Tag Archive for blaming the victim

Elderly driver plows into 7 mountain bikers, and NTSB says AZ driver’s steering worked in crash that killed 2 and injured 17

Just 306 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re still at 1,005 signatures, so let’s keep it going, and urge your friends, family and coworkers to keep signing the petition until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

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Yet another bicycling mass casualty event, after a driver plowed into a group of seven mountain bikers in Felton, California, north of Santa Cruz.

The victims were allegedly riding on the wrong side of the road when an 85-year-old woman coming from the opposite direction crashed into them. Although other reports indicate the driver veered across the roadway to hit them head on.

Four of the group were injured, two critically, with another in moderate condition.

At this time, there’s no word on why they might have been riding against traffic, or if they were in the traffic lane or on the shoulder of the roadway.

The crash once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive, and how to take away the keys from drivers who shouldn’t have them.

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While we’re on the subject, the National Transportation Safety Board has released a report on last year’s mass casualty crash in Goodyear, Arizona, that killed two road bicyclists and injured 17 others taking part in a group ride.

The driver — identified as Pedro Quintana-Lujan — had claimed that the steering on his pickup had locked, causing him to plow through the mass of bicyclists riding in a bike lane alongside the highway, sparing just one of the 20 riders.

Yet tests by both the NTSB and the Arizona Department of Public Safety found nothing wrong with the steering after the crash.

Quintana-Lujan was originally booked on suspicion of two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation.

But the bicycling community was outraged when the Maricopa County DA released Quintana-Lujan without charges, kicking the case down to the city prosecutor for possible misdemeanor charges.

Just another, you know, “oopsie.”

There’s no word on whether the DA will reconsider filing felony charges now that Quintana-Lujan’s excuse been disproven.

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No surprise here, as a new study shows that drivers tend to be blamed for crashes with pedestrians in pedestrianized areas, like urban downtowns. And pedestrians tend to get the blame when they’re struck by drivers in areas built to facilitate drivers zooming down the road.

And there are a lot more of those.

Here’s how the State Smart Transportation Initiative, aka SSTI, described it — and feel free to substitute “bicyclist” for “pedestrian.”

One of the authors noted 

“What we’re seeing in this research is that the built environment is a key factor. People make errors in judgment, but no one deserves to die or get injured for such errors. And they would be less likely to make these choices if there were more pedestrian infrastructure.” 

Roads that are designed for driving put pedestrians at an added risk. Not only are they more likely to be hit but they are more likely to take the blame for it. This puts an added burden on those without vehicles or the ability to drive. 

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No surprise here, either, as Streetsblog reports that business improved after a controversial Queens bike lane was installed, despite warnings of near-apocalyptic business failures if it was built.

When New York City proposed installing a protected bike lane on Skillman Avenue in Queens in 2017, the impact it would have on local businesses was certain — at least according to the plan’s critics.

A devastating loss of customers. Revenue falling by 20 percent. Beloved shops forced to close their doors for good.

Those predictions were wrong.

Data obtained by Streetsblog through a Freedom of Information request shows the economy of Skillman Avenue grew after the city built the new lane in the fall of 2018, with revenue increasing and new businesses setting up shop.

Sales in the stores, bars and restaurants on Skillman’s main seven-block commercial stretch collectively rose by 12 percent after the lane went in, according to the data, which was provided by the city Department of Finance. There was also a net increase of three new businesses on the strip, a jump of 10 percent.

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More on LA’s Measure HLA on next week’s primary ballot, which would require the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035 whenever a street in the plan is resurfaced.

The Los Angeles Times considers the dispute between traffic safety advocates and the LA firefighters union over the measure, with the firefighters taking a bizarre stand against safer streets, which they argue wouldn’t be. On the other hand, there’s no question where the Begley family stands.

Letter writers to the Times call for passing HLA, arguing that CicLAvia is proof Angelenos are hungry for alternatives to driving, and that we need safer streets, and not just added law enforcement.

KNBC-4 examines what HLA would do and whether it will improve safety. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes, despite the misguided opposition from some first responders.

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Bike Culver City is hosting a Leap Year, craft beer, Handlebar Happy Hour tonight.

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CicLAvia is gearing up for a full blown April open streets event on Venice Blvd, and the year’s first CicLAmini in Wilmington in May.

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GCN wants to teach you what may be the most important bike handling skill, how to pop a wheelie on a road bike.

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It’s now 71 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

After an Oregon teenager was killed in a right hook by a van driver while riding his ebike on the sidewalk, state legislators naturally responded by unanimously passing a bill restricting ebikes, and named it for him.

A pair of British mayors are claiming credit — if that’s the right word — for getting a controversial bike lane removed.

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

When you’re carrying a loaded gun and $60,000 worth of fentanyl, meth and crack cocaine on a stolen ebike, don’t run any red lights or ride on the sidewalk without a damn helmet if it’s legally required.

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Local 

A Santa Monica letter writer complains about a new affordable housing development on Santa Monica Blvd, because it has 146 bicycle parking spots, and none for cars. Never mind that at an average cost of $10,000 per vehicle parking spot, the builder reduced costs by $1.46 million.

 

State

The Carlsbad city council has walked away from plans to improve safety on Tamarack Ave, saying the improvements they’ve already made are good enough.

The Santa Barbara council similarly nixed a proposal to improve a one-block section of State Street after complaining it was too complicated.

A Goleta bike path is finally reopened after it was flooded in last week’s storm.

Fresno police busted a 59-year old unlicensed driver for the hit-and-run death of a 33-year old man riding a bicycle earlier this month.

Back up the Brinks truck to San Francisco, which just approved a whopping $9 million settlement for a bike rider injured by a bad patch job on a city Slow Street, with at least four other suits from riders injured by the same bump waiting in the wings.

 

National

Popular Science makes some shocking picks for the best electric commuter bikes. No, not their picks; what’s shocking is that Popular Science is somehow still a thing.

That’s more like it. A Eugene, Oregon man was sentenced to six years behind bars and had his driver’s license permanently revoked for the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old man riding a bicycle. Permanent revocation of the driver’s license should be automatic for any hit-and-run.

A newly released documentary examining mountain biking on the Navajo Nation recently screened for 100 people in Cortez, Colorado. Which, as I recall, is nearly the entire population of the town. Okay, it’s actually a little more that one percent. But still. 

In a demonstration of just how wrong they can be, the Queens city council is considering a proposal to ban ebikes and e-scooters from city parks. But apparently, drivers and their cars are still welcome.

New York commissioners unanimously passed a pair of bills aimed at reigning in the city’s rising death tolls from lithium-ion battery fires, including one restricting sales of non-UL certified batteries.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on how to avoid commuting mistakes for a hassle-free ride to and from work. Meanwhile, Momentum recommends the lightest ebikes for easy urban riding.

A Canadian site says Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, are investing heavily in bicycling, thanks to a couple of pro-bike mayors.

A married couple is stepping away from their longtime careers as broadcast journalists, and opening a company offering bicycle tours of Wales.

A thousand women will take to their bikes in London this weekend for the city’s second Women’s Freedom Ride, including presenting a petition to the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner demanding an end to sexual harassment of bike riding women.

The UN is celebrating International Women’s Day with a screening of Women Don’t Cycle. As long as you’re up for a quick trip to Brussels, Belgium.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The man who led the development of Intel’s groundbreaking Pentium processor was killed when a speeding taxi driver plowed into his as he rode his bike in Mumbai yesterday; Avtar Singh Saini was 68.

An Aussie site for seniors says bicycling is good for older people, but it’s also dangerous, with much of the recent increase in bicycling deaths for people over 60 involving solo falls, not collisions with drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Magazine makes the case for why this weekend’s Strade Bianche will never be a Monument, one of the five historic one-day cycling classics.

Bicycling explains how to watch Strade Bianche this Saturday, as long as you subscribe to GCN+. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

American cyclist and double world champ Chloe Dygert has thrown down the gantlet, stating she doesn’t train as hard as she does to settle for second place.

British bike races are being cancelled, as rising fees cut the number of cyclists willing to pay them.

And seriously, I hate when this happens.

 

 

Finally…

That feeling when more parking is a good thing. Nothing like drawing a giant GPS shoe across Oklahoma. Now you, too, can go mountain biking on your phone.

And you may have skills, but can you make Turkish coffee while you ride?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Driver blames bike rider for riding legally, Bob George ghost bike gone, and no SoCal counties deadliest for bike riders

Just 321 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just over 70 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Norwood Paukert recounts the story first told here last week about being intentionally run down by a pair of young men on Griffith Park’s Zoo Drive.

I have no memory of the impact, but I was told by the park ranger on scene that witnesses had watched a car with two young men inside intentionally swerve into the bike lane and ram me from behind, throwing me over the handlebars into the street, and then laughing as they sped away.

We’ve seen similar stories coming from all over the world — as near as Huntington Beach and Las Vegas, and as far as Australia — of young men deliberately running down people on bicycles, usually while driving stolen cars.

Yet no one seems to be connecting the dots here, despite with rumors circulating of a hit-and-run challenge targeting bicyclists.

Meanwhile, another letter on the same Times link asks a “bike enthusiast” to explain why an Eagle Rock bike rider would be riding against traffic on the sidewalk, right next to the painted bike lanes on Colorado Blvd.

When there was a large gap, I checked again for pedestrians, and started to move forward. Out of nowhere, here comes a bike rider, on the sidewalk, coming from my right against the traffic flow. I came within millimeters of knocking him down.

I have seen many cyclists use the bike lanes correctly, but I have also seen them riding in groups so that they overflow the bike lanes into traffic. I’ve seen them at night with no reflective gear on.

Let’s start with the idea that the rider came “out of nowhere.”

Bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, and drivers have a responsibility to look both ways. That includes looking for anyone walking or biking on the sidewalk, which is bi-directional — meaning there is no right direction, and people are entitled to travel in either direction.

Even people on bicycles.

Secondly, there is no requirement to ride in the street, even if it has a bike lane.

It’s possible that riding with traffic on the opposite side of the street may have been inconvenient if the rider was heading to or leaving a business or residence on the near side of the street, or connecting to a street on that side.

Or they may have just been uncomfortable riding on a busy street with nothing more than a thin strip of paint for protection.

And it’s odd that drivers can accept illegal, dangerous and otherwise bizarre behavior from other drivers, but somehow can’t comprehend when someone on a bicycle does something similar.

People are people, regardless of how they choose to travel. And people will inevitably do what’s most convenient, or which seems to make sense at the time.

So maybe it’s time to lighten up when someone on a bicycle acts like a human being.

Meanwhile, GCN examines just what we do that manages to piss drivers off so much.

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Sadly, the ghost bike for fallen bicyclist and Hollywood producer Bob George has been removed already, his memory erased from a town that forgets too easily.

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A new report from personal injury law firm Bader Scott analyzed data the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to determine the nation’s most dangerous counties for bicyclists.

To the surprise of no one, the worst offenders came from Florida. In fact, the top three counties, and 14 of the top 20, are in the state, which is the nation’s deadliest state to ride a bike in.

California was also represented near the top, with San Joaquin County ranking eight, and Stanislaus County 15th. (Hint: Stop the page from loading to get around the paper’s paywall.)

Surprisingly, no SoCal county ranked in the top 20. Although it would be interesting to see what the rest of the list looks like.

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There’s still time to reserve your spot in next weekend’s L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon.

Here’s how a recent press release described the event.

The 46th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run/1K Kiddie & PAW’er Dog Run/Walk & 20/50-Mile Bike Ride – which will be held over the weekend of February 24-25, 2024, where thousands will take to the streets and where the events start and end, as well as a free to the public post-event festival at the historic Los Angeles Chinatown Plaza (Event Festival until 3pm on Saturday as well as a Lantern Paw Festival in Blossom Plaza from 11am-4pm in conjunction with Saturday’s Paw’er Dog Walk, and on Sunday, the Firecracker event festival goes until noon).

In addition, the 50-mile Bike Ride snakes through DTLA, LA River, “Frogtown”, LA Zoo, Travel Town, Burbank, Glendale, Verdugo Foothills, Montrose, La Canada, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, and much more.

The L.A. Chinatown Firecracker is one of the largest and oldest running races in the U.S. which had its humble beginnings from a few Belmont High School Alums (a public school located in the Westlake community just outside of Chinatown).

Meanwhile, there’s just two weeks left to get early bird pricing on the April Finish the Ride and Finish the Run in Griffith Park.

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It’s now 55 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A San Diego TV station blames the victims by suggesting the safety of Encinitas ebike riders is in the hands of Gen-Z, meaning teenage ebike riders. Even though the real danger comes from the drivers they’re forced to share the road with, thanks to a lack of safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. In a clear indication of who they think poses the greatest risk, Fresno police cited 32 drivers in their latest bicycle and pedestrian safety operation — and 96 bicyclists and pedestrians.

Or here. A London bike rider famous for riding with his cat was scolded for riding around a car, after the driver had just pulled out and cut him off.

An Irish driver complains that a bike rider must “enjoy playing with traffic” by riding in the traffic lane when there’s a perfectly good bikeway right next to it — even though it’s blocked by a bollard.

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Local 

The LA Times sums up the prosecution’s case against wealthy socialite and Grossman Burn Center co-founder Rebecca Grossman as “Liquor, Valium, speed and recklessness;” Grossman is on trial for two counts of murder for the high speed hit-an-run deaths of two little kids as they crossed the street with their parents and siblings in Westlake Village last September.

Yo! Venice offers video of the badly damaged Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which collapsed during last week’s heavy rains; remarkably, the bike path appears to have been build with little or no rebar or other means of support beyond the concrete itself.

Hermosa Beach is considering a proposal to allow cops to impound bicycles and ebikes of riders cited for traffic violations. Although that would appear to violate state law, which does not permit it.

 

State

Sad news from Los Altos, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a collision.

San Francisco State Sen. Scott Wiener discusses his proposed bill to require speed limiting devices in all new cars, which keep drivers from exceeding ten miles over the speed limit. And which would probably do more to save lives than anything else the state could do right now.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Bicycling says stop the ebike hate, and love your fellow bicyclists regardless of how they dress or what they ride. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you may be screwed if the magazine blocks you. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a writer for Visor pens a love letter to bicycling, expressing “the simple yet profound joy of riding a bicycle.”

Portland, Oregon rebounded from a “precipitous drop” in bicycling rates last year with a modest 5% increase in this year’s count.

The rich get richer. On top of Denver’s successful ebike voucher program, residents of the city can now get paid $1 a mile to ride their bikes instead of driving, up to a maximum of $200 a month.

New York bicycling deaths dipped just slightly last year, a full decade into the city’s failed Vision Zero program.

A pair of bills in the New Jersey legislature would impose an $8 annual registration fee and require a $35,000 liability insurance policy for even slow-speed, ped-assist ebikes, as well as e-scooters, in an apparent attempt to kill the ebike boom and keep people in their cars.

 

International

A new report suggests the post-pandemic sales slump affecting the worldwide bike industry will last through at lease next year; meanwhile, sales at Shimano’s bicycle division were down 30% last year.

A writer for Cycling Weekly describes what it’s like to ride in the worst bike lane in the world.

Momentum offers ten ways to go on a bicycle date.

Cyclist explains how to get more aero on your bike. Unless you ride an upright bike, in which case, as you were. 

Canadian Cycling Magazine nominates a Toronto driver for the most egregious case of driving in a bike lane. Which sounds like a challenge to SoCal drivers.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A driver walked without a single day behind bars, despite being convicted of intentionally ramming a bike rider into a large truck, breaking the victim’s spine and leaving him a “hollow shell of a person.”

Harry Styles is one of us, as he goes on a late-night bikeshare ride through the streets of London with girlfriend Taylor Russell.

Dublin, Ireland offered a plan to halt pass-through traffic in the city center to make room for buses, bicyclists and pedestrians, along with drivers who actually have a destination in town, after a study showed that 60% of downtown Dublin drivers were just passing through.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Seattle, as former Giro and ‘cross cyclist, and longtime bike industry pro, Tim Rutledge died following a battle with cancer at age 65.

 

Finally…

At 15, most of us were happy just to ride a bike, not run your own bike shop. Now you, too, can ride your bike like the Swiftie you are.

And a corgi on an ebike is all I really ask of life.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for forwarding the tweet, or whatever the hell it’s called these days.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New bill requires speed governors on new California cars, LAPD Chief blames traffic victims, and LA bike deaths jump 41%

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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San Francisco state Senator Scott Weiner introduced two bills to improve traffic safety, including requiring speed governors on all new cars, and side guards on trucks.

Here’s how Calbike, which sponsored the bills, explains them.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (SAFER California Streets) Package, Senate Bills 960 & 961, a first-in-the-nation effort to make California roads safe and accessible to all users. Senate Bill 961 requires changes to vehicles directly, including a first-in-the-nation requirement that all new vehicles sold in California install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit. SB 961 also requires side underride guards on trucks, to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.

Senate Bill 960 requires that Caltrans, the state transportation agency, make physical improvements like new crosswalks and curb extensions on state-owned surface streets to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, the disability community, and transit users.

These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S.—and especially in California—amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic. A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.

The speed governing requirement is probably unlikely to pass in its present form, as it will undoubted face stiff opposition from organizations defending California drivers’ God-given right to speed.

But it could be one of the biggest steps the state could take to ensure drivers follow speed laws, and save lives.

Sort of, anyway. Since it would still let them speed by the same 10 mph over the limit that most California drivers do now, anyway.

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Outgoing LAPD Chief Michael Moore caused an uproar by blaming the victims for the city’s climbing traffic deaths, placing responsibility on pedestrians for crossing streets outside of crosswalks, and bicyclists for riding on streets without bike lanes and not wearing reflective gear.

Not on, say, drivers for speeding or driving distracted or under the influence, or just generally not managing to avoid hitting other people. Or on his own officers for failing to enforce traffic laws.

Schmuck.

His misguided criticisms hardly explain LA’s rapid jump in bicycling deaths, since bike riders seem no less likely to use bike lanes or wear hi-viz and reflective gear than they were just three years ago.

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Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is looking for volunteers to promote Saturday’s die-in at LA City Hall at tomorrow’s Critical Mass Ride.

SAFE is holding a Protest for safe streets on Saturday, January 27th, on the steps of City Hall in order to demand LA City leaders do something effective about safety in our roads. Our goal is to have at least 330 people in attendance to represent each life lost to traffic violence in 2023.

We will be at the LA Critical Mass ride on Friday, January 26th, to let the cycling community know about the protest and enlist their help. We need volunteers to join us and make our protest as big and loud as possible!

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Metro wants your input on how to reduce traffic.

Traffic Reduction Study (TRS) Survey closes Jan 31, 2024 
TRS is looking at how we can manage demand to reduce traffic through congestion pricing, and make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of how they choose to travel. Following the conclusion of the survey, Metro staff will take the time necessary to assess and evaluate the feedback received countywide to include in the study’s technical analysis. We appreciate your assistance in helping us understand what your priorities and concerns are about traffic. Please take the survey here.

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I hope you weren’t planning to ride Orange County’s Mariposa Bridge anytime soon.

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That’s more like it.

An Arizona tow truck driver got 17 years behind bars for plowing into a group bike ride, killing one woman and injuring five other people, despite playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes. Although part of that sentence is for the kiddie porn cops found on his phone.

A 19-year old New Mexico man got a little more than seven years for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 63-year old man riding a bicycle, after prosecutors dropped an additional seven years from his sentence in a plea deal.

And the Florida drawbridge operator who walked with seven years probation for failing to check if anyone was on the bridge before opening it, killing a woman walking her bike across it at the time, could be headed for nine years behind bars after failing a urine test required as a condition of her probation.

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More proof that brilliant writers ride bikes.

I mean, besides me.

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It took me about two seconds to find the bike with no rider, for whatever that’s worth.

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It’s now 35 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

A British bicycling organization says the country’s addiction to ever bigger cars is driving bike riders off the roads, as car widths increase an average of one centimeter a year — a little less than half an inch.

A London bike rider filmed a motorist driving blissfully the wrong way down a bike lane, as bicyclists dodged out of his way.

 

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

New York’s self-appointed sidewalk vigilante has made over 5,000 documented reports to the city’s 311 systems, thanks to a personally-programmed camera aimed to capture people illegally riding bikes on the sidewalk.

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Local 

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 out-of-the-mainstream bike shops to help discover the city’s thriving bicycle culture. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link, who says his go-to shop Safety Cycle should have made the list, too.

Hollywood Progressive profiles Leon Comerre’s breathtaking 1903 painting Cycling at Vesinet.

 

State

A writer for Streetsblog says the California Transportation Commission needs to hit pause on highway projects to address the state’s massive budget shortfall, arguing that putting a potentially problematic $200 million highway expansion on hold was a step in the right direction.

Sad news from Livermore, where a 58-year old man died when he went over his handlebars after apparently suffering a mechanical problem with his bike.

San Francisco celebrity chef, restaurateur and philanthropist Chris Cosentino is one of us, riding his bike to help manage his mental health.

The City by the Bay is proposing a $9 million settlement after an infamous roadway bump resulting from a botched water pipe repair left a bike rider with life altering injuries; four other people have sued for under a million each for injuries suffered hitting the bump with their bikes. Which raises the obvious question of why not just fix the damn thing after the first person got hurt?

 

National

Oregon truckers are complaining that road diets and buffered bike lanes are making traffic lanes too narrow for their bigass trucks. Which is a better argument for making the trucks smaller than reducing bike lane buffers.

Separated bike lanes in Austin, Texas are paved with terra-cotta, making them more resistant to wear, and red instead of the usual green.

Streetsblog criticizes New York Mayor Eric Adams for once again failing to even mention bus or bike lanes in his annual State of the City address, in contrast to his vocal support as a candidate. But he does feel the need to regulate ebikes, proposing a new Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate micro-mobility.

A DC website offers a step-by-step playbook for starting your own family biking group.

A Richmond, Virginia bike shop reopened after an unexplained closure left customers without the bikes they had ordered or had repaired, resulting in at least one customer lawsuit, as well as a suit filed by Giant Bicycles over an unpaid $144,000 tab.

 

International

A tech site says Europe’s bike industry is hitting bumps as the bicycling craze cools. Although other recent reports have suggested the opposite.

In a bizarre case, a British woman took her own life after learning her estranged husband had been riding a bicycle with another woman. Which hardly counts as infidelity, unless maybe they were sharing the same bike seat.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to plan a family bike trip around France’s Lake Annecy.

A 41-year old Sydney, Australia man says people make fun of him because he never learned to drive, but he’s better off riding a bike and taking transit when necessary. And so’s the planet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel’s remarkable ten race unbeaten streak to start the ‘cross season finally came to an end, with a fifth-place finish in the Benidorm World Cup.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a deep dive into the relatively recent history of motor doping, including an unconfirmed accusation against American Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

Don’t look so surprised if you get popped for biking under the influence. The Bike Share Batman fights evildoers by stealing back stolen bikeshare bikes.

And why would you need more than one wheel to check out of a hotel, anyway?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

A call to ban “bike herds” after Florida crash, the American problem of traffic violence, and LA-area bike path news

If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Surprisingly, last minute donations are still trickling in for the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. So thanks to an anonymous donor for their generous gift to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

While the fund drive is officially over, donations of any amount are welcome anytime, for any reason.

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Unbelievable.

After an elderly Florida woman driving on the wrong side of the road plowed head-on into a group of eight bicyclists, sending seven to the hospital — two still critical — a local news website responds by firmly assigning blame.

On the victims, of course.

Asking if “bike herds should be banned,” they say the crash “raises new questions about whether bicyclists belong on area roads.”

Often a nuisance to drivers as they ride in packs, Florida law does permit these bicyclists to use a roadway when no bike lane exists. But these bike herds rarely ride at the speed of traffic. They often seem to lack any awareness that in a bike-versus-car collision, the car almost always wins.

Although a much better question would be whether elderly drivers who can’t confine themselves to the right side of the roadway should be allowed on them.

And maybe someone could assure them that we are all quite aware that cars are bigger than we are, and they hurt.

Unfortunately, however, the writer, or writers, aren’t done yet.

Now we ask you, our readers: should packs of bicyclists be permitted on area roads? Should they be permitted to interfere with traffic? Are there times of day where bike herds should be outright banned, or conversely, are there times of day where you believe it would be okay for bicyclists to ride on area roads? And this question: does anyone really believe that tight, brightly colored spandex offers any additional safety for these people at all?

They obviously don’t realize that we only form herds for protection from apex predators in motor vehicles.

And the purpose of our tight, brightly colored spandex is to get drivers to check out our butts and massive thighs, so they might actually see us for a change.

But hopefully not from the front, as they hurtle blissfully along on the wrong side of the road.

Seriously, the site’s whole argument makes no more sense than suggesting schools should be banned to prevent mass shootings.

Meanwhile, the local sheriff’s office is responding to the wrong way crash, in which the elderly driver was 100% at fault, by reminding bike riders of their duty to obey traffic laws.

Because evidently, someone, somewhere, once rode a bicycle through a red light, which somehow caused this whole mess.

But still.

………

A CNN op-ed from journalist Jill Filipovic decries the ever-increasing death toll on American streets, arguing that “Like gun deaths, this epidemic of car-related deaths is a particularly American problem.”

One that she blames in part on the ever-increasing size of American motor vehicles. But she takes it several steps further, to look at other factors contributing to the problem.

Growing vehicle size is a big part of the problem. But it’s far from the only problem. America has too-lax road rules and too few spaces where pedestrians are prioritized. American drivers are too often distracted by cell phones (European drivers, who are much more likely to operate manual-transmission cars, are as a result less likely to have a free hand to hold a cell phone). And enforcement of existing laws is weak: In many areas, officers reportedly have been told not to pull drivers over even for breaking the law.

One solution, she says, is increased camera enforcement — like the speed cams that were recently approved for a handful of California cities, including Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach.

Along with red light cams, which are currently prohibited in the City of Angels, because drivers didn’t like getting caught breaking the same laws they accuse bike riders of breaking.

Then she adds this, making the same case I’ve been making for some time.

If your license has been suspended several times, or if you’ve been convicted of multiple DUIs, or if you have double-digit numbers of speeding tickets in your name, or if you’ve been involved in multiple crashes that were your fault, you should lose the privilege to drive entirely. And if you have a record of this kind of reckless or dangerous driving and then you hit and injure or kill someone, you should pay an especially steep price.

Yet over and over and over again, people with long records of dangerous driving are allowed back on the road; dangerous drivers often aren’t even punished when they eventually maim or kill someone, or see penalties that amount to little more than a slap on the wrist. It is exceptionally rare for a driver, even one with a history of dangerous driving, to be charged with murder when they kill someone on the road. Killing someone with a car is, in the United States, too often essentially a free pass.

It’s worth reading the whole thing.

Because things will never get better until we get dangerous cars and drivers off the roads.

Permanently.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Thanks to Joel Falter for forwarding news that the annual maintenance work on the Ballona Creek Bike Path will begin today, with intermittent closures this week that could affect your ride or commute.

You can find a full work schedule on the Culver City website.

………

Now that nearby freeway work is nearing completion, the city is finally getting around to fixing the north end of the LA River bike path. And hopefully, connecting it to new segments in the San Fernando Valley.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1743001554138050647

………

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to crawl over — or through — vehicles whose drivers carelessly block the crosswalk to enjoy their God-given right to turn right on red.

………

The camera aspect appears to make this look even more extreme, as if it’s not extreme enough.

Thanks to Mike Burk for the forward. 

https://twitter.com/mikeburk/status/1743918919138816270

………

19 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

LA-based former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon warned “sane motorists” about “homicidal maniacs on the road” who threaten the safety of vulnerable road users, after a driver responded to the innocuous post below showing Gaimon and friends riding past crawling I-5 traffic — on the shoulder, no less — warning that he would “turn the wheel to the right and ram you” in the same situation. If he actually said he “would,” rather than he’d like to, that constitutes a threat under California law, and should be reported to the police to get that fool off the road before he kills someone.

GCN talks with bicycling historian and journalist Peter Norton about the roots of road rage directed from drivers towards people on bicycles, driven in part by street designs that tell drivers the roads were made for them. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link. 

No bias here. A Madison, Wisconsin letter writer insists that bike riders need to pay for their own infrastructure, apparently unaware of who actually pays for local streets, or that bike riders cause a minute fraction of the damage to roadway surfaces that drivers do, and we pay the same taxes as anyone else.

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

Leaked traffic data shows that only 40% of London bike riders actually stop for pedestrians as required at the city’s floating bus stops, where people have to cross a bike lane to get it.

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. Speeds clearly haven’t declined on PCH, as a speeding Malibu driver slammed head-on into three other cars at over 100 mph, then escaped after bugging out through the brush on the nearby hillside.

An unidentified Hermosa Beach bike shop was the victim of a holiday week smash and grab, after someone broke out a window to make off with a high-end bike. Thanks to Jim Lyle for forwarding the story.

Metro Bike is hosting a bikeshare community ride along the Expo Line Bike Path on January 20th. But shouldn’t the path be renamed the E Line Bike Path now, since the Expo Line doesn’t officially exist anymore?

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Chicago Streetsblog pats itself on the back for convincing a local business to stop illegally telling bike riders they can’t park there.

A Florida man argues that he is a victim of political and social manipulation of physical and circumstantial evidence, insisting that he had a legal and constitutional right to fatally shoot a bicycle-riding man during a confrontation, part of which he live streamed from his motorcycle; he’s been behind bars awaiting trail for nearly four and a half years, largely because he keeps firing his defense attorneys.

The only form of life lower than a hit-and-run driver is someone who’d flee the scene after hitting a Florida paraplegic riding a handcycle. Schmuck.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the history of the bizarre, A-framed, belt-drive Strida foldie, calling it one of the most unusual city bikes ever made. Which is an understatement. 

Costa Rica is dealing with a sharp rise in traffic deaths over the past year, as more Costa Ricans drive like Americans.

So it begins. A Toronto letter writer draws from the standard “But this isn’t Amsterdam” playbook to argue that the city will never be a bicycling paradise like Paris. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

A woman with no previous interest in bicycling decided to ride 340 miles from her home in Wales to the Eiffel Tower to honor her bike-riding father, after he died following a short battle with brain cancer.

I’m not sure if we mentioned this one from last month, as The Guardian takes a look back at the four-year history of London’s Black Unity Bike Ride, born out of Covid restrictions and a fight for racial justice; there’s a podcast version of the story if you’d rather listen than read. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Irish police were criticized for confusing messaging that mixed the legal requirement to have lights on a bike with advice not to wear dark clothing, which isn’t required. But others applauded the cops for ticketing a lightless rider in dark clothes.

The attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea could be leading to another round of shortages of bike parts, just as the industry is recovering from the pandemic-era shortages.

A Singapore man explains how he turned his love of bicycles into a fulfilling career running a bike repair shop, despite dropping out of school at 15 — including a stint sharpening his skills in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclists participating in Australian women’s road cycling championship paused for a moment of silence to honor Olympic gold medal track cyclist Melissa Hoskins, who was killed when she reportedly fell off the hood of the pickup driven by her husband, two-time world time trial champ and Tour de France stage winner Rohan Dennis; Hoskins was remembered as a “beacon of strength” and “a freewheeling spirit.”

 

Finally…

If you think pro cycling is hard, try building a Millennium Falcon out of Legos. Prepare for your next road-raging driver with new bullet-resistant ebike batteries.

And probably not the best idea to kick the cop who tells you to get off your bike in a no riding zone.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Council rejects adopting Healthy Streets, protest street racing in Angelino Heights, and Santa Ana gets it all wrong

Why do I get the feeling the city council is Lucy.

And we’re Charlie Brown.

And they really think we’re going to fall for that damn football trick one more time.

Yesterday, the city council had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Instead, they pulled the football away one more time, voting to develop their own plan, which will be based on the Healthy Streets LA plan, but with a greater focus on equity.

And voted to place Healthy Streets LA on the 2024 ballot.

In other words, they’re kicking the can down the road once again. Which seems to be the city’s favorite sport.

It really was typical Los Angeles.

A number of council members spoke, seemingly with their hair on fire, about how dangerous LA streets are, how little the city has done, and how they need to be forced to keep their commitments.

Then they voted unanimously not to.

Shamefully, they also chose to ignore the large turnout in support of the measure, with Council President Nury Martinez cutting off comments while over 30 supporters were still waiting to speak.

Although they somehow had time to listen to those opposed to the measure, for some reason.

If you’re wondering why I sound angry, it’s because we’ve been here before.

In 2010, then-Councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously declared “Car culture ends today!” 

In a powerful statement before the full council, Rosendahl said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” He reminded his fellow council members about the harassment cyclists face on the road, as well as the lack of support riders have received from the LAPD in the past. “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

“This is my pledge to the cycling community.”

That pledge lasted until Rosendahl left the council to battle a recurrence of the cancer that took his life.

Under Rosendahl’s guidance, the city preliminarily adopted the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, written a group of bike bloggers known as the Bike Writer’s Collective, sending it to the City Council for review and inclusion in the 2010 bike plan.

Except it never made it into the plan. In fact, it was never heard from again.

Rosendahl also shepherded approval of the innovative 2010 bike plan, with its three levels of bikeways forming a unified network designed to channel bike riders through their neighborhood, and throughout the city.

That was subsumed into 2015’s Mobility Plan 2035. And once again, never heard from again.

In fact, we were soon told the plan was merely “aspirational,” which probably explains why only 3% of the plan has been built out in the seven years since.

Charlie Brown, meet football.

Then there’s the city’s Vision Zero plan, also adopted in 2015, which pledged to eliminate traffic deaths in the City of Angels by 2025.

Hint: we ain’t gonna make it.

In fact, traffic deaths have continued to climb virtually every year since, jumping 19% in 2019, and 21% in 2020.

There goes that football again.

That was followed by the mayor’s Green New Deal, which promised to phase out gas-driven cars while providing safe and efficient alternatives to driving.

You can probably guess what comes next.

Now the city council expects us to trust them while they tee-up the ball yet again, pledging that the new ordinance they’re going to write will be even bigger and better than Healthy Streets LA.

Except (soto voce, crossed fingers hidden behind their backs) any ordinance they write they can also change at any time, for any reason. Unlike the Healthy Streets LA proposal, which could only be changed by a vote of the people had they adopted it yesterday.

So if a councilmember doesn’t want a particular project in his or her district, or LA’s notorious NIMBYs rise up in opposition, they can reject it in part, or in toto.

Or when a new council comes in, they can overturn it, again in whole or in part.

So much for forcing them to keep their commitments.

I’ve worked hard for 14 years now to kick over SoCal rocks, and shine a light on all the ugliness underneath, at serious harm to my own mental, physical, emotional and financial health.

But days like this, combined with the ongoing carnage on our streets, make me wonder if it’s all worthwhile.

And I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. Especially now.

But let’s give credit to Michael Schneider and Streets For All for all their hard work in getting us this far. And to everyone who turned out yesterday to speak to the council, whether or not they bothered to listen, and everyone who emailed and called their councilmembers fighting for a better result than the one we got.

You deserve better. We all do.

Instead we have to wait another two years for an expensive, uncertain electoral battle against the full force of LA’s NIMBYs.

Meanwhile, we need to hold the council’s feet to the fire to ensure they keep their promises, and come up with a workable alternative.

And stick to the damn thing this time.

Because I can’t speak for you. But I’m done falling for the same damn trick again.

Peanuts drawing from ClipArtMax

………

It looks like Hollywood has worn out its welcome in LA’s Victorian Angelino Heights neighborhood — especially the seemingly endless series of Fast & Furious sequels.

A protest is planned for tomorrow to halt filming, in an effort to reduce the number of boneheaded copycats attempting to duplicate the stunts there.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the heads-up.

………

Santa Ana cops are on the lookout for a bike rider who kicked a motorist after crashing into his car, then possibly threatened the driver with a knife.

Although there’s so much wrong here, I don’t even know where to start.

Reading between the lines, the driver apparently right hooked the bike rider, while illegally turning across the bike lane instead of safely merging in to make his turn, as required by California law.

And while the bike rider was clearly in the wrong to kick and threaten the driver, LAPD officers have made it clear to me in the past that a driver commits assault simply by getting out of his vehicle.

In other words, the bike rider was the victim of the crash, and could have been acting in self-defense when he threatened the driver, since leaving the car could have been seen as a threatening act.

A good lawyer could have a field day with this one if they find the guy.

………

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Vespa-style moped rider with severe injuries at 3rd and Flower in DTLA earlier this month.

Los Angeles has a standing reward of $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries.

………

Yeah, I’d probably use it.

Although as someone noted, the weak spot is still the cable.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Jon for forwarding the tweet.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British man who appeared to come to the aid of an injured mountain biker who fell off his bike, only to steal his nearly $2,800 bicycle while he was laid out on the ground.

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

A Connecticut man faces charges for groping two women while riding his BMX bike.

………

Local

LA Progressive endorses a slate of candidates throughout the LA area, including Alex Fisch and Freddy Puza in Culver City, who it says face a well-funded NIMBY backlash from “homeowners who want to keep apartments, bike lanes and non-rich people out of their neighborhoods.”

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is pushing for safety improvements at the extremely complicated disjunction junction of Glendale Blvd, Fletcher Drive and Silver Ridge Ave, citing a lack of bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as potholes and frequent gridlock.

Tony Palos Verdes Estates is pulling the plug on plans for a roundabout at Palos Verdes Drive West and Via Corta in Malaga Cove, after local residents got out the torches and pitchforks because they fear what they don’t understand.

 

State 

California is banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035.

Newport Beach considers what to do about speeding ebike riders, from restricting ebikes from certain trails to a blatantly illegal scheme to license ebikes, while limiting the licenses to local residents, the banning unlicensed bikes from the streets.

A 68-year old San Diego man was lucky to escape serious injury when he was right-hooked by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike near Sunset Cliffs in the Point Loma neighborhood.

Pismo Beach has received $14.7 million for new curb cuts, bike lanes and wider road shoulders to comply with Complete Streets requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

National

Streetsblog considers three common bike laws that are overdue for a change, including requiring safety equipment instead of safe streets.

Good question. GearJunkie asks whether the great pandemic bicycle shortage is ending, or if it’s really just getting started.

Writing for Bicycling, a woman says she fell in love with bicycling — lower case — by delivering weed on two wheels. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bicycling also highlights the best early Labor Day sales on bike gear, in an article that doesn’t appear to be paywalled.

Autoevolution reviews Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike, calling it $7,600 of awesomeness. For that price, it damn well better be.

New nonprofit City Thread worked with five American cities — Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Providence — to build out 335 miles of bike lanes in just two years, a full 25 years earlier than otherwise expected. Someone please give LADOT their phone number. Pretty please. 

A Eugene, Oregon paper says ebikes and high gas prices are making this bicycling’s golden hour in the city.

Tacoma, Washington takes advantage of an eroding bluff to ban cars from a 2.5-mile loop in the city’s Point Defiance Park, opening up the roadway to walkers, bike riders and skateboarders.

The Austin, Texas judge in the homicide case against Kaitlin Armstrong for the death of pro gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson says the case will likely be delayed to give her time to consider motions.

Texas-based Volcon just quietly rolled out the company’s first moped-style, ped-assist ebike, which is designed to look like a motorcycle.

Tragic news from Indiana, where a 67-year old South Bend parish priest was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike.

The Bike League’s policy director helps the New York Post pick the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A New York bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run salmon bicyclist who plowed into him head-on while riding in a bike lane; a photographer just happened to be there to immortalize the aftermath.

 

International

Bicycling Retailer says the late Lotus Bike designer Mike Burrows was much more than just a legendary bike designer; Burrows succumbed to lung cancer last week at 79.

Canadian Cycling Magazine calls a Toronto parking cop the greatest of all time for ticketing drivers parked in bike lanes.

Scottish mountain bike champ Rab Wardell apparently died of a heart attack in his sleep, as his girlfriend, Olympic track cyclist Katie Archibald, fought to save his life.

A British writer says the proposal to require numbered license plates on bicycles is so bad it could result in the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

More proof that drivers aren’t the only threat we face. A pair of French bicyclists are in critical condition after they were each stung nearly 50 times by European hornets, while a third rider was stung 15 times.

F1 star Valtteri Bottas is one of us, as Cycling Weekly goes gravel biking with the Finnish race car driver, while falling in love with the country’s trails. Thanks to Pops for the link.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes a bike ride through the “vast panoramas and the gleaming Adriatic” of west Slovenia.

A 23-year-old New Zealand woman pled guilty to careless driving for dooring a 19-year old bike rider, who was killed when he was knocked into the path of another car; she’ll be sentenced in November.

 

Competitive Cycling

Talk about a good problem to have. Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard is reportedly having a very hard time adjusting to life after winning the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock gambled on a breakaway on the next-to-last climb during Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Vuelta, but had to settle for fifth when he was reeled in by stage winner Marc Soler.

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič had to peel off his newly won red leader’s jersey, giving it up to Frenchman Rudy Molard after stage five.

Britain’s Fred Wright stands 2nd in the Vuelta GC, while Craddock moved up to 4th; previous leaders Roglič and American Sepp Kuss slipped to 5th and 6th, respectively.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying crystal meth on your bike and riding erratically, put a damn light on it, already. That feeling when your new bike lanes look like they were striped by a drunk.

And this is one of the best bike ads I’ve seen recently. Maybe we can get them to do an American version.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Blaming micromobility victims in New York, accusations of bias in Texas coal-roll crash, and School Streets kicks off in LA

Before we start, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming noted San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette as our newest sponsor. 

I’ve known Duquette for some time, after connecting over some particularly egregious bike cases from San Diego and Orange Counties, as well as Riverside and Imperial Counties. Along with the advice he’s shared on topics from staying safe on the road, to how to find a good lawyer if you don’t.

I’m happy to have him join our roster of Los Angeles-area sponsors, all of whom I have personally vetted, to provide access to effective legal counsel throughout the SoCal region.

……..

The New York Times clutches its pearls over the rise in micromobility, noting that ridership surged 130 percent to 88.5 million in 2019, from just 38.5 million the year before.

But instead of celebrating the relative safety and convenience of e-scooters and other electric mobility devices, they choose to focus on people acting like, well, people.

Along with the human cost.

Still, the e-mobility boom has brought significant safety challenges to New York’s already congested streets. At least 17 people have been killed while riding electric mobility vehicles this year, according to city officials. Revel, which operates an electric moped share program in the city, voluntarily shut it down for a month last year after three riders were killed.

E-mobility crashes have also killed three pedestrians this year, including the actress Lisa Banes, who was knocked down by a hit-and-run scooter rider on the Upper West Side.

Many pedestrians and cyclists complain about e-bike and e-scooter riders who speed, ride on sidewalks and run red lights and go the wrong way on streets.

Although if they think e-scooters pose a risk to pedestrians, just wait until they hear about cars.

But let’s be honest.

It doesn’t take a lot of observation to realize that people do stupid things, whether they are driving cars, riding bikes, walking or piloting scooters.

And while all of those can pose a risk to others, it’s the people in cars who do the most damage.

Yes, reckless riding on a scooter is stupid, and dangerous — to the rider and those around them.

But it’s far from the biggest danger on the streets.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog responded by accusing the paper of victim blaming and trying to push people back into cars.

………

No surprise here.

The law firm representing six bicyclists injured by a coal-rolling teenager in Waller County, Texas while training for a triathlon says the entire investigation of the crash has been “riddled with anti-bike bias.”

Then again, that was obvious the moment police allowed the 16-year old driver to go home with his parents instead of pressing charges.

Or even issuing a damn ticket.

Meanwhile, the local DA made it clear he doesn’t want to take the heat.

“This case was not handled appropriately by the investigating agency. PERIOD,” Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “Despite being encouraged by the Texas Department of Public Safety to treat the scene as a crime scene and to contact the D.A.‘s Office for advice on how to proceed, the investigating agency chose not to do so.”

Then there’s this, providing the first public clue as to why the kid appears to have been handled with kid gloves.

The attorneys say the 16-year-old was “coal rolling” the cyclists shortly before plowing into them, and said the teen’s connections to Waller County officials were the reason he was allowed to leave the scene after being questioned.

On Monday, Mathis acknowledged these connections, but added that investigators have yet to “see evidence of a city official directing the officer on the scene as to how to handle this particular situation.”

Although chances are, in a small county like that, no one had to tell the cops on the scene who the kid was.

Especially after mom and dad showed up.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Los Angeles is closing a section of Westmoreland Ave to cars as part of the School Streets pilot program.

https://twitter.com/_KennyUong_/status/1447703817630322689

………

Everyone knows there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.

Which may be why automakers keep insisting on reinventing the bicycle, instead.

https://twitter.com/dorfman_baruch/status/1447790128882200576

………

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

No bias here. A Virginia letter writer complains that the area needs more more roads for cars, not bike lanes. But he can’t seem to decide if bike riders are lawbreaking, uninsured and unlicensed scofflaws, or children pedaling on toys around their own neighborhoods.

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

An Oregon man faces an attempted murder charge for stabbing a car passenger in an apparent road rage incident, which began when he started throwing rocks at the victim’s car.

………

Local

Coffee, pastries, gravel, ocean views, bbq and beer. What’s not to like?

Spectrum News 1 checks in on Sunday’s return of CicLAvia to DTLA.

Pasadena now has an extra $462,900 to spend on DUI checkpoints, distracted driving enforcement, and bike and pedestrian safety operations, courtesy of a state grant. What, they couldn’t round up and make in an even $463,000 for some reason? Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is one of us, taking his roadie for a ride through the ‘Bu on Sunday.

 

State

California Congressman Jimmy Panetta says it’s disappointing that the proposed federal ebike tax credit was cut in half in a House committee, but it’s still a start. Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe it, especially when e-car buyers get ten times the $750 tax credit they’re planning to offer ebike buyers. 

An eight-year old Santa Maria girl was hospitalized after a truck driver crashed into her bicycle with enough force to break it in half; no word on her condition.

The New York Times’ California Today newsletter looks at San Francisco’s Clement Street commercial district as a local example of the 15-minute city, where everything you need on a daily basis is just 15 minutes away, without setting foot in a car.

 

National

Specialized is recalling all of their Tarmac SL7 road bikes due to the risk of steerer tube failure. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Outside finds joy again on her ebike, after getting a life-changing medical diagnosis.

When you’re tired of fixing flats, just build your own airless bike tires.

Portland should have a new 475-foot bike and pedestrian bridge over I-84 next summer, named for the city’s bike-friendly Congressman Earl Blumenauer. It’s an odd choice for a name since he isn’t dead or retired, which is usually the primary requirement to get something named after you.

A member of Colorado’s Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe wants you to acknowledge the land you’re riding on, and the ancestors who were there first. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Topeka, Kansas is doing the right thing, giving away over 700 decommissioned bikes from the city’s former bikeshare program, rather than tossing them on the scrapheap, as too often happens.

Evidently, bike thieves have a heart in New Hampshire, where a woman got her stolen bike back after she posted a note asking for its return.

Tragic news from New York, where an ebike rider was killed by a wrong way driver while riding in a bike lane that had recently been downgraded from a protected lane, because drivers couldn’t resist driving over all the little car-tickler plastic bendie posts.

Hundreds of New Orleans residents Ride for their Lives to demand better safety for people on bicycles.

A Florida Good Samaritan replaced a disabled woman’s stolen adaptive trike for her birthday.

 

International

The New York Times memorializes Iohan Gueorguiev, famed as the Bike Wanderer for his six-year bikepacking quest traveling from the Arctic to Patagonia, which he documented on his YouTube channel; Gueorguiev committed suicide in August while riding out the pandemic at a friend’s home in British Columbia.

Riders on high-end bikes are being targeted in London’s Richmond Park, with at least three bike-jackings in the last six days, including pro cyclist Alexandar Richardson, who was relieved of his $13,600 bicycle.

Scotland is introducing a new campaign to promote hostels and bike tourism, inspired by the discovery of an 85-year old diary from a then 17-year old girl who toured the Highlands by bike with her two sisters.

A British man got a well-deserved year behind bars for pushing another man off his ebike after claiming it was really his, and making off with it while the victim lay unconscious in the street. Although a year seems a little light, considering he already had a 62-count rap sheet over the past 15 years.

Forbes promotes five new hosted European bike tours, starting at $3,199 for an ebike tour from Croatia to Montenegro. Or spend over five grand, and see where Slovenian cyclists Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič got their start.

French police are investigating the murder of a Spanish bikepacker, who was found in the roadway with several facial injuries, close to a popular cross-country bicycling route just south of Lyon on a trip that had started in the Netherlands.

He gets it. Volkswagen’s CEO says “Biking is fun, healthy and good for the environment” and a vital part of the urban mobility mix.

Good news from Afghanistan, where 38 people associated with the country’s women’s cycling team have reached asylum in Switzerland, with help from international cycling’s governing body.

Japan belatedly decides that sensor-operated automatic braking systems on cars should avoid killing bike riders, too. But gives carmakers three years to keep doing it.

Malaysian prosecutors aren’t giving up, filing yet another appeal to a higher court after charges were dismissed against a woman for killing eight teenage kids riding modified basikal lajak bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prior to this year, only three cyclists had ever won Il Lombardia and the Tour de France in the same season — Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. Now you can make that four, after 23-year old Tadej Pogačar accomplished the rare feat last weekend.

Hats off to 22-year old triathlete Chris Nikic, who became the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman competition.

Colorado authorities belatedly identified the mountain biker who died during this year’s Leadville Trail 100, reporting he was killed by blunt force trauma to his chest, supporting the theory that he crashed at high speed.

 

Finally…

A business writer says it’s always the right time to get on your bike and think — or dictate your column while on a 426-mile fundraising ride. That feeling when you overstate the amount of your bike and pedestrian grant by a mere ten times.

And apparently, bicyclists don’t pay road tax. Or boat tax, either.

………

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

20 felony counts in attack on AZ bicyclists, Sunset4All halfway to public/private goal, and billionaire astronauts on bikes

The driver who allegedly ran down ten people participating in a seniors bike race in Show Low, Arizona last month faces 20 felony counts for intentionally using his truck as a weapon.

Thirty-six-year old Shawn Michael Chock will be arraigned today with running down victims and fleeing the scene afterwards, as well as fleeing from police.

Chock was shot by Show Low police following a standoff behind a hardware store. He has apparently been free after he was released from the hospital ten days ago.

Thankfully, none of the victims has died, although one of the charges for assault with a deadly weapon is a more serious felony, suggesting that one of the riders may have suffered longterm or life-changing injuries.

Meanwhile, hundreds of bike riders turned out in Tempe to show support for the victims.

Thanks to Richard Duquette and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

This is pretty much the only good smile I had yesterday, knowing we’re well on our way to LA’s first public/private partnership to improve a dangerous corridor for bike riders and pedestrians.

And maybe convince LADOT to actually do it.

You can donate here.

And yes, I put my own money where my mouth, or rather, keyboard is.

And where my heart is, too.

………

A number of people complained about this tweet, for damn good reason.

He was a little kid, who deserved a hell of a lot better. And he didn’t “collide with a car,” he was struck by its driver.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it was the driver’s fault; a witness says the boy darted out into the street against the light.

It does mean we need to see the humanity in the victim, and the person who took his life life.

And do everything in our power to ensure it never happens again.

………

Bikes just keep booming, as New York bike shops report what bikes they have are flying off the shelves.

Meanwhile, a New York BMX shop may shut because they can’t get enough bikes to meet demand.

And bike shop owners along the Illinois – Iowa border are having to be creative in order to meet customer’s need and actually have something to sell.

But somehow, the CEO of the Buzzbike bicycle subscription service says private bike ownership is dying.

Yeah, good luck making that case.

………

Well, how else would you expect a billionaire astronaut to arrive for his first space launch?

Then again, let’s not forget that a monkey and a dog made similar flights 60 years ago.

Although they probably didn’t have to pay for it themselves.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

The streets of Wichita, Kansas are more dangerous today, after a woman was released after three months in jail when she made bail for allegedly running over 56-year old stranger riding a bicycle, then get out of her car and shooting him to death.

In yet another sign of how seriously the courts don’t take traffic crimes, a driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring a bike-riding woman in Delaware was charged with seven counts, including hit-and-run, and driving while stoned and without a license or insurance — with bail set at the low, low price of just $3,500. Presumably so he can get out and do it again.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a racist attacker who slapped an Asian jogger in the back of the head and threatened to punch him while shouting a racially charged comment, before hitting the man with his bicycle.

………

Local

Apparently not grasping the concept of dockless scooters, a WeHo resident complains about the newly returned e-scooters “abandoned” on the streets.

The Santa Monica Daily Press offers a primer on the city’s four e-scooter and e-bikeshare providers.

After riding his bike to the DMV, a Santa Monica man waits in line for hours before getting turned away. And becomes convinced the guy ahead of him is a bike thief.

 

State

Orange County is testing bike-only trails to cut down on collisions and conflicts between mountain bikers and the non-wheeled public.

A San Diego columnist considers whether removing parking spaces and minimum parking requirements will revitalize the city, as advocates aver.

Santa Clara County, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, is moving forward with plans for the region’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles is working on.

Bad news from the Bay Area town of Brisbane, where a bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run Saturday evening. Police are looking for the driver of a silver 1998 Honda Accord or similar vehicle, with likely front end damage, and possible damage to the windshield.

A Sebastopol man faces three felony counts of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter for the May crash that killed a 53-year old man riding his bike, and cost a bike-riding 12-year old boy his leg; the driver’s lawyer describes him as a “nice young man who made a terrible mistake.” Although I suspect the families of the victims might disagree.

 

National

The grizzly bear who dragged Chico, California bikepacker Leah Davis Lokan out of her tent and killed her in has been Ovando, Montana has been tracked down and killed. Although the real blame should probably be placed on humans encroaching on wildlife habitat, rather than the other way around. And no, it does not make me feel any better to know my brother will be bikepacking through the same area in a few weeks.

If you need a little inspiration today, consider Connecticut’s Korene Varano, who became a triathlete after 30 years of batting debilitating bone cancer — and four years after having her leg amputated.

The sponsor behind Buffalo NY’s summertime Slow Roll bike rides say a candidate for mayor is welcome to ride, but keep politics out of it.

Three-hundred-fifty people are pedaling their way on an eight day, 400-mile ride along the Erie Canalway Trail raise funds for parks and trails in New York. Good luck finding an offroad trail half that long in ostensibly bike-friendly California.

Kindhearted Orlando, Florida cops bought a new bike, lock and helmet for a young boy after his was stolen a couple months ago.

 

International

A Montreal woman and her roommate are walking now after construction workers removed the post their bikes were locked to in the middle of the night, and no one will tell them how to get them back.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old van driver walked without a single day behind bars for carelessly killing a bike rider.

Despite the rising popularity of ebikes, most Belgian bike riders are still sticking with their non-electrified versions.

Hundreds of Berlin bike riders took to the streets for a topless bike ride in protest after police told a sunbathing mom to put her top on, with the protesters insisting “no nipple is free until all nipples are free.”

A man and woman are halfway through a tandem ride along India’s 3,600-mile Golden Quadrilateral highway connecting the country’s four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Life is cheap in India, where a 55-year old man was stabbed to death for parking his bicycle outside his neighbor’s home, partially blocking the narrow street.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s been a minute since an American actually won a stage at the Tour de France. Okay, a lot of minutes.

Congratulations to British sprinter Mark Cavendish on equalling the legendary Eddy Merckx’s equally legendary record for most stage wins in the Tour de France — especially since Cavendish wasn’t even on his team’s Tour roster until another rider dropped out at the last minute.

In a Tour marked by falls, loose gravel took several riders down yet again on Friday’s 13th stage.

If you have to ask how much a Tour de France bike costs, you probably can’t afford it.

VeloNews explains how to discuss the Tour with normal people, aka non-bike racing aficionados.

Road Bike Action relates how Canadian Alex Stieda became the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in 1986.

LA-based L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced Legion) continues its winning ways, finishing 1-2-3 in the top men’s race at the Boise, Idaho stop on the USA Crits Tour, while the team took first and second on the women’s side.

And this is what women cyclists have to deal with. Even in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Apparently, the local TV station forgot what the Ride to Remember is supposed to. That feeling when some jerk stole the bike Buddy Holly’s wife gave you.

And that feeling when your food delivery order is really, really late.

………

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

 

Morning Links: No, road rage is not your fault, braving sexual violence to ride a bike, and filming Tesla porn on autopilot

Evidently, road rage is your fault.

A British triathlete living in Mallorca, Spain, has put together a “guide to safe (and courteous) riding” to avoid pissing off drivers.

Despite being the victim of road rage herself — and holding herself blameless for the driver’s actions — she believes the rudeness of her fellow riders results in the anger too often directed our way.

Which is, to put it politely, bullshit.

Yes, we all have an obligation to safely share the road. As well as to show courtesy to our fellow human beings whenever practical, regardless of how they — or we — travel.

But to blame the victims of road rage for stirring up anger in motorists is no different than telling victims of domestic violence that they had it coming.

Nothing a woman — or a man, for that matter — does justifies violence from their romantic partner.

Period.

It’s up to each of us to control our anger, and never strike another human being, let alone those we profess to love.

If you can’t manage that, the problem is yours, and yours alone.

The same goes for road rage.

Yes, drivers may become angry because of the actions of those of us on two wheels. Justifiably or not.

But failing to control that anger, and taking it out on someone else, isn’t the fault of those it’s directed at any more than the black eye sported by a domestic violence victim is their fault.

So ride safely, and show a little courtesy.

But it’s up to all of us to keep our fucking tempers under control.

Especially the people in the big, dangerous machines that can too easily be turned into weapons.

………

Beautiful piece from a Mexican woman, who braves sexual violence and harassment to ride her bike through the Sonoran desert and learn from the indigenous peoples.

And at the same time, learn about herself.

In Mexico it’s hard, as a woman, to travel by bike; it’s a country engaged in constant violence against women. It’s hard for us not to imagine being one of the women for which the rest of us claim justice. It’s hard for us not to imagine being the one who’s photograph is next to a Ni Una Menos (Not One [Woman] Less) banner. And this feeling is reinforced by how people ask, “Are you traveling alone?” “Aren’t you afraid?” “How do you dare to do it?” and by the expressions “What a relief to know you have company!” “How brave you are!”

What we want is not to be brave — but to be free. We know these comments and questions are not directed at men who travel by bike. Men in Mexico have liberties and privileges that the patriarchal system has granted to them.

Even so, Mexican women have dared to travel by bike and use it as a tool of autonomy.

 

She ends the piece with this thought. But it’s what’s in between that makes it worth reading.

And learning from.

So, when asked constantly whether I’m afraid of traveling by bike, the answer is yes, but the things you learn, the natural and cultural history, the social relationships that result because of it; the self-discovery of the body and mind of the resisting women, make it worth it. Traveling by bike is a political act and of resistance in Mexico and the world.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides along with the fabled 50-mile Rosarito-Ensenada ride on it’s 40th anniversary edition.

And credits the “friendship ride” with breaking down border barriers as families from both sides find common values.

We could all use a little of that these days.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A porn star shot her latest film while riding in a Tesla on autopilot with no one holding the wheel.

Or evidently, paying attention to anything outside it.

………

Local

Riding Metro trains and buses will be free on Bike to Work Day for anyone with a bicycle or helmet this Thursday.

Speaking of Bike to Work Day, there will be a discussion and walkthrough of the photo exhibit Los Angeles Bike Rebels: The Sequel at the Caltrans museum in DTLA on Thursday. Thanks to Velocipedus for the tip.

Apparently, it’s bad luck to try to steal a bike from a Skid Row loading dock when the workers are watching. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

This is who we share the roads with too. Pasadena police wrote 639 tickets for distracted driving last month, with over half of those for texting behind the wheel. If they’d just crack down like that the other 11 months of the year, our streets might actually get a little safer.

LAist looks forward to the return of 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event on Sunday the 19th.

Santa Monica will celebrate Bike Week with a pair of bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Monday and Thursday. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara will have one tomorrow. In both cases, police will ticket traffic infractions that put bicyclists or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror accuses officials in California of having an anti-car agenda, and says drivers won’t willingly give up on their cars. Never mind that many of us already have. Or that he takes pride in promoting an unproven, snake oil cancer “cure” while accusing the government of trying to squelch it.

Long Beach gets the okay to move some palm trees lining Marina Drive to make way for a Complete Streets makeover.

 

State

A 72-year old Huntington Beach woman accuses the DMV of discrimination against older people for making drivers over 70 take a written test and eye exam every five years, saying that should be required of anyone who has a crash or gets a ticket. Sounds like a plan to me. But let’s keep testing older drivers, too.

A survey from Lime shows that San Diego residents are taking scooters instead of driving.

San Jose’s mayor shows he’s fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Day bike crash by riding to work on Thursday.

The rich get richer. San Francisco’s mayor used that city’s Bike to Work Day to announce plans to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes, and start ticketing drivers who park in bike lanes. Anyone think LA’s mayor will make a similar announcement at our Bike to Work Day next week? Me neither.

They get it. A San Francisco TV station says traffic congestion is worse than ever, in part because of double-parked ride hailing-drivers, and because the city’s dangerous streets are chasing bike riders off them.

A new study shows that Uber and Lyft are responsible for two-thirds of of the increase in San Francisco traffic over the last two years. So now maybe drivers can stop blaming bike lanes, already.

A group of Google employees bike 40 miles to work on a regular basis, riding from San Francisco to Google’s office in Mountain View. Then again, you almost have to work for Google or another tech company just to afford to live in the City by the Bay.

Good question. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle wants to know why “a man who’s minding his own business, riding his bicycle, end(s) up dead at the hands of a police officer” who says he wanted to educate him about bike safety.

A new obelisk sculpture was installed in bike-friendly Davis; naturally, it’s made of bicycle parts and children’s bikes.

Sacramento wants to copy Los Angeles, and get their paramedics on bicycles to improve response times during large events.

 

National

By the time you read this, you’ll have to pay 25% more for your bike parts. And maybe your next bike, as well.

Streetsblog says the coast-to-coat Great American Rail-Trail is really happening, providing a 3,700 mile bike route from Washington coast to Washington DC.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker visits Seattle for the first time, and calls out glaring gaps in the city’s bike network. And says if you really want to get people out of their cars, you need to make it difficult to drive.

Nice move from the family behind Walmart, as the Walton clan decides to open up their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers.

El Paso, Texas bike riders are complaining that a bike lane is too narrow. Which isn’t too surprising since it’s half in the gutter, and so narrow the bike lane symbol barely fits without going up on the sidewalk.

A writer for Popular Mechanics was called a cheater for riding New York’s iconic Five Boro Bike Tour on an ebike.

Once again, Atlanta Complete Streets advocates will risk road rage and the enmity of everyone else on the road by slow rolling a dangerous street during the morning rush hour.

Yes, hit-and-runs have reached epidemic proportions. But somehow, shooting a Georgia driver in the stomach to keep him from fleeing seems like a bit of an overreach.

A Florida dentist says he’s always loved his bicycle.

 

International

Fast Company says ebikes are helping to keep older people young, while alleviating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms.

Great idea. For the seventh year, Canada will host a nationwide series of Ride Don’t Hide bike rides next month to raise funds and promote mental health.

Speaking of The Guardian’s Peter Walker, he explores whether bike riders think we’re above the law — and whether it even matters. Hopefully you can get the video to play, because I couldn’t despite repeated attempts.

A British school has found the ultimate solution to bike theft on campus — just ban bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Ireland, where a man was killed during a bike race when he ran into a motorcycle parked along the course.

Cycling News offers a preview of next week’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Bay Area woman who fought for, and won, equal prize money for women surfers is now alleging a civil rights violation against the Tour of California for giving women just three stages and 177 miles of racing routes, compared to seven stages and 777 miles for the men.

In a surprise move, German pro Marcel Kittel walked away from the Katusha-Alpecin team after he was left off the roster for the Tour of California, following a dispute with team officials last month.

 

Finally…

Forget avocado toast; stick one on your bike instead. One day you’re a 10-year old in elementary school, the next you’re on tour as a BMX champ.

And your next tire pump could stick to your bike like magic.

Unless your bike is aluminum.

Or carbon fiber.

Or titanium.

 

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: It’s a busy day in the LA bike world, more Bike Week activities, and more victim blaming from LAPD

We’ve got a lot to catch up on after yesterday’s unexcused absence, so let’s get right to it.

………

This is a busy day in the LA bike world.

Pasadena is hosting a public workshop to design the proposed Union Street protected bike lane; there will be a short, easy ride along Union Street get to there.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at Fig Restaurant.

Metro is holding a design workshop for the new bike and pedestrian friendly forecourt and esplanade at Union Station.

Long Beach begins its multi-day lead-up to the Amgen Tour of California with a screening of A Sunday in Hell – Paris Roubaix 1976, complete with bike valet. And no, despite what the story says, it’s not about the 1796 Paris-Roubaix, although that would make a more interesting movie.

And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s National Bike to School Day.

………

More activities for next week’s Bike Week in the LA area.

Pure Cycles and People for Bikes are hosting a pre-Bike Week Draft Meetup at the bike maker’s Burbank HQ this Friday, offering bike talk and free beer.

Pasadena Now looks at Bike Week activities in the Rose City.

UCLA will be celebrating Bike Week with pit stops at various locations almost all week.

The LACBC’s annual Ride of Silence will roll through NoHo next Wednesday.

Then again, not everyone will be celebrating the Bike Week festivities. Some will be getting more political, observing that bicycling is a necessity, rather than a choice, in many communities.

………

The LAPD blames distracted walking for a series of pedestrian deaths in the San Fernando Valley, urging people to walk smarter.

On the other hand, the insurance industry blames bad road design for an increase in pedestrian deaths nationwide, not bad behavior or distracted walking.

Which probably explains many, if not all, of the deaths the LAPD blames on the victims. Because good infrastructure reduces problem behavior for people on foot as well as on bikes, just like the lack thereof it causes it.

………

Local

Streetsblog has more details on Metro’s proposal to cut Metro Bike rates in an attempt to boost lagging ridership.

A new proposal would put Dodger blue bike lanes on Stadium Way, making it safer and more convenient to ride to games while improving safety for everyone.

The LAPD and LASD officers taking part in the Hollywood Memorial Ride stop by a Tennessee elementary school; the officers are riding nearly 3,000 miles across the US to honor fallen police officers.

A local website recommends five popular bikeways in the LA area.

Santa Monica Next celebrates the city’s ranking in second place on the list of bike friendly small cities.

A bicyclist had to be airlifted to a trauma center after crashing into a deer on Glendora Mountain Road on Sunday; no word on the condition of the rider. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

 

State

Nothing like getting run off the road by a sheriff’s deputy who says he never even heard of the three-foot passing law. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

A teenage boy suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was run down from behind by a driver while riding his bike to school in San Marcos.

Berkeley responds to concerned parents by agreeing to add a flashing pedestrian beacon at a dangerous intersection — but not a way for bike riders to trigger it, even though it’s on a bicycle boulevard.

 

National

LimeBike says Bike Month highlights the need for better urban bicycling infrastructure. Meanwhile, car makers continue to build distractions in the dashes of motor vehicles, inventing new ways to take the driver’s attention off the road. And you.

The Shift Up Podcast takes on an important topic as it considers the barriers to biking that keep us from closing the bicycle gender gap. Despite the bike industry’s best efforts, shrink it and pink it doesn’t seem to be the answer.

Forbes recommends the best gifts for bicycling mothers. Yet oddly doesn’t recommend a better bike, which is what most bike riding mothers probably really want.

Gear Junkie looks at the unglamorous, decidedly non-sexy performance-enhancing value of a well-maintained chain.

Portland will install sensors on the city’s three most dangerous streets for bicyclists to provide real-time data and more accurate bike counts.

It takes a pretty massive schmuck to steal a truckload of bikes from a Washington middle school.

Someone scrawled heartbreaking graffiti on a shattered wall where a Las Vegas bike rider was killed, reading “Drunk Killed Dad.”

Yes, that self-driving Uber car saw Elaine Herzberg in Tucson AZ before it killed her earlier this year, but decided she didn’t matter. In other words, just like human drivers.

The rich get richer. Bicyclists in my hometown, rated the nation’s most bike-friendly community by People for Bikes, may soon be able to legally ride through stop signs.

Heartbreaking, inspiring story from just outside my hometown, as a man who was described as “a hell of a cyclist” still rides despite suffering from advanced ALS — aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease — thanks to a friend and a customized adaptive cargo bike.

Two German bike riders were killed when they were run down from behind by a driver while riding on a Kansas highway.

Houston bike advocates hold a die-in to protest the city’s dangerous streets.

A new study has identified the most dangerous streets in Chicago.

Now that’s more like it. A 33-year old Illinois man will be 63 years old  when he gets out of prison if he serves his full sentence for the drunken hit-and-run death of a teenage bike rider last year.

Apparently, all you have to do is make plans for a $1.6 million, 12-foot separated bike path to make people actually call for a road diet instead, like this Ohio couple.

Twenty-six cyclists from Newtown CT are on their way to DC on their annual ride to call for stronger gun laws — one for each of the victims of the Sand Hook school shooting.

Curbed says New York has to do more to meet its Vision Zero goals. On the other hand, they actually are doing something, unlike some other cities I could name.

A rural Pennsylvania writer calls for a national biking network. Apparently, Los Angeles looks a lot bike friendlier from a distance of around 2,700 miles.

 

International

Mexican bike riders call for greater security after the bodies of two tourists are found off a Chiapas highway after being missing for several days, even though authorities insist the riders just lost control and no foul play was involved.

Brazilian women ride to fight sexism.

Don’t be disrespectful while riding in Alberta, Canada or the Mounties will be on your trail. And as we all know, the Mounties always get their man. Or woman.

Downtown Montreal is tripling the number of bike racks. Because it doesn’t matter if streets are designed for bike riders if there’s no place to park once you get there.

The top five cycling routes through Glasgow for your next visit to Scotland.

Six secrets behind the remarkable rise in bicycling rates in Sevilla, Spain, which built out an entire bike network in less that four years; one key was allowing the public to help design the bikeways — but only after telling them that doing nothing was not an option.

Indian bike riders attempt to take back the streets through sustainable mobility.

This year’s leading nominee for most creative use of existing space — a 1.3 mile bikeway through a Jerusalem sewage tunnel.

A New Zealand writer says even though critics call the city council “cycling zealots,” it’s actually being too cautious in its support for safe bikeways.

Aussie cancer researchers say if exercise was a pill, it would be prescribed to every patient. It would be anyway if pharmaceutical companies could just figure out a way to make money off it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Israelis were excited to watch the Giro d’Italia’s Jerusalem start last weekend, even if they’d never heard of it. Meanwhile, a writer for VeloNews questions how far is too far for the start of a grand tour. Which they may learn if the Giro follows through on discussions to start the race in the US.

In your nearly spoiler-free report on the Giro, VeloNews says Froome isn’t panicking yet.

The Astana cycling team says they’re sorry for nearly killing a race marshal with a team car in the Tour of Yorkshire.

Cycling Tips talks with world champ Peter Sagan about what’s next. Besides the Tour of California, that is.

The doping era may be over, but as long as there are performance enhancing drugs, someone’s going to use them. And may even get caught.

 

Finally…

When your annual ride is so popular you have to cancel it. Surviving a week in suddenly stylish bike shorts.

And before you bust someone for riding a stolen a bike, it’s always polite to let them finish the race first.