Tag Archive for e-scooters

Morning Links: Driving on Ballona Creek, SaMo sued over Lyft scooter trip-and-fall, and December die-in at City Hall

When is a bike path not a bike path?

When it unexpectedly turns into a roadway for lost drivers.

Josh Hamilton forwarded this photo he took Tuesday morning on the Ballona Creek Bike Path in Culver City, along with the following note.

Longtime reader and wanted to share something that happened this morning.

Turns out there is nothing preventing cars from entering the bike path at Sepulveda Blvd (and minimal signage) and 2 people in a car accidentally drove onto the Ballona Creek Bike Path. They were driving slowly when I stopped and spoke with them near the pedestrian bridge at the school next to the path.

I assume they were foreign tourists as they were in what seemed like a rental car with out of state plates and they didn’t speak English. They mistakenly had Google Maps set to bicycle directions. They were concerned and clearly meant no harm, but it’s clearly an issue if drivers can just enter the bike path on accident or on purpose.

Then again, it seems to be a problem other places, too.

Photo of the unprotected entrance to the Ballona Creek Bike Path from Google Maps; photo of car on bike path by Josh Hamilton.

………

Santa Monica voted to extend their e-scooter and bikeshare program another six months, until it can be replaced with a more comprehensive program.

Even though an 88-year old woman is suing Santa Monica, Lyft and the Santa Monica Community College District after suffering multiple hip, pelvis and elbow fractures when she tripped over a Lyft scooter that had been illegally left in a no scooter zone in front of the school.

It had been left on the sidewalk next to a passenger drop-off zone where the city had instituted a scooter “no deployment zone,” but allegedly failed to enforce it.

I’ve long supported micromobility to reduce the numbers of cars on the street and vehicle miles traveled.

Long being a relative term, since they first hit the streets just two years ago.

But inherent in that support is the need to use them responsibly. Which does not include leaving them where they block sidewalks or other places where people can trip on them.

A successful micromobility program demands safe places to ride the devices, as well as safe places to park them.

We need a complete, comprehensive network of bike lanes throughout every city in the LA area, along with secure, in-street bicycle, bikeshare and scooter parking on every block.

Whoever left that scooter there in violation of the rules, whether it was the last person to use it or someone who moved it there, is who’s really responsible for harming an elderly woman.

And they’re extremely lucky that’s all it was.

Instead, every resident of Santa Monica will be on the hook for that one person’s carelessness.

Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

………

This time they gave us plenty of notice.

So mark your calendar for December 3rd, when LA bike riders will hold a die-in on the steps of city hall.

Let’s there’s at least one person on the ground for each of the 28 people on bicycles killed in LA County so far this year — half of them in the City of Los Angeles.

And those numbers will continue to grow until Vision Zero finally becomes more than just a feel-good slogan for our elected leaders.

………

A woman was injured when she was left crossed by a motorist pulling into a driveway during last weekend’s Tour de Foothills in Upland.

No word yet on how serious her injuries are.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew and Erik Griswold for the video.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Alleged drunk driver Carlo Adrian Navarro has been charged with murder for the Halloween night crash that killed an entire family in Long Beach.

The 20-year old man faces up to life in prison for the crash that killed a mother, father and their three-year old son as they were trick-or-treating.

………

Thanks to the Beverly Hills PD for keeping the streets safe from people driving without a valid sofa license.

………

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition sends word that half the Seal Beach Blvd bike lanes will be closed for the next six weeks.

Speaking of which, Orange County didn’t quite turn out as promised.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Someone has been smearing shit under the handlebars of DC bikeshares.

A road raging London driver screamed at a bicyclist to get in the bike lane, apparently unaware that bike riders don’t have to use them in the UK. Or maybe he was just pissed off about having to pay for a tiny fraction of it.

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

Seriously, if you’re taking up more than one seat on the train, move your damn ass if someone else needs one.

………

Local

No surprise here. Uber is taking Los Angeles to court to prevent getting banned over their refusal to share use data with the city.

UCLA police are cracking down on scofflaw scooter users.

A USC editor talks about his bike commute, and says LA’s bikeability could use some improvements. Meanwhile, a writer for the school paper says distracted bicycling has to be banned on campus. Just wait until the New York Times tells him about distracted walking.

Bruce Willis is one of us, taking up bicycling after he sold his motorcycles and donated the profits to support active and retired soldiers. Although you can’t win with the British tabloids, who criticize people who don’t wear helmets and ridicule them if they do.

Get a ticket riding in the South Bay, and you could find yourself in bike traffic school.

It’s a tad too late for this month. But you might want to mark your calendar for next month’s full moon ride in Long Beach.

 

State

Cycling News offers photos from Peter Sagan’s three-day Sagan Roadie-Oh! in San Diego last weekend.

A board member with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says criticism from a man who failed to get elected to the board was off base, because he simply failed to convince enough people to vote for him.

San Diego mountain biker Nate Marroquin will walk into med school next summer, despite breaking his back in a fall that left him paralyzed last year.

A bike-riding serial killer will face trial for attacking a number of mostly homeless people in San Diego, killing four and injuring several others.

A Ventura neighborhood will get new sidewalks and bike lanes.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a trailer from a Fresno bike club, along with the mountain and cross bikes inside.

A San Jose columnist says yes, green lanes are important.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bicycle. Let’s hope he pulls through, and makes a fast and full recovery.

San Francisco is making plans to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on narrow residential streets, even though that requires changing or repealing the state’s deadly 85th Percentile Law.

Berkeley considers instituting a sort-of Idaho Stop Law by asking police to de-emphasize ticketing riders who treat stops as yields, and red light like stop signs.

 

National

RideApart considers what tools you should carry on your bike.

Liberal think tank Center for American Progress says all-of-the-above transportation strategies won’t work. And what has to go is the country’s over-reliance on motor vehicles.

That’s more like it. A Denver driver gets some real justice for right hooking a bike rider, when a judge sentenced her to 50 hours of community service — to be served with a bicycling organization.

The Chicago Tribune offers tips one how to choose the best foldie. Oddly, they recommend a Schwinn, which has got to be one of the few times that’s happened since the ’60s.

Streetsblog says don’t blame the victim after a woman was killed when she was right hooked by a garbage truck.

Call it the two-wheeled Indy 500. IndyCar racer Tony Kanaan is one of us, riding 500 miles in a typical week. He considers the 56-mile bike leg of a triathlon a light day.

Speaking of Indy, a student at Indiana University has started a petition to remake Breaking Away with a female cast; the movie is based on the university’s annual Little 500. I’m all for it if Dennis Christopher they let reprise his role; Dave Stohler would a hell of a bike coach. And yes, I signed the petition.

A Rhode Island construction company is threatening to build apartments on a new bike path, claiming the state doesn’t own the land it built it on.

The New York Times recommends ped-assist bikes to help new mountain bikes gain confidence and fitness.

The NY Times also piles on with the victim blaming by offering tips on how to stop your distracted walking. Unlike distracted driving, no one has ever been killed by a distracted pedestrian. And there are few, if any, stats to support the idea that there has been a rash of distracted walking deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike a Pennsylvania special needs man used to get to work.

Bicycling checks in with ex-Tour de France winner and new Amish Country hemp mogul Floyd Landis.

Sure, that’s credible. A Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike claimed he didn’t know he hit anyone. And just happened to buy some spray paint and repaint his truck.

After someone stole the bicycle a retired cop and stroke survivor used as his only form of exercise, kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

A new study confirms that helmet laws drive down bicycling rates — but also finds that helmet use corresponds with a higher rate of upper body injuries. Before you throw your helmet away, bear in mind that correlation does not equal causation. And a wrecked shoulder is better than a wrecked skull.

That’s more like it. A Calgary man could face up to life in prison for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that killed a 15-year old boy and seriously injured his friend as they were riding their bikes; prosecutors waived 11 other charges against the man, who was driving a stolen vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Seriously? The British government is allowing thousands of wild duck eggs to be destroyed because they might, potentially, grow up and walk in front of a bike rider someday.

Meital Weiss is one of us, too. She’s a 12-year old Israeli girl paralyzed from the waist down since she was 10 months old, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah by trading her wheelchair for a handcycle and ride to raise funds for the rehab hospital that cared for her. And that makes her a celeb — and a hero — in my book.

Aussie researchers consider why people fail at riding a bicycle, and how we can learn to fail better. And how you can tell where someone is in their commitment to ride by where they keep their bikes.

A Hong Kong bikeshare firm suffers a timely system breakdown, which just happened to make free bikes available to students and protesters.

Your next Chinese-made ebike could cost $425 and fold down to the size of a very large sheet of paperAlthough that looks more like a scooter to me. And doesn’t have any pedals.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where five-time Paralympic medalist Kieran Modra was killed in a collision while he was riding to meet family members for a bike ride.

Eighty-three-year old French cycling great Raymond Poulidor passed away on Wednesday; he had eight Tour de France podiums in his 15-year career in the ’60s and early ’70s, but never wore the yellow jersey.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx says he could have been a goner following his mid-October bike crash, if not a nurse who happened to be passing by.

 

Finally…

Forget that business degree; now you can major in bikes. You may never be a world champ mountain biker, but at least you can own his bike.

And riding your bike the wrong way on a freeway is not the recommended way to escape from the cops.

Even if it works.

 

Morning Links: LA boots Uber bikes & scooters, Sarah Kate Levy kickoff party, and at least DTLA getting bike lanes

In a showdown of Old West proportions, Los Angeles has given Uber until high noon to get out of town.

Okay, Friday.

That’s because the company has balked on sharing dockless scooter and bikeshare usage data as required in their contract with the city.

And that’s usage, not user, data, the latter of which is supposedly kept hidden.

However, that ultimatum does not include their ride hailing service.

So feel free to keep those Uber gas guzzlers guzzling next week.

………

Bike and transit friendly Sarah Kate Levy is hosting a party to kick off the signature gathering phase of her campaign to unseat CD4 Councilmember David Ryu in Hollywood on this Saturday.

I’ll try to drop by to get my name on one, even if that means tearing my wife away from our so far unsuccessful search to replace the Corgi.

Because how can you replace an irreplaceable dog anyway?

………

Downtown Los Angeles is moving forward with bike lanes, even as the rest of the city stagnates.

Maybe if we could clone CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, the rest of us might finally see some, too.

Or at least him to teach the other councilmembers how it’s done.

………

Sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

A prelim is under way for San Diego man accused of being the bike-riding serial killer who attacked a number of homeless people with knives and railroad spikes, and set two men on fire; he allegedly killed five people and injured ten more. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone capable of that.

A New York man was caught on video riding his bike onto a sidewalk, pulling out a gun and opening fire on a group of people in broad daylight; his intended victims can be glad he seems to be a bad shot.

………

Local

A writer for Los Angeles Magazine questions whether eliminating parking minimums will be good for DTLA, and says it’s unlikely residents would see lower rents as a result.

Bike Mag profiles LA-based street artist turned mountain biker Caché.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is one of us, going for a Santa Monica bike ride with the former Governator; she’s been traveling the US by train and in Schwarzenegger’s Tesla.

This is who we share the roads with. An entire Long Beach family was tragically wiped out by a 20-year old drunk driver who failed to navigate a turn on Halloween, and ended up on the sidewalk they were trick or treating on.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider politely points out that yes, there are more than 400 bike riders in the city.

A new controversy erupted when the husband of the mayor of Encinitas was rejected for board membership on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, allegedly because he supports protected bike lanes, rather than vehicular cycling.

A San Diego woman suffered a compound leg fracture when she was hit by a driver while riding her bike in the city’s Mira Mesa neighborhood.

Apparently, it takes awhile for news to move south, as the San Diego Union-Tribune is just now catching up with the story that e-scooters aren’t as green as you might think; they’re only three months behind their own sister publication and the rest of the country.

A Bakersfield bike rider is in critical condition after yet another hit-and-run by yet another heartless California driver.

San Francisco bike riders fan out to document 259 drivers violating bike lanes in an eight hour period — one third of them on a single nine-block stretch of Valencia Street.

 

National

HuffPost says Democrats have a baffling blind spot when it comes to cars, wondering why the 2020 candidates won’t mention motor vehicles’ contribution to greenhouse gasses.

Now you, too, can be a real superhero when you ride your very own Captain Marvel Schwinn fixie.

A Washington letter writer calls for banning skateboards everywhere but skate parks. And probably wants to ban those, too.

Colorado leaders are discovering that when it comes to ebikes, resistance is futile.

Police in Missoula MT are carrying bike lights in their patrol cars so they can give bike riders without them a free set — and a ticket. We tried to get LAPD to do that for years, but with a warning instead of a ticket. But couldn’t find a deep enough pocket to pay for them. 

Wichita, Kansas considers adding a bike valet program for a new minor league ballpark currently under constriction. Which the Dodgers should have done years ago. And the Kings. And the Galaxy. And the LAFC. And the Lakers. And the Clippers. And the Rams. And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles…

Dallas considers reducing a dangerous six-lane virtual highway down to a four-lane boulevard as part of the city’s Complete Streets program. Hopefully they’ll get a little less backlash than Los Angeles officials did on the Venice Blvd road diet.

A Cleveland letter writer says there are good reasons why bicyclists might ride in a narrow roadway, rather than a nearby path.

A Boston paper says whoa, whoa, let’s not go too fast on installing bike lanes, despite arguments that they could be good for local businesses; right now, the city has a whopping 68 miles of bike lanes on its 880 miles of streets.

The New York Daily News applauds a new law requiring the city to update its street master plan every five years — and include an actual connected bike lane network.

 

International

Actor Henry Golding is one of us, at least on the big screen.

A London family is happy to get their bicycle built for three back after someone took it several weeks ago; a couple of local residents turned down a reward for finding it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old English great-grandfather now holds seven age-group world records, after adding two more to his portfolio.

A Guardian podcast considers why more and more pedestrians are getting killed on our streets, and whether Silicon Valley really has the answers.

A BBC TV series makes the case that bicycles are the most popular form of transportation on the planet. And the most efficient, too.

A new Irish bike light automatically adjust brightness to road conditions, senses nearby traffic to switch to flasher mode when cars are nearby, and records that data to crowdsource a map of cycling conditions.

If you build it, they will come. Paris saw a 54% jump in bicycling rates in just one year after investing in new bikeways and bikeshare.

When you’re a high-ranking Delhi official, and can’t drive because of the city’s even and odd traffic days, just ride your bicycle.

Authorities in Kuala Lumpur threatened to use a law intended to assure parents supervise their children to prosecute those whose kids are ride basikal lajak, bicycles illegally modified with no brakes and chopped handlebars that allow riders to take the “superman” position. Note to Malay Mail — removing the frame might make a bike just a tad difficult to ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says it may not be traditional road racing, but something new and interesting could rise from the ashes of the Amgen Tour of California.

 

Finally…

If you really want to sell your “well-established premium bike shop,” it might help to mention where it is. First there is a bike lane, then there is not bike lane, then there is.

And no, the middle of a sidewalk isn’t the right place to park your scooter. A bike lane isn’t, either.

 

Morning Links: 49% of LA car trips doable by bike, inspiring girls with best bike quote ever, and LA River bike path reopens

They get it.

A new report says ebikes and e-scooters are better for short trips than cars.

Electric scooters and bikes have a “universal potential” to provide more efficient, cheaper ways to get around U.S. cities than driving a car…

Why? It’s largely because drivers in many U.S. cities are taking short trips and sitting in traffic when they could be taking another transit mode.

Not surprisingly, the study ranked Los Angeles as having the ninth-best potential to replace motor vehicle trips with micromobility — or a regular bike, for that matter — with 49% of all car trips in the city just three miles or less.

All we need is safe places to ride them.

Ebike photo courtesy of Metro Bike.

………

With all due apologies to Lance, Eddy Merckx, Einstein and Steve Jobs, this may just be the best bike quote ever.

You can be feminine and girly and sparkly and be a really badass bike racer as well.

That’s from newly crowned world cross-county mountain bike champ Kate Courtney, the first American in 17 years to win the title.

And something that should be a mantra for every little girl from the time they’re old enough to ride a bike.

………

CiclaValley discovers the construction barriers have finally been removed from the LA River bike path between Zoo Drive and the Riverside Bridge.

And provides a detailed tutorial on plans for the pathway, and why it’s still far from finished.

His movie making skills are improving, too.

………

Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin is one of us. That’s the good news.

………

Rock star and former Amy Winehouse boyfriend Pete Doherty is one of us, too, walking his dogs on a London bikeshare bike.

https://twitter.com/JordanMolinari_/status/1170994419618713600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170994419618713600&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nme.com%2Fnews%2Fmusic%2Fwatch-pete-doherty-get-pulled-along-huskies-boris-bike-2547011

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A 17-year old British bike rider may have been deliberately targeted by the 16-year old hit-and-run driver who ran him down and dragged him underneath his car, and is now facing a murder charge. This is the same crash we mentioned yesterday where bystanders picked up the car to lift it off the victim in a failed attempt to save his life.

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

After trading blows — or mostly receiving them — with the driver of an SUV, an Aussie bicyclist picked his bike up and tried to ram it through the car’s window. Which may have been satisfying in the moment, but couldn’t have done the poor bike a lot of good.

………

Local

A Palmdale letter writer says asking bike riders to pay a reasonable fee is the right thing to do, since car, truck and mobile home owners have to pay DMV fees. Never mind that DMV fees and gas taxes cover wear and tear on the roads, which bikes don’t cause. And that the overwhelming cost of local streets and roads, where bicyclists ride, come out of general tax funds, which we all pay. So in reality, he’s asking for bike riders to pay twice for damage we don’t cause. Seems fair.

A development company has proposed building a six-story, 236-unit apartment complex on environmentally sensitive land between the confluence of Ballona and Centinela creeks, just south of the Marina Freeway. The good news is that it includes plans for a much-needed bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the south bank to the Ballona Creek bike path; the bad new is, the bridge will be private.

Torrance police have finally identified the man who murdered an 11-year old girl, 47 years after she disappeared while riding her bike. And 16 years after the asshole her killer died.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer whose sole form of transportation is a bicycle says bring on the controversial 30th Street bike lanes.

Tragic news from Visalia, where a 61-year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike, dragging her the length of two football fields under his car as he made his getaway; police arrested the allegedly drunk driver a short time later.

Monterey — which my brother should be passing through today or tomorrow on his bike tour of the left coast — is nearly finished with a new $8.5 million Complete Street makeover of North Fremont Blvd, including protected and physically separated bike lanes, as well as bike crossing signals.

They get it, too. A Petaluma newspaper says the city needs to do a lot more to make it friendly for bicyclists, calling bicycling one of the best ways to fight climate change.

They’ve got a point. Berkeley bike riders complain about hefty $238 fines for rolling stop signs — before court costs. Which is one more argument for a California version of the Idaho Stop Law; bike riders who carefully roll stops without jeopardizing anyone’s safety shouldn’t be punished that severely. Or at all.  

 

National

Bicycling takes a look at the hottest new bikes for fall.

Forbes looks at American bike part maker SRAM, saying it came out of nowhere with a single product to take on the established manufacturers.

Nonprofit bicycle registry Bike Index has introduced plugins for bike shop point-of-sales software to automatically register bikes in the background when customers purchase new bikes. Or get a free, lifetime registration with Bike Index here.

CityLab says instead of fighting it out, cities and private mobility companies should work together for a brighter multimodal future. Or we could just wait for the inevitable collapse of our gridlocked street systems, and wave at all the people trapped in their cars as we zoom by.

Curbed takes Amazon to task for putting 20,000 new delivery vans on the streets, calling for smaller, right-sized vehicles and delivery bikes to cut emissions and improve safety.

Portland offers a five-year progress report on their 2030 bike plan, only five years late. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet. Although something tells me Portland’s made a lot more progress than we have.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bicycle from a 12-year old Arizona boy with cerebral palsy.

Streetsblog Chicago offers some decent advice for casual bicyclists to keep riding a bike from being intimidating.

An Ohio high school teacher will be very late for class, after she was taken to a hospital when a driver ran into her bike on the way to school.

Seriously? A Kentucky letter writer says bikes are great fun! But rip out all the damn bike lanes because cars rule the road!

As New York Mayor Bill De Blasio continues his quixotic quest for the White House, back home advocates take him to task for a recent call for mandatory bike helmets and bike licenses, and demand that he focus on the real issues killing bike riders instead, like bad streets and reckless driving.

A Virginia letter writer says more cars aren’t the answer. And for every idiot he’s seen on a bicycle, he’s seen 10,000 more in cars.

A Florida woman organized a bike ride to honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center —including her own brother, a New York firefighter killed when the buildings came down.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Weekly discusses things you’ll inevitably have to explain to your non-cycling partner. When my wife and I first moved in together, she said my bike belonged on the balcony. I patiently explained that yes, I loved her, but I’ve known my bike a helluva lot longer. And if my bike has to sleep out there, so do I.

Vancouver cops bust a massive bike theft ring, recovering 150 purloined bicycles, including ebikes and high-end bikes. Makes you wonder how many they stole and moved or chopped before they got caught.

Employees at a British Columbia Starbucks pitched in to buy a new bike for an 18-year old Iraqi refugee after his was stolen from the patio as he worked there as a barista.

London — no, the one in Ontario, Canada — introduces the province’s first bicycle mayor, tasked with promoting bicycle infrastructure in a car-oriented city. Which sounds a lot like a certain SoCal city I could name, which hasn’t even considered appointing a bike mayor.

A Toronto man returned a stolen bicycle to its owner after the thief upgraded to his bike, slicing through the lock with a power tool in broad daylight

A UK thief gets eleven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police in a stolen SUV, along with another 18 months for a pair of burglaries.

No, Road.cc, it wasn’t a five-year old cyclist that got knocked off his bike by an adult hit-and-run bicyclist. It was a five-year old little boy on a bicycle.

The bike-riding, but apparently not very observant, former editor of the prestigious medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journalsays the time has come to license and register bicyclists, so they’ll obey the law like other road users. Most of whom don’t, regardless of license and registration.

After making an ill-advised pass around a group of bicyclists, a Scottish woman avoids a head-on crash with an oncoming car by steering back into the soft, squishy people on bikes instead, injuring two people.

An Irish father fights back against accusations that he put his eleven-year old son at risk by letting him ride to school without a helmet or hi-viz, saying he didn’t think a hemet would help in the event of a collision.

Philippine bike riders say banning bicycles from the bridges connecting Mactan Island and Mandaue City isn’t the answer.

A Buddhist bell maker in Kyoto, Japan is producing handmade Orin temple bell-style bike bells, designed to resonate through the bike frame to amplify the sound and warn people a bike is coming, while it drives away evil thoughts at the same time. Seriously, if anyone has me on their secret Santa list, this is what I want. Or a corgi.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s Wednesday stage was the fastest ever Grand Tour stage over 125 miles; riders said gusting crosswinds and aggressive tactics made the stage ruthless.

While the Vuelta lumbers on, the Tour of Britain rolls through its fifth stage.

VeloNews looks at world championship favorite Mathieu van der Poel’s murky future in road cycling, as he prepares to focus on mountain biking in the 2020 Olympics.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly profiles 77-year old John Allis, who went from novice bike rider to co-founding the Princeton cycling team to a three-time Olympian.

 

Finally…

No, really. You’re not a bike thief, you’re a bicycle collector. If you’re planning to walk out of a pawn shop with a $4,000 bike, maybe don’t leave your name first.

And why suffer in traffic when you can just drive your cab down a protected bike lane?

 

Morning Links: Koretz blocks bike lanes while planet burns, LA Vision Zero gone, and Pico Rivera bikeway meeting tonight

Good piece from Curbed, as they ask whether e-scooters are too dangerous for Los Angeles streets.

Short answer, it’s not the scooters that are dangerous.

But CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz insists the streets — and sidewalks — are just too dangerous for scooter riders, saying they need the kind of bike infrastructure he’s blocked in his district because “political realities” make it too difficult.

Evidently, Koretz thinks he was only elected to do easy, convenient and popular things, and leave the hard stuff to whoever follows him once he’s termed out.

Or maybe just ignore the environment Koretz swears he’s committed to saving, and let cars keep killing us all until they finally kill the planet, too.

Evidently, he didn’t read that copy of Profiles in Courage we gave him last year.

Or watch Do the Right Thing, for that matter.

………

I guess our lives don’t matter, after all.

Los Angeles has taken down its Vision Zero website, and replaced it with LADOT’s Great Streets site.

So you may still die, but at least you’ll do it on a nicer street.

………

Active SGV is asking bike riders to turn out for a Pico Rivera regional bikeway design meeting tonight.

………

The LACBC will be hosting another round of BEST bike safety classes in conjunction with Metro next month.

………

If you’re fond o’ Peter Sagan, here’s your chance to meet and ride with him in Sagan’s new San Diego fondo.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

………

Local

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew teamed with volunteer Michelle Paravicini to upgrade and redecorate a ghost bike for 15-year old bicyclist Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year. A rededication ceremony will be held this Sunday.

Tyler the Creator is one of us, going for a fashionable ride in Los Angeles on a BMX from Long Beach bikemaker SE Bikes.

As usual, there will be a bike valet at this weekend’s annual Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach. So do everyone a favor and leave the car at home.

A handful of hecklers opposed to the recent road diet on the Broadway corridor tried to shout down a couple of Long Beach councilmembers at a monthly public Q&A session. So evidently, it’s not just LA and Pasadena NIMBYs that do that.

 

State

La Jolla follows Santa Monica’s lead and tries to corral e-scooters with painted, on-street scooter parking areas.

Fountain Valley’s newly rebuilt Slater Ave bridge will finally reopen today, complete with better sidewalks and bike lanes.

Where you can walk, hike and bike without leaving Riverside.

Petaluma-based premium bikewear brand Kitsbow is pulling up stakes, and moving across the US to North Carolina.

More bad news from NorCal, as a 28-year old Fremont bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who later returned to the scene after driving to work with the victim’s bicycle still embedded in his windshield; just one of those danged “unfortunate accidents” according to police. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s CBS outlet blames the victim for wearing dark clothes, while questioning whether he would hav survived if the driver hadn’t waited to call 911.

Sunnyvale joined the Vision Zero club, though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to prevent bike and pedestrian deaths. Kind of like virtually every American city — including one SoCal metropolis in particular (see above).

San Francisco-based celebrity chef Chris Cosentino finds his balance by returning to his mountain bike.

 

National

CityLab says apps that automatically report problem drivers and blocked bike lanes to authorities — and save the information online — are troubling. Although I’d gladly take one designed to work in the LA area, driver privacy be damned. And let’s change the law so drivers can be ticketed based on photographic or video evidence.

Bicycling offers tips to get rid of that pain in your back. No, from riding, not the one you work for. Sorry.

Peloton says Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmet beats MIPS helmets at preventing concussions. Which matters because other helmets don’t do a damn thing to prevent TBIs, as I’ve learned the hard way. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Bike Portland considers the consequences when bike and e-scooter riders collide.

If anyone has seen Bill Walton’s bicycle that was stolen 42 years ago at an Oregon championship parade, be sure to let the former NBA star know. Although I wouldn’t try to confront anyone tall enough to ride that thing.

The Department of DIY struck in Boulder CO, where someone used toilet plungers to make their own protected bike lane; unfortunately, it didn’t last long before city workers removed them all.

It’s been a month since Arkansas’ version of the Idaho Stop Law went into effect, and the world hasn’t come crashing to an end. Although many people still don’t understand the law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

After a Kentucky boy’s bicycle was stolen on his birthday, kindhearted firefighters took up a collection to buy him a new one.

