Tag Archive for LACBC

Morning Links: Hope for LACBC, Paul Smith ghost bike removed already, and study on the dangers of e-scooters

One quick note before we get started.

Last Friday, I had a very pleasant talk with Communications Director Dana Variano and new Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC.

I won’t go into details, since everything we discussed was off the record. But we had a very frank and open discussion about the state of bicycling in general, and the state of the LACBC in general.

Suffice it to say that Kaufman recognizes that he’s got a steep learning curve to get a firm grasp on LA bike culture and street safety.

And he’s well aware of the problems facing the LACBC after drifting far too long without effective leadership.

But he’s committed to listening and improving communications, which has been a major problem as long as I’ve been involved with the coalition, as a member and former board member.

And to making the hard decisions the LACBC will need to return to being an effective voice for LA bicyclists.

I left the meeting feeling like the LACBC is in good hands.

And with a little hope for the first time in a long time.

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Disappointing news from Seal Beach, where Eric Dalton reports the ghost bike for Paul Smith has already been removed, less than three weeks after he was killed.

The popular church leader was riding on PCH at Seal Beach Blvd when he was run down from behind by an allegedly speeding driver.

At this point, there’s no word on who removed the ghost bike, or why.

But it’s heartbreaking that someone apparently didn’t think he was worth remembering for even a month.

Let alone reminding drivers of the dangers of SoCal’s killer highway.

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A new UCLA study shows e-scooters pose pretty much the same risks you might think.

Of the nearly 250 people treated by UCLA medical centers in Westwood and Santa Monica as a result of scooter injuries, the overwhelming majority of injuries were suffered by the people riding them — not pedestrians struck by them, as we are so often led to believe.

“In this study of a case series, 249 patients presented to the emergency department with injuries associated with electric scooter use during a 1-year period, with 10.8% of patients younger than 18 years,” says the January 25 paper by Tarak K. Trivedi, Charles Liu, and Anna Liza M. Antonio.

“The most common injuries were fractures (31.7%), head injuries (40.2%), and soft-tissue injuries (27.7%).”

“Only 10 riders were documented as wearing a helmet, constituting 4.4% of all riders,” the report notes. “Twelve patients (4.8%) had physician-documented intoxication or a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05%

Of course, there’s no word on the severity of the head injuries, which could have been anything from simple cuts to concussions, skull fractures or cranial bleeding.

And no way to know whether helmets could have prevented them.

Then there’s this from Forbes.

Not all of the injured patients had been riding scooters. Eleven had been hit by scooters, and five had tried to lift scooters. Another five had simply tripped over parked scooters, which is what can happen when there are Bird or Lime droppings on the sidewalk.

In other words, despite the panicked response to this study in the media, over 90% of the injuries were to the people riding them. So just like with bicyclists, even the most careless riders are a danger primarily to themselves.

Just wait until the study authors discover how many people get hurt by cars every day.

Which is not to say everyone shouldn’t ride safely, so they don’t pose a risk to themselves or anyone else.

And for chrissakes, don’t leave your damn scooter on the sidewalk, or anywhere else it can pose a danger to anyone.

Especially people with handicaps.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads up.

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NHL All-Stars Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang apparently didn’t get the memo that scooters are dangerous, arriving at the game on a pair of Lime e-scooters.

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Howard Valai forwards video of what it looks like when an LA Metro bus passes about a foot off your handlebar.

If anyone had opened the door on any of those cars, he could have seriously injured. Or worse.

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Life is cheap when you ride a bicycle.

A Colorado truck driver gets an all-too-brief 90 days behind bars, and 120 days work release, for running down a 17-year old boy from behind as he rode in a bike lane, then fleeing the scene and leaving his victim seriously injured in the street.

A speeding hit-and-run Maryland driver got just 18 months behind bars for running a red light and killing a Smithsonian IT specialist who was riding his bike to work last September.

A teenage driver walked with community service for killing a bike rider in the UK by trying to pass on a narrow country road at 60 mph — which the driver’s lawyer wrote off as a simple misjudgment. One that cost an innocent man his life.

But sometimes justice gets done.

Like the Florida driver who got over 13 years behind bars for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a man on a bicycle.

Or the Japanese man who got a well-deserved 18 years for the road rage death of a motorbike rider, intentionally slamming into him after briefly chasing his bike. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

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I don’t even know what to make of this one.

In a video posted to an anti-bike group, an Aussie driver drove down a bike path to swear at a couple of cyclists for riding in the roadway instead of on the parallel path.

No, seriously.

Needless to say, opinions on the auto-centric site ran in favor of the foulmouthed driver, with one poster calling for him to be named Australian of the year.

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If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for International Winter Bike to Work Day on February 8th. We should be able to show a good turnout here in Southern California, where Viking Biking means you might have to put fenders on your bike.

UCLA will host a panel discussion on Transportation as a Public Health Issue this Wednesday, with Dr. Muntu Davis of the LA County Department of Public Health, Juan Matute of UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

The LACBC will hold a historic tour of San Fernando and Pacoima Sunday morning as part of their monthly Sunday Funday rides, which promises to get you home in time for the Super Bowl.

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Local

Cycling scion and three-time national time trial champ Taylor Phinney takes his new team on a tour of the City of Angels and prove he knows it well, including stops at Bicycle Coffee and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan takes a very auto-centric view of Metro’s proposed congestion pricing, saying transportation will always be a citywide struggle. Meanwhile, that Metro proposal also includes possible ride-hailing fees on Uber and Lyft, and shared-mobility fees on dockless bikeshare and e-scooters.

South Pasadena has accepted $332,000 from Metro to pay for the upcoming 626 Golden Streets open streets event through South Pas, Alhambra and San Gabriel this May.

A Santa Clarita letter writer says please leave your bikeshare bikes in the racks where you’re supposed to, rather than abandon them anywhere.

Long Beach police are looking for a serial groper on a distinctive lime green bicycle who’s attacked four women in separate assaults.

Former pro cyclist and current Long Beach Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz had his bicycle stolen last week; be on the lookout for an $8,000 Felt FR1 carbon bike with Sram e-Tap shifters and $1,300 Mavic Carbon Cosmics wheels.

State

State workers can now get reimbursed for their dockless ebike and scooter rides.

Some things never change. Nice to see the OC Register is still giving voice to ridiculously conservative anti-transit op-eds, despite layoffs and ownership changes, and a Congressional map that’s turned solid blue. The paper also says drivers probably don’t know what a sharrow is, which is probably true.

Bike advocate Roberta Walker has begun a rehab program after suffering extensive brain and spinal injuries when she was run down by a driver on PCH in Leucadia last month, while Encinitas has begun rehabbing the roadway to keep it from happening to someone else. A crowdfunding page has raised over $97,000 of the $125,000 goal to help pay her hospital and rehabilitation expenses.

Camarillo police are looking for a man in his 20s who assaulted a woman who was walking on a bike path; fortunately, she was able to fight them off.

An Oakland woman has been charged in the hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 14-year old boy, who was dragged three blocks under her car after she hit his bike; she was already on probation for a DUI conviction last fall.

As we mentioned last week, Marin transportation officials want to cut the four-year pilot program for a bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to just six months, so they can declare it a failure and turn it back over to people in cars.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 24 bikes from a bicycling club at a Modesto elementary school. And just the opposite for a kindhearted people who replaced 20 of them.

The CHP does more than catch speeders on the freeway. A Redding mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after apparently breaking his leg in a fall.

National

Great. The plague of LA-based traffic safety deniers has gone national, forming the new agitprop group Keep the US Moving to spread their virtually fact-free campaign to keep our streets deadly and halt all road diets, anywhere. Thanks to Peter Flax for the tip.

Okay, now I’m impressed. Idris Elba is one of us, going for a casual bike ride with his fiancé in Hawaii.

The route has been announced for this year’s 450-mile Ride the Rockies, featuring 28,000 feet of elevation gain through the Colorado high country.

A Minnesota singer found the inspiration for her debut album in the hum of her bike chain.

She gets it. A columnist for the New York Post says drivers are getting away with murder.

New York is still trying to figure out how to deal with ebikes and scooters.

Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city doesn’t have the resources to go after drivers who block bike lanes. Which is odd, since most of them seem to be NYPD cops.

Mississippi bicyclists ride 6.6 miles in honor of fallen cyclists.

International

Drivers and doors aren’t the only things we have to worry about. A Vancouver bicyclist was killed when he somehow collided with the friend he was riding with, and fell into the path of a truck.

Canada has cancelled plans for a $65.9 million bike path paralleling a scenic highway through the Rocky Mountains due to environmental concerns and high costs. But all those cars spewing smog are just fine, thank you.

Calgary’s new e-assist bikeshare is a huge hit, even in the winter cold and snow.

The UK could save the equivalent of over $420 million if bicycling could be made as popular in the rest of the country as it is in London.

Well deserved. A British triathlete was fined the equivalent of more than $1200 for aggressively passing a horse and rider on the curb side, colliding with them as causing the horse to bolt, injuring the rider.

The German ambassador to Pakistan went out of his way to find a locally made bike, because he wanted that Made in Pakistan stamp to show his support for the country’s people.

A bighearted South African boy broke open his own piggy bank to buy a new bicycle for a gas station attendant he befriended.

Sad news from New Zealand, where a 32-year old elite cyclist is dying of intestinal cancer, saying she should have pushed harder for a diagnosis after suffering from years of stomach pain.

A Singaporean news channel examines why the island city has yet to become a bicycling paradise, pointing a finger at the heat and rain, and a lack of safe space on the road.

Competitive Cycling

Long Beach will host this year’s Paratriathlon National Championships in June.

Cycling Tips looks at how a little known cyclist from Cuba beat the world’s best women’s riders in the Cadel Road Race.

Road.cc offers advice on how to step up from riding sportives to your first actual bike race.

The LA Times says Zwift’s new esports league is just like pro cycling, but without the turns or crashes, and with actual pro cycling teams.

Finally…

You may not have to worry about drivers on a bike path, but keep your eyes peeled for pigs. How to build a bicycle sidecar out of an empty beer keg; make it a full keg, and you’ve got a deal.

And nothing sells Danish beer like a good bike ride.

Morning Links: LACBC hires new ED, LA Walks hiring new ED, and Diamondback bike found in Silver Lake

Let’s offer a round of congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman, the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Although you may know it better as the LACBC.

Kaufman takes over an organization that has spent the last few years in transition, following the departures of former LACBC Executive Directors Tamika Butler and Erik Jansen in just the past 18 months.

Hopefully he’ll be able to steady the bike coalition, and provide the stable leadership the LACBC desperately needs as the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, at a time when our streets have been in turmoil due to a lack of support at city hall.

The simple fact is, we need strong, effective leadership from the LACBC, in the halls of city hall, in the media and on the streets. And the LACBC needs strong, effective leadership in order to provide it.

So let’s all pat him on the back and wish him well.

And tell him to roll up his sleeves and get down to work.

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Speaking of Executive Directors, pedestrian advocacy group LA Walks is in the market for a new one.

Current ED Emilia Crotty is stepping away after three and a half years to be closer to her family on the East Coast.

She’s been a strong advocate for safer streets for people on foot, and all other road users, and will be missed.

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If you’ve lost a Diamondback Sorrento recently, you may be in luck.

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

Portland police are looking for whoever has been tossing nails into a bike lane, using different kinds of nails at different times of day.

A separated bike lane in New York’s East Village was sabotaged with broken glass, as well as graffiti calling for a return of street parking.

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We mentioned earlier this week that New Mexico State Rep. Angelica Rubio is biking across the state to attend the opening session of the legislature.

Now Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards word that she’ll be introducing a bill to mandate a five-foot passing distance in the state.

The bill also allows drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass someone on a bike, a provision California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed in an earlier version of our state’s three-foot law.

Let’s hope she arrives safely at the legislature; the safety of all the state’s bike riders could depend on it.

And let’s hope someone in California’s legislature follows her example, and re-introduces the provision Brown killed.

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Local

CicLAvia’s annual pLAy day in LA fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 10th.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says Elon Musk’s tunnels will only benefit the people who can afford an all-electric autonomous vehicle, and he’d be better off donating the money to the mayor’s Twenty-Eight by ’28program to build road, transit and bike projects before the upcoming LA Olympics.

The good news is Monterey Park has installed a new buffered bike lane on Riggin Street. The bad news, it’s just over half a mile long, giving way to sharrows on either end. As we’ve said before, the arrows in sharrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim.

State

California has finally revised CEQA rules to eliminate LOS (Level of Service) standards that considered bus lanes and bike racks bad for the environment, although the new rules don’t go into effect until next year.

San Diegans are invited to learn how to fix their bikes and make jewelry from bike parts.

A Modesto man was stabbed by a man on a bicycle while delivering newspapers in a “bad neighborhood.”

National

An Alaskan man was set on his path to become a stuntman stand-in for Kevin Bacon and Keanu Reeves when a truck ran his bike off the road, wrecking it while he walked away injury-free.

PC Magazine tries out Nordic Track’s new Virtual Reality stationary bike at CES in Las Vegas, and says it’s a fun workout — if you don’t throw up.

A Kansas man has pled guilty to second degree murder for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, claiming the man had struck his mother with a lead pipe.

A Lubbock TX website says the growing number of e-scooters are increasing the need for bike lanes in the central city.

A Chicago letter-writer tells drivers to learn the Dutch Reach and save a life.

A Minneapolis bike writer says there’s still hope, even though the theme of the past year was conflict between drivers and bicyclists.

Two years after an Ohio teacher crowdfunded enough money to buy every kid at her school a new bicycle, the project has morphed into a nonprofit to give kids bikes, as well as other “joyful” things like Halloween costumes.

A Boston letter writer says an auto-first policy is a road to ruin.

Massachusetts plans to get more bicyclists on the roads by focusing on improving safety and accessibility.

New York’s TransAlt advocacy group asks the city’s leaders for a Bike Mayor like London has,. Although we need it here in Los Angeles a lot more than they do.

A DC writer takes a deep dive into the liability issues surrounding e-scooters, after she ends up in the ER when the one she was riding came to a rapid and unexpected stop.

Life is cheap in Louisiana. The widow of a fallen East Baton Rouge councilmember says a lousy 12 days behind bars for the driver who killed him and injured another man as they rode their bikes is a perversion of justice. No shit.

International

The Guardian offers suggestions from around the world on how to encourage urban bicycling, from providing free bicycles to putting spikes on drivers’ steering wheels.

Road.cc goes to the source and gets the inside scoop on how to protect your bicycle from a professional bike thief.

After an English bike rider complains about a close pass by a bus driver, a cop tells him maybe he should drive a Hummer.

A new British bike helmet promises to protect your skull and grey matter even if you get run over by a bus. And remains wearable after surviving 200 impacts.

This is who we share the roads with, UK edition. A drunk van driver smashed into the home of a 92-year old woman, barely missing two young schoolgirls on bicycles, after careening through the town.

Paris is planning free transit and bikeshare for kids.

French bikemaker Coleen has introduced a very cool looking ebike based on a 1941 design by French architect Jean Prouvé.

One more for your bike bucket list — an adrenalin-pumping bike tour of the Greek Isles for a mere $7,000 per person.

Horrifying story from India, where a bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver, severing his leg, while the force of the impact threw him into the back of passing truck; his body was finally discovered over 250 miles away. Unfortunately, the Indian press uses the same term to describe bicyclists, motor scooters and motorcycles, so it’s unclear just what kind of bike he was riding.

Entrepreneur looks at the not-unexpected collapse of Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo, which dismissed its entire international business department. Meanwhile, the company has pulled its 6,000 out of London, where most of the surviving bikes had been illegally converted to private use.

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Redlands bike club GS Andiamo, which got USA Cycling’s nod for Division II Cycling Club of the Year for 2018. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Peter Flax confesses what it was like to be a fondo VIP for Bicycling magazine.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine suggests 15 mountain bike races you should seriously consider entering this year. Unless you don’t ride mountain bikes, that is. Or race. But otherwise, sure.

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off on your bike after throwing a flaming Molotov cocktail into your neighbor’s yard, try not to get caught on the security cam. More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even a stolen flatscreen TV.

And this must be where dockless bicycles go to die.

Morning Links: Raising funds for Woon’s baby, the Onion satirizes LA bike lanes, and taps for WeHo Pedals

And we’re back!

Let’s start with a special thanks to Steve S for debugging the new WordPress upgrade to get us back online in time for today’s post. 

Now grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for awhile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing Friday’s post. 

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It’s Day 18 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your screen every morning.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make this a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Let’s start with a small ray of hope this holiday season. 

A baby sized ray, in fact. 

Last April, Frederick “Woon” Frazier was run down by a heartless hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA. 

Now his infant son is just days from being born, eight months after Woon was killed. A tiny miracle bringing hope and joy to a family so desperately in need of it. 

Even if he will have to grow up and spend his entire life without a father. And without a father’s emotional or financial support. 

But you can help with the last part, anyway. 

crowdfunding campaign is raising money for his son to help cover medical costs related to the birth, and help him get off to the best possible start in life. 

Meanwhile, his killer has still not been charged, despite turning herself in a month later as police were closing in. And after painting her white SUV black in an attempt to cover up the crime

His mother, who has been outspoken in her calls for justice, is asking everyone to turn out for a candlelight Christmas vigil this Wednesday at the site where Woon was killed. Both to remember her son, and to renew the call to prosecute his killer. 

Thanks to Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up

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The Onion discovers the nation’s worst bike city, writing with satirical tongue planted firmly in cheek that LA will add a buffer lane for bike riders to recover after they’re hit by a car

 “L.A. has fallen short of bike-friendly places like Portland and Philadelphia for years, which is why the City Council voted today in a landslide 11-0 decision to finally create a bright green pathway where you can get doored and safely roll around, clutching your knee and writhing in unbearable agony,” said mayor Eric Garcetti… “Countless accidents occur every day because of our poor cycling infrastructure, reckless motorists, and many other factors within our control, but luckily Central L.A. will soon have miles of road fully dedicated to letting riders regain consciousness from these collisions. Never again will you be side-swiped, rear-ended, or cut off by a distracted Uber driver without having a place to tend to your wounds.”

Maybe a little open ridicule will be enough to get city officials off their metaphorical asses and actually do something non-satirical to improve safety. 

We can dream, can’t we?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the tip. 

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That music you hear isn’t Jingle Bells. It’s the sound of Taps for West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare program. 

The city is pulling the plug on its docked bikeshare system after two years of low ridership and mounting financial losses, and considering opening the door to dockless bikeshare providers as a replacement

Although oddly, not reconsidering their ill-conceived ban on e-scooters.

Much of the blame falls on WeHo’s lack of bike lanes, as well as a sparsity of docking locations in much of the city. And the lack of ebikes didn’t help users navigate the steep hills leading up to Sunset Blvd. 

Unfortunately, the closure will leave a large gap in the planned Westside bikeshare system, which was intended to link Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, UCLA and West Hollywood in a single, interoperable network. 

It’s questionable how long the others will be able to survive without private sponsorship, and as dockless ebikes and scooters dominate the bikeshare landscape. 

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Bad news from North San Diego County. 

Community leader and bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker was critically injured when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Encinitas around 6 am Saturday. 

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Walker was riding on North Coast Highway 101 near Phoebe Street when she was run down, resulting in serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. 

In a tragic irony, she was hit while riding on a section of the Coast Highway where she had advocated for significant safety improvements, including roundabouts and bike lanes, as part of the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project.

Thanks to JMK for the link

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Congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman on being named the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

I’m told he’ll take the helm of the LACBC in January, after moving over from his current position as ED of River LA

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Megan Lynch forwards word of a suspicious looking Craigslist post for a high-end recumbent. She identified the bike as a Haluzak Horizon, and says it’s very unusual for someone selling a bike like that to not know, or at least mention, the make and model. 

So if you know someone who’s had one stolen, give ‘em a heads-up. 

Lynch also says this one looks fishy, with three ‘bents available for sale in Santa Ana, but no brand listed for any of them. 

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After moving from Las Vegas to Reno this year, the Interbike trade show may have gone belly-up. Organizers have canceled the 2019 show, while making vague promises to return in 2020… somewhere. 

Bicycling Retailer says the country’s largest bicycle trade show died a needless death.  

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Before we go on, take a six-minute virtual self-supported mountain bike ride across the beautiful and treacherous volcanic Icelandic landscape.

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Local

We’re not the only ones raising funds this month. Streetsblog LA is holding a fundraiser, hoping to raise $10,000 before the first of the year

Bike Talk features Scott Gamzon and Terrence Heuston of Keep Rowena Safe talking about their efforts to fight attempts to rip out the successful road diet and bike lanes

Metro CEO Phil Washington made what may or may not have been a serious suggestion to implement congestion pricing, and use the money to make transit free

Good Twitter thread from Greg Spotts on where the newly arrived Lyft scooters aren’t welcome to be left or rented on the Westside. 

Forbes profiles Los Angeles-based Kym Perfetto, who’s gone from bike messenger to one of the first SoulCycle instructors to fitness social influencer, riding her bicycle across North and South America, Europe and Japan in the process. 

Riding a bike across the US may be challenging. But it’s nothing compared to a paraplegic Hollywood man rolling across the country in a hand-propelled wheelchair

The LAPD is forming a task force to deal with the rising rate of stolen bikes in the Venice area, as well as a number of open air bike chop shops. 

Curbed dubs Santa Monica the ebike and e-scooter capital of the world

The new Spectrum News 1 channel examines Santa Monica’s efforts to corral dockless bikes and scooters in designated parking areas.

State

Apparently, it takes two years for Cathedral City bicyclists to take off their clothes

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer complains about the county’s bicycle obsession and the money spent on bikeways, saying “bicycles should be registered and pay.” Never mind that dangerous drivers are the only reason we need safe bike lanes and paths. Or that bicycles don’t actually have any money.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city with crumbling pavement. Berkeley’s streets are falling apart, with no plans to pave anything this year

Tragic news from San Francisco, where a surfer died after being revived by paramedics; a passing bicyclist called 911 when he spotted the man floating unconscious in the water. 

A Marin public workshop will consider whether e-bikes should be allowed on the mountain considered the birthplace of mountain biking

National

A new report from American Progress says the dawn of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to redesign the surface transportation system to prioritize the needs of nonautomotive users, calling it a “transportation and urban development imperative.” 

Nice piece from Bicycling about a woman who cured her depression by taking off on cross-country ride with her ‘bent, a dog and a violin, traveling 4,000 miles, 12 miles at time. Then decided to kep going across Canada. And plans on riding the Pan-American Highway to Argentina next year.

Cycling Industry News asks if belt drive bikes are bad for local bike shops

Wired considers how e-scooters could save our cities

Seattle blames historic wet weather for a 20% drop in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, a local magazine makes the case for e-scooters after the city’s mayor call them too dangerous for the streets.

New Mexican bicyclist says he’s throwing in the towel because the cars have won. 

A local writer recommends biking Colorado’s Vail Pass from the top down, while a columnist in nearby Aspen suggests beating the winter blues by riding a bike during ski season

Denver plans to move e-scooters to the bike lanes, allowing users to ride on the sidewalk only when other options aren’t available — and only at 6mph. 

Baltimore has passed a Complete Streets law, requiring all new street construction to have a bike and pedestrian friendly design.  

A North Carolina pastor is bicycling across Africa to bring fresh water to the continent

International

Vancouver bicyclists rode in honor of a 72-year old bike advocate who died after falling off his bike. 

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored when a truck passenger opens a door into him. 

A bighearted 14-year old Yazidi boy who had been an ISIS captive is behind a Winnipeg program to provide his fellow refugee children with bicycles; thanks to a contribution from an American man, he’s been able to distribute 100 bikes so far. 

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has Christmas lunch at the world’s “oldest, poshest and most eccentric” — and exclusively male — Dickensian bike club.

London is the latest international city to get Lime’s e-assist dockless bikes.

A British bike rider is calling for more bike racks at the entrance to a local mall, after counting 200 empty bike racks hidden in the back. American bicyclists would be happy for any bike racks at most malls

Britain’s Cyclist magazine employs a wind tunnel in an attempt to answer what’s the best descending positionIn my case, it’s whichever one keeps me in one piece until I reach the bottom. 

bike-riding serial butt slapper walks with probation for attacking 21 English women after the judge rules he’s too intellectually impaired to cope with life behind bars. And no, there’s not a damn thing funny about that

The idea that won’t go away. A Swedish company is following in Volvo’s footsteps by encouraging bike riders, pedestrians and yes, even pets, to spray themselves head-to-toe with an invisible reflective paint.

In a frightening story, a South African bike rider describes how he used his bike to fend off an attacker armed with a broken bottle until a passing motorist intervened with a Taser. 

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Kiwi bicyclists are still riding competitively in their 80s and 90s, with the youngest racer a spritely 79. 

No bias here, either. A new “pro-car” political party in New Zealand has its sights set on bicycling, calling it a “150-year-old technology that cars have virtually eliminated.”

Or here. An Aussie website says the roads are plagued by coffee-swilling middle-aged men in Lycra, and that cycling will never succeed in the country without an “international embargo on epilepsy-colored activewear and padded undies.”

new tongue-in-cheek study in the Medical Journal of Australia says yes, MAMILs exist, even if they don’t ride to work. 

An Australian website looks at the Melbourne company whose innovative bike bell took Kickstarter by storm

Quietly exploring Hokkaido, Japan by bicycle, where “motorists are ridiculously courteous.” Let’s hope that’s contagious

A new Korean startup hopes to boost bicycling by ending the problem of abandoned and thrown-away bicycles through fixing them up and putting them back on the street. 

Bangkok, Thailand closed down 25 streets on Sunday, as part of a nationwide ciclovia

China’s massive abandoned bikeshare bike dumps caught in pictures. 

Competitive Cycling

Hour record holder Bradley Wiggins says his time at the top will be short-lived, insisting Belgian pro Victor Campenaerts will beat his record next year

Lance Armstrong: venture capitalist

Finally…

How to suck at cycling. How to ride rollers for 24 straight hours without going crazy. If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, you might want to take your license plate with you.

And your next mountain bike could be a Lego

………

Thanks to Ralph D, Kirsten B, Glen S and Janice H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: LACBC Open House tonight, and Amgen Tour of California gets Santa Clarita to Pasadena finish

It’s Day 14 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will celebrate their 20th anniversary tonight with an Open House at LACBC headquarters on Spring Street in DTLA.

The event is open to members only. However, you’re welcome to join the LACBC at the door if you’d like to attend.

………

Evidently, we got it right.

The Amgen Tour of California announced the host cities for next year’s race, starting in Sacramento on May 12th, and ending with a final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena a week later.

But you already knew that last part.

Or at least you did if you read BikinginLA yesterday.

After noting that the Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story about that final stage, we speculated that the paper may have jumped the gun on a news embargo by the race.

Sure enough, when the stages for next year were announced this morning, they included the aforementioned final stage.

So congratulations if you read that before the official announcement was made.

You got a jump on cycling fans around the world.

………

Forget singletrack. Try mountain biking down ramps, jumps and endless flights of stairs at breakneck speed through the alleyways of Medellin, Columbia.

Sort of like this.

Okay, maybe exactly like that.

………

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Local

The LA City Council will vote next Tuesday to raise speed limits on 67 streets around the city to comply with the deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law.

Marketplace looks at LA’s efforts to bring e-scooters and dockless bikeshare to Boyle Heights and other lower income neighborhoods.

Bike SGV says Metro is scheduled to vote this morning on an unhealthy, unsustainable package of auto-centric proposals to replace the now-cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Not even a Welcome to Glendale sign  is safe from traffic violence.

 

State

Safe Routes to School is hiring a Southern California policy manager.

A Los Altos bicyclist says one size does not fit all when it comes to bike lanes. Or paths.

‘Tis the season. A group of St. Helena bike riders greet Santa Claus on the city’s kickoff to the holidays.

 

National

Walt Disney was one of us. So was Sylvia Plath.

Bike Snob argues for not wearing a bike helmet, saying you don’t have to wear one just because the pros do. On the other hand, you don’t have to not wear one just because he says so.

Quartz says scientists are still debating whether drivers pass helmet-wearing bicyclists closer than non-helmeted riders.

Bicycling continues their profiles of people who made positive changes in their lives through bicycling, like this man who was pushing 400 pounds before he lost 150 after he started riding.

A new study being conducted by Portland State University will look at how bicycle and pedestrian street improvements affect retailers and other businesses.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere, as Albuquerque NM traffic engineers are working on keeping cars out of a new bike and pedestrian crossing, because motorists keep ignoring the posted No Motor Vehicles signs.

A bike rider found dead on a Boulder CO bike path in October died of a meth overdose.

She gets it. A Lincoln NE letter writer says it’s cheaper for the city to go into debt to build a bike lane than pay for injured bike riders because they didn’t.

Memphis gets a road diet right, reducing a five lane boulevard in the medical district to three lanes, with wheel stop-protected bike lanes, hi-viz crosswalks and self-watering planters.

NYPD officials refuse to call the thumb tack attack on a city bike a terrorist attack, settling for describing it as a nasty crime. And insist they’re taking it seriously.

A New York driver was arrested for hit-and-run, even though the cops were probably at fault in the crash for parking in a bike lane, which forced the victim to swerve her bike around their van.

 

International

Modacity offers photographic proof that it is possible to take your Christmas tree home on a bicycle. And lots of people do it.

Great idea. Vancouver’s Spikes on Bikes program uses trained volunteers on bicycles to spot homeless people suffering from drug overdoses, and intervene in time to save their lives.

Calgary is overcoming growing pains in their two-year pilot program with Lime’s dockless bikeshare.

Fourteen bike riders from the UK combined to ride 4,200 miles in just four days, raising the equivalent of nearly $45,000 for cancer research; riders included a former Olympic-level cyclist recovering from a life-threatening brain injury.

A road raging British traffic instructor loses his job after being convicted of running a bike rider off the road because he had the audacity to ride in it.

Now they’re just showing off. The transport minister in the Netherlands is going far beyond Vision Zero to set a goal of no traffic collisions at all.

A market study for a newly opened New Zealand bike shop predicts that ebikes will make up 80% of bike sales in the country within five years.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling is using Zwift to identify the next British cycling star with a 3D virtual reality eRacing Championship next February.

The San Francisco Chronicle says summer won’t sound the same without Paul Sherwen.

 

Finally…

Maybe there really is a conspiracy to keep mountain bikes skittish. How to match your bike to your kit instead of the other way around.

And reviewing bike helmets is one thing. Firsthand testing by crashing headfirst into a pile of rocks is another.

And not particularly recommended.

……….

Thanks to Kevin G, Robert K, Amanda G and Stephen C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: OC fire captain critical after DUI crash, Claremont cyclist murdered, and hit-and-run driver ID’d

Tragic news from Costa Mesa, where an 18-year veteran of the fire department is fighting for his life after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver.

Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza was riding on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo around 8 am when he was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp, who remained at the scene.

Scarp was being held on $100,000 bond after police found multiple prescription medications in his car.

Kreza remains unresponsive; the Costa Mesa Fire Department tweeted that the next several hours will be critical.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours, nearly triple the original $25,000 goal.

Let’s all say a prayer, or whatever you’re comfortable with, for Mike Kreza’s full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, there was more bad news from Claremont, where a bike rider was murdered by a driver who allegedly used her car as a weapon.

Police say that Leslie Pray, a 54-year old Claremont resident, was intentionally run down by 61-year old Sandra Wicksted, also from Claremont.

Wicksted reportedly had swerved in the direction of other bicyclists just moments before turning her wheel towards Pray, and swerving across the roadway to slam into her bike as Pray rode in the bike lane on North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive.

Police found several empty liquor bottles in Wicksted’s car after the crash. She was arrested on suspicion of murder, and being held on a $2 million bond.

Tragically, Pray had only started riding a few months earlier.

………

The combative hit-and-run driver who killed a Van Nuys bike rider hours after Halloween, then fought with police who tried to take him into custody, has been identified as 20-year old Santa Monica resident Alexander Daniel Furtado.

No word yet whether he was actually in the military, as he claimed, or if the camo fatigues he was wearing were just a Halloween costume.

Furtado is being held on $50,000 bond for suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The victim still has not been publicly identified.

………

The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly campaign, which hands out free bike lights to riders who need them, kicks off in San Pedro tonight.

………

Lest ye forget, tomorrow is Election Day. And your chance to Bike the Vote for awhile.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA offers their indispensable voters guide for tomorrow’s election.

The LA Times provides their total list of 2018 election endorsements.

LAist has advice on how to pick a judge to vote for.

Los Angeles Magazine explains what all those confusing propositions actually mean. And has a list of businesses that will give you a deal if you come in with your I Voted sticker .

………

Local

No surprise here. Bird has filed suit against Beverly Hills and their misguided total ban on dockless bikes and scooters. The only question is what took them so long?

The map has been released for next month’s CicLAvia as it returns to the Heart of LA.

