Tag Archive for indoor cycling

Study shows bike injuries down, CicLAvia comes to Sherman Way, and NYC safety advocate killed by uninsurable driver

Before we start, I need to correct yesterday’s story. 

A comment from Dawn made it clear that I had miscategorized a story about her father’s August death in Irvine. 

After correcting it and adding it back into the totals for OC, that made 17 people killed riding their bikes in the county last year, and 82 in Southern California. 

Here are the corrected totals for Orange County. 

Orange County

  • 2022 – 17
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2019 – 13

My apologies for the mistake. 

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A new study from the Medical University of South Carolina mixes apples and oranges to conclude that bicycling injuries are decreasing, despite an increase in ridership.

Except the study period, which showed a 1/3 drop in bicycling injuries, ran from 2012 to 2021, while the jump in ridership they cited came from 2000 to 2014 — including a dozen years before the study period.

Never mind that the increase in ridership stemmed from “public bicycle utilization,” which sounds suspiciously like they may be referring to bikeshare use, which exploded because of the exponential growth of bikeshare programs as they spread across the US.

Not necessarily because more people were riding bicycles.

However, they at least have to wisdom to conclude that the reason for the decrease is outside the scope of the current study. But then shoot themselves in the foot by speculating that at least part of the reason could be due to the increase in indoor cycling.

And yes, that could have something to do with it. But only because indoor cycling and outdoor bicycling are two entirely different things, with one presenting far less risk of falling off your bike or getting struck by a carless or distracted driver.

Unless maybe you live on the 405.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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CicLAvia announced LA’s first open streets event of 2025, unveiling a map for a five-mile route along Sherman Way in the San Fernando Valley on the last Sunday in February.

It’s just the first of what’s planned to be eight CicLAvias throughout the Los Angeles area this year.

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Heartbreaking news from New York, where 85-year old author and safety advocate Norman Fruchter was killed by a reckless driver who backed over him at high speed, then hit him a second time going forward.

His death came 25 years after his wife, renowned health researcher and practitioner Rachel Fruchter, was killed riding a bike in New York’s Prospect Park.

Fruchter had responded to his wife’s needless death by becoming one of the city’s leading bike and pedestrian safety advocates, and was a driving force behind the eventual ban on cars in the park.

In a tragic irony, both Norman and Rachel Fruchter were killed by drivers considered uninsurable due to their bad driving records. And both killers were allowed to walk without charges by the NYPD.

Just two more examples of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

And even then, letting them off to kill again.

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Streets For All is hosting a family friendly Westside bike meetup in Culver City on the 22nd.

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I followed the years long fight over this road diet. So it’s nice to see the NIMBYs were wrong.

Again.

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An Indian boy was caught on video carefully tying his little sister’s legs to his bike frame to keep her from falling off.

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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 Luis Obispo writer whines that it’s just too hard to drive if you have to safely change lanes to avoid killing someone on a bicycle, let alone watch out for people crossing the street so you don’t kill them, either.

A corner-cutting driver nearly hit a Welsh bicyclist head on as he patiently waited to make a left turn. So naturally, the car’s passenger gets out to yell at the bike rider that he was going to cause a crash.

No bias here, either. Bike riders in Malta will now be required to wear a helmet in an effort to reduce head injuries, while e-scooter riders will be required to wear a helmet and hi-viz. Never mind that at least some of the reduction in injuries from mandatory helmet laws has been shown to stem from reducing  bicycling rates. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in wearing a helmet, and never ride without one. But mandating helmet use is counterproductive, reducing bicycling rates while leading to over-policing of low income residents and people of color.

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

More on the Kiwi ebike-riding man who repeatedly kicked a paralyzed handcyclist in the face, apparently simply for the crime of overtaking him. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Local 

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider urges Los Angeles to stop wasting space and money by imposing parking minimums, calling it counterproductive to building desperately needed housing and fighting climate change.

Go SGV is offering ebikes for longterm rental, with prices starting at just $49 a month for students and $69 monthly for other renters, and e-cargo bikes starting at $129 a month.

 

State

Brea-based Aventon announced permanent price cuts up to 20% off its entire current ebike line, in anticipation of new 2023 models.

Encinitas will host the city’s Cyclovia open streets event on South Coast Highway 101 from 10 am to 2 pm this Sunday; the rain predicted for Los Angeles isn’t expected to extend that far south, so you should be in for good riding.

A Santa Rosa paper explains California’s new law requiring drivers to change lanes when possible to pass a bike rider. Which the SLO writer above seems to think is just too darn hard. 

 

National

A higher education website questions whether college e-scooter bans is an over-reaction, blaming infrastructure built for cars for at least part of the problem. And yes, it is. 

The Consumer Products Safety Commission announced a recall of 9,000 Salsa and Whisky carbon handlebars, which can crack near the brake/shift levers.

Someone who apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of ghost bikes is placing white-painted kids bikes with plastic doves on the handlebars at intersections throughout Portland, making the city’s bicycling community mistakenly fear there’s been a rash of children killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

He gets it. A Kansas City op-ed writer says the city’s new bike lanes aren’t just for “serious” bicyclists. In fact, it’s the so-called serious bicyclists who need them least; bike lanes serve to encourage reluctant riders to feel safer and give bicycling a try. 

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, if a wounded one this time, as a Chicago man riding a bicycle was shot in the elbow when he tried to stop a thief from breaking into a car. No word on whether he was successful at stopping the thief, or if he sacrificed his elbow in vain.

A Michigan state agency has ruled a pair of Black Detroit judges were in the wrong when they blamed racism for a dispute with a bike rental shop, and says they shouldn’t have identified themselves as judges to the shop workers and the police. Needless to say, the judges disagree, even though they ended up with a 100% discount.

In a truly bizarre case, a Michigan sheriff is asking a killer hit-and-run driver who confessed in an anonymous letter to come forward, 31-years after killing a 24-year old man whose body and bicycle were found in a flooded ditch a full month after the crash.

Life is cheap in Indiana, where a driver will spend just two years behind bars for killing a bike rider last April, followed by three years of work release.

New York advocates are pushing the governor to expand New York City’s Vision Zero program statewide, even though NYC’s program has only resulted in an 18% drop over ten years. But at least that’s better than traffic death rates going up, like they have in LA’s Vision Zero program

A DC letter writer says bike lanes are “for the potential benefit of the few to the detriment of the many;” insisting the city will never be Amsterdam. Then again, Amsterdam wasn’t Amsterdam until people had the will to encourage bike use and discourage driving. Which any city, anywhere can do.

Florida’s famous one-legged Black bicyclist suffered a broken neck and partial paralysis when he was struck by an SUV driver while riding to work the week before Christmas; fortunately, Leo Rodgers — aka The Black Flamingo — has started to regain feeling below the waist. A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $74,000 of the $130,000 goal for his recovery and medical care.

 

International

A Banff, Alberta city councilor is proposing speed limits for ebikes on city trails.

A new Dutch study shows half of likely ebike buyers would question their purchase if they were faced with a mandatory bike helmet requirement, and nearly a quarter would stop riding altogether. And yes, that’s in the Netherlands, which is arguably the world’s most bicycling obsessed country. Or maybe normalized is a better word. 

An Indian bicyclist describes his attempt to set a new Guinness record for riding between two towns 300 miles apart, with 23,000 feet of elevation gain in between.

A half-dozen dockless bikeshare operators are betting on success in Sydney, Australia, despite the country’s reputation as a sometimes watery graveyard for bikeshare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Trial continues for the men accused of robbing British cycling champ Mark Cavendish, as the court heard testimony about the late-night home invasion at knifepoint.

American pro cyclist Gavin Mannion unwillingly called it a career after 12 years, after failing to receive a contract to ride this year.

The popular Belgian Waffle Rides are taking over North America, with new rides expanding to Mexico and Canada.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new e-cargo bike for working professionals is priced out of the reach of much of your target market. Or when you’re riding from Maine to Florida on one wheel — in the middle of winter.

And this is the kind of parking minimums we like to see.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Decrying LA’s death cult of speeding drivers, cycling without going outdoors, and proposed $1,500 US ebike rebates

They get it.

Letter writers to the Los Angeles Times respond to the recent column by Steve Lopez that we discussed here, decrying the culture of death caused by speeding drivers.

Including this from former LACBC board member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Kent Strumpell.

To the editor: As an everyday cyclist, I have direct experience with the conditions that Lopez highlighted in his column. In recent years, I have been struck from behind by a distracted driver and have had two frightening close calls that could have ended my life.

Speeding and reckless, distracted driving are commonplace because there are rarely consequences for the offenders. Enforcement of traffic laws is spotty and therefore ineffective.

The technology of speed cameras to automatically cite violators, 24/7, is proven and readily available. It is inexcuseable that our state and local governments have not enabled this much-needed solution that could save lives.

Kent Strumpell, Los Angeles

Then there’s this one, which is exactly what I’ve been asking ever since Monique Munoz was killed in a Westwood intersection recently by a kid apparently attempting to set a new land speed record on Olympic Blvd.

To the editor: Why would anyone allow a 17-year-old to drive a Lamborghini?

Ginger Durgin, Woodland Hills

Why, indeed.

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Today’s common theme is cycling without the benefit of being outdoors.

Bicycling offers advice on how to keep riding indoors from being mind-numbingly boring, as the Yahoo version puts it.

Meanwhile, an arts critic for the New York Times says Peloton aims for nothing less than totally curating your mind.

The LA Times wonders if newly reopened cycling studios can drag people off their Pelotons.

Compete in Canada’s most grinding gravel race this year without having to hit the rocks. Or go outside, for that matter.

And a writer for a student-run UC Davis website says Peloton just displays the privileges of wealth, allowing the upper class to stay fit while reducing the risk of Covid-19.

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Write your congress person, and urged them to give ebike riders the same kind of support they’ve long given buyers of electric cars.

https://twitter.com/DavidZipper/status/1371573014689673217

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a discussion on how to revitalize LA’s aging boulevards at noon today.

Hint: Less space for cars, and more and safer space for bikes.

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The local neighborhood council is backing a proposal for much-needed bike lanes on Los Feliz Blvd.

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Utah is now the latest state to legalize a modified Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields.

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Here’s your chance to work for the bike industry’s biggest advocacy group.

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Pink Bike offers advice on how to buy a used mountain bike.

Pro tip, don’t buy one from anyone who rides it like you would.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits the newly protected bike lanes on Figueroa in DTLA, complete with new bike traffic signals. Although they can be a tad narrow in some spots.

Metro will hold a virtual public meeting this afternoon to discuss a proposed bus lane on Alvarado Street; Los Angeles allows bike riders to bus the lanes, too. As long as you don’t mind having a bus running up your ass, that is.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill introduced in the state legislature would finally get around to legalizing speed cams to rein in California’s heavy footed drivers.

The bike-friendly mayor of Encinitas announced her run for the state senate.

A 70-year old Chula Vista man thanks the Good Samaritan who helped saved his life after he wiped out riding his bike on a rain-slicked road.

A planned ten-mile bicycle superhighway connecting San Jose with Santa Clara will be the Bay Area’s first.

Clint Eastwood used to be one of us, getting the boot from Piedmont High School as a kid for destroying the football field by riding his bicycle in the wet grass.

 

National

Your next bike tires could be based on technology for NASA’s lunar and Mars rovers, without needing a bit of air; Cyclist wonders whether this represents the future of bike tires.

She gets it, too. A writer for Bicycling says it’s okay if you don’t wear a bike helmet, because while helmets can protect against certain head injuries, they’re no substitute for safer streets and drivers who actually pay attention. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of this one.

And so does he. A writer for a Jesuit Catholic website suggests Jesus would ride a bicycle, calling it “the only tool that can simultaneously fight climate change, pollution, segregation, poverty, illiteracy, disease and the daily slaughter of 100 Americans a day in car accident.” And fit for a literal God, evidently.

Flux Magazine says fat tire bikes aren’t as hard to ride as you might think.

The Verge recommends the best open-ear earbuds for bike riding.

E-scooter providers are pushing the Biden administration to widen roads to provide more space for their customers. Maybe instead of further reducing greenery and sidewalk space, they could take a little space from cars without expanding the streets, instead.

A Texas-based e-bakfiets startup will be pitching for dollars on Shark Tank on the 26th. Although it’s questionable whether they’ll reel in a shark, since there doesn’t seem to be anything unique or proprietary about a three-wheeled, ped-assist bucket bike.

A new Indianapolis study shows bikeshare can benefit tourists as well as locals, while the higher fees paid by visitors can help fund the program.

New York’s Suffolk County approved the state’s first three-foot passing law.

The North Carolina town of Kitty Hawk, famed for a pair of Ohio bike-making brothers, stood up to the state and rejected a $69,000 grant for a raised boardwalk that would have required giving bike riders the boot from coastal trails.

 

International

Wearable bicycle lock Litelok took advantage of the pandemic lockdown to shed weight while increasing strength, winning the top rating from a British nonprofit rating system.

Brexit is beginning to cause shockwaves in the Australian bike market, as well as in Europe and the UK.

A British financial site says while regular bikes are covered by homeowner’s insurance, ebikes may not be because they have an engine. Which is a good reminder to look into your own home or renters policy to make sure your bike is insured against theft or loss, regardless of whether it has a motor or which side of the ocean you’re on.

An alleged hit-and-run bike rider is on trial for speeding through a red light, and killing a 72-year old English man who was walking home last year.

A New Zealand town attempts to improve traffic safety by installing polka dots and speed bumps in key intersections.

A 58-year old Aussie man was lucky to survive after suffering a massive heart attack while riding his bicycle, in part because an off-duty firefighter happened to notice his feet sticking out of the bush.

 

Competitive Cycling

Reigning Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, topping second place finisher Wout van Aert by more than a minute.

After topping the podium at Alaska’s 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, endurance and adventure cyclist Rebecca Rusch sets her sights on becoming the first person to ride a bike across Iceland in the dead of winter.

More proof bike riders are tough. A team of Ohio cyclists prepares to tackle the  grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM, even as the team leader battles cancer.

Australia’s first female Olympic cyclist is donating her brain to science to study the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeated concussions and blows to the head. Presumably once she doesn’t need it anymore.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to fall off your bike in front of a cop — three times. When your job is crap — no, literally — but at least you get to ride a bike.

And just call them Shaeros.

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

Morning Links: Bike rider fatally shot in South LA, Peloton’s “awful” new ad, and why people keep dying on our streets

Today is Giving Tuesday.

So take a few moments, and a few dollars, to help make a difference in our world. Or more than a few dollars, even.

Give generously, wherever your heart leads, and to whatever inspires you.

Because Lord knows, this world could use the help.

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Sad news from South LA, where a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in an apparent drive-by.

The 20-something victim was found lying dead next to a bicycle, in the traffic lane near the intersection of Figueroa and 89th Streets around 9 pm Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, there is a lot of gang activity in the area, which may or may not explain the motive for the shooting.

Seriously, the only thing more wasteful than unintentionally taking the life of another human being with a car is doing it on purpose with a gun.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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This one just cracks me up.

Today’s best read comes from USA Today’s For The Win! website, begging someone to “please help the woman from Peloton’s awful new ad,” and saying it earns the indoor cycling brand “our collective wrath.”

For the second year in a row, no less.

The woman’s terrified face is so disconcerting, her distress so obvious that it’s impossible to focus on anything else happening in the ad. She’s already trim and gorgeous, and yes, even though exercise should be about more than self-image, it’s clear this woman is trying to compensate for something. Is it her crumbling marriage? Her husband’s not-so-subtle suggestion she drop a few pounds?

The zeal with which she attacks the Peloton clearly speaks to some deep, unfulfilled need somewhere in her life.  Here she is — young, beautiful, successful, with a child and financial security– and yet, something inside her is still so obviously and utterly broken that only an unhealthy fixation on indoor cycling can help mend it.

Meanwhile, the online world quickly jumped in to offer its own takes.

Like this one.

The writer wraps it up this way.

It’s clear this woman doesn’t need a Peloton. She needs a good therapist and a divorce lawyer.

Maybe you won’t find it as funny as I did, after working most of my career in advertising and marketing.

But take the time to read it if you want a good laugh.

Unless maybe you work for Peloton, in which case it’s probably not funny at all.

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This is why people keep dying on the streets.

A Michigan man was convicted of driving a motorized bicycle without a headlight or a driver’s license, with a BAC over twice the legal alcohol limit.

Which is nothing new for him, though. He had 13 previous DUI convictions on his record, including four stints behind bars.

He’d had just finished adding the motor to his bike.

A Margaritaville-branded bike appropriately enough, given the circumstance.

Meanwhile, a distracted Canadian driver was still on the road despite being cited for cellphone use nine previous times.

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Metro and the LACBC want to help you learn to ride your bike safely.

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‘Tis the Season.

Yesterday we mentioned that Michigan volunteers built 240 bikes for Toys for Tots. Today we learn that 130 of those bikes were donated by a single bighearted nine-year old girl, who collected cans all year to pay for them.

Toledo, Ohio police and firefighter unions donated and built 52 kids bicycles for the county children’s service department.

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

A road raging Russian driver intentionally swerved into a bike rider after brake checking him, knocking him into another car.

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

A Texas woman lost her wallet to a bike-riding bandit, even after she managed to sink her teeth into him.

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Thanks to Theodore F, Mark J, Moore R, James L, Matthew R and Jack M for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Or nearly every day, anyway.

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Local

Apparently misunderstanding the “new” in news, the LA Times gets scooped by a full five days on the arrest of the LAUSD teacher in the caught-on-security-cam Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider critically injured.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew throws down the gantlet for the Militant Angeleno with his preview of this Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia. Meanwhile, CicLAvia clarifies whether ebikes are allowed. Short answer yes, as long as you have to pedal to make it work.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the executive director of the I,400-member SD Mountain Biking Association

The less rural than it used to be Santa Ynez Valley could soon have a bike plan offering a network of new and enhanced bike lanes.

A Bakersfield professor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace a retiring congressman; the Republican former college teammate of Pat Tillman — the Army Ranger who walked away from a successful NFL career after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan — once rode his bike 3,468 miles across the US.

Caltrans wants Sonoma bicyclists to help them identify to area’s worst roads.

 

National

Singletracks reviews eight hip packs for mountain biking. Because no one wants a fanny pack.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a Washington man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation.

It could take up to two years to repair a 195-mile long Nebraska bike path, one of the longest in the US, following massive flooding last spring.

Minnesota police get the law wrong, merely ticketing the impatient driver who killed a woman on a bike by going around a car that was stopped to let her cross in a crosswalk, as well as the courteous and law-abiding driver who stopped for her.

Police in Detroit don’t hesitate to absolve a driver for the crash that seriously injured a bike rider — right up to the point he fled the scene.

Many college students survive on dorm vending machines, but University of Kentucky students can get their bike parts the same way.

A Pittsburgh letter writer blames bike lanes, and the accompanying loss of parking, for threatening the city’s commercial district. Even though all that parking apparently didn’t help the major department stores stay in business before the spaces were removed. And never mind that drivers “speed through listening to music and (ignore) the rules of the road, too.”

DC-area suburbs are adopting Vision Zero plans to protect bike riders and pedestrians on auto centric streets.

A North Carolina pickup driver turned himself in to police Monday afternoon for the Thanksgiving hit-and-run collision that killed a bike rider. Which probably gave him plenty of time to sober up before turning himself in.

A 15-year old Florida boy tragically demonstrated the dangers of skitching, losing control of his bike and slipping under the truck he was holding onto when the driver slowed for a right turn.

 

International

A Toronto writer says e-scooters may be dangerous and annoying, but the city needs them anyway — or anything else that provides an alternative to driving. No, scooter riders can be annoying, but cars and their drivers are dangerous.

Horrible story from China, where three people are missing after a giant sinkhole swallowed a truck and an ebike rider.

A South African writer makes a bike tour of Bangkok sound like a real adventure. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

The famed Paris-Roubaix just got a little less rough. A nearly one-mile section of cobblestones near the end of the race was partially paved, allowing riders on either side to travel a smoother road than those in the middle.

That Congressional Gold Medal for America’s last remaining Tour de France winner isn’t a done deal yet, still needing approval from the Senate after it was approved by the House.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist delivery ebike could be a refrigerator, too. Your next BMX could steer from both ends.

And if you’re going to file a fraudulent insurance claim after a bike crash, turn off your Strava and stop posting to Facebook first.

 

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