Tag Archive for Florida

No justice for Florida bicyclists, bikes outnumber cars on Parisian streets, and speed cams could be coming to PCH

Just 265 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the needlessly mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. 

We’re now up to 1,057 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

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My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Diabetes, a bum shoulder and a bad back, and suddenly becoming a full-time caregiver for my wife and my dog, all combined to knock me on my ass Tuesday night. And it probably won’t be the last time. 

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It’s now 112 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 34 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

A Henderson, Nevada bike rider has launched a “Save Our Bike Lanes” website, after city leaders in the formerly bike-friendly city embarked on a decidedly bike-unfriendly campaign to remove them.

Houston’s new mayor has pulled a 180 from his bike and pedestrian friendly predecessor, ordering pedestrian islands ripped out and freezing plans for bike lane.

The city council of Providence RI has gone on the record as opposing the mayor’s plan to rip out a bike lane on a bridge to make more room for, yes, cars.

A Winnipeg, Canada city councilor spent yesterday backpedaling without a bike after coming under withering and well-deserved criticism for saying bicycle Nazis want to “take away all the lanes and the cars,” apologizing for making the statement at a city council meeting.

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

A Wisconsin man was arrested for threatening deputies and assaulting a nurse, after he was found lying in a ditch next to his bicycle, heavily intoxicated.

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Local 

Metro is hosting a telephone town meeting on Tuesday to discuss next year’s budget.

LAist looks back at LA’s elevated, wooden bicycle freeway, which never quite made it all the way to Pasadena before cars took over in the early 1900s; the route now forms the basis for the Pasadena freeway.

The two executives from North Hills-based Hope the Mission have made it to Oklahoma City on their cross-country bike ride to raise attention to the plight of homelessness. Meanwhile, my brother has made it to eastern New Mexico on his cross-country ride, after encountering several weather delays.

Glendale is hosting a Bike Safety 101 workshop on the last Sunday of this month.

Active Streets Mission to Mission, nee 626 Golden Streets, will return April 28th to the popular route along five miles of San Gabriel Valley streets, winding from the San Gabriel Mission to South Pasadena.

 

State

Friday is the deadline to sign up for Calbike’s California Bike Summit in San Diego.

A 36-year old Hayward man faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding bicycle last September, after seven months on the lam.

San Francisco bicyclists now have their own sidewalk-level bikeway. Which is one more than Los Angeles has. 

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Electrek says there’s a simple solution to virtually every ebike problem — just invest in better bike infrastructure.

Nice gesture. A bicycle shop in Lahaina, Hawaii is giving away over 100 bicycles to Maui residents displaced by last year’s wildfires.

An Oklahoma man set off on a 600-mile ride to visit all of the state’s historic all-Black towns in a single week.

Once again, you can ride your bike to the Indianapolis 500 for the low, low price of just $25 — or $30 the day of the race — which does not actually get you into the race.

Boston bicyclists will return at midnight Sunday for the 16th annual, officially unofficial and unsanctioned 26.2-mile ride along the Boston Marathon route, before the race runs later that morning. The same thing used to take place every year in Los Angeles — until the city made it an official event, then cancelled it, ostensibly over insurance concerns.

Florida man strikes again, as a 73-year old man was arrested for pulling a knife on a boy for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, instead of a bike lane, telling police he thought his life was in danger because the kid was riding right at him.

Make that Florida man strikes again, again, as a man faces charges for firing his gun in a dispute over a bicycle — then left the bike just lying there, of course.

 

International

Momentum lists the world’s ten bike bicycling destinations. None of which is Los Angeles, for obvious reasons. 

That’s more like it. British Columbia drivers will now have to give bike riders a three-foot passing distance, increasing to roughly five feet above 31 mph.

Sad news from Toronto, where a popular 59-year old ride leader for a local bicycling club was killed by a driver.

A new Scottish study shows bike rates remained flat, even as most people now recognize the benefits of bicycling, from better health and happiness to saving money and being better for the environment; as usual, safety remains the biggest barrier.

Drivers in the UK think a new 12-foot wide, two-way bike lane is just too wide and too confusing, accusing city officials of using it as a ruse to drive drivers out of town.

Just as in the US, traffic deaths in the Netherlands continue to drop, despite ever-increasing rate of bicycling deaths; 40% of the bike victims were killed by delivery van drivers.

A new Romanian-made laminated bamboo-frame bike claims to be the world’s lightest ebike, even though at 33 pounds, it probably isn’t.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — bikepacking the spectacular Alps of western Slovenia.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Japanese man rode his bike nearly 375 miles just to visit his 61-year old son.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a 23-year old driver got just six to sixteen months behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite using Instagram on her phone while driving at least 50 mph. And not surprising, ays she never saw the entirely innocent victim she killed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie cyclist Jay Vine took his first tentative steps using a walker, after suffering a fractured skull and vertebrae in the Tour of the Basque County crash that also left cycling stars Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel facing injuries; Belgian cyclist Steff Cras though he was going to die in the crash.

The spectator who launched a hat at the rear wheel of Mathieu van der Poel’s bike as he soloed to victory at Paris-Roubaix says she didn’t mean to cause any harm. Meanwhile, someone made off with the race’s iconic cobbles.

Tragic news from Russia, where 34-year old former pro cyclist turned hockey player Alexey Tsatevich has died.

Tyler Stites edged Tom Williams to win stage 1 of the Redlands Classic, while Canadian Mara Roldan won a group sprint over Maeghan Easler and Alia Shafi on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

A-tisket, a-tasket, a bird nest in your bike basket. That feeling when a collegiate women’s team pursuit isn’t a frat strategy for a sorority mixer.

And why should motorcyclists get to hog all the sidecars?

Make it corgi-sized to fit an e-cargo bike, and I’m all in.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Bass visits bike-friendly Paris, gets $900m for LA transportation; living in a state of happiness; and just another Florida oopsie

Just 293 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

As of this writing, we’re up to 1,013 signatures, so let’s keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us!

Photo by Matteus Silva for Pexels

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Fifteen years ago, then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had his eyes opened when he visited Copenhagen, and saw how cities can thrive when they provide safe alternatives to driving.

Let’s hope current Mayor Karen Bass gets the same message on her pre-Olympic excursion to Paris, where Mayor Anne Hidalgo has been removing highways and building bike lanes to create a 15-minute city.

Bass will have plenty of money to spend on it, after the city secured nearly $900 million in federal funding for transportation and infrastructure projects ahead of the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

Although more than $700 million of that will go to rail projects.

But still. The other $200 million could go a long way towards fixing what ails LA.

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It’s now 84 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A London media personality questions who is at fault in a five-year old crash where a driver cut a corner and hit a bike rider waiting to turn head on — making who was really at fault glaringly obvious.

https://twitter.com/OliLondonTV/status/1766515138654306533

Police in Mumbai, India denied permission for bicycling groups to gather for a silent protest to draw attention to unsafe road conditions for bike riders and pedestrians, despite planning the rally for a spot designated for protests.

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

Authorities in Dublin, Ireland are looking for video evidence after a middle-aged woman was pushed off her bicycle by a “group of lads on bikes,” for no apparent reason.

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Local 

The two leaders of the nation’s largest homeless rescue mission, Hope the Mission in North Hills, are on their way to DC on a 3,500-mile bike ride to advocate for homelessness programs.

Good news for Pasadena, where bike-friendly former city mayor, Los Angeles assistant mayor and Santa Monica city manager Rick Cole has been re-elected to the Pasadena city council, receiving just over 60% of the vote.

Speaking of Pasadena, the city’s police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on Friday, ticketing anyone who commits a traffic violation that could endanger either group, regardless of who commits it; Santa Monica cops will also hold one on Thursday and Friday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets written up and fined.

Streetsblog talks with South Bay-based writer Peter Flax, whose new book, Live to Ride: Finding Joy and Meaning on a Bicycle, offers a broad look at bike riding, with a common theme that bicyclists have to work together because strength comes from unity. And yes, I’ve ordered my copy.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. An unlicensed driver with four previous DUIs over the past decade hit and killed a pedestrian in Orange Tuesday morning, and was arrested after fleeing the scene and leading police on a short chase. And yes, he showed signs of intoxication as he was taken into custody. Which is what happens when authorities take someone’s license away, but let them keep their keys.

Caltrans will provide millions of dollars for a pilot program to build parks, bike lanes and other amenities to reconnect communities in southeastern San Diego and National City that were divided by the 805 Freeway; the program will also seek to reconnect similarly divided communities in Arcata and San Francisco.

A man suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Palm Desert last night.

 

National

That’s more like it. An Oregon man got 12 years behind bars for killing a woman biking with two friends while under the influence, and in possession of controlled substances. Although it’s shameful that it took seven years for the victim to get justice. 

The horrific story of the Washington mountain biker attacked by a mountain lion gets even worse, with news that the 60-year old woman’s entire head was in the cougar’s mouth for a full 15 minutes before her companions managed to pin it down with a bike frame; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $75,000 for the victim.

They get it. The Baltimore Sun, which was recently purchased by the owner of a conservative media group, asks why bike lanes won’t work there, if they’re so successful in Cambridge, Massachusetts, even though the Baltimore bike plan has recently come under from residents and city leaders.

In news that will undoubtedly confound California officials, the District of Columbia will somehow managed to launch their new ebike voucher program next month, just seven months after it was approved by the city council. Which is 26 months less than California’s moribund program’s failure to launch has taken — and counting.

 

International

Momentum offers 33 reasons to start bike commuting this spring, ranging from reducing your carbon footprint to getting some alone time while connecting to your community. Although they forgot to mention that it’s a lot more fun than driving, too. 

British Columbia will invest $50 million in active transportation projects over the next three years.

He gets it. A Toronto columnist questions why the city is cutting funding for safe streets, when it just experienced the deadliest month for bike riders and pedestrians since the heady days before the pandemic.

The Dutch Cycling Embassy explains how fire trucks and bike lanes can peacefully co-exist, despite the largely debunked belief that they slow response times and limit the ability to respond to emergencies.

An Austrian tech company is training AI to enable smart bicycles to analyze their surroundings. On the other hand, would you want to trust your safety to a technology that draws people with three legs, and gets lawyers sanctioned by making up legal precedents?

Dubai opened two new separated cycle tracks in the residential communities of Al Khawaneej and Mushrif, part of the emirate’s goal of building 1,000 km — 621 miles — of bike paths by 2030.

Here’s your chance to mountain bike the Serengeti this fall, while you help fight poaching.

Bike Radar highlights eight weird and wonderful road, gravel and urban bikes from the Taipei Cycle Show.

Police in Australia are revisiting the seven-year old cold case shooting of a 72-year old man, who was shot multiple times in the head and chest by a man who got out of a parked car to fire at him as he rode his motorized bicycle on a rail trail; he somehow survived, but even a half-million dollar reward hasn’t been enough to solve the case.

An Aussie professor says subsidizing micromobility-share programs can benefit people on low incomes or with disabilities.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling gets its kicks from caffeine.

Ghana’s Sports Minister blamed the country’s Cycling Federation for the national team’s equipment fiasco at the Africa Games, as cyclists were forced to compete using the same worn gear they’d been training on.

Triple world champion Ellen van Dijk won the time trial in the final stage of Spain’s Vuelta Extremadura Féminas on Sunday, just five months after giving birth, while Dutch cyclist Mareille Meijering took the general classification for the three stage race; no American finished in the top 25.

 

Finally…

That feeling when they build a new separated bikeway, and leave a lamppost in the middle of it. Or when you get a call from your dead friend’s phone asking for his bicycle back.

And a snow covered reminder of why we ride in California.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month today

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Driver blames bike rider for riding legally, Bob George ghost bike gone, and no SoCal counties deadliest for bike riders

Just 321 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just over 70 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Norwood Paukert recounts the story first told here last week about being intentionally run down by a pair of young men on Griffith Park’s Zoo Drive.

I have no memory of the impact, but I was told by the park ranger on scene that witnesses had watched a car with two young men inside intentionally swerve into the bike lane and ram me from behind, throwing me over the handlebars into the street, and then laughing as they sped away.

We’ve seen similar stories coming from all over the world — as near as Huntington Beach and Las Vegas, and as far as Australia — of young men deliberately running down people on bicycles, usually while driving stolen cars.

Yet no one seems to be connecting the dots here, despite with rumors circulating of a hit-and-run challenge targeting bicyclists.

Meanwhile, another letter on the same Times link asks a “bike enthusiast” to explain why an Eagle Rock bike rider would be riding against traffic on the sidewalk, right next to the painted bike lanes on Colorado Blvd.

When there was a large gap, I checked again for pedestrians, and started to move forward. Out of nowhere, here comes a bike rider, on the sidewalk, coming from my right against the traffic flow. I came within millimeters of knocking him down.

I have seen many cyclists use the bike lanes correctly, but I have also seen them riding in groups so that they overflow the bike lanes into traffic. I’ve seen them at night with no reflective gear on.

Let’s start with the idea that the rider came “out of nowhere.”

Bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, and drivers have a responsibility to look both ways. That includes looking for anyone walking or biking on the sidewalk, which is bi-directional — meaning there is no right direction, and people are entitled to travel in either direction.

Even people on bicycles.

Secondly, there is no requirement to ride in the street, even if it has a bike lane.

It’s possible that riding with traffic on the opposite side of the street may have been inconvenient if the rider was heading to or leaving a business or residence on the near side of the street, or connecting to a street on that side.

Or they may have just been uncomfortable riding on a busy street with nothing more than a thin strip of paint for protection.

And it’s odd that drivers can accept illegal, dangerous and otherwise bizarre behavior from other drivers, but somehow can’t comprehend when someone on a bicycle does something similar.

People are people, regardless of how they choose to travel. And people will inevitably do what’s most convenient, or which seems to make sense at the time.

So maybe it’s time to lighten up when someone on a bicycle acts like a human being.

Meanwhile, GCN examines just what we do that manages to piss drivers off so much.

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Sadly, the ghost bike for fallen bicyclist and Hollywood producer Bob George has been removed already, his memory erased from a town that forgets too easily.

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A new report from personal injury law firm Bader Scott analyzed data the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to determine the nation’s most dangerous counties for bicyclists.

To the surprise of no one, the worst offenders came from Florida. In fact, the top three counties, and 14 of the top 20, are in the state, which is the nation’s deadliest state to ride a bike in.

California was also represented near the top, with San Joaquin County ranking eight, and Stanislaus County 15th. (Hint: Stop the page from loading to get around the paper’s paywall.)

Surprisingly, no SoCal county ranked in the top 20. Although it would be interesting to see what the rest of the list looks like.

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There’s still time to reserve your spot in next weekend’s L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon.

Here’s how a recent press release described the event.

The 46th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run/1K Kiddie & PAW’er Dog Run/Walk & 20/50-Mile Bike Ride – which will be held over the weekend of February 24-25, 2024, where thousands will take to the streets and where the events start and end, as well as a free to the public post-event festival at the historic Los Angeles Chinatown Plaza (Event Festival until 3pm on Saturday as well as a Lantern Paw Festival in Blossom Plaza from 11am-4pm in conjunction with Saturday’s Paw’er Dog Walk, and on Sunday, the Firecracker event festival goes until noon).

In addition, the 50-mile Bike Ride snakes through DTLA, LA River, “Frogtown”, LA Zoo, Travel Town, Burbank, Glendale, Verdugo Foothills, Montrose, La Canada, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, and much more.

The L.A. Chinatown Firecracker is one of the largest and oldest running races in the U.S. which had its humble beginnings from a few Belmont High School Alums (a public school located in the Westlake community just outside of Chinatown).

Meanwhile, there’s just two weeks left to get early bird pricing on the April Finish the Ride and Finish the Run in Griffith Park.

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It’s now 55 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A San Diego TV station blames the victims by suggesting the safety of Encinitas ebike riders is in the hands of Gen-Z, meaning teenage ebike riders. Even though the real danger comes from the drivers they’re forced to share the road with, thanks to a lack of safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. In a clear indication of who they think poses the greatest risk, Fresno police cited 32 drivers in their latest bicycle and pedestrian safety operation — and 96 bicyclists and pedestrians.

Or here. A London bike rider famous for riding with his cat was scolded for riding around a car, after the driver had just pulled out and cut him off.

An Irish driver complains that a bike rider must “enjoy playing with traffic” by riding in the traffic lane when there’s a perfectly good bikeway right next to it — even though it’s blocked by a bollard.

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Local 

The LA Times sums up the prosecution’s case against wealthy socialite and Grossman Burn Center co-founder Rebecca Grossman as “Liquor, Valium, speed and recklessness;” Grossman is on trial for two counts of murder for the high speed hit-an-run deaths of two little kids as they crossed the street with their parents and siblings in Westlake Village last September.

Yo! Venice offers video of the badly damaged Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which collapsed during last week’s heavy rains; remarkably, the bike path appears to have been build with little or no rebar or other means of support beyond the concrete itself.

Hermosa Beach is considering a proposal to allow cops to impound bicycles and ebikes of riders cited for traffic violations. Although that would appear to violate state law, which does not permit it.

 

State

Sad news from Los Altos, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a collision.

San Francisco State Sen. Scott Wiener discusses his proposed bill to require speed limiting devices in all new cars, which keep drivers from exceeding ten miles over the speed limit. And which would probably do more to save lives than anything else the state could do right now.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Bicycling says stop the ebike hate, and love your fellow bicyclists regardless of how they dress or what they ride. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you may be screwed if the magazine blocks you. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a writer for Visor pens a love letter to bicycling, expressing “the simple yet profound joy of riding a bicycle.”

Portland, Oregon rebounded from a “precipitous drop” in bicycling rates last year with a modest 5% increase in this year’s count.

The rich get richer. On top of Denver’s successful ebike voucher program, residents of the city can now get paid $1 a mile to ride their bikes instead of driving, up to a maximum of $200 a month.

New York bicycling deaths dipped just slightly last year, a full decade into the city’s failed Vision Zero program.

A pair of bills in the New Jersey legislature would impose an $8 annual registration fee and require a $35,000 liability insurance policy for even slow-speed, ped-assist ebikes, as well as e-scooters, in an apparent attempt to kill the ebike boom and keep people in their cars.

 

International

A new report suggests the post-pandemic sales slump affecting the worldwide bike industry will last through at lease next year; meanwhile, sales at Shimano’s bicycle division were down 30% last year.

A writer for Cycling Weekly describes what it’s like to ride in the worst bike lane in the world.

Momentum offers ten ways to go on a bicycle date.

Cyclist explains how to get more aero on your bike. Unless you ride an upright bike, in which case, as you were. 

Canadian Cycling Magazine nominates a Toronto driver for the most egregious case of driving in a bike lane. Which sounds like a challenge to SoCal drivers.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A driver walked without a single day behind bars, despite being convicted of intentionally ramming a bike rider into a large truck, breaking the victim’s spine and leaving him a “hollow shell of a person.”

Harry Styles is one of us, as he goes on a late-night bikeshare ride through the streets of London with girlfriend Taylor Russell.

Dublin, Ireland offered a plan to halt pass-through traffic in the city center to make room for buses, bicyclists and pedestrians, along with drivers who actually have a destination in town, after a study showed that 60% of downtown Dublin drivers were just passing through.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Seattle, as former Giro and ‘cross cyclist, and longtime bike industry pro, Tim Rutledge died following a battle with cancer at age 65.

 

Finally…

At 15, most of us were happy just to ride a bike, not run your own bike shop. Now you, too, can ride your bike like the Swiftie you are.

And a corgi on an ebike is all I really ask of life.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for forwarding the tweet, or whatever the hell it’s called these days.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

A call to ban “bike herds” after Florida crash, the American problem of traffic violence, and LA-area bike path news

If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Surprisingly, last minute donations are still trickling in for the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. So thanks to an anonymous donor for their generous gift to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

While the fund drive is officially over, donations of any amount are welcome anytime, for any reason.

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Unbelievable.

After an elderly Florida woman driving on the wrong side of the road plowed head-on into a group of eight bicyclists, sending seven to the hospital — two still critical — a local news website responds by firmly assigning blame.

On the victims, of course.

Asking if “bike herds should be banned,” they say the crash “raises new questions about whether bicyclists belong on area roads.”

Often a nuisance to drivers as they ride in packs, Florida law does permit these bicyclists to use a roadway when no bike lane exists. But these bike herds rarely ride at the speed of traffic. They often seem to lack any awareness that in a bike-versus-car collision, the car almost always wins.

Although a much better question would be whether elderly drivers who can’t confine themselves to the right side of the roadway should be allowed on them.

And maybe someone could assure them that we are all quite aware that cars are bigger than we are, and they hurt.

Unfortunately, however, the writer, or writers, aren’t done yet.

Now we ask you, our readers: should packs of bicyclists be permitted on area roads? Should they be permitted to interfere with traffic? Are there times of day where bike herds should be outright banned, or conversely, are there times of day where you believe it would be okay for bicyclists to ride on area roads? And this question: does anyone really believe that tight, brightly colored spandex offers any additional safety for these people at all?

They obviously don’t realize that we only form herds for protection from apex predators in motor vehicles.

And the purpose of our tight, brightly colored spandex is to get drivers to check out our butts and massive thighs, so they might actually see us for a change.

But hopefully not from the front, as they hurtle blissfully along on the wrong side of the road.

Seriously, the site’s whole argument makes no more sense than suggesting schools should be banned to prevent mass shootings.

Meanwhile, the local sheriff’s office is responding to the wrong way crash, in which the elderly driver was 100% at fault, by reminding bike riders of their duty to obey traffic laws.

Because evidently, someone, somewhere, once rode a bicycle through a red light, which somehow caused this whole mess.

But still.

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A CNN op-ed from journalist Jill Filipovic decries the ever-increasing death toll on American streets, arguing that “Like gun deaths, this epidemic of car-related deaths is a particularly American problem.”

One that she blames in part on the ever-increasing size of American motor vehicles. But she takes it several steps further, to look at other factors contributing to the problem.

Growing vehicle size is a big part of the problem. But it’s far from the only problem. America has too-lax road rules and too few spaces where pedestrians are prioritized. American drivers are too often distracted by cell phones (European drivers, who are much more likely to operate manual-transmission cars, are as a result less likely to have a free hand to hold a cell phone). And enforcement of existing laws is weak: In many areas, officers reportedly have been told not to pull drivers over even for breaking the law.

One solution, she says, is increased camera enforcement — like the speed cams that were recently approved for a handful of California cities, including Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach.

Along with red light cams, which are currently prohibited in the City of Angels, because drivers didn’t like getting caught breaking the same laws they accuse bike riders of breaking.

Then she adds this, making the same case I’ve been making for some time.

If your license has been suspended several times, or if you’ve been convicted of multiple DUIs, or if you have double-digit numbers of speeding tickets in your name, or if you’ve been involved in multiple crashes that were your fault, you should lose the privilege to drive entirely. And if you have a record of this kind of reckless or dangerous driving and then you hit and injure or kill someone, you should pay an especially steep price.

Yet over and over and over again, people with long records of dangerous driving are allowed back on the road; dangerous drivers often aren’t even punished when they eventually maim or kill someone, or see penalties that amount to little more than a slap on the wrist. It is exceptionally rare for a driver, even one with a history of dangerous driving, to be charged with murder when they kill someone on the road. Killing someone with a car is, in the United States, too often essentially a free pass.

It’s worth reading the whole thing.

Because things will never get better until we get dangerous cars and drivers off the roads.

Permanently.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Thanks to Joel Falter for forwarding news that the annual maintenance work on the Ballona Creek Bike Path will begin today, with intermittent closures this week that could affect your ride or commute.

You can find a full work schedule on the Culver City website.

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Now that nearby freeway work is nearing completion, the city is finally getting around to fixing the north end of the LA River bike path. And hopefully, connecting it to new segments in the San Fernando Valley.

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I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to crawl over — or through — vehicles whose drivers carelessly block the crosswalk to enjoy their God-given right to turn right on red.

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The camera aspect appears to make this look even more extreme, as if it’s not extreme enough.

Thanks to Mike Burk for the forward. 

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19 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

LA-based former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon warned “sane motorists” about “homicidal maniacs on the road” who threaten the safety of vulnerable road users, after a driver responded to the innocuous post below showing Gaimon and friends riding past crawling I-5 traffic — on the shoulder, no less — warning that he would “turn the wheel to the right and ram you” in the same situation. If he actually said he “would,” rather than he’d like to, that constitutes a threat under California law, and should be reported to the police to get that fool off the road before he kills someone.

GCN talks with bicycling historian and journalist Peter Norton about the roots of road rage directed from drivers towards people on bicycles, driven in part by street designs that tell drivers the roads were made for them. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link. 

No bias here. A Madison, Wisconsin letter writer insists that bike riders need to pay for their own infrastructure, apparently unaware of who actually pays for local streets, or that bike riders cause a minute fraction of the damage to roadway surfaces that drivers do, and we pay the same taxes as anyone else.

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

Leaked traffic data shows that only 40% of London bike riders actually stop for pedestrians as required at the city’s floating bus stops, where people have to cross a bike lane to get it.

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. Speeds clearly haven’t declined on PCH, as a speeding Malibu driver slammed head-on into three other cars at over 100 mph, then escaped after bugging out through the brush on the nearby hillside.

An unidentified Hermosa Beach bike shop was the victim of a holiday week smash and grab, after someone broke out a window to make off with a high-end bike. Thanks to Jim Lyle for forwarding the story.

Metro Bike is hosting a bikeshare community ride along the Expo Line Bike Path on January 20th. But shouldn’t the path be renamed the E Line Bike Path now, since the Expo Line doesn’t officially exist anymore?

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Chicago Streetsblog pats itself on the back for convincing a local business to stop illegally telling bike riders they can’t park there.

A Florida man argues that he is a victim of political and social manipulation of physical and circumstantial evidence, insisting that he had a legal and constitutional right to fatally shoot a bicycle-riding man during a confrontation, part of which he live streamed from his motorcycle; he’s been behind bars awaiting trail for nearly four and a half years, largely because he keeps firing his defense attorneys.

The only form of life lower than a hit-and-run driver is someone who’d flee the scene after hitting a Florida paraplegic riding a handcycle. Schmuck.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the history of the bizarre, A-framed, belt-drive Strida foldie, calling it one of the most unusual city bikes ever made. Which is an understatement. 

Costa Rica is dealing with a sharp rise in traffic deaths over the past year, as more Costa Ricans drive like Americans.

So it begins. A Toronto letter writer draws from the standard “But this isn’t Amsterdam” playbook to argue that the city will never be a bicycling paradise like Paris. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

A woman with no previous interest in bicycling decided to ride 340 miles from her home in Wales to the Eiffel Tower to honor her bike-riding father, after he died following a short battle with brain cancer.

I’m not sure if we mentioned this one from last month, as The Guardian takes a look back at the four-year history of London’s Black Unity Bike Ride, born out of Covid restrictions and a fight for racial justice; there’s a podcast version of the story if you’d rather listen than read. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Irish police were criticized for confusing messaging that mixed the legal requirement to have lights on a bike with advice not to wear dark clothing, which isn’t required. But others applauded the cops for ticketing a lightless rider in dark clothes.

The attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea could be leading to another round of shortages of bike parts, just as the industry is recovering from the pandemic-era shortages.

A Singapore man explains how he turned his love of bicycles into a fulfilling career running a bike repair shop, despite dropping out of school at 15 — including a stint sharpening his skills in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclists participating in Australian women’s road cycling championship paused for a moment of silence to honor Olympic gold medal track cyclist Melissa Hoskins, who was killed when she reportedly fell off the hood of the pickup driven by her husband, two-time world time trial champ and Tour de France stage winner Rohan Dennis; Hoskins was remembered as a “beacon of strength” and “a freewheeling spirit.”

 

Finally…

If you think pro cycling is hard, try building a Millennium Falcon out of Legos. Prepare for your next road-raging driver with new bullet-resistant ebike batteries.

And probably not the best idea to kick the cop who tells you to get off your bike in a no riding zone.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

77-year old Florida driver hits 8 bicyclists head-on, WeHo adopts Vision Zero, and bicyclist injured in Simi Valley hit-and-run

If you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA.

Then share the petition — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

It’s happened again.

Once again, a driver has plowed into a group of bicyclists, this time in Gulf Stream, Florida, on the state’s Atlantic coast.

According to multiple sources, a 77-year old woman drove onto the wrong side of the road and plowed into a group of eight bicyclists riding in a paceline, sending seven victims to the hospital — including one 46-year old man with injuries that were described as “incapacitating.”

The victims included the driver, as well as six people on bikes; three of whom were described as “severely injured,” though their injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.

Police said all the bike riders were wearing helmets, none of which are designed to protect against a head-on crash at 35 mph.

A woman who was riding with the group said she was lucky to escape with some bruises and a large cut on her leg, along with an injury to her arm from the car’s side mirror.

The collision occurred on the state’s famed A1A coast highway, leaving a crash scene witnesses described as “horrific”.

Descriptions of the dangers bike riders face there make it sound like an East Coast version of Southern California’s killer Pacific Coast Highway.

I understand there’s a bike cam video of the crashing circulating around. But from what I’ve heard, I wouldn’t recommend watching it.

Some things are hard to unsee.

And never mind the ongoing conversation of how old is too old to drive. Although hitting a group of bike riders head-on while driving on the wrong side of the road might suggest might be.

………

Good news from West Hollywood, where Senior Planner David Fenn forwards news that the City Council unanimously adopted WeHo’s first Vision Zero plan at their last meeting before Christmas

And they didn’t stop there, asking city staff “to investigate additional safety strategies like identifying promising locations for roundabouts, reducing landscaping height at crosswalks to improve pedestrian visibility and the orientation of pedestrian push buttons to drivers.”

So maybe they’re serious about actually doing something to reduce traffic deaths, unlike a certain megalopolis I could name.

West Hollywood staff members will return to Council with an addendum to the plan which includes these suggestions in the next few months.

You can view a YouTube recording of the meeting, with the Vision Zero discussion from 3:20:49 to 3:46:05.

Fenn also forwards news that WeHo is studying first and last mile connections for pedestrians and bicyclists for the future Metro K (Crenshaw) Line Northern Extension. A survey has been posted online to offer your feedback and suggestions.

My best suggestion is to speed up construction, which isn’t scheduled to begin until 2041, with completion set for 2047 to 2049 — too damn long to wait for a line that will finally connect all of Metro’s existing rail lines.

Especially since Metro never seems to meet their completion dates.

………

Someone riding a bicycle suffered major injuries in a Simi Valley hit-and-run yesterday.

According to a notice from the Simi Valley Police Department, the victim, who wasn’t publicly identified, was riding north across Los Angeles Ave west of Stearns Street when they were struck by a vehicle traveling east on Los Angeles around 7:50 pm.

A witness described the suspect vehicle as a late 1990’s to early 2000’s gold Toyota sedan, with probable significant damage to the front or right front side.

I’d say that sounds like my wife’s old car, but it was totaled by a distracted driver just before Christmas.

Anyone with information is urged to call Simi Valley PD Traffic Collision Investigator Martinez at 805/583-6224 or email AMartinez@simivalley.org.

Let’s hope the victim has a fast and full recovery. And they find the heartless coward who did it.

Thanks to Linda Righetti for the heads-up.

………

Ralph Durham forwards photos from a recent trip to Milan, featuring a protected bike lane we can only envy.

Photos by Ralph Durham

……..

I think I found your summer read, due out in June.

………

16 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

………

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

A 57-year old Belfast, Ireland grandmother was injured when two young boys pelted her with golf balls as she rode her bike home from work.

Road.cc updates their 2016 article on the 10 most hysterical anti-cycling headlines in the notorious Daily Mail tabloid, this time listing “20 of the most hysterical Daily Mail anti-cycling headlines” — including the classic “Lunacy, blight, and the scourge of lycra louts.”

………

Local 

It seems it’s a small world for tragedies, too. Less than six years after Fredrick “Woon” Frazier was killed in a South LA hit-and-run,  26-year old Miah Ladelle Banks was fatally shot at a New Year’s Eve party at a DTLA warehouse, along with another person; Banks was the sister of Woon’s convicted killer, Mariah Kandise Banks.

Streetsblog recommends getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city by peddling your bike around the San Gabriel Valley’s Santa Fe Dam. Or maybe pedaling a pedal boat.

 

State

A Carlsbad woman escaped with a slap on the wrist for killing 35-year old Christine Embree as she rode an ebike with her 18-month old daughter, who was miraculously unscathed; 43-year old Lindsay Turmelle was sentenced to 90 days in county jail and 90 days home vacation confinement, after pleading guilty to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Then again, she did say she’s really, really sorry, so there’s that.

A 13-year old San Diego girl suffered a critical head injury when she fell off her bike crossing a Pacific Beach intersection; she wasn’t wearing a helmet, despite state law requiring a helmet for anyone under 18 riding a bicycle. The sad thing is that this sort of fall is exactly what bike helmets were designed to protect against. Not crashes with drivers at 50 mph. 

Vallejo cleared out a homeless encampment, at the threat of arresting any holdouts, in order to begin work on a bike path.

 

National

Momentum recommends seven US cities offering “bike-friendly destinations for sunshine and two-wheeled good times” — which we could all use about now — including San Francisco, Santa Monica and San Diego on the Left Coast. Although hoping for sunshine in San Francisco in the middle of the winter may be asking too much.

Velo predicts five ebike trends they expect to see in the coming year, from more electric cargo bikes to tighter regulations.

A new law allows Oregon drivers to pass bicyclists in a no-passing zone, as long as they stay five mph below the posted speed limit and there are no on-coming vehicles. Similar provisions have been vetoed multiple times by California governors, for reasons only they and their CHP Wormtongues understand. 

Chicago has finally completed work on the city’s long-promised Dickens Ave Neighborhood Greenway, including the city’s first bike-friendly traffic diverter, after nearly five years of NIMBY opposition.

After legendary carmaker Lee Iacocca saved Detroit’s Chrysler, he became an early ebike entrepreneur.

A New York Times podcast considers why so many more pedestrians are getting killed on our streets, as other rich nations have surpassed American in protecting pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Which is the first and last time they even mention bikes, even though our death rates are climbing, too. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

Something funny is going on with a Richmond, Virginia bike shop, where the owner disappeared after the store shut down abruptly, leaving dozens of customers without the bikes they paid for, while giant bikemaker Giant is suing the shop for nearly $150,000 in unpaid bills; a notice on the shop’s Facebook page promises it will reopen later this month, and everyone will get their bikes. But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

 

International

Very few people biked to work when Canberra, Australia opened its first bike path 50 years ago; the city now boasts 370 bike paths covering over 600 miles, and is considered the country’s bicycling capital.

 

Competitive Cycling

LA’s Williams brothers may still be brothers, but they’re no longer teammates, as younger brother Corey left the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team he co-founded to decamp for the Miami Blazers team started by Williams Racing Development, which he also co-founded along with brother and former US cit champ Justin.

 

Finally…

Maybe you can’t run away with the circus, but you can ride there. Or where it used to be, anyway.

And actor Will Smith gives a new bike to a man who rode his bicycle across Africa to go to college.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Roadkill Gil supports bikes off the road, Metro teaches group rides, and always pay cash before you kill someone

One quick note before we get started. 

I’m scheduled to have arm and hand surgery at the end of the month. 

As you may recall, I had surgery on the right side last year, and was down for about 10 days before I was able to get back to work, however, that was a more extensive surgery than we’re expecting this time. 

So I’m not sure how long I’ll be out; hopefully, it will only be a few days. 

But if you’ve been thinking about writing a guest post, this would be a great time to send something to me. 

Standard rules apply. Write as much or as little as you want, about anything you want, as long as it’s about bicycling. Feel free to include photos (just send them separately from the text, please).

The only restrictions are to avoid insults and personal attacks, or being needlessly offensive. But I’m pretty damn hard to offend, so that should give you a lot of leeway.

No, this is not an invitation to SEO marketers, so no extraneous links unrelated to the topic at hand. 

And I’ll be the judge of what’s related. 

………

More proof Roadkill Gil supports bike infrastructure, as long as it doesn’t offend NIMBYs or inconvenience motorists just a tad.

https://twitter.com/gilcedillo/status/1504154264284778499

LA’s future ambassador to India seems pretty darn pleased, too, apparently taking pride in the new bike/ped bridge.

Even though his Vision Zero program has failed, and his Green New Deal is already gathering dust.

………

Metro wants to teach you how to survive group rides.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1504279453605646338

………

If you’re going to murder a couple riding their bikes, remember to pay cash — and try not to be too memorable.

The man who allegedly stabbed a Daytona, Florida couple to death as they rode their bikes back home was caught when a waitress recognized his photo, and police tracked him down from the credit card he used.

Thirty-two-year old accused killer Jean Macean has been extradited from Orlando, where he was arrested.

……….

This is the kind of note you write when Costco places a bench blocking the bike racks.

If you’re more polite than I am, that is.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1504248818069504000

……….

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

It’s bad enough when a driver passes too close and ignores the painted bike lane, but even worse when it’s a cop.

………

Local

The Sheriff’s Department has declared zero tolerance for speeding and crosswalk violations on PCH in Malibu in the wake of several recent pedestrian deaths. Good luck with that. If they really want to slow drivers on LA killer highway, they need to remake PCH so the Malibu’s Main Street isn’t just a speedway for pass-through drivers.

Rancho Palos Verdes will lift a 28-year ban on bicycles and skating at three local parks, in a six-month trial starting at some yet-to-be-determined date; residents have complained that they don’t have safe place to teach their kids how to ride a bike.

 

State 

San Jose announces a $6 million plan to reduce last year’s near-record number of traffic deaths, which continue to rise even though it was one of the first US cities to adopt Vision Zero. Once again demonstrating that Vision Zero doesn’t work if you don’t actually do something.

San Francisco moved a step closer to permanently banning cars from JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park. Parks are for people, not cars.

Davis is working to reduce traffic congestion on the city’s Mace Boulevard, including installing a new protected intersection.

 

National

As Colorado expands its power transmission network with hundreds of miles of new power lines, the state’s bike advocates see a unique opportunity to build bike paths along the new power line routes.

Texas Monthly remembers the state’s own Mr. Rogers, who fixed bikes for all the neighborhood kids until his death at 93 years old in 2004, and says some of those bikes are still being ridden today.

A Michigan man faces a minimum of 25 year behind bars as a habitual offender after following a man on a bicycle in his car, then intentionally jumping a curb and swerving into him to steal his wallet.

Research shows more Tennessee drivers are obeying the state’s three-foot passing law, and passing bike riders at a safe distance.

Tampa, Florida is the latest city to adopt Vision Zero, in an effort to confront the city’s average of 44 traffic deaths each year.

It’s not just a SoCal problem. A Florida family wants answers after a 50-year old man was killed riding his bike home from work; his brother found his body after retracing his route a full two days after the crash that killed him.

 

International

Garmin has patented a new rear-view bike cam radar system, which automatically begins recording when it senses danger from behind.

Ouch. Someone broke into a shed on a Scottish property, and made off with five mountain bikes worth nearly $33,000.

After an English woman was confronted by a gang of young men while riding her bike home, she didn’t realize how close she came to being robbed — or worse — until she later watched an attacker lunge at her on her rear-facing bike cam.

Former Australian Olympic track cyclist Dean Woods brought mourners to tears by delivering his own pre-recorded eulogy at his funeral, after dying of lung cancer at 55.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish overcame a lingering cold to continue his winning ways from last year with a victory in the one-day Milano-Torino race.

Tragic news, as 28-year old Belgian cyclist Cedric Baekeland died of a heart attack while training in Spain.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Chick-fil-A becomes a traffic hazard. And when your pedal is no longer on speaking terms with the rest of your bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

………

While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

………

The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

………

Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

………

A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

………

Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

………

Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

https://twitter.com/BrooklynSpoke/status/1366472983750074370

………

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

………

Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

………

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

LA may not be worst bike city in US after all, bicyclist killed in FL endurance race, and LAPD says they’re not coming

This is just bizarre.

A chart started circulating on Saturday, apparently showing just how bad we have it here in Los Angeles.

Along with just how good Santa Monica does.

The chart, produced by San Diego’s Tower Electric Bikes, allegedly based on stats from PeopleForBike’s City Ratings, ranks SaMo as the best bike city in the US.

And Los Angeles, not surprising, as the worst.

But while that often feels right, something just didn’t add up.

To start, the stats for Los Angeles on this chart aren’t remotely accurate.

Yes, riding a bike in Los Angeles sucks. But we average around 15 bicycling deaths per year in the City of Los Angeles. Not over 6,200 bicycling fatalities per year, which is what the figure they cite adds up to for a city of nearly four million. 

And the other stats don’t align with the source material from PeopleForBikes.

PeopleForBikes puts Los Angeles relatively near the top of their ratings with a 3.0 rating for 2020, compared to a rating of 3.5 — out of a possible 5.0 — for the top ranked cities of San Luis Obispo and Madison, Wisconsin.  

Which would undoubtedly come as a surprise to bike riders in SLO, if not Mad City.

With literally hundreds of cities rated below Los Angeles, there is no way those stats support ranking LA as the worst city bike in the US.

Even if it feels like it sometimes.

In addition, the PeopleForBikes City Ratings bizarrely rank bike-friendly Santa Monica far behind Los Angeles with a 1.9 rating. Not, as the chart claims, first in the country.

And Long Beach, which is generally regarded as the most bike-friendly city in LA County, rates even lower at a very sad — and highly inaccurate — 1.6.

It’s possible that the undated chart may have been circulating for awhile; I recall seeing something similar, if not the same, awhile back. But the stats don’t align with the City Ratings for Los Angeles for 2018 or 2019, either.

So I have no idea where Tower got their stats. But they’re not from the PeopleForBikes page, unless something got badly scrambled somewhere along the way.

And not even close to right.

Photo by Josh Kur from Pexels.

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Tragic news from Florida, where a driver “veered to the right” and slammed into three people riding in a bike lane at 2:30 am, killing one man and seriously injuring two women.

At least one of the victims was participating in the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race.

No word on whether the driver will face charges.

But anyone who knocks down three people riding bikes — let alone kills someone — certainly should.

But given that it happened in bike-unfriendly Florida, probably won’t.

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Don’t expect the LAPD to respond the next time you’re in a collision if no one gets badly hurt.

But you can at least report it online now.

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Yes, the former Mayor Pete, now Secretary Pete, is one of us.

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Somehow, I suspect the chances that Los Angeles would ever shut down a busy road and turn it over to bikes for more than a day are somewhere south of none.

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Another success story.

Bike Index offers free, transferable lifetime registration, as well as your best chance of getting your bike back if anything happens to it. And it’s now used by the LAPD register bicycles and trace recovered bikes.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Let’s see your bike club try this.

https://twitter.com/mistergeezy/status/1365801837178281984

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Forget the now-banned super tuck.

Try descending backwards on one wheel.

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

A South Carolina man was shot by someone in a passing car as he rode his bicycle in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

A Birmingham, England bike rider was pushed in a lake when a young man jumped up off a park bench and shoved him for no apparent reason.

A British man punched a 16-year old boy gathered outside a store with his friends, knocking off his bike, again, for no apparent reason — then tried to punch another man who came to the boy’s aid.

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Local

Congratulations, Angelenos, apparently LA is sexy and San Francisco’s not.

Streets For All offers their endorsements for the upcoming LA Neighborhood Council Elections for Mid City West, P.I.C.O., Greater Wilshire, East Hollywood, Hollywood Hills West, and Wilshire Center-Koreatown.

Speaking of Streets For All, the bike PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on the 10th.

A letter writer says skip the elevated parks over the Los Angeles River, and spend the money on “greening the L.A. River banks with linear parks and making the bike path safe and welcoming.”

Santa Monica is testing out the nation’s first zero-emissions delivery zone in a one-square mile downtown district, with deliveries made by everything from electric trucks to batter-powered robots and cargo bikes.

Bikeshare is back in Long Beach, with all racks full for the first time since the program was temporarily shut down last year over Covid fears.

 

State

Carlsbad’s Veterans Memorial Park will center on a family-oriented bike park, complete with a pump track and trails ranging from beginner to expert.

He’s one of us, too. A 66-year old Spanish-speaking farm worker from the Central Valley rode his bike over an hour and took his place in a long line of cars to get his Covid-19 vaccination, after having a mild case of the virus last year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 38-year old man was killed by a truck driver while riding his bike at 3 am.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a shipping container full of donated bicycles from a Novato nonprofit that planned to send them to Africa to literally change lives.

Ebikes are booming in Sonoma County, with sales driven by older riders looking for a little boost.

 

National

Now that’s more like it. A bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate would provide $500 million every year to connect biking and walking and biking infrastructure into active transportation networks, allowing people to travel within a community, as well as between communities, without a car.

Your next ebike could be a $7,500 Jeep.

A beginner’s guide to shifting gears, whatever kind of shifter you have.

A lesson in DIY frame repair, as a writer for Jalopnik shows how to braze a broken Schwinn steel mountain bike frame back together.

Anyone want to move to Missoula, Montana to run a mountain bike advocacy group?

Who needs warm weather when you can ride a fat bike in the snow?

Now that’s more like it. DC’s Vision Zero law has real teeth, mandating that protected bike lanes have to be included on any street when road work is done, if it calls for one in the bike plan. If we had something like that here in LA, we might actually be making progress on both the dust-covered bike plan, and the city’s long-forgotten Vision Zero.

A DC website calls for moving a vital crosstown bike lane away from the White House to avoid frequent closures in Lafayette Park.

 

International

Help suck smog out of the air while you ride your bike.

A British Columbia court says if your ebike looks and rides like a motorcycle or motor scooter, it’s not a ped-assist bike and you need a license and registration to ride it.

After the leader of Toronto’s New Democratic Party party had his bike stolen, he said he hoped whoever took it enjoys the smooth ride and creates their own memories with it.

Manchester United soccer player Roy Keene is one of us, taking to his bike while urging drivers to run him over if they ever see him in Lycra. English soccer great Michael Owen is one of us too, even if he took a dive after forgetting to unclip from his pedal.

Great idea. Devon, England is attempting to keep drivers in line by passing out free helmet cams to bike riders so they can report drivers who break the law. Maybe if we passed them out to bicyclists — and pedestrians — we might finally tame the mean streets of Los Angeles.

English author and commentator Will Self complains that pedestrians stood around like zombies in a George Romero film after his third bike collision, when a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street.

Richard Harrington is one of us. The Welsh actor, who’s appeared in The Crown, Poldark, Death in Paradise, and a number of other series, took a job as a bicycle delivery rider after screen roles dried up for seven months due to the pandemic.

A Belfast priest thanks everyone who rushed to his aid when he passed out after apparently becoming dehydrated and overheated riding his bike.

A British bike rider was killed while allegedly riding with his head down and at twice the legal alcohol limit; he was accused of running red lights before crashing into the side of a car in the equivalent of a US left cross crash.

A UK advocacy group took the unusual step of urging people not to ride their bikes after a York bridge was closed for flood work without providing a safe alternative.

Heidelberg, Germany is trying to give cars the boot, building bicycle superhighways and carfree neighborhoods to make motor vehicles unwelcome.

Hats off to a goodhearted 12-year old New Zealand girl, who rushed to help a bike rider who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Nothing like breaking your collarbone, then getting back on your bike under brutal conditions under the Australian summer sun to finish a race, just to win a beer — while dressed like Captain America, of course.

 

Competitive Cycling

Longtime cycling announcer Phil Liggett says Lance could have won even without doping, and still have at least some of his once record-setting seven yellow jerseys.

An Iowa newspaper remembers a Black cycling champ from the 1890s — not the legendary Major Taylor, but 15-year old Leo Welker, who overcame a five minute handicap to easily win a 14-mile race. But was blacklisted by the League of American Wheelmen six years later, which banned Black cyclists, including Welker and Taylor, from competing in sanctioned races.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to swerve your bike to avoid a giant sex toy. Riding to war on a spring-wheeled single speed.

And thankfully, I wear spandex.

Wait. What do you mean it’s the same thing?

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

Morning Links: Florida driver plows into group ride, Bike Shop Day this Saturday, and ebikes are good for you

Welcome back. 

I hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday weekend. We have a lot to catch up on, so let’s get down to business. 

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It’s Day Four of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Donate today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

And help keep the Corgi in kibble this winter.

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Horrible news from Florida.

A driver plowed into fourteen bicyclists out on a group ride, killing one and injuring six; one of the injured riders was in critical condition with a head injury.

The driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming she was momentarily distracted by something in her car and the sun was in her eyes.

There is Facebook video of the aftermath if you really want to see it. But I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Neal Henderson for the heads-up.

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Who knew Bike Shop Day was a thing?

The second annual event takes place this Saturday, which sounds like to perfect day to visit your favorite LBS and buy someone a Christmas or Chanukah gift.

Even if it’s yourself.

So far, just three LA-area bike shops have signed up to participate, along with another in Norco, and none San Diego, Ventura or Orange Counties.

See the map on the above link for more details.

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The LA West website offers details for this Sunday’s final CicLAvia of the year. Meanwhile, CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

Speaking of CicLAvia, the LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls through the CicLAvia route before making a stop at Dry River Brewing for a little discounted liquid refreshment.

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Yes, riding an ebike is good for you.

A new systematic review of 17 studies around the world concludes that riding a regular bicycle if better for you than riding an ebike.

But an ebike still offers better health benefits than walking.

Meanwhile, Pink Bike says ebikes are breeding the components that bike riders want.

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Now that’s more like it.

Britain considers mandating insurance discounts to drivers who take bicycle awareness courses as part of a program to improve safety.

The country is also in discussions to install cameras on bike lanes, and fine drivers up to the equivalent of $166 for driving in or blocking them.

In addition, the UK is planning to set up a special police unit to tackle road rage and dangerous driving.

Now if we could just get something like that on this side of the Atlantic.

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Clearly, not much has changed in the last 45 years.

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This is what you look like to a driver on a dark road when you ride without lights.

And if you miss the bike rider, that’s kind of the point.

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Local

No windshield perspective here. Business Insider says LA traffic is hell, and in desperate need of a transportation revolution. But fails to even mention any form of active transportation.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy calls out five major Westside hospitals for failing to promote active transportation, despite IRS guidelines that specifically encourage it.

Downtown News examines the $365 million plan to complete the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Speaking the LA River path, the new Spectrum 1 News takes a ride to the Spoke Cafe alongside the bike path. And Peter Flax races a car on an ebike, and comes out with a tie.

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s podcast talks with bike lawyer and Cycling in the South Bay author Seth Davidson.

Glendale opens the second phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk across the LA River from Griffith Park; a planned bike and pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the bike pathway with the LA River bike path. Oddly, the LA Times doesn’t seem to have the article online, so I’m linking to the story on the PressReader site.

The Signal offers an explanation of Santa Clarita’s new pilot program for an app-based traffic signal detection system at three problematic intersections. The project has been championed by the LACBC’s neighborhood chapter in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Encinitas considers adopting Vision Zero in the wake of pedestrian deaths.

A San Luis Obispo man came up with the winning design for a bicycle-themed car license plate.

The LA Times suggests that a road diet on a primary roadway in Paradise contributed to the problems evacuating from the deadly Paradise Fire. Even though the mayor denies it had any impact, and they failed to talk with a single traffic planner or engineer.

 

National

An Oregon man was planning to spend Thanksgiving at home for the first time in five years, after he saved his own life by spending that time riding 25,000 miles around the world; he set out after nearly taking his own life following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the death of his wife in a traffic collision.

The University of Washington is testing an app-based system to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders at trail crossings.

Albuquerque NM is trashing the useless Share the Road signs in favor of the more instructive Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

A New Mexico letter writer (2nd item) wants to make safety “fair and balanced” for everyone by making it less fair for people on bicycles. Unless maybe he also wants drivers to wear helmets at all times, paint their cars hi-viz, and only drive single file and yield to faster vehicles.

Denver adopts a cute little protected bike lane sweeper. Thanks to the Preven Report for the link.

Outside examines the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins, who was shot to death on a singletrack trail outside of Colorado Springs CO, noting that he is believed to be the first mountain biker known to have been slain while riding.

The Daily Beast suggests adding the Tex-Mex border to your bike bucket list, saying hundreds of miles along the border have been turned into a bicycling paradise.

Indianapolis IN bike riders want to know why safety isn’t improving, even as the city is becoming more bike friendly.

St. Petersburg FL discovers that some people will always prefer riding on the sidewalk, even if there’s a bike lane nearby. And even if sidewalk riding only offers an illusion of safety.

A Florida man took up bicycling to avoid having to wear size 50 pants, and lost 150 pounds in just two years.

 

International

Road.cc rounds up the best bike-related TED talksThen again, every time I open my mouth it’s a Ted talk.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker spells out ten ways drivers make bicyclists feel unsafe. Which is a polite way of saying they scare the crap out of us.

Calgary considers allowing skateboards, scooters and wheelchairs on the city’s cycle tracks.

The Guardian takes a bike tour to discover the real Barbados.

He gets it. An English columnist says it’s time for all of us to get on our bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old man rode the entire length go Great Britain on his Brompton.

Religious leaders in the UK are becoming evangelists for bike riding in an effort to get parishioners to leave their cars at home. And this is the perfect sign to promote it, while keeping the riders’ speed in check.

Ford is using virtual reality to allow British truck drivers to experience the road from a bicyclist’s perspective. Or they could just drop the virtual part, and put them on bicycles next to a big, speeding truck passing a foot off their elbows.

A Scottish columnist says he’s all in favor of bicycling to get people more active and fit, and he’s sure people who ride bikes will be all in favor of his plan to charge riders an annual registration fee and force them to wear numbered bibs similar to license plates. No, really.

They get it, too. An Indian city is installing new red-colored cycle tracks and fixing older ones in preparation for a coming bikeshare program.

Rwanda plans to fight pollution with ebikes.

New Zealand will spend $23 million to get more children on bikes. Which sounds impressive, until you consider it works out to less than $8 million a year.

A New Zealand bike builder discusses making the ebikes used by Israel’s bicycling paramedics.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a remorseful distracted driver will spend just nine months behind bars for killing a man riding his bike. She claims she was only distracted for ten seconds; unfortunately, that’s all it takes.

An Aussie bike rider says making the choice to be a non-driver should be a badge of honor.

A Kiwi writer relates the horrifying tale of taking a fall off his bike, suffering a number of severe facial cuts and broken bones in the process, including breaking his neck in three places. And of the fellow bike-riding tourists who simply turned their backs and rode away when he begged for help — after bizarrely lectured him for ruining their day.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A British Columbia bicyclist forsakes the Great Wall for a bike tour of China’s covered bridges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling Australia remembers Reg Arnold, once one of the world’s greatest six-day cyclists; he passed away this summer at 92-years old.

At age 23, black South African pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini has ridden his bike out of poverty in the ghettoes of Johannesburg to a nomination for the country’s most prestigious sports award, and is considered the next big thing to come out of Africa.

 

Finally…

Apparently Britain banned e-scooters 183 years ago. There’s no shortage of people who can pop a wheelie, but how many can do it from Santa Monica to Cocoa Beach?

And when is a bikeway not a bikeway?

When there’s a Christmas tree in the middle of it.

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The 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is already off to a great start. Which means we’ve got a long list of people to thanks already.

So let’s all offer a round of thanks to Nina M, Betsy G, John L, View-Speed Inc, the Muirs, Al W, Douglas M, Plurabelle Books Ltd, Michael Y, Arthur B, Dennis F, Joel S, Mark J, Theodore F, David V and Elizabeth T for opening their hearts and wallets to help keep this site coming your way every day!