Tag Archive for Bike the Vote LA

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ryu’s 2020 opponent, biking the 101 Freeway, and building bikes behind bars

We’re back. 

I hope you’ll excuse the unexcused absences for the past few days. 

To be honest, it’s a struggle just to get by these days. Between rehabbing my new knee, going to PT, managing my pain and diabetes, and still doing all the things daily life requires — on top of researching and writing each day’s post for this site — there’s just no way to fit it all in a single day.

It doesn’t take much, like this week’s bout of low blood sugar or an extended internet outage, to throw a wrench in the whole damn thing. 

But hopefully, that’s all behind us. 

And it’s all led to today’s epic post, as we catch up on not one, not two, but three days of bike news, from around the corner and around the world. 

Be sure to come back tomorrow, too. Because there was way too much news to squeeze into a single post, and there’s still more to catch up on.

Including more tips from readers, and job openings with SCAG and CicLAvia. 

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Let’s start off with an election that’s still nine months away.

Sometimes one candidate is so far ahead of the others, you know how you’re going to vote right off the bat.

Which is exactly what happened with Bike the Vote LA, who got an early jump on next year’s city council election in CD4. And have already picked, not just a challenger to incumbent David Ryu, but his future replacement.

Bike The Vote L.A. sent questionnaires to announced CD4 candidates, asking them to outline their vision for a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable transportation system. Challenger Sarah Kate Levy’s response was so outstanding that Bike The Vote L.A.’s CD4 Election Committee has taken the rare step of making an early endorsement in next year’s primary election, set for March 3rd, 2020.

Levy has a long track record as a political activist working with Democrats for Neighborhood Action, Planned Parenthood Advocacy, and serving as the current president of the L.A. Metro National Women’s Caucus. Levy has placed housing, transportation, sustainability, and quality of life at the center of her campaign platform, and clearly done the homework necessary to be an informed leader on each of these important topics.

The group goes on to get more specific about her support of safe streets for all of us, regardless of how we get around.

Levy’s impressive response to Bike The Vote L.A. outlines her determination to achieve Vision Zero by reducing deadly speeding, reorienting streets towards the safety of all road users, and creating a network of protected bike lanes. Levy makes it clear that her vision of L.A.’s transportation system is one where everyone has access to quality transit, one that isn’t designed around travel by cars, and one where children are able to walk and bike safely to school without the threat of death or serious injury…

We asked the candidates for their positions on implementation of projects that reduce deadly vehicle speeds on L.A.’s High Injury Network and safe bike infrastructure connecting to the L.A. River Path. Where Councilmember Ryu’s responses left his stance unclear, Levy expressed unwavering support for these critical projects. Levy also went a step further, outlining a number of additional projects she plans to implement in each of CD4’s neighborhoods. In her words, “Safer streets save lives, period.”

Then again, that last line is all you really need to know.

As Bike the Vote LA notes, after opposing bike and street safety projects for most of his first term, Ryu appears to have had a change of heart in recent months.

But we’re long past the point for halfhearted support.

Unless, like former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Ryu has had a real Road to Damascus transformation into a genuine advocate for Vision Zero and Complete Streets, it’s time to start looking for his replacement.

And from the sound of his response, he’s still got a long way to go.

Meanwhile, Loraine Lundquist, another candidate endorsed by Bike the Vote LA, has qualified for the August runoff in CD12 against front runner John Lee.

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No, seriously.

If you’re going to take the lane on the 101 Freeway through the heart of Hollywood, at least stick to the right one.

Maybe he just wanted to know how it feels to experience the nation’s worst traffic.

Note to KCBS-2 — Riding a bicycle on an LA Freeway is against the law; doing it without a bike helmet isn’t.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn, David Huntsman and Disorder Bureau for the heads-up.

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How about a success story from behind bars?

Former bike racer and current Folsom Prison inmate Mauricio Argueta has spent the past five years expertly refurbishing hundred of bicycles every year, which are then given to kids, fire victims and the homeless.

Now he finds himself days from release, with a job already lined up at a SoCal bike shop once he finishes his parole.

The best part is, he’s already trained his replacement.

So the program will go on changing lives on both sides of the bars long after he’s a free man.

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

Members of an English bike club were the victims of a jackass in a BMW who threw hundreds of thumbtacks out of his car into their path — then came back later to video the results of his violent assault.

A Kiwi bike rider pens a very polite note to SUV drivers who insist on demanding that bicyclists get off the road.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

New Jersey’s highest court confirmed a sentence that amounts to more of a gentle caress on the wrist — or maybe a pat on the back — by allowing a drunken, hit-and-run driver with a long list of criminal convictions to walk without a single day in jail for killing a teenage bike rider.

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Local

The LA Times reminds you to enjoy the LACBC’s 19th Annual LA River Ride this Sunday. Oh, and there’s donuts on Saturday.

LA Galaxy soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of us, celebrating his stunning bicycle kick goal with a cruiser bike ride the next day.

No bias here. Pasadena Now says that scofflaw bicyclists and pedestrians were “brought to heel” during the city’s bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement program last Friday — even though well over half of the 172 tickets went to the people on four wheels, and only 19 went to the people on two.

CiclaValley returns to Pacifico Mountain, calling it the best LA area ride you don’t know about. Unless maybe you do, of course.

 

State

No, you aren’t required to wear a helmet to ride bikeshare bikes or e-scooters, unless you’re under 18.

San Diego bike riders are losing their patience over overgrown bushes blocking bike lanes. Especially after the app they used to report it says it’s been fixed. Thanks to Todd Munson for the link.

Ouch. A Chico letter writer complains about the treatment his wife got from paramedics after a nail punctured her bike tire and got jammed in her brakes.

Over 2,300 bike riders rode along the Central Coast from Paso Robles to Santa Maria yesterday, as the annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride makes its way south to West Hollywood. Meanwhile, the Advocate offers photos from the ride.

Streetsblog says the Bay Area bikeshare battle could have implications all across the US.

San Francisco speeds up the process for approving new bike lanes and other road improvements. Maybe LA could take the hint, and do something to shorten their own interminable and easily derailed process.

Bike advocates are demanding the number of bike spaces they were promised on Caltrain’s new electric fleet, with seats in view of their bikes.

 

National

She gets it. A writer for a driving website says the reason so many drivers flee the scene of a crash is basically because they’re selfish scumbags.

A writer for Bicycling says the day you sell your bike is the day you see its soul.

The Washington Post says the bike industry is worried because fewer kids are riding bicycles — or buying them. Probably because fewer parents are willing to risk sacrificing their kids to America’s speeding, aggressive and/or distracted drivers.

Seattle responds to e-scooters and other emerging technologies by debating who or what has the right-of-way on city streets, bike lanes and sidewalks. Meanwhile, the city has one of the highest bicycle gender gaps in the US.

Washington state is becoming significantly more dangerous for people riding or on foot.

Anchorage, Alaska defies the state’s conservative governor by committing to cut carbon emissions by 80% over the next three decades.

A Missoula MT bike count confirms the obvious — people ride their bikes more when the weather is better. And the bike gender gap is pretty much the same everywhere.

Des Moines, Iowa has paid out over $1.7 million and counting to settle claims from injured bike riders because they tried to build an ADA-compliant curb for pedestrians — but placed it directly across a popular bike trail with no warning.

A Madison WI city committee has decided to fight traffic violence with yard signs.

Former Chicago mayor, congressman and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is easing into retirement with a 900-mile bike ride around Lake Michigan.

One more reason to register your bike, already. A Chicago doctor got his bicycle back twelve years after it was stolen, thanks to Bike Index.

Evidently, the dove of peace rides a bicycle. Or maybe drives a cab, as Brooklyn bike riders and taxi drivers take a bike ride together to see the road from the other’s perspective, and possibly build a little detente.

Apparently, the NYPD has finally figured out who poses the real risk on New York streets, and has started cracking down on people in the big dangerous machines. That comes after years of responding to bicycling deaths with crackdowns on bike riders.

Proving once again that New York is light years ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to street safety, the NY city council voted to require adhering to Vision Zero design standards when redesigning any arterial streets, including building protected bike lanes.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed considers how to break down barriers to disabled bicycling, noting that two-thirds of bike riders with disabilities find it easier than walking.

Evidently, bicycles aren’t even safe when no one is on them, as a New Orleans driver seems happy to demonstrate. And the police don’t seem too concerned about it, either.

It’s happened again. A visibly drunk Florida pickup driver hit a man riding his bike on the side of the road, then drove half a mile home with the victim still trapped under his truck.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida couple learned the hard way that bike riders aren’t even safe on the sidewalk when a driver jumped the curb and ran them both down on their bikes — critically injuring the husband and killing their 18-month old son, who was being pulled behind in a bike trailer.

 

International

Is there any better use for an old shipping container than turning it into a bike hub? Unless maybe it’s turning them into housing for the homeless.

We could all use an angel on our shoulder when we ride. But a Canadian man is happy to settle for a kitty.

Caught on video: In a very scary example of the dangers of a head injury, a bicyclist from the UK hits his head falling off his bike, then stumbles head-first into the path of a bus. The good news is, the victim is okay. As always, be sure it’s something you really want to see before you click on the link.

A former British paratrooper explains how he helped liberate France in WWII with a foldie and a misfiring gun.

An Edinburgh bike shop is attempting to set a record for simultaneously fixing the most flats today.

Sorry moped riders. Amsterdam has given you the boot from bike lanes.

Swedish carmaker Volvo and helmet manufacturer POC have teamed to conduct the world’s first test of how bike helmets perform in a car crash. And needless to say, the results aren’t pretty. Then again, Volvo is the company that wants you to spray yourself with reflective paint so their drivers won’t kill youNo surprise, since bike helmets are designed to protect the wearer from falling off a bicycle, not a crash with a speeding driver.

I like him already. India’s new minister for Health and Family Welfare arrived on a bicycle for his first day on the job.

An 80-year old Japanese driver backed into several pedestrians in a grocery store parking lot after mistaking the gas pedal for the brakes, injuring four people, including two little kids and their mother. And riderless bikes didn’t fare any better than they did in New Orleans.

 

Competitive Cycling

After colliding with another cyclist in a Connecticut bike race, a Cat 3/4 racer posts gruesome photos of a front wheel thru axle lever impaled in his knee.

US road champ Justin Williams says it’s time to move away from the “boys club” that dominates cycling for greater inclusion and representation, saying it’s hard not to feel alone in a sport that’s almost exclusively white.

SoCal Cycling offers highlights from last weekend’s La Grange Grand Prix in Carson.

 

Finally…

Your next Bird scooter could have seating for two. If you don’t want to get deported, maybe don’t throw a bicycle in the path of a bike race.

And who wouldn’t be happy with 300 miles of bikeways?

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A belated Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim friends. 

And thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his ongoing and generous support of this site. Any donation, of any size, is always appreciated

Morning Links: Legislature kills Idaho Stop law, bike hit-and-run law goes on, and Culver City council endorsements

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

A bi-partisan bill that would have partially legalized the Idaho Stop in California, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, was killed in the state legislature.

Never mind that most bicyclists — and drivers, for that matter — already do that anyway.

And never mind that it has improved safety in Idaho since being adopted 35 years ago, and was approved in Delaware last year.

The idea that bikes aren’t cars just seems to be too much for the state’s motoring organizations to comprehend, including AAA.

Which is why I haven’t been a member for years.

Meanwhile, AB1755, a bill that AAA could undoubtedly support, continues to move forward.

The bill, which comes in response to a well-known Sacramento runner who was injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, would explicitly extend the hit-and-run statutes to apply to Class 1 bike paths.

Which seems like a law in search of a problem.

While the Sacramento DA couldn’t seem to figure out if the existing hit-and-run laws applied to a bike that, there is nothing in the statute to suggest that it doesn’t.

And CVC21200 clearly states that bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motorists. Which would include stopping following a crash.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the AB1755 heads-up.

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Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the upcoming Culver City council elections, as the city transitions from its auto-centric past to a livable streets future.

The group has endorsed Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch to help continue that transition.

Evidently, council candidate Marcus Tiggs doesn’t want the bike vote, since he didn’t bother to respond to their questionnaire.

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LA’s road diet critics must have been comparing notes.

Just a week after “science-based” advice columnist Amy Alkon complained about being bullied by bicycling zealots, dermatologist and self-appointed urban planner Kenneth S. Alpern trotted out the phrase to describe those who happen to disagree with him.

Furthermore, even Portland has barely reached a 7% bicycle commute rate), and it is to be noted that those of us trying to compromise and encourage bicycle commuting that safely and conveniently works with cars and buses are met with NASTY anger in return from bicyclist zealots who DO NOT represent all bicyclists and DO NOT want compromise.

If nasty anger means not going along with their demands to undo the Venice Blvd road diet and Great Streets project, and comprise means turning every inch of pavement back over to motor vehicles, he’s right.

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Today’s common theme is bikeshare. And e-bikeshare. And even e-scootershare.

Santa Monica says not so fast to an e-scooter sharing startup.

Pasadena is hoping Metro Bikeshare will help it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 83%.

The Bay Area’s Ford GoBike docked bikeshare system will be adding 250 ebikes to their system.

Dockless e-bikeshare is coming to San Francisco, soon to be followed by LimeBike dockless ebikes, which should be coming to Los Angeles as well.

Spin is adding dockless ebikes to their bikeshare offerings.

Dockless bikeshare is helping to increase bicycling diversity in DC by drawing riders from the African-American community.

A Charlotte SC writer says dockless bikeshare is littering the city.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is entering the bikesharing market through its partial stake in Ofo and the recently bankrupt Bluegogo. Maybe it can merge them and call it Ofogogo.

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Local

Maybe LA’s auto-centric anti-Vision Zero drivers suffer from Dissociative Commuter Disorder.

CiclaValley reviews 2017 in pictures.

Burbank Realtors team with Bike Angels to refurbish and donate 117 bicycles to local kids.

A meeting is being held tonight to discuss options to replace the Santa Monica pier bridge, including one that would turn the existing bridge into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

State

A pair of San Diego letter writers are up in arms that a mother would dare to ride outside a bike lane with her child. Or maybe not. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the links.

 

National

Get on your bike. New research shows bicycling can reverse age-related heart damage.

Trek is working with Ford on a system that will enable driverless cars to recognize people on bicycles, in hopes of developing an industry standard. Some sort of standard is necessary, since so many companies are working on their own systems; otherwise, bike riders will have to wear 20 different sensors just to avoid getting run over.

On a related note, some sort of sensor can’t some soon enough, since a new study shows that we really are invisible to some drivers, even when they look right at us.

Red Bull offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle. A couple they missed, however: Check it against the Bike Index stolen bike listings, and always meet the seller in a public place — preferably the lobby of the local police precinct. And register it as soon as you complete the purchase.

Maybe you can get that bespoke Serrotta you always wanted after all, if you have a spare $7,600 to $15,000 laying around.

An Oregon woman was convicted of hit-and-run after she sideswiped a bicyclist, then demanded $200 for damage to her car.

Kindhearted Tucson sheriff’s deputies buy a new bicycle for an 11-year old girl after the one she got for Christmas was destroyed in a fire.

While LA drivers fight Vision Zero, New York is busy saving lives, with a 28% drop in traffic fatalities since 2013 — and a 45% reduction in pedestrian deaths.

This is why you don’t lock you bike to street signs. A New Orleans man lost his bike in less than two minutes when a thief unbolted the sign and made off with the bicycle.

 

International

Bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid discovers the best way to get fit from fast foods is to deliver it by bike.

A photographer catches the moment a Brit bike rider and his dog are soaked by a huge wave as they ride on a breakwater, but somehow manage to stay upright.

Invest the equivalent of $1,900 in a Brit bike startup, and you’ll not only get a piece of the company, you could buy a new ebike foldie for just thirteen bucks and change.

That’s one way to test a marriage. An English couple is touring the world by tandem bike, covering over 62,000 miles over the last four-and-a-half months. Note: As Mike Wilkinson observes below, that mileage figure is just this side of impossible, requiring them to travel nearly 460 miles a day. It’s possible that the paper may have added a zero to the 100,000 km figure they cited.

Caught on video: An Aussie bike rider is run down from behind by a driver who claimed to have the sun in his eyes. And the internet blames the victim for being in the road and accuses him of being a drama queen.

A yarn-bombed bike left outside the prime minister’s residence to celebrate marriage equality in Australia is headed for the country’s National Museum.

 

Competitive Cycling

Members of Britain’s Team Sky were stopped by police in Adelaide, Australia and lectured on how to ride safely.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride your bike in the winter, or concerned motorists may report you to the police. If you’re going to carry meth on your bike after midnight, put a damn light on it.

And record-setting French cyclist Robert Marchand retired from competitive cycling.

At 106.

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

 

Morning Links: People for Bikes touts illegal ebike route, MyFig happening, and Bike the Vote says no on C

That ebike ride could end up putting you behind bars.

Jimmy Mac forwards word that People For Bikes recommends riding your ebike on the 21.5-mile Big Topanga Loop in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The only problem is that ebikes have been banned on the loop for nearly a year. Which means following their suggestion could get you up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He reports he’s been in contact with the organization, and been promised that it would be removed from their site. But as if this weekend, it’s still there.

Let’s hope they have a good attorney on retainer for anyone who follows their suggestion.

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Doug Moore sends word that concrete changes are finally starting to take place with the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa. (As opposed to the long-delayed Figueroa for All project on North Figueroa.)

Just a heads up that there’s been less talk and more action regarding the MyFig project, especially between USC from the south to Olympic to the north.

The far right lane in each direction has changed: no parking. At all. Now it’s just a regular driving lane.  For cyclists – this is sort of worse than it was before, but will get better once they get to the part of the project that includes installation of the bike lanes.

I cycle this section several times a week to get to my office on campus, and wow, the drivers are not used to getting stuck behind cyclists. I seem to be pissing off a lot of motorists since this change.

The other thing is new paint/striping/lines on the north bound side. Now, it’s one lane for cars. One. Wow, are motorists really pissed now. All the other lane space has been re-striped for the upcoming bus stop islands.

So it’s a little tense out there until everybody gets used to this new flow.

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Bike the Vote LA takes a stand on Measure C in the May 16 General Election, urging a no vote on the measure that would actually reduce accountability for police officers under the guise of increasing civilian oversight.

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More fallout in the ongoing tribulations of bike-friendly CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali, who tries to get ahead of any further news links by revealing that he’s had affairs, and owes $48,000 in back taxes for his Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.

But he vows to press on in his bid to defeat incumbent Gil Cedillo, who must be twirling his imaginary mustache like Snidely Whiplash.

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Sad news, as 21-year old pro cyclist Chad Young died from injuries he received falling on a steep descent in the Tour of Gila last Sunday. VeloNews talks to people who remember the young rider; even before his death, the pro peloton struggled with news of his injuries.

Irish pro Nicholas Roche considers the recent deaths of Young and Michele Scarponi, noting that riders have just a helmet and a thin layer of Lycra to protect them, and sometimes that’s not enough.

Sunday marked the 11th annual Dana Point Grand Prix.

The Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race will kick off this Wednesday.

A British paper tells the story of Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to race in the Giro d’Italia.

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Local

A book website talks with LA’s bike-riding librarian.

The West Hollywood city council will consider the city’s new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan at tonight’s meeting. Hopefully, they won’t approve it, then ignore it like most cities seem to do.

A Pasadena man was whacked in the head with an electrical box as he tried to ride away following a dispute with a man in a hardware store.

No bias here. My News LA says Pomona police are planning to celebrate Bike Month by cracking down on scofflaw cyclists. Except that’s not what the story from City News Service actually says, or what the police will be doing.

The Long Beach Report offers photos from Saturday’s Beach Streets University, where they estimate 10,000 people turned out for the open streets event. Note to LBR: It’s ciclovías, not “cylovias.”

A bike train by any other name. Manhattan Beach kids will be encouraged to join a “cycling school bus” as part of the city’s Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

 

State

Streetsblog asks how we can get Orange County’s many progressive transportation plans off the shelf and onto the streets.

Newport Beach wants you to be a roll model during May’s Bike Month.

Chula Vista held its first open streets event on Sunday.

Oddly, a Ramona hit-and-run driver doesn’t appear to have been arrested yet, even though witnesses followed the driver home after s/he hit a cyclist, and watched as the garage door was closed.

A Palm Springs city councilman says the planned CV Link bike path will be an asset for the Coachella Valley, and that cities that have pulled out of the project will come to regret it.

A Big Bear paper calls Big Bear Lake the cycling capital of Southern California. To which virtually every other cycling hotspot would beg to differ.

A Victorville bike rider was collateral damage when a driver stopped to let him cross the road and was rear-ended by another car, knocking it into him.

The Walgreens/People for Bikes Ride for Red Nose kicked off from Santa Barbara yesterday.

Sad news from Half Moon Bay, where a trail of debris led police to a driver who fled after killing a bike rider, dragging the bike underneath his car to a house a mile away.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge finally opens to bike riders and pedestrians seven days a week, as long as they’re willing to settle for going just halfway across.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. San Francisco reconsiders plans for a protected bike lane after a massive public outcry. No, to keep it.

The Napa Valley paper says it’s Bike Month, so let’s get out there and ride.

 

National

A new US study shows walking significantly increases blood flow to the brain, to a greater degree than bicycling. That does not, however, mean that walking is better for your overall health than bicycling, despite the breathless headline.

An economics website gives a wrongheaded nod to the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows speeding drivers to set their own speed limits, while failing to mention that higher speeds might be safer for drivers in some cases, but increases the danger for everyone else on or near the roads.

The LA Times looks at Portland’s efforts to make their bikeshare more accessible for handicapped users. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An eight-year old boy born without most of his right arm is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a team of students from the University of Iowa who built a special prosthetic arm and socket attached to his handlebars.

Once again, business owners shoot themselves in the foot by opposing protected bike lanes in Minneapolis, even though studies show added business from bike riders and pedestrians usually more than makes up for the loss of parking spaces.

Someone placed a memorial plaque on the site where a very much alive Ohio cyclist pulled an endo after hitting a squirrel, leading to a mystery as local officials tried to figure out what the heck happened there.

In a massive clusterfuck, a New York judge a) bases his judgment for a killer driver on an inaccurate preliminary report, b) apologizes to the driver, and c) rudely berates the victim’s mother when she tried to point out the mistake. Needless to say, d) the cop assigned to the case who promised to show up, didn’t.

New York police respond to killer drivers by cracking down on bike riders who dare venture outside the bike lanes.

Delaware’s former governor plans to ride across the US to benefit state organizations serving local youth, and encourage citizens of the state to be more active.

An education website profiles the South Carolina teacher who raised funds to buy every kid in her school a new bicycle.

A Florida woman hopes it will send a message to other drivers after she’s awarded $4 million in the death of her husband as he rode his bike in 2012.

 

International

A British Columbia driver gets eight well-deserved years for the drunken crash that killed two bicyclists, as well as the passenger in his own car.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls a new bike and pedestrian bridge a game changer that will dramatically improve safety.

Once again, a British lord blames London’s bike lanes for causing pollution. Not all those big, dangerous machines that spew smog out their butts, or the people who insist on driving them.

A “keen cyclist” won’t be riding again anytime soon after his wife got tired of UK thieves stealing his bike for the third time in six months. Although you’d think after the second time he’d stop leaving it in the garage.

More proof that people are the same everywhere, as Beirut drivers are already parking on the city’s one-week old bike lane. Meanwhile, bikeshare has opened in the city, even though users have to compete with aggressive motorists for road space.

 

Finally…

Evidently, when you’re a big star, you get stuck with the crappiest bike. As if watching out for trucks on the streets wasn’t bad enough, now we have to worry about them falling from the sky.

And who knew Earth Day was a leftist scam conducted by “self-appointed shamans” of “alleged ethnicity?”

They’re on to us, comrades. And our alleged ethnicities.

 

Weekend Links: A wake-up call for Eric Garcetti, an endorsement tie in CD9, and upping the visibility arms race

Bike the Vote LA co-founder Michael Macdonald has penned a must-read Op-Ed for the LA Times, saying Los Angeles has seen too much talk and not enough action from Mayor Eric Garcetti when it comes to making our streets safer.

Couldn’t agree more.

Garcetti has done a great job setting priorities and policies for the city. But he’s done a lousy job of translating them to the real world, especially when it comes to our streets. Let alone his failure to even weigh in on street-level fights like ensuring human access on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, or the shameful, and ultimately successful, effort to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan.

Let’s hope he does better in his next term.

Our lives, and the future livability of the city, depend on it.

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Speaking of Bike the Vote LA, they continue their recent string of endorsements with a tie in LA’s 9th council district between Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera, saying the district has languished under current Councilmember Curren Price Jr.

And the Los Angeles Post-Examiner examines CD5 incumbent and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz’s recent call to ban bikes from Westwood Blvd.

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A new waterproof cycling jacket ups the visibility arms race, with hi-viz panels for day use, and LED lights and reflective panels on the front, back and sleeves.

A new sci-fi styled bike taillight includes turn signals, crash detector, automatic brake light, and a rear cam that projects images directly to your handlebar-mounted smart phone, so you can watch your bike get rear-ended in real time.

Thanks to Zwift, riding indoor doesn’t suck as much. Even ghosts are getting in on it.

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The season’s last World Cup track cycling stage starts today at the StubHub Center’s Velo Sports Center in Carson. Although the Aussie team may have to withdraw after their bikes got stuck in Columbia.

You don’t need to read French to get the message not to celebrate your victory too soon.

Lance will finally face trial in DC this November for the feds $100 million dollar doping fraud lawsuit.

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Local

The LA Times goes fat biking in the snow.

Not surprisingly, West Hollywood has a higher rate of DUIs than surrounding cities, given the high number of nightclubs and bars in the city.

Santa Monica is throwing a party today to celebrate four park projects.

Monday will be another day of enhanced traffic enforcement in Santa Monica, as police are once again on the lookout for violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it’s not you.

The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets lists seven can’t miss open streets events this spring, starting with their own 18-mile event next Sunday.

 

State

San Diego’s Padres Pedal the Cause raised $2 million for cancer research.

A San Francisco supervisor commits to supporting protected bike lanes on upper Market Street, which has one of the city’s highest collision rates.

 

National

National Geographic shares bike maps from the 1890s, while questioning whether the current urban bike craze will live on.

The Denver Post says yes, walking, biking and transit are good things, but let’s not make it harder for people to drive, noting that it would take a monumental shift in behavior to get commuters to leave their cars at home five days a week. On the other hand, if people left their cars at home just one day a week, it would probably solve all of the city’s traffic problems.

Caught on video: A Chicago TV station catches a bike colliding with a taxi during a live remote.

A Detroit bike rider was the victim of second-hand lightening when a bolt struck a utility pole, causing a live wire to fall and electrocute him.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who mugged a 79-year old Michigan bike shop owner, stealing several hundred dollars from the shop; the victim recognized the thief as someone he had once fixed a bike for.

The good news is New York traffic deaths are down 23% under the city’s Vision Zero; the bad news is the good news doesn’t include bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Pennsylvania man got three months to five years behind bars for the drunken crash that left a bike rider with life-threatening injuries. But he wasn’t behind the wheel; he was pedaling his own bike at the time.

A North Carolina runner was impaled by a nail purposely placed on a trail; investigators have found at least 40 more four-inch nails pounded into tree roots and logs so up to an inch was sticking out. Like similar cases affecting bike trails, this needs to be treated like the domestic terrorism case it is, rather than just a dangerous prank.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says your riding habits will change when you have kids, but that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Protected bike lanes on a major Toronto street have boosted bicycling rates 36%, while increasing rush hour drive times by 8.5 minutes. However, the city believes they can eliminate that delay by making adjustments to turns, parking and traffic signals.

The thrills of playing Pokémon Go by bike on London’s busy streets.

Maybe they didn’t tip him. A Brit food delivery driver is caught on video stealing a customer’s $250 kids bike.

It’s ten years behind bars for a stoned British driver who killed a bike rider while fleeing from police.

Chinese police crack down on bike-riding food delivery people.

 

Finally…

If you’re on probation and riding your bike at two in the morning, leave your stun gun and blow pipe at home. If you have a lifetime driving ban for too many DUIs, it’s probably not the best idea to ride a gas-powered bicycle when you’re wasted.

And that’s one way to build a DIY protected bike lane.

And fix your toilet, too.

 

Morning Links: Todd the Volunteer, double rainbows, more endorsements, and don’t read the comments

The most interesting people ride bikes.

Mike Wilkinson encountered a bike-riding homeless man who calls himself Todd the Volunteer, and asked if he could share the man’s story.

Driving along Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove, in the distance I saw the silhouette of a man in the middle of the expansive street. As I approached, I realized he was sweeping up debris from the recent rains. I noticed his bike with a trailer and huge orange sign on the side of the road. Then, in a second, he was in my rear view mirror.

Finishing my errand, I remembered how my wife and I had agreed that we would want to help a homeless person who is doing something productive. I couldn’t forget this guy, so I resolved to find him on my way home. His bright orange sign made that easy.

Todd the Volunteer introduced himself as I handed him a five dollar bill. He posed for some pictures and told me he had recently cleaned several freeway underpasses from top to bottom. He was friendly and articulate. His energy and appearance was far from the stereotype of a homeless person with mental issues, addictions and poor hygiene.

He lives in a local park, and he is a busy guy. He has a Go Fund Me page, and there is a You Tube video about him. KNBC Los Angeles did a piece on him. He told me “I believe that if I help the community, the community will help me.” Last year the Orange County Register named him one of its 100 most influencial people. Now I know why.

………

You also experience the world on a bike in a way you never would zooming by in a car. Like the double rainbow Sam Kurutz captured as he rode home Wednesday night.

A big cloudburst took place in Pasadena/Sierra Madre last night and produced a beautiful rainbow. I got soaked except for my chamois, by some miracle. Anyways… it was a tricky ride home because drivers were looking at the rainbow and not for a cyclist, so I had to be really cautious.

 

………

More political news leading up to next month’s local elections.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Krystal Padley for Pasadena’s 5th city council district.

Walk Bike Burbank offers responses to their candidate survey from the people running for Burbank City Council.

And the LA Times provides a recap of their endorsements; they got it right on Joe Bray-Ali and Measure S, but missed the mark in endorsing career politician Paul Koretz over challenger Jesse Creed.

………

As Erik Griswold points out, you really don’t want to read the comments on the San Diego U-T’s story about the proposed California Idaho Stop bill.

But you probably will. And you’ll regret it.

………

A British pro calls for a ban on disk brakes after he claims one cut through his shoe at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Or maybe not, unless his shoes are made out of cardboard.

………

Local

The Electric Bike Expo starting in Long Beach this afternoon makes LAist’s list of 20 of the coolest things to do in Los Angeles this weekend.

 

State

San Diego officials are accused of not taking Vision Zero seriously, saying zero traffic deaths is a nice goal, but “we know we won’t be able to meet that.” Nice lack of commitment there, guys.

San Francisco discusses possible safety improvements on 17th Street, where several riders have been injured after catching their tires in streetcar tracks.

The Napa Valley Register says tourist-designed bikeshare is coming to the area, but doesn’t bother to explain what the hell that means.

The mayor of Redding wants you to try riding the area’s trails as part of their Mountain Bike Challenge.

 

National

The Portland city council voted to overturn a decision by the city’s Police Bureau to exonerate an officer for using a Taser on a bike rider not once, not twice, but six times — three after he was already on his stomach with two officers on his back.

Michigan considers requiring drivers to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance, as well as proposing that all driver education classes include an hour on how to share the road with vulnerable users.

Boston’s mayor promises to make the city safer for people of all ages to walk, bike or drive, in part by reducing speed limits to 25 mph.

Never mind walking in Memphis. PeopleForBikes is looking to make historic South Memphis a comfortable place to ride a bike in as part of their Big Jump Project.

Bicyclists in Shreveport LA complain that a proposed bike path network doesn’t go where people want to go and won’t encourage new riders. The best way to ensure any bikeway will fail is to put it where city officials want it go, rather than where people want to ride.

 

International

Bike Radar offers five suggestions for things you can do behind the wheel to make the streets safer for bicyclists. They forgot to mention put down your damn phone, take your foot off the gas, and pay attention.

Saskatoon cyclists ask the city to change a number of bylaws that limit bike safety and the practicality of bicycling in the Canadian city, including a ban on carrying loads and a requirement to dismount and walk when passing pedestrians on bridges.

A Toronto teenager got a $350 fine and three points against his driver’s license for running a red light on his bicycle, even though that’s not supposed to happen. Bicycling violations aren’t supposed to count against your license in California, either. So if you get a ticket, make sure the officer marks on it that you were on a bike, not in a car.

Heartbreaking story of an Afghan journalist who fled on a rickety bicycle to seek asylum in Canada — not from the people back home who wanted to kill him, but from the political turmoil and anti-Muslim attitudes in the US.

London’s new mayor has come out in favor of three of the city’s Mini Holland bikeways in the face of a 6,000 signature petition from motorists demanding their removal.

That viral video of a Brit bike rider ripping the mirror off the van of a driver who harassed her has been taken down after it was proven to be fake.

Caught on video: A British bike thief tries, and fails, to cut through a lock and steal a bicycle.

Irish cyclists protest in front of the legislature demanding that 10% of the country’s transportation budget be set aside to promote bicycling and protect riders.

An unlicensed hit-and-run driver who killed an Irish bicyclist had his sentence increased by nine months after prosecutors appealed his original two and a half year sentence. He was also banned from driving for 15 years, although that didn’t seem to stop him before.

Move to France and get 200 euros — $212 — towards the purchase of a pedal-assist ebike.

A female rickshaw driver is breaking gender rules in Bangladesh. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An 18-year old Malaysian youth is under arrest for a Facebook post calling for the public to come together and meet with the sultan in charge of the state where eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision. Let that be a reminder not to take the freedom of speech and assembly we enjoy in here the US for granted.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything on your bike, even a dead deer. Who needs a speed gun when you’ve got a hi-viz vest and a blow dryer?

And if you’re the ethics chairman of county bar association, maybe you should consider the ethics of not driving distract and under the influence.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

………

Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Angry DASH driver tries to run rider off road, and endorsement for Pasadena city council

Apparently, a LADOT DASH bus driver is in need of some serious retraining.

Or the city might find itself on the hook for violating the its own bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Or worse.

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

………

Bike the Vote LA continues their run-up for the March 7th election by endorsing Andy Wilson for Pasadena’s city council district 7.

Meanwhile, the Burbank Leader reports on the Burbank city council forum, where one of the candidates actually called for better bike infrastructure.

………

Lance says he loved wearing the US Postal Service uniform and hearing the national anthem played when he won, and being sued by the feds can’t take that away. Although they could take everything else.

Interesting piece from Cycling Weekly, as they look at ten racing inventors that changed cycling, with a few names you might know like Campagnolo and Cinelli.

VeloNews looks at the recent renaissance in French cycling, while Cycling News looks back at cycling’s “decadent” decade of the 1990s.

You may soon need a ticket to watch your favorite cyclists compete, as Belgian cycling promoters consider charging fans to watch the race.

………

Local

A Covina bike rider was injured in what police believe was a gang-related shooting.

The Press-Telegram discusses the ebike expo coming to Long Beach this weekend.

Help restock books in the Silver Lake area on the monthly Street Librarians Ride this Sunday.

 

State

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers a review of bike-related legislation in the state legislature, including the possible elimination of the ride-to-the-right law we discussed yesterday, and an actual bipartisan bill to legalize the Idaho Stop — a term Masoner helped popularize — in California. The only thing more shocking than the Idaho Stop actually being considered in California is the concept of Democrats and Republicans actually working together to pass it.

A Newport Beach bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was apparently rear-ended by the driver of an SUV. Thanks to Lois for the link.

Sacramento police are looking for a bike-riding knife-bearing bike path robber.

Mountain View considers whether a 15 mph speed limit is too high — or too low — on a popular bike and pedestrian trail.

A Marin columnist contends mountain bikers who want to force the county to open all trails to bikes are acting like spoiled children.

Redding police identify the bike-riding victim in last week’s traffic shooting; the case is still under investigation, even though it’s being described as self-defense.

 

National

Friendship Circle is sponsoring their 6th annual adaptive bike giveaway program for kids and teens with special needs.

A new study from the University of Duh says improving cardiovascular fitness may help extend your life. And here we all thought sitting on your couch eating Cheetos and watching TV was the key to outliving all your friends.

Tragic news from Arizona, where a bike rider is dead in an apparent road rage shooting after arguing with a driver and his passengers.

A bill in the Iowa legislature would force drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, while requiring bicyclists to use front and rear lights at all times — even in broad daylight — while a competing bill would require riders to display a slow-moving vehicle flag.

Kindhearted Oklahoma firefighters replace a small boy’s bicycle after his was destroyed in a collision with a pedestrian.

A Boston man describes his decision to keep riding after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in and around his lower spine.

New York police confiscate two bikes from teenage cyclist accused of riding recklessly. Too bad that doesn’t seem to apply to reckless drivers, who just get a ticket — if that — and get sent on their way.

Good read from a Gotham website, which says Vision Zero only works when victim blaming stops and accountability starts.

A Savannah GA writer says traffic fatalities are the real American carnage, even if they weren’t mentioned in the inaugural address.

A quintet of bike-riding NASCAR drivers promote bike safety before turning their attention to qualifying for the Daytona 500.

A Florida woman gets 22 years behind bars for intentionally running over her bike-riding friend. Makes you wonder what she’d do to someone she didn’t like.

 

International

Caught on video: Nothing like standing on the pedals of your fixie with your fluffy white cotton tail bouncing in the breeze.

Caught on video too: A Brit woman responds to catcalls from a van driver by ripping off its wing mirror, then just rides away. Or maybe not.

Caught on video three: This is what it looks like to be sideswiped by a passing van.

It’s been too long since we checked in with Scotland’s Town Mouse, who gives one more reason you otter ride a bike.

A Kiwi bike rider urges drivers to just look, already.

A Chinese writer tells his countrymen to stop creating bikeshare companies.

A new study suggests the implementation of a minimum passing distance in Australia’s Queensland state isn’t having a significant effect on the amount of harassment bicyclists experience.

We can’t seem to get away from Malaysia this week.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with SoCal drivers, but at least we don’t have to ride in front of runaway bulls — although we do have to contend with machetes. Yes, blowing through red lights and clipping a cyclist while driving on just three tires was probably a very bad idea.

And hi-viz may not be necessary, but some clothing is usually recommended.

 

Morning Links: Info needed on fallen rider, a triple endorsement in CD7, and reforming CA ride-to-right rule

A family in pain needs your help.

Last September, a man was killed riding his bike on PCH in Malibu. Word has just now reached his family in Memphis, Tennessee, who lost touch with him after he left the city and apparently moved west to the Los Angeles area.

They’re hoping that anyone who knew Neville Williams will contact them to provide whatever information they can to give them a little closure.

You can find his full comment here, along with his email address.

……….

Bike the Vote LA strikes a three-way tie for their endorsement in race for LA’s 7th Council District between Monica Rodriguez, Fred Flores, and Jose Castillo.

You can see their responses to the Bike the Vote questionnaire, along with fellow candidate Connie Saunders, below.

………

A new attempt is underway to eliminate the unsafe and confusing requirement that bike riders must ride as far right as practicable.

Which LA County sheriff’s deputies routinely misinterpret as meaning a) cyclists should ride on the shoulder instead of taking the traffic lane, and b) riding two abreast is not allowed, since the outside rider is not riding as close to the curb as practicable. Never mind the many exceptions to that rule under CVC 21202, or that the shoulder is not legally part of the roadway.

Under AB-694, the new rule would clarify matters by saying that bicyclists “shall ride in the right-hand lane or bicycle lane, if one is present,” unless the lane is wide enough to safely share with a motor vehicle.

And doesn’t change the fact that riding abreast is not prohibited, or even mentioned, under California law.

There was some concern that this bill would eliminate the exceptions allowing riders to leave a bike lane under current law; however, it would not change CVC 21208, which provides a number of circumstances where the requirement to use a bike lane does not apply.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

………

More fallout from the Malaysian massacre, in which eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision with an alleged speeding and distracted driver, and another eight injured.

A Malaysian paper follows-up on the deaths of eight teenagers riding bicycles modified to look like motorcycles, placing blame on a lack of safe places to ride.

The president of a parent-teacher association calls on the state to build a bike racing track where younger riders can blow off a little steam.

A state executive urges people to stop blaming the parents of the victims on social media, and leave the questioning to the police.

And a former government minister is accused of politicizing the tragedy.

………

British cycling champ Chris Boardman calls three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome a statesman for rising above the country’s doping controversies.

Lance thumbs his nose at the government lawsuit over doping when he was with the US Postal squad by competing with his former fellow-doper teammates in the unsanctioned 24-Hour Old Pueblo mountain bike race in Tucson, finishing third.

………

Local

A new study concludes Los Angeles is the world’s most congested city — although other studies would disagree. Building our way out of traffic has clearly failed; if Los Angeles is going to survive — let alone thrive — it has to offer safe, convenient alternatives to driving, while increasing density to reduce the need for long commutes.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Caltrans has not approved plans to add a right turn lane on PCH at Cross Creek Road in order to accommodate a planned shopping center, which would eliminate the shoulder used by thousands of cyclists every weekend.

 

State

The Register’s David Whiting considers the state of OC’s trails following the recent rains. The fire department airlifted an injured hiker from Runyon Canyon this past Sunday, a reminder that trails can remain unstable even days after the rains.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bike was killed by an Amtrak train Monday afternoon after going around the crossing arms. As we’ve said before, never, ever go around the gates at a railroad crossing, even if it looks safe.

 

National

PeopleForBikes celebrates Presidents Day with photos of past presidents riding bicycles, including the only color photo of Abraham Lincoln on a mountain bike. That’s past presidents, since our current chief executive swears he hasn’t been on a bicycle since he was a child, and isn’t likely to anytime soon.

Bicycling offers a beginners guide to riding in traffic.

Utah’s plans to remove protection from a pair of national monuments has cost it a trade show for outdoor retailers, as well as a chance to host the Interbike trade show.

A Texas man has traveled over 8,000 miles through 31 states with his dog since 2013 to promote non-profit animal shelters and discourage puppy mills. I can relate. The Corgi overcame health and socialization problems from being shipped to a wholesaler when she was just six weeks old, and came to us through a non-profit rescue when her first owner couldn’t care for her anymore.

A 78-year old Minnesota woman has ridden her bike across the continent four times, as well as riding to Cheyenne WY for both her 50th and 60th high school reunions, despite not taking her first long-distance bike trip until she was 60.

Falling off her bike led to twin silver medals for an upstate NY woman with MS at last year’s Paralympic Games.

Big step forward for Pittsburgh bike icon Danny Chew, as he takes to hand cycling for the first time since he was paralyzed from the waist down in a September riding fall.

A self-described bike lane vigilante literally takes the law into his own hands, slapping homemade parking violation stickers on cars and trucks blocking Philadelphia bike lanes.

A DC bike columnist discusses whether hi-viz really does any good.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at 12 “madcap” cycling records that aren’t likely to get broken anytime soon.

Police in Manchester, England crack down on inconsiderate cyclists, ticketing 41 riders over a two week period. Even though they say drivers committed traffic violations at twice that rate.

Where to stay on your next bike tour of Scotland.

France is offering up to 700 euros towards the price of an ebike — the equivalent of $738 — as part of a two-year push to get people out of their cars. Although Dutch riders are discovering the downside of ebikes when they’re forced to pay an average of 500 euros for new batteries.

An Aussie writer says open season on bike riders is just insane, as the shooting of a 72-year old man riding on a bike trail appears to have been a random attack for no other reason than he was on a bike.

More turmoil from Malaysia, where a bike rider was arrested following a scuffle with police during a protest over the impounding of illegally parked bicycles, despite a shortage of bike parking; he faces up to two years behind bars if he’s convicted. Meanwhile, the city government admits damaging a delivery rider’s bike when they impounded it.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can take your bike on the subway; no, you’re not supposed to ride it. There’s more than one way to carry a dog on your bike. Or back.

And at last, cold-weather gloves for two-fingered bicyclists.

 

Morning Links: Happy 200th bike birthday, US traffic fatalities jump, and DMV says no parking in bike lanes

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest rant on why motorists hate bicyclists.

………

Stop whatever you’re doing, and read this.

Hollywood Reporter editor Peter Flax has written a truly exceptional piece on the 200th birthday of the bicycle. Or the forerunner of the bicycle, if you prefer.

And the star-crossed German inventor who brought it into existence.

What is the soul of a bicycle? Is it a pedal-driven drivetrain? Or is it more elemental than that — a human-powered, two-wheeled machine that must be balanced and steered? These questions seem to underscore the doubts many cyclists have when they ponder Drais’ invention — or a modern e-bike. Is it actually a bike if it isn’t entirely powered by pedals?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

………

If you thought American roads were getting worse, you’re right. After a decade-long downward trend, traffic deaths in the US jumped to an estimated 40,200 last year — the highest total in more than 20 years.

The news is no better here, as California traffic fatalities rose at more than double the rate of the US as a whole.

Authorities blame increased driving, prescription drugs and distracted driving.

Then again, there could just more people of color on the streets. According to a study from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, drivers are more likely to stop for a white person in a crosswalk than they are blacks.

Or if they’re rich, they’re less likely to stop, period.

………

Came across this piece from the DMV while researching parking restrictions in bike lanes.

As it says, a bike lane is a dedicated traffic lane, and must be treated like any other traffic lane. That means parking in a bike lane is clearly prohibited, just like it is in an HOV lane, turn lane, or the #1, 2 or 3 lanes.

Remember that the next time you see someone parked in one. Although you might have to explain it to the local authorities.

………

More endorsements for LA City Council from Bike the Vote LA, as they call for re-electing Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 and Bob Blumenfield in CD3.

………

After most Russian athletes were tainted by charges of systematic doping, they’re recruiting Australian former world track champ Shane Perkins to ride for them.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine explains everything you need to know about Europe’s one-day classics.

………

Local

After years of discussion, Metro approves a budget for a Bike Hub at Union Station.

CiclaValley goes riding in Griffith Park.

The Monterey Park Police Department is the latest to step up enforcement of violations that can lead to serious injuries to bike riders and pedestrians. Observe the usual protocol today; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

A new survey says Agoura Hills residents like bike lanes, but they hate traffic.

Redondo Beach considers beautifying the bike path at the north entrance to town with drought-resistant plants, as well as widening it to accommodate more people on foot.

 

State

Even tiny Joshua Tree is about to get its first bike lane. Although putting it behind traditional angled parking is just asking for trouble; back-in angled parking would be much safer.

Santa Barbara police blame a bike rider for colliding with a car, saying he gained too much speed coming out of a driveway; fortunately, he seemed okay other than some road rash.

A Fresno rider calls for improving the relationship between motorists and cyclists.

San Jose’s traffic columnist explains what sharrows are, but misses the opportunity to explain what they mean.

More sad news from Northern California, where a 77-year old man riding a bike was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; it’s the second Sacramento bicycling death in two days. And a Napa man was found dead on the side of a highway in what appears to be a solo bike crash.

Davis police bust the bike-riding mosque bacon draper.

An Oroville man was reunited with the bike and trailer he abandoned on the side of the road when everyone downstream from the damaged dam was evacuated. Although you’d think a bike would have been the best way to get out.

Horrible news from Redding, as a bike rider was shot and killed by a motorist in a road rage dispute. But the man had a concealed carry permit, so that makes it okay, right?

 

National

US News & World Report says ditch your car if you want to save real money. Who even knew they were still around?

Ditching your car could also save your life; heart disease is expected to be a $1.1 trillion dollar problem by 2035, with 45% of Americans suffering from some form. Fortunately, the cure could be as simple as getting more people out of their cars and onto bicycles. Thanks to my brother Eric for the heads-up.

PeopleForBikes looks at my already very bike-friendly hometown, as it prepares to get even more so. Every place I’ve ever lived has made great changes to become bike-friendly only after I left. Maybe I need to leave Los Angeles so it can finally make some real improvements on the street.

Bicycling Magazine looks at the nation’s first glow-in-the-dark protected bike lane at Texas A&M.

West Virginia considers stronger penalties for hit-and-run by making it a felony with up to three years in prison; right now it’s just a misdemeanor.

Sad news from DC, as the founder of the Rails-to-Trails movement has died from acute myeloid leukemia; David Burwell was 69.

The Big Easy demos the city’s coming bikeshare system.

 

International

Life is cheap in Britain, where a star player for the Southampton soccer team faces just a driver’s education class after admitting to careless driving in a collision that left a bike rider with critical injuries; the victim got a equivalent of a $37 fine for going through a red light.

An Irish man with schizophrenia says he doesn’t remember punching a man in his 60s and knocking him off his bike, but he’s very, very sorry.

The Copenhagen-based makers of the Bullitt cargo bike hire an illustrator to turn their cargo boxes into works of art, too.

A Kiwi cyclist was knocked cold in a moped hit-and-run. A she was helmetless, after her bike and helmet were stolen last week.

Caught on video: A Jeep driver cuts off a sidewalk-riding Aussie bicyclist in the right-hand drive equivalent of a right hook. Despite what the story implies, there’s no question who is at fault. And it ain’t the guy on the bike.

 

Finally…

Forget scofflaw cyclists; Millennial drivers are the real road terrors. If you run over protesters, you’re the victim.

And don’t smash mirrors, dude.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

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