You’ve got to be kidding. After a 76-year old Indiana bike rider was run down from behind by an unlicensed drunk driver, the local sheriff reminds bike riders to obey the law and wear a helmet. How about reminding people not to drive their damn cars after they’ve been drinking. And stay the hell off the roads if you don’t have a license.

A visiting German journalist tries bike commuting in Cleveland, and quickly learns the English word for pothole.

Life is cheap in New York state, where an 85-year old former cop walks with probation for a hit-and-run that severely injured a man riding bicycle, after claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone. He also got a ridiculous six-month driving ban; anyone who can hit someone hard enough to cause major injuries without even knowing it should never be allowed behind the wheel again.

New York experts say either fix a frequently blocked bike lane, or rip it out and start over.

A New York “mob” of young men and women beat a sleeping man with a cane and bottle before stealing his bicycle and wallet, then beat and robbed a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene. Note to NY Daily News — if someone who has a bicycle is sleeping on the sidewalk, “bicyclist” is probably not the best descriptor.

Life is cheap in Georgia, too, where a man walked with probation for killing a bike-riding woman; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming the sun was in his eyes.

A Florida kid starts his own nonprofit to give bike helmets to other kids at his school.

Miami first responders are riding 150 miles to Key West to raise funds for a local cancer charity.

 

International

Bicycling looks at Britain’s Rough Stuff Fellowship, the world’s oldest offroad bike club, and dedicated to extreme riding. Like biking to an Everest base camp.

Former Tour de France champ and banned doper Jan Ulrich was fined the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for attempting to strangle an escort while drunk and stoned in a German hotel room.

Great idea. A German politician says bicyclists should get an extra day of vacation because they’re healthier and use less sick time. Unless maybe we come down with a bad case of the bike flu, and have to call in sick to go for a bike ride.

At least there’s justice in Australia, where a drunk and stoned driver got a well-deserved ten years behind bars for killing a motorcycle cop who was escorting a charity bike ride; the schmuck had to have a friend blow into the interlock device on his car to get it to start. Which is what I’d call a really lousy friend.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fifth stage of the Vuelta finished in a brief breakaway and a change in leadership. Do we really need to be spoiler-free for the Vuelta, since hardly anyone can actually watch it in this county?

A Belgian court hears that fallen cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht lost control of his bicycle when he hit a roadside reflector during the Tour of Poland earlier this month.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re stoned and carrying synthetic weed and meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already. No, bicycles haven’t returned to America’s streets; they were never gone.

And if your bike taillight is shaped like red testicles, take them off right now and go stand in the corner until we say you can come out.

Which may be never.

 

Morning Links: Road rage driver attacks LA bike rider, WeHo mayor OKs blocked bike lanes, and protected bike lanes AOK

Sorry about that. 

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Blame it on my diabetes, after a bout of low blood sugar knocked me out for several hours. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will. 

Road rage photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

Un-effing-believable.

A man riding to work on Santa Monica Blvd was repeatedly harassed, brake checked, and physically assaulted by a driver in an unmitigated display of road rage that lasted over 6 minutes.

All for the crime of riding a bike, legally and exactly where he was supposed to be.

And to top it off, she accused him of scratching her car after she blocked his bike against another car, and proceeded to door him multiple times.

Seriously, watch the whole thing — with the sound up.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, the road rage attack took place two years ago. The poster child for road rage driver was arrested after the victim called 911, and was recently sentenced to 450 hours of community service.

Which is why he’s just releasing the bike cam video now.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get her road rage temper under control. And help her realize that bikes do, in fact, belong on the streets.

………

The LAPD is stepping up efforts to find the heartless coward who slammed into a 15-year kid riding legally in a South LA crosswalk, and left him lying crushed and bleeding in the street.

Meanwhile, advocacy nonprofit SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — is hostingMarch for Safety and Healing – In Honor of Roberto Diaz this Saturday.

Diaz is the victim of the crash, who remains hospitalized.

………

Evidently, the mayor of West Hollywood is perfectly okay with mail carriers and delivery drivers blocking the city’s few bike lanes.

Which isn’t much of a problem.

Unless you’ve ever had to go around someone blocking the bike lane in heavy traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.

Because it’s apparently just too much to ask them to remove a parking space or two to create a loading zone.

Oh wait. Maybe I wasn’t the first one to say that.

After all, it’s much easier to accuse people of “outrage culture” than to take a small step to protect human lives.

WeHo can clearly do better than that. And should.

In fact, it does, no thanks to the mayor, apparently.

………

No surprise here.

After the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study questioning the safety of some protected bike lanes, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, two of North America’s leading bicycling academics, say it ain’t necessarily so.

According to a Forbes piece by British bicycle historian Carlton Reid, this is how Pucher responded in an email.

“Finding problematic intersection design of cycle tracks here and there in three U.S. cities does not at all negate the overwhelming evidence that protected bike lanes are both safer, in fact, than unprotected lanes or no facilities at all, and that the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists overwhelmingly prefer such protected facilities and feel safer on such facilities, thus leading to sharp increases in cycling rates.”

Pucher stresses:

“The IIHS study focuses on the dangerous intersections, but overall, cycle tracks are definitely safer. I agree, however, that intersection design is absolutely crucial to the safety of cycle track systems, and that special intersection, roadway markings, traffic signs, and traffic signals are necessary.”

So don’t stop fighting for protected bike lanes.

Just make sure they’re designed properly.

………

The Malibu Times reports that local pro mountain biker Marshall Mullen’s short film The Woolsey Fire Through the Eyes of Marshall Mullen will make its local debut at Casa Escobar restaurant.

The paper notes that the film been on YouTube since late May. But oddly doesn’t bother to include the link.

Fortunately, we can do better than that. Even though this version has a much shorter title.

………

They get it. No, they totally get it.

GQ recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any kind of road riding.

But they begin their piece this way.

No, you don’t have to wear a bike helmet. If you were to, say, get hit by a garbage truck on your commute, a small piece of foam and molded plastic is not going to make much of a difference. But since this is America and not Copenhagen, where cyclists are demonized for taking a sliver of space away from precious steel boxes and commuters are regularly in fear of their lives, it’s best to hedge your bets. Wear a helmet. (But whatever you do, please don’t helmet shame those who prefer to let their locks flow.)

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit over the head with a bicycle. The attacker fled, but it sounds like police know who the attacker is, since they know his age.

An Aussie bike rider faces charges after he rode across several lanes of traffic to spit in the face of an anti-abortion protester. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

The LAPD is responding to CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ recent anti-scooter campaign by establishing a special task force to ticket e-scooter users riding on the sidewalk along Beverly Blvd, Melrose Ave and 3rd Street. Apparently, he’d much rather they get their asses run over on those narrow, busy streets that don’t offer any other place to ride. Or just not ride scooters, which is what he really has in mind.

Streetsblog talks with Bird’s sustainability chief.

Montebello Blvd is getting bike lanes and new medians in a 1.4-mile improvement project. And aggravating drivers in the process.

California is sending $315 million to LA County for highway repairs funded by the recent gas tax increase, along with $5.4 million for active transportation projects.

 

State

The proposed Complete Streets bill will stay alive in the state legislature, despite a “farcical” estimate from Caltrans that appears to be an effort to kill it.

The driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last year had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including prescription drugs, street drugs and various metabolized drug byproducts; 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa is facing a murder charge in Kreza’s death, and remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.

Beautiful piece by an investigative reporter for the LA Times about the remarkable recovery of a man who was nearly killed in an Oceanside bike crash, after lingering in a near vegetative state for months. And her efforts to convince someone he was still alive in there.

San Diego advocates are calling on the city to reconsider plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes on 30th Street because of the impact it could have on elderly and handicapped people. Because apparently, it’s impossible to pull over just long enough to let someone out of a car. And elderly and handicapped people never, ever ride bicycles, as everyone knows.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed trying to ride her bike in a crosswalk; the CHP immediately absolved the driver of blame because it was dark. Apparently, Dodge Challenger’s like the one the driver had don’t have headlights, and the CHP has never heard of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Like when it’s too dark to see what’s in the road directly ahead of your car.

A pair of men were busted for making off with six bikes worth $30,000 from a Santa Cruz bike shop after they were observed by a witness.

A car thief received the maximum sentence for plowing into a San Francisco bike cop as he attempted to flee from the police; Willie Flanigan was convicted on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, evading and resisting an officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property and being an unlicensed driver.” Yet somehow, despite all those charges, the maximum sentence was just 12 years and 8 months.

Seventy-five-year old Courtney Rudin was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the head-collision that killed a woman riding in a Sonoma County charity ride when he made dangerously ill-advised passed around a slower vehicle; he faces just one year behind bars. Seriously, killing another human being should never be a misdemeanor, intentionally or not.

An 85-year old Los Osos man was critically injured after he suffered some sort of medical issue and fell off his ebike, even though he was wearing a helmet.

 

National

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says excusing careless drivers by blaming their victims just ensures that other drivers will keep driving that way.

No shit. Streetsblog says testing self-driving cars on the roads endangers pedestrians. And everyone else.

Forbes says bicycle-oriented development is a growing force with the larger field of transit-oriented development throughout the US, now that bicycling is the nation’s fastest-growing form of transportation.

Entry-level ebike prices continue to drop, as Rad Power Bikes introduces their new RadRunner cargo bike, which can be ridden in e-assist or full throttle mode.

