Tag Archive for distracted drivers

Morning Links: Permanent memorial for young Valley bicyclist, Aussie distracted driving cams, and more NY anti-bike bias

One tragic note before we get started.

I’m told that a man from Altadena has been gravely injured in an apparent solo fall while riding with a friend in the Northern California backcountry.

The victim is currently being treated in a Bay Area hospital for severe neck, spine and brain injuries.

I’m withholding his name and other details for now out of respect for his family and their privacy.

But prayers or best wishes are definitely in order.

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He gets it.

Bike advocates rededicated the ghost bike for 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike in Woodland Hills on Easter Sunday last year.

The ceremony also saw the installation of the city’s first permanent marker honoring a fallen bicyclist, one of up to 20 per year the city will install with a reminder to drive safely.

Photo from Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s Twitter account

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield struck the right tone, reminding the small audience about the big hole Montero’s death left in the lives of everyone around him.

And that a simple sign wasn’t going to fix anything.

“The signs themselves are wonderful,” said Blumenfield. “[But] they’re not going to solve our problems with people dying on the roads.”

It will take a renewed commitment to Vision Zero by the people elected to serve all of us — not just the people in the big, dangerous machines.

And a willingness on their part to stand up to NIMBYs and angry drivers that has been sorely lacking in the city in recent years.

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Great idea.

Inspired by the death of his friend James Rapley, the Australian bike rider killed on Temescal Canyon while on a layover at LAX six years ago, an Aussie entrepreneur has developed an automated camera system designed to capture drivers illegally using a handheld cellphone.

The automated cameras from Acusensus are designed to work like red light or speed cameras to provide photographic proof of the driver breaking the law, along with the license of the car.

Presumably, tickets would follow in the mail.

It would likely require a change in the law to use them in California, where red light cameras are allowed at local discretion, but speed cameras are currently prohibited.

However, it should withstand privacy concerns, since there is no legal expectation of privacy for anything that is readily visible in public.

Although the state’s overly entitled drivers would likely rise up to complain, just like too many do over any attempt to hold motorists accountable and keep them from breaking the law.

But there are few things the state could do virtually overnight that would have a greater impact on safety and do more to save lives.

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No bias here.

The bike-hating New York Post says bike riders are killing pedestrians, and accuses the city of not doing anything to stop it.

Then they go on to explain there were seven pedestrian deaths in the last nine years — something works out to less than one a year, along with another 250 injured each year.

While one death is one too many, the paper doesn’t bother to mention how many bike riders were injured or killed in crashes with pedestrians.

Never mind who was actually at fault in those crashes.

And as anyone who has ever had a pedestrian step out into bike lane without looking, or turn suddenly in front of your bike can tell you, it ain’t necessarily the person on two wheels.

Nor do they bother to put it all in perspective by citing the 100-plus pedestrians killed by motorists each year.

Which only works out to a margin of slightly 100 to one, anyway. Making it pretty damn clear who represents the real danger to people walking.

But who cares about facts if it sells newspapers.

Right?

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Speaking of which, a New York study shows zombie pedtextrians isn’t really a thing after all.

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Go for a Monday mountain bike ride with the great Peter Sagan.

But maybe drop a little dramamine first.

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Thanks to Sgt. Helper for forwarding video of a bike-riding nun who could probably drop most of us.

Well, me anyway.

https://twitter.com/TrumpPatriotPL/status/1167874990810648577

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Local

Hats off to LAPD officer Andrew Gonzalez, who rode his bike 300 miles from LA to Stanislaus County to deliver a flag to the family of a fallen Newman police officer who was killed during a traffic stop last year.

Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt are two of us, as they enjoy married life on a mountain bike ride in Los Angeles.

NoHo’s Chandler Bikeway is set to get $1.2 million in improvements. None of which is apparently aimed at improving safety for bike riders.

E-scooters are officially banned in the ‘Bu.

The Daily Breeze recounts the story of deadly Vista Del Mar, including the failed 2017 attempt to install a road diet, which was ripped out when drivers insisted on their God-given right to go zoom zoom even if it keeps killing people.

 

State

A San Diego woman suffered severe head trauma when a driver leaving a parking lot smashed into her bike as she rode on the sidewalk. Yet another example of why riding a bicycle on the sidewalk isn’t as safe as most people think.

After a Murrietta boy was hit by a car while riding his bike, the kindhearted people at Target gave him a new one.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 56-year old bike rider died after allegedly making an abrupt left turn into the path of a pickup driver.

San Jose police bust ten suspects in a series of burglaries targeting bike shops, as well as construction sites and school districts in the Bay Area.

A San Jose columnist goes for the jugular, arguing that a bike rider killed in a head-on collision on popular Mount Diablo would be alive today if parks officials hadn’t ignored a judge’s 27-year old order to improve the roadway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Officials identified the victim in last week’s fatal hit-and-run in East San Jose as a 44-year old San Jose man. Thanks to Ralph Durham and Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Indicating a total misunderstanding of what speed limits are for, a Santa Rosa-area letter writer says drivers should be required to drive the speed limit, and bike riders should get the hell out of the way so they don’t slow down the more important people in cars. Just like drivers, bicyclists are required to pull over when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles stuck behind them and unable to pass; the law does not apply if there are two or more lanes in each direction, or if the people can safely pass them.

Three new members were named to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis; the trio will be inducted November 2nd.

A Eureka woman was busted for trying to pass a phony $100 bill at a bike shop to buy a bicycle for…wait for it…$5.46. Sound like maybe she was getting a fake bike for her fake money, anyway.

 

National

New rules for the national parks system would allow ebikes on any trails other bicycles are allowed on, providing new access to the wilderness for older or less able-bodied riders.

Buzzfeed says Amazon’s next day delivery is bringing chaos and carnage to America’s streets, while the company avoids responsibility for the harm they’re causing.

New street design guidelines from the American Society for Landscape Architecture show why inclusive cities start with safe streets.

Guarantee your kid wins playtime at the park with his or her very own Harley-Davidson e-balance bike.

Portland police finally busted the bike thief who stole a 69-year old man’s $11,000 bicycle in a strong-arm robbery in July; a friend of the victim had filmed the thief riding it shortly after the theft.

A hit-and-run bike rider rode over the hind leg of an eight-month old Labradoodle puppy on an Idaho greenbelt, snapping it in two, then simply rode off. Which makes him no less of a cowardly a-hole than any heartless hit-and-run driver. Schmuck.

Kansas City MO develops the usual factions in the fight over bike lanes, as advocates argue for improving safety and boosting local businesses, while opponents fear harm to businesses and want to keep their dangerous streets just the way they are.

