Tag Archive for Eric Garcetti

Slow Streets finally coming to Los Angeles, face masks now required in LA, and YouTubers injured in hit-and-run

Finally.

Los Angeles County has given a long-overdue blessing to the concept of Slow Streets.

And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has suggested the city may give them a try.

According to a story from Time Out,

On Wednesday, the county announced that as part of an update to its “safer at home” order, it would allow cities to close off streets to car traffic and temporarily turn them into pedestrian-only areas.

“Local public entities may, if they want to, temporarily close certain streets or areas to automobile traffic and this would allow for increased space for persons to engage in recreational activity that’s permitted by the health officer orders,” said Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer in her daily briefing.

Slow Streets, a term that was virtually unheard of before the concept spread rapidly across a world afflicted by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns, are fully or partially closed to motor vehicles to allow people to get outside for a little fresh air and exercise, while providing enough space to allow for social distancing.

Without having to worry about getting run down by a speeding, distracted driver. Or having to leave their own neighborhood.

But as usual, LA appears to be wrapping the concept in needless red tape.

Instead of simply choosing several streets to close down across the city, as countless other cities have done, Los Angeles will make residents apply if they want one near them.

Which may or may not be approved, depending on whatever criteria will be used to vet the request.

Most likely, though, it will depend on whether the local councilmember wants them, in a city where they are virtual kings and queens in their own districts, with the power to bless or kill any street proposal.

So we may be able to get out for a little air soon. But I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet.

As usual, though, this comes because bike and pedestrian advocates fought for it.

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You’re now going to have to wear a face mask anytime you go outside in the City of Angels.

Although whether that would apply if you’re riding your bike, and not around other people, remains to be explained.

But just like deciding to ride without a helmet, you can expect to be harassed and publicly shamed by self-appointed safety vigilantes if you’re not wearing one.

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YouTube stars and influencers Marcus and Kristin Johns were both injured by a hit-and-run driver, who they say swerved directly at them in an intentional attempt to run them down as they were riding their bikes.

The driver was apparently fleeing from police following a burglary.

Neither one suffered major injuries, though they were both hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, they don’t give any date or location for the crash.

But it could explain why this story about Monday’s Toluca hit-and-run has unexpectedly blown up, with over 10,000 page views in the last two days.

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ESPN has released the trailer for their upcoming documentary about Lance Armstrong, titled simply Lance.

Which reminds me of this old classic.

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

A pair of “respected” retired woman are suspected of sabotaging a British bike trail by building traps using rocks and branches to stop unsuspecting bike riders.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there are new bike lanes on two sections of York Blvd in NELA, with a two-block gap on a narrow section in between.

Streetsblog looks at the opening of the Rose Bowl loop to people, not cars. Meanwhile, a Pasadena writer suggests repurposing Old Town’s Colorado Blvd for outdoor dining.

Watchmen actress Malin Akerman celebrated her birthday with an unmasked ride with friends and family through the streets of Venice.

Final Destination star Ali Larter is one of us, riding through Pacific Palisades with her five-year old daughter.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, too, riding with his with wife in Pasadena, with the family dog in tow.

 

State

San Diego is trying to pump new life into May’s moribund Bike Month by encouraging people to try bike commuting. There may never be a better time to give it a shot, with motor vehicle use at a historic low.

He gets it. Writing for a Yucaipa paper, a veteran bike cop says the far to the right law is widely misunderstood, and you’re not expected to be a gutter bunny. Although he may not have used that exact term. But still.

An allegedly intoxicated Fresno teenager hit the trifecta, crashing into a parked car, a bike rider and an apartment complex while fleeing from police; no word on the rider’s condition.

Vallejo’s annual tongue-in-cheek Obtanium Cup bike festival has been cancelled.

 

National

Time to start hoarding bicycles. The Guardian says bike usage is soaring across the US, while Bike says we’re running out of bikes, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.

Lifehacker offers tips on learning to ride a bicycle, even if you’re an adult. Although once you actually get on a bike, you won’t feel like one.

The Verge says something better may emerge from the ashes of the scooter-sharing industry, which has ground to a halt over coronavirus fears.

A pair of Seattle bike cops are suing the city, alleging they were injured due to poorly maintained bicycles.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city enjoying cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown. Denver is getting long-overdue relief from the city’s notorious brown cloud.

Evidently, that flawed study that incorrectly asserted that bike helmets reduce head injuries up to 85% will never die, rearing its head once again in an editorial from a Kansas paper. More accurate studies suggest helmets can reduce the risk of head injury 48%, and serious head injury 60%.

An Illinois letter writer complains that bike riders are discriminated against at drive-up windows. Just another example of windshield bias and the hegemony of motor vehicles.

Boston is considering four options to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing, including Slow Streets and pop-up bike lanes.

New York is opening another 12 miles of Slow Streets now to allow for social distancing outside, along with another nine miles of protected bike lanes later this month.

An Alabama man was killed by his neighbor in a shooting that began with a dispute over the victim’s son, who was riding his bike down the street with a slingshot.

That’s more like it. A Florida city is building a new visitor’s center to attract people on bicycles.

 

International

The World Economic Forum suggests the Covid-19 pandemic could usher in a golden age of bicycling.

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are powering a worldwide revolution in post-lockdown transportation.

Road.cc lists their picks for the best road bikes priced from roughly $1,222 to $1,833. Which makes a lot more sense when you consider that translates to a nice, round £1,000 to £1,500 in the UK.

London’s historic Square Mile financial district will block some streets to motor vehicles as the city comes back to life, encouraging people to walk and ride bikes instead of driving.

The Standard says this is a chance for a more bike-friendly London.

A suspected British bike thief experiences instant karma, falling off the bike into a patch of nettles and breaking his ankle as he tried to make his escape.

The Sea Otter Classic is pulling the plug on the inaugural Australian edition of the annual Monterey bike fest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Covid-19 claims another major event with the cancellation of Colorado’s iconic Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

If Oregon gives the okay to resume bike racing, it will be up to promoters to prove the race is safe from the coronavirus.

Cycling News looks back at the first American to ride in the Giro d’Italia, nearly 50 years before the first American team made its debut.

 

Finally…

When protesters try to disrupt your bike shop opening, just give them a deal. Your next ebike could be a balloon that fits in a backpack. No, really.

And this is what happens when someone who’s apparently never ridden a bike tries to design facilities for them.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LA skips worldwide Slow Streets movement, print your own Slow Street signs, and tackling Amazon in a cargo bike

Today’s common theme is the ongoing battle for Slow Streets and Open Streets — and what will follow post-pandemic — allowing people to safely get outside during the coronavirus crisis.

Something that seems to be sweeping the world. Except for Los Angeles, which is sweeping up the rear behind virtually everyone else.

As usual.

Mayor Robert Garcia wants Long Beach to repurpose some streets to provide more space for people. Funny how much more progressive Long Beach is when it comes public spaces and transportation than its ostensibly progressive neighbor to the north.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss wonders what happens when traffic comes back to our formerly quiet streets, warning we need to be prepared to hear a much-needed new normal is a luxury we can’t afford.

Houston’s chief transportation planner says coronavirus-quiet streets can’t just be for motor vehicle commuters. Could someone please give him LA Mayor Garcetti’s phone number?

It’s a sad commentary when the people of Bentonville Arkansas, the hometown of Walmart, get Slow Streets to provide safe space to exercise outdoors, and Los Angeles can’t.

Maine’s bike advocates think a more bike-centric culture could take hold in the state as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking unless steps are taken now to actively encourage bicycling while discouraging people from getting back into their cars.

Maybe someone should explain the concept of open streets to the NYPD, after the department sent 30 cops to shut one down in Brooklyn — despite an okay from New York’s Department of Transportation.

CNN says our cities may never look the same in a post-pandemic world, as they provide more space for biking and walking, and make other adaptations to adjust to the new reality.

A Vancouver newspaper suggests paying people to bike instead of driving to keep traffic from roaring back post pandemic. Which could be much more effective than congestion pricing, without the inevitable backlash.

No bias here. A London mayoral candidate says plans to encourage people to walk and bike to work are “madness,” and people shouldn’t have to choose between crowded trains and getting crushed by a truck on a bike. At least he’s got the last part right. But the solution is to tame traffic so we can encourage active transportation without posing a risk to human life.

After a Scottish columnist demanded that bike riders “do something” in return for pop-up bike lanes, the UK’s cycling organization wants to know why people on bikes have to meet some sort of special criteria just to be kept safe.

And these brilliant street signs from New York’s Transformation Dept gets the idea across better than just about anything else.

Maybe we should just print them out and start using them, instead of waiting for the city to finally get around to it.

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London’s Pedal Me e-cargo bike delivery service warns it’s coming for the world’s biggest retailer.

If they cross the Atlantic, I’m all in.

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Local

Assisted by a truck-driving stranger, a 17-year old South Pasadena boy tackled a bike thief as he tried riding away after snatching a bike out of the hands of the boy’s sister.

Long Beach is reopening parks and the beach bike and walking paths today, even as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue; however, face masks will not be required for “physically distanced exercise.”

Long Beach is partnering with bicycle community group Pedal Movement to offer virtual bike workshops, although you already missed the first one.

What it’s like to ride 55 miles on PCH from Long Beach to Crystal Cove along PCH in today’s Covid-19 world.

Yes, that could have been the former Governator’s oldest son you saw riding an elliptical bike through LA last week.

 

State

A 53-year old Spring Valley bike rider suffered major injuries when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver in a dark sedan.

A San Jose nonprofit is using bicycles to distribute vegetable plants to people in need.

Sad news from Chico, where a 65-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver in a pickup. Note to CHP: When a bike rider gets run down by a motorist doing 55 mph, it doesn’t effing matter how fast the bike was going.

 

National

Take your dog with you on your next ride, with nine “unbiased” reviews on doggie bike trailers that just happen to link to Amazon pages where you can buy them. And only the Amazon pages.

A 68-year old lifelong bike rider says signs on Oregon mountain bike trails prohibiting ped-assist ebikes is just outright snobbery; meanwhile, Cycling Tips says ebikes are okay on gravel, but more fun in the company of other ebike riders.

The other Vancouver — no, the one in Washington— is forced to hit the pause button on a planned protected bike lane after stripping the city’s transportation budget due to the coronavirus crisis. Something we can look forward to just about everywhere in the days to come, including Los Angeles.

A 17-year old Colorado man is now a thriving triathlete, eight years after his mother made the heartrending decision to amputate his leg due to a congenital condition.

An Austin TX man faces charges for deliberately running down a man on a bike as the victim was attempting to escape following a domestic dispute.

Now that’s a real superhero. Chicago’s beer fairy is delivering craft beer by bicycle. And yes, with wings attached.

French BMX pro Matthias Dandois rides though an empty New York.

 

International

The Guardian offers ten reasons now is a great time to start riding a bike. All of which apply wherever you are.

He gets it. A writer for a sports and development website says bicycling should be considered a form of public transportation in a post Covid-19 world, once we finally get there.

Tragic news from Argentina, where soccer legend Tomás Carlovich died after slipping into a coma when he was mugged by a thief who stole his bicycle; Argentine great Maradona called Carlovich the greatest of all time, even though he never played for the national team, by choice.

A British Columbia city shows how easy it is to make a protected intersection.

Montreal residents are “desperate” for bicycles, as local shops sell out due to the coronavirus bike boom.

A London letter writer complains that “aggressive” cyclists should look out for pedestrians in bike lanes, not the other way around.

Madonna’s 19-year old son is one of us, going for a ride through London dressed like Oliver Twist.

A six-year old English girl raised £1,000 for Britain’s National Health Service — the equivalent of $1,234 — by riding 100 miles on her bike in ten days.

Britain’s government is encouraging people to get out on their bikes as the country begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown, including a surprise announcement that it is investing £2 billion — the equivalent of nearly $2.5 billion — to “put cycling and walking at the heart” of the country’s transportation policy.

A writer for The Guardian debates whether we’re entering a golden age of bicycling, or if it’s just another empty promise. And says riding a bike does more to help the UK’s National Health Service than clapping once a week.

Once again, a Brit medical worker has been targeted by a heartless bike thief, after an intensive care nurse got off work to find all three locks on her bike had been cut.

The coronavirus bike boom has cleared British bike shops of virtually all their available bicycles, with foldie maker Brompton seeing a five-time increase in online sales.

Thousands of Slovenian bike riders took over the streets of the capital city, Ljubljana, to protest allegations of coronavirus purchasing corruption; a smaller protest was held in Maribor, the country’s next-largest city.

Once again, an Indian migrant worker has been killed by a driver while bicycling over 700 miles back home during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Finally…

Otters help bring bike thieves to justice. How about a new Ferrari that weighs less than an unabridged dictionary?

And no. Just…no.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Garcetti orders bold climate plan, couple killed by drunk driver on Goleta bike path, and Corona DIY hit-and-run investigation

Maybe he means it this time.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive yesterday to enhance portions of the city’s Green New Deal.

Which would be a big deal, if he actually follows through this time.

There’s a lot to like in the plan. Starting with a commitment to active transportation; according to My News LA, the plan would

— promote walking, bicycling and micro-mobility with a comprehensive citywide network of active transportation corridors, including protected bike lanes, paths along regional waterways and low-stress neighborhood bike improvements;

The order also calls for more cool streets and roofs, a congestion pricing pilot program, zero emission buses, and increasing transit speeds by 30% in the next ten years.

More importantly, it calls for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled through expanded use of transit, walking, bicycling and micromobility.

