Tag Archive for Eli Akira Kaufman

Morning Links: Which Way LACBC tomorrow, New York takes Vision Zero seriously, and Rutger Hauer was one of us

Thank you everyone for your kind and comforting words about the Corgi.

I apologize if I haven’t been able to get back to you yet, but I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to reach out or leave a comment. It’s brought some real comfort in a difficult time. 

The Corgi still has a smile on her face, and you helped put one back on mine. 

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Let’s start with a reminder about the Los Angeles Bicycle Coaliton’s Which Way LACBC open house this Saturday, to get your input on what you’re looking for from the county’s leading bike advocacy group.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman about the organizations drift and mismanagement following the departure of former ED Tamika Butler, and the opportunity for reinvention.

Who should come on Saturday?

Everyone. Literally anybody who’s ever been on a bicycle. Anybody who’s ever ridden mass transit, Metro, buses. Anybody who considers themselves a pedestrian. And scooter-ists, as well. And drivers, we want to hear from them, too. It’s an open invitation…

This Saturday’s Which Way L.A.-CBC? is meant to be a bit of a reckoning. There’s a moment in the program where I plan to just speak frankly about how we arrived at this moment.

I’m going to own the fact that I don’t think we are justifying our existence as we stand today. We need the help of basically everyone to become a better resource and a better support to the mission that we are fighting for.

I understand that the stakes are high. This is the moment that we need to turn this thing around. It starts with the input and the thoughtfulness of the people that we need to partner with to get this thing done.

The Which Way L.A.-CBC? community forum will take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 27, at LACBC headquarters at 634 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time; for the foreseeable future, I’ll be home tending to a sick corgi who can’t be left alone more than a few minutes.

But I urge you to attend.

And maybe you could offer my input for me.

  • The LACBC should immediately form an associated 501(c)4 allowing it to engage in political activity; we desperately need a strong voice that can force our elected leaders and candidates to take the bicycling community seriously.
  • The LACBC should stop being afraid to take action, and be willing to take to the streets to demand real safety and protect the rights of bike riders.
  • The LACBC should be willing to back bike riders, and take a stand to support those who step up on their own to demand change, whether or not they’re members of the coalition.

And one more thing.

The LACBC — and the LA bicycling community — needs you now more than ever.

Yes, you.

So take a few minutes to join if you’re not a member, or renew your membership if you are. And make a donation if you can spare the change.

It’s up to you to help the LACBC return to what it was just a few short years ago.

And what we all need it to be again.

Photo shamelessly purloined from LACBC website, via Streetsblog LA.

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This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

New York mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $58.4 million to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes, in the wake of a shocking jump in bicycling deaths.

The city will also crack down on dangerous drivers at crash-prone intersections, as well as drivers who block bike lanes.

Although the NYPD might want to brush up on bike law first. And whether that crackdown on blocking bike lanes applies to the cops themselves remains to be determined.

Meanwhile, an op-ed in the Daily News says bike riders are terrified, and the city must take steps to break the deadly car culture on the streets.

But maybe if LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was still running for president, he might actually feel the pressure to get off his ass and do something about our own deadly streets.

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The late Rutger Hauer was one of us, too.

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Cannondale is recalling 10,000 CAADX Cyclocross Bicycles from the model years 2013 – 2016 after one person died and seven others suffered serious injuries due to a defective carbon fork.

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

An American woman living in the UK was slapped by a bike-riding woman for no apparent reason as she crossed a pedestrian bridge, then saw her attacker go on to slap the man walking behind her, as well.

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Local

The LA Explorers Club will take a bicycle tour of ’80s movie sites in the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday; the ride is free, but RSVPs are required.

The third annual Health Fair and Bike Ride will be held in South Central LA on Saturday, August 3rd. Thanks to Sis for the heads-up.

 

State

Pacific Grove says feel free to ride your ebike on the city’s Rec Trail — as long as you don’t engage the engine.

San Jose bike riders are concerned about a growing homeless encampment affecting a key commuter bike path — a problem affecting cities across the state. However, people without a home have to be somewhere. If we want them off our sidewalks and bikeways, we need to pressure our leaders to help put a roof over their heads, and get them the help they need to rebuild their lives.

San Francisco is finalizing plans to close the city’s iconic Market Street to private motor vehicles. That would be like shutting down Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles — which isn’t a bad idea.

A Chico writer tells the story of her stolen bike, which a police detective said was probably already in pieces across the city hours after it was stolen. And now she’s afraid to ride to the market because she doesn’t want her new, cheaper bike to end up the same way.

 

National

More Americans have died in car crashes in the past 19 years than were killed in both world wars.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why we all should care that fewer kids are riding bikes.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. A 73-year old Oregon man and his two dogs are alive today after a man riding his bike discovered him nearly unconscious on the side of the road after they became stranded with no food and only a little water.

Bicycling fatalities are up in Colorado, too, as a serious cyclist’s loved ones look for the heartless coward who left him for dead after a crash; the victim is former Bicycling editor Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, who who was riding home from a velodrome when he was run down.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a dog owner walks with a warm caress on the wrist for allowing his dogs to run free, and allegedly kill an 85-year old man as he rode by on his bicycle.

Thanks for nothing. After a Texas man found his stolen bike for sale online, a Houston cop told him to just buy it back from the thief.

A Houston man took his girlfriend on a 15 mile bike ride spelling out the words “marry me,” before getting down on one knee at the end to ask for her hand. And the rest of her, presumably.

A Chicago scooter rider was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who pulled over when police tried to stop the scooterist for leaving the scene after crashing into a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk.

A Chicago bike tour will revisit scenes from the city’s violent past on the 100th anniversary of the 1919 race riots.

Talk about not getting it. A Minnesota letter writer says we don’t need any more bike lanes, because most people just ride their bikes on the sidewalk anyway.

Bike riders in the greater Cleveland area remain wary of sharing the road with motorists.

Something tells me there’s a lot more to this story. An Ohio woman is charged with evidence tampering and falsifying vehicle registration in an attempt to coverup her involvement in a hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman seriously injured.

The problem with a new Vermont bike lane isn’t the squiggly lines that suggest someone was partaking in the state’s newly legalized cannabis while painting them. It’s the fact that what passes for a bike lane is barely wider than some bike tires in places.

A Long Island community says forget dangerous drivers, the real problem on the streets is teenagers on bikes who block traffic and annoy the people behind the wheel.

Liev Schreiber is one of use, making out with his dog on the streets of New York on his double-seated, wine crate-equipped cargo bike.

Holy exploding ebikes, Batman! A New York bike rider suffered burns on his legs when the lock battery on the dockless Lime Bike he was riding suddenly exploded and burst into flames; a company spokesperson said someone had apparently punctured the battery with sharp object while trying to break the lock, and there’s no need to panic. Honest.

Good luck outrunning these New Jersey bike cops on their new 50 mph ebikes.

Atlanta protesters form a human-protected bike lane to demand safer streets after a bicyclist was killed by a city bus last week.

A woman with eight grandkids was shot and killed while riding her bike in Florida’s Orange County.

 

International

Turns out bikeshare isn’t just for wealthy hipsters after all; many of the “super users” around the world come from lower income brackets.

Copenhagenize ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities; not surprisingly, given who was doing the ranking, Copenhagen comes out on top. No surprise either, that no American city made the list.

Architecture and Design says the solution to pollution, sprawl and congestion is getting rid of parking spaces.

Forbes takes a long, lingering look at the many iterations of the World Naked Bike Ride, as people around the globe go as bare as they dare to demand safety on our streets.

A Vancouver man plans a one-person protest of a dangerous bike lane, riding up and down the lane all day to call attention to the one-year anniversary of when another rider was fatally doored on the street.

A British Columbia man on a 1,600-mile bike tour through the Yukon says he’s been blown away by the people and beauty he’s found along the way.

A Montreal blogger says it may be the best bike city in North America, but riding there still sucks.

Keep your eye on Britain, where plans are in motion for “genius” CYCLOPS — Cycle Optimized Protected Signals — intersections to maximize opportunities for safe bicycling and walking, without adversely affecting motorists.

A British bike lawyer explains why a bike rider getting sued for crashing into a pedestrian is actually a good thing for bicyclists.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired cop walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider while high on meth, which his lawyer claimed was a byproduct of his Parkinson’s medication. At least he was banned from driving for five years.

An Indian general is one of six people from the county’s military to be accepted for this year’s 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris ride.

An Indian girl holds the world record for the longest bike trip in a single county, riding over 12,000 miles without ever leaving India. Never mind that the “girl” is a 28-year old woman.

Thai officials are rushing to repair an elevated bike path along the Mekong River that collapsed due to erosion on the bank, leaving a gap the length of a football field in the popular tourist attraction.

 

Competitive Cycling

While Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continues to wear yellow, seven cyclists still have a chance to win this year’s Tour de France with just three stages left.

The sweat-drenched peloton struggling through the French heatwave provides a lesson in what we can look forward to due to climate change.

Cycling Tips considers the sports brutality and bizarre mythologizing of suffering through the lens of New Zealand cyclist George Bennett, who had two hard crashes on Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, possibly suffering a concussion, yet still finished 27th.

 

Finally…

Forget scooters. Now you can cruise the beach on 7 mph, ADA-compliant purple stuffed…uh, thing. Apparently, God does not have an account at Sonic, whether or not you’re on a bike.

And forget the recovery drinks. Just grab yourself an ice cold Sufferfest.

 

Morning Links: LACBC needs to hear from you this Saturday, video from bike/LAPD crash, and a bunch of kindhearted people

Let’s start with some difficult personal news. 

The Corgi is dying. 

If you’ve followed this site for awhile, you’ve no doubt seen her grace these pages, whether as the spokesdog for our annual holiday fund drive, or simply because she wouldn’t get out of the photo. 

And she’s kept me company and watched over me as I’ve written this site for more than nine years. 

But a couple months ago, she started getting sick, and has gotten progressively worse. 

Then last week her new vet confirmed she has an inoperable, malignant tumor at the base of her snout. And at 13, we’ve decided not to make her suffer through radiation therapy just to slow the progression of the disease and buy few more months — for our benefit, not hers. 

Because she’s already given us far more than we could ever have asked. 

Simply put, it’s her time. 

So she’s now in the corgi equivalent of hospice care, with a focus on palliative care to keep her as healthy and happy — and free from pain — as possible, for a long as she has left.

The vet estimates that could be somewhere between three and six months. Or maybe less because of how rapidly her cancer has progressed. 

I share this here because some people have grown attached to her. But also because it will severely impact my life over the next few months. And may affect my ability to put up a new post, or write with the same depth as I strive to do. 

As always, I’ll do my best to be here for you every day with the latest bike news from around the corner, and around the world. 

But I also know the coming days are likely to be very difficult, and she needs me now more than ever before. 

I don’t plan to offer regular updates about her condition here; this site is about bicycles, not my dog.

Or me, for that matter. 

So if you want to keep up with her, and how both of us are doing, you can check in on my personal Twitter account from time to time.

Now let’s get back to why we all came here today.

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Speaking of which, they’re back.

And they want you to tell them where you want them to go.

After wandering in the weeds in recent months as they dealt with an extended leadership vacuum, and ineffective and misguided leadership when they had one, the LACBC is ready to re-engage with the city’s bicycling community.

Although much smaller and poorer than in recent years.

When new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman was hired to take over the coalition, it wasn’t long before major financial problems were revealed.

A lack of fundraising by the previous, largely disengaged Executive Director and mismanagement by the board of directors led to an existential crisis that literally threatened the survival of what had been Southern California’s most influential bicycling advocacy organization.

No wonder city leaders ignored them. And us.

Massive cost cutting, including the painful loss of over half the staff, through no fault of their own, has led to a temporary period of stability.

As a result the coalition until the end of the year to get their shit together raise a substantial amount of funding and develop a more sustainable business model just to stay afloat, even in their smaller size.

Kaufman makes no bones about the LACBC’s current predicament.

“We’ve been out of touch with the community we serve for too long,” he said. “We need to get back in touch, and listen to the people so they’ll feel like, and be, a part of the of the mission.”

“Let’s be honest. If we were making an impact they would already support us.”

The changes at the coalition also includes new leadership on the LACBC board, where Pure Cycles co-founder Michael Fishman has taken over as chair, with Kevin Shin of Walk Bike Long Beach as the new vice chair.

Previous chair Mark Caswell remains on the board to provide continuity after stepping down.

The LACBC is also attempting to recruit four new members, who Kaufman describes as an entertainment industry executive, a politically connected attorney, a socially conscious developer committed to livable urban density, and someone with a much-needed background in non-profit fundraising.

“We’re not done,” Kaufmann continued. “I wouldn’t be fighting this hard if we were. But now isn’t the time to be conservative. The old way of ‘Not right now’ just doesn’t work for us anymore.”

Which brings us to this Saturday.

The LACBC is hosting an open house from 11 am to 3 pm at the LACBC HQ, 634 S Spring Street in DTLA, with a presentation by Kaufman at 1 pm.

They want to listen to you. Whether or not you’re a member of the coalition. And regardless of how or where you ride.

If you ride a bike, or care about those who do, that’s all that matters.

They’re calling it Which Way LA-CBC, a play on Warren Olney’s long-running program on KCRW.

The whole idea is to reconnect, and let you tell them who they should be, and what they should do, from this point forward.

Because really, it’s your bike coalition. And your representatives at City Hall.

Even if they’ve fallen down on the job in recent months.

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Onscene TV posts raw video from Tuesday’s crash between a bike rider and an LAPD motorcycle cop near Lake Balboa — fortunately, after both victims had been taken to the hospital.

And am I the only one who keeps reading that name as Obscene TV?

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Today’s common theme is kindhearted people.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies set out to buy a new bike for a 12-year old Cerritos boy after he reported his bike stolen, then Walmart donated it to them at no charge.

After a New Hampshire boy’s bike was stolen, an anonymous veteran dropped off a replacement at a local police station; a few hours later, police arrested a woman after spotting her riding the boy’s original bike.

A pair of cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a Shreveport, Louisiana man who can’t hear or speak, after failing to find his stolen bike.

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Trek has recalled their popular Kickster kids balance bike due to a defect in the steerer tube clamp that can lead to dangerous falls.

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

A road raging Cincinnati driver was indicted on two counts of felonious assault for speeding ahead of a bike rider and intentionally dooring him after the victim had flipped him off.

British police accused “sick vigilantes” of booby trapping scenic trails with broken branches, carpet tacks and a wall of rocks.

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Local

Los Angeles has finished the first of a planned series of Complete Streets on a 2.3-mile stretch of Roscoe Blvd through Panorama City and North Hills to improve safety for “pedestrians, bikes, buses and cars.” Although it’s unclear from the story whether anything was actually done to improve bike safety.

Extremist hate came to Santa Monica Monday, when someone spray painted anti-Jewish slogans on the pedestrian bridge over PCH, and “Holocaust is a lie” on the beachfront bike path; the city removed them the same day.

 

State

If you’re carrying weed and glass bongs on your bike, try not to look suspicious — and don’t flee from the cops, because that shit is legal in California now.

Evidently, not all businesses in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood prefer parking spaces to bike-riding customers; a total of 18 local businesses have come out in support of the planned protected bike lane on 30th Street that would remove 420 parking spaces.

The dockless e-scooter industry is fighting back against the San Diego repo firm and a bike shop owner who have confiscated over 10,000 of the devices because they were left in the wrong places.

A new underpass and bridge mean San Diego’s Rose Creek bike path is that much closer to its anticipated opening next year.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous driver on the roads until it’s too late. A Bakersfield woman is in critical condition with major injuries after an alleged drunk driver slammed into her bike; the driver was previously convicted of DUI and hit-and-run after pleading no contest to the charges 26 years earlier. Seriously, fleeing a crash while under the influence should be enough to permanently disqualify someone from having a license.

Calistoga police haven’t made an arrest yet in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider who was found lying next to his bicycle in the early morning last week.

The bicyclist who was struck and killed by two drivers in a Sonoma County crash has been identified as a 39-year old Santa Rosa man; meanwhile, investigators continue their outrageous victim blaming, saying they don’t know if he was impaired. So why the hell even mention it unless they do?

Folsom has attempted to tackle the problem of speeding drivers by installing smart traffic lights that turn red if someone is exceeding the speed limit.

 

National

A new study shows that investing funds in building better biking routes improves access to jobs in US cities, while another study shows drivers are more likely to buzz women on bikes than they are men.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says if you want to be happier at work, ride your bike there.

CNN lists their picks for five of the best bike locks.

Someone went on a bike theft spree in a Colorado mountain resort, snatching six bicycles throughout town on a single night.

A chance discovery at the popular RAGBRAI ride across Iowa led to a groundbreaking study that has improved the lives of Parkinson’s patients.

Dallas bike cops teamed with a security guard to rescue a suspected drunk driver from a fiery crash after he drove his car into a downtown building.

A Cleveland man is in custody for allegedly ramming a pair of men sharing a bicycle with his SUV, then getting out and robbing them at gunpoint; the theft was reportedly in retaliation for stealing drugs and guns from the thief and his unidentified partner.

An Ohio city plans to use eminent domain to claim an abandoned rail line that the owner refuses to sell to make room for a rail-to-trail bikeway.

The speaker of New York’s city council calls for a permanent crackdown on reckless and bike lane-blocking drivers.

Sad news from Maine, where the CEO of IDEXX, the state’s third largest employer, suffered a severe spinal injury while on a club ride last month, leaving him with limited mobility in his arms, and none in his legs, torso and fingers; no word on how it happened.

 

International

Accusations fly in Ottawa following the death of a 13-year old boy who was killed by a driver as he was riding his bike; the head of the city’s Transportation Committee tweeted that bike riders were just left-wing publicity hunters who aren’t helping the cause of safety. Nice guy.

Another reminder of the dangers of potholes, as a Montreal woman suffered a broken nose, three broken teeth and bruises across her entire body after she struck one and flew off her bike.

No shit. A Malta bike rider complains that putting sharrows on high-speed arterial roads is just insane, after a driver buzzes him with inches to spare.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. After an 84-year old New Zealand man ran a red light and slammed into a woman riding her bike, knocking her cold, a driving assessment showed he was perfectly fine to keep on driving and do it again to someone else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eurosport remembers when the great Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France with a legendary descent from the Col du Galibier to Valloire, site of today’s 18th stage.

Cycling Weekly asks when is it too hot for a bike race, as temperatures in the Tour de France climb north of 105 degrees.

The Beach Reporter sings the praises of local riders who won, or helped lead their teams to victory, in last weekend’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, including last year’s US national women’s champ Coryn Rivera.

Mechanics from a Vancouver bike shop fix banged up bikes overnight every night to keep competitors going in British Columbia’s toughest singletrack stage race.

Outside wants to introduce you to the Billie Jean King of professional bike racing.

Former doper and current clean cycling team manager Jonathan Vaughters’ forthcoming memoir goes deep into the sport’s relatively recent dirty past to revisit the halcyon doping days of Lance and Landis.

 

Finally…

It’s a trick question — you can’t ride a bike to the moon. If you’re going to wear a dress to rob a bank and make your escape by bike, at least try to wear practical shoes. Especially if you’re a guy.

And if you don’t want “nuisance cyclists” riding on the sidewalk, then improve safety on the damn street already.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

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Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

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Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

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Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

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

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

……..

Always inspect your bike before a ride.

………

Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

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Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

Morning Links: LACBC hires new ED, LA Walks hiring new ED, and Diamondback bike found in Silver Lake

Let’s offer a round of congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman, the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Although you may know it better as the LACBC.

Kaufman takes over an organization that has spent the last few years in transition, following the departures of former LACBC Executive Directors Tamika Butler and Erik Jansen in just the past 18 months.

Hopefully he’ll be able to steady the bike coalition, and provide the stable leadership the LACBC desperately needs as the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, at a time when our streets have been in turmoil due to a lack of support at city hall.

The simple fact is, we need strong, effective leadership from the LACBC, in the halls of city hall, in the media and on the streets. And the LACBC needs strong, effective leadership in order to provide it.

So let’s all pat him on the back and wish him well.

And tell him to roll up his sleeves and get down to work.

………

Speaking of Executive Directors, pedestrian advocacy group LA Walks is in the market for a new one.

Current ED Emilia Crotty is stepping away after three and a half years to be closer to her family on the East Coast.

She’s been a strong advocate for safer streets for people on foot, and all other road users, and will be missed.

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If you’ve lost a Diamondback Sorrento recently, you may be in luck.

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

Portland police are looking for whoever has been tossing nails into a bike lane, using different kinds of nails at different times of day.

A separated bike lane in New York’s East Village was sabotaged with broken glass, as well as graffiti calling for a return of street parking.

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We mentioned earlier this week that New Mexico State Rep. Angelica Rubio is biking across the state to attend the opening session of the legislature.

Now Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards word that she’ll be introducing a bill to mandate a five-foot passing distance in the state.

The bill also allows drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass someone on a bike, a provision California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed in an earlier version of our state’s three-foot law.

Let’s hope she arrives safely at the legislature; the safety of all the state’s bike riders could depend on it.

And let’s hope someone in California’s legislature follows her example, and re-introduces the provision Brown killed.

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Local

CicLAvia’s annual pLAy day in LA fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 10th.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says Elon Musk’s tunnels will only benefit the people who can afford an all-electric autonomous vehicle, and he’d be better off donating the money to the mayor’s Twenty-Eight by ’28program to build road, transit and bike projects before the upcoming LA Olympics.

The good news is Monterey Park has installed a new buffered bike lane on Riggin Street. The bad news, it’s just over half a mile long, giving way to sharrows on either end. As we’ve said before, the arrows in sharrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim.

State

California has finally revised CEQA rules to eliminate LOS (Level of Service) standards that considered bus lanes and bike racks bad for the environment, although the new rules don’t go into effect until next year.

San Diegans are invited to learn how to fix their bikes and make jewelry from bike parts.

A Modesto man was stabbed by a man on a bicycle while delivering newspapers in a “bad neighborhood.”

National

An Alaskan man was set on his path to become a stuntman stand-in for Kevin Bacon and Keanu Reeves when a truck ran his bike off the road, wrecking it while he walked away injury-free.

PC Magazine tries out Nordic Track’s new Virtual Reality stationary bike at CES in Las Vegas, and says it’s a fun workout — if you don’t throw up.

A Kansas man has pled guilty to second degree murder for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, claiming the man had struck his mother with a lead pipe.

A Lubbock TX website says the growing number of e-scooters are increasing the need for bike lanes in the central city.

A Chicago letter-writer tells drivers to learn the Dutch Reach and save a life.

A Minneapolis bike writer says there’s still hope, even though the theme of the past year was conflict between drivers and bicyclists.

Two years after an Ohio teacher crowdfunded enough money to buy every kid at her school a new bicycle, the project has morphed into a nonprofit to give kids bikes, as well as other “joyful” things like Halloween costumes.

A Boston letter writer says an auto-first policy is a road to ruin.

Massachusetts plans to get more bicyclists on the roads by focusing on improving safety and accessibility.

New York’s TransAlt advocacy group asks the city’s leaders for a Bike Mayor like London has,. Although we need it here in Los Angeles a lot more than they do.

A DC writer takes a deep dive into the liability issues surrounding e-scooters, after she ends up in the ER when the one she was riding came to a rapid and unexpected stop.

Life is cheap in Louisiana. The widow of a fallen East Baton Rouge councilmember says a lousy 12 days behind bars for the driver who killed him and injured another man as they rode their bikes is a perversion of justice. No shit.

International

The Guardian offers suggestions from around the world on how to encourage urban bicycling, from providing free bicycles to putting spikes on drivers’ steering wheels.

Road.cc goes to the source and gets the inside scoop on how to protect your bicycle from a professional bike thief.

After an English bike rider complains about a close pass by a bus driver, a cop tells him maybe he should drive a Hummer.

A new British bike helmet promises to protect your skull and grey matter even if you get run over by a bus. And remains wearable after surviving 200 impacts.

This is who we share the roads with, UK edition. A drunk van driver smashed into the home of a 92-year old woman, barely missing two young schoolgirls on bicycles, after careening through the town.

Paris is planning free transit and bikeshare for kids.

French bikemaker Coleen has introduced a very cool looking ebike based on a 1941 design by French architect Jean Prouvé.

One more for your bike bucket list — an adrenalin-pumping bike tour of the Greek Isles for a mere $7,000 per person.

Horrifying story from India, where a bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver, severing his leg, while the force of the impact threw him into the back of passing truck; his body was finally discovered over 250 miles away. Unfortunately, the Indian press uses the same term to describe bicyclists, motor scooters and motorcycles, so it’s unclear just what kind of bike he was riding.

Entrepreneur looks at the not-unexpected collapse of Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo, which dismissed its entire international business department. Meanwhile, the company has pulled its 6,000 out of London, where most of the surviving bikes had been illegally converted to private use.

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Redlands bike club GS Andiamo, which got USA Cycling’s nod for Division II Cycling Club of the Year for 2018. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Peter Flax confesses what it was like to be a fondo VIP for Bicycling magazine.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine suggests 15 mountain bike races you should seriously consider entering this year. Unless you don’t ride mountain bikes, that is. Or race. But otherwise, sure.

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off on your bike after throwing a flaming Molotov cocktail into your neighbor’s yard, try not to get caught on the security cam. More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even a stolen flatscreen TV.

And this must be where dockless bicycles go to die.

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