Tag Archive for bike helmets

26-year old man on bicycle killed by ice cream truck driver in San Marcos crash; victim reportedly under the influence

At least the driver stuck around this time.

Several nearly identical sources are reporting a man riding a bike was killed by the driver of an ice cream truck in San Marcos Wednesday night.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Pico Ave and West Mission Road a little after 8 pm.

According to witnesses, the victim, identified only as a 26-year old man, was riding southwest across the intersection against a red light, when he was struck by the driver turning west onto Mission.

The only way that makes sense is if he was riding south on Pico, and was struck in a left cross when the driver turned with the left arrow, which would mean the driver had a red light.

He died at the scene.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies were quick to blame the victim, suggesting that he may have been under the influence, and said he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

There’s no word on why they suspect he was drunk, however. And as we’ve noted before, whether or not he had a helmet only matters if he died of a head injury, or if the collision might have been survivable with one.

That’s questionable, given that video from the scene shows it was a full-size food truck, rather than a smaller van, that hit him.

Use caution viewing the video, though, since it shows a blurred shot of the covered victim lying in the street next to his bike.

This is at least the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Gas rebate plan excludes non-drivers, arrest in Otay Mesa hit-and-run murder, and bike helmet blamed for Ukraine war

Let’s start with a look at the soaring price of gas in the Golden State.

With the state average now well over $5 a gallon — and approaching $7 in some areas — Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a tax rebate to refund some of that pain at the pump.

The advantage of a rebate, rather than suspending the state gas tax, is that it won’t affect critical funding for road repair and improvements, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

However, a rebate targeting only people who own motor vehicles will miss everyone who choses not to contribute to the problem, by riding transit, riding a bike or walking. Even though everyone pays higher gas prices in the form of climbing prices for food, and everything else that’s transported by truck.

Particularly when LA Metro just made drastic cuts in bus and train service.

A tweet from David Weiskopf offers the best suggestion, recommending that the rebate take the form of a general transportation credit, which can be applied to transit, bicycles, ebikes, bikeshare, electric vehicles or just “pissed away on gasoline.”

As he suggests, it would be interesting to see just what people actually choose. And getting people out of their cars would reduce some of the demand forcing prices up.

Although I want to see who people blame for high gas prices when oil companies start reporting record profits in a few months.

Meanwhile, blame once again falls on LA’s failed leadership, or the lack thereof.

Los Angeles has had a full decade to build out the city’s bike and mobility plans, which should have been 40% complete by now if city leaders plan on meeting their self-imposed deadline of 2035.

Instead, both plans are gathering dust in some dark corner of the city servers, instead of providing the safe, convenient alternatives to driving that Angelenos were promised a decade ago.

So if you or your loved ones feel like you don’t have any practical alternative to driving, despite the rising prices, you know who to thank.

Evidently trees are out to get us, too, with today’s photo of fallen tree limbs attacking the Metro Bike dock at Runyon Canyon. And a dog, too.

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Maybe Octavio Mendoza will see justice, after all.

The 40-year old father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Otay Mesa this past November, in an attack that police investigators believe was intentional.

Now 51-year-old Fernando Salazar faces a murder charge, after he was arrested for the killing while coming back into the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday.

It’s not yet clear whether this was a random case of road rage, or if the men knew one another.

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Apparently, if Obama hadn’t worn a bike helmet, Ukraine might not be under attack today.

BoingBoing looks back to the good old days of 2014, when Fox News blamed the then-president for Putin’s invasion of Crimea and the Donbas by insisting his bike helmet made him look weak.

No, really.

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For some reason, I still can’t embed tweets on here, so we’ll have to settle for a few semi-decent descriptions.

First up, Dr. Grace Peng asks us to join her in requesting that the Redondo Beach Police not to lump mopeds and high-powered ebikes capable of traveling over 25 mph in with other bikes and ebikes, after a huge jump in bicycle citations due to bike riders exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on residential streets.

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A Denver bike owner got their stolen bicycle back when bike shop workers checked Bike Index when someone tried to sell it to them.

Yet another reminder to register your bike, for free.

Now.

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Really disappointing that we can’t embed this one, since it features a really cool short video of a 1956 handcycle, with the hand crank awkwardly mounted on the crossbar of a standard bicycle frame.

More modern handcycles are a tad more practical, however.

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

Continuing this week’s theme of dangerous drivers from across the pond, a British motorist deliberately swerved into a bike rider after shouting abuse for not riding in a bike lane.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a suspect who slapped a pair of women on the butt as he rode past them on his bike, while making suggestive comments. And for anyone unclear on the concept, that’s not flirting, it’s not a prank, and it’s definitely not funny. It’s sexual assault. Period.

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Local

Streetsblog officially endorsed the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan when streets in the plan get resurfaced.

The Mid City West neighborhood council is hosting a CD5 virtual candidate forum at 7 pm tonight; click here for the zoom link.

Streets For All is hosting a mobility debate on March 28th with at least four of the candidates to replace the resigning Mike Bonin in CD11.

British TV star Michelle Keegan is one of us, taking a bike ride on Venice Beach with her husband.

Your next ride along the San Gabriel River Trail could be a lot more pleasant, after the US Army Corps of Engineers removed 128 tons of trash and debris from the riverbed.

 

State 

Someone stole a teenage boy’s ebike in a strong-arm robbery on a La Jolla bike path, shoving the victim off his bike and taking off with it; police are looking for multiple high school-aged kids, including the primary suspect who rode off on the victim’s bike wearing a full motorcycle helmet and moto goggles.

 

National

Cycling Tips‘ James Huang says the new line of carbon fiber ebikes from America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks intriguing, but he has a lot of questions. Like why the website is short on photos and specs just four months out from the projected delivery date.

Wired talks with the woman who was behind the wheel, but allegedly watching videos on her phone, when a self-driving car prototype killed a bike-riding woman in Tempe, Arizona four years ago.

Seriously disappointing news from Denver, where my former LBS is going out of business after 51 years; Turin Bike Shop was a victim of rising rents and supply chain problems, as well as the owner’s pending retirement.

A Kansas City columnist reacts to news of a 60-something couple riding a tandem across the US by suggesting that too much togetherness means a “bicycle built for doom.” There’s no better test for the strength of any relationship than riding a tandem. Let alone across the country.

Texas officials are asking for the public’s help to rename and brand a more than 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting Fort Worth and Dallas. How about the Better Than Anything Here In Southern California Trail.

Cambridge, Massachusetts will intentionally miss a deadline to build out quick-build separated bike lanes by May 1st, saying they need more time to engage local stakeholders. Evidently, they don’t understand the concept of “quick-build.” And somehow couldn’t manage to engage those stakeholders in the six years since a bike rider was killed there. 

A group of 25 people riding from Florida to Texas stopped in Hammond, Louisiana to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Ida.

Police in Daytona, Florida are searching for a person of interest in the horrific murder of a married couple, whose throats were cut while they were out riding their bikes last weekend.

 

International

Momentum offers a beginners guide to learning to ride a bike after middle age.

Next City profiles World Bicycle Relief and their work to provide inexpensive, reliable transportation for thousands of people around the world every year, calling bicycles one of the cheapest and easiest ways to lift people out of poverty. They have the same effect in this country, too.

Someone called out Oxford, England for a pair of recent bicycling deaths, crossing out “Cycling City” on the city’s welcome sign and writing in “One month, two dead cyclists.”

The British government wisely rejected a call for bike riders to be required to use a bell when they ride, saying there are other ways foe people on bicycles to make their presence known.

After thieves stole $153,000 worth of bikes and frames from a family-owned Irish bike shop, the owner has been overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips examines the greatest rivalries in the modern women’s peloton.

In an all-too familiar story, the Colorado Classic women’s stage race is on life support, unless a sponsor steps up with $3 million to keep the race alive; otherwise, it will follow the late, lamented Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge into the “ever-growing graveyard of American pro cycling races.”

 

Finally…

Always use a coaster brake when riding at the beach, even if your bike doesn’t have one. Your next bike could have all-wheel drive, no hubs, a minimalist frame and wheels that run the full length of the bike.

And maybe there’s a loophole in the bicycle ban on LA’s Runyon Canyon.

Like just use one wheel instead of two.

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

Los Angeles finally lowers speed limits on some streets, and “woke” repeal of Seattle bike helmet mandate

It might be time to check snow conditions in the underworld.

For the first time in memory, if not ever, Los Angeles officials overruled drivers right feet for setting speed limits, slightly lowering limits on 177 miles of LA streets.

And reversing, if ever so slightly, the ever-climbing speed limits forced on them by the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

The move came in response to legislation sponsored by Burbank state Assemblymember Laura Friedman, which allows cities to drop speed limits no more than five mph.

Which isn’t the legislation we need to repeal the 85th Percentile Law. But it’s a start.

Now we just have another 6,323 miles of streets to go.

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They get it.

https://twitter.com/NACTO/status/1496190934572273666

Not everyone does, though.

Curmudgeonly conservative Seattle shock jock Jason Rantz appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to complain that it’s just one more example of “everything is racist.”

Rantz accuses a “woke” professor of using a small sample size to show the law disproportionately ticketed people of color, while suggesting that some of those ticketed were probably just homeless people on stolen bicycles, anyway.

Schmuck.

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She gets it, too.

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A reminder about Walk ‘n Rollers upcoming 10th Anniversary celebration next month.

The Culver City-based organization deserves a lot of credit for teaching kids how to walk and ride safely.

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This may just be the coolest 100-year old bike I’ve ever seen.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1496194085618655232

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GCN considers whether a British company’s move to ban bike helmets for its delivery riders is science, or just plain stupid.

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

No bias here. An Italian bike rider was fined the equivalent of $380 after he was nearly doored by a careless cop, because bicyclists aren’t required to wear a Covid mask in the country, but pedestrians are — which he became when he got off his bike to argue the point with the cop.

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Local

Glendale police busted three men for attempting to steal bicycles from an underground parking facility at the Americana at Brand shopping center.

Norwalk has dropped the final draft of its proposed bicycle master plan.

 

State 

Calbike comes out agains AB 371, which would effectively end bikeshare and e-scooter rentals by imposing an “unprecedented insurance requirement,” after killing a similar proposal two years ago.

PeopleForBikes announces the schedule and speakers for next month’s Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point.

Business owners in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood continue to complain about lost business due to the removal of parking spaces for a protected bike lane on 30th Street, even though a nearby parking structure remains underutilized. Which suggests the real problem isn’t the bike lane, but drivers who are unwilling to pay for parking.

A Folsom letter writer says it’s time to allow bicycles on an 11-mile local trail, since mountain bikers outnumber equestrians in the area.

 

National

As if the company didn’t have enough problems these days, Peloton users were faced with a major service outage yesterday.

That’s more like it. Denver traffic engineers and planners took up a wheelchair-bound woman’s challenge to walk with her to see what her daily experience on the streets was really like.

Colorado is considering a bill to legalize the full Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs. The state currently has a confusing patchwork of local ordinances that allow riders to roll stops in one jurisdiction, while risking getting ticketed for the same thing in the next.

Bighearted students at an Iowa community college dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a cafeteria worker, after discovering his was worn out.

A Chicago chef feels vindicated after a jury awarded her over $212,000 for the dooring that left her seriously injured with a concussion, contusions and other injuries.

Get $900 off the provocatively named, Detroit-made Babymaker II ebike.

Bicycle Retailer says there’s still hope the dilapidated building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop could be saved, despite a Dayton, Ohio committee approving a permit to raze it.

Police in New York arrested an ambulance driver for the hit-and-run that killed a beloved teacher last year, while he was driving a Rolls-Royce that he may have rented; he also seriously injured a bike rider in another crash in 2017.

Kindhearted North Carolina sheriff’s deputies bought a nine-year old girl another bicycle, after one they bought for her following her involvement in a hostage situation was stolen.

There’s a special place in hell for an Alabama man who’s charged with sexually abusing a young child, two years after killing a bike rider in a collision.

 

International

Pink Bike examines why bike companies are changing hands like playing cards these days.

After discovering how essential bicycles are in Havana, a travel writer overcomes his childhood fears and learns to ride one to discover the other side of the Cuban city.

More on the move by Paris to install traffic cam-like noise sensors to detect and photograph loud vehicles in an effort to reduce noise levels, calling it a public health issue. Can we please have those here in Hollywood? Pretty please?

Aussie bicyclists are being urged to log their crashes and near misses on an app to provide data for researchers attempting to understand how and why collisions happen, and how to prevent them.

 

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. The 2022 Tour of Flanders will offer equal prize money to men and women, joining a worldwide movement to towards equal purses.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a stolen credit card to buy an $8,200 bike, don’t leave a paper trail stretching from New York to Pittsburgh and back. That feeling when a tree swallows your bike, and a myth grows along with it.

And I still want a damn Pashley Guv’nor, already.

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

Study calls for more and better bike helmet testing, bike/ped safety ratings for trucks and SUVs, and how to live carfree

We’ve said it many times before.

Bike helmets can help in a crash, but not as much as they could.

Or should.

Now Bicycling reports a new study confirms the same thing, saying more rigorous testing is needed to improve them.

  • Bike helmets are designed to protect you against a traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet testing them in a way that mimics real-world falls and collisions has been lacking, a new study suggests.
  • Current manufacturer methods tend to test helmets with falls from right angles, which is how you’d land if the bike was stationary.
  • The research describes a new method of helmet testing where crash test dummies hit the ground at an angle as they were moving—basically, the way you’d actually fall off a bike.
  • However, previous research indicates helmets still significantly reduce the risk of skull fractures and other TBIs, so it’s important to wear one while riding.

That last point is important.

I probably wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing mine during the infamous beachfront bee incident — which is exactly the kind of relatively slow speed fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Not the high speed collisions most drivers seem to think.

But even with one, I still spent a night in intensive care, and the better part of a week in the hospital.

That’s also the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding.

But I’m damn glad I had it on.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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Interesting idea.

A bill in the New York legislature would impose a safety rating system on trucks and SUVs to rank the danger they pose to bike riders and pedestrians.

But then what?

Studies have previously shown that the flat grills, high hoods and high road clearance of today’s trucks and SUVS — let alone their ever-increasing size — are a key factor in the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US.

And while it might be helpful to know which vehicles pose the greatest risk, it’s pretty meaningless if that’s as far as it goes.

There needs to be additional action to force improvements for the lowest rated vehicles, such as fines that increase with each drop in safety ratings.

Or better yet, force the SUVs and trucks with the worst safety rating off the road. Then give the next lowest tier five years to improve their safety before removing that one from the road, too.

And keep going until every truck and SUV qualifies for the highest safety rating — which, chances are, none do now.

Yes, safety ratings are a good idea.

But ratings without action will just mean more needless deaths on our streets.

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They get it.

NACTO, aka the National Association of City Transportation Officials, came out against the proposed transportation bill introduced in the US Senate, arguing it “largely maintains the status quo that made American transportation so inequitable, unsustainable, and unsafe to begin with.”

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The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar tonight to discuss how to live your life carfree.

 

Then again, all you really need is three simple steps.

Step 1: Sell your car.

Step 2: Buy a bike.

Step 3: Ride it. Everywhere.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, planting upright spikes on a Scottish mountain bike path where they were most likely to trap, and possibly seriously injure, unsuspecting riders. And once again, this should be treated as the serious crime it is, not just a mere prank.

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

Florida police arrested a 39-year old ebike-riding man for tossing a cooler full of human shit outside a Jewish school in a Miami suburb, two days after he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a bag of shit at the temple nextdoor.

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Local

Micromobility providers are ready to roll out again as America reawakens from its coronavirus slumber, including Santa Monica-based Bird and West Hollywood’s Wheels.

Nick Jonas credits his wife Priyanka Chopra with helping him recover from a broken rib he suffered falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project with his brothers.

 

State

A 64-year old San Diego man suffered serious injuries when he was cut off by a driver pulling out an alley in the North Park neighborhood, and slammed his ebike into the side of the car; the victim suffered a broken ankle, in addition to other non-life threatening injuries.

The Santa Rosa bicyclist who died last week after he and another bike rider were hit by an alleged drunk driver was a skilled winemaker with the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg; the 12-year old boy who was also injured was not related to him, and just happened to be riding in the same area.

A Sonoma County writer asks how safe it is to ride a bike in the county, then fails to answer the question.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with Little Bellas to encourage more “Black, Indigenous, Girls of Color” to start riding with Little Bellas, which is dedicated to encouraging girls to ride bikes, then to continue riding with the Black Girls Do Bike community once they outgrow the Little Bellas program.

In case you need a refresher, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition explains how to correctly wear a bike helmet. First step, make sure it’s not on backward, which I’ve somehow seen too many times.

A Las Vegas man was killed when he crashed into a small dog while riding a motorized bicycle; sadly, the dog didn’t make it, either.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is reintroducing The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, which would allow local managers to decide whether and how to allow bicycles in wilderness areas; the original bill expired in the previous congressional session before any action was taken.

Arkansas is hosting a statewide bike summit to talk road safety this month.

A Chicago writer says the city’s new bikeshare ebikes are a game changer — so stop tossing them into Lake Michigan.

Peloton is responding to last year’s shortages created by increased demand during the pandemic by building their first US factory in Ohio.

Charges have finally been filed against a Pennsylvania man who killed a man riding a bike back in 2019, while allegedly stoned on methadone, Klonopin and Xanax. The only question is what the hell took so long?

 

International

Road.cc rates the 15 best chain lubes, while examining the eternal question of wet vs dry.

A street-racing Liverpool man was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned for driving for four years for slamming into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with lasting brain damage after languishing in a coma for a full month; the 28-year old future inmate recently suffered a stroke, which he describes as “karma.” The other driver was sentenced to 13 months.

A London police commissioner called for a ban on e-scooters before their wide rollout in the city next month, warning that more people will be hurt. So wouldn’t it make sense to ban cars instead, since they hurt far more people, more seriously?

London should provide more cargo bike parking and make market deliveries by cargo bike, according to a new report from a sustainability think tank.

No bias here. A former Scottish deputy police chief says the bike boom means traffic laws have to be enforced — especially against the people on two wheels.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 76-year old man got just two and a half years behind bars for running over a ten-year old boy on a bike, then backing up and running over him again — as the boy’s father and others watched in horror — while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Fortunately, the kid survived, but with major injuries.

An Irish man faces charges for a strong-arm robbery in which he pushed a woman off her bike as she was riding to work, then punched her in the face as she lay on the ground before making off with her bike, all while “extremely intoxicated” on booze and Xanax.

Cycling Tips highlights six unique brands from the Australian Handmade Bicycle Show, including one that makes wooden handlebars, and another that makes a tail light designed to illuminate the rider’s legs, rather than the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal tightened his grip on the pink leader’s jersey by winning Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro, which was shortened by nearly 40 miles and two mountain passes due to rain and snow.

 

Finally…

No, you probably can’t get this much air on a mountain bike. And sometimes, two wheels are faster than four.

Especially when it’s this four.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LA Times calls for permanent Slow Streets and no parking minimums near transit, and bike helmets as the last line of defense

They get it.

The LA Times calls for eliminating minimum parking requirements within a half mile of a major transit stop or transit corridor; according to the paper, AB 1401 would encourage much needed housing while reducing emissions from cars.

That follows their recent call to keep the “Slow Streets, parklets, temporary bike lanes and outdoor dining areas” in a post-pandemic America.

Like all those temporary, popup bike lanes that weren’t build in Los Angeles, for instance.

But at least we have a number of Slow Streets, which could be made permanent and expanded to form a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets.

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Here we go again.

A Houston professor of pediatric medicine gets it wrong, saying the first rule of bicycle safety is to always wear a helmet, and don’t ride at night.

Yes, a bike helmet can cut your risk of a head injury if you come off your bike, though studies disagree on just how much.

But what helmet advocates seem to forget is that bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively slow speed falls. Not high speed collisions with a couple tons of semi-ballistic steel and glass.

They should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first; the key to bike safety is to ride defensively so you don’t get hit in the first place.

And telling people not to ride after dark makes no more sense than telling them not to walk or leave their house.

Then again, they do that, too.

While the period from 6 pm to 9 pm is the most dangerous time of day for bike riders, you can cut your risk dramatically just by putting bright lights and reflectors on your bike. And always riding like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

And yes, wear a helmet. Just don’t count on it to save your life.

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The University of Oregon is suing a fired campus cop to recoup the settlement the university had to pay out for his off-campus stop of a Latino bike rider.

The college settled with the family of the victim for $115,000 as a result of the 2018 case, when the cop briefly chased him in his patrol car, then bizarrely pulled his gun on him, despite a total lack of probable cause.

The university alleges the officer, Troy Phillips, lied about what happened, and hid the existence of video and audio recordings of the incident, accusing Phillips of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution and fabricating evidence.

And says he should be on the hook for the settlement, rather than the school.

In a tragic coda to the story, the victim, 40-year old Eliborio Rodrigues Jr. was shot and killed by a cop the following year, after refusing to show his ID and asking for a sergeant when he was stopped for taking a plastic bottle out of a recycling bin.

Yes, he was killed over a lousy piece of trash.

The shooting was inexplicably ruled justified, despite the flimsy probable cause, when the cop claimed Rodrigues reached for his taser.

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Nothing like criminalizing bike riding, and treating little kids like wanted terrorists or insurrectionists.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of us, riding his bike around New York as he pledges to fight climate change in a new campaign ad.

Even though Schumer’s wife, former New York DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall, led the fight against the bike lane in front of their home.

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So, if a heavy bollard can’t keep a car out of a building, how are those little plastic bendy posts LA uses to demarcate “protected” bike lanes supposed to do the job?

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A Toronto family insists that tall bikes will save the world, with video of their creations to back it up.

I’ll take the double-deck tandem with one rider perched above, not behind, the other.

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

A road raging British driver will have to pay the equivalent of nearly $1,250 for hiding in some bushes on the side of the road, and pushing a man off his bike as he rode by.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider who beat a man who was walking his dogs in an apparently unprovoked attack.

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Local

LA Magazine says Hollywood’s newly trendy Sycamore Ave, home to SiriusXM and the offices of Jay Z and Beyoncé, are due to get bike lanes soon. Even though they really belong one block west on busy La Brea Blvd.

Patch says two separate hikers had to be rescued in Pacific Palisades. Even if one of those hikers was traveling on a mountain bike instead of hiking boots.

 

State

For a change, there’s good news from the California legislature, where a bill to decriminalize jay walking passed passed the Assembly Transportation Committee by a ten vote margin. Put another way, AB 1238 would legalize crossing the damn street like a grownup.

San Diego considers a plan to slowly transform car-choked El Cajon Blvd into a series of people-friendly neighborhood hubs, along with a shared rapid bus and bike lane.

 

National

Cosmo wants you to pedal around in style this summer, pitching nine “cute” bike helmets to protect your noggin. Because really, the most important thing is how cute you look on your bike.

T3 offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike, including whether you should get one. Hint: yes.

Seattle is eliminating curbs to create people-friendly streets where vehicles are guests. Although not everyone likes the idea.

An Arkansas bike rider learned the hard way that drivers aren’t the only risk we face on the roads when he was attacked by a pack of angry dogs that came charging out of a couple’s yard; he was rushed to the hospital with a tourniquet on his leg. Never mind that the dogs should have been secured so they couldn’t rush out into the street like that, for their own safety, as well as others. 

A Wisconsin man is biking to Louisiana to raise awareness for living organ donations, a year after donating a kidney to a total stranger he met in a bar.

An Ohio man will spend the next eight months behind bars for stealing an 81-year old man’s bicycle. And pay a whopping $75 restitution to buy the victim a new bike.

A new poll conducted by PeopleForBikes shows Pittsburgh residents don’t hate bike lanes after all, with three-quarters agreeing that additional bike and pedestrian infrastructure would more it a more desirable place to live.

Philadelphia begins work on improving six bike lanes throughout the city to improve safety, just days after a woman was killed riding her bike. Why is it that cities always seem to only do the right thing after it’s too late?

A Florida driver belatedly turned himself in a year after killing an 18-year old bike rider in a hit-and-run.

 

International

Toronto bikeshare usage has surged during the pandemic, as people have turned to bikeshare in record numbers after shunning transit. Thanks to Donna Samoyloff for the tip.

It was a bad day for scofflaw Manchester drivers, as a cop in Manchester, England commandeered a bicycle from a passing rider to catch a car thief before he could flee on foot after crashing. And a pair of bike cops in a French district by the same name chased down and busted a Porsche driver for driving recklessly.

A British study shows planting the right shrubs along a roadway can cut pollution by 20%. And even more if there are bikes on that road instead of cars.

A UK air quality and emissions site examines whether the country’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are the latest victims of the culture wars.

She gets it. A Brit letter writer says cars are destroying her town, while NIMBYs fight anything that would reduce car dependency.

Sadly, the hit-and-run pandemic has spread around the world, infecting Scotland and Japan.

Four of Singapore’s most scenic bike routes for your next trip to the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prominent German ski mountaineer Anton ‘Toni’ Palzer makes the unusual leap from pro skiing directly to pro cycling’s World Tour.

Bicycling Australia says Gen Z is taking its rightful place on the WorldTour podium.

 

Finally…

Popular bike route Topanga Canyon looked just a tad different a century ago. Presenting the world’s most polite recap of a bike protest.

And take a nine-minute trail break with a good bike, and a better dog.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Lyft e-bikeshare coming to Santa Monica, Arroyo Seco bike path finally patched, and new survey on bike helmet laws

E-bikeshare is back in Santa Monica, following the demise of Jump Bikes after their sale to Lime earlier this year.

Now Lyft is introducing a new ebike system in partnership with the city.

The bikes will be docked at the existing Breeze bikeshare docks, after Santa Monica’s municipal bikeshare bites the dust this November, eventually expanding to 500 bikes.

Here’s what the company has to say.

The new ebikes allow riders to travel around Santa Monica and West Los Angeles with less effort. When the rider pedals, the ebikes use a small electric motor to boost the rider’s pedal power, making longer trips easier and more accessible. Users will be able to rent ebikes in the Lyft app for $1 to unlock and $0.34 per minute – just scan the QR code and go. Riders can lock the bikes to any one of 80 Breeze stations with the attached cable, or to any public bike rack within the service area for an extra $1. For more about pricing and service area, visit the Lyft website

Lyft also offers a Community Pass for bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. The Lyft Community Pass is a reduced-fare membership program for qualifying residents of Santa Monica and LA. Membership costs $5/month and includes discounted ebike rides at $0.05/min. The Community Pass program is available to residents ages 18 and older who qualify for the Big Blue Bus Low Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program, Calfresh, Medicaid, SNAP, or the SCE Energy Savings Assistance Program and to qualifying Santa Monica Community College students.

 

Correction: I originally wrote that Jump had been acquired by Lyft, but they were actually purchased by Lime. My apologies for the error.

………

Speaking of Santa Monica, David Drexler confirms that the 5 mph speed limit signs have been removed from the newly widened beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through the city.

As we noted last week, the signs with the ridiculously low speed limit were installed temporarily as part of a construction project.

………

It looks like they’ve finally gotten around to patching that gaping hole in the Arroyo Seco Bike Path, which should be open again soon.

The lengthy delay in getting it fixed could stem from the mishmash of public agencies involved in the repair work, including, but possibly not limited to,

  • LADOT
  • Bureau of Engineering
  • Board of Public Works
  • LA County
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • StreetsLA (nee Bureau of Street Services)

Maybe someone should form a single umbrella agency to manage the city and county river channel bikeways so it doesn’t take the local equivalent of a UN Security Council negotiation every time something goes wrong.

I’m told credit goes to LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member John Laue for getting this done.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads up.

………

Researchers at San Jose State University want your input on a survey exploring the relationship between mandatory helmet use regulations and adult cyclists’ behavior in California.

Scroll all the way down to agree to participate.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

………

You may remember Christopher Kidd from his days running the LADOT Bike Blog, which is about the last time the agency communicated effectively to the general public.

Since then, he’s been building a successful career as a Complete Streets planner in the Bay Area.

Which should make this an interesting talk.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald has written his own progressive guide to the 2020 election in LA County.

 

State

Governor Newsom has signed SB-288, which removes CEQA oversight of bike, pedestrian, light rail and bus rapid transit projects, eliminating a tool too often abused by opponents to halt environmentally friendly projects.

La Jolla Black Lives Matter supporters say they’re going to keep drawing chalk signs on the bike path supporting the movement, no matter how many times the city washes them off.

A San Diego op-ed argues that riding a bike isn’t just good for your health, but for your career, as well, allowing you to work out work problems while you ride. I’ve done some of my best work on my bike; it’s particularly effective to get out and ride when you feel stuck.

 

National

An urban planner writes that we have an “opportunity to make a generational shift to supporting walking, cycling and public transit over vehicular” transportation, and to reclaim our neighborhoods.

WaPo offers advice on how to safely and politely travel bike trails during the Age of Coronavirus.

Outside recommends accessories to make your gravel riding smoother and more comfortable.

Singletracks offers their choices for the best bike seats to bring your toddler along on your mountain bike. But maybe avoid flying down those downhill trails until they get the hang of it.

No bias here. Time Out picks the best bike trails to view fall foliage. But somehow doesn’t manage to name anything west of Texas.

A Seattle man speaks out after a bike cop was caught on video rolling a bicycle over his head during a racial justice protest, saying he was roughed up by arresting officers after the incident, and received no medical attention during the four hours he spent behind bars.

Washington bike riders will now be able to treat stop signs as yields, as the state becomes just the latest to adopt a modified form of the Idaho Stop Law. California should join Oregon and Washington in adopting the law, making it uniform throughout the West Coast.

Denver bike riders are scouring homeless encampments looking for their stolen bicycles.

A Nebraska bike nonprofit is looking for a new home after losing their current location; the organization rescues and restores bicycles, and allows at-risk kids to work on them to earn their first bikes.

He gets it. A Houston writer explains that ghost bikes are memorials to the failure of drivers to pay attention to the road around them.

Michigan conducted a bike safety enforcement crackdown of their own earlier this month, ticketing 186 motorists and giving warnings to 116 drivers and 117 bike riders.

Usage stats for New York’s bridges show the bike boom is still going strong, with ridership up as much as 88 percent over March’s pre-pandemic levels.

 

International

How to maintain your ebike.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to keep your bike safe at home. My best advice is to keep your bike inside your home if at all possible; if you have to use a garage, make sure it’s locked to something that’s secretly anchored.

A new bike wheel promises to literally suck the smog out of the air from all those stinky cars around you.

A new Brit bike taillight flashes brighter to warn drivers when they’re too close.

In the latest non-scandal to hit the UK, a London councilmember admits he wants to take advantage of the Covid-19 traffic slowdown to make popup bike lanes and street closures permanent. Which was kind of the idea behind the whole thing to begin with.

Stardom has changed life for the better for the 15-year old Indian girl who rode a bike over 700 miles to carry her injured father home earlier this year; she now has a new home, eight bikes, two possible movie deals and an offer to train with the national cycling team when the pandemic loses its grip.

A South African man says he barely survived a bike-jacking when a masked gunman fired at him, because the gun jammed; he was able to escape a second shot on his bike.

A Kiwi writer with a cool name discusses the humiliating yet thrilling experience of learning how to ride a bike as an adult.

A new book argues that Australian police botched the investigation into the death of endurance cyclist Mike Hall during the 2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race across the continent; Hall was killed by a 19-year old provisional driver, who police absolved of responsibility by claiming Hall was hard to see, despite an array of ultrabright taillights.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Beemer — although I like this one better. Before you build a new bike path, maybe make sure you own the land.

And anyone can ride across the country. But how many can claim they rode from Poo Poo Point to Pee Pee Creek?

………

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

Boing Boing doesn’t get bike helmets, California exempts bike lanes from CEQA, and racism on the South Bay bike path

How to write about bike helmets, and make it clear in the first two sentences that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Nobody thinks they’re going to get into an accident, which is half the reason why bicycle riders often sneer at wearing a helmet. The other half of the reason is obvious — helmets usually make you look incredibly dorky.

Who knows, the rest of the article may be brilliant.

But that’s where I stopped reading.

Because from my experience, most people are painfully aware of the risks we assume every time we get on a bike.

And I’ve never known anyone who made the very nuanced choice of whether or not to wear one based on how they make you look.

As I’ve noted before, I never ride my bike without a helmet. And I credit mine with potentially saving my life during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident.

But that’s the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding a bike.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high speed impacts like car crashes.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body, which is why it’s often meaningless when police or the press report on whether or not a crash victim was wearing one, without indicating whether the crash would have been survivable either way.

And unless you spring for a MIPS or WaveCel model, they do absolutely nothing to prevent against traumatic brain injuries.

Which is why I got to spend a night in Intensive Care, and a couple more under observation, after getting my bell rung like a carillon in the aforementioned incident.

Some argue that bike helmets have other downsides, from encouraging risky behavior and closer passes, to making bike riding appear far more dangerous than it actually is.

Especially since no one seems to call for helmets in the shower, when climbing ladders or riding in cars, all of which have a significant rate of head injuries.

I know where I come down in the debate — and yes, there is one, despite all the overly simplistic “no brainer” comments.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cheap form of insurance, on the off chance I ever need it. I’d much rather ride with one I’ll never need, than need one and not have it.

Besides, it gives me a good place to mount my bike cam without hogging handlebar space.

So use your own judgement.

But chances are, no one bases their decision on whether it makes them look dorky, or messes up their hair.

Except maybe Boing Boing readers.

………

The California state legislature has passed a bill exempting bike lanes from air quality restrictions for the next ten years — cutting red tape and eliminating a tool opponents have long used to halt any changes to the streets, no matter how beneficial.

………

Sadly, this is who we share the South Bay bike path with.

………

Why let a little thing like a bike lane — or a playground — get in the way?

https://twitter.com/mobimaw/status/1300110780692680710

………

How to give your bike a bath.

GCN also answers the eternal question of whether a gravel bike can keep up offroad.

………

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

Someone is boobytrapping bike and pedestrian trails in Victoria, British Columbia, stringing nearly transparent finishing line where it could trip someone walking or riding a bike.

An Irish man was pulled off his bicycle and repeatedly punched in the face by three other men while riding on a bike path, for no apparent reason.

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

A Texas man was stabbed in the stomach by a homeless man as he was riding home from a bar, and got into a dispute with the other man riding in the opposite direction.

Horrible story from New York, where a 15-year old boy was slashed in the face by a bike-riding man using a razor blade attacked to a pole, in an apparently random attack in Times Square.

No bias here. A Singapore driver offers a windshield perspective of a bike rider cutting in front of his car without looking, then inexplicably going ballistic over a gentle tap on the driver’s horn. Although something tells me there’s more leading up to this that got left on the cutting room floor.

………

Local

Streetsblog says LA’s “already driver-permissive” Slow Streets program is being watered down even more, in the city where cars continue to come before people.

The next time you take your bike on a bus or train in LA County, the trip could be free, as Metro’s CEO wants to eliminate fares next year.

 

State

San Diego authorities have identified a pair of suspects in the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with life-threatening injuries; the couple got out of their SUV to look at the victim, then casually removed his bike from underneath the vehicle before driving away.

No bias here. According to the local paper, a Chino bike rider somehow struck a moving pickup, while somehow riding distracted. Which makes this a story that is somehow totally useless.

A 74-year old Victorville man was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his car after his passenger moved it, and both fled in another vehicle.

Fremont will invest $750,000 to protect ten miles of existing bike lanes.

Good question. An Orinda hit-and-run victim wants to know why police don’t enforce laws to protect bicyclists.

A Tahoe-area paper looks back to the first crossing of the Sierras by bicycle.

 

National

Outside offers a few considerations to take into account before replacing those car trips with an e-cargo bike.

Figures. A new mystery thriller revolves around a man on his way to a cycling competition. Except he turns up dead in the first few pages.

Schwinn is shifting marketing gears to ride the crest of the bike boom.

Singletrack lists 12 things mountain bike magazines need to stop doing. Including making lists like that.

Probably not the best idea to assault a cop in an Arizona ER, then ride your bike into Walmart and steal a bottle of booze after crashing into the display.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider. In California, that likely would have gotten a measly four-year sentence — if prosecutors didn’t bargain it down just to get a conviction.

A group of Wisconsin men dedicated the first 4.3 miles of a group ride to Chadwick Boseman, and call attention to health risks facing Black men.

Milwaukee firefighters rode 183 miles to honor a fallen compatriot.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customize adaptive bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy.

Kindhearted Ohio cops bought a new bike for an eight-year old boy after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen.

A Massachusetts bike charity gave 200 bicycles to help children in need.

The bike boom is claiming a victim in the Philadelphia area, as an 85-year old family-owned bike shop is shutting its doors because they can’t get the bikes and parts they need to stay in business.

A Virginia nonprofit donated 23 custom-built adaptive bicycles to children with disabilities; the organization was founded by a disabled vet who personally learned the difference an adaptive bike could make in his life.

Over 130 bike riders turned out to honor a 57-year old North Carolina man who was murdered in an apparently random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

No bias here, either. A New Orleans man was killed when an on-duty cop crashed into his bike with his patrol car; as always, the cops blame the victim for somehow coming into the officer’s lane.

 

International

International financial services giant Deloitte predicts the rate of bicycle commuting will double around the world over the next three years, as technological changes make riding faster, easier and safer.

One unexpected effect of the coronavirus bike boom — bike thefts in an English town are up as secondhand bike prices spike.

The Guardian offers tips on how to keep your bike from being stolen. Or maybe just how to keep your bike, period.

A British man uses himself as proof that heavier people can ride bikes, too.

Frightening story from the UK, where a man’s bike and cycling shoes were stolen after he was rammed with a van.

The bike boom has come to Finland, too

It’s not often that a story can be heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. A two-year old Polish boy rode a trike for the first time after losing both feet to sepsis when he was just an infant; he was initially given just a 0.1% chance of survival.

An Indian paper says unlike European cities, bike commuting in Delhi is fraught with danger for the poor. Meanwhile, Bengaluru is crowdsourcing routes to create the city’s first European-style cycling district.

More people are riding bicycles in Singapore, although one rider describes biking in the city as “a pain.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Since the Tour de France is available to nearly everyone on cable TV, we’re going back to our usual spoiler-free recaps, in case anyone is letting the race stagnate in their viewing queue.

Stage one of the Tour delivered a surprise winner in a rainy, crash-filled stage. Or at least it was a surprise to everyone but the eventual winner.

Sunday’s stage winner out-sprinted the peloton to claim the race, and dedicated the race to his late father, who passed away in June. Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb are already out, and a number of riders started the second stage banged up.

Monday’s stage three should be a day for the sprinters.

A 23-year old California man became the first Native American to take part in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans in this year’s race.

CNN looks at the problems of staging what they call the world’s toughest bike race in the middle of a pandemic.

The men get 21 stages in the Tour de France, but the women get just one. Britain’s Lizzie Deignan out sprinted defending champion Marianne Vos to win La Course, a one-day, 60-mile circuit race.

In the latest cycling scandal, Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati was caught on camera removing something from the pocket of injured cyclist Remco Evenepoel and covertly slipping it into his own pocket, after Evenepoel crashed in Il Lombardia.

 

Finally…

If your girlfriend rejects your proposal, it may not be the best idea to respond by whacking her with your bike. Just what every bicyclist needs — a combination stationary bike, back scratcher and cookie dispenser.

And bike racing has been around longer than the talkies.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……

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

Bike helmets don’t protect against cars, self-driving radar finally sees cyclists, and anti-racism in outdoor industry

An executive for Giro confesses what we’ve been saying for years — bike helmets were never intended to protect against crashes with cars.

“There are many misconceptions about helmets, unfortunately,” says Giro’s Richter. “We do not design helmets specifically to reduce chances or severity of injury when impacts involve a car. As mentioned earlier, the number of variables is too great to calculate – the speed of the car, the mass, the angle of impact, the rider, the surface, the speed of the rider, did the driver or rider swerve a little or hit the brakes before impact. All of these variables and more are unique in every instance, and there is no way to accurately predict what is going to happen or the forces involved.

“What we do is work to make riders more visible, create helmets that provide relevant coverage so that riders wear them whenever they ride, and advocate for better infrastructure to help reduce the chances that you’d encounter an impact with a car.”

In other words, ride defensively and fight for safer streets.

And wear a helmet to protect against falls.

But don’t count on it to protect against distracted or careless drivers, because that’s not what it’s designed for.

………

The big problem with self-driving cars has been their inability to recognize bike riders and respond correctly.

Now a new doppler radar system developed by Princeton University claims to be able to spot bicyclists, even around corners.

………

Today’s must read comes from pro cyclist Ayesha McGowan, who looks at how we can build an anti-racist outdoor industry. And says the work must continue long after the protests stop.

Before a few weeks ago, it didn’t seem like the outdoor industry was very concerned with Black lives, but now that the calls for action are extending beyond BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) consumers, there’s a sudden interest. I will admit I still can’t believe that we’ve made it to a place where it’s frowned upon to be anything other than loud and emphatic about what your company is going to do to help protect Black lives. But here we are. This is a moment for action. White tears, white guilt, and empty words are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. The blinders are finally off, so what are you going to do now? What does action look like?…

Don’t just focus on Black grief and Black death. Include Black joy. We are more than our struggle, we aren’t just fighting to stop being murdered, we are fighting for the right and the ability to live full lives. We want to ride bikes, climb mountains, traverse slot canyons, and surf waves. Black folks deserve to enjoy the outdoors in every way. We all have to work together in order to make that experience feel truly free so that Black people don’t have to risk our lives to enjoy it. “

Meanwhile, a writer for the Eno Center for Transportation calls out the problem of unequal enforcement when it comes to Black and brown pedestrians and bike riders.

………

Up to 10,00 New York bike riders turned out for the city’s fifth mass bike protest ride, calling out what they call the “pernicious history of America’s tainted Fourth of July holiday.”

………

If you’re going to use your ebike to tow a plane, try turning off the plane’s automatic safety shutdown system first.

………

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

Three British men face charges after chasing down a man on a bike and attacking him with a samurai sword when he stopped to defend himself.

The Daily Mail says dog walkers have thrown logs at bike riders, and people have booby trapped bike trails with nails, as tensions boil over due to bike riders and pedestrians competing for the same limited space during the UK’s pandemic lockdown.

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

Police in Virginia are on the lookout for a serial butt slapper who has been assaulting women on a local bike path. And no, that’s not funny.

………

Local

A new study ranks Pasadena as the ninth healthiest city in the US, in part thanks to a “vast network of bicycle lanes and parks.” Which may come as a surprise to many people who ride there.

Santa Monica has charged three people with allegedly looting the REI and Patagonia stores, among others, during the first weekend of Black Lives Matter protest, as they took advantage of the peaceful protests to make off with at least one bicycle.

 

State

Caltrans has adopted a new high-priority action plan to reduce car use and improve walking, bicycling and transit throughout state, including an additional $100 million to spend on bike and pedestrian projects.

North American mountain bike resorts are slowly reopening after the pandemic lockdown, including California’s Mammoth Mountain, but with new restrictions in place.

 

National

They get it. Popular Science says cities are failing bike riders, despite a 28% increase in ridership in the US thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. And bike lanes are just the beginning of what needs to be done.

A writer for Jalopnik discovers the feeling that comes when you sell a couple of old Schwinn, and spend the money to buy another one.

Bicycling offers advice on when to replace your chain, and how.

Bike shoes you can wear whether you do your cycling inside or out. Or both.

Some jerk drove through the door of a Portland bike shop and stole a prototype ebike the owners developed in conjunction with Phil Wood & Company.

Oregon is removing new highway guardrails that improved safety for drivers while increasing the risk for people on bikes.

Life is cheap in Boise, Idaho, where a driver walked without a single day behind bars despite killing an elderly couple in their 80s as they walked in a crosswalk.

A Denver outdoors site says bike theft is on the rise in the city, and offers advice on what to do about it. Then again, the same story could be written about virtually any major city in North America, including Los Angeles.

Talk about not getting it. A Denver TV station offers a warning to new bike commuters about the dangers on the roads. But illustrates it with an amateur racer who fractured his skull after hitting a rock while descending at 40 mph.

A Change.org petition calls for Yeti Cycles to stop calling their owners a tribe; so far, fewer than 400 people have signed.

A Fargo ND bike shop owner explains why it’s so hard to buy a bike these days.

After someone stole the bike a North Dakota boy saved up $400 to buy, the community came together to replace it.

As if Texas drivers weren’t enough to deal with, someone hacked a Forth Worth bikeshare and likely stole customers’ credit card information.

Bike riders in Tulsa, Oklahoma turned out for a two hour ride in honor of a police sergeant who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

A kindhearted cop talked a Walmart manager into giving a nine-year old Ohio girl a new bike after hers was stolen for the second time.

Yes, that’s J.Lo and A-Rod under those masks and on their bikes in the Hamptons.

According to the local paper, a 15-year old New Jersey boy was killed when he was run down by a Chevy SUV, followed by a Ford SUV — neither of which had drivers, apparently.

 

International

Bosch offers a first look at the ebike of the future, complete with an onboard computer and ABS brakes.

Bike Radar writers offer tips on things they wish they’d known as beginning riders.

An excerpt from a new book tells the story of a Canadian mountain biker who disappeared without a trace in 2014.

A London-based Vogue editor explains how she overcame her reluctance to ride a bike in the city.

No bias here. A British member of parliament forced the removal of a popup bike lane due to the “predicted traffic chaos” that might be caused by what he called a “nonsensical cycle scheme.”

The 15-year old Indian girl who carried her injured father 700 miles back home on the back of her bike now has a movie deal to make a Bollywood film based on her life.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for Bicycling pens an open letter to Lance, and says yes, it was about the bike. It was always about the bike.

Meanwhile, Cyclingnews recounts the difficulty of covering the press averse, yet publicity hungry, ex-Tour de France champ.

 

Finally…

Who needs an expensive ebike when you’ve got an old washing machine motor? This is about what you’d get if you crossed an ebike with your kid’s Hot Wheels.

And nothing like swapping parts while popping wheelies.

………

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

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Enough said.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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?

………

Who says Contador has lost it?

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

………

‘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.

………

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.

………

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!

………

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.

 

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