Tag Archive for bikes are good for business

LA pulls plug hours after approving Del Rey Slow Streets, San Diego shows how it’s done, and proof bikes mean business

My apologies if you got a premature draft of today’s post. Evidently, I somehow inadvertently posted this while I was still working on it.

Either that, or I’ve got a bad case of cyber gremlins. 

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In a dramatic reversal, Los Angeles approved plans to install the city’s first Slow Streets on several streets in the Del Rey neighborhood, which would have allowed people to get out to walk or bike while maintaining a safe social distance.

Then the city changed its mind, pulling the approval just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Never mind that any delay defeats the entire purpose of the program, which is intended to help people get out now for fresh air and exercise when they need it most to maintain their mental and physical health.

But even if it hadn’t been cancelled, this is exactly what’s wrong with Los Angeles.

One small area would have gotten desperately needed slow streets to allow for social distancing. But only because one neighborhood council asked for them, and one councilmember cared enough to — almost — get it done.

We need citywide leadership in a time of crisis, not 15 fiefdoms with widely varying commitments to safer streets.

As in, none at all in some cases.

Let’s hope LA city leaders get their figurative heads out of their collective asses, and start giving Angelenos safe places to get outside and move around, like the World Health Organization calls for.

Not in one small neighborhood, but in all of them.

And if it sounds like I’m pissed off, that’s only because I am.

Especially after Portland committed to 100 miles of slow streets.

Meanwhile, BIKAS — Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — calls for an email campaign to demand quick-build safety improvements on LA’s Fourth Street during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And Streetsblog say LA’s new program to accelerate repaving during the coronavirus slowdown is ignoring the city’s previously approved Mobility Plan.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

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San Diego continues to show LA how it’s done, closing part of four streets to motor vehicles to provide space to walk or bike while maintaining social distancing.

Meanwhile, San Diego County has reopened the SR-56 commuter bikeway between Solana Beach and Rancho Bernardo to pedestrians and bike riders.

As Robert Leone points out, it’s true that the pathway gets a lot of recreational use. But no one is stopping drivers to ask if their trips are necessary.

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Yet another study shows that bikes are good for business.

Researchers from Portland State University studied fourteen economic corridors in six cities with and without bike lanes.

And discovered that most businesses saw improvements in sales and employment as a result of bike lanes, with restaurants showing the greatest growth.

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PeopleForBikes is hosting a virtual Draft Meetup for San Diego-area bike riders this evening; you can RSVP here.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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When you absolutely, positively have to pass the person on the bike, road dividers be damned.

Note: I missed the date on this before posting it. Not the date of the tweet, but the May 14, 2015 on the video itself. So either the bicyclist didn’t set the date properly, or I need to apologize for posting a five year old video. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the catch.

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Phillip Young forwards a full-length film about the glory days of Detroit’s Wolverine Sports Club, dedicated, as their site says, to promoting cycling, speedskating and cross-country skiing at all levels.

And no, I haven’t had a chance to see it myself yet, so let us know what you think.

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

Police in the UK are looking for the motorcycle-riding schmuck who pushed a bicyclist off his bike for no apparent reason.

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

An Alabama man with an outstanding warrant for domestic abuse faces additional charges after leading police on a slow speed bike pursuit.

An “extremely intoxicated” Florida man faces multiple charges for attacking his former roommates while demanding to know where his bicycle was.

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Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says even though we’re all under safer at home orders, May is still Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Month.

According to a new plan, LA County beaches could reopen on the 18th, but the beach bike path will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Good idea. An LA Times op-ed calls for turning streets in front of restaurants into expanded seating areas, allowing them to reopen while maintaining social distancing.

The owners of Pure Cycles have sold the Burbank-based bikemaker to Florida bicycle distributor J&B Importers; however, founders Michael Fishman and Jordan Schau will continue to operate it as a standalone company.

Against all evidence, Pasadena somehow decides yellow “traffic calming’ signs will get drivers to take their foot off the gas pedal, while a Pasadena writer explains why red lights don’t prioritize people and still make you push a button to cross. Hint: Older red lights are hard to reprogram, and cars matter more than people in the Rose City.

Lime has pulled up stakes and ridden their scooters out of Santa Monica for the last time.

After Ocean Drive was flooded with people exercising when the beachfront Strand pathway was closed, Manhattan Beach residents call for banning bikes and skateboards, and restricting it to residents only. Which is only slightly illegal, since bikes are legally allowed on any street cars are allowed on. 

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a mountain bike ride through the ‘Bu, while Ryan Phillppe rides his mountain bike in LA.

Prodigal Son actress Bellamy Young is one of us now, after she had two weeks to learn how to ride a racing bike for a part on Criminal Minds. And had to film the scene with a chipped a tooth from grinding her teeth out of fear of falling off.

 

State

Once again, the CHP accuses a bike rider of a SWSS,* insisting the victim swerved in front of a Fresno County driver and suffered “moderate to major” injuries. *For the uninitiated, SWSS refers to a single witness suicide swerve, which is a bike meme referring to the fact that bike riders usually get blamed for riding in front of drivers in the absence of independent witnesses, when it’s often the driver who doesn’t hold his or her lane.

Palo Alto transportation planners say we need to plan for more bicycling and walking after the pandemic, expecting both to be in greater demand.

Great idea. A UC Berkeley grad student is analyzing San Francisco blocked bike reports to determine where protected bike lanes should be installed.

A Stockton man was busted for violating his probation by towing a rifle hidden in a guitar case on his bike trailer.

 

National

Gear Patrol complains that Canyon’s new roadie ebike isn’t available in the US; service isn’t available here for the bike’s Fazua motor. They kinda like Rapha’s new lightweight summer jersey, too.

Pink Bike rates riding glasses. My personal recommendation remains giving San Diego’s Sport RX a call, and let them fix you up with prescription bike glasses, including progressive lenses.

A local website asks whether Denver has what it takes to be a great bike city.

Burglars stole over $35,000 worth of bicycles from a Colorado bike shop.

Chicago finally gets around to repainting faded bike lanes, six months too late to save the life of a bike-riding woman.

Michigan bike shops reopened Tuesday after the governor lifted the state’s strict coronavirus lockdown.

A kindhearted Niagara Falls nurse bought a 12-year old boy a new bike after reading about his stolen bike on Facebook.

A Brooklyn thief faces charges for punching a man in the face to steal his bicycle, then attacking him with it.

A writer for Forbes says ebikes are cooler than you think, praising a chunky looking 30 mph bike from a Boston startup. Even though the article says it’s suited for bike lanes, its speed makes it illegal to ride in one in many states, including California. And you’ll need a helmet and a driver’s license.

DC bike riders stage a rolling protest with a musical soundtrack to highlight inequality exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A North Carolina high school principal is honoring her school’s graduating seniors by riding her bike around the campus ten times every day this week.

Take a virtual bike ride through the streets of Atlanta, without the inconvenience of actually going there.

Atlanta is getting serious about Vision Zero, cutting speed limits on most city streets to 25 mph.

 

International

Road.cc recounts ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever, including, yes, pedals.

Cyclist has advice on how to buy a gravel bike.

Regina, Saskatchewan city leaders overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, instead opting for an education program to make them less needed.

An Ontario man set a new world record by riding 626 miles in 24 hours on his Zwift stationary bike.

The BBC questions whether we’re witnessing the death of the car, as cities around the world hope to keep many motor vehicles off the road long after the lockdowns end. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where city leaders seem committed to doing nothing.

Apparently, Los Angeles drivers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of empty streets by gluing their feet to the gas pedal. London has seen an eight fold increase in speeding compared to this time last year.

No bias here. A London writer describes bicyclists as irritating little wasps that you can’t run down without fear of maiming one, yet gives riding a try anyway, on an ebike the size of a small motorcycle. However, most of the article is hidden behind the damn paywall.

It’s two years behind bars for a pair of bike thieves who targeted workers at a Nottingham, England medical center.

The British tabloids clearly have celebrity chef and reality TV star Gordon Ramsey in their sights, accusing him of running a red light and nearly causing a crash on his latest ride from his Welsh home.

A Belgian bike path across a huge pond creates the illusion of riding through water.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Dutch man chased down a bike thief on his ebike — with a passenger on the back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite being rescheduled for August, the Tour de France is once again in jeopardy after the French prime minister extends a ban on sporting events through September. Am I the only one who says just pull the plug on 2020 and try again next year?

The Vuelta has nixed its planned Dutch start, and will cut back to just 18 stages this year. Assuming the race happens at all, of course.

The cancellation of the pro tour has put a crimp in anti-doping labs and testing. Not that anyone would take advantage of that, of course.

VeloNews talks with women’s cyclist Kasia Niewiadoma and recently retired cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who got stuck in Girona, Spain while on a bikepacking trip after the pro tours were cancelled.

Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris is spending her lockdown time baking bread and working on her degree in food marketing.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t ride your bike past a store and spit on the window — let alone five times. Yes, you’ll probably want a seat on your bike for long distance rides.

And watch out for gators on the bike path.

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

Redesigning our cities for people, Metro planner killed in SaMo, and illegal bike dismount signs on Wilshire Blvd

My apologies to anyone who saw a premature draft of today’s page while it was still under construction; I somehow hit the Post button instead of Save. 

Blame a daylong rollercoaster dealing with the literal highs and lows of diabetes.

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels.

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He gets it.

Writing for Forbes, an instructor at a Spanish university says it’s time to redesign our cities around people, not cars.

The message is clear: cars must go, they have made our cities unhealthy and expensive for everyone, and while bicycles and pedestrians are part of the solution, we need to redesign streets for pedestrians and for autonomous vehicles. This needs to be backed up by competitive public transport that is more intelligent and versatile, and powered by real-time data.

Shops on streets that are closed to private cars do not suffer, but quite the opposite. Living in a city without a car is perfectly possible: it is already significantly cheaper to rent a car as often as you need than to own one and have to face expenses such as insurance, parking or taxes. But all these solutions raise a fundamental question about changing our habits, about how we get to work, for example: working from home or flexible hours are increasingly established trends.

Someone should mention that part about business thriving on streets that are closed to cars to the business owners on Broadway, who could be looking at exactly that in the near future.

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Sad news from Santa Monica, where Metro Transportation Planner Daniel Chuong was killed when he was struck by a driver while training with his brother for the LA Marathon.

It’s long past time to stop traffic violence in Southern California.

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Signs telling bicyclists to walk their bikes have popped up along the subway construction zones on Wilshire Blvd.

However, the signs do not appear to be compliant with the California MUTCD manual — the state’s official traffic sign guide — and not legally enforceable.

Although I could be wrong on that.

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Apparently, the bike lanes on Jefferson have been closed for sewer pipe work for the next year.

And as usual, there doesn’t seem to be any accommodation for bike riders.

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It looks like the Culver Blvd pathway is closed for construction work, as well. But at least this should reopen in a better version soon.

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Talk about burying the lede.

A Stanton woman suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while pulling a trailer on her bike.

However, the OC Register mentions that the driver fled the scene almost as an aside, before finally getting to a description of the suspect vehicle near the end of the story.

There’s also video from the scene showing the aftermath of the crash. But be warned, it’s tough to watch. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

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Bike talks mountain bikes, including how to fly like Superman, how to dial in drops, how to ride a step downhow to ride rollers, how to ride turns and berms, and how to do a back flip.

And an English filmmaker looks at what happens when a mountain bike race shuts down and the trail is converted to a new singletrack course.

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Long Beach expats the Path Less Pedaled take a short ride on an LA gravel rollercoaster.

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

A London driver walked with a warning despite repeatedly brake checking a bike rider — in a bike lane, no less.

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

A Washington credit card thief was busted when he showed up at a hospital with a leg injury, after he was hit by a driver while attempting to make his getaway by bicycle.

A Florida driver asks if bicyclists are allowed to ride salmon in bike lanes, after she nearly hits a wrong way rider who yelled at her and smacked her hood.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says Magnolia Blvd, Broadway, and traffic signal pre-emption are three early tests for Mayor Garcetti’s Climate Directive.

Streets for All has echoed Bike the Vote LA in endorsing Loraine Lundquist in LA’s 12th Council District and Sarah Kate Levy in CD4.

The Bieb took his fat tire ebike out for a spin on the mean streets of Beverly Hills, after first shaving off that cheesy mustache.

Bike thieves made off with a pair of high-end road bikes with electronic shifting from an unlocked Pasadena garage. Let that be a lesson, kids — don’t leave your garage or your bikes unlocked any longer than necessary. Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up. 

On the other hand, Santa Monica bike thefts have reached their lowest level in five years.

Long Beach police shot and killed an armed man who refused to cooperate after police ordered him to stop his bicycle, allegedly pointing his gun at them.

 

State

Santa Barbara will conduct a road diet on De la Vina Street, narrowing it to a single one-way traffic lane, along with a bike lane.

A Beaumont bike rider suffered serious injuries Monday morning when he or she was hit by a driver, who actually stuck around and waited for the police, for a change.

A Porterville man faces charges for literally running from police when they tried to pull his bicycle over while he was riding stoned, and illegally loading real bullets into a replica BB gun, which he wasn’t allowed to own as a convicted felon.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $4,000 ‘bent that an autistic Fresno man used as his only form of transportation.

 

National

The Week argues that the real promise of the electric vehicle revolution lies with ebikes, rather than electric cars.

Americans are addicted to their cars.

Clearly, you can do that on a bike, especially on one like this. Whatever you’re trying to do.

Rapper Jeezy is one of us, going for a Valentine’s Day bike ride with girlfriend Jeannie Mai on the back.

A Missoula, Montana man wants to thank the two women who came to his aid when he broke his leg riding in the snow. And get his bike back from the one who promised to hold it for him, but apparently gave him a fake address for where he could pick it up.

An Oklahoma couple is planning to set a new Guinness world record for the longest ebike ride, traveling 20,000 unsupported miles across 48 states. Get back to me when they actually do it. Because it’s easy to make plans, much harder to actually do it. As I’ve learned the hard way. 

Columbia, Missouri is apparently following the Los Angeles model for Vision Zero, with traffic deaths and serious injuries on the increase four years after adopting the safety plan.

If you build it, they will come. Which apparently works just as well for an Illinois bake shop located across from a popular bike path as it does for anything else.

Seriously? A self-proclaimed bicycle rider blames bike lanes for all that traffic congestion in Pittsburgh, which apparently didn’t exist before they were painted. And compares bike lanes to dogs marking their territory.

A Massachusetts man now owns the same bike shop where he worked as a bike-obsessed teenager.

New York Streetsblog argues that a new survey shows America’s mayors know cars are killing people and ruining our cities, but don’t have the courage to do anything about it.

Closing a section of a busy New York street to cars in favor of a busway is literally saving lives.

Kindhearted cops in Richmond VA gave a new bike and helmet to a woman who was hit by a car while riding, after learning her bike was her only form of transportation.

Evidently, they take distracted driving seriously in Georgia, where a driver faces a vehicular homicide charge for killing a bike rider when he looked down at his coffee cup.

An Orlando, Florida writer confesses to blowing through stop signs while riding a bicycle on a trail dedicated to non-motorized transportation, where bike riders should get priority, but don’t. Each of the past two nights, I’ve watched drivers blow through the stop signs on my block without even slowing down. But let a bike rider do the same thing at 10 – 15 mph, instead of 30 or more, and people get apoplectic.

This is who we share the roads with. A Florida man confessed to intentionally running down a Vietnam veteran, who the killer described as “an old man with a cane,” just because he was curious about what it’s like to kill someone.

 

International

They get it, too. A writer for Rouleur says the one thing all bicyclist have in common, regardless of ability, is how vulnerable we are on the roads. And concludes that the culture, and the laws, have to change.

Mark your calendar for the World Naked Bike Ride in London this June. But pack some clothes anyway.

A London bike rider gets ordered off his bike while riding on a shared-use path after a cop ignores the signage and decides it’s for pedestrians only.

As Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo runs for re-election with a promise of bike lanes on every street, Parisians continue to ride their bikes, even after a disruptive transit strike has ended.

A Pakistani delivery driver working in Dubai faces six months in jail followed by a fast deportation for sexually harassing a customer by kissing her wrist and cheek when he tried to drop off the bicycle she ordered for her husband.

A South African ultra-endurance cyclist has made a remarkable comeback from a solo crash that nearly took his life, but couldn’t stop him.

A Kiwi town gets a new hot pink, car-shaped bike corral.

New Zealand bicyclists demand better infrastructure following a recent bicycling fatality, arguing that paint isn’t protection.

Yet another new study, this time from New Zealand, shows that biking to work can reduce your risk of dying and could extend your life.

A social media backlash erupted after a Formula 1 racing driver unveiled his relationship with an Aussie women’s cyclist, just three months after divorcing his ex-wife.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. Melbourne residents are calling for bikes to be banned from shared paths because riders are exceeding the ridiculously low 6.2 mph speed limit. I’m not sure my bike can even go that slow without falling over. Or maybe it can, and I can’t.

Apparently, running over an elderly Singapore bike rider felt just like driving over a plastic bottle to the truck driver who killed him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin’s return to racing following a knee injury last June is on hold due to parasites in his gut.

Adults over 50 are invited to compete in the Pasadena Senior Games, which includes cycling as well as a number of other sports. Although it’s not clear from the article whether you have to be a Pasadena resident.

 

Finally…

Pedaling a party bike through a winter bomb cyclone doesn’t look like much of a party. Who needs wheels to join a group ride when wings will do just fine.

And evidently, the San Francisco Chronicle has been reading my Twitter feed.

 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for heartless hit-and-run driver, LA chef dies after cycling heart attack, and Gatto gets it

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

But this time, it was caught on security cam.

And yes, it’s every bit as hard to watch as you might think, so be forewarned.

Remarkably, the victim survived the crash, but is hospitalized with severe injuries.

The wreck took place around 11:45 pm in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue in Silver Lake as the hit-and-run driver rounded a curve, and slams into the victim head-on.

Then keeps going without even slowing down.

And this time, there’s no arguing that the driver may not have known it happened.

I’m told the victim may be a homeless man who lives in the area.

Police suspect the hit-and-run driver may live in the neighborhood; they’re looking for a late model red Mini Cooper with a white roof and sunroof, with probable damage to the front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713. As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury to the victim.

Let’s find the jerk.

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A surprising number of chefs in the Los Angeles area ride bikes.

Sadly, it may have cost one his life last week, as famed LA chef Joe Miller died weeks after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

Family members announced the Michelin star-winning chef behind the groundbreaking Joe’s on Abbot Kinney lost his battle to survive on Wednesday, due to complications from a cardiac arrest on a September cycling trip.

This is a tragic reminder that while bicycling provides exceptional cardio-pulmonary benefits, it can also trigger underlying medical conditions.

It’s vital to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure you’re up to the stresses you put on your body, especially those of us who like to ride hard.

It’s natural to think you’re bulletproof and avoid seeing a physician when you’re strong on a bike.

It’s also a mistake.

For nearly two decades after I started riding, the only time I saw a doctor was in the ER when they were patching me up after my latest two-wheeled wipeout.

If I had, it’s possible someone may have caught my diabetes before it did so much damage.

If you see a doctor regularly, good for you. Just push him or her to look a little harder and make sure everything’s okay under that muscular physique.

Well, muscular from the waist down, anyway.

If you don’t, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

We’ll wait.

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Now that everyone is back, today’s must read comes from former Burbank state representative Mike Gatto, as he makes the case for establishing a walkable, shopable and carfree retail district in each of LA’s 15 council districts.

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Once again, the business community gets it wrong, insisting that plans to eliminate street parking on San Diego’s 30th street will harm businesses and won’t save the climate.

Studies have shown that business owners consistently overestimate the percentage of their business that comes from motorists, and underestimate how much comes from bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users — let alone how much more would if customers had more complete, livable streets.

Those same studies show that bike lanes are good for business, increasing sales, reducing vacancy rates and increasing property values in the surrounding area.

But who would want that?

As for the climate, we have to start somewhere.

And the best place to start is reducing the number of motor vehicles on the streets. Which means creating walkable, bikeable, transit-rich communities so people don’t have to drive.

If that also benefits businesses and residents, everyone wins.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Phoenix family is alive today because a crash saved them from a red light-running driver.

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This is the difference a single bicycle can make to someone in need.

Thanks to the One Bicycle Foundation for the link.

You can help make a difference in someone’s life for as little as $25. Or donate a bike yourself for just $170.

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And this is just a practice session.

Meanwhile, Bike Mag offers some very cool photos of death-defying aerials from the actual Red Bull Rampage on Friday.

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

A Victorville man faces charges for pistol whipping a 16-year old boy with a semi-automatic handgun for the crime of simply riding a bicycle in the area. Apparently he did it with the gun loaded and the safety off — and it went off while he was beating the boy with it. Let’s hope they find a very deep pit to drop him in.

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Local

The long-discussed Red Car Pedestrian Bridge is slowly taking shape over the Los Angeles River, using trusses from the old Red Cars to give bicyclists and pedestrians a less-convenient alternative to the soon-to-be-rebuilt Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The Southern California Association of Governments’ popular Go Human safety campaign will go on, after receiving a $1 million grant from the state.

Metro wants your comments on proposals to close the DTLA-Vernon gap in the LA River bike path to create a single route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Burbank is moving forward with plans to complete a protected bike lane connecting with the city’s Metrolink station, and building out a bike network that will connect with other cities in the region.

 

State

A writer for the LA Times tagged along with the eight-day, 525-mile California Coast Classic; the 195 riders raised $1.1 million to fight arthritis.

A Carlsbad street will get new bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping for an underpass crossing I-5.

The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on plans to build a bike and pedestrian underpass to provide a safe route across a rail line in Encinitas.

A 51-year old Bonita man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck while riding his bike.

San Diego streets shut down on Sunday — or rather, opened up — for that city’s CiclaSDias open streets celebration.

More bad news from Palm Desert, where an 82-year old man suffered major injuries when he was left crossed on his bike by a 77-year old driver. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Once again, the threat of a recall is enough to get city officials to rip out a protected bike lane, after residents of Grover Beach couldn’t figure out that you have to step over the curb on a new curb-protected bike lane. And can’t drive over it, either. Sort of like every other curb, anywhere else.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bicycle was killed by a stoned driver who got high in her car on her lunch break.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Berkeley woman walks without a single day behind bars after she left crossed a 69-year old man on a bike, dragging him under her car for several seconds, then got out, yanked his bike out from underneath her car, and drove off as the victim and a witness tried to stop her. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from Petaluma, where someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a semi driver.

 

National

Fast Company questions whether SUVs should be banned, at least in cities. New York’s DOT commissioner appears to agree, blaming SUVs for the city’s alarming jump in bicycle fatalities this year.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland ghost bike after twelve years.

Aspen CO resident Lance Armstrong pitched in along with a former Colorado governor to build over one hundred bicycles to offer to every second grader at a local elementary school.

Forget the bikes; check out the speaker on that Victrola in this turn of the century Colorado bike shop.

Kindhearted Colorado sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bicycle for an autistic high school student who had outgrown his.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces a first-degree murder charge for repeatedly stabbing another man in a fight over a bicycle.

Outside says frozen Minnesota is an ideal year-round bicycling spot.

Providence RI will rip out a brand new two-way cycle track after just six weeks because the city failed to consult residents before putting it in.

New York’s senior senator, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, calls for a plan to replace all gas-powered motor vehicles with electric ones by 2040. Great idea, except that until the US achieves 100% renewable power, it just exchanges one form of carbon-burning power for another, and doesn’t take a single car or truck off the road.

Heartbreaking news from Brooklyn, where boy got a new bicycle for his eighth birthday. And was killed riding it just two years later.

New York City considers adopting a three-foot passing law to pre-empt the state’s requirement for a safe passing distance. But will only fine drivers a lousy fifty bucks for breaking it.

Good news for Gotham bike riders, as a judge tosses a lawsuit from wealthy NIMBY condo owners trying to have the popular Central Park West protected bike lanes ripped out, calling the lawsuit meritless.

They get it. An editorial in an upstate New York paper calls for a new law to penalize drivers who injure or kill another person.

The DC City Council responds to bike and pedestrian deaths with proposals to lower speed limits, ban right turns on red lights and allow private citizens to ticket drivers blocking crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as require protected bike lanes anytime a street in the bike plan gets overhauled. Maybe we could get them to come teach their LA peers what to do to make Vision Zero work.

Tampa FL police say they’re getting a handle on the problem of biking while black, saying they’re stopping and ticketing fewer African American bike riders, though black riders are still more likely to get a ticket or warning than a white person.

 

International

Road.cc offers inexpensive hacks to help keep you on your bike this winter.

A writer for Bike Radar offers five common quotes guaranteed to deflate the mood on your next group ride.

You know ebikes have officially arrived when they’re featured on a Trump-less British version of The Apprentice. And sell a combined $2.2 million worth.

An English woman in her 70s was knocked cold by a hit-and-run bike rider. Seriously, don’t be like people in cars. Just stop, already.

Always hit the back brakes first. A UK bike cop pulls a major endo in the middle of the street while chasing a suspect.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 72-year old grandmother in the UK battled it out with a suspected bike thief when the man tried to reclaim it from her son’s shop after being told it was stolen.

A British woman starts her own bikeshare company after dropping out of Oxford to study design; what initially began as a school project is now available on the streets in three cities.

An Irish pedestrian group says you should have to wear an identity badge anytime you ride your bike. How about one of those convention badges that read “Hi, my name is ….”?

Egyptian women are overcoming societal restrictions to claim space on Cairo streets for them and their bicycles.

In a highly questionable Qatari study, not one single bicyclist who was admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury was wearing a helmet, and only 3% of riders admitted with any kind of traumatic injury during the six-year study had a skid lid on.

Former Aussie rugby player and current CrossFit star James Newbury is one of us, even if he won’t be riding for awhile after hitting gravel and pulling an endo, then hitting a tree and fracturing his back.

This is who we share the roads with. Five people are dead and nine injured after a Shanghai driver went on a hit-and-run rampage, starting by hitting a taxi and an ebike rider, followed by crashing into an SUV after running a red light, and wrapping it all up by slamming into three non-motorized vehicles and several pedestrians. And yet, Xinhua still calls it an accident. Let’s hope that’s just a bad translation.

What if you built a state-of-the-art automated bicycle parking garage in Singapore and nobody came?

Tokyo wants to force bicyclists to carry liability insurance when they ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. Just zap your brain, instead.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll ride both the Giro and the Tour de France next year, forgoing the Amgen Tour of California.

Rouleur selects this year’s inductees for their Cycling Hall of Fame, selecting America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as well as Marianne Vos, and Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

The US team finished seventh in the men’s road cycling race at the World Military Games, with the top individual finisher crossing the finish line in 11th place.

How to ride a bike at 183.9 mph. Which is very similar to my cruising speed these days, as long as you remove the one and the eight.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to tell the cops you were injured in a hit-and-run after cutting your hands breaking into a store, get rid of the damn merchandise you took, first. Apparently, we’re not even safe from golf cart drivers.

And as long as your dog has a license, might as well let him use it.

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, SF fixie legend dies, and Seattle radio station wants to kill their listeners

Yet another study confirms that bikes are good for business

As Treehugger notes, anytime someone proposes installing a bike lane on a commercial street, business owners complain it will put them out of business.

But the reality is just the opposite.

After an initial transition period as customers adjust to the changes, sales usually go up for some businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, while remaining unchanged for others.

That was the case in Toronto, where businesses fought tooth-and-nail against a protected bike lane that most would probably fight to keep today.

According to the study,

The number of merchants on Bloor Street reporting more than 100 customers per day increased substantially and significantly for food service/bar and retail establishments on both Saturdays and weekdays. No significant changes were detected for service establishments…

Our results indicate the business environment on Bloor Street improved during the time of the study: Reported visitor spending rose, visit frequency increased, estimated customer counts show growth in the number of customers, and vacancy rates held steady… Other data we collected from the visitor survey are consistent with positive changes in the pilot area. The proportion of shoppers driving to the neighborhood remained unchanged at 9%, and that of shoppers arriving on bicycles rose considerably from 8% to 22%.

Just most evidence that businesses in retail districts that fight bike lanes are just shooting themselves in the foot.

And chasing more business away.

………

Sad news from San Francisco, where the city’s Yellow Bike Company announced the death of fixie legend Keo Curry.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2NtIQllA8P/?utm_source=ig_embed

Curry also explored LA’s rising fixed gear scene in the groundbreaking documentary To Live & Ride in L.A.

No cause of death was given.

………

What the hell is wrong with some people?

Apparently annoyed at people on bicycles taking a shortcut through their precious parking lot, on-air personalities from a Portland radio station set up barriers to block them, while joking about clotheslining anyone who still comes through.

https://twitter.com/1080TheFAN/status/1169732695460499456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1169732695460499456&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikeportland.org%2F2019%2F09%2F10%2Fportland-radio-show-hosts-say-jerk-bikers-deserve-clothesline-wire-for-riding-through-parking-lot-304509

Apparently, they neglected to consider that some of their listeners — the people who keep them employed by tuning in — might just ride bikes themselves.

And that someone might actually be offended by that crap.

So they issued the sort of non-apology apology that’s become standard these days.

My advice would be to just avoid their station.

In the parking lot. And on the dial.

………

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

………

Unbelievable.

New York cops try to chase off a group of young bike riders hanging out in a parking lot by ordering them to leave.

Then one cop starts beating on a rider’s spokes with his baton in an apparent effort to keep them from doing exactly that.

Or maybe just for the hell of it.

………

A Michigan state agency offers a 360° view of a new mountain bike trail that looks more like a very shaky 140° view, at most.

………

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

A Denver bike rider is lucky to be alive after a truck driver apparently ran him down on purpose for the crime of being ahead of him at an intersection, escaping with just cuts and bruises; however, his bike was not so lucky.

A seriously disturbed Illinois man faces charges after chasing a 12-year old kid with his truck as the boy desperately tried to pedal away from him, eventually running over his bike, then grabbing the boy and threatening to kill him before strangers eventually intervened. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

A North Carolina man faces charges for intentionally slamming his car into a man on a bicycle following a dispute. But give him credit for one of the best booking photos ever. And by best, I mean worst.

A road raging British driver got six months behind bars and a ridiculously short 15-month driving ban for running down a teenage bike rider who got ahead of him at a red light, then getting out and punching the kid, shouting “Little shit, you’ve done this.” A 15-year ban on driving would be more like it. Oh what the hell, let’s just make it a lifetime prohibition, which is what it should be.

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

London police put out an APB for a head butt butt head after the bike-raging man turned around to knock his noggin into a pedestrian, who apparently had the right of way, after nearly colliding with him on the street.

………

Local

Both The Argonaut and TV station KNBC-4 look forward to Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica; the somewhat shorter CicLAvia equivalent runs from 10 am to 4 pm.

Spectrum News 1 examines the sorry state of Sunset Blvd, where bike riders argue that replacing the street’s narrow door zone — and often truck-blocked — bike lane with a protected lane would improve safety for everyone.

The chef behind Santa Monica’s new French restaurant Pasjoli is one of us, meeting a reporter in his not-yet-open bistro with his black roadie propped against the wall. I like the joint already.

The Daily Breeze reviews Manhattan Beach restaurant Jimmy’s Kouzina, now operated by the son of the original chef and owner, who was killed in a bicycling crash ten years ago, before the restaurant could be rebuilt following a fire.

 

State

The state legislature passed California’s Complete Streets bill, which now moves on to the governor’s desk for signing; the bill requires Caltrans to include all road users in any new work on streets controlled by the state.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a teenaged mountain biker is paralyzed from the shoulders down after missing a 32-foot jump.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is partnering with a local artist for a bike-themed art exhibition this Sunday.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a cancer survivor is planning to ride his bike from San Diego to Florida to meet the family of his heart donor.

Berkeley police use federal traffic funds to target people riding through stop signs on bicycle boulevards, where they might possibly pose a risk to, uh…someone. Yes, everyone should stop for stop signs, at lest until we finally pass an Idaho Stop Law here. But there are probably places where targeting people for running stop signs would do a lot more good.

Six yeas later, a Chico family struggles to forgive the drunk driver who killed their daughter as she rode her bike home from college classes, as her killer is about to be released from prison.

 

National

They get it. The National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, wants to fit self-driving cars into cities designed for people, rather than the other way around.

Good idea. A Seattle writer takes an anti-bike city council candidate out for a bike ride on a dangerous street. And maybe sort-of wins him over.

Life is cheap in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a woman walks without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, as the judge somehow decides that a ten year suspended sentence is justice for taking an innocent man’s life. Seriously, if she’d accidentally shot him instead of using a car, the sentence would probably have been a lot different. Yet the result is the same.

Talk about getting the story wrong. Writing for her college paper, a Wisconsin journalism student somehow conflates the Milwaukee bikeshare’s new ebikes with e-scooters, saying they increase the danger for everyone. She should get an F for this oneThe slightest bit of research would have told her that ped-assist ebikes are no better or worse than any other bike when it comes to safety or ease of operation. 

A small Ohio bike shop is surviving competition from chain stores and online businesses by building their own one-of-a-kind bicycles customized for riders with special needs, as well as hosting their own podcast.

Maybe it’s lower overhead. The owner of a Buffalo NY ice cream bike wants to ride every street in the city, selling ice cream bars for just a buck — and giving them away to anyone who can’t pay.

A 13-year old Schenectady NY boy was stabbed in the back by a 12-year old boy who wanted his bicycle. And got it, until the police showed up. Fortunately, the victim should be okay; police described his wounds as minor.

A new New York study shows if you want to get across Manhattan, ride a bike, saying two wheels will get you there faster than four.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to convert an existing bike lane near their new second HQ into a protected lane, saying it could be done for as little as $20,000.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter concludes that maybe buying an ebike online isn’t so bad after all. My advice is still to buy any bike from a local bike shop if you can find the one you want; the service you get should more than make up for what you’d save buying online. If it doesn’t, find another LBS, ’cause that one’s broken.

Road.cc looks at the latest bike tech products from the recent Eurobike show, practical and otherwise.

After a London driver ran down a teenage bike rider and dragged him under his car before fleeing on foot, a group of bystanders lifted the still-smoking car off the victim to free him; sadly though, police described his injuries as life-changing, despite their efforts.

A UK advocacy group calls for banning parking in bike lanes and on sidewalks in the country. It’s shocking that either is actually legal — but especially the latter.

Seriously? A British woman says Copenhagen — and the rest of Denmark — is a virtual hellscape for anyone not on two wheels.

A German sociologist calls cars weapons of mass destruction, and argues that driving is a drug that kills millions of people.

An international group of yoga instructors will bike nearly 2,500 miles across India to the Himalayas, offering free classes to school children along the way.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclocross rider Andrew Juiliano describes struggling with ulcerative colitis before doctors at LA’s Cedars Sinai finally got his disease under control, allowing him to finish the race he abandoned two years earlier.

Bicycling says Australia’s Bec McConnell might be the comeback story of the year for finishing third in the XC MTB worlds, after sitting out last year due to a persistent illness.

What’s worse than doping? Former pro cyclist and Olympic cycling champion Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow Russian cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev could face up to six months in jail for allegedly fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Anyone who thinks six months is an adequate sentence for fixing a bike race raise your hands.

Eurosport remembers Belgium’s Deloor brothers, who ruled the Vuelta after winning the first edition in 1935, before WWII interrupted their careers; Gustaaf Deloor was captured by the Nazis, survived a concentration camp and later emigrated to the US. And helped build engines for the first moon landing.

 

Finally…

Don’t bet on how long an African despot will live if you’re not going to give up your bicycle if you lose. Why just ride to the bay when you can bike on it?

And giving it the old college try to pedal their way to a human powered vehicle record.

 

Morning Links: Tough bike riders, how dangerous rumors start, and tell Fletcher Dr. shops road diets are good for them

Who says bike riders aren’t tough?

When a Cuban Paralympian’s titanium leg fell off during a race in my hometown, he finished the race with just one leg.

Friends say Damian Alfonso Lopez never lost his love of bicycling — or life — despite losing both arms and half his face when he tried to rescue a kite stuck in power lines as a child; he lost one of his legs two years ago when he was hit by a bus.

And a British Columbia mountain bike describes fighting off an attacking grizzly bear with a pocket knife.

Photo by jdaypix from Pixabay.

………

This is how dangerous rumors start. A Colorado Facebook user posts video of a skitching bike rider, along with a thirdhand rumor that someone was doing hanging onto cars like that to follow the drivers and rob them with a knife.

The local police respond by saying if someone is doing that, it’s news to them.

………

Vancouver’s former chief planner makes an important point about bike lanes:

While business owners often fight them at first, they usually fight to keep them after they’ve been there awhile.

Someone might want to tell that to the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce, which opposes plans for much needed lane reductions on Fletcher Drive.

Evidently, they’d rather let drivers continue to zoom past than improve safety on the deadly street.

Not to mention making it more appealing to shoppers. Especially the ones who don’t come by car.

………

A new study from the University of Duh concludes what most of us already knew — signs that read Bikes May Use Full Lane are more effective than sharrows and Share The Road signs.

………

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

A Utah bike rider is filing a lawsuit against a cop he claims ran him down with his patrol car when the officer mistook his friendly wave for giving him the finger; the 14-year police veteran says the victim just hit a curb and fell over. Naturally, there’s no body cam, bike cam or other video of the alleged crash.

A Texas man had to bail from his bike when his ex-girlfriend tried to run him down with her car at full speed; she only succeeded in killing his bike and leaving him with a deep cut. He might want to try avoiding her until she cools off just a bit.

………

Local

Metro announces the Metro Bike bikeshare system will come to North Hollywood this week; maybe someday they’ll drop the “north” and come to that other Hollywood on the other side of the Cahuenga pass. Thanks to Streetsblog and NoHo Arts District for picking up the ball I dropped by failing to mention this last week.

Speaking of Metro, they’re offering their BEST bicycle education safety training class en español next Sunday.

Los Angeles could get a new pedestrian plaza, as officials consider converting Stanley Ave to a carfree people spot above Melrose.

A writer for Strong Towns visits Los Angeles, and discovers it’s possible to spend a carfree week in LA.

The Los Angeles Times says maybe that e-scooter isn’t as green as you think it is. Meanwhile, no surprise here, as LA Times letter writers really don’t like scooters.

If you missed last month’s Which Way LACBC workshop, you can still offer your suggestions on what you want from the organization.

 

State

Irvine plans to join other Orange County cities in developing a climate action planSan Diego’s climate plan has been the driving force in that city’s recent transformation into a more bike and pedestrian friendly community, while LA’s plan is nothing more than a few vague promises from the mayor, and councilmembers who say we need to declare a climate emergency, while continuing to block bike lanes.

A Bakersfield bike rider suffered what was described as major injuries to his legs when he was hit by a train Friday night. Seriously, trains are the easiest crashes to avoid, because you know where they’ll be and usually have to illegally cross warning gates to reach them.

A scholastic mountain bike team in inner-city Richmond is changing lives one bike at a time. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Not even bike-friendly Davis is immune from officials caving to a bikelash from angry drivers, following a road diet to provide kids with a safe route to school.

 

National

Seattle’s bicycling community gets its freak on with the Dead Baby Bikes Downhill, described by one of its leaders as “gleeful mayhem on freak bikes.”

After a rash of Colorado bicycling deaths, the Boulder Camera’s editorial advisory board offers four different takes on bike safety, from calls for better infrastructure to the usual windshield bias.

An unbanked, DIY grass velodrome built on the Kansas prairie could provide a low-cost model for developing track cycling in other communities. If riders can get used to the bumps. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

A Texas bike rider is suing Specialized and a local bike shop after the Specialized wheel he bought cracked during a race just six months later.

A reporter for CNN goes riding across Iowa with the popular RAGBRAI ride for the first time. And uses the tall corn for a bike rack.

He gets it. A Wisconsin writer says drivers aren’t looking for us, so we have to look for them — and ride defensively. Evidently he means drivers like this Milwaukee man who plowed into an anti-violence protest march; fortunately, no one was injured.

There’s not a pit deep enough for a Minnesota man who faces well-deserved charges for allegedly grabbing a little girl off her bicycle and attempting to force her into his car, then placing her hand on his crotch; fortunately, a witness yelled and scared the creep off.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an Ohio special needs girl’s three-wheeled adaptive bike.

Connecticut authorities throw the book at an alleged hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after hitting a red light-running bike rider. He was captured after a short chase, saying he got scared because cops had shot at him before when he was the driver in a shootout with police; meanwhile, the victim just got up and rode away while police were otherwise occupied.

A self-described Staten Island old guy rails against the “small majority” of scofflaw bike riders — especially the ones with earbuds.

Good question. A Long Island bike theft became a racial issue when people questioned why police took so long to file charges against a 36-year old white man wrestled a bicycle from a 15-year old black young man in front of witnesses and on camera, and why it wasn’t charged as a hate crime.

Gothamist examines why trucks and their drivers have become the biggest offenders of New York’s Vision Zero.

A New York rider films what he describes as a death-defying journey on six bicycling corridors, finding numerous blocked bike lanes and dangerous drivers.

She gets it. A writer for the New York Times says bike riders have been blamed for crashes with drivers since the 1880s, but maybe it’s time for drivers to face more serious consequences.

A Louisiana driver told police yes, she hit someone on a bike, but drove off because someone had apparently taken the victim away — except he was still trapped under her car as she dragged him the length of a football field as she fled the scene. Needless to say, police suspected she was under the influence when they caught up to her shortly afterwards.

A bike rider was killed when he was hit by a pickup driver during a 62-mile Mississippi charity ride.

Kindhearted Alabama cops buy a new bike for a seven-year old boy after they found the bike his grandparents bought him, but the guy who stole and chopped it couldn’t figure out how to put it back together again.

When you’re carrying meth, pipes, beer, vodka and shoplifted clothes on your bike, try not to call attention to yourself by nearly getting killed by Georgia drivers.

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to ride in honor of a former Orlando FL Marine who was killed when a truck driver swerved into the bike lane he was riding in.

 

International

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a British Columbia man killed by a drunk driver. Not to mention one of the prettier ones I’ve seen.

A local activist group gets aroused by the Edmonton, Canada edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, demanding that police enforce their morals and protect their innocent eyes by busting any bike rider who dares to go bare.

Thousands of Londoners took part in the city’s annual two-day, 100-mile, carfree bike fest.

A writer for the Independent says former London Mayor and newly seated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson might be an effective leader after all, based on the job he did getting popularly named Boris Bikes on the streets of the city.

The owner of a UK trucking firm says the county government will have blood on its hands if one of his drivers kills someone riding on the new bike lane in front of his yards, claiming truck designs and a tall hedge will keep the drivers from seeing them. Because evidently, it’s impossible to trim a hedge or buy trucks offering greater visibility.

A British animal rights protester will need a new foldie after stopping his bike in front of a sheep truck, whose driver proceeded to crunch it; fortunately, he jumped off his bike before it went under the truck.

Forbes considers how Ireland has managed to cut traffic deaths by 31% since 2010, including morning roadside stops to catch drivers who are still drunk from the night before.

An Aussie father and daughter ride through a narrow dust devil and come out the safely on the other side.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Jennifer Valente took gold in the women’s omnium at Peru’s Pan American Games, winning three of the four events.

A couple of British medical professionals discover that it is possible to work full-time and still train for the grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM.

Like father, like daughter. A Colorado Springs CO man will take part in his 25th Leadville 100 mountain bike race, dating back to the first one in 1994, while his 22-year old daughter will ride her first.

It’s one thing to ride the Tour de France ona racing bike. But let’s see the pros race a Brompton around Buckingham Palace.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the handlebars come off your Kmart bike — while you’re riding it. If you’re too drunk to walk, you’re too drunk to ride.

And it’s hard to get hit by a train; even harder to hit one.

 

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, victim-blaming in the press, and 1st ‘Tis the Season of the season

Once again, a study has shown that bikes are good for business.

Researchers in London concluded that people who arrive at businesses by bike, walking or transit spend 40% more than people who get there by driving.

Yes, forty percent.

Yet most business owners will insist that their business can’t even survive the loss of a few parking spaces.

But that’s just the start.

The study shows that improving access for people on bikes and on foot nearly doubles the number of people walking in a given neighborhood.

People also spent more time there, increasing activity such as going into shops and cafés by a whopping 216%.

At the same time, retail rents increased 7.5%, with a 17% decline in retail vacancies.

Which proves once again, that business owners who fight bike and pedestrian improvements are just shooting themselves in the foot.

………

This is how easy it is to blame the victim in a bike crash.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a 75-year old man was killed in a crash while riding his bike Saturday evening.

This is how they described it.

A 50-year-old Carmichael man was driving a red Lexus, the release said, when he entered an intersection at the same time as the biker, who was not using a light or wearing a helmet. The impact caused the biker to be thrown from his bicycle onto the roadway.

Note how mentioning the lack of a light and helmet subtly shifts the blame, even as the next sentence notes that the crash is still under investigation.

And never mind that every crash is the result of the operators of two or more vehicle attempting to occupy the same space at the same time.

The question is why.

But chances are, after reading the above description, most people would assume that a 75-year old man somehow ran a stop sign or a traffic signal.

Whether or not there even was one.

………

‘Tis the season.

An Oklahoma charity is building bikes to give to children for the holidays; last year they bought, built and gave away 1,350 bicycles.

Fifteen Minnesota bike riders braved snow and icy streets to collect $450 worth of food for victims of domestic violence in the annual Cranksgiving ride.

Baton Rouge Cranksgiving bicyclists turned out to collect food for a local food bank; last year they collected over 400 pounds of food.

A group of cycling Santas took to the streets of Windsor, Ontario to spread some pre-Thanksgiving Yuletide cheer in the form of $5 McDonalds gift certificates for the homeless and others in need.

And Road.cc offer a Christmas gift list for bike riders for whom money is no object.

………

Nice promo piece from Metro says we refuse to be labelled a car culture.

At least some of us, anyway.

………

Turns out former Tour de France champ Vincenzo Nibali is pretty good on gravel, too.

………

Local

Metro wants to know where you’d put new bikeshare docks as they plan their expansion west from Downtown. Unfortunately, Hollywood is still not an option.

Speaking of Metro, should we really be surprised that they’re recommending replacing plans for the recently cancelled 710 extension with equally car-centric surface street plans?

UCLA transportation expert Michael Manville talks about the benefits of congestion pricing in an NPR podcast, saying a toll that would reduce driving less than 5% would increase speeds up to 20%. Although increasing speeds isn’t exactly what we should b doing under Vision Zero.

Uber’s JUMP has beaten out Lime and Bird to score LA’s first official e-scooter permit.

Bike SGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash and fundraiser on December 1st. Which would be a great way to get in the mood for the next day’s CicLAvia.

 

State

Friends, family and fellow firefighters turned out on Saturday to remember fallen Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding his bike in Mission Viejo.

San Diego is considering requiring homeowners to fix their broken sidewalks before they sell, after paying out $11 million for bicyclists and others injured on them.

San Diego State University has opened a bicycle-themed art exhibit in their downtown gallery.

Still more San Diego news, as the city is planning its first bike and pedestrian promenade through the Hillcrest district.

San Francisco has received a $75,000 to educate bicyclists and pedestrians to improve safety. Even though they could improve it a lot faster by getting drivers to slow down and put their phones down.

 

National

The owner of Performance Bike, and distributor of a number of bike brands, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though the CEO insists it will survive. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

NBC News examines the rise in e-scooter injuries as providers spread across the US and around the world. The two scooter deaths that have occurred so far are two too many. But in context of the massive scooter usage numbers — Bird alone has surpassed 10 million rides — it’s not significantly more dangerous than riding a bicycle, and perhaps even safer.

Speaking of which, NPR looks at why Ford is getting into the scooter business.

Bike-friendly Portland makes plans to grow without adding more cars.

That’s more like it. A Washington man got nearly eight and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a teenage bike rider on his way to work.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only place homeowners leave trash cans in bike lanes. After Washington rider writes to complain — following a crash with a fog-shrouded garbage bin — a columnist says don’t leave your trash there, even if there’s no law against it.

Over 6,000 people took part in the 36th annual Tour de Tucson on Saturday.

A Utah bike shop owner explains why you should support your local bike shop.

Local riders say Topeka KS has made great progress in making the streets safer and more inviting for people on bicycles.

A Kansas City entrepreneur says coming up with bad ideas for bike safety first is what led to plans for colored bike lanes and harsher punishments for drivers that hit bicyclists. Or she could have asked just about any bike advocate, most of whom have been calling for those things for years.

Boston bicyclists mark the World Day of Remembrance by installing a ghost bike for a rider who was killed last week. Meanwhile, a local news site asks what the city should be doing to improve safety for people on bicycles.

No bias here. A Florida writer freaks out over the $35 million price tag to put a seven-mile bike and pedestrian path on a local bridge. But doesn’t seem at all fazed by the $841 million being spent to make the bridge over for drivers.

 

International

Road.cc says the Toronto cop who walked for dooring a bike rider while stopped in a bike lane got credit from the judge for successfully not dooring three other riders before he nailed one.

After losing her leg in a bicycling crash, a British woman says it’s time to recognize the dangers of traffic collisions. And actually do something about it.

There once was a teenager from Limerick, who stole 14 bicycles in four months. And no, it doesn’t rhyme and the meter sucks, just like the crime.

At least no one died when California drivers rose up in a failed attempt to roll back a gas tax increase. One person was killed and over 100 injured when French drivers rioted over plans to increase fuel taxes in that country. Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the heads-up.

An Indian writer explains why riding a bike to work in Delhi around the Diwali holiday isn’t a great idea. And not just because of the pollution.

A New Zealand driver is pissed off when she finds herself following a group of bicyclists riding up to four abreast. Even though they stayed in just one lane, and didn’t take up any more lane space that a single rider taking the lane would have.

A Brisbane, Australia paper says the city’s river brings $70 billion in financial benefits every year, including a riverside bike path that brings a whopping 80,000 people to work each year, with 30,142 bike rides each working day.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe it’s just me, but a pro cyclist talking about how much she enjoys suffering and watching others suffer on their bikes probably isn’t the most effective to get more women to ride. But I could be wrong.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says fellow Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is just looking for attention by praising ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Bicycling looks at how former world champ Lizzie Deignan got a new pro contract, even though she’s six months pregnant.

 

Finally…

The new Cirque du Soleil is one of us, too. Riding a sort-of bike at speeds approaching 90 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: Did Santa Barbara driver commit 2014 road rage, and bike lanes really are good for business

Maybe there’s more to the story.

Yesterday we mentioned the Santa Barbara bike collision that sent two-time Olympic gold medal volleyball player Craig Buck to the hospital with major head trauma.

Now Cyclelicious points out the similarities between the pickup involved in that collision, and one involved in a 2014 road rage assault on a pair of bicyclists.

In the earlier case, photographer Carson Blume reports the driver buzzed within inches of them as they rode along a road in coastal Santa Barbara County, then cut to the right, grazing Blume and knocking his companion over.

The driver then brake-checked Blume, and briefly shifted into reverse before driving away laughing. Then came back on the other side of the road, shouting profanities.

Yet despite the presence of an independent witness, police did nothing more than issue the driver a ticket for unsafe passing.

And yes, it certainly looks like the same truck was involved in both cases.

Which would call into question the CHP report that Buck “…cut the corner, driving (sic) on the wrong side of the roadway, while failing to stop at a posted stop sign…” where he hit the side of the pickup.

Unless there’s an independent witness who saw any of that, police may be relying on the testimony of a driver who is accused of using his truck as weapon to attack people riding bikes at least once before.

One who has every incentive to paint the victim’s actions in the worst possible light. And who I’m told is silver tongued when it comes to dealing with police.

The question is whether he did it again, and whether the police will once again let him get away with it.

………

A Chattanooga business owner gets it, saying new protected bike lanes are way better for the downtown area than a few extra parking spaces.

A study from Salt Lake City proves him right, as sales increased more than the citywide average after spaces were removed for protected lanes and other street improvements.

Which may be why streets with scarce auto parking are the best places to remove it, according to People for Bikes.

And unlike some cities we could name, Seattle’s mayor didn’t cave in the face of opposition, but carefully worked out a compromise to overcome a challenge from 300 businesses worried about losing parking spaces for a 1.7 mile protected lane. Thanks to David Atwell for the heads-up.

Which sounds sort of like what happened with the My Figueroa project that’s scheduled to break ground on South Figueroa next year.

………

The safety video prepared by the PCH Task Force has won a national award for Best Public Service Announcement.

You tell me. Maybe it’s better than I think it is.

………

Ian Crane, the pro cyclist who nearly died after going through the rear windshield of a support vehicle in last year’s USA Pro Challenge, turned down a chance to re-sign with the Jamis team for next year in order to focus on his recovery.

The owner of the world champion Velocio-SRAM pro team says the future looks bright for women’s cycling.

And Greg LeMond, America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, gets credit for the innovations that led pro cycling into the modern high-tech era.

………

Local

The editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal calls for an end to the mythical war on drivers; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton very politely suggests he’s full of it.

Turns out the most popular day in LA cycling history was the first-ever Valley CicLAvia back in March, according to Strava data. Pretty impressive when you consider that many CicLAvia attendees have probably never even heard of Strava.

Santa Monica’s two-to-three mile long Colorado Esplanade is on track for completion by spring of next year, including separated bike lanes and walkways. But serioualy, shouldn’t they know how long it’s going to be by now?

The New Urbanism Film Festival screens this weekend, from Thursday through Sunday. Vancouver’s Modacity will come to LA as part of the film fest, with additional engagements Thursday at the Echo Park Film Center and Sunday in Santa Monica.

 

State

An Orange County judge hears testimony from the victim’s relatives as he considers a plea deal for Dylan Thomas Randluby in the death of fallen rider John Greg Colvin in Laguna Beach last year.

Garden Grove’s Main Street goes car-free this Sunday with the seven-hour Re:Imagine Garden Grove By Day and By Night open streets festival.

Long-time Long Beach expats The Path Less Pedaled offer three reasons to attend the National Bicycle Tourism Conference in San Diego next month.

Horrifying case from Fresno, as two people are on trial for torturing a woman and forcing her to watch the murder of another man after she knocked on their door to look for her stolen bike.

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear takes an in-depth look at San Francisco’s attempt to pass an Idaho Stop Law. What we really need is support to pass the law on the state level, which has authority over all traffic laws. On the other hand, I can’t imagine Jerry Brown actually signing it.

 

National

Denver CO plans to install the same sort of protected bike lanes nearby Boulder is ripping out.

A Kansas driver gets just one year in jail for killing a bike rider he never even saw because he was busy looking at the GPS on his cellphone.

An Albany NY man rides 200 miles with his daughter, retracing the route he took to Boston 20 years earlier to receive a heart transplant.

Gothamist looks at the practice of shoaling, wherein one rider cuts in front of others at a red light. And it’s usually a slower rider, which means having to move into traffic to pass them once the light changes.

New York considers adding bike and pedestrian lanes to the iconic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Philadelphia bike riders shout the universal refrain about the dangers of cars parked in bike lanes, calling for greater enforcement so riders aren’t forced to ride in traffic.

The Wall Street Journal takes a luxe cycling journey along rail-to-trail paths through the Pennsylvania and Maryland rust belt.

An Atlanta musician is running and riding to New York to protest police brutality.

 

International

Advice on how to buy a used bike.

Pot, meet kettle. English cab drivers call cyclists reckless after one jumps a red light in front of Cambridge cops.

A road raging British driver is on trial for driving up on a sidewalk to hit a cyclist before crashing into a salon — with four kids in her car, no less.

No distraction here. A British rider catches a driver watching a movie behind the wheel, while claiming she was only listening to it.

An Irish paracyclist will attempt to set a new hour record this Saturday.

Ireland’s transport minister says it should be left up to individual bicyclists to decide whether or not to wear a helmet.

Huh? An Irish paper says spinal injuries due to bicycling tripled, from five in 2010 to 21 in 2014. Which looks more like it quadrupled, but maybe they do math differently over there. And maybe they use a different kind of bike helmet, since the ones we have don’t prevent spinal injuries.

An Indian writer says someone needs to save the cycling from the county’s cycling federation.

South African police are looking for a car full of white men who reached out to drag a black cyclist in a racial attack.

An award-winning New Zealand architect faces charges for running down a cyclist with his SUV, despite the rider’s lights and bright clothing.

Freestyle cyclist Vittorio Brumotti visits the Philippines, and declares Manilla one of the world’s best places for cycling; he was the victim of a viscous assault just two months ago.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride a bikeshare bike; not everyone can solve a Rubik’s cube in 40 seconds with one hand while doing it. Cycling really is the new golf, unless maybe it’s running.

And today may be the end of the world, so you might as well skip work and go for a bike ride.

Otherwise, I’ll see you here tomorrow, assuming there is one.

 

Today’s post, in which I follow Metro’s lead and issue a challenge to bike lane-averse merchants

I’ve been surprised by the opposition from local businesses to the planned bike lanes that could bring them more business.

Yes, I fully expected some blowback to plans to install bike lanes on busy streets like Westwood, Bundy and Figueroa. Auto-centric residents who can’t comprehend any other means of getting to and from their homes can be counted on to rise up in NIMBYist opposition to any suggestion of reducing traffic flow to a more rational level, or providing a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel.

Even though they don’t have to get out of their cars to enjoy the benefits. But just make it practical for other people to leave their cars behind so they can move more freely in theirs.

But the vehemence of the opposition from the merchants who would benefit from bike lanes has come as a very unpleasant surprise.

It doesn’t take a Masters in Business Administration to realize that anything that enables more customers to come to your door is good for the bottom line. Never mind that bike riders have been shown to visit merchants more often, resulting in higher sales over the long run.

Or that calming traffic — one of the many secondary benefits of bike lanes — can make a shopping district more attractive to everyone, And at the same time, replacing cut-through drivers with destination traffic more likely to actually stop and spend money.

So I was intrigued this morning when I received an email from Metro announcing that this year’s Bike Week will take place from May 13th to 19th. And that a new feature in 2013 will be the first Bike Weekend, in which merchants will be encouraged to offer a discount to bike riders.

Metro invites you to be part of Bike Week LA by offering discounts to any bicyclist who mentions “Bike Week” during Bike Local Weekend, Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, 2013. This is a FREE advertising opportunity to attract and encourage customers to eat, shop, and play locally. Metro wants to promote you as a destination location for Bike Local Weekend through our website, social media network, and other media channels.

Did you know that bicycling is great for local business? Studies show that people who travel by bicycle actually make more visits to small businesses than people who travel by car. These visits add up – cities all across the U.S. are discovering that when bicycling increases, sales revenue does too. In San Francisco and New York City, for instance, retail sales along certain bike lanes is up as much as 50%! Because bicyclists travel at slower speeds than cars, it’s easier for them to stop and smell the coffee. (It also helps that they don’t have to pay for parking).

If your business would like to participate in Bike Local Weekend, please sign up here no later than May 1, 2013. The earlier you sign up, the better we are able to promote you! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at bikeweekla@metro.net or 213.922.5634.

So let me issue a challenge to business owners who oppose bike lanes in front of their shops. Especially those who have been most outspoken in their opposition, like Galcos in Highland Park and A Little Taste of Hoboken in Westwood.

Just give it a shot.

Offer a discount to bicyclists that one weekend.

If you don’t notice any difference in sales, maybe you’re right. You can come to the next meeting and argue that you tried to market your business to bike riders, and it didn’t do any good.

But if, more likely, your business goes up that weekend, you’ll have solid evidence that we bicyclists spend money at places that make us feel welcome.

And that, rather than the highway to financial ruin you fear, a bike lane in front of your business could be the pathway to higher profits. Let alone a better, safer and more livable business district.

The best part is, you have nothing to lose.

Except your misconceptions.

But don’t be surprised if we complain about the lack of bike parking.

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