California announced the latest round of Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Grants, including $550,000 to SCAG’s Go Human campaign, and a total of $375,000 to the City of LA; Pasadena and Long Beach received $175,000 and $150,00, respectively.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs into the lawsuit from self-appointed NIMBY activists Fix the City trying to halt desperately needed growth along the Expo Line. And apparently not grasping that more residential building means less traffic, not more.

 

State

Riverside has opened its first bikeshare system with 55 ped-assist ebikes.

Ride through the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 17th, and get rewarded with a cold beer.

Hundreds of bike riders rode through Ventura County in the annual fundraising ride in honor of Mike Nosco, 14 years to the day after he was killed when his truck collided with an unlighted farm vehicle.

A new $13 million bike and pedestrian bridge with provide Palo Alto residents with a crucial link over the massive Highway 101 for the first time in 60 years.

San Mateo County bicyclists now have a safer, green bike lane across a dangerous bridge. Even if the photo clearly shows an SUV driving in it.

Uber’s JUMP Bikes ped-assist dockless e-bikeshare system has expanded throughout the Sacramento area, including bike friendly Davis.

 

National

Good question. A drivers website asks why hit-and-runs are at an all-time high nationwide, but doesn’t really come up with an answer. Although someone should tell them hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

General Motors is getting into the ebike biz — and they want you to name it.

A Portland homeowner posted a huge sign in his or her window demanding that bike riders cut some slack when they try to access their own driveways.

The Houston Chronicle says walking and biking in the city can be way too dangerous. Meanwhile, a Houston bike advocacy group is increasing the frequency of their bike safety classes, including what to do in an emergency situation, in the wake of a deadly year for the city’s bicyclists.

Once again, Texas copies California — this time our hit-and-run drivers, and the low bail for the crime. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A Cincinnati TV station reminds us of the dangers to bike riders and pedestrians after yesterday’s time change. Speaking of which, this is what you look like to drivers in the dark without lights.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Wisconsin driver smashed into a group of girl scouts at they were picking up trash along the shoulder of a highway before fleeing the scene; three girls were killed along with a parent, and another girl is in critical condition.

A 57-year old New Hampshire man rode 5,000 miles across the US, accompanied by his eight-year old dog following behind in a trailer.

A New York resident tries various ways of getting around the city, giving ebike riding an A+ rating — if you can tolerate universal loathing.

A DC website says Philadelphia is kicking the district’s butt on Vision Zero, while a Philly magazine says the city is making progress, but still has a long way to goNever mind that they’re both miles ahead of LA.

A year after Hurricane Irma, a beachfront Hollywood FL bike path is still covered in sand.

One of the four Florida bicyclists run down by a 91-year old driver last week has been released; two others remain in serious/critical condition, while a fourth is in stable condition.

 

International

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in Canada. The father of an Ottawa crash victim called the verdict a disgrace as a driver was acquitted in the speeding, hit-and-run death of his bike riding son; the driver claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and had no idea he hit anything, despite awakening to a loud bang.

An English bike rider is snatching phones from unsuspecting women as he rides by.

Shocking yes, but not surprising. Six out of seven drivers who kill bike riders in the UK get off without any jail time. And only a third lose their licenses. It’s probably no different on this side of the Atlantic.

Horrible story from Britain, where an injured bike rider froze to death waiting for help in a cemetery, after police drove off when they didn’t find her when they responded to a call.

Great idea. An Irish politician proposes offering financial incentives to encourage kids to bike to school, similar to the country’s bike to work program.

No bias here. An Irish columnist calls for detente and cooler heads in the conflict between bicyclists and drivers — while painting bicyclists are crazed maniacs willing to go to war with the poor motorists, who have no choice but to drive.

How to plan your fall culinary tour of Copenhagen.

Caught on video: A 24-year old German artistic cyclist performs stunts Peter Sagan could only dream of.

Your spare parts could help keep riders on the road in Kampala, Uganda.

Logging the way to better Kiwi mountain biking.

Melbourne, Australia’s Green Party proposes a 10-mile, multi-lane bike superhighway as the centerpiece of the city’s nascent bicycle network.

The Australian version of Lifehacker considers weather you should get an ebike; among the downsides, they say, is people will hate you and you might hate yourself.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins defends his defense of Lance Armstrong, saying he’s “sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike.”

The Cannibal heads Rouleur’s inaugural Cycling Hall of Fame class, along with famed bike builder Ernesto Colnago and British icon Beryl Burton.

VeloNews debates the merits of next year’s Tour de France versus Giro d’Italia routes.

 

Finally…

Forget bike riders, golfers should be the ones wearing helmets. If you’ve wanted to see Lance suffer, you finally got your wish.

And Apple wants to copy cycling’s pelotons for their electric cars.

Hopefully they’ll avoid taking half of it down by crossing wheels.

 

Morning Links: LACBC responds to LA worst bike city nod, Englander bails, and who we share the roads with

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition offered a response yesterday to Los Angeles being named the worst bike city in America by Bicycling magazine.

Worst Bike City in America Another Mandate to Make LA’s Streets Safer

Reading Peter Flax’s article “Los Angeles is the worst bike city in America” is not a wake up call for LACBC, but we hope it serves as one for some of our leaders. For those that work, partner, and volunteer alongside us, we’re highly aware of the dangers of biking and walking in LA, and care deeply about making our streets safer for all road users. Since 1998, LACBC has steadily grown our advocacy and education efforts around safe streets, with a re-focused commitment to equity and inclusion for the most vulnerable road users over the past three years. And while Los Angeles has seen some progress over our two decade history, having to see our friends and neighbors continue to die on our streets while walking and biking is not something we take lightly.

The October 10 article in Bicycling Magazine makes some excellent points, and speaks to the urgency regarding the state of our county’s streets and sidewalks. Working to advocate for livable streets in all 88 cities in LA County is a difficult task, but one from which LACBC does not shy away. Our team is proud of the framework our Interim Executive Director Janet Schulman and our Board of Directors are providing to the organization, and looks forward to ever-increasing our presence in making Los Angeles a better place to bike. During this time of transition, staff continues to focus on critical mobility justice issues.

As a 501(c)3, the LA County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to helping our community identify and implement complete street changes that would make our streets safer for people walking and biking. Much of our non-profit’s time is focused on base-building and advocating for policies and practices that encourage safer street design and improve the community engagement process. This is work that takes years to develop and grow, and the programs are transforming Los Angeles’s landscape into one that supports a culture of complete streets.

Like you, we take great pride in being an Angeleno, and we’ll never tire in trying to make tomorrow better than today. We invite you to become a part of the movement for safer streets in Los Angeles, and to volunteer with us in making our streets safer for those traveling around LA County.

It’s not exactly the hard-hitting response we might have wanted. But it may be the best we can hope for as the coalition struggles without permanent leadership after losing two executive directors in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, there’s still no hint of a response from the mayor’s office, or any member of the city council.

Today’s photo, like yesterday, represents the massive fail of being named America’s worst bike city. And the repeated failures on behalf of city leaders that brought us to this point.

Maybe we’ll just keep using it every day until they finally do something about it.

………

Speaking of the city council, the only Republican on the panel, CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, announced he’s leaving the city council at the end of the year.

He becomes the second councilmember in recent years to blow off the people who elected him in favor of a higher paying job in the private sector.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Florida man was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into another car and sent it into a man walking his dogs on the sidewalk.

And was so drunk he didn’t even realize he’d suffered a compound wrist fracture, with the fractured bone breaking through the skin.

Blood tests afterward showed he had an alcohol level of .28, three and a half times the legal limit.

He had two previous arrests for DUI in Florida, as well as four DUI convictions in a ten year period in Virginia, along with another three for driving with a suspended license, earning him a whopping one year of probation.

He’s now facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving.

Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous drunk driver on the roads until it’s too late.

And on the other side of the world, the passenger in a New Zealand contractor’s truck can be heard on video urging the driver to run over a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway.

The owner of the company responded by calling it “extremely embarrassing.”

Never mind how embarrassed he should be that his employees were stupid enough to post it online.

………

Local

L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar officially opened the new left-side Spring Street parking protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting in DTLA.

The LA Daily News reports on the ghost bike installation for Roberto Perez, the victim in Sunday’s Sun Valley hit-and-run. Now if we can just find the heartless coward who left him to die in the street.

North Hollywood residents will have more time to weigh in on the planned widening of Magnolia Blvd through the NoHo Arts district after people questioned whether it meets LA’s Vision Zero goals; you now have until November 26th to comment.

CiclaValley looks back at the recent NACTO convention in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County rapper Innate followed up last year’s solo album with a 5,000-mile bike ride across the US.

The California Coastal Commission has given its blessing to plans for a lane reduction, bike lanes and Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia.

San Francisco’s new mayor shows what can happen when the mayor isn’t running for president, moving to speed up work on a pair of safety projects on Market Street. Maybe LA’s mayor could take notes the next time he has a layover at LAX.

JUMP is looking to hire a Market Entry Project Manager in San Francisco.

 

National

Bicycling repeats what we’ve been talking about all week. If you want to fight climate change, leave your car in the garage and ride a bike.

Three bike riders tell Bicycling what Coming Out Day means to them, and why it matters. I’ve had a number of deeply closeted friends over the years, and have seen close up the damage living a double life can do. And the relief that comes with coming out.

Singletacks talks with the executive director of Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to mentoring young girls on mountain bikes.

Outside talks with the professional race car driver who helped Denise Mueller-Korenek shatter the land speed record for a human-powered bicycle.

An Oregon FedEx driver is going on trial for failing to yield in the death of a bike rider; the case hinges on whether a bike lane continues through an intersection. But it’s still just a traffic citation, rather than a criminal case.

A Seattle TV station questions whether it’s really the best bike city in the US. On the other hand, a Seattle weekly doesn’t mince words, saying Bicycling is dead wrong about the city’s first place finish.

My hometown is just one of four Colorado cities that made Bicycling’s list of the 50 best bike towns in the US.

A Denver TV reporter bikes to work live on camera, then learns from angry viewers that the state didn’t actually legalize the Idaho stop, they just made it so individual cities could if they want. And so far, Denver doesn’t.

Residents of an Ohio city are unhappy with plans to relocate a bike path in front of their homesEven though studies show it will make their property values go up.

Akron, Ohio is right sizing the city’s streets by removing lanes and installing bike lanes. And without the near riots that accompanied LA’s attempts to do the same thing on the Westside.

Support is growing for a two-way protected bike lane on New York’s Central Park West.

The NYPD responds to Streetblog’s Freedom of Information request on its decision to “close critical Manhattan bike lanes” during last month’s United Nations General Assembly by telling them, in effect, to mind their own business.

He gets it. A Maryland university professor says the cities of the future should be built for people on two wheels.

 

International

A Canadian writer explains that there are good reasons why you don’t need a license to ride a bike.

European bike makers, bicycle tourism companies and nonprofit organizations have banded together to form an organization representing 650,000 workers to “unite all the private sector voices in cycling, behind one vision, in one structure.”

If you build it, they will come. London opened three new quiet ways across the city, as newly released figures show bicycling in the UK capital increased 8% last year. Los Angeles has no idea how much bicycling went up or down last year because they’ve never bothered to measure it.

Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says traffic planners should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people to improve safety.

British bike hero Sir Chris Hoy says it’s time to end the “us versus them” attitude between drivers and bicyclists. No shit. Especially since most of the latter are also the former.

A writer from the UK suggests that the 30-mile Sellaronda in Italy’s Dolomites may be the most beautiful bike route in the world.

 

Finally…

Why mountain bikers should be glad summer is over. And the forgotten era of women’s bike racing in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

Morning Links: May Bike Month, LimeBike ebikes in SaMo, Aviation road diet fight, and LACBC ED leaving

It’s Bike Month Eve in LA.

Both the LACBC and Bike SGV offer their own calendars of activities in the one month of the year dedicated to bicycling.

As always, the highlight of the month is Bike to Work Day, which takes place on May 17th, with Bike Night at Union Station the following night.

The international Ride of Silence rolls on May 16th to honor fallen bicyclists, including a ride through the San Fernando Valley.

My favorite event, the annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital near DTLA on May 15th.

And you can ride the Metro Bike bike share for just one dollar for the month of May when you sign up using the code BIKEMONTH2018; after the first one, it will cost $20 for each additional month.

………

Just in time for Bike Month, LimeBike has started dockless ebike service in Santa Monica.

According to a press release from the company, the bikes will cost $1 to unlock using your smartphone, and 15¢ per minute of riding.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid the problems that have developed in some other cities with abandoned or illegally parked bikes.

Because this could be a huge step forward for personal mobility in the LA area if they can avoid the usual bikelash.

………

Plans for a lane reduction and bike lanes to improve safety on Aviation Blvd face an uphill battle after opponents turned out at a meeting in Hermosa Beach to discuss the project.

As seems to happen in any public discussion of bicycles, at least one person insisted “When bikes start paying the registration fees that fund our streets, then they can start sharing our lanes.”

Which demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both who the streets are for and how local streets are paid for.

So let’s be very clear. Neither gas taxes or registration fees pay for more than a small portion of the building and maintenance of local streets; the overwhelming portion comes from local taxes, which we all pay.

Although that may change to some degree with the state’s recent gas tax increase — if it survives an attempt to have it repealed this fall.

And our streets have never been the property of fee-paying motorists; streets are for the movement of people and goods, some of whom will be on foot, some on bikes, some using transit, and some in motor vehicles. Usually alone.

Funny how so many LA drivers seem to feel they have a God-given right to the road.

And aren’t willing to concede a single inch of it to anyone else.

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is back in the market for a new Executive Director.

According to an email announcement from the organization, Executive Director Erik Jansen, who replaced former ED Tamika Butler less than a year ago, will be leaving at the end of May.

Erik is leaving the organization after two years of working with LACBC, first as its Development Director, then as its Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, and finally as its Executive Director. A father of two, Erik will be moving with his family to Australia, where his wife accepted a position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney…

As LACBC enters its 20th year and begins a strategic planning process to outline the next five years, staff remains committed, more than ever, to making streets safer for those biking and walking in Los Angeles County. It is an exciting time for the organization, and the team is looking for an Executive Director to lead the team, LACBC members, and bicycle advocates across the county, to create safer streets in Los Angeles County. If you have an amazing candidate in mind, please send us an email.

………

Get a whole body workout by using walking canes when you ride.

No, really.

Unless you’d rather play indoor fixie soccer.

………

Local

A Forbes writer says there are holes in Elon Musk’s plans to colonize underground Los Angeles with high speed transportation tunnels, with a professor reasonably noting that most people would rather walk or bike above ground.

The Talking Headways podcast chats with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds, while the New York Times looks at her efforts to bring Play Streets to the City of Angels.

Metro has released a first-of-its-kind First/Last Mile Plan for the neighborhoods surrounding the Blue Line, calling for “better sidewalks, more and safer crosswalks, more lighting for pedestrians, better and safer bike lanes and facilities.”

Speaking of Metro, comments are now being accepted on the transportation agency’s Vision 2028 strategic plan.

 

State

The next time some NIMBY tries to tell you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, tell them about Jenn Ramsey, who’s ridden the eight-day, 575-mile California Coast Classic a dozen times, even though her crippling arthritis prevents her from standing for more than 30 minutes.

An Op-Ed from San Luis Obispo, where NIMBYs have risen up to fight a proposed bikeway, insists that bike riders aren’t the enemy.

A writer for the SF Gate calls out what he calls Car Blindness, the double standard in which people easily see the relatively minor problems caused by bikes, scooters and pedestrians, but can’t see the major problems caused by motor vehicles.

Redding officials consider closing a roadway entirely to allow for a safe crossing for a new bike and pedestrian trail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials won’t even remove a single traffic lane to improve safety for everyone.

 

National

Good piece from Slate, saying no one teaches ebike buyers how to ride them, which is a problem when some bikes can go up to 30 mph; Bicycling offers tips on how to do it safely.

The Wall Street Journal considers the next generation of bike helmets, which may be hidden behind their damn paywall.

There is something terribly wrong with any society where anyone feels the need to give advice on how to properly survive getting hit by a car. Never mind that most cars actually have drivers, which the article fails to mention. Thanks to Steven Messer and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Strava’s CEO explains why the app keeps gaining a million users every 40 days, and where he wants to go from here.

Lawrence, Kansas, population 93,000, could soon have more bike boulevards than Los Angeles.

A Houston Op-Ed says the city doesn’t have to be deadly for cyclists. Then again, neither does any other city, even though most of them are.

The pedaling priests of Peoria have finished their 275-mile ride across their Illinois diocese to call attention to religious vocations. I might have considered the priesthood if they’d told me you get to ride bikes all day.

After a reader complains to a Michigan paper, saying someone needs to teach bicyclists the rules of the road, a columnist responds “Whoever does the training, I’m hoping they do a better job than they did with the car and pickup drivers.”

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an Indiana man dying in the street — and may have stolen his bike, wallet and mobil phone.

After Columbus OH opened a new two-way cycle track, bike collisions nearly tripled; authorities blamed a jump in ridership, combined with a break-in period for people to get used to the new lanes.

A Virginia couple is planning to bike across the US with their three young kids riding a tandem and a three-person bike.

Nice story about a Charlottesville SC cop who started a new community bike program after fixing kids bikes, then returning to ride with them every week.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling rates jump in Victoria, British Columbia, after the opening of a new, safer bridge with bike lanes in each direction.

Heartbreaking news from Canada’s northern Manitoba province, where three boys were killed by a suspected drunk driver while walking and riding their bikes with a group of friends.

The Guardian says smart exercise will keep you young longer.

A writer for the Financial Times says London cyclists are abominable, and she knows because she’s one of them — and she’ll continue to break the law until streets are made with bikes in mind.

An English letter writer says she doesn’t ride a bike in her home town, but would like to if she felt safer. Surveys consistently show that roughly two-thirds of the people in the US feel the same way — including here in Los Angeles.

A British father and son planned to ride Penny Farthings 50 miles in top hats and tails yesterday to raise funds for the Aston Villa soccer team’s charity foundation.

This is who we share the roads with. A man in the UK learns the hard way that if you’re going to put your Tesla on autopilot, at least stay in the driver’s seat.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver walks on charges of killing a bicyclist, despite attempting — and failing — to overtake the rider on a blind curve.

The Telegraph says the best way to see the Netherlands is by boat and bicycle.

No bias here. An Aussie paper says “bike riders are still dicing with death.” Even though the article is really about dangerous drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

New British pro discusses how his dream of making a WorldTour team nearly hit the rocks.

Yahoo previews Friday’s Jerusalem start of the Giro d’Italia. Tainted pro Chris Froome clearly intends to allow his alleged doing case to overshadow the Giro.

Organizers are confident that the Cascade Cycling Classic stage race will be back next year, despite its cancellation for 2018. Which is what bike event organizers usually say just before you never hear from them again.

 

Finally…

When spending $15,000 for bespoke bike is a relative bargain. If you’re going to drive in the bike lane while drunk and with a suspended license, at least stay closer to the speed limit.

And you haven’t got bike skills until you can flip pancakes while riding.

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Thanks to Stephen K for his generous donation to help support this site. I am constantly blown away by the kindness and generosity of our supporters. 

 

Guest Posts: An attack on children and mountain biking, and LACBC response to last week’s FedEx bike death

Sorry to disappear on you this week. 

My St. Patrick’s Day was interrupted by a sudden sharp pain, a panicked trip to the emergency room, and an unplanned stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Where their firewall somehow prevented me from logging into this site. Not that I was capable of doing much in my morphine-induced haze, anyway.

Now I’m finally back home, a handful of kidney stones, a few pounds and a couple thousand bucks lighter.

I’m still trying to shake the last of that drug fog and make up for some lost sleep, so let’s skip the Morning Links one more day, and catch up on a couple of recent guest posts.

First up is a one from Mike Vandeman arguing against allowing kids to take up mountain biking. While it’s not something I agree with in any way, I’ll let him make his case. As he said in an email to me, you can’t argue with facts. We’ll let you decide just what those facts are.

Next, I had planned to share the LACBC’s press release on the tragic death of Elisa Gomez in Monday’s post, so we’ll finish with that today. As you’ll recall, Gomez was killed by a FedEx driver who pulled out from a stop sign while she was directly in front of his truck, then run over after he failed to stop, and fled the scene. A suspect was taken into custody, but no word on an arrest.

Then barring any unexpected setbacks, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Morning Links tomorrow.

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Children and Mountain Biking

by Mike Vandeman, [email protected]

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking,
besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is
extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very
first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13!
Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told,
mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1)
they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural
areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand
and object to this activity. For 600+ examples of serious accidents
and deaths caused by mountain biking, see
http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996:
http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm. It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to
say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have
EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that
good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more
harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and
that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle
the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited,
and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see
http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm). I found that of the seven studies
they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every
case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to
the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided
mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not
favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches
kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s
good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm.

Note: It’s the policy of this site not to post personal contact information; however, Mike Vandeman’s email address has been included at his request.

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LACBC CALLS ON OFFICIALS TO ACT FOR SAFER STREETS: 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON BICYCLE KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday morning, Elisa Gomez was hit by a delivery truck southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and left to die in the middle of the street. The 54-year-old bicyclist was riding Eastbound on Washington Avenue at around 8:30 in the morning and was struck from behind by a FedEx delivery truck, which then sped away. This tragedy is indicative of the grim realities faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on our county’s streets.

Los Angeles County is known as the “hit-and-run capital of the nation” with 50% of all traffic crashes categorized as “hit-and-run.” The national average is 11%. In 2015, over 28,000 hit-and-run crashes were reported across the county. That averages out to one hit-and-run crash every 18 minutes in Los Angeles County, a number that glaringly shows the risks faced by those walking or biking in our county.

Making streets safer for all road users has to be a priority for the City of Los Angeles,” stated LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen. “Simple steps can be taken to calm traffic and make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking. We know how it do it — other cities have shown immense progress building infrastructure to decrease speeds, make turns safer, and build a city at a human scale. Angelenos deserve safe streets and they deserve elected officials willing to show real leadership to make it happen.

Elisa was killed a block away from the Washington Blue Line Metro station southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. In 2017, LACBC partnered with other community organizations and Metro to conduct community engagement along the Blue Line to assess the safety and access needs for people walking and biking to stations. LACBC chose to focus on Washington Station, an area surrounded by the High Injury Network, to work to prevent tragedies such as these. Currently, Metro is using the data collected through this process to apply for funding to make infrastructure improvements identified by the community.

The widely-accepted belief that people dying on our streets is inevitable is a false one. These tragedies are wholly preventable, and that’s why we call them “crashes” and not “accidents.” LACBC calls upon our city and elected officials to be leaders for safe streets and commit to adequately funding and implementing initiatives like Vision Zero. Without their leadership, Elisa Gomez will not be the last bicyclist who will be killed on Los Angeles streets.

I reached out to Jansen for further comment, and received the following response.

Elisa Gomez didn’t have to die. While the driver is ultimately responsible for running her down and leaving her to die on the pavement, her death could have been prevented by ensuring Angelenos have access to safe streets. We know how to make streets safe, and Elisa Gomez deserved elected officials willing to show real leadership to end traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. We need action, and not just another plan sitting on a shelf.

It’s good to see the LACBC take an active lead in fighting for safer streets. Because if there’s any good that can come from this senseless tragedy, it will be keeping it from happening to someone else.

Morning Links: Justice for Deborah Gresham, bike settlements soar due to bad LA streets, and BAC meets tomorrow

Finally, there’s justice for a fallen bike rider.

It’s been 16 months since Walking Dead fan page author Deborah Gresham was hit by a driver while riding her bike in Stanton.

And left to die in the street, literally within site of her own home.

The driver, Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, was arrested less than an hour later after horrified witnesses followed him to his home. He was booked on charges of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Now I’ve been informed that he was sentenced on Friday to four years for vehicular manslaughter under the influence, and five years for the fatal hit-and-run, to be served consecutively.

In other words, nine years total, along with fines and restitution.

I’m also told the assistant DA had to wipe tears from his eyes when Gresham’s children gave their witness statements.

It won’t bring Deborah Gresham back. But for once, a fallen SoCal cyclist got justice from the courts.

If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read Peter Flax’s moving, must-read story about this tragedy. Photo from Ghost Bikes LA.

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Great story in the LA Times about the soaring cost of settlements involving bike riders who were injured due to the city’s failing streets.

According to the story, the City of Los Angeles settled with 17 bicyclists last year for a total of $19 million, over four times more than in any previous year.

That’s $19 million that could have gone to fixing the streets before anyone got hurt, rather than waiting until it was too late.

It was those settlements that inspired Councilmember Mitch Englander’s misguided proposal to ban the striping of bike lanes on any streets with less than an A pavement grade, and removing any existing ones from streets with a B or less.

Which would leave few, if any, bike lanes anywhere in Los Angeles.

And only serve to increase the city’s liability when bike riders continue to get injured on streets that used to have bikeways.

The story quotes me on that, as well as talking with BikinginLA sponsor and Calbike board member Josh Cohen.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night in Hollywood; the BAC is the only official voice for bike riders in the City of LA.

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The LACBC has unveiled a new video explaining who they are and what they do as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebration.

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Local

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ridden a bike through there to learn that the intersection of Devonshire Street and Reseda Blvd is the most dangerous one in the state.

LA2050 is offering a total of $1 million in grants to five organizations for projects designed to make Los Angeles, “the best place to learn, create, play, connect and live.” Applications will start being accepted on March 1st.

A bike rider was hit by a car in Pacific Palisades last Wednesday; no word on how the victim is doing. The driver somehow claimed to be driving just 15 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Tomorrow the UCLA Bicycle Academy intends to confront the members of the Regents Health Services Committee to demand that the statewide UC Health system lose its automotive bias and recognize the health benefits of bicycling.

LA celebrated the official opening of a one-block long Green Street in the Del Rey neighborhood, connecting Westlawn Ave with the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Sad news from Hesperia, where a father drowned rescuing his nine-year old son from the California Aqueduct, after the boy slipped in as they rode their bicycles along the canal.

Caltrans is warning about construction delays on the the coastal bike path north of Ventura through the month of February, though the path will remain open.

A decision could be made this week on the proposed San Luis Obispo bike boulevard that has brought the anti-bikeway NIMBYs out of the woodwork.

For the first time, you won’t need a vintage bicycle to participate in the Eroica California in Paso Robles.

More sad news, this time from Oakland, where a man on a bike was killed in a collision with a big rig truck.

 

National

Slate says requiring bicyclists to wear sensors so self-driving cars don’t crash into them is cheating, and autonomous vehicles should be able to spot people riding bicycles on their own, without outside help.

Details have been released for this year’s Ride the Rockies bike tour through the Colorado high country; it will cover 418 miles and nearly 26,000 feet of vertical climbing in six days. And it will visit the tiny lakefront town where my mother worked as a waitress when she was just 18.

Seriously? The death of a Kansas cyclist competing in the state time trial in 2015 was the catalyst for a proposed state law prohibiting negligent driving. Except the penalty would be a whopping $45, which isn’t likely to change anyone’s driving habits.

Michigan is doubling the width of a four-foot bike lane and adding other safety improvements, after two women were killed there two years ago. Maybe they could try making improvements like that before someone gets killed. Which goes for Los Angeles, and everywhere else, as well.

New York news media goes berserk after mobs of “crazed, angry cyclists” swarm drivers, smashing a car window and punching a driver. Although it turns out it was really just 16 teenagers on bicycles, and the cop who was injured was hit by a car making a U-turn to go after them.

 

International

Canadian cross-country ski clubs are slowly opening their trails to fat bikes.

Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to London, as the Guardian says it will be to cycling what Uber is to taxis.

LA bike riders aren’t the only ones who have to deal with crappy pavement.

The economic impact of bicycling adds the equivalent of nearly $1 billion to the Scottish economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie Compton had to settle for second place in the women’s world cyclocross championships, finishing behind Belgian Sanne Cant.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert won the men’s world cyclocross title for the third consecutive year.

 

Finally…

Buy a bike, bore your dinner companions. UFC champ Connor McGregor is one of us.

And yes, you just got dropped by a priest on a folding bike.

No doubt staged, but still fun.

Morning Links: Erik Jansen replaces Tamika Butler as LACBC ED; Delaware could adopt Idaho Stop

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has decided to promote from within, turning to interim Executive Director Erik Jansen to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler as head of the coalition.

Jansen, the Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, stepped up to fill the void after Butler announced her resignation last June. And was selected to remain as head of the organization by the coalition’s board of directors, following a nationwide search.

Building upon the national reputation the LACBC enjoyed under previous ED Jennifer Klausner for its groundbreaking efforts to reach out to LA’s immigrant community, Tamika Butler led the organization in refocusing its efforts on building equity in underserved communities.

And in doing so, became a leading voice for the underprivileged and people of color within the bicycling community nationwide.

Now it will be interesting to see if Jansen continues those efforts, or moves the LACBC back to a more mainstream form of bicycle advocacy.

He comes at a time of unprecedented bikelash in the City of Angels, with bike lanes and safety projects under fire in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. And as a lawsuit against the city, and a recall campaign to unseat Councilmember Mike Bonin, attempt to derail LA’s Vision Zero program and intimidate councilmembers to prevent any future lane reductions.

The LACBC has grown to become a mature advocacy group over the past several years. And will need strong leadership to help LA become the bikeable, livable community it must become.

You can meet Erik Jansen when the LACBC hosts a Handlebar Happy Hour at Pure Cycles in Burbank tonight, with free food and drink courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass.

Photo from LACBC.

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Delaware could become just the second state in the country to legalize the Idaho Stop.

Hopefully California won’t be too far behind.

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Male pro cyclists get a boost in the minimum wage, but women riders still don’t even have a guarantee of getting paid.

Britain governing body for cycling hopes to create a women’s cycling team patterned on the successful Team Sky.

A reminder to always cover-up or wear sunscreen when you ride, as retired Columbian racer Lucho Herrera blames cycling for his skin cancer. Something I can relate to, and more than once.

Sometimes a wicked time trial crash is the best form of advertising.

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Local

KPCC reports on the bike and pedestrian count conducted over the weekend by Los Angeles Walks and the LACBC.

The MyFigueroa project is just one of the projects changing the face of DTLA’s Figueroa corridor.

UCLA will launch an on-campus bikeshare program next week.

KNBC-4 looks at the COAST Open Streets Festival coming to Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is looking for public input on plans for the pre-Halloween CicloSDias open streets event to be held next month.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old North San Diego County man rode 4,200 miles across Canada in 56 days as part of a church group ride.

San Francisco moves forward with plans to sort of crack down on bicycle chop shops without actually making them illegal; a homeless advocate argues that they’re just an entrepreneurial way to for homeless people to make a living recycling bike parts that they happen to find. Except too often, they happen to find bikes that belong to other people.

A 63-year old Napa woman is back home after riding solo 5,000 miles across the US.

 

National

The Denver Post lists Colorado’s best mountain bike trails for your next trip to the Centennial State.

Police in Colorado arrested a man accused of threatening mountain bike riders with a hatchet, on the same trail where a rider was fatally shot a week earlier.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever ambushed a 13-year old Colorado boy in a park to steal his bicycle.

A 19-year old Fargo SD man was killed in a bicycle collision over the weekend, three years after he was deliberately run down in a dispute with a breakaway Mormon religious sect while riding his bike in Utah.

Bike lanes get the blame for traffic congestion in Minneapolis, even though construction projects are likely the real culprits. Never mind that the local TV station couldn’t seem to find any traffic backups to show in the report, despite taking the time to count bikes and cars during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Today Show’s Al Roker is one of us, making room on his daily bike commute for new co-star Megyn Kelly.

No bias here. When a bikeshare rider was hit by a New York Uber driver, the NYPD went out of its way to blame the victim, even though a witness said the driver was at fault.

 

International

Mexico City residents are using bicycles to deliver emergency supplies and help victims of last week’s earthquake.

The war on bikes continues. A Montreal man was seriously injured when he fell off his bike trying to avoid fishing line that had been strung at neck level across a bridge on a bike path.

A Toronto bike rider says the city’s car-first policies create a war on people, as a backlash results in the removal of stop signs that had gone through a community-driven public approval process.

Kindhearted Brits contribute the equivalent of $4,000 to replace the custom-made trike that allowed a man with cerebral palsy to ride, after his was stolen.

The Guardian says government efforts to criminalize reckless bicycling in the UK are ignoring the cause of 99% of the country’s fatal crashes to focus on just 0.12% of them, calling it headline grabbing hypocrisy.

Amsterdam is cracking down on unauthorized dockless bikeshare systems.

An Istanbul man fights his own depression by documenting his journeys around Turkey on his 1960s bicycle with photos and inspiring messages, earning 130,000 Instagram followers in the process.

An Israeli website takes a two-wheeled tor through bicycle history in the county.

Someone is dumping dockless bikeshare bikes into an Australian river; contractors pulled out 40 bicycles in just four hours. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

China’s Mobike and Ofo are battling for world domination in the dockless bikeshare market.

 

Finally…

Next time you sign up for a bike race, make sure it’s in the right country. Your next jean jacket could be more connected than a mafia hitman.

And now you, too, can live like America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million.

 

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