And of special interest to many of us, more frequent open streets events.

But as always, the devil is in the details.

It remains to be seen whether that implementation plan for an active transportation network means we’ll finally get around to building out the hard-won 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously passed by the city council when Garcetti was still council president.

Or if they intend to re-invent the wheel yet again, with or without our input.

Curbed reports the mayor at least struck the right sense of urgency.

“Can we make this happen?” Garcetti asked Monday, speaking broadly about the city’s sustainability goals. “We don’t have a choice.”

But they added —

It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to achieve one of the key goals laid out in the city’s Green New Deal: A nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of miles LA residents drive daily.

Although it’s not a bad sign that the NRDC is on board with it.

The problem, of course, is that we’ve been here before.

Any progress on the bike plan, or the mobility plan that subsumed it, ground to a near complete and total stop after Garcetti took office as mayor.

And any real progress on the mayor’s own Vision Zero plan came to a halt the first time drivers complained about a road diet.

The result that not only have bike and pedestrian deaths not declined by 20%, as the plan called for by this year, they’ve actually gone up.

So this could be the beginning of the groundbreaking, tide-turning movement to re-invent the City of Angels into the more livable — and survivable — city so many of us have fought for.

Or it could be just another bold plan that will soon by gathering dust on the shelf.

It’s all up to Mayor Garcetti.

And whether he’s suddenly found the political will to see it through.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Or in this case, a bike path.

Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk website reports that a married couple was killed in a collision while walking their dog on an offroad Goleta bike path Sunday evening.

The driver, later identified as 39-year old Eric Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar of Goleta, fled the scene on foot.

A writer for the site estimated that Aguilar had to have driven at least 100 yards on the bike path before coming to a stop, slamming into his victims somewhere along the way.

Police took the alleged drunk driver into custody three hours later in nearby Carpinteria. He was a passenger in a car, whose driver was returning from Ventura County after learning that Aguilar was a wanted man.

Authorities threw the book at him, and deservedly so.

According to the site,

Aguilar was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated causing injury, hit and run causing death or injury, fleeing the scene after committing manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated, with an enhancement for causing the deaths of more than one person.

He remained in custody Monday night, with bail set at $100,000.

Fortunately, the dog somehow survived the crash, and was turned over to a family member.

Let’s hope Aguilar gets the hard time a crime like this calls for.

But let’s face it.

As long as drunks continue to get behind the wheel, we’re not safe anywhere. And no amount of jail time can bring back the lives they take.

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This is who we share the roads with, too.

After a Corona mother was killed in a hit-and-run while riding her motorcycle last week, leaving behind eight kids, her husband made it his mission to track down her killer.

Remarkably, he found the car parked in a nearby apartment complex, with passenger side damage matching the details of the crash.

Police arrested the 85-year old driver, Tashiro Isa, on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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The LAPD is asking for your help to find the heartless coward who fled the scene after backing into a 92-year old man, leaving him bleeding in the street.

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Or as we call it here in balmy Los Angeles, Friday.

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After a British truck driver knocked a bicyclist off his bike in a left hook, the equivalent of our right hook, the driver refused to admit he was behind the wheel — and walks with just a fine and points against his license.

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Take a quick break with mountain biker Greg Williamson doing “dusty laps” on a dry and dirty Kiwi singletrack trail.

I think Dusty Laps will be the name of my new cowboy alter ego, although Twitter user Mumen Rusto suggested that could be my porn name.

But no one wants to see that anymore.

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

An Aussie state department of transportation posts a simple question about bicycling rules online. And opens the floodgate for an avalanche of bike hate.

A Tokyo bicyclist catches a punishment pass and a brake check from a school bus driver on his bike cam — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

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

Sacramento police are looking for a man who fled on a bicycle after robbing a business and threatening the employees at gunpoint.

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Local

Streetsblog adds its voice to those calling out against plans to widen dangerous Magnolia Blvd, which is already on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.

Bike riders aren’t the only ones being inconvenienced by the closure of the Arroyo Seco pathway; horse people are calling for the equestrian trail to be reopened, as well.

While Los Angeles talks about safer streets, Santa Monica is actually doing something, as the city announces plans to make over deadly Wilshire Blvd to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

Sad news, as longtime bike industry vet Jim Whitsett died of an apparent heart attack before South Bay Cycle, his new 2,100 square foot Manhattan Beach bike shop, could open this coming weekend.

 

State

My point exactly. A writer for California Streetsblog argues that the state is missing a significant opportunity to fight climate change by failing to offer the same sort of rebates for ebikes that they do for electric vehicles. Except we should go further, and offer them for any bicycle intended to replace at least one car trip a week.

They get it. An editorial in the Times of San Diego says driving like maniacs is the root cause of bike and pedestrian collisions.

Fifty-six-year old Julian resident Craig Wendell Nelson faces up to four years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of Kevin Wilson as he was riding his bike on a rural road east of El Cajon last month; police eventually found Nelson hiding under some bushes after abandoning his car.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike, like the one that was installed for fallen bicyclist Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime following the Palm Springs hit-and-run that took his life; the killer of the 30-year old father is still a large.

Palo Alto considers fixing a “terrifying” intersection used by around 4,000 cars and 20 bicycles per hour during the morning rush. Maybe more bike riders would use it if it wasn’t so scary.

San Francisco bike riders are calling for a concrete barrier along the Embarcadero bike lanes.

Uber says Sacramento ranks second in the world for shared rides, if you include bikeshare and e-scooters along with ride hailing.

 

National

VeloNews says 2020 is all about gravel and e-bikes and smart-bikes and materials and versatility.

Bicycling says blame a stiff neck for your numb hands.

New York bike riders can’t use the city’s bike lanes because they were built wide enough for street sweepers and snow plows, which makes them wide enough for people to drive and park in, too.

New York is finally getting around to questioning whether dangerous drivers should be taken off the road before they kill someone. Not after, like the woman with eight speeding and red light violations who killed a couple kids as they were walking in a crosswalk.

Florida bike riders are up in arms after an 18-year old bicyclist was cuffed and arrested after allegedly running a stop sign; the officer says he and another bike rider refused to stop when ordered to, while the riders say they just didn’t hear him. Advocates also want to know why the kid from Puerto Rico was the only one to get busted. Thanks to Victor Bale and J. Patrick Lynch for the links.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine unveils the secrets bike mechanics don’t want you to know, like maybe you’re putting your bar tape on wrong.

The English city of Coventry just got Britain’s first bicycle mayor. Meanwhile Los Angeles, with ten times the population, is still waiting.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A French woman who may have been the world’s oldest person was still riding her bike as she approached 100.

The Netherlands ranks second in Europe for bicycling fatalities. Which isn’t too surprising, considering they also have one of the continent’s highest rates for bicycling.

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Aussie man who failed to show up for sentencing after pleading guilty to killing a bike rider; the victim frequently posted videos of close passes while calling for a safer passing distance.

Macau leaders shut down hiking trails and bike lanes to combat the novel coronavirus, telling everyone to just shut yourself in and exercise at home.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tour de France champ Egan Bernal will lead the Ineos team in this week’s Tour of Columbia.

New Zealand’s Georgia Williams is making a comeback to the women’s pro cycling tour after being knocked off her bike by the increasingly common Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, aka RED-S, which prevented her from getting enough fuel for her body while making her bones more brittle.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could fold up to fit in your briefcase or backpack; let’s hope it also protects your head. Now you, too, can compete in the world’s greatest bike races without risking all that road rash and broken bones and stuff.

And apparently, Los Angeles used to be a lot better for bicycling.

Morning Links: Eric Garcetti strange choice to chair global mayors’ climate group, and lots of upcoming bike events

In a surprising move, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been chosen to chair the C40 group of global mayors as they confront climate change.

Maybe the other 90-plus mayors haven’t taken a good look at what’s happening on our city streets lately.

Or more precisely, what’s not happening.

Garcetti was chosen to follow Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as chair, who earned her bona fides by taking dramatic steps to cut auto use and emissions in the city, including closing down a major highway along the Seine, banning diesel cars from the entire metro area by 2025, and removing all gas-powered cars from the city’s streets five years later.

By comparison, Garcetti has talked about, but not implemented, Vision Zero and a citywide Green New Deal. And ripped out road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey because some people got mad.

He claims he’s going to make implementing a Global Green New Deal his top priority.

Maybe he could start by doing something about the sheer number of motor vehicles on the streets, and providing safe, convenient alternatives to driving. Something he’s failed at miserably in the six years he’s been mayor.

But maybe all those other mayors know something we don’t.

We can only hope.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers ten specific steps Garcetti could take to show he’s taking the climate emergency seriously — all of them good.

And the LA Times says fighting global climate change will take political courage at home. Something else Garcetti has failed at miserably so far.

Paris’ green revolution has been both wildly popular and incredibly controversial — in part because the transformation has been so swift. But the mayor has been unrelenting in her campaign, showing what is possible when a major city commits to fight climate change on the ground.

Garcetti could do something similar in Los Angeles. He could, for example, build bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes and safer streets. He could set a powerful example for the entire world by starting to transform a city famous for its cars (and the traffic and pollution and greenhouse gases they bring) into one that people can navigate without them.

But unless Eric Garcetti can rediscover the political leadership he showed as council president under former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, you can probably plan for a very hot future.

Photo of Eric Garcetti at C40 group taken from press announcement from the mayor’s office.

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Let’s catch up on some upcoming bike events.

You’re invited to tomorrow’s slow roll and model-building workshop to envision a more bike-friendly Elysian Valley.

This Sunday Lyft and Santa Monica Spoke are sponsoring a Lyft Scooters Safety Event with free test rides, skills training, refreshments and helmet giveaways at the Santa Monica Bike Campus.

The California Bike Summit returns to Los Angeles this Tuesday through Thursday at the Center for Healthy Communities in DTLA, sponsored by Calbike.

Volunteers are still needed for the 12th Annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count in Long Beach on October 17th and 20th.

Phil Gaimon’s Hillclimb World Championships will head up Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road on the 19th. Cookies will be had by all.

CicLAvia will team with Strava to present A CivSalon: Who Do LA Streets Serve? on October 22nd.

The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns on the 26th of this month, with a route through El Monte and South El Monte.

San Diego’s CicloSDias open street event will walk, roll, skate and stroll the streets of our neighbor to the south on October 27th. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Peter Sagan’s Gran Fondo Roadie-Oh comes to San Diego November 8th through 10th.

Pasadena will host the 2nd Annual Pasadena Adaptive Sports Festival on November 9th, with eight adaptive sports including handcycling.

The San Diego Padres will host their 7th Annual Padres Pedal the Cause at Petco Park November 16th to raise money to fight cancer.

The last CicLAvia of the year will roll a straight route down Sherman Way in the San Fernando Valley on December 8th.

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Local

Less than half of all UCLA employees drive alone to the university, compared to just 23% of students. But just 3.5% of students and staff bike to campus, in a sign of how little Los Angeles has done to provide safe riding routes through Westwood.

South Bay letter writers say people on bicycles aren’t the problem, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

State

New rules are reining in San Diego’s e-scooter Wild West.

The man who allegedly ran down a Ramona woman as she rode her bike to work last week pled not guilty to a charge of felony hit and run.

A Vallejo cop takes the fifth in a lawsuit over the shooting death of a man who was stopped for not having a light on his bike; he was also one of the cops who fatally shot a man who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot with a gun in his lap.

 

National

A new study shows wearing a bike helmet can reduce your risk of a facial injury by 40%, but does nothing to reduce the severity if you do suffer one; despite those results, the researchers recommend that bicyclists should wear the equivalent of a full-face motorcycle helmet.

The Verge offers tips on how to buy an ebike. Step 1: Find the bike you want. Step 2: Pay for it. Step 3: Enjoy!

If you can get past their paywall, the Wall Street Journal concludes that smart helmets are probably safer; you can now get the new Lumix Matrix smart helmet at the Apple Store.

Bicycling says its not just an Apple Watch that can call for help if you fall off your bike. And offers 15 great trails to add to your mountain bike bucket list.

Don’t count on a driverless Tesla to spot you. Or avoid you, for that matter.

Kindhearted Sioux Falls SD residents join with a local business to buy a new handcycle for a man suffering from a rare cancer after he had a leg amputated.

A Minneapolis man decides to honor his late brother with a “fantastical” diagonal ride across the US from Northwest Washington state to Key West, Florida.

Michigan bike advocates say put a bell on your bike.

Senior players on an Ohio high school football team pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a freshman teammate, after the one he used to ride to school was stolen.

Evidently, it’s not just the NYPD that insists on using a new bike lane as a parking lot.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us, relaxing after games by riding his beach cruiser home. But he’s willing to have the fans join him.

This is who we share the roads with. A white Florida man gets 20 years for fatally shooting a black man in a dispute over a lousy parking spot.

 

International

Trump says he’s aware of the wife of an American diplomat who claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run death of a British motorcyclist, but is noncommittal about sending her back to face charges, and puts the blame on Brits for driving on the wrong side. But his notes tell a different story, clearly stating that she will not be going back to the UK.

Dyson drops its plans to build an electric car. Which is too bad, because we could really use a car that vacuums the road at the same time.

Expect to pay an extra 30 rupee baggage fee to take your non-foldie bike onto a Bangalore Metro train — which works out to just 42¢.

A South African website offers advice on how bicyclists can stay safe on the roads. Which for once doesn’t start and finish with “wear a helmet.”

A plus-sized former rugby player worked with another Aussie man to build an unbreakable high-end road bike for heavier riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports website says riding in the Tour de France would be murder on your body, no matter how athletic you are.

Some of pro cycling’s better known names still aren’t under contract for next year, including American’s Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter.

 

Finally…

Some people think the answer to everything is found in the Bible, like whether to build a bike path. If you’re riding a stolen bicycle while carrying garden shears, brass knuckles and a shotgun, put a damn light on it, already.

And let’s end today with a couple minute mountain bike break.

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

………

Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

………

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

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

………

Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

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: Seattle jock attacks bike zealots, CD4 candidate offers hope, and LAPD ignores drivers to ticket bike rider

No bias here.

A Seattle radio jock says “bike zealots” are trying to force the city’s traffic problems on the the Bellevue area, apparently by calling for a road diet and bike lanes.

He also claims only 25 bike riders a day currently use the street in question, and doubts the number is likely to increase once the bike lanes go in.

Maybe someone should tell him you can’t judge the need for a bridge by how many people swim across the river.

Or if a new road is needed by how many people currently drive across the fields.

Then again, maybe he could learn something from the bikeway on Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge, which many motorists called an unnecessary failure on a road few bicyclists used when it opened ten years ago.

And now may be the busiest bike lane in North America.

All those bike riders must have been busy swimming against the tide a decade ago.

………

CiclaValley offers a painful reminder that once upon a time, we actually had the mayor’s support for safer streets and hope for the future of our city.

Even if it does seem like a fairy tale now.

On the other hand, the following response to that tweet is exactly the attitude we need from our elected officials. And why Sarah Kate Levy has my personal support for LA’s 4th Council District set currently held by David Ryu.

Even if she isn’t one of us.

Yet.

………

An LAPD cop ignored drivers rolling a red light, and ticketed the guy on two wheels for jumping the light by a few seconds.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1155855285220605952

………

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

Someone booby trapped a Colorado bike trail, stringing potentially deadly wires across the path at neck level; one bike rider was lucky to escape with a bloody nose.

Someone painted “No Bikes” on a Tulsa OK bike lane — and bizarrely, “Kayaks Only.”

Then again, the people on two wheels aren’t always the good guys. 

A man is under arrest for attacking a woman after colliding with her as he was riding on an Irvine bike trail; a Good Samaritan intervened to stop the assault and hold him for police.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Calbike’s Dave Snyder says the Complete Streets bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would benefit bike riders and pedestrians.  Everyone else, too. One way or another.

No bias here, either. The story says very clearly that police in San Diego conducted a safety operation “focused on enforcing safety laws involving motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.” Too bad the headline is all about a crackdown on bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman has died nearly a week after her bike was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

Now that’s more like it. A new San Francisco program provides a variety of hand-cycles, side-by-side tandem bikes and adult tricycles for people with mobility-related disabilities during carfree Sundays in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog San Francisco calls for regulating killer trucks. Trucks don’t kill, drivers do. But no truck should ever be allowed on the roads with massive blindspots that can prevent drivers from seeing bike riders and pedestrians, or without sideguards to keep people from getting swept underneath.

Hats off to a Santa Rosa bike shop for giving a Utah triathlete a new $5,000 bike after her’s was stolen the day before the race.

Marin County sheriff’s investigator have released the name of a suspect who allegedly stole $25,000 worth of bicycles from a bike shop earlier this month; they’ve recovered the bikes from a storage shed, and have a warrant out for his arrest.

 

National

A new study shows falls at home are the leading cause of nonfatal head injuries in American kids. Which is why your kids should wear BikinginLA’s patented new HomeHelmet™ from the day they’re born until they turn 21.

Anyone who wants a 20 mph e-cargo bike for just $1,500 raise your hand. Sorry, I may be typing one-handed for awhile.

Evidently, bikes as props are a thing for scantily-clad models this year. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Anne de Paula rides a bike in some exotic-looking beach location while wearing a “cheeky” one-piece swimsuit. Which may be a BikinginLA record for most hyphens in a single sentence.

Twitter erupted with predictable outrage after Arizona police announced plans to give good drivers faux tickets containing coupons for Circle K; the cops backed off after realizing the plan was of “questionable legality,” deciding they’d just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead. But if it’s questionable to pull over drivers who aren’t breaking the law, why wouldn’t the same thing apply to people walking or riding bikes? Or do civil rights only apply to people in cars?

Why bother breaking in to a Denver-area bike shop, when you can just drive a bus through the front door?

The death toll continues to climb in New York, where a 30-year old art teacher was killed when she was doored while riding her bike and knocked into the path of a semi for the city’s 18th bicycling death so far this year; New York Mayor de Blasio reminded drivers that it’s against the law to open a car door into the path of a bicyclist.

South Brooklyn community boards tell de Blasio where he can put his plan to expand protected bike lanes; apparently they don’t care how many bike riders die on the streets.

They get it. A Charleston SC newspaper says it takes a special kind of logic to reject a safety project over fears it would be unsafe, and that ignoring bike and pedestrian safety won’t fix anything.

For one brief instant, it seemed like we had reason to be excited, and maybe there was actually hope for Los Angeles. Except the new Complete Streets project is on the wrong Hollywood Blvd, in the wrong Hollywood, in the wrong state, on the wrong side of the country. 

This is why you always need to maintain your bike. A Florida man is dead after he threw the chain on his bike and fell into the street, where he was struck by a driver.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Jacksonville FL man will face charges for the hit-and-run deaths of two women as they rode their bikes, after police found “biological material” in his shattered windshield; he has been charged with at least six other moving violations dating back to 1999.

 

International

A Vancouver man gets his bike back less than a day after it was stolen — and with a better front wheel — when a bike courier spotted someone riding it and negotiated its return for $60.

She gets it too. A Vancouver letter writer says “Maybe it’s time to end the debate of cyclist vs vehicle driver and just ask your city to provide safe infrastructure for both.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a paraplegic’s custom adaptive bike from a Calgary hotel parking lot; the theft victim had continued to ride despite losing the use of his legs in a mountain biking accident three years ago.

Toronto newspaper readers go ballistic when a columnist suggests bicycles don’t pose the same threat to pedestrians that drivers do. The simple fact is, someone on foot is far less likely to be killed in a collision with a bicyclist than with a driver, for reasons that should be obvious. But it can and does happen. So it’s your responsibility to ride safely and carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as drivers think we are.

Huh? A British columnist bizarrely spends most of his column talking about smoking, vaping, coffee drinking and otherwise distracted drivers. But then says we should pity the drivers who get blamed for the sins of modern bike riders if they actually hit one. Personally, I’d rather pity the person who gets hit. 

So much for that. It only took 60 seconds to steal Dutch bikemaker VanMoof’s $3,000 theft-proof ebike.

The US has a long way to go to catch up with Poland’s glowing bike path.

Four people were seriously injured when a driver crossed over the center line and plowed into their bicycles in a Japanese tunnel; four other people were injured when a second driver crashed into his car, including a two-month old baby who suffered major injuries.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Sacramento Bee says the future of French cycling looks bright, even if the country had its Tour de France dreams dashed once again.

The Independent talks with a man who mentored new Tour de France champ Egan Bernal in his teens, and talked him out of giving up the sport.

The Washington Post examines 2016 Olympic cycling silver medalist Kelly Catlin and the massive hole left in the lives of her family and friends after she took her own life following a series of injuries, and the untreated depression that may have resulted from a concussion suffered during a bike race.

 

Finally…

We may have hit-and-run drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about hit-and-run deer. If you’re going to break into a garage and steal a bike, try not to leave a scent for the police dogs to follow.

And this is why country music is called three chords and the truth. Just hang up and drive already.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last video.

Morning Links: LACBC calls for action on safe streets, bad day for San Diego bike riders, and anti-bike victim blaming bile

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I was knocked on my ass by another bout with dangerously low blood sugar. Except this time, I couldn’t get back up. 

It took four hours, three fig bars and two cookies to get my blood sugar back up to a minimal safe level. 

Yes, it’s true. 

Your sweets are my life-saving medicine. 

And as anyone with diabetes knows, the toll something like that takes on your body lasts for hours afterwards. 

Which is all a long-winded way to say diabetes sucks. 

So get tested if you’re at risk or have a family history of the disease. Then do everything you can to get your blood sugar back under control, and keep it there. 

Because you don’t want this.

Trust me. 

Now let’s get on with today’s news. Because we have a lot to catch up on. 

Photo by Dan Fador from Pixabay

………

We’ve waited a long time for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC, to step up and take any real action on our streets.

Including during my five-plus years on the board, when I fought a losing rearguard action to encourage them to stop working only behind the scenes, and take good fight to the streets.

It looks like that time is finally here.

They even make it easy for you by including the email addresses for the mayor and city council.

  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
  • councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org
  • david.ryu@lacity.org
  • paul.koretz@lacity.org
  • councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.price@lacity.org
  • councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Smith@lacity.org
  • councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Let’s all take a few minutes and email the councilmember for your district. And remember, as the LACBC notes above, to include your address to prove you’re a real, honest to God constituent.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles, contact the councilmembers for any districts where you work or ride, and make it clear you want to be able to bike safely in the City of Angels.

I haven’t had a chance to write my email yet. But I’ll do my best to get it done today.

So I hope you’ll join the LACBC — and yes, me — in demanding safer streets for bike riders, and everyone else, throughout Los Angeles.

And maybe if we all respond, this won’t be the last time the LACBC tries something like this.

If you want to share your email on here, just let me know.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, here’s your chance to tell them to form an associated 501(c)4, so they can engage in direct political action without risking their tax-exempt status.

SoCal’s largest bike advocacy group, the LACBC wants your comments on what direction they should take at a Community Input Forum on Saturday, July 27th, as they regroup to confront the challenges of bicycling in Los Angeles.

You already know what I think.

If not, read these last two sections again.

………

Saturday was a very bad day in San Diego.

In what was initially a very confusing story, a 60-year old man suffered a life-threatening head injury when he allegedly descended too fast on a steep hill in the city’s Park West neighborhood around 3 pm, made an “unsafe” move to the right and somehow clipped a car mirror.

It made more sense when the Union-Tribune clarified that he clipped the mirror of a parked car; he was thrown several feet onto the pavement as a result.

Just three hours later, someone described only as a teenager was riding on Claremont Blvd in Kearney Mesa when he or she was struck by an SUV turning onto the northbound I-805 onramp; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim until it was too late.

Which should be seen as a confession, but usually serves only as a Get Out of Jail Free card to absolve drivers of any responsibility.

The driver remained at the scene, while his passenger jumped out to perform CPR on the victim.

Naturally, the CHP investigators blamed the victim, saying he or she wasn’t riding in the crosswalk. Even though bike riders aren’t expected or required to use a crosswalk.

And even though bicyclists still get ticketed for riding in a crosswalk, which is legal in California following a recent change in the law.

It’s not the first crash at that intersection, either.

Early reports indicated the victim had died, but other sources revised their stories to say it was unclear whether or not the victim was still alive.

Sadly, it seems like prayers and good thoughts are called for in both cases.

Chances are, we’ll hear more about one or both cases in the next few days.

Thanks to JMK for the reminder about the deadly intersection.

………

No bias here.

An anti-bike op-ed from an anti-bike writer in the generally anti-bike New York Post says it’s your own damn fault if you get killed.

The two things that might have prevented this horror — training and adherence to rules — are tellingly absent from the protesting cyclists’ list of demands.Not to put too fine a point on it, cyclists are frequently their own worst enemy, and their presence has made everyone less safe.

Of course, automobiles are more dangerous than bikes, but adding cyclists to the mix, many of whom refuse to obey traffic laws, has compounded that hazard.

Never mind that in many, if not most, of the New York’s recent bicycling fatalities the victim didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

But clearly, he doesn’t let that give him a moment’s pause.

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.

Of course, only affluent people ride bikes.

Even though bike commuters are more likely to come from low income households, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone saddled with monthly car payments — let alone gas, insurance, maintenance and taxes.

And as well all know, anyone who rides a bike arrogantly insists on not getting killed by some random jerk. Like say, the writer of that piece, for instance.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the disproportionately influential, ceaselessly kvetching bicycle-advocacy groups capitalized on every heart-rending fatality to further their agenda.

Nobody elected the advocacy outfit Transportation Alternatives to speak for New Yorkers. It isn’t a safety organization, a cadre of seasoned city planners or even some impartial arbiter seeking what’s best for everyone; it’s a bunch of mainly upscale cyclists trying to make the city more navigable for themselves.

Actually, they did.

TransAlt is one of the nation’s largest and most effective alternative transportation and traffic advocacy groups, composed of thousands of average, everyday New Yorkers who elected the group to speak for them.

Then there’s this BS.

It’s not at all unusual to see them texting or riding hands-free as they careen through traffic. Close calls have become a daily occurrence, especially for the elderly and disabled, whose reflexes aren’t ideal for evading speeding cyclists.

Case in point, two months ago, 67-year-old Donna Sturm died after being mowed down by a cyclist who ran a red light in Midtown. If bicyclists can ride fast enough to kill, they ride too fast to enjoy exemption from the training, certification, insurance and identifiable licensing required for the use of every other vehicle on our streets.

Just wait until someone tells him about cars, whose drivers have killed far more New Yorkers than the single person killed by a jackass bike rider this year.

Not to mention that simply bumping into someone while walking can cause a fatal fall — as can tripping over your own shoelaces.

Which by his reasoning means that every person who steps out of their home or apartment must be trained, licensed, insured and certified.

Good luck with that.

We’ll leave the discussion on this final outpouring of faux journalistic bile.

Bike lanes haven’t made anyone any safer, but they have inarguably taken traffic congestion from bad to intolerable. The narrowing of our city’s critical arteries to accommodate a tiny minority whose vehicles are rendered impractical all winter and on rainy days seems to have been irrationally prioritized with regard to triage.

Maybe he should do just a little research before guessing like that. And missing by a mile.

But then, what would you expect from someone who pops up periodically with his anti-bike, but seems to be a ghost otherwise?

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

………

A Bay Area bike rider was pleasantly surprised when another bicyclist returned his lost money clip, completely intact, just an hour after tweeting that it was missing.

………

Driverless cars may not be coming anytime soon.

But a new company plans to introduce fully automated delivery pods in the near future.

And plans to take your hard-won space on the street to do it, knocking us from second class citizens to ranking somewhere behind a bunch of robots.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An Arizona man faces charges for swerving into a bike lane and killing a bike rider, while under the influence of a veritable pharmacopeia of legal and illegal drugs.

Taylor acknowledged taking methadone — a drug used to treat addiction — earlier that day, but he initially denied any other drug use. After failing several impairment tests, he was arrested at about 9 p.m., according to the report.

Taylor later tested positive for opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine and methadone, the police report said. He told officers he had used meth and heroin earlier in the week before taking methadone the same day as the collision.

Police also found heroin and paraphernalia in his possession, according to the police report.

 

Let’s hope he can manage to get clean in whatever deep, dark hole they throw him in.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the worldwide war on bikes just keeps going on, as someone has been sabotaging popular British bike paths by placing medieval-style booby traps across the trails.

………

Local

Mariah Banks pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year, despite reportedly confessing when she turned herself into the police weeks after the crash.

Metro wants you to help rank their priorities for Our Next LA.

An ebike magazine goes e-mountain biking with recently retired former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who helped get the department back on bicycles.

Burbank is studying how to improve safety for people riding bicycles as part the city’s Complete Streets plan, while the mayor calls for “quick and dirty” solutions.

 

State

Speaking of San Diego, the city has made the first installment in the promise by city leaders to remake the downtown area to be safer and more inviting for people on bikes, with parking protected bike lanes, bollards and green intersections appearing on three streets.

A group of bicyclists are riding across the US to raise money for families in need, starting at the site of the Poway synagogue shooting.

A Santa Maria paper says people in cars may be safer, but bike riders and pedestrians, not so much.

Oakland promises its new equitable bike plan will be accessible to everyone, regardless of identity.

 

National

The new Complete Streets Act introduced in both houses of Congress would require states to set aside 5% of federal highway funds for streets that serve all road users.

It’s getting rough in the Great Plains, as a Kansas cop rear-ended a fleeing bike rider while driving on the sidewalk. And an Oklahoma cop tasered an apparently intoxicated bike rider who refused to stop, even though the victim didn’t pose a direct treat to to the officer or anyone else.

Someone please tell this Illinois TV station that sharrows are not bike lanes.

Pittsburgh bike riders are leaving their bikes on buses. Or someone’s, anyway.

A Pennsylvania doctor thanks the four strangers who saved his life when he was struck with a sudden heart attack while riding his bike.

Speaking for NIMBY’s everywhere, a Boston writer says don’t mess with our street, promising to fight plans for a road diet and bike lanes, in an apparent effort to keep it dangerous.

No shit. New York’s police commissioner agrees that the NYPD’s longstanding policy of ticketing bicyclists following a fatal bike crash is just a tad insensitive. You think?

The New York Times wants to know what the hell happened to a city that was supposed to be getting better for bike riders, while Bicycling says it’s shocking just how badly New York is failing people who ride bicycles.

NYC councilmembers want to ensure the city’s expanding bikeshare program serves low-income residents, too.

Does it really surprise anyone that cars — or more precisely, the people operating them — are more dangerous than guns on the streets of the Big Apple?

A homeless man in Louisiana learned the hard way not to stick around the parking lot begging for money after you walk out of Walmart with a stolen bike.

An op-ed in the local paper says people should warned explicitly that riding a bicycle just about anywhere in the Charleston SC area is inherently unsafe, while the paper hopes the third time is the charm to get approval for a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

International

The good, the bad, and the ugliest bikeways around the world.

A Canadian driver swerved to avoid a crash as a group of Gran Fondo cyclists cut into his lane at the last second to avoid a fall in the peloton.

A Toronto newspaper politely explains the point of ebikes, calling them the great equalizer, while a writer in the city tries bikeshare for the first time, and decides it should be expanded.

A climate change protester shut down a British airfield for 20 minutes to protest a military air show as he road his bike on the runway, pursued by firefighters and service members.

A UK YouTube star became the first person in the country to be killed in an e-scooter crash.

Adding insult to injury, an English thief not only stole a teenage boy’s bike, he flipped the victim off while riding away with it.

Maltese bicyclists complain about dangerously substandard bike lanes. Especially the section that dead-ends into a brick wall. Oh, and the green paint is slippery, too.

An Indian ex-con hated life on the outside, and the abuse he suffered from his wife and kids, so much that he stole a bicycle to get back to his friends behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten won her second Giro Rosa in a row, only finishing out of the top seven twice in the ten-stage race.

In your spoiler-free Tour de France update, the difficult terrain on Saturday’s 8th stage shook up the standings.

Le Tour went gravel grinding last week, forcing French pro Romain Bardet well off the pace.

Amazing photo catches defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas in midair as he crashes, landing on teammate Gianni Moscon while snapping Moscon’s bike in two and sending him to the hospital.

Then there were three. Tejay van Garderen dropped out of the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a fall, leaving just three American cyclists in the raceVeloNews considers why such crashes are inevitable.

The newly reformatted Colorado Classic announced the course for the August race, as it transforms into a strictly women’s stage race.

Horrible news from the world of track cycling, where a 17-year old Italian cyclist was in intensive care after he was impaled when a piece of the track splintered and punctured his lung at the European U-23 and Junior Track Championships.

 

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever crash into outdoor cafes, and when they do, the result is usually a little spilled coffee and avocado toast. Before you sell a bike on Letgo, make sure it’s really yours.

And this is who we share the roads with, too.

Note the bike tally on his door.

 

Morning Links: DC takes Vision Zero seriously, WeHo talks Sunset bulb-outs, and LA zero-emission mobility fund

This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

A DC councilmember has introduced a 25-point bill to achieve to curb rising traffic deaths.

The Vision Zero bill ranges from mandating protects bike lanes in any new developments, to banning right turns on red lights throughout the city, as well as cutting speed limits to 25 mph on minor arterial streets.

The proposal would also require the addition of protected bike lanes when streets are repaired, impound vehicles blocking bike lanes or sidewalks, and allow bike rider to report bike lane parking violations by taking photos of the offending vehicles, with police ticketing the owners of the vehicles as a result.

A pair of companion bills would require curb extensions in all new road improvement projects, and make bike-related rules part of the district’s driving test.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will follow DC’s lead, and finally get serious about Vision Zero.

Because it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet.

Photo shows LA Mayor Eric Garcetti proudly signing the city’s Vision Zero proclamation at his prop desk; too bad that Vision Zero was just a prop, too.

………

West Hollywood will discuss success, or otherwise, of the bulb-out pilot program on the Sunset Strip in three upcoming meetings.

………

Somehow we missed this one last week.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti followed-up on his proposed LA Green New Deal by announcing a $300,000 zero-emissions mobility pilot fund directed towards disadvantaged communities.

Three hundred grand could buy a lot of ebikes.

And lanes to ride them in.

………

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

Police in Melbourne, Australia are offering a $50,000 reward for whoever has been throwing tacks on bike paths and roads, resulting in serious injuries to a number of bike riders. Nice to see them taking the crime seriously.

………

Local

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin complains that the Westwood Village Improvement Association applied for a Great Streets grant to improve Westwood Blvd, while ignoring the crumbling, dangerous streets students must use to get there.

A Glendale office building is home to the first commercial property ebike-based bikeshare, available to tenants at no charge.

Pasadena introduces Metro’s Laura Cornejo as the city’s new Transportation Director.

An affordable — whatever that means — Santa Monica apartment development walking distance from the Expo Line will offer 89 underground bicycle parking spaces. And not one space for cars.

Long Beach celebrates jumping over 100 spots into the top 50 bike cities in the US, which seems right since no one could understand why it ranked so low last year.

The 10th Annual Tour of Long Beach will roll this weekend, raising funds to fight pediatric cancer.

Cap off next week’s Bike Week with the return of the 626 Golden Streets, an open streets event running five miles from Mission Street in South Pasadena to the San Gabriel Mission. Evidently, CiclaValley is already in the mood.

 

State

An Orange County real estate agent says California’s future demands higher and denser housing and fewer cars.

A bike-riding man fled from police and barricaded himself in a Costa Mesa hotel room for five hours, eventually emerging with self-inflicted injuries.

Business owners in San Diego’s North Park say a little used parking garage could make up for the loss of 420 parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, a San Diego weekly says the city’s removal of parking spaces isn’t fair to homeless people who live in their cars.

Mountain biking the historic Anza Trail through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Happy Bike to Work Day to all you NorCal bike riders; Los Angeles will celebrate next Thursday on National Bike to Work Day. Pro tip: You don’t have to be riding to work to join in on the fun; riding to school or errands, or just for the hell of it works too.

A San Francisco woman relates the lessons she learned from biking to work for three weeks, calling the experience “life changing.” As long as you can avoid the spaghetti vomit in the bike lane.

Nice move. United Airlines is offering free airfare to anyone flying to California for next month’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

National

Popular Mechanics considers the best road bikes for every kind of rider. For twelve grand, the Roubaix SRAM Red eTap AXS damn well better be.

They get it. A Yakima WA paper says the city needs to get it in gear and be more bike friendly.

A man calling himself The Bicycle Friar paused in New Mexico after spending 20 months and 15,000 mile bicycling across the US; the former Catholic monk is collecting prayers written on pieces of cloth to carry with him to San Luis Obispo.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An 83-year old Iowa minister was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Iowa City; he had served the community since his appointment as an associate Methodist minister in 1965, officiating at over 700 weddings over the years.

Texas bike riders go gravel grinding with the pros.

San Antonio TX bicyclists respond to a pair of recent deaths by forming a new bike safety advocacy group to educate both bike riders and drivers, while demanding more bikeways in the city.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago woman recently finished a 3,000-mile cross-country bike ride from St. Augustine FL to San Diego — while riding into the prevailing winds most of the way.

This is who we share the roads with. A Cleveland woman attempted to use her car as a weapon, jumping the curb and slamming into a house in an attempt to ram a pair of women standing on the porch, but hit a kid riding his bike instead.

They get it, too. A Louisville KY TV station looks into suggestions that the city cut funding for bike lanes to make up for a $35 million budget deficit, concluding that after zeroing out bike funding, the city would still need to find another $34.6 million to cut.

MIT mourns a recumbent-riding thermodynamics professor who was an expert in gas turbines, jet engines and human-powered transportation.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, the road raging motorcyclist who severely injured a Florida bike rider by allegedly swerving into a group of riders was still riding, despite having his driver’s license permanently revoked following four DUI convictions; he was also accused by his stepson of murdering his wife, though he was never charged with the killing.

A Tampa FL bike rider was shot in the ass after refusing to stop when two men tried to get him to.

 

International

Red Bull offers tips for your international mountain biking expedition.

How to take much better photos of your bike.

A London woman says the city could be a bicycling town, if the reckless macho bicyclists would just tone it down. She’s got a point. The highest law of bicycling should be to always ride in a way that doesn’t pose needless risk to yourself or others. 

When a Welsh bike rider couldn’t find a mountain bike he wanted, he built it himself.

Not only will Welsh doctors be able to prescribe bikeshare use to their patients, as we noted yesterday, but it will be fully covered by Britain’s National Health Service for up to six months.

This is who we share the roads with, too. An English driver pretended she was piloting a race car, right up to the point she crashed through a house and killed the 90-year old woman inside.

Two UK men were sentenced to life in prison, while a third got 13 years, for the stabbing death of a teenaged boy in what police termed a minor dispute over a bicycle. Although it’s hard to call any argument that results in murder “minor.”

British cycling great Chris Boardman says ending the hostility towards bicyclists is more important than wearing helmets or hi-viz. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s Laura Laker says UK bicyclists need enforcement, not calls for respect.

Australian advocates call for better bike infrastructure, saying bicycling in the country should be safer; bicycling crashes make up nearly 20% of all transportation-related injuries Down Under.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks forward to the three-week Giro d’Italia, which starts on Saturday. And no, you can’t see it in the US, unless you want to spring to stream it online.

Rigoberto Uran will make his comeback from a broken collarbone at the Amgen Tour of California, which starts on Sunday.

American pro Kiel Reijnen found solace riding the cobbles on the Tour of Flanders, weeks after his brother was killed in a workplace accident.

 

Finally…

The only bias here is against Americans — and Californians in particular. They may be the latest fashion craze, but if you’re high on meth and only wearing bike shorts and a single shoe, try to have a bicycle with you.

And a better use for those indoor cycling bikes.

https://twitter.com/Animals_Humor/status/1125772097437958144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1125772097437958144&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsputniknews.com%2Fvideoclub%2F201905081074815278-cat-trainer-bike%2F

 

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

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

Very bad, in this case.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

It’s May.

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

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

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

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

………

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

Sort of.

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

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

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

We hope.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

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