I hope you’ll excuse the unexcused absences for the past few days.
To be honest, it’s a struggle just to get by these days. Between rehabbing my new knee, going to PT, managing my pain and diabetes, and still doing all the things daily life requires — on top of researching and writing each day’s post for this site — there’s just no way to fit it all in a single day.
It doesn’t take much, like this week’s bout of low blood sugar or an extended internet outage, to throw a wrench in the whole damn thing.
But hopefully, that’s all behind us.
And it’s all led to today’s epic post, as we catch up on not one, not two, but three days of bike news, from around the corner and around the world.
Be sure to come back tomorrow, too. Because there was way too much news to squeeze into a single post, and there’s still more to catch up on.
Including more tips from readers, and job openings with SCAG and CicLAvia.
Let’s start off with an election that’s still nine months away.
Sometimes one candidate is so far ahead of the others, you know how you’re going to vote right off the bat.
Which is exactly what happened with Bike the Vote LA, who got an early jump on next year’s city council election in CD4. And have already picked, not just a challenger to incumbent David Ryu, but his future replacement.
Bike The Vote L.A. sent questionnaires to announced CD4 candidates, asking them to outline their vision for a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable transportation system. Challenger Sarah Kate Levy’s response was so outstanding that Bike The Vote L.A.’s CD4 Election Committee has taken the rare step of making an early endorsement in next year’s primary election, set for March 3rd, 2020.
Levy has a long track record as a political activist working with Democrats for Neighborhood Action, Planned Parenthood Advocacy, and serving as the current president of the L.A. Metro National Women’s Caucus. Levy has placed housing, transportation, sustainability, and quality of life at the center of her campaign platform, and clearly done the homework necessary to be an informed leader on each of these important topics.
The group goes on to get more specific about her support of safe streets for all of us, regardless of how we get around.
Levy’s impressive response to Bike The Vote L.A. outlines her determination to achieve Vision Zero by reducing deadly speeding, reorienting streets towards the safety of all road users, and creating a network of protected bike lanes. Levy makes it clear that her vision of L.A.’s transportation system is one where everyone has access to quality transit, one that isn’t designed around travel by cars, and one where children are able to walk and bike safely to school without the threat of death or serious injury…
We asked the candidates for their positions on implementation of projects that reduce deadly vehicle speeds on L.A.’s High Injury Network and safe bike infrastructure connecting to the L.A. River Path. Where Councilmember Ryu’s responses left his stance unclear, Levy expressed unwavering support for these critical projects. Levy also went a step further, outlining a number of additional projects she plans to implement in each of CD4’s neighborhoods. In her words, “Safer streets save lives, period.”
Then again, that last line is all you really need to know.
As Bike the Vote LA notes, after opposing bike and street safety projects for most of his first term, Ryu appears to have had a change of heart in recent months.
But we’re long past the point for halfhearted support.
Unless, like former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Ryu has had a real Road to Damascus transformation into a genuine advocate for Vision Zero and Complete Streets, it’s time to start looking for his replacement.
Meanwhile, Loraine Lundquist, another candidate endorsed by Bike the Vote LA, has qualified for the August runoff in CD12 against front runner John Lee.
If you’re going to take the lane on the 101 Freeway through the heart of Hollywood, at least stick to the right one.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all.. 101 fwy at Highland pic.twitter.com/d5KIAwbFfo
— Jake Asner (@jakethepilot) June 4, 2019
Maybe he just wanted to know how it feels to experience the nation’s worst traffic.
Note to KCBS-2 — Riding a bicycle on an LA Freeway is against the law; doing it without a bike helmet isn’t.
Thanks to Jeff Vaughn, David Huntsman and Disorder Bureau for the heads-up.
How about a success story from behind bars?
Former bike racer and current Folsom Prison inmate Mauricio Argueta has spent the past five years expertly refurbishing hundred of bicycles every year, which are then given to kids, fire victims and the homeless.
Now he finds himself days from release, with a job already lined up at a SoCal bike shop once he finishes his parole.
The best part is, he’s already trained his replacement.
So the program will go on changing lives on both sides of the bars long after he’s a free man.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.
Members of an English bike club were the victims of a jackass in a BMW who threw hundreds of thumbtacks out of his car into their path — then came back later to video the results of his violent assault.
A Kiwi bike rider pens a very polite note to SUV drivers who insist on demanding that bicyclists get off the road.
This is why people keep dying on our streets.
New Jersey’s highest court confirmed a sentence that amounts to more of a gentle caress on the wrist — or maybe a pat on the back — by allowing a drunken, hit-and-run driver with a long list of criminal convictions to walk without a single day in jail for killing a teenage bike rider.
The LA Times reminds you to enjoy the LACBC’s 19th Annual LA River Ride this Sunday. Oh, and there’s donuts on Saturday.
No bias here. Pasadena Now says that scofflaw bicyclists and pedestrians were “brought to heel” during the city’s bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement program last Friday — even though well over half of the 172 tickets went to the people on four wheels, and only 19 went to the people on two.
CiclaValley returns to Pacifico Mountain, calling it the best LA area ride you don’t know about. Unless maybe you do, of course.
No, you aren’t required to wear a helmet to ride bikeshare bikes or e-scooters, unless you’re under 18.
San Diego bike riders are losing their patience over overgrown bushes blocking bike lanes. Especially after the app they used to report it says it’s been fixed. Thanks to Todd Munson for the link.
Ouch. A Chico letter writer complains about the treatment his wife got from paramedics after a nail punctured her bike tire and got jammed in her brakes.
Over 2,300 bike riders rode along the Central Coast from Paso Robles to Santa Maria yesterday, as the annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride makes its way south to West Hollywood. Meanwhile, the Advocate offers photos from the ride.
Streetsblog says the Bay Area bikeshare battle could have implications all across the US.
San Francisco speeds up the process for approving new bike lanes and other road improvements. Maybe LA could take the hint, and do something to shorten their own interminable and easily derailed process.
Bike advocates are demanding the number of bike spaces they were promised on Caltrain’s new electric fleet, with seats in view of their bikes.
She gets it. A writer for a driving website says the reason so many drivers flee the scene of a crash is basically because they’re selfish scumbags.
A writer for Bicycling says the day you sell your bike is the day you see its soul.
The Washington Post says the bike industry is worried because fewer kids are riding bicycles — or buying them. Probably because fewer parents are willing to risk sacrificing their kids to America’s speeding, aggressive and/or distracted drivers.
Seattle responds to e-scooters and other emerging technologies by debating who or what has the right-of-way on city streets, bike lanes and sidewalks. Meanwhile, the city has one of the highest bicycle gender gaps in the US.
Washington state is becoming significantly more dangerous for people riding or on foot.
Anchorage, Alaska defies the state’s conservative governor by committing to cut carbon emissions by 80% over the next three decades.
A Missoula MT bike count confirms the obvious — people ride their bikes more when the weather is better. And the bike gender gap is pretty much the same everywhere.
Des Moines, Iowa has paid out over $1.7 million and counting to settle claims from injured bike riders because they tried to build an ADA-compliant curb for pedestrians — but placed it directly across a popular bike trail with no warning.
A Madison WI city committee has decided to fight traffic violence with yard signs.
Former Chicago mayor, congressman and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is easing into retirement with a 900-mile bike ride around Lake Michigan.
One more reason to register your bike, already. A Chicago doctor got his bicycle back twelve years after it was stolen, thanks to Bike Index.
Evidently, the dove of peace rides a bicycle. Or maybe drives a cab, as Brooklyn bike riders and taxi drivers take a bike ride together to see the road from the other’s perspective, and possibly build a little detente.
Apparently, the NYPD has finally figured out who poses the real risk on New York streets, and has started cracking down on people in the big dangerous machines. That comes after years of responding to bicycling deaths with crackdowns on bike riders.
Proving once again that New York is light years ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to street safety, the NY city council voted to require adhering to Vision Zero design standards when redesigning any arterial streets, including building protected bike lanes.
A New York Streetsblog op-ed considers how to break down barriers to disabled bicycling, noting that two-thirds of bike riders with disabilities find it easier than walking.
Evidently, bicycles aren’t even safe when no one is on them, as a New Orleans driver seems happy to demonstrate. And the police don’t seem too concerned about it, either.
It’s happened again. A visibly drunk Florida pickup driver hit a man riding his bike on the side of the road, then drove half a mile home with the victim still trapped under his truck.
This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida couple learned the hard way that bike riders aren’t even safe on the sidewalk when a driver jumped the curb and ran them both down on their bikes — critically injuring the husband and killing their 18-month old son, who was being pulled behind in a bike trailer.
We could all use an angel on our shoulder when we ride. But a Canadian man is happy to settle for a kitty.
Caught on video: In a very scary example of the dangers of a head injury, a bicyclist from the UK hits his head falling off his bike, then stumbles head-first into the path of a bus. The good news is, the victim is okay. As always, be sure it’s something you really want to see before you click on the link.
A former British paratrooper explains how he helped liberate France in WWII with a foldie and a misfiring gun.
An Edinburgh bike shop is attempting to set a record for simultaneously fixing the most flats today.
Sorry moped riders. Amsterdam has given you the boot from bike lanes.
Swedish carmaker Volvo and helmet manufacturer POC have teamed to conduct the world’s first test of how bike helmets perform in a car crash. And needless to say, the results aren’t pretty. Then again, Volvo is the company that wants you to spray yourself with reflective paint so their drivers won’t kill you. No surprise, since bike helmets are designed to protect the wearer from falling off a bicycle, not a crash with a speeding driver.
I like him already. India’s new minister for Health and Family Welfare arrived on a bicycle for his first day on the job.
An 80-year old Japanese driver backed into several pedestrians in a grocery store parking lot after mistaking the gas pedal for the brakes, injuring four people, including two little kids and their mother. And riderless bikes didn’t fare any better than they did in New Orleans.
After colliding with another cyclist in a Connecticut bike race, a Cat 3/4 racer posts gruesome photos of a front wheel thru axle lever impaled in his knee.
US road champ Justin Williams says it’s time to move away from the “boys club” that dominates cycling for greater inclusion and representation, saying it’s hard not to feel alone in a sport that’s almost exclusively white.
SoCal Cycling offers highlights from last weekend’s La Grange Grand Prix in Carson.
And who wouldn’t be happy with 300 miles of bikeways?
A belated Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim friends.
And thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his ongoing and generous support of this site. Any donation, of any size, is always appreciated.