A moving and hard-hitting photo essay says Portland is spending millions to stop drivers from killing people, but it’s not working.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City-area father and bike rider says aggressive driving should be treated as a crime. Preferably before they kill someone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 86-year old Utah man still rides 1,000 miles a year on a tandem with his son; he was riding 3,000 miles a year on his own until he was hit by a driver three years ago. Although I’d just as soon skip that whole “hit by a driver” part, thank you.

Former Bicycling editor and elite cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein speaks out from his hospital bed about the dangers of distracted, drunk and/or speeding drivers, a month after he was left to die by a hit-and-run driver outside Boulder CO.

A bike shop in my hometown is struggling to clear its name after police arrested someone selling stolen bikes on the Let Go app, and making it appear the bike shop was doing it.

A Dallas man faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man riding a bicycle for allegedly stealing his gun, then allegedly beating him to death with a piece of wood.

Horrible news from Oklahoma City, where a professional magician suffered severe spinal damage when he was struck by a police car while riding his bike; the officer was placed on paid leave, while the victim may be permanently paralyzed and unable to speak.

The owner of three pit bulls that killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she was riding her bicycle has been charged with second degree murder for not controlling his dogs; the dogs, one of whom was shot by a rescuer, will likely get the death penalty.

An Indianapolis teenager says he forgives the driver who fled the scene after running him down on his bike, leaving him lying in a ditch unable to move.

I want to be like him, too. Bicycling offers four tips from the 91-year old Indiana cyclist who keeps breaking age group records.

Rapper Kadeem’s new album World Sport takes on a bicycling theme, reflecting the time spent on his ‘87 Schwinn World Sport as he was recording it, as well as his time on two wheels navigating the streets of Boston, dealing drugs and delivering for DoorDash.

New York prosecutors threw the book at the 18-year old driver who ran a red light and caused the collateral damage crash that killed a Brooklyn bike rider two weeks ago, charging him with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, vehicular assault, disobeying a traffic device and doing 61 mph in a 25 mph zone. In other words, driving his Dodge Charger exactly the way the carmaker suggests he should. Thanks to Shaggy for the heads-up.

The New York Times examines why drivers rarely faces charges for killing bike riders; prosecutors have to show the driver’s behavior was “egregious,” and that they broke at least two traffic laws. Although it seems unlikely that the same standard would apply to killing someone with any other kind of weapon.

In the eternal battle over car storage, Philly residents are on the warpath over new bikes lanes that removed over a hundred parking spaces.

 

International

Forbes recommends six bike tours from around the world, including a self-guided tour of LA-area movie star homes, for people who are into that sort of thing.

Road.cc offers a guide to group ride hand signals. No, not that one.

Montreal will soon start ticketing drivers who violate Quebec’s equivalent of a three-foot passing law by using an ultrasound device that measures the distance between a bike and a passing car. The LAPD apparently has no interest in that, despite being told about the device multiple times as part of the department’s bike liaison program.

This is why you should always get checked out by a doctor after any bike crash. A London man died after a blood clot caused a heart attack two weeks after he fell off his bike. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

A report from the UK Parliament says forget electric cars, get Brits on bikes. Good advice on this side of the Atlantic, too.

Evidently, placing solar panels in a French roadway was a bad idea.

Germans call for expanding bicycle infrastructure after bicycling deaths reach their highest total since 2010.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews suggests four story lines to follow at the four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race, which kicked off yesterday in Steamboat Springs CO. You can livestream the races on the magazine’s website.

The New York Times offers an obituary for Felice Gimondi, one of just seven cyclists to win the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find bikeshare above the Arctic Circle, in case you were wondering. If you’re riding your bike with several outstanding warrants, just put a damn light on it, already.

And your next bike could be a Harley.

No, really.

 

Morning Link: CicLAvia visits 3 out of 4 Hollywoods, 15-year old hit-and-run victim speaks, and the war on bikes goes on

By all accounts, Sunday’s Meet the Hollywood’s CicLAvia was another success for the open streets nonprofit group.

KNBC-4 said the event was the first CicLAvia to include West Hollywood, East Hollywood, Thai Town and Little Armenia, as well as the actual Hollywood, offering participants a carfree view of historic Hollywood icons.

Then again, Patch offers the exact same story, word for word, crediting City News Service as the source, which KNBC somehow failed to mention.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides his photos from the day.

Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti took part in the event, celebrating the Hollywood Great Streets project.

 

Except nothing of any significance has been done on the Hollywood Great Streets project, five years after it was announced.

Unless you consider a little improved lighting and a pair of scramble crosswalks a great street.

Because I sure as hell don’t.

Meanwhile a few other views of CicLAvia popped up on Twitter’s radar today.

And wins the Oscar for the cutest one of all.

https://twitter.com/HaveAGo/status/1163481543970455552

But did he say “On your left?” Or even “On your right,” for that matter?

Unfortunately, thought, you’ll have to wait another two months for the next one.

……….

Fifteen-year old Roberto Diaz remains in “tremendous pain” two weeks after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, who dragged him the length of five football fields as he made his escape.

Diaz has endured a half-dozen surgeries just to stay alive after the driver hit him as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk — with the right-of-way.

And he has a message for the heartless coward who did it.

Without hesitation he says, “I just wanted to give a message to the person that did this to me… I just wanted to know why you do like what you did. You saw me. You hit me. You knew I was under there.”

“I remember everything,” Diaz says, “From like when I got hit. When I was stuck under there. I was just being dragged. I felt like all my air was being lost.”

Yet remarkably, he forgives his near-killer.

“I forgive him but I also want him to turn himself in,” he says, matter-of-fact.

Police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored four-door Honda, probably with damage to the front end.

Hopefully the standing $25,000 reward will encourage someone to speak up.

The story also notes that a bike race will be held this Saturday to raise funds for Diaz.

[Editor’s Note: A bike race is being held Sat. Aug. 24 with donations going to Diaz. Register time: 12:30 p.m., start time 1:30 p.m. Meet up at 35th and Maple. Starting point Jefferson/Maple – Ending point Angels Point]

If anyone has more information about the race, let me know; you’ll find my email on the About page.

………

Don’t try to ride an e-anything on the campus of San Diego State University, where “electric or motorized dockless scooters, bicycles, roller skates, hoverboards, skateboards and other micromobility devices” have been banned starting with the fall semester.

The Luddites at SDSU would probably even ban this one, too.

………

A British man set a new record for the fastest man on a bike.

Which is not the same as the fastest person, in this case.

Neil Campbell broke the 24-year old record for the fastest bicycle speed in an auto-assisted slipstream at over 174 mph, beating the old record by a full seven miles per hour.

But he still has a long way to go to beat the speed of American cyclist Denise Mueller-Korenek, who holds the women’s — and world — record at 189.3 mph.

………

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

It was nice while it lasted, but this unwanted feature once again rears its ugly head today.

After a man swerved his bicycle to avoid glass on a bike path, a road-raging Oregon driver followed him, then rammed his truck into his bike, got out and physically attacked him — until he realized a witness was calling police.

An Illinois bike rider was the innocent victim of a paintball drive-by when the occupants of a passing car shot him in the face with a paintball gun.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Brooklyn woman was injured when she was hit by a red light-running bike rider while walking in a crosswalk with the right-of-way.

A Florida letter-writer says he suffered a broken jaw and numerous bruises when he was hit from behind while walking by a high-speed distracted bicyclist who was staring at his smartphone.

And sometimes the problem is both.

After a group of teenage bike riders surrounded a Long Island driver’s truck following a dispute, he ran over one of their bikes, nearly hitting some of the riders in the process. Naturally, the police only blamed the kids on two wheels for riding recklessly prior to the incident.

………

Local

Metro and the LACBC will be offering a free BEST class on the Rules of the Road in Gardena this Saturday.

A Sylmar nonprofit bookstore and cultural center won a $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to develop a plan to improve a one-mile bike and pedestrian path along San Fernando Road; they’ll get a chance to win another half-million dollar grant to actually implement the changes.

Santa Monica is gearing up for an open streets event of their own, with COAST opening two miles of streets to people — and closing to cars — on September 15th, along Ocean Ave, Colorado Ave and Main Street.

 

State

A San Diego TV station provides a preview of this weekend’s annual 25-mile Bike the Bay ride over the Coronado Bay Bridge.

San Diego is jerking Lime’s permit to operate within its borders after concluding the dockless e-scooter and ebike company hasn’t been playing by the rules.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a freight train. One more reminder to never go under, over or around crossing barriers or warning lights, even if you don’t see a train or one has just passed; there might be another one traveling in the opposite direction.

More sad news, this time from Healdsburg. A 61-year old former Huntington Beach resident died on Sunday, after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver last week; he’d been struggling to kick the bottle and get off the streets. Hats off to the Press Democrat for one of the most respectful stories I’ve seen about any homeless victim.

 

National

They get it. A writer for The Week says American cities need to phase out cars.

New Skip e-scooters come with swappable batteries to eliminate the need for daily recharging, making them more sustainable.

A Streetsblog writer says Denver’s 18-year plan to build out its bike network is unacceptable. But at least they’ve started work on theirs, unlike Los Angeles, which promised to complete its plan two years earlier in 2035. And has barely scratched the surface.

Meanwhile, Denver considers lowering speed limits to 25 mph to reduce traffic deaths; a local magazine questions whether it will really make a difference. Short answer, only if police enforce the new limit and drivers obey it.

A Fargo ND man reported finding syringes and needles strewn across a bike path. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day that ends in Y.

More proof of the danger rumble strips pose to people on bicycles, as a 72-year old Minnesota man was killed when he was thrown from his bike after hitting rumble strips while on a group ride.

Saying bikes can damage a skatepark, a Michigan town considers issuing misdemeanor tickets to kids who try to use their BMX bikes there.

We know the feeling. Curbed New York says achieving zero traffic deaths will require radical changes to the city’s streets, but they’re still waiting for that to happen. Sort of like Los Angeles, where city officials somehow seem to think making marginal changes here and there will somehow magically reduce deaths in the city.

A longtime Philadelphia lacrosse icon was killed while riding on a bike path on Saturday; unfortunately, no details are available.

A troubled 16-year old Georgia boy took part in a 500-mile ride through three southern states in an effort to turn his life around.

 

International

A British pair says a 12-year old girl would have been killed if she hadn’t been wearing her helmet when she was hit by a driver. Which is questionable considering she suffered a fractured skull anyway; it’s possible her injuries could have been much worse without it, but it’s also possible that the helmet somehow failed to protect her.

The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is the proud host of the world’s largest bicycle parking facility; the expanded facility can now hold as many as 12,500 bikes. Fortunately, there’s also video — in Dutch, of course.

Even in the Netherlands, elderly bike riders are at greater risk than their younger counterparts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising third-year star Lily Williams intends to show just how exciting women’s cycling can be at this weekend’s women’s-only Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Have a library card, check out a bike. Now drivers are trying to kill the dead, too.

And maybe the damn thing will wear hi-viz and a helmet next time.

Morning Links: Koretz wants scooter ban but goes for stickers instead, anti-bike bias in NYC, and faking cancer for charity

Maybe this makes sense to someone.

Or not.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has called on the city to place stickers reading No e-scooter riding on the sidewalk. It’s the law. on the sidewalks of his district.

I continue to be very concerned about the e-scooter explosion here in Los Angeles and decided to proactively alert riders of the illegality of riding on sidewalks for the safety of the pedestrians in my district,” said Koretz, whose Fifth District stretches from the Santa Monica Mountains to parts of Hollywood.

“In addition to my concern about riders on the sidewalks, I am equally worried about e-scooter riders’ own safety entering commercial traffic. In reality, there are few places where e-scooters can be ridden safely.

Not that scooter users aren’t already aware of that, since it’s clearly marked on every damn scooter currently available in Los Angeles.

And as he suggests, scooterists use the sidewalks because they don’t feel safe on city streets — thanks in part to Koretz own efforts to block bike lanes, and keep streets dangerous in his district.

But like Elizabeth Warren, he has a plan for that.

I would be thrilled to see e-scooters banned until we have an adequate bicycle/e-scooter lane infrastructure for them,” Koretz said. “In the meantime I am hoping these decals can alleviate some of the e-scooter danger occurring in my district.

So, the solution, in his typical auto-focused way, is to ban scooters until he’s out of office, and let someone else come in and build the bike lanes and safe streets he hasn’t. And won’t.

And in the meantime, he’ll just maintain the current level of automotive hegemony on our streets by keeping it too risky and uncomfortable to ride a scooter on the Westside.

Or a bike, for that matter.

Just another example of making it look like he’s doing something to improve safety without actually doing a damn thing.

………

No bias here.

A New York writer says the reason bike riders keep dying in the city is we’re all a bunch of maniacs with no regard for the law or our own safety.

Okay, that may be paraphrasing just a tad.

But still.

He starts by complaining about the recent decision to let bike riders use the leading pedestrian interval signals to get a jump on traffic, and cross intersections — where most urban crashes occur — safely.

But then quickly moves on to make it clear his problem is with bikes and the people who ride them.

The city also plans to splurge another $58.4 million on more bike lanes. But nobody — not Mayor Bill de Blasio, not council Speaker Corey Johnson and not Transportation Alternatives, the bicycle-advocacy group that curiously holds dominion over our streets — is calling for mandatory training or demanding adherence to traffic laws.

Both moves are all too symptomatic of city politicians’ infatuation with the bicycle ideology and the elite interests that promote it — as well as their corresponding indifference to pedestrians…

The bike lobby’s utter silence on education and accountability is a cruel betrayal of all law-abiding, safety-conscious bicyclists — and undeniable evidence of its reckless ideological zeal.

He wastes a lot of ink defending New Yorker’s God-given right to own an automobile, and park it wherever the hell they want.

As if the overwhelming majority of the city’s streets aren’t already given over to the gasoline cult. The people who ride bicycles are just trying to scrape back a tiny portion to protect their own lives, and encourage more people to willingly leave their cars at home.

And actually succeeding, unlike some West Coast cities that unanimously approve hard-fought bike plans that just gather dust on the shelf while people die on our own streets.

Okay, maybe one city in particular.

Then there’s this.

Not only are bikes rendered impractical in bad weather, for many people, including the elderly, disabled and anyone who doesn’t want to show up at work smelling like an anchovy’s armpit, they aren’t a viable alternative to automobiles or public transportation.

Apparently, he’s never heard of ebikes. Or hand cycles. Or adult tricycles. Or any of the other ways the elderly, disabled and business commuters ride bikes every day.

Never mind that countless New Yorkers commute by bike year round, regardless of the weather. Because unlike witches and bike-hating writers, we don’t melt in the rain or snow.

Besides, anchovies don’t have armpits.

It goes on, and gets worse. But we’ll spare you the rest; you can click on the link yourself, or just bang your head against the wall for several minutes until you lose any sense of reality.

Either way, the effect will be the same.

………

Speaking of New York, confused NYPD officers ticketed a grown man for not wearing a helmet — even though the state’s helmet law doesn’t apply to anyone over 14.

………

The definition of a bike lane fail.

………

I only wish this was unbelievable.

An Ohio man became a star fundraiser for a local charity ride to fight cancer after announcing he had stage 4 brain cancer.

But seven years later, he still showed no outward signs of the disease, and refused to give any details about his treatment.

When organizers confronted him, he confessed to faking the whole thing. As well as stealing a small portion of the money he raised.

And going so far as to hide the truth from his own partner of 17 years.

………

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

A Chicago TV station says tensions remain high after a driver punched a bicyclist in a video we linked to last month; the road raging driver reportedly lost his job with a law firm after the video went viral.

An off-duty New York transportation department worker hits a bike rider with his car, then gets out and slaps the victim’s phone out of his hand and pushes him before driving away.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

New York police are on the lookout for a sexual assault suspect who faked a bike crash as an excuse to grab a woman’s breasts — then broke into her home and was standing over her bed when she woke up at 4:30 am. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough.

………

Local

The LA Times says the city’s most controversial and divisive issue right now may be e-scooters, and scooter companies should be responsible for their users’ bad behavior. They’ve got a point. I watched yesterday as a Wheels user carefully parked his scooter and took a picture to prove to the company he’d done it correctly. Then walked off, leaving it parked directly in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking foot traffic from both directions.

Dodgers stadium is scheduled for a $100 million makeover before next season, including improved bicycle and pedestrian access. No word on whether that will include a secure bike valet, like their arch rivals in San Francisco.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in Point Mugu State Park and Sycamore Canyon.

Pasadena will host a class tomorrow designed to help you become a more confident urban bicyclist, along with a ride on the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail.

Caltrans is beginning a $5.5 million pavement repair and slurry seal project they promise will result in a smoother ride for motorists and bicyclists on PCH above Santa Monica.

The Jewish Journal celebrates renaming the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for the late cycling king of Hermosa Beach. But no matter who they honor, sharrows are not and will never be a bike lane.

 

State

Better bike lanes are making it safer and easier for people on two wheels in downtown San Diego.

A San Diego writer says everyone has their NIMBY moments — his neighbors don’t want bike lanes to replace their on street parking, and he never wanted them and their massive SUVs as neighbors.

Speaking of San Diego NIMBYs, City Beat accuses a mayoral hopeful of going full NIMBY in calling for a complete ban on e-scooters, noting the search for someone else to blame is always successful. To paraphrase a movie from a few years back, everybody knows you never go full NIMBY.

Evidently, riding a bicycle to see a San Francisco Giants game makes you a security risk.

Lyft pulls their new ebikes from the streets of San Francisco after some of them spontaneously burst into flames. Because the alternative would be to require all users to wear asbestos bike shorts.

 

National

A Senate committee has passed a bi-partisan bike-friendly transportation bill favored by PeopleForBikes. Now the question is whether Mitch McConnell will even allow it to come up for a vote.

He gets it. An editor for automotive website Jalopnik says a big-ass truck doesn’t make you tough. Now if they could just make sure all the drivers of those massive trucks and SUVs read that before being allowed back on the streets with bike riders and pedestrians.

Outside offers advice on the right way to clean your bike, while GQ considers the best pants for your bike commute.

Rock band The Distillers has cancelled their American tour after the drummer was doored, resulting in a truly nasty cut on his hand that took 40 stitches to close.

A Seattle bike shop owner was caught on security cam attempting to fight off a bike thief with a wrench, crushing her fingers, as he walked off with a new bike after she returned the one he brought in for repair to its original owners.

An Arizona city learns the hard way that pulling over law-abiding drivers to give them fake tickets offering free drinks at Circle K is a bad idea, after someone points out that’s it’s against the law to stop drivers without probable cause. So they decide to just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead, evidently assuming the Constitution doesn’t apply to us.

Several hundred Denver bike riders came out to honor fallen bicyclists and call for safer streets. The Denver Post says motorists can honor those victims by pledging to be a better and safer driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $40,000 handicapped-accessible van from a Denver nonprofit, and used it to smash into a bike shop.

According to the local sheriff, an 81-year old Michigan man was killed when he tried to jump a curb with his adult tricycle, then tipped over and fell into the street, where he was run over by a semi. No, really, that doesn’t strain credibility at all — especially when getting right hooked by the truck driver seems a lot more likely.

One kindhearted person gave a bike to another. A Tennessee police chief gave one of the department’s extra bicycles to a young woman, after she gave hers to a coworker who needed it more.

A Knoxville TN law firm is looking for plaintiffs to sue bike helmet makers who don’t include MIPS or Wave Cel tech on every model.

Once again, wealthy New York condo owners have sued — and lost — in an attempt to block a new bike lane that would result in the loss of 400 parking spaces.

New Yorkers remember artist and yogi Em Samolewicz, the city’s 18th bicycling victim this year, as a gentle, kind soul and a magical creature; Gothamist says the city is doing basically nothing to keep riders like her from getting fatally doored.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have a chance in hell of becoming president, but we shouldn’t laugh off his call for a nationwide Vision Zero. Even if it doesn’t seem to be working so well in his own city right now.

A New Jersey bike rider learns the hard way to always secure your empty heroin packets before you pull out your ID for the cops.

The lawyer for a driver accused of killing a man and woman when he plowed into a group of nine bike riders near a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade will stipulate that he was driving drunk when he hit them, virtually guaranteeing his conviction on two counts of vehicular homicide and 14 other charges. But they dispute that his blood alcohol level was over .20, would could result in 60 years behind bars.

 

International

Bike experts say the city’s new network of bikeways explains why bicycling has increased London, despite dropping in the rest of England.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his favorite thing is his bike hemet, which he always keeps with him in case a sudden urge to ride should strike.

South African police have opened a murder investigation after a popular local character known as Santa on a Bicycle died after spending four days lying in a ditch.

A New Zealand website says it’s time to give the streets back to children and protect the most vulnerable road users.

Brisbane, Australia opens a new inner-city protected bike lane five years after a woman was killed riding her bike there. So once again, someone has to die before officials actually do something to improve safety.

An Australian study says the way to reduce car congestion and pollution is to eliminate parking spaces.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s not just the pros who are tough. A 19-year old Nebraska woman finished a triathlon in just over two hours, despite two broken arms suffered when she collided with another rider during the cycling portion of the race — then still had to ride the last ten miles, and run another three.

The future of American cycling may involve getting dirty on mountain bikes.

Cyclist looks at how much Egan Bernal was paid for winning the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Nothing amuses small minds and motorists like epic bike fails. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike over a cop who pulls you over for not having lights — or urge a cop to tase you when he stops to help after an apparent drunken bike crash.

Congratulations, we’re all superfluous now.

And if you’re going to have sex with your bike, bring plenty of lube so nothing gets stuck.

………

Let me offer a belated but heartfelt thank you to Mark Jones for his generous donation to help keep BikinginLA coming your way, and to Matthew Robertson for his equally generous monthly contribution. 

Donations of any amount are always appreciated, whether to help support this site or defray the Corgi’s mounting medical bills.

Especially now.

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.

………

This kind of puts things in perspective.

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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: US bike and pedestrian deaths up in 2018, Mehta convicted in OC hit-and-run, and e-scooters in the news

Traffic deaths are down slightly in the US.

But only if you’re in a car or truck. Otherwise, it appears to be open season on anyone walking or riding a bike.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, overall traffic deaths declined last year to a three-year low of 36,750.

But preliminary numbers show bicycling deaths were projected to rise a whopping 10%, while pedestrian fatalities are up 4%.

Officials would like to put the blame on distracted drivers, but are having a hard time getting accurate figures. Because — tres shock! — drivers are reluctant to admit they were distracted after killing someone.

No word yet on the actual number of deaths for either group.

But whatever it turns out to be, it’s too damn many.

Photo shows an abandoned bike carcass that someone undoubtedly loved once, left carelessly on the sidewalk.

………

I’m told that Medium contributor Pratiti Renee Mehta has been convicted by a jury of her peers in the Costa Mesa hit-and-run that left a 56-year old bike rider with a compound ankle fracture this past March.

She was arrested following numerous tips from the public after police released photos of her black Mercedes following the victim just before running him down.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of assault with a deadly weapon before the case went to trial.

She’ll be formally sentenced on July 17th.

………

Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

Lots of e-scooters.

According to a San Francisco op-ed, a bill under consideration in the state legislature would ban liability waivers for scooter providers, opening the companies up to countless lawsuits, frivolous and otherwise.

Someone vandalized dozens of dockless bikes and e-scooters in San Diego’s Ocean Beach with graffiti containing “inappropriate” words, including “Bird sucks.”

A Nashville writer says e-scooters are not the transportation revolution we need.

New York is finally deciding to join the 21st Century with a bill that would finally legalize ebikes, as well as e-scooters.

E-scooter riders face a $600 fine in British Columbia, where the devices fall into a grey area where they’re neither permitted or banned.

………

Add one more to our recent collection of WWII bike photos, this time from a sailor stationed in Panama (see the last photo).

And a pretty snappy dresser, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this one.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British magazine jokes about using razor wire to stop bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk.

At least, let’s hope they’re joking.

………

Local

The Daily News highlights six transportation projects that will transform the San Fernando Valley in coming years. We’ll have to fight to ensure they include bikeways, like many other light rail and BRT (bus rapid transit) projects in the LA area.

Metro will consider first mile/last mile options for the Gold Line at Wednesday’s meeting of the Planning and Programming Committee.

Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program will team with the Pasadena Public Library, LA River Path Project and People for Mobility Justice to present a Bicycle 101 class in Pasadena this Saturday.

 

State

That feeling when good news about a Santa Barbara bike rider turns out to be an ad for the local trauma center.

The leaders of a San Francisco transit workers union say the city is sabotaging its own bikeshare system.

Streetsblog San Francisco congratulates Caltrans for winning an award for creating “another bike and pedestrian hellscape,” complaining the agency has no idea what constitutes safe infrastructure.

A Stockton newspaper recommends exploring the “old pioneer trail” from Old Sacramento to Folsom. And notes that you can easily do all, or part, by bicycle.

 

National

Uh… Seattle spanks Jump and Lime for failing to report complaints about illegally parked dockless ebikes by reducing the number of bikes they’re allowed to deploy on the streets to… 700 more than they do now. That’s going to teach ’em alright.

Apparently having solved the problem of deadly, speeding drivers, Denver is turning its speed guns on bike riders who exceed the city’s 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, threatening $100 tickets for the first offense — whether or not you have a speedometer on your bike.

An 18-year old Wisconsin man is dead after being shot by police in an incident that began with riding a bike without lights after dark; he allegedly dropped his bike and ran, then turned and fired at officers after they used some sort of non-lethal weapons to get him to stop.

Riding 180 miles across Maine — on one wheel.

They get it. Gothamist says no other commute beats the sensory experience of riding a bike.

The NYPD apparently likes bikes without riders more than the ones with one, pausing to rescue a locked bike from a swarm of bees.

Now that’s more like it. A Pennsylvania combination coffee shop and bike shop wins permission to open a taproom, as well. Is it just a coincidence that it’s located in the hometown of Bicycling magazine? Probably not.

A Delaware town says all those wobbly, inexperienced bike riders need to be more courteous.

A Virginia motorcyclist faces a variety of charges after crashing into an eight-year old boy on a bicycle after fleeing from police, who wanted to pull him over for speeding; fortunately, the boy’s injuries were not life-threatening.

 

International

They get it. A Montreal newspaper says it’s time to turn accepted logic that customers arrive by cars and bike lanes are bad for business on its head.

A Nova Scotia bike rider learns the hard way that bicyclists aren’t allowed to ride in the traffic lane if there’s a bike lane on the road, otherwise known as a “must use” law. The same law applies in California, though there are numerous exceptions — including if you’re riding at the speed of traffic.

A Trinidad actor appeared in court for the first time to face charges in the horrific crash that killed two bike riders on the island last year; two other riders survived their injuries.

London residents call for an end to bicycle tours, saying they pose a risk to participants and others. Just wait until they hear about tour buses.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker considers the depressing lessons of the failed flagship bikeway through London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea borough, saying the defeat came after a campaign centered on myths. Including one truly despicable woman who posed as the aunt of a fallen bicyclist to oppose the plan; the victim’s actual sister said blocking the plan was unforgivable.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — bikepacking through the Scottish Highlands. I’m in as long as we can add a few Bobby Burns sites somewhere along the way.

More on Irish County Mayo’s wacky plan to improve bicycle safety by requiring bike riders to mount license plates on their bikes.

Cities in the Netherlands have traffic jams, too — they’re just on bicycles.

The Guardian offers photos of 15 of the world’s best bicycling infrastructure projects from the Bicycle Architecture Biennale in Amsterdam. Guess how many of those are in Los Angeles? No, really, go ahead and guess.

Forget bikeshare. A Dutch company wants you to dump your bike in favor of a monthly bicycle subscription service.