A Texas man refuses to take no for an answer after doctors told him he’d never ride a bike again when he lost his leg in a horseback riding accident, completing a 168-mile ride on a prosthetic leg he designed and built himself.

An 18-year old girl rode 550 miles on a tandem bike with her father from Chicago to Toronto for her first day of college, while a Flint MI bike shop owner saved the day when they developed a crack in their tandem’s steering tube.

More proof hit-and-run isn’t just a California thing, as Chicago police are looking for the heartless coward who slammed into a mountain bike rider, and left him to die on the side of the road. Thanks to Art S for the tip.

After a legally blind Indiana man’s bike was stolen, a friend spotted it on someone else’s porch and stole it back.

Congratulations to Ohio officials for keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until he killed someone. The alleged drunk driver who killed a bicyclist on Saturday had been charged with driving while impaired seven years ago, but prosecutors pled it down to a single count of reckless driving with a small fine; the victim was chief counsel to a former Ohio governor. Which means his blood is on their hands.

A driveway vigilante is under arrest after a New York driver took the law into his own hands, deliberately slamming his SUV into the screwdriver-toting bike rider he suspected of breaking into his vehicle, and killing him.

New York’s former parks commissioner says bike and pedestrian traffic in Central Park has become so chaotic and dangerous due to its growing popularity and lack of pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure that he won’t ride his bike there anymore.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News says sure, bikes are all fine and good, but the city’s Belmont neighborhood needs its parking. Unlike, say, every other neighborhood that says the same thing, until they find out they’re actually better off with more bikes and fewer cars.

Need a haircut? A bike-riding New York barber says he’ll go anywhere to cut hair, traveling from Machu Picchu to Tokyo.

Now that’s more like it. A Philadelphia man is suing a delivery company for repeatedly blocking a bike lane, as well as the city’s parking authority for failing to enforce it.

A Delaware man who is “hardly a bike-phobe” says they’ve already had several bike riders killed in the area, and its totally the fault of those careless, lawbreaking vacationers on bicycles.

An op-ed in the Washington Post says we can have an enormous impact on improving our cities by making it easier to ride a bike and harder to drive a car.

Life is cheap in Virginia, where a woman walks without a single day behind bars despite a conviction for reckless driving in the death of a man riding his bicycle.

A new Clemson University study confirms that daytime taillights can significantly improve your safety. Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve had far fewer close calls since I’ve started riding with multiple taillights and an ultrabright headlight during the day. As much as it really pisses me off to have to do it. 

 

International

London is changing building design rules for skyscrapers to reduce the wind tunnel effect for bicyclists.

A British writer calls for taming the automotive hegemony on our streets by banning all car advertising.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is one of us, too, going for a casual ride with her two daughters.

A new study shows cargo bikes are more efficient than delivery vans in urban areas, so the UK government put its money on…flying taxis.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary, and an Irish columnist just wishes you’d show a little respect and use your bike bell on the way there.

Yet another study confirms the safety in numbers effect, as a new Belgian study shows motorists will adjust how they drive in relation to the number of bicyclists on the street.

South African police ended a nearly two-year reign of terror when they arrested a Zimbabwean man for murdering a bike rider and a hiker in a national park, as well as eight other nonfatal stabbings and muggings.

A New Zealand charity refurbishes bicycles to give to refugees, and teaches the recipients how to ride them, giving them new hope in the process.

An Aussie op-ed says just painting bike lanes on a street and assuming bicyclists will be safe and motivated to use them is delusional, and does nothing to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.

The Philippines considers a bill that would require elected officials to use public transport. We need something like that here, like requiring officials — elected and otherwise — to walk, bike or use transit at least once a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A “crazy week” ends at the Vuelta with yet another leader change.

Cyclist looks at the winners and losers in the Vuelta’s first week, while Cycling Weekly confines itself to five talking points from stage 9.

One of those losers was Tejay van Garderen, who was forced to drop out with a broken finger following a crash on Thursday.

Rouleur considers how tiny Slovenia rose to the top of the cycling world.

A Mexican cyclist got a two-year ban after getting busted for doping. But the doping era is completely and totally over, right?

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a bicyclist competing in a Russian bike race loses control and veers off the course, but grabs a little girl to protect her as he falls.

Finally…

Yes, a bike lane can save your life the next time you inhale a wasp while riding. If you’re going to take your loaded shotgun into Home Depot, at least get off your bike first.

And don’t toss trash out the window of your chrome-covered Lambo.

Especially if there’s a bicyclist around.

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One final note. 

This is exactly how I feel when I post most mornings. Now if I could only figure out how to include a decent bottle of booze as a downloadable attachment.

Morning Links: Bike lanes may create illusion of safety, a tropical criminal tri, and bike lanes on reimagined Crenshaw

A hard-hitting piece on the Governing website says new bike infrastructure creates the illusion of safety, encouraging more women to get on their bikes.

And the result is more women dying on them.

The solution, according to the writer, is separating bike lanes behind a physical barrier, while lowering speed limits for cars and trucks.

Long Beach bike lanes photo by Richard Rosenthal.

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Call it a tropical criminal triathlon.

When police tried to stop a Hawaiian woman who appeared to be riding a stolen bicycle, she sped off on the bike, leading a slow speed chase across Hilo to the beach, where she ran to the water and swam off.

Police later found her on a nearby island, and pulled her out of the water when she tried to swim off again.

Then to top things off, it wasn’t even the bike their were looking for.

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A 73-year old Indian driver suffered the ultimate distraction when he died of a heart attack behind the wheel and rammed into a 72-year old bike rider, causing “grievous” injuries.

Making the case even more bizarre, police booked the driver on posthumous criminal charges for causing the crash. Which presumably means, if convicted, he could face eternity behind bars.

Unfortunately, the Indian press frequently uses the same terms for bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, so we have no way of knowing what the victim was actually riding.

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Vancouver bike rider demonstrates why you shouldn’t fly off a sidewalk and try to beat oncoming traffic.

https://twitter.com/village_whisper/status/1163212325920186368

Seriously, don’t try this at home.

Or anywhere else.

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Local

CD8 City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is calling for new design standards for Crenshaw Blvd that call for an increase in density, and appear to include plans for much-needed bike lanes.

A new official Los Angeles art project will place up 100 rainbow halos to honor traffic victims. While it’s important to remember victims of traffic violence, wouldn’t it be better to fix the damn streets so we don’t need the halos in the first place?

A photographer offers some great views of last Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

 

State

San Diego now projects a nearly $2 billion shortfall in street infrastructure funding over the next five years.

The SF Weekly wonders what it will take to get San Francisco’s Vision Zero back on track, saying the goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024 seems farther away than ever.

 

National

Outside observes that bike riders who’ve been frightened off the roads are migrating to the dirt, and going where drivers can’t. I wish I could call that hyperbole, but I’ve heard from far too many people who now only ride gravel or mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the streets. 

The upscale Robb Report recommends seven “stylish and powerful” ebikes you’ll actually want to ride. And ranging from a mere $4,499 to $16,500.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver was arrested after fleeing on foot following a multi-block serial crash that injured a man on a bike and wrecked a total of five parked cars.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton is one of us, as he prepares to ride with Portland Trailblazer fans this weekend.

A Colorado woman has started the online #itcouldbeme campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to change the us vs. them mentality and put a face to the dangers bike riders face on the roads. Thanks to Penny Sputh for the heads-up.

Heartbreaking news from Detroit, where a nine-year old little girl was attacked and killed by three dogs as she was riding her bike near her home.

A kindhearted Michigan cop worked with a police nonprofit organization to replace the bike a boy uses to ride to school after it was stolen overnight.

Two bystanders are credited with saving the life of a Cincinnati man after he suffered a heart attack while returning home from a bike ride; a couple of cops also jumped in with an automatic defibrillator until paramedics arrived.

An Indianapolis bike rider says he appreciates the city’s new bicycle network, but he’s had it with people driving in bike lanes. Not to mention drivers who start on the green bike signal, rather than the regular traffic light.

Overprivileged residents of New York’s Central Park West went to court yesterday, suing to preserve their God-given right to street parking instead of protecting the lives of innocent people — even though a woman was killed riding her bike there last year.

A writer for Jalopnik says Vision Zero is the wrong goal; instead of responding to traffic deaths, New York should focus on “unleashing the joy of riding a bike to make a better place to live, not fighting the fear that riding a bike may entail.”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, a woman describes how her new ebike changed her life, getting her riding again in her 60s.

A DC website lists eight ways the law incentivizes driving.

A WaPo writer goes for a ride on the city’s new Vespa-style dockless e-mopeds.

A Georgia woman worries about the lack of children riding bikes, but admits she only rides on quiet Sunday mornings to avoid traffic.

 

International

London skyscrapers are blamed for creating dangerous wind tunnels that can knock bicyclists off their bikes, so the city is creating new planning rules that will require developers to study how to minimize the wind effect of any new building.

Britain’s Office of Communications received over 300 complaints following a controversial TV show asking if bicyclists are the scourge of the streets; the show promised an “unfiltered look” at the hostility between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, but bike advocates called it nothing but “dressed up prejudice.”

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Copenhagen opens a beautiful curving bike and pedestrian bridge across the city’s Inner Harbor. Forget Greenland, Trump should try buying that and moving it over here instead.

Beijing’s city-center Tongzhou district plans to upgrade 40 roads over the next three years to build a better network for non-motorized transportation, with separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Weekly previews the Vuelta a España kicking of this weekend. Surprisingly, four Americans are expected to contend for the title. South Americans, that is.

A woman survives the death of her pro cyclist husband in a racing crash, only to find love with another cyclist; Astrid Collinge married Belgian cyclist Louis Vervaeke this year, three years after her then-husband Antoine Demoitié was killed by a race moto during the 2016 Gent-Wevelgem.

Road.cc offers a video look back at what happens when pro cyclists get mad.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bakfiets, it’s a three-wheeled, pedal-powered preschool school bus. Five years behind bars for assault with a deadly bicycle.

And nothing like having your wedding pictures photobombed by naked people on bicycles.

 

Morning Links: Gaimon says share this video when — not if — he gets killed, and putting risk from bikes in perspective

He gets it.

Then again, that shouldn’t come as any surprise.

In a must-watch video, former pro Phil Gaimon insists that we all get the story right when — not if — he gets killed by someone in a car.

He puts it this way in a video recently posted to his Worst Retirement Ever site.

Which is actually about the best worst retirement idea ever.

Make sure it says, ‘Some asshole was texting or going to fast and ran over Phil in his fucking car.’

Thank you.

Peter Flax offered a similar thought a few years ago, though perhaps not as amusingly.

Photo of Phil Gaimon rudely ripped from his website. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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This kind of puts things in perspective.

Although I may have to pick my cadence up a tad.

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London’s alleged Westminster Bridge terrorist is on trial, accused of deliberately steering towards bicyclists and pedestrians in an attack that killed six innocent people and injured another 49.

Which serves as yet another reminder that LA’s Hollywood Blvd is completely unprotected from a similar attack.

A risk that could be virtually eliminated with a barrier-protected bike lane on both sides of the boulevard, and converting the street in front of Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater into a pedestrian plaza.

Unless city officials would rather wait until it’s too late, as usual.

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Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

A Chicago bike rider is suing the city’s e-scooter providers in an attempt to find the hit-and-run scooter rider who left him lying unresponsive in the street.

A Nashville op-ed says banning e-scooters won’t fix the city’s problems, but building infrastructure for them will.

No bias here. A Brooklyn writer calls for restrictions on ebikes and e-scooters to improve safety for pedestrians and the elderly. Even though they face far more danger from people in motor vehicles.

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

A road raging English man faces jail time after he was convicted of harassing a 17-year old boy, forcing him off the road, then getting out of his SUV and punching the kid in the face — all for the crime of pulling ahead of him on his mountain bike at a red light.

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Local

Writing for CityWatch, a former LA city planner says the problem with the mayor’s plan to fight climate change is it’s not really a plan.

Metro Bike is celebrating its third birthday with an RSVP party in DTLA on July 30th.

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with Areli Morales about her Oaxacan heritage, growing up in Venice, and her journey to becoming a bicycle and transportation advocate.

About damn time. Santa Monica approves plans for three miles of pathways that will separate bike riders from pedestrians along the beach. Now if we can just get Los Angeles and LA County to follow suit on their sections of the overly popular beachfront bike path.

 

State

The popular bike route through Camp Pendleton will be closed from July 15th through 19th as the Marines prepare to blow some shit up; riders will be allowed to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base, instead. Thanks to the OC Bike Coalition for the tip.

Bad news from San Diego, where a 27-year old BMX rider suffered a life-threatening brain injury after losing control on a descent.

One more reason to register your bike. Santa Cruz police are looking for the owner of a stolen Specialized mountain bike they recovered after busting a transient. But you have to be able to prove it’s yours.

Santa Clara County authorities have identified the 62-year old man who was killed in a San Jose hit-and-run while riding his bike last week; his alleged killer remains behind bars on $110,000 bail.

A San Francisco bike cop has made what friends call a miraculous recovery from a hit-and-run crash so bad paramedics initially thought he was dead, even if he’ll never return to his previous life; his near-killer is currently on trial for a lengthy list of felony charges.

 

National

Gear Patrol considers the best panniers for bike commuting.

A new online insurance plan promises to cover you for bicycling injuries or other adventure sports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Which could come in handy, since just riding to work or school feels like an adventure sport in Los Angeles.

Forget rail-to-trail conversions; Colorado bike riders enjoy irrigation canals-to-trails.

Topeka KS plans to shut down its money-losing docked bikeshare, saying it came down to a choice between bikes and buses.

A Texas bike thief got busted thanks to a doorbell video cam.

That’s more like it. A Green Bay, Wisconsin man got ten years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

A New York website says the city’s Vision Zero is failing because the city has failed to reduce the number of car on the streets.

New York bike riders are mobilizing to deliver emergency aid in the event of a disaster.

A DC advocacy group says ripping out a bike lane to restore street parking is an unprecedented bad decision.

Amazon’s second HQ planned for the DC area promises to be bike and pedestrian friendly. Although if they really want to be bike friendly, bike racks are nice, but letting staffers take bicycles into their offices or cubicles is better.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A Shreveport, Louisiana vehicular cyclist says the city should rip out its bike lanes and stop building more, insisting they make bicycling more dangerous. And that he’s the only one, in the entire city, who rides safely by taking the traffic lane next to them, instead — no matter how much it pisses drivers and cops off.

Baton Rouge LA is finally getting safer and more convenient for people on bikesAnd only three decades after I left. Seriously, it seems like the best way to ensure any city becomes bike friendly is for me to move away from it.

Police in Georgia haven’t made an arrest yet in a hit-and-run that left a woman riding in a bike lane with severe injuries, even though witnesses gave them the car’s license number.

 

International

An alleged bike-raging Toronto courier has been released on $1,000 bond for allegedly kicking a car, then whacking the driver with his bike lock after he got out of the car, in an assault partially caught on video.

Build it and they will come. London’s new network of protected bike lanes has led to more people on two wheels, resulting in a record 2.5 million bicycle trips a day.

No bias here, either. The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a new UK TV program entitled Cyclists: Scourge of the Streets? is every bit as bad as the title implies, calling it “undoubtedly the worst, most scaremongering, inaccurate, downright irresponsible program” on bicycling he’s ever seen, with “45 minutes of hatred, misinformation and outgrouping against people who just happen to sometimes use two wheels to get about.”

A stoned British hit-and-run driver gets a well-deserved eight years behind bars.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a special bicycle painted in the Tour de France colors that was going to be auctioned off for charity, as cycling stars Eddy Merckx and Peter Sagan demand its return.

Traffic-choked Paris is finally on track to become the bicycling capital envisioned by the city’s mayor. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet.

A young philanthropist in Sierra Leone is helping feed people in a region flooded by torrential rains, and working with a US-based charity to provide bicycles and riding lessons to people in need.

Seven more rides for your bike bucket list, as a Chinese website suggests seven breathtaking climbs throughout Asia.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a blow-by-blow account of yesterday’s third stage of the Tour de France, as the yellow jersey changed hands — or torsos, even — from the virtually unknown rider who led the first two stages.

Danish pro Kasper Asgreen ended his first Tour de France prematurely when he was hospitalized following a crash that broke his bike in half — yet somehow still managed to finish the stage anyway.

Speaking of Phil Gaimon, he’s evidently had an influence on the sport, as pro cyclist Taylor Wiles says she tries to eat right, but she’ll ride for cookies. And ice cream.

 

Finally…

Copenhagen is one of the world’s friendliest cities for bicycling; e-scooting under the influence, not so much. A protected bike lane without barriers is just a parking spot by a different name.

And if you’re going to use a gun in a road rage dispute, try not to shoot your own spouse.

 

Morning Links: LA club rider suffers life-threatening injuries, distracted driving addicts, and LACBC Bike Month calendar

Once again, we seem to be the bearer of bad news.

Very bad, in this case.

I’m told a Los Angeles-area man is on life support after a solo crash while on a club ride last weekend.

I was forwarded this Facebook post from his ex-wife. However, I’m withholding his name for now out of respect for his family.

As many of you know, my ex-husband was in a horrible bike accident on Saturday morning. He had ridden from the Rose Bowl to Duarte with his bike group, and while the group was riding in a parking lot at the Santa Fe Dam, he hit a parking curb at low speed and went over the bike’s handlebars. He hit the ground face first, so his helmet offered no protection. He fractured his skull, broke his neck and spine, and suffered many other injuries. Yesterday the neurologist said that he couldn’t detect any brain activity, and that there is about a 1% chance of the best case scenario at this point, persistent vegetation. The Don we knew is gone.

My heart aches for our children…Don loves them dearly and is very proud of them, as we all are. I am also sad for his loving family and friends who will miss him dearly. And I am so, so sad for Don, his suffering, and the lost opportunities and experiences he will never have…

I’m heading back to County USC with the kids this morning. Don is on a ventilator in an induced coma, and the hospital is still running diagnostic tests on him. Please send up a prayer or good thoughts for him and his loved ones. Show your family and friends how much you love them, savor the blessings you have and pay them forward. You never know what life will deal you.

 

As she says, prayers or good thoughts are in order, whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tell your loved ones how much you care now, before your next ride.

Because bicycling is usually a safe activity. But as this case reminds us, bad things can happen unexpectedly.

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

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This is who we share the roads with.

According to the LA Times, insurance companies are tracking distracted driving and smartphone usage by drivers. And the news isn’t good.

Although that shouldn’t surprise anyone who spends much time on the streets.

The report says one out of every 12 drivers is considered to be addicted to their phones, which they define as looking at a smartphone at least a third of the time while driving. A number that’s predicted to rise to 20% of all drivers within the next three years.

Yet remarkably, one-third of the worst distracted driving offenders consider themselves extremely safe drivers.

Right up to the point they run someone else down. And then probably blame the other person.

The story says apps that remind drivers to put their phones down or track how much they use their phones while driving can cut usage by 35% to 40%.

But the only real solution will be requiring smartphone makers and carriers to block everything but navigation apps and 911 calls on the driver’s phone while the car is in motion.

And yes, that includes the text readers and in-dash internet systems car makers inexplicably insist on building into their vehicles to satisfy their phone-addicted customers — and make them more dangerous for everyone else.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for an LA Green New Deal was criticized for it’s auto-centric focus and waiting until it’s already too late to address climate change.

Not to mention halving the commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year that we were promised in the 2010 bike plan.

And since LADOT shifted to measuring distances in lane miles after the plan was adopted — in effect counting each side of the roadway as separate bike lanes — that actually works out to just 10 miles of new bike lanes per deal.

Not exactly a solid commitment to a greener, bike-friendlier future.

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It’s May.

Which means Bike Month in Los Angeles, and most of the US.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has kindly provided a calendar of Bike Month events in the City of Angels.

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

Sadly, the annual Bike Month wrap-up at Union Station isn’t on it, which mens it’s probably not happening this year.

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Congressional leaders met with Donald Trump yesterday morning, and left with an agreement for a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

Sort of.

After the meeting, the White House waffled on the price tag, and both sides agreed to meet in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.

And only then will discussions begin on what, exactly, the government will buy with that money — if, and only if, they actually agree on funding, which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

The good news is, along with highway and bridge repairs, airports, mass transit and high speed internet, there could be a few dollars left over for bikeways.

We hope.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches three bad drivers in the space of just two minutes.

Los Angeles has agreed to share data with Waze and other similar apps in exchange for excluding some streets from their rat run, cut through driving route recommendations.

LAist considers LA’s first two-way bike lane in context of the bikelash we’ve seen in other areas.

The mayor of Inglewood appeared to be responsible for a collision near USC that left an injured LAPD motorcycle cop as collateral damage.

Pasadena is in the final design process for its first two-way protected bike lane on Union Street. The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the project.

Santa Monica will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Monday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Despite widespread handwringing over e-scooter injuries, statistics from Santa Monica’s pilot program shows just 89 scooter related injuries last year; 49 of those involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

 

State

San Diego’s iCan Bike camp has been helping kids with disabilities learn to ride a bike for a full decade.

About damn time. A street in San Diego’s North Park and South Park neighborhoods will lose up to 420 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. That was my neighborhood when I lived in San Diego. So once again, somewhere I used to live finally becomes bike friendly long after I’m gone. Which means I may have to leave Los Angeles before it finally becomes the bicycling paradise it’s meant to be.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a World Cup mountain biker shows of the trails of his hometown.

A teenaged Vacaville robber was busted by a cop on a borrowed bike, when someone loaned the officer a bicycle to pursue the suspect through a rugged park.

Someone has been tossing nails on an Orangevale street for the past six months. And for a change, they’ve been nailing more than bike tires.

Railroad fans have filed suit against Sacramento to halt plans to remove unused rails to make room for a bike path, in hopes that they could be used for a vaporware excursion train someday.

 

National

Outside recommends the best cycling gear from their recent bike tests. I’ll take the Bontrager lights and Fizik road shoes, thank you.

Treehugger explains how to build a solar powered shed to recharge your ebike.

More proof that sidewalks aren’t the safest place to ride. A 16-year old Washington bike rider was injured when a driver decided to use a parking lot as his own personal cut-through lane to avoid stopping for a red light. But sure, tell me again how bicyclists never stop for traffic signals.

Montana police busted a pair of apparent bike thieves when they stopped a suspicious vehicle, and found a “high-value” bicycle in the back that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.

There may be a dispute over just how effective bike helmets are on the streets. But a North Dakota climate expert says put one on for tornado protection.

Tragic news from Tulsa OK, where a woman fled to Mexico before she could face charges for the death of her five-year old son, who was hit by a car after he fell off an e-scooter she was allegedly riding in a reckless manner; she didn’t even stick around for her own son’s funeral.

A Chicago boy received a new bike built for him by members of a girls soccer team, part of a program for high school students to give 100 bicycles to children of military service members.

A Minneapolis health company’s new office is designed around a bicycling theme, including bike seats and handlebars, to go along with the cycling team they sponsor.

That’s more like it. An Indiana city considers fining drivers $1,000 for dooring a bike rider.

Tragic news from Cincinnati, where a man pled guilty to accidentally shooting his own 13-year old cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang dispute as he rode his bike home after helping clean a community center after school.

Pennsylvania considers allowing parking protected bike lanes on state roads; they’re already legal on city-owned streets.

We so need this in Los Angeles. A beta app allows DC road users to report dangerous drivers and look up their license plates for citations and outstanding tickets.

The Washington Post offers nine things to consider before you decide to go carfree. Including whether you live in sprawling Los Angeles.

Baltimore’s drunken, hit-and-run Episcopal bishop will be released from prison this month after serving just half of her seven-year sentence for killing a bike rider; Heather Cook was defrocked after her conviction, but her victim’s children will spend a lifetime without their father.

As long as you’re going to break into a Florida bike shop and walk out with a $3,500 mountain bike, you might as well take the change from the cash register with you.

 

International

A new self-charging, belt drive, single speed ebike promises you may never have to charge it.

Yes, it may have pedals. But that doesn’t make it a bicycle.

Victoria, British Columbia, has appointed Canada’s first bicycle mayor.

Instead of expanding the Saskatoon bike network, city leaders vote to roll it back by removing a bike lane and slowing down further implementation.

A Toronto website lists the city’s best neighborhoods for people who ride bikes.

A European website says a new bike registration system in Brussels can guarantee you’ll never have your bike stolen again. Actually, it only means your bike could be recovered if it’s stolen and someone finds it.

Clearly, beauty is no protection from dangerous drivers. The runner-up to 2017’s Miss France was killed in a collision while riding her bike with a friend, when she swerved to avoid a driver and was struck by a tractor driver pulling a load of logs.

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

An elite Australian cyclist is dead, and a 21-year old woman will face charges for killing him, because she couldn’t resist texting her boyfriend seconds before running him down.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another bike racer has been killed in a traffic collision. Thirty-year old Australian amateur Damion Drapac was killed in a head-on collision while riding to a bike race. If the name sounds familiar, his father is the owner of the Drapac-Cannondale development team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a dog holds more world records for riding a bike than you do. Coworking in a parking space for a pocketful of quarters.

And who needs a tent when you can tow your home behind your bike?

 

Morning Links: Florida driver plows into group ride, Bike Shop Day this Saturday, and ebikes are good for you

Welcome back. 

I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday weekend. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get down to business. 

………

It’s Day Four of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

………

Horrible news from Florida.

A driver plowed into fourteen bicyclists out on a group ride, killing one and injuring six; one of the injured riders was in critical condition with a head injury.

The driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming she was momentarily distracted by something in her car and the sun was in her eyes.

There is Facebook video of the aftermath if you really want to see it. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

………

Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

The second annual event takes place this Saturday, which sounds like to perfect day to visit your favorite LBS and buy someone a Christmas or Chanukah gift.

Even if it’s yourself.

So far, just three LA-area bike shops have signed up to participate, along with another in Norco, and none San Diego, Ventura or Orange Counties.

See the map on the above link for more details.

………

The LA West website offers details for this Sunday’s final CicLAvia of the year. Meanwhile, CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

Speaking of CicLAvia, the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the CicLAvia route before making a stop at Dry River Brewing for a little discounted liquid refreshment.

………

Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

A new systematic review of 17 studies around the world concludes that riding a regular bicycle if better for you than riding an ebike.

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

Meanwhile, Pink Bike says ebikes are breeding the components that bike riders want.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Britain considers mandating insurance discounts to drivers who take bicycle awareness courses as part of a program to improve safety.

The country is also in discussions to install cameras on bike lanes, and fine drivers up to the equivalent of $166 for driving in or blocking them.

In addition, the UK is planning to set up a special police unit to tackle road rage and dangerous driving.

Now if we could just get something like that on this side of the Atlantic.

………

Clearly, not much has changed in the last 45 years.

………

This is what you look like to a driver on a dark road when you ride without lights.

And if you miss the bike rider, that’s kind of the point.

………

Local

No windshield perspective here. Business Insider says LA traffic is hell, and in desperate need of a transportation revolution. But fails to even mention any form of active transportation.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy calls out five major Westside hospitals for failing to promote active transportation, despite IRS guidelines that specifically encourage it.

Downtown News examines the $365 million plan to complete the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Speaking the LA River path, the new Spectrum 1 News takes a ride to the Spoke Cafe alongside the bike path. And Peter Flax races a car on an ebike, and comes out with a tie.

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s podcast talks with bike lawyer and Cycling in the South Bay author Seth Davidson.

Glendale opens the second phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk across the LA River from Griffith Park; a planned bike and pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the bike pathway with the LA River bike path. Oddly, the LA Times doesn’t seem to have the article online, so I’m linking to the story on the PressReader site.

The Signal offers an explanation of Santa Clarita’s new pilot program for an app-based traffic signal detection system at three problematic intersections. The project has been championed by the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Encinitas considers adopting Vision Zero in the wake of pedestrian deaths.

A San Luis Obispo man came up with the winning design for a bicycle-themed car license plate.

The LA Times suggests that a road diet on a primary roadway in Paradise contributed to the problems evacuating from the deadly Paradise Fire. Even though the mayor denies it had any impact, and they failed to talk with a single traffic planner or engineer.

 

National

An Oregon man was planning to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in five years, after he saved his own life by spending that time riding 25,000 miles around the world; he set out after nearly taking his own life following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the death of his wife in a traffic collision.

The University of Washington is testing an app-based system to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders at trail crossings.

Albuquerque NM is trashing the useless Share the Road signs in favor of the more instructive Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A New Mexico letter writer (2nd item) wants to make safety “fair and balanced” for everyone by making it less fair for people on bicycles. Unless maybe he also wants drivers to wear helmets at all times, paint their cars hi-viz, and only drive single file and yield to faster vehicles.

Denver adopts a cute little protected bike lane sweeper. Thanks to the Preven Report for the link.

Outside examines the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins, who was shot to death on a singletrack trail outside of Colorado Springs CO, noting that he is believed to be the first mountain biker known to have been slain while riding.

The Daily Beast suggests adding the Tex-Mex border to your bike bucket list, saying hundreds of miles along the border have been turned into a bicycling paradise.

Indianapolis IN bike riders want to know why safety isn’t improving, even as the city is becoming more bike friendly.

St. Petersburg FL discovers that some people will always prefer riding on the sidewalk, even if there’s a bike lane nearby. And even if sidewalk riding only offers an illusion of safety.

A Florida man took up bicycling to avoid having to wear size 50 pants, and lost 150 pounds in just two years.

 

International

Road.cc rounds up the best bike-related TED talksThen again, every time I open my mouth it’s a Ted talk.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker spells out ten ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe. Which is a polite way of saying they scare the crap out of us.

Calgary considers allowing skateboards, scooters and wheelchairs on the city’s cycle tracks.

The Guardian takes a bike tour to discover the real Barbados.

He gets it. An English columnist says it’s time for all of us to get on our bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old man rode the entire length go Great Britain on his Brompton.

Religious leaders in the UK are becoming evangelists for bike riding in an effort to get parishioners to leave their cars at home. And this is the perfect sign to promote it, while keeping the riders’ speed in check.

Ford is using virtual reality to allow British truck drivers to experience the road from a bicyclist’s perspective. Or they could just drop the virtual part, and put them on bicycles next to a big, speeding truck passing a foot off their elbows.

A Scottish columnist says he’s all in favor of bicycling to get people more active and fit, and he’s sure people who ride bikes will be all in favor of his plan to charge riders an annual registration fee and force them to wear numbered bibs similar to license plates. No, really.

They get it, too. An Indian city is installing new red-colored cycle tracks and fixing older ones in preparation for a coming bikeshare program.

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

New Zealand will spend $23 million to get more children on bikes. Which sounds impressive, until you consider it works out to less than $8 million a year.

A New Zealand bike builder discusses making the ebikes used by Israel’s bicycling paramedics.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a remorseful distracted driver will spend just nine months behind bars for killing a man riding his bike. She claims she was only distracted for ten seconds; unfortunately, that’s all it takes.

An Aussie bike rider says making the choice to be a non-driver should be a badge of honor.

A Kiwi writer relates the horrifying tale of taking a fall off his bike, suffering a number of severe facial cuts and broken bones in the process, including breaking his neck in three places. And of the fellow bike-riding tourists who simply turned their backs and rode away when he begged for help — after bizarrely lectured him for ruining their day.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A British Columbia bicyclist forsakes the Great Wall for a bike tour of China’s covered bridges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia remembers Reg Arnold, once one of the world’s greatest six-day cyclists; he passed away this summer at 92-years old.

At age 23, black South African pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini has ridden his bike out of poverty in the ghettoes of Johannesburg to a nomination for the country’s most prestigious sports award, and is considered the next big thing to come out of Africa.

 

Finally…

Apparently Britain banned e-scooters 183 years ago. There’s no shortage of people who can pop a wheelie, but how many can do it from Santa Monica to Cocoa Beach?

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

When there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of it.

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The 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is already off to a great start. Which means we’ve got a long list of people to thanks already.

So let’s all offer a round of thanks to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc, the Muirs, Al W, Douglas M, Plurabelle Books Ltd, Michael Y, Arthur B, Dennis F, Joel S, Mark J, Theodore F, David V and Elizabeth T for opening their hearts and wallets to help keep this site coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Blaming pedestrians in the name of safety, and free bike for helping catch Burbank bike thief

If you’re reading this, I assume you survived the three-day weekend in one piece.

So welcome back, and lets get started.

………

A column by Steve Scauzillo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune correctly notes that roads aren’t just for cars, and that pedestrians are paying too high a price just to cross the street.

And he describes the dangers of speeding traffic, and having to wave his arms to alert drivers who speed through intersections or aren’t paying attention.

But instead of urging drivers to slow down, or reminding them of the dangers their vehicles pose to others, he offers four suggestions to improve safety — three of which are aimed at people on foot.

1. Put down the cell phone when crossing a street.

2. It goes without saying that drivers should never be looking at or talking into a cellphone (except with the aid of a hands-free device).

3. Pedestrians should stop jaywalking.

4. Be alert in crosswalks — they are not impenetrable.

Like bicyclists, pedestrians have to look out for their own safety, because too many drivers aren’t looking out for either of us.

But the problems on our streets aren’t caused by careless pedestrians. Or bike riders.

They’re caused by a driving public that has forgotten that they’re operating big, dangerous machines that can kill in a moment of carelessness.

Or just don’t care.

………

Burbank’s H&S Bicycles is offering a free bike worth up to $1000 for anyone who can help find the burglar who has robbed the store three times this year.

The latest theft involved the 2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude A50 Large seen below.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend. But thank you anyway.

………

Speaking of careless drivers, a Jimmy Johns bike delivery rider was hit by a distracted Miami cop while he was riding in a crosswalk.

And he was the one who went to jail.

The rider was so angry when he was struck by the woman driver as she spoke on her handheld cellphone that he failed to notice it was an unmarked police vehicle. And threw his bike against the car, causing $500 damage.

He was arrested for criminal mischief and ticketed for failing to yield. Even though it was at least the third time the same officer had been seen using her phone behind the wheel.

………

Irish UFC fighter Connor McGregor is one of us, riding his bike to train for his recent bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Then again, so is the Philadelphia bike cop with the Nazi tattoo. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Thirty-year old Canadian cyclist Michael Woods is turning heads in the Vuelta in just his second Grand Tour, starting today’s stage in eighth place. Meanwhile, Russian cyclist Ilnur Zakarin has slowly worked himself up to a podium position.

Cycling Pub offers a wrap-up of the second week of the Vuelta.

Caught on video: Once again, a race vehicle has knocked down a cyclist, this time a team car in the Tour of Britain; fortunately, Polish rider Karol Domagalski was not seriously injured. More proof that motorized race vehicles don’t belong in the peloton, whether two-wheeled or four.

CNN profiles the great Miguel Indurain, the only cyclist to win the Tour de France in five consecutive years who hasn’t been stripped of his title.

Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador calls for a salary cap for pro cycling teams to help keep teams afloat and competitive.

A new report says current tests can’t discover the latest generation of hidden motors used for motor doping; naturally, cycling’s governing body begs to differ.

Aussie rider Carol Cooke has successfully defended her titles in the road race and time trial at the world Para-Cycling championships; she’s a three-time winner in road cycling, and four-time in the time trial.

Former race car driver Alex Zanardi successfully defended his world Para-Cycling time trial championship, and finished half a wheel behind the winner in the road race; he lost his legs in a horrific IndyCar crash in 2001.

……….

Local

A 43-year old bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Rosemead just after midnight Sunday.

Santa Monica is installing a state-of-the-art sensor system on some of its buses to detect bicyclists and pedestrians in time to avoid a collision.

Metro Bike comes to Venice this Thursday, with 165 bikeshare bikes at 15 docking stations.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Orange County Register says the Santa Ana River Trail belongs to the taxpayers, and the homeless camps alongside it have to go.

Two hundred San Diego bicyclists rode to honor fallen cyclist Paul Cornish; the 70-year old bike rider, who once set a record for riding from LA to New York, was killed last week by a driver with a suspended license in a stolen car.

A 16-year old Hemet pedestrian is in critical condition, and his salmon cycling companion injured, because a driver had a sneezing fit.

A Los Banos burglar learns the hard way that if he’s going to carry two loaded guns, a meth pipe, $137 in cash and several coins on the bike he just stole, to put a damn light on it.

A Bakersfield writer says the city has wide streets that can accommodate everyone, and needs to build safe infrastructure to improve bikeability and walkability.

The San Jose Mercury News takes an ebike trip to Big Sur.

Not surprisingly, bicyclists support a new lane reduction project in San Jose.

A local paper profiles the policy and planning director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, who’s working to make Petaluma more bikeable.

 

National

City Lab looks at the nationwide trend of using human bollards to create protected bike lanes and call attention to the need to improve safety for bicyclists.

Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont is three-quarters the way around the world as he attempts to circumnavigate the world by bike in just 80 days; he’s currently riding through the US.

A Santa Fe truck driver got ten and a half years behind bars for the meth-fueled crash that killed two people when he plowed into a group of five bike riders.

A Boulder CO couple has spent the last 14 months driving around the US to ride their bikes all over the country.

A San Antonio TX bike non-profit is fighting childhood obesity by allowing children to earn bicycles, requiring 12 hours of work to get the bike they want.

The mayor of an Iowa town says building bike trails is good public policy.

Minneapolis police remind bike riders that we need to stop for stop signs for our own safety, but get it wrong when a rider takes the lane. I couldn’t care less if you decide to roll a stop when there’s no one else around. But in the name of all that’s holy, observe the damn right-of-way and stop for stop signs if there’s conflicting traffic.

Authorities say changing the design of a bike trail on a massive DC area highway widening project could jeopardize the entire thing; bike advocates want the trail moved from next to the highway to the other side of a sound wall, which would violate an agreement with homeowners.

Coral Gables FL is planning to use planters and green space to create protected bike lanes.

 

International

Now that’s a ciclovía. Bolivia banned cars from city streets throughout the entire country for one day, dropping pollution levels up to 70%.

Manchester, England police are accused of victim shaming after tweeting that cyclists shouldn’t weave in and out of traffic, after two young women are killed in separate bike crashes that had absolutely nothing to do with that.

The Guardian looks at the maker of The Laserlight, which projects an image of a bicycle onto the street 16 feet ahead of your bike.

Britain’s Cycling Weekly is facing a boycott from women after labeling a woman in a photo of a racing club as a “token attractive woman.”

A British sports site offers their ten favorite inspirational quotes about bicycling.

An Irish father is riding through all 32 Irish counties in just eight days to raise funds in honor of his 16-year old daughter, who died of a brain tumor.

An 18-year old Saudi Arabian woman is using social media to get other young woman riding.

Nigerian soldiers ambushed a group of suspected bike-riding Boko Haram terrorists, recovering 18 bicycles, seven swords and a pair of slippers.

A Malawi cyclist plans to raise funds to send two needy students to school by riding over six miles uphill while standing up on his bike.

A New Zealand coroner blames the death of a woman bicyclist on brakes that were too large for her small hands, recommending that every bike rider should have a properly fitted bicycle.

Perth, Australia will invest $129 million to fill in the gaps and dead ends in the city’s network of bike paths.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging Aussie driver intentionally rammed a bike rider; no word on the condition of the victim.

When an ebike rider flees the scene after running down an elderly Shanghai woman, it sparks a debate over whether riders of electric bikes should carry liability insurance.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you ride your girlfriend’s bike to break into an office, try not to steal any cremated remains. If you’re going to steal a $2,000 bicycle from an unlocked garage, leave your $100 beater bike in its place.

And proof that you can ride a bike in a skirt.

Even if you’re a man.

 

Morning Links: A close call in WeHo, rider injured in Echo Park, and Complete Streets coming to Mar Vista

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every day.

I nearly saw the thing I fear most on Black Friday.

As my wife and I were walking through West Hollywood on our way back from the market Friday afternoon, I watched in horror as a driver preoccupied with his handheld cellphone made a sudden, and very unsafe, lane change to go around a driver waiting to make a left turn.

Except there was a man on a bike already occupying the space he was trying to cut into.

I’m not sure he ever saw the cyclist as he cut hard to the right, then jerked his wheel back to the left to zip around the stopped car, missing the rear wheel of the bike by less than 18 inches.

The rider kept going, barely reacting to the close call; I don’t know if he even realized just how close it had been.

Which is why a Duke University professor says he’s hanging up his bicycle until drivers hang up their phones.

But at least most drivers only use one phone at a time.

………

Bobby Peppey reports he came across the aftermath of a bike wreck at the intersection of Echo Park Ave and Montana Street in Echo Park on Friday.

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25

 

echo-park-bike-crash-11-25-2

He says the paramedics didn’t appear to be in a hurry to transport the victim, which hopefully is a good sign.

………

Cycling Weekly looks forward to four of next year’s pro road races.

The Guardian looks at the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk, saying their use of insulin to compete is a positive application of the therapeutic use exemption.

An Arizona writer examines the recent victory of transgender cyclist Jillian Bearden in a Tucson women’s race, saying it’s not as unfair as it seems.

A Swiss rider has been fined the equivalent of nearly $400,000 for causing the death of another cyclist during an amateur race.

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Local

Los Angeles reclaims control of Venice Blvd from Caltrans, clearing the way for a Complete Streets project in the Mar Vista area.

Chinese electronics and smart bike maker LeEco is opening a pop-up store at the Grove through December 27th.

A writer for a Bay Area LGBT website advises readers to ditch the car and have fun in Los Angeles, in part by taking advantage of bike tours and bikeshare.

Bighearted Pasadena Rotary Club members assembled 200 bicycles to donate to the Salvation Army for underprivileged kids. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Bike SGV invites you to help build the San Gabriel Valley’s first bike park over the next two weekends. The group is also hosting a holiday-themed Cycling Santas Bike Train on December 17th.

 

State

Newport Beach moves forward with plans to remake Bayshore Drive in an effort to improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Orange Coast College students ride their bicycles to feed the hungry in Costa Mesa with leftovers from the campus cafeteria.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying on the street with a head injury and a broken leg on Friday; the victim reportedly ran a stop sign before being hit. The driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences for the collision if he’d just stopped. Now he could face a felony count once they find him.

Streetsblog says the convenience of motorists still trumps the safety of bike riders in south San Francisco. Sort of like almost everywhere else.

 

National

Politics may divide us, but bicycling holds the US together.

A disabled Washington woman argues that banning ebikes from national forest trails violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole Olympic cyclist Mara Abbott’s bike from her Boulder CO garage; Abbott was minutes from medaling in the Rio road race when she was passed by three riders just a few hundred meters from the finish line. Then again, there’s a special place in hell for bike thieves, period.

The Walton Family Foundation is funding a study of protected bike lanes near the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville AK to see if they will encourage people to bike for transportation.

A Wisconsin driver passed out in her car after driving several miles on an off-road bike trail while allegedly high on meth.

A writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer is surprised to learn that no one keeps statistics on how many drivers are charged, let alone convicted, of traffic crimes, suggesting car crashes should be investigated with the same seriousness as fatal plane and train crashes.

 

International

Pinarello and Rapha could soon join Rodeo Drive luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Christian Dior and Bulgari.

An Aussie bike writer reminisces about riding in Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death.

British Columbia will employ ATV and bike riding paramedics to fight an epidemic of drug overdoses.

The prospect of bike licensing once again rears its ugly head in Canada, as Hamilton councilmembers consider whether the city has the authority to license riders to raise funds for bike lanes. Never mind that it would likely cost more to set up the program than it would bring in.

A bike hating Toronto columnist says the east part of the city is being cut off by the “plague” of bike lanes being built for the “handful of kooks who bike in December.”

LA doesn’t have a monopoly on hit-and-runs, as over 900 London bicyclists were injured by fleeing drivers last year.

Someone clearly doesn’t like a helmet cam-wearing Brit bike rider, threatening to kill his neighbor’s pets if they don’t shun him.

A Welsh mother lost her life while descending a steep French roadway when she missed a turn in heavy fog and rode off a cliff.

Three out of four mountain bikers surveyed in the UK believe right-of-way laws are archaic and aren’t suitable for off-road riding.

A new study from the India branch of the University of Duh shows that speed humps in the roadway are more uncomfortable for bike riders than people in cars.

India opens a new 128 mile long cycle superhighway leading to the front gates of the Taj Mahal.

More Adelaide, Australia bicyclists are riding without helmets to protest the country’s mandatory bike helmet law, resulting in fines averaging $1,000 a day.

A Kiwi columnist says both local bicyclists and visitors are being put at risk by an outdated bike safety plan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a gun with a homemade silencer, don’t ride reluctantly. If you’re using your bike as a burglary getaway vehicle, don’t bite the cop that tries to bust you.

And anyone can ride forward to promote world peace.

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A special thanks to William Clare, Pedego 101, Joel Steinberg, Jeffrey Fylling, Russell Smeall and Elizabeth Trautmann for their generous contributions to support this site during the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive this past weekend.

 

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