Tag Archive for Calbike

Car-centric LA weakens plans for bike/ped friendly Union Station, Mulholland Hwy closed by fire, and cars cost everyone

Is it really any surprise that Los Angeles is watering down plans to make the entrance to Union Station more walkable and bikeable?

Writing for Streetsblog, Joe Linton spells out in detail how Metro’s longstanding plans to re-envision the station’s forecourt area and surrounding streets have run into the city’s typical auto-centric roadblock.

For the past half-decade, Metro has been planning upgrades to Union Station to make the site easier and safer to access on foot and by bike. The L.A. Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements project includes upgrades on the Union Station grounds, which Metro owns, as well as upgrades to nearby streets, which are controlled by the city of Los Angeles.

The latest version of the project plan removes and waters down some core pedestrian aspects of the project. Why? Because, even in its most transit-accessible and most heavily walked core downtown areas, Los Angeles city departments are unwilling to prioritize the safety and convenience of people walking – instead they are insisting on car-centric standards that foster more driving.

Then there’s this.

What is perhaps most sad about the new design is that it ignores the significance of connecting Union Station and El Pueblo. If the city of L.A. won’t prioritize walkability at the front door of the region’s most heavily-used transit hub and at in its historic walkable core, is there anywhere where Angelenos can expect safe and convenient places to walk? Continuing to apply outdated late-20th-Century one-size-fits-all standards erodes what already works in these precious historic places.

As Linton points out, it takes leadership to fight for safer, more walkable and bikeable streets.

And that’s exactly what’s missing right now.

Former CD14 Councilmember José Huizar was an advocate for Complete Streets, and might have fought some of these changes. But with a federal indictment for bribery hanging over his head, he was effectively out of the picture long before his fellow councilmembers kicked him out.

And don’t get me started on LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who should be stepping up to fight for the original Metro plan as part of his LA Green New Deal plan to reimagine the way we get around this city.

But in typical Garcetti fashion, has been largely missing in action.

You have until Wednesday the 26th to offer your comments.

And politely suggest that LA get its collective head out of its piston-driven ass, and return to the original plan.

………

Calbike is urging you to reach out to your state representative to support SB 288.

New bike lanes and improved public transit are critical to California’s recovery. Now is the time to fast-track key sustainable transportation projects, but environmental regulations more appropriate for oil refineries than bike lanes can delay such projects by years. We don’t have years. 

Senate Bill 288 would make it easier to build bike lanes, bus lanes, and light rail lines by eliminating unnecessary review regulations, while preserving important opportunities for public involvement.

Contact your Assembly Member today and tell them to vote Yes on SB 288.

………

If your planned riding route takes you on Mulholland Hwy, check to make sure the road is open after a fire closure on Sunday.

………

The next time someone says bicyclists should have to pay for the streets we ride, show them this.

And tell them maybe we aren’t the ones being subsidized.

………

Advocates continue to call on bikemakers and retailers to stop selling to police departments, accusing police of using their bikes as weapons and shields.

Like this confrontation in Chicago Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately though, that prediction about police not getting any bikes this time was wrong.

I’m of two minds when it comes halting the sale of police bikes.

While we’ve all been shocked at the way they’ve been used by some departments — and continue to be used — I believe bike cops are a net benefit to the community under normal conditions, getting officers out of their cars and closer to the public they’re supposed to serve.

The question is how to limit the use of those bikes to those normal conditions.

………

Good point.

………

Megan Lynch also forwards word that the director general of the Mexico City mayor’s office is actively destroying the commercial bikes people rely on to earn a living.

For those for are Español challenged, like me, that translates to

AMAZING! The General Director of Government of the Mayor’s Office Miguel Hidalgo, presumes more than 140 confiscated tricycles, which means that more than 140 families this man “Hegel Cortés Miranda” took away the livelihood that they bring to their families every day.

Another tweet describes the owners as men and women who perform a service to the community by selling “water, sweet potatoes and bananas, coffee and bread…tamales or atole.”

Call me crazy, but maybe the middle of a worldwide pandemic isn’t the right time to put struggling merchants out of business.

………

That feeling when you invite your friends over to the world-class bike park you built in your backyard.

………

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

A British man was left “a bloody mess” after a passenger in a passing car pushed him off his bike as he was riding home after working a night shift, and forcing him through the rear windshield of a parked car; he suffered muscle damage to his arm and leg, as well as cuts and bruising to his face. His attackers reportedly drove off laughing. Really funny, alright.

………

Local

The Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council will discuss a proposal for a roundabout at 4th Street and New Hampshire at tonight’s virtual meeting.

Urbanize LA offers more information about the proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of iconic Melrose Ave, part of the city’s High Injury Network, which could be a model for how we can re-envision the entire city.

Glendale is holding a virtual public hearing tonight to discuss plans to repave La Crescenta from Honolulu to Verdugo — including adding sharrows to the lightly travelled four lane street, where drivers routinely exceed the 40 mph speed limit.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was apparently injured in a collision Sunday afternoon. Although it’s hard to tell from an article that just says a “patient” was sent to the hospital, fails to mention if the car had a driver, identifies the rider as a pedestrian on a bike, and somehow blames the bike rider for “accidentally” running into the car — yet with enough force to shatter the windshield.

Malibu will replace the failing 96-year old bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH with a new, wider bridge with bike lanes and shoulders in each direction.

Disappointing news from Santa Monica, where the city has pulled the plug on the popular Breeze bikeshare, after concluding that there’s no way to make it work under the current conditions. That comes on the heels of UCLA, Pasadena and West Hollywood also cancelling their docked bikeshare systems, raising the question of whether LA’s Metro Bike can survive in its current form.

 

State

Encinitas approves a $13 million pedestrian and bike railroad undercrossing to connect residents with the beach and restaurants.

After a ten-year old Lafayette boy was killed when a delivery driver ran into his bike, his parents started the Live Like Leo Memorial Foundation in his memory; it’s raised over $200,000 in less than three weeks.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 41-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Guess? founder Maurice Marciano is one of us, as he faces an extend period of rehabilitation and therapy for undisclosed injuries following a bike crash near his Napa home.

 

National

Nice piece from the New York Times, as they follow along with a small group of teenagers riding across a divided country in the middle of a pandemic.

The last surviving Denver newspaper says the popularity of ebikes is skyrocketing, with one user observing that “you don’t realize how fabulous they are” until you try one.

A 65-year old South Dakota man has written a book about his bicycling journey from Pierre SD to North Pole, Alaska, completing his 2998-mile journey in just 42 days.

NPR says bicycling is on fire right now, as the pandemic changes the way people get around.

The Chicago Tribune says the coronavirus bike boom is beyond what anyone expected.

A New York State assembly member with horrible taste in sport coats will bike 116 miles to campaign for re-election in the state’s 116th district. God forbid that’s actually a suit.

A New York bike rider was killed during a crash-filled rampage by a utility truck driver who slammed through a number of vehicles “as if they were toy cars.”

Philly bike riders will have to keep their pants on for another year, after Covid-19 cancels the city’s annual Naked Bike Ride.

Nearly $600,000 has poured in for the family of five-year old North Carolina resident Cannon Hinnant, who was shot point blank by a neighbor as he was riding his bike, apparently executed for the crime of riding on his lawn.

A pair of kindhearted Florida deputies bought a new bike for a waitress so she wouldn’t have to keep walking to work after hers was stolen.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers an absolute beginner’s guide to ebikes, including answering the eternal question of whether you have to, you know, pedal them.

A five-year old English girl is kicking off her training wheels and riding in a 5k charity ride, raising the equivalent of nearly $200 for struggling families so far.

Heartbreaking story, as a British coroner ruled that the death of a 51-year old man was the direct result of getting hit by a driver as he was riding his bike 36-years earlier.

Traffic violations for bicycling infractions fell dramatically in London as the city expanded its bikeway network, despite the increase in ridership inspired by the coronavirus bike boom.

The president of Estonia is one of us, joining in on a 621-mile NATO bike ride.

Mumbai’s 24 new bicycle councilors took the the streets on India’s Independence Day to call for making the city a bicycling destination.

Heartbreaking story from India, where the relatives of a 71-year old man suspected of dying from Covid-19 were forced to carry his body to the graveyard by bicycle after local authorities refused to send an ambulance.

Once again bike riders are heroes, as a group of disabled bike riders rode 155 miles across Cambodia to deliver food to people starving as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. So much for the myth that disabled people can’t ride bikes.

 

That feeling when you cancel the race, and everyone shows up anyway. Clearly, baseball skills don’t go away just because you’re on a bicycle.

And a little light bike reading for the young adult in your life.

Or maybe you.

We won’t tell.

……

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

Calbike joins planners to call for defunding police, LA proves it can repave streets AND paint bike lanes, and Audi own goal

What does defund the police mean on a state level?

And what role should bicycling play in the debate?

Calbike — aka the California Bicycle Coalition — released their proposal for how to shift funding and enforcement to address the Black Lives Matter movement, while reducing systemic racism in traffic enforcement.

In this report, CalBike makes six recommendations for state policy changes that will shift traffic enforcement in an anti-racist direction.

  1. Redirect funding from the CHP budget to street redesign
  2. Redirect funding from the CHP to automated enforcement
  3. Divert Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) funding from police departments to community efforts
  4. Decriminalize biking and walking
  5. Make public transportation, including bike and scooter share, free
  6. Implement income-adjusted traffic fines

There are some good proposals there, including the shift to automated enforcement. As well as the call to decriminalize common bicycling and walking behaviors.

If nothing else, it’s a good starting point.

And a reminder that this debate touches all of us in one way or another.

Today’s tongue-in-cheek image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay.

………

Meanwhile, over 650 members of the nation’s largest planning organization called for defunding the police, citing the connection between urban planning decisions and criminal justice outcomes.

And the need to actually do something about it.

“Historically, planners have been responsible for manifestations of institutional racism including redlining and the construction of freewaysand toxic industrial development in poor and Black and Brown neighborhoods, among many others,” reads the letter to the APA dated July 24. “These actions have had reverberating effects, including creating the preconditions for over-policing of communities of color and disinvestment in community health and safety (just as they created the conditions for safety, wellness, prosperity, and limited policing in predominantly white suburbs).”

One example they provide is Vision Zero initiatives, which aim to reduce or eliminate traffic fatalities. Despite their good intentions, the programs “rely on police-led enforcement and may inadvertently direct additional resources to police.” The letter also points to how transit planners have deployed transit police “who notoriously harass riders of color over fee evasion,”  and housing planners who’ve ignored how policing contributes to gentrification despite pledged support for affordable housing.

Which is one reason why enforcement shouldn’t be key to Vision Zero, here in LA or anywhere else. And why the automated speed and red light cams Calbike calls for are a better option for improving safety and compliance with the law.

………

For once, Los Angeles added bike lanes after a street was resurfaced.

Proving they really can do it, after all.

………

No surprise here.

………

Caltrans was hard at work on fixing a Ventura County bike path.

………

Nothing like an own goal from an automaker, who didn’t see the obvious problem until everyone else did.

Which is exactly the problem.

………

How to turn your bike into a mobile ham radio setup.

Thanks to Bart Anderson, who’s examining bicycling in the Age of Covid-19, for the heads-up.

………

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

A New York man pulled off a string of burglaries while riding a stolen bike worth five grand.

……..

Local

Dockless scooter and bike companies got a three-month reprieve on stricter regulation in Los Angeles. If there are still any dockless bikeshare providers purveying their bicycles on the city’s streets, that is.

The editor of the LA Times editorial page reluctantly throws in the towel and buys his first car, after vowing to never own one in Los Angeles.

Ride to the letter of the law in Pasadena today, where the police are conducting another day of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement, targeting any violations that endanger those two groups regardless of who commits them; last week’s action resulted in tickets to 64 drivers, 28 bicyclists and 27 pedestrians. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

Manhattan Beach’s annual Tour de Pier fundraising stationary bike ride goes virtual this year.

 

State

Heartbreaking story from Santa Ana, where a man was shot to death near the Santa Ana River by thieves who stole his bicycle; police have four suspects in custody, and are looking for a fifth. As we’ve said before, no bike is worth your life. Just give it up and walk away, and let the police deal with it. Thanks to Sindy for the link. 

A San Diego judge is expected to reject a preliminary injunction that would block construction of the city’s 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Maybe you’re not crazy after all. A San Diego smart streetlight network installed to provide traffic data really has been spying on the public, with video going straight to the police.

Thousand Oaks is adding an expert trail to the city’s bike park.

He gets it. A San Francisco lawyer says regardless of the state’s three-foot minimum passing distance, if a driver thinks they’re too close when they pass a bike rider, they probably are.

Evidently, Stockton police are on the lookout for stragglers from the First Order, busting a bike rider who tried to flee a traffic stop while carrying a fake gun and an Emperor Palpatine mask.

Mountain Bike World Cup champ Kate Courtney shares her favorite NorCal mountain biking spots.

The low cost Rad Power line of ebikes got its start with a 15-year old kid building his own electric frankenbike in his parents Garberville garage.  And no, I didn’t know where that is, either. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

 

National

A $5 donation for mountain bike trails and advocacy could win you a $16,525 mountain bike.

Bicycling offers advice on how to advocate for bike lanes in your own city.

Apparently Bicycling doesn’t want you to read about their own fight for “meaningful and long-lasting change,” though, or a call for making the same commitment to anti-racism as you do to getting better on your bike, hiding both behind a paywall after making the rest of their racial justice coverage available to everyone.

There’s no end in sight for the bike boom-induced bicycle shortage as imports can’t keep up with current demand.

New Scientist considers how long a multi-rider bike can be and still be efficient, concluding it could carry at least five riders.

Vanity Fair offers tips on how women can ride in style this summer, starting with a new Linus bike and a bluetooth speaker to annoy everyone you pass with your taste in music. Or you could just ride a beach cruiser with bare feet and ripped jeans, or maybe copy J.Lo’s unexpectedly glam bike style.

Now you can subscribe to your very own e-scooter.

An Oregon teen did the right thing and returned a stolen bicycle to its original owner, after buying it to rebuild and sell.

An “avid cyclist” from Santa Cruz CA writes to thank drivers in Walla Walla, Washington for giving her a wide berth when she rides.

Kindhearted Texas cops buy a new bike for a young Walmart employee after his was stolen while he worked cleaning the parking lot.

Evident, Mellow Johnnie’s is too mellow for the local police. The Texas bike shop founded by Lance Armstrong broke a lucrative four-year contract by refusing to sell bikes the Austin Police Department, after a handful of employees complained about police bikes being against Back Lives Matter protesters.

Iowa Facebook users team up to bust a bike thief and help a little boy get his stolen bike back.

A Brooklyn website says bike traffic is up 20% on New York’s bridges, but the cash-strapped city can’t afford to make changes to support the increase.

A Florida drunk driver apologizes to the victim’s daughter for killing her 73-year old bike-riding father, before getting sentenced to five years behind bars. Which sets everything just as if he’d never gotten behind the wheel after drinking to begin with. Right?

 

International

Canada is investing $3.3 billion in building bike infrastructure, as well as measures to improve social distancing and increase safety for kids on their way to school.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Canadian woman who killed a man riding a bike after bragging about driving drunk on social media got just 18 months behind bars for yet another DUI, her third drunk driving conviction in just five years.

More evidence of just how extensive Britain’s bike boom has been, as a new survey suggests 83% of Brits got on their bikes again as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

No bias here. A local columnist blames bike riders for a new Dutch-style roundabout in Cambridge, England, insisting that the real goal isn’t safety, but causing gridlock. Damn. They’re onto us, comrades.

A British writer says it will take more than the country’s new voucher scheme to spur a bicycling revolution — including safe, well-marked bikeways, and making it clear to everyone that bike riders are legitimate road users.

Irish parents are encouraged to ditch the car in favor of a cycle bus. Or what we in the US would call a bike train.

Dutch hackers show how to mess with the country’s traffic lights by using a basic internet connection to spoof nonexistent bicycles, tricking the signals into giving the fake bike a green light.

A pair of writers for Bloomberg argue that Italy’s 900 euro ebike rebate — the equivalent of $1,063 — only benefits people who have enough cash long around to pay off the balance.

When the pandemic hit, Barcelona’s bike plans were ready to go, allowing the city to roll out a complete bit lane network in just weeks. Contrast that with Los Angeles, where the bike plan continues to gather dust on the back of the deepest, darkest shelf at LADOT.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Turkey has just opened a new, blue, 16-mile rail-protected bike path along the Mediterranean coast.

In a clear sign of the times, stock prices for Japanese bike gear maker Shimano are up, while Nissan stocks are down, with the bike company passing the car maker for the first time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen suffered critical head and facial injuries after crashing into the metal barricades on the side of the course in the first stage of the Tour of Poland.

