Tag Archive for LADOT

LADOT drops DTLA bike lanes in favor of parking, Pomona thinks bike lanes are for kids, and LAFD on bikes

One quick note.

I renewed my annual membership in the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition last night.

With the LACBC facing financial difficulties stemming from the coronavirus crisis, as well as major financial mismanagement by the previous executive director, who shall forevermore go unnamed here, it’s more important than ever to join or renew your membership

Or just make a donation to keep the LACBC fighting for your right to ride safely on our streets. 

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I have a confession to make.

Ever since the company my wife works for — correction, worked for — shut down for the coronavirus lockdown, never to return, I haven’t been able to dig into the details on bike projects the way I’d like.

As much as I enjoy having her around, I miss those nine hours or so to myself everyday to gets things done.

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is here to take up the slack.

Because one of those projects, which I mentioned here last week, would install bus lanes, along with left-side protected bike lanes, on one-way 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA.

But what I didn’t realize was that those bike lanes are only planned for just over half of the 1.3 mile project.

As Joe explains it,

Overall this is a good project. It’s a worthwhile improvement over what is out there today.

I did get a little frustrated about bike lanes on these streets. The city is adding left-side bike lanes (a one-way street best practice – like bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets) but only on about 0.7-mile of the overall 1.3-mile project – just over half the project. The issue is parking – there are two blocks of on-street parking that would need to be removed. While I personally would favor removing that parking, I understand it’s not easy politically.

I am still frustrated though that the city is basically throwing out 7 blocks of bike lanes because just 2 blocks are difficult. I wrote a letter to try to get the city to do the remaining 5 easy blocks of bike lane – which would connect Pershing Square with the downtown library.

That’s right.

LADOT, which is supposedly tasked with implementing the mobility plan, bike plan, Vision Zero, and the mayor’s Green New Deal plan to dramatically reduce driving in the city, is skipping a full seven blocks of bike lanes in favor of two lousy blocks of car parking.

In Downtown Los Angeles, no less, which UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup describes as having more parking per acre than any other city.

No, anywhere.

Which pretty much tells you where people on bicycles rate in the city’s transportation hierarchy these days.

Like several steps below cars. And maybe a step or two above road kill.

Fortunately, Joe’s not one to soft pedal something like this.

He suggests emailing city officials to politely request that they install additional bike lanes, at least on the five blocks where it doesn’t require the removal of parking spaces, and wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

And he even provides a sample letter, while stressing that you should put it in your own words.

Email addresses:

  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • seleta.reynolds@lacity.org
  • and bcc Joe Linton at linton.joe@gmail.com)

Sample letter:

Honorable Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, and General Manager Reynolds –

I write to you in support of adding bus and bike lanes to the greatest extent possible on 5th and 6th Streets downtown.

BSS is repaving these streets starting June 15th. LADOT announced that bus lanes will be added from Figueroa to Central, and left-side bike lanes will be added from Spring to Central.

Thank you all for your role in bringing much needed bus lanes, which will improve transit, air quality, equity, and quality of life for Angelenos.

Thank you all for the needed bike lanes, which will improve safety and health. I urge you though to extend the bike lanes further than the current announced length. It appears that LADOT is skipping seven blocks (Figueroa to Spring) of bike lanes to preserve two blocks (Hill to Spring) of parking.

At a minimum, the city should install a left-side bike lane for the missing five blocks – from Hill to Figueroa – where there is sufficient space and no parking removal necessary. Adding this bike lane would keep cyclists safer, as well as keeping us out of the bus lane, making the bus lane more effective.

Sincerely,

[name]
[street address]

I’ll send my email later today. And I hope you will, too.

Because there’s no reason our safety should take a backseat to a parked car.

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Apparently, bike lanes are for kids in Pomona. Or at least, they now come under the Youth Services budget.

Thanks to Eric Griswold for the heads-up.

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Who needs a firetruck or paramedic unit when you’ve got bicycles?

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Bike Angeles takes a hi-def bike tour of the UCLA campus.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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This is exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing right now.

But should be.

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Austrian mountain bikers Fabio Wibmer & Vali Höll are finally back to shredding after the country ended its lockdown and reopened the trails.

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Local

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon shares his eating habits with Bicycling. And no, it isn’t just cookies.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was sent to the hospital after getting hit by a driver at Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway on Monday; no word on the victim’s condition. Although it would be nice if story mentioned that the car even had a driver.

Creed star and Black Panther antagonist Michael B. Jordan is one of us, going for an “invigorating” LA mountain bike ride on Sunday, one week after his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.

 

State

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield is back in business 16 hours a week after shutting down for the coronavirus lockdown.

Calbike considers the planned Central Valley Bikeways Project, intended to connect several Central Valley cities with California’s high speed rail. Assuming the rail project actually gets built, that is.

The Sonoma bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago has been identified as a 35-year old Romanian entrepreneur, who was killed when a passing pickup driver struck him in the head with the truck’s wing mirror; the damaged truck was found a few miles away, but the driver still hasn’t been arrested.

 

National

The Associated Press catches up with the worldwide bike boom, saying Target and Walmart have been cleaned out of bicycles.

