Tag Archive for bike helmets

LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

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Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

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Enough said.

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Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

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The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

Morning Links: LA misses newest list of US bike-friendly cities, best bike helmets, and All City Toy Ride on Friday the 13th

No surprise here.

A day after Los Angeles — which was named America’s worst bike city just one year ago — was inexplicably ranked 20th on a list of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, it didn’t even make the top ten American cities in another.

But Long Beach did.

According to real estate site Redfin, Minneapolis lead the list of the most bikeable cities in the US, followed by Portland, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco.

All of which have been busy building connected bikeway networks.

Then again, so have the others on the list. Including Long Beach, which checked in at number ten.

So while it hasn’t yet accomplished its goal of being America’s most bike-friendly city, Long Beach — by far the smallest city on the list — is getting there, at least by some standards.

And continues to lap its much larger neighbor to the north.

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Let’s talk bike helmets in the news.

LA-based Wheels e-scooters will now come with a bike helmet built into the frame, complete with a disposable liner to theoretically protect from whatever the previous user had in his or her hair. I’ll pass, thanks.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has come out with their latest list of the top ten bike helmets, based on rigorous testing. And finds that MIPS rules the roost, but Bontrager’s WaveCel isn’t far behind.

Dr. Oz jumps on the bike helmet bandwagon, saying 541,000 bicyclists were treated for head injuries between 2014 and 2017.

Just to clarify, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never forget that bike helmets are designed to protect against slow-speed falls, not getting hit by a speeding driver in an SUV. And should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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LA’s annual Midnight Ridazz toy ride will roll this weekend, making Friday the 13th a lucky day for kids who might not otherwise get a toy for the holidays.

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Forget the impeachment.

Clearly, the biggest year-end news remains that infamous Peloton ad. Which just won’t go away, no matter how much we close our eyes and click our heels together.

The actress who will forever be known as the Peloton Wife says she feels very lucky, and people have been so nice since the whole ad controversy broke. Unlike the way the Peloton Husband has been treated, who just hopes it won’t kill his acting career.

A CNN writer, and “hooked” Peloton user, considers it just a faux controversy.

The company’s stock dropped 6% yesterday to $32.55 after a short-selling analyst said it’s only worth $5 a share.

And with tongue placed firmly in cheek, Elle says the biggest snub in Monday’s Golden Globes nominations was the lack of noms for the entire Peloton Wife Cinematic Universe.

Now, can this all just please go away? Pretty please?

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Who says Contador has lost it?

Although his win may be given to Schleck in a few years pending dope tests.

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‘Tis the Season.

An unknown urbanist guerrilla secretly decorated a Chicago protected bike for the holidays.

The “Bike Man” of Springfield MA has dedicated whatever time he has left to building bikes for kids after being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease from his work as a bouncer; he’s given away over 1,400 bicycles, including a custom-made bike for a girl with dwarfism.

A North Carolina woman will give away nearly 1,500 bikes, continuing the tradition her late husband started 30 years ago.

An Alabama rural health association will team with a bank to give away 100 bikes to kids next week.

Runner’s World considers the best gifts for the bike rider in your life. Which means Bicycling will probably be out with a gift list for runners any day.

And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles once again played bike Santa for some LA kids.

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

A Wichita KS bike rider hopped off his bike to write a racial slur in the middle of a residential street before riding off. But at least the racist jerk did it in chalk.

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Looks like the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is still going strong.

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to Paul F, Nina M and Dennis E for their generous donations to the fund drive.

Your support helps ensure all the best bike news and advocacy will keep coming your way every day!

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Local

A ghost bike will be placed Thursday night for the man killed in a collision while riding his bike at Victory and Kester in Van Nuys last week.

The mother of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier will host a protest walk on Saturday to remember her son and demand solutions to hit-and-runs.

A new interactive map shows LA’s most dangerous areas for pedestrians, with pedestrian injuries and deaths skyrocketing in the five years since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Vision Zero, but failed to implement it. The same streets usually correspond with the most dangerous places for bike riders, as well.

CiclaValley takes a video ride along DTLA’s new Main Street protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles is handing the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority responsibility for maintaining and patrolling the LA River Bike Path through the West San Fernando Valley, replacing a jumble of jurisdictions as part of a pilot program.

A Long Beach man was hospitalized in stable condition after his bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car; police found the vehicle after the driver ditched it in an alley and walked away.

 

State

The LA Times says maybe the reason Californians can’t drive is because they can’t decipher the DMV’s confusing driver’s handbook.

Caltrans new executive director says his primary goal is improving safety, followed by a switch to multimodalism.

Donate just five bucks to support San Diego trails, and you would win a free Canyon Strive mountain bike courtesy of Canyon, the Belgian Waffle Ride, and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

Opening a new front in the never-ending battle against induced demand, a Lake Elsinore freeway interchange will get a $45 million expansion. But at least they’ve got the good sense to improve walkways and bike lanes as part of the work.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? After a Sunnyvale man suffered a non-life threatening injury in a drive-by shooting, police found him half a mile from the crime scene because he kept riding, despite the injury.

A Palo Alto columnist says Idaho Stop or not, you’re putting your life at risk by riding through stop signs or red lights — especially without lights on your bike.

A San Francisco bike shop plans to reopen in a week or so after it was damaged in a strip mall fire early Friday morning, along with another shop.

Sad news from Empire, where a 27-year old man was killed when he rode around railroad crossing arms in the fog and was struck by an Amtrak train. One more tragic reminder to never go around lowered crossing arms, even if you don’t see a train. They’re down for a reason.

 

National

City Lab says carfree streets will soon be the norm. We can only hope.

Paul Reubens — aka Pee-wee Herman — is going on tour next year to mark the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, including stops at the Wiltern in Los Angeles next February, as well as in San Diego and San Francisco.

Outside honors their Outsiders of the Year, including teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and American world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney.

The late Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volker was one of us, riding his bike across Europe instead of writing his doctoral thesis while attending the London School of Economics in the 1950s.

Condo shoppers in Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland are considering the building’s bikeability as the determining factor before buying.

Boise, Idaho mountain bikers got a shiny new bike park for Christmas this year, complete with double black diamond trails.

A Milwaukee bike burglar was busted for multiple break-ins to steal bicycles, including hitting a bike co-op dedicated to providing repairs and jobs for youths four times.

Seriously? An apparently well-meaning Minnesota college student says it’s time to study the problem of distracted bicycling. Trust me, that’s not what’s killing them.

No surprise here, as a new study from Queens NY shows that women are more likely to bike if there’s a protected bike lane.

A writer for Patch in Pennsylvania confirms the site’s lack of veracity, by saying Vision Zero isn’t working because its primary goal is to increase daytime traffic congestion. Um, no. And Los Angeles and Chicago weren’t the first cities to adopt it, either.

 

International

A writer for London’s Independent newspaper says Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party claims to support bicycling, but their platform suggests just the opposite.

Stranded in London overnight, a tourist rented a bikeshare bike and rode it 67 miles around the city, visiting 25 landmarks in eight hours.

An English bike rider says he survived a sudden heart attack while riding thanks to some Good Samaritans and a nearby defibrillator.

A British rider rented a three-geared bikeshare bike, drove 680 miles to France, rode it up the legendary Alpe d’Huez and returned it to the docking station, all within 24 hours.

Thieves backed a truck up to a UK bike shop and made off with 60 new bikes, many still in the box.

She gets it. A Dublin, Ireland writer says the city has to make alternatives to driving into the city more attractive to commuters. More proof that the problems, and the solutions, are the same all over the world.

Your next custom bicycle could come from a 100-year old Parisian bespoke bikemaker. I mean, just in case anyone has me on their Secret Santa list this year.

Amsterdam’s bike mayor says bicycling can save the world.

An Aussie mom-to-be says she’s still biking to work while eight months pregnant, despite the comments of concerned onlookers.

Fortune considers the rapid rise and fall of China’s bikeshare companies. And says you might want to consider those lessons before investing in the country’s artificial intelligence startups.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sprinting great Mark Cavendish will be looking to regain his former speed with the newly-unveiled Bahrain-McLaren cycling team, after the famed sports car builder took half ownership of the team. Maybe this will help.

Oregon’s Bicycle Racing Association will allow a board member accused of “pervasive transphobia” to keep his position.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying coke, meth and weed in your coat, put a damn light on your bike. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, pain killers and a metal club in your backpack, don’t hand your bicycle to someone fleeing the police on foot.

And it appears the well-dressed manatee will not be wearing a bicycle tire this holiday season.

 

Morning Links: More mandatory helmet fallout, dog hitches ride at Phil’s Fondo, and SaMo bikeshare may go dockless

In yet more fallout from the NTSB’s ill-considered call for mandatory bike helmets, a Fresno paper questions whether they’re really needed for adults.

That’s despite living in what they say is one of the nation’s most deadly cities for bike riders.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition says “The problem isn’t that we don’t wear helmets, it’s that we’re forced to share space with much faster vehicles.

Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

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Local

Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Fondo brought out hundreds of bicyclists to ride the Santa Monica Mountains, along with one miniature bulldog who hitched a ride in his owner’s backpack.

Santa Monica is considering getting rid the docks for its Breeze bikeshare, replacing the current system with dockless ebikes.

 

State

Bike Mag says San Diego’s mountain bike scene is finally on the rise. Or maybe they’re just discovering it.

No bias here. A writer for a San Diego paper calls e-scooters today’s Pet Rock — and simultaneously a plaything for 30-somethings, a toy best suited for children, and what’s keeping Millennials from walking.

That’s more like it. San Francisco plans to address the need for more bike and scooter parking by installing 100 new bike racks every month for the foreseeable future.

A Bay Area bike advocate says the new protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge may not draw a lot of regular use, but it’s a better transportation policy than adding another motor vehicle lane.

Sacramento is done handing out warnings, and ready to crackdown on scofflaw bikeshare and scooter riders.

 

National

Presidential candidate and former VP Joe Biden offers a $1 trillion transportation plan that keeps America addicted to motor vehicles.

Good question. A science writer says she cares about climate change, so why does she still drive an SUV?

A Kansas paper totally misses the point, after woman followed a man in her car before trying to run him down as he jumped off just in time, then chased him across the parking lot with it. But the local paper only says she hit a bike ridden by a man. Note to Salina Journal — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Chicago woman only faces a trio of misdemeanor charges for killing a man riding a bike, despite driving with a suspended license.

A former Minnesota Ford plant will be redeveloped as a low-income housing community, with an emphasis on getting around by bicycling, walking and transit.

Bighearted Kentucky residents pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 62-year old local celebrity after his was mangled when he was hit by a motorist; the man is known for riding his bike around town and waving as he goes by.

New York police are looking for a group of men who surrounded a delivery rider, striking him in the head before making off with his ebike.

The Virginia Tech student newspaper says trading a car for a bicycle could be one of the best decisions students could make during their time on campus.

Kindhearted Virginia race organizers buy a new handcycle for a man who lost both legs due to complications from diabetes.

Police say the Florida bike rider who was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a crosswalk after rolling a stop wasn’t at fault, because regardless of any other factors, drivers are required to stop for anyone in a crosswalk — including people on bikes.

 

International

A new European study shows that bicycling just 20 minutes is enough to ward off heart disease in people over 60.

The Sun says a “shocking” study shows 20% of British men can’t ride a bike. Which really just means a full 80% can, which is pretty damn good.

The founder of London’s Black Cycling Network says he was stopped and frisked by a cop who swore he could smell weed on him.

Four women take a video boat and mountain tour of Norway and Sweden.

Modern Family star Ariel Winter is one of us, posing with a bicycle in front of an Amsterdam canal. There’s just something about a bicycle that makes anyone look good. Although it helps if you already look good without one, too. 

Uber is preparing to make the big jump to Rome with their dockless Jump ebikes, hoping that Romans won’t trash them like they have every other bikeshare system that dared besmirch the city’s streets.

A Romanian bicycle factory promises to be the biggest in Europe, producing 1.5 million bikes a year.

A pair of Indian parliament members arrive by bike for the current session.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI is making plans for an annual, cross-discipline world championships that would award titles in virtually every form of cycling over a two-week period.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to escape the cops on a stolen bike, try to keep it upright. Seriously, it’s not that hard — even a dog can do it.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you’re already on probation and riding your bike carrying a concealed weapon after dark, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the gun.

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On a personal note, we’re once more hearing the pitter patter of corgi feet around our apartment. We’re fostering a ten-year old corgi for the next few months while his owner is in rehab. 

This is Bowser — that’s really his name — sleeping off the trauma of what his owner claims was his first ever bath. 

And yes, he smelled like it.

 

 

Morning Links: Motion to unprotect Yucca Street, more on the Great Helmet Debate, and Elizabeth Warren gets it

It’s hard to fight for safer streets when we have to keep fighting to protect what little we already have.

Case in point:

motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from LA’s first — and shamefully, only — bicycle boulevard, on Yucca Street in Hollywood.

Also known as bicycle friendly street in LA bike plan parlance.

The motion would remove the diverter on Yucca Street at Las Palmas Ave that allows bicycle traffic to pass through while diverting motor vehicle traffic off the street, to create a low-stress environment for people on bicycles.

Something that’s desperately needed in high-stress Hollywood, which is virtually devoid of bicycling infrastructure.

Unless you consider sharrows more than just something to help drivers improve their aim.

The Yucca Street motion will be heard at the council’s 6 pm board meeting this Wednesday at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

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More on the seemingly endless Great Bike Helmet Debate.

A writer for Bicycling argues that mandatory helmet laws actually make riders less safe.

And Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says he got it wrong, and Peter Flax got it right regarding the NTSB’s call for mandatory bike helmet laws, instead fixing the problems that are really killing bike riders.

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One presidential candidate gets it, anyway.

Elizabeth Warren marks World Remembrance Day for traffic victims with a call to end traffic violence. Thanks to Ms. Fast for the link.

Meanwhile, the transportation minister for Trinidad and Tobago marked World Remembrance Day by saying bike riders will be given more space on the roads in one of the island nation’s most developed areas; that follows the deaths of two bicyclists killed on a club ride last year. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the tip.

That compares to Los Angeles, where city officials said nothing to mark the day.

Let alone actually do something about it.

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

Police in the UK are looking for the victim of a drive-by BB gun attack after witnesses saw him knocked off his bike and into a ditch by the shooting; the jackass behind the wheel also spooked the horses being ridden by a group of kids.

Now that’s a close pass. A group of British bike riders were lucky to avoid getting run down by a driver in a massive truck speeding down on a narrow country road, who missed them by mere inches as he blew by in the opposite direction.

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Local

LAist says yes, you can take your bike on Metro buses and trains. Even if the space reserved for bikes on trains is usually full of people without them.

Long Beach gets a $275,000 grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through workshops on the importance of reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. If they really want to improve safety, skip the workshops and stand on any corner to pass out lights, and arm and ankle bands.

 

State

Calbike has a new policy director, promoting former Senior Policy Advocate Linda Khamoushian from inside the organization.

The Orange County Register takes a brief look at yesterday’s Meet on the Beach carfree festival through seven Orange County communities.

San Diego bike riders beware. The city’s police department will be cracking down on traffic violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk today, regardless of who commits them. So stop for stop signs, signal your turns and lane changes, and otherwise ride to the letter of the law until you pass the city limit lines.

More bad news from San Diego, where yet another bike rider has suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a pickup driver while ghost riding another bicycle; neither bike had lights.

To complete today’s San Diego trifecta, a lawsuit filed against the city by a bike rider paralyzed in a meth-fueled crash with a wrong way driver on Fiesta Island is finally going to court after five years.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Santa Barbara friends ranging in age from 83 to 91 are still riding together after nearly 60 years.

San Jose residents are complaining about a bicycle chop shop in a homeless camp along the Guadalupe River Trail. You can find countless others just like it down here in Southern California.

A San Jose site takes a deep dive into why the city’s quest for safer streets has failed, resulting in worsening rates for bicycling and pedestrian injuries. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

The long-awaited protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the San Francisco Bay finally opened, drawing “hordes” of bike riders that opponents said wouldn’t show up.

 

National

A new study confirms what many of us have suspected — that subtle shifts in how news stories about crashes are reported can affect how readers assess the blame, and what should be done about it.

Who says you need a car to pick up a little extra cash?

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if you actually look at the numbers, e-scooters aren’t very scary at all.

An Anchorage AK police officer faces charges for allegedly punching a bike rider and kicking him in the nuts in what began as a traffic stop for not having lights on his bike, after the man had sworn at and flipped off a line of police cars; the cop snatched the phone the victim was recording him with, but it continued to record audio of the assault.

A Seattle-area driver fled the scene of a crash at speeds of up to 60 mph after running down a man on a bicycle, dragging his bike under the car for nearly a mile, then covering the car with blankets to hide the damage; when investigators examined the car, they found it peppered with rice from the groceries the victim was carrying.

This is why I like Phil Gaimon. The LA-based former pro is using his new-found celebrity to support No Kid Hungry, stopping in Houston to talk cycling, charity and cookies as part of a nationwide fundraising tour for the group.

An Oklahoma man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to run down a bike rider following a drug deal gone bad.

Chicago bike riders respond to recent deaths by saying the city is falling behind in protecting bicyclists by failing to build more protected lanes and requiring side guards on trucks, along with keeping people and businesses from parking in bike lanes.

A New York State man has been sentenced to 28 months to seven years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then driving home, changing cars and coming back to the scene; he drove to the sheriff’s office to turn himself in after seeing the victim’s body lying in the street.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is complaining that local officials and residents don’t want their quiet country roads turned into virtual superhighways. Go figure.

Ben Affleck is one of us, riding his muddy bike through the streets of New Orleans.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Florida pastor celebrates his birthday by riding his age with an 82-mile journey.

A Florida bike rider rolls through a stop sign on a bike path, and into the path of a driver who doesn’t bother to stop — neither before, or for very long after hitting him. And throws his hands up in frustration when he realizes going to get hit. The video captures the full crash, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking the link.

 

International

A Vancouver man is the latest bicyclist to ride every street in his own city.

She gets it. A Toronto op-ed writer says if we want people to give up their cars, we have to fix our streets first. Meanwhile, a writer for City Lab says it will take more than an app to get people out of their cars.

And we thought LA had bad streets. Over 250 people on bicycles have been injured or killed by potholes in the UK.

A English man broke a 133-year old record by riding a Penny Farthing 874 miles from one end of Britain to the other, breaking the old record by 13 hours. Of course, one reason the record stood so long is because it was set on a Penny Farthing.

A British police conduct board has concluded that officers aren’t responsible for the death of a 75-year old man pushing his bicycle up a hill, who was killed by a driver trying to escape the cops at speeds up to 80 mph.

An Irish senator accepted a challenge to get out on a bike himself after tweeting a complaint about bike riders last week, and concludes that maybe he should have seen the conditions bicyclists actually face on the streets before complaining.

They get it, too. Germany is planning to expand bicycling infrastructure and dedicate more road space to bike riders to protect them and fight climate change.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Calcutta, aka Kolkata, after being banned from 174 major streets until just 17 years ago.

A drunken hit-and-run driver talks about the emotional weight she carries after killing a 15-year old New Zealand boy riding his bike last year, and how hard she was slapped on the wrist by being confined to her home for a whole 11 months. Although it probably doesn’t compare to the emotional burden the kid’s parents will carry for the rest of their lives.

A trio of Kiwi brothers are making names for themselves throughout New Zealand for their mountain biking skills — even if the oldest is just 12-years old.

 

Competitive Cycling

Evidently, the pros feel the same way we do. Four months after Italian cyclist Alessandro de Marchi was seriously injured when he crashed out of the Tour de France, he was livid after a dangerously close pass on a training ride nearly put him back in the emergency room; naturally, the driver told him to go to hell when he complained.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks over the crop of rising young American cyclists, and concludes there may be hope for us yet.

Every superhero has an origin story. British cyclist Katie Archibald relates how hanging out with the fixie crowd led to track racing in Edinburgh — and eventually an Olympic gold medal. A reminder that you never know where riding a bike could take you. Or the kids just starting out.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a romantic bike ride after getting dissed by Taylor Swift fans. Before stealing London’s longest bike, you might want to consider whether you can actually sell it.

And if you want to advertise bikes by showing a kid riding one on a beachfront pathway, maybe make sure bikes are even allowed there first.

 

Morning Links: The real reasons bike riders keep dying, $100k OCTA bike safety grant, and Oaxaca Day of the Dead race

Last week, Peter Flax explained why the NTSB — the National Transportation Safety Board — was wrong about their call for mandatory bike helmets to cut the rising rate of bicycling fatalities.

This week he’s back to spell out the real reasons people are dying on our streets.

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

He starts by recounting the last decade’s decline in bicycling deaths.

Then this.

The situation seemed great—until it wasn’t great. Right around 2011, things started arcing in the wrong direction. In 2010, a total of 618 cyclists were killed—hardly miraculous, but the lowest toll in at least 40 years. Then every year after that, the number of casualties has gotten progressively worse. The newly released 2018 statistics mean that the fatality rate for riders has risen 37 percent in just nine years—and NHTSA data indicate that the death rate for urban and female cyclists has soared even more.

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade.

It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the real problems are, and why we keep dying.

And do something about it.

………

Orange County’s OCTA announces a grant to improve bicycle safety and education.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety classes and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.

The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.

“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Council member in La Habra. “OTS has provided grant funding for the past three years to develop programs improving conditions for walking and biking, and ongoing grant funding will help us with one of our primary goals of reinforcing safety throughout Orange County.

Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
  • Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
  • Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians

The need for increased safety training is clear. Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise for the past decade.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

The pedestrian and bicycle safety program and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2020. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, and to stay updated on where classes are being scheduled, visit octa.net/bike.

………

The LACBC is looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights to riders who don’t have them in Koreatown next week.

………

Tune into Bike Talk at 6 pm tonight to hear, and maybe chat with, Juli Briskman, the Virginia woman who lost her job after flipping off Trump’s motorcade.

And responded by running for office — and winning.

………

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

A 13-year old New York boy credits an Emergency 911 app on his phone with scaring off a group of older boys on bikes who tried to rob him.

………

Local

A 35-year old Fontana man was arrested for a Pasadena hit-and-run that left a juvenile bike rider hospitalized with critical injuries; he was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI resulting in serious injury or death. Let’s all say a pray or offer best wishes that the kid makes a full and fast recovery.

People for Bikes invites you to join the weekly Ride and Pint mountain bike ride rolling out of Pedlar’s Fork in Calabasas every Thursday. You can find it, and other great rides, through their Ride Spot app.

The future of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is in doubt as it faces stiff competition from dockless bikeshares; the city will have to fork over $225,000 in subsidies just to keep it operating for the next year. West Hollywood has already pulled the plug on its money-losing sister operation.

 

State

Seven Orange County communities will host the first Meet on the Beach festival, offering a carfree open streets experience along 1.5 miles of Beach Blvd to reimagine what the street could be. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads up.

Temecula is opening a new pump track bike park this Tuesday.

A new 32-page manual put together by a pair of San Francisco advocacy groups explains how to build protected bike lanes that work for everyone, including pedestrians and disabled people.

The long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open tomorrow, despite continued efforts in some quarters to convert it to a yet another lane for motor vehicles. Because everyone knows just one more traffic lane will solve all our traffic problems forever.

 

National

EcoWatch makes the case for why your next car will be a bike.

Joe Biden attempts to boost his run for president with a new infrastructure plan that’s heavy on high-speed rail, transit and bicycling.

An Oregon Republican proves conservatives can support bicycling, too, as he announces his run for Congress.

Be careful carrying that bike. A 74-year old Detroit man was found dead after he fell down the stair while trying to carry his mountain bike up them.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls for eliminating free parking to pay for free transit.

Britain’s Beryl bikeshare brand makes a beachhead in New York’s Staten Island, booting Lime and Jump; meanwhile, Lyft is pulling the plug on their e-scooter operations in six smaller market cities.

After a Virginia boy’s new bike was stolen, his bighearted neighbors pitched in to buy him a new one. Stories like this remind us that there’s still a lot of good in this world, despite how it may seem these days.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man says he needs a miracle to keep giving thousands of refurbished bikes to kids in need, after the building housing the nonprofit was sold and the new owner jacked his rent up over $100 grand a year.

 

International

Cars could be killing us even without touching us. A new study has linked pollution from motor vehicles to brain cancer for the first time.

Bicycle Retailer reminds us that Trump’s trade war with China is still going strong, and the bikes are losing.

Your next bike helmet could be a custom-made, 3D printed number with individual hexagon-shaped crumple zones that the company says is safer than MIPS or WaveCel — if you have an extra $390 on hand.

A writer for Gear Patrol offers lessons learned from Trek’s mountain bike camp at the Whistler resort in British Columbia.

A pair of British doctors set a new Guinness record for circumnavigating the globe on a tandem bike, covering 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours, breaking the previous men’s record by nine days.

He gets it. An Irish letter writer reminds the anti-bike crowd that roads are a public service that we all pay for.

A European bikemaker came up with a smart, if somewhat creepy and invasive, sales promotion, scanning Paris license plates to determine how much CO2 each car puts out, and using that figure to offer the owner a discount on a new bicycle.

Tom Vanderbilt explains how he went from riding solo to taking his family along, thanks to a trip to Italy.

Now that’s more like it. A stoned, speeding Australian driver will spend the next 11 years behind bars and be prohibited from driving for two decades after walking away from the crash that killed a Dutch woman riding a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Cyclist magazine recalls the Motorola team that rose from the ashes of America’s late, great 7-11 team after the convenience chain declared bankruptcy — including the tragic death of Italy’s Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates cycling team is considering legal action against Croatian pro Kristijan Đurasek following his four-year ban for doping. But cycling officials keep telling us the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can get your very own ebike branded by your favorite soccer team — as long as your favorite team is Paris Saint-Germain. When your round-the-world bike trip gets interrupted by a water-logged passport, just fly home and get a new one.

And nothing like a little Dia de los Muertos mountain bike racing in the middle of Oaxaca.

 

Morning Links: Feds say wear a helmet or else, cross-country bike tourist killed, and bike parking on South Pas agenda tonight

A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the most common cause of bicycling fatalities is drivers passing people on bicycles.

Or rather, failing to.

That’s followed by “problems with parallel bike and vehicle lanes” — presumably meaning painted bike lanes — bicyclists failing to yield and bicyclists making a left turn.

Bearing in mind that those stats are based on police reports that can suffer from a severe case of windshield bias when it comes to assigning blame.

And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?

Protected bike lanes. Blindspot cams for SUVs. And mandatory bike helmet laws in every state.

Seriously.

Never mind that bike helmet laws have been shown to reduce bicycling rates at exactly the time we need to increase riding to fight climate change.

Or that requiring everyone to wear a helmet every time someone rides a bicycle is like addressing gun violence by requiring everyone to wear a bulletproof vest whenever they leave home.

Except bulletproof vests are a hell of a lot more effective than bike helmets, which are designed to protect against a fall off your bike — not an impact with a speeding SUV driver.

And as we’ve pointed out before, they do nothing to protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

As we’ve said before, a bike helmet should always be considered a last line of defense when everything else fails.

Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.

Yet the board still approved the last-minute addition to their agenda, even though staff members had specifically recommended against it.

Mike Cane used screen grabs to capture much of the discussion leading up to the vote.

It should be stressed, however, that at this point, it’s just a recommendation for each of the 50 states. Although the NTSB’s recommendations have a habit of getting turned into laws.

Meanwhile, Washington lawmakers from both parties are finally talking about ways to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

Of course, talking is what they’re good at.

We’ll see if they can actually get anything passed in today’s highly divided Congress.

………

Once again, a bike-riding visitor to this country will be going home in a coffin.

A 27-year old Korean man was killed in South Carolina on Monday when he was struck by a delivery truck driver.

He was riding down the East Coast before turning west, planning to arrive in Los Angeles in early January.

Now he’ll never get here. Or anywhere else.

Seriously, there’s something very wrong when someone can’t visit this country without risking their life.

………

Active SGV reminds us that South Pasadena will consider bicycle parking at tonight’s City Council meeting.

And Megan Lynch reminds South Pasadena to consider the needs of disabled bicyclists.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1191916300253089792

………

He gets it.

Bay Area State Senator Scott Weiner says fighting climate change means making it easier for people to cut back on driving.

………

America’s oldest surviving veteran of the excruciating WWII Battle of Iwo Jima was one of us, still riding his three-wheeled bike two weeks before his death at  103.

………

The crowdfunding page for dirt bike legend Micky Dymond has raised just under $24,000 of the $100,000 goal for his medical care, after suffered critical injuries going over the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

There are a lot worse things you could do with your money.

Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.

………

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

As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

San Diego police are looking for a man who beat another man senseless with a bicycle, or part of it, in a 7-11 parking lot.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. After a pedestrian was killed by a street racing, hit-and-run driver while crossing an LA street, dozens of people continued to drive past his body lying in the street without stopping to help.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the problem isn’t the new ride hailing management system at LAX, it’s the cars. And it won’t get better until the airport finally embraces mass transit. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Metro approves funding for Rock the Boulevard, a $16.2 million Complete Streets makeover of Eagle Rock Blvd. Even if it will be awhile before we see any changes to the street.

Lime is launching a new hyperlocal ad campaign focusing exclusively on the LA market.

Hollywood Burbank Airport will try to cut its emissions, in part by encouraging employees to bike, carpool or use transit.

Culver City restaurant Hatchet Hall will honor noted LA chef and fallen bicyclist Joe Miller with a special dinner tomorrow night, with proceeds going to No Kid Hungry; the Michelin Star-winning chef died of a heart attack while riding in New York recently.

Santa Monica Next says a record jump in available parking spaces in Downtown Santa Monica presents a rare opportunity to reclaim the city’s streets.

Long Beach wants your input on the city’s Safe Streets Action Plan.

 

State

Instead of encouraging bicycle riders to use bike lights, or providing free lights to riders who don’t have any as other cities have done, San Luis Obispo police will be cracking down on lightless bicyclists with a pop-up checkpoint today, subjecting bike riders to a fine up to $200.

About damn time. San Francisco responds to another traffic death by declaring a state of emergency for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Now maybe Los Angeles can take the hint and actually do something about the deaths down here.

Heartbreaking news from Petaluma, where an bike rider who was killed two weeks ago in a crash with a semi driver was identified as an 89-year old man riding an adult tricycle. Anyone who can still ride at that age, on two wheels or three, deserves better.

More bad news comes from nearby Santa Rosa, where a bike rider was killed when he inexplicably crashed into the trailer of a flatbed truck he was riding next to yesterday, in a crash that doesn’t make any sense at all the way its described.

 

National

Depending on how they decide, and how broadly the justices rule, a case currently before the Supreme Court could make hit-and-runs easier to prosecute by ruling that police can assume the owner of a car is the person driving it.

A driving website makes a surprising case for getting rid of your car altogether. Trust me, I’m working on it.

A 70-year old woman is on a six-year quest to ride around and across the United States in the shape of a peace sign; so far, she’s logged over 40,000 miles through the US and Canada.

Outside says mountain bikes make great “self-sufficient adventuremobiles” for bikepacking trips.

Indoor cycling company Bkool has pulled the plug on their turbo trainers and exercise bikes, and will be focusing on the software side of their business.

Evidently, bicycling must be kosher, as the Jewish Journal picks up a story from Wired concluding that the vehicle of the future is a bicycle.

Speaking of the NTSB, the board concluded that the new software for Uber’s self-driving cars would have spotted a bike-riding Tempe AZ woman in time to avoid the crash that killed her.

Congratulations to Virginia’s Juli Briskman; the woman who gained fame by flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding her bike just got elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, where she’ll oversee the president’s golf course.

A Florida state trooper is asked if drivers are allowed to use a bike lane to pass a stopped car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

 

International

Your next Segway could be half mountain bike, half dirt bike, and all electric. Although it would be considered a motorcycle under California law, and require a motorcycle helmet and license.

Bike Radar offers advice on how to determine what kind of bike you need, based on how you plan to ride.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker rides a ped-assist ebike from one end of the UK to the other; she joined 800 other bicyclists on the ride, but was one of just two on ebikes.

More heartbreak, as a British man decides to end his life by turning off his ventilator, six years after he was paralyzed in a mountain biking crash.

One hundred Dublin bike riders held a die-in outside city hall to protest the dangers of riding in a city without adequate bicycling infrastructure, following the death of a local man riding his bike.

German students are learning about the Berlin Wall by riding their bikes alongside it, 40 years after it fell.

Ebikes are surging in popularity Down Under, even as a lack of safe bicycling infrastructure puts lives at risk. Just flip the globe over, and you could be talking about Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the five most badass American women crushing cycling right now.

Former Olympic champ Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev have officially been cleared of fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, after prosecutors said they gave them the benefit of the doubt.

New Zealand cyclist George Bennett will be riding next year with three fewer ribs.

 

Finally…

Even world champs get their bikes stolen; teenage state champs, too. When you’re a registered offender riding your BMX with several outstanding warrants, maybe you should try leaving the meth and guns at home.

And nothing like posting your own anti-bike self-own.

 

Morning Links: Mandatory bike helmet law is the wrong answer, Palm Springs death confirmed, and happy birthday Slickrock

Don’t get me wrong. I like David Whiting.

The longtime columnist for the Orange County Register is one of us.

His heart is in the right place, showing time and again he cares deeply about the safety of people on bicycles.

But sometimes, not often, he’s just wrong.

And this is one of those times.

I wish he’d reached out to me before writing his latest column, calling for a mandatory bike helmet law for adults, as well as children.

We could have discussed why that’s a bad idea.

As well as clarifying that while this site is about advocacy, I’ve been the only one behind it since the Corgi died.

We might have started out with this observation.

Two girls, one about eight, the other about six, rip along in the middle of streets on motorized scooters that — and I am not making this up — zoom along at a solid 10 miles an hour.

Now, 10 mph may not seem like a lot if you’re tucked safely in a car. But hitting the asphalt at 10 miles an hour can destroy flesh, bone and skull, especially if a child is struck by a vehicle.

Yet that’s not what terrifies me.

What terrifies me is that these kids don’t wear helmets, an occurrence I see more and more.

I would have pointed out that, yes, anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet on a scooter, just like on a bicycle.

There’s good reasoning for that. Children’s skulls and brains are still developing, and they lack the judgement to make an informed decision on whether or not to use a helmet.

But you’re also required to be at least 16 year old and have a driver’s license to rent a scooter, let alone ride it. So someone needs to have a good talk with their parents.

Then the conversation might have moseyed along to this study.

Rosenthal and Kreeger is a California law firm that specializes in injuries, but also does actual research that tilts toward actually saving lives.

“Since helmet laws have been instituted in the majority of states, at least for children the death rate for that age group has decreased,” the firm points out. “But research shows that over half of adult bicyclists still do not use a helmet at all.

However, there have been studies that suggest the reason bicycling death rates have declined for children is simply that fewer children are riding bikes these days, as parents ferry them to and from school and soccer practice. And everywhere else.

Some people blame helmet laws for that decrease, saying it makes bicycling seem dangerous.

I’m not sure I buy that argument; I think the reason is the just the dangers on our streets, real and imagined.

But that would have led to discussion of the mandatory, and much hated, bike helmet laws in Australia and New Zealand.

While those laws are similarly credited with a decrease in fatalities, they’re also blamed for a corresponding decrease in bicycling rates.

Which some argue makes the streets even more dangerous by reducing the safety in numbers effect.

And bike helmet laws lead to punitive enforcement, which convinces even more people that riding a bike is just not worth it.

And don’t get me started on how Seattle’s bike helmet law is blamed for killing that city’s first bikeshare program. Something they wisely addressed before taking another stab at it by allowing dockless bikeshare, which has been more successful.

But that’s another problem with bike helmet laws.

Using bikeshare is often a spur of the moment thing, and no one wants to cart around an awkward helmet all day on the off chance they might rent a bike or scooter.

That would lead us to this discussion.

Between 2010 and 2017 (the latest year available), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports cycling fatalities increased by a whopping 35%.

In 2017, nearly 800 people were killed riding bicycles. Not surprisingly, there has been a corresponding increase in bicycle injuries — many of which are never reported.

I’ll add that California has one of the highest death rates in the nation, and Los Angeles and San Francisco made the top 10 list for the most deadly cities.

Yet there is no helmet law for adult cyclists.

Yes, the increase in bicycling fatalities is frightening, and has to be addressed.

But banning SUVs, with their deadly flat grills, and preventing cellphones from working in moving vehicles for anything other than directions and calling 911, would probably be more effective at reducing deaths than putting a bike helmet on every head on two wheels.

The problem with citing figures like that is that we have no way of knowing how many of the people who died were wearing helmets, or how many suffered head injuries.

We can project that from various studies, but at best we can only achieve a very rough estimation.

We also have no way of knowing if those people died as a result of head injuries, or if those injuries would have been survivable if they’d been wearing a bike helmet. Or if they suffered other injuries that would have cost them their lives anyway.

And that’s the last point I would have made.

Because bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against crashes with a car going 70 mph. Or 30, for that matter. And they don’t protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

Even the most expensive helmets are only required to withstand relatively minor impacts.

In other words, a fall off your bike, not a collision with a bus.

They also do nothing to protect against a traumatic brain injury, as I learned the hard way, unless you spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models.

And the jury is still out on those.

So yes, a bike helmet may help reduce the force of impact in a collision, as well as the severity of any head injury.

Or they may not, depending on the speed of the vehicle and angle of impact.

That’s if the straps don’t break and the helmet stays on. And if it’s still effective, and not degraded due to age or previous impacts.

A bike helmet is a single use device. Hit the pavement or bounce off a bumper just once, and it needs to be replaced.

That’s when I’d tell Whiting that I never ride without mine.

But I also recognize its limitations, and don’t count on a bike helmet to save my life. A helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense, after everything else — from street design to defensive riding skills — have failed.

There are also arguments that they actually increase the danger to riders, whether as the result of closer passes from drivers and riskier behavior by riders, or the dangers of rotational injuries.

Regardless of my own choices, however, I respect people who have made the decision not to wear a helmet, and I respect their right to choose.

Which is what adult bike helmet use should be.

A choice. Not a law.

So I would have ended by saying I respect you, David. I think you’ve done a lot of good for the bicycling community.

But next time, call me first.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

Sadly, Victor Bale forwards confirmation that a bike rider was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night. I’ll post a story later today.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports responds to the increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths by saying pedestrian detection systems should be standard on all cars. Even though they don’t really work all that well.

………

Say happy 50th birthday to Moab, Utah’s famed Slickrock Trail.

………

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

The recent assaults on Brit bike riders added yet another victim when a man suffered a broken collarbone after a passenger in a passing car pushed him off his bike.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, scooters pay. San Diego has received $1.5 million in licensing fees from micromobility companies in just the last six months.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when he was run down by a stoned driver. Yet the CHP couldn’t resist blaming the victim for wearing dark colored clothing.

Danville cops reel in another thief with their locked bait bike. And they’re smart enough to use a bike worth more than $1,000 so it qualifies for felony theft.

A San Francisco letter writer says forget cars rolling stop signs, the real problem is people on bicycles. And apparently has a speed gun built into his glasses. Seriously, if you’re not going to stop, always obey the right-of-way, especially around pedestrians. And ride carefully around people on foot, who can be unpredictable, and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

San Francisco is slowly adding more red light cams to improve safety. Meanwhile, Los Angeles doesn’t have any, after removing them all to appease angry drivers.

 

National

The Bike League has a new boss.

A new bipartisan bill would take Vision Zero nationwide, providing cities with federal funds to design and implement Vision Zero programs, with a time limit of 20 years to eliminate traffic deaths.

Cycling Tips recommends ten bike books for the holidays. Whether you want to give one as a gift, or need something to get you through a visit with your relatives.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a “decent” ebike foldie on Amazon for less than $700.

A driving website recommends their picks for the best bike lights.

A veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars is taking the long way across the US, riding 6,000 miles from DC to San Diego to call attention to PTSD.

Portland residents respond to a weekly’s recent call to stop driving and switch to ebikes. Some of which actually make sense, while others are exactly what you’d expect.

Police are dealing with an increase in thefts from Portland apartment and condo building bike rooms. You’re much better off keeping your bike in your unit, if possible; thieves love bike rooms because a) they’re usually empty of people at night, and b) full of bikes.

Kindhearted cops in a Washington town team with bighearted deputies to buy a little boy a new BMX bike after his was stolen.

Life is cheap on an Albuquerque Air Force base, where a truck driver got two and a half years for a) running a stop sign, while b) talking on his cellphone, and c) killing a man riding his bike.

A new documentary examines Minnesota moms who are ditching their cars for cargo bikes.

Bicycling catches up on the story of the Minnesota man who spent the last six years riding every street in his county. Meanwhile, another man did the same thing in central London.

The next time someone tries to tell you bike riders aren’t tough, tell them about the Detroit man who rode his bike to a gas station — after taking a shotgun blast to the face. He’s hospitalized in critical condition.

A Kentucky radio segment tells the story of a century bike race, from a previous century.

New York is responding to recent traffic deaths by retiming traffic lights to create a Green Wave, allowing riders to get a series of green lights to avoid having to stop; naturally, drivers are concerned that it might inconvenience them.

NYC installs its 100th mile of protected bike lanes under ex-presidential candidate and current Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Gothamist wants to know what’s holding up the long-promised bike lane on Queen’s Boulevard of Death. We could ask the same question about the entire LA bike plan.

Apparently having solved all the other crimes, Hoboken NJ hires a pair of officers to fight the scourge of scofflaw micromobility users.

Automotive sacrilege from a Streetsblog op-ed, which calls for New York to build protected bike lanes alongside bus-only lanes — even if it means a loss of parking.

 

International

More proof bike thieves just don’t care. It takes a real schmuck to steal the homemade ebike a Winnipeg high school student spent four years and thousands of dollars building from scratch.

A UK community is warned it won’t meet 2030 climate goals unless it cuts car ownership in half within the next ten years.

A writer for Cycling Tips takes his Tern to go carfree at Eurobike, the world’s biggest bike show.

When a Dutch rider can’t afford a mountain bike, he decides to shred an Austrian mountain on a BMX with no suspension and one “dodgy” brake.

A design website falls in love with the “timeless design” of a Swedish bike bikemaker, who believes the bicycle was perfected 100 years ago.

Heartbreaking story from Aukland, New Zealand, where an 18-year old champion track cyclist will never be the same after a driver ran a stop sign and slammed into his bike, leaving him with a major head brain injury and nearly costing his life.

 

Competitive Cycling

Merced makes its bid to host a stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California, with a route that would pass Yosemite National Park and the birthplace of Ghirardelli Chocolates

Outside says this is the golden age of American cycling, as long as you look past the men’s WorldTour.

A US Army sergeant picks herself up off the pavement after leading most of the day, and rallies for an 8th place finish in women’s road race of the Military World Games in China.

 

Finally…

Using your noodle to call for safer streets. Trump’s China tariffs mean more cars parked in the protected bike lane.

And as if LA drivers aren’t bad enough, now we have to deal with distracted rats behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: Bike-riding animal shelter burglars, bike rider attacked on Arroyo Seco path, and anti-bike bias in the news

Smile for the camera.

A pair of bungling bike-riding burglars broke into the spcaLA Pet Adoption Center in Los Angeles’ West Adams neighborhood, apparently looking for drugs before making off with a small safe.

Both burglars were clearly caught on security cams, one still wearing his bike helmet. Which raises the question, what kind of schmuck steals from a freaking animal shelter?

Thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Maybe the newly re-opened Arroyo Seco bike path isn’t all that safe after all.

A bike rider posted on Next Door about his encounter with a homeless man who tried to attack him with a steel pipe.

I’ve removed his name to protect his privacy.

This attack is no different than what riders have experienced on the LA River bike path, the Orange Line bike path, or along Ballona Creek. Or any other bikeway out of sight of the public.

While the pathways provide a route safe from the dangers posed by cars and their often distracted and/or aggressive drivers, secluded paths provide cover for those who would harm or rob bike riders and pedestrians.

Although to be honest, it doesn’t happen often.

But it does happen, and will keep on happening, until the LAPD, sheriff’s department and other police agencies finally figure out who the hell has jurisdiction on the paths. And begin regular bike patrols to keep riders safe, just as they patrol the streets in cars.

It also couldn’t hurt to provide better training for 911 operators so they have a clue where the bike paths are, and who has responsibility for policing them.

So the next time someone calls for help, they might actually get it.

Thanks to Harv for the tip.

………

No bias here.

Someone in Boston is warning about the vast bicycle lobby and non-resident conspiracy coming to take your traffic lanes.

They’re on to us, comrades.

Meanwhile, a WaPo columnist says bicyclists are pushing for stricter laws and enforcement in DC in an attempt to gain supremacy on the streets.

Rather than just, you know, stay alive.

………

More proof that registering your bike works.

………

Apparently, there’s a lack of functional bike racks in the South Bay.

………

Nope. Nothing odd here.

Nothing at all.

………

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

Once again, English police are looking for a man who leaned out of a car window and pushed a bicyclist off his bike into a hedge. This time, however, the grinning jackass was caught on camera, so hopefully that won’t be the only way he gets caught.

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

A 25-year old Chicago man faces charges for spitting at a bank employee after being told the bank was closed, then throwing his bicycle to the ground before going back and punching an employee in the face. Evidently, it’s the only bank in the world that doesn’t lock its doors at closing time.

………

Local

Letter writers take the LA Times to task for recent stories about gas tax money being used for transit and active transportation projects, saying taxes from non-drivers pay for services for motorists, and alternative forms of transportation are necessary to fight climate change. They’re right.

The LA City Council approved a motion by CD14 Councilmember José Huizar to install a two-way protected bike lane on Main Street in DTLA, instead of the previously planned one-way lane. The new lane will complement the two-way lane a block away on Spring Street; construction should be finished next month.

 

State

The new coach of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is one of us.

Yet another payout for bad sidewalks in San Diego, where a bike rider received a $1.25 million settlement from the city for his injuries.

San Diego police are looking for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down a 64-year old man walking his bike in an Ocean Beach bike lane, leaving the victim with multiple severe injuries.

A Cathedral City bike rider was injured when an 86-year old woman suffered an undisclosed medical emergency behind the wheel, crashing into him and continuing on before hitting another car.

A Bay Area writer says yes, some e-scooter riders are obnoxious, but scooters could help solve crippling congestion.

They get it. The San Francisco Chronicle says banning cars from Market Street will save lives, shorten commutes and improve street life; a rendering shows what a more livable, human-scaled Market Street will look like. Meanwhile, San Francisco Curbed asks what other streets should ban cars, and concludes, probably most of them.

 

National

Wired says the death of cars has been greatly exaggerated, as car ownership is climbing, despite predictions. No shit.

A Portland-area weekly says sell your car and buy and ebike, and promises it will change your life.

After suffering one too many concussions, former pro cyclist Scott Nydam is opening a combination bike and coffee shop in Gallop NM to help train young members of the Navaho Nation as bike mechanics and baristas; he’s already sponsoring a Navaho mountain bike team for middle and high school students.

Montana bike riders are recording roadkill to help officials find hotspots for animal crossings and fatal collisions. There’s an obvious joke there, but we’ll let it pass this time.

More on Iowa’s great RAGBRAI rift, as the organizers of the cross-state ride leave to form their own seven-day tour in a dispute with their longtime newspaper sponsor; fans fear for the future of the popular ride.

An Oklahoma City man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars after police chased him down for not having a rear light on his bike, and found a baggie full of a white powdery substance in his backpack — which turned out to be powdered milk, despite a false positive test for cocaine.

A Milwaukee hit-and-run driver was busted after he stole a bicycle to flee from a collision, then broke into an occupied house in a vain attempt to escape the cops.

An Illinois bike rider was lucky to survive a crash with the driver of a semi-truck who drove directly into him as he was crossing a gas station driveway on the sidewalk; remarkably, the driver claimed he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, even though the driver honked at him and he was directly in front of the truck. Be sure you really want to see the video, because it’s hard to watch someone get hit like that, even if he does get up afterwards.

An Indiana man is back home after a four-year bike ride around the world, or as he puts it, “a kind, generous earth.”

This is who we share the roads with. Two road raging brothers are under arrest for fatally shooting a St. Louis man in front of his four kids. Let’s hope those two never see the light of day again.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old diabetic Cincinnati man is taking part in this week’s JDRF Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes; he’s already raised over $47,500 for the ride. I’ve already got the diabetes. And a bike.

Good idea. Pittsburgh bike riders are out to track drivers blocking bike lanes. Think of it as a bike count, but for scofflaw drivers.

Stealing a Pittsburgh man’s ebike is one thing. But taking his dog is just going too damn far.

A group of professional flat track motorcycle racers will take off next month on a six day, 580-mile bicycle ride down the Florida coast to raise funds for injured riders; they’ve already raised $5,000 of the too low $10,000 goal.

 

International

Your next bike could be covered in sawtooth bumps for better aerodynamics.

Cycling Tips asks if you could live with just one bike for a year. Shouldn’t be too hard, considering most people only have one. Myself included.

A Vancouver professor says yes, bike riders really do pay taxes, just like everyone else.

A partially paralyzed British Columbia man got his three-wheeled recumbent ebike back more than a year after it was stolen, thanks to kind hearted cops who dipped into their own pockets to get it back to rideable condition.

The parents of 19-year old Harry Dunn, the English motorcyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run by the wife of an American diplomat who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, call a meeting with President Trump a stunt and ambush, after he offered to introduce them to their son’s killer with cameras waiting in the wings. And made it clear he’s not planning to send her back to face charges.

More Parisiens are riding bikes than ever before, thanks to new bikeways in the City of Lights, combined with a transit strike and more government support for bicycling. Someone should tell LA Mayor Garcetti and the city council that could happen here, too. And our weather is better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former cycling scion Taylor Phinney announced his retirement, five years after suffering a career-threatening crash trying to avoid a race moto during the 2014 road race nats, just days after winning the national time trial title. He was told he might never walk again, let alone ride, but returned to win his third national time trial title two years later; unfortunately, though, he wasn’t able to recapture the road race magic that had made him a fan favorite. His last race will be in Japan this weekend.

Life is cheap in Australia, where the driver who killed 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes is unlikely to spend a single day in jail, despite texting just 68 seconds before the crash.

Bicycling says next year’s Tour de France could be one of the most unpredictable ever.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to attack strangers while butt naked, maybe choose a better weapon than a bike wheel. Nothing like a little used inner tube haute couture.

And this seven-year old gives a whole new meaning to “ride like a girl.”

 

Morning Links: More bike helmet studies, bicyclist badly injured in Burbank crash, and booby trapped trails in West SFV

A quick note — My brother should arrive in Los Angeles Monday evening on his bike tour of the Western US, I plan to publish on Monday, after all.

………

More fuel for the never-ending bike helmet debate.

Another new study suggests that wearing a bike helmet can significantly reduce the risk of severe injury or death.

The British study examined over 6,600 people brought to hospital emergency rooms for bicycling related injuries, and found 61.5% of the injured bicyclists for whom data on helmet use was available were wearing a bike helmet at the time of the crash.

That compares to just 22% in the recent American study, which was limited to bike riders with head and neck injuries.

The British study showed that use of a bike helmet was associated with a “reduction in severe traumatic brain injury, death within 30 days of the injury, the need for intensive care, and ‘neurosurgical intervention,'” as well as a reduction in traumatic brain injuries and facial injuries.

Although as I’ve been reminded many times, correlation does not equal causation.

Meanwhile, neurosurgeons at a Toronto hospital are calling for mandatory bike helmets for children and adults, but the city rejected a proposal to require them for kids.

And Road Bike Action Magazine reviews Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmets, and finds the improvement in safety is offset by it feeling hot on slow rides and heavy on long ones.

Bike helmet photo by Projekt_Kaffeebart from Pixabay.

………

Bad news from Burbank, where a bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision; unfortunately, there’s no further information at this time.

Thanks to Bean for the heads-up.

………

Michael Kim sends word that someone has been booby trapping mountain bike trails in the West San Fernando Valley.

As we’ve said before, when they catch the jerk — or jerks — responsible, they should face attempted murder charges at the very least, if terrorism charges, because this is a blatant attempt to frighten bicyclists off the trails.

Thanks to Michael Kim for the news.

………

I’m told that Alana Ealy, the road-raging driver who intentionally slammed her car into bike rider Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection where Frederick “Woon” Frazier was killed in a hit-and-run the day before, has been sentenced to a well-deserved five years behind bars.

Ealy had quarreled with several other protesters, left the scene and returned prior to the exceptionally violent assault captured in the video below.

She was finally taken into custody after a two month manhunt by police; no word on who, if anyone, will get the standing $25,000 reward for her capture and conviction.

………

The US House of Representatives has voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

The resolution to honor Greg LeMond now must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump. 

However, Trump’s approval should be a given, since LeMond competed in the president’s eponymous bike race as he was making his comeback after getting shot by his brother-in-law.

………

A pair of bighearted LAPD officers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a hit-and-run victim whose bike was destroyed in a head-on collision.

Complete with panniers, no less.

………

CiclaValley visits the Valley Glen intersection where LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday.

The crowdfunding page for her family is now up to $3,555 of the $15,000 goal.

………

The annual Eastside Mural Ride takes place tomorrow. I’m told it’s a great ride. And one I’ll look forward to doing myself one of these days.

………

Here’s your chance to grab a free poster honoring SoCal’s two new junior world champs.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

………

No surprise here, as a British police department sent an undercover cop out on a bicycle, and discovered exactly what bike riders face on the roads.

Clearly, things are no different on that side of the Atlantic than they are here.

Although just 84 drivers behaving badly in a metropolitan area of nearly three million seems just a tad low.

………

Now that’s a smart idea.

………

Congratulations to LA-based Cero, whose e-cargo bike won gold at the recent Euro Bike show.

https://twitter.com/CERObikes/status/1174762497028452352

Everyone who thinks Cero should sponsor my site with a new cargo bike raise your hands.

Seriously, I could use one to replace my car, and give our next dog a ride in that big basket when we find one. 

………

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

A New York bike rider was attacked by a pedestrian who kicked him off his bike and threatened to kill him. But says gaslighting by the cops was worse than his injuries.

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

Or in this case, a grocery chain, as the Whole Foods in New York’s Bowery neighborhood is hogging the sidewalk with industrial-strength bikes and trailers for their Amazon Prime Now delivery service.

………

Local

Nice to see Josef Bray-Ali is continuing his old Flying Pigeon tradition of the Get Sum Dim Sum ride, following the implosion of his failed city council campaign in CD1.

Curbed looks forward to next year’s Arroyo Fest, which will shut down a seven-mile stretch of the historic Arroyo Seco Parkway, aka the 110 Freeway, to cars and open it up to people for the first time in 16 years.

 

State

Streetsblog says California’s proposed Complete Streets bill needs your support as it sits on Governor Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature.

Encinitas is considering installing protected bike lanes on the coast highway, replacing the current painted lanes.

Sad news from San Diego, where a 47-year old man suffered major head injuries after allegedly riding his bike through a red light on a T-shaped intersection in Kearny Mesa; he was allegedly riding salmon, as well.

If you’re headed to the annual Adams Avenue Street Fair in San Diego this weekend, ride your bike and take advantage of the bike valet.

Drivers were so confused by new bicycle traffic lights on a Monterey bike lane that the city covered them up until they can come up with a fix.

The San Francisco Chronicle hops in the way back machine to go 25 years into the past for a look at the original Critical Mass rides.

 

National

Tsk tsk. Indoor cycling firm Peloton is facing $300 million in damages, up from $150 million, after music publishing companies discover even more tunes they allegedly used without permission.

Your bike already looks like a work of art, so hang it like one.

Lyft is adding bike lane maps to their apps to encourage safer bikeshare and e-scooter rides.

Life is cheap in Oregon, where a red light-running driver who killed a blind man walking in a marked crosswalk won’t spend one lousy day behind bars.

You only have ten more days to buy a new cargo ebike from a Texas startup designed especially for riding with your dog.

Go hogs! The University of Arkansas is offering a free bike valet to cut vehicular traffic to their stadium for Saturday’s football game. Maybe UCLA and USC should consider doing the same. Except maybe not maybe.

Wisconsin prosecutors rule that a police officer was justified in fatally shooting an armed 18-year old bike rider who fled after getting pulled over for not having a light on his bike. Even though he had dropped his gun and doesn’t appear to have made a move for it before he was shot.

Chicago police are looking into whether a masked bike rider who shot a woman walking along on a sidewalk is linked to a similar attack in June.

They get it. Kalamazoo MI approves plans for a road diet, bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Yet no word on residents rising up to demand their car lanes back, unlike a certain SoCal city we could all name.

Horrible news from Kentucky, where a little girl was killed when she fell off her bike, and her neck was impaled by the hand brakes on her handlebars; even worse, it happened on her ninth birthday. Unfortunately, tragedies like that happen several times a year, yet bike makers continue to sell kids bikes with dangerous brake levers. And the government continues to look the other way.

That’s a new one. An arsonist in Ithaca NY has been setting Lime Bike handgrips on fire.

Yet another Long Beach NY community wants to criminalize teenage bike riders for scaring and inconveniencing people in cars with ride-outs, instead of trying to find a way to accommodate an otherwise healthy activity intended to keep kids out of gangs.

Despite the seemingly endless rants of bike lane opponents, the New York Fire Department says cars and construction, not bike lanes, are the reason their response times are up nearly 30 seconds in the past four years.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why he loves riding in New York City, despite the risk. But adds that “cycling in this or any city should not be the exclusive domain of the death-defying.” Amen on both counts.

A writer for Streetsblog says NY mayor and still presidential candidate for reasons no one can comprehend Bill de Basio’s Vision Zero is just a blood-soaked joke.

A Newark NJ mom writes a friendly letter to the thief who stole her bike, complete with the toddler seat in front.

No windshield bias here. A Kentucky congressman says DC shouldn’t become a state because it would make it too hard to park. And yes, he appears to be serious.

A Florida man faces charges for a sword fight with an unarmed pregnant woman in a dispute over a bicycle.

A bike co-op in Florida is allowing community members to ride out with a new bicycle as long as they’re willing to work a little for it.

 

International

Who needs paint when you can just wrap your frame in vinyl?

London, Ontario police and officials are coming under fire for a traffic safety crackdown that also targets pedestrians and people on bicycles. Just like all the ones frequently held in California. Although that’s required under California law, which prohibits targeting any specific group. Like drivers, for instance.

Dutch companies will be able to provide their employees with company bicycles starting next year, just like they do company cars. But employees will lose the 19¢ per mile they get for riding their own bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Apparently, all it takes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Cycling Team is winning a world championship, like world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney.

Outside profiles former world mountain bike champ Kirt Voreis and his many injuries.

Odd story from the UK’s The Courier, which says pro road cycling is on the right tracks (sic), then goes on to discuss the problems with team sponsorships and racing’s failed financial model.

Unless you want to fork out the cash for NBC’s cycling pass, you’re screwed if you want to watch next week’s road world championships.

 

Finally…

Signs maybe you’ve been riding your bike too much. If you ride naked with a group of people, it’s a statement; if you ride naked alone, you’re just a two-wheeled flasher.

And maybe they meant along instead of across. Otherwise, it’s going to be a very short trip.

Morning Links: Driving on the Ballona Creek bike path, shaming a helmet shamer, and cute dog on a bike

Let’s start the day with a few observations from Chris Buonomo from his weekend ride.

On Saturday morning while rolling southbound down the Ballona Creek bike path, we rounded one of the few sharp turns (the one north of Duquesne) only to encounter a silver Mercedes driver inching south on the path. When he realized there were bikes behind him, he waved us through the narrow gap between his door and the fence. I asked him why he was driving on a clearly marked bike path, and he said, “the GPS told me to go on here” and laughed it off. We told him to go to the next ramp so he could exit, and we made sure to alert all the bikes traveling in the opposite direction. I hope nobody was hurt out there.

But then we reached the Manhattan Beach Pier and their bike-hostile signage which sign shows a cyclist in a supertuck and a big red X. Pedestrians always always always have the right of way, but that sign sets up anyone who rides responsibly for failure. Roll through at 5 mph and risk getting a ticket. Do you think it’s necessary for the guy in the picture to walk his bike? Perhaps if the city didn’t offer abundant parking 3 feet from the pier and opened up that space a little more, bikes and peds could easily coexist.

The upshot is this: Cars go wherever they want with impunity. Cars dictate how much space is allocated to non-car. Yet the onus is always on bike riders not to get the drivers angry, look out for everyone else and not get themselves injured (or worse).

Will elected officials ever chip away at this systemic double standard?

Seems like double standards are what politicians do best these days.

Especially when it comes to cars and the people in them.

………

Some people just don’t get it.

It’s funny how so many people seem to think bike helmets are magic devices that make their wearers impervious to injury from two-ton vehicles whose drivers are typically exceeding the speed limit.

Take this columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Please.

Rex Huppke, armed with exactly zero scientific studies, and apparently averse to even a modicum of research prior to ranting in print, beyond calling an ER doc at the local hospital, transforms into older, get-off-my-lawn troll for mass helmet shaming.

No, really.

I’ve seen a lot of stupid in my day, most of it coming from politicians, but peddling around with nothing to protect your noggin? That’s high-level stupidity. What exactly makes you think your skull is dent-resistant?

You think you’re invincible? Guess what, diddlepants? You’re nothin’ but meat stuffed into a skin suit, and if a car or curb or tree or pothole decides it wants to play natural selection, guess who’s gonna lose?

DID YOU GUESS?!? THE ANSWER IS: THE MORON WHO ISN’T A WEARING A HELMET!

With all due apologies to the doctor on the other end of his phone, bike helmets were never intended to protect against a crash with a compact car, let alone today’s massive wall-fronted SUVs.

Instead, they’re designed to cushion the impact to your head from a relatively slow speed fall off your bike. And if you don’t spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models, do absolutely nothing to protect against traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body. Which should be self-evident, but evidently isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in wearing a bike helmet, and never ride without mine.

But I also recognize their limitations. And don’t count on it to keep me safe.

A bike helmet should never be the first — or only — means of protecting yourself. It should always be seen as the last line of defense, when all else fails.

So if you actually give a damn about bike safety, skip the helmet shaming, learn to ride defensively, and fight for protected bike lanes and safer streets.

Then decide for yourself whether to wear a helmet.

Or as someone else put it,

If finger wagging and shaming actually worked, America would be the safest country in the world.

………

Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than a dog on a bicycle.

………

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

Enough said.

Gotta give the guy on the bike some respect for staying on his bike and maintaining a placid demeanor through all that.

………

Local

Good news on the political front, as Loraine Lundquist isn’t taking no for an answer, and running for a full term as councilmember for CD12, after losing a close race to John Lee in the special election.

Blame the geofence if your e-scooter suddenly craps out on you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-something letter writer in the LA Times says he still rides his bike for minor errands, as well as taking other steps to reduce his carbon footprint.

A USC student was hit by a driver while riding her bike on University Ave Tuesday morning, joining four other Trojans hit by motorists while riding their bikes so far this month.

Robin Wright is one of us, riding the streets of LA with her husband on industrial strength fat tire ebikes as their dog trots alongside.

 

State

Calbike lists 187 streets and highways it says would be affected by the new Complete Streets bill currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, including Santa Monica Blvd, Glendale Fwy and Angeles Crest Hwy in the Los Angeles area.

Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of induced demand, Costa Mesa officials present strictly car-centric proposed designs for Newport Blvd through the city, with nary a thought towards the needs of anyone not in a motor vehicle.

A San Diego advocacy group presented their vision for a Vision Zero in four East County cities.

Outside asks if the removal of Uber’s Jump bikes from San Diego and Atlanta marks the death knell for dockless e-bikeshare. Or it could just be the result of greater popularity for e-scooters. And in San Diego’s case, overregulation.

Congratulations to the Human Powered Vehicle Team from Cal Poly SLO, who set a new collegiate land speed record of 63.68 mph.

Chico cops bust a man for riding off from a bike shop at 4:30 am with a newly purloined bicycle; police credit a witness for helping them track down the thief.

 

National

Bicycling says style matters, and you want to look good when you’re getting dropped. And they want you to drool over the vintage ’80s bikes in It: Chapter Two.

Drivers in Pittsburgh — no, the one in Missouri — get some shiny new sharrows as a reminder to share the road with people on bicycles.

I want to be like her, too. An 80-year old Minnesota woman just rode 800 miles traveling to Wyoming and back. And has ridden 25,000 miles since she turned 60.

A woman who uses her bike as her primary means of transportation will be walking for awhile, after it was stolen from a badly installed bike rack at a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association train station. To which the transit agency responded, that’s not our problem.

Once again, a bicyclist has been critically injured in the battle for space in New York’s Central Park, as a 60-year old woman went over her handlebars trying to avoid a pedestrian. And yes, she was wearing a helmet. And no, it didn’t save her.

Speaking of helmets, New York Council Speaker Dave Carlin politely shut down a reporter from an anti-bike TV Gotham station who insisted bike riders are dangerous and suggested bike helmets should be mandatory.

Once again, New York shows Los Angeles how it’s done, presenting a plan that would add 50 miles of protected bike lanes every year, along with another 30 miles of bus lanes. That compares somewhat favorably with LA’s complete and total lack of commitment for either one.

Streetsblog wants to know when will New York accept that bikeshare has become a vital form of transit, and finally begin subsiding it.

DHL is dropping their standard delivery trucks in favor of cube-like delivery bikes, after losing a wheel to qualify as bicycles under New York law.

A DC father says he’s not taking his kid to school in his cargo bike anymore, thanks to a “perfect storm of road rage, reckless driving, terrible street design, and total lack of any kind of recourse” after being chased down the street for several blocks by a horn-honking dump truck driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike from a Georgia Tech student, who’s suffered from mobility issues since he was hit by a car when he was five years old; kindhearted campus cops are trying to get him a new one. And remember him the next time someone says handicapped people can’t ride bikes.

 

International

Thought provoking piece from Forbes‘ Carlton Reid, who says Apple’s coming Tag chip could help you find your stolen bike and keep autonomous cars from running over your ass — as long as you can afford a new iPhone and subscription service. And could lead to the dystopian Big Brother future the company promised to smash.

Not surprisingly, London police catch a little blowback when their bike cops tweet that half of their tickets go to scofflaw bicyclists.

A London sociologist says as bicycling becomes more popular and more people compete for road space, the city must take steps to make riders feel safer on the streets.

A new British ebike folds in less than ten seconds.

Italian bikemaker Bianchi recognizes that an road ebike doesn’t have to look like one. Or feel like one, for that matter.

Students in Mombasa, Kenya have to ride across dangerous roads with no bike lanes just to get to class.

Malaysian teenagers freak out drivers by doing the full superman pose on custom chopped bicycles while riding on a major highway.

https://twitter.com/Thehulkey/status/1172461714345906176?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1172461714345906176&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.malaymail.com%2Fnews%2Flife%2F2019%2F09%2F17%2Fwannabe-rempit-kids-take-joyride-with-modified-bicycles-on-plus-highway-vid%2F1791323

 

Competitive Cycling

Very disturbing news for long time bike racing fans, as 70-year old Michael Aisner, former race director of the legendary Coors Classic, has been arrested for secretly recording men showering after renting out his Boulder CO home.

So that’s what pro cyclists keep in their jersey pockets. Spanish cyclist Jesus Ezquerra finished the final stage of the Vuelta with one more fiancé than he had at the beginning of the stage.

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/1173279110380081152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1173279110380081152&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthebiglead.com%2F2019%2F09%2F17%2Fla-vuelta-proposal-cycling-jesus-ezquerra%2F

 

Finally…

Who needs Amazon when you’ve got your own private library in a cargo bike castle full of books? Presenting the love child of an ebike and a scooter, or maybe a scooter with pedals.

Or something

And if you’ve already been busted with your significant other for biking while extremely drunk, you might as well just schtup in the back of the patrol car.

 

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