Tag Archive for Caltrans

Morning Links: More of same as Newsom vetos Complete Streets bill, and Santa Ana hit-and-run gravely injures bike rider

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Evidently, not much has changed with a new, more progressive governor in Sacramento.

Former Governor Jerry Brown became famous for obstructing bicycle safety bills, to the point that “Jerry Brown” became a pseudonym for a dangerously close pass after Brown vetoed two versions of a three-foot passing law before finally agreeing to the watered-down version we have today.

And yes, I may have had something to do with popularizing that term.

Yesterday, Brown’s understudy, Governor Gavin Newsom, followed in his footsteps by vetoing SB127, the California Complete Streets bill.

The bill would have simply codified what Caltrans has already promised to do — include Complete Streets provisions whenever a roadway under state control is resurfaced or receives a major makeover.

Which is the primary reason Newsom gave for vetoing it.

But anyone who’s followed Caltrans for any length of time knows they’re notorious for promising change, then continuing with the same deadly, auto-centric policies.

Newsom’s veto message says Caltrans is already committed to Compete Streets “where reasonable and feasible.”

Which is simply another of saying if it gets hard in anyway, or anyone complains, just forget it.

And we’re left with a few minor changes to add sidewalks or bike lanes here and there — the “low hanging fruit,” as LADOT described it.

Newsom also cited Caltrans’ brazen, and successful, attempt to sabotage the bill, despite their many pledges of support for Complete Streets. The agency cited an absurdly high projected cost for the measure, claiming it would cost the state an extra $1 billion a year.

Which works out to $4.5 million per mile of blacktop. Even though the average cost of installing painted bike lanes is less that $50,000 per mile.

Usually a lot less.

Meanwhile, the average cost of building sidewalks is just $5.20 per square foot. So a full mile of concrete sidewalk five feet wide works out to $137,280.

Add that to the bike lanes, and double it for both sides of the street, and you’re looking at less that $375,000 per mile.

Just a tad less than that $4.5 million.

Maybe they were planning on some very expensive crosswalks, and a shitload of Share The Road signs.

Or maybe they just didn’t want to finally be held to account.

So once again, people who choose not to drive, for any length of time and for any reason, are left holding the bag.

Along with the communities these roads pass through. And the earth they’re built on.

And once again, we’re left with a self-proclaimed climate governor, like LA’s ineffectual climate mayor, who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the environment and fight climate change.

As long as that doesn’t mean inconveniencing drivers in any way.

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Yet another bike rider is barely clinging to life, thanks to yet another heartless coward behind the wheel.

KTLA-5 is reporting that a man was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle at Main Street and Warner Ave in Santa Ana early yesterday morning.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his or her victim lying in the street in “extremely grave condition” with a head injury.

No description was available for either the driver or the suspect vehicle. Although police somehow concluded that alcohol was believed to have played a role in the crash, but did not explain how.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department’s Collision Investigation Unit at 714/245-8208.

It sounds like prayers or good thoughts for the victim are definitely in order.

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Sad news from Mexico, where longtime pro mountain biker Jordie Lunn was killed while trail riding with friends.

If the name doesn’t mean anything to you, this spectacular stunt from his self produced video series probably will.

The 36-year old British Columbia native was riding a trail in Cabo San Lucas when he fell, suffering a fatal head injury.

He started racing BMX at 11 before switching to mountain bikes at 15, rising to become the second-ranked North American rider in the 2003 World Cup standings.

He also became the first rider to land a Cork 720 a few years later. Even if he misses it here.

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It’s Firefly season again.

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This may be my new favorite song.

Then again, any song about a stolen bicycle, by a band featuring a woman on a tuba, can’t be all bad.

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

A San Francisco police officer is accused of lying under oath about beating the crap out of a bike rider, for the crime of riding a bike on the sidewalk.

After a close pass, a London driver tells a bike rider he “should have used the fucking bike lane.”

Sometimes the problem is just bald-faced bigotry directed to someone made more vulnerable by being on a bike. A British man intervened when a handful of teenagers surrounded a Jewish man, shouting anti-semitic slurs and threatening to take his bicycle. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for allegedly pulling a gun out of his waistband and shooting another man he accused of disrespecting him as he rode past on his bicycle; his bullet passed through the victim, and nearly struck a couple in the living room of their nearby home. Fortunately, the man he shot is expected to survive.

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Local

A Burbank photographer recently completed his 17th ride down the California coast with the Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bike Tour.

A man was fatally stabbed in South El Monte Friday evening after three men got out of a passing car, knocked him off his bike, and repeatedly stabbed him; the victim tried to get back on his bike and ride for help, but only made it another block.

 

State

Former motocross champ Mickey Diamond is in the ICU ward of an undisclosed Orange County hospital with a subdural brain bleed after apparently catching a knee on the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

Over 10,000 people turned out for the 7th annual Open Streets event in Santa Cruz on Sunday.

Uber and Lyft rides could be subject to a small tax if a San Francisco ballot measure passes, with the funds going to public transit and street safety; the proposal got a quick endorsement from Streetsblog SF.

A Marin newspaper attacks a pilot project to put a barrier protected bike lane on the upper span of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge; the paper says the $20 million cost should have gone to better uses, and the space used to add a third demand-inducing motor vehicle lane across the bridge. However, the $20 million is a little more than half the cost paid to add a third traffic lane on the lower span last year.

 

National

A national transportation advocacy group calls for zeroing out funding for new roads and highways.

Uber Eats teams with the Governors Highway Safety Association to provide bicycle safety tips for their delivery riders. Which aren’t bad, for a change.

No, Grit Daily. Apple doesn’t make the Lumos Matrix bike helmet; they’re just selling it through the Apple Store.

An op-ed in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News looks back at the failure of the Interbike Trade Show, while expressing hope for something to take its place.

An Anchorage AK cop is facing an assault charge for punching a man outside his home, kicking him in the nuts and pepper spraying him, then taking him into custody on a false resisting arrest charge; the cop had earlier stopped him for riding without lights, then drove to his home with a ticket after the man was abusive, refused to show his ID and simply rode off. Thanks to Eric Grisiwold for the heads-up.

Good idea. Activating the bicycle sensor at a Portland traffic light will trigger a blue signal to let you know you were successful.

Ed Zink, a Durango CO bike shop owner and co-founder of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic died of a heart attack on Friday; he was 71.

He gets it. A Missouri writer recounts the history of bicycling from the beginning to explain that most bicyclists are utilitarian riders who only need good infrastructure, and fair treatment from law enforcement to protect them from harassment and reckless drivers.

After Tulsa police recovered a disabled woman’s stolen three-wheeled bike in unusable condition, a pair of Good Samaritans gave her another one.

A Queens city official suggests that bike riders need to trade protected bike lanes for a ban on bikes in certain areas — then immediately tries to walk it back.

Things keep getting worse in New York City. A 65-year old man was killed when a driver plowed into his bicycle, after bike lanes were temporally removed for street resurfacing; local residents had been trying to get a red light on the street for years. This is the city’s 25th bicycling fatality, an increase of 250% compared to last year.

The New York Times says, despite predictions, the apocalypse didn’t come when cars were recently banned from a section of New York’s 14th Street.

Life is cheap in New York State, where authorities plea bargained a case of vehicular manslaughter in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider down to a simple hit-and-run injury case; the driver could be out in as little as 18 months. Also good to know that driving at nearly three times the legal limit is just an effing misdemeanor in the Empire State.

The University of Alabama football team has sent a football and jersey signed by star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the family of a 12-year old boy who was recently shot and killed by another boy because he wouldn’t give his bicycle; his family plans to have him buried with both.

 

International

The director of safety policy and advocacy for Bird writes to a Toronto newspaper, arguing that shared e-scooters are as safe as bicycles.

An English bus driver was fined the equivalent of over $750 for passing a bike rider so close the rider could reach out and touch the bus, after the victim was accused of having a vendetta against the company — and told by a cop he should get a hummer, instead.

Just in time for California fire season, a British sports site rates the best bike masks to protect against pollution. They should also come in handy for your next crime spree or DIY urban activism campaign.

Over 10,000 people have been busted for distracted bicycling in the four months since a ban on cellphone use while riding went into effect in the Netherlands.

Haute couture cycling, anyone? Vogue says the best way to visit Italy’s Puglia region is by bicycle.

A Kiwi driver says two bicyclists crashed into his trailer while descending a hill at 30 mph because local officials forced him to remove the convex mirror he’d placed at the entrance to his driveway, which would have allowed him to see around the blind curve.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good question. A gaming site wants to know if digital dopers should get banned in the real world, too.

 

Finally…

Think of it as critical mass for zombies. Don’t ride around that tree, just ride through it.

And if you’re going to suffer a life-threatening heart attack, there are worse places than in front of three off-duty doctors participating in a charity ride.

 

Morning Links: Failing presidential candidate calls for licensing bike riders, and CiclaValley to open LA River segment

Not exactly the best way to establish your climate change cred.

The same day CNN held their series of presidential candidate climate change town halls, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who didn’t participate, said he’s considering requiring licenses and registration for bike riders.

And if that’s not enough to force New Yorkers back into their cars, forcing bikeshare riders to wear bike helmets should do the trick.

“We have to think about what’s going to be safe for people first, but also what’s going to work,” the mayor said of the helmet requirement. “Is it something we could actually enforce effectively? Would it discourage people from riding bikes? I care first and foremost about safety.”

Although if he truly cared about safety, he’d start by banning motor vehicles from Manhattan. And taking steps to tame them everywhere else.

Questioning whether 4th tier presidential candidate is trying to undermine his own city’s bikeshare system, Streetsblog succinctly captured their take this way —

De Brainless: Mayor Endorses Meritless Helmet and Licensing Requirements for Cyclists

New York’s Daily News summed it up best, though.

Whether or not he moves forward with the license requirement, the mayor said he plans to crack down on cyclists who break traffic laws, despite little evidence suggesting that bikes are a menace to public safety.

Maybe just he’s hoping that attacking people on bikes could boost his presidential poll numbers up to a full one percent.

Mandatory bike helmet photo by malcolm garret from Pexels.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew will be speaking at the official opening of a new section of the LA River Greenway — aka the LA River bike path — at 10 am today.

Look behind the Coffee Bean if you want to attend.

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You still have time to call your state assembly member to urge the passage of SB 127, the state’s proposed Complete Streets bill.

CA Streetsblog breaks down exactly how Caltrans lied in an attempt to defeat the bill exaggerated its costs in their required estimate to state legislators by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog profiles new Caltrans Director Adetokunbo Toks Omishakin, saying he has a background in healthy living initiatives, Complete Streets and activite transportation with AASHTO, Nashville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

So maybe there’s hope for the agency yet.

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A live streaming bike rider in an undisclosed European city suffered a “brutal cycling accident” when he caught a wheel in some railroad tracks and fell off his bike, suffering a boo boo on his hand.

Maybe they define brutal just a tad differently over there.

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

A Stockton man is under arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally using his car to attack a bike rider, who was able to jump off just in time to avoid getting hit; his bike was not as lucky.

The New York man with a long rap sheet arrested for intentionally running down and killing a bike-riding burglar says he was just trying to get close enough to catch the man, and blamed the victim for maybe doing something to mess up his brakes and steering. No, seriously.

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Local

Looks like we won one for a change. Buried in an LA Times story about LA’s self-appointed anti-everything NIMBY extortionists Fix the City suing to halt the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program — which would stop much-needed affordable and market-rate housing — is the news that the group’s challenge to the Los Angeles mobility plan recently failed. That should free the city to finally get started on building bike lanes and safer streets. They should change the group’s name to something else with one more letter that also starts with F, which would be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Hats off to the Eastside Riders for installing a ghost bike for the still unnamed victim of the hit-and-run in South LA earlier this week.

Metro will start using automated cameras on the front of their buses to catch drivers illegally using the Bus Only Lanes. Maybe they could put them on all their buses to catch people parking in bike lanes while they’re at it.

 

State

A 78-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode though an intersection without yielding, and collided with an SUV. As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses who saw him violate the right-of-way.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is proposing a road diet and bike lanes to tame dangerous Mission Blvd. It’s been 30 years since I lived down there, but Mission was a nightmare for bike riders and pedestrians then, and I doubt it’s gotten any better since.

The San Diego Reader rides the county’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail stretching from Oceanside to downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, though not all of it is paved.

Once again, a dangerous pass has taken the life of a bike rider, as a man riding in Fresno County was killed when a driver passed a semi and struck his bicycle head-on as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

The Stanislaus County town of Riverbank is adopting LA’s new permanent memorial signs to honor a fallen bike rider. With a little luck, maybe they will spread throughout the state.

Santa Clara County is considering a paved, 10-mile bicycle superhighway to encourage bike commuting.

Every first and second grader at a San Francisco school got a new bike, thanks to a Colorado nonprofit that’s given away 2,900 bikes to kids in low-income schools across the US. Make that 2,984 now.

 

National

Bicycling considers when, and when not to, wear bike gloves.

Financial website Market Watch considers the best bike helmets under $100. Which could come in handy the next time the stock market crashes.

Speaking of bike helmets, a new study shows drugs, alcohol and not wearing a helmet are frequent factors in e-scooter injuries — even though most of the injuries involved leg, ankle, collarbone, shoulder blade and/or forearm fractures, which bike helmets aren’t likely to prevent. And evidently, dangerous streets and bad drivers don’t play any role at all in e-scooter injuries.

Hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem anymore. A Denver-area man was killed when his bike was struck by two separate drivers, both of whom fled the scene, three minutes apart; police found what they believe is the first vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

A Minnesota woman got a minor miracle when someone spotted her stolen bike for sale on Facebook, and she arranged to meet the seller so police could swoop in and make the arrest. Which is exactly the right way to do it, without putting yourself at needless risk.

A researcher at an Ohio university used kitty litter panniers on her bike to ride around town and prove that squirrels eavesdrop on birds to tell when it’s safe to come out and find their nuts. Those are the same panniers my brother is currently using on his epic bike tour down the left coast, though I don’t believe he’s planning to eavesdrop on birds, squirrels or anything else.

Forget parking. The newest argument against a bike lane bordering New York’s Central Park is that it would cause problems for carriage drivers and their horses. Because really, what could be more romantic than forcing bike riders to contend with impatient drivers?

Police are looking for a Florida man who rode up to a bike shop on his bicycle, then left it behind and rode off with a customer’s $11,000 bike that had been left for service.

Apparently tiring of telling kids to get off his lawn, an anonymous Florida columnist says bikeshare bikes are an eyesore, and it’s a bicyclist’s own damn fault for whatever it was that happened to him. Or her.

 

International

A British woman had been up all night before she killed a bike rider while driving back home; studies show drowsy driving is as bad, or even worse than, drunk driving.

If there’s a major bike race in front of your building, you might want to hide your rooftop cannabis garden; although under Spanish law, it may or may not be legal.

Successive groups of Indian bike riders rode around the world nearly a century ago, each one inspiring the next — despite encounters with elephant herds and Amazon headhunters. Or deciding to drop out and stay in America.

Tokyo considers a government proposal to sort-of require bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without a penalty if they don’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says it was mixed results for the US team at the Mountain Bike World Championships, marked by grit and close calls, but no results. Admit it, you didn’t even know the mtn bike worlds took place over the weekend. Well, I didn’t, anyway.

USA Cycling hired former Olympic silver medalist and world champion Mari Holden to coach the women’s road cycling team leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing will encourage you to practice sprints like someone chasing you down the street waving a machete. What is it with bike-riding people — okay, men — wacking off in public lately?

And when your near drowning is captured on live TV.

Morning Links: New bill requires Complete Streets on state roads, and SD man suffers life threatening injuries

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to make changes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians whenever they maintain or improve any state highways.

And that includes requiring Complete Streets on state-owned surface streets such as LA’s Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd, and Pacific Coast Highway in the ‘Bu.

SB 127, sponsored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Weiner, would shift the focus of California’s transportation department to serving all road users, not just the ones in the big, dangerous machines. Unlike what it has done throughout its existence.

It would also require state transportation funding programs to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

According to Streetsblog California,

Senator Wiener said his goals with S.B.127 are threefold: to increase safety, to help people live healthier lives by encouraging more use of active transportation modes, and to create better climate outcomes by giving people the option to use environmentally friendly travel modes. “That can only happen if it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“Caltrans has historically treated these surface streets as if they were the same as a major traditional highway,” said Senator Wiener, “and they’re not. We need to make sure these streets are safe for all users.”

The bill will undoubtedly meet opposition from entrenched motorist interests, just like any other recent Complete Streets bill that seems to threaten the automotive hegemony on our streets.

But it could make a real, and lasting, difference in the way Californians get around.

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Sad news from San Diego, where a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bike in the Linda Vista neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a message from a police watch commander makes it clear he’s not expected to survive.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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That hardly ever happens in real life.

After a very close call, a truck driver pulled over to apologize to the bike rider he nearly ran down.

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There’s a reason why bike racers ride instead of rapping.

https://twitter.com/AstanaTeam/status/1084816681682300928

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Local

Santa Monica provides a three-month update on the city’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program, including 52 bike and scooter parking zones throughout the city, with plans for up to 50 more. That compares favorably with LA’s zero.

A Dallas magazine says Santa Monica-based Bird has quietly backed off plans to give cities money to build more bike lanes, after apparently running out of venture capital cash.

State

San Jose’s mayor is back at work following his New Year’s Day bike crash.

A San Francisco-based company is using cellphone data to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic to improve traffic planning.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes local officials to task, correctly noting that Vision Zero requires a total commitment to safety and responsibility. Someone please tell our mayor and city council that. And LADOT. And the LAPD. And LA Vision Zero.

National

If you own a 2017 or later Specialized with Specialized’s Future Shock front road suspension feature, you should stop riding it immediately and take it back to a dealer for repairs under a recall.

Business Insider lists their picks for the best bike helmets in five different categories.

Bicycling says doing any kind of physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help you live longer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Police in Everett WA are trying to identify a man seen riding a bicycle in the area, after he was found dead in a local park.

A Washington man says if a BMX rider is wearing a mask or a bandana, police should assume they’re criminals and violate their constitutional rights. And let ’em sue if they don’t like it.

Writing in Bicycle Retailer, a staff member from Bike Utah says better infrastructure in the answer to growth in ridership and the bike industry.

Unbelievable. A road raging Illinois driver repeatedly slammed into a bike rider, then ran over him, breaking his arm, leg and pelvis, before she was arrested driving away with his bike still stuck under her SUV. Then was acquitted of attempted murder and six other felony counts a year later by reason of insanity. By that standard, there are a lot of crazy people behind the wheel. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Chicago and New York both held extensive public meetings on how and where to expand their public bikeshare systems — and promptly ignored the results.

A Massachusetts magazine calls for a “radical rethinking” of Boston’s major streets, describing them as “grotesquely overbuilt, inequitably allocating nearly all their space to single-occupant motor vehicles.”

Apparently having missed the memo that bikes are good for business, New York business owners are demanding that the city rip out new bike lanes that were installed as part of a now-cancelled plan to shut down a subway for maintenance. Because parking.

A Philly bike cop sues the department, alleging bias against Italian-Americans.

A Virginia newspaper remembers a local icon known for decades as Bicycle Charlie due to his ever-present bicycle. Except his name was Floyd.

International

The European Union is considering a plan that would require ebike riders to carry liability insurance — which is not required for any other type of bicycles — in an apparent attempt to kill the market for them.

A 12-year old London boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries after riding into the path of a bus as he tried to escape from older boys who were chasing him.

Irish police bust a suspect bike thief, and recover five hot bikes and a stash of coke and weed.

An Aussie rider’s high-end Pinarello road bike is now a melted carbon mess after his add-on ebike hub caught fire — and couldn’t be approached to put it out because the CO2 canisters in his seat bag started exploding.

Three Australian bicyclists suffered minor injuries in a rare bike on bike on bike crash.

No bias here. An Aussie motorcycling group has called for bicyclists to be forced to wear unique numbers somewhere on their body, so they can be charged for violating traffic laws. Never mind that unlike motorcyclists and drivers, bicyclists pose minimal risk to others.

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Jani Brajkovic got off with just a ten-month ban for failing a doping test, after he convinced officials he ingested it accidentally as part of a supplement.

The former team physician for Team Sky and British Cycling faces doping related criminal charges.

Great story about a Cat 2 bike racer from Arkansas, who lost his leg as a result of a crash while playing bike polo — then won a national championship in individual pursuit, along with another silver and a bronze, at the recent Paralympic National Championships.

A 15-year old British boy is the first champion of the five-day E-Bike Desert Challenge through the sands of the Moroccan desert.

Finally…

If you want to lose weight, get a job as a bicycle courier. More proof bike shorts look ridiculous in the absence of a bicycle, no matter what decade you’re in.

And if you’re riding your bike while drunk as a skunk and tossing the empties, half empties and full cans into your bike trailer, put a damn light on it already.

And don’t threaten the cops that pull you over.

Seriously.

Morning Links: Why LA bike riders keep dying, Caltrans gets bike friendly, and Forsyth Cup rolls tomorrow

Yesterday morning, a reporter from outside of LA emailed me with a single, very simple question. 

But the answer was just the opposite. 

She wanted to why Los Angeles continues to be one of the nation’s deadliest cities for bicyclists. 

This is how I responded.

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That’s a complicated question.

There are a number of factors involved, but let’s start with the most obvious. Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, so ignoring any other factors, we could be expected to have one of the highest traffic fatality rates.

We also have roughly 6,500 miles of surface streets, the most in the US. And due to the city’s mistaken obsession with LOS (Level of Service) until recent years, virtually all of those streets have been over-engineered to move as many vehicles as fast as possible, with little or no regard for safety.

That’s complicated by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot. So you have streets that have been designed like highways, despite their original speed limits.

As a result, drivers naturally speed, which results in a continual raising of the speed limit until some LA streets have speed limits of 50 mph or more. And on those that don’t, drivers routinely exceed the limit by 10 to 15 mph — and complain in the rare instances that they get pulled over, because everyone else is doing it.

Add to that the smallest police force of any major city, resulting in just a few hundred officers patrolling the streets at any given time, most of whom are too busy dealing with major crimes to bother pulling anyone over for an illegal U-turn or weaving in and out of traffic. And until recently, police couldn’t enforce speed limits on most of the city’s streets, because LA failed to conduct the speed surveys required by the 85th Percentile law.

So is it any wonder that LA has what may be world’s most entitled drivers, who seem to feel they have a God-given right to do anything they want, with little or no fear of consequences?

Then there’s the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure in the city. While the city made great gains under the previous mayor, who committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes a year, that has trickled to a crawl under the current administration, resulting in less than 10 lanes miles a year. We have just a handful of parking protected bike lanes, no curb-protected lanes — the first is expected to open this summer on South Figueroa — and a few of what are questionably called protected lanes, guarded only by thin plastic flex posts, which are easy to drive over with no damage to your car.

To complicate matters, there is nothing even resembling a bikeway network in Los Angeles. With the exception of Downtown LA, it is virtually impossible to plan a safe route from one part of the city to another. Bike lanes start and stop at random, and usually don’t connect to anything, forcing riders to contend with high speed traffic and aggressive drivers.

As a result, a disproportionate number of LA riders use sidewalks instead of riding in the street, putting them at significant risk when they have to cross a side street or driveway. In addition, LA has a large immigrant population, many of whom ride bikes as their only form of transportation. And many of whom learned to ride against traffic in their home countries, and continue the practice here; in some neighborhoods, salmon cyclists make up most, if not all, of the bicycling victims according to the LAPD.

Do I even need to mention that there is no bicycle eduction in most California cities? Some of the local advocacy groups offer adult bike education, but that reaches only a handful of people each year. And usually not the ones who need it most.

Finally, Los Angeles has a weak mayor political system which gives the mayor limited authority, while placing most of the power in the hands of individual councilmembers. As a result, while the mayor has set some bike friendly policies, such as Vision Zero, actual implementation falls on each councilmember to approve or deny safety improvements in their own districts.

A fear of angry drivers — and voters — has resulted in the cancellation of shovel-ready road diets and bike lanes throughout the city, virtually halting any real progress on Vision Zero, let alone providing any alternative to driving for most people. And famously led to the reversal of several road diets installed in Playa del Rey last year when pass-through drivers, mostly from outside the city, rose up in revolt.

Los Angeles has great potential for bicycling. If the city actually builds out its Mobility Plan 2035, and the bike plan within it — which seems highly unlikely at this point — it will transform itself from the nation’s most traffic and smog-choked city into one of the safest and most livable communities anywhere.

But that’s a big if.

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Caltrans celebrates the last day of Bike Month by discussing the role bikes can play as a legitimate form of transportation in reducing greenhouse gasses.

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If you’re looking for some serious bike action this weekend, check out Saturday’s second edition of the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup under the afternoon skies at the Encino Velodrome.

And enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos while you watch some of LA’s best track cyclists, hosted by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

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The Guardian offers a video explaining why forcing bicyclists to wear helmets won’t save lives.

Just to be clear, I’m a firm believer in using helmets on American roads, and always wear a one when I ride. But they should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

We’ll save a lot more lives by taming traffic and building better bikeways than by making everyone wear a helmet for every ride.

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Speaking of the Guardian, the paper picked up Peter Flax’s story about the death of bicyclist  Mark Kristofferson at this year’s Tour of Palm Springs, and asking why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murdering cyclists.

It’s an important, if difficult, piece.

So if you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes and give it a read.

We’ll wait.

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Local

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler reminisces about Bike Month — and feeling excluded by members of the bike community.

 

State

Congratulations to San Diego for being named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists; newly bike friendly Las Vegas got promoted from Bronze to Silver. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains on the list at the Bronze level, for no apparent reason.

Two participants in next week’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride discuss why they’re riding 450 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic really wants to hate e-scooters, but can’t.

Bicycling lists their take on the best bicycling apps, including the Red Cross’ free First Aid app, for reasons that should be obvious. And lists the 25 best American companies for bicyclists. But you have to have the patience to click through 25 times.

Couldn’t agree more. Treehugger says it’s time to stop arguing about helmets, and start building safe infrastructure.

Nashville gives Bird the bird.

The argument over a proposed protected bike lane in New York’s Sunnyside neighborhood boils down to the same old dispute — business owners want parking spaces, while bike riders just want to stay alive.

The New York DOT puts its foot down, and says a protected bike lane is going to be installed on Queens Blvd, whether or not the local community board approves. Which is exactly what needs to happen in Los Angeles, but won’t.

The hotest perk in Gotham real estate — deluxe bike storage rooms.

Neighbors demand bike lanes along a Maryland highway. But as usual, the call for safety comes after it’s too late.

 

International

Bike Biz looks forward to the first ever World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

A writer for the Weekly Standard spent two months riding his bike along both sides of the US – Mexico border, from Tijuana to Brownsville TX. And says the region has much bigger problems than people trying to cross it to find work.

Montreal will invest $15 million over the next year to improve the city’s bicycling network; they expect to have nearly 550 miles of bike paths by next year, connecting 16 boroughs and four cities.

Toronto celebrates Bike Month by promising to clean up its existing bikeways.

A self-described “keen cyclist” in the London’s Waltham Forest borough says bicyclists have turned a local pedestrian plaza into a death trap. Yet he somehow fails to note that no one has actually been killed by bike riders there. Which is not to say riders shouldn’t show extra care and consideration around people on foot.

A severely disabled British woman plans to ride 2018 miles with her service dog in tow to raise money for assistance dog charities.

According to a new study, potholes and trucks keep people from bicycling on UK roadways; 56% of the people surveyed said they would ride more if they felt safer on the streets. Just like pretty much everywhere else outside of Denmark and the Netherlands.

An Australian bike advocacy group says a petition demanding that bicyclists ride single file and banning bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph has no merit. Meanwhile, another bike group cites massive fraud, suggesting the petition is full of false names, while Cycling Tips says we can all learn from the misguided petition.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great interview with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Cycling Tips talks with Greg LeMond about what he’s learned.

 

Finally…

Your next new tires could come with a complete bike attached. Don’t put aero bars on a gravel bike — or do if that’s what you feel like.

And why wait for someone else to fix your pothole, when you can just do it yourself?

 

 

Morning Links: Political news and endorsements, Caltrans feints at engagement, and how to lose bike vote

Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.

Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.

First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.

While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.

And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.

Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.

………

Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.

In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.

That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.

Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.

But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.

After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.

Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.

………

That’s one way to lose the bike vote.

A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.

Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.

However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.

When they cast their ballot for his opponent.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

People on bikes are heroes once again.

Or make that twice.

A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.

And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.

………

They’re one of us, too.

Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.

New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.

And Lily Allen doesn’t just sing about riding her bike through London, she actually does it.

………

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.

Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.

………

Local

The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.

Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.

This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.

 

State

AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?

An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.

Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.

Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.

Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.

An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.

Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.

Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.

Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.

 

National

Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.

Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.

Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.

Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.

A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.

A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.

 

International

A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.

Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.

A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.

Hundreds of Londoners stage yet another die-in to protest the dangers bike riders face on the city’s streets.

London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.

A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.

FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.

A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.

British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.

After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.

And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Caltrans meeting Tues, driver chases cyclist onto bike path, and plants close LA River bike path

Bobby Peppey sends news of a couple bike-related developments from Caltrans.

First up is a short survey — available in English and Spanish — regarding the state transportation department’s shift from a strictly motor vehicle-focused agency to planning for an “integrated multi-modal transportation network (including walking, biking, transit and driving) that meets the needs of all users.”

Next, he reminds us that Caltrans will host a public meeting and webinar tomorrow afternoon to discuss the latest developments on SoCal projects and gather public input.

He notes that the last meeting was filled with government bureaucrats who showed little sympathy for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users; in fact, he says he was the only person in the room who wasn’t paid to be there.

As he puts it,

I brought up the intransigence of Los Angeles City Councilmember’s towards building a safe, comfortable system of bicycle infrastructure in our City at the last meeting and hope to not be the only one doing so at the October 25 the meeting.

Let’s hope he’s not.

………

Speaking of Caltrans, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards news that bikes will be barred from Camp Pendleton for the coming week, although riders will still be allowed on the 5 Freeway.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-1-42-12-am

………

A rider connecting with the Rio Hondo trail in Rosemead was literally chased onto the trail by a road raging pickup driver, who was only stopped by the bollards at the entrance to the path.

All, apparently, because the cyclist had the audacity to make a left turn into the crosswalk leading to the path by legally using the left turn lane, which did not delay the driver behind him by a fraction of a second.

The rider, identified only as Askeee, notes that he aggravated the situation by flipping off the driver after he honked at him, asking “since when is that an acceptable reason for vehicular assault?”

To which the answer would be, at least since police blamed me for the road raging driver who plowed into my rear wheel after I flipped her off when she angrily honked at me like that.

(Lesson #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.)

Even though that would never be considered an excuse for any other form of assault with a deadly weapon. No one would think it’s okay if someone pulled out a gun and shot the other person after being given the bird, yet the simple fact of being behind the wheel seems to make it okay.

Let’s hope he filed a police report. And that the police take it seriously this time.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

At least now we know why the LA River bike path will be closed until the Ides of March; the Army Corps of Engineers will be using it as a staging area to remove non-native vegetation from the river channel.

Which does not explain why no notice was given, or why no one seems to give a damn about the needs of bike riders who use it.

At least the Corps promises LADOT has installed a detour path and signage. Which, based on what they offered last year, will likely be just as confusing, circuitous and impractical as ever.

CiclaValley urges everyone to turnout for a public workshop with the Army Corps on November 7th to express your outrage and demand a better solution, as well as emailing them and Congressman Adam Schiff; the LACBC offers some key talking points.

………

Damian Kevitt, hit-and-run survivor and founder of both Finish the Ride and SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — sends word that SAFE Support is up for one of this year’s LA2050 Challenge Grants.

You can cast your vote to support the project here.

………

Local

Jesse Creed’s upstart campaign to oust anti-bike lane incumbent city councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th District has gained the support of some big names in Hollywood.

A Metro committee approves funding for expansion of the DTLA Metro Bike bikeshare into Pasadena, Venice and the port cities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Although the Venice and port city expansions are most likely an attempt to stave off expansion of the Santa Monica and Long Beach bikeshare systems into those areas.

Richard Risemberg writes about the impending departure of Michelle Mowery from LADOT to work on the LA River bike path. Maybe she could start by convincing the Army Corps of Engineers to keep it open a little more often.

The Pasadena city council will receive a report on the city’s bike safety efforts up to this point, along with plans for the future at tonight’s meeting. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Megan Lynch also forwards news that a cyclist was air rescued after crashing on Glendora Mountain Road; no word on the condition of the rider.

A new master plan including roughly 100 miles of multi-use trails in the Castaic area will go before the LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday; the plan also includes three proposed bike skills park amenities. Whatever the hell that means.

Cycling in the South Bay posts the honorees from last weekend’s Fourth Annual South Bay Cycling Awards, and offers a truly devastating first-hand report from the survivor of a life-changing cycling collision.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that killing a Long Beach bike rider with a screwdriver is still murder, even if you kill the wrong person by mistake.

 

State

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty federal agent tried to stop thieves from taking his bicycle by jumping into the back of their pickup, and went on an unwanted seven mile ride through San Diego; both suspects were captured as  they fled after crashing the truck.

A Redlands couple is nearing the end of a 10,000 mile tandem journey around the US.

Over 1,000 cyclists participate in Sunday’s Santa Barbara 100 cycling event to raise Cottage Children’s Medical Center Family Assistance Fund.

San Luis Obispo adopts a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities within 14 years.

Modesto police pitch in to buy a new bike for a junior high student after they were impressed by his detailed crime report.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Bike Trail finally opened Sunday, allowing bicyclists to ride from Emeryville to Yerba Buena Island. And back.

 

National

A pair of Minnesota cities are declaring their DIY bikeshare systems a success; the systems make refurbished bicycles available to anyone for free, no ID necessary; surprisingly, 85% of the bikes were returned last year.

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss is one of us.

Gotham entrepreneurs are doing their best to cash in on the popularity of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

The driver of a stolen car was arrested after deliberately trying to run down a Philadelphia bike cop; fortunately, the officer was uninjured, though his bike appears to have seen better days.

Bighearted Alabama cops dig into their own wallets to buy a bike for a teenager after his was stolen.

Now that’s more like it. A Florida driver got ten years for a drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider.

 

International

A Vancouver bike shop worker was sentenced to 18 years for shooting his boss two years ago following a dispute over a rental agreement.

Bicyclists are under attack by anti-bike terrorists around the world, as someone has tossed tacks on the roadway leading to London’s Regent Park twice in the last week; the site is the planned route for one of the city’s cycle superhighways.

A British woman missed her own mother’s funeral after a truck driver forced her bike off the road and into a ditch, leaving her too injured to attend.

A member of Britain’s Parliament says not enough is being done to protect bicyclists from injury and intimidation. No shit.

A former Catholic church in Belgium is now a shrine to the Cannibal.

How about taking your next bike vacation in Tanzania?

An Aussie cyclist has been fined the equivalent of $115 for passing a stopped car on the left — which would be our right; it violated the law because the car was signaling for a left turn.

New Zealand opens a beautiful new sculptural underpass for cyclists in Christchurch.

Sad news for manga lovers, as popular manga artist Hiroyuki Shoji was found dead next to his bicycle in Japan last week.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not need you to keep it stable. From wrestling champ to BMX podium, before the age of eight.

And the best seat for a bike race is directly above the course. Especially when you’re a black bear.

 

Morning Links: CA exceeds national average in bicycling deaths, Caltrans studies bike crashes in LA County

Maybe we’re not quite as bad as it seems.

It’s been reported that California leads the nation in bicycling fatalities, with Florida a close second.

That doesn’t take into account the difference in population, though; as the nation’s largest state, it’s not surprising we lead in this most unwelcome category.

But if you look at the rate of bicycling deaths on a per capita basis, you get a very different picture. Stats man Ed Ryder created a graph to put things in better perspective, showing the Golden State ranks sixth in deaths per one million population.

Deadliest States by Population

Which is still too damn high.

As his next chart clearly shows, California has exceeded the national average every year since 2004. And probably before that.

CA bike deaths re: US

Which leaves us with the question what are we doing wrong?

And what are we going to do about it?

You can read his full report here.

………

Caltrans and UCLA offer a detailed study of bike crashes in Los Angeles County based on the CHP’s SWITRS data, correlated with ridership based on local bike counts.

Both of which can be problematic; SWITRS relies on voluntary reporting of crashes by local police agencies, not all of whom provide accurate or timely data.

And bike counts only offer a snapshot of who is riding in a given area at a given time. Unfortunately though, it’s the only data available for many areas, since both the city and county of Los Angeles have long failed in their responsibility to collect accurate ridership data.

Without accurate data, it’s impossible to make the informed choices necessary to meet save lives and meet the needs of bike riders.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the study yet. However, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious called out a few key points.

  • Right turn only lanes double the risk for cyclists
  • LA Metro Rapid bus lines have a higher risk of bicycle crashes when compared to other primary roads without rapid bus lines
  • Locations with the highest crash risk tend to have below-average bicycle ridership
  • Roads with vehicle volumes over 20,000 have significantly higher average crash counts and crash rates for bike riders
  • There is a higher number of crashes and crash rates in poorer, non-white neighborhoods than higher income, white neighborhoods
  • People of color have higher risk of bike crashes than whites
  • If you ride your bike in high income neighborhood, you’re less likely to crash your bicycle
  • Vehicle speeds above 30 mph are associated with about 30-40% more crashes, but about 200-300% higher crash risk per cyclist
  • Lower-hanging fruit in terms of safety interventions is where ridership is moderate but risk is high

Masoner credits CABO’s Jim Baross for forwarding the report.

………

Great post from Detroit’s Wheelhouse, explaining how to drive like you don’t want to murder cyclists.

Seriously, this should be required reading for anyone who drives, or is even thinking about it.

………

Britain’s Lizzie Armistead has been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite missing three drug tests in a 24-hout period. And despite ample warnings. However, a doping official says they made the right call to reinstate her.

A South Korean cyclist is the first casualty of the Olympics as he gets mirrored on a training ride.

NBC presents the full schedule of Olympic cycling events, which will be available for live streaming.

Nineteen-year old South African cyclist Keagan Girdlestone is making a near-miraculous recovery after he was nearly killed crashing into a support vehicle during Italy’s Coppa Della Pace in June.

Former doper and ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is now in the ganja rub business.

With the departure of its founder, Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge has semi-officially bitten the dust. Although it could be replaced by a seven-stage race for amateurs who can afford it.

London’s mass RideLondon race will be the first and only British event on the WorldTour pro cycling calendar next year.

Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will feature a new 50-minute race for junior riders.

………

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the people who pistol-whipped a doctor after he refused to pay $150 for allegedly damaging a bicycle.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on the South LA Vision Zero focus group, stressing the importance of getting to know the South LA community before “presuming to plan for it or construct campaigns targeting it.” Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has his own comic thoughts on Vision Zero.

Anti-bike incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo has raised $250,000 for his re-election campaign, far more than grass-roots challenger Josef Bray-Ali.

A writer for The Source tries the new Metro Bike bikeshare, and she likes it.

LA Downtowner visits The Wheelhouse coffee shop/bike shop in DTLA. Not to be confused with the aforementioned Detroit establishment of the same name.

CiclaValley begins counting down LA’s ten most essential climbs.

 

State

Streetsblog writes about the state legislation that would lower the fine for drivers who roll through red lights to make a right turn. Meanwhile, the LA Post-Examiner takes a look at the issue as well, and gives this site a shout-out in the process; thanks to Tim Forkes for the link and the kind words.

Costa Mesa police are looking for the thief who stole a $3,000 bike from a 22-year old man’s garage while he was spending his birthday at Children’s Hospital donating blood; he used the bike for physical and emotional therapy after suffering a series of medical issues. Seriously, there’s a special place in Hell for whoever took that bike.

A Santa Barbara rider explains the origins of the city’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride in 1979.

When a Bakersfield man agreed to meet someone at a park to sell a bike he’d advertised on Craigslist, the buyer stole his bike, then shot at him as he pursued the thief’s car. Best advice I’ve seen for similar situations is to meet the other party at the local police station for any exchanges.

A bike rider killed in Sacramento last month had moved to the city to start over after kicking his addiction to drugs.

An Auburn mountain biker was rescued after a fall when people heard his screams for help.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains how to lower your legal responsibility when organizing a group ride.

A 23-year old Spokane man is facing a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider when they quarreled over a pair of speakers.

A second man has been charged with spreading tacks along a popular Denver-area cycling route; the suspect is a cousin of the man charged last week. And both should go away for as long as the law allows.

A Houston restaurant is under attack by eco-friendly, bike riding vandals.

A Chicago jazzman has been practicing his saxophone under an overpass for decades as drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians go by.

Evanston IL residents bring out the pitchforks and torches after a new protected bike lane is installed, calling it dangerous and poorly thought out; one protester noted that drivers had to move into the parking lane to let a fire truck pass. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Michigan bike riders are increasingly wary as roads become more dangerous.

A New Hampshire man has been commuting seven miles to work by bike for the last 16 years, towing his dog behind him in an open trailer.

New York police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run murder of a bike rider last month; police recovered the car the driver used as he appeared to intentionally swerve into the bike lane to run down the victim from behind.

The Alabama road rage victim whose dreams of riding across the US were shattered when a rampaging truck driver ran over his bike will leave the state with fond memories after all, as people donated over $4,000 to keep him going.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says bicyclists want to get off the road as much as motorists want them to.

After being confronted by a racist, road-raging driver and his passengers, an Edmonton, Canada bicyclist says he won’t back down in the face of online harassment, because as a bike rider, he already knows what it’s like to be marginalized.

Brompton’s quirky folding bikes have achieved cult status.

A cop in the UK was honored for saving the life of a bike rider trapped under the wheels of a double-decker bus.

The mayor of Paris says she wants to “give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them.” I’d love to hear LA’s Mayor Garcetti say that. And mean it.

Israeli border guards take a bike from an eight-year old Palestinian girl and throw it into the bushes, apparently to reserve the road for Jewish settlers; only one of the two officers involved was disciplined.

A Sydney, Australia bike rider suffered third degree burns on his upper thigh when his iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Not every cyclist who gets it wrong is an “arrogant arsehole,” a newly minted Perth, Australia bike commuter warns; they might just be incompetent.

Relatives of a Philippine cyclist fatally shot by an angry driver call for restraint in the hopes that he may be the last victim of road rage.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be an ad. How to spot a female cyclist. Besides that whole woman on a bike, thing, that is.

And it’s a rocky and humiliating road to being a “real” cyclist.

 

Morning Links: Bike race-inspired wallpaper, and bikelash begins to newly bike friendly Caltrans

Just in time for today’s start of Italy’s Giro Rosa and tomorrow’s Tour de France kickoff, a Brit company wants to paper your walls with Tour de France-inspired images.

Great Britain’s Murals Wallpaper offers images of classic bicycles with the headings Grand Tour, Vélo and Peloton.

All that’s missing is Le Doping. Motor and otherwise.

Tour-De-France-Grand-Tour-Web

Tour-De-France-Pelaton-Web

Tour-De-France-Velo-Web

Seriously, if I still had an office, one or more of these would go up as soon as I could have them shipped overseas.

………

Now that Caltrans has finally embraced bicycling and walking, the inevitable bikelash has begun.

A writer for the Spectator calls the agency’s 2040 transportation plan more of a social-engineering than transportation-engineering document, complaining that we need to fix the “roads, freeways, and bridges that most of us actually rely on to get places” instead of building bike lanes.

………

The Santa Monica Spoke says your voice is needed to get the Feds to count bikes when determining performance measures for our national transportation system.

………

Mark your calendar for Bike With Your Dog Day on July 10th.

Seriously, the Corgi would flip my bike the first time she saw a squirrel or motorcycle. Let alone a sandwich lying in the street.

………

On the eve of the Tour de France, the Wall Street Journal calls Peter Sagan the rock star of cycling.

French rider Nacer Bouhanni will miss the tour after injuring his hand punching out some loud drunks in the next hotel room.

Nineteen-year old Roseville CA cyclist Neilson Powless is being compared favorably to Lance and LeMond as the future of American cycling. Hopefully more like the drug-free latter than the former.

American BMX rider Amanda Carr will be competing in the Rio Olympics. Just not for the US.

And Cycling Tips remembers a time when Donald Trump didn’t ridicule government officials for riding a bike, but actually sponsored a bike race back when he still had hair.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine provides an in-depth profile of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti; unfortunately, it barely touches on transportation, let alone bicycling.

Los Angeles offers a $50,000 reward for the person who mistakenly shot a ten-year old girl in the head while aiming for a man on a bicycle in Boyle Heights last month.

LAist wants to know if you live car-free in LA.

Discover Los Angeles rides from Playa del Rey to Torrance Beach along the beachfront Marvin Bruade bike path.

The LACBC is hosting a pre-4th of July Sunday Funday Ride through the Westside this weekend.

Palos Verdes Estates officials promise they’re already working on plans to improve safety for cyclists in the community.

 

State

Bike-friendly Newport Beach city councilmember Tony Petros will step down at the end of his first term.

KPBS asks how blocking bike lanes is good for the environment, as plans for San Diego’s North Park neighborhood call for widening roads to alleviate congestion.

Celebrate the 4th with a little Mammoth Mountain downhill, on skis and two wheels.

An off-duty Santa Barbara cop interrupts his bike ride home from work to stop a racially charged knife attack on a homeless man.

A Fresno bike shop relocates to nearby Hanford after the owner gets fed up with break-ins at the former downtown location.

No bias here, as a San Jose paper says Atherton is about to be invaded by hundreds of bike riders.

San Francisco cyclists call for safer streets at a meeting of the city’s Vision Zero committee, after two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; one of the victims was remembered as a rising star in the tech world.

In the wake of the deaths, San Francisco’s mayor announces 57 new high priority Vision Zero projects.

CamelBak teams with local groups to give away 80 kid’s bikes and helmets in Petaluma.

 

National

People for Bikes is taking applications for a new program to double or triple bike ridership in select city neighborhoods while reducing crashes. I’d like to nominate Hollywood, thank you. That leaves nine others.

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington DC, still have contributory negligence laws that keep cyclists from recovering any damages in a crash if they’re found just one percent responsible.

Portland’s bikeshare system will offer adaptive bikes for disabled riders starting next year.

A Washington appeals court rules that bicycles are an integral part of the state’s multimodal transportation plan, so cities must make streets safe for bike riders. Now if we can only get California courts to follow their precedence.

More bighearted cops, as Fairbanks AK police replace an autistic man’s stolen bike.

Colorado authorities widen the shoulder of a highway after a cyclist was critically injured while riding on the fog line; fortunately, the victim is slowly recovering.

A 15-year old Nebraska boy tows his lawn mowing business in a trailer behind his bike.

San Antonio TX is facing a lawsuit for diverting funds from a transportation sales tax to build sidewalks and bikeways.

Good news from Kalamazoo, as the most seriously injured survivor of the hit-and-run DUI wreck that killed five riders and injured four others is released from the hospital.

The Boston Globe looks at the ritual of installing ghost bike memorials. Which are needed far too often, there and here.

Caught on video: New York’s 8th Street bike lane is consistently filled with everything and everyone but bike riders.

Pastors of Black churches in DC’s Shaw neighborhood continue to fight plans for bike lanes. Evidently, African Americans must not ride bikes to church in DC. Then again, they might if they had a safe way to get there.

A CNN reporter samples the coffee-infused business bikewear from the Ministry of Supply.

Santa Monica’s CycleHop is one of three companies still in the running to build the planned New Orleans bikeshare system.

 

International

This is why you have to lock up a ghost bike. A Canadian man simply walks off with one, claiming he didn’t know its significance. On the other hand, he probably did know it didn’t belong to him.

Windsor, Ontario’s mayor enjoys his first bike ride to work so much he promises to keep riding over the summer.

Former Brit pro David Millar ranks the world’s ten best places for a bicycling vacation. Surprisingly, he puts Boulder and Aspen CO number two, ahead of Tuscany and anywhere in France, while Maui checks in at number ten.

UK fashion designer Paul Smith discusses his lifelong love of cycling, as well as his new line of bikewear.

Bike riders aren’t always the good guys. A BBC presenter is the victim of a racist attack after she intervenes with a bicyclist who was telling an Asian man to go home. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the UK these days?

Vice offers photos of Berlin’s brutal Bike Wars competition, which one of the founders describes as a destruction derby with bicycles.

The Guardian asks if inter-city bikeways like Germany’s coming bicycle autobahn could revolutionize our daily commute. I’d settle for a decent bikeway connecting Los Angeles with itself. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Aussie woman is in critical condition after colliding with a bicyclist.

 

Finally…

Maybe if you didn’t call it the Loop of Doom it might go better next time. Probably not the best idea to throw a knife at — let alone try to shoot — the bike-riding acquaintance you owe money to.

And whatever you do, don’t slap a fireman if he tells you to stop your bike.

Just… don’t.

Thanks to Helper for the link.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan back to Transpo Comm, and Caltrans hosts bike/ped plan meeting few can attend

Our first ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive stalled yesterday at 11 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which means we still have 89 to go to reach our goal of 100 new members before the end of this month.

So drop what you’re doing and sign up now, because the LACBC may be Southern California’s leading voice bicycle advocacy organizations, but it’s only as strong as its membership. And they need your support.

Not to mention you’ll get free bike swag when you sign up, with special discounted memberships starting at just $20.

………

LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 comes back before the city council’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, the city Planning Commission unanimously rejected proposed anti-bike amendments to the plan, including proposals to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the plan.

Now those amendments will be discussed by the committee, which includes Paul Koretz, who unilaterally stopped implementation of the Westwood bike lanes, and is the author of the amendment to remove them from the plan.

Opponents of the plan are likely to be out in force, so your voice needs to be heard, as well.

If you can’t make it, you can email the committee members at the addresses below.

You can find contact information for the rest of the city council here.

………

If you’re not doing anything this afternoon, Caltrans is hosting a public forum to discuss the first California State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, immediately followed by a stakeholder’s meeting.

Hats off to Caltrans for their brilliant strategy to avoid overcrowding by holding the meeting at a time when most people can’t attend.

………

In Bike Month news, Santa Monica will formally proclaim May as National Bike Month at tonight’s council meeting.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host an Eastside Mural Ride this Saturday, which should help you get in the mood for Sunday’s CicLAvia.

CICLE hosts the 10th Annual Bike Week Pasadena next week, including a Pasadena Restaurant Tour, Women’s Bike Night and a Bike-In Movie Night.

A Santa Clarita hospital will work with the city to co-sponsor five pit stops for Bike to Work Day on the 19th.

The Orange County Transportation Authority officially kicks off bike month with a morning bike rally this Thursday; OC’s Blessing of the Bicycles will be held on the 16th, followed by the annual Ride of Silence on the 18th.

And evidently, it’s National Protected Bike Lane Week.

………

Giro d’Italia riders and fans pause to remember Belgian rider Wouter Weyland five years after he lost his life during the third stage of the 2011 race.

Meanwhile, teams are gearing up for the Amgen Tour of California, which kicks off at San Diego’s Mission Bay on Sunday; CiclaValley provides a preview of the race.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a visual look at Sunday’s Los Angeles Bike Festival at Grand Park in DTLA.

The LACBC profiles former pro mountain biker Neil Shirley, editor of Road Bike Action Magazine.

A man rode his bike up to a South El Monte business Monday and fatally shot a 22-year old co-worker; he was wrestled to the ground by his fellow employees and held until sheriff’s deputies arrived.

 

State

Not even motorcyclists are safe in San Diego bike lanes. Not that he should have been riding there to begin with.

San Bernardino opens a bike co-op operated by the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

That didn’t take long. An automated San Francisco bike counter was vandalized less than a week after it was installed.

A San Francisco cyclist suffered a shattered clavicle in a hit-and-run when a motorcyclist tried, and failed, to pass him on the right while traveling with a group of four other motorcycle riders, none of whom stopped.

SFist offers advice on bike etiquette the City by the Bay. And surprisingly, gets it right for the most part.

 

National

Nevada officials approve the first steps in a planned three-mile bike and pedestrian path on Lake Tahoe’s east shore.

A writer for the LA Times visits Moab UT for a little mountain biking, finding even the beginner trails tougher than advertised.

A Wisconsin town embraces an ex-con, despite a life of crime that began with stealing a bicycle and a candy bar when he was just eleven years old; he spent all but six months of the last five decades either on the run or behind bars.

A Massachusetts professor says it’s time to stop treating bicyclists and pedestrians like second class citizens. Amen.

Around 2,000 bicyclists ride down a deadly upstate NY highway in the Slow Roll Buffalo to call attention to plans to convert the road to a parkway.

A New York news site lists the things they hate about bike riders in the city. Most of which you’ve got to be pretty damn cranky to object to.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from the 9/11 Memorial to DC to honor fallen officers.

A Charleston SC bike lawyer says bicycling is a civil rights issue, and as important as any in its ability to positively change lives and communities. As much as I believe in biking’s ability to bring about positive change, I’d suggest voting rights, fighting poverty and equal rights for all minorities ranks a hell of a lot higher.

 

International

In a case of locking the barn after the horses escape, a judge orders the closure of the elevated Rio bikeway that collapsed last month, killing three people. Meanwhile, a Brazilian soccer player advises anyone thinking about attending the Rio Olympics to just stay home.

Toronto plans to invest $200 million dollars over the next ten years to build over 325 miles of bikeways.

London’s new mayor promises to accelerate the bicycling progress the city has already made.

Britain’s 51-year old Countess of Wessex joins with members of the Royal Military Academy to train for a ride from Edinburg to Buckingham Palace. In case you’re wondering, she’s the wife of Prince Charles’ baby brother. And yes, I had to look that up.

A gay Glasgow bike rider gets a round of applause for shutting down a homophobic street preacher.

The Limerick, Ireland man who rode his bike on a body armored shotgun shooting rampage gets a well-deserved five and a half years.

 

Finally…

As if drivers weren’t happy to do it, now your bike jacket can tell you where to go, too. Seriously, if a road raging driver slams into a car on purpose, it’s not an accident.

And congrats to LA, the unofficial road rage capital of America.

But we already knew that, right?

 

Morning Links: CHP says oops about I-15 ticket but not cuffs, and Hollywood once again used to fight bike lanes

Oops.

It was exactly a month ago that we discussed the case of Jerry Counts, the 75-year old man who was handcuffed and ticketed for riding his bike on I-15 north of San Bernardino.

Even though that’s one of the sections of freeway where bikes are legally allowed.

And even though few, if any, motorists are ever pulled from their cars and cuffed for a simple traffic violation.

Now Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word from Caltrans that the CHP has agreed to rescind the ticket. Though apparently, not the indignity of being handcuffed on the side of the road in full view of hundreds, if not thousands, of passing motorists.

They also offer a map showing where you are legally allowed to ride on a freeway in Caltrans District 8, along with a list of freeways in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where bike riding is prohibited (see below).

That list was sent to the CHP to distribute to all of their officers in the area in hopes of avoiding another fiasco like the Counts case.

Still, if you plan to ride in the area, you might want to print it out and take it with you to avoid riding where you shouldn’t.

And to show any officers who try to stop you where you can.

District-08--Prohibiting-Bicycles-on-Freeway---2-Counties

………

Once again, Hollywood is being used as an excuse to fight bike lanes.

In a case reminiscent of LA’s first green bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA, London city barristers have complained that planned bike lanes will make it impossible to film movies in a section of the city that has played host to productions like Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Silk.

Never mind that New York’s protected bike lanes and Citi Bike bikeshare docks seem to pop up in movies and TV shows with ever increasing frequency, without hurting filming in the city one bit.

In the LA case, Hollywood production companies successfully argued, over the objections of bicycling community, that the bright green paint initially used for the bike lanes on Spring would be impossible to remove in post production, and would forever ruin the street as a filming venue.

Even though it took a film editor all of 20 seconds to do it.

But in a city that places a higher value on pimping itself out as a movie set than on livability and the safety of its citizens, city leaders kowtowed to the studios and agreed to strip the paint off. A darker and less visible shade of green was then used to repaint it in sections, rather than the entire lane.

Not satisfied with their victory, filmmakers complained that even that would be a problem and argued for the complete removal of the bike lanes, more because it interfered with parking their trucks than the actual effect it had on the filmmaking process.

But as anyone who has ridden a bike in Downtown LA can attest, the bike lanes haven’t seemed to limit movie shoots in the slightest.

And haven’t kept studio trucks from parking in them, either.

………

Colorado pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo has lost her memory, as well as suffering numerous broken bones, following a major crash in the final sprint of the San Dimas Stage Race here in California.

According to her father, she barely remembers being a cyclist, let alone what she had for lunch.

A gofundme account to help with her medical expenses has raised nearly $40,000 of the $75,000 goal.

………

Local

LA considers traffic calming measures, including bike lanes and safer crosswalks, on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.

CiclaValley and family experience a week of bad drivers. In other words, pretty much like any other week here in the big city.

LA Independent examines West Hollywood’s coming bikeshare system, which will be incompatible with the Metro system planned for DTLA, and eventually, next door in Hollywood.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton questions the value of this weekend’s mini-open streets events in Lawndale and Burbank. Both seem designed to provide the least possible inconvenience to anyone in a motor vehicle, without any significant benefit to the community.

A Santa Clarita cyclist thanks the man who witnessed someone steal his bike, then chased down the thief and got it back undamaged.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune looks at BikeSGV and their monthly family friendly bike trains through the valley, including Sunday’s Love Mother Nature Ride.

The Samaritan Center is hosting the 4th annual Ride for the Homeless in Simi Valley this Sunday, with rides ranging from five to 100 miles. Thanks to Project Hero Ventura for the heads-up.

 

State

A San Diego teacher and triathlete was surprised with a new beach cruiser as promotion for next month’s Amgen Tour of California.

Six hundred cyclists will ride into Santa Barbara Sunday on the final leg of the L’Etape California, following the 106-mile course planned for Stage 3 of the Tour of California.

A Stanford publication asks if the birthplace of mountain biking will become the worst place for mountain biking as Marin County continues to restrict offroad riding.

Bike and pedestrian projects would likely be included in a proposed $3.6 billion Sacramento transportation tax measure, though as much as 75% of the funds would be spent on road projects.

 

National

Men’s Journal says smarter bikeshare programs, including bike libraries and pedal-assist bikes, are coming to a town near you.

Unbelievable. A New York truck driver gets five summonses for various technical violations, but nothing for killing a cyclist earlier this week.

The country’s oldest bike race started in 1939 in New Jersey because the son of a local bike shop owner wanted to sleep in his own bed before a race.

A South New Jersey paper offers advice on how to teach a reluctant child to ride a bike.

Former San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds rides his bike to work at his new job as batting coach for the Florida Marlins, and takes it with him when the team goes on the road.

 

International

Not surprisingly, anger is growing in Brazil over the Rio bikeway collapse that killed three people, as ties between the contractor and city officials emerged.

A British man is riding the entire length of South America unsupported to raise funds for people in Nepal; however, halfway through he’s raised just $425.

A UK writer wonders why more of his countrymen aren’t captivated by watching men in Lycra battle it out on the barely paved roads of Europe.

A bike-riding Brit serial groper gets a well-deserved four years in prison.

Liverpool, England will use thermal imagery to detect bicyclists at intersections to give the riders an advanced green light ahead of other traffic.

Yet another hero cyclist, as a bike rider in the UK wrestled down a man armed with a machete who was attacking a pregnant woman, and had threatened other people.

My favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate measures the cycling support of the country’s political parties.

The Philadelphia Sun says Flanders is considered the cycling capital of Europe. Which may came as a surprise to the Dutch.

A 70-year old Aussie bike rider was stabbed by a young woman when he refused to let her use his phone.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about motor doping, except how to do it yourself. Evidently, cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings so they don’t follow a bikeway into a lamp post.

And who would have thought a column by a self-described bike-hating dyke would be the funniest thing I read today?

 

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