Tag Archive for bike safety

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

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

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

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

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

Then this.

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

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

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

And do something about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And responded by running for office — and winning.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

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

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

Or rather, failing to.

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

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

And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?

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

Seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He gets it.

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.

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

As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Guest Post: Hit-and-run driver Mehta walks despite showing no remorse, plus updates on other recent stories

We’re going to give our anonymous courtroom correspondent her own platform today.

Starting with an update in the case of 34-year old Medium contributor and author Pratiti Renee Mehta, who was re-sentenced for last year’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured.

And yet another reminder of why people keep dying on our streets.

Two years.

Suspended, of course. ‘Cause she’s learned her lesson.

Upon her July conviction for all counts, Judge Julan Baliley sentenced Mehta to 3 years in State Prison. She left for her Chowchilla vacation almost immediately and was bussed back for her re-sentencing last week.

His Honor informed her that he’d sent her up the river in the hope that exposure to the element that fills our prisons would allow her to reflect on the person she wished to be. She did just that, observing her ilk from what little distance she could keep in such close quarters. According to her diagnostic assessment, she was a “model inmate” who did not create any disruptions during her brief stay.

She was allowed to address the court, and, through tears, expressed regret that she was unable to be present with her family, who experienced two deaths during her absence. She stated that she never wishes to experience incarceration again.

It is telling that she did not state that she never wants to harm an innocent human being with her car ever again, nor did she express regret for the permanent injury inflicted on that “bum” (direct quote from the post-collision texts collected as evidence).

Yup, she intimated that prison was unpleasant for her, but she never once referenced the extensive medical bills, physical pain, PTSD, permanent scars, loss of income, and limp she inflicted on her victim. Not to mention damaging the Peugeot her victim had bought in 1984.

Mehta’s assessment by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation psychologist  concludes that she is unlikely to reoffend. I agree, because she doesn’t wanna experience the hassle of mandatory court appearances, restitution, and incarceration. She won’t deliberately slam her Mercedes against another bum again, not because she gives a damn that others may suffer. Just because she might be affected by the repercussions, and it’s already been such a headache.

Frankly, Mehta lacks empathy. She’s not sorry for her victim; she’s just sorry she got caught.

Typically infuriating for these cases, she is required to sign away her Constitutionally protected right to possess firearms. Yet she is still allowed to drive. In fact, the Judge stated unambiguously that “I am taking no action against your driving privilege.” A driver who fails to use a turn signal will be sentenced to traffic school. But, gosh, all Mehta did was leave a guy lying in the street with his bone sticking out of his leg, and that’s not substantial enough to warrant remedial driver’s education. It might have been helpful if Judge Bailey had used his discretion to order Mehta to comlpete a Savvy Cycling class before returning her privilege to drive.

Also infuriating: Some hideous person left a comment on your blog about how horrible it is that poor li’l Pratiti’s career has been derailed because of all this inconvenience. Well, Mehta’s victim is a stage hand, a manual laborer whose ability to labor manually was taken away from him by her violent assault. To this day, he walks with a limp, and will probably never be 100% again. Although he’s working now, he lost lucrative, prestigious opportunities (plural) because he was unable to work during his physical rehabilitation. The commenter’s ignorance in suggesting that the victim shared fault is terrifying, and it’s disgusting to consider that Mehta associates with those who think this way and who might be able to influence her thoughts, especially since she is still allowed to continue to drive without any education.

In addition to time served (with credits for good behavior), the Judge sentenced Miss Mehta to 2 years in State Prison, suspended, for the felony hit and run count; 6 months in County Jail for the misdemeanor lyin’-to-the-cops count; and fines for the infraction of CVC 21070, “unsafe operation of a motor vehicle causing injury.” Count 4, CVC 21107 (“unsafe turn”), was dismissed.

Mehta will be on formal probation for the next three years. She will probably drive to report in for every appointment.

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I recently wondered why a driver had been charged with murder for killing someone, which almost never done except in the case of repeated DUIs.

Here’s what she had to say.

Regarding murder charges. I spoke briefly with a random attorney in the courthouse hallway, and “implied malice” (the reasonable knowledge that an act is dangerous) is sufficient to file a charge of murder. “Express malice”  (“I’M GONNA KILL YOU, BITCH!”) makes it a lot easier to prosecute, but if you get reasonable jurors, a murder conviction is not just possible but likely.

This should be a giant duh, but murder is rarely sought in cases involving motor vehicles. Unless, of course, the driver is impaired, or if a threat has been expressed.

And conviction is never a sure bet, as in this case, which ended in acquittal, probably because of the, uh, questionable sobriety of one of the pilots. (This case was actually referenced by DA Cornwell in one of his filings in a vehicular manslaughter case a few years ago, which is why I looked it up.)

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Yet another reason why people keep getting killed on our streets.

If nobody’s pointed it out yet: 10.4 miles of Vanowen Street is gettin’ a speed limit increase.

Not at the same Vanowen High Injury Network location where a crossing guard was killed at a yellow crosswalk and a HAWK beacon was installed last month. West of there. 10.4 miles, the longest stretch designated for an increase, all within a half mile or less of over twenty preschool and K-12 facilities. But at least those 10.4 miles don’t have many of those useless HAWK beacons. And only about 3 of the 10.4 miles are on the High Injury Network.

Good job, Vision Zero team!

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That “wipeout” video you posted.

I recognized that Starbucks (and hideous Wells Fargo) instantly. That was my commute route for nearly 10 years.

Also, right where the video began, that’s where Michael Bastien was killed. (His killer’s already out, fwiw.) And that Starbucks is in the same strip mall where another Huntington Beach statistic worked, at Valentino’s Pizza. The dough slinger saw Bastien’s ghost bike every day, just meters from his work; he was hit on October 13th, 2015, and died in the hospital on the 19th, on the anniversary of Shaun Eagleson’s murder. If I’m marking dates, Wednesday would’ve been AJ Brumback’s 17th birthday. (Note: The killer of the then-eight-year old boy didn’t spend a day behind bars.)

A simple right-hook video shouldn’t create a cascade of these associations.

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She also addressed last week’s response to a column by OC Register columnist David Whiting calling for a mandatory bike helmet law.

David Whiting’s friend Pete Tomaino was wearing a helmet when he was killed while riding his bike. Look, there’s a picture of Pete in the newspaper, wearing his holy, all-protective helmet!

Orange County bicyclists Joey Robinson, Roger Lippman, Shaun Eagleson, former Olympian Amine Britel, Sara Leaf, Debra Deem, Fire Captain Mike Kreza, all wearing helmets when they were killed.

The human brain can shut down permanently as a result of trauma not inflicted by a direct blow to the head. Even if you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet, damage to your rain not inflicted by a direct blow can kill you. No helmet will prevent trauma-induced hypoxia or rhabdomyolysis.

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And she ends on a personal note.

Sunday night I was nearly killed by a creep who ran a red (not orange; very, very red) at a blind corner at 50 mph. I am still shook.

You know how your brain replays everything over and over and over in these situations, all the scenarios with variable timelines could have resulted in a different outcome. Yeah, that’s what my head’s been doing. For days.

Also, I had the plate, driver’s description, and location, and damn right I called it in, and the Sheriff will do nothing about the piddly little infraction that nearly killed me and the other driver with the same green light.

I won’t rant, but I am still shook. If I weren’t the type to look for cross traffic, if I hadn’t been on my slow janky bike while my Kilo TT’s in the shop, if I hadn’t yielded a block before for a turning driver, I wouldn’t be writing this.

If, if, if.

If, indeed.

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

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

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More fuel for the never-ending bike helmet debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bike helmet photo by Projekt_Kaffeebart from Pixabay.

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

Thanks to Bean for the heads-up.

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

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

Thanks to Michael Kim for the news.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Complete with panniers, no less.

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

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

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

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

Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

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

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

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

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Now that’s a smart idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

Some people just don’t get it.

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

Take this columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Please.

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

No, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then decide for yourself whether to wear a helmet.

Or as someone else put it,

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

………

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

………

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

Enough said.

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

A new British ebike folds in less than ten seconds.

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

Or something

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

 

Morning Links: New helmet study finally studies head injuries, stop fat shaming bike riders, and the war on bikes goes on

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after Friday’s unexcused absence. 

So grab your coffee and settle in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

………

Finally, a bike helmet study actually looks at head injuries for a change.

Most previous studies have compared helmet use to fatalities — but without saying how many of those deaths actually involved head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable with one.

At least this one is different.

A new study from researchers at UCLA and LA’s Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science examined ten years of data on bicycling injuries from the National Trauma Bank.

They found that only 22% of adult bicyclists who suffered head and neck injuries were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, a number that dropped to just 12% for riders under 17.

Or looking at it another way, a full 78% of adult bike riders who suffered head and neck injuries weren’t wearing a helmet, along with 88% of riders under 17 years old.

Yet somehow, the authors conclude that the solution is mandatory helmet laws. Even though 21 states and over 200 local jurisdictions already require them for anyone under 18.

Call me crazy, but when 88% of injured riders under 17 weren’t wearing one, that would seem to suggest that helmet laws just aren’t that effective.

The study also found that women were slightly more likely to wear a helmet, at 28% versus 21% for men; helmet use was even lower for people of color.

Then there’s this.

Bicyclists who were wearing helmets when accidents occurred generally had less severe injuries, spent less time hospitalized, including shorter stays in intensive care, and were less likely to have died as a result of the accident…

Men were also 36% more likely die as a result of a crash.

Black bike riders were 16% more likely to be killed than white riders, while Hispanic riders were 17% percent more likely to die due to a bicycling crash. However, that may be due to well-documented differences in medical outcomes for people of color.

So whether or not you wear a helmet is up to you. And should stay that way.

It’s also important to remember that bike helmets should always be seen as a last resort when all else fails.

But if it does, you may be better off with one that without one.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

………

A self-described fat cyclist says she’s an athlete now, not in some alternative thin body.

And she doesn’t need to fix herself, thank you very much. But the attitudes of the fat-shaming bike world could use some work.

Seriously, take a few moments to read this one.

Because there’s an inherent bias in the bicycling community in favor of strong, thin and “healthy” bicyclists. And an all-too-real tendency to look down on anyone who doesn’t fit that mold.

I’d be the first to admit I was one of them, albeit unconsciously, even though there’s been no shortage of large and fluffy women in my life, including my own mother.

I should have known better.

But it took getting to know women who didn’t let their size dictate what they could and couldn’t do on a bicycle to get it through my thick skull.

Just one of the many lessons I’ve learned from the readers of this site. And for which I am eternally grateful.

………

Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

………

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

A New York woman was the victim of an apparently random attack by two men who knocked her off her bike and punched as she was riding in a bike lane; in traditional New York fashion, dozens of people allegedly watched but did nothing to help her.

A British Member of Parliament said there was a major problem in his district with car passengers pushing people off their bicycles; local police said it actually happened just once, with the victim suffering a broken shoulder blade. Then again, once is enough.

A British man out riding with his kids had to use his mountain bike to fight off a man who lunged at them with a kitchen knife.

………

Local

A West Adams bike shop owner and real estate agent led a bike tour of the historic — and historically black — neighborhood, leading to the same questions of gentrification that have rocked Boyle Heights in recent years.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Los Angeles man’s $2,000 custom handcycle. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 the difference between a quadriplegic and a paraplegic, because they don’t appear to know.

In a bizarre crime, a burned body was found stuffed in a shopping cart at a homeless encampment along the bike path through Balboa Park; police say the victim was burned somewhere else and moved to the site. However, they’re not ready to label it a homicide, despite a rash of fire attacks on homeless people in the LA area.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A driver crashed into a parklet in front of Book Soup on the Sunset Strip, apparently due to a mechanical failure.

 

State

Plans for a makeover of the nearly defunct Brea mall include over 300 apartments, and a walk and bike path connecting the mall to the civic center.

Uber has pulled its Jump ebikes and scooters from the streets of San Diego, blaming the new rules the city adopted in April; San Diego is also threatening to revokes permits for Lime, and previously suspended permits for Wheels until the company made modifications to its scooters.

Imperial Beach has jumped on the Vision Zero bandwagon, joining just two other cities in San Diego County in committing to end traffic deaths.

A hit-and-run driver has been charged with murder, manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license for killing a 61-year old Visalia woman as she rode her bike; he has a long string of priors ranging from animal cruelty to assault with a deadly weapon.

The CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group was lucky to escape with minor injuries after he was clipped by the wing mirror of an apparently driverless motor home while on a charity ride from Big Sur to Hearst Castle. There’s not one mention in the piece of the driver of the vehicle, or even if it had one. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

This is who we share the roads with. Pedestrians are taught to walk facing traffic, drivers not so much — especially on major highways — as two people were killed in Mountain View when a driver somehow sped the wrong way on a freeway. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link.

Now that’s more like it. A San Francisco councilmember responds to a rash of traffic deaths in the Tenderloin district by proposing to ban cars entirely in the neighborhood.

Something doesn’t add up. San Francisco police blame a 73-year old man for making a left turn and crashing into a car traveling in the opposite direction, suffering life-threatening injuries.

San Francisco’s “Fruit Jesus” travels the city towing a half-ton of fresh fruit on a trailer behind his bike, delivering carfree to customers throughout the city.

An Oakland bike cop is a hero after resuscitating a clinically dead man who collapsed in the parking lot of the Raider’s opening game against the Denver Bronco’s.

A Berkeley woman was busted after fleeing the scene of a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured after she left crossed the man with her SUV, dragging him underneath it for several seconds.

A bike and pedestrian bridge in Mill Valley has been closed indefinitely after inspectors discovered one of the 12 piers supporting it has been “compromised.”

An obelisk made entirely of children’s bike parts has been named Project of the Year by the Sacramento chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Next time you visit Lake Tahoe, you’ll have a place to park your bike, after the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition installed 126 new bike racks, for a total of 340 in the past two years, along with two public fix-it stations.

 

National

Bicycling recommends eleven bicycling accessories that they say aren’t necessary, but will enhance your ride. I can personally vouch for the Polar Bottles to keep your water cool and drinkable for hours.

Outside reviews the new documentary Motherload, saying the story of one woman’s emancipation from the drudgery of the carpool foretells the coming cargo bike revolution.

Gear Junkie takes a ride on Walmart’s new $6,000 29er hardtail mountain bike, and likes it. And concludes it’s priced much lower than comparatively spec’ed bikes.

Apple is rumored to be working on a tracking chip that will be far more accurate than Tile, and could revolutionize the ability to track down a stolen bicycle. Or anything else, for that matter. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Arizona investigators offer a driver a Get Out of Jail Free card after he plowed into a group of bicyclists, injuring “five or six” bike riders, in a crash police blamed on glare from the sun. So apparently, in Arizona it’s perfectly legal to step on the gas when you have no idea what the hell is in front of you.

A new Denver map shows 400 miles of low-stress streets to encourage more people to get out and bike. We could really use something like that here in LA, since our existing bike “network” isn’t one, and isn’t likely to be one anytime soon.

A Boulder CO bicyclist says greater density means more cars. And more cars are bad for people on bicycle. Except the main benefit of increased density is that locations are closer, so people don’t have to drive long distances to shop or dine. As a result, it accommodates population increases without increasing the sprawl that forces people into their cars.

After a short rant about getting t-boned by a blond bike rider, a Durango CO writer gives a look at the vitriol, bile and threats spewed towards bicyclists on Facebook. But says the solution is for the people on two wheels to stop annoying the people threatening to kill us.

Good question. A Montana sixth grader wants to know why would anyone steal a kid’s bike.

A Nebraska mayor has summarily decided to rip out a six-year old road diet and bike lanes after the previous mayor spent $300,000 to put them in, because he says they confuse out-of-town drivers. No, really.

After being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative brain disease, a Massachusetts man set out to spend his last days giving bikes to kids in Massachusetts and Vermont; he now employs 34 people and has a stock of 2,000 bicycles ready to give away.

New York’s Central Park is now an obstacle course, no matter how you try to get around it.

Philadelphia church and temple goers enjoy relaxed parking regulations, avoiding the tickets they’d otherwise get. Even when they park in a bike lane.

A Virginia man describes what it’s like to move from bicycling’s second-class status in the US — if that — to ruling the roads as his family learns to ride like natives in the Netherlands.

Seriously, you just can’t win with some people. A retired Georgia police chief complains about a group of bicyclists riding single file on a narrow road, then complains when they start riding abreast when the road widens. And just can’t comprehend why people like to ride on narrow, curvy roads.

Some kindhearted Savannah GA cops bought a new bike for a 10-year old boy after the one he received for being student of the month was stolen just a week after he got it.

 

International

It’s back. Just when you thought it was safe to ridicule expensive airbags for bike riders, the inflatable Hövding bike helmet is out with their third generation, promising improved performance and faster response times. Though I’m going to hold out until they offer a full bodysuit that inflates on impact.

A Vancouver, British Columbia cop will face a traffic charge for colliding with a suspect who was trying to make his getaway on a bike as the officer pursued in his patrol car.

A nonprofit’s donation of 43 bicycles to two elementary schools in Canada’s Yukon Territory hit a snag when officials discovered it would cost more to ship them than the bikes’ $30,000 price tag.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist says “cycling zealots” are demanding “a cycling Shangri-La superimposed on the Toronto grid.Apparently she’s still angry over her failed attempt to ride a bike, and insists on taking it out on everyone who can.

Royal-in-law James Middleton, brother of Kate and Pippa, appeared thrilled to be riding his stolen and recovered bakfiets on the streets of London, as was his Labrador retriever.

No surprise here, as the Times of India says Bengaluru just isn’t bike-friendly, calling the city’s drivers “very rash.”

Vigilante justice can be swift in India, where a drunk man was beaten to death for attempting to steal a bicycle when the owner and three of his relatives spotted the man riding off on it. Not something I’d recommend, tempting though it may be. 

They get it. An Aussie website asks who’s really paying for free parking? Hint — It ain’t the people not paying to park there. Or even just the ones driving.

Strange and tragic news from Down Under, as a 76-year old Australian man died after crashing his bike to avoid an attacking magpie.

A 64-year old Singapore man opened a bicycle cafe along a popular bike path with views of jets taking off and landing at the airport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-year old former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič carried the Vuelta’s red jersey to victory in Madrid. Meanwhile, Movistar’s directeur sportif called out cycling’s governing body for letting Roglič use a team car’s slipstream to catch up with the peloton after a crash on stage 19.

About damn time. California takes the lead in creating equity in pro cycling, mandating equal prize money for men’s and women’s cycling. Meanwhile, VeloNews asks the experts what’s the best way to build interest in the women’s sport.

Great story from Outside, as 78-year old Thomas Camero was happy to finish his third self-supported Trans-Am transcontinental bike race on his $700 second-hand Surly in 99 days — dead last and 58 days behind everyone else.

A British Paralympic cyclist opens up about the surgery she endured to relieve her painful saddle sores.

Bicycling examines the newest frontier in cheating, comparing e-sports hacking to the next generation of doping.

 

Finally…

Call it a very roundabout way to set a record. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, try not to leave your shoes, phone and bike behind.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you already have a record and you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already.

 

Morning Links: Challenger Sarah Kate Levy gets big endorsement in CD4, bike cops in the news, and a video Tuesday

LA’s city elections are still more than nine months away.

Yet the action is heating up in the city’s 4th Council District, where challenger Sarah Kate Levy has already won the endorsement of popular first-term Congresswoman Katie Hill.

It’s unusual for an elected official to endorse a challenger facing an incumbent councilmember from his or her own party.

Especially in Los Angeles.

And especially this early in the race.

Yet Hill announced yesterday she’s throwing in with the rookie city council candidate.

Sarah Kate Levy also received an early endorsement from Bike the Vote LA, who said she stood out far above the scrum of candidates, including Ryu.

Or maybe especially Ryu.

Levy summed up her position on Twitter in response to another user.

Which is something we should have heard from incumbent David Ryu years ago.

Photo from Sara Kate Levy’s website.

………

Today’s common theme is bike cops.

When a pair of Seattle bike cops tried to stop a man for carrying a knife, he fought with the officers — probably because of his two outstanding warrants and the coke in his backpack.

Boston bike cops got into a shootout with a fleeing man after responding to a report of shots fired; the officers were uninjured, while the suspect was killed.

Two Ottawa, Canada bike cops were exonerated of breaking a belligerent drunk’s wrist after the man confronted them and challenged one to a fight; investigators concluded he could have broken his wrist in a fight before the police arrested him, or while punching his cell wall afterwards.

And you could always make the tales of a teenaged Maine bike cop part of your summer reading.

………

Heartbreaking news from New York, where hundreds of fed-up bike riders rallied to protest the death of yet another person on a bicycle, coupled with the usual inaction by the NYPD.

The victim, a 20-year old bike racer, was hit by the driver of a semi-truck shortly after moving to the city from Virginia.

Needless to say, the driver kept going, returning to the scene claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, after witnesses chased him down.

The victim, Robyn Hightman, had recently been named one of 10 ambassadors for the Hagens Berman–Supermint Pro Cycling Team.

Here’s what she movingly wrote about the impact of bicycling in her life, in applying for the program.

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space. My bicycle enabled me to leave our encampment every day to access education, seek out food, and fulfill my basic needs. Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

Sadly, she lost it while riding her bike, as well.

Maybe if LA bike riders would respond like that to the continued carnage on our streets, our elected leaders might finally start taking us — and our lives — seriously.

Sadly, though, when someone is killed riding a bike in Los Angeles, in most cases, the late, great Phil Ochs nailed it.

Because in most cases, “It really doesn’t matter to anybody, outside of a small circle of friends.”

………

Why waste your bike pump skills putting air in your tires, when you could be making music?

Although this one seems to work a little better.

And more timely, too.

………

Okay, so it’s not the kind of bike you pedal.

But a young Pennsylvania man learned the hard way not to taunt a cop while riding a stolen dirt bike if you can’t control the damn thing.

………

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

Even when they’re kids riding for a good cause, if not in the right way.

English drivers were angered when a hundred teenagers took to the streets to call for an end to knife crime. But one man did more than complain, getting out of his car and pushing a boy off his bike; police called that “not an acceptable response.”

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Local

Sad news from Koreatown, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bicycle by another man on a bike; police are investigating it as a possible gang shooting.

A New Urbanist living carfree in Los Angeles says she’d like to ride a bike, but has doubts about safety.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

NPR talks with the author of The World’s Fastest Man about the legendary Major Taylor, who battled Jim Crow racism to become an international bike racing sensation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, yet died pennyless. Thanks to Brooks McKinney for the heads-up.

Wired lists their picks for the year’s top three bike helmets, ranging from Trek’s new $300 WaveCel tech to Bluetooth and crash detection models. Or maybe you’d rather have a full-face mountain bike helmet that snaps off to convert to a regular helmet.

Bicycling says if you get a concussion while shredding trails on your mountain bike, stop riding, already. The same goes for roadies, too.

Forget bikes, Strava wants to be your new social network.

A Portland woman walks with just community service after injuring a woman by booby trapping a bike path after a night of heavy drinking — but she does have to write a letter saying she’s really, really sorry. She can thank the very forgiving victim who asked for no jail time.

Speaking of Portland, a man riding a bike is dead because a speeding, aggressive driver had the munchies after drinking tequila and Sprite all day.

E-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Chicago officials were afraid of a revolt by bike riders if they banned bicycles from the popular Riverfront shared-use path. Even though one alderman is still trying to do just that.

A Minnesota paper almost gets it, saying sharrows are nothing more than a reminder to share the road, although thy don’t seem grasp their benefit as wayfinding symbols, or that they tell both bicyclists and drivers where bikes should be positioned in the lane. As far as safety is concerned, however, all they do is help drivers improve their aim. Which is not a good thing.

A kindhearted Kentucky kid gave away the bike he was given after a thief made off with his bike, after cops recovered the one he got for having perfect attendance.

A Boston mom says the thief that stole her six-year old son’s bicycle didn’t just  take his bike, he stole his innocence.

No bias here. A community in New York’s Hudson Valley has decided to break the law by requiring bicyclists to ride single file, even though state law allows people to ride side-by-side; a local radio station manages to see the story from just one side of the windshield.

There’s something seriously wrong with a protected bike lane when the NYPD has to stand guard to keep drivers out of it.

Tragic news from New Jersey, where family members found a 61-year old man dead on the side of the road next to his bike after he didn’t come home from his job on the graveyard shift; investigators believe he rode off the road on a descent. Although it’s always possible he was the victim of a too-close pass that forced him off the road.

WTF? No, a bicyclist didn’t break into a home and murder an 82-year old Pennsylvania man in his sleep. A man who happened to be riding a bicycle did, before he dismounted, busted in and killed a random stranger. The fact he was riding a bike had absolutely nothing to do with it.

A DC website wonders why there’s so much knee-jerk opposition to road diets in the area, when they would make streets safer and barely affect traffic. Good question. Another good question is why do so many newspapers and websites insist on putting quotation marks around “road diet”? That’s what they’re called. It makes no more sense than to put quotes around road diet than it does “streets”.

 

International

Brazil is the latest country to succumb to the e-scooter invasion.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bikini-clad bike ride in some undisclosed tropical location.

The Guardian picks up the disgusting tale of the truly despicable London woman who pretended to be the aunt of a fallen bicyclist she had no relationship to, in order to claim the victim would have opposed a protected bike lane that might have saved her life.

Guardian readers consider how to make bicycling safer and more appealing, with one letter writer saying London doesn’t suck compared to Sydney, Australia, and another suggesting at least two US cities don’t suck, either. One of which is my humble hometown.

A British man uses recycled ocean plastic to create a foldable, and kind of cool looking, bikeshare helmet.

Experts attending the international Velo-City conference say Dublin, Ireland needs to cut private cars to make room for bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly considers five lessons from the recently concluded Tour de Suisse, as well as which Brits to watch for in advance of next month’s Tour de France.

Pro cyclist Lindsey Goldman says there has to be a better financial model for women’s cycling, as her Hagens Berman—Supermint team prepares to lose its chief sponsor. If they find one, tell the men, too.

 

Finally…

When you’re making a jail break, always grab the nearest bicycle you can find to ensure a clean getaway. A man may have a clear conscious after mailing back the $6,000 bike he stole, but he ended up behind bars anyway.

And bike rustlers don’t have to ghost ride their stolen bikes anymore.

 

Morning Links: It’s Bike Week in SoCal, but anti-Bike Week in Riverside, and OC columnist calls out deadly drivers

Today’s common theme?

Bike Week, of course.

Metro is celebrating with a 30 day Metro Bike Pass for just one dollar this month.

LA Downtown News looks forward to tomorrow’s multi-denominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital. Unfortunately, you won’t see me there this year as I continue to rehab my knee, even though the Blessing of the Bicycles is my favorite Bike Week event.

The annual Ride of Silence will take place on Wednesday, and for the first time, will travel from the Vermont and Wilshire Metro Station to Los Angeles City Hall. Maybe then our city leaders will get the message.

This is what Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, had to say about it.

This Wednesday evening, there are a number of events across the Southland for the Ride of Silence and if you’re part of this community, I hope you take part.

Commemorating those that have been lost or injured riding in the roadway isn’t an experience we wish for, but it does provide a moment of inspiration. We all share these streets and each Ride of Silence has brought out all factions of our community. While we are blessed to be a part of this group, there’s an obligation to honor those no longer with us. I know from the number of ghost bikes I’ve placed, providing support to even complete strangers gives comfort to us all.

There will be hundreds of rides taking place across the globe, but if you’re in the Los Angeles area, please take the time Wednesday evening to take place in one of the rides at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, or the one I’m hosting from the Vermont / Wilshire Station to City Hall.
You can also find a number of other rides across California or the nation by going here. We ride for each other because these roads connect us not just point to point, but person to person.

Thursday is Bike to Work Day, which is the Bike Week equivalent of trick or treating for bike commuters. You’ll find pit stops with treats and other assorted goodies all over LA County; though not all are on the map. Metro will also offer free rides for anyone with a bike or helmet.

The LACBC will have their own Bike to Work Day pit stop on Spring Street in DTLA.

Pasadena and CICLE will bring you a full week of Rose City Bike Week events, ranging from a Taste of Pasadena and Women’s Bike Night, to a Bike from Work Happy Hour and a Bike-In Movie.

Santa Clarita will mark Bike Week with Bike to Work Day and the final stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Ride with Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole on Saturday to explore the city’s 19 miles of new green bike lanes. Santa Monica Spoke has more Bike Month and Bike Week activities, including a Bike From Work Handlebar Happy Hour.

LA County Bike Week wraps up with the 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission ride on Sunday; the Alhambra Source tells you everything you need to know.

OCTA, aka the Orange County Transportation Authority, is hosting a ride on Thursday, plus a chance to win a Trek 2 bicycle or Fitbit Charge 2 if you pledge to ride to work at least one day this month.

San Diego will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Thursday, as well.

Ventura County celebrates Bike Week with a full week of biking to work, instead of a single day, including “entertainment, opportunities and prizes.”

Photo by Ali Arapoğlu from Pexels.

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On the other hand, hats off to the Riverside Police Department for celebrating National Bike Month and attempting to improve bike safety by — wait for it — cracking down on the vulnerable people on two wheels, and giving the ones in the big, dangerous machines a pass.

If the goal is to get more people on their bikes, that’s the wrong way to go about it.

Let alone improve safety.

………

Powerful piece by Orange County Register columnist David Whiting, who calls out distracted and aggressive drivers for far too many OC bicycling deaths.

He also quotes longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin extensively.

Except things are even worse than Whiting says. With the death of a man in Santa Ana last week, there have now been four people killed while riding bikes in OC this year, not the three he cites in the article.

Thanks to John McBreaty for the heads-up. 

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New Orange County Bicycle Coalition board member Mike Wilkinson wonders why downhill riders should have all the fun.

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Taylor Nichols says if you see this guy riding around the Hollywood Hills, say hi and maybe pass him a few bucks.

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

An Aussie driver is accused of running down a man on a bike, intentionally backing over him, and fleeing the scene. Then gets released on a ridiculously low $10,000 bond, and claims she thought she just ran over a piece of metal. Sure. A piece of metal with wheels and a human being attached.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a violent road raging driver got ten months home vacation, uh, detention and community service for intentionally swerving at a man riding his bike, forcing him up on the sidewalk, then making a U-turn to come back and slam into him. Then when the victim came to in the street with a severely broken leg, the driver stood over him and said “Serves you right.”

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Local

Police in South Pasadena are warning about an increase in bicycle thefts.

A new survey shows most Santa Monica bikeshare and e-scooter users are young, affluent and live outside the city. And over half are using them to replace motor vehicle trips.

 

State

Speaking of OCTA, they want your input on how to improve the Beach Boulevard La Habra and Huntington Beach; options include enhanced sidewalks and bicycle paths.

The Orange County Sheriffs Department will conduct a pair of safety enforcement operations today, with a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement in San Clemente, and cracking down on motorcycle safety violations in Stanton. Standard protocols apply; ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city limits. Thanks to Rock Kendall for the tip.

San Diego County has broken ground on what will be the county’s first bike park, scheduled to open later this year.

Los Angeles is known for car chases; in San Diego, they flee on bikes.

Too scary. Someone apparently took a few shots at Oxnard bike rider from a passing car for no apparent reason.

People for Bikes says Santa Barbara is the best bike city in California.

San Francisco’s Timbuk2 is keeping up with the times by shifting its emphasis from messenger bags to backpacks and products designed for women.

Sad news from Stockton, where a hit-and-run driver left a man who was either riding or walking his bike to die alone in the street.

 

National

Open your wallet wide. Because bicyclists will get to pay for Trump’s trade war with China. Especially people in the market for entry level and kids bikes.

Good piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, saying bike lanes need barriers instead of just paint, because cities shouldn’t let people on bicycles get run over.

City Lab explores what it will take to finish America’s first coast-to-coast bike trail.

A new app from a pair of Oregon professors promises to give you a green light 80% of the time.

An Idaho letter writer calls for the law to be changed to allow bicyclists to ride facing traffic, on the assumption it will improve safetyHint: It won’t. Riding salmon dramatically increases your risk of a serious crash. 

Nice work. A pair of bicycling Colorado grandmas are hanging it up after riding 20,000 miles on multiple trips across the US, raising nearly three-quarter of a million dollars to fight Huntington’s Disease.

Kindhearted North Dakota firefighters buy a new bike for a boy whose bike was stolen, after seeing a Facebook post about the theft.

A retired Kansas trauma surgeon is planning to ride 1,000 miles from Wichita to Winnipeg, Canada to honor his daughter and raise funds to fight eating disorders, following her death from anorexia and depression.

Not even bike cops are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a Dallas police officer learned the hard way; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Minneapolis police busted a bike rider for smashing the windows on a school bus, though they’re not sure if it’s the same person who vandalized two previous school buses for parking in a bike lane.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan century ride is providing bicyclists with food stops offering cherry pie along the way, and a hot buffet, live music and cocktails at the end.

Now that’s more like it too. An Indiana bike park has opened an adaptive use trail for kids and adults with disabilities.

Great video of kids from a Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club being surprised with 25 new bicycles.

A biking Buffalo bishop plans to ride 3,000 miles through 600 cities on four continents to raise funds for homeless people and the less fortunate.

A Brooklyn bike path is not the place for a swastika; nowhere else is, either.

A New York letter writer tells the red light-running bicyclist who cursed him out for almost hitting him, “If you ever wonder why arrogant cyclists are so reviled by law-abiding motorists like myself” just look in the mirror. Something tells me there’s another side to this, but still.

You gotta respect a successful Hollywood actor who rides the streets of New York with a wooden crate instead of a basket. And takes his rescue dog with him.

The son of a Pennsylvania police officer who was killed in the line of duty will join in on the 250-mile national police memorial ride to Washington DC to honor fallen officers.

He gets it. A Virginia coffee shop owner has started a petition calling for safer streets for people on bicycles, based on personal experience.

They get it too. A South Carolina newspaper says safety education and increased enforcement won’t reverse the longstanding neglect that kills too many bike riders and pedestrians. And the only way to get truly safe roads is to build them that way.

A Tampa, Florida TV station says putting your garbage can out in the bike lane is a serious problem.

 

International

No more dirty bikes. Now you can buy your own pressure washer made just for washing bicycles for the equivalent of less than $120.

The makers of the new Xtracycle ebike promise it never become obsolete, changing along with the rider through all stages of life.

Riding across Canada with two good legs is hard. Riding 4,500 miles across the country on a handcycle after losing the use of his legs is another thing entirely.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers tips for beginning riders.

A Toronto newspaper says six years and $2.59 million dollars is a lot for bike parking, even if it does come with showers; they’ve got a point, the project was originally supposed to be done two years ago for less than half of that.

No bias here. A writer for a driving website accuses Montreal’s leaders of having an anti-car agenda, after the city responded to the death of a bike rider by closing a roadway through a park that drivers had been using as a freeway to avoid traffic, and favoring high-speed “racing bike scofflaws.” Just like LA’s Playa del Rey, the action was reversed after angry drivers got out their torches and pitchforks.

A New Brunswick, Canada teenager has developed a bike light designed to show drivers the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

British blogger Velo City Girl is working to make bicycling more socially inclusive, while dumping the Lycra.

The New York Times considers the Welsh program allowing doctors to prescribe bikeshare to their patients, saying “take two bike rides and call me in the morning.”

If you build it, they will obey the law. A new study shows that just 5% of Dutch bike riders break the law, compared to 66% of drivers; that rose to 14% of bicyclists when there was no bike infrastructure present.

Just in time for Bike Week, an Aussie columnist describes his journey from timid beginning bike commuter to peak MAMIL.

 

Competitive Cycling

As usual, we’re going to avoid spoilers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California, as well as the Giro d’Italia, for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to catch up on the most recent stages. Which is why we’ll just say Sunday’s first stage of the AToC offered a very dramatic sprint to the finish with a surprising competitor.

The Tour of California continues to grow in international stature, with lots of stars, but no clear favorite. Although it’s questionable what this headline from the LA Times preview even means.

CiclaValley offers his own take on the action about to unfold this week.

VeloNews says the penultimate Mount Baldy queen stage could overshadowed by four potential breakaway stages.

The Santa Clarita Signal looks forward to Saturday’s final stage of the AToC.

And in non-ATOC news, apparently bike racing is the perfect cure for the stress of working with dolphins.

 

Finally…

Now you can own your very own Bird scooter for the low, low price of just $1,299; thanks to David Drexler for the link. When your bike becomes a moveable kinetic sculpture. Real FBI agents hardly ever ride bikes on the job, and they seldom dump live catfish on your lawn.

And apparently, my name has an entirely different meaning north of the border.

Somehow, I prefer the second meaning.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for finding that one.

I think.

Morning Links: LA approves memorial signs instead of fixing streets, BAC agenda, and Yerba Buena Road closed

I honestly don’t know what to think about this one.

The LA City Council has approved a plan to replace ghost bikes with semi-permanent memorials to fallen bike riders.

The signs can be requested by the families of fallen bicyclists, memorializing the victim while offering a general nod to bike safety.

They’ll stay in place for five to seven years, after which families can pay to have them replaced.

However, a maximum of just 20 signs will be installed each year, which will barely keep up with the number of riders killed on an annual basis in Los Angeles.

According to LAist,

In an interview withKPCC’s Take Two, (Councilmember Bob) Blumenfield explained how the idea for the signs was borne out of a tragedy in Woodland Hills last April. On Easter Sunday, 15-year-old Sebastian Montero was struck by a car and killedwhile riding his bike on Burbank Boulevard.

Blumenfield was in contact with the boy’s family, as well as local police officers— together, they discussed ways to prevent future tragedies. 

“I’ve been to too many of those ghost bike ceremonies, and they’re heartbreaking,” Blumenfield said.

After one officer, Duke Dao, suggested the idea for the memorial signs, Blumenfield ran with it.

I’m told be someone who worked closely with Blumenfield on the proposal that he’s absolutely sincere in wanting to do something to both remember the victims of traffic violence, and keep it from happening again.

But a simple sign’s not going to do that.

Blumenfield is one of the city’s better councilmembers on traffic issues, and is working to get a bike lane installed where Montero was killed.

But many of his peers have taken active steps to block desperately needed, potentially life-saving bikeways.

Despite the unanimous vote to establish the memorial program, we have to wonder how many of the councilmembers voted for memorials to fallen bicyclists instead of taking active steps to prevent their deaths.

Because it’s a lot easier to put up a small memorial sign than to fix the roads to avoid the need for them.

Among those voting yes,

All voted to approve the memorials, while helping create — or at least not alleviate — conditions likely to require them.

Meanwhile, there’s a reasonable fear that the memorial signs will just blend into the streetscape, no more noticeable than the street signs indicating where police officers have been killed.

And if you haven’t seen those, that’s exactly my point.

Ghost bikes are intrusive and evocative. Granted, many drivers don’t know what they are. But once they do, they notice them every time they pass, and that drives the meaning home.

I’m not sure that will happen with these.

Especially if the limit of just 20 a year stays in place. It should be expanded to include not just those riders killed in the future, but the many riders who have needlessly lost their lives in the past.

And it should include pedestrians, as well, since they die in much greater numbers on LA’s mean streets than we do.

Maybe if hundreds of these memorial signs started to appear every year, blanketing every part of the city, people might finally get it. And realize that too damn many people are getting killed just because they rode a bike or went for a walk.

Then the council might finally do more than put up a sign.

Maybe.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links to this story.

Note: I’ve been reminded that today is the one year anniversary of Sebastian Montero’s death.

No word on whether the alleged speeding driver who killed him was ever charged.

Photo by Steve S

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold its bimonthly meeting this Tuesday. As always, the meetings are open to the public, and you are encouraged to attend.

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Don’t plan on riding Yerba Buena Road anytime soon.

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Fed up with people driving under the influence, Taiwan is considering instituting the death penalty for killing someone while driving drunk or stoned.

I’d like to think that might actually make someone think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking, smoking or downing pills.

But the threat of the death penalty hasn’t seemed to stop anyone from murdering other people.

So there’s that.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

………

Local

LAist notes the problems with LA’s troubled Vision Zero program, including a lack of social media presence for the past seven months. What the city doesn’t seem to get is that most of us really, really want to support Vision Zero LA — if they ever get their shit together.

Famed bike rider LeBron James has gone Hollywood, building a production company on the Warner Bros. lot that has made him a major player in the industry. Word has it he also plays a little basketball.

This is who we share the roads with. A 17-year old boy will likely face a vehicular homicide charge — or worse — for killing one person and injuring three others in a violent crash while apparently street racing in Woodland Hills.

Good for him. A chef at the Long Beach Gladstones will be joining this year’s edition of the 300-mile No Kid Hungry ride. You can donate to support his goal of raising $7,500 by next month’s ride, and help ensure every child has enough to eat.

State

What the hell is wrong with some people? An Irvine man will spend the next 50 years behind bars for killing the person he accused of stealing his bicycle, after vowing to do exactly that.

San Diego police are looking for a man who approached a nine-year old girl as she rode her bicycle and offered to take her to a game; fortunately, she knew to ride home and her parents called the police.

The San Francisco Chronicle complains about the mythical war on cars, exemplified by a discussion of congestion pricing. Never mind that congestion pricing is intended to help improve traffic flow, which is hardly anti-driver. Or that nearly 100% of the roads are already dedicated to motorists, and the rest of us are just hoping for a few crumbs.

Sad news from Selma, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bike Saturday night; police believe he was targeted by the killers.

An Oakland man was busted for trying to break into a secured bike storage area.

An Irish writer takes a ride through California’s wine country.

Even in bike-friendly Davis, local residents break out the torches and pitchforks following a road diet to improve traffic safety.

National

ABC New has caught up with what most of us already know — killer hit-and-run drivers seldom face jail time.

Small towns can have bikeshare too, thanks to a startup dedicated to bringing bikeshare to towns the larger providers pass by.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says Trek’s WaveCel claims aside, it’s better to get more asses on bikes than get more heads in helmets. Meanwhile, Bicycling lists the 16 best helmets you can buy right now.

NPR hops on the e-scooter injury and blocked sidewalks bandwagon.

A Tucson writer says a bike resort is a great idea, just not across the street from Saguaro National Park.

A Grand Junction CO shelter is helping to house homeless youths on Colorado’s Western Slope, while a local bike shop is reconditioning unwanted bikes to get them onto two wheels.

Two Kansas men were killed when a driver slammed into their bicycles from behind. No word on why the driver apparently didn’t see a couple grown men on bikes directly in front of him, but I’m sure we could all take a pretty reasonable guess.

An Oklahoma man learned the hard way not to wear a skull mask while carrying meth and weed on his bike. Although his lawyer might want to argue that simply wearing a mask, scary or otherwise, on a public street is not probable cause for a traffic stop. Which makes everything that followed moot.

Slate tells the tale of a bike-riding Ohio teenager who scandalized the nation by wearing bloomers to church.

An Ohio college student discovers you’re never too old to learn how to fall off a bike.

A ti bike from a Schenectady NY builder was the first place winner at the recent National Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.

The upstate New York jerk who wrote a ten-year old boy a letter of non-apology after a judge let him off easy for sideswiping the boy’s bike will now have to perform community service.

A Bronx councilmember loses his perfect ranking from a conservation voters’ group for not supporting ebikes and scooters.

A New York cop resigned after getting caught writing a ticket to a nonexistent bike rider when he was actually still in the precinct. Then billing the city for the overtime he didn’t work.

Taking a cue from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s playbook, Baltimore’s mayor decides to rip out a protected bike lane, and says no way to a planned road diet. Although to be fair, she’s replacing the protected lane with a painted green lane. And she gave it four years, while Garcetti removed the non-protected bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey after just one month of driver complaints.

New Orleans is slowly building a bicycle culture, though in typical Big Easy style.

International

A Vancouver radio station asks if bicyclists and drivers will ever see eye-to-eye. Short answer, not until people are required to ride a bicycle in city traffic before getting a driver’s license.

Vancouver’s former chief planner writes in praise of slow cycling and upright bikes.

Only after he passed away at the ripe old age of 93 on Saturday was it revealed that a Montreal man was the secret “Mr. Bike Man” who gave away over 1,700 bikes, helmets and locks to children in the Montreal area for the past 34 years.

This one’s hard to watch. A Brit bike rider gets hit head-on by a driver cutting a corner at an intersection, despite stopping at a stop sign and using daytime lights.

Britain’s anti-bike Lord Winston is back at it, renewing his call for all bike riders to be licensed and insured after claiming he was attacked by a woman when he reprimanded her for riding on the sidewalk. Except he never bothered to report it to the police and no one can seem to verify his claim.

French drivers are apparently vandalizing speed cameras, costing the country the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars. And it may have contributed to a jump in traffic deaths.

An automotive writer rides a borrowed Peugeot racing bike up France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, and finds it a lot easier to do in a borrowed car.

Amsterdam plans to reduce driving by turning 1,500 parking spaces into trees and bike parking each year for the next six years.

Vitaliy Klitschko, former world heavyweight champ and current mayor of Kyiv — or Kiev, to most non-Ukrainians — is one of us, riding his bike to cast his ballot in this year’s presidential election.

American cycling legend and newly married Indian resident Alexi Grewal says bicycling is seen as a poor person’s vehicle, and that needs to change.

Sydney, Australia residents rise up against what they term a “nonsensical” bicycle superhighway, fearing it would somehow jeopardize pedestrians more than all those cars zooming past. Seriously, why is it that people continue to fight bike lanes that have repeatedly proven to be a net benefit to the surrounding community, regardless of any loss of parking?

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia looks at the all-Type 1 diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, and how they overcome diabetes to ride competitively.

Chris Froome proved he’s comfortable in his domestique role, giving Team Sky leader Egan Bernal a ride back to the bus on his handlebars, after a mechanical forced Bernal to walk across the finish line.

The Australian press is suitably scandalized that Lance was paid $1.5 million in taxpayer funds to compete in the 2009 Tour Down Under, an agreement that was under seal for ten years.

Evidently, it’s considered bad form to toss another racer’s bike off the course after you crash with her, as Italian cyclist Elisa Longo Borghini learned the hard way on Thursday.

Finally…

Next time time you get attacked by a gang of kids, all you really need is a Good Samaritan armed with a bicycle seat. When the bike stencil doesn’t fit in the new bike lanes, it may be just a tad too small.

And taking a cue from Kafka, that angry driver may see you as a cockroach.

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Thanks to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Morning Links: Report on bicycling in LA goes well, even if few will ever see it, and Ride 4 Love rolls tomorrow

Good news and bad news.

The good news is yesterday’s taping of Spectrum News 1’s Inside the Issues went well.

And the finished product offered an effective overview of the good, bad and very ugly of riding a bicycle in the City of Angels.

The bad news, Spectrum doesn’t post their programs online.

Which means there’s nothing we can link to. And anyone who didn’t tune in last night, or who doesn’t subscribe to Spectrum Cable, is out of luck.

That also means that most of the people in Los Angeles who need to see it most will never get the chance.

Hopefully, they’ll put a few segments online, which I’ll try to share with you when they become available.

………

One of these days, I hope to actually make it down to South LA for the annual Ride 4 Love, which rolls tomorrow.

………

Local

LA-based Swrve makes Bike Radar’s list of the best cycling clothes for rain.

The LACBC is hosting a training ride up Franklin Canyon tomorrow.

Over 500 bicyclists are expected to ride up to 100 miles through the San Gabriel Valley starting and ending at the Rose Bowl in next month’s Bike MS: Los Angeles 2019 ride.

Congratulations to Palmdale, which officially has the longest commutes in the US.

State

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board is riding off into the sunset as the city replaces it with a new Mobility Advisory Board.

The new bridge to UC San Diego over I-5 opens today, bringing a more direct walking and biking route for students and faculty.

A Ramona firefighter returned home after raising $12,000 for charity by riding 2,500 across the US from San Diego to Florida.

Greater equity is coming to Modesto, as the city plans to invest over $6 million in new sidewalks and bike lanes in one of its poorest neighborhoods.

One more reason why drivers shouldn’t be allowed to steal a lane from bicyclists on the double-decker Richmond-San Rafael Bridge — bikes are lighter than cars, as large chunks of concrete fell from the top span onto unsuspecting drivers below.

National

You can kiss the last few Performance Bicycle stores — and the people who work in them — goodbye, as the company plans to close all remaining brick-and-mortar stores within the next month; however, they will continue to do business online. Meanwhile, an industry website considers how bike shops can buck the trend of retail store closures.

That’s more like it. A Bellingham WA housing development will open with 164 units, but just 100 parking spaces, along with spaces for 392 bicycles.

An Arizona driver kindly helped a young girl to the curb after hitting her bicycle, told her the same thing had happened to her as a girl — then drove off, leaving her victim stranded on the curb with a dead cellphone.

A Texas woman has ridden at least 100 miles in every state in the US, finishing last year with a ride through South Dakota.

A gang of bike thieves is breaking into small Chicago bike shops and stealing at least $70,000 worth of high-end bicycles.

A Chicago minibike rider will face well-deserved charges for groping a woman riding a bicycle, then punching out her husband when he chased her assailant down.

Instead of responding to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian death by going after the people in the big, dangerous machines, New York police are cracking down on the people on two wheels, in some cases ticketing bike riders from violations that don’t actually exist.

Meanwhile, an NYPD officer physically assaulted a bike rider, pushing him off his bicycle to issue a simple traffic ticket, just a block from where another rider was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this week; New York advocates plan a massive rally in protest. That’s like grabbing a driver and throwing him out of his car into the street just because he didn’t use a turn signal.

International

A new conversion kit will allow you to turn your existing bicycle into an ebike for about $700.

A Montreal veterinarian makes house calls by cargo bike.

No shit. A Canadian woman says justice wasn’t served in the hit-and-run death of her bike-riding father, after his killer served just one month of an all-ready too lenient six month sentence.

After his father called the police on him, a British man asked if he could change his shirt before being arrested, then trapped the officers in his own living room before escaping on his bicycle.

A man from the UK rode 10,000 miles through 20 countries in memory of his brother, starting in his hometown and ending in China.

The Wall Street Journal offers a video look at Tel Aviv’s unlikely embrace of e-scooters. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A new Australian study claims the country’s mandatory helmet laws have cut bicycling fatalities nearly in half, suggesting 1,332 lives have been saved since the laws were introduced in the 1990s, and finding no evidence that bicycling rates have been reduced as a result of them.

Competitive Cycling

Ex-Tour de France champ and current cannabis purveyor Floyd Landis returns to his Mennonite roots, opening a bike, coffee and CBD shop in Lancaster PA not far from his childhood home.

The good news, former Columbian pro Juan Pablo Valencia Gonzales wasn’t accused of doping. The bad, he was arrested by Italian authorities on drug trafficking charges after he was found in possession of over 60 grams of cocaine he had allegedly transported in the seat tube of his bike.

Finally…

Edinburgh’s bikeshare system is going downhill — literally.

And when you get impatient waiting behind a group of bike riders at traffic light, try not to pull out into a garbage truck.

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