicycle lanes continue to pop up, we can expect the congestion to keep dropping.

 

Human and Physical Infrastructure for Cyclists

From Minneapolis, MN to Austin, TX, big cities are becoming more bicycle friendly, recognizing the importance of less traffic and better health, but most cities can’t be truly bicycle friendly without infrastructures.

 

Physical Infrastructure for Safety and Economic Gain

Biking trails, bicycle lanes, and non-motorized vehicle overpasses are essential for bicycle safety and ease of travel; they make up the physical infrastructure. This infrastructure can help avoid drivers hitting cyclists as opposed to urban roads with no infrastructure. Many cyclists may not realize that the presence of physical infrastructures benefit the economy as well. In cities like Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., home values increased the closer they were located to infrastructures like bike pathways. Additionally, businesses located in an area with physical infrastructures for cyclists (such as bike pathways and widened sidewalks) typically see a boost in business. In the study of Valencia Street in San Francisco (as mentioned earlier), businesses on the street saw a significant increase (about 66%) of patronage due to better physical infrastructure for cyclists.

 

No Physical Infrastructure Without Human Infrastructure

Despite the overwhelming need for physical infrastructure, it wouldn’t exist without human infrastructure. Such infrastructure can include biking advocates, bike shop owners, and bicycle riding groups. Without bike shops, to purchase and repair bicycles, the future of the “urban bicyclist” would be limited. By supporting a local bike shop, not only are you supporting the local economy, but you are supporting some of your biggest advocates. Bicycle shop owners and employees have a passion for bicycling. They commute by bicycle, they encourage others to ride, and they have valuable feedback when it comes to planning physical infrastructure. If you want to see an increase of physical infrastructure for cyclists, find a group of bicycle advocates and enthusiasts to join.

In cities across America, we’ve witnessed the increase of urban bicyclists who can ride the city streets more safely thanks to the passions of fellow riders who fought for a better riding environment.

 

%d bloggers like this: