Tag Archive for bike safety

6 years for hit-and-run death of Colton boy, LA votes on bike chop shop ban today, and demand Griffith Park bike safety

The hit-and-run driver who killed 15-year old bike rider Javier Gonzalez in Riverside has been formally sentenced to six years behind bars.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentence enhancement of fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera might not have faced any jail time if he’d just stopped his damn truck, since Colton resident Gonzalez and his friends were riding on the wrong side of the street.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance today to ban outdoor bike repairs and sales on public property, in an effort to halt open air bike chop shops.

However, it will exempt “people in possession of a single bike being repaired with the express purpose of allowing them to ride it again.” Which means you shouldn’t be subject to the law just for fixing your bike in public.

Key word, shouldn’t.

Although whether it will actually have an effect on bike theft remains to be seen.

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A Reddit post reminds us about the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which meets twice a month to discuss matters concerning the park.

Like how to keep bike riders safe from all the cars and drivers they let in to what should be a safe place for people.

The next virtual meeting takes place on the 27th of this month.

Improving Safety within Griffith Park: Griffith Park Advisory Board from BikeLA

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Inspiring story of a Tampa, Florida bike mechanic who rides his fixie with just one leg, after losing his left leg in a motorcycle crash.

Even on the track.

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GCN offers advice on how to perform basic maintenance for beginning bike riders.

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

This is why we can’t have nice things. A San Francisco disability advocate, backed by an art museum, is filing a ballot measure to force the return of cars to newly carfree John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Disgruntled motorists have been sabotaging London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods by repeatedly tipping over planters intended to limit traffic flow.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 profiles the Watts-based East Side Riders and co-founder John Jones III as they work to support the community and push for change.

Pacoima is launching the San Fernando Valley’s first ebike-based bikeshare system, which will be free to use for the next nine months.

He gets it. An op-ed from former Santa Monica City Manager and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole says stop spending billions on freeways. That money could be better spent on transit, biking and pedestrian projects to reduce the need to drive, instead of fueling it.

 

State 

Guardian Bikes, a children’s bikemaker financially backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is pulling up stakes in Irvine and moving to Seymour, Indiana, which should result in a ten-times increase in production.

A handful of residents and business owners turned out to protest as San Diego began work to remove two traffic lanes and install protected bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights, at a cost of just 88 parking spaces — most of which will be replaced nearby.

A Palm Springs man started an organization to provide bicycles to homeless people, to support them with much-needed transportation.

Oakland residents protested to call for safer streets in the wake of two deadly collisions involving a man on a bicycle and an elderly pedestrian.

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, explaining he rides his bicycle to home games to cut his carbon footprint.

 

National

ABC News reports that racial disparities in American traffic fatalities are even worse than previously thought, especially for pedestrians and bike riders, with Black pedestrians and cyclists 2.2 times and 4.5 times more like to killed on a per-mile basis, respectively; the trend is similar for Hispanic Americans.

Bicycle Retailer says increases in US bike ridership reached the highest levels in decades during the pandemic, but the bike boom may already be over.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico letter writer asks why the city can’t keep bike lanes clean and free of debris. Something most of us would like to know, wherever we live.

Kansas drivers are reminded to watch out for bike riders this month, as the Trans Am Bike Race and the Race Across America, aka RAAM, roll through the state, along with the annual Biking Across Kansas; three riders have been killed in the last five years.

The Chicago Sun-Times calls on the city to raise the fine for drivers who block bike lanes, after a three-year old girl was killed when her mother rode her bike around a utility truck parked in one.

A 43-year old Toledo man faces charges for viciously beating a 70-year old man riding his bicycle on a bike trail; the suspect bizarrely claims he was just trying to wake the victim up because he didn’t look well.

Writing from the perspective of a “non-avid cyclist,” a DC woman calls for better bike infrastructure for people like her, rather than the self-proclaimed “avid cyclists” who always seem to show up to oppose it.

A Virginia writer remembers riding his $5 junkyard bike all over town as a boy, while lamenting that kids don’t ride bikes anymore.

 

International

Riders stripped down to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico to call for greater visibility of people on bicycles; dozens of riders joined the fun in Toronto, too.

A Calgary man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike-riding man as the driver was leaving a golf course; the judge rejected a defense plea for a lenient sentence, saying it wouldn’t deter other people from drinking and driving.

An Ottawa, Canada woman has been holding weekly bike giveaways for the past three months to help Ukrainian refugees settle into the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam is opening a new 200-station bikeshare network.

An outdated law limiting handlebar widths means that most mountain bikers in Western Australia risk fines for breaking the law.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini won the Women’s Tour of Britain by just one second over Australian Grace Brown, thanks to a four-second bonus for a third place finish in the final stage.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish probably won’t have a chance to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in the Tour de France, since he’s unlikely to make the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team roster for the race.

 

Finally…

What’s a bike race without a little booze? Before you submit video of a scofflaw bicyclist, make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

And before you celebrate your win, make sure you really did.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

US traffic deaths soar, LA Times picks Pynoos over O’Farrell, and Friedman fights for bike safety on Burbank bridge

If you thought our roads are getting more dangerous, you’re right.

According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,915 people were killed on American streets last year — the highest total since 2005, and an increase of 10.5 percent over 2020.

Bicycling fatalities rose five percent, to 985 — an average of five deaths every two days — while pedestrian deaths jumped 13 percent to 7,342.

Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of US traffic fatalities occurred in urban areas, where there are more people, and more cars.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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In political news, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer dropped out of the race for mayor, swinging his support to Karen Bass.

And the LA Times made a surprising endorsement of former Mike Biden staffer Karen Pynoos over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 — without mentioning O’Farrell’s role in tanking the shovel-ready Temple Street lane reduction in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco.

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California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman jumped into the road safety fight to push for steps to improve bike and pedestrian safety on the new Burbank Blvd Bridge.

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Still more Bike to Work Week news.

Or bike anywhere, for that matter.

Tonight marks the annual Ride of Silence, with rides throughout California; a ride will be held in Los Angeles at 7 pm tonight, starting at 3554 W. First St .

Metro is celebrating tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day by offering free rides for everyone on all Metro Bus and Rail lines, as well as free half-hour Metro Bike rides.

Bike Metro is teaming with the LACBC to host a lunchtime ride through Chinatown on Thursday’s Bike to Work Day.

Culver City Bus is offering free rides for bike riders on tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One are hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Dog Haus tomorrow night.

And make plans for a Spoke and Art Ride this Saturday.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thieves who rammed an 81-year old British man with their car, knocking him into a ditch and stealing his new mountain bike.

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

A 35-year old ex-con will stand trial for the unprovoked murder of a San Diego man in a Pacific Beach restroom, before the killer fled on a bicycle; Martin Alvarez, Jr. has entered a not guilty plea to the fatal stabbing.

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Local

The proposed LA River Master Plan has been posted online, along with public comments about the plan.

A massive Puente Hills landfill could soon become the new Puente Hills Regional Park, including plans for a bike skills park.

 

State 

Plans for a two-way bikeway down the middle of Palo Alto’s California Street hit the skids, failing on a tie vote at the city council.

 

National

No surprise here. A new study from the Urban Institute shows that tax rebates are a better solution to soaring prices than cutting gas taxes, while policies that discourage driving — like high gas prices, for instance — would have the greatest longterm impact on inflation.

Advisory bike lanes, which give bike riders priority and force drivers to share the roadway, are coming to a pair of short Portland streets. Advisory streets have bike lanes on either side, with a single car lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions; drivers are expected to move into the bike lanes to pass one another, before returning to their lane. Let’s hope they have a better rollout than they did in San Diego

A crowdfunding account has raised over $91,000 for the family of a young Las Vegas father who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike on Sunday.

A Minneapolis man pulled himself out of depression and got his life on track with an apprenticeship at a nonprofit bike shop dedicated to providing mentorship and training for young people dealing with housing instability.

Miami bike riders demanded safety improvements to the city’s Rickenbacker Causeway following the death of a couple riding in the bridge’s green bike lane.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what makes a good beginner bicycle.

After bike riders complained about a 22 mph speed limit, organizers of the 20,000 person Ride London backed off and removed the speed cap.

Someone cut the locks off a semi-truck in the UK, and made off with 133 Merida bikes as the truck was stopped at a truck stop, while leaving 73 bikes behind.

The co-owner of the Israel Cycling Academy WorldTour cycling team has donated one million dollars to complete a bike trail in Elad.

A Kiwi driver was captured on video ramming a woman riding a bike directly in front of her car, but will only get a lousy $150 fine because she “wasn’t injured enough.” But at least the driver apologized and offered to fix her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

History was made Tuesday when 22-year old Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay outsprinted Mathieu van der Poel to win stage 10 of the Giro, becoming the first Black African to win a Grand Tour stage.

Ayesha McGowan, the only Black rider on the women’s pro tour, called it a victory for all of us.

Even van der Poel showed his support for Girmay in defeat, with a thumbs up gesture as the African rider crossed the finish line.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike could be self-charging with solar panels. And Giro podium today, followed by a Prosecco cork in the eye.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Guest post: Biking in Munich, Germany isn’t perfect, but it beats just about anywhere in the US

Good news and bad news. 

The good news is my surgery went well last week. The bad news is I entered the hospital with compressed nerves in my wrist and elbow, and left with conjunctivitis, leaving me virtually blind for the past several days.

So I’ll be out the rest of the week to give me a few more days to type with both hands and see clearly with both eyes. 

Fortunately, we have a guest post today from our European correspondent Ralph Durham, who has shared his insights on biking in Germany and other nearby countries since moving there several years ago. 

And I’ll be back on Monday to get things rolling again. 

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Greetings from Munich Germany.

My name is Ralph and I have lived here for almost 7 years. My wife got a job here and allowed me to retire and move with her. She was a lifelong SF bay area person and I have lived in several states and 4 countries. Most of my serious cycling has been in and around the SF Bay area. I spent 12 or so years commuting by bike the 12 miles from my home to work so I have seen a lot. I spent 8 years on Sunnyvale’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Here we have no car. Between our bikes and public transit, we have almost no need for a car. If we need one for a trip, we will rent one. 

The purpose of this post is to talk about riding in the Munich area on a regular basis. In addition, I have ridden in different European countries to some extent. The cycling infrastructure in Munich is quite a bit different from the SF Bay area. Munich is not perfect for its cycling infrastructure. Munich does have some of the best, or at least the greatest total amount of bike infrastructure in Germany, which include 58 bike paths. Many of those skirt parks and are along rivers.

Germany has no real overarching bureaucracy to cover cycling nationwide. Each state has their own way of dealing with the problems and how to work it out. I live in München, in Freistaat Bayern, (Free state Bavaria.) I can’t speak about other city/states and their methods. The basics are likely to be the same based on my travels. The rules of the road are becoming more standardized in Europe. The new government may push to develop more commonality in how cyclists’ infrastructure is set up. And better yet, provide extra cash.

The German mentality, caution stereotype alert. This is one of the big differences from the US and it might be the most important. Generally, Germans will follow the rules, and expect others to do so. This is especially true in town where the risks of hurting others are greater. That is not to say that some drivers don’t act up. Drivers in towns rarely speed. Pedestrians rarely cross on a red light even with no cars present. You will almost always get the right of way when you have it when on your bike. Drivers won’t race you to a spot so they can get ahead or turn in front of you. They will wait behind you on narrow roads until it is safe to pass. 

Helmet use is not required unless you are under the age of 16, which is when you can drink beer or wine. Adults wearing helmets are in two groups. Parents with children or people riding road bikes. Most ride some sort of practical city bike with no helmet. I am seeing more helmet use with the greater penetration of the e-bikes as a market share. 

There is also a lot more wayfinding signage. Some of it can be sketchy, or in my opinion too far apart. Or perhaps I just miss some of the small signs. I seem to see them better now than when I was first here. Cities are not laid out on a grid. Straight down the road is almost meaningless. Follow the road is better.

All photos by Ralph Durham

You will see whole families out for rides even if just to and around parks, and the school run. Many kids are starting on balance bikes so seeing training wheels is a bit of a shock. I’ve seen kids that can’t be much over 2 riding pedal bikes with no training wheels. Most families seem to have a trailer so when the kid gets tired, they can get transported home. You will see families on major streets because there is usually separated infrastructure. Children can ride on the sidewalks until they are 8. The feeling of safety is key to get people out on bikes.

One of the big differences from the US, is the speed that vehicles are allowed to travel. What we would call residential, is 30 KPH, 18 mph. When you enter a town, you will see a yellow sign with the town name. That means 50 KPH, 30 mph, unless otherwise posted. The 30 zones have no bike lanes for the most part. Pretty much all 50 kph zones in Munich have bike provisions. 

Most 30 zones are two-way traffic.

However, they are only about 3 car widths wide. You can have parking on both sides of the road leaving one lane open and drivers need to negotiate who goes first with oncoming traffic. These streets usually don’t have any yield or stop signs. Priority is given to the vehicle, car, truck, bike coming from the right. Yes, drivers will give a cyclist right of way if they have it. I can tell you that is very scary when you are used to drivers just taking the right of way in the US.

A feature which helps cyclists and pedestrians is that there is no right turn on red. There are a few locations where there is a slip lane to the autobahn, but it is rare. One part of this is the traffic light posts are on the entrance side of the intersection.

So, if you pull up past the limit line you can’t see the traffic light. Since there is nothing to gain from stopping in the crosswalk or bike lane, they are free for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the street. There are very few stop signs in Munich. There are signs letting you know if you are on a priority road or there is a yield sign.

Another big difference is in driver’s training and licensure. It is expensive and hard to get a driver’s license here in Germany, and in many EU countries. I have talked to people from England and Ireland and their process seems close. A beginning driver will be lucky to only have to spend $2,700. A lot of that goes to the required driving school. The base cost for a license is about $55 and is good now for 15 years. There is a first aid course, and an eye test. You pay for everything. The manual is 400 pages long. It includes the math for stopping distances and passing distances. The written test is about $110. You pay, every time you take the test, until you pass. I have heard there is a 30% failure rate. The driving test comes in around $340. You pay for the time for your driving teacher, their car and the test administrator. You pay each time you take it.

Drivers tend to be more careful in city driving. The largest vehicle has the most responsibility in the event of an accident. Insurance limits are high. Three million to 5 million Euro for cars. But not that expensive. People injured don’t need to worry about going bankrupt if a driver hits them, between the driver’s insurance and their own. It is not uncommon for drivers to have their licenses revoked for short periods of time for flagrant infractions, including speeding. At a set amount over the limit, it is automatic. Also, most people have ridden bikes or still ride bikes. This gives them heightened awareness to look for others using the facilities. I now am now shocked when a driver violates my right of way. When I first got here it was scarry to take the right of way. If you don’t the drivers will be annoyed that you didn’t follow the rules. The thinking is that you are using the roads that you know the rules.

In the city the facilities are a bit different.  In the center of town, you have the tight old areas and pedestrian malls. The old areas have no specific bike facilities for the most part. The speed limit is 30, if you are lucky to get a clear road. The pedestrian malls normally have signs which say no cycling except for late at night to early morning. There are too many pedestrians and tourists to ride safely. You can walk your bike. If you ride to the town center and decide to walk there never seems to be enough bike parking. So, you park with the rest of the bikes and pray for safety in numbers. Main roads into the center have space carved out. The car lanes are about 10 feet wide; parking is narrow and then the bike lanes are next to the pedestrian way.

Surprisingly enough, even with no real barrier between cyclists and pedestrians both parties stay in their area. Both parties generally keep a lookout if they must use the other’s space. 

The treatment of cycling and pedestrian facilities is different when there is construction. If building must go on for a while there are provisions made for pedestrians and cyclists. That can include covered walk/bike ways, lanes taken from drivers and or parking spaces. Since the mode share is high for commuters and families with children, provisions are made to reduce the impacts. One project that is crossing the river has a 4-lane bridge was necked down to 2 lanes, one in each direction so work could be done on half the roadway. The sidewalks/bike lanes closed but temporary covered bridges were set up for cyclists and pedestrians. 

When you leave the city and its suburbs the situation is a bit different. Many of the major roads have a mixed-use path on one side of the road.

Photo by Ralph Durham

This can move from side to side depending on where it was easiest to put in the path. It is not set up like Holland where it seems that they went out of their way to make the whole country connected. Just remember that it you hit a pedestrian it is almost always going to be your fault. Small winding country roads will generally not have bike lanes. Most tend to be narrow, almost 2 lanes wide, twisting along farms or forests. Drivers wanting to get somewhere generally stay off them. 

Towns of various sizes are close It is hard to go more than 20 kilometers without hitting another small town. Even if there is no specific bike lane traffic is slow, 50kph max, and they can have speed cameras. Some places have speed radar to inform you of your speed. If you are at or under the limit you get a green smiley face. Go over and it becomes a red frown face.

Cycling is done year-round. Winter cycling can be more treacherous because of balance issues. Some places the bike ways are kept clear and gritted better than others on the same street. My wife won’t let me ride in the snow without my spiked tires. I see a lot of riders without them. I am old and allergic to falling. 

The takeaway from this is that cycling infrastructure can be done. Even in tight European cities. Traffic speeds need to be cut down. England has a push for 20 (mph) is plenty. We don’t need streets that have freeway width lanes in residential areas. The fire departments will have to get used to lanes which aren’t as wide. You get more riding when people know that it is safe to ride. You get more riders when they can get to the places they want to go. Be that work or the park, or the next suburb over. It must be done. It is hard. I spent 8 years on my California city’s BPAC. Every paint stripe and loss of parking space was a fight. 

Too many developments aren’t set up for cyclists or pedestrians to get through them. Developments are huge blocks that force traffic out to arterial streets, car sewers, that encourage high speeds and leave limited space for cyclists and minimum width pedestrian facilities, should anyone wish to walk along a 6-lane road baren of life. No, Munich isn’t perfect or cycling Shangri-la. But it is better than anywhere I have ridden in the US. 

I know people are busy. Family, children, jobs. Try to provide input into the process. Letters to the paper. Letters/email to council, boards of supervisors. Your state representative and senator. Every bit helps. If you have the time volunteer for your local BPAC (bike ped advisory committee). Look at the city agendas, BPAC, Planning, Council. Find out how to contact members of those groups and explain what you like and don’t like. Attend meetings. Don’t be mean when you state your case. Research the city/county plans that they have approved. 

In the words of a radio newsman from San Francisco in the last century, Scoop Nisker, “If you don’t like the news; go out and make some of your own.”

CDC Bike Safety stats miss mark, Move Culver City adjusts lane markings, and Desmond Tutu was one of us

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive such a big success, with new records for both the number of donations and the total amount — topping last year’s record-setting total by over $1,200!

So please join me in thanking William C, Lois R, Carol K, David D, Julie C, Erik G, Bryan H, Audrey K and Jennifer P for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And let me give a special thanks for the comments so many people made along with their donations, which touched me more than I can begin to say. 

So to everyone who contributed, please accept my undying gratitude. Or at least until next year’s holiday season, when we’ll do it all again. 

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File this one under the heading of you’ve got to be kidding.

The CDC’s Bicycle Safety page helpfully suggests the main risk factors for bike crashes.

Never mind that children and adults over 50 are among the largest bike-riding age groups. Or that the well-documented gender gap means three times as many men as women ride bikes.

Let’s not forget that more people ride bikes in urban areas, simply because there are more people there.

And does it really tell us anything that either the driver or bike rider had been drinking in 37% of bicycling fatalities, without breaking out whether the bike riders or drivers had been drinking, and whether they were actually under the influence or just had a trace amount of alcohol in their blood?

All of which makes this set of risk factors just this side of useless.

And just to be clear, the information on alcohol consumption comes from the 2015 Traffic Safety Fact Sheet Bicyclists & Other Cyclists, which shows that 22% of bike riders killed were legally drunk, compared to 12% of drivers; another 4% in each group had some amount of alcohol in their blood, without being legally drunk.

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Culver City is responding to complaints about the new Move Culver City bike and bus lanes by making adjustments to the lane designs.

Which is exactly how it’s supposed to work.

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Newport Beach’s century-old Balboa Island Ferry will be bikes and pedestrians only for the next month, with cars forced to take the long way around to avoid electrical work near the ferry terminal.

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Turns out even the late, great Bishop Desmond Tutu was one of us.

And yes, I looked it up. He really did say this.

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1475186686816628759

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Literary great Henry Miller was one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1474968213221883908

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So was 1930s Western matinee hero Buck Jones, featured here in a Schwinn brochure produced in the final year of his life.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1477472640105332737

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Who needs headphones when you ride a bike?

Which seems like an opportunity to remind everyone that it’s illegal under California law to ride a bike with earbuds in, or headphones over, each ear.

Even though someone on a bike would have to have their headphones cranked up pretty damn high before they’d hear as badly as someone in a car with the windows up and the music system on.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only one struck by the number of bicycles in this year’s Rose Parade.

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

A San Diego grandmother is conducting her own search for the road-raging driver who ran down her 22-year old ebike-riding grandson, making a U-turn to chase down him down in what appears to be an intentional attack. The question is, why was she able to locate security video that the police didn’t?

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 49-year old woman got a lousy fine — the equivalent of just $1,100 — for pushing a 15-year old boy off his bike for the crime of riding on the sidewalk, then bragging about it on Facebook, saying he “wouldn’t be so lucky” the next time.

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

A British doctor is now afraid to walk alone after she was run down from behind by a hit-and-run bike rider descending at high speed; she now wonders if the crash was deliberate.

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Local

LA County sheriff’s deputies blame culture and training for aggressively policing bike riders — usually Latino — in unincorporated areas, despite finding illegal materials in less than 10% of their searches. And don’t forget, you are under no obligation to consent to a search of you or your bike.

Get two-thirds off the cost of a one-year Metro Bike Hub membership through the end of this month.

London’s Daily Mail oddly gets all hot and bothered over Harrison Ford riding the streets of Los Angeles swathed in spandex.

 

State

Electrek visits the sprawling new production facilities for Newport Beach’s Electric Bike Company, which sounds more like a kids show on PBS.

Encinitas will host a carfree Cyclovia for four hours this Sunday.

There’s no lower form of human scum than anyone who would steal an adaptive bike from an 18-year old disabled San Diego woman.

San Diego Trek locations are collecting used bicycles for the next month, hoping to net more than 1,000 bicycles for a bike giveaway in collaboration with the San Diego chapter of Free Bikes 4 Kidz and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

A Highland newspaper complains about a $6.4 million demand from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offset the environmental effects of a planned Class 1 bike path through the Upper Santa Ana River Wash, which is nearly 50% more than the cost of building the actual pathway.

This is who we share the road with. A two-time DUI loser now faces a murder charge for causing a chain-reaction Palm Springs crash that took the life of a 36-year old former Marine from Chula Vista; 41-year old driver Andrew Watson Hibbard had previous DUI arrests in Oregon and Palm Springs. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

Salinas cops and firefighters are competing for the affections of their favorite fan, a teenage boy who rides his bike to follow them around the city; they pitched in together to buy him a new bike after someone stole his.

An Oakland bike thief faces up to 40 years behind bars after he was convicted of fatally shooting a man who was trying to get his bike back as the thief was making off with it.

Sad news from Rancho Cordova, where a bike rider was killed in a collision just trying to cross a roadway Saturday evening.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says with used car prices going through the roof, there may never be a better time to go carfree. And unlike his other recent columns, this one isn’t hidden behind a paywall.

Fast Company examines how cities across the US are making the temporary changes they’ve made to the streets during the pandemic permanent.

The US Public Interest Group warns about unfixable bikes that are only made to last a matter of months.

The Motley Fool says it’s time for Apple to spend some of its cash, and buy indoor cycling provider Peloton.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A 30-mile ride around Oregon’s Crater Lake, at 7,000 feet above sea level with 4,200 feet of elevation gain.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old New Mexico man continues to ride his titanium bikes every other day, and has biked through France, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Scotland, Lichtenstein, Spain and New Zealand since he took up bicycling in his early 50s.

A bike pump ordered from Amazon gets the credit for saving a young family from the extreme fires outside Boulder, Colorado last week, after the Amazon driver gave them a lift to safety after trying to deliver their order.

Kansas woman was convicted of second-degree murder for downing several drinks, then running down a 16-year old girl riding a bicycle and leaving her to die in the street.

She gets it. Writing for The Atlantic, Cleveland-based planner Angie Schmitt says big cars are killing us, and the government can’t keep letting the auto industry treat people walking or on bikes as collateral damage.

Businesses in the Kentucky-Indiana area are collecting bicycles for victims of the recent Kentucky tornadoes.

An editorial from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the public deserves to know why a 51-year old Black man was killed by police, who tased him repeatedly for the crime of riding a discarded bicycle around the block; nine officers have been disciplined for his death, though what that means is still unclear.

Newly sworn-in New York Mayor Eric Adams is one of us, too, riding a Citi Bike bikeshare to his second day at work on Sunday. Thanks again to Victor Bale for the link.

Outgoing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves office with the highest traffic fatality rates of his tenure, despite eight years of the city’s Vision Zero program, which showed promise in its first few years.

Newly released bodycam footage shows a Virginia cop tackling a Black bike rider for the crime of riding without a headlight.

When a Louisiana donut shop employee’s bicycle seat was stolen, kindhearted customers pitched in to buy him a used car. But did anyone bother to ask if he’d rather just have a new bike seat?

This is who we share the road with, too. Florida police arrested a hit-and-run driver who jumped a curb and plowed into a group of little kids on the sidewalk, killing two children and injuring four others. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could just drive away after that.

 

International

Cycling Weekly gazes into its crystal ball to predict the top road bike trends of 2022.

An Anchorage, Alaska bike wrench is riding 1,560 miles solo through Baja California to raise funds to fight ALS; he already has $20,000 in pledges, and hopes to raise over $50,000.

A Toronto woman describes how avoiding public transportation during the pandemic turned her into a four season bike rider.

A London college professor explains why you can’t blame bike lanes for an increase in traffic congestion. In London, or anywhere else.

London’s transportation department is under pressure to remove a dangerous pass that sets off a road rage altercation from a new ad urging everyone on the road to try seeing things from the other guy’s perspective. Except there shouldn’t be another side to using a car to threaten the safety of someone on a bike or on foot.

After a local English official criticized new segregated bike lanes, saying drivers now feel hemmed in, an active transportation group does a little expert-level trolling by offering their sympathy for anyone who feels “rather claustrophobic” in their “one ton sofa-carrying steel boxes.”

A Scottish program to help low-income residents buy new ebikes fell flat, after no one took them up on the offer in the first three months, despite 290 people expressing interest.

He gets it. In an op-ed for The Guardian, a writer for Cycling Weekly asks how Britain can ever become a great bicycling nation when people on bicycles are subject to driver abuse, intimidation and terrible infrastructure. Then again, you could say the same thing about any city in the US, Los Angeles included. Or you could, if any of them actually wanted to be one.

Life is cheap in the UK, where relatives and advocates are calling for reforms after a driver got less than six years behind bars for the drunken, distracted hit-and-run that took the life of a 15-year old boy riding his bike.

Road.cc looks back fondly at the ten best British bike brands from the ’70s and ’80s. Any one of which I would have been happy to find in my Christmas stocking.

A game-changing UK traffic cam has captured 15,000 drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel. Which is exactly what we need here. Although drivers would complain about how unfair it is to get caught breaking the law.

A reminder that a driver doesn’t actually have to hit you to cause serious damage, as an Irish bike rider broke his collarbone when he was blown off his bike by the slip stream from a passing truck; needless to say, the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Because this new cliffhanging Kiwi bikeway is what rail-to-trail conversions are all about.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch national road champion Amy Pieters remains in a medically induced coma after suffering a serious head injury in a fall while training in Spain; there’s no way to tell if she’s suffered any lasting damage until she wakes up.

No surprise here, as the ever expanding world of Covid-19 is already forcing restrictions on the year’s first pro bike races in February.

Pez Cycling News reviews a new book about the legendary 7-Eleven cycling team from a former editor of VeloNews.

Former pro and current Worst Retirement Ever rider Phil Gaimon is teaming with a trio of off-road cyclists, a ‘cross and track rider, and a 12-year old kid to form the multidisciplinary Jukebox Cycling team, but doesn’t expect it to change anything but whose banner he rides under.

Last week’s devastating pre-New Year’s fires outside Boulder, Colorado destroyed entire neighborhoods in Louisville and Superior — including the home of Tom and Alie Hopper, who both work for the EF Pro Cycling professional cycling team. A crowdfunding page to help them rebuild has raised over $102,000, more than doubling the $50,000 goal.

Two-time Mexican national champion and former EF Pro Cycling rider Luis Villalobos was banned for four years for doping. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike with a sword in your backpack, try not to fall off and stab yourself with it. Your next bike seat could have had a wedge to fit up your butt crack; thankfully it didn’t catch on.

And it looks like someone had a very good Christmas.

https://twitter.com/SanDiegoApedal/status/1474710596318859267

………

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

Bike riders Gavined by governor’s veto pen, rude writer confronts rude rider, and bad Claremont proposal threatens bikes

We’ve been Gavined.

We’re only a few years removed from when Jerry Brown became a verb meaning a too close pass, after he vetoed legislation establishing a three-foot passing law.

Twice.

It took a third try, and a vastly weakened law, to get it past Brown’s overactive veto pen.

Now Gavin Newsom is trying to take his place by irrationally vetoing bike and pedestrian safety laws.

Consider this statement that accompanied his veto of the Safety Stop Bill, otherwise known as the Idaho Stop or Stop as Yield, which has gone into effect in several other states without an accompanying jump in carnage.

And note, there’s no bike in carnage, but there’s sure all hell a car.

While I share the author’s intent to increase bicyclist safety, I am concerned this bill will have the opposite effect. The approach in AB 122 may be especially concerning for children, who may not know how to judge vehicle speeds or exercise the necessary caution to yield to traffic when appropriate.

Fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise on the state’s roads since 2010. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that, since 2015, there were 3,059 crashes involving bicycles at an intersection in which the primary collision factor was failure to stop at a stop sign. The data indicates bicyclists were determined to be at fault for 88 percent of the collisions resulting in fatalities and 63 percent of those involving injuries.

So let’s be clear.

Few, if any, legitimate sources use that 88% figure; most researchers find fault either evenly divided, or drivers at fault for most crashes involving bike riders.

While it’s a useful tool, the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, better knows as SWITRS, is hardly the most reliable source. SWITRS depends on voluntary self-reporting by law enforcement agencies, which results in most, but not all, serious collisions being reported.

It is also dependent on the CHP and other law enforcement agencies with their infamous windshield bias and lack of adequate training in bike law.

And never mind that of those 3,059 collisions at intersections where someone failed to stop at a stop sign, it wasn’t necessarily the person on the bike who failed to stop.

Drivers blow through stop signs at least as frequently as people on bikes, and with far more deadly results.

And as we’ve said many times before, even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

Not to mention Gavin also killed a very good law decriminalizing crossing the damn street, for similarly specious reasons — despite clear evidence that it has resulted in biased police enforcement against people of color.

Although to his credit, he did sign a bill that allows the first small steps towards weakening the deadly 85th Percentile Rule and lowering speed limits.

So maybe Gavined should be the new term for irrationally rejecting bike and pedestrian safety rules.

Or maybe that’s what we’ll call it when someone gets a ticket for otherwise safely rolling a stop sign or crossing the street mid-block, which would have been legal under the laws he rejected.

Or both.

Because we had high hopes that California would finally take a long-delayed rational step forward to make it safer and easier to get around without a car.

But instead, we got Gavined.

In today’s photo, a family takes a break on the front plaza of LAPD headquarters during yesterday’s CicLAvia in Downtown Los Angeles.

And my apologies for the lack of attribution for the people who sent me links for today’s post. Too be honest, it’s nearly 5:30 am as I finish this, and I’m just too damn tired to go back and see who sent what. But I thank you, and truly appreciate the help!

……..

A worker with a homeless organization complains about a rude bike rider on the LA River bike path, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

He was standing on the pathway, comforting a homeless man who’s longtime partner had just died, when a man on a bike yelled at them to get out of the path.

These were the circumstances when you, spandex-clad and biking south along the river, yelled at the three of us to get out of the path, to which I responded with a predictable vulgarity.

I was surprised when you returned to insist that I apologize for my foul language and for forcing you to shift lanes. You seemed genuinely certain you were the injured party, and I imagined you carrying that for the rest of the day — telling your friends about the confrontation, using it as an example of our ongoing civilizational decline…

Things shouldn’t be like this. I took your behavior as evidence that you, like many of my neighbors, view unhoused people exclusively as nuisances, similar to bad traffic on the 5 or our most recent oat milk shortage.

As usual, though, we’re only hearing one side of the story.

Undoubtedly, the man on the bicycle would see things differently; he had no way of knowing about the death of the homeless man’s partner.

But based on what we’ve been told by the author of the piece, it would seem like they were both wrong.

He could, and should, have moved the homeless man off the pathway to avoid blocking a path used by countless people every day. It’s likely that the two people comforting a homeless man blocked more of the path than he realized.

The bike rider could have also held his tongue as he rode past, assuming there was enough room to get by. Yes, it’s annoying when people stand on a bike path. But that’s what people do.

And sometimes, as in this case, there’s a reason for it.

The author also could have responded without swearing at the bike rider, which seems uncalled for under the circumstances.

So what we’re left with is two people behaving badly, and one whining about it in the pages of the Times.

Neither of whom seem very sympathetic in the retelling.

………

Eric Griswold calls our attention to a very badly worded motion before the Claremont city council that could ban bikes from one or more surface streets, in violation of state law.

So just to be clear, under California state law, bike riders have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists, and must be allowed on any public street where cars are allowed, with the exception of some limited access highways.

While some cities have tried to ban bikes from certain roadways, it’s questionable whether it can be legally enforced. Although fighting it could mean taking it to the state appeals courts, which is a slow and costly process.

So let’s hope Claremont takes another look at this wording, and sends it back for a rewrite.

And maybe gets a new law firm for the next draft.

………

Sunday marked the return of CicLAvia to DTLA, exactly 11 years to the day after the first one.

And yes, a good time was had by all.

Even our very own BikinginLA intern, who not only experienced her first CicLAvia, but also took her first pedicab ride.

Not to mention her second. And loved every minute of it, thanks to our very kind and friendly driver.

We also had a chance to talk corgis, bikes and city finances with the man who may just be LA’s next city controller.

Maybe he could put his own corgis to work sniffing out financial irregularities at city hall.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1447365863363923969

………

Show this tweet the next time someone complains about bike lanes in front of businesses.

Then wait for the inevitable “Yeah, but this isn’t Madrid.”

………

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

An editor with Esquire wants us to feel sorry for him for getting his first traffic ticket in 30 years for right-hooking a bike rider who came off the sidewalk “out of nowhere.” Evidently, though, the cops understood that no one ever comes out of nowhere if drivers are paying attention, even if he doesn’t.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the man who brutally attacked an 18-year old woman in South Los Angeles as she was walking with her young brother, stealing about 30 bucks before making off on a bicycle.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding man who shouted a racist comment at an Asian woman before bumping her with his bike.

………

Local

All five candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist, bike lane-blocking, thankfully termed out CD5 City Councilmember Paul Koretz will participate in an online debate on mobility on October 25th, sponsored by Streets for All.

Congratulations to LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood, which is officially the world’s 14th coolest neighborhood.

This is who we share the road with. A man was beaten to death by bystanders after using his car as a weapon to intentionally crash into several people on a sidewalk when he was tossed from a Hawthorne business, then crashed into a building as he tried to get away, only to be pulled from his car and killed by members of the crowd he attacked

Not everyone turned out for CicLAvia on Sunday, as some people took part in the return of the bike ride on the course of the Long Beach Marathon. Although I suspect some people did both.

 

State

An Orange County woman got her stolen bike back a day later, after cruising the neighborhood with her dog until she spotted a man riding it, and the police in Santa Ana recovered it for her.

Cycling Tips looks at Day Two of this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Moving piece from a Berkeley publicly funded paper about the 81-year old retired firefighter who died of a heart attack while riding his bike last week.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines the lack of equity for two San Francisco drivers who killed two bike-riding women in separate crashes on the same night; one driver got a lousy 16 days behind bars, while the other has been held in county jail for five years on $10 million bail, without ever getting a hearing.

 

National

Treehugger says US ebike sales are up a whopping 240%.

How to repurpose old wheelbarrows to build your own DIY bike trailer.

Chicago residents petition to restore a Slow Street, after the city continues its campaign to remove them.

In a major traffic collision, an eight-year old Ohio girl was riding her bicycle when she was struck by a 10-year old boy and 8-year old girl in a pony cart, spilling them all.

Two hundred Massachusetts bike riders turned out turned out to honor the sacrifices of police and firefighters who gave their lives to protect the public.

Bicycling rates continue to rise in the Big Apple, with a 33% jump in weekday ridership.

Jersey City NJ bike riders are getting the secure bike parking we all need with a Black and Brown-owned Brooklyn-based startup that provides customizable bike storage pods that can fit in a single parking space. Let’s hope they come here to SoCal soon.

Woody Harrelson is one of us, riding a bike around DC shortly after punching a drunk man at the Watergate Hotel, who allegedly lunged at him when Harrelson asked him to delete photos of him and his daughter. .

 

International

Birmingham, England announced a transformative plan to cut motor vehicle use by requiring drivers to use a ring road, rather than allowing them to drive across the city, while introducing a fleet of zero-emission cross-city buses and additional protected bike lanes.

Oh, bother. Local residents agree on protecting England’s Hundred Acre Wood, made famous by Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet et al, though there’s less agreement on whether to allow bicycles. Although something tells me Pooh would welcome bikes.

Nice story from the UK, where YouTube BMX star Zak Jones gave a young boy with autism a new bike after meeting him at a skate park, when the boy, who had never ridden a bicycle, decided to become a cycling star like Jones.

It takes a major schmuck to borrow a Kenyan boy’s bicycle, then turn around and sell it.

Life is really cheap in Malaysia, where an appeals court confirmed that a driver got a walk for killing eight — yes, eight — teenagers on the customized bikes known as basikal lajak. And she got her driver’s license back, too. I don’t care who you are, it takes major recklessness to crash into eight people on bicycles with enough force to kill them all.

Covid is delaying construction of a Sydney, Australia bikeway, as “snobbish” and “narrow minded” residents work to stop it.

Australian actor Samuel Johnson is one of us, possibly to his regret, after permanently losing his sense of smell when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar won the Il Lombardia classic, in the final race on this year’s WorldTour calendar.

Pink Bike offers a photo essay from the Red Bull Rampage, calling it the greatest show on earth.

British sprinting star Mark Cavendish turned up at the women’s Tour of Britain to speak out in support of women’s cycling.

Congratulations to SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera, who is now Coryn Labecki, after getting married and moving to a new team.

American BMX cyclist Connor Fields crash in the Tokyo Olympics left him with a serious traumatic brain injury and memory loss, raising questions about whether he can recover enough to compete again.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new low-end e-mountain bike is okay for everything, except riding mountains. Who needs the Batmobile when you’ve got a turbo-charged bicycle?

And clearly, dooring is nothing new.

………

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

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

……..

CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

………

Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

………

If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

………

The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

………

Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

………

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

………

Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. 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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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.

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

$20 billion for bikes in Biden Transpo bill, “Beautiful” Eagle Rock BRT meeting tonight, and comic artist on Bike Talk

I’m doing my best to keep this an April fools-free zone today.

Which means I’m not going to play any tricks on you, and I’ll do my best not to link to any. So if anything slips through, let me know.

As always, I want you to be able to trust whatever you may see here. 

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

………

Now that’s more like it.

The Guardian reports President Biden’s new $2 trillion infrastructure plan will include much needed funding for bikes.

Protect cyclists and pedestrians: Bikes, too, would get a share of the billions. The package includes $20 billion for safety – including funds to ‘reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.’

That’s in addition to funding for transit to cut traffic congestion and reduce the number of cars on the road.

Let’s hope the bike funding — and the bill itself — survives what promises to be a brutal congressional process.

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Tonight is the last scheduled virtual public meeting to weigh in on the Beautiful Blvd plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

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Now this should be a fun conversation.

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Here’s your chance to work in advocacy on the east side of the Bay Area.

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No bias here.

When a Pennsylvania buggy gets right hooked by a truck driver, the state police blame the buggy driver for somehow riding into the truck’s blind spot and crashing into the truck.

Sure, let’s go with that.

Evidently, those Amish buggies must really haul ass to undertake a truck driver.

Never mind that the horse, which somehow wasn’t involved in the crash, would have been the first thing to strike the truck in that bizarro scenario.

Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

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I couldn’t get the video to load, but maybe you’ll have better luck than I did.

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Hello, Wilshire Blvd? Hello?

This is what we could be doing in Los Angeles.

And what we’ll have to do if we want to reduce the city’s crippling addiction to motor vehicles, let alone make a dent in our massive contribution to climate change.

But we’re not.

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

A Michigan man faces up to ten years behind bars after pleading guilty to beating a Black teenager with a chain bicycle lock, just because of his race. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough for someone like that. And no, there’s no guarantee that he rides a bike; he could have just used the chain lock for something else. But still. 

Teenage bike riders swarmed and pummeled a man to stop him from heckling people on Miami Beach; one boy was arrested and could face charges.

A Vancouver man faces charges for attacking a truck passenger participating in an anti-mask rally with his bicycle.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Jose-area drivers somehow find it impossible to believe that a distracted driver seriously injured a bike rider, concluding that the guy on the bike had to be at fault. Evidently, they’ve never watched someone try to drive while using a handheld phone. Other than themselves, of course.

 

National

Outside’s Joe Lindsey offers advice on how to ensure your bike is ready for riding this spring. Although for those of us in Southern California, the easiest way to make sure you’re ready for spring is to keep riding all winter.

Bicycling offers advice on how women riders can avoid seat pain and saddle sores, along with other common problems.

A reviewer for Gear Junkie discovers he’s become a bike snob, after doing his best to hate Cannondale’s new ebike, and failing.

Wired recommends everything you need for an epic bikepacking trip.

Call it a national park ciclovía. For the next two weeks, Yellowstone NP will be open to people on bicycles before it opens to drivers on the 16th.

The residents of a tiny Arkansas town remember a man they called Bicycle Charley, known by all after 50 years of selling the local paper from a trailer towed behind his bicycle.

Three kindhearted Oklahoma cops dug into their own pockets to replace a kid’s bike when it from stolen from an elementary school, taking car to replace it with the same make and model he had before.

A Cincinatti man copped a plea for the hit-and-run death of a prominent attorney as the lawyer rode his bike last year; he now faces up to 11 years behind bars after pleading to vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of a crash.

A 25-year old Brooklyn woman eases her pandemic lockdown anxiety by learning to ride a bike for the first time.

A new video of New York’s First Avenue bike lane shows the people on two wheels are going to need more space, as cars barely outnumber bikes on the street.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, ER doctors were forced to confront the daily toll of traffic-related injuries and deaths; a New York physician says enough!

A Philadelphia man will face a murder charge after turning himself in for fatally shooting an 11-year old boy, and injuring the 14-year old boy he was riding with.

Tragic news from Florida where a man was killed just minutes after getting tossed out of a rail yard, when he tried to cross under a stopped train car with his bicycle.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their favorite bicycle wheels of 2021, with prices starting at the equivalent of a surprisingly low $344. Although prices are given British pounds, so cost and availability may vary.

If your main concern is looking cute on your bicycle, Yahoo has the bikes for you.

An 18-year old man was convicted of ramming an 18-year old London bike rider with his car, then getting out and repeatedly stabbing him in a brutal attack.

British motorists decide a spiral intersection design intended to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by eliminating right-of-way is just too damn confusing.

An op-ed in an Irish paper says transportation is too often considered gender neutral, but active transportation plans must take differing needs of “women, children, the elderly, those with a disability and different ethnic minorities” into account.

The bike boom has hit the Philippines, as bike riders take to the streets while confronting government efforts to restrict riders.

Surprisingly, a British man got his bike back two years after it was stolen in an Australian town, when he was 102 days into a record-setting attempt to be the youngest person to ride solo across the world; he was literally left with just the clothes on his back after everything else was taken. A 46-year old man faces charges after being caught riding the stolen bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Paralympic cyclist is using her platform to be a voice for others, after discovering adaptive bicycles could be modified to meet the needs of differently abled bike riders. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Bad enough if you’re going to steal a bicycle, but don’t shoot a police dog when they come for you; thankfully, he’s recovering — the dog, not the jerk who shot him. That feeling when you suffer fatal injuries riding BMX, but just won’t die.

And a Houston man learns the hard way that riding a bike on the freeway is illegal — and the cop behind him wasn’t giving him a police escort.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CM5WjpMHbLZ/?utm_source=ig_embed

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Thanks to Matthew R for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day; donations of any size are always appreciated

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

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While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

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The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

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Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

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A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

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Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

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Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1366440759113756674

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

Fighting for civil rights on bikes, a close call caught on video, and the war on bikes keeps going on…and on

Yes, Dr. King was one of us.

We’ve seen photos of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on a bicycle before.

But it never occurred to me to consider the role bikes played in the Montgomery bus boycott kicked off by Rosa Parks.

Although maybe it should have, because in retrospect, it’s not surprising that Black men — and presumably women — would take to their bikes to get around town while boycotting the city’s bus system to demand an end to segregated transportation.

Just one more way bicycles have helped change the world.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A British bike rider plays dodge the dump truck after the driver pulled out in front of him, as well as in front of cars coming from the opposite direction.

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How to tell when you’re a real bicyclist.

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

A 12-year old South Carolina boy suffered dozens of puncture wounds when he was repeatedly shot with a BB gun by a group of teenagers after passing them on his bike. This shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other random shooting. It’s a violent assault, not a prank. 

A London borough counselor says she’s finished with riding after being attacked by two men in a car for failing to get the hell out of their way. We’ll never get people out of their cars as long as driveway vigilantes can use their cars enforce their often mistaken interpretation of the law. And too often, get away with it.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Heartbreaking news from Miltipas, where a seven-year old boy was killed when an armed robbery suspect in a stolen SUV slammed into his bicycle; the woman behind the wheel was arrested, while her male partner is on the run.

The Consul General of the Netherlands gave a presentation to Bay Area officials on how to apply Dutch expertise on cycling infrastructure, pointing out that ebikes nullify the area’s famous hills.

Congratulations to Davis on retaining its status as a platinum-level bicycle friendly community.

 

National

Maybe Joe Biden can take his Peloton to the White House after all.

NBC News picks the year’s ten best ebikes.

The pandemic-induced bike boom and subsequent shortage is fueling a surge in bike theft in the Denver area.

Texas bike riders will soon be able to ride 100 miles from Austin to the Alamo in San Antonio without ever riding on the roadway.

Car choked Houston is planning a network of 1,800 miles of high comfort bike lanes. Seriously, if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

No bias here. A impatient New Jersey DJ somehow feels a bike-riding woman has an obligation to get the hell out of her way instead of “lollygagging” through an intersection.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania man pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts for killing a bike rider while driving under the influence, and with cocaine in his blood.

A woman from DC is suing a Florida city for $200,000, the maximum allowed under state law, despite having over $1 million in medical bills after a careless garbage truck driver hit her bike, leaving her with “multiple compound fractures, a crushed pelvis, eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and a traumatic brain injury.”

 

International

Road.cc announces their picks for the bike of the year, with prices starting at a surprisingly low £749 — the equivalent of $1,025.

Cycling News considers the best women’s road bike saddles.

Next City examines what American cities can learn from Chinese dockless bikeshare providers.

Christy Brinkley is one of us. Or she just knows the value of posing with a bicycle on a tropical beach.

Kids, don’t try this at home. A Costa Rican BMX rider knocked himself out landing on his un-helmeted head after riding off the roof of an ice cream parlor trying to film a video.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where an 80-year old man walks with a lousy $5,000 fine for killing a 13-year old bike-riding boy, after admitting that he wasn’t even wearing his glasses behind the wheel. At least he lost his license for four years, even though it should have been permanently.

An English man was beaten by a group of thieves armed with metal pipes who stole his bike.

A British man is riding around the world on a tandem bike after overcoming a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Kolkata, India is building a 74-mile cycle track criss-crossing the city.

The world watched in awe as paraplegic climber Lai Chi-wai fell just short of his goal of pulling himself to the top of a Hong Kong skyscraper, climbing 800 feet while raising $700,000 for charity. But what’s not mentioned is the cost of the traffic violence that left him confined to a wheelchair in the first place.

Yes, please. A new report suggests that Aussie commuters should be paid to bike to work instead of driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Somehow we missed this news over the weekend, as an SUV driver plowed into six members of the Bora-Hansgrohe cycling team after failing to stop at an intersection during a training ride in Italy. Three members of the team were injured seriously enough to be taken to a hospital with concussions, while two of the riders, Wilco Kelderman and Andreas Schillinger, also suffered spinal fractures. But Kelderman didn’t let a little thing like a fractured vertebrae keep him from training.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a pretty picture. Chubby Batman is one of us, too.

And no, bike riders shouldn’t be allowed to use drive-thrus during the pandemic.

We should be allowed to use them any time drivers can.

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

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