Tag Archive for League of American Bicyclists

Warner Bros actively discourages bike riding, 5 SoCal cities make bike friendly list, and UFO close encounter on an ebike

It’s Day 14 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Anne F for her generous donation to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Right now, we’re running a full week ahead of last year’s record pace! So let’s keep it going! 

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And very needed after a difficult couple years. 

So give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

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You’ve got to hand it to Warner Bros, who couldn’t have done a better job of discouraging people from riding their bikes to work, let alone on the studio lot, if they tried.

And from the looks of it, they probably did.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1468680922186727427

But sure. Let’s just keep Burbank smoggy, congested and deadly.

And we can credit D. Jones with pointing out that WB probably stands for War on Bikes.

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Congratulations are due to the latest round of cities to make the League of American Bicyclist’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, as well as cities renewing their membership or moving up a level.

SoCal cities to make the list are

  • Oceanside (Silver)
  • Santa Barbara (Silver)
  • Encinitas (Bronze)
  • Riverside (Bronze)
  • Temecula (Bronze)

Other California cities on the list are —

  • Alameda (Silver)
  • Roseville (Bronze)
  • San Ramon (Bronze)
  • Watsonville (Bronze)

Meanwhile, my Colorado hometown continues to prove its bike bona fides, pulling down the only Platinum rating.

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You see a lot of things while riding your bike. But an up-close encounter with UFOs usually isn’t one of them.

A British woman claims to have had a close encounter of the second kind while riding her ebike, saying she was approached by a fleet of UFOs, with one coming as close as eight feet away, albeit on the other side of a hedge.

Being the friendly sort, she waved at her otherworldly visitors, causing some to instantly vanish, while others came right up to her.

She says they examined her with lasers, before vanishing with a burst of infrared light. Which is a little odd, since infrared isn’t usually visible to the human eye.

But still.

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Just a few months after reviving his moribund racing career with four stage wins at this year’s Tour de France, British sprinter Mark Cavendish was the victim of a terrifying home invasion robbery, along with his entire family.

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Streetsblog’s Streetfilms examines a successful New York bike boulevard.

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

An English man had to wait three hours for an ambulance in sub-40F degree weather after he was struck by a driver, lying flat on the cold ground after being told not to move due to a possible spinal injury; fortunately, he escaped with just a broken wrist.

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

The infamous Western Bandit was sentenced to life without parole for a three-year string of bike-born armed robberies along LA’s Western Ave; he murdered two people and shot at several others during the crime spree.

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Local

A trio of state-funded programs to improve recreation equity in the Los Angeles area will help low-income people of color access state parks; one program will bus people to state and county parks and beaches, then show them how to use transit and bike paths to get there on their own.

You can now buy the new ebikes and e-scooters from Santa Monica-based Bird at Target. But you can’t read the article about it from the LA Business Journal without paying for a subscription.

A cast member on The Real World Homecoming: Los Angeles opened up about his recent collision when he was struck by a truck driver while riding his bike in DTLA just before filming started, leaving him with a serious head injury, a broken clavicle, wrist and possibly broken ribs; on a possibly related subject, other cast members had to remove all the alcohol from the set because of his excessive drinking.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition recognized local leaders for their work in the bicycling community at the organization’s virtual Golden Gear Awards.

Speaking of the SDCBC, bike riders of all ages are invited to join the group’s 4-mile, holiday-themed ride through Balboa Park tonight; participants will receive a set of bike lights courtesy of Lyft.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, the city is considering banning fast food restaurants near transit stations, in part to protect bike riders and pedestrians; naturally, some people don’t approve.

Fresno police are looking for the heartless coward who fled the scene after seriously injuring a man walking his bike across a bridge; fortunately, the victim is expected to recover.

 

National

The Bike League has teamed with autonomous vehicle artificial intelligence provider Argo AI to develop a detailed set of guidelines for makers of self-driving cars to protect bike riders on the roadways, including mapping local infrastructure and laws, and expecting typical bicyclist behavior while being prepared for uncertain situations.

City Lab reminds business owners that not all holiday shoppers drive, and that studies show bike lanes are good for business. Meanwhile, the site also examines why infrastructure costs more in the US than virtually anywhere else.

New research shows you should exercise more as you grow older, rather than less, as most people assume. And bicycling is one of the best ways to do it.

Don’t plan on using your new federal tax rebate on one of the new ebikes from Harley-Davidson, since only one of the company’s Serial 1 bikes comes in under the $4,000 cap. And that’s if the bill can pass the Senate, which is far from a sure thing.

The Seattle bike cop caught on video rolling his bicycle over a protester’s head during last year’s protests was suspended for a whole seven days without pay, after the city’s police watchdog found he used excessive force, and acted without reasonable discretion and professionalism.

Denver residents want some temporary roundabouts removed after several bike riders have been injured by drivers; they were installed as part of the Slow Streets program, but never removed when roads were reopened to cars.

New signs along Colorado roads will remind drivers about the state’s three-foot passing law. We could use a few of those here in California, too. And by a few, I mean a few hundred thousand.

Kansas City newspaper readers share their thoughts on bike lanes. And in a pleasant change, the paper didn’t share the bike-haters point of view.

A Texas man will spend the next five years behind bars after repeatedly violating his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2008; the judge said she only wished she could sentence him to more.

Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average,” may have been a mythical creation of folk humorist Garrison Keillor, but the Minnesota bikeway named after it may soon be part of the US Bicycle Route system.

Nice story from Indiana, where a couple has biked through all 50 states in their 57 years of marriage; they got married just eight months after meeting on a blind date.

The dark side of the bike boom reared its ugly head in Virginia, where bicycling fatalities are up over 75% this year.

‘Tis the season. Members of a St. Petersburg, Florida organization donated 117  bicycles for police to distribute to kids in need.

Florida sheriff’s deputies didn’t have to look far to find a hit-and-run driver, busting one of the department’s own dispatchers for the crime that left a bike rider seriously injured. And yes, it was captured on security cam.

 

International

Bicycling offers their recommendations for the best bike trips in 27 categories from around the world. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Cycling News explains the difference between road and touring bikes. That’s easy. I ride the former, and my adventureneering brother rides the latter.

Toronto finally removed construction fencing blocking a bike lane and forcing riders into unforgiving traffic, which had remained in place for months after work was stopped.

A former Spanish monk built a sprawling cathedral almost singlehandedly, using recycled bricks, car tires and bicycle wheels as his materials; he died at age 96, in his modest quarters in the building he built by hand.

The bike boom is threatening to go bust in Bengaluru, India, where all the parking is dedicated to cars and motorcycles, and none for bicycles.

Bangladeshi students across the country staged a bicycle protest on Wednesday to demand safer streets and justice for the victims of traffic violence.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Tom Pidcock has set his sights high, with plans to win world titles in cyclocross, mountain biking and road cycling next year, after just two years on the World Tour and elite levels. Although some of the other riders may have something to say about that.

Cycling Tips says October’s Into The Lion’s Den has gone from the year’s richest crit to a PR disaster, after none of the winners have received their share of the promised $100,000 prize money; race founder Justin Williams of the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team is urging patience, promising that everyone will get paid.

 

Finally…

If it doesn’t have pedals, it’s just an e-scooter — no matter how cute and tiny it is. Building your own gravity bike out of scraps.

And raise your hand if you want a bike-based mobile donut shop in your own town.

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

Feds say bike with a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you, new Bike League report, and CD13 mobility debate

Evidently, the feds want you to wear a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you.

The recently passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a provision intended to speed up the use of beacons to help autonomous vehicles identify people walking and biking, which has presented problems for their developers.

Here’s what Carlton Reid has to say about it.

An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists…

This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

While it might improve safety from autonomous vehicles, those “vehicle to everything” beacons really just shift carmaker’s responsibility for designing and building safe vehicles onto literally everyone else.

It also continues the current automotive hegemony, in which everyone else has to live in fear of the big, dangerous machines. And indefinitely delays the desperately needed transition to transit and active transportation.

But no big deal, right? It’s only the future of our cities and the planet we’re talking about.

The only way I might be willing to wear a beacon when I ride is if, and only if, every car on the road is required to have a compatible warning sensor.

Even if every last one has to be recalled and retrofit.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

Will even little kids like him have to be beaconize just so carmakers won’t have to program their damn killer cars to see them?

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog takes a look at what’s in the infrastructure bill.

And what’s not.

Like Biden’s promise to fix existing streets and highways before building new ones.

Politico also reported that the bill shelved the “fix-it first” promises that President Biden made when he ran for the White House.

“The House-passed surface transportation bill would have prioritized this kind of ‘fix it first,’ and also would have made states measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the outlet reported. “But the House bill got sidelined in favor of the more bipartisan Senate version over the summer.”

The bill continues the decades-old focus on highway funding, with $300 million to be allocated to the states for pretty much whatever the hell they want to do with it.

Which in most cases means more induced-demand inducing highways and interchanges.

The bill also includes a modest $39 million in transit funding, though the article notes more transit funding is included in the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better bill currently stalled in the House — when and if it ever passes.

California is in line for an extra $5.8 billion in highway funds over the next five years, but will have to compete with other states for a share of the $11 billion in safety funds for bicycling and walking budgeted in the bill.

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For the first time in eight years, the Bike League has issued a new report on the current state of bicycling.

The new report from the League of American Bicyclists, titled Reconnecting to the New Majority, is intended to reflect the changing demographics surrounding bikes, to “ensure that all people – particularly Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) – have access to safe bicycling, and further progress actions that promote equity in bicycling.”

Among the key findings,

  • More people of Latin heritage are riding bicycles, while fewer Black people are;
  • Bicycling deaths have increased significantly since the 2013 report, disproportionately affecting people of color;
  • Potential interactions with police are a deterrent to bicycling for people of color and younger people.

And as with virtually every other report on the subject, it shows that more people would be willing to ride if they had better infrastructure and safer places to park their bikes, along with better bicycle training.

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Streets For All is hosting a mobility-focused debate for the candidates vying for Mitch O’Farrell’s seat in CD13 next week.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

If a roadway is so wide that you need a sign telling drivers it’s not a traffic lane, it’s more than wide enough for a road diet. And protected bike lanes.

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While Los Angeles has forgotten all about the groundbreaking mobility plan that was supposed to transform the city, Barcelona is busy forging ahead with a post-car future.

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Clearly, Scottish bike rider care about the climate and the future of our earth.

Maybe someday, we can get LA’s bike community to care that much about anything.

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Madame Curry was one of us, along with her husband.

More proof that she really was a genius.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457211209069912071

And maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like the original railing at Palisades Park, overlooking the 101 and the Santa Monica pier.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457435610659139590

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Here’s one good deed for the day.

A Brazilian man on a bike stopped traffic so an elderly woman could get across the street safely.

https://twitter.com/GoodNewsMoveme3/status/1454151785023778823?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1454151785023778823%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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A billionaire Conservative British Parliament Member may be a “keen cyclist” who just bought a new bike, but he’s no fan of popup bike lanes. Especially making them permanent.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1456322436031467523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456322436031467523%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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You don’t have to understand German to get this one, as a driver wants to fight a group of bike riders, apparently just for being.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A witness followed an alleged drunk driver in Santa Cruz, who admitted to fleeing the scene after intentionally running down a bike rider. But they can’t press hit-and-run or vehicular assault charges because they don’t have victim, because he left the scene, too.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail, after an apparent anti-bike terrorist planted 60 sharpened metal spikes on a Tahoe multi-use offroad trail. When and if they find the person responsible, they should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; spikes could seriously injure or kill a bike rider or hiker who falls on one, or has a tire blow out while riding downhill.

A Greeley, Colorado letter writer argues that the city’s bike lanes are under utilized, because they’re not swarming with people on bikes at the exact times he happens to drive by.

Ugly confrontation on a DC street, as a bike rider taps on the trunk of a car parked in a bike lane, and also blocking the wheelchair curb cut at the intersection, and asks them to move, to which the driver and his passenger take no end of offense for having the audacity to touch his car.

No irony here. A British city councilor who threatened to paint over a set of bike lanes herself is furious when someone painted them back themselves.

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

Culver City police are looking for a bike-riding robber who stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint while he was riding on Sawtelle Blvd near Braddock Drive last month, claiming the bike belonged to the gunman’s friend.

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Local

Metro is moving forward with plans to finally extend to LA River bike path roughly eight miles south, from Elysian Valley through Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Maywood; the agency will hold a pair of virtual public meetings on November 13th and November 17th to talk about it. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

LADOT’s Connect the Green program is intended to calm traffic and create safe connections along neighborhood streets designed to help people bike and walk safely, with less stress. Which sounds a lot like reinventing the wheel just to come up with the already approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets mapped that were out in the 2010 bike plan.

Metro presents a self-guided bike tour of Little Tokyo and the Arts District, as well as offering discounted Metro Bike passes to anyone with a Golden State Advantage card (EBT).

Evidently, Eagle Rock isn’t the only place fighting over the NoHo to Burbank bus rapid transit line, as Burbank debates removing parking spaces to make room for it on their end.

 

State

Calbike offers a recap of this year’s wins and losses at the state legislature, while taking Governor Newsom to task for vetoing the stop as yield bill, as well as the bill that would have legalized crossing the damn street, due to a lack of vision and relying on false information.

Colleagues remember Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, saying her legacy will be tremendous; Chan was killed in a collision while trying to walk her dog across one of Alameda’s most dangerous corridors. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

San Francisco debates what to do after the cops bust a pair of bike thieves with 20 previous arrests between them, as the city’s DA pursues criminal justice reform. I’m all for criminal justice reform. But just how how many second chances should career criminals get?

A judge rules that felony charges are merited against a Davis bike thief who snatched a bait bike valued at $1,700, well over the $950 threshold for felony theft. Yet the LAPD still can’t use them, thanks to a City Attorney opinion that bait bikes could be seen as entrapment.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time for America to get serious about bike parking, noting that a key part of the $290 million plan to make the city 100% bikeable is a commitment to build 130,000 new places for bicyclists to store their bikes at the end of their ride.

USA Today recommends renting an ebike or taking a guided ebike tour on your next vacation, while the Wall Street Journal recommends buying a light one you can actually carry — if you can actually get past their paywall to read it.

Bicycling recommends the 20 best gifts for bike riders that will “truly enhance” their rides. After all, who doesn’t want to find chamois butt cream in their stocking? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling also rates 22 road bikes you can buy right now. And for a change, prices starting at less than $500. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

CityLab reports on VanMoof’s stolen bike hunters, who fulfill the company’s promise to find or replace any of their ebikes that get stolen in the first three years after purchase — as long as you pay their $398 fee.

An Oregon man was found dead after apparently crashing his bicycle into a traffic sign placed in the roadway. Which is exactly why temporary signs should never be placed in bike lanes, on highway shoulders or on the right side of the traffic lane.

A Washington man used his Apple AirTag to find his stolen ebike, and snatched it back from the dozing thief himself after the cops failed to show up.

Hats off to this 80-year old Illinois man, who has fought the effects of Parkinson’s for the past 45 years by riding a bike, even if he has to do it indoors.

An Ohio columnist calls on a hit-and-run driver to turn himself in, after the primary suspect insists he hit a deer, rather than killing an 18-year old man riding a bike.

A Boston woman faces charges for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike while she was driving distracted, allegedly blowing through a stop sign while she was FaceTiming with someone as her kid was crying in the backseat. Although the kid wouldn’t have been that big a distraction if she had actually been paying attention to what she was doing.

The New York Times rides every inch of the state’s new 750-mile bike route stretching from Manhattan to the Canadian border.

A New Orleans woman can look forward to spending the next 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a young father riding a bicycle, along with a handful of drug charges.

A Louisiana appeals court tossed the 90-year sentence given a convicted drunk, speeding driver who ran down a group of bike riders attending a Mardi Gras parade, killing two people; the court sent the case back for a new sentencing hearing because the judge didn’t give a reason for imposing the maximum sentence.

 

International

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is one of us, which we learned the hard way after he needed surgery on his lips following a fall of his bike; Shapps credits his helmet with preventing a more serious injury.

Nothing like watching a bike thief use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle outside a UK shopping mall in broad daylight. And simply ignoring it when challenged about it.

A Jewish military hero’s grave was reconsecrated after he was mistakenly buried as a Catholic; the Austrian native served as an interpreter and bike messenger for the British in WWII, riding his bike under heavy fire to get a medical team for an ambushed commando unit, then persuading an entire company of Nazi soldiers to surrender.

After a Russian spy somehow fell — or was pushed — to his death in Berlin, his case is tied to the murder of a former Georgian rebel commander, whose killer used an ebike and e-scooter in an elaborate escape plan.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Road.cc recommends exploring the natural beauty of Montenegro’s Balkan Black Mountain state.

Around 32,750 people took park in Dubai’s annual open streets event, enjoying a few precious carfree hours on a ten-lane, skyscraper-lined superhighway.

Over 130 bike riders from multiple countries raised $30,000 for Cambodian orphans.

An Aussie driver has been fined for driving with one hand while ghost riding a bicycle alongside the car with the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary 7-11 cycling team nearly missed out on its first Tour de France in 1986 when Ronald Reagan’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi threatened to derail their entire season.

 

Finally…

When you think e-foldies, the first name that comes to mind is…Honeywell? That feeling when a four-year old rides a unicycle and a balance bike better than I do on two wheels.

And here’s one way to get drivers to slow down.

https://twitter.com/BikeThisCity/status/1457158982347284480

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

Killer meth-fueled Vegas driver gets 16-40 years, misguided recall for CD4’s Raman, and $20 million for LAC transport projects

That was fast.

Almost seven months to the day after five Las Vegas bicyclists were killed by a truck driver, their killer copped a plea to two counts of DUI causing death.

DUI is right.

Arizona resident Jordan Barson had nine times the amount of meth in his system required to be considered legally impaired.

He now faces anywhere from 16 to 40 years behind bars, along with a paltry $58,000 in restitution.

Once he gets out, whenever that may be, Barson will be required to have an interlock device on his car for anywhere from one to three years.

Which, it should be noted, detects alcohol, not meth.

Meanwhile, a killer truck driver in Flagstaff AZ didn’t have to play the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card after local police played it for him, claiming the sun was in his eyes when he ran a red light and slammed into a group of bicyclists.

Fifty-eight-year old California resident Normand Cloutier is accused of killing a 29-year old woman and injuring five other riders in the crash.

Of course, as several people pointed out on Twitter, the correct course of action when you can’t see what the hell is directly in front of you is to pull over to the side of the road until you can.

Photo by Cameron Casey from Pexels.

Let’s hope Barson’s cell is slightly better than this one.

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Another day, another recall by people who can’t get over the fact that their candidate lost.

This time the intended target is CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman, who hasn’t been in office long enough to actually do anything that would call for one.

Not that that matters in today’s political environment.

Let’s hope this one doesn’t get any further than the idiotic attempt to recall Mike Bonin a few years, driven by conservative KFI anger meisters Jon and Ken.

Who will probably be happy to get behind this one, too.

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The new transportation bill under consideration in the US Congress includes $20 million for LA-area projects, according to Burbank Rep. Adam Schiff’s office.

In addition to traffic and pedestrian projects, the list also includes sharrows in Glendale, and pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements on Melrose in West Hollywood.

That last one could have connected with a Complete Streets makeover of Melrose in Los Angeles, if it hadn’t been summarily and singlehandedly killed by CD5 Councilmember and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz.

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The Bike League announced their latest list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses, with 33 new or renewing firms honored.

None of which are in Southern California, although the LA office of the Morrison & Foerster LLP law firm got an honorable mention.

Maybe someone should tell them that MoFo may not be the positive nickname they seem to think it is.

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Maybe it’s just me, but it seems there are few things more sexist than women’s fashion magazines.

Especially when it comes to bicycles.

Because apparently, women just want to look cute on a bike, and would never want to put on spandex and get all sweaty or anything.

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Don’t miss this one if you’re in the Bay Area this weekend.

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

Clearly, he doesn’t get it, either After a community board in New York’s Upper West Side calls for banning ebikes from protected bike lanes, the city’s outgoing mayor quickly refused — because he doesn’t think they belong in traffic lanes.

Drivers in Auckland, New Zealand, are plotting to invade the city’s bike lanes on a busy Saturday morning — this Saturday, in fact — and drive on the bike lanes when they’re likely to be full of people on bicycles. Which seems to be the point. One hundred drivers have confirmed so far, so if it’s like very other Facebook event, maybe three might actually show up.

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

A Boston bike rider got off with a warning for riding through a busy highway tunnel, after state police officers told him it was both illegal and dangerous, as evidenced by the sudden braking as drivers spotted him in the right lane.

What the hell is wrong with some people? An 18-year old Delaware man faces charges for shooting an 11-year old girl with a BB gun in a dispute over the girl riding his bicycle.

A bike-riding Singapore man got off with a $5,600 fine for punching a truck driver who had tried to run him down during a mutual road rage incident; the driver had already been sentenced to a week behind bars.

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Local

KTLA-5’s Rich DeMuro visits Venice Beach’s Bike Attack to learn about electric bicycles, then test rides the VanMoof S3, calling it the Tesla of ebikes. Then again, that’s not necessarily a compliment.

Departing Metro CEO Phil Washington pens a letter to the community in support of the 18-mile NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line, which includes the proposed Beautiful Boulevard plan through Eagle Rock.

Caltrans recommends a $3.532 million plan to fix the twin intersections of Rambla Pacifico and Las Flores Canyon at PCH in Malibu, which saw three traffic deaths and 81 injuries in just a three year period. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to include any bicycle safety measures on the deadly highway.

 

State

It takes a major league schmuck to steal a three-wheeled adaptive bike used by a special needs girl to help with her balance issues.

Bay Area bike advocacy group Bike East Bay wants your help to save the protected bike lanes on Oakland’s iconic Telegraph Avenue.

 

National

Seriously? Consumer Reports discovers the “hidden danger” of big pickup trucks, which are increasing in size with virtually every model year. Never mind that the risk to others should be pretty damn obvious to anyone who has ever walked, ridden or just stood next to one.

USA Cycling announced their new Let’s Ride program to teach bicycle safety and basic bike skills to elementary school children throughout the US.

A new ebike from Civilized Cycles is designed to carry up to two passengers and four loaded grocery bags in comfort, with an automated air ride system that adjusts to the weight the bike is carrying for a smoother ride.

In Style shows women what to wear to look cute on four types of bike rides. Because as we all know, looking cute is what really matters, and no woman would ever want to put on spandex and get all sweaty or anything. Right?

Marketplace examines why Phoenix-based fixie maker State Bicycles is struggling to meet the increased demand brought on by the pandemic-induced bike boom; co-founder Mehdi Farsi blames supply chain issues for an inability to ramp up to meet a two to three-times jump in sales.

Speaking of Phoenix, the downtown area just got its first two-way protected bike lane.

After a Davenport, Iowa man was killed by a red light-running hit-and-run driver while riding his bike back home, the victim’s wife says it never should have happened.

St. Louis is installing zebra lane delineators to separate bicycles and motor vehicles along a protected bike lane; the small bumps — often called armadillos in other cities — promise to be more effective at keeping drivers out than the usual thin plastic car ticklers. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

A study conducted by Maine’s Bowdoin College shows that cities that adopt a Complete Streets policy also see improvements in how crashes between drivers and pedestrians are covered by the media.

Long Island’s Suffolk County is cracking down on scofflaw riders from the Bike Life movement, by creating a new crime of reckless bike riding complete with a $250 fine and possible confiscation of their bicycles.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who always gets it, says helmet laws are not what New York bike riders need right now.

 

International

USA Today offers a modestly covered-up view of naked bike rides — and riders — around the world.

The Barbados transportation minister says bike riders have an equal right to the road, and calls on drivers to help create a more equitable environment for everyone.

Cycling Tips features the hilarious Danish helmet PSA we linked to yesterday, while calling for more “bike-adjacent” ads to feature Vikings.

A new project from the mayor of Hyderabad, India aims to address bad air quality by giving “pre-loved” bicycles to people who will use them as an every day form of transportation.

 

Competitive Cycling

Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Tadej Pogačar is gearing up to defend his pandemic-year Tour de France win by competing in his hometown Tour of Slovenia.

 

Finally…

Go back to the wide stripe jerseys and hairnet helmets of the 1970s. Your next bike helmet might kinda see around corners.

And who hasn’t taken on a national hillclimb champ on a series of increasingly inappropriate bicycles?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Caltrans wants bike input on Active Transportation Plan, Secretary Pete talks bikes, and LACBC Women’s History Ride

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Blame it on my diabetes, which took a sudden turn in a southerly direction Wednesday night.

And as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s damn near impossible to get anything done when you’re just this side of unconscious.

So grab some snacks and hunker down for a long haul, ’cause we’ve got a lot of miles to cover today. 

Adorable photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a call from Caltrans for more input on their Active Transportation Plan from people who ride bikes.

And yes, they specifically said in an email that they really want to hear from us, which is a nice change — and a good opportunity.

But only if we take advantage of it.

Caltrans Calls for Public Input on Active Transportation Plan Survey

LOS ANGELES — Caltrans is looking for public input on its active transportation planning process survey to identify locations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the state highway system. The public can play a critical role in shaping the plans by participating in this localized map-based survey.

“Today we must plan and build a transportation system that incorporates alternative means of transportation and that also considers equity,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares. “Public input on our Active Transportation Plan is crucial to the development of safe pedestrian, bicycle and public transit facilities on our highways.”

The public survey will allow residents to tell Caltrans where improvements could be made to facilitate bicycling and walking on or near the state highway system. Survey responses will provide specific data about the type and location of needed improvements, allowing Caltrans to evaluate these locations in developing future projects.

Caltrans wants to align the state’s bicycle and pedestrian network with the needs of local communities, with an emphasis on improving social equity, reconnecting communities, and improving access for all modes of transportation, including people who walk and bicycle. Caltrans will be actively engaging with partners and community members in areas where historic transportation decisions may have created barriers to adequate transportation.

To take the public survey using your computer, tablet or smartphone, please visit survey.catplan.org and click on District 7. This survey is also available in Spanish.

For more information about the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans, visit catplan.org/district-plans.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say about the survey.

Tell Caltrans to add bike lanes on major streets in LA!

Caltrans District 7 still owns many major streets in Los Angeles that are “state highways” including parts of Santa Monica Bl, Lincoln Bl, Venice Bl, and more. They just released a map and survey that allows you to pinpoint specific streets you feel unsafe biking/walking on. Please put pins on the map asking them to add protected bike lanes!

TELL CALTRANS WHERE TO ADD BIKE LANES

So what are you waiting for, already?

And while we’re on the subject of input, Metro wants yours on first mile – last mile connections to improve biking, walking and rolling access to and from the extension’s first three new Purple Line, aka D Line, stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.

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Looks like we have a Secretary of Transportation who gets it. And sees bikes as part of the solution, even if he hails from the heart of car country.

https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1367564417790070785

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The LACBC is out with a self-guided bike tour to celebrate Women’s History Month, including a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

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More proof that free lifetime registration with Bike Index really does work.

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Prop 22 may have rolled back protections for gig workers, but at least you get to ride an ebike all day.

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Um, okay.

A New York expat Zoomed into a community meeting from sunny Santa Barbara CA to complain about a proposed bike lane on the Big Apple’s Upper East Side, insisting no bike riders from Queens would ever spend money at the borough’s restaurants.

And was immediately refuted by a bike rider from Queens who was doing just that.

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A couple of notable bike notices, as Brompton recalls some of their ebike foldies due to a problem with the firmware.

And two models of Masi bicycles were recalled because a faulty fork steerer tube could lead to dangerous falls.

Meanwhile, Mavic warns that counterfeit wheels being sold under their name could lead to serious injury or death.

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

No bias here. A Syracuse NY website blames a critically injured bicyclist for riding into the side of a car. Then just casually mentions at the end that the driver a) didn’t have a license, and b) fled the scene.

No bias here, either. The wife of a former advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the war on cars is backfiring, and Low-Traffic Neighborhoods only benefit drug dealers on scooters and wealthy bicyclists. Like herself, for instance. A wealthy bike rider, that is, not a drug dealer. 

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

Bike-riding convicted rapist and former pro football star Kellen Winslow II was sentenced to a well-deserved 14 years behind bars for a series of bizarre San Diego sexual assaults.

An emeritus professor at an Australian university conducts his own private study, and concludes that bike riders treat pedestrians far worse than drivers treat people on bicycles.

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Local

Despite the pandemic, funding has been approved for two dozen biking and walking projects in LA County, courtesy of Metro Measure M Active Transportation grants and California Transportation Commission Active Transportation Program grants.

CiclaValley says we’re finally getting closer to protected bike lanes on the Los Angeles section of Chandler Blvd, closing the gap with Burbank’s popular Chandler Bike Path.

Metro invites you to use the Metro Bike bikeshare to take a ride on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path. Especially if you use Metro Bike to do it.

Harrison Ford is one of us, stopping by the Santa Monica Helen’s to get his bike fixed. Twice.

 

State

A Lake Forest man tells the story of how his father’s disappearance drove him to drink, and his bicycle helped carry him back to sobriety. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Santa Barbara now has a green center bike lane to channel riders through the carfree State Street Promenade.

After a Santa Rosa newspaper wrote about the glut of refurbished kids bikes at a nonprofit bike shop, a bighearted donor gave $2,500 to give bikes to kids whose parents can’t afford them.

 

National

US House members heard last week that unsafe streets put residents of marginalized communities at risk of inequitable traffic enforcement, as well as dangerous drivers.

Bicycling explains how to build your own DIY pseudo Peloton setup. As usual, Yahoo has the story if Bicycling blocks you.

Why worry about finding a safe place to sleep on your next bike tour when you can just tow a camping trailer behind your bike?

An executive with Ohio-based Huffy says the bike boom still has some steam, and there’s plenty more sales ahead for the company’s bicycle-shaped objects.

A Massachusetts city discovers those orange bendy posts marking a protected bike lane made drivers slow down, then speed right back up after they were removed for the winter. The same held true after the plastic wands protecting a popup bike lane in the UK were removed, too.

Today’s best headline award goes to Streeetsblog NY, for this entry about a vanishing popup bike lane: Northern Boulevard Bike Lane Lost In Time Like Tears In Rain.

The Virginia legislature passed the state’s bike safety bill, legalizing treating stops as yields and riding two abreast; it now just needs the governor’s signature to become law. Anyone who questions the safety of stops as yields should recognize that it only legalizes what most people do anyway, on two wheels or four. 

The bighearted owners of a Valdosta, Georgia bike shop are working with the local police to refurbish used bikes and give them to people in need.

If you rode a tall bike to Key West last month, the local paper apparently approves.

Florida prosecutors agreed that a schizophrenic man was legally insane when he turned his car off the road and intentionally slammed into a man and his two sons riding bikes on a pedestrian pathway, killing the father and injuring both boys; if the court agrees, he could be sent to a longterm mental health facility.

 

International

Covid-19 cut global greenhouse gas emissions last year, but it will take further dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide to keep it going; more safe urban spaces for walking and cycling could help.

A Yucatán business council is all in on plans for bike lanes in the city of Mérida.

Make up your damn mind, already. Just months after Vancouver ripped out a bike lane so drivers could go zoom zoom and park in a park, the matter is coming to a head once again as people fight to get it back.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where a woman got a lousy one year of house vacation arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a Toronto-area man riding his bike, then lied about how her car was damaged to cover up the crime.

London bike riders continue to be at risk of near-miss terror from aggressive drivers who “treat cyclists like cockroaches.”

Contrary to perceptions, a new study shows London’s Low-traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of our Slow Streets — don’t disproportionately benefit more privileged communities.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine features the best deals on bike helmets in the US and UK.

Ebikes now make up 17% of all European bike sales, and growing.

Your next ebike could be a Porsche. Or you could just put all that excess money in a pile, build a straw man and set it on fire.

An Indian writer discovers their grandfather’s detailed diary of a nearly 1,000-mile bike trip from Kolkata to Kashmir in 1933.

A brief photo essay from Chinese news site Xinhua looks at a wheelchair-bound bike repairman in Palestine.

They get it. The next time you get a craving for coffee and donuts in the Philippines’ Quezon City, just make a detour through Dunkin’s first-ever bike-through lane.

Talk about a bad idea. An Aussie city installed speed bumps in a park to slow down speeding bike riders and reduce collisions with pedestrians. Never mind that the speed bumps are likely to increase injuries by knocking people off their bikes, as well as riders swerving to go around them.

Hollywood’s Thor is one of us, as Chris Hemsworth went for an ebike ride through Sydney, Australia with his wife, Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising 21-year old American cyclist Matteo Jorgenson is looking forward to tackling Paris-Nice this Sunday, as well as the Giro in May.

 

Finally…

Why face front when you can just ride your bike backwards? That feeling when you want your chain to look like it’s made of LEGO.

And apparently, LA streets may have changed just a tad in the last 126 years.

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Thanks to David A for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

As an aside, there’s no such thing as a small donation; I know as well as anyone just how hard it can be to donate to someone else when you’re struggling yourself, and couldn’t appreciate it more.

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

Bernie endorses bike-hater Cedillo in LA’s CD1, the role of law enforcement in Vision Zero, and virtual National Bike Summit

Does Bernie hate bike lanes?

Bernie Sanders endorsed Gil Cedillo for re-election in LA’s 1st Council District, apparently repaying Roadkill Gil’s efforts on his behalf during last year’s presidential primary.

But maybe he should have done a little more research into Cedillo’s record. Like his attempt to have every bike lane in his district removed from the mobility plan, and blocking shovel ready safety projects on North Figueroa and Temple Street.

Not to mention attempting to gut the city’s Vision Zero program, back when it still seemed to be a real thing.

Even though many of the immigrant workers Cedillo professes to champion rely on bicycles as their primary — and sometimes only — form of transportation.

And are too often the victims that Vision Zero was supposed to save.

As the 2017 election demonstrated, Cedillo can be beaten, unlike most incumbent councilmembers in the City of Angels.

Joe Bray-Ali had him on the ropes until Bray-Ali’s campaign imploded after racist and fat-shaming comments he’d made on questionable websites surfaced — likely through Cedillo’s hidden hand.

Instead, Cedillo cruised to an easy victory.

He may have more trouble next time if a serious challenger without so much baggage tosses his or her hat into the ring.

In which case Bernie might soon discover he’s backing the wrong candidate.

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The Vision Zero Network discusses the controversial role of law enforcement in eliminating traffic deaths this Thursday.

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Here’s your chance to attend the Bike League’s annual National Bike Summit.

And this time, you only have to travel as far as your favorite screen.

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Pinkbike offers enough bicycling videos to get you through the entire day today. And maybe tomorrow.

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Local

LADOT is holding a pair of virtual public meetings next month to discuss proposed protected bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd south of Olympic Blvd.

A “slightly cockeyed” map of 1930s Los Angeles shows several people on bicycles, raising the question of whether Los Angeles is a bicycling paradise lost.

 

State

Fifty-one-year old Leovardo Salceda pled not guilty in the cold case shooing death of 37-year-old Oliver Harrison as he rode his bike in San Diego in 1988; police say Harrison was not the intended target. But he’s just as dead as if he was.

Kindhearted Fontana police teamed with the Fontana Foundation of Hope to replace a boy’s bicycle after his was stolen; he’ll ride in style with a new Spider-Man bike, complete with matching helmet.

Santa Barbara will keep State Street through downtown closed to cars and open to people at least through September 8th.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Bakersfield prosecutors settled for a lousy two years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — half the possible jail term — after bargaining away additional charges of destroying evidence and driving despite a license suspension due to DUI.

Good for them. Santa Cruz residents pitched to clean up a network of bike chop shops in the city; more than 90 bicycle frames, 100 rims and 150 tires were recovered from two sites.

A San Francisco op-ed says don’t sacrifice a newly carfree JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park just because a museum wants more parking.

 

National

The Manual offers a beginner’s guide to choosing the right size bike.

This is what it looks like to be riding in a bike lane, and get cut off by a Portland city bus anyway.

A Montana paper recounts the story of the 1900-mile single speed bike ride undertaken by Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps in 1897; the all-Black unit proved bicycles were a viable means of transport for the military — just in time for motor vehicles to push them aside.

More proof that bike riders are tough. A 50-year old San Antonio, Texas man rode his bike back home after he was shot in the stomach in a driveby; no word on his condition or why he was shot.

They get it. A Wisconsin paper says if you ride a bike, get to know your local bike shop, where you’ll get service you can’t find online.

Looks like time has run out for Time; the bikemaker’s pedal and shoe business was just sold to Chicago-based SRAM, while the rest of the company went to Arkansas-based Cardinal Cycling Group.

A Nashville man is looking for his 9-year old daughter’s stolen bike, which was taken before Thanksgiving when the SUV it was inside was stolen as part of a teenage crime spree that ended in the shooting deaths of two of the kids involved; the bike has sentimental value, because it was built by her older brother.

Last week we posted video showing a Brooklyn bike rider being severely beaten by a man with a bat; now the victim, an artist who dedicated his life to beautifying the borough, remains in a coma with a respirator doing his breathing for him.

A Philly op-ed calls for keeping a deadly waterfront roadway closed to cars forever after it was opened up to people walking and biking during the pandemic.

Bicycling celebrates a Pennsylvania Earn A Bike program this month, saying it may be the only one in the country that allows children as young as eight to earn a bicycle by learning how to rebuild it in a 12-week program. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Offroad.cc offers a guide to mountain bike lights.

The London Cycling Campaign suspended an advisor after racist tweets from 2019 accusing aggressive Black drivers of being gangsters on drugs came to light.

You could soon ride in a new public bike park built by bicycle tire and accessory maker Vittoria next to their Italy HQ.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a speeding teenage driver walked with probation for slamming into a man riding his bike, despite leaving him with lasting brain damage and a useless left arm.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, too, where the family of a fallen bike rider feels devastated that a judge gave a driver’s license back to the driver who killed him after just three months.

A 22-year old Christchurch, New Zealand native counts the city’s bike network as one of its few success stories, as the once-vibrant city she barely remembers struggles to rebuild from a series of devastating earthquakes.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Sydney, Australia authorities respond to the death of a bicycle delivery rider by dropping the speed limit to 24 mph and removing several right turns — the equivalent of lefts in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a sport where most riders are washed up by 30, Davide Rebellin is still getting paid to ride for Italian Continental team Work Service Marchiol Vega at age 50.

Seriously? Cycling’s governing body did the right thing by banning a Belgian cycling official after several accusations of sexually harassing women cyclists — then backdated the ban to last April to reduce his suspension.

Nineteen-year old Italian cyclist Miguel Ángel López skidded across the finish line of the UAE Tour individual time trial on his side following a tumbling crash. He was hospitalized with a deep gash to one knee, along with other possible injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you steal a pair of bikes, then come back a few days later and take the bike rack they were locked up to. That feeling when a promising new ebike turns out to be vaporware.

And the next time you have to dodge a car in the Bay Area, it may not have a driver.

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

Morning Links: Bike-riding spy in Nazi Germany, Inside the Issues clips, and solving US health crisis with bikes

There’s not much about bikes in this story.

But something tells me you’ll want to read it anyway.

A 98-year old woman, now living with her husband in Los Angeles, describes what it was like to infiltrate Nazi Germany as a 24-year old, blue eyed blond Frenchwoman who lost her sister and 29 other relatives in the Holocaust.

As Allied forces entered Germany, she borrowed a bicycle to ride to the southern part of the country. And posing as a frightened German citizen, found out from a Nazi officer where the remnants of the German army were waiting to ambush the Allied Forces.

There’s no telling how many lives she may have saved, or how much her bravery may have shortened the war.

A reminder that you never know who that little old lady once was.

Like maybe a 4’11” bike-riding hero who helped save the world.

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Unfortunately, I can’t link to Friday’s Inside the Issues report about LA bicycling issues on the Spectrum News 1 channel, since they don’t archive their shows online.

Never mind that people paying for their cable and internet service might actually want to see it if they missed the initial broadcast. Let alone everyone else who doesn’t get SoCal Spectrum service.

Let alone Inside the Issues.

But at least they’ve tweeted a few clips from the show, including one with yours truly talking about the Frederick “Woon” Frazier tragedy.

And yes, my choice of attire was entirely intentional.

They also posted this too-brief clip of new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, followed by a clip from their report on ghost bikes.

Which I didn’t know they were doing until I arrived at the studio wearing that shirt.

Hopefully they’ll post clips from the same Inside the Issues show with Curbed’s Alissa Walker and CicLAvia ED Romel Pascal.

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A 409-page benchmarking report from the League of American Bicyclists says more bicycling and walking could solve America’s public health crisis, as well as reduce traffic congestion, and shows where it’s getting better and worse to ride a bike in the US.

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To help get you in the mood for Valentines Day, CBS News says the key to a happy marriage may be a tandem bike.

Or at least it’s worked for a New Jersey couple who’ve been riding together for 45 years.

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Bystanders in Oaxaca formed an impromptu cheering squad for a late night family bike ride.

https://twitter.com/LATbermudez/status/1094452312939130885

Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

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Nothing will cure a case of the Mondays faster than this thread from Peter Flax, showing a number of classic Hollywood celebrities were each one of us, too.

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Local

LA Magazine examines how the mostly student-led group Westwood Forward successfully created the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, splitting off from the existing Westwood NC, which had fought to restrict “bike lanes, nightlife, and new housing.” And anything remotely resembling fun.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says forget expensive highway projects in the mayor’s 28 by 2028 program to accelerate Metro projects for the ’28 LA Olympics; instead, he says focus on transit and equity, as well as expanding open streets, bikeshare and protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles could be about to fix a “bureaucratic quirk” that left hundreds of streets unrepaired because they were officially withdrawn from use. Even though no one actually bothered to close them, or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly stoned driver plowed into a crowd of people in Fullerton as they left local nightspots early Sunday morning, seriously injuring ten people. But sure, tell us again how you were nearly killed by someone on a bicycle that one time.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. An apparently drunk or stoned woman carefully drove around security barriers and into the lobby of the San Pedro police station, then backed out with a cop hanging onto her open door — and with her baby in the car.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, aka AQMD, is moving forward with a proposal for a half-cent sales tax increase to fund clean air projects. Someone should tell them there’s nothing cleaner than bicycles and bike lanes.

State

San Diego faces a more than half a billion dollar deficit in funding to fix a backlog of transportation infrastructure projects, including streetlights, bike lanes and sidewalk repair.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist says he’s the one who was seriously injured in a crash with a truck driver on Gibraltar Road last year; he’s now fully recovered and back to riding the popular climb, though he’s now descending at 12 mph instead of 30 mph.

Santa Barbara is planning a pair of road diets to slow traffic and improve safety under the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Santa Maria is stepping up police enforcement and working on new bike and downtown streetscape planes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Napa County’s new bike plan proposes another 453 miles of bikeways, to compliment the county’s existing 142 miles. Although those totals include bike routes, which are pretty meaningless except for wayfinding. And not always then.

A Marin columnist says a six-month trial period for a bikeway on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge makes sense, saying it should go back to a car lane if it has low ridership during peak hours. Only if cars get just a six-month trial period to prove it actually cuts congestion before reverting back to a bike lane.

National

Bloomberg endorses the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings and save bicyclists’ lives.

Bicycling celebrates Black History Month with 15 “rad, influential and super-fast cyclists” they say you need to follow on Instagram.

More from Bicycling, arguing that if Congress is serious about fighting climate change, any Green New Deal has to include support for bicycling.

The Onion says always make eye contact with drivers, so they’ll feel guiltier when they run you over. The satirical newspaper adds that “only 62 total Americans are intelligent and thoughtful enough to operate a motor vehicle.”

Inspired by Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, five Australian musicians rode their bikes from Sallisaw OK to Bakersfield to recreate the Joad family’s journey on just $420 — the modern equivalent of the $18 the Joads got for selling all their belongings — busking and relying on handouts along the way for the rest.

A Minnesota man raised $30,000 dollars for charity by riding his bike 11,000 miles around the permitter of the lower 48 states, saying it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be.

A bike-riding Tennessee columnist says bicyclists don’t deserve the treatment we get from motorists. Amen, brother.

A speeding drunk driver gets a well-deserved five years behind bars for killing a 74-year old Boston grandfather as he was riding his bike.

She gets it. Writing for The Conversation, a Harvard research scientist says bicycle-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just wealthy white cyclists.

A Connecticut man is living his best life as a self-appointed, bike-riding costumed traffic superhero.

A columnist for the New York Post gets it, saying drivers need to start paying to use the city’s streets in order to fight traffic congestion.

No one seems to know why bicycle and pedestrian deaths are up in the DC area. Although I think most bike riders and pedestrians could take some pretty good guesses.

International

An automotive website asks if a McLaren designer has created the perfect folding ebike.

A travel writer for the LA Times experiences a carfree ciclovia in Santiago, Chile.

The late, great Albert Finney got his start playing a blue collar worker in a British bicycle factory.

British comic Rowen Atkinson is one of us in real life, as well as on the screen.

An 82-year old English great grandmother is back riding a bike despite losing her vision, thanks to a local bike library’s program to get blind people on tandems.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland hold hands to form a human-protected bike lane to call for a more concrete one. Thanks to Megan Lynch.

The Winter Bike to Work Day was a success in Minsk, Russia.

A pair of German bike tourists pause in the United Arab Emirates on their three-year journey around the world, saying the country has the worst traffic they’ve seen.

No bias here. The Daily Mail says Aussie truck drivers are outraged after bike riders won a three-year battle to have large trucks banned from a busy street, rather than focusing on a successful effort to improve safety and traffic flow.

An Australian website asks if it’s a country of horn-honking hulks and road-ragers, noting that one in five Aussies say they’ve experienced road rage or aggressive driving directed towards people on bicycles.

“Anarchistic” rogue mountain bikers are being blamed for the extinction of the endangered plants in an Australian national park.

An Australian professor bizarrely compares advocates calling for an end to the country’s mandatory bike helmet laws to climate-change deniers and anti-vaxxers.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere. Four days after opening the Philippines’ first protected bike lane, drivers are already using it as just another traffic or parking lane.

A Japanese newspaper says bike riders need to have better manners and be prepared to pay significant damages for crashes with pedestrians, as a government panel considers what would be the right level of compensation.

Competitive Cycling

British pro Scott Auld tells how survived a chain reaction crash caused by a careless driver that sent him down a ravine, and nearly cost him his life.

Sad news from Pakistan where a 4-time national champion died of cancer at just 32 years old.

Finally…

When you’re setting off on a bike tour of another country, it’s usually best not to start out riding salmon on a major highway. Who needs an ebike when you’ve got a strong dog?

And at last someone’s come up with a solution to LA’s crushing traffic problems.

Just let me know when Fleet Week rolls around.

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Thanks to Danila O for her generous donation to support this site, and keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Donations of any amount are welcome any time, for any reason.

Morning Links: Bike rider critical after PCH crash, become an LCA, and police search for bicycling SaMo shooter

A bike rider was critically injured on PCH in Pacific Palisades on Tuesday evening when a driver somehow lost control of his car , and overturned in the parking lot.

No word on the identity of the victim, or whether he was riding on PCH or in the parking lot when the driver crashed into him.

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Here’s your chance to be a League Certified Cycling Instructor, as Bike SGV is hosting a training session next month.

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Santa Monica police are looking for a bike rider who pulled out a gun and shot a driver in a liquor store parking lot last November, after a confrontation with the occupants of her SUV.

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Scottish stunt rider Danny MacAskill races a horse and finishes in front, despite having two fewer feet.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Metro’s bike ban on 1st Street in Little Tokyo and the mostly ignored 2,700-foot detour, saying it may not be legal, and is just another example of Metro’s repeated failure to fix known problems.

Here’s your chance to design your own LA parklet. Hint: More bike corrals, please.

Good piece from LA Bike Dad, who discovers the hard way that he and his kids aren’t made of sugar, after getting caught in Saturday’s expected downpour while riding their bikes.

CiclaValley goes riding on the Santa Clarita Truck Trail, also discovering the hard way that it was a lot longer and steeper than expected.

A Burbank man was busted for burglary after police spotted him riding a bicycle with no hands while carrying a large box at 3:45 am.

State

San Diego police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a woman riding a bicycle in Mission Bay. Note to SDPD: Bike riders can ride in a crosswalk, but aren’t required to. Or expected for that matter.

San Jose’s bike-riding mayor is working from home as he recovers from his recent collision.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks readers where they want to see the next protected bike lane. My choice is Los Angeles.

Once again, an alleged drunk driver fled the scene of a crash with the victim embedded in his windshield. The Sacramento driver faces numerous charges, while his skateboarding victim is recovering from shattered bones in both legs, as well as injuries to her arm and neck.

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to make your dog the best riding partner ever.

Tech Guide takes a close-up look at the new bicycle air bag vest. Just one more example of upping the bike safety arms race because people can’t be expected to drive safely.

An Illinois woman is under arrest for embezzling money from the bike shop where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Boston’s bike hating columnist gloats over the recent decline in bike commuting rates, insisting it’s time “for public officials and policy makers to turn their backs on the militant, self-righteous bike lobby and its fantasy of a world in which drivers defer to cyclists as the rightful kings of the road.” Um, right.

This is why you don’t try to stop bike thieves by yourself. A New York man was slashed with a knife when he tried to stop two thieves who were trying to make off with an ebike behind the restaurant he works at.

A Virginia bike club is crowdfunding donations to build a new bike path.

Three Florida kids gave up their own Christmas celebration so their dad could ride a bike across Florida to raise funds to fight domestic violence.

International

Massive trucks and SUVs may make the people in them feel safer, but increase the danger to everyone else.

That’s more like it. Toronto distracted drivers will now face a $1,000 fine and three points off their license. California charges a measly $20 for the first offense — and zero points. Recently retired former governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill which would have toughened fines for California’s almost universally distracted driving laws.

A British convict’s taste of freedom didn’t long. He was rearrested in a nearby town the day after he stole a prison bicycle and rode out the gates.

A Rwandan teenager has found his American Dream working as a bike mechanic after spending 13 years in a refugee camp.

Bikeway maps show just how much the Dutch government cherishes bicycles and the people who ride them.

Competitive Cycling

Yes, there really is a US Open Fat Bike Beach Race, which is expected to double in size for this year’s race.

Finally…

Your next bike could be a tall bike or chopper — or both. If you’re going to murder a mob enforcer in a bike-by shooting, be sure to wear a hi-viz vest to call more attention to yourself.

And this new motorcycle can really fly.

No, literally.

Morning Links: Bike commuting down in US, PA man faces jail for riding a bike, and $500,000 bike shop thefts

USA Today examines the recent Bike League report showing bike commuting is down in cities across the US, and the reasons behind it.

Although the story also notes that ridership is up in some cities, particularly where they’ve invested in safe bike networks.

Around the country, city transportation officials wish there were more bicyclists like Dandino as they seek to cut traffic congestion, promote health and identify alternatives to cars. After rising for several years, the percentage of commuters turning to bikes declined for the third year straight, U.S. Census Bureau figures show.

Nationally, the percentage of people who say they use a bike to get to work fell by 3.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, to an average of 836,569 commuters,  according to the bureau’s latest American Community Survey, which regularly asks a group of Americans about their habits. That’s down from a high of 904,463  in 2014, when it peaked after four straight years of increases.

Census Bureau figures are notoriously unreliable, however, since they only count people biking to work, and not commuting or riding for other purposes.

And if someone uses a bicycle as part of a multimodal commute, it’s usually not categorized as a bike commute.

Meanwhile, the news was mixed in Long Beach.

Long Beach, California, saw a 23.1 percent increase in the number of bike commuters from 2016 to 2017, though it was down 19 percent from 2011 to 2017, the league’s report says. Over the past decade, Long Beach added bike lanes throughout the city and dedicated routes separated from traffic, including some that recently opened. Its bike-sharing program continues to grow, having 11,000 members.

“I think we are getting a lot of commuters coming into the downtown,” Public Works Director Craig Beck said. “A separated bike lane that goes four blocks doesn’t really do anything. It’s about point-to-point safety.”

And as usual, the view from Los Angeles was far less rosy.

In a push to make the city more bike-friendly, Los Angeles started installing miles of protected bike lanes and embracing “road diets,” or slowing streets to make them safer for bikers and pedestrians. In a city where the car is king, a backlash from motorists drastically cut back those efforts.

As a result, Bicycling magazine named Los Angeles the worst biking city in America in October.

Something LA city leaders still haven’t addressed. Or even seem to care about.

The story goes on to quote the author of a certain humble LA bike blog.

“The City Council and the mayor’s office are only listening to angry drivers who don’t want their commute to be slowed down by anyone,” said Ted Rogers, a veteran bike rider who writes the BikingInLA blog.

“I hear from countless people who say they quit” biking, he said. “They just don’t feel safe on the streets anymore.”

………

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger.

After spending nearly two years behind bars for the crime of taking the lane — or rather, violating a judge’s order to stop doing it — a Pennsylvania bike rider could be going back to jail for violating his probation.

By riding a bicycle.

Authorities had accused David Smith of repeatedly riding in the traffic lane on narrow country roads, causing major traffic backups and — allegedly —  posing a danger to motorists by not allowing them to pass.

His defense had been that his bicycle is his only form of transportation, and that he was only riding where he was supposed to by taking the center of the lane.

Evidently, though, the local authorities weren’t fans of vehicular cycling. Smith was sentenced in 2017 to up to two years in jail, but released on probation after having already served a total of 20 months because he refused to accept a mental health evaluation that could have led to his release.

One condition of his probation was that he not ride a bicycle until his probationary period ended in 2020.

A condition he allegedly broke by riding this past October.

Still, there’s something very wrong when what a simple traffic violation — if that — can lead to serious jail time.

………

Either something is a little fishy, or a Colorado bike shop owner may be the world’s unluckiest pedal peddler.

Because he’s now lost half a million dollars worth of bicycles in two separate break-ins less than three years apart.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that thieves stole up to $300,000 worth of bikes, tools and other merchandise from the Boulder bike store in a carefully planned New Years Day break-in.

That follows an unsolved 2016 break-in at the store’s Miami location, where thieves smashed their van into the storefront and made off with $200,000 worth of bikes.

………

The perfect solution for those leisurely afternoon bike rides across the lake.

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Local

Enough with the bleak news already. Curbed offers 19 things to look forward to in 2019, including a new bike/ped bridge over the LA River, ebike dockless bikeshare, and half-hearted improvements to six LA streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Westside traffic safety deniers cynically rushed to blame the Venice Blvd Great Streets project for the death of a pedestrian on Centinela Ave over the holidays, even though the crash occurred four full blocks away. And even though the tragedy makes a better argument for implementing similar safety improvements on Centinela.

Bicycles have been banned from westbound 1st Street in DTLA through 2021 for work on Metro’s Regional Connector Transit Project; a detour is in place to get around the construction zone.

A Playa del Rey scooter rider was collateral damage in a wild police chase through three counties Thursday afternoon; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

The new Spectrum news channel looks at the efforts of Watts-based East Side Riders to use bikes to keep kids on the right track.

CicLAvia is hiring an Event Production Assistant and a Social Media Manager. If they ever need an anti-social media manager, I’m all in.

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is back from the dead, thanks in part to Oprah’s favorite LA-based ebike maker.

State

California announced the winners in the latest round of funding for active transportation projects, including several in SoCal and the LA area.

Arraignment was postponed for the allegedly stoned driver who killed Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last November. That’s nothing unusual; preliminary hearings and arraignments are often postponed several times before anything actually gets done.

A Cardiff railroad crossing will be closed for three weeks to install new crossing guards and build new bike and pedestrian paths.

No surprise here. San Diego’s docked bikeshare provider Discover Bikes says it’s being negatively impacted by dockless bikeshare. Which will inevitably be the case for most docked providers unless they make major changes.

The family of fallen Riverside County mountain biker Andres Marin is suing over a delay in searching for him after he called home to say he had been injured, which may have contributed to his death.

A Minnesota man visiting San Diego suffered nine broken ribs and a punctured lung when the crank snapped on his fixie as he stood on the pedals to beat a traffic light.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was released from the hospital just one day after he slammed his bike into the side of an SUV whose driver cut him off, despite suffering a broken vertebrae and sternum. Apparently, when you’re the mayor, they actually ticket the guy behind the wheel for a change.

A 14-year old Oakland boy was critically injured in a hit-and-run that’s equal parts horrifying and infuriating; the fleeing driver dragged him for three blocks after smashing into his bike before the poor kid was able to roll free. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

Now you can take Alexa everywhere you ride. Why you’d want to is another question.

A Seattle man lost 50 pounds by taking up bicycling after his car died.

Ride Uber’s electric JUMP bikes too far in Seattle, and it will cost you a cool $25.

A Seattle bicyclist’s conscience gets the better of him, or possibly her, for yelling at an older couple to hurry up crossing the street.

Trump’s tariffs are taking a toll on little kids in Denver, because a non-profit bike shop can’t afford parts to recycle bicycles as part of an earn-a-bike program.

Clever piece from a Dallas man who rode 1,617 miles to work over the past two years; he started riding after leaving his car at the office Christmas party, then riding his bike back to get it the next day after he sobered up.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was lucky to escape unharmed when he hid behind a bus after a man started shooting at him, apparently at random; the gunman was shot and killed by police.

An Austin TX bike rider leads police to the body of a woman who had been murdered and dumped in the woods.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, riding his Australian-made single speed around the streets of New York. Apparently, fellow actor Bruce Campbell is, too. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

The NYPD finally instructed its officers to ticket business owners who use banned ebikes, rather than the low-wage delivery workers who ride them.

International

A 64-year old London woman uses her bicycle to get around after suffering a stroke. But bikes are only for the young and fit, right?

A British health institute calls for improving public health by remaking the country’s streets to give bicyclists and pedestrians priority over motor vehicles.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an unlicensed, road raging driver got just five months behind bars for using his van as a weapon to ram a rider off his bicycle. It’s questionable whether he would have gotten the same light sentence if he’d used a gun instead of a motor vehicle.

Ireland’s attorney general has scuttled a proposal to establish a minimum safe passing distance in the country.

Two Chinese boys were lucky to survive with minor injuries when they were run over by a large truck and dragged 30 feet in a crash caught on security cam. As usual, be sure you really want to see it before clicking the link; even though the boys weren’t seriously injured, the image is horrifying.

Evidently, those step-through bikes are stronger than they look. After a Chinese salmon cyclist was hit head-on by a driver, the car suffered major damage to its bumper, while the bike and rider were relatively unscathed.

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Bike racing’s governing body has finally banned the use of the opioid painkiller Tramadol during competition, even though the World Anti-Doping Agency is still allowing it.

Finally…

If you’re trying to lose weight, forget the bike ride and just take a bath. More proof you can steal anything by bike.

And seriously, if you’re riding a bike with coke hidden under your hat, put a damn light on it (scroll down).

The bike, not the hat.

Morning Links: More criticism of the GHSA bike safety report; register now for SoCal state highway safety summit

More responses to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report on bicycle safety, which we discussed here yesterday.

Bike Portland digs deep into the stats to show the report just doesn’t add up. Streetsblog says despite what the report says, the bike boom has been fantastic for bike safety.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking says those scary numbers the report cited for California add up to just 6.3 deaths per 10,000 bike commuters in the state, and that the real scary data is how little states spend on bike and pedestrian safety.

The Bike League says the tone deaf press release doesn’t even mention speeding or driving behavior, and yes, bicycle safety is a national issue. And People for Bikes suggests that the safety in numbers effect means biking has been getting dramatically safer as Americans ride more.

On the other hand, KPCC’s Airtalk keeps it superficial in discussing the matter.

……..

The State of California is updating its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, described as a “holistic, statewide plan” that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways.

There are currently over 400 stakeholders participating in the process, from state and federal agencies to police departments, regional transportation agencies, tribal governments and private individuals.

As part of the update process, a Southern California summit will be held to collect public input on how to improve safety on the state’s roadways.

November 12, 2014
8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
California State University, Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Student Union
 

Advance registration is required no later than November 5th at

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1821831/California-SHSP-Development-Summits

Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

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Local

Metro gets the ball rolling on South LA’s much needed Rail to River bikeway.

A writer for City Watch bizarrely asks if LA’s walkable streets and bike lanes are only for the creative class, before arguing that the streets will be incomplete if they don’t include street food vendors.

Writing for Streetsblog, former city council candidate Odysseus Bostick asks if Los Angeles can fix roads and sidewalks, invest in rail and bike share, and complete other needed infrastructure projects without raising taxes. Good question.

 

State

After five long years, Newport Beach unanimously approved the new Bicycle Master Plan. Maybe this will finally provide some much needed safety improvements down there.

San Diego plans to change the way residents get to work in the next 21 years.

A San Jose State University art exhibit documents a student’s bike tour down Highway 1.

 

National

Auto-centric magazine Road & Track surprisingly admits America is losing the war on distracted driving.

A cyclist rides a single speed from LA to Charleston SC in 27 days to raise awareness of human trafficking.

You can have Kevin Costner’s bike from American Flyers for a cool $40 grand. No offense, but for that price you can have damn near any bike you want.

Great idea, as the University of Louisville gives over 1,000 students $400 vouchers redeemable at local bike shops when they agree not to buy a campus parking permit for at least two years. Are you listening, parking-challenged UCLA?

A DC website asks if city residents will be willing to make the unpopular decisions necessary for Vision Zero to succeed. LA needs to ask itself the same question, now that it’s finally official policy here.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to ride in the rain, which is about as much winter as we ever get around here.

British employers should do more to ensure bike safety, as a significant proportion of road deaths and injuries are caused by work vehicles.

London’s Express offers ten, uh, make that six tips for safe winter riding.

Cycling Central argues that women riders don’t need their own Tour de France, but should have a pro tour of their own somewhere else. Probably because that would make it easier for TV and the press to ignore.

Bicycling is even booming in the land of Putin, as Russian cyclists bring bike culture to Moscow.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a driver gets a whopping two weeks in jail for the death of a cyclist. But at least he won’t be driving — legally, anyway — for the next three years.

 

Finally…

No bikes involved, as Michigan man in a zombie costume tries to scare passing motorists, with predictable results; police are still looking for the driver. Speaking of which, you’ll need this bike for the coming zombie apocalypse.

And Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on the 2nd Annual South Bay Cycling Awards in his own inimitable style, tongue planted deeply in cheek.

 

Morning Links: Deadline for LACBC ED apps extended; Bike League politely abandons Kentucky’s Cherokee Schill

One quick note before we get started.

The LACBC has extended the deadline to apply for the Executive Director position (pdf). If you think you’re up to the challenge of leading one of the nation’s most vibrant and innovative bike advocacy organizations — or know someone who is — you’ve got just a few more weeks to apply.

……..

The League of American Bicyclists has decided not to actively support Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for the crime of riding her bike in the traffic lane.

After analyzing the unique qualities of the state’s antiquated traffic laws, they determined that an argument could be made either way. And since it doesn’t have national implications, they’d rather work to change the law than help fight in court for her right to ride.

Their reasoning makes perfect sense.

But I can’t help thinking they’re leaving her alone to face the legal lions, when they could easily step in to lend a hand.

Because moral support ain’t worth a damn on the streets. Or in the courts.

……..

Local

The lawyer for the South LA bike rider allegedly beaten by police offers his side of the story.

Bicycling magazine describes the merits of bike-friendly city #28 on their list, also known as the City of Angels.

Santa Monica College is the first California community college to be designated a Bicycle Friendly University.

 

State

California’s own — and now America’s only — Tour de France winner moves forward after 12 years of hell for taking a stand against doping in the peloton.

Laguna Beach riders get a new, continuous north-south route that avoids dangerous PCH.

The Newport Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on adopting the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, friends and family come to the support of the wife of fallen cyclist Shaun Eagleson, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Newport Beach last week.

A teenage bike rider may have suffered serious head trauma when he was hit by a car in Phelan in San Bernardino County.

An estimated 10,000 people turn out for Santa Barbara’s second annual open streets event.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is going to the mattresses to stop scofflaw off-road riders in the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Mountain bikers compete in a 24-hour endurance race in Oroville.

 

National

Bicycling is the new wonder drug.

A new smart bike helmet promises to beam data on your heart rate, calories and performance to your cell phone.

Corvallis OR police are puzzled by a 100% increase in bike thefts over last year.

A Springfield MO man gets seven years in the death of a cyclist who was killed as the man’s girlfriend attempted to flee from him as he chased her through the streets of the town in a stolen car after flashing a gun. Sounds like he got off way too easy.

A Clarksville TN mountain biker wanted a challenging trail to ride, so he built one. Then got hired by the city to build more.

A Chicago cyclist is critically injured when he’s hit by a stolen semi-truck; the driver is arrested after fleeing the scene.

New York’s financially troubled Citi Bike is purchased by a real estate company that owns other bike share programs in North America and Australia.

 

International

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 76-year old UK track cyclist sets a world’s record in the over 75 class.

The Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team has Olympic dreams, despite the difficulties facing women — let alone women cyclists — in their home country.

Nearly 50% of Aussies would bike to work if they received financial incentives to do it.

Evidently, cyclists in Singapore face the same anti-bike clichés as riders in the US. And everywhere else, apparently.

Clearly, distracted driving isn’t just an American problem, as a Chinese bus driver faces criminal charges for killing an elderly bike rider while checking his cell phone. (Fair warning, this story includes video of the collision from the driver’s perspective — something you may not want to see. I know I didn’t.)

 

Finally…

If spandex impacts cyclists’ ability to observe stop signs, then it must affect drivers as well, since 80% of today’s clothes contain at least some of the material. No, seriously, when a highway patrol officer tells you to move your bike, don’t threaten him with a knife.

And in a brilliant idea, Edinburgh, Scotland bans cars from school zones in an attempt to improve safety, something that would undoubtedly cause parental rioting here.

 

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