Thanks to kindhearted community members, a seven-year old Missouri girl with limited mobility in her legs can ride along with her dad in a custom-built sidecar attached to his bike.

This is why you don’t try to recover a stolen bike yourself. A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive, and may still lose his arm, after he was shot while trying to reclaim his stepson’s stolen bicycle; a 17-year old teenager has been charged with the crime.

A new bike and pedestrian path has opened along a Tarrytown NY bridge, providing an iconic view made famous by the 18th Century Hudson River School of artists, as well as a grate view of the river 102 feet below. And no, that’s not a typo.

Fortune says bikes will have a new place in city life in New York, and around the world, as life rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

 

International

Cycling News looks at the pros and cons of buying a gravel bike.

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and The Centre for Active Transportation have posted a recording of their webinar Making Space: Biking out of the pandemic online. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Toronto man is biking 46 kilometers — the equivalent of 28.5 miles — or running 4.6 kilometers every day for 46 days to honor George Floyd, who was 46-years old when he was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Or ex-cop, now.

A British Parliamentary advisory group has concluded that e-scooters are inherently unsafe, while a European group says the risk is no greater than riding a bicycle.

According to an English author, one bright spot in the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise of bicycles, and the role they play in art and society.

A former bike shop owner, soon to be prime minister, negotiated a huge increase in active transportation spending, committing 10% of the country’s transportation budget on bicycling and another 10% on walking; two-thirds of the remaining 80% will go to public transit.

Bikes continue to boom in Kolkata as an alternative to mass transit in the age of Covid-19.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is building a carfree city of the future on reclaimed land in Shenzhen, centered on a green corridor for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles

Taiwanese bikemakers and parts suppliers — including Giant, the world’s largest bikemaker — are pedaling faster than ever to catch up with the booming worldwide demand.

Seoul, Korea is planning to build another 14 miles of bikeways within the next year as the city plans a bike path network to “cut congestion, fight pollution and reduce energy use.”

People caught violating Japan’s strict new bike laws just twice in three years will have to take a traffic safety course, or pay the equivalent of a $460 fine.

Jakarta, Indonesia is bringing back their weekly Car Free Day, but limiting it to bike riding and walking, with no food services or other vendors.

Horrifying Twitter thread from Australia, where an aboriginal man was allegedly beaten by police for the crime of riding without a helmet and bike lights.

 

Competitive Cycling

After beating cancer twice and surviving getting hit by a truck while riding across the US, 40-year old endurance cyclist James Golding insists he’s going to win the Race Across America, even if he has to wait another year, after this year’s RAAM was canceled.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to jack a truck, don’t leave your bike in the back once you dump it. Your next e-mountain bike could take a selfie.

And doesn’t everyone take their pet chicken riding with them?

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Thanks to Scott R for his generous donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcomed, especially now.

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

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.

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Seriously?

A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.

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No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.

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Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

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Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.

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Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.

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If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.

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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.

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Local

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.

 

State

San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

National

Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.

 

International

Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?

 

Finally…

Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.

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

LA cuts budget for failing Vision Zero, fight for more space on coronavirus slowed streets, and a 7-year old gets bike safety

Los Angeles has failed on Vision Zero.

The program remains a vastly underfunded afterthought, both on LA streets and in the halls of power.

If they bother to think about it at all, that is.

Which is why it took shutting the city down for Covid-19 to make any impact on the rate of fatal traffic collisions. And which are bound to rebound as soon as the lockdown ends.

So what is the obvious next step for the City of Angels?

Cut the Vision Zero budget, of course.

LADOT says we won’t notice the 5% reduction for next year.

Which is probably true, because LA’s Vision Zero efforts haven’t been very noticeable, anyway.

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Once again, today’s common theme is the fight for more space on the streets.

San Francisco follows Oakland’s lead and announces plans to open parts of eleven streetsor maybe twelve streets — so residents have more room to get out and walk. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

New York’s city council is looking at what other cities are doing to develop their own plan.

The Miami Herald wants to know why local governments are balking at closing streets to make room for social distancing.

London’s Guardian says the need for physical distancing means space in cities and town must be shared in new ways.

And Cycling Industry News says the case is clearly building for government intervention.

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Nothing like developing good safety habits at a young age.

Let’s all give a round of applause to Evangelina Gatto, better known as Evie to her friends and family, for her outstanding creative skills and love of bicycling.

Her dad’s kind of a big deal, too.

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We’ve given the Governors Highway Safety Association their share of criticism over the years.

But they get it right this time.

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This is what a typical weekend riding bikes in San Diego looked like, pre-coronavirus.

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Apparently, drivers are trying to get a jump on things now, and crash into bicycles before they even leave the shop.

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

Someone sabotaged a Sheffield, England downhill mountain bike track, ripping out a number of berms and jumps.

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

Police in Wales are looking for four total jerks who buzzed an elderly woman on their bikes and spat at her, then laughed at her.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the schmuck who rode off on a bike after stealing a dog belonging to a Concord ER nurse fighting COVID-19. If you live in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for this a-hole.

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Local

Sad news today, as Lewis MacAdams, the man who helped start the fight to restore the Los Angeles River, died yesterday of complications from Parkinson’s at age 75.

The deputy director of Climate Resolve writes that we shouldn’t squander the opportunity to reimagine LA streets provided by the coronavirus shutdown.

If you’re a fan of spring wildflowers, this is the time to ride past the Ballona wetlands on the Ballona Creek bike path. But take your hay fever medication first. Trust me.

Walk ‘n Rollers has free bicycles for kids in need during the coronavirus crisis. They can also use some kids bikes to refurbish if you have any extra lying around. Or cash helps, too.

Billions star Malin Åkerman is one of us — and no, that thing over the A isn’t a mark on your screen — as she rode through Los Feliz with her seven-year old son.

Owen Wilson was spotted riding through the streets of Venice with a friend.

Ben Affleck may not be one of us, but his eight-year old son is.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree bike co-op is back in business, at least for now. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bike sales are booming in San Diego. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is reopening all its open space parks and trails, with the exception of Cowles Mountain and the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail.

Ventura is reopening parks and trails, as long as you maintain social distancing.

 

National

Red Bull recommends 16 of the best downloadable mountain biking apps.

Pink Bike takes a video look at whether buying a used mountain bike is worth it, concluding yes. And no.

PeopleForBikes thinks we could all use a little good news right now.

VeloNews looks at Bill Walton’s virtual group ride Bike For Humanity this Saturday.

Specialized is giving you the opportunity to buy a new bike for an essential worker. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tucson bike shops are starting to sell out of bicycles.

El Paso is opening up its trails, as Texas prepares to reopen from the Covid-19 shutdown.

The popular RAGBRAI ride across Iowa was cancelled due to coronavirus.

A Massachusetts woman with a huge heart bought a new bike for a man battling leukemia to honor her son, who died of the disease.

A bike-commuting registered physician’s assistant at New York’s Bellvue Hospital tells the mayor she risks her life every day at work, and shouldn’t have to do it on the streets, as well.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Witnesses saw a Pennsylvania driver toss a beer after running down a kid on a bike, his car smelled of weed, and he had seven convictions for driving without a license. And hadn’t had one since 2001.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 82-year old Pennsylvania man is riding laps around a parking lot to raise funds for a local food bank.

Kindhearted Florida firefighters drive up with red lights and sirens to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

 

International

The World Health Organization says get on your damn bicycle, already.

Canadian Cycling offers their complete guide to bicycling during Covid-19. Most of which applies wherever you ride.

Road.cc offers tips on how to carry almost anything on your bike, from using your pockets to riding a cargo bike.

Toronto bike couriers say they’re risking their lives to deliver food to wealthy people.

A London bike rider offers more proof you can carry anything on a bikelike a sofa, for instance.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike a Manchester, England drag queen was using as physical therapy under the lockdown.

Gordon Ramsey is one of us. And getting on his neighbors nerves, as he flouts the UK’s lockdown by riding his S-Works 22 miles through Cornwall, after apparently driving to get there first.

The UK is being sued over its £28.8 billion plan road expansion plan — the equivalent of over $35 billion — for violating the country’s commitment under the Paris Agreement; the same people halted a planned expansion of London’s Heathrow airport using a similar argument.

The new and improved — and significantly cheaper — ebike from Dutch bikemaker VanMoof looks like a big hit, with positive reviews from The Verge, The Next Web, and Forbes, with prices starting a couple notches below two grand.

A movie reviewer says you’ve been getting the message of the Italian classic Bicycle Thieves all wrong.

Milan is making plans to cut car use when the city reopens from Italy’s coronavirus quarantine. Which is something every other city should be doing, or we’ll be right back in the same unworkable mess.

Madrid’s bikeshare system will reopen today, as the country slowly comes back to life.

Tragic news from Nepal, where a pair of Indian laborers died after they rode off a ravine trying to bicycle back home after they got caught in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cycling Tips profiles the Bike Scouts, a group of volunteer bike messengers in the Philippines who ride to the rescue when disaster strikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de Suisse is the latest pro stage race to go virtual.

A wrong turn in the Iditarod Trail Invitational left ultra-endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch in a life-or-death situation.

 

Finally…

Next time you ride a bike to the market, try getting off before you go in. Why waste a good ride, when you can mow your lawn at the same time?

And nothing like promoting your new fundraising face mask by riding on a Covid-19 closed beachfront bike path.

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Thanks to Dennis E for his generous donation to help support this site. I’m truly blown away that someone would dip into their own funds to help out during the current financial crisis. 

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

But don’t dump it on the damn street when you’re done.

Morning Links: LACBC back on track, injured San Diego bike rider reportedly dies, and bikes on the bus — literally

Let’s start with news from last night’s open house at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

The group appears to be getting back on track again after a disastrous lack of financial oversight under the previous executive director resulted in major cutbacks at the organization.

Pictured here are LACBC Director of Education Colin Bogart, left, and new Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, right, honoring outgoing board member — and BikinginLA sponsor — Jim Pocrass for his service to the coalition and the bicycling community.

It was announced at the open house that the LACBC will be receiving a $20,000 grant from this year’s California Climate Ride, which raised over $800,000 dollars for nonprofit organizations that support conservation, climate, sustainability and active transportation.

A representative from Lime also told the people in attendance that the coalition will be the recipient of the funds raised by the Lime Hero program in Los Angeles next year.

So it doesn’t mean their financial problems are over. But they’re off to a damn good start.

