Tag Archive for LACBC

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero is hiding not dead, and prelims for accused killers of Mike Kreza and Frederick “Woon” Frazier

One quick correction.

It turns out that LA’s Vision Zero website isn’t gone, it’s just been subsumed into LADOT’s larger Livable Streets website.

Although, since they didn’t bother to forward the previous links, it’s virtually impossible to find unless you know where to look.

Which may or may not be intentional.

And whether that reflects a lessening commitment to saving lives on the part of the city, or just an attempt to bring all the city’s streets programs together under a single roof, is still to be determined.

Thanks to PatrickGSR94 for the correction

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It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update from our anonymous Orange County correspondent, who reports today from the prelim for the driver accused of killing Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa had his prelim last Thursday. The courtroom was packed, mostly with family and friends of the victim. The widow held it together surprisingly well.

Scarpa had so many drugs in his system, my notes are 2 pages long. But he might have just “fallen asleep” at the wheel, ’cause that’s happened to him before.

The defense attempted to present Scarpa as a sympathetic figure, saying Scarpa’s actions “killed” himself as well as Fire Captain Kreza. Yes, the defense actually suggested that Scarpa is a murder victim. Audible gasps in the courtroom.

He’ll be arraigned next Tuesday. I hope to make it, because if he’s wise, he’ll go nolo contendere and take whatever plea deal has fallen in his lap.

Meanwhile, Kreza’s sister decided to honor her brother with a tattoo of angel wings enveloping his initials.

And the state legislature voted to name a section of State Route 55 after him.

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Our OC correspondent also reports from yesterday’s hearing for Mariah Kandise Banks, accused in the hit-and-run that took the life of popular South LA bicyclist Frederick “Woon’ Frazier, as well as the coverup that followed.

Mariah Kandise Banks was scheduled to have her preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

She was late.

This did not escape Judge Lynne M. Hobbs’ attention. Once Banks was present and before her, Her Honor attempted to impart the importance of punctuality. She told Ms. Banks that she’d been this close to revoking bail. She reminded Ms. Banks of the seriousness of the charges against her, and referenced her priors, although I suspect that she was referring to the failures to appear, not the other hit-and-runs (yes, plural).

The prosecutor, citing Ms. Banks’ (and her mama’s) alleged ongoing harrassment of the victim’s family, requested an increase in bail, which the judge denied. The judge further warned Ms. Banks that any restraining order issued against her would become evidence against her in this case.

As Ms. Banks turned to walk away, she petulantly muttered, “Lies!” under her breath. This was heard by the judge, who immediately informed Banks that she was not yet dismissed. The defense requested and was granted that the preliminary hearing be trailed until September 19th, based on a substantial amount of new discovery (evidence) that had not yet been reviewed.

The judge asked why Ms. Banks had been late. She replied she was late because she is not allowed to drive and is therefore dependent on others for rides. (Um. If she is still at her last known address, she lives half a block from the freeway express bus that drops off a few blocks from the Foltz courthouse.) The judge helpfully suggested she find a more reliable way to get around. Inexplicably, Her Honor did not propose that Banks ride a bicycle to her court appearances.

“You are very much on my radar,” the Judge told Ms. Banks ominously, possibly motivating her to be on time.

I really, really like the prosecutor. She’s going to put this killer away for as long as legally possible.

Meanwhile, Spectrum News 1 checks in with the grieving mother of South LA hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier, and uses that as the jumping off point for a broader look at the problems of hit-and-run, and bike and pedestrian, crashes in the City of Angels. Note to non-Spectrum customers: You can still read the transcript, even if you can’t watch the video.

And no surprise here, as KNBC-4 digs into the stats underlying LA’s hit-and-run crisis, and finds only one percent of fleeing drivers are ever brought to justice for their crimes.

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She also adds this aside.

Wednesday night at 1am, an asshat motorist failed to negotiate the Zoo Drive offramp, took out a bunch of chain link fence, and left giant divots on the grounds of the Griffith Park Dog Park. The location is so close to the river path that obviously those damn cyclists are responsible somehow.

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The LACBC urges you to contact California’s governor to urge him to sign SB 400, which would allow you to trade your car in for an ebike if you’re poor enough.

Which is a good start.

But what we really need is a program that would allow anyone to trade in their car for a bicycle, electric or otherwise, or a fully loaded TAP card.

Or get a rebate on the purchase of a bike for commuting, so we can start getting more cars off the roads.

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Speaking of the LACBC, you still have time to complete their survey on what direction the bike coalition should take as it recovers from the disastrous financial mismanagement of the previous director.

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Bicycling talks with the founder of Project 529 about the ever present problem of bike theft, as their 529 Garage bike registry releases an infographic to drive the point home.

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Local

The Eastsider offers photos of the stunning bike and pedestrian North Atwater Bridge rising over the LA River, while CiclaValley considers Glendale’s plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge of their own over the LA River, both of which would join two more currently under construction.

KPCC tags along with Danny Gamboa for a first-person look at placing a ghost bike.

A woman was airlifted from the Angeles Crest highway with a severely torn calf muscle after getting hit by a driver, who responded to an oncoming truck crowding the center line by cutting to the right and hitting her bike after getting blinded by the sun. Hopefully the CHP will see that for the confession it is, and not the universal Get Out of Jail Free card it usually serves as. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Santa Monica-based Bird’s head of sustainability wants to transform America’s streets, even after the company reneged on its promise to fund new bike lanes wherever it operates.

Don’t plan on renting an e-scooter in Hermosa Beach anytime soon. The city has extended its ban on scooters through April, or until they can work out guidelines in conjunction with neighboring cities Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

Long Beach warns residents to approve a sales tax extension, or face crumbling roads in the years to come.

 

State

The California DMV will be releasing a guide to your civil rights during a traffic stop next spring. One key point to remember in the meantime is that is you have the right to refuse a search of your bike and belongings if you’re stopped for a traffic violation.

Brooks McKinney talks with the guy responsible for keeping California’s pavement smooth and rideable. Oh, and drivable, too.

Residents of San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood would rather have a homemade pump track than more housing.

The Department of DIY reared its head in San Luis Obispo, where local bicyclists made their own toilet plunger-protected bike lane, two years after a Cal Poly student was killed by a drunk driver.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man with a bike was collateral damage when an SUV driver crashed into a pickup and spun into the victim as he was in a crosswalk; his killer fled on foot without even looking at the man trapped under his SUV.

San Francisco responds to a jump in traffic fatalities by redesigning intersections to improve safety. Which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. But usually doesn’t.

Streetsblog SF applauds the city for its quick build strategy, but says the 7th Street protected bike lane isn’t.

A Sacramento-area e-bikeshare program was put on hold after Trump’s China tariffs made it economically infeasible.

 

National

A new book details how America’s transportation systems are biased against women, including a lack of protected bikeways.

No surprise here, as a new study shows deaths from red light-running drivers has hit a ten-year high. But sure, let’s talk about all those entitled scofflaw cyclists.

A new study finds booze and e-scooters don’t mix, as nearly 40% of seriously injured scooter users were legally drunk when they crashed. Note to Today Show — Nice job of inflating the stats to get clicks, with a headline that says nearly 50%, before stepping it down to nearly 40% in the subhead.

A Washington man chased down and fatally shot his mother’s boyfriend as the victim rode off on a bicycle; the boyfriend was allegedly abusive, and had a history of protective orders filed against him by other women.

A Wisconsin woman who describes herself as a casual bicyclist has ridden over 7,100 miles at AIDS rides to raise funds and keep alive the memory of friends lost to the disease; when asked how much she’s raised, she said “Not enough because AIDS is still here.”

Hats off to the Providence Journal, which recognized that most biking riding kids in the Rhode Island city aren’t out to break the law or infuriate drivers.

New York police are looking for a man who beat and slashed another man in a subway station in an attack that began with a dispute over a bicycle.

A New York driver ran away on foot after somehow getting his car wedged in a barrier-protected bike lane next to a highway.

In a tragic reminder that people on bicycles can get hurt in collisions with pedestrians, the New York ebike rider who was critically injured after crashing into a 77-year old man has died, while the older man only suffered minor injuries.

Gotham bicyclists say just getting to a spacious new bikeway across a bridge is hell.

 

International

A kindhearted British Columbia business owner gave a boy a new bicycle when both his bikes were stolen, after the businessman learned the boy had raised over $10,000 for the charity that gave one of the bikes to him when he was diagnosed with diabetes as a five-year old.

An 82-year old Toronto man was overwhelmed by an outpouring of community support after the bike he relied on for transportation was stolen less than a week after he got it.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers five tips to safely lock your bike.

Van-driving bike thieves are targeting solo riders with expensive looking bicycles on a popular Irish riding route. Correction: I originally misplaced this story as being from Scotland, not Ireland. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the. correction.

Belgian ebike owners are hacking their rides to remove European speed restrictions.

No bias here. After a Spanish study finds “several cyclist and environment related variables” that led to fatal bike crashes, the authors only suggestion was bike riders should wear a helmet.

Even India’s relatively low-cost bicycle industry is being undercut by cheaper Chinese imports crossing the border from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Radavist takes a gravel bike tour of New Zealand’s South Island.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of a women’s cycling team says she was wrong to be skeptical about the Colorado Classic bike race and its commitment to elevating women’s cycling.

VeloNews considers how the Colorado Classic upended the traditional TV model by streaming the entire race for free.

Just one day after losing the leader’s jersey, Nicholas Roche crashed out of the Vuelta.

Cycling Tips says the Cross County World Championships are American mountain biker Lea Davison’s chance to redeem herself after a couple difficult years.

 

Finally…

Now even the birds are out to get us. Who needs a fanny pack when you can carry a fashionable $375 “bike wallet” inspired by chunky bike lock chains?

And who really needs a bike seat anyway?

 

Morning Links: Which Way LACBC tomorrow, New York takes Vision Zero seriously, and Rutger Hauer was one of us

Thank you everyone for your kind and comforting words about the Corgi.

I apologize if I haven’t been able to get back to you yet, but I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to reach out or leave a comment. It’s brought some real comfort in a difficult time. 

The Corgi still has a smile on her face, and you helped put one back on mine. 

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Let’s start with a reminder about the Los Angeles Bicycle Coaliton’s Which Way LACBC open house this Saturday, to get your input on what you’re looking for from the county’s leading bike advocacy group.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman about the organizations drift and mismanagement following the departure of former ED Tamika Butler, and the opportunity for reinvention.

Who should come on Saturday?

Everyone. Literally anybody who’s ever been on a bicycle. Anybody who’s ever ridden mass transit, Metro, buses. Anybody who considers themselves a pedestrian. And scooter-ists, as well. And drivers, we want to hear from them, too. It’s an open invitation…

This Saturday’s Which Way L.A.-CBC? is meant to be a bit of a reckoning. There’s a moment in the program where I plan to just speak frankly about how we arrived at this moment.

I’m going to own the fact that I don’t think we are justifying our existence as we stand today. We need the help of basically everyone to become a better resource and a better support to the mission that we are fighting for.

I understand that the stakes are high. This is the moment that we need to turn this thing around. It starts with the input and the thoughtfulness of the people that we need to partner with to get this thing done.

The Which Way L.A.-CBC? community forum will take place from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 27, at LACBC headquarters at 634 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time; for the foreseeable future, I’ll be home tending to a sick corgi who can’t be left alone more than a few minutes.

But I urge you to attend.

And maybe you could offer my input for me.

  • The LACBC should immediately form an associated 501(c)4 allowing it to engage in political activity; we desperately need a strong voice that can force our elected leaders and candidates to take the bicycling community seriously.
  • The LACBC should stop being afraid to take action, and be willing to take to the streets to demand real safety and protect the rights of bike riders.
  • The LACBC should be willing to back bike riders, and take a stand to support those who step up on their own to demand change, whether or not they’re members of the coalition.

And one more thing.

The LACBC — and the LA bicycling community — needs you now more than ever.

Yes, you.

So take a few minutes to join if you’re not a member, or renew your membership if you are. And make a donation if you can spare the change.

It’s up to you to help the LACBC return to what it was just a few short years ago.

And what we all need it to be again.

Photo shamelessly purloined from LACBC website, via Streetsblog LA.

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This is what happens when you take Vision Zero seriously.

New York mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio announced plans to invest $58.4 million to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes, in the wake of a shocking jump in bicycling deaths.

The city will also crack down on dangerous drivers at crash-prone intersections, as well as drivers who block bike lanes.

Although the NYPD might want to brush up on bike law first. And whether that crackdown on blocking bike lanes applies to the cops themselves remains to be determined.

Meanwhile, an op-ed in the Daily News says bike riders are terrified, and the city must take steps to break the deadly car culture on the streets.

But maybe if LA Mayor Eric Garcetti was still running for president, he might actually feel the pressure to get off his ass and do something about our own deadly streets.

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The late Rutger Hauer was one of us, too.

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Cannondale is recalling 10,000 CAADX Cyclocross Bicycles from the model years 2013 – 2016 after one person died and seven others suffered serious injuries due to a defective carbon fork.

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

An American woman living in the UK was slapped by a bike-riding woman for no apparent reason as she crossed a pedestrian bridge, then saw her attacker go on to slap the man walking behind her, as well.

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Local

The LA Explorers Club will take a bicycle tour of ’80s movie sites in the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday; the ride is free, but RSVPs are required.

The third annual Health Fair and Bike Ride will be held in South Central LA on Saturday, August 3rd. Thanks to Sis for the heads-up.

 

State

Pacific Grove says feel free to ride your ebike on the city’s Rec Trail — as long as you don’t engage the engine.

San Jose bike riders are concerned about a growing homeless encampment affecting a key commuter bike path — a problem affecting cities across the state. However, people without a home have to be somewhere. If we want them off our sidewalks and bikeways, we need to pressure our leaders to help put a roof over their heads, and get them the help they need to rebuild their lives.

San Francisco is finalizing plans to close the city’s iconic Market Street to private motor vehicles. That would be like shutting down Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles — which isn’t a bad idea.

A Chico writer tells the story of her stolen bike, which a police detective said was probably already in pieces across the city hours after it was stolen. And now she’s afraid to ride to the market because she doesn’t want her new, cheaper bike to end up the same way.

 

National

More Americans have died in car crashes in the past 19 years than were killed in both world wars.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explains why we all should care that fewer kids are riding bikes.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. A 73-year old Oregon man and his two dogs are alive today after a man riding his bike discovered him nearly unconscious on the side of the road after they became stranded with no food and only a little water.

Bicycling fatalities are up in Colorado, too, as a serious cyclist’s loved ones look for the heartless coward who left him for dead after a crash; the victim is former Bicycling editor Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, who who was riding home from a velodrome when he was run down.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a dog owner walks with a warm caress on the wrist for allowing his dogs to run free, and allegedly kill an 85-year old man as he rode by on his bicycle.

Thanks for nothing. After a Texas man found his stolen bike for sale online, a Houston cop told him to just buy it back from the thief.

A Houston man took his girlfriend on a 15 mile bike ride spelling out the words “marry me,” before getting down on one knee at the end to ask for her hand. And the rest of her, presumably.

A Chicago scooter rider was critically injured when he was struck by a driver who pulled over when police tried to stop the scooterist for leaving the scene after crashing into a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk.

A Chicago bike tour will revisit scenes from the city’s violent past on the 100th anniversary of the 1919 race riots.

Talk about not getting it. A Minnesota letter writer says we don’t need any more bike lanes, because most people just ride their bikes on the sidewalk anyway.

Bike riders in the greater Cleveland area remain wary of sharing the road with motorists.

Something tells me there’s a lot more to this story. An Ohio woman is charged with evidence tampering and falsifying vehicle registration in an attempt to coverup her involvement in a hit-and-run that left a bike-riding woman seriously injured.

The problem with a new Vermont bike lane isn’t the squiggly lines that suggest someone was partaking in the state’s newly legalized cannabis while painting them. It’s the fact that what passes for a bike lane is barely wider than some bike tires in places.

A Long Island community says forget dangerous drivers, the real problem on the streets is teenagers on bikes who block traffic and annoy the people behind the wheel.

Liev Schreiber is one of use, making out with his dog on the streets of New York on his double-seated, wine crate-equipped cargo bike.

Holy exploding ebikes, Batman! A New York bike rider suffered burns on his legs when the lock battery on the dockless Lime Bike he was riding suddenly exploded and burst into flames; a company spokesperson said someone had apparently punctured the battery with sharp object while trying to break the lock, and there’s no need to panic. Honest.

Good luck outrunning these New Jersey bike cops on their new 50 mph ebikes.

Atlanta protesters form a human-protected bike lane to demand safer streets after a bicyclist was killed by a city bus last week.

A woman with eight grandkids was shot and killed while riding her bike in Florida’s Orange County.

 

International

Turns out bikeshare isn’t just for wealthy hipsters after all; many of the “super users” around the world come from lower income brackets.

Copenhagenize ranks the world’s top 20 bike cities; not surprisingly, given who was doing the ranking, Copenhagen comes out on top. No surprise either, that no American city made the list.

Architecture and Design says the solution to pollution, sprawl and congestion is getting rid of parking spaces.

Forbes takes a long, lingering look at the many iterations of the World Naked Bike Ride, as people around the globe go as bare as they dare to demand safety on our streets.

A Vancouver man plans a one-person protest of a dangerous bike lane, riding up and down the lane all day to call attention to the one-year anniversary of when another rider was fatally doored on the street.

A British Columbia man on a 1,600-mile bike tour through the Yukon says he’s been blown away by the people and beauty he’s found along the way.

A Montreal blogger says it may be the best bike city in North America, but riding there still sucks.

Keep your eye on Britain, where plans are in motion for “genius” CYCLOPS — Cycle Optimized Protected Signals — intersections to maximize opportunities for safe bicycling and walking, without adversely affecting motorists.

A British bike lawyer explains why a bike rider getting sued for crashing into a pedestrian is actually a good thing for bicyclists.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired cop walked with a suspended sentence for killing a bike rider while high on meth, which his lawyer claimed was a byproduct of his Parkinson’s medication. At least he was banned from driving for five years.

An Indian general is one of six people from the county’s military to be accepted for this year’s 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris ride.

An Indian girl holds the world record for the longest bike trip in a single county, riding over 12,000 miles without ever leaving India. Never mind that the “girl” is a 28-year old woman.

Thai officials are rushing to repair an elevated bike path along the Mekong River that collapsed due to erosion on the bank, leaving a gap the length of a football field in the popular tourist attraction.

 

Competitive Cycling

While Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe continues to wear yellow, seven cyclists still have a chance to win this year’s Tour de France with just three stages left.

The sweat-drenched peloton struggling through the French heatwave provides a lesson in what we can look forward to due to climate change.

Cycling Tips considers the sports brutality and bizarre mythologizing of suffering through the lens of New Zealand cyclist George Bennett, who had two hard crashes on Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, possibly suffering a concussion, yet still finished 27th.

 

Finally…

Forget scooters. Now you can cruise the beach on 7 mph, ADA-compliant purple stuffed…uh, thing. Apparently, God does not have an account at Sonic, whether or not you’re on a bike.

And forget the recovery drinks. Just grab yourself an ice cold Sufferfest.

 

Morning Links: LACBC needs to hear from you this Saturday, video from bike/LAPD crash, and a bunch of kindhearted people

Let’s start with some difficult personal news. 

The Corgi is dying. 

If you’ve followed this site for awhile, you’ve no doubt seen her grace these pages, whether as the spokesdog for our annual holiday fund drive, or simply because she wouldn’t get out of the photo. 

And she’s kept me company and watched over me as I’ve written this site for more than nine years. 

But a couple months ago, she started getting sick, and has gotten progressively worse. 

Then last week her new vet confirmed she has an inoperable, malignant tumor at the base of her snout. And at 13, we’ve decided not to make her suffer through radiation therapy just to slow the progression of the disease and buy few more months — for our benefit, not hers. 

Because she’s already given us far more than we could ever have asked. 

Simply put, it’s her time. 

So she’s now in the corgi equivalent of hospice care, with a focus on palliative care to keep her as healthy and happy — and free from pain — as possible, for a long as she has left.

The vet estimates that could be somewhere between three and six months. Or maybe less because of how rapidly her cancer has progressed. 

I share this here because some people have grown attached to her. But also because it will severely impact my life over the next few months. And may affect my ability to put up a new post, or write with the same depth as I strive to do. 

As always, I’ll do my best to be here for you every day with the latest bike news from around the corner, and around the world. 

But I also know the coming days are likely to be very difficult, and she needs me now more than ever before. 

I don’t plan to offer regular updates about her condition here; this site is about bicycles, not my dog.

Or me, for that matter. 

So if you want to keep up with her, and how both of us are doing, you can check in on my personal Twitter account from time to time.

Now let’s get back to why we all came here today.

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Speaking of which, they’re back.

And they want you to tell them where you want them to go.

After wandering in the weeds in recent months as they dealt with an extended leadership vacuum, and ineffective and misguided leadership when they had one, the LACBC is ready to re-engage with the city’s bicycling community.

Although much smaller and poorer than in recent years.

When new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman was hired to take over the coalition, it wasn’t long before major financial problems were revealed.

A lack of fundraising by the previous, largely disengaged Executive Director and mismanagement by the board of directors led to an existential crisis that literally threatened the survival of what had been Southern California’s most influential bicycling advocacy organization.

No wonder city leaders ignored them. And us.

Massive cost cutting, including the painful loss of over half the staff, through no fault of their own, has led to a temporary period of stability.

As a result the coalition until the end of the year to get their shit together raise a substantial amount of funding and develop a more sustainable business model just to stay afloat, even in their smaller size.

Kaufman makes no bones about the LACBC’s current predicament.

“We’ve been out of touch with the community we serve for too long,” he said. “We need to get back in touch, and listen to the people so they’ll feel like, and be, a part of the of the mission.”

“Let’s be honest. If we were making an impact they would already support us.”

The changes at the coalition also includes new leadership on the LACBC board, where Pure Cycles co-founder Michael Fishman has taken over as chair, with Kevin Shin of Walk Bike Long Beach as the new vice chair.

Previous chair Mark Caswell remains on the board to provide continuity after stepping down.

The LACBC is also attempting to recruit four new members, who Kaufman describes as an entertainment industry executive, a politically connected attorney, a socially conscious developer committed to livable urban density, and someone with a much-needed background in non-profit fundraising.

“We’re not done,” Kaufmann continued. “I wouldn’t be fighting this hard if we were. But now isn’t the time to be conservative. The old way of ‘Not right now’ just doesn’t work for us anymore.”

Which brings us to this Saturday.

The LACBC is hosting an open house from 11 am to 3 pm at the LACBC HQ, 634 S Spring Street in DTLA, with a presentation by Kaufman at 1 pm.

They want to listen to you. Whether or not you’re a member of the coalition. And regardless of how or where you ride.

If you ride a bike, or care about those who do, that’s all that matters.

They’re calling it Which Way LA-CBC, a play on Warren Olney’s long-running program on KCRW.

The whole idea is to reconnect, and let you tell them who they should be, and what they should do, from this point forward.

Because really, it’s your bike coalition. And your representatives at City Hall.

Even if they’ve fallen down on the job in recent months.

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Onscene TV posts raw video from Tuesday’s crash between a bike rider and an LAPD motorcycle cop near Lake Balboa — fortunately, after both victims had been taken to the hospital.

And am I the only one who keeps reading that name as Obscene TV?

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Today’s common theme is kindhearted people.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies set out to buy a new bike for a 12-year old Cerritos boy after he reported his bike stolen, then Walmart donated it to them at no charge.

After a New Hampshire boy’s bike was stolen, an anonymous veteran dropped off a replacement at a local police station; a few hours later, police arrested a woman after spotting her riding the boy’s original bike.

A pair of cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a Shreveport, Louisiana man who can’t hear or speak, after failing to find his stolen bike.

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Trek has recalled their popular Kickster kids balance bike due to a defect in the steerer tube clamp that can lead to dangerous falls.

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

A road raging Cincinnati driver was indicted on two counts of felonious assault for speeding ahead of a bike rider and intentionally dooring him after the victim had flipped him off.

British police accused “sick vigilantes” of booby trapping scenic trails with broken branches, carpet tacks and a wall of rocks.

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Local

Los Angeles has finished the first of a planned series of Complete Streets on a 2.3-mile stretch of Roscoe Blvd through Panorama City and North Hills to improve safety for “pedestrians, bikes, buses and cars.” Although it’s unclear from the story whether anything was actually done to improve bike safety.

Extremist hate came to Santa Monica Monday, when someone spray painted anti-Jewish slogans on the pedestrian bridge over PCH, and “Holocaust is a lie” on the beachfront bike path; the city removed them the same day.

 

State

If you’re carrying weed and glass bongs on your bike, try not to look suspicious — and don’t flee from the cops, because that shit is legal in California now.

Evidently, not all businesses in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood prefer parking spaces to bike-riding customers; a total of 18 local businesses have come out in support of the planned protected bike lane on 30th Street that would remove 420 parking spaces.

The dockless e-scooter industry is fighting back against the San Diego repo firm and a bike shop owner who have confiscated over 10,000 of the devices because they were left in the wrong places.

A new underpass and bridge mean San Diego’s Rose Creek bike path is that much closer to its anticipated opening next year.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous driver on the roads until it’s too late. A Bakersfield woman is in critical condition with major injuries after an alleged drunk driver slammed into her bike; the driver was previously convicted of DUI and hit-and-run after pleading no contest to the charges 26 years earlier. Seriously, fleeing a crash while under the influence should be enough to permanently disqualify someone from having a license.

Calistoga police haven’t made an arrest yet in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider who was found lying next to his bicycle in the early morning last week.

The bicyclist who was struck and killed by two drivers in a Sonoma County crash has been identified as a 39-year old Santa Rosa man; meanwhile, investigators continue their outrageous victim blaming, saying they don’t know if he was impaired. So why the hell even mention it unless they do?

Folsom has attempted to tackle the problem of speeding drivers by installing smart traffic lights that turn red if someone is exceeding the speed limit.

 

National

A new study shows that investing funds in building better biking routes improves access to jobs in US cities, while another study shows drivers are more likely to buzz women on bikes than they are men.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says if you want to be happier at work, ride your bike there.

CNN lists their picks for five of the best bike locks.

Someone went on a bike theft spree in a Colorado mountain resort, snatching six bicycles throughout town on a single night.

A chance discovery at the popular RAGBRAI ride across Iowa led to a groundbreaking study that has improved the lives of Parkinson’s patients.

Dallas bike cops teamed with a security guard to rescue a suspected drunk driver from a fiery crash after he drove his car into a downtown building.

A Cleveland man is in custody for allegedly ramming a pair of men sharing a bicycle with his SUV, then getting out and robbing them at gunpoint; the theft was reportedly in retaliation for stealing drugs and guns from the thief and his unidentified partner.

An Ohio city plans to use eminent domain to claim an abandoned rail line that the owner refuses to sell to make room for a rail-to-trail bikeway.

The speaker of New York’s city council calls for a permanent crackdown on reckless and bike lane-blocking drivers.

Sad news from Maine, where the CEO of IDEXX, the state’s third largest employer, suffered a severe spinal injury while on a club ride last month, leaving him with limited mobility in his arms, and none in his legs, torso and fingers; no word on how it happened.

 

International

Accusations fly in Ottawa following the death of a 13-year old boy who was killed by a driver as he was riding his bike; the head of the city’s Transportation Committee tweeted that bike riders were just left-wing publicity hunters who aren’t helping the cause of safety. Nice guy.

Another reminder of the dangers of potholes, as a Montreal woman suffered a broken nose, three broken teeth and bruises across her entire body after she struck one and flew off her bike.

No shit. A Malta bike rider complains that putting sharrows on high-speed arterial roads is just insane, after a driver buzzes him with inches to spare.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. After an 84-year old New Zealand man ran a red light and slammed into a woman riding her bike, knocking her cold, a driving assessment showed he was perfectly fine to keep on driving and do it again to someone else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Eurosport remembers when the great Eddy Merckx won the Tour de France with a legendary descent from the Col du Galibier to Valloire, site of today’s 18th stage.

Cycling Weekly asks when is it too hot for a bike race, as temperatures in the Tour de France climb north of 105 degrees.

The Beach Reporter sings the praises of local riders who won, or helped lead their teams to victory, in last weekend’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, including last year’s US national women’s champ Coryn Rivera.

Mechanics from a Vancouver bike shop fix banged up bikes overnight every night to keep competitors going in British Columbia’s toughest singletrack stage race.

Outside wants to introduce you to the Billie Jean King of professional bike racing.

Former doper and current clean cycling team manager Jonathan Vaughters’ forthcoming memoir goes deep into the sport’s relatively recent dirty past to revisit the halcyon doping days of Lance and Landis.

 

Finally…

It’s a trick question — you can’t ride a bike to the moon. If you’re going to wear a dress to rob a bank and make your escape by bike, at least try to wear practical shoes. Especially if you’re a guy.

And if you don’t want “nuisance cyclists” riding on the sidewalk, then improve safety on the damn street already.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: Hermosa Beach sharrows fight, and what the hell is going on with LADOT and the Arroyo Seco Bike Path?

A bike-raging Hermosa Beach bicyclist could face charges for attempting to punch a motorist.

Then again, so could the driver.

The incident started when the guy on the bike complained that the driver passed too close while he was riding on the city’s sharrows. Then allegedly attack the other man after he stepped out of his car.

Police officials say the incident is still under investigation, but that both men could be responsible for the incident.

Meanwhile, the man who shot the video says he rides a bike too. But thinks the sharrows make bike riders “feel entitled to more than common sense would allow.”

Even though that’s the exact purpose of sharrows, to demonstrate to everyone that bicyclists are entitled to ride in the lane, and just where they should be positioned.

And even though sharrows don’t give bike riders any rights we don’t already have on virtually any other street.

………

Good Twitter thread asking what the hell is going on with the seemingly endless closure of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path in Gil Cedillo’s 1st Council District, as LADOT insists they’re working on it.

And the LACBC politely responds, not very hard.

………

Thanks to Opus the Poet for forwarding this educational video on how to throw a monkey wrench into the usual auto-centrism.

………

Bakersfield bike riders go on their monthly full moon ride.

………

If you think riding the cobbles of the spring classics are rough, check out this ride from the Åre Bike Park in Sweden.

But you might want to take a little Dramamine first.

………

Now this is a mountain bike race.

Watch: 2019 Mountain Of Hell Mountain Bike Race

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

A Wyoming man suffered serious injuries when he was literally run over by someone on a bicycle, as proven by the tire tracks on his chest.

Wichita KS police are looking for someone on a bicycle who shot the windows out of cars with a BB gun.

………

Local

LA officials unveil three proposals for a major new park on the former Taylor Yards site along the LA River.

Dubai’s Open Skies magazine visits a recent CicLAvia, questioning whether it means an end to LA’s love for cars. We should be so lucky.

 

State

A San Diego TV station demonstrates how to rewrite a NIMBY press release without adding any information, while tossing in an anti-bike tweet from one of their news people for good measure. Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the heads-up.

An op-ed in the Desert Sun lists all the NIMBY reasons why the 50-mile CV Link trail around the Coachella Valley is a bad idea. Seriously, folks, it’s just a bike path.

The Ojai Valley Bike Trail will be closed fo five months for drainage repair work, starting on the 15th of next month. Ever notice that they seldom seem to close the roadways drivers use for months at a time?

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if government officials really want to save the environment, they should forget electric cars and start subsidizing ebikes.

A bike commuting fashion writer offers tips on how women can dress to ride a bike, with nary a spandex in sight.

A self-described avid bicyclist insists bikes don’t belong on the streets, and says Las Vegas should start building wider sidewalks that bike riders can share with walkers and joggers. Aside from the obvious conflicts of sharing sidewalks, that begs the question, if bikes don’t belong on the streets, where does he ride now?

A memorial sculpture composed of multiple ghost bikes honors the eight bike riders killed in Nevada in 2017.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Kansas man who was out riding with his wife teamed with a cop to rescue a teenage girl trapped in a river.

There’s a special place in hell for the grown men who punched an eleven-year old Nebraska boy in the face to steal his bicycle.

There’s a good reason why business was buzzing at a Texas bike shop.

A Chicago weekly questions whether fears of reckless cyclists are overblown. Gee, you think?

A New York website says the city should take a page from London to make it safe for bike riders.

New York’s leading alternative transpiration advocacy group is looking for a communications associate.

When a New Jersey woman’s car broke down, a group of bike cops who were training nearby were happy to give her a push.

Heartbreaking story from Atlanta, where a married man who had just graduated college with two degrees — paid for by Starbucks, his employer — was killed by a drunk driver as he rode his bike to work at 5 am.

A report from a Georgia public radio station says Atlanta’s rapid growth and lack of safe infrastructure is putting bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, with crashes up 53% in ten years.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Florida, where a 17-month old toddler is dead, her mother in a wheelchair and her father still in a coma, 46 days after a driver jumped the curb and slammed into the family as they were riding on the sidewalk to help the child fall asleep. A GoFundMe account to help pay their medical expenses has raised nearly $45,000 of the $100,000 goal.

 

International

Thirteen bike bells to help drive Quasimodo crazy, and tell other road users that an angel just got its wings.

If you build it, they will come. Despite the usual arguments that no one would ever use it, a 10-year old separated bike path across a Vancouver bridge has proven hugely successful, becoming the busiest bike lane in North America, with over a million bike riders a year.

Speaking of Vancouver, the city is dealing with a rash of bicycle chop shops.

A woman who was injured in a terrorist attack outside London’s Houses of Parliament while riding her bike to work has been too frightened to ride her bike ever since. The driver was convicted of intentionally plowing his car into a group of bike riders waiting on a red light, before attempting to hit a pair of police officers.

Former London mayor and possible prime minister Boris Johnson is accused of lying during a debate about the bike he rode while mayor having been stolen; he’d previously said it died of old age.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a woman walked with a bare slap on the wrist for killing a renowned conservationist because she “just didn’t see him” as he rode his bicycle across the street.

An English e-bikeshare program was scrapped after vandals destroyed the bikes, making it financially unfeasible to go on.

An Irish group calls for separated bikeways because too many women feel judged due to intimidating behavior by men and boys on the road.

Your next Dutch bike could be a shaft-driven ebike that never needs charging.

An Indian website looks at how Hero Cycles got the country on wheels following its independence from the UK.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Denver op-ed calls for equality for women in pro cycling, starting with next month’s Colorado Classic women’s stage race.

London’s Telegraph says Julian Alaphilippe may be a genius on his bike, but questions how long he can hold onto the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Cycling Tips ranks the top four mountain bike jumps over the Tour de France.

The weirdest rules of the world’s greatest bike race.

 

Finally…

One reason it’s better to be a road cyclist than a mountain biker: roadies hardly ever run into bears. Evidently, Alfred Hitchcock was right about the birds.

And a letter to the editor from a self-identified non-Luddite says roads were built for horses, bicycles and streetcars, not cars.

Then again, it was written in 1908.

 

Morning Links: LACBC calls for action on safe streets, bad day for San Diego bike riders, and anti-bike victim blaming bile

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

I was knocked on my ass by another bout with dangerously low blood sugar. Except this time, I couldn’t get back up. 

It took four hours, three fig bars and two cookies to get my blood sugar back up to a minimal safe level. 

Yes, it’s true. 

Your sweets are my life-saving medicine. 

And as anyone with diabetes knows, the toll something like that takes on your body lasts for hours afterwards. 

Which is all a long-winded way to say diabetes sucks. 

So get tested if you’re at risk or have a family history of the disease. Then do everything you can to get your blood sugar back under control, and keep it there. 

Because you don’t want this.

Trust me. 

Now let’s get on with today’s news. Because we have a lot to catch up on. 

Photo by Dan Fador from Pixabay

………

We’ve waited a long time for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC, to step up and take any real action on our streets.

Including during my five-plus years on the board, when I fought a losing rearguard action to encourage them to stop working only behind the scenes, and take good fight to the streets.

It looks like that time is finally here.

They even make it easy for you by including the email addresses for the mayor and city council.

  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
  • councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org
  • david.ryu@lacity.org
  • paul.koretz@lacity.org
  • councilmember.martinez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.rodriguez@lacity.org
  • councilmember.harris-dawson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.price@lacity.org
  • councilmember.wesson@lacity.org
  • councilmember.bonin@lacity.org
  • councilmember.Smith@lacity.org
  • councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org
  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • councilmember.buscaino@lacity.org

Let’s all take a few minutes and email the councilmember for your district. And remember, as the LACBC notes above, to include your address to prove you’re a real, honest to God constituent.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles, contact the councilmembers for any districts where you work or ride, and make it clear you want to be able to bike safely in the City of Angels.

I haven’t had a chance to write my email yet. But I’ll do my best to get it done today.

So I hope you’ll join the LACBC — and yes, me — in demanding safer streets for bike riders, and everyone else, throughout Los Angeles.

And maybe if we all respond, this won’t be the last time the LACBC tries something like this.

If you want to share your email on here, just let me know.

………

Speaking of the LACBC, here’s your chance to tell them to form an associated 501(c)4, so they can engage in direct political action without risking their tax-exempt status.

SoCal’s largest bike advocacy group, the LACBC wants your comments on what direction they should take at a Community Input Forum on Saturday, July 27th, as they regroup to confront the challenges of bicycling in Los Angeles.

You already know what I think.

If not, read these last two sections again.

………

Saturday was a very bad day in San Diego.

In what was initially a very confusing story, a 60-year old man suffered a life-threatening head injury when he allegedly descended too fast on a steep hill in the city’s Park West neighborhood around 3 pm, made an “unsafe” move to the right and somehow clipped a car mirror.

It made more sense when the Union-Tribune clarified that he clipped the mirror of a parked car; he was thrown several feet onto the pavement as a result.

Just three hours later, someone described only as a teenager was riding on Claremont Blvd in Kearney Mesa when he or she was struck by an SUV turning onto the northbound I-805 onramp; the driver claimed he didn’t see the victim until it was too late.

Which should be seen as a confession, but usually serves only as a Get Out of Jail Free card to absolve drivers of any responsibility.

The driver remained at the scene, while his passenger jumped out to perform CPR on the victim.

Naturally, the CHP investigators blamed the victim, saying he or she wasn’t riding in the crosswalk. Even though bike riders aren’t expected or required to use a crosswalk.

And even though bicyclists still get ticketed for riding in a crosswalk, which is legal in California following a recent change in the law.

It’s not the first crash at that intersection, either.

Early reports indicated the victim had died, but other sources revised their stories to say it was unclear whether or not the victim was still alive.

Sadly, it seems like prayers and good thoughts are called for in both cases.

Chances are, we’ll hear more about one or both cases in the next few days.

Thanks to JMK for the reminder about the deadly intersection.

………

No bias here.

An anti-bike op-ed from an anti-bike writer in the generally anti-bike New York Post says it’s your own damn fault if you get killed.

The two things that might have prevented this horror — training and adherence to rules — are tellingly absent from the protesting cyclists’ list of demands.Not to put too fine a point on it, cyclists are frequently their own worst enemy, and their presence has made everyone less safe.

Of course, automobiles are more dangerous than bikes, but adding cyclists to the mix, many of whom refuse to obey traffic laws, has compounded that hazard.

Never mind that in many, if not most, of the New York’s recent bicycling fatalities the victim didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

But clearly, he doesn’t let that give him a moment’s pause.

When Mayor Mike Bloomberg began wedging bike lanes into our already crammed streets, it wasn’t to meet a demand — it was to create one. To promote cycling, he and then-DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, a bike enthusiast, threw caution to the wind and encouraged cyclists to hit the streets without so much as a helmet law, which might have deterred ridership, especially among the affluent, arrogant, scofflaw cyclists who want to use the city as their own personal racetrack.

Of course, only affluent people ride bikes.

Even though bike commuters are more likely to come from low income households, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone saddled with monthly car payments — let alone gas, insurance, maintenance and taxes.

And as well all know, anyone who rides a bike arrogantly insists on not getting killed by some random jerk. Like say, the writer of that piece, for instance.

It was a recipe for disaster, and the disproportionately influential, ceaselessly kvetching bicycle-advocacy groups capitalized on every heart-rending fatality to further their agenda.

Nobody elected the advocacy outfit Transportation Alternatives to speak for New Yorkers. It isn’t a safety organization, a cadre of seasoned city planners or even some impartial arbiter seeking what’s best for everyone; it’s a bunch of mainly upscale cyclists trying to make the city more navigable for themselves.

Actually, they did.

TransAlt is one of the nation’s largest and most effective alternative transportation and traffic advocacy groups, composed of thousands of average, everyday New Yorkers who elected the group to speak for them.

Then there’s this BS.

It’s not at all unusual to see them texting or riding hands-free as they careen through traffic. Close calls have become a daily occurrence, especially for the elderly and disabled, whose reflexes aren’t ideal for evading speeding cyclists.

Case in point, two months ago, 67-year-old Donna Sturm died after being mowed down by a cyclist who ran a red light in Midtown. If bicyclists can ride fast enough to kill, they ride too fast to enjoy exemption from the training, certification, insurance and identifiable licensing required for the use of every other vehicle on our streets.

Just wait until someone tells him about cars, whose drivers have killed far more New Yorkers than the single person killed by a jackass bike rider this year.

Not to mention that simply bumping into someone while walking can cause a fatal fall — as can tripping over your own shoelaces.

Which by his reasoning means that every person who steps out of their home or apartment must be trained, licensed, insured and certified.

Good luck with that.

We’ll leave the discussion on this final outpouring of faux journalistic bile.

Bike lanes haven’t made anyone any safer, but they have inarguably taken traffic congestion from bad to intolerable. The narrowing of our city’s critical arteries to accommodate a tiny minority whose vehicles are rendered impractical all winter and on rainy days seems to have been irrationally prioritized with regard to triage.

Maybe he should do just a little research before guessing like that. And missing by a mile.

But then, what would you expect from someone who pops up periodically with his anti-bike, but seems to be a ghost otherwise?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

A Bay Area bike rider was pleasantly surprised when another bicyclist returned his lost money clip, completely intact, just an hour after tweeting that it was missing.

………

Driverless cars may not be coming anytime soon.

But a new company plans to introduce fully automated delivery pods in the near future.

And plans to take your hard-won space on the street to do it, knocking us from second class citizens to ranking somewhere behind a bunch of robots.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

An Arizona man faces charges for swerving into a bike lane and killing a bike rider, while under the influence of a veritable pharmacopeia of legal and illegal drugs.

Taylor acknowledged taking methadone — a drug used to treat addiction — earlier that day, but he initially denied any other drug use. After failing several impairment tests, he was arrested at about 9 p.m., according to the report.

Taylor later tested positive for opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine and methadone, the police report said. He told officers he had used meth and heroin earlier in the week before taking methadone the same day as the collision.

Police also found heroin and paraphernalia in his possession, according to the police report.

 

Let’s hope he can manage to get clean in whatever deep, dark hole they throw him in.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the worldwide war on bikes just keeps going on, as someone has been sabotaging popular British bike paths by placing medieval-style booby traps across the trails.

………

Local

Mariah Banks pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year, despite reportedly confessing when she turned herself into the police weeks after the crash.

Metro wants you to help rank their priorities for Our Next LA.

An ebike magazine goes e-mountain biking with recently retired former LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who helped get the department back on bicycles.

Burbank is studying how to improve safety for people riding bicycles as part the city’s Complete Streets plan, while the mayor calls for “quick and dirty” solutions.

 

State

Speaking of San Diego, the city has made the first installment in the promise by city leaders to remake the downtown area to be safer and more inviting for people on bikes, with parking protected bike lanes, bollards and green intersections appearing on three streets.

A group of bicyclists are riding across the US to raise money for families in need, starting at the site of the Poway synagogue shooting.

A Santa Maria paper says people in cars may be safer, but bike riders and pedestrians, not so much.

Oakland promises its new equitable bike plan will be accessible to everyone, regardless of identity.

 

National

The new Complete Streets Act introduced in both houses of Congress would require states to set aside 5% of federal highway funds for streets that serve all road users.

It’s getting rough in the Great Plains, as a Kansas cop rear-ended a fleeing bike rider while driving on the sidewalk. And an Oklahoma cop tasered an apparently intoxicated bike rider who refused to stop, even though the victim didn’t pose a direct treat to to the officer or anyone else.

Someone please tell this Illinois TV station that sharrows are not bike lanes.

Pittsburgh bike riders are leaving their bikes on buses. Or someone’s, anyway.

A Pennsylvania doctor thanks the four strangers who saved his life when he was struck with a sudden heart attack while riding his bike.

Speaking for NIMBY’s everywhere, a Boston writer says don’t mess with our street, promising to fight plans for a road diet and bike lanes, in an apparent effort to keep it dangerous.

No shit. New York’s police commissioner agrees that the NYPD’s longstanding policy of ticketing bicyclists following a fatal bike crash is just a tad insensitive. You think?

The New York Times wants to know what the hell happened to a city that was supposed to be getting better for bike riders, while Bicycling says it’s shocking just how badly New York is failing people who ride bicycles.

NYC councilmembers want to ensure the city’s expanding bikeshare program serves low-income residents, too.

Does it really surprise anyone that cars — or more precisely, the people operating them — are more dangerous than guns on the streets of the Big Apple?

A homeless man in Louisiana learned the hard way not to stick around the parking lot begging for money after you walk out of Walmart with a stolen bike.

An op-ed in the local paper says people should warned explicitly that riding a bicycle just about anywhere in the Charleston SC area is inherently unsafe, while the paper hopes the third time is the charm to get approval for a bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

International

The good, the bad, and the ugliest bikeways around the world.

A Canadian driver swerved to avoid a crash as a group of Gran Fondo cyclists cut into his lane at the last second to avoid a fall in the peloton.

A Toronto newspaper politely explains the point of ebikes, calling them the great equalizer, while a writer in the city tries bikeshare for the first time, and decides it should be expanded.

A climate change protester shut down a British airfield for 20 minutes to protest a military air show as he road his bike on the runway, pursued by firefighters and service members.

A UK YouTube star became the first person in the country to be killed in an e-scooter crash.

Adding insult to injury, an English thief not only stole a teenage boy’s bike, he flipped the victim off while riding away with it.

Maltese bicyclists complain about dangerously substandard bike lanes. Especially the section that dead-ends into a brick wall. Oh, and the green paint is slippery, too.

An Indian ex-con hated life on the outside, and the abuse he suffered from his wife and kids, so much that he stole a bicycle to get back to his friends behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten won her second Giro Rosa in a row, only finishing out of the top seven twice in the ten-stage race.

In your spoiler-free Tour de France update, the difficult terrain on Saturday’s 8th stage shook up the standings.

Le Tour went gravel grinding last week, forcing French pro Romain Bardet well off the pace.

Amazing photo catches defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas in midair as he crashes, landing on teammate Gianni Moscon while snapping Moscon’s bike in two and sending him to the hospital.

Then there were three. Tejay van Garderen dropped out of the Tour de France after breaking his hand in a fall, leaving just three American cyclists in the raceVeloNews considers why such crashes are inevitable.

The newly reformatted Colorado Classic announced the course for the August race, as it transforms into a strictly women’s stage race.

Horrible news from the world of track cycling, where a 17-year old Italian cyclist was in intensive care after he was impaled when a piece of the track splintered and punctured his lung at the European U-23 and Junior Track Championships.

 

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever crash into outdoor cafes, and when they do, the result is usually a little spilled coffee and avocado toast. Before you sell a bike on Letgo, make sure it’s really yours.

And this is who we share the roads with, too.

Note the bike tally on his door.

 

Morning Links: Happy Bike to Work Day, Pasadena bike rider injured in hit-and-run, and close call on Orange Line Bike Path

Happy soggy Bike to Work Day!

Hopefully the weather will hold off, so you’ll be able to get out and ride your Bike to Work commute today.

And hopefully the LACBC and LADOT will both keep their promised morning pit stops, despite the forecast.

Especially since both promise fresh donuts and coffee instead of the usual Bike to Work Day energy bar fare.

https://twitter.com/zrch4light/status/1128787896897458176

If no one shows up on Bike to Work Day, they can feel free to send any leftover donuts my way, since it looks like at least another month before I can ride my bike anywhere besides my living room.

Meanwhile, another 74 pit stops are promised throughout the LA area, though no telling whether they will still be there if it rains.

If your commute is too wet, you can hop a bus or train; most local transit systems are offering free rides to anyone accompanied by a bike or helmet today, including Metro and Metrolink. And if the rain lets up, the unimaginatively named Metro Bike bikeshare will be free, as well.

On the other hand, Santa Monica has wisely moved their Bike to Work pit stops at City Hall and the Bike Center to tomorrow, when the forecast calls for drier weather.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.com.

………

A Pasadena man is recovering from critical injuries after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike across Orange Grove Blvd.

Police tracked the driver to a nearby apartment, where he was taken into custody on suspicion of being drunk and stoned behind the wheel.

And if the street sounds familiar, it’s the same one where Rose City NIMBYs were driven to a frenzy by a group affiliated with traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving to demand that the city keep the street dangerous.

Clearly, they succeeded.

………

Brayden Dakota captured bike cam video of a close call on a blind intersection near the Canoga Station on the Orange Line Bike Path.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve seen video of a similar near-collision at that location. Hopefully someone will finally do something to fix the problem, so it will be the last.

………

A new study from a German insurance company ranks Vancouver, British Columbia, as North America’s 2nd best city for bicycling.

The Canadian city was ranked 37th out of the world’s 90 top cities, compared to Montreal at 18th.

San Francisco was the best bike city in the US at 39th, followed by Portland and Seattle.

Not surprisingly, Utrecht in the Netherlands ranked first, followed by Munster, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium.

Despite its vaunted cycle superhighways, London failed to crack the top 50.

Very surprising, though, was Los Angeles actually making the list at 56th, primarily because we ranked first for the world’s best bicycling weather, though you couldn’t prove it today.

Although we did make another much shorter list awhile back.

………

Good long read from Curbed on reclaiming the feminist legacy of bicycling.

Recovering the feminist legacy of cycling requires overcoming the practical obstacles that keep women off bikes, and making sure women’s voices are heard in city planning. But perhaps most importantly, it will mean reclaiming the joy, pleasure, and sense of possibility that those early cyclists felt. Women deserve to reconnect with the idea that by riding our bikes we are creating a better future, for ourselves and for our cities.

………

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders.

A Wisconsin teenager was shot in the head as he was riding a bike, in an apparently random, apparently unintentional shooting.

And someone shot an Indianapolis man twice in the leg as he was on an early morning bike ride.

………

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere.

A British Columbia driver calmly cruises down a bike lane, passing traffic on the right, before eventually turning onto a freeway onramp.

………

Watch a hydraulic press destroy an odd assortment of helmets in a fun, but totally meaningless, demonstration.

………

Local

KCRW wants to know if Los Angeles can clean its dirty air. Unless the city provides viable safe alternatives to driving, no.

Streetsblog looks at Tuesday’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital in DTLA; Joni Yung offers photos from the event.

KABC-7 says the bike club at Los Angeles Leadership Academy is helping to keep kids motivated and headed in the right direction.

LADOT says plans are moving forward for safety improvements on Winnetka, including nearly a mile of bike lanes, spurred at least in part by the death of a 72-year old bike rider last September. I’m the first to criticize the city council when it’s called for, so let me thank CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield for responding to this tragedy and helping push this project through.

The Pasadena Star-News previews Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event, which will see streets closed to motor vehicles through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel, predicting a turnout of 20,000 people. With more rain forecast for Sunday, they may be right; turnout on a sunny day could be several times that.

The Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association will hold a pot luck meeting Thursday evening; among the items to be discussed are proposed enhancements to Cordova Street, including suggestions for a bike lane extending to Arroyo Parkway.

An internationally renowned Palos Verdes artist is staging his first show since he was nearly killed riding his bike on PCH in Malibu after finishing an organized century ride.

Long Beach votes to make e-scooters a permanent addition to the city, while tripling the number allowed.

 

State

Calbike says a pair of bike-friendly bills are making their way through the legislature, including tax vouchers for ebikes, which is scheduled for a vote in the Senate today.

A writer in an Ocean Beach paper says bicycling is great, but he’d rather have parking and his right turn on red back, thank you.

The 13th Annual San Diego Century ride rolls this Saturday, and will be passing through Ramona.

A 10-year old Cambria girl with cerebral palsy can ride a bike for the first time, after a nonprofit and a Texas bikemaker help provide her with an adaptive ebike.

Lyft promises to bring their Jump dockless ebikes back to the Bay Area by June, a full three months before they’ll return to the Big Apple.

Los Angeles should take a clue from Oakland, and add adaptive bikes for people with disabilities to the Metro Bike bikeshare.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paralyzed Richmond man’s mountain bike handcycle, a crowdfunding page to help pay for a replacement has raised $3,000 of the $10,000 goal.

No surprise here. A Sacramento teenager is suing the police for assault and excessive force, among other allegations, after officers intentionally ran him down on the sidewalk as he tried to flee a traffic stop — for not having a light on his bike.

 

National

A new study shows that 37 million Americans think they put themselves in danger from distracted listening while wearing headphones over the past year.

Uber tells its passengers to stop dooring bike riders already.

Let’s face it. What you really need is a good ale trail.

Forget the standard argument over bike lanes versus parking; near Salt Lake City, it’s bikes versus birds.

Denver is planning to add 17 miles of “high comfort” bike lanes this year, a down payment on the 125 miles planned for the next five years.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a Chicago-area driver fled the scene after running down a 6-year old girl on her bike, despite having a revoked license; the schmuck abandoned his truck — and his dog — then turned himself in the next day, most likely giving himself plenty of time to sober up.

A Minnesota letter writer says the law should be changed so kids can ride salmon, because her friend hit some bicycling teens 40 years ago.

No, 25News in Fenton MI, you don’t have to be an “avid” bicyclist to celebrate Bike Month.

A Boston bike shop manager and triathlete offers safety tips for riding your bike. And gets them right for a change.

A Syracuse NY public radio station discusses the meaning of Complete Streets.

A Pennsylvania TV station warns about breaking the law by allowing the bike rack on your car to block your license plate. That’s illegal here in California, as well, though it seems to be seldom enforced.

Baltimore’s drunken, killer hit-and-run ex-bishop is officially out of prison after serving just half of her seven year sentence for fatally running down a man riding a bike. Let’s hope she got sober while she was behind bars. And that a condition of her parole is no more driving. Period.

A Baltimore newspaper explains why car ownership continues to climb in the US, despite alternatives.

They get it. A North Carolina TV station says drivers need to do their part to improve safety by not parking in bike lanes and other multi-use lanes.

 

International

An Ottawa, Canada man is back in the saddle for the first time in a decade after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision, as he trains for a 2K ride on a walking bike — basically a three-wheeled adult balance bike.

Road.cc offers advice for British bike riders who’ve been in a crash, most of which applies on this side of the Atlantic, as well. We should all be jealous of a country where bicyclists are entitled to free legal advice.

The Department of DIY struck in the UK, where someone anonymously posted warning signs after a bike-riding girl was hit by a bus.

An English man rode his custom bike 9,500 miles across the US. And naturally had it stolen once he made it to California.

Um, okay. A Zambian witch-doctor was sentenced to 18 year hard labor for indecent assault against five elderly people that he blamed for using witchcraft to make a boy fall off his bike and die; he took them to a graveyard and made them undress and lie on a grave, then rolled on them to exorcize their powers.

Israeli authorities are charging an ebike rider for the death of a pedestrian after he went through a crowded crosswalk at 15 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wednesday’s Giro offered a preview of what the Amgen Tour of California riders may have to look forward to today.

French cyclist Remi Cavagna rode an “audacious” solo breakaway to victory in the Amgen Tour of California in Tuesday’s third stage. Although he could stand a few lessons on how to descend.

Evidently, Mark Cavendish is no fan of the AToC, comparing Monday’s second stage to sitting on an indoor trainer for seven hours.

Ventura sisters and pro cyclists Kendall and Alexis Ryan discuss women’s parity in cycling in advance of Thursday’s first stage of the truncated women’s Tour of California.

A sports website predicts misery and pain for the women’s teams in the Tour’s three stages, especially on Mt. Baldy and the final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena.

VeloNews calls the women’s race a dynamic route with a competitive lineup.

 

Finally…

Don’t just watch Stranger Things, ride it. Seriously, if you’re a known gang member carrying a gun and heroin on your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, not the gun. Or the heroin.

And why stop for lunch, when you can just have it delivered while you’re stuck in traffic?

 

Morning Links: LA club rider suffers life-threatening injuries, distracted driving addicts, and LACBC Bike Month calendar

Once again, we seem to be the bearer of bad news.

Very bad, in this case.

I’m told a Los Angeles-area man is on life support after a solo crash while on a club ride last weekend.

I was forwarded this Facebook post from his ex-wife. However, I’m withholding his name for now out of respect for his family.

As many of you know, my ex-husband was in a horrible bike accident on Saturday morning. He had ridden from the Rose Bowl to Duarte with his bike group, and while the group was riding in a parking lot at the Santa Fe Dam, he hit a parking curb at low speed and went over the bike’s handlebars. He hit the ground face first, so his helmet offered no protection. He fractured his skull, broke his neck and spine, and suffered many other injuries. Yesterday the neurologist said that he couldn’t detect any brain activity, and that there is about a 1% chance of the best case scenario at this point, persistent vegetation. The Don we knew is gone.

My heart aches for our children…Don loves them dearly and is very proud of them, as we all are. I am also sad for his loving family and friends who will miss him dearly. And I am so, so sad for Don, his suffering, and the lost opportunities and experiences he will never have…

I’m heading back to County USC with the kids this morning. Don is on a ventilator in an induced coma, and the hospital is still running diagnostic tests on him. Please send up a prayer or good thoughts for him and his loved ones. Show your family and friends how much you love them, savor the blessings you have and pay them forward. You never know what life will deal you.

 

As she says, prayers or good thoughts are in order, whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tell your loved ones how much you care now, before your next ride.

Because bicycling is usually a safe activity. But as this case reminds us, bad things can happen unexpectedly.

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

According to the LA Times, insurance companies are tracking distracted driving and smartphone usage by drivers. And the news isn’t good.

Although that shouldn’t surprise anyone who spends much time on the streets.

The report says one out of every 12 drivers is considered to be addicted to their phones, which they define as looking at a smartphone at least a third of the time while driving. A number that’s predicted to rise to 20% of all drivers within the next three years.

Yet remarkably, one-third of the worst distracted driving offenders consider themselves extremely safe drivers.

Right up to the point they run someone else down. And then probably blame the other person.

The story says apps that remind drivers to put their phones down or track how much they use their phones while driving can cut usage by 35% to 40%.

But the only real solution will be requiring smartphone makers and carriers to block everything but navigation apps and 911 calls on the driver’s phone while the car is in motion.

And yes, that includes the text readers and in-dash internet systems car makers inexplicably insist on building into their vehicles to satisfy their phone-addicted customers — and make them more dangerous for everyone else.

………

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for an LA Green New Deal was criticized for it’s auto-centric focus and waiting until it’s already too late to address climate change.

Not to mention halving the commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year that we were promised in the 2010 bike plan.

And since LADOT shifted to measuring distances in lane miles after the plan was adopted — in effect counting each side of the roadway as separate bike lanes — that actually works out to just 10 miles of new bike lanes per deal.

Not exactly a solid commitment to a greener, bike-friendlier future.

………

It’s May.

Which means Bike Month in Los Angeles, and most of the US.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has kindly provided a calendar of Bike Month events in the City of Angels.

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

Sadly, the annual Bike Month wrap-up at Union Station isn’t on it, which mens it’s probably not happening this year.

………

Congressional leaders met with Donald Trump yesterday morning, and left with an agreement for a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

Sort of.

After the meeting, the White House waffled on the price tag, and both sides agreed to meet in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.

And only then will discussions begin on what, exactly, the government will buy with that money — if, and only if, they actually agree on funding, which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

The good news is, along with highway and bridge repairs, airports, mass transit and high speed internet, there could be a few dollars left over for bikeways.

We hope.

………

Local

CiclaValley catches three bad drivers in the space of just two minutes.

Los Angeles has agreed to share data with Waze and other similar apps in exchange for excluding some streets from their rat run, cut through driving route recommendations.

LAist considers LA’s first two-way bike lane in context of the bikelash we’ve seen in other areas.

The mayor of Inglewood appeared to be responsible for a collision near USC that left an injured LAPD motorcycle cop as collateral damage.

Pasadena is in the final design process for its first two-way protected bike lane on Union Street. The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the project.

Santa Monica will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Monday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Despite widespread handwringing over e-scooter injuries, statistics from Santa Monica’s pilot program shows just 89 scooter related injuries last year; 49 of those involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

 

State

San Diego’s iCan Bike camp has been helping kids with disabilities learn to ride a bike for a full decade.

About damn time. A street in San Diego’s North Park and South Park neighborhoods will lose up to 420 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. That was my neighborhood when I lived in San Diego. So once again, somewhere I used to live finally becomes bike friendly long after I’m gone. Which means I may have to leave Los Angeles before it finally becomes the bicycling paradise it’s meant to be.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a World Cup mountain biker shows of the trails of his hometown.

A teenaged Vacaville robber was busted by a cop on a borrowed bike, when someone loaned the officer a bicycle to pursue the suspect through a rugged park.

Someone has been tossing nails on an Orangevale street for the past six months. And for a change, they’ve been nailing more than bike tires.

Railroad fans have filed suit against Sacramento to halt plans to remove unused rails to make room for a bike path, in hopes that they could be used for a vaporware excursion train someday.

 

National

Outside recommends the best cycling gear from their recent bike tests. I’ll take the Bontrager lights and Fizik road shoes, thank you.

Treehugger explains how to build a solar powered shed to recharge your ebike.

More proof that sidewalks aren’t the safest place to ride. A 16-year old Washington bike rider was injured when a driver decided to use a parking lot as his own personal cut-through lane to avoid stopping for a red light. But sure, tell me again how bicyclists never stop for traffic signals.

Montana police busted a pair of apparent bike thieves when they stopped a suspicious vehicle, and found a “high-value” bicycle in the back that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.

There may be a dispute over just how effective bike helmets are on the streets. But a North Dakota climate expert says put one on for tornado protection.

Tragic news from Tulsa OK, where a woman fled to Mexico before she could face charges for the death of her five-year old son, who was hit by a car after he fell off an e-scooter she was allegedly riding in a reckless manner; she didn’t even stick around for her own son’s funeral.

A Chicago boy received a new bike built for him by members of a girls soccer team, part of a program for high school students to give 100 bicycles to children of military service members.

A Minneapolis health company’s new office is designed around a bicycling theme, including bike seats and handlebars, to go along with the cycling team they sponsor.

That’s more like it. An Indiana city considers fining drivers $1,000 for dooring a bike rider.

Tragic news from Cincinnati, where a man pled guilty to accidentally shooting his own 13-year old cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang dispute as he rode his bike home after helping clean a community center after school.

Pennsylvania considers allowing parking protected bike lanes on state roads; they’re already legal on city-owned streets.

We so need this in Los Angeles. A beta app allows DC road users to report dangerous drivers and look up their license plates for citations and outstanding tickets.

The Washington Post offers nine things to consider before you decide to go carfree. Including whether you live in sprawling Los Angeles.

Baltimore’s drunken, hit-and-run Episcopal bishop will be released from prison this month after serving just half of her seven-year sentence for killing a bike rider; Heather Cook was defrocked after her conviction, but her victim’s children will spend a lifetime without their father.

As long as you’re going to break into a Florida bike shop and walk out with a $3,500 mountain bike, you might as well take the change from the cash register with you.

 

International

A new self-charging, belt drive, single speed ebike promises you may never have to charge it.

Yes, it may have pedals. But that doesn’t make it a bicycle.

Victoria, British Columbia, has appointed Canada’s first bicycle mayor.

Instead of expanding the Saskatoon bike network, city leaders vote to roll it back by removing a bike lane and slowing down further implementation.

A Toronto website lists the city’s best neighborhoods for people who ride bikes.

A European website says a new bike registration system in Brussels can guarantee you’ll never have your bike stolen again. Actually, it only means your bike could be recovered if it’s stolen and someone finds it.

Clearly, beauty is no protection from dangerous drivers. The runner-up to 2017’s Miss France was killed in a collision while riding her bike with a friend, when she swerved to avoid a driver and was struck by a tractor driver pulling a load of logs.

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

An elite Australian cyclist is dead, and a 21-year old woman will face charges for killing him, because she couldn’t resist texting her boyfriend seconds before running him down.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another bike racer has been killed in a traffic collision. Thirty-year old Australian amateur Damion Drapac was killed in a head-on collision while riding to a bike race. If the name sounds familiar, his father is the owner of the Drapac-Cannondale development team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a dog holds more world records for riding a bike than you do. Coworking in a parking space for a pocketful of quarters.

And who needs a tent when you can tow your home behind your bike?

 

Morning Links: Red Solo Cup protected bike lanes Friday, CiclaValley leaves LACBC, and more on Sunnyvale attack

Oh the joys of diabetes. 

I’ve been on a blood sugar roller coaster for the last 12 hours, spiking, then crashing, then spiking and crashing again.

I’ve done my best to fight through it and finish today’s post, despite the swimming head and uncontrollable full body shakes that come with it. 

But I finally have to throw in the towel. 

I’m about two-thirds through what promised to be another epic post. So instead of holding off posting anything until tomorrow, I’m publishing what I’ve got so far. 

I’ll catch up on the rest after I’ve managed to sleep off this awful feeling.

Which could take awhile. 

………

Get your red plastic Solo Cups out on Friday. And make your very own protected bike lane.

All week we’ve been keeping up with stories about the tragic death of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was killed in a collision by the driver of a stolen van.

One thing Salovesh was famous for was making his own DIY protected bike lanes using the iconic red cups.

So this Friday, bicyclists around the country will honor him while making the case for improving bicycle safety by with their own red Solo Cup protected bike lanes.

Just head down to your local store, buy a bag or two, and place them on any bike lane you want turned into a protected lane.

Maybe if enough of us do it, in enough locations around the city, our civic leaders might actually get the point and do something about it.*

We can dream, can’t we?

Meanwhile, a DC paper looks at the long journey the ghost bike for Salovesh took to get to the street, including the city’s long-time failure to improve safety that led to his death. 

*I’m using us here, when I really mean you. Unfortunately, there are no bike lanes in Hollywood close enough for me to hobble to with my cane. So go out and mark one for me. And let’s hope someone finally gets around to striping a few around here before I regain my mobility, grab some spray paint and make ’em myself. 

………

It looks like the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition is going to be even more short handed for awhile.

After the departure of three staff members due to a budget shortfall caused by the bike coalition’s previous, short-lived executive director, now comes word that Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, is leaving after four years.

Rynew announced his decision on Facebook late Wednesday after struggling with it for several days.

When pressed for the reasons behind his departure, he said he was making himself available for today’s NFL draft, in hopes of being the oldest and most seriously out of football playing shape player taken in the first round.

If he said he was declaring for the NHL draft, I might believe him.

His departure leaves the LACBC seriously understaffed, and with a loss of experience and knowledge that will take some time to replace. Which is compounded by the board’s decision to implement four-year term limits, leading to a significant loss of institutional knowledge.

It’s not unusual to have staff turnover when a new ED comes in, as various people decide they don’t fit with the new leadership. Or have that decision made for them.

Let’s hope the new leadership can keep the coalition on track and active in the streets while they deal with all these staff changes.

Because frankly, we need them if we’re ever going to improve safety on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

………

The FBI has joined the investigation into a speeding driver who intentionally slammed into eight people waiting at a Sunnyvale intersection, including bike riders and pedestrians, seriously injuring four of the victims.

The driver, Isaiah Joel Peoples, now faces eight counts of attempted murder.

………

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

After attempting to run a pair of bike riders off the road for no apparent reason — even though they were in a bike lane — a Utah driver pulled in front and brake checked them, then sped off with one victim still caught on the car’s spoiler.

A London driver yelled at a man on a bike to get to the side of the road, even though he was waiting legally at an advanced stop, then intentionally rammed his bicycle before driving off. Which other kindhearted and concerned drivers immediately responded to by honking at the bike rider to get up off the road and out of their damn way.

………

Local

The accused bike-riding South LA Slasher was finally arraigned on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea.

LADOT somehow concludes that a speeding hit-and-run driver and the wet roadway caused the crash that took the life of a woman on Hyperion Ave this past January, rather than the unsafe conditions on the street itself. But decide to make some fixes to it anyway.

Fox 11 looks at LA’s new plan to provide permanent memorials for fallen bicyclists.

The Press-Telegram reports you can’t drive on Long Beach’s Pacific Ave on Saturday due to this weekend’s Beach Streets open streets festival, but says that’s a good thing.

 

State

San Diego approves a permitting process for dockless bikeshare and e-scooters, as angry residents get out their torches and pitchforks. Meanwhile, a San Diego planning board calls for a protected bike lane on Point Loma Blvd.

You can still sign up for Saturday’s Joshua Tree 55 Bike Ride in Twentynine Palms.

San news from San Francisco, where a dump truck driver killed professional skateboarder Pablo Ramirez Tuesday afternoon; in a tragic irony, the San Francisco Chronicle says his stunts were death defying.

More sad news, this time from Sacramento, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike Tuesday night.

Zombie cars strike again. A Loleta news site writes that a woman was struck by an SUV while riding her bike, without ever mentioning that the vehicle had a driver.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the most beautiful custom and handmade bikes from this year’s North American Handmade Bike Show.

No bias here. An Arizona newspaper writes about the problem of “rampant cyclists” on the town’s streets, as one woman calls for rumble strips or speed bumps to slow the riders down — even though that could result in countless crashes and serious injuries. But hey, that would slow them down, right?

Forget Bike to Work Day. The next town over from my hometown is challenging businesses to encourage their employees to bike to work for the next two months.

An Iowa paper encourages drivers to share the road, after record flooding forces bike riders off popular trails and onto the streets. Whether they want to be there or not.

My favorite story of the day. A bighearted Ohio motorcycle cop stopped to help a couple of kids learn how to ride a bike without training wheels.

Buffalo NY college students reinvent the laufmaschine, aka dandy horse, in response to the current climate challenge.

Advocates call the NYPD’s heavy-handed crackdown on bell-less bicyclists racist and wrong, while some of the harassment victims tell their own stories.

No bias here. After a Virginia cop hit a bike rider, police somehow conclude he had no responsibility to look to the right to ensure the sidewalk was clear before making a right turn on a red light; here’s video of the same crash from another angle. Thanks to Janet Lafluer for the second link.

A North Carolina writer worries authorities will be coming after his bikes, after a Republican legislator introduces a bill requiring licenses for bicycles.

Kindhearted St. Petersburg police officers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man who biked to work every day after his was stolen.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Canadian bike rider was seriously injured when she was sideswiped by a truck driver, the case against the driver who hit her was dismissed because prosecutors didn’t establish that she was riding a bicycle.

Once again, businesses are shooting themselves in the foot, this time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where they’re opposing bike lanes on a downtown street — despite multiple studies showing bike lanes are good for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike Snob says bike racing, I wish I knew how to quit you.

An Illinois attorney set two age-group world records for women over 50 at a Mexico City track cycling event earlier this month.

 

Finally…

When you somehow think riding a Penny Farthing will get you a Brexit job. If you just stole a bike, try not to sell it back to the bike shop that originally sold it.

And it may be rented out by a bike shop, but this is definitely not an ebike.

 

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

………

Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

………

Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

……….

Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

………

Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

………

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

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

……..

Always inspect your bike before a ride.

………

Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

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Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

https://twitter.com/GoldenKnights/status/1089303215332483072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhl.com%2Fnews%2Fshort-shifts-marc-andre-fleury-kris-letang-all-star-game-electric-scooters%2Fc-304245710

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

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