Tag Archive for bikes are good for business

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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