New board chair Michael Fishman, co-founder and president of Pure Cycles makes an announcement as Jim Pocrass waits to be honored.

Correction: I initially reported that layoffs due to the financial cutbacks resulted in a reduction to just four staff members. However, I’ve been reminded that some of those staff members left on their own. My apologies to Zachary Rynew and any others for misrepresenting the situation. 

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Speaking of the LACBC, they’re looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights next week.

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Last month, we told you about a 27-year old San Diego man who suffered a life-threatening head injury while ghost riding another bike; neither the bike he was riding nor the other one had any lights after dark.

Sadly, Phillip Young tells me the man died, and was buried last week.

So far, I’ve been unable to find official confirmation of the death. If confirmed, this will be just the fourth bicycling fatality I’m aware of in San Diego County this year.

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LADOT wants your input on what can be done to improve the Valley portion of Sepulveda Blvd tomorrow, which could definitely use it.

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At least Metro doesn’t make you put your bike on the roof.

https://twitter.com/TLRailUK/status/1202604813491621890?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202604813491621890&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F269261-angry-flemish-cyclist-flatly-refuses-pass-stationary-truck-bikes-trains-rush

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Forget Christmas cookies. What we all need right now is alternative transportation cookies.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up. 

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The much-loathed Peloton ad is turning out to be the gift that just keeps on giving. At least as far as the press is concerned.

The actor who plays the husband in the Peloton ad says he was blindsided by the “malicious feedback;” even a friend called him a “symbol of the patriarchy.”

Glamour says leave the lady in the ad alone, because the “intense backlash to the ad says more about us than about Peloton.”

The Atlantic says Peloton doesn’t understand the people who love it most, while Inc. says the only thing worse than the ad was the company’s response to the criticism. Glad I’m not the only one who thought that.

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‘Tis the Season.

A Boise, Idaho bicycle project put out a call for people to donate used bikes, with a goal of giving away 700 bicycles to area kids for the holidays.

Bighearted residents of a Wisconsin town chipped in to buy a new three-wheeled bike for a 20-year old autistic man after the frame broke on the one he used as his only form of transportation.

A Pittsburgh bike drive resulted in 1,200 bikes donated to Toys for Tots.

Charlottesville, Virginia volunteers assembled 600 bike to donate to kids this weekend.

Kindhearted volunteers built 200 bicycles bicycle for at-risk kids in New Jersey.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana police busted a 30-year old man who led them on a foot chase after they tried to stop him for riding salmon while carrying two six packs of beer, then using the cans like mini hand grenades. When they finally caught him, he refused to say where the beer came from, but was happy to tell them about his crack pipe.

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I depend on your support to help keep this site going, and bring you all the best bike news from around the corner, and around the the world.

Along with keeping the foster corgi in kibble.

And safe from tigers. 

So please donate to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. 

Any donation, in any amount, is truly welcome and appreciated.

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Local

Bloomberg takes a truly horrifying look at distracted driving, including animated graphs that show just how bad the problem is in Los Angeles.

The LA Clippers’ plan to reduce traffic at their proposed arena in Inglewood includes just 93 bicycle parking spaces to serve 18,000 people. Which doesn’t exactly make it sound like they really intend to encourage people to ride to the games, does it?

He gets it. A former LA city planner considers what Los Angeles officials would do if they actually took the climate crisis seriously. And concludes, in part, that they would build out the city’s Mobility Plan and stop encouraging the use of single occupancy vehicles.

 

State

Caltrans is proposing widening popular Laguna Canyon Road, along with adding bike lanes.

He definitely doesn’t get it. A member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is up in arms over plans to spend $90 million to build bike lanes, saying the funds should be spent on highways to reduce gridlock. Maybe someone could explain the concept of induced demand to him. Not to mention sprawl-driven driving.

 

National

Thieves have hit a dozen Denver-area bike shops, targeting high-end bicycles. Apparently, they’ve finally figured out that it’s easier to steal a lot of new bikes than one or two used ones.

Life is cheap in Indiana, where a 60-year old woman got a net two years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, after prosecutors pled away the DUI count and another felony charge.

An Indiana man faces charges for throwing two bicycles off an overpass onto a busy freeway, after confessing that he was trying to cause a fatal pileup  “because he hated everyone.”

A New York bike rider faces up to a year in jail for recklessly killing a 67-year old woman earlier this year, even though the DA almost never charges drivers for the same thing.

Florida bike riders accuse drivers of intentionally targeting them with punishment passes — and have the bike cam videos to prove it. Even if the Orlando news site bizarrely doesn’t include any videos.

 

International

Now you can wear Rapha even if you’e not going anywhere.

Clearly, they don’t get it. A British Columbia newspaper admonishes bike riders and pedestrians to stop wearing black after dark. But apparently, careless and distracted drivers can just carry on.

No surprise here. A new study from the UK shows that bicycling makes older people happier, even if they aren’t doing the pedaling.

A British start-up wants to reduce London smog by offering deliveries via e-cargo bikes that can carry well over 600 pounds.

China’s Xiaomi is introducing the second generation of their $3,000 QiCycle smart ebike. And dropping the price nearly $2,600.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan says he can see the end of his career coming, but that just motivates him more than scares him.

British track cyclist Vicky Williamson’s career is going downhill, after she made the jump to the country’s bobsleigh team.

Transgender world age group champ Rachel McKinnon says she’s been getting hate mail and death threats ever since Donald Trump Jr threw a Twitter tantrum directed her way.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with aggressive drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about falling off a high wire. We may have to deal with drivers parking in bike lanes, but at least we don’t have a bus shelter right in the middle of one.

And apparently, you can stop waiting for a Tesla bicycle.

………

Thanks to Eric L, Kent S and David A for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your generosity and kindness helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Molina Silver Lake hit-and-run car found, biking the civil rights road, and LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat

The search goes on.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 talks with 57-year old David Molina, the homeless man who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Silver Lake last week.

Molina remains hospitalized with a broken leg, broken arm and fractured spine.

Meanwhile, the LAPD is still looking for the heartless coward who sped away without stopping, leaving Molina bleeding in the street.

They have found the car, but need to identify who was behind the wheel. And the owner isn’t helping.

Which doesn’t seem suspicious at all, does it?

And yes, the $25,000 reward remains outstanding. So if you know anything, it could pay to come forward.

Literally.

Screen grab of LAPD security video via KCBS-2/KCAL-9.

………

Here’s today’s must read.

A white Baptist minister takes part in a 150-mile bike ride from Montgomery to Birmingham “through some of the most hallowed and blood-soaked ground of the Civil Rights Movement.”

On the way, he contemplates civil rights and white privilege, and the necessity of moving “from not-racist to anti-racist.”

It’s a troubling and powerful piece.

And must have been even more powerful to experience.

………

Let’s do better, folks.

People with limited eyesight and other physical disabilities need clear sidewalks to get around safely.

And almost out of the way just isn’t good enough.

………

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

UK police are looking for a pair of motorists who forced a bike rider off the road by passing too close.

After a close pass from a driver forces a bicyclist into the back of a car parked in a Malta bike lane, leaving him fighting for his life, all some callous people cared about was whether he was going to pay for damage to the car.

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

A Vancouver bike rider gets offended when another rider runs a stop sign, so he tweets that he hates cyclists and wishes the guy had gotten clipped by a car. Then gets offended when people who ride bikes get offended.

………

Local

Once again, LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat for people on bikes.

 

State

An opinion piece in the New York Times says the refusal of Californians to live sustainably means the end of the state as we know it.

San Diego County creates a program allowing low-income residents to dump their gas guzzlers for cleaner options, including an ebike. Almost makes it worth moving down there again.

Speaking of San Diego, they’re considering becoming the latest city to ban cars from a busy street by converting eight blocks of Fifth Ave in the popular Gaslamp District to a pedestrian plaza. Your move, LA.

A Belmont hit-and-run victim reminds drivers to give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law (scroll down).

An annual Los Altos event aims to keep used bikes out of landfills by asking residents to drop off their unloved bikes so volunteers can clean and fix them, and pass them on to people who need one.

 

National

A writer for Slate says self-driving cars and hyperloops aren’t the future of transportation, but bicycles and buses are. And elevators.

Scientific American says a few algorithms could make bikeshare more efficient.

Fox Business takes a look at five smart locks to help you hold onto your bike.

Outside recommends gear to make a cold bike commute more bearable. Most of which has little or nothing to do with the temperature outside.

Sad story, as a survivor of the New York bike path terrorist attack says she still feels lost and guilty for surviving when others died, two years after the Halloween attack

DC bike riders spread out across the river, and use an app to count over 300 bike lane violations by Arlington VA drivers in just five hours.

Tampa FL officials promise a new crosstown cycle track will transform transportation in the city once it’s finished.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A Scottish driver is caught on bike cam pulling away from the curb without looking, barely missing the bike rider next to him.

Slovakia bans handheld cellphones, and limits bicyclists to a BAC of .05.

There’s something seriously wrong with people who find amusement in watching a Singapore bike rider slam into the back of a car, whose driver stopped short in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on next year’s “hiatus” of the Amgen Tour of California.

Britain’s looking for more success in Olympic track cycling next year with a new bike built by Lotus to be as light and aero as possible.

 

Finally…

Fleeing from police when riding your bike drunk only makes you look more suspicious.

 

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero fail, bike & pedestrian deaths up in US — and LA, and possible bike death in Palm Springs

Good story from LAist about two pedestrian deaths that occurred within two hours last week.

And by extension, the city’s meager efforts at implementing Vision Zero.

Both victims, including a four-year old girl killed just 50 feet from her preschool, died on streets that are part of the city’s High Injury Network.

While overall traffic deaths are down in three of the four LAPD traffic divisions, pedestrian and bicycling deaths continue to make up 60% of all road deaths in the City of Los Angeles.

And in that fourth division, in West LA, traffic deaths are up a whopping 75%.

Not that the city isn’t doing anything about it.

According to L.A. Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Sweeney, the city has been picking up the pace on safety improvements.

“In 2019 alone, we introduced over 700 improvements to increase visibility of crosswalks — more than 2017 and 2018 combined,” Sweeney told LAist, adding that 77 speed feedback signs and “dozens of traffic signal and street design improvements” have also been installed.

But despite those efforts, preliminary traffic collision data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows that, with roughly 10 weeks left in 2019, the number of people seriously injured and killed by vehicles while walking L.A. streets this year is keeping pace with 2018’s figures.

If you want to observe a wasted effort in action, just stand next to one of those traffic feedback signs, and count how many people observe the speed limit. And how many drivers actually slow down.

Chances are, you’ll have more than enough fingers left over to let the city know what you really think about it.

Not surprisingly, LADOT was quick to demonstrate how little the city seems to understand what the hell Vision Zero even is.

When we asked LADOT about the increase, spokesman Colin Sweeney cited the improvement work the department had completed this year and added that while the city can re-engineer roadways, the other component to safer streets is safer behavior by motorists.

“Drivers need to realize the responsibility they take when they get behind the wheel,” he said. “That means avoiding distractions and slowing down on surface streets which are a shared public space — even 5 mph slower can save a life.”

Except Vision Zero is about reimagining the streets so human error does not result in deaths.

It’s not about eduction. It’s not, as the city often insists, about enforcement.

And it’s not about drivers taking responsibility, as nice as that would be.

It’s about re-imagining the damn streets themselves, so no one dies when they don’t.

And on that count, the city is failing miserably.

………

Then again, the same pattern is holding true across the US, where overall traffic deaths are down 2.4%, according to the Washington Post.

Traffic fatalities fell for the second-straight year in 2018, the agency said, and the downward trend continues, with traffic deaths down 3.4 percent in the first six months of this year…

There also were fewer fatalities resulting from speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers. Additionally, there was a 10 percent reduction in the number of children killed in crashes.

That’s the good news. As long as you get around safely wrapped in a couple tons of glass and steel.

But while overall traffic fatalities were down, more pedestrians and bicyclists were killed on U.S. roads last year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all traffic deaths.

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, 6,283 pedestrians and 857 people on bikes or similar nonmotorized vehicles were killed in 2018, increases of 3.4 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. Federal officials said the rises were concentrated in urban areas.

Maybe someday we’ll have elected leaders who care enough to make the hard choices to put human lives over the convenience of motorists.

Let alone actually take steps to protect the planet.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

Not in the US. Not in California.

And not in Los Angeles.

………

Sad news from Palm Springs, where a man was killed in a Palm Springs hit-and-run Monday night.

People who live in the area say the victim was riding a bicycle, but there’s no mention of that in the story, and no confirmation yet through other sources.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Just a quick, non-sponsored reminder that there is a nationwide roadside assistance program for people on bicycles, too.

………

Metro Bike is waiving the standard fee for unlocking their ebikes through Halloween.

………

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

A British man is under arrest for pulling up next to a bike rider in a car, and fatally stabbing him as he rode his bike. Police are looking for two other men who ran away from the crime scene, and say the attack did not appear to be random.

………

Local

You could soon find yourself riding streets of plastic.

Congratulations to the Long Beach/Los Angeles metro area, on being recognized for having the worst air quality in the US. And yes, that’s sarcasm.

The latest SGV Connect podcast talks with the leaders of Calbike at their recent summit in Los Angeles.

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will discuss bikeway maintenance at today’s 1 pm meeting, as part of a long agenda.

Whittier beautifies a parking lot on the 4.6-mile Greenway Trail, a year before a 2.6-mile extension is scheduled to open.

CiclaValley and company go riding at Crystal Lake.

 

State

Ride 2 Recovery is raising funds for former motocross champ Micky Dymond, who suffered a severe brain injury and a number of other injuries in a solo fall while riding a time trial bike in Orange County; the group has raised over $13,000 of the $100,000 goal for the uninsured victim.

A 74-year old San Diego driver hit a man who riding his bike legally, and what should have been safely, in the bike lane, then just kept going because he thought he hit the curb. Which is prima facie evidence that maybe he shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

A group of five former Navy SEALs will embark on a 1,000-mile bike ride down the East Coast to raise funds for the VIP Neuro Rehabilitation Center in San Diego.

Morro Bay police are looking for the hit-and-run driver that left a bicyclist lying on the side of the road with critical injuries; police say he did everything right. But got hit anyway.

A Cotati man was seriously injured in a crash near Rohnert Park when a driver hit his bike. Naturally, the CHP didn’t hesitate to blame the victim.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever burgled a San Jose bike co-op serving homeless people twice in just four days.

 

National

A website for lovers of four wheel drive vehicles says if you enjoy taking one offroad, you probably already enjoy mountain biking, too.

Speaking of which, Singletracks lists five examples of trail etiquette that apply in the real world, too.

Americans took over 84 million bikeshare and e-scooter rides last year.

The NAACP calls the forcible arrest of a black Oregon State University student for riding salmon an attack on her civil rights.

The Houston Chronicle offers more on the 27-year old man killed in a collision after he pushed his fiancé off her bike just before the crash, sacrificing his own life to save hers.

A resident of a small Iowa town insists the city has been recruiting Chicago “thugs” to get funding for low income housing. And offers as proof backpack-wearing people riding BMX bikes at 2:30 am. Which just happens to be half an hour after the bars close, when employees who don’t have cars would be making their way home from work. Just saying.

A Missouri nonprofit has refurbished and given away 500 bicycles over the past few years, including one they dropped off just in time for a homeless man to get to a job interview.

A Wisconsin bike rider is suing after he was seriously injured when he hit a steel cable that came off a fence and was lying across the roadway.

The Chicago Tribune rates the best bicycle inner tubes.

An Akron, Ohio man was lucky to escape with his life when an armed thief jumped out of the bushes and demanded his valuables, pedaling away as the thief repeatedly fired at him.

A Toledo, Ohio recycling plant recovered a 1962 bicycle license that somehow became embedded in concrete that someone brought in to be crushed. Let’s hope the rest of the bike wasn’t in there, too. Or the rider, for that matter.

New York residents say the city will have to take “their” parking spaces out of their cold, dead fingers.

Comedian Billy Crystal barely avoided getting knocked down by an out-of-control food delivery rider who landed at his feet as he was filming his new movie in New York.

After someone steals a New Jersey convenience store manager’s unlocked bike, kindhearted customers pitch in to give him a new one, along with $600 cash.

The bike-riding woman who gained international fame for flipping off President Trump’s motorcade, and got fired as a result, is now running for county supervisor in Virginia.

 

International

Cycling News ranks the best steel frame bikes.

Strava users are angry the popular app is dropping support for Bluetooth and ANT+ devices.

Firefighters from Mexico City and Phoenix AZ recovered the body of a Mexican bike rider, who drowned after falling through a six-foot wide sinkhole in a Hermosillo street.

An English man who received a double lung transplant is riding 300 miles from London to Paris to raise the equivalent of over $25,000 for the hospital that performed the operation.

British police investigators are headed to the US to interview the wife of an American diplomat — or possibly spy — who killed a 19-year old motorcyclist, then claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country.

Life is cheap in Northern Ireland, where a driver got just one year behind bars for plowing into a group of bicyclists, killing one man and seriously injuring another.

An Irish writer wonders why bike riders and pedestrians can’t just get along.

Five people crossed Australia’s 370-mile wide Simpson Desert on fat bikes, 80 years after it was crossed for the first time, without bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly rates the WorldTour teams on their success this part year; Deceuninck-Quick-Step topped the rankings, while Dimension Data might want to take up another sport.

Transgender Masters track champ Rachel McKinnon defends her right to compete — and win — in women’s cycling, while fending off criticism from other cyclists, as well as Donald Trump Jr.

 

Finally…

Skip the energy gels, and pass the French fries. Ride the future today.

And when in Rome, don’t trash the ebikes.

 

Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

………

LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

………

The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

………

This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

………

Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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: 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.

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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.

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

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Bakersfield bike riders go on their monthly full moon ride.

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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.

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Now this is a mountain bike race.

Watch: 2019 Mountain Of Hell Mountain Bike Race

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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.

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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: Meager LADOT bike lanes output, Lee Iacocca pushed 1990s ebikes, and the war on bikes goes on

Happy 4th of July!

There’s no better way to get to the fireworks or other holiday events than riding your bike or walking. 

Just remember that drivers will be focused on finding parking spaces or a faster way out of traffic afterwards.

And won’t be looking for you. 

So ride accordingly. 

And just like any three or four-day weekend, remember that many people will start drinking or smoking early and often.

So assume any driver you see on the road is under the influence of something. Which means ride carefully and defensively — because the best protection is being prepared for anything, at any time.

And we want to see you back here again after the holiday. 

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This is nothing to be proud of.

When the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was passed, the city committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Honest-to-gosh, cross their hearts, pinkie swear.

Then they switched to measuring bike lanes in lane miles, rather than centerline miles, effectively cutting that commitment in half.

Then they decided that sharrows counted towards that commitment.

Hint: They don’t. Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Then our supposedly bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti took office, and the building of new bike lanes quickly ground to a virtual halt in the City of Angels.

Which leads us to this Monday, when LADOT proudly announced it had built or upgraded 13 miles of bike lanes in the last fiscal year.

And since that’s measured in lane miles, that means counting each side of the road as a separate bike lane.

So in reality, we’re talking about a lousy 6.5 miles of bike lanes, which is nothing to be proud of, protected or otherwise.

Pretty shameful, in fact.

Especially in a city with the largest street system in the United States.

So the next time you’re wondering why people keep dying on our streets, you know where to point the finger.

And which one to use.

Photo by lumpi from Pixabay.

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Megan Lynch reminds us that the late automaker Lee Iacocca was an early proponent of ebikes; he died yesterday at 94.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going, with no end in sight.

A Baltimore bike rider was knocked off his bike when he was intentionally rammed by a van driver, who then turned around and drove straight at him for no apparent reason; to make matters worse, both the police and paramedics failed to show up at the crash site.

A road raging English driver threatened a group of bike-riding kids with his car, then got out and pushed a 12-year old boy off his bike and into the path of an oncoming car.

A 63-year old British grandmother suffered a broken collarbone and rope burns on her neck when she ran into a rope someone had intentionally strung across a beachfront bike path at neck level.

Apparently tired of people riding bicycles on the sidewalk, a magazine editor recommends stringing razor wire across sidewalks at neck height to teach scofflaw sidewalk riders a lesson. Although it’s hard to learn much of anything when your head is in the gutter surrounded by “red slime and gore,” and looking for the rest of you.

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Local

LAist considers LA’s existential battle over bus-only lanes. Which serves as a reminder that bicyclists are allowed to ride in bus lanes in Los Angeles, even if some cops don’t get it. And as long as you don’t mind a 13-ton bus driving up your ass.

CiclaValley goes gravel bike riding in Sycamore Canyon.

Long Beach business owners are threatening to sue over the Broadway road diet, claiming sales are down as much as 70% due to limited parking and difficulty accessing the area by car; they also claim the road diet has made the street more dangerous, which is the opposite of what road diets usually do.

 

State

California Streetsblog takes a deep dive into why the state needs a Complete Streets law, as the state Assembly Transportation Committee prepares to take up S.B. 127 on Monday.

The state task force set up to study the effects of the deadly 85th Percentile Law that too often forces cities and counties to raise speed limits held its first meeting last week; it has until January to write a report with its recommendations. That’s easy. Just throw out the damn law and lower speed limits almost everywhere.

San Diego introduced strict new regulations in an attempt to tame the wild, wild world of e-scooters — including speed limits as low as 3 mph in select pedestrianized areas.

Chula Vista-based Juiced Bikes has introduced a 33 mph ebike, which is actually a moped under California law — and in many other states — requiring a driver’s license, vehicle license and helmet to be legally ridden on the roads, and is barred from being used on bike paths or protected bike lanes.

A Fresno bicyclist in his late 60s was injured by a pickup driver who couldn’t manage to stay out of the bike lane while passing another car on the right. And almost needless to say, couldn’t be bothered to stay at the scene.

Sad news from Rohnert Park, where a 66-year old man was killed in a collision with a commuter train last week, just one day after a woman was killed running across the tracks at the same crossing. Despite a great job of victim blaming by investigators — including accusing the victim of riding the wrong way on the sidewalk, which isn’t a thing — officials consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with the crossing. Gee, you think?

 

National

Now you, too, can own a replica of the bikes from Stranger Things. Or you could, if two of the three bikes weren’t already sold out, and the other wasn’t “temporarily unavailable.”

A missing Oregon triathlete was found dead in the Columbia River, five days after he went on a training ride; his bike was found two days later in a park along the river.

Arizona officials approved a controversial bike resort planned to be built across the street from Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

The Idaho Stop Law is gaining momentum, as Oregon passes a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, though not allowing riders to roll red lights, joining Idaho, Arkansas and Delaware with variations of the law; Colorado allows individual cities and counties to decide whether to adopt the Idaho Stop.

Life is cheap in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where investigators conclude the fatal dooring that took the life of a young woman was just a big “oopsie.”

A New York state senator blames built-in racism and classism for the death of a bike rider last week.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 14-year old boy succumbed to injuries he received when he was hit by a car while riding his bike three years ago.

A Manhattan community board chose safety over car storage, approving a proposal to remove 400 parking spaces to install a protected bike lane on a street where a bike-riding woman was fatally doored last year.

Presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio promises a crackdown on drivers who block bike lanes, in response to the city’s skyrocketing bicycling fatality rate. Problem is, it’s usually the police who are doing it.

 

International

Canada’s first bike mayor says mandatory bike helmet laws are a sign of a failed government.

Great piece from The Guardian’s Peter Walker, who effectively demolishes ten common myths about bike lanes, including many of the NIMBY greatest hits you’ll inevitably hear at any public meeting, or read in the comments on any story about bicycling.

They’re onto us, comrades. A British letter writer says dooring is no big deal, and it’s those ignorant bike riders who put themselves at risk, then try to take advantage of the poor, innocent drivers and their insurance companies.

Security camera video catches the crash that left a UK bike rider with a serious brain injury, as the driver gets off with a 20-month sentence — only half of which actually has to be served behind bars. As always, be sure you actually want to see someone get hit by a driver before clicking the play button on the video.

An Aussie bicyclist makes the case for why you should have cameras mounted on your bike. I ride with a helmet cam, and want to add a rear-facing bike cam when I can, if only to be able to prove I wasn’t the one who broke the law if I’m involved in a crash or get a ticket. And so it can speak for me if I can’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

This is so effing wrong. After Ukrainian cyclist Anna Solovey won gold in the European Games, she complained when the head of the Kyiv Cycling Federation got credit for her win. And was told her victory was an accident, and she could be kicked off the national team for opening her mouth.

Forget Alpe d’Huez. This year’s Tour de France competitors will have to survive the legendary Tourmalet.

Cycling News offers eight conclusions from this year’s US pro cycling nationals.

 

Finally…

Actually, it’s called skitching. And this is what I call a bike crash.

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I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people who visit this site. 

Thanks to Howard V for his generous donation to help support BikinginLA. Along with his moving note, which helped lift my spirits on yet another difficult day dealing with the Corgi’s ongoing health problems.

As always, donations of any size, for any reason, are truly welcome and appreciated

He also forwarded a cute video showing him riding through the streets and bike paths of Venice and Santa Monica with his two dogs on his new e-cargo bike from LA’s own Cero

Which is something to remember the next time someone tries to tell you about all the things you can’t carry on a bicycle. 

 

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