Tag Archive for heart health

Gehry wants to put a lid on the LA River, riding more is better for your heart, and Houston bike deaths spike while LA drops

When it comes to the LA River, Los Angeles starchitect Frank Gehry want put a lid on it.

Literally.

While environmental and advocacy groups have been working for years to restore the river to a more natural state, Gehry, who was invited to reimagine the river by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, wants to cover it up instead.

Gehry proposes addressing decades of social injustice by leaving the concrete river channel alone, while building a continuous park on platforms stretching above the river.

What that would mean for long-time plans to finally complete the LA River bike path along the full 51-mile length of the river isn’t clear.

There’s no word on whether it would be left where it is along the banks of the river, moved onto the new platforms, or buried beneath them.

Or just forgotten entirely as yet another inconvenience in the path of progress.

But the simple fact is, Los Angeles has turned its back on the river at its heart for far too long.

And burying it, when we have a chance to finally revive it, isn’t any better.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

Photo shows the 4th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River during CicLAvia.

………

Keep riding if you want to live.

A new Oxford University study shows that every physical movement counts when it comes to improving cardiovascular health.

But people who exercise the most have the lowest risk of heart disease, with no upper limit to how much is beneficial.

Which means that a simple walk around the block helps, but a five-mile bike ride helps more.

And a 50 miler is better yet.

………

Heartbreaking news from Houston, where a record 34 bike riders lost their lives last year as more people took up bicycling as part of the pandemic bike boom.

That compares to Los Angeles County, with over four times the population, where bicycling deaths inexplicably dropped from 34 in 2019 to just 16 last year.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

………

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a man walked without a day behind bars for leaning out of the car he was riding in to pull a bike rider off his bicycle, while bizarrely claiming he was acting in self defense.

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

A San Diego man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for riding his bike to conduct a series of brutal, gruesome attacks on homeless people, killing four and injuring several others.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Long Beach mother and military vet was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she slept on a sidewalk; Stephanie Jackson became homeless after watching her fiancé die of liver cancer, but wouldn’t admit it even to her daughter.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Three-hundred miles were just added to the US Bicycle Route System, bringing the network to nearly 15,000 rideable miles.

VeloNews explains the tech behind the new crash-resistant bikewear.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner introduces a head-turning carbon fiber electric city bike that doesn’t look a bit like a typical ebike. Although the $4,500 price tag is kind of head-turning, too.

Kansas City’s bikeshare system is going dockless.

Your new Waco, Texas home could be a TV star, complete with a vintage bicycle attached to the wall.

The Chicago Tribune considers how to choose the right mountain bike helmet.

A Michigan town approves spending $115,000 to rip out a three-year old bike lane.

New York is considering an automated camera system to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, blaming them for an increase in bicycling deaths. Although they might want to start with their own police department.

A new poll shows New Yorkers are skeptical of Vision Zero, even though 70% know someone who has been injured or killed by traffic violence.

Miami Beach is expanding its Slow Streets program, which was originally scheduled to end in November after one month.

 

International

The BBC examines why some bikeshare programs work and others don’t — like the need to use ebikes in hilly cities.

Road.cc chooses their bike of the year for under £1,000, the equivalent of $1368. Meanwhile, sister site off-road.cc selects their mountain bike of the year.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s seven-mile bike ride, in apparent violation of his own lockdown rules, draws the ire of the populace — and worse, the British press. Or maybe not, as a police official says even a ride ten times longer is allowed under the rules. Either way, Johnson vows to keep riding, and do his running at Buckingham Place.

France will now require all new bikes sold in the country to be marked with a ten character registration code to help fight bike theft, with used bikes to follow starting in July.

 

Competitive Cycling

Masters ‘cross racer Lee Waldman offers lessons learned from a lifetime of bike racing to help the nation heal in the wake of last week’s insurrection in the US capitol.

Austrian cyclist Stefan Denifl ends up with a net eight month ban for six years worth of doping.

 

Finally…

Do your mountain biking at the zoo. Your next bike could be made from natural timber, metal work and vegetable tanner leather.

And your next bike could be a four-wheeled, two seat pedal-powered minicar.

………

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

Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

………

Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

………

Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

………

It’s Day 20 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

If you haven’t donated yet to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, please give today to BikinginLA coming your screen every morning.

You can donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, and the email address on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

………

Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

%d bloggers like this: