Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Morning Links: 49% of LA car trips doable by bike, inspiring girls with best bike quote ever, and LA River bike path reopens

They get it.

A new report says ebikes and e-scooters are better for short trips than cars.

Electric scooters and bikes have a “universal potential” to provide more efficient, cheaper ways to get around U.S. cities than driving a car…

Why? It’s largely because drivers in many U.S. cities are taking short trips and sitting in traffic when they could be taking another transit mode.

Not surprisingly, the study ranked Los Angeles as having the ninth-best potential to replace motor vehicle trips with micromobility — or a regular bike, for that matter — with 49% of all car trips in the city just three miles or less.

All we need is safe places to ride them.

Ebike photo courtesy of Metro Bike.

………

With all due apologies to Lance, Eddy Merckx, Einstein and Steve Jobs, this may just be the best bike quote ever.

You can be feminine and girly and sparkly and be a really badass bike racer as well.

That’s from newly crowned world cross-county mountain bike champ Kate Courtney, the first American in 17 years to win the title.

And something that should be a mantra for every little girl from the time they’re old enough to ride a bike.

………

CiclaValley discovers the construction barriers have finally been removed from the LA River bike path between Zoo Drive and the Riverside Bridge.

And provides a detailed tutorial on plans for the pathway, and why it’s still far from finished.

His movie making skills are improving, too.

………

Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin is one of us. That’s the good news.

………

Rock star and former Amy Winehouse boyfriend Pete Doherty is one of us, too, walking his dogs on a London bikeshare bike.

https://twitter.com/JordanMolinari_/status/1170994419618713600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170994419618713600&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nme.com%2Fnews%2Fmusic%2Fwatch-pete-doherty-get-pulled-along-huskies-boris-bike-2547011

………

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

A 17-year old British bike rider may have been deliberately targeted by the 16-year old hit-and-run driver who ran him down and dragged him underneath his car, and is now facing a murder charge. This is the same crash we mentioned yesterday where bystanders picked up the car to lift it off the victim in a failed attempt to save his life.

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

After trading blows — or mostly receiving them — with the driver of an SUV, an Aussie bicyclist picked his bike up and tried to ram it through the car’s window. Which may have been satisfying in the moment, but couldn’t have done the poor bike a lot of good.

………

Local

A Palmdale letter writer says asking bike riders to pay a reasonable fee is the right thing to do, since car, truck and mobile home owners have to pay DMV fees. Never mind that DMV fees and gas taxes cover wear and tear on the roads, which bikes don’t cause. And that the overwhelming cost of local streets and roads, where bicyclists ride, come out of general tax funds, which we all pay. So in reality, he’s asking for bike riders to pay twice for damage we don’t cause. Seems fair.

A development company has proposed building a six-story, 236-unit apartment complex on environmentally sensitive land between the confluence of Ballona and Centinela creeks, just south of the Marina Freeway. The good news is that it includes plans for a much-needed bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the south bank to the Ballona Creek bike path; the bad new is, the bridge will be private.

Torrance police have finally identified the man who murdered an 11-year old girl, 47 years after she disappeared while riding her bike. And 16 years after the asshole her killer died.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer whose sole form of transportation is a bicycle says bring on the controversial 30th Street bike lanes.

Tragic news from Visalia, where a 61-year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike, dragging her the length of two football fields under his car as he made his getaway; police arrested the allegedly drunk driver a short time later.

Monterey — which my brother should be passing through today or tomorrow on his bike tour of the left coast — is nearly finished with a new $8.5 million Complete Street makeover of North Fremont Blvd, including protected and physically separated bike lanes, as well as bike crossing signals.

They get it, too. A Petaluma newspaper says the city needs to do a lot more to make it friendly for bicyclists, calling bicycling one of the best ways to fight climate change.

They’ve got a point. Berkeley bike riders complain about hefty $238 fines for rolling stop signs — before court costs. Which is one more argument for a California version of the Idaho Stop Law; bike riders who carefully roll stops without jeopardizing anyone’s safety shouldn’t be punished that severely. Or at all.  

 

National

Bicycling takes a look at the hottest new bikes for fall.

Forbes looks at American bike part maker SRAM, saying it came out of nowhere with a single product to take on the established manufacturers.

Nonprofit bicycle registry Bike Index has introduced plugins for bike shop point-of-sales software to automatically register bikes in the background when customers purchase new bikes. Or get a free, lifetime registration with Bike Index here.

CityLab says instead of fighting it out, cities and private mobility companies should work together for a brighter multimodal future. Or we could just wait for the inevitable collapse of our gridlocked street systems, and wave at all the people trapped in their cars as we zoom by.

Curbed takes Amazon to task for putting 20,000 new delivery vans on the streets, calling for smaller, right-sized vehicles and delivery bikes to cut emissions and improve safety.

Portland offers a five-year progress report on their 2030 bike plan, only five years late. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet. Although something tells me Portland’s made a lot more progress than we have.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bicycle from a 12-year old Arizona boy with cerebral palsy.

Streetsblog Chicago offers some decent advice for casual bicyclists to keep riding a bike from being intimidating.

An Ohio high school teacher will be very late for class, after she was taken to a hospital when a driver ran into her bike on the way to school.

Seriously? A Kentucky letter writer says bikes are great fun! But rip out all the damn bike lanes because cars rule the road!

As New York Mayor Bill De Blasio continues his quixotic quest for the White House, back home advocates take him to task for a recent call for mandatory bike helmets and bike licenses, and demand that he focus on the real issues killing bike riders instead, like bad streets and reckless driving.

A Virginia letter writer says more cars aren’t the answer. And for every idiot he’s seen on a bicycle, he’s seen 10,000 more in cars.

A Florida woman organized a bike ride to honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center —including her own brother, a New York firefighter killed when the buildings came down.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Weekly discusses things you’ll inevitably have to explain to your non-cycling partner. When my wife and I first moved in together, she said my bike belonged on the balcony. I patiently explained that yes, I loved her, but I’ve known my bike a helluva lot longer. And if my bike has to sleep out there, so do I.

Vancouver cops bust a massive bike theft ring, recovering 150 purloined bicycles, including ebikes and high-end bikes. Makes you wonder how many they stole and moved or chopped before they got caught.

Employees at a British Columbia Starbucks pitched in to buy a new bike for an 18-year old Iraqi refugee after his was stolen from the patio as he worked there as a barista.

London — no, the one in Ontario, Canada — introduces the province’s first bicycle mayor, tasked with promoting bicycle infrastructure in a car-oriented city. Which sounds a lot like a certain SoCal city I could name, which hasn’t even considered appointing a bike mayor.

A Toronto man returned a stolen bicycle to its owner after the thief upgraded to his bike, slicing through the lock with a power tool in broad daylight

A UK thief gets eleven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police in a stolen SUV, along with another 18 months for a pair of burglaries.

No, Road.cc, it wasn’t a five-year old cyclist that got knocked off his bike by an adult hit-and-run bicyclist. It was a five-year old little boy on a bicycle.

The bike-riding, but apparently not very observant, former editor of the prestigious medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journalsays the time has come to license and register bicyclists, so they’ll obey the law like other road users. Most of whom don’t, regardless of license and registration.

After making an ill-advised pass around a group of bicyclists, a Scottish woman avoids a head-on crash with an oncoming car by steering back into the soft, squishy people on bikes instead, injuring two people.

An Irish father fights back against accusations that he put his eleven-year old son at risk by letting him ride to school without a helmet or hi-viz, saying he didn’t think a hemet would help in the event of a collision.

Philippine bike riders say banning bicycles from the bridges connecting Mactan Island and Mandaue City isn’t the answer.

A Buddhist bell maker in Kyoto, Japan is producing handmade Orin temple bell-style bike bells, designed to resonate through the bike frame to amplify the sound and warn people a bike is coming, while it drives away evil thoughts at the same time. Seriously, if anyone has me on their secret Santa list, this is what I want. Or a corgi.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s Wednesday stage was the fastest ever Grand Tour stage over 125 miles; riders said gusting crosswinds and aggressive tactics made the stage ruthless.

While the Vuelta lumbers on, the Tour of Britain rolls through its fifth stage.

VeloNews looks at world championship favorite Mathieu van der Poel’s murky future in road cycling, as he prepares to focus on mountain biking in the 2020 Olympics.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly profiles 77-year old John Allis, who went from novice bike rider to co-founding the Princeton cycling team to a three-time Olympian.

 

Finally…

No, really. You’re not a bike thief, you’re a bicycle collector. If you’re planning to walk out of a pawn shop with a $4,000 bike, maybe don’t leave your name first.

And why suffer in traffic when you can just drive your cab down a protected bike lane?

 

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, SF fixie legend dies, and Seattle radio station wants to kill their listeners

Yet another study confirms that bikes are good for business

As Treehugger notes, anytime someone proposes installing a bike lane on a commercial street, business owners complain it will put them out of business.

But the reality is just the opposite.

After an initial transition period as customers adjust to the changes, sales usually go up for some businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, while remaining unchanged for others.

That was the case in Toronto, where businesses fought tooth-and-nail against a protected bike lane that most would probably fight to keep today.

According to the study,

The number of merchants on Bloor Street reporting more than 100 customers per day increased substantially and significantly for food service/bar and retail establishments on both Saturdays and weekdays. No significant changes were detected for service establishments…

Our results indicate the business environment on Bloor Street improved during the time of the study: Reported visitor spending rose, visit frequency increased, estimated customer counts show growth in the number of customers, and vacancy rates held steady… Other data we collected from the visitor survey are consistent with positive changes in the pilot area. The proportion of shoppers driving to the neighborhood remained unchanged at 9%, and that of shoppers arriving on bicycles rose considerably from 8% to 22%.

Just most evidence that businesses in retail districts that fight bike lanes are just shooting themselves in the foot.

And chasing more business away.

………

Sad news from San Francisco, where the city’s Yellow Bike Company announced the death of fixie legend Keo Curry.

Curry also explored LA’s rising fixed gear scene in the groundbreaking documentary To Live & Ride in L.A.

No cause of death was given.

………

What the hell is wrong with some people?

Apparently annoyed at people on bicycles taking a shortcut through their precious parking lot, on-air personalities from a Portland radio station set up barriers to block them, while joking about clotheslining anyone who still comes through.

https://twitter.com/1080TheFAN/status/1169732695460499456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1169732695460499456&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikeportland.org%2F2019%2F09%2F10%2Fportland-radio-show-hosts-say-jerk-bikers-deserve-clothesline-wire-for-riding-through-parking-lot-304509

Apparently, they neglected to consider that some of their listeners — the people who keep them employed by tuning in — might just ride bikes themselves.

And that someone might actually be offended by that crap.

So they issued the sort of non-apology apology that’s become standard these days.

My advice would be to just avoid their station.

In the parking lot. And on the dial.

………

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

………

Unbelievable.

New York cops try to chase off a group of young bike riders hanging out in a parking lot by ordering them to leave.

Then one cop starts beating on a rider’s spokes with his baton in an apparent effort to keep them from doing exactly that.

Or maybe just for the hell of it.

………

A Michigan state agency offers a 360° view of a new mountain bike trail that looks more like a very shaky 140° view, at most.

………

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

A Denver bike rider is lucky to be alive after a truck driver apparently ran him down on purpose for the crime of being ahead of him at an intersection, escaping with just cuts and bruises; however, his bike was not so lucky.

A seriously disturbed Illinois man faces charges after chasing a 12-year old kid with his truck as the boy desperately tried to pedal away from him, eventually running over his bike, then grabbing the boy and threatening to kill him before strangers eventually intervened. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

A North Carolina man faces charges for intentionally slamming his car into a man on a bicycle following a dispute. But give him credit for one of the best booking photos ever. And by best, I mean worst.

A road raging British driver got six months behind bars and a ridiculously short 15-month driving ban for running down a teenage bike rider who got ahead of him at a red light, then getting out and punching the kid, shouting “Little shit, you’ve done this.” A 15-year ban on driving would be more like it. Oh what the hell, let’s just make it a lifetime prohibition, which is what it should be.

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

London police put out an APB for a head butt butt head after the bike-raging man turned around to knock his noggin into a pedestrian, who apparently had the right of way, after nearly colliding with him on the street.

………

Local

Both The Argonaut and TV station KNBC-4 look forward to Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica; the somewhat shorter CicLAvia equivalent runs from 10 am to 4 pm.

Spectrum News 1 examines the sorry state of Sunset Blvd, where bike riders argue that replacing the street’s narrow door zone — and often truck-blocked — bike lane with a protected lane would improve safety for everyone.

The chef behind Santa Monica’s new French restaurant Pasjoli is one of us, meeting a reporter in his not-yet-open bistro with his black roadie propped against the wall. I like the joint already.

The Daily Breeze reviews Manhattan Beach restaurant Jimmy’s Kouzina, now operated by the son of the original chef and owner, who was killed in a bicycling crash ten years ago, before the restaurant could be rebuilt following a fire.

 

State

The state legislature passed California’s Complete Streets bill, which now moves on to the governor’s desk for signing; the bill requires Caltrans to include all road users in any new work on streets controlled by the state.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a teenaged mountain biker is paralyzed from the shoulders down after missing a 32-foot jump.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is partnering with a local artist for a bike-themed art exhibition this Sunday.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a cancer survivor is planning to ride his bike from San Diego to Florida to meet the family of his heart donor.

Berkeley police use federal traffic funds to target people riding through stop signs on bicycle boulevards, where they might possibly pose a risk to, uh…someone. Yes, everyone should stop for stop signs, at lest until we finally pass an Idaho Stop Law here. But there are probably places where targeting people for running stop signs would do a lot more good.

Six yeas later, a Chico family struggles to forgive the drunk driver who killed their daughter as she rode her bike home from college classes, as her killer is about to be released from prison.

 

National

They get it. The National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, wants to fit self-driving cars into cities designed for people, rather than the other way around.

Good idea. A Seattle writer takes an anti-bike city council candidate out for a bike ride on a dangerous street. And maybe sort-of wins him over.

Life is cheap in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a woman walks without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, as the judge somehow decides that a ten year suspended sentence is justice for taking an innocent man’s life. Seriously, if she’d accidentally shot him instead of using a car, the sentence would probably have been a lot different. Yet the result is the same.

Talk about getting the story wrong. Writing for her college paper, a Wisconsin journalism student somehow conflates the Milwaukee bikeshare’s new ebikes with e-scooters, saying they increase the danger for everyone. She should get an F for this oneThe slightest bit of research would have told her that ped-assist ebikes are no better or worse than any other bike when it comes to safety or ease of operation. 

A small Ohio bike shop is surviving competition from chain stores and online businesses by building their own one-of-a-kind bicycles customized for riders with special needs, as well as hosting their own podcast.

Maybe it’s lower overhead. The owner of a Buffalo NY ice cream bike wants to ride every street in the city, selling ice cream bars for just a buck — and giving them away to anyone who can’t pay.

A 13-year old Schenectady NY boy was stabbed in the back by a 12-year old boy who wanted his bicycle. And got it, until the police showed up. Fortunately, the victim should be okay; police described his wounds as minor.

A new New York study shows if you want to get across Manhattan, ride a bike, saying two wheels will get you there faster than four.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to convert an existing bike lane near their new second HQ into a protected lane, saying it could be done for as little as $20,000.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter concludes that maybe buying an ebike online isn’t so bad after all. My advice is still to buy any bike from a local bike shop if you can find the one you want; the service you get should more than make up for what you’d save buying online. If it doesn’t, find another LBS, ’cause that one’s broken.

Road.cc looks at the latest bike tech products from the recent Eurobike show, practical and otherwise.

After a London driver ran down a teenage bike rider and dragged him under his car before fleeing on foot, a group of bystanders lifted the still-smoking car off the victim to free him; sadly though, police described his injuries as life-changing, despite their efforts.

A UK advocacy group calls for banning parking in bike lanes and on sidewalks in the country. It’s shocking that either is actually legal — but especially the latter.

Seriously? A British woman says Copenhagen — and the rest of Denmark — is a virtual hellscape for anyone not on two wheels.

A German sociologist calls cars weapons of mass destruction, and argues that driving is a drug that kills millions of people.

An international group of yoga instructors will bike nearly 2,500 miles across India to the Himalayas, offering free classes to school children along the way.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclocross rider Andrew Juiliano describes struggling with ulcerative colitis before doctors at LA’s Cedars Sinai finally got his disease under control, allowing him to finish the race he abandoned two years earlier.

Bicycling says Australia’s Bec McConnell might be the comeback story of the year for finishing third in the XC MTB worlds, after sitting out last year due to a persistent illness.

What’s worse than doping? Former pro cyclist and Olympic cycling champion Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow Russian cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev could face up to six months in jail for allegedly fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Anyone who thinks six months is an adequate sentence for fixing a bike race raise your hands.

Eurosport remembers Belgium’s Deloor brothers, who ruled the Vuelta after winning the first edition in 1935, before WWII interrupted their careers; Gustaaf Deloor was captured by the Nazis, survived a concentration camp and later emigrated to the US. And helped build engines for the first moon landing.

 

Finally…

Don’t bet on how long an African despot will live if you’re not going to give up your bicycle if you lose. Why just ride to the bay when you can bike on it?

And giving it the old college try to pedal their way to a human powered vehicle record.

 

Morning Links: Getting crushed by car culture, safety versus convenience, and LA’s new sideways bike lane sweeper

Let’s start with today’s must read, as an editor for The Outline says he’s seen the future.

And it’s not us.

There is also the unrelenting, often murderous hostility of drivers toward pedestrians and people on bikes. No cyclist I know has not been menaced by an enraged driver — brushed past within inches, bumped at an intersection, run off the road — and most of us have been menaced more than once. No pedestrian who has to cross at a mid-block crosswalk is unfamiliar with the experience of a driver actually speeding upwhen they see you; no one who has crossed at a regular intersection is unfamiliar with a turning driver laying on the horn and waiting until the last second to jam on the breaks as you scurry out of the way.

The car is a very specifically American symbol of freedom, but like so many instruments and symbols of American freedom, it is a tool of domination and control. A car is a missile and a castle, a self-propelled, multi-ton fortress, hermetically sealed against the intrusions of weather, environment, and, of course, other people. Drivers view the world through the lenses of speed and convenience — most of the anger at cyclists, in my experience, is at having to drive at something resembling a normal urban speed limit because there’s a bike in front of them — but also through the lens of ownership. Streets belong to cars. The rest of us are interlopers, invaders, invasive species.

He goes on to blame car culture, not the internet, for the crushing disconnection and loneness rampant in out society, as we move things further and further apart, forcing us to live more and more of our lives in motor vehicles.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it.

We’ll wait.

Then take a couple more to see just how right he is, as a new traffic congestion study is criticized for being too pro-car, while ignoring the “new realities of multi-modal transport.”

Making it all too clear that the auto-centric way of thinking won’t die easily.

Photo by John Howard from Pixabay.

………

Then there’s this one from Grist, questioning whether New Orleans can keep bike riders safe, as it revamps the streets with 75 miles of bikeways surrounding the downtown area in the next few years. 

This is a life-saving effort,” De Wulf said of his krewe’s push. “Would you rather have someone die on a bicycle, versus someone being inconvenienced for five minutes of their day?

Sadly, I’ve heard the answer to that one too many times, in dozens of public meetings, and in the comments online.

Because far too many Angelenos would rather get home a couple minutes earlier, your life or mine be damned.

And that, my friends, is what we have to change.

………

On the other hand, it looks like Claremont bike riders may have won that battle, at least on Foothill Blvd.

Michael Wagner’s excellent CLR Effect reports on the progress of Claremont’s nearly completed curb-protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd, which is looking pretty damn good at this early stage.

Hopefully neighboring cities will pick up on it, and extend them beyond Claremont’s city limits.

Although, like anywhere else, some drivers are a little slow to take the hint.

One of my major regrets lately is that I don’t have time to keep up with some of my favorite blogs. Starting with Wagner’s, which does an exceptional job of keeping up with biking in the Far East. 

Of LA County, that is. 

So don’t make my mistake. Bookmark CLR Effect now, and keep checking back to see what’s new.

It’s okay if you got so caught up you miss a new BikinginLA every now and then. Just don’t let it happen too often.

………

After trying out several models, Los Angeles is ordering a cute little mini-street sweeper for protected bike lanes.

Hopefully it will work upright, as well as sideways. Although it won’t get a lot of use either way unless LA builds some more protected lanes.

………

A new study shows women who say they have genital pain and numbness while riding a bike are far more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

So don’t grit your teeth and try to ignore it.

Get to a bike shop and buy a new seat to take the pressure off. Or get a good bike fit to change your positioning in the saddle.

Even if you have to get a friend to help and do it yourself.

………

Local

A writer for City Walk talks with bike and Complete Streets supporter Sarah Kate Levy about her race to unseat David Ryu in LA’s 4th Council District; Glendale has an election coming up next year, too.

WeHo sheriff’s deputes wrote 72 tickets to e-scooter riders over an 18-month period ending in July, mostly for riding on the sidewalk, compared to 800 scooter tickets over the same period in Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, Pasadena is working on a return of the legendary ArroyoFest next year; the original 2003 event may have been the region’s first modern day open streets event, shutting down the historic Arroyo Seco Freeway, aka the Pasadena Freeway, to motor vehicles, and opening it up to all human-powered forms of transportation.

Boulder CO-based Bicycle Retailer and Industry News is looking for sponsors for an ebike tour of Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica bike shops next month. Or better yet, just sponsor me and I’ll be happy to ride an ebike almost anywhere you want.

Long Beachize’s Brian Addison reports that 20 people have been killed in motor vehicle collisions in the city this year, including ten pedestrians and three people on bicycles. Yet no one there is calling for a ban on cars, unlike bikes or scooters if their users dare ride on the sidewalk or collide with someone.

Simon Cowell is one of us. And so is his son, as the TV talent show judge hopped on his bigass ebike to take the five-year old boy for a ride through the ‘Bu.

 

State

A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has pled guilty to sexually assaulting 16 women while on duty, including a woman he groped while she was riding her bike; he faces a well-deserved five years behind bars, and will have to register as a sex offender.

 

National

A new app promises to let you use bikeshare, scooters and transit systems across the US, including Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Outside profiles a 57-year old African-American grandmother who rode her bike across the US just five years after suffering a stroke, learning about gears along the way. And she plans to do it again.

A Milwaukee convenience store owner says he’s fed up with getting robbed by roving gangs of bike riding kids, saying he’s losing $5,000 to $6,000 worth of merchandise a day.

After retiring, a kindhearted Michigan man spends his days fixing up bicycles to donate to kids in need.

A Connecticut Bikes for Kids program gave out 36 bicycles and helmets to underprivileged kids over the weekend, a small part of the 500 bikes they give out each year.

A writer for the New York Daily News says a new bike lane will endanger children because they might get run down by speeding bike riders. Or maybe because emergency vehicles might get stuck in traffic. Or, something.

The NYPD continues to blame the victim, saying an ebike rider was at fault for the crash with a garbage truck that left him critically injured; not surprisingly, Steetsblog sees things differently.

Maybe they could have a chat with the CHP. After a South Carolina high school guidance counselor was killed in a rear-end collision, state troopers charged the driver with driving too fast for conditions. The same law is on the books in California, but the CHP doesn’t seem familiar with that section of the vehicle code. Then again, LA County Sheriffs could use a brush up, too.

 

International

A British woman is planning to swim the English Channel, five years after losing a leg when she was run over by a truck driver while riding her bike; she’ll be joined by a pair of air ambulance paramedics on her swim, including the one who saved her life.

Just heartbreaking. Moments after finishing a 45-mile Scottish charity ride, a man learned his father had collapsed and died while taking part in the same bike ride.

The family of a fallen Irish bike rider calls for safer infrastructure and a ban on dangerous passing to protect bicyclists on the Emerald Isle.

Your next Dutch bike could be very strange, heavy, uncomfortable-looking and 3D-printed.

A new study suggests Barcelona’s plan to limit car use and reserve 70% of street space for bicyclists and pedestrians could save 667 lives a year. Which seems like an oddly specific number.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews explains why Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic finds himself in the Vuelta’s red jersey instead of competing in the Tour de France earlier this year. And looks at former mountain biker Sepp Kuss’ rapid rise to a stage victory in the Vuelta.

The next time someone tells you ebikes are cheating, point them to Belgian pro cyclist Wout Van Aert, who’s using one to rehab a severely torn muscle suffered during the Tour de France.

London’s Independent looks back on legendary 1960s Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi, one of just seven riders to win all three Grand Tours, including his first Tour de France when he was just 22. Even in his best dope-fueled days, Lance never even tried to win any of the other Grand Tours. 

If James Joyce was a mediocre bike racer. Or writer, for that matter.

 

Finally…

Until you get eyes in the back of your head, a new bike helmet could be the next best thing. If you’re going to break out of prison, at least try to change clothes before getting on a stolen mountain bike the next day.

And we may have to deal with f’ed-up LA drivers, but at least we don’t have cope with schtupping copperheads.

Or toxic plants, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: Sunland ghost bike tonight, limiting cars in city centers, and ATL rapper rides — and is — a Lil Bike

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for a 55-year old Tujunga man who was killed in a Sunland hit-and-run two weeks ago, one of two bicycling deaths that came to light over the weekend.

The second was an 82-year old man killed on a killer intersection on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach.

Ghost bike photo by Matthew T Rader from Pexels.

………

Today’s common theme is a mostly one-sided debate over whether it’s possible to encourage bicycling and other forms of so-called alternative transportation to reduce motor vehicle traffic. 

And for a change, the bikes are winning.

The short-sighted editors of LA County’s Antelope Valley Press say car-free streets are just an impossible dream, ignoring the fact that several European cities are already banning private cars from their urban centers.

A local paper says Spokane WA was built for bicycles, before those bullies in cars came along and took over the streets. But an Indiana college professor says we can get back there with a commitment to Complete Streets and better bike infrastructure.

And a writer for the Washington Post says European cities show it’s not only possible, but beneficial to limit cars and encourage bicycling.

………

Trek develops an Aussie accent to introduce their new offroad bike in a tongue-in-cheek ad that just keeps going on…and on…

………

When your rap name is Lil Bike, you’ve got to include at least one in your new video.

………

Building your own DIY bike horn to scare the crap out of anyone.

Except, of course, for modern drivers in their hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof vehicles, who can’t even hear a firetruck bearing down on them.

Unfortunately, I lost track of who forwarded this to me over the weekend, so my thanks and apologies, whoever you are. 

………

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

A group of young men shouted profanities at an English bicyclist as they passed by in a car, then made a U-turn and came back to physically push him off the road, the fourth such attack in the area this year.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

It takes a major schmuck to just ride off on his bike after knocking a five-year old boy from the UK off his bicycle as he rode home from school; the middle-aged hit-and-run bicyclist left the kid lying in his own blood with a number of cuts and bruises.

………

Local

LAist wants to know what’s up with the long-closed Arroyo Seco Bike Path, concluding a big part of the problem is a “virtual Russian doll” of intertwined jurisdictions. And don’t hold your breath on the promised September re-opening.

Santa Clarita’s mayor invites people to come out and bike the city’s numerous bike paths and trails, as well as the fourth annual Santa Clarita Gran Fondo later this month.

A new road project on Palmdale’s Rancho Vista Boulevard will widen it to three lanes in each direction, while adding five-foot bike lanes on both sides.

 

State

California’s ebike voucher bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom; it will allow some low-income drivers to trade in their inefficient cars for vouchers good for bikeshare or ebike purchases. Unfortunately, I suspect my 1994 car is still one year too recent to qualify, dammit.

The co-founder of an Irvine-based kids bike maker says the whipsaw effect of Trump’s tariffs will force small businesses like his to go under.

It was a bad few days in San Diego, where a 64-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a Point Loma bike lane. And a 22-year old woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by an SUV driver after allegedly veering in front of her vehicle.

San Diego officials plan to redevelop the city’s Mission Valley to accommodate 28,000 new homes, with new neighborhoods designed around bicycling, walking and the San Diego River.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, and struck again by the driver of a second vehicle. As always, there’s no way of knowing if the victim would have survived if the asshole heartless coward in the first car hadn’t left him bleeding in the street.

A San Jose man is behind bars after a sharp-eyed Milpitas mall cop spotted the suspected burglar who rode off on a homeowner’s bicycle after an early morning break-in; police were able to return the bicycle just hours after the theft.

San Jose police bust an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike in a crosswalk last month.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle an 81-year old Sacramento man used to ride to the library.

 

National

A hard-hitting piece from Vice says bicycling deaths are exploding because American cities are car-friendly death traps, citing New York and Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest cities for people on two wheels.

Inspired by a celebration of life after his brother’s death from leukemia, a 60-year old Los Angeles man with no bicycling experience is riding diagonally across the US, covering 4,764 miles from Neah Bay, Washington to Key West, Florida — including at least one mile a day on his brother’s 1982 bike.

A Washington bike rider says if drivers can’t afford a 15-second delay caused by someone on a bicycle, they need to plan their trip better.

A Reno bike co-op is expecting four truckloads of bicycles abandoned by Burning Man revelers, which will be fixed and recycled for use again next year.

A Montana newspaper doesn’t appear to be a fan of new Trump administration rules to allow ebikes on some National Park and BLM trails.

My favorite Scottish bike and bunny blogger takes a ride on Iowa’s 46-mile High Trestle Trail, so called because it takes you over a former railroad bridge.

A Fargo, North Dakota man is angry after getting hit with a special assessment on his home to pay for a new bike path, which the mayor says is needed to attract millennials to the city — even though it will cost him just $10 a year.

With Ohio bicycling deaths piling up, staff members for a Cleveland website debates what to do about it.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says New York Mayor and mostly ignored presidential candidate Bill De Blasio’s call for mandatory bike helmets isn’t the answer, suggesting this is how Vision Zero dies.

A New York mother faces charges after her five-year old special needs son was found riding his bicycle alone in the middle of the night.

So much for that whole pedtextrian myth. A new study from New York shows there is “little concrete evidence that…distracted walking contributes significantly to pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” to which the windshield-biased New York Times responds, yeah, but it’s still annoying.

A writer for the New Yorker says let’s just give up on climate change already, because the battle is already lost since people aren’t going to change their behavior. That’s the same kind of clear eyed, rational thinking that led John F. Kennedy to say, “Oh just forget it. The moon’s too far away anyway.” And Winston Churchill to tell the people of England “I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat and tears. So just fuck it and start learning German.”

The motorcycle rider who fatally shot a man on a regular Miami group ride was formally indicted on charges of 2nd degree murder aggravated assault; his lawyer says he’s never been in trouble before and is devastated to be behind bars. There’s a simple solution to that — just don’t shoot people. 

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says ebikes are great; buying them online, not so much.

Road.cc offers advice on how to pick the right bike cam. Which is your best protection against drivers and cops who blame you for a crash or blowing a stop signal you actually observed.

She gets it. An Ottawa columnist says the trick to a healthier population is designing public spaces in ways that naturally nudge people into moving around more without having to think about it.

Truly horrifying video of a 15-year old Toronto sidewalk rider literally getting run over by a pickup driver blowing out of a parking lot, who somehow didn’t notice — or maybe didn’t care — they’d just knocked him over; thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries. Be sure you really want to see this before you click on the link; even though he wasn’t seriously hurt, this one is very hard to watch. And to forget.

Powerful protest from the UK, as hundreds of Londoners stage a funeral procession through Trafalgar Square led by three horse-drawn hearses to protest bicycling deaths.

British police tell a doctor “that’s not my problem, it’s your problem” when it comes it bike theft, saying people understand that it’s not a big priority compared to other crimes. Except for the people whose bikes get stolen, of course.

In calling the Netherland’s Utrecht a “cycle-crazed” city, an architecture website demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of people’s psyches in the Netherlands. It’s not that they’re crazy about bicycling — it’s just normal. People hop on their bikes in the morning the same way most Americans walk to their cars.

Bollywood movie star Salman Khan is one of us, riding a bicycle through rain-drenched Mumbai streets to get to the set of his latest film.

 

Competitive Cycling

You know you’re having a bad year when a kitchen knife puts you back in the hospital; four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome severed a tendon on his thumb, just months after a major crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné knocked him out of action for most of this year’s racing season.

After a chaotic first week, no new lead changes in the Vuelta, as 24-year old American Sepp Kuss solos to victory in stage 15, notching his first long-range climbing win.

VeloNews says 27-year old Norwegian pro tour rookie Carl Fredrik Hagen continues to impress in his first Grand Tour, holding on to eighth in the Vuelta after finishing 18th in the Tour of Poland.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to hit a bike cop with your truck’s wing mirror. And who needs a water bottle when you can carry a six-pack and a spare on your bike?

No surprise it took an Aussie to figure that one out, either.

 

Man killed riding bike in Sunland hit-and-run; LAPD waits two weeks to ask for public help

Sometimes it seems like LA neighborhoods like Sunland must be on the far side of the world, where it can take weeks for news to filter out.

Or maybe, for whatever reason, the LAPD just doesn’t want us to know what’s going on.

That’s because word finally broke on Friday that a man was killed in a hit-and-run over two weeks ago in the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood.

Why they waited so long to release the news is known only to them.

Especially when both the city and the state have adopted a yellow alert system intended to alert residents to hit-and-runs within hours, when there’s a far better chance of actually catching the driver.

Not two weeks later, after the driver has had his or her car fixed or hidden. And any potential witnesses may have forgotten exactly what they saw.

Instead, the LAPD waited until Friday to release news of the crash, when they asked for the public’s help finding the driver who fled the scene of the Sunland crash after killing a bike rider on Friday, August 23rd.

According to the Daily News, the victim, publicly identified only as a 55-year old Tujunga man, was riding west on Foothill Boulevard at Oro Vista Avenue at 2:15 am when he was rear-ended by driver and thrown into a parked car.

He died at a nearby hospital.

His killer continued without stopping.

Police are looking for what is believed to be a late model Prius with likely damage to the front passenger side. No description of the driver is available.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Traffic Division Officer J. Takishita at 818/644-8116, or anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. As always, there is a $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the tenth in the City of LA.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Jeff Jones Memorial Sunday, the cost of traffic violence, and biking through a 6-year old’s eyes

Before we move on to today’s news, I received word yesterday that a memorial service will be held this Sunday for Jeff Jones.

The popular photographer was killed in collision while riding his bike on Griffith Park Blvd last month.

Exactly the kind of residential street so many people insist we should ride on. And one that was supposed to get new bike lanes under the LA bike plan passed nearly a decade ago.

See larger version of memorial flyer below.

………

Sigh.

Another brilliantly heartbreaking piece from Peter Flaxabout a young New York bike messenger who lived to ride.

And the effect their — as the victim preferred to be called — death had on the people left behind.

It’s definitely a must read piece.

One that also reflects the marginalization too many people experience when they decide to get on a bike.

Even in New York, which has done far more than most major cities to tame its streets.

There remains a public perception that most cyclists are entitled hobbyists, but even normally privileged individuals who get on a bike can experience what it feels like to exist in the margins of society, where one’s right to exist without threats is frequently challenged by systematic animosity, flawed infrastructure, and inadequate legal protections. And for someone like Robyn Hightman—who had struggled to find stability in their daily life and who rode a bike as their primary mode of transportation and employment—that marginalization was exponentially more intense. Robyn had endeavored to find a safe place through riding and was denied in the most extreme way possible.

As I did the reporting for this story—talking to more than 30 people who knew Robyn well—one unexpected theme emerged: Every single person who rides a bike told me about getting hit.

And it’s far worse here in Los Angeles, where little has been done in recent years to make our streets safer and more inviting for anyone who chooses not to drive.

We all deserve better.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Rising country singer Kylie Rae Harris was killed in a collision while making her way to her next gig in a tiny Texas town; she was just 30 years old. For someone I’d never heard of before yesterday, she was pretty damn good.

A Milwaukee mother teaching her teenage son to drive was shot to death by a road raging driver because of a fender bender with the killer’s van — after he had cut her son off by making a left turn from the wrong lane.

………

Take a couple minutes to see an urban bike ride through the eyes of a six-year old.

………

Local

Los Angeles officially opened a new half-mile segment of the Los Angeles River Greenway, better known as the LA River bike path, in Studio City yesterday; eventually the pathway should extend the entire length of the LA River.

A two-block section of Glendale’s Artsakh Avenue is scheduled to get a $7.3 million pedestrian-friendly makeover. Now if LA would just do the same with Hollywood Blvd at Highland, which is begging to be a pedestrian plaza.

CiclaValley conquers Topanga State Park on the Send It Sunday gravel ride. Although it should be noted that the park was unarmed, and refused to fight back.

Hermosa Beach’s bicycle traffic school allows bike riders to attend bicycle education classes in lieu of paying a traffic ticket, just like the people in cars have been doing for decades.

A man was critically injured while apparently trying to cross dangerous Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach on his bicycle; for a change, the driver stuck around. If LCD isn’t the deadliest street in the city, it’s pretty damn close.

 

State

Governor Newsom signs a bill that will allow bike riders to go straight through marked left or right turn lanes, rather than having to “thread the needle” between turn lanes and high-traffic through lanes.

The New York Times visits San Diego, and can’t see the ocean for the scooters.

A 22-year old San Diego woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she allegedly made a left turn on her bike in front of a driver traveling in the same direction.

A domestic violence suspect accused of trying to escape police by riding his bicycle into a Martinez Home Depot armed with a sawed-off shotgun has pled not guilty to felony counts of assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.

A local paper calls on car-centric Petaluma to do a lot more to encourage bicycling to fight climate change.

 

National

Former Chicago and DC DOT director Gabe Klein examines the stats, and says cities should focus on Vision Zero and traffic safety to fight crime affecting every resident on a personal level.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your confidence back after crashing your bike. My approach has always been to get back on my bike, and ride the same route I crashed on to drive that fear out of my head.

Kindhearted Portland police and 911 dispatchers buy a 12-year old girl a new bike to ride to school after the one her grandmother had saved up for was stolen.

The Sierra Club magazine goes riding on what they call the “American Serengeti” in Montana, where ranches have been combined and fences torn down to form the American Prairie Reserve at the edge of the Great Plains.

A retired marine living in Milwaukee says bicycling saved his life, losing 141 pounds after his doctor warned he could be dead in ten years.

A New York condo and co-op site says a building’s failure to securely maintain a bike room is just a lawsuit waiting to happen, regardless of any warning signs.

Curbed NY says, despite Mayor De Blasio’s musings, more regulations aimed at bicyclists won’t make New York’s streets any safer.

A DC protected bike lane is on hold because the sergeant-at-arms for the US Senate doesn’t want to give up 37 street parking spaces, even though there are roughly 12,000 more surrounding the capital building.

A writer for City Lab takes one of DC’s new 30 mph dockless electric mopeds out for a spin. And likes it.

In an apparent effort to increase traffic congestion on a new Maryland bridge, a letter writer says bicyclists and pedestrians should pay their fair share and be subject to the same tolls drivers are. Because Lord knows you wouldn’t want to encourage people to walk or bike across the bridge instead of getting back in their cars and making traffic worse for everyone. Besides, if bike riders and pedestrians were charged our fair share, they’d have to pay us to cross. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walks with loving caress on the wrist for killing a nine-year old boy riding his bike, after the judge gives her a lousy $1,000 fine and suspends her license for a whole six months. It’s hard to call that justice when it was her carelessness that sentenced an innocent little kid to death.

 

International

Streetsblog looks at people of color expressing themselves through bikes, art and music, from Philly to Chile.

A recent British Columbia design school graduate won a bronze award at an international conference by placing barcodes on a bike jacket to keep bicyclists from getting run over by autonomous cars. Which, however well intended, is just another way of making humans subservient to motor vehicles, autonomous or otherwise.

Someone in Hamilton, Ontario could be getting their bicycle back, after police bust a man on a failure to appear warrant, and discover the bike he was riding had been stolen four years earlier. Which is why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

A Montreal city councilmember wants to require all bike riders younger than 18 to wear helmets.

A 78-year old Australian man was forced to lie on the side of the road for over 90 minutes after he fell on his bike and broke his hip, while people passing by ignored his cries for help.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews catches up with lifelong bike racer and industry veteran Andrew Bernstein, who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver in Boulder CO in July.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t ride on water? Probably not the most effective move to try to escape police by setting a kid’s bicycle on fire.

And it takes a special kind of person to say offensive things about people on bicycles, then get offended when they take offense.

 

Morning Links: Failing presidential candidate calls for licensing bike riders, and CiclaValley to open LA River segment

Not exactly the best way to establish your climate change cred.

The same day CNN held their series of presidential candidate climate change town halls, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who didn’t participate, said he’s considering requiring licenses and registration for bike riders.

And if that’s not enough to force New Yorkers back into their cars, forcing bikeshare riders to wear bike helmets should do the trick.

“We have to think about what’s going to be safe for people first, but also what’s going to work,” the mayor said of the helmet requirement. “Is it something we could actually enforce effectively? Would it discourage people from riding bikes? I care first and foremost about safety.”

Although if he truly cared about safety, he’d start by banning motor vehicles from Manhattan. And taking steps to tame them everywhere else.

Questioning whether 4th tier presidential candidate is trying to undermine his own city’s bikeshare system, Streetsblog succinctly captured their take this way —

De Brainless: Mayor Endorses Meritless Helmet and Licensing Requirements for Cyclists

New York’s Daily News summed it up best, though.

Whether or not he moves forward with the license requirement, the mayor said he plans to crack down on cyclists who break traffic laws, despite little evidence suggesting that bikes are a menace to public safety.

Maybe just he’s hoping that attacking people on bikes could boost his presidential poll numbers up to a full one percent.

Mandatory bike helmet photo by malcolm garret from Pexels.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew will be speaking at the official opening of a new section of the LA River Greenway — aka the LA River bike path — at 10 am today.

Look behind the Coffee Bean if you want to attend.

………

You still have time to call your state assembly member to urge the passage of SB 127, the state’s proposed Complete Streets bill.

CA Streetsblog breaks down exactly how Caltrans lied in an attempt to defeat the bill exaggerated its costs in their required estimate to state legislators by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog profiles new Caltrans Director Adetokunbo Toks Omishakin, saying he has a background in healthy living initiatives, Complete Streets and activite transportation with AASHTO, Nashville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

So maybe there’s hope for the agency yet.

………

A live streaming bike rider in an undisclosed European city suffered a “brutal cycling accident” when he caught a wheel in some railroad tracks and fell off his bike, suffering a boo boo on his hand.

Maybe they define brutal just a tad differently over there.

………

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

A Stockton man is under arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally using his car to attack a bike rider, who was able to jump off just in time to avoid getting hit; his bike was not as lucky.

The New York man with a long rap sheet arrested for intentionally running down and killing a bike-riding burglar says he was just trying to get close enough to catch the man, and blamed the victim for maybe doing something to mess up his brakes and steering. No, seriously.

………

Local

Looks like we won one for a change. Buried in an LA Times story about LA’s self-appointed anti-everything NIMBY extortionists Fix the City suing to halt the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program — which would stop much-needed affordable and market-rate housing — is the news that the group’s challenge to the Los Angeles mobility plan recently failed. That should free the city to finally get started on building bike lanes and safer streets. They should change the group’s name to something else with one more letter that also starts with F, which would be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Hats off to the Eastside Riders for installing a ghost bike for the still unnamed victim of the hit-and-run in South LA earlier this week.

Metro will start using automated cameras on the front of their buses to catch drivers illegally using the Bus Only Lanes. Maybe they could put them on all their buses to catch people parking in bike lanes while they’re at it.

 

State

A 78-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode though an intersection without yielding, and collided with an SUV. As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses who saw him violate the right-of-way.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is proposing a road diet and bike lanes to tame dangerous Mission Blvd. It’s been 30 years since I lived down there, but Mission was a nightmare for bike riders and pedestrians then, and I doubt it’s gotten any better since.

The San Diego Reader rides the county’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail stretching from Oceanside to downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, though not all of it is paved.

Once again, a dangerous pass has taken the life of a bike rider, as a man riding in Fresno County was killed when a driver passed a semi and struck his bicycle head-on as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

The Stanislaus County town of Riverbank is adopting LA’s new permanent memorial signs to honor a fallen bike rider. With a little luck, maybe they will spread throughout the state.

Santa Clara County is considering a paved, 10-mile bicycle superhighway to encourage bike commuting.

Every first and second grader at a San Francisco school got a new bike, thanks to a Colorado nonprofit that’s given away 2,900 bikes to kids in low-income schools across the US. Make that 2,984 now.

 

National

Bicycling considers when, and when not to, wear bike gloves.

Financial website Market Watch considers the best bike helmets under $100. Which could come in handy the next time the stock market crashes.

Speaking of bike helmets, a new study shows drugs, alcohol and not wearing a helmet are frequent factors in e-scooter injuries — even though most of the injuries involved leg, ankle, collarbone, shoulder blade and/or forearm fractures, which bike helmets aren’t likely to prevent. And evidently, dangerous streets and bad drivers don’t play any role at all in e-scooter injuries.

Hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem anymore. A Denver-area man was killed when his bike was struck by two separate drivers, both of whom fled the scene, three minutes apart; police found what they believe is the first vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

A Minnesota woman got a minor miracle when someone spotted her stolen bike for sale on Facebook, and she arranged to meet the seller so police could swoop in and make the arrest. Which is exactly the right way to do it, without putting yourself at needless risk.

A researcher at an Ohio university used kitty litter panniers on her bike to ride around town and prove that squirrels eavesdrop on birds to tell when it’s safe to come out and find their nuts. Those are the same panniers my brother is currently using on his epic bike tour down the left coast, though I don’t believe he’s planning to eavesdrop on birds, squirrels or anything else.

Forget parking. The newest argument against a bike lane bordering New York’s Central Park is that it would cause problems for carriage drivers and their horses. Because really, what could be more romantic than forcing bike riders to contend with impatient drivers?

Police are looking for a Florida man who rode up to a bike shop on his bicycle, then left it behind and rode off with a customer’s $11,000 bike that had been left for service.

Apparently tiring of telling kids to get off his lawn, an anonymous Florida columnist says bikeshare bikes are an eyesore, and it’s a bicyclist’s own damn fault for whatever it was that happened to him. Or her.

 

International

A British woman had been up all night before she killed a bike rider while driving back home; studies show drowsy driving is as bad, or even worse than, drunk driving.

If there’s a major bike race in front of your building, you might want to hide your rooftop cannabis garden; although under Spanish law, it may or may not be legal.

Successive groups of Indian bike riders rode around the world nearly a century ago, each one inspiring the next — despite encounters with elephant herds and Amazon headhunters. Or deciding to drop out and stay in America.

Tokyo considers a government proposal to sort-of require bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without a penalty if they don’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says it was mixed results for the US team at the Mountain Bike World Championships, marked by grit and close calls, but no results. Admit it, you didn’t even know the mtn bike worlds took place over the weekend. Well, I didn’t, anyway.

USA Cycling hired former Olympic silver medalist and world champion Mari Holden to coach the women’s road cycling team leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing will encourage you to practice sprints like someone chasing you down the street waving a machete. What is it with bike-riding people — okay, men — wacking off in public lately?

And when your near drowning is captured on live TV.

Morning Links: Hit-and-run is worse than you think, bad pedestrian advice, and call to support CA Complete Streets bill

Today