Watch the left side of the screen, as Jakobsen makes his move along the barriers before getting disastrously hip checked by fellow countryman Dylan Groenewegen.

https://twitter.com/wcsbike/status/1291048127823314945?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1291048127823314945%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2F%3Fp%3D42532

At last report, Jakobsen was in a medically induced coma following five hours of reconstructive surgery. Cycling’s governing body issued a statement strongly condemning Groenewegen’s actions in forcing Jakobsen into the barrier, while the head of Jakobsen’s Quick Step team called for a criminal investigation.

In other news, Spanish cyclist Ibai Salas Zorrozua’s on-again, off-again four-year doping ban is back on after a successful appeal from the World Anti-Doping Authority.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you turn to Miss Manners for advice on how to respond to pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Or when your stolen bike inspires your next short film.

And your next ebike may be able to read your mind.

………

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

Oakland settles Biking While Black bust, bicycles don’t cause congestion, and woman on bike shoots road raging driver

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

You know I’m having problems when I can’t even manage to post to say I won’t be posting anything. 

On another note, remember that tomorrow is a legal holiday.

It’s hard to say what it will be like in this extremely effed-up year, but three-day holidays usually mean an increase in traffic the afternoon before as people get off work early to get a jump on the weekend — often after stopping for a drink.

Or several. 

Those who still have jobs, anyway. 

So just be careful if you’re riding this afternoon. 

Use a little extra caution, ride defensively and watch out for careless drivers. Because they won’t be watching for you.

Photo by Ana Arantes from Pexels.

………

Oakland officials reached a $147,500 settlement with Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op.

Smith was arrested, but never charged, for resisting arrest when cops accused him of playing music too loudly while on a group ride, even though witnesses reported he responded to them respectfully.

Richmond’s mayor said arrest of the respected community leader was nothing more than a case of Biking While Black.

Police also destroyed his bicycle and the bike trailer he used to tow the sound system he routinely used when leading group rides, for no apparent reason.

………

No surprise here. Unless you’re a driver.

Bike riders have been urging motorists to be patient for years, insisting that the time they spend following a bike rider only amounts to a few seconds out of their day.

Turns out, we were right.

Writing for Forbes, Carlton Reid explains that a new Portland study confirms bike riders don’t cause traffic congestion, despite the common perception. And that any loss of time caused by someone on a bike is “negligible.”

“Bicycles are not likely to lead to reduced passenger car travel speed, despite their differences in performance capabilities,” says the study, conducted in Portland, Oregon, on roads without bicycle lanes.

“Bicycles do not reduce passenger car speeds by more than 1 mph,” add the study authors concluding that cyclists are not guilty of “negatively affecting travel speed or creating congestion.”

That negligible delay also means the common argument that bicycles cause increased auto emissions by delaying traffic is just so much smoke.

“A general concern of motorists [concerning] the presence of bicycles on roads without bicycle lanes is that they will impede motor vehicles because of their differing performance characteristics, which may serve to increase congestion and vehicle emissions,” explained the study, finding that a 1 mph differential in speed caused by the presence of cyclist would not cause congestion.

And by not being a cause of congestion, cyclists’ presence on roads is not a cause of increased emissions from motorists, either.

It also means that the common motorist maneuver of speeding up to pass someone on a bike, then cutting back in front of them — referred to here as MGIF, or “must get in front” — is just a needless waste of effort that increases danger for everyone on the road.

So the next time you have an impatient driver on your ass, keep your finger holstered. And tell them to just take a breath and get over it, already.

Yeah, that’ll work.

………

I don’t even know what to make of this one.

A Detroit driver is dead after an apparent road rage dispute with a man and woman riding bikes.

When the driver pulled over and got out of his car, armed with a knife, the woman pulled out a gun and shot him dead. Which sounds like self-defense.

And yes, she had a permit for a concealed weapon.

Although someone should tell Detroit’s Fox-2 that it was a bike-riding woman who pulled the trigger, not merely “the cyclist’s girlfriend.”

………

Looks like Calbike is finally endorsing speed cams.

………

I want to be like her when I grow up.

Happy birthday to 1930’s Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland, who’s still one of us, even at the ripe old age of 104.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

A new ad for Dutch ebike maker VanMoof was banned by French advertising authorities, after apparently hitting the auto industry a little too close to home.

Although by banning it, they simply ensured that it will be seen by an exponentially greater number of people.

Speaking of VanMoof, they’ve been honored with a prestigious design award for the year’s best ebike designs.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the tip.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

https://twitter.com/GentesSinSuerte/status/1277774192801460225

………

Is it bad luck to almost run over a bear with your bike, or good luck you didn’t hit him?

………

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

Speaking of Biking While Black, a London bike rider was stopped by a cop for “anti-social behavior,” accused of not wearing a helmet and hi-viz, or having a license on his bike. None of which are required in the UK.

………

Local

Remember, you can get free 30 minute rides on LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare this weekend, starting Saturday. Or save up to a third off monthly or yearly passes.

Britain’s Prince Harry is one of us, after he was spotted, but not photographed, riding at Surfrider Beach in the ‘Bu. Hard to believe the paparazzi actually missed a celebrity, and a formerly royal one at that. And note to Hollywood Life: Merely stopping to watch the waves does not a surfer make.

 

State

You can drive a stake through the heart of California’s auto-centric focus on Level of Service, aka LOS, as the state replaces it with the more accurate Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which takes into account all forms of travel.

A San Diego pediatrician is back riding his bike a month after he had titanium rods attached to his spine, after fracturing three vertebrae when he stepped in to protect a security guard who was being attacked by a patient at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

California’s switch from LOS to VMT may be intended to reduce traffic, but don’t expect to see sidewalks and bike lanes in San Diego County’s backcountry.

Ventura County will join Los Angeles County, and most of Orange County, in shutting down the beaches over the 4th of July holiday weekend, including  many beachfront bike paths.

A Lodi bike rider remains in critical condition after he was struck by a driver on Sunday.

 

National

A writer for Forbes offers advice for women on how to buy a road bike. Assuming you can actually find one these days. A bike, that is. Although women are getting harder to find, too. 

A bike and donut date with her son teaches a mother that every day is an opportunity for a “once in a lifetime” moment.

Livestrong is still around, apres Lance, and has suggestions on what bike bags to buy.

Arizona traffic fatalities dropped to a three-year low in 2019; however, bicycling deaths were up, despite a decline in bicycle crashes.

A Denver TV station says not only are bikes in short supply now, but getting one in time for Christmas may be a challenge.

Unbelievable. A Kansas City TV station reports a 15-year old kid was killed by an “on-duty vehicle” belonging to the US Service. But takes until the very last line of the story to mention that the vehicle had a driver.

NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith is one of us, as he shares his interval workout with Bicycling, and discusses his Dallas-based fondo. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

There is something seriously wrong with anyone who could run down a 13-year old kid and leave him to die on a Chicago street; the driver now faces two well-deserved felony counts for leaving the scene and failing to report the crash, as well as a pair of misdemeanors. To make matters worse, the boy was killed just after getting his first bicycle.

This is the definition of tragic irony. A woman who was critically injured in a collision with a Chicago Department of Transportation truck driver while riding her bike works as a safe streets ambassador for the department.

The Detroit News says the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing American cities to adopt a Copenhagen-style bicycle model. Someone tell that to LA’s “climate mayor.” Please.

A coalition of current and former staffers called on Bike New York, the nation’s largest bicycle education program, to do more to become actively anti-racist.

An Atlanta bike rider is a hero after loaning his bicycle to a cop in foot pursuit of a murder suspect on a local bike path; the suspect is now in custody on a murder charge.

A pair of Florida sheriff’s departments are the proud recipients of two dozen police fat tire ebikes, courtesy of country music star Brian Kelly of the group Florida Georgia Line.

 

International

A Calgary nonprofit donated 190 bicycles to local families, in part to keep kids from sitting at home stressing about the coronavirus.

Ford is updating a European campaign urging drivers to share the road, and keep bike and e-scooter riders safe in the age of Covid-19.

London drivers are dealing with popup bike lanes by driving onto sidewalks to get around barricades.

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicky report that e-scooters will be legal in the country as of Saturday, fearing that cities will be overrun and people may die. Never mind that the biggest risk scooter riders face comes from drivers, not scooters.

A British railway worker is being hailed as a hero after interrupting a bike thief, then sticking around after his shift to look after the bike and ensure it got back to its owner.

Bike-friendly Paris now has an e-bikeshare service. Which is more than can be said for Los Angeles these days after Jump’s retreat from the market.

Thirty-one miles of Parisian popup bike lanes are expected to be made permanent following the reelection of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

A new ranking of the world’s top 90 cities for bicyclists named Utrecht the world’s best bike city, topping Munster, Antwerp, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The top US city was San Francisco at 39, followed by Portland at 41; shockingly, Los Angeles actually made the list at 57.

The Netherlands’ famously helmet-free reputation could be due for a shakeup, after a think tank recommended that the country mandate bike helmets for children and ebike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the US national championships have been cancelled for this year for every category except collegiate cycling, marathon mountain biking and cyclocross; the current champs get to hold onto their titles for another year.

 

Finally…

Call it virtual virtual cycling. Your next ebike could be made of wood. Except for the motor, of course. And the tires. And the chain. Probably the gears, too.

And they get it.

https://twitter.com/BritishCycling/status/1278349622688260096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1278349622688260096%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-1-july-2020-275047

………

Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep it coming your way every day. 

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

Metro bus layover blocks San Fernando Valley bike lane, three easy steps to safer streets, and biking through the pandemic

What good is a bike lane when it doubles as a layover space for Metro buses?

That’s the question Steven Hallett asked in an email to CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

With more and more bicycles on the road, clear, safe, unobstructed bicycle lanes are vital. While there are several I would like to point out, I will address only one at this time. Just east of Porter Ranch Dr on Rinaldi St in Porter Ranch There is a bus layover zone that blocks the bike lane. It is just around a curve and is blocked by bushes, so when I am on my on a bike, I cannot see it until I get very close forcing me to either use the traffic lane or stop and wait for the traffic lane to clear. To be clear, I am not talking about a bus stop (pick-up / drop off), but a layover where one, two, and sometimes three buses are parked for an extended periods of time waiting for their run to start. On top of that, the bike lane where the buses park is very damaged —sunken and very cracked (bus stops usually have a concrete pad, this lay over zone does not!). I have been on the MTA web site to try and find out what “Rule 2.15” is that allows (illegally!) buses to park in the bike lane with no success. I certainly couldn’t park my truck there just because I wanted to! I have also emailed various departments at the MTA with no response what-so-ever, not even a polite response. I am including pictures showing the blocked bike lane, the No Parking Anytime (NO PARKING ANYTIME) sign, and the MTA sign with the reference to ‘Rule 2.15.  It is your responsibility to make our community safe!

We’ll see if he gets a response from Lee, who isn’t exactly known for his concern for anyone who doesn’t get around by car.

Especially since he hasn’t gotten anywhere with Metro.

Never mind that Lee’s got his hands full after being deeply implicated in the bribery scandal that took down his predecessor, Mitch Englander.

………

Robert Leone forwards a trio of reasonable and easy steps from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on how to make streets safer for people on bikes and on foot.

Too bad LA’s city leaders aren’t on their mailing list.

Publicize a reduced speed advisory to 15 mph for residential streets to keep everyone walking and biking safe. More people are walking and biking in their neighborhoods to get exercise and travel to essential services nearby. With less car traffic, people are speeding down roads, endangering those walking and biking. A reduced speed advisory publicized by the city and local police would help raise awareness and lead to fewer crashes and injuries among people and less burden on the healthcare system.

  • An additional step would be to adjust signal timing to slow vehicle speeds and ensure safety

More space for the increased number of people walking and biking. Our biking and walking networks are insufficient to meet the needs of people getting exercise outdoors and traveling while maintaining six feet of social distance. We recommend identifying streets where bikeways and sidewalks could be expanded, creating quick build or pilot bikeways and sidewalks on streets that have excess vehicle lanes. SVBC is ready to help identify streets and rally volunteers to install signs and barricades to make it work. (Oakland announced April 10 that they would be closing 74 miles/10% of streets to carssee plan).

Switch the pedestrian phase of traffic signals to be automatic and ensurethat bicycles are captured at traffic signals. Adjusting pedestrian signals so pushing a button is no longer needed to cross the street limits the amount of surfaces a person must touch, helping curb the spread of COVID-19. This is simpler for some cities than others depending on how their traffic signal system operates (either a central operating space or having to go out to individual signals). Thank you to San José and Redwood City for already doing this!

………

Calbike offers resources to help get you through the coronavirus crisis, including FAQs on riding through the pandemic, tips for new or returning bike riders, and Bike Match programs throughout the state.

………

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

Angry English villagers stop just short of getting out the pitchforks and torches, ripping the sheets off someone’s bed to demand that bicyclists stop “panting” in their village and just stay away. They’re assuming that it’s the people on bikes who may be infected with the virus, when it’s just as likely the people on two wheels risk of catching it from the villagers. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

A proposal to allow New Zealand bike riders to use the sidewalk at speeds less than 10 mph is somehow deemed an attack on pedestrians.

………

Local

Great move from South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, who gave back to the local community by serving hundreds of free pancake breakfasts in Watts this week.

Isla Fisher is one of us, taking a bike ride through her Los Angeles neighborhood wearing a helmet and mask.

Chris Pine is one of us, too, as he took a bike ride through the streets of LA with English actress Annabelle Wallis.

 

State

A pair of pro cyclists have set up a unique contact-free food drive in Encinitas to benefit Feeding San Diego.

Bicyclists in San Diego’s North County are struggling to balance the right to ride while respecting state and local health restrictions.

 

National

City Lab suggests cities should stop charging fees to e-scooter companies and start subsidizing them to ensure their survival after the coronavirus crisis.

Apple introduces a handlebar mount for your iPhone.

Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards news about the arrest of a killer hit-and-run driver, who says she thought she’d just hit a traffic cone instead of the bike rider she left dying on the side of the road. And swears she only had one drink that night. Sure. Let’s got with that.

A Colorado bike rider says stop bending the rules to ride in groups or drive to distant trailheads, and maybe do your riding inside, like she is.

A Massachusetts driver faces multiple charges including vehicular homicide for running down an entire bike-riding family while texting last month, killing the father and critically injuring the mother and adult son.

A Brooklyn urban planner says don’t overthink it because closing streets to allow exercising while social distancing is easy.

Sad news from New York, where Covid-19 has taken the life of a 55-year old man known as the best bike mechanic in Queens, just one of the 13,000 New Yorkers killed by the virus to date.

Like here in Los Angeles, New York drivers are putting the pedal to the metal on the city’s newly empty streets, with speeding tickets up 100%.

 

International

Road.cc says you can actually get a decent road bike for less that the equivalent of $375.

Cycling Tips uses Strava data to rank the 20 fastest road bikes.

Evidently, you can’t drive away from justice. After a Toronto woman repeatedly flipped off a person for filming her blocking a bike lane, she drove off before police could give her a ticket. But it will be coming in the mail, anyway.

The CBC considers just how safe it is to run or ride a bike these days.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a former English Marine leaped off his bike and into action to save the life of a van driver who went off the road after losing consciousness.

Bicycling talks with the British women who beat the Covid-19 pandemic by days to set an around the world tandem record.

A writer for Bike Radar says his new Surly fixie is keeping him sane during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. Something most people who ride bikes can probably relate to.

An Edinburgh bike shop is donating free bikes, helmets, locks and lights to key workers for six months during the coronavirus pandemic, while a new map shows locations with similar programs throughout the UK.

Inspecting bikes in 1960s Britain.

Ebike prices continue to drop, with Dutch brand Van Moof introducing their latest model for under $2,000 — roughly half the price of its current bike.

Dutch pro cyclist Dylan Groenewegen is using his time under the lockdown to deliver groceries to homebound people in Netherlands by bike while wearing his full team kit. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

German bike shops are scheduled to rise from their enforced coronavirus slumber next week.

An Indian man is riding his bike throughout the city of Hyderabad to call attention to the need for masks and social distancing.

Palestinian women are using bicycles to bring crafts, toys and books to children shut inside by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nice guy. The head of an Aussie civil rights organization says being told to only walk counterclockwise around a lake for social distancing is an attack on freedom. And he’s just sorry the bike rider who killed his dog in a crash didn’t die, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A public health expert says allowing the rescheduled Tour de France to go off as planned this July is a recipe for disaster, especially if fans are allowed to attend the race.

 

Finally…

Nothing like slipping out for a casual bike ride, and ending up with a fashion review. When you’re trying to escape from the cops on you bike, watch out for the old sign post through the spokes trick.

And call it an inflatable pool noodle to make drivers maintain a little social distancing.

………

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

Social distancing for bike riders, anti-bike sabotage on San Gabriel River Trail, and tell the state bike shops are essential

Just how far is safe on a bike?

I got that very interesting question from reader Maruta Taube yesterday, who was wondering how to maintain social distancing from another bike rider.

As she points out, the usual advice to maintain six feet of separation between yourself and others doesn’t work on a bike.

Assuming the experts are correct that Covid-19 droplets linger in the air up for to three seconds, you’d ride right through their viral-loaded expectorations if the rider in front of you sneezes or coughs.

Unfortunately, though, algebra and I took an instant dislike to one another back in the day. And haven’t made up since.

So I put the question to the Twitterverse last night, and it didn’t take long for people much smarter than me on the subject to come back with the answers.

Since relative distance is tricky to work out when you’re stationary, let alone moving, my take would be to follow three seconds behind another rider, which is easy to gauge by counting the seconds between when you each pass a stationary point.

Then give the other person as much space as possible when passing.

Just like you wish SUV drivers would give you.

As someone else pointed out, however, some reports indicate that the virus can linger in the air for hours, rather than mere seconds.

That refers to aerosolized particles, which occur under relatively rare circumstances in public spaces, as opposed to the heavier droplets expelled when someone coughs or sneezes.

The LA Times offers a great explanation in their story on how you can catch coronavirus.

Photo by Burst from Pexels. You can easily judge the usual six-foot social distancing space by the length of a standard bicycle.

………

Evidently, the fishing line strung across a Seal Beach bike path we mentioned yesterday is nothing new.

Richard Rosenthal writes to say another rider was attacked on the San Gabriel River Trail in a similar fashion last month, and forwards this comment from Nextdoor.

Again, this kind of sabotage is not just a harmless prank, but a violent assault intend to harm innocent victims, in an apparent attempt to frighten people off the path.

Like several other comments I received, Rosenthal points the finger at a nearby homeless camp.

Let’s just hope the police take this seriously.

And catch the people responsible — and hold them accountable — whoever it turns out to be.

………

Calbike wants your help to tell the state that bike shops and bike repair are essential services.

We salute those essential workers who have to travel — health care workers, delivery staff, maintenance people, and everyone else who is keeping society going — and we want them to be able to bicycle for their essential trips.

Biking at a safe distance from others is also one of the outdoor activities allowed while we try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now more than ever, a bicycle ride is important for our physical and mental health.

If biking is essential, bike shops are, too. 

That’s why we are sending a letter to the California State Public Health Officer, Dr. Sonia Angell, asking her to affirm that bike repair shops are essential services.

We need your support to deliver a strong message to Sacramento that bikes are vital in this time of social distancing. Please add your name to the letter to show your support.

………

Al Williams forwarded news that iconic parts maker Campagnolo was forced to shut down by the Italian government until at least April 6th as part of the country’s coronavirus clampdown.

So any orders received before that date won’t be processed until after they reopen.

………

Beach parking falls like dominos as people up and down the SoCal coast continue to ignore calls for social distancing.

Following the lead of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, parking lots have shut down in Long Beach and Manhattan Beach, as well as all California state parks.

Meanwhile, Orange County has closed all county parks and trails, along with parking lots for all county beaches; some OC cities are following suit.

………

After many false alarms this week, KNBC-4 reports the popular Runyon Canyon hiking trail will close before the weekend due to overcrowding.

………

Not only is Stephen Colbert one of us, he can change his own bike tube, too.

Cycling Tips mostly approves, sort of.

………

Nothing like a little urban riding through the, um, streets of Ensenada.

Unless maybe you’d prefer ripping through a British Columbia bike park.

………

Local

Reese Witherspoon’s young son is now one of us, too.

 

State

A man and woman were both critically injured in a collision while they were crossing the street in Santa Ana Monday night. One of them was either riding or walking a bike; both deserved better.

In a truly bizarre crash, a Modesto man was killed when he tried to step between the dual trailers of a moving big rig that was blocking the crosswalk, apparently intending to step over the hitch between the trailers; that corner is the site of frequent bike and pedestrian collisions.

 

National

Ebike prices continue to drop, despite the ongoing tariff war; one new ped-assist bike checks in at just $1,499.

An Ohio family took a break from home schooling for a cold weather bike ride.

Nice move. After a Syracuse NY bikeshare pulled its bikes from the streets in response to New York state’s lockdown, they handed them over to local restaurants for their delivery workers to use.

Long Island communities now have a new excuse to crack down on groups of bike riding teenagers, saying they’re putting themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus. Which may be true, but follows months of heavy-handed attempts to make the bike-riding kids go away. Even if the kids do act like jerks way too often. 

New York’s 40,000 bicycle delivery riders are heroes in the battle against Covid-19, as the risk they take allows countless others to stay safely at home.

North Carolina bicycle component maker Industry Nine says they want to make ventilator parts to confront the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, but haven’t been able to cut through the red tape. They’re not the only bicycle company rising to the challenge in the world’s time of need, though. Or trying to, anyway.

DC’s mayor shuts the city down to halt the spread of coronavirus, but makes no bones about bike shops providing an essential service.

A Georgia bike advocate contemplates the role of bicycling in our brave, new coronavirus world. Seriously, this is not the future I ordered.

A 71-year old Florida woman was killed when she was left-crossed by the driver of a landscaping tractor after allegedly running a stop sign on her bike. As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw her blow the stop — and whether the driver actually stopped, either.

 

International

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a London doctor’s bicycle while she’s working up to 13 hour days treating coronavirus patients.

No surprise on either count, as 80% of people in a British town say they’d ride their bikes if there were more separated cycle tracks, while two-thirds say bicycling is currently the least safe way of traveling around the city.

UK bike shops are seeing a surge in business as people buy new bikes or fix old ones as an alternative to taking public transit, though not everyone agrees they provide an essential service. Michigan bike shops are seeing a jump in sales, too.

VeloNews looks inside a new art exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s legendary Columbus steel tubing company — which is good since it’s on lockdown with the rest of the country. Probably a good thing, too, because I’m not sure I could resist the temptation to walk off with that Mario Schifano painting if no one was looking.

A Sydney, Australia bookshop turns to bikes to serve their customers after they were forced to close.

The Korea Times looks back at Seoul’s bike-riding Wind Eaters of a hundred years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will now be held on some undisclosed date in 2021, putting preparations for athletes in limbo.

 

Finally…

Clean and lube your chain with one hand. Whacking someone with a bike seat is not an approved usage for it.

And there’s more than one way to maintain social distancing.

Morning Links: CHP almost gets left turns right, war on bikes Culver City edition, and possible $1000 CA rebate on ebike

After criticizing the CHP last week, it’s only fair to give them credit when it’s due.

An Orange County CHP officer got it right when he was asked whether bike riders could use left turn lanes.

Almost, anyway.

He said that bicyclists have a right to turn left just like drivers do, and even noted that they are allowed to take the full lane when traveling at the speed of traffic — an exception to the ride to the right rule most cops seem to miss.

But the CHP officer incorrectly notes that bicyclists must hug the curb in other instances. Even though the law says people on bicycles are free to take the lane anytime it’s too narrow to safely share with a bike and car side-by-side, which is the case with most righthand lanes in Southern California.

And he suggests that anyone who’s uncomfortable turning from the left turn lane should get off their bike and walk in the crosswalk.

Never mind that bicyclists have the right to ride in a crosswalk under California law.

Or that box turns work better, anyway. With or without painted turn boxes.

Photo from CHP website

………

The war on bikes may have raised its ugly head right here in Southern California, after a handful of razor blades were found in a Culver City bike lane.

………

Keep your fingers crossed.

If a Calbike proposal is adopted, you could be eligible for a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of an ebike.

Or better yet, sign the petition.

………

An ad featuring a boy walking his bike up a steep hill to deliver bread in post-war England has been named Britain’s most iconic classic ad.

………

Local

The LA Times wants to know if Bird can finally build a better scooter before it runs out of cash.

Displaying more cuteness than allowed by law, Strider Bikes hosted a series of toddler races at LA Live this past weekend.

CicLAvia shares their favorite moments from the recent Wilmington event.

There will be a meeting to support the Rowena road diet and help keep the street safe at 6 pm this Wednesday at the Friendship Auditorium.

One more reason to ride a bike. The founder of the Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village changed her career trajectory after meeting the owner of the famed Oskar Blues Brewery while riding her bike in Colorado. Seriously, you’re not likely to meeting anyone while speeding down the same roads in your car — unless you hit them.

Roughly 75 people turned out for last week’s meeting on a proposed two-way protected bike lane on Pasadena’s Union Street.

Santa Clarita’s mayor invites you to celebrate all things cycling in the city as they mark bike month, and a visit by the Amgen Tour of California.

A bike-riding man is the chief suspect in a series of alleyway arson fires in the Cal Heights neighborhood of Long Beach.

 

State

A legendary backcountry OC mountain bike ride raises a whopping $1.25 million to aid people in Rwanda.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss proves he’s not that snobby after all, riding this Cambria’s Eroica California on the cheapest bikes he can buy.

Authorities stopped an Amtrak train for over an hour to search for a man who was apparently struck by the train while he was walking his bike along the tracks in Pismo Beach; he turned up later in an ER with hand and arm injuries, after all searchers found was a mangled bicycle.

An East Sacramento hit-and-run driver left a bike rider lying in the street with serious injuries. Meanwhile, a mother asks the hit-and-run driver who left her bike-riding son with a serious brain injury to turns themselves in.

 

National

An Irish man rode and ran across the United States in just 36 days to raise funds in an effort to raise over a quarter million euros — $279,670 — to fight Spina Bifida.

Ai Wei Wei’s sculpture may be titled Forever Bicycles, but it won’t be displayed in Austin TX that long. Or much longer, for that matter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An Arkansas newspaper breaks the shocking news that you can get hurt riding a mountain bike.

Minneapolis has pulled the plug on Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix once again after a last-ditch crowdfunding effort raised just $12,000 of the $200,000 they needed to put on a UCI women’s race

Proving once again that we all face the same problems, Boston bike riders complain about the glacial pace of implementing the city’s bike plan, arguing that the mayor’s plan is falling short.

New York held their annual Blessing of the Bicycles over the weekend; LA’s version will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 14th as part of Bike Week.

A 50-year bike commuter says New York bicyclists have to do better, and calls on riders to welcome stricter enforcement by police. Sure. That’ll happen.

Today weatherman Al Roker is one of us, joining thousands of other riders for New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour.

A West Virginia bike rider urges people to control their dogs after suffering a concussion and separating his shoulder when his bike broadsided a dog that ran out in front of him. No word on how the dog fared.

Police in Charleston SC respond to rising rates of bicyclists and pedestrians by insisting that pedestrians would be safe if they just used crosswalks, rather that concluding that maybe there aren’t enough crosswalks or they’re in the wrong places. And never mind all those people in the big, dangerous machines.

Two kindhearted South Carolina cops pitched in to buy a kid a new bike after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver. Although someone should tell the TV station that the car probably had a driver.

New Orleans’ mayor sees better bus service and more dockless bikeshares — not more traffic lanes — as the solution to the city’s transportation problems.

A Key West parade celebrates human powered sculpture.

 

International

A Vancouver writer describes how she learned to love commuting by bicycle.

A Toronto business owner complains about plans for a road diet to make room for protected bike lanes, insisting that he only sees a single bike rider every few days. Which is like saying we don’t need a new bridge because you only see a few cars driving into the river.

London bicyclists donned their best Harris and Donegal woolens and mounted classic bikes for this year’s Tweed Ride.

You have exactly one month to get to the UK to ride your bike naked on the Queen’s official birthday.

An Indian man who spent five decades riding across the country has given his Trek Madone to a 15 year old cycling prodigy, after he had to quit riding due to medical problems.

An Indian paper looks back on seven Parsi men who travelled the world on their bicycles over 100 years ago.

India’s Economic Times says bicycling in Bengaluru is a cruel joke on bicyclists.

A Sydney, Australia writer says check your biases next time you hear the word cyclist or get stuck behind one in traffic, after a Facebook post about the death of a bike-riding woman got 464 comments — only four of which expressed any sympathy for the victim or her family.

An Aussie bike rider caused considerable, and reasonable, consternation after he was photographed wearing a Nazi armband.

 

Competitive Cycling

Don’t plan on seeing Colombian pro Egan Bernal in next week’s Giro d’Italia, after breaking his collarbone on a training ride.

The New York Daily News considers the meteoric rise and fall of Major Taylor, the one-time world’s fastest man, who broke cycling’s color barrier more than a century ago. Now we just need someone to do it again.

 

Finally…

Maybe next time, he’ll listen when a cop tells him to get his golf cart out of the bike lane. Apparently, a bicycle only makes you invisible if you don’t don a hideous blond wig to bike through a police dragnet.

And no, that’s not a bicycle riding in a new bike lane.

 

Morning Links: South LA Slasher claims more victims, AAA fights bike law change, and booby trapped SD trail

Sadly, there’s been more attacks by the bike-riding South LA Slasher.

The latest came Monday morning near Florence Ave and Avalon Blvd, when the suspect rode up on a mountain bike and slashed the face of another man with a sharp object for no apparent reason.

That raises the total number of attacks to six, all in the area of South LA and Southeast Los Angeles County.

The suspect is described as an 18- to 30-year-old Latino man with short hair, about 150 pounds and 5’6″ to 5’8″, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and pants, and riding a black and green mountain bike

Let’s hope they catch this guy before he does some serious damage.

………

Once again, AAA is standing in the way of bike safety legislation — even when the proposed law doesn’t change anything.

Streetsblog reports that Calbike has withdrawn a proposal that would have simply changed the wording of the ride to the right rule to say that bicyclists have the right to “move away from the right edge when the lane isn’t wide enough to share.”

Current wording exempts riders from the requirement to stay to the right when the lane is too narrow to share, which is the case with most right lanes in Southern California.

Not only is it not a significant change, it doesn’t change the rights or responsibilities of bike riders at all. Just simplifies the wording, bringing it in line with statutes in other states.

Yet somehow, AAA still opposed it.

Just one more example of the organization’s mindless, knee-jerk opposition to almost any legislation regarding bikes, including their fight against the three-foot passing law.

Even when it doesn’t infringe on their members’ God-given right to go “vroom, vroom” to their hearts content.

I cancelled my membership several years back when I got tired of the organization using my dues to lobby against laws intended to protect my own life.

And that of everyone else who rides a bike.

………

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

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he encountered a booby trap on a popular bike trail in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges. Correction: I originally said I was near Lake Hughes. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Someone had not only strung barbed wire across the trail, but had hidden it by braiding the wire in a strand of ivy.

Anyone who tried to ride through without spotting the wire could have been seriously injured.

Which makes this an attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Let’s hope they find the jackass responsible for this. And that police and prosecutors treat it with the seriousness the crime calls for.

Meanwhile, a man in the UK got 18 months behind bars for siccing his dogs on a pair of bike riders, because he was upset over people riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

LAist looks at the 15 people vying to become the next councilmember occupying LA’s vacant CD12 seat.

Santa Clarita is looking for one hundred more volunteers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California stage.

Long Beach residents got a street-level, one and a half hour view of the Long Beach Grand Prix course, as long as they did it without a motor.

State

This is who we share the roads with. Ten percent of drivers told AAA they “always or frequently” use their smartphones illegally while driving, while nearly 50% admit to doing it at least once. And those are just the ones honest enough to give a truthful answer; the real total is probably somewhere north of that. Far north.

Encinitas approves plans for a Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway in Leucadia, adding traffic circles and bike lanes to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Diego man suffered serious injuries in a collision with a scooter rider as he was riding his bike on the Mission Beach boardwalk Tuesday afternoon.

Goleta was honored by the central coast chapter of a national public works association for the city’s bike and pedestrian master plan, as well as the Hollister Ave multi-use, Safe Routes to School path.

The popular Eroica California classic bike festival takes over Cambria this weekend.

A Pismo Beach street has been turned into a slalom course, forcing drivers to weave back and forth as construction begins on a Complete Streets makeover.

National

Outside says right now, it’s impossible to tell if Trek’s WaveCel helmet technology is as effective as the company claims; MIPS says their tests don’t back up Trek’s promises.

A new startup promises to give you airline-style miles for using non-automotive transport, such as biking, walking and transit.

How to help your mountain bike live a long, healthy and happy life.

Needless to say, Seattle bike riders are frustrated by the latest cutbacks in the bike plan for the ostensibly bike-friendly city, raising questions of what the mayor’s vision is. Or if she has one.

After exempting e-scooters from the city’s mandatory bike helmet law, Spokane questions whether the law is needed at all.

Evidently, New York state won’t be legalizing e-scooters now after all.

International

While everyone else is trying to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, Hamilton, Ontario wants to invite them in.

A British Paralympian says we need another word for utility bicyclists to reduce the hostility many drivers have for people on bikes. Or we could just forget the semantics, and focus on changing drivers attitudes and reminding them that we’re human too.

A Scottish man on an around the world bike tour has picked up a passenger, adopting a stray kitten in Bosnia; he modified his bike to give it a space up front.

German officials blame a rise in bicycling deaths on more older people using ebikes.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist was lucky to get away without serious injuries when he got left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by the driver of an SUV; fortunately, he managed to push off the vehicle at the last moment.

An Aussie bike tells drivers yes, we’re human, and we all deserve respect on the road.

An Australian professor says banning tiny vehicles like e-scooters denies us smarter ways to get around urban environments.

Competitive Cycling

American legend Alexi Grewal, the only US Olympian man to win gold in cycling, regrets his winning ride, saying he selfishly rode for himself instead of supporting Davis Phinney as he had agreed.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a pair of pro riders’ Garmins after they crashed during a race.

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike in a public park is trespassing. Who needs to pedal when you’ve got a fuel cell?

And you know your open streets event was successful when it draws more people than the annual Elks Parade.

Morning Links: Calbike hosts bike traffic school webinar, and celebrating history’s first two-wheeled acid trip

The California Bicycle Coalition will hold a webinar tomorrow morning to discuss how to set up a bike traffic school, similar to the traffic schools that allow drivers to take classes in lieu of paying fines.

While the schools were approved by the state legislature in concept in 2015, they have been slow to catch on with the courts in the state. Hopefully this will help change that.

Sign up here. And maybe you’ll learn how to set up that topless comedy bike traffic school you’ve always dreamed of.

………

It turns out Bicycle Day is less about honoring bicycles than the trips taken on them. Or rather, one in particular, inadvertently taken by LSD inventor Albert Hoffman.

So how are you going to celebrate next Wednesday’s anniversary of the first two-wheeled acid trip?

………

Evidently, it’s been online for awhile. But I just discovered I’m officially part of the history of the LA bike movement.

Albeit a very small part. And appropriately so.

………

Once again, British Cycling postpones release of a report on bullying of the county’s top cyclists — especially women racers — that’s widely expected to paint an extremely unflattering picture of the organization; it’s working on a new code of conduct to avoid future problems.

The new head of the Australian cycling team promises a compassionate approach that puts riders first.

The Outer Line looks at the future of women’s cycling, and says female riders must form their own union and move to take control of the sport.

The Twenty20 bike team lost nine high-end racing bikes valued at a combined $60,000 when someone broke into their storage trailer in Corte Madera; a team sponsor is offering a $10,000 reward.

………

A fellow competitor remembers Mike Hall, the endurance cyclist killed near the finish of Australia’s 3,400-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race, calling him the man who inspired a world of cyclists.

………

Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Roscoe Blvd gets a road diet and LA’s first pavement-embedded crossing lights in West Hills, at an intersection where two women were killed, along with their dog, crossing the street last year. Now if they could just figure out how to do it before someone gets killed.

Riding across the US from Los Angeles to New York on a heavy single speed bike, chained to the frame on a bet by silent film star Fatty Arbuckle. And back. And back again.

An Aussie bike magazine compares a bike coffee shop in Melbourne with our own Arts District favorite The Wheelhouse. Speaking of which, The Wheelhouse will sponsor the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on May 7th.

 

State

A meeting will be held tonight to discuss plans to renovate the Mariner’s Mile along the Coast Highway in Newport Beach, including possible bike lanes.

Overstating the obvious, the Coronado newspaper says there’s not much chance the $210 million bike and pedestrian tube under the Coronado Bay Bridge will actually be built. Although citing induced demand creating bike and pedestrian congestion as a argument against it seems pretty ridiculous.

A Santa Barbara writer says if you think the proposed Idaho Stop law unfairly favors bicyclists, get out on your bike to add some data points to your thinking.

Around 750 cyclist from 40 different countries turned out on vintage bikes for last weekend’s Eroica in Paso Robles.

A group of up to ten teenagers swarmed and pepper sprayed a San Francisco man as he was unlocking his bicycle, taking it along with his cell phone.

 

National

Bicycling says go ahead and patch that tube again. And again.

Here’s your tutorial on simple mountain bike tricks anyone can do. Assuming you have a mountain bike, that is.

Turn any bicycle into an ebike with a conversion kit.

A bighearted Las Vegas cop buys a new bicycle for an eight-year old boy after his was stolen about six weeks ago; the kid had to get up early to walk to school since he couldn’t ride there anymore after his bike was taken.

BYU students create a special adaptive pedal allowing a boy with one leg longer than the other to ride his bike using both legs for the first time.

Bikeshare is moving into middle America, as Wichita KS votes to install a 20-station system in the downtown area.

Now living in New York, Amsterdam’s bike mayor says the city has possibilities for bicycling if it would build more infrastructure and fix the holes in the street.

A New York ebike shop owner employs the lessons he learned riding a bike towards running his business.

Famke Janssen is one of us, riding in New York with her boyfriend and dog.

An NYC councilmember calls for safety improvements when a bicyclist is critically injured at the same intersection where another rider was killed less than two weeks earlier.

A Virginia man riding his bike to Canada faces a murder charge for allegedly beating a Pennsylvania man to death with a shovel after breaking into his home to steal $8.75 and some canned goods, telling the judge he was starving and just trying to survive. He could get three meals a day now, for the next 40 years to life.

 

International

Vancouver considers investing a quarter of a million dollars to jumpstart a pair of community bike rides expected to draw 10,000 people each.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is still one of us, going shopping in London fashionably dressed on her city bike, complete with wicker basket.

Cambridge, England residents are up in arms over floating bus stops, saying they may protect bike riders but put older people at risk; one person says people who ride a bike on the sidewalk should be fined for possessing an offensive weapon.

I want to be like him when I grow up. The 85-year old head of a British bike club stars in a commercial promoting TV coverage of the Tour of Yorkshire.

A British man was swarmed and attacked by a group of teens who stabbed him in the head with the frame of his own bike.

Two Dutch companies are talking merger to create the world’s largest bicycle company, combining Cervelo, Gazelle, Union, Santa Cruz, Diamondback, Raleigh, Redline, XLC and Lapierre under one roof.

A Ugandan cycling club trains for the Olympics 2020 doing double duty as a Kampala bicycle courier service.

So much for atoning for his sins. The head of an African faith group is asking for his conviction to be overturned for fatally running down a Zimbabwean bike rider while speeding and driving negligently.

If you really want to see Eastern Taiwan, you need to go by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Before you show kids how to ride a bike down a flight of stairs, make sure you can ride a bike down a flight of stairs. Ride 20 miles on Friday, 20 miles on Saturday, and drive a few hundred miles around a big oval on Sunday.

And if you’re going to take an illegal ride in a tunnel to deliver a pizza, at least take the damn lane.

 

Morning Links: Leading San Diego bike advocate dies, CA bicycle car license plates, and 2017 Tour de France route

Heartbreaking news from San Diego, as one of the city’s leading bike advocates has passed away.

The news came this morning that Bill Davidson, a passionate fighter for the rights of bicyclists, had died earlier this month of undisclosed causes.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-11-09-14-am

Bill was a reader of this site, and had contributed to it in the past. And he was quick to shoot me an email if there something he thought we should know, or to correct any perceived mistakes.

While I didn’t always agree with him, I always listened to him and respected his opinion. And more than once he managed to change my mind through his detailed and impassioned reasoning. Or at the very least, get me to see things in a different way.

The California bicycling community will be much poorer without him.

Services will be held at 4 pm today.

He was only 53.

………

David Drexler forwards a photo of a bicycling automotive license plate from Oregon, and asks how we can get something like that here in California.

Oregon Share the Road License Plate

Actually, Calbike is already on it.

Even if their webpages aren’t loading properly, for some reason.

………

The Tour de France unveils its route for next year’s edition of the race. The Telegraph says it’s designed to break the dominance of Chris Froome’s Team Sky, while the Guardian says it’s designed for sprinters like Froome. Reuters says it will favor aggressive riders.

Bike racing returns to Colorado following the collapse of the USA Pro Challenge, with the four-day Tour of Colorado stage race; the race is part of the UCI Americas Tour, along with another new four day race in Richmond VA.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks at Sunday’s CicLAvia, and the changes LA has seen in the six years since the first one.

In a rare moment of wisdom, the LA County Board of Supervisors votes to bring all the various interest groups together to craft a single, unified master plan for the LA River; hopefully, that will include bicyclists.

KNBC-4 reports on the call to ban bikes from the LA River bike path in Elysian Park. There’s almost no chance of an actual ban, but it’s yet another reminder to always ride safely around people who are walking.

Evidently, we have a budding bike racer in the making, as Pink’s five-year old daughter takes third in her first BMX race; her father is former motocross champ Corey Hart.

Pasadena’s Gooden Center will host their fourth annual Richard Selje Ride for Recovery on Saturday the 29th, with rides of 100, 62 and 25 miles benfitting Pasadena’s oldest non-profit recovery center.

Someone stole three bikes worth $1000 each in a smash and grab burglary from the ElectroBike store on Main Street in Santa Monica.

Serious Cycling in Agoura Hills is hosting a SoCalCross Happy Hour Tour this evening, ending with a few cold beers at Ladyface Ale after the ride.

 

State

A Costa Mesa man dropped his bike and fled onto the 405 Freeway to avoid a drug bust, shutting the freeway down for ten minutes early Tuesday morning.

Police seek witnesses after a 92-year old Newport Beach bike rider suffered major injuries in a crash Monday night.

Irvine’s ARB Cyclery is holding a shop ride, followed by a screening of a new documentary about Ride 2 Recovery a week from tonight.

San Diego beach communities continue to fight against bikeshare stations, while the owner of a bike rental business claims the city’s bikeshare system has cost him $120,000 over the past two years.

Apple Valley will begin work on a 2.75 mile multi-use path along the Mojave River next week.

Calbike honors the founder of Santa Barbara’s Bici Centro with the organization’s 2016 Dreamer Award.

Sad news from Kern County, where a bike rider was killed in California City Monday morning.

 

National

A new bike helmet will monitor your heart, signal your turns, allow you to communicate with other riders, and send a text alert if you fall off your bike; no word on whether it will actually protect your skull.

The historic Colorado casino town of Black Hawk, which famously — and unsuccessfully — tried to ban bicycles a few years back, is now trying to lure mountain bikers by building 12 miles of singletrack in the mountains above town. Which is not the same as welcoming bicyclists on the main street through town.

Once again, a bike was a getaway vehicle, as Kansas grocery store was robbed by a man with a mask who made his escape by bicycle.

A St. Louis man is alive today because his heart rate monitor warned he was having a heart attack while he rode. And the first person who came along after he got off his bike just happened to be a doctor.

A Chicago cyclist won the title as the fastest bike messenger at the North American Cycle Courier Championship last week.

Chicago advocates call for an unbroken, 27-mile long bikeway along both branches of the city’s eponymous river.

A road raging Connecticut driver faces charges for assaulting a bicyclist and throwing his bike across the road after he right hooked the rider, who had responded by yelling what “may” have been a swear word.

In a bizarre case from upstate New York, a woman committed suicide by handcuffing herself to a mountain bike and riding into a lake.

New York hopes more protected bike lanes will help the city close the cycling gender gap. Meanwhile, an editor for Gear Junkie takes a white-knuckle ride with a bike messenger through the city’s streets.

A South Carolina teacher starts a crowdfunding campaign to give all 650 students in her school a new bicycle for Christmas; GoFundMe tossed in another $10,000 for winning the company’s competition for the most successful school crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Vancouver business leaders oppose construction of a permanent separated bike lane on a busy commercial street, citing stats saying only seven percent of shoppers arrive there by bike. Which is kind of like saying don’t build a bridge because only a handful of people currently swim across the river.

Many cyclists ask motorists to give them at least an arm’s length passing distance; a Montreal man will settle for a pool noodle. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A London bike rider is knocked on his ass when a scooter rider cuts directly into him.

A new short film from Apple shows Rapha designers crafting their new line on iPads.

The award for learning Gaelic goes to an Italian cyclist.

A Kiwi cyclist was saved by his fellow riders when he suffered a heart attack during a crit while medical staff were occupied with a crash.

Even in extremely auto-centric Australia, the city of Adelaide decides future streets will be built to favor pedestrians and cyclists while reducing vehicular traffic; naturally, one city councilor complains that it’s social engineering.

 

Finally…

Anyone can lead police on a car chase; it takes skill to lead police on a 20-minute bike chase because you don’t want a ticket for an open container. Clowns may be creepy, but they’re not bike thieves.

And once again, don’t ride your bike over another man’s Lamborghini.

………

Thanks to everyone for your kind words yesterday. It’s been a rough 24 hours, but I’m glad to be back at work.

 

Morning Links: Bike the Vote rates county sups, email for Active Trans funding, and The Cannibal comes to CC

We ended the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive with 35 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — beating our revised goal of signing up an average of one new member a day!

Thank you to everyone who joined as part of the drive to help make this a more bikeable and livable community. And if you missed out on the membership drive, you can still join any time.

………

Bike the Vote LA grades candidates for county supervisor in next week’s California primary election.

BTVLA County Sup

You are planning to vote — and cast your ballot to support bicycling — right?

………

Calbike is asking you to email your state legislators to support a proposal to add $100 million dollars for active transportation funding to the state budget.

………

The long-promised Culver City branch of the bike-friendly, meat-themed New York restaurant The Cannibal — named after cycling legend Eddy Merckx — has finally opened; where else can you grab some cochinita pibil pig head and chain lube after your ride? And according to LA Magazine, you’ll get a free beer if you ride your bike there.

Speaking of Merckx, things aren’t looking good for the restaurant’s namesake, as he could be facing kickback charges to supply bicycles to Belgian police.

………

As long as we’re on the topic of restaurants, Adam Ginsberg reminds us about the No Kid Hungry program to end childhood hunger in America and ensure every kid has enough to eat. Over 200 chefs and restaurant professionals will ride from Carmel to Santa Barbara at the end of this month to raise funds for the charity and call attention to the problem of childhood hunger; so far they’ve raised just over 40% of the $1 million goal.

Meanwhile, members of my college fraternity will be departing from Long Beach on the 17th on one of three cross-country bike rides to raise funds for people with disabilities; the annual ride typically brings in over half a million dollars for charity.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg says there was substantial community support for a road diet on dangerous Sixth Street, from Fairfax to La Brea, at last week’s community meeting; in fact, one speaker was upset the plan didn’t extend east of La Brea.

The LAPD is adding extra patrols on five of the city’s most dangerous intersections, including two each on Alvarado and Broadway.

Santa Clarita junior high students performed a concert on Tuesday to remember fallen Santa Clarita cyclist Rod Bennett; when cyclists arrived to place a ghost bike for Bennett Tuesday evening, they found one was already there. Meanwhile, a memorial will be held for the popular music and math teacher on June 9th, with a Ride of Silence in his honor on the 11th.

Santa Monica elementary school students rode to class as part of the city’s Bike It Walk It campaign. Thanks to Evan G. for the link.

Adam Sandler is one of us, as he bikes the ‘Bu with his feline helmeted daughter.

 

State

A 22-year old San Diego man is under arrest for the drunken hit-and-run that left a 13-year old bike rider with serious, but thankfully non-life threatening, injuries. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

San Diego Magazine recommends four area group rides to check out.

 

National

Bicycling lists five group rides that are all about having fun.

Consumer Reports rates kids bike helmets.

A financial website offers five ways your bike can make you richer. They forgot #6 — use your bike as a getaway vehicle. Or maybe that comes under commuting to work.

The Car Connection is the latest site to call for an end to using accident to describe car crashes. Nice to see the movement has spread to the automotive world.

A North Dakota woman says it should be a felony to kill someone with your car, after her husband was killed while riding his bike.

A Michigan motorist says bikes don’t belong on roads because we have other places to ride. And apparently, because cars don’t have brakes.

A Buffalo NY letter writer says if the city is stuck with bike lanes, then riders should be licensed, forced to wear reflective gear, and police must crack down on all those law-flouting cyclists. Because evidently, every driver in the city now obeys the letter of the law.

God apparently needs those New York bike lanes for church parking more than the people on bikes do for riding.

Who has the right of way when a DC bike rider calls dibs on passing?

A Maryland pastor has written a book sharing the insights he’s gained while riding his bike.

New Orleans says it’s done talking, and should be ready for bikeshare next year.

 

International

A Toronto columnist says never mind all the vehicles parked in bike lanes, it’s those damn scofflaw cyclists that are the problem.

A British writer projects that at the country’s current rate of spending on bicycle projects, it will only take another 2,297 years to catch up to the Dutch.

Apparently unconcerned with claims of sexism and bullying women riders, Britain’s Chris Boardman says the country’s cycling director was forced out by a lynch mob. Because as long as you’re winning medals, it doesn’t really matter how you treat women cyclists, right?

Romania plans to promote bike commuting by providing vouchers to purchase a bike to ride to work.

Tragic news from Cameroon, as one of the nation’s top cyclists was killed when the peloton crashed into a security official escorting a mentally disturbed woman off the race course.

A South African court uncovers a price fixing scheme that caused the price of bicycles and accessories to shoot up since 2008.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to propose building a network of elevated bikeways to get cyclists off the streets. Which is what happens when bike riders are seen as a problem to be solved, rather than people to accommodate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you fall off your bike when a cop tries to stop you, don’t get up and pull a gun after the paramedics treat you. Nothing mends a celebrity marriage like a bike ride on a tropical island.

And evidently, nothing stops a bike thief like a smoke bomb.

 

%d bloggers like this: