Tag Archive for Great Britain

Bicyclist says giving pedestrians right-of-way is “stupid,” and San Diego TV station blames homeless for rampant bike thefts

Seriously?

A Welsh bicyclist argues that changes to Great Britain’s Highway Code giving priority to pedestrians are just stupid, using many of the same arguments drivers use to complain about having to brake for people on bicycles.

Although he still wants drivers to give way to him.

What I’m not all for, is the decision to put pedestrians at the top of the hierarchy as the ‘road user’ everyone else has to give way to. For a start, this is the Highway Code – it should be about people who use the highway, and pedestrians just don’t. Ok – yes – they have to cross it – but that’s as far as their involvement goes. And, if you’re a pedestrian, you already know how to cross a road, like everyone does, because it was drummed into us all by the Green Cross Code man (or whatever the equivalent was for your generation). Look both ways, listen, and only cross when it’s safe to do so while continuing to look both ways. Ideally, that will be at a pedestrian crossing – and definitely not from a position between two parked cars – you know the drill, I’m sure.

What the Highway code ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ changes have done, however, is kind of make like none of that common sense ever existed. Instead, it has been replaced by confusion and doubt. Drivers always knew they should give cyclists room – the ones who never did will probably carry on not doing. But I can’t argue with the decision to make all that a little clearer in the Highway Code. Drivers and cyclists, however, especially on urban roads, are often going not massively dissimilar speeds – and there’s a shared history there. Pedestrians, however, have always been separate, never sharing the same space as those on wheels, except to cross the road.

Now, they have been emboldened. Suddenly, they are no longer just kings and queens of the pavement, but the road too!

He goes on.

Of course he does, complaining about having to brake for pedestrians, when he’d rather just force them to jump back onto the curb and stay the hell out of his way.

So, we like to go fast. If we have to amble along so we’re able to stop on a 50p piece should a pedestrian decide to exercise their hierarchical right to randomly step out in front of us, then it just wouldn’t be road cycling. Drivers aren’t forced to travel at 5mph or less ‘just in case’ so why should we be forced to curtail our speed any more than the traffic laws and conditions on a particular road allow.

It paints a picture of a spoiled, entitled cyclist who can’t be bothered to help keep another person safe.

Just like all those spoiled, entitled drivers we’ve been dealing with for decades.

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A San Diego TV station blames “rampant homelessness and a lucrative black market for stolen bikes,” with 9,200 bicycles reported stolen in the city in the last five years.

Although that number is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as many, if not most, bike thefts are never reported to the police.

And while they have certainly contributed to the problem, there was a thriving black market for hot bikes long before the recent rise in homelessness.

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GCN offers tips on how to upgrade your first road bike.

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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 Coral Springs, Florida website complains that the city insists on building more new bike lanes, whether or nor anyone is using them.

No bias here, either. A London bike cop watches a cab driver blow a red light and nearly hit someone on a bike, then denies seeing it — and blames scofflaw bike riders for his refusal to enforce the law.

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

A Madisonville, Tennessee man faces charges for an alleged random attack on a pedestrian, riding by on a bicycle and whacking the victim across the jaw with what appeared to be a jack handle.

After London bike rider installs an air horn to get pedestrians out of his way, one man he scared the shit out of responds with a punch and a kick.

Viral Twitter Video with a LOT of negative replies. Do you think videos like this hurt the perception of Bikers or highlight how difficult it can be to bike in car-centric cities? from fuckcars

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Local

Planetizen is the latest to pile on to the failed bike lanes on the “much anticipated” new 6th Street Viaduct, calling them disappointing and leaving much to be desired.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies say they’re cracking down on bike theft, but lock your bike anyway.

 

State 

A Huntington Beach letter writer complains that including sharrows as part of a $14.8 million makeover of PCH through the community means the money will be “wasted on ‘freshening up’ a dangerous roadway rather than actually fixing it.”

A 26-year old Ventura man was murdered in broad daylight as he rode his bicycle on a Ventura bike path Saturday afternoon, when someone approached his bike and stabbed him multiple times.

A 31-year old woman has been charged with 2nd degree murder for the alleged drunken that killed a 60-year old man riding a bicycle in San Mateo County, before continuing on and hitting another car head-on. Thanks to Jim for the heads-up.

San Francisco continues to run urbanist laps around Los Angeles, building a 14-acre park topping a pair of freeway tunnels. LA has talked about capping the 101 Freeway through Hollywood, as well as other highways. But as usual, talk is as far as it’s gone.

Oakland has two new protected intersections. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

The road up the Bay Area’s popular Mt. Diablo now has multiple bike turnouts to allow uphill riders to get out of the way of impatient drivers.

Marin County pro cyclist Laura King says she rode through both of her pregnancies, and she’d do it again.

No bias here. A Citrus Heights man was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver, yet the press insists on saying he “collided with a vehicle.” Because of course he did.

 

National

High gas prices may finally be driving a change in American’s driving habits. Or maybe just a switch to cheaper grades and fewer gas station candy bars.

Even Good Housekeeping is catching up with the trend of carfree families.

Organizers have cancelled this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show, citing a lack of support; however, a new handmade bike show will debut in Portland next year.

Popular Mechanics proves they’re still around, with their picks for the eight best ebikes under $1,800.

Horrifying news from Utah, where a father was killed and his 17-year old daughter was injured when a pickup driver plowed into them from behind as they rode they bikes on the shoulder of the roadway; witnesses say there was no sign the driver even tried to stop before hitting them.

A Colorado man was fined a measly $600 for illegally casting his wife’s ballot for Donald Trump in the 2020 election; Barry Morphew was previously charged with murdering his wife, who disappeared after going for a bike ride on Mother’s Day in 2020, but prosecutors were forced to drop the case for lack of evidence.

A San Antonio, Texas bike shop has been in business continuously for 102 years. And been in the family since 1933.

Wisconsin has dropped precipitously from the top ten bike friendly states — once ranking as high as second — and falling to 29th in just five years, after becoming the only US state to repeal its Complete Streets policy.

The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI, is back to full strength, with 18,000 riders setting off on Sunday — an increase of 3,000 over last year.

New York City’s Ghost Bike Project held its annual Memorial Ride through the Bronx on Sunday, home to five of the seven fatal bike crashes in New York this year.

More than 2,100 Philly bike riders took over a local highway for the annual Ben to the Shore Bike Tour, hoping to raise over $1.2 million to support families of fallen first responders.

Sad news from Philadelphia, though, where a 28-year old beatboxer and rapper was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a dually pickup as he rode a bike just blocks from his home.

DC is struggling to keep up with ghost bikes, as planned memorials for two fallen riders were interrupted by the death of another.

 

International

Women’s Wear Daily offers advice on how to ride in style, all the way down to your bike.

Sad news from France, where one girl is in a coma and several others injured when a group of Flemish scouts fell while on a ride through the country.

A Pakistani woman learns to ride a bicycle for the first time at 30-years old after moving to the Pacific Northwest from the conservative country, where women on bikes are frowned on. Or worse.

An Indian op-ed says every day should be World Bicycle Day.

Aussie bike riders are getting flat tires on a newly resurfaced bike lane, after the contractor apparently neglected to remove excess glass from the reflectorized surface.

 

Competitive Cycling

No major surprises in the final weekend of the Tour de France, as 25-year old Dane Jonas Vingegaard won his first grand tour, besting previous champs champ Tadej Pogačar and Geraint Thomas; Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen won Sunday’s final bunch sprint down the Champs-Élysées.

Race spectators dragged a handful of eco-protesters off the road after climate activists from the French group Dernière Rénovation — aka Last Renovation — attempted to block the route of the Tour’s Saturday’s time trial.

Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes topped the great Marianne Vos to win Sunday’s inaugural stage of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes on the streets of Paris.

Ouch. Cycling Weekly looks at the numbers behind the Tour de France Femmes, saying there’s a lot to be excited about. But prize money and riders’ pay, not so much.

Sports Illustrated calls the TdF Femmes a women’s sport triumph that was long in the making.

Twenty-eight-year old Colombian cyclist Miguel Ángel López was suspended by the Astana Qazaqstan team for ties to a doctor suspected of drug trafficking and money laundering. But the era of doping is over, right?

California’s Savilia Blunk won the women’s elite cross-country national mountain bike championship, while defending national champ Keegan Swenson took the men’s title.

L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams apologized for his part in a fight with Michael Hernandez of the Best Buddies team following a dustup on the last lap of the Salt Lake Criterium.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you try to stripe a bike lane, and it ends up looking like they were laid out by someone on acid. Or when you have to pedal a bike to power a stage at the famed Newport Folk Festival.

And this is what a great save looks like.

Although there’s no guarantee it wasn’t staged.

But still.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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!

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