Tag Archive for bike paths

Speeding ebike riders put others at risk, Times equates chokeholds with scuffed shoes, and driver flashes gun at bicyclists

Let’s start with this note from frequent link contributor Victor Bale.

I needed a break from the heat of the Coachella Valley so I spent Thursday thru today at the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. I rode the length of the boardwalk all the way to Sunset Beach and other bike trails every day and I was struck by how many ebikes I saw. They were everywhere and here’s a couple of thoughts.

I love that ebikes are bringing new blood to the sport but I was bothered by the recklessness of “some” of the cyclists.

Many were traveling at speeds totally inappropriate (the speed limit on the boardwalk is 8 MPH) to a narrow boardwalk full of families walking, cyclists on beach cruisers, very young kids cycling or on scooters and seniors out for a lesurely stroll.

I watched as a young man knocked over a woman riding a beach cruiser. No harm to her other than road rash but she was lucky. When he passed me he was using throttle only and exceeding 20 MPH. I watched as people were cut off. I watched as ebikes rode on the boardwalk paperboy style at high speeds just to show off. It was crazy. I’m surprised high profile accidents haven’t happened yet.

Nobody likes onerous regulations and enforcement but I worry about what the future will bring if something isn’t done now about regulating ebikes and ebike usage. It’s only a matter of time before an ebike rider kills a pedestrian (if it hasn’t happened already).

Take that as a warning.

Coastal cities have cracked down on bike riders exceeding the admittedly exceedingly low speed limits on the beachfront boardwalks. And will undoubtedly do it again if they think things are getting out of control.

Never mind that it takes a major jerk to zip blithely along while putting everyone else at risk.

And while I’m not aware of anyone being killed or seriously injured by an ebike rider in Southern California, it has happened in other cities.

So slow the eff down, already.

Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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There’s something seriously wrong when a movie critic for the LA Times equates an “[expletive], entitled bicyclist who scuffs Buggin’ Out’s pristine Jordans,” with cops killing Black men with chokeholds.

Maybe someone should tell him there’s a difference between being an obnoxious jerk and, you know, actually killing someone.

Or maybe the Times should just do the right thing and remove this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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If you can’t afford to fix your bike, Pasadena wants to help.

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The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t stopping, with at least two bike rides to honor Breonna Taylor this weekend, in Richmond VA and Grand Rapids MI.

There was a similar ride in Los Angeles over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to be online yet.

Meanwhile, police in Ottawa, Canada apologized to a Black bike rider who stopped to rest on a bridge, only to have a white woman call 911 to demand he get off so she could pass uninhibited.

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GCN says wheel weight doesn’t matter after all.

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

An ugly incident caught on video, as a couple of bicyclists confronted a Florida driver who passed too close, and told them to stay the fuck off the road — and brandished a gun as he got out of his SUV. Or maybe not; it’s possible he was just putting it in his pocket as he got out, as he claimed.

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

San Francisco authorities are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a 44-year old man as he was walking along the street.

Bicycles seem to have become the getaway vehicle of choice, as the FBI looks for a weaponless bike rider who robbed a Chicago area bank.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee police are looking for a knife-wielding man who rode off on a bike after stealing merchandise from a pair of stores.

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Local

The LA Galaxy is teaming with the East Side Riders for a bike ride from Watts to Dignity Health Sports Park for the Galaxy’s match with LAFC this Saturday.

El Monte officially unveiled the new San Gabriel Valley ebike bikeshare, which will eventually grow to 840 bicycles.

Caltrans and Malibu will host a Zoom meeting Wednesday evening to discuss replacing the narrow bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH, including bike lanes and shoulders in both directions, as well as a westbound right turn lane onto Trancas Canyon Road.

Gerard Butler is one of us, as is his former model and house-flipping girlfriend Morgan Brown.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is offering a number of bike education classes over the next ten days, starting with one tonight.

Speaking of San Diego, the city has ordered cafes to remove outdoor tables that were blocking a bike lane.

Hundreds of young Santa Barbara bike riders turned out for an officially unsanctioned Familia Rideout on Saturday, though masks and social distancing appeared to be largely forgotten.

A bike-riding woman in Contra Costa County suffered major head injuries in a collision with a driver, although the Mercury News appeared to blame her for colliding with the car.

A San Francisco man is putting his lockdown time to good use by putting discarded and unloved bicycles back on the road.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offer tips on how to stay safe riding on a bike path.

Forbes suggests the best bikewear and accessories for women, apparently based on the mistaken assumption that everyone wants to sport spandex and ride roadies. And despite what the caption says, a bicycle is all you really need to start riding. So don’t let that other crap get in your way; you can always get it later if you want.

Popular Science continues their unexpected bike theme, explaining how to carry just about anything on your bike with a rack and some bungee cords. And offers tips on how to avoid common beginner’s mistakes.

Bicycling considers how to find the best bike routes when you’re far from home.

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is one of us, though she’s definitely not in the spandex camp, with her bigass all-turquoise fat tire ebike.

Tragic news from Glendale AZ, where a man and woman were both killed when a driver slammed into their bikes as they rode together.

A Denver weekly examines the worst habits of pandemic drivers. Which would be all of them. Habits, that is. And drivers.

Tragic news from Laredo, Texas, where a 77-year old man died five weeks after he was beaten by two men who stole his bike after accusing him of breaking a window.

Great story about a Milwaukee bus driver who bought a ten-year old boy a new bicycle after he kept her company when her bus broke down.

Minnesota Public Radio talks with British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid about the coronavirus bike boom, as officials belatedly discover that people actually prefer clean air to heavy traffic.

For the first time, an 89-year old Ohio man opted not to ride his 1936 Shelby bicycle in the local parade, riding in a trailer instead while his grandkids rode his antique bikes.

Dockless Jump ebikes are returning to the streets of DC, just weeks after the company murdered tens of thousands of the bikes.

J.Lo is still one of us, even if she switched to an ElliptiGo for a ride through Miami this weekend.

Motocross rider Mike Alessi was lucky to escape with cuts, road rash and a cranial hematoma when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while training on his road bicycle in Florida; while he’s relatively okay, his bike was trashed.

 

International

You could soon be riding on dandelions.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, nine times over, as bicyclists around the world stepped up to make a difference during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a move that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, London is removing parking in the history City district to install bike corrals to accommodate the rising numbers of bike riders using the city’s expanding bike network. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, it seems to still be unthinkable.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver stoned on the opiate painkiller dihydrocodeine, as well as coke, weed and morphine, got just over two lousy years behind bars for killing a man riding his bike.

He gets it. Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas tells British GQ how to get started riding a bicycle, starting by suggesting a secondhand bike, without a single mention of spandex or high end gear.

An Irish writer says bring back the bicycle, suggesting we’d all be better off if we rode our bikes instead of driving whenever possible.

Bologna, Italy introduced a new campaign to get more people out on their bikes following the Covid-19 lockdown. Although the best way to do that is to provide more popup bike lanes, exactly like Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Covid-19 has brought Karachi, Pakistan back to the bicycling city it used to be before cars and security concerns chased people off the streets.

No more handheld cellphones while you ride your bike in Singapore after this month.

A New Zealand woman tells drivers an extra minute won’t kill them, but it could kill someone else — like it did her late husband, who died five days after he was run down by a truck driver. They’d been riding together ever since they met while bicycling across Canada 23 years ago; now she doesn’t know how she can ride again without him.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British semi-pro cycling champ credits an air ambulance with saving his life after he was hit by a dump truck while rounding a blind bend on a group ride.

PBS catches up with the pretend virtual Tour de France.

Cycling Weekly tracks down the virtual cyclists who virtually beat the virtually riding pros, and begs for their secrets.

 

Finally…

Political dirty tricks have seeped down to the animal kingdom, with a chipmunk attack on a bike-riding Democratic candidate. Apparently iguanas are out to get us, too.

And you don’t have to understand Italian to get the official song of the Giro.

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

SoCal trails finally reopening, LA traffic cop menaced by Lyft driver, and the war on bikes goes on…and on…and on…

Things are finally starting to open up a little after nearly two months of coronavirus closures in Southern California.

Los Angeles is reopening parks and trails, except for popular Runyon Canyon and the beachfront bike path.

Long Beach is opening up trails this weekend, with the beach bike path through the city set to open on Monday.

Mountain bike advocacy group CORBA reports that LA County trails will be opening this weekend, after Ventura County trails opened earlier in the week.

While LA beaches remain closed, beaches in San Diego and Orange County are opening up for physical activities only; check to make sure the path or trail you want to ride is open before you go.

Remember to maintain social distancing when you ride, particularly on narrow trails. We’ve already seen how quickly things can be closed if we don’t.

And wear a mask if you’re likely to come near other people.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles traffic cop is suing Lyft, alleging that one of their drivers followed and menaced her, while blocking her car in for several minutes before police arrived.

All because she had the audacity to ticket him for parking in a bike lane.

And to make matters worse, he had a paying passenger in the car the whole time he was losing it and threatening her.

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A webinar later this month will teach advocates how to present a compelling story to help get the word out more effectively.

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

A Portland bike rider was shot in the arm by a road raging driver after tapping on the window of the man’s SUV that was parked in a bike lane.

An Amarillo TX driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider who tried to intercede in an argument between the driver and a woman.

No bias here. An anonymous, 80-something British letter writer complains about “arrogant self-opinionated (bike) riders who seem to have no regard for others, laws of the Forest or common decency.” There’s no disputing that some bicyclists are jerks — just like any other form of humanity. But painting with such a broad brush doesn’t help anyone.

Someone deliberately sabotaged a British bike trail by burying several nail-spike boards, which could have caused severe injury if a kid walked on the trail or a bike rider fell on them after suffering a flat.

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Local

A former LA city planner says the city’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate, despite fast-tracking street repairs during the coronavirus lockdown.

DTLA’s dangerous 7th Street is set to get temporary protected bike lanes as an interim test for permanent, curb-protected bike lanes down the road. Let’s hope this one has enough barriers to keep drivers from parking in it, like they do in other downtown “protected” lanes.

Bike Walk Glendale calls for Slow Streets in LA’s neighbor to the north. Or east, depending on your perspective.

Let’s hope this report isn’t right. A Santa Clarita bicyclist was busted for riding under the influence, after blowing a red light with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit. An sheriff’s deputy says the bike rider was cited for driving under the influence, which does not apply to people on bicycles; California has a separate law (CVC 21200.5) prohibiting bicycling under the influence, with a maximum fine of $250 and no points against your driver’s license.

Santa Monica responds to Covid-19 budget cuts by slashing nearly 400 staff positions, as well as the city’s Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

 

State

Streetsblog is hosting a virtual walk-or-bike-athon to raise funds for Streetsblog California and the California Association of Foodbanks.

SoCal bicycling guidebook author Richard Fox expounds on the joys of having the pathways of Palm Desert’s closed Desert Willow golf course all to himself.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Porterville teenager is dead, after getting run down on his bike by a 23-year old hit-and-run driver who was already on probation for a previous DUI; the driver had apparently disabled a required interlock device on his car. A DUI arrest is usually the tip of the iceberg; it’s seldom the first time someone has driven drunk, just the first time they got caught. Which is why any DUI should lead to an automatic loss of license.

The executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says the city is passing up on an opportunity by refusing to install Slow Streets for social distancing. Just like Los Angeles is.

Great idea. San Jose bicyclists will fan out across the city this weekend to distribute flats of seedlings to people in need, so they can begin a vegetable garden.

The San Francisco Ride of Silence scheduled for later this month has been postponed to an undetermined date; no word yet on the status of the LA, Orange and Ventura County rides.

A Vacaville man was busted for bike theft after a bike shop worker spotted him riding a customer’s stolen bicycle.

 

National

Popular Science — yes, it still exists — says Slow Streets not only allow for social distancing, but can prevent traffic surges when cities reopen, and could result in permanent bike-friendly changes. Except in Los Angeles, which is squandering yet another opportunity to improve safety and do something about the city’s crushing traffic and smog.

Lime buys out the competition, and is now the proud owner of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes and scooters, after the rideshare provider unloaded them to offset a portion of their massive $2.9 billion in losses due to Covid-19.

Cycling Tips talks with the founders of Strava about how it got to be, well, Strava.

VeloNews considers when a bonk could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Portland has installed the first one hundred traffic diverters for their Slow Streets program. Which is about one hundred more than Los Angeles.

Not only is Seattle installing Slow Streets, but the city is planning to make at least 20 miles of them permanent.

Slow Streets are proving successful in Salt Lake City, as they move forward with closing additional streets for bike and pedestrian traffic.

Bruce Willis’ six-year old daughter is now one of us, too, after learning how to ride from her half-sister Rumor while the mixed family isolates in Idaho.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle calls for more bike lanes for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Paul MN business owners lost a fight to delay installation of a new bike lane, arguing that the parking spaces that would be lost are needed for take-out customers and delivery drivers during the coronavirus crisis. For a change, they may have a point; while bikes are good for retail businesses — especially bars and restaurants — it helps if they’re actually open to the public.

An occasional bike rider discovers how helpful bicyclists can be, when not one, not two, but three separate Good Samaritans stop to help when he suffered double flats on a Missouri bike trail.

Seriously? A nine-year old Palm Beach kid gets the blame for the crash that killed him; authorities claimed he was momentarily distracted before riding his bike into a construction front loader — even though he managed to leave a five-foot skid mark on the sidewalk. After all, no tractor driver would ever miss a little kid on the sidewalk before turning in front of him, right?

 

International

The demand for bicycles has spiked around the world, both real and stationary. And yes, I did resist the temptation to say pretend.

Apparently, wealthy people are panic buying Pelotons. But don’t forget the indoor cycling shoes. Yes, that’s a thing now. Really.

For those of us with somewhat smaller budgets, Road.cc rates fourteen of the best indoor turbo trainers.

A British Columbia writer proposes paying people not to drive to keep traffic from roaring back once the lockdown ends.

An English cop has been suspended for punching a black bike rider after accusing him of stealing his own bicycle, even though it wasn’t the same color as the missing bike; the same cop kicked a boy in the head a day later.

British world heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is one of us, too.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proclaiming a new Golden Age of cycling, promising full details over the weekend.

A Korean bicyclist is sheltering in Guinea for the next several months after getting caught in the country during the coronavirus outbreak, two years into a round-the-world bike tour — and is shunned by hotels because he is Asian.

A stoned New Zealand driver was sentenced to a measly 26 months in jail for killing a bike rider, nine years after her own son was killed by a drunk driver. Apparently, she didn’t learn anything from her own experience.

A little Aussie boy escapes his dad’s grasp and rides out directly into the path of a roadie, taking them both out.

 

Finally…

Play a little virtual bike tag while you’re under lockdown. Do your next club ride on a rare mid-2000s Colnago time trial bike, or maybe a brand new 1995 BMX.

And nothing to see here. Just Spider-Man on a Penny Farthing.

https://twitter.com/Artfrombikeshed/status/1258501543868993536

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A belated and heartfelt thank you to Mark J for his unexpected Giving Tuesday donation to help support this site. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, so it came as major morale boosting surprise. 

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

Small low-income bike shops on the brink, rain breaks Arroyo Seco path again, and no LA streets closed for social distancing

It ain’t necessarily so.

At least not here in Los Angeles. Or parts of it, anyway.

Despite all the talk about a coronavirus bike boom keeping bike shops across the country busy, Peter Flax writes in Bicycling that smaller shops in some of LA’s less prosperous neighborhoods are really hurting.

And yes, that means the predominantly black, Hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods mostly south of the 10 Freeway, along with other area in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.

It is the first Friday of April, 15 days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other large cities in California—as well as in many other states—bike shops have been classified as essential businesses, a move that has been celebrated by some and derided by others. Some critics have argued that bike shops primarily cater to privileged fitness-oriented hobbyists and that putting shop staff in harm’s way (and risking community spread of disease) to serve recreational riders is unwise. But that assumption renders invisible the thousands of neighborhood shops in cities across the country that serve customers who mostly rely on bicycles to facilitate their livelihoods, customers from some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the U.S.

In LA, for example, Paisano’s and other shops in neighborhoods like Compton and South Los Angeles provide a vital service to people who depend on bicycles to get to and from work. These small businesses are perhaps 15 miles and universe away from LA’s affluent coastal suburbs where bike shops are typically stocked with $300 bib shorts and $10,000 road bikes.

Shops that many of us are familiar with, or at least heard of.

Like the aforementioned Paisano’s, subject of a Steve Lopez column in the LA Times.

And Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, home of the legendary Manny Silva, known as the godfather of lowrider bikes.

Along with others you may not know, like Linares Bike Shop, and Filipe’s #2 in Pico Union.

Shops where new bicycles sell for as little as $200, purchased on layaway. And where essential takes on a whole new meaning for people who have no other way to get to work.

Census data indicates that one in eight households in the city of Los Angeles don’t have a car. That figure is considerably higher in a low-income community like South LA.

Consider the neighborhood known as South Park—where Paisano’s is located, as well as another popular shop called Linares. Here the community is 79 percent Latino, 19 percent black, and zero percent white. According to data compiled by the real estate brand Trulia, households in this zip code have only 0.37 vehicles per capita, roughly half the median in LA. And according to an analysis published by the Los Angeles Times, the median household income in South Park is $29,518.

Many customers rely on their neighborhood shops because they don’t have the luxury of doing repair work themselves. “If you have a bad cut, you go to a doctor,” says Tejeda, who notes that most of his customers lack even the most basic tools like pumps and levers. “People bring their bikes here. It’s a trade for a reason.”

According to Flax, though, the owners are scared.

Scared of a virus that could come in undetected, carried in by a careless customer or some other visitor. And perhaps even more scared of losing their employees and businesses to a prolonged economic slump.

When asked how things are really going, Linares looks at his feet for a minute and bites his lower lip. “I’ve started closing the shop earlier now. I’m worried a lot about the business,” he says, pointing to the register. “What we make today is what me and the employees have for the day.”

And this.

When asked how business is going, Ambrosia gets animated as he responds in Spanish. “He says business has gone down a lot because people have no money, no jobs,” Mendoza says, translating before he adds his own commentary. “He is scared to work in the shop now, but he has no choice. He needs money for his house.”

Bike shops like these are the backbone of these neighborhoods and our communities, and need to be saved.

But the question is how.

The people in the local communities can’t do it. Too many are on the bottom rungs of society as it is, and the ones most hurt by the shutdown of so many businesses.

A crowdfunding campaign might make sense. But it would be hard to bring in enough donations to make a difference, and harder still to distribute it equitably to the many shops that so desperately need help right now.

If these businesses were more sophisticated, we could just visit their webpages and buy something, anything. Maybe pay off those layaways, or buy one of those sub-$200 bikes and give it to someone who needs one.

But few even have a website, and fewer still are set up for e-commerce.

As in, none.

So the best solution may be to take your bike in for service if you can, and maybe pick up something while you’re there.

Will that be enough to save these shops, and the countless other small local bike shops that are struggling to survive in these desperate days?

Probably not.

Maybe someone smarter than me has the answer.

Because you might never visit one of these shops. But we’re all going to miss them when they’re gone.

Whether we know it or not.

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So much for that.

Only two short months after the Arroyo Seco bike path was finally reopened, 13 months after it was damaged by heavy rains, it’s happened again.

Let’s hope they can get it fixed a little faster this time.

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The Guardian says cities from Berlin to Bogotá are opening new sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes to provide safer commutes for essential workers, and allow people to exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Case in point, Oakland closed a whopping 74-miles of streets to motor vehicles; things apparently started slowly, but picked up speed as the weekend went on.

And Massachusetts is closing parts of three parkways to expand access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is closing paths, parks and trails, and just telling bike riders and pedestrians to stay home, while allowing motor vehicles to maintain their near-exclusive hegemony over the newly nearly empty streets.

Streets for All and the LACBC are working to get street closures here. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

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This is who we share the roads with.

America’s mostly empty highways meant a team competing in this year’s edition of the very illegal Cannonball run set a new record, making the trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than 27 hours.

At speeds averaging over 100 mph — and topping out at nearly twice that.

Which means that any collision would have been instantly fatal, both to themselves and anyone they had the misfortune of slamming into.

Never mind that the likelihood of a crash increases exponentially with each tick of the speedometer.

Needless to say, the states they pass through don’t look very kindly on the scofflaw race.

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Today’s theme is babies and bikes.

An Indian man tried to carry his pregnant wife six miles to the hospital on his bicycle after she went into labor; unfortunately, the baby wanted out after three.

Meanwhile, an Indian doctor delivered a baby in more ways than one, rushing the newborn by bike to a nearby hospital after it developed breathing problems following a C-section.

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Social distancing may mean staying at least six feet away from other people. But no one says you can’t go vertical, rather than horizontal.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live offered a trio of sequestered MasterClasses, including a parody of Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin teaching bicycling.

And denying she killed her husband.

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Local

The LACBC is maintaining a list of LA-area bike shops that are remaining open during the Covid-19 shutdown. And they’ve started a Bike Match program to connect people with extra or unused bicycles with essential workers who need safe, reliable transportation.

If you’re a lucky winner, you could get your next weed order delivered on a bicycle by Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for playing Deebo in the Friday movies.

No, you don’t need a mask to ride your bike in Los Angeles. And neither does your dog.

Five Feet Apart star Cole Sprouse is one of us, riding his bike through the Hollywood Hills, sans mask and skid lid.

Santa Clarita urges everyone to maintain social distancing on the city’s trails, whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.

 

State

You can keep your vintage bike on ice over the summer, because the Eroica California has been postponed until September.

A 20-year old Delhi man faces felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly killing Patterson resident Frankie Sanchez as he was riding his bike in Stanislaus County.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike when cars aren’t the only danger you face. And takes a look at how your car’s bike rack affects your gas mileage.

Bicycle Retailer questions whether the current mini bike boom will last; Specialized’s founder says yes.

A Wisconsin public radio station offers tips on how to get your bike ready to ride and what to take with you.

Chicago’s mayor says she’s not reopening the city’s lakefront bike path, even if is used by essential workers to get to their jobs.

A 13-year old Boston boy got his stolen bike back after police busted another boy with a long rap sheet riding it.

A pair of North Carolina siblings are pedaling homemade bagels to raise funds for local charities; they deliver the bagels by bike after baking them fresh every morning.

A North Carolina man made it as far as Texas on his planned cross-country ride, blissfully unaware of the coronavirus that would eventually force him to fly back home once he found out.

Former Deadliest Catch star Jerod Sechrist is one of us, attempting to make his getaway by bicycling after allegedly stealing over a thousand bucks worth of electronics from a Florida Ikea — the fifth time he had allegedly stolen from the same store. And yes, they carry electronics. Who knew?

 

International

Road.cc says unless you’re planning on road racing, a gravel bike might be the only bike you’ll need. And they take a look at 21 of the best lightweight, high-performance bike helmets. But don’t recommend which one to buy.

Bike Radar says keep riding your bike to maintain your sanity during the lockdown.

Pink Bike proves once again that pets and bikes just naturally go together.

Everton soccer manager Carlo Ancelotti is taking advantage of the English Premier League shutdown by getting on his bike to rehab his knee and get back in shape.

An English nurse is grateful to the local police, who gave her a spare bike after hers was stolen while she was working, and busted the men who allegedly took it.

Scottish mountain bikers are up in arms after the country’s top medical official tells them to stay home during the pandemic.

A British jerk on a dirt bike taunted an ebike-riding cop who was trying to stop him for violating the country’s lockdown guidelines.

Bicycling says add a trip to Mallorca to your bike bucket list.

An HIV+ Ugandan soccer coach rented a bicycle to deliver HIV and AIDS medication after the country shut down public transportation.

A Canadian cyclist finds himself on lockdown in Nepal, rather than racing in Spain as he’d planned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just in time for the worldwide pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of virtually everything in the world of bike racing, USA Cycling is putting a new emphasis on wellness.

The Olympic Channel questions whether three-time world champ Peter Sagan can win Olympic gold in 2020That would be no, since the games have been postponed until next year, as the story makes clear.

2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas wants this year’s race to go on as planned, while 2019 champ Egan Bernal is just trying not to think about it. Meanwhile, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is taking advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to completely recover from the crash that almost ended his cycling career.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says just call off the 2020 Tour de France now, and use the time before next year’s race to create a true women’s Tour de France.

Italy’s pro cyclists remain shutdown by the country’s coronavirus lockdown until May 3rd. Although Italian pro Davide Martinelli found a way to ride and give back at the same time by delivering food and medicine to elderly people in his home village.

Riders for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team offer their insights on the 124-year old Paris-Roubaix race. None of which will matter until next year, at the very least.

Speaking of Paris-Roubaix, GCN wonders if a gravel bike would do better on the cobbles.

 

Finally…

If you can’t bring people to the church, get on your bike and bring the church to the people. What’s more Easter than a big bunny on a blinged-out BMX bike — unless it’s Easter Bunny stealing a cargo bike?

And seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants and nearly an ounce of weed, put a damn light on it.

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

Longest-serving LACBC staffer out due to Covid-19 shutdown, and Nextdoor user claims bikes can’t use bikeways

Normally, I’d wish you a happy April Fools Day. 

But with everything that’s going on in the world, we all need to be able to trust what we read right now. Here, and everywhere else.

Photo by Татьяна Чернышова from Pexels.

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Very disappointing news today, as the coronavirus shutdown claimed another victim.

This is part of an email that was forwarded to me today.

…I’m writing to tell you that this will be the last email you get from me at LACBC. As of Friday March 27, my time as an employee of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition officially came to a close.

As you probably know, LACBC has been struggling financially for over a year now. Thanks to the tremendous work of Eli Akira Kaufman, the Board of Directors, and my fellow staff, we were on a path to recovery, until recently. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has effectively put a hold on the contracts I’ve been managing, our annual LA River Ride is hanging in the balance, and our finances are even tighter than before. Eli and the board have had to make some difficult decisions for the sake of keeping LACBC rolling.

That message comes from Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Education Director Colin Bogart, the coalition’s longest serving staff member, and the last remaining link to the group’s founding.

I also want you to know that it’s been a great joy and a pleasure to work at LACBC and with all of you. I’ve always considered myself lucky to be doing this work and to be able to work with so many great people. And I’m forever grateful to those of you who have volunteered your time or supported LACBC through various fundraising efforts. I hope that you will continue to do so. LACBC still needs all of you.

Lastly, this is not good-bye. Instead, it’s more like “see you later.” As many of you know, I truly believe in bicycling as a means to make our world a better place. I’m not going anywhere and I intend to stay engaged. (Some of you may recall that I myself was a volunteer and a board member for years before I was hired)…

If you believed, like me, that Colin would be the one turning out the lights if the worst ever came for LA County’s leading bicycle advocacy group, this day brings special sadness.

It marks an end of an era stretching back two full decades, and the final, last loss of institutional memory for the LACBC. Thanks to board term limits and staff turnover, no one is left who has been with the coalition more than four years.

He will be very missed.

And so, too, will the LACBC if we don’t all pull together to save it.

………

Nothing like citing just half a law.

And trying to tell people they can’t ride bikes on a bikeway. Or let their kids ride legally on a sidewalk.

Actually, that section of the Municipal Code reads,

No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Which kinda changes the whole meaning.

So you and your kids can feel free to ride any bikeways, boardwalks or sidewalks that are still open right now.

………

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

A British woman opens up about the sabotaged bike trail that left her mountain biking husband in a wheelchair, just two years after he survived a heart attack.

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

San Diego deputies busted a man who escaped by bicycle after he allegedly assaulted a woman in a Poway park. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time.

Not many homicides are solved as easily as this one, after a Charleston SC man rode his bike up to the crime scene and shouted out his confession to the shooting.

………

Local

The only upside of the coronavirus crisis is the clean air in the mostly carfree City of Angels.

Gossip Girl actor Chase Crawford is one of us, taking a spin through Los Feliz on his ebike.

 

State

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director.

A half dozen high school art students will ride from San Francisco to New York to spread the message of pedal power over gas power.

 

National

NACTO suggests ten ways cities should respond to Covid-19 on their streets, including getting rid of beg buttons, which LA is starting to do in DTLA and MacArthur Park.

PeopleForBikes is is looking for ambassadors for their Ride Spot digital biking platform.

Your next bike could fold all the way down to its airless tires.

A writer for Golf takes on the sport’s Peloton king, and wins. Call it a good ride ruined.

Portland’s annual Filmed by Bike festival will be streaming online instead of in theaters, starting this Saturday.

Nevada encourages families to get out and walk, bike or hike on Wednesdays.

Pink Bike takes a field trip to Sedona to try out four sub-two grand mountain bikes.

Nice guy. The bighearted owner of an Idaho bike shop is giving away 5,000 pounds of potatoes to people affected by the coronavirus shutdown to thank community members for their support over the years.

Unfortunately, the federal ruling that bike shops provide an essential service doesn’t carry the force of law, allowing New Mexico to conclude the opposite and order them shut down.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag outside Durango CO was traveling nearly twice the speed limit at the time of the crash.

A Chicago bike courier collective is helping restaurants survive the shutdown by safely delivering meals across the city.

New York installed a temporary protected bike lane to fix a dangerous gap during the city’s Covid-19 bike boom, only to have someone move the cones off the street onto the sidewalk.

The celebrity bike boom moves to the other coast, as former Wolverine Hugh Jackman rides the streets of New York in the protective gear of our times.

A bighearted Florida man is refurbishing bikes and giving them to people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Asking for a little more tolerance on the road, a Florida bicyclist complains when a pedestrian tells his bike club to get off a shared use path, and another tells them to get off the road a few minutes later.

 

International

Forbes says bikes are making a comeback, as social distancing has led to a bike boom around the world, including ChicagoFlorida and Sheffield, England.

Pez Cycling News talks with bike brands on both sides of the Atlantic about how they’re doing during the coronavirus crisis.

Cycling Weekly suggests eight places in the UK to add to your bike bucket list once the country’s coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Cycling Tips has advice on fifteen mistakes to avoid if you’re doing your riding indoors on Zwift.

Two men have confessed to being the lowlife jerks stealing bikes from Nottingham, England hospital workers while they were treating coronavirus patients.

The Verge calls the new ped-assist ebike from Dutch bikemaker Stella a “near-perfect city bike.” Meanwhile, New Atlas calls the new bike from the Netherlands’ Mokumono Cycles “the perfect urban ebike.”

No irony here. A New Zealand man was rescued by helicopter after he hit a pothole and went over the handlebars, while he was on a fundraising ride for a rescue helicopter service.

Clearly, not everyone has given up on April Fools Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the annual Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race is officially kaput for this year.

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas says he just wants to race his bike again.

 

Finally…

No. Just…no. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. 

And this is what happens when an actual pro cyclist tries to ride with Zwift.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

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.

 

Morning Links: Temporary solution to Balboa bike path parking, recycling bikes, and new Pure e-cargo bike

Danger d reports that LA Councilmember Nury Martinez’ office has come through on their promise to do something about drivers parking on the bike path through Balboa Park.

He says it may just be a temporary fix, but it will do until they can come up with a more permanent solution.

………

Here’s a chance to help others while you get rid of any old, unused bikes you have sitting around.

You can drop your bikes off at 5619 Monte Vista St in Los Angeles, or call 323/255-6806 for more information.

………

Burbank-based Pure Cycles is introducing a new, more affordable e-cargo bike called the CAPACITA.

Though why the name has to be in all caps is beyond me.

It features front and rear cargo racks, with disk brakes, full fenders and capable of 40-miles on a single charge. Not to mention it’s GPS enabled, and has built-in headlights and taillights.

And if you move fast enough, you can reserve one on their crowdfunding page for just $1399 — a 44% discount of the standard price of $2499.

I’ve been thinking about getting rid of my two-decade old car and replacing it with a ped-assist cargo bike, though the high price of most ebikes has given me pause.

But if I could get that much for my car, I’d give this one serious consideration.

……..

Local

A reporter for KPCC discusses LA’s problems implementing Vision Zero with a Chicago radio station. Definitely worth a listen, even if it’s not a pretty picture.

The LA Times goes for a ride along one of the possible routes NBA superstar LeBron James could take to get from his Brentwood home to the Staples Center. And it’s not a pretty picture, either. Personally, I’d take one of the two routes recommended by the LACBC’s Colin Bogart, which follows the route I used to ride from Westwood to DTLA with a few minor deviations.

Metro is hinting at good news, saying they’ll announce a fare makeover for the Metro Bike bikeshare system this Thursday.

On the other hand, Pasadena is planning to pull out of the Metro Bike system in the face of low ridership and mounting losses. The question is why would Pasadena continue to pump funds into a money-losing docked system, when dockless bikeshare can serve the same purpose at no cost to the city — and actually raise revenue through taxes and fees. 

 

State

Calbike’s annual California Dream Ride between Santa Barbara and San Diego is nearly sold out, with just five spaces left as of yesterday.

Streetsblog considers the relative slap on the wrist given the Marin driver who fled the scene after running down four bike riders — allegedly on purpose.

The president of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition offers advice for drivers and bike riders on how to stay safe on the roads. Although as usual, the first advice for riders is to wear a helmet and hi-viz.

 

National

A writer for Outside says enough with the ghost bikes, it’s time to get organized.

Great story about a Washington state fifth grader preparing for his sixth century ride — despite surviving hearing loss and a hit-and-run.

At least one Utah town gets the concept that outdoor recreation offers a better long-term survival strategy than destroying the natural beauty to pull minerals out of the ground.

A Des Moines IA couple gets their stolen bikes back thanks to social media and an observant pair of bike riders. Although someone should tell the local police that cable locks are just an invitation to steal.

An Arkansas bike rider complains about the lack of bike path courtesy, particularly faster riders who can’t be bothered to announce their presence before zooming past.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo has pulled out of Chicago, after licensing restrictions limit them to just 50 bikes in a 20 square mile area, or 350 if they require them to be locked to bike racks when not in use. Sometimes it seems pretty obvious that licensing terms are more about keeping dockless bikeshare out, as opposed to finding a way to work with it.

The bikeshare system in Minneapolis is changing its colors, dropping its prices and losing the docks.

After surviving a hit-and-run, a retired physician in Chattanooga says any talk about the city’s bicycle friendly status is just bull droppings.

The A Plus website considers why Boston bike riders bare all in the World Naked Bike Ride.

 

International

Tennis star Raphael Nadal is one of us, even if the US Open can’t seem to grasp that some people would rather bike than drive.

British bike advocates complain about the missed opportunity when the country fails to offer subsidies to buy electric bikes as part of the country’s plan to eliminate vehicle emissions. Which is exactly the problem we have in California, since drivers can receive both federal and state subsidies for buying an electric car, but get nothing for trading a car for a bike, electric or otherwise.

The driver who ran down British Olympic hero Chris Boardman’s mother in Wales was on his mobile phone moments before the crash.

Lime takes on the City of Lights, teaching Paris how to scoot.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen is taking heavy fire on Twitter over his comment that ebikes are an example of “white privilege” for “the laziest demographic in history.” Never mind that they allow virtually anyone to ride a bike, regardless of physical condition.

Whatever problems we have, be grateful you don’t ride in Western Australia, where a new survey says bicyclists should be forced to ride single file and banned from narrow streets. And half of respondents say bike shouldn’t be allowed on the roads at all.

Singapore is attempting to reign in dockless bikeshare with a new licensing program; three companies have pulled out of the city as a result, including Ofo.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reports on the team time trial in stage three of the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock says he intends to fight like hell to stay in the Tour — despite a broken scapula that will be put to the test if he makes it to the cobbles on the ninth stage.

CiclaValley considers the fashion side of the Tour de France.

Researchers from Canada’s Simon Frasier University have developed a new statistical-based method of spotting dopers.

Videos of the Tour of Flanders dating back to the 1980s are providing insights into the effects of climate change.

An Australian woman has been charged in the alleged distracted driving death of 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes last December.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can dress like the Cannibal. Your next bike could have a drive shaft instead of a chain — although that rear cassette looks deadly.

And we may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we hardly ever have to deal with stampeding police horses.

 

Weekend Links: The Battle of Playa del Rey goes on, and felony hit-and-run on a Sacramento bike path — or not

The LA Times catches up with the road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey with the most detailed and even-handed story we’ve seen so far.

The paper reports that people angered by the changes are threatening to sue, even though the changes were made at the request of local residents who fear for their safety on the streets. And that the improvements on Vista del Mar were done at the urging of City Attorney Mike Feuer following the city’s $9.5 million payout for the death of a 16-year old girl in 2015.

Evidently, the residents of Manhattan Beach don’t care if the people of LA have to pay out even more the next time someone gets killed. Or even if someone gets killed.

Never mind that Manhattan Beach has narrowed a number of streets to improve safety and livability in the beachside city. As a matter of fact, it’s funny how Vista del Mar somehow loses two lanes once it enters Manhattan Beach and the name changes to Highland Ave.

But evidently LA beach communities can’t do the same thing.

Then again, this sort of irrational anger at traffic calming projects is nothing new in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, a Playa del Rey resident offers the best response yet to the hordes of angry Manhattan Beach commuters upset over the changes to area’s streets.

And if you read this early enough, there will be a bike ride in support of the changes departing from the Playground Lagoon in Playa del Rey at 10 am today.

………

Sometimes, life — and the law — is just too bizarre for words.

As we mentioned earlier in the week, a Sacramento man was seriously injured when someone on a bicycle plowed into him as he ran on a riverfront path, suffering multiple facial and skull fractures, broken teeth and a broken hand.

The man who crashed into him hurriedly got back on his bike and fled the scene. But not before dropping his cell phone, which is now in the custody of the county DA’s office.

But this is where it gets weird.

If they open the phone, they should be able to find the person it belongs to in order to press charges. But they can’t open it without a warrant. And they can’t get a warrant unless a felony occurred.

And they’re not sure if it’s a felony to flee the scene after a crash on a bike trail, because they’re not sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply if the crash didn’t happen on a street or highway. Let alone if the vehicle involved was a bicycle.

And they can’t use the phone to charge the owner with a misdemeanor, because that would be an illegal search.

So they can’t do anything until they figure it all out.

Which seems kind of strange, since my understanding is that bike riders can be charged with hit-and-run if they flee the scene after hitting someone on a street. And drivers can be charged with hit-and-run if they leave after crashing into someone or something in a parking lot, which isn’t a street or highway.

So why can’t a bike rider be charged with fleeing the scene on a bike trail?

Of course, they could allege that the crash was intentional, which would make it felony assault, and bypass the whole issue.

But what’s the fun in that?

………

Great story, as women in India’s Assam province are changing their lives by breaking the taboo against bicycling.

A village cycle bank founded by a non-government organization allows the women to borrow a bicycle on a rotating basis, giving them freedom of movement they’ve never enjoyed before, and providing an opportunity to rise out of poverty.

………

The US national road championships will roll through the streets of Knoxville TN today and tomorrow.

ESPN talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney on the cusp of his first Tour de France, as part of the nine-man Cannondale-Drapac team.

Chris Froome says I beg your pardon, I was never offered triamcinolone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Atascadero man is expected to win this year’s edition of the 2,769 Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with diabetes last year.

Bike Radar looks at LA ex-pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever as he travels the US looking for Strava KOMs.

………

Local

LA officials have filed plans to reconfigure traffic lanes on Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, removing one lane in each direct, and adding 2.3 miles bike lanes and a center turn lane. Presumably, those are lane miles, so it would actually affect 1.15 miles of street.

The LAPD is investigating the apparent gang shooting of a man on a bike across from The Plant in Panorama City.

West Hollywood creates a new promotional video apparently intended to bore people into using alternative transportation. Very disappointing, coming from the people who brought you Alice in WeHoLand.

A worldwide non-profit group founded by two Pasadena brothers donated 17 bicycles to foster kids associated with a Cal State Northridge program.

Whittier will host its first Open Streets event the middle of next month.

 

State

A new Calbike survey shows even people who drive a lot want alternatives to driving; 78% support complete streets, and two-thirds believe cities should do more to encourage bicycling. Or maybe that should read “…especially people who drive a lot…”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation on Sunday, so watch how you ride in the county. For one day, anyway.

Some schmuck stole the bike a Santa Cruz writer used to travel the length of the left coast as documented in his book A Bicycle Journey to the Bottom of the Americas.

San Francisco bike rental companies feel threatened by the expansion of the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare, which allows users unlimited rides in a 24-hour period for just $15.

A San Francisco public radio station talks with members of the DIY San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency as they commit illegal acts of bike lane infrastructure.

 

National

A new study shows over riding to hard for too long could be bad for your bowels.

Another new study reports a slight increase in traffic collisions in states with legal marijuana.

A Seattle writer offers three reasons why bikeshare will work in the city, even though the city’s own bikeshare system failed.

Washington may be refusing to fund a 72-mile rail-to-trail conversion, but people are riding it anyway.

Most 10-year olds are happy to ride their bikes to a friend’s house. A Kansas boy just rode his 561 miles across the state.

An Austin TX city employee has developed a bike lane that lights up as a bicyclist approaches an intersection, making the rider more visible and alerting drivers that a bike is coming.

A New York man has been arrested for the apparently random attack on a bike rider that left him in a coma.

No bias here. After a Brooklyn bike rider knocks on the window of a police car to left them know they were drifting into his lane, they respond by giving him a ticket for disorderly conduct.

No bias here, either. Despite the recent deaths of two people riding their bikes, the NYPD doesn’t care enough to send anyone to a community meeting to discuss traffic safety.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Pennsylvania man intentionally drove his car into a man on a bike after the two had argued, then drove off dragging the bike under his car.

Great idea. A Maryland county crowdsources feedback on the county’s bikeways, allowing them to plan improvements and flag problems they might not otherwise know about.

Sharrows are coming to South Florida for the first time, despite studies showing they may actually do more harm than good.

 

International

A Columbian village is sponsoring a bike race to promote its natural beauty as the country transitions to peace after decades of guerrilla war.

It’s taken a Canadian man eight years to get back on his bike after recovering from the injuries he received when a hit-and-run driver plowed into a group of five cyclists. Which is four times longer than the driver’s sentence.

A Vancouver college student says bike lanes are great, but shouldn’t come at the expense of nature.

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, Montreal researchers concluded that people who ride their bikes to work suffer less stress on their commute and are more productive during the day.

Caught on video: Following a too-close pass, a London bicyclist responds by pressing the emergency shutoff button at the rear of the bus.

Even two black belts aren’t not enough to protect a competitor for the UK’s strongest man from an assault by teenage motorists while riding his bicycle.

A British soldier is riding and kayaking across the country to honor six fallen comrades — despite losing both legs and an arm in an Afghan bomb blast.

Teenage bike riders are terrifying drivers in a British town, who fear what could happen if they hit one. Which could be legitimate, although something tells me it might be worse for the kid.

An Australian boxer was banned from driving because of poor eyesight, but did it anyway, fleeing the scene after killing a 77-year old man as he rode his bike. It’s simply not enough to take away a driver’s license; as long as they have access to a car, too many will drive anyway.

South Koreans can now ride their bikes on a 1,677-mile network of trails without ever setting a wheel on roadway, which was built to appease a public angered by a massive river restoration project.

Two Korean men are riding across the US to call attention to the comfort women forced to work in brothels by the Japanese in WWII.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride past police carrying drugs on a stolen bike you weren’t on just a few minutes. When celebs screw up, they go into rehab; when a triathlete gets caught trying to sabotage a competitor’s bike, she checked into an eating disorder clinic.

And if you’re going ride a bikeshare bike naked, using the free seat cover is the least you can do.

Please.

 

Morning Links: Flooded waterway bike paths, sampling new lighted bike safety backpack, and #peaceontheroad

As you may know, this site has long been a supporter of local bike shops.

So starting today, we’re putting a dollar figure on that support, with our first-ever sale on ad space.

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA will be offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates just for local bike shops, or other small businesses in the bike industry. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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Mike Wilkinson forwards a reminder of the primary purpose of the popular Coyote Creek bike path.

Similar views can be found today on the Ballona Creek and the LA River pathways, as well as virtually any bike path along one of Southern California’s usually arid riverbeds.

Just in case you need a reminder of why local authorities sometimes seem to overreact by closing the paths whenever rain seems imminent.

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Look what came from India last week.

As the Onion once put it, “Visibility is crucial when biking. Ride with a lit highway flare in each hand.”

Since that’s not always practical, the Aster backpack from Lumos comes complete with built-in reflectors, front lights, tail lights, turn signals and brake lights.

I’m not normally a fan of the visibility arms race — any driver actually paying attention to the road should be able to see a cyclist without making us dress up like brilliantly lit dystopian clowns — it does promise to combine practicality with safety.

And while I’m more of a messenger bag guy, I’ll look forward trying this out and letting you know what I think.

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Nice piece from the Racers Who Ride Foundation, as pro racer Ozz Negri, Jr. discusses his love of bicycling and what #peaceontheroad is all about.

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Sad news from the world of cyclocross, as a Belgian coach apparently committed suicide after one of his junior cyclists failed a dope test, and a 15-year old British U-16 national champ unexpectedly died in his sleep Friday night.

World Champion Peter Sagan discusses the loss of anonymity that come with his cycling success.

Irish cycling great Sean Kelly says a chance encounter with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on their South African honeymoon helped launch his pro career.

An Aussie paper talks with retired pro Cadel Evans, crediting him with sparking a Lycra revolution in the country.

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Local

Metro is holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss the first segment of the planned Rail to River trail through South LA.

Bike-friendly Santa Monica doubles down on plans for a sustainable future. Meanwhile, the city council will vote to approve a contract to study bicycle intersection treatments, including bike boxes and detection devices to help traffic signals identify bike riders.

 

State

Organizers of Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs had to work through the night to plan an alternate route after several streets were flooded by Friday’s rain.

Marin County officials use speed guns to measure how fast mountain bikes ride on county trails. And learn the overwhelming majority of riders obey regulations.

Stockton’s interim police chief started on the road to becoming a cop when a pair of bullies stole his Schwinn back in sixth grade.

 

National

This year’s RAGBRAI will take an easier route across northern Iowa.

Winter bicycling is spiking in popularity in the Chicago area, despite the cold.

An Illinois family has given up their car and taken to their bikes as their primary form of transportation, and are documenting the experience to help others understand how to be less reliant on cars.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old New Hampshire man still rides 1,000 miles a year.

A Staten Island website says bicyclists and pedestrians bear responsibility for avoiding crashes under Vision Zero, too.

DC area planners are measuring cycling level of stress to plan lower stress routes that would encourage more people to ride bikes. Although now stress is good for you.

A Norfolk VA paper asks if the city council is crazy for going forward with a 10 mile, $62 million bike path. They have a point; according to a road builders association, they could build a four lane highway for the same price. However, the price tag also includes prep work for future high speed transit, even though voters recently killed plans for light rail.

 

International

Bikeshare is credited with getting more women on bikes.

The executive director of a Winnipeg, Canada bike advocacy group calls on the city to adopt Vision Zero, for reason that should be obvious.

North London police get it, saying bicyclists will no longer be fined for riding on the sidewalk, and they’ll look into the reasons why people would feel the need to choose sidewalks over riding on the road.

A British councilor gets it, too, saying “Cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands every time they set out on the roads.”

A new survey shows a fifth of Brits haven’t ridden a bike in over ten years, and one and ten can’t even remember how. Evidently, not even riding a bike is just like riding a bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. After a UK musician was killed in crash while riding his bike, his band mates release the final recording he made just days before his death as a free download in his honor.

Way to kill a burgeoning bike movement. Sales for pedal-assist ebikes have plummeted in Malta after the country required helmets and registration. That should serve as fair warning for those of us here in the US.

A Malaysian city councilor calls for making Penang the cycling capital of the island nation.

A team of self-appointed bike vigilantes hunt through the streets and alleys of Guangzhou, China for bikeshare bikes that have been appropriated for private use.

Chinese-made bikes are taking over the world; 93.5% of bikes sold in the US last year were made in China.

 

Finally…

It takes a major scumbag to drag a dog behind his bike. And anyone can ride a bike, but how many can say they’ve been felicitated?

………

On a personal note, it was six years ago today we took a chance on a very pissed off adult dog with major abandonment issues. 

Which turned out to be one of smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Rescue dogs are the best.

Police target distracted drivers for a whole month, Ventura farmers fear you’ll pee on their crops

Once again, police agencies around the state and across the country are targeting distracted drivers in the month of April.

Last year’s stepped up enforcement efforts lead to over 57,000 drivers being ticketed for texting or using hand-held phones behind the wheel. Not to mention another 3,800 nabbed for other illegal and unwise behaviors, such as eating, shaving and applying makeup as they sped down the roadway.

Not that you’d do anything like that, of course.

Which is why, like me, you probably wish police would dedicated themselves to the same level of enforcement the other eleven months of the year.

Because 60,000 tickets a month, every month, might actually get California drivers to put down their phones and pay attention behind the wheel. And maybe even save a few lives in the process.

Yeah, right. I know.

Here’s the press release from the LAPD. Thanks to Paul B. for the heads-up.

Distracted-Driver-Month-New

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Ventura County farmers fear people and animals using a new rural bikeway will pee on crops and be sickened by pesticides, something that evidently never happens at farms located along rural roadways frequented by bike riders.

I grew up in farm country — no, really, my high school team was called the Lambkins for chrissake — and spent much of the first 30 years of my life riding in rural areas. And I can assure you that when the need arises, there are far better and less visible places to take a leak than the middle of some farmer’s cropland.

Even though it may not necessarily be a bad thing.

And if a farmer can’t manage to apply his pesticides in a manner that allows him to control where it ends up, he probably shouldn’t be using them in the first place.

Then again, as someone who has been crop dusted on more than one occasion, it hasn’t killed me yet.

Although, now that I think of it, it may explain a lot.

Thanks to Machiko Yasuda for the heads-up, and Bike SD’s Sam Ollinger for that number one link.

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Today’s must read — an examination of design-oriented traffic safety vs. passive safety. It may be a little dense for us non-planners, but definitely worth the read.

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I get a lot of emails from various people and companies wanting me to promote their products.

Some just don’t interest me, while others get lost in the shuffle. And many end up in the delete file for one reason or another; often because they have the audacity to offer me some small discount in a vain attempt to lower my editorial standards.

No, seriously.

If you’re going to bribe me, at least make it worth my while.

But every now and then, someone will approach me with an idea that actually makes sense. Like this one, attempting to raise funds for an ultra-reflective bike tire called LIT.

I rode something similar when I tested the Urbana Bike a couple of years ago. And never felt more visible; even without lights, the bike could be easily seen on the darkest streets.

Combine a reflective stripe like that with the durability of Gatorskins, and I’m there. Which, thanks to LIT’s puncture protection layer, it just might be.

So if, unlike me, you’ve got a few extra bucks to invest, this is one project I might just recommend.

In fact, I think I just did.

Meanwhile, this is one Kickstarter project that really should get funded, but probably won’t.

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Here’s your chance to vote for funding for CicLAvia or Bicycle-Friendly Business Districts, among other projects for My LA2050; I cast my vote for the latter, since getting businesses on our side will do more than anything else to speed acceptance of bicycling in the City of Angeles. The proposed $3 billion bond issue to repair L.A.’s streets is being revived, with hearings throughout the city this month; I still can’t support it unless it includes provisions to repair the city’s broken sidewalks and speed up implementation of the L.A. bike plan as street get repaved. The latest Unity Ride will roll Sunday, April 28th to strengthen ties between L.A. and the San Fernando Valley — much of which is L.A. Letter writers weighing in with the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council were overwhelmingly in support of bike lanes on Colorado Blvd; I understand speakers at Tuesday’s meeting strongly backed the proposed lanes, as well. Update: In a bit of late-breaking news, the Eagle Rock NC voted to supported buffered bike lanes on Colorado Blvd. Bike lanes are proposed for Cal Poly Pomona, where cyclist Ivan Aguilar was killed a little over a month ago perhaps due to the lack of them. KCRW traffic maven Kajon Cermak wants to know if L.A.’s newly synchronized traffic lights have sped up your drives through the city; I can’t speak for driving, but I seem to get stopped at more lights when I ride these days.

Applications for Newport Beach’s new Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee are due Wednesday; meanwhile, donations to the city’s Bike Safety Improvement Fund totaled over $75,000, which Newport Beach will match on a three-to-one basis. A proposed bill would force drivers to acknowledge they understand the dangers of distracted driving when they get their license. Bike safety is finally coming to Bakersfield. Cyclelicious says those traffic light detectors work better if you lay your bike on its side. Specialized Creative Director Robert Eggers says the company is intoxicated by bicycles, and wants to spread the disease to everyone. Good advice on how to ride through parking lots. A cyclist is killed in Red Bluff traffic collision.

A writer for People for Bikes correctly points out that for every “FU” we cyclists utter, there’s an equal and opposite “FU” from motorists; the antidote, he says, is to say “careful” instead. This is another reason why it’s hard to get women excited about bicycling. Proper etiquette for group rides; a lot of experienced riders could stand to read this as well as beginners. No irony here, as America’s wounded warriors have until Friday to submit applications to ride with the man who sent them to war. A Minneapolis man is arrested for the apparent drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist. A Minnesota writer who previously opposed bike lanes commits to riding every day this month. Ohio redefines the word bicycle to include four-wheeled pedal-powered vehicles. That Philly man who rides with his cat on his shoulder is the new handlebar-mustached face of GoPro. A New York study shows most pedestrians are hit by cars while walking in the crosswalk with the light, and cabs are no friend to cyclists. The New York Post is shocked! shocked! to spot Alec Baldwin riding a bike sans helmet and talking on a cell phone; only the latter is against the law in New York. An open hate letter to Miami’s bike thieves, in which the writer wishes them a social disease.

Toronto’s notoriously anti-bike mayor is accused of public drunkenness and possible drunk driving. It ain’t easy to keep your cool when a professional cyclist grabs your ass. Oxford advocates call for more bike lanes, or not. Bucharest bike advocates fight the city’s dangerous bike lanes by adopting and eliminating them. A call for police to target New Zealand cyclists riding without lights at night. Sadly, an Aussie cop is killed while riding to celebrate his 52nd birthday.

Finally, continuing this week’s theme, a BMX-biking Colorado bank robber gets 41 months in Federal prison; probably a better getaway choice than yesterday’s beach cruiser. And a suspected drunk driver fled the scene after rear-ending a car near the Malibu Pier, then slammed into six parked cars and damaged a house; the driver turned out to be the son of Gone With the Wind star Clark Gable.

Frankly my dear, I do give a damn.

Reimagining a more livable San Gabriel Valley; dissecting national cycling death statistics

It’s a simple question, really.

Why should L.A. area cyclists give a damn about a freight transportation project — especially one that would follow the course of the San Gabriel River, the near-mythical waterway that flows well east of Downtown, where most Angelenos fear to tread?

The answer is equally simple.

Because it has the potential to dramatically transform transportation and livability of the east L.A. basin, bringing renewed life to communities currently choked by diesel fumes and roadways gridlocked with big rigs. And at the same time, restoring one of L.A.’s concrete-clad water disposal systems to the natural, free-flowing waterway it was before fears of flooding overwhelmed common sense and drove nature to its knees.

Oh, and it includes a bike path, too.

Rick Risemberg, of Bicycle Fixation fame, wrote me last week to call my attention to a proposed project I had been only vaguely aware of, and to which I hadn’t given more than a few moments thought.

GRID — the San Gabriel River Infrastructure Development project — would replace the current system of loading cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with integrated cargo cranes that would load cargo containers directly onto electric trains, cutting offloading time from 36 hours to two. And at the same time, eliminating the need for thousands of semi-trucks that currently ply the ports and clog SoCal freeways.

The trains would then run through special bunker-strength tunnels placed under the banks of the San Gabriel River up to distribution yards in the Inland Empire, where the cargo would be transferred to trains and trucks for transport throughout the country.

The result would be a dramatic reduction in freeway traffic along the 710 and 605 freeways, virtually eliminating traffic congestion and improving air quality. In fact, traffic could be reduced to such a degree that one or both of the freeways might become obsolete and candidates for removal — greatly improving the livability of an area blighted by massive roadways.

At the same time, a second tunnel could be built for passenger rail, tying into existing Metro Rail, Metrolink and Amtrak railways. Existing high-voltage power lines would also be placed in underground tunnels, freeing thousands of acres of power-line right-of-ways for redevelopment, while pipelines could be included for fresh water and sewage.

And the massive construction project would provide an opportunity to rip out the concrete banks of the river, and return it to the natural riparian basin it was before we felt the need to “improve” it. The result would be a natural riverway lined with parks, wetlands and nature preserves, as well as what would undoubtedly be one of the area’s most beautiful and popular bikeways along the full course of the river.

Yes, it would be expensive. Costs would undoubtedly rise well into the billions, if not more.

But it would provide tens of thousands of good, high-paying jobs in the short term, just as construction of the Hoover Dame did during the last Great Depression. And in the long term, it would result in savings and tax revenues that could far exceed the cost to build it, while providing much needed wildlife habitat and improving the quality of life for every community along its banks.

And it would eliminate the need for the much-debated tunnel under South Pasadena to complete the 710 freeway — which would free up hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for construction costs, while preserving the quality of life in one of the area’s most livable communities.

Of course, getting a massive, expensive project like this approved by today’s small-thinking, auto-centric Tea Party-addled Congress would be challenging, to say the least — even though it would be build largely, if not entirely, through private funding.

Then again, a couple of years ago, I would never have imagined that a bike-friendly L.A. might happen in my lifetime, either.

.………

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics for bicycling deaths in 2009; 630 cyclists were killed in the U.S. and another 51,000 injured. That works out to 2% of all traffic deaths, as well as 2% of traffic injuries, and marks a 12% reduction over 2008.

Contrary to common perception, only one-third of the deaths occurred at intersections, while 72% occurred during daylight hours — though they define daylight as anytime between 4 am and 8 pm.

The average age of cyclists killed and injured on the streets has gradually risen over the previous 10 years to 41; cyclists under the age of 16 accounted for just 13% of fatalities and 20% of injuries. Seven times more men were killed than women, and four times as many men were injured.

Forty percent of fatalities involved alcohol use; surprisingly, 28% of the cyclists who were killed had been drinking.

California had more than it’s share of fatalities, with 99 cyclists killed; 3.2% of the total 3,081 traffic fatalities. That works out to 2.68 bicycling fatalities per one million residents, which places us in the top ten most dangerous states per capita. Yet that pales compared to Delaware and Florida — which once again ranks as the nation’s deadliest state to ride, with 107 cycling fatalities — at 6.78 and 5.77 fatalities per million residents, respectively.

Main, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia had no bicyclists killed in 2009.

Just in case you’re thinking about moving somewhere a little safer.

.………

Rick Risemberg endorses bike advocate Stephen Box for L.A.’s 4th Council District, with some reservations. LACBC calls on cyclists to bike the vote, offering survey responses from some of the city’s council candidates. Grist says the new bike plan shows the cabbie who ran Mayor Villaraigosa deserves a big, fat tip, while the National Resources Defense Council says the plan paves the way for a greener Los Angeles. The L.A. Times endorses the bike plan, though that might have carried more weight before the council vote.

Tree Hugger offers a list of bike Twitter accounts to follow; Joe Anthony’s Bike Commute News and Long Beach expats PathLessPedaled were the only Southern Californians to make the list. A bike ride a day could keep the doctor away. Utah shoots down a proposed Idaho Stop bill. While New York police continue to crack down on cyclists, they continue to ignore far more dangerous behavior by drivers; the Wall Street Journal says Gotham cyclists really aren’t that bad. Protected bike paths increase riding while easing congestion. The New York assemblyman who proposed a law requiring license plates for all cyclists has wisely withdrawn his bill. Fairfax VA’s bike coordinator position is under attack as a “political statement position.”

Finally, a ban on biking London’s South Bank is reversed, and considerate cyclists are now welcomed. And a British drivers’ organization says kids should glow in the dark; maybe we should require anyone under 16 to wear a flashing neon sign that says “Don’t Hit Me.”

After all, there’s obviously no point in asking drivers to pay attention.

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