The world’s biggest bike maker says Trump’s tariff’s are the final nail in the coffin, as Giant prepares to move manufacturing to Taiwan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Amity Rockwell shares the secrets to eschewing meat, and winning the Dirty Kanza gravel race anyway.

Cyclist considers what Jakob Fuglsang’s victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné means for the upcoming Tour de France.

Australia’s Will Clarke won’t be riding in his inaugural Tour de France after all, after the 34-year old cyclist suffered multiple broken bones in a horrific crash in a Belgian race after leading most of the way.

https://twitter.com/wcsbike/status/1140242280584007680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1140242280584007680&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.examiner.com.au%2Fstory%2F6220187%2Ftour-hope-gone%2F

 

Finally…

First it was angry drivers, now the deer are out to get us, too. Evidently, there’s no age limit to bike theft.

And no, there is no National SUV Month.

For good reason.

Morning Links: AP e-scooter panic, LA is (not) famous for road diets, and Cedillo thinks people in CD1 don’t need scooters

Let’s start with this insightful look at the panicked Associated Press story we mentioned last week about the dangers of e-scooters, from someone who prefers to remain anonymous.

Here’s an excerpt from the AP story.

Andrew Hardy was crossing the street on an electric scooter in downtown Los Angeles when a car struck him at 50 miles per hour and flung him 15 feet in the air before he smacked his head on the pavement and fell unconscious.

And here’s what our anonymous commenter had to say in response.

The car was going 50 in DTLA, an area where it’s really hard and really illegal to drive 50 mph, and that is the last mention of an obviously speeding car. Instead, it gave 5 paragraphs to helmet use. It outlines the dangers of sidewalk riding (which are valid), but gives no space for discussion of weak infrastructure or vehicle speed that make people feel unsafe riding on the streets. It closes with a quote on how “companies are just dumping in scooters in cities” from Drew Howerton, a 19-year old who visited Austin last October and may not have the most informed view of municipal scooter regulation.

So, to sum it up, scooters are the problem, cars are never the problem and the reporter didn’t interview any subject matter experts. War on cars? Only in your dreams.

Since it is AP, this lazy reporting made its way into nearly every local media outlet in the country.

………

In today’s laugh out loud moment, a Detroit paper says more road diets and bike lanes are coming to the metro area, with supporters saying it calms traffic and opponents trotting out the old war on cars canard.

And one commenter opposes the road diets by insisting “This isn’t LA…”

Never mind that road diets haven’t exactly been welcomed with open arms here, either.

………

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will meet Wednesday afternoon, squeezing in discussion, amid all the micro-restrictions on truck parking and idling, of actually maybe doing something to close the Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path, along with banning dockless bikeshare and scooters in Gil Cedillo’s Council District 1.

Because evidently, only people in wealthier districts deserve inexpensive, convenient transportation options.

“Let them drive cars” seems to be Cedillo’s equivalent of “Let them eat cake.”

Meanwhile, Metro will host a series of meetings this week in the San Fernando Valley to consider what streets transit riders will use to get to the coming light rail line on Van Nuys Blvd — with the knowledge that more people are likely to arrive by bike or on foot than in cars.

The first meeting will take place tonight in San Fernando, followed by Van Nuys on Wednesday and Panorama City on Saturday.

………

Tern is giving away a trip for two to to Los Angeles for the August Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

Sorry Angelenos, you’re already here.

………

Now here’s a bicycle tour to add to my own bike bucket list — a 550-mile ride to visit all six Belgian Trappist breweries.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

The war on bikes may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, stringing a wire across a UK mountain bike trail at neck height — something that could be fatal if it caught an unsuspecting rider by surprise.

A British bike rider was lucky to stay on his bike and escape injury when he was the victim of an attack with a paintball fired by a slingshot from a passing car.

When I started writing about the war on bikes, stories like this came along maybe once or twice every few weeks; now they’re a daily occurrence. And like today, often more than one.

………

Local

City officials have finally broken ground on the long-planned, 400-foot orange Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge connecting Cypress Park and Elysian Valley across the L.A. River; the $20.6 million bridge has been in the works for three decades. And probably would have cost a lot less if they’d moved forward with it then.

A Venice writer tries all the e-scooters, and says most are awful. But Wheels wins, with Bird first runner-up.

CiclaValley takes a bike tour of LA landmarks. And yet, he rides right past my apartment and doesn’t bother to say hi.

A Duarte bike rider was shot in the elbow Saturday evening when a car pulled up next to him; he refused to cooperate with investigators.

 

State

California Streetsblog says it’s time to buy your tickets for the biennial California Bike Summit hosted by Calbike, which just happens to be in Los Angeles this time. I attended the first one, which was also in LA. And it was definitely worth it.

Kellen Winslow II has been convicted of rape, indecent exposure and lewd conduct in a series of San Diego assaults, while jurors remain deadlocked on eight other counts; the former NFL star was caught in part because Strava placed his bicycle near the site of one of the attacks

Santa Barbara police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line if you find yourself riding there.

Quartz says Lyft’s lawsuit against San Francisco shows they don’t care about reducing the number of cars on the road, despite talk from the company’s leadership.

 

National

No surprise here. Months after Seattle cancelled plan for a road diet and bike lanes on a dangerous street, complaints are piling up about unsafe driving and dangerous conditions for people on bicycles. It’s almost as if maybe there might have been a reason for the road diet in the first place.

Kansas officials say that with riders from the Trans American Bike Race passing through the state, it’s a reminder for people to drive safely around bike riders, after two Trans Am competitors were killed by Kansas motorists in the past two years.

A Dallas newspaper offers advice to the city’s newly elected mayor. And fixing sidewalks and building bike lanes top the list.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A little girl in Fargo ND suffered non-life threatening injuries when a driver left-crossed the bike her mother was riding, and crashed into the bike trailer she was riding in, claiming he somehow didn’t see them. So the person behind the wheel drove off with a crappy $20 ticket for failing to yield.

A Milwaukee newspaper offers advice on how to keep your bike safe, including registering it for free with Bike Index.

Must have been an autonomous car. A Wisconsin TV station somehow manages to write 250 words about a hit-and-run that seriously injured a woman riding a bike, without ever mentioning the possibility, however remote, that the car may have had a driver.

Bike riders aren’t even protected on separated bike paths, as a Chicago driver was injured when his car flew off the roadway and onto the bike path along the city’s Lake Shore Drive. Fortunately, he appears to have missed anyone on the popular pathway.

The off-duty New York firefighter who deliberately attempted to run over the bike rider he nearly hit while running a red light has finally been arrested by the NYPD on charges of reckless endangerment and driving without a license. Although he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which is what the crime really calls for, at a bare minimum.

A New York physician says the best way to prevent injuries is for kids to wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road when they ride a bike or scooter. Although giving them safer places to ride couldn’t hurt.

Brooklyn safety advocates say traffic violence has become an epidemic in the south part of the borough — as the next story illustrates.

A 22-year old Brooklyn driver faces charges for killing an ebike rider while allegedly speeding and driving under the influence — with her four-year old son in the back seat. The victim was a hard-working Bangladeshi refugee who had been granted political asylum in the US.

A 14-year old New Jersey girl was lucky to escape with a few scrapes when her bike was struck by a driver who was being pursued by police; police are still looking for him after he escaped following the crash.

A conservative Maryland podcast says “transit activists are just like cycling activists in their casual relationship with the truth and their meltdowns when somebody dare says ‘no.'” Something tells me those transit and bike advocates may have a better relationship to the truth than the people behind the podcast care to confess.

 

International

A Kiwi writer bikes Bolivia’s Death Road. Seriously, if the road had any other name, hardly anyone would bother, regardless of how scenic or challenging it might be.

Canadian Cycling Magazine provides warning signs that you may love your bike more than your partner. I may not love my bike more that my wife, but we have been together a lot longer.

Good question. A Vancouver city planner and urbanist asks if only experienced bicyclists feel safe in a painted bike lane, is it really a bike lane at all? Then again, as someone who lives in Hollywood, I’d settle for any bike lanes right now — good, bad or otherwise.

A Saskatchewan letter writer says separating bikes and motor vehicles is safer for everyone, because many drivers don’t follow the rules, either.

London author Jools Walker talks biking while black, and how her book is getting more women on bikes.

A British op-ed writer says it may seem radical, but calm down and try talking to teenagers like human beings for a change. And just leave the kids on ride-outs alone, already.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a truck driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider because… wait for it… the sun was in his eyes, he was busy adjusting his visor, and he didn’t hear the ruble strips on the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines how a former ultrarunner with limited bike racing experience and no cycling coach managed to win the world’s premier gravel race.

A new partnership has been established between The Cyclist’s Alliance and the HeadSmart Sports Concussion Programme to study the problem of concussions in the women’s pro cycling peloton.

Victories by Los Angeles-based cyclist Justin Williams in two of the stages of the Tulsa Tough cycling race has put his new Legion of Los Angeles team on the national map; the team is dedicated to “increasing diversity (and) encouraging inclusion” in elite cycling.

 

Finally…

No one likes when drivers park in bike lanes, but don’t whack their cars with your scooter. Apparently Kylie Jenner and friend are a few days late for the World Near-Naked Bike Ride — though someone should tell them bikes work better with just one person per seat.

And it says something when even one of LA’s most bike-friendly city councilmembers doesn’t feel safe riding on the street with his kids.

 

%d bloggers like this: