Tag Archive for Carlsbad

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

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While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

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The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

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Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

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A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

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Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

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Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1366440759113756674

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

OC bike path could be allowed to just wash away, and Carlsbad man gets 20 years for attacking bike-riding ex-girlfriend

It’s Day 12 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Elizabeth T, Michael W and Wayne H for their generous support to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! And especially for the kind words that came with it.

So take a few minutes right now to join them is supporting this site, and help keep all the freshest bike news coming to your favorite device every morning!

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says a meeting of the California Coastal Commission could determine whether a Capistrano Beach bike path will be allowed to wash away during the winter.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

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A Carlsbad man got a well-deserved 20 years behind bars for viciously attacking his 72-year old ex-girlfriend in a Costco parking lot — while still wearing an ankle bracelet due to previous threats against her.

Sixty-for-year old Charles Higgins was sentenced to 19 years and eight months for inflicting corporal injury on a former significant other, after a jury deadlocked on an attempted murder charge.

Up until the attack, the victim, who wasn’t publicly identified, rode her bike up to 100 miles a week. Now that’s been stolen from her by her injuries and a subsequent stroke.

Higgins was still under a protective order to keep away from her at the time of the attack.

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This isn’t the only site that needs your help right now.

And deserves it.

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GCN offers tips for ebike maintenance.

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Overcoming broken bones, stolen bikes and a global pandemic in a four year quest to stitch together a two minute video of mountain biking in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult tricycle a Clovis special needs man relied on for transportation.

Sad news from Richmond, where a 56-year old man was killed after allegedly running a red light on his bicycle. As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who saw him do it.

Fremont moves to improve safety by banning cars from a narrow canyon road, while leaving it open for hikers and bike riders.

Cyclist traces the history of Mountain Home-based Specialized.

 

National

Ped-assist cargo ebikes could change delivery as we know it.

Cycling Tips’ Caley Fretz looks back on ten bike products he loved this year.

‘Tis the season. A Knoxville, Tennessee nonprofit donated 259 kids bikes to a local rescue mission.

More proof New York bicycling is still booming, as bicycling rates have doubled along a popular Brooklyn waterfront greenway.

Too typical. An upstate New York letter writer calls for a greater awareness of bicycle safety. But all the advice falls on the people on two wheels, not the ones in the big, dangerous machines that pose the biggest threat to them.

Central American immigrants band together to demand better treatment for New York food delivery riders, including fair wages, bathroom access and a place to shelter from the cold. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A kindhearted Alabama cop dug into his own pocket to have a three-wheeled bike repaired for a special needs student with cerebral palsy.

The eight best mountain bike trails in relatively flat Alabama.

A reminder not to dump your old tires, after a Florida manatee finally freed itself from the bike tire that was stuck around it for nearly a year.

 

International

Cycling News considers the best women’s ebikes for all kinds of riding.

An English woman somehow miraculously survived a 100 foot fall onto rocks after accidentally riding her bike off a seaside cliff. But she didn’t escape unscathed, suffering a broken skull and right eye socket, a dislocated and broken jaw, two broken wrists, two broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, a broken elbow and some broken fingers, as well as a “horrendous” bone-deep lacerated thigh.

Kindhearted UK cops bought a new bike for a man after discovering him riding a lightless kids bike to get to work.

There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who would intentionally vandalize a British toddler’s balance bike.

A rider in the UK learned the hard way not to leave his $8,000 bike unattended, even if his son needed help with a pay toilet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Greg LeMond’s hometown newspaper celebrates the award of the Congressional Gold Medal to America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you promise the 12 best bike trailers to ride with your dog, but only manage to name one. No, throwing your bike at a police cruiser to avoid getting busted is not a step up from threatening officers with a samurai sword.

And a futuristic ten grand tri bike probably isn’t the supercar of tomorrow.

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This one’s for Elizabeth T, who requested more sleepy corgi puppy pics when she made her donation, which I’m happy to oblige.

Even if it is a little light on the belly view she asked for.

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

Update: Man killed in Carlsbad train collision in what may be first San Diego County bike death this year

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 24-year old man was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks in Carlsbad Thursday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly named, was riding east on the sidewalk near Grand Ave and Washington Street when he rode onto the tracks, and somehow struck the side of the train around 7:30 pm.

He was taken to an Oceanside medical center, where he died.

Sadly, he was on his way to meet friends in Carlsbad Village, the Times of San Diego reports.

A street view shows the railroad crossing is controlled by warning lights and crossing arms. However, the arms don’t extend to the sidewalk where the victim was riding. No explanation is given for why he apparently either didn’t notice the train, or was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be the first in San Diego County.

As we’ve noted many times before, a train crash is the easiest kind of collision to prevent because you know exactly where it will go, and get a clear warning of when it’s coming; it’s also the most difficult to survive.

So never ride through or around crossing arms or warning signals, and never stop on the tracks.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim has been identified as 37-year old San Diego County resident Jason Lynn Holsinger, despite initial reports that the victim was 24.

The San Diego medical examiner confirms that Holsinger rode around the crossing gates and into the side of the train.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Lynn Holsinger and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

San Diego-area bike rider killed when minivan driver drifts into bike lane

Bad news from San Diego’s North County, as a 46-year old man was killed while riding in Carlsbad Wednesday evening.

According to the San Diego County Coroner’s office, Eric Steven Glasnapp was riding in a marked bike lane on College Blvd roughly one mile north of Palomar Airport Road at 6:32 pm when a minivan drifted into the lane and hit him from behind.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene just nine minutes later.

No drug or alcohol use was suspected.

And yes, Glasnapp was wearing a helmet; it clearly wasn’t enough to make a difference. A street view shows a virtual freeway with a 50 mph speed limit; a collision at that speed is not likely to be survivable, with or without a helmet.

Sadly, he leaves a wife behind.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Diego County; it’s also at least the fourth cycling death in Carlsbad since 2010. That compares to 56 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eric Steven Glasnapp and all his loved ones.

Update: Carlsbad cyclist killed in hit-from-behind collision

Damn it.

This is not what I wanted to write about tonight. And not the news I wanted to come home to today.

I wanted to write about yet another amazing CicLAvia, marred only by the decision to use just half of the Venice Blvd roadway, resulting in massive bike back-ups from the once-again grossly underestimated crowd.

Anyone who thinks less than 200,000 bike riders turned out to enjoy the day probably wasn’t there; personally, I’d put the number at over 250,000.

Well over.

And I wanted to tell you about a friend I met along the way, and finally unveil the identity of one of this site’s leading contributors.

But all that will have to wait.

Because we have to add yet another name to the growing Southern California body count. Or we would, except once again, the name has been withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

And once again, there’s almost no information available, despite virtually identical reports from four different sources.

According to the reports, two cyclists were riding north in the bike lane on El Camino Real north of La Costa Ave in Carlsbad around 7:40 this morning when one of the riders was rear-ended by an apparently driverless and apparently invisible vehicle, since there’s no description of the driver or the car.

There’s also no description of where the riders were positioned on the road, or any conditions that may have contributed to the collision, despite a number of apparent witnesses. Although that doesn’t stop some of the commenters from drawing their own conclusions.

The victim suffered a head injury, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A commenter on the local Patch website describes him as a La Costa Valley resident, who leaves behind a wife and three young children.

This is the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Eric Ringdahl of Carlsbad; thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. Comments below describe the vehicle as a red or maroon sedan, possibly a Corolla. The driver remained at the scene — and how sad is it that something like that even has to be noted? A comment from Stone says the weather was clear and traffic light at the time of the collision, suggesting the victim should have been clearly visible.

Update 2: I’ve just been forwarded an email from the Traffic Division Commander with the Carlsbad police, which confirms what many have been saying, that the driver fell asleep at the wheel coming home from working the night shift. However, he indicates that the driver was a man, rather than a woman, as virtually everyone had assumed, myself included.

According to the Commander, there was no indication of impairment and no intent to cause harm or break the law, which eliminates the possibility of serious criminal charges such as assault or homicide. However, he says the collision will result in a lengthy investigation by the Carlsbad Police and the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office, and that the results of that investigation will be forwarded to the county DA for review and possible prosecution.

And that’s one of the major problems with the California Vehicle Code.

There is, to the best of my knowledge, no specific legal requirement for motorists to remain alert behind the wheel — let alone awake. Unlike many other states, there is no blanket prohibition against careless driving. We assume that all drivers are required to be alert and aware of road conditions at all times, to operate their vehicles carefully and safely. And most of all, to not kill anyone.

But that’s not necessarily the case.

Thanks to Chris Menjou for the information.

Update 3: The San Diego Union-Tribune confirms that the male driver told police he had fallen asleep while driving home form work and drifted into the bike lane, where he struck Ringdahl. And despite finger pointing in the comments here and elsewhere, the police say he was wearing a helmet and “riding properly in the bike lane” when he was killed.

The paper says it should take somewhere around a month to complete the Medical Examiner’s investigation, at which time the driver could be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, if they find the crash was caused by the driver’s carelessness or inattention. 

In addition, according to a comment from Kim, a CaringBridge page has been set up to raise funds for Ringdahl’s family.

Thanks to Philip Young for the heads-up.

Killer hit-and-run driver who hid in bushes faces six years; swift justice in Monrovia

The bike justice beat goes on.

It wasn’t that long ago that drivers who killed or maimed cyclists seemed to drive off with barely a slap on the wrist. But lately, there seems to be a steady drumbeat of convictions, even if some drivers still get off far too easy.

Maybe that speaks to the pressure we’ve been applying in our demands for justice.

Or maybe it just speaks to the unacceptably high number of serious cycling cases currently clogging the courts. Or the sheer idiocity of those behind the wheel.

Case in point, Julianne Elyse Thompson was convicted after pleading guilty in a bizarre case in which she ran down and killed 64-year old Arthur John Jacobs in Carlsbad. Then fled the scene at high speed, only to be discovered hiding in the bushes across from an apartment complex where she’d abandoned her car.

Thompson plead guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run causing death. Her blood alcohol level was measured at 0.25 after her arrest — over three times the legal limit, and approaching the level that can cause death.

She is expected to be sentenced to a well-deserved six years in state prison.

……..

In a case of remarkably swift justice, a driver has already been convicted in a Monrovia hit-and-run that occurred just this past Monday.

Yes, Monday.

Jason Travers was arrested about an hour after a 5:42 pm hit-and-run that left a cyclist with non-life threatening injuries. The 25-year old rider, identified as Paul Tetu, was hit from behind while attempting to make a left turn, and thrown 20 feet through the air.

In a sign of the sheer stupidity demonstrated by some drivers — especially those foolish enough to flee the scene of a collision — Travers called police to report he may have been in a collision, after apparently seeing the story on the news. But swore he wasn’t the one who hit the cyclist.

Needless to say, police investigators found evidence connecting him to the crime. Which they may never have found if Travers hadn’t attempted to craft a case of implausible deniability.

He showed much better judgement at his arraignment on Wednesday, entering a plea of No Contest to the hit-and-run charge; sentencing will take place next month.

……..

Finally, Orange County deputies stopped cars in an effort to find the hit-and-run killer of Randy Isaacs, as his family pleads for justice.

Isaacs was killed after putting his children to bed at his parents house, while riding his son’s bike a few blocks to the room he was renting after separating from his wife.

Hit-and-run driver kills cyclist in Carlsbad; driver found hiding in bushes

It’s happened yet again.

Another hit-and-run, another dead cyclist in North San Diego County, only a few miles from where Jim Swarzman was killed in April.

This time, though, the alleged drunk driver was found before she had time to sober up, hiding in some bushes near where her car was found.

According to multiple reports, 64-year old Arthur John Jacobs of Vista was riding southbound near the intersection of El Camino Real and Cassia Street around 9:45 pm last night when he was hit by a vehicle allegedly driven by 23-year old Julianne Elyse Thompson. A witness reportedly told police that Thompson’s vehicle hit the curb and some bushes, then sped off into the nearby Villa Loma apartment complex.

When police arrived, they found Jacobs lying in the street; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

After a brief search, Thompson was found hiding in the bushes near where her vehicle, which has not been publicly identified, had been abandoned. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run drunk driving.

This is the 43rd confirmed traffic-related cycling fatality so far this year, and the 10th in San Diego County; one other cyclist was killed in a shooting this year. It is also the third fatal hit-and-run death of a cyclist in SDC this year, and the second in which the driver was known to be intoxicated.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

San Diego-area cyclist killed on Sunday

Yet another Southern California cyclist was killed over the weekend.

According to a number of news reports, a 50-year old Poway woman was killed while riding her bike in Carlsbad on Sunday; authorities are withholding her name until relatives can be notified.

The North County Times reports that she was riding north on South Rancho Sante Fe Road with her boyfriend when she attempted to turn left onto Calle Barcelona near the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas.

As she entered the left turn lane, she hit the curb on the center divider and lost control of her bike; in a struggle to regain control, she swerved back into the left through lane where she was hit by an oncoming car. A photo from MSNBC shows that the driver clearly tried to stop but was unable to avoid her; she died at the scene.

In light of the recent debate over the unacceptably high rate of bike deaths in Orange County — more on that later today — she did not run a red light or stop sign and wasn’t riding in a group, well behaved or otherwise. And whether she signaled or was riding side-by-side had nothing to do with this collision.

Not that any death is acceptable, of course.

This time, at least, it seems to be a case of rider error. Police note that drugs or alcohol don’t seem to involved, though no mention is made of whether the driver was distracted or exceeding the speed limit.

This also serves as a reminder that it’s always important be aware of road conditions and the traffic around you, and can be better to let yourself fall than struggle to stay upright and risk getting hit by oncoming cars.

Even when you’re not in full control of your bike, it’s often possible to choose when and where you want to land by shifting your weight in the direction you want to fall.

For instance, had she let herself fall to the left instead of struggling to stay upright, she would have risked going over the narrow median and landing in the path of south bound traffic; if there were no cars coming, that might have been a viable option. Or she could have made herself fall to the right, which probably would have kept her in the left turn lane and out of the way of through traffic.

Either way, she might have ended up hurt.

But chances are, she’d be alive.

It doesn’t do any good to play armchair quarterback and analyze what she should have done. She reacted in the moment, undoubtedly out of instinct and fear.

The point is to train yourself to respond in a conscious and deliberate manner, and maintain as much control over the situation as possible.

Even when you can’t control your bike.

………

The Beverly Hills City Council will discuss the reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd through the city at tonight’s council meeting. This will provide an opportunity for cyclists to argue for bikes of be accommodated in the new plans, and end the current dangerous black hole between the bikeways of West Hollywood and Century City; current plans include consideration of a bike lane in one direction only. The meeting starts at 7:30 pm at Beverly Hills City Hall.

………

The Source offers instructions on how to load your bike onto a bus; helpful advice for those of us who haven’t tried it yet. UCLA offers a new Android app for campus bike lockers. Mayor Villaraigosa plans a Wednesday press conference to officially announce CicLAvia. If Long Beach is truly going to be one of the nation’s most bike friendly cities, it has to design bridges that work for everyone. An actor who was about to quit the profession stars in the upcoming movie Peloton as a cyclist who was about to quit the sport. Santa Rosa gets a bike-activated beacon to warn motorists about cyclists on the road ahead of them. Just Another Cyclist jumps into the helmet debate with both feet, offering an all-too-rare cool-headed look at both sides of the question. Sharrows are coming soon to my hometown. A Colorado cyclist pepper sprays two attacking dogs and their owner, who ends up getting a ticket. The biggest bike news in DC since Tony Kornheiser’s infamous anti-bike rant, as the nation’s capitol unveils its long-awaited bike share program. A personal crusade to stop the salmon cyclists. A New York cyclist is killed on an environmental tour in New Brunswick. A beginner’s guide to fast descents. Bike pools allow you to connect with other cyclists who want to share a ride. Both British teenage inmates who busted out by bike are now back in custody. A new study shows Brit cyclists and motorists would rather not share the road, thank you. After a Bangalore bar bouncer collided with cyclist while escaping after punching a cop, the bar owner takes the rider to the hospital and promises to buy him a new bike.

Finally, if you think riding in L.A. traffic is hard, at least it beats riding underwater.

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