Tag Archive for distracted driving

Bike riders clotheslined on Seal Beach bike path, and Baldwin Park teen struck by driver while fleeing bikejackers

Our anonymous correspondent reports two more victims in the ongoing war on bikes.

As if we all didn’t have enough to worry about.

Sunday afternoon in Seal Beach, two cyclists got nailed by fishing line pulled across the river path.

One of them was my landlord, who suffered an abrasion across his cheek and a busted knee when he slammed down onto the embankment. A cyclist who stopped to help him said the same thing had just happened to him about 15 minutes prior. This happened in view of a homeless encampment.

I’ll get more info when I get home in the morning (I’m “essential,” lol). My landlord is okay, no concussion or anything, but his wife and I are nagging him to report it. Again, I’ll have more details in the morning, and hopefully confirmation that it’s been reported.

Yes, attacks like this can and should be reported to the police.

It’s not just a prank. It’s an assault a deadly weapon, which can result in serious injury — or worse — to an unsuspecting victim.

And should be treated like the serious crime it is.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

………

Horrible news from Baldwin Park, where a boy was struck by a driver while attempting to flee from robbers who wanted his bike.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here, as a new study shows in-dash infotainment systems are just another form of dangerously distracted driving.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

………

Take a virtual ride with former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati and his younger brother this evening, and every Tuesday. As much as I’d love to ride with Bahati, I’d hate to get virtually dropped. And I would.

Meanwhile, those of us who are jonesing for baseball can take a 30-minute virtual bike ride with Angels manager Joe Maddon through his Arizona neighborhood as he talks 1979, baseball and music.

………

Congratulations to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew on bringing another bike rider into being.

………

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

Police in El Cerrito CA are looking for a man and woman who shot a bike rider after arguing with him on a popular bike path; the victim was hospitalized with a non-life threatening bullet wound to his leg.

This is what it looks like to be knocked on your ass by a sideswiping hit-and-run driver.

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

Police in Port Hueneme busted a homeless man who was following an Amazon delivery driver around a senior complex, then tried to flee by riding salmon on a major street; he was found with meth and drug paraphernalia, and was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

A Eureka man was busted on a charge of attempted robbery after fleeing from police carrying an unconcealed knife.

Michigan police are looking for a man who rode off on a black bicycle after robbing a gas station. But at least he maintained social distancing, right?

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times asks which SoCal public spaces are safe to visit during the coronavirus crisis? Trick question — none of them, if you can’t maintain a minimum six-foot distance with everyone else.

Meanwhile, a Times editorial says just stay home, already.

LA County trails were closed over the weekend; it was unclear whether LA city parks and trails would follow suit.

CiclaValley looks at how the closure of LA’s parks will affect bicycling.

Men’s Journal visits Silver Lake’s Golden Saddle, calling it LA’s most famous bike shop.

Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev is one of us. So is triple Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, as the couple went for a bike ride through the ‘Bu with her dog tucked under his arm.

 

State

Bike Mag examines how climate change is affecting mountain biking, with a look at California’s newly expanded fire risk.

One small plus in all this, as Newport Beach has closed the popular Back Bay Drive to vehicular traffic, while presumably remaining open to people on foot or two wheels.

Young people in San Diego practiced the opposite of social distancing on the city’s Pacific Beach boardwalk. The city closed beach parking lots to discourage such antisocial socializing, followed by closing the beaches themselves.

Joshua Tree National Park is now closed to everyone except for people traveling by foot or bicycles, which isn’t good news for people who live nearby.

Ventura County officials are reviving efforts to build a five-mile rail-to-trail bike path through the farmlands leading to Santa Paula; farmers have successfully halted it in the past by claiming bike riders and their pets will pee on crops and could be harmed by pesticides.

All Marin County Parks have been closed to cars, but people are still encouraged to walk or bike.

 

National

PeopleForBikes is still advocating for bicycles in today’s strange, new virus-infected world, while Cycling News explains why you’re better off riding solo. Thanks to Robert Leone for the latter link.

A writer for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News says heroic is the only word for bike shop workers who are staying open to help their customers through these trying times. And he’s right.

Bicycling manufacturers throughout the US are switching gears to make face masks and other medical gear to fight coronavirus. Which means it might be harder to find your next bike shorts or gloves, but you’ll be more likely to still be here to use them.

A writer for Gear Patrol says daytime running lights could save your life. Anecdotally, I noticed a drop in dangerous passing and angry drivers after I started using extra bright daytime lights a few years ago.

Bike shops are allowed to stay open under Oregon’s coronavirus closures.

The eight lane highway leading to Denver’s airport is an officially designated bike route, even if no one wants to use it.

The Minnesota man who killed a teenaged bike rider was drunk and stoned on a combination of booze, weed and pills at the time of the crash.

New York bike and pedestrian advocates recommend streets that should be closed to cars during the coronavirus crisis to create more space for pedestrians and people on bicycles.

A bike-riding Virginia bike mechanic stands to benefit from social distancing by being able to ride to his customers.

Once again, a bike rider has been blamed for inexplicably riding into the path of a law enforcement officer, this time in Florida. But this time, the victim will be able to tell his side of the story.

DC is shutting down the National Mall to bike riders and pedestrians to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and closing roads around the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms to everyone.

A DC site asks if the nation’s capital should follow the lead of New York, Philadelphia and Bogota in blocking off some streets to make more space for bicycling and walking.

A Florida newspaper questions whether police shot and killed the wrong man after attempting to stop a man riding a bike in connection with a nearby sexual assault; he was shot at six times after he tried to flee on foot.

 

International

The Verge says there’s no better time to take road space away from cars to promote social distancing during the pandemic.

A writer for Cyclist says it’s time to stop riding in groups, and regrets doing exactly that over the weekend.

Hats off to Pink Bike for testing eight relatively reasonably priced mountain bikes for a change, starting as low as $1,300.

While America’s president reportedly considers relaxing coronavirus restrictions put in place just last week, Britain’s prime minister ordered people to stay in their home after earlier measures failed to stop the spread of the virus; bike riding is still allowed, though, and bike shops can remain open.

Bike riding is banned in Girona, Italy, but apparently still allowed in Berlin, as long as you carry ID and ride with family members or no more than one other person.

Calls for social distancing aren’t going over all that well in Pakistan’s Punjab province, either.

India’s Hero Cycles is anticipating a big boom in demand due to the coronavirus, even though the factory is currently closed to protect workers.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews mourns the passing of Italian writer Gianni Mura, who they describe as a giant of cycling journalism; no cause of death is given.

You can probably cancel those plans for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the 2018 Milan-San Remo race, led more than 4,200 people on a virtual ride over the course on the day the cancelled race was scheduled to be run.

 

Finally…

In case you need an emergency mid-ride espresso. Probably not the best idea to leave your bike in a cemetery after stripping for no apparent reason.

And no, that 60 mph ebike probably isn’t legal.

And you can probably forget that probably part.

LA blames Vision Zero fail on texting drivers, anti-bike bias on Bay Area bridge, and Arroyo Seco repairs underway

The Los Angeles Times pretty well sums up LA’s Vision Zero failure in two short paragraphs.

Last year, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets, a decrease of 0.8% compared to 2018, according to preliminary figures from the city. The victims included 134 people who were walking and 19 people biking.

The data may change slightly with additional analysis, officials said. But the early figures suggest another year of lackluster progress for Vision Zero, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths on city streets by 2025.

That’s two more bicycling deaths than I showed in my records. Which isn’t too surprising, since too many fatal crashes never make the news.

But instead of placing blame on the city’s insistence at nibbling on the edges of traffic safety, rather than making the wholesale changes to LA streets that define a true Vision Zero program, the city insists on pointing the finger at texting drivers.

Which is a major problem, of course.

But Vision Zero is supposed to be about accepting that people will always make mistakes behind the wheel — like texting, for instance. And designing roadways in such a way that those mistakes don’t become fatalities.

According to the story,

The Transportation Department made more changes to streets in L.A. in 2019 than in the prior two years combined, said spokeswoman Connie Llanos. Those 1,529 modifications to crosswalks, traffic signals, intersections and other elements of the street are designed to improve the safety of the street.

Yet none of those modifications included a single road diet or protected intersection.

Or, to the best of my recollection, a single new protected bike lane.

Rather than making simple changes to intersections, the city needs to take aim at changing the city’s car culture, said John Yi, the executive director of Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group.

If zero deaths is really the city’s goal, “we need to have a visionary plan that matches the scope of that goal,” Yi said. “We have failed to do that.”

There is every argument for making those kinds of wholesale changes to the streets, from saving lives to reducing traffic congestion and fighting climate change.

And only one reason not to — city leadership that fears angry voters, and lacks the political will to do what they know must be done if this city, and the people in it, are to survive and prosper.

As exemplified in the mayor’s action in unceremoniously ripping out the Playa del Rey road diets and bikes lanes less than a month after they went in, before they had a chance to prove themselves and drivers could adjust to the changes.

Yet they were elected, not to follow the will of those who scream the loudest, but to actually lead their constituents by making the hard choices to do the right thing, and build a city that works for all of us.

Not just impatient drivers. Or wealthy homeowners.

And not one that continues to kill too many of it’s most vulnerable road users.

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels.

………

Just in case anyone wants to argue that Vision Zero doesn’t work, Helsinki, Finland didn’t have single pedestrian death last year, following a slow decline from a high of 60 in 1970.

………

He gets it.

Then again, Peter Flax always does.

This time, the former editor-in-chief of Bicycling and near-daily bike commuter goes on a polite rant over a recent highly biased article blaming bike lanes on the Bay Area’s Richmond–San Raphael Bridge for making poor, suffering teachers late for work.

Not, say, all those other drivers on the bridge.

This is how efforts to build safe and convenient places for cyclists are demonized—as something that screws up the lives of motorists struggling to get somewhere important. This is how American car culture operates in 2020, when record numbers of cyclists are killed by drivers and efforts to do something about it are viewed as impractical and an attack on the driving public’s way of life.

Swan’s story is better reported than its clickbait headline might suggest, but upon close examination it reads like inadvertent propaganda. Though she name-checks the real problems plaguing miserable commuters, the central premise of her piece lends credibility to the absurd idea that the basic needs of embattled, working-class commuters are being trampled upon by people riding bikes…

He goes on to point the finger where it really belongs.

Let’s be frank. The congestion on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (and roadways in every U.S. city) can really suck. But it doesn’t suck because of cyclists or bike lanes. The traffic sucks because of sprawl and cheap gas and Americans’ love of cars. The traffic sucks because cities and states don’t put enough effort into housing, carpooling, telecommuting, micromobility, and financial tools like congestion pricing (in which motorists pay a modest surcharge to use roads at busy times, a tactic that has decreased traffic in European cities). These systemic problems—less suited to cranky populist headlines—are the real cause of traffic.

As with anything Flax writes, it’s a good read.

But more to the point, it’s an important one. Because we face this same sort of seemingly innocuous bias on a daily basis, with drivers failing to the real traffic problem is facing them back in the mirror.

And it’s not caused by bikes, bike lanes, or the people who use them.

………

Repairs are finally underway on a storm damaged section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

………

The LA Daily News is hosting another candidate forum in CD12 on the 17th.

………

The 2020 Regional Bike Summit kicks off today, hosted by the San Diego Bike Coalition. The mayor of Encinitas, in North San Diego County, will be taking part.

Then again, so should every other mayor in the area.

………

A beautiful handmade lowrider bike takes first place in a bent wood competition.

………

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

Edinburgh, Scotland police are looking for a sidewalk-riding “bike thug” who got off his bike and beat a total stranger for no apparent reason, sending him to the hospital with facial injuries.

………

Local

Congratulations to Sunset For All, after the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted to support protected bike lanes on dangerous Sunset Blvd.

Voice your opposition to plans to widen deadly Magnolia Blvd — one of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network streets — next Monday at the North Hollywood Neighborhood Council meeting

 

State

Uber’s self-driving cars are on their way back to California, three years after the company got its hand slapped by the DMV for unleashing them in San Francisco without permits.

As we noted earlier, San Diego’s popular Ocean Beach bike path will be closed for construction work for the remainder of this month.

Nice gesture by a Santa Maria man, who returned a Kobe Bryant jersey that belonged to a fallen teenage bike rider to the boy’s mother nearly 13 years after he was killed in a collision; the boy had left it at the man’s apartment shortly before his death.

The Vallejo police union blames the victim after a cop is cleared in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager who fled a traffic stop.

A new San Francisco report contradicts the usual narrative from motorists, finding that drivers were responsible for two-thirds of collisions with pedestrians in the city last year.

Lime Bike wants to make a comeback in the Bay Area, despite pulling out of other cities in favor of e-scooter rentals.

Plans are underway to link 15 towns in Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Butte County with more than 300 miles of new motorized and non-motorized trail bike trails in the Lost Sierra region.

 

National

The New York Times says new digital data streams are driving new approaches to transportation, using LA’s data-sharing requirement for e-scooters and dockless bikeshare as a prime example.

On the topic of bikes going nowhere, Flywheel cops to ripping off Peloton’s patented streaming technology.

Specialized has a new e-mountain bike for you, if you’re willing to fork out $6,500 — or $16,500 for the carbon model.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a man walked with time served after copping a plea to vehicular homicide for fatally right-hooking a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, despite a commitment to never drive after using medical cannabis for a bad neck. Evidently, DUI and homicide is just no big deal up there.

This is why I love the bicycling community. When the owner of a Cincinnati mom-and-pop bike shop had to go to the hospital, ten bike mechanics from other shops offered to fill in for him. And a crowdfunding page raised over $9,000 since Sunday night — nearly double the modest $5,000 goal.

Chicago Streetsblog says the city needs a Rapid Response Team, arguing that inaction in the wake of tragic crashes is unacceptable. Which is exactly what I argued for before and after Los Angeles announced its Vision Zero program; every death should be immediately investigated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine contributory causes and prevent another one.

Speaking of the Windy City, the Department of DIY struck once again, spray painting bike lane markings at a Chicago intersection where a woman was killed, after the city failed to maintain them.

New York City could soon require side guards on large trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from being pulled underneath. These should be mandatory everywhere, for reasons that should be obvious.

Pennsylvania votes to allow protected bike and pedestrian lanes on state roadways.

A DC website questions whether “war on cars” is a useful term, after a WaPo reporter insists the district is waging one. Probably not, considering only one side is dying, and it ain’t the people in motor vehicles.

A local website discovers that some people actually like an Alexandrian VA road diet that’s being maligned by very vocal opponents.

 

International

Treehugger confronts the recurring myth that fuel for a bike rider causes as much CO2 emissions as someone in car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

They get it. A column in Cycling Industry News says if the bike industry wants to draw new customers, people need to feel safe riding their bikes. Which is the best argument for why bikemakers and bike shops should get involved in local advocacy. But few do.

Even the Cayman Islands need better bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five tips from the world’s coldest bike ride, Canada’s Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, to help keep you warm here in frigid Southern California.

Saskatoon, Canada, could soon remove a requirement for bicyclists to ride in bike lanes, arguing that faster riders should be allowed to ride in traffic lanes if they feel more comfortable.

Great Britain is debating whether to allow e-scooters in the country, where they are currently banned; a Swedish professor argues that cities should embrace them.

One place you can cross off your bike bucket list — the mean streets of Gaborone, Botswana, where bicycles are unwanted and unwelcome, along with the people who ride them.

A teenage Aussie driver faces multiple charges for killing two men out for their usual early morning bike ride while driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

The San Diego Union-Tribune says USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini is taking the organization in bold new directions after years as an afterthought, as the sport went its own way without its help or oversight.

VeloNews says they already miss the Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled this year after a 14-year run.

 

Finally…

If one shade of bikeshare doesn’t work, just keep going through the colors until one catches on. If you’re going to steal a bikeshare bike, at least be casual about it.

And world famous bike rider LeBron James wants to get you on a bicycle; rumor has it he also plays basketball or something.

 

Morning Links: Garcetti unveils LA Green New Deal, sharing the road with texting drivers, and Woon fund nears $10,000

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled his proposal for an LA Green New Deal, calling for a net zero carbon footprint for the city in just 31 years.

Sort of like that 20% drop in traffic fatalities we were promised by 2017.

So how’s that working out for you, anyway?

In addition to other proposals to fight climate change, Garcetti is calling for a zero-emission transportation network by 2050, driven — if you’ll excuse the phrase — by a major shift to buses and trains, resulting in a 45% drop in miles driven.

And yes, he does include bikes and scooters in that LA Green New Deal. Though just how much emphasis they’ll receive remains to be seen.

Which means safe riding routes will be necessary if the city is going to come anywhere near that 45% goal. Let along allow more Angelenos to go carless altogether.

As always, however, the question is whether Garcetti and LA’s other elected leaders have the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to get nearly half the city’s cars off the streets. Or to maintain those goals when new leaders come in to take their place.

Because so far, at least, saving lives hasn’t been enough to do it.

But maybe the city’s climate-conscious councilmembers, such as self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, will finally support bike lanes if it means saving the planet.

We can dream, can’t we?

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Pasadena police wrote 366 tickets in just four days for texting while driving during April’s Distracted Driver Awareness Month, along with another 273 tickets for other violations.

Which means that if you think you’re surrounded by distracted drivers every time you get on your bike, you’re probably right.

………

It’s been a few days since I checked in on the crowdfunding campaign to give the impoverished infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier a better start in life.

So I was surprised to learn it’s now just $614 short of the $10,000 goal.

Credit Peter Flax for the jump in donations, whose story for Bicycling called attention to the tragedy of Woon’s death, and the heartbreaking impact his loss has had on those who loved him.

And led to over $8,000 in donations in less than a month.

………

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

A Tulsa, Oklahoma bike rider was shot in the leg three times by someone in a passing car.

A Peoria, Illinois truck driver threw a water bottle at a bike rider, followed by threatening him with a gun, after yelling at the bicyclist to get out of the road. Must be a rough town; a jaywalking pedestrian was threatened with a gun by another driver two days earlier.

Horrifying news from Michigan, where a hit-and-run driver dragged a bike rider under his car for more than a mile before he shook loose; the victim was hospitalized in critical condition. Seriously, what kind of walking human scum could be so cruel, uncaring and violent towards a complete stranger?

A British man drove 65 miles to deliberately slam his car into a bike rider he blamed for ruining his life — then got out of his car to hit, kick and strangle the victim as he lay in the street with gaping wounds and multiple fractures to both legs.

………

Local

More on the opening of LA’s first two-way protected bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the LACBC says they’re already talking with LADOT on how to improve the new lanes.

A Los Feliz newspaper recognizes a number of local streets on LA’s Vision Zero High Injury Network; the city says it’s working to make safety improvements to some. Without, you know, actually inconveniencing drivers or anything.

 

State

A new Riverside bike commuter wonders why everyone yells at him when he rides on the sidewalk. Maybe it’s because sidewalk riding is illegal in Riverside. Or maybe just because bike riders are actually safer riding in the street under most circumstances.

Outside follows a San Francisco bike commuter on his two-hour, 35-mile mountain bike ride to and from work along some seriously technical singletrack trails.

There’s a special place in hell for the coward who drove off and left a Sacramento bike rider unconscious and bleeding in the street.

You never know when the owner of your favorite Berkeley coffee shop could turn out to be a former BMX star.

A 15-year old Carmichael boy was critically injured when a red-light running driver crashed into him as he as riding in a crosswalk with the green light. Yet somehow, the police still manage to blame him for failing to wear a helmet or reflective clothing.

A knife wielding Chico man was severely beaten by another man using an unspecified bike part. Which makes me wonder just what part he was using, and whether the rest of us could use it for self-defense against road raging drivers.

 

National

Speaking of Outside, the magazine is conducting its mountain bike testing in my brother’s new hometown.

A writer for Singletracks says all bikes are gravel bikes if that’s where you ride them.

More proof bike thieves are among the lowest forms of human life. After a Portland man was busted while burglarizing a bike shop, police discovered  he was responsible for the hit-and-run death of an 85-year old woman who was run down on her daily morning walk.

A bighearted Washington cop dipped into his own wallet to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen and the police couldn’t recover it.

Nice story, as a Utah community gathers to celebrate the 70th birthday of a man known to everyone as Bicycle Brent, who makes a point of honking his bike’s horn and waving to the people he passes.

A San Antonio TX newspaper asks if the city can convince — or force — scooter riders to wear helmets. Short answer, no. Longer answer, no one is going to carry a helmet with them all day on the off chance that they might ride a scooter; they’ll either skip the helmet, or skip the scooter and drive instead.

An Ohio bike advocate is urging the police to take a report on all collisions involving a bicycle whether or not anyone says they’re hurt, because bike riders often don’t know they’ve been injured until the adrenaline wears off. That’s a common complaint, which is why I always advise telling police you were injured, whether or not you feel any pain.

I like it. When a Pennsylvania bike rider got tired of being harassed and run off the road, she responded by strapping a BMUFL sign on her back.

After a Texas paper’s DC bureau chief sent a tone deaf tweet calling bike and scooter riders who run red lights “adult assholes” — on the same day bike riders rallied for safer streets following the death of leading advocate Dave Salovesh — a writer responds by comparing the actual stats on how many people are injured or killed by bike riders to those injured or killed by motor vehicles. And no, there’s no comparison.

The NYPD is being sued for fining delivery riders using banned ebikes, instead of following department policy and fining the restaurant owners.

Former NY Rangers hockey star Sean Avery is one of us, calling it therapeutic to confront drivers who illegally park in bike lanes.

Baltimore bicyclists rally to keep a parking protected bike lane from getting ripped out because drivers can’t figure out how to park in it.

Horrifying news from Georgia, where a teenager fatally shot a 60-year old man just to steal his bicycle.

Four Florida bike riders were seriously injured when the wheelchair lift gate on a medical lab truck fell open, and the driver kept going without realizing he was mowing people down.

 

International

An op-ed in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the bikelash to the city’s efforts to improve safety for bike riders is unwarranted and short-sighted. Pretty much like the opposition to safer and Complete Streets anywhere else.

The Beeb — as opposed to the Bieb — recounts the history of the bicycle, and explains why the future of bikes is so bright it has to wear shades.

An English soccer legend was seconds away from getting hit head-on by a red light-running driver, as he set out on a long-haul triathlon across the country.

A pregnant, cocaine-binging British mom was busted for driving on a suspended license, after she was released from a year behind bars for slamming into a bike rider while high as a dragon in Westeros.

A man in the UK has put together a Twitter thread to demonstrate just how differently bike riders and drivers are treated after killing someone. Which is an exceptionally rare thing for bicyclists; for drivers, not so much.

Brussels, Belgium is planning a protected bike lane on the auto-centric street in front of the European Union Parliament building.

Now that’s more like it. An estimated 10,000 bike riders turned out in the rain to demand safer streets in Budapest.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has named the riders who will compete for the national team at next month’s Amgen Tour of California, which rolls in less than two weeks.

 

Finally…

When you have meth at home and your carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, maybe riding salmon in the left lane isn’t the best idea. Nothing like installing the bollards in the wrong place on a two-way, now unprotected, bike lane.

And there could be an Android smartphone hidden inside your bike computer.

 

Morning Links: Rapley death leads to effort to catch texting drivers, and more holiday bike giveaways

It’s the last week of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Give today, and join the 37 generous people who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. And help keep this site coming your way every day.

Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world.

Not to mention you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

………

The death of an Australian tourist on an LA roadway has led to safety improvements Down Under. 

James Rapley was riding on Temescal Canyon while on an extended layover at LAX on his way back home for the holidays five years ago when he was run down by a stoned and distracted driver who drifted into the bike lane.

Now one of his best friends has developed a camera system designed to catch distracted drivers, and keep anyone else from dying needlessly. 

The system, from a company called Acusensus, works like a red light camera, capturing photos of distracted drivers and mailing them tickets. 

While no tickets have been issued yet, a four week test of the technology this past October captured an average of 11,000 drivers a day using their phones illegally

Something like that would probably require a law change here. But it might finally get California drivers to put down their damn phones and pay attention to the road ahead of them. 

And possibly avoid thousands of needless deaths and injuries every year. 

Then maybe Rapley’s death won’t have been in vain.

On a related note, I worked with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and LADOT to push for a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley was killed. 

However, the plan LADOT developed for a road diet on Temescal with a protected bike lane on the uphill side and a separated bike lane on the downhill side met local opposition from Palisades homeowners in its only public presentation.

And was quietly shelved following the tumult over the Playa del Rey road diets in Bonin’s district. 

Let’s hope sanity returns someday, and the plan can be revived before anyone else gets killed. 

………

‘Tis the season. 

couple dozen Idaho kids got new bikes, along with free helmets, air pumps and water bottles in a holiday giveaway. 

Hundreds of Detroit kids got free refurbished bikes and helmets from Free Bikes 4 Kids

A Roman Catholic priest, one of 700 selected by Pope Francis to travel the world doing good deeds, gave every 2nd grader in a Kentucky school a new bike and helmet from Trek.   

A London neighborhood sees over 500 cycling Santas turn out on BMX bikes

………

Horrifying security video captures the moment an Australian bicyclist was run down from behind by a driver high on meth, who then continues on to hit a pedestrian and another car. 

No word on whether the victim was injured, or how badly. 

But fair warning, before you push play, be sure this is something you really want to see. The video is graphic and disturbing, and you can’t unsee it. 

………

Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run while riding on La Tuna Canyon with his adult son last year, Los Angeles officials unveiled a new separated bike lane and other safety improvements along the dangerous roadway

This is the cost of traffic violence. Two nine-year old girls are battling for their lives after suffering “massive” head trauma in a street racing crash; one driver was arrested, while the other fled the scene. 

Bird briefly flocked to Redondo Beach on Thursday, only to have its wings clipped and unceremoniously ordered to get the flock out of town by Sunday. 

State

Seriously, don’t kill the newtsThanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up

San Diego’s Holiday Joy Ride shines a light on safety improvements in the city, with many new projects set to be unveiled in the coming year.

North San Diego County bicyclists rode to honor bike and pedestrian safety advocate Roberta Walker, who was critically injured in a crash while riding her bike recently. 

After a bike rider was killed by a speeding driver on Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage, local bicyclists express their concerns about the dangerous roadway. And the local TV station offers tips on how bicyclists can stay safe, without a single word on how drivers should slow down and avoid killing people. 

An Oakland news site operated by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a video report on the latest plan to complete the bike path on the Bay Bridge.

National

In yet another blow to alternative transportation, the Trump administration is converting the popular TIGER grantsthat helped build bike and walkways across the US into a highway building program. 

That energy drink could mess with your blood flow

A Seattle judge sends the city back to the drawing board, ruling in favor of a coalition of maritime and industrial businesses who sued to halt the proposed completion of an 18-mile bike path that’s been in the works for over thirty years. 

A local paper says a planned redo of I-70 through Colorado’s Vail Pass will have to balance the needs of motorists, bicyclists and wildlife; a bike advocate says some sections of the existing bike path through the Rockies are terrifying in places where it runs too close to the freeway. 

Wichita Falls TX bicyclist calls attention to the dangers bike riders face in the city after he was hit from behind with no warning by a drunken motorcyclist. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin state senator praises the country’s longest serving state legislator, who she calls the dean of the senate — and who rode nearly 3,000 spandex-clad miles this year at 91-years old.  

Connecticut Public Radio discusses the origin of bicycles, and how bikes paved the way for the women’s movement over a century ago

After a New York ebike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, the NYPD trips over itself to blame the victim and exonerate the missing driver.  

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times says urban areas around the world are getting the message that cities are for people, not carsMaybe Los Angeles will finally figure that out someday

An op-ed in the Washington Post says traffic laws are universally ignored, and safety will never improve until drivers have to pay for breaking the law

An Orlando FL plastic surgeon says bike riders have to be taught traffic laws, and the laws have to be enforced to improve safety. In other words, he’s blaming the people on bikes for getting hit by cars, and not the people who hit them.  

International

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are calling for a permanent memorial where a bike rider was killed by a cab driver earlier this month, saying the death can’t be swept under the rug. 

Life is cheap in London, where a dump truck driver walked with a suspended sentence in the death of a pregnant woman as she rode her bike. 

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton gets back on her bike for the first time since giving birth in October. 

Troubling piece from a gay couple who biked along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as Brexit throws the border into question, and find gay people hidden deeply in the closet and a revival of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants waiting just under the surface.

A new competition-winning Dutch app enables employers to track bike commuters to pay them for riding to work

Thousands of people in Kathmandu continue to ride their bikes, despite the dangers and chaotic traffic — including missing manhole covers exposing open sewers. 

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist says it’s okay if he hates on bikeways as a ridiculous waste of money, because he rides a bike himself. Sure, let’s go with that

Competitive Cycling

Normally, Stephen Hyde’s third consecutive US national cyclocross championship would be damned impressive. Except the incomparable Katie Compton just won her 15th in a rowYes, fifteen

The former long-time coach of the late, lamented Jelly Belly team has found a new sponsor, allowing him to continue fielding a Continental-level cycling team

Sad news from the UK, where a court heard a cyclist died of a heroin overdose, driven in part by a crippling fear of urinating in public, which prevented him from turning pro over his fears of being forced to take drug tests in front of a witness. 

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.  

Finally…

Even the trees are out to get us.  Strava Santa is coming to town

And not everyone wants cycling gear for ChristmasThat’s okay; I’ll gladly take whatever he doesn’t want


………

Thanks to James van G and Mitchell D for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

………

No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

………

A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

………

Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

………

There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

………

Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

………

The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

………

Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

Morning Links: Arrest in Valbuena hit-and-run, adaptive bikes in the news, and who we share the roads with

Police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Jonathan Valbuena in Torrance last month.

Thirty-seven-year old Thomas Hudson was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes following a two week investigation.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Valbuena, who was described as homeless, was left to die in the street following the 5 am crash at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street.

Let’s hope the DA’s office takes this case seriously, and don’t just write it off because the victim didn’t have a home. Or was on a bicycle.

And that our state legislators finally do something to stop this murderous epidemic.

………

Today’s common theme is adaptive riding.

Bicycling profiles handcycle mountain biker Jeremy McGhee, who has developed a rating system for mountain bike trails accessible to adaptive riders. But then they don’t bother to, you know, link to it.

After losing the use of his own legs, a Colorado framebuilder switched his focus to building one-of-a-kind adaptive mountain bikes to bring wheelchair-bound riders back to the trails.

A Pittsburgh paraplegic is preparing to make an attempt to set a new record for the most miles traveled by handcycle in 24 hours.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An allegedly drunk, off-duty Lyft driver takes a wide, fast turn onto Sunset Blvd, and takes out a handful of people standing on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey a Go Go.

Then there’s this guy.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a British driver with eight previous convictions for distracted driving killed a bike rider moments after reading a text. And just weeks after magistrates agreed to let him keep his license.

Maybe those magistrates should be looking for a new line of work.

………

Get your zen on with mesmerizing drone footage of bicyclists rounding a roundabout in bike-friendly Davis.

………

Women on Wheels rides to brunch in the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

Maybe they’ll bring me back something from Donut Man. Not that I could actually eat it or anything.

………

Damn.

This punishment pass from the UK is about the closest I’ve ever seen without actually hitting someone.

………

Local

A motion by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield would revoke regulations that have officially taken 374 LA streets off the books, preventing some of them from getting repaved since 1934.

NIMBY pressure group Fix the City settled a lawsuit that had stopped plans for a Frank Geary designed complex on Sunset Blvd; the group had somehow sued to preserve a dangerous right turn slip lane at Sunset and Crescent Heights that puts pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at needless risk.

Lyft is teaming with LADOT to sponsor a promotion to get you out of your car for 30 days. Shouldn’t be a problem; I haven’t driven mine for 285 days, give or take. Although if you’re just going to move to a ride hailing service, it doesn’t accomplish much.

Good news for South Bay bicyclists, as bike-friendly former Long Beach city councilmember Suja Lowenthal has taken over as city manager for Hermosa Beach.

 

State

The Folsom History Museum is offering new exhibits combining bicycles and beer. Or you could just ride your bike to your favorite microbrewery.

 

National

A City Lab Op-Ed proposes the concept of Universal Basic Mobility, based on the idea that everyone has a right to get around — for a price.

A business writer considers the inevitable conflicts between mountain bikers and trail runners as a metaphor for resolving business conflicts. Although from his description, I get the feeling he doesn’t know enough regular bike riders.

Gear Junkie looks at the latest ebikes on display at Reno’s recent Interbike show.

A Colorado letter writer makes the point that even when a bike lane is empty, it’s “reducing congestion and aggravation for transportation users of all kinds.”

Now that’s a ciclovía. Colorado Springs CO is closing the spectacularly beautiful Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark to motor vehicles this Sunday, replacing the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic with people on foot and bikes.

An Idaho man spends a late fall Sunday riding a little too fast past bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone Park.

Boston is working to improve its bike infrastructure, including a new two-way centerline bike lane, protected intersections and bicycle traffic signals.

No bias here. The NYPD continues to target immigrant delivery people riding banned throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than the restaurants they work for, despite the mayor’s promises and in violation of the city’s ordinance governing ebikes.

A bike-riding New York councilmember discusses her proposal to require crews to provide bike lane detours around construction sites. We could really use a similar law here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina bicyclists are warning each other to be careful after a bike rider was hit by an object thrown from a passing car.

A Louisiana parish responds to the collision that killed a bicycling Baton Rouge city councilmember by adopting an anti-bike “bike safety” law requiring bicyclists to wear flouro hi-viz and ride single file in groups of ten or less. None of which would have prevented the crash that killed him. Or likely the next one, for that matter.

 

International

Talk about not getting it. A Montreal letter writer says a ghost bike should be installed in front of city hall to remind politicians to “curb inappropriate cycling behavior to prevent hogging the road.” Which is not exactly what ghost bikes are for.

Bike riders and pedestrians will be included in a small class of vulnerable road users as Nova Scotia updates its traffic regulations for the first time since 1932.

No, removing bike parking from an English train station is not an “improvement.”

Scottish blogger Town Mouse gets a bad case of the speed wobbles.

Paris will now ban cars from the entire city center on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, to improve air quality and share public spaces.

The mayor of an Istanbul neighborhood is doing more than encouraging people to people get out of their cars and bike to work; he gave up his own official car and is using a bike to get to and from appointments.

An Indian cycling club will try to set a new record for the longest line of moving bicyclists; the current record of 1,186 bicyclists is held by Bangladesh.

A Sikh cyclist is challenging an Indian randonneuring ride’s requirement for all riders to wear a helmet, since that would mean removing the turban he’s required to wear by his faith.

Australian bicyclists are angry that two of the most popular riding routes have been bumped off plans for promised bike infrastructure, leaving thousands of bike riders on their own every day.

Australia’s eight-time world BMX champ Caroline Buchanan took time off from training in California to marry boyfriend Barry Nobles at Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Japanese police explain how a wanted man was able to hide in plain sight by posing as a bike tourist in Osaka Prefecture for seven weeks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The barren dirt slopes of Afghanistan are witnessing the birth of an equal opportunity mountain biking movement; 40% of the cyclists in a recent race were women.

Women’s cycling will visit the UK’s north for the first time next year, with the three-day Tour of Scotland.

Hard-hitting piece from Canadian cyclist Devaney Collier, as she explains why she’s still afraid to leave her home for training rides, two years after her teammate Ellen Watters was killed in a collision.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bakfiets when you can just subscribe to one? Your wait for a gold-plated track bike is finally over.

And the best drink mix for every type of ride.

And no, margarita mix isn’t one of them.

 

Morning Links: Gaimon’s new Rules, distracted cop crash, Ofo kisses LA goodbye, and history of the Bike Oven

Before we get started, drop whatever you’re doing and check out today’s must-read piece, as Phil Gaimon rebuts the infamous Velominati Rules.

And completely and totally nails it.

Then again, as far as I’m concerned, he could have quit with Rule #10: “Don’t be a dick.”

Which pretty much covers every other rule. And everything else.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Former pro Phil Gaimon with a very odd bike helmet; photo shamelessly stolen from his website.

………

Call it a Peculiar crash, indeed.

A bike rider was the victim of a seriously distracted Peculiar, Missouri cop, who turned into his bike as he was stopped at a three-way intersection.

The officer was suspended with pay after admitting on the video that he was texting at the time of the crash.

Thanks to Todd Munson, Jeff Vaughn, J. Patrick Lynch and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo waves Los Angeles a fond farewell as the overextended company prepares to pull out of North America.

Thanks to Matthew Gomez for forwarding the email.

………

A new video tells the story of LA’s groundbreaking Bike Oven.

………

If you want to understand why LA City Councilmembers are able to act like little kings in their districts, and why it’s so hard to get anything done in this city, consider that we have the fewest city council districts of any major US city.

………

Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an American problem.

Two American bike tourists were killed in Tajikistan when a driver slammed into the group of riders before fleeing the scene; two Dutch bike tourists were also killed, and three others injured.

………

Local

Santa Monica’s city manager says SaMo is making progress dealing the the e-scooter phenomenon, calling it both a problem and an opportunity

Long Beach will host the LA area’s first nighttime open streets event with Beach Streets Twilight on August 25th.

 

State

A Bakersfield writer visits local advocacy group Bike Bakersfield, and discovers that bicycles are changing lives in the city.

A team of 11 people riding from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness of sex trafficking pause in Santa Barbara to discuss the problem.

The speeding bicyclist who killed an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco several years ago, bringing scorn and derision on the Strava app, is now launching his own ten-part podcast to give his side of the story.

Sad news from Oakland, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run, which apparently wasn’t deemed newsworthy by the local media.

 

National

When you’re a JetBlue pilot, your mountain bike flies for free.

Who says you can’t put a bike rack on a Vespa?

Forbes says bike-friendly apartments are popular with renters.

Next City says when you imagine who is biking in American cities, you’re probably wrong.

Streetsblog talks with Lime Bike Chief Programs Officer Scott Kubly, who says e-scooters are the next big thing.

The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the extreme cyclists of the Navajo Nation.

A former player for the Arizona Diamondbacks is creating his own cross-country triathlon, starting with a seven-mile swim across the San Francisco Bay, followed by biking 2,344 mile to Chicago, then running the rest of the way to New York.

Houston police say noted cardiac surgeon Dr. Mark Hausknecht was targeted by the bike-riding killer who shot him as he rode his bike.

People can’t seem to figure out why there are stripes in a Texas bike lane. You’d think the local DOT might want to explain that before the paint went down. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Rhode Island residents install their own stop signs on a bike path where a six-year old boy was killed recently, rather than wait months to go through official channels; the state DOT says they can stay for now.

The Boston Globe says dockless ebikes and scooters don’t bite, so relax already.

They get it. A Virginia newspaper says the best way to reduce the severity of bike crashes is for everyone to slow the hell down. Okay, I may have added “the hell” to that, but still.

 

International

Call it urologist humor. A new study shows that a shock absorbing bike seat can help prevent erectile dysfunction in men due to uneven road surfaces, and genital numbness in both men and women. As well as helping make “cycling be less of a pain in the butt.”

The Guardian says road trips are even better by bike, and offers four more to add to your bike bucket list, including our own Route 66. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal recommends a bike tour through the “Tuscany of America,” while the Japan Times recommends the island of Kyushu.

Vancouver’s ex-city planner says streets should make people want to stick around. Not, say, drive through as quickly as possible, as with most of Los Angeles.

She gets it. A British Columbia automotive writer says drivers should be grateful that every bike rider takes a car off the road, even if the riders are doing it for their own benefit.

A Yukon mountain biker was lucky to make it back home after a stray bullet fired by a man sighting a rifle barely missed him. At least, we can all hope it was an accident.

Caught on video: After riding erratically, a Winnipeg bike rider crashes into a stopped car while fleeing from police, then takes off on foot. Watch carefully in the background, and you can see a passerby trying to roundup the rider’s stray wheel following the crash.

Montreal bicyclists are angry over getting banned from a historic cemetery due to the actions of a few riders, even though cars, electric scooters, dog walkers and picnickers are still allowed.

So much for the myth of the scofflaw cyclist. A new London study showed only a tiny fraction of bike riders rode faster than 20 mph on the city’s cycle superhighways, and the overwhelming majority obeyed traffic signals.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why London’s Conservative mayoral candidates won’t embrace the city’s bicycle infrastructure, when the free-market case for it is so clear.

Hundreds of teenage bicyclists descend on a British city, wreaking havoc by surrounding cars and frightening drivers.

The Netherland’s world-standard bikeways are melting under Northern Europe’s unrelenting heatwave.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali is getting animated in a new film.

Abu Dhabi is getting bike friendly, as it nears the halfway mark in its goal of adding 500 bike racks throughout the city.

Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is one of us; the women’s representative to the Kenyan parliament rode with the Nairobi Critical Mass last week.

Tests show ebikes could save Australian commuters up to $200 a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women are the weaker sex? An international team of women’s cyclists completed the entire 2018 Tour de France route one day ahead of the official Tour to show that women can handle the rigors of a Grand Tour.

Geraint Thomas made history by becoming the first Welsh rider to win the tour, as his TV announcer wife waited for him at the finish line in Paris. Although London’s notorious tabloid press was quick to paint him as a “self-confessed booze-loving party animal.”

Houston’s Lawson Craddock made history by becoming the first American to capture the Lanterne Rouge for finishing last in the Tour de France, and the first to trail the race from start to finish. On the other hand, he rode all but the first few kilometers with a broken shoulder blade, while raising more than twice the $102,100 stretch goal for a Houston velodrome.

Ireland’s Dan Martin beat out Craddock and a handful of better known riders to win the award as the tour’s most competitive rider.

Getty Images wants to introduce you to famed Tour de France superfan El Diablo.

In a great, if somewhat surreal, interview, the Irish writer who blew the whistle on organized doping in pro cycling — and lost his job as a result — talks with ex-Tour de France winner and current cannabis entrepreneur Floyd Landis.

The Conversation asks if pro cycling has a concussion problem.

This week marks the annual Big Bear Cycling Festival and the Tour de Big Bear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike to commit a crime, take it with you when you go. Building a bike to survive the apocalypse.

And some drivers hide their license plates to avoid getting caught on speed cameras; bicyclists can just ride naked.

 

Morning Links: NYT shines national spotlight on LA’s deadly car culture, and open season for open streets

Los Angeles’ hit-and-run car culture and deadly streets takes their bow in the national spotlight.

And the picture isn’t pretty.

The New York Times, in an article by LA-based reporter Jose A. Del Real, examines the problems on our streets and the rising toll among bike riders, through the tragic death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA.

Cyclists have long risked danger in Los Angeles, where a loose and lackluster network of bike lanes means they often ride alongside speeding cars. Today, cyclists draw a special kind of vitriol from drivers in America’s car capital, where traffic congestion is increasingly intolerable as the region’s population grows by an estimated 50,000 people a year.

In poor areas of the city, where people are more likely to depend on walking and cycling as the sole means of transportation, residents complain of a disregard for their well-being by drivers who treat their neighborhood streets like highways. City data shows that the dangers to pedestrians and cyclists are particularly acute in South Los Angeles — where Mr. Frazier was killed — which lags the rest of the city in safety infrastructure.

He note that the mayor has promised to ramp up advertising to fight the carnage on our streets.

That’s right, advertising.

“I am confident that without our efforts, things would be even worse,” Mr. Garcetti said earlier this year. He said the city’s transportation department would ramp up advertising related to road safety.

The purpose of Vision Zero is to remake our streets so that human mistakes don’t result in fatal crashes.

It’s hard to see how even the most hard-hitting ad can equal the life-saving effectiveness of a single road diet.

It’s an important read.

One that even quotes me couple times, along with the newfound advocates who’ve risen in the wake of Woon’s death.

And Del Real did me the favor of not quoting most of the things I said, as he caught me in one of my more pissed off moods at the inaction of city officials in the face of the rising bike and pedestrian deaths and lawlessness on our streets.

Then again, I don’t think they could print most of that in the Times, anyway.

Maybe that national spotlight will embarrass our mayor as he angles for higher office.

And make him realize he has a lot more work to do right here in the City of Angels first. Along with a few city council butts to kick.

We can hope.

………

The streets are officially open.

The Los Angeles Daily News looks at another successful CicLAvia in the North San Fernando Valley, and contrasts it with the dangers riders face on LA streets. KCBS-2 reports from earlier in the day.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating open streets on Sunday, as thousands turned out for the fifth CycLOUvia in Louisville KY.

And just a tad further north, Winnipeg, Canada celebrated its ninth annual Ciclovia.

………

The Ad Council has posted the winners of their annual student film contest focusing on the dangers of texting while driving.

Hopefully they’ll show these to the sheriff’s department.

………

Local

The city council’s Transportation Committee has voted to approve protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in LA’s Skid Row. That should make it almost a done deal, since the full council usually rubber stamps decisions made in committee. Update: Joe Linton informs me that the full council has already approved the motion, voting 11 to 0 on Friday to install the lanes.

The LA Times travel section offers tips on how to choose a car bike rack for your next road trip. Best advice: Whatever rack you choose, make sure your can lock it to your car, then lock the bikes to the rack. And take them inside when you stop for the night or leave your car for any length of time.

Calabasas-based 10 Speed Coffee is opening a new bike-themed outpost in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Juan Capistrano police give a six-year old boy a new bicycle to replace the one he managed to jump off of, saving his own life just before it was crunched by a red light-running driver. However, it’s strange that the driver was booked on a felony hit-and-run charge, which requires serious injuries under California law; otherwise, it should be a misdemeanor.

The new captain of the Chino Hills police department is one of us, and a long-time member of Redland’s Citrus Valley Velo cycling club. 

Cycling legend and commentator Bob Roll takes a low-tech roll through Silicon Valley.

 

National

Trump’s tariff’s as he ramps up a trade war with China could come at the expense of the booming growth of ebikes, most of which are made in the Middle Kingdom.

A new study refutes the myth that more and wider roadways are necessary for regional economic success, showing that the cities that don’t have traffic congestion are the ones that are dying.

Bicycling takes a look at the new old Harley Davidson bicycle, which can be yours for a mere $4,200.

Popular Mechanics rates the best multi-tools, and says every kind of bike is going electric, from motor scooters to cargo bikes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

An Anchorage AK bike shop suffered $75,000 in losses during a late night burglary, as thieves appear to be targeting high-end bicycles in the city.

Taking distracted driving to a new extreme, the backup driver responsible for overseeing the self-driving Uber car — and preventing the crash that took the life of Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bike across a Tempe AZ street — was watching The Voice on Hulu, instead of the road. Police had initially blamed Herzberg, calling the crash unavoidable before realizing it was anything but.

Three Utah bicyclists participating in a charity ride were seriously injured when they were run down from behind by a “drowsy” driver coming home from working a night shift; fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening.

While the rest of the country is just discovering protected bike lanes, Boise ID had them in the ’70s, but let them fade away.

This is why you should always question police investigations following a crash. Colorado police reversed themselves after initially blaming the victim for a serious crash after they were finally able to talk to her in the hospital; she refuted the driver’s claim that she was riding her bike on the shoulder and illegally turned in front of him.

Emotions run high as 18 bike riders return home to Oklahoma after a three-week ride through seven states, retracing the steps of the Cherokee tribe during the infamous Trail of Tears.

LimeBike is threatening to walk away from Chicago’s pilot dockless bikeshare program over a clause that requires bikes to be locked to a stationary object when not in use.

A Massachusetts town celebrates its history as a bicycle factory town by giving new bikes to 19 kids.

An op-ed in the New York Times says if we want to build a sustainable future, cities and people must take priority over cars.

Sad news from Pennsylvania, where a woman was killed riding her bike home from her new job because she didn’t want to bother anyone by asking for a ride; her relatives didn’t even know she owned a bike. Naturally, police blamed her for the rear-end crash for riding in the traffic lane on a 45 mph road, rather than on the shoulder.

 

International

City Journal examines the worldwide problem of vandalism and destruction that’s causing a major retreat by bikeshare providers, docked and otherwise.

Road.cc reviews five of the best foldies, and considers 26 of the best books in bicycling. As if anyone has time to read when you could be out on your bike.

Bike Radar recaps the week’s best new bike gear.

A 29-year old Belgian man stopped in Winnipeg on a 30-month bike trip from the tundra of far northern Canada to the tip of southern Argentina.

Caught on video: A Toronto bike rider catches a crash on a bike cam when he’s hit head-on by a driver making an illegal U-turn, who drove off after giving him a fake name and phone number. Amazingly, police don’t consider it hit-and-run since he didn’t need immediate medical attention.

A commentator on a conservative website says a call for banning right turns on red lights in Toronto is based on junk science, saying that stats showing 13% of crashes occurred when drivers were turning right just means that 87% didn’t, and that drivers aren’t always at fault. By that measure, running red lights should be legal too, since it doesn’t always result in a wreck, either.

A London writer says putting signs on the back of large trucks isn’t enough to protect bike riders and pedestrians from getting killed in their drivers’ blind spots. But ads will stop deadly crashes in Los Angeles, right?

A English minister says he understands the benefits of bicycling, but may get rid of the bikes in his garage because of the dangers posed by motorists. Although he says “militant cyclists” don’t help the cause of bicycling by trying to impose their rights. Which is another way of saying people who want to legally ride their bikes without getting run off the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South African driver’s mother suffered a heart attack and his father has suffered from depression after he was sentenced to ten years for killing two bike riders. Then again, if you think that’s bad, imagine the suffering of his victims’ families.

Nepal paid tribute to the country’s national cycling champion after he was killed falling into a river while competing in Sri Lanka.

Aussie police warn of an “epidemic” of headphone-wearing cyclists and pedestrians killed in traffic collisions. If you can call an average of two a year an epidemic — and if the headphones were actually what caused the crashes. After all, if headphones cause crashes, car sound systems and hermetically sealed, soundproof vehicles should, too. 

Touching story as a Japanese man flew to Taiwan to thank the man who cared for his son when he was fatally injured by falling rocks while mountain biking.

Now you can tour Vietnam and Sri Lanka by ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fourth time is the charm, as SoCal’s Coryn Rivera nips Megan Guarnier to win her first US Pro national road race championship. Tennessee’s Emma White dominated the women’s U-23 races.

An Idaho man was part of an eight-person team that set a new record of just under five days, four hours in the Race Across America.

Bicycling explains how to watch the Tour de France this year. And no, streaming it live on your handlebars while you ride probably isn’t the best idea.

Seriously? Team Sky’s coach says Chris Froome’s safety is at risk after five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault calls Froome a cheat over his failed drug test.

The race of the century — or at least the next few weeks — will roll on July 1st as the grudge match between LA’s own Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara will charge up Switzerland’s Col du Pillon. You can cheer Gaimon on with your own cookie-themed kit.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you miss your train, and end up beating it to your destination. Even Transylvania is becoming bike friendly.

And presenting the Uniform Manual of Traffic Engineer Excuses.

 

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

………

Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

………

Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

……….

Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

Morning Links: More details on $11.75 million Olin settlement; Venice writer says don’t over-regulate e-scooters

Yesterday’s press conference revealed more details about the nearly $12 million settlement from the County of Los Angeles for the death of bike-riding music executive Milt Olin, who was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy in December, 2013.

Citing new evidence, Olin’s family is asking the DA’s office to take another look at the case, after the DA had initially declined to file charges.

The DA had said there was no evidence the deputy was actually moving while he texted and used the onboard computer in his patrol car just prior to the crash.

However, new evidence shows Deputy Andrew Wood was traveling at over 40 mph on Mulholland Highway as he typed into his laptop to respond to a message from another deputy at the time of the crash. And had used his personal cell phone to text his wife just 15 seconds earlier.

Olin should have been visible to Wood for 21 seconds as the deputy drove down Mulholland — or would have been if he hadn’t been distracted. Wood initially said that Olin swerved in front of him before investigators placed the point of impact squarely in the bike lane.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website, which was founded after his death to combat distracted driving.

………

A Venice-based writer for The Atlantic dons his best Raymond Chandler-esque prose to say e-scooters could ease traffic. But only if cities can avoid over-regulating them.

If Bird comes to your city, its detractors will cry foul.

They’ll lash out as if every Silicon Beach scheme to make some scratch is zero sum, call the code-enforcement coppers on anything without a business license, insist on “a comprehensive regulatory scheme” as if mere scooters require one, and remain so beholden to status-quo bias that they’ll hold Birds to standards they’ve never applied to Firebirds, Skylarks, Falcons, Cygnets, or Roadrunners.

Before throwing in with the skeptics, at least take a ride.

It’s a good read, and worth a few minutes of your day.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches a bike thief in action and gives chase, before losing the scoundrel in Griffith Park.

City Lab talks with UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup.

Beverly Hills will hold a Complete Streets Walk Audit on Saturday, June 9th to get input on the city’s Complete Streets process.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Studies show that dockless bikeshare works best when it’s seen as an extension of the transit system. And that both dockless and traditional bikeshare can succeed in the same city.

Bicycling lists celebrities who ride bikes, from Pippa Middleton to George Clooney. If you have the patience to click through all 25 pages.

People for Bikes is looking for a part-time writer. And the best part is, it’s not an onsite position, so you can work wherever you are now.

A Seattle bicyclist got his stolen bike and tools back after online commenters pitched in with a description and location of the thief’s truck.

Three months after becoming the first woman finisher in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race, a Norwegian woman gets her $3,000 stolen carbon-fiber bike back after it was spotted in an Anchorage homeless camp.

A Pittsburgh public radio station considers what happens when construction work closes a bike lane or bike path; city policy requires developers to provide an alternate route. Unlike Los Angeles, where bike lanes are closed for construction work or movie shoots with no detour on a regular basis.

A New York man says he hasn’t bought a bicycle since the 1990s, even though he’s ridden all over the world. Then proves it by suggesting racing bikes cost just $600 these days.

The war on bikes goes on, as a New York man was attacked for the crime of riding his bike in a bike lane that was overflowing with pedestrians forced off a narrow, overcrowded sidewalk.

Boing Boing looks back on the bikelash panic that preceded the introduction of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare five years ago, none of which came to pass.

In the spirit of that earlier bikeshare panic, a Brooklyn paper says dockless bikeshare will bring chaos to Coney Island.

 

International

This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign. A Canadian man had his bike stolen when thieves unbolted the sign and slid then lock off. Then again, they also stole his next bike, even though it was locked to an iron railing.

No surprise here. The driver who plowed into four Canadian cyclists on a charity ride was under the influence at the time of the crash.

A writer for the Guardian says the problem in London isn’t a lack of diversity on bikes, it’s the lack of safe streets that keeps women and children from riding. Although a writer says the real problem on her bike commute is MAMILS.

The Guardian also examines the rise of ultra-cyclists, in advance of a 258-mile ride from London to Wales and back.

A British woman expects to become the first disabled woman to ride unsupported around the entire coast of Great Britain when she completes her journey today.

The Melbourne, Australia city council concludes that safety fears and a lack of decent bike lanes discourage many people from riding bikes. Meanwhile, a cycling commentator says policies that encourage more Melbourne commuters to bike to work will be a win for everyone.

Western Australia’s Road Safety Minister says there are no plans to require bicyclists to ride single file, there or anywhere else in the country, despite a petition from angry drivers.

A new Tokyo bar is designed for, and staffed by, road cyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Canadian track cyclist says the five-month break she was forced to endure following a massive blood clot caused by a crash in the Rio Olympics has left her more grounded and focused on the Tokyo Games.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera is bouncing back after a challenging classics season, winning two stages of Germany’s Internationale Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour.

Chris Froome is confident about repeating as Tour de France champ this summer, after bouncing back from his “brutal” Giro win. If he doesn’t get a belated ban for a failed drug test at last year’s Vuelta, that is.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride your classic Schwinn cruiser inside. Or maybe ride outside to celebrate legal marijuana.

And we may have to deal with rude drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rude ‘roos.

 

%d bloggers like this: