Tag Archive for Denver

Save Amestoy bridge over 101 Freeway, Denver ebike rebates huge success, and LA ends automatic street widening

I saw my first Waymo autonomous taxi in the wild as we passed through Beverly Hills over the weekend. 

I assume the name comes from costing you way mo’ than you think it should. Or maybe it’s just way mo’ dangerous.

And I’m happy to say the corgi is doing better, and was back to her old bad self after sleeping all day Friday. And so am I.

We’re still concerned about what caused it, but hopeful it’s nothing serious.


It was less than six months ago that Caltrans tore down a longstanding pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino, after deciding it was too low for today’s ever expanding vehicles.

Local residents were happy to see it go, complaining that it drew homeless people and pollution. And had no interest in a replacement since they could cross the freeway at Louise Avenue.

Which is fine, if you’re in a car. For people on foot or bikes, that means a long and dangerous walk to get to the nearest underpass, then braving speeding and distracted drivers to traverse busy on and off-ramps.

Now the agency is asking for feedback on a second bridge about a mile away at Amestoy Ave.

Since its construction in 1958, the Amestoy Avenue bridge has aged considerably and no longer meets certain standards. Aside from needing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to the pedestrian ramps, the bridge railing and fencing have also rusted and are in need of replacement. In addition, certain aesthetic elements could be improved to better match the character of the surrounding community. Those could include upgrades to landscaping, lighting and fencing, among other options.

Caltrans seeks community input to determine whether to demolish the bridge permanently, keep it and instead provide upgrades, or neither demolish or upgrade the bridge. The Department is offering multiple ways to provide feedback, including an online survey and two in-person opportunities to talk with project team members.

Note the key word “demolish,” which once again would be a disaster for anyone who walks or bikes in the area, and needs to get to the other side of the freeway.

You can offer feedback online here, or in person at the Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd, on March 18th from 10 am to noon.

So take a few minutes to fight the deadly automotive hegemony of the southern San Fernando Valley, and preserve a much-needed alternative to driving.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton accuses Metro and Caltrans of pulling a bait-and-switch on the 71 Freeway in Pomona.

The long-planned 2-mile long highway widening project was approved with the promise of a pedestrian overcrossing; however, Linton says the agencies have quietly scaled the project back to around 1.5 miles, with no pedestrian component anymore.


We’ve already seen the overwhelming popularity Denver’s ebike program, as new rebate vouchers have been snatched up within minutes of becoming available.

A new report from People For Bikes and the Rocky Mountain Institute, et al, shows just how successful it’s been in achieving the program’s goals of getting people out of their dirty cars, and onto clean and efficient two-wheeled transportation.

And even shows significant financial and environmental benefits over electric vehicles.

  •  Those surveyed rode their ebikes an average of 26 miles per week, replacing 3.4 round trip vehicle trips.
  • 71% of respondents reported using their gas vehicles less often after purchasing their ebike.
  • 29% of respondents indicated they were new bike riders.
  • 67% of the funding went to income qualified residents.
  • Income qualified residents were using their ebikes nearly 50% more than standard voucher recipients.
  • 65% of redeemers using Ride App were riding their ebike at least once daily, and 90% were riding weekly.
  • The average trip length of Ride App users was 3.3 miles, with 84% of trips less than 5 miles, and 65% of trips less than 3 miles.
  • During this time period, shared bike and scooter trips in Denver reached the highest ridership since the launch of shared micromobility, demonstrating the complementary nature of the two city-supported programs.
  • On a per-mile basis, ebikes cost 40% less to operate than EVs and nearly 75% less than ICEVs.
  • RMI found that, in terms of operational emissions, ebikes emit 3% of the CO2e emissions as EVs and 1% of the CO2e as ICE vehicles.
  • Denver’s ebike incentive program saved 0.94 lb 2 per dollar spent, for a total of 2,040 MT 2 avoided emissions per year.

In addition, another new study shows most Denver residents appreciate the city’s efforts to build out a bike network of protected bike lanes and neighborhood bikeways to create a safer and more enjoyable street experience, but don’t feel the city’s paint and plastic flex-posts have made them demonstrably safer.

As has been said by many others, paint ain’t protection. And neither is a flimsy car-tickler plastic post.


The LA City Council voted to end automatic street widening that has somehow been blamed on non-existent bike lanes.


Thanks to Ted Faber for forwarding news that the Ballona Creek bike path was closed west of Overland last week. Let me know if it’s still closed.


Rich City Rides is the East Bay Area equivalent of South LA’s Eastside Riders, a social nonprofit that uses bikes to benefit the greater community.

They have just five weeks to raise $6 million to buy the building they currently occupy, or face eviction and possible closure. And are currently just one percent of the way there.

So if you’ve got a few extra bucks laying around — or maybe a few million you don’t need — send them whatever you can so they can keep making a difference for their disadvantaged community.

And keep the community rolling.


This is who we share the road with.


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

Dr Grace Peng writes about the sheer financial folly of a proposal to rip out the Move Culver City bus and bike lanes through the downtown corridor, so impatient drivers can go zoom, zoom at the expense of everyone else, at least until they clog it up again. She also discusses how the transit lanes have helped a low-income teacher survive without a car.

No bias here. The head of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency fanned the flames of bike hate, stating a “rise in incivility is absolutely people on bikes who are behaving like arrogant, horrible people,” and agreeing with an audience member that bike riders don’t yield. Except for all of us who do, that is. And if you want to talk about arrogant, horrible people, maybe start with the ones who operate a big, deadly machine killing anyone they don’t like, or just don’t see.

Portland bike riders are under attack, as a local bar owner reported repeated attacks from motorists as he rode his bike home after closing, including getting shot with a pellet gun, and a driver who repeatedly tried to hit him in an attack that only ended when he got off his bike and hid in the bushes.

Someone sabotaged a bike lane in New York’s Prospect Park by strewing it with thumbtacks; Streetsblog accurately describes it as a terrorist attack, though police likely won’t. But should.

Edinburgh, Scotland is reinstalling bollards on a formerly protected bike lane, just weeks after they were removed over fears that bike riders might crash into them, after drivers took advantage of the lack of barriers to start driving in the bike lane and parking on the sidewalk.

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

You can’t get much lower than the guy who rode his bike up to steal a van belonging to a cat rescue group — with the cats inside. The good news is, a later tweet reports the van was recovered after being abandoned, with ten rescued feral cats still inside.

British broadcaster Jeremy Vine reports his first bicycling crash of the year — which implies he expects more — was caused when another bike rider ran a red light and crashed into him.



LAist looks at the seven official candidates and three write-in candidates for the CD6 council district seat vacated when Nury Martinez resigned last year in the wake of racist comments on a leaked recording. Meanwhile, the LA Times endorses homeless advocate Marco Santana for the post.

Work is beginning next Monday on the long-awaited Cordova Street bike lanes in Pasadena, with completion expected by the end of the year. Thanks to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition for the link. 

Speaking of Pasadena, a city council committee voted to move forward with a pilot ebike incentive program, overriding the city’s power company, which prefers a wait-and-see approach.

The newly rebranded BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, has restarted their membership dues program after allowing it to go dormant for the past few years, with an individual annual membership $45, and family membership $100 for up to four people.

The New York Times talks with Santa Monica-based long-distance cyclist and model Erick Cedeño, who followed the route of the famed Buffalo Soldiers on the US Army’s 1,900-mile ride on what was state-of-the-art fixed-gear bikes from Fort Missoula, Montana to St. Louis in 1897.



Calbike offers an overview of a long list of new bills in the state legislature, including pilot programs for speed cams and Stop As Yield — aka the Idaho Stop — along with bills to stop pretext stops and searches. But what once again remains missing is any effort to address the epidemic of hit-and-runs in the Golden State, where drivers flee in anywhere from a third to half of all crashes. 

A San Diego teenager faces a long, painful recovery after suffering a broken pelvis when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while waiting to make a left turn on his ebike in Point Loma Heights. Demonstrating once again that there is no lower form of scum than a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to OB Cycler for the heads-up. 

That’s more like it. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to require builders in the Ramona area to offset car traffic caused by their projects by funding bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure. The question isn’t why are they doing it, but why doesn’t state law already require it?

A Santa Barbara woman was lucky to escape with moderate injuries when she was struck by a train while riding next to the railroad tracks.

Oakland’s Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe is going down for the last time, after announcing plans to close at the end of this month; owners blamed the closing in part on a burglary, a flood and effects of the pandemic.



Here’s one way to get conservatives onboard for banning right on reds, as the Daily Mail describes it as a socialist innovation that gained popularity in the communist Eastern Block, but which confuses most European visitors to the US.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explores bicycling’s political divide to explain why more “avid” bicyclists don’t become active in political advocacy. On second thought, don’t bother. His badly misguided take just isn’t worth it. 

Bicycling magazines Road Bike Action and Electric Bike Action bit the dust, after their publisher shuttered both titles.

If your kid has a Ouwoer Kids Bike Helmet purchased on Amazon, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges you to destroy it, then send a photo to the company for a full refund.

The family of the Arizona woman killed in the Goodyear AZ mass casualty crash, which injured 17 bike riders while killing two others, remember her as full of energy; her alleged killer was released from jail after the county attorney’s office sent the case back for further investigation. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised over $157,000 of the $200,000 goal in one week.

A Houston, Texas hit-and-run driver didn’t get away with killing a bike rider, after a witness spotted him driving with the victim’s bike still stuck under his car and followed him home.

The New Yorker points out that the world is still moving towards heavier vehicles, when it should be doing exactly the opposite. Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would increase registration fees for heavier vehicles like massive trucks and SUVs.

The Washington Post reports on the rapid increase in interest in the 15-minute city, in which everything you need can be found within 15 minutes of your home, along with the whackadoodle conspiracy theorists who insist it’s really an attempt to trap you in your neighborhood and deprive you of your freedom.

While we’re at it, WaPo also considers the ugly fights over ebike access on beautiful country trails. Then again, people are probably fighting over access to the ugly ones, too.



The Guardian reports the rapid increase in vehicle weight is resulting a huge jump in tire particulates, which now account for nearly 2,000 times the amount of particulates from motor vehicle exhaust.

Toronto is considering raising the fee for bikeshare bikes to keep e-delivery riders from hogging them.

They built it, and they came. After building out a network of bicycle superhighways and limiting motor vehicle access to the city center, bike traffic in London now exceeds that of motor vehicles. And yes, it’s good news when the bike box isn’t big enoughDemonstrating what can happen in Los Angeles, or any other city with the foresight and political will to reimagine their streets. Which, on second thought, would seem to count LA out.

Hundreds of people rode their bikes past London landmarks in a call to make bicycling safer for women, who make up only 31% of the city’s bicyclists.

A Glasgow driver pled guilty to killing a bike rider while driving on the wrong side of the road, with six different drugs in his system, including street Valium, Methadone and morphine. But other than that, he was in great shape to drive, right?

The British woman who knocked a 77-year old woman off her bike for the crime of riding on the sidewalk has been sentenced to three years behind bars; the victim was killed when she fell off her bike and into traffic, where she was struck by a motorist.

Someone should sic an angry leprechaun on whoever stole a Dublin city counselor’s e-cargo bike when she ducked into a store to buy supplies for a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website highlights what they call the world’s five best cycling routes, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge Loop.

Sad news from India, where the deputy superintendent of police for Haryana state was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle; there’s no word on whether he was on or off duty at the time.

Uganda is drawing bicyclists to a nearly 1,000-mile offroad bike trail through the African plain, combining “breathtaking nature, extraordinary wildlife, and cultural immersion.”

A reminder that women bike riders face dangers most men don’t, as women in Melbourne complain that plans for a new 1.5 mile enclosed elevated tunnel wouldn’t have any escape routes for women in danger.


Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tom Pidcock rode off in a solo breakaway to become the first British rider to win the Strade Bianche; Rouleur calls Pidcock’s “pure, instinctive” attack bike racing at its best.

France 24 says pro cycling’s tech wars are turning the sport into Formula 1.

The 70-year old founder of the Ineos cycling team could be the next owner of the storied Manchester United football soccer team, if he can outbid the Qatari royal family.

Five-time Czech Olympic mountain biker and cross-country skier Katerina Nash was able to avoid a four-year doping ban when she convinced investigators she failed a drug test because she dropped her dog’s medicine on her skin. No, really. 



That feeling when your new sunglasses let you see behind you, too. Or when the pockets on your new bike shorts won’t even hold a candy bar.

And notice the advanced Reverse Superman position.


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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.


In 1986, my sister saved my life 18 months ago

Twenty-three years ago, I was, to paraphrase an early Jimmy Buffet song, God’s own cyclist and a fearless man.

I was living in Denver at the time, and biking was my life. By then, I’d been riding for 6 years and considered myself an expert on all things bike.

I rode a minimum of 50 miles a day, every day, rain or shine. On the rare occasions when something kept me off the bike, I obsessed about it all day, then rode that much harder the next day. Once I even bombed down a mountain pass, passing cars on the shoulder at over 60 miles an hour — without a helmet — well aware that the first mistake I made would be my last.

But then, hardly anyone wore helmets in those days. I certainly didn’t think I needed one, since experienced riders like me just didn’t hit the pavement.

The only risk, in my overly confident mind, was if I was knocked there by a car or another rider. And I’d made a careful study of traffic and defensive riding techniques to make that didn’t happen, priding myself on my ability to read the streets and anticipate the actions of everyone on it.

Pride, as they say, goes before a fall.

This particular day, I was riding fast as I approached a major three-way intersection. To this day, I could still tell you the exact location of every single car as I carved a perfect a turn, leaning hard to the right as my knee barely cleared the pavement.

The only thing I didn’t see was the large puddle of water directly in front of my wheel, left over from a brief thunderstorm earlier in the day.

As soon as my bike hit the water, I hit the pavement, sliding across six lanes of traffic until I hit the curb on the far side with enough force to pancake both wheels.

My clothes were shredded, leaving me no more than a few threads from an indecent exposure charge. Fortunately, one of the drivers who had miraculously avoided me wrapped me in a blanket, secured my bike and drove me to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with a broken bone in my elbow and severe road rash from ankle to chin.

Somehow, my speed and the angle I hit the road kept my head off the pavement, confirming my belief that a helmet was unnecessary.

My sister, though, was not so convinced. The next day, she bought a helmet and made me promise to wear it. Once I was able to get back on the bike, I put it on just to humor her.

And I’ve worn one every time I’ve been on a bike since.

Because as I recuperated, it finally dawned on me that overconfidence is more dangerous than anything I might find on the road. And that every rider hits the pavement sooner or later.

Yet it took two more decades of riding before I used my helmet for more than hair net.

Then in September of 2007, I was riding along the bike path north of Santa Monica, just approaching the new L.A. County Lifeguard headquarters at Will Rogers State Beach, when I encountered a massive swarm of bees.

I’ve told the story before, so I won’t bore you with the details (you can click here if you missed it). But the next thing I knew, I was stretched out on the bike path as a lifeguard pulled an oxygen mask over my face, with no idea how I got there.

The doctors in the ER said I’d suffered a moderate concussion, and the fact that I’d been wearing a helmet had probably saved my life. And as I looked at the cracks veining through its foam lining, I realized they probably were right.

So if someone tells me they started wearing a helmet because of something I said or wrote, it means more to me than they will ever know. Because an accident like that, in a place like that, pretty pretty much confirms that anything can happen, anytime. And anywhere.

I hope they — and you — never need it.

But I can honestly say that my sister’s insistence that I wear one has a lot to do with why I’m still here, and writing this, today.


Police in Pasadena are encouraging kids to wear their helmets — something state law requires. A writer in Seattle examines the age-old conflict over where — and if — bikes belong. Bike culture comes to D.C. A cycling Fox News reporter in Milwaukee documents his encounters with dangerous drivers. Introducing the cycling art of schluffing — something I’ve done since I was about 6 years old. Brayj points out the failure of bike planning at UCLA, as well as calling our attention to tomorrow’s county Department of Public Works meeting to explain why they won’t be building the long-promised extension to the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

Learning the hard way

Gary made a good point the other day.

For all my bitching and moaning about careless, angry and/or indignorant drivers, not to mention the appalling lack of bicycling infrastructure and planning around here, riding in L.A. is usually a pretty ordinary experience. With a little care and caution, most problems can be avoided. And those that can’t usually offer a way out if you can just keep your cool long enough, or react fast enough, to find it.

Still, in all the years I’ve been riding — here in Los Angeles and around the county — I’ve only had four accidents serious enough to require medical care. And at least three of ‘em were my own damn fault.

Like my first serious accident, for instance, back when I was riding 50-miles a day in training for a planned solo cross-country ride from Denver to Key West.

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon following a rainy morning, and I was feeling good, supremely confident in my bike and my own skill as a rider. I approached a busy intersection, paying close attention to traffic conditions; in fact, this day, I can still tell you the location of every car, truck and bump on the road, as I leaned into a sharp right turn well north of 20 m.p.h.

The only thing I didn’t see was the puddle of water directly in front of my wheel.

I was leaning so far into the turn that my knee was just inches off the ground as I hit the puddle. Both wheels instantly slid out from under me, sending me skidding across six lanes of traffic with my bike still tucked firmly between my legs. Somehow, I managed to avoid the cars — or more precisely, they managed to avoid me — and smashed into the curb on the other side with enough force to crush both wheels.

My clothes were completely shredded; my jersey was falling off my shoulders, and only a few loose threads held my shorts and protected me from a complete loss of dignity. Of course, I just wanted to get back on my bike and keep riding, nearly naked or not; a few of the drivers who’d stopped to help convinced me it would be smarter to let one of them drive me to the hospital.

I ended up with severe road rash from my ankle to my chin, along with a broken bone in my right elbow, and my sister gave me my first helmet the next day, which I’ve worn ever since. Of course, that cross-country ride was officially canceled; I ended taking a job in San Diego, instead, while I recovered from my injuries.

And I learned that nothing is more dangerous than overconfident rider.

My next accident came a few years later, as I was riding along the bike path on Coronado Island. A small boy suddenly darted across my path just feet in front of me, and I instinctively laid my bike on its side, since there was no way to stop in time.

That worked. He wasn’t hurt — terrified, maybe, but okay. And his parents couldn’t stop thanking me as I rode home more road rash and another broken bone, this time in the other elbow.

The next incident occurred right here in Los Angeles, when a driver following behind me on a quiet side street started honking her horn for me to get out of her way. She could have easily gone around me, but for some reason, it seemed more important for her to go through me.

Rather than let her jam me into the parked cars, I took the lane, which pissed her off even more — much to my satisfaction, I have to admit. I stopped at the stop sign on the next corner, then just as I started to make my turn, she gunned her engine, lurching to a stop just inches from my wheel.

And that’s when I did the stupidest, most idiotic thing I’ve ever done on a bike. Which is saying a lot, to be honest.

I stopped, turned around and looked her right in the eye, then flipped her off. The next thing I knew, her bumper was going through my back wheel, throwing me to the ground. The result was yet another broken arm, permanent vascular damage to my right calf, and a failed court case that kept me off my bike for over a year.

And teaching me the hard way that some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

Finally, there was my infamous bee encounter, exactly one year ago Friday. I’m still dealing with the last, lingering injuries. And I still don’t remember what happened.

Still, that doesn’t seem too bad for nearly 30 years of riding. Only one of those incidents involved a driver, angry or otherwise. And not a single one was caused by poor planning by anyone other than myself.

So maybe the lesson here is that safe roads and educated, courteous drivers are important.

But nothing beats a safe and careful rider.


Gary encounters a wrong-way rider with an attitude, while Will gives new meaning to getting doored. Outdoor Urbanite presents safety as fashion statement. Courtesy of C.I.C.L.E., we have an Introduction to Bicycle Etiquette, and a cyclist t-boning a bear. No word on any possible ursine injuries. A Petaluma writer calls for licensing cyclists, for our own good. The Feds are looking for a biking bandit. Kansas cops are cracking down on non-stop cyclists. How’s that for alliteration? And finally, my old home town is telling cyclists to dismount and don’t be that guy. Hey, I said I was sorry…

Learning to ride safely. Or not.

Great post on the Gary Rides Bikes blog yesterday.

He wrote about repeatedly passing the same rider on a recent ride, since he was the faster rider but stopped for red lights, while she went through them but rode slower. So they kept leapfrogging one another.

It served as an example of the problem with so many riders who blatantly disregard the law — as well any semblance of common sense —  in an apparent rush to get where they’re going. And it struck a cord with me, because I’d been thinking much the same thing while I was riding today.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that so many riders learn to ride, and often, ride fast, without ever learning how to ride well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a stickler for obeying the letter of the law. I think the highest obligation of cyclists is to ride safely — that is, without posing an unnecessary risk to themselves or the people around them. Sometimes that means observing the law, and sometimes that means breaking it. But for a damn good reason.

I got my first real road bike when I was living in Louisiana, and I quickly learned to ride fast and far, dodging pickup driving Cajuns along backcountry bayous. I continued to use the same skills when I moved back to Colorado, and found myself riding rural farm roads and high mountain passes.

But I didn’t become a good rider until I started riding at Denver’s Washington Park.

In those days, Wash Park was the center of the local biking community, and a mecca for cyclists all over the country. Riding there often meant riding with cycling royalty, like Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney, and there were often rumors that Alexi Grewal or Greg LeMond might be somewhere in the vast crowd of riders, though I never saw them myself.

The big draw was a roadway that encircled the park, and was closed to car traffic Monday through Friday, providing a safe, traffic and red light free loop a couple miles long. Riders would start arriving in mid-afternoon; by 5 p.m., there were usually hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of riders circling in the same direction. Gradually, a peloton would form, as the slower riders dropped to the right, and the better riders grouped together and gained speed.

Anyone was welcome to join in, as long as you could keep up — and ride safely. Make a mistake, though, and you’d hear about from the other riders. Do it again, and you could expect a warning bump from a passing rider. Third offense meant a shoulder or hip check designed to knock you off your bike and on your ass.

The same rules held true on weekend group rides. If you wanted to do something stupid and risk you own life, go right ahead. There’d be no shortage of pall bearers at your funeral. But do something that endangered bystanders, risked the safety of the group or brought undue attention from law enforcement, and you could expect to pay the price.

It was a brutal way to learn. But I learned to ride safely. And I learned fast.

That sort of thing just doesn’t happen today. As many people have noted in other forums, there are no training procedures required for cycling, and the kind of education I received wouldn’t survive very long in today’s more litigious society — and probably shouldn’t. And experienced riders, such as myself, have learned the hard way that any attempt to educate another rider these days more likely to be met with a heartfelt “fuck you, asshole” than it is a polite “thank you.”

So new riders are left to learn on their own, for better or worse.

Which too often means they develop the physical skills to ride, without the knowledge that goes with it. They learn how to ride, and in many cases, to ride fast and far, just like I did. But they don’t have a clue how to ride safely.

Or courteously.

Especially in crowded, fast-paced and high-traffic city like Los Angeles.


Apparently, the conflict between drivers and cyclists isn’t limited by the Atlantic. A columnist in Colorado assures a driver that traffic laws apply to teenage cyclists, as well… but walking bikes across an intersection? Get real. Boston riders reveal it’s possible to look good on a bike, without resorting to spandex. And an Ohio man goes to jail for trashing his car after running down a cyclist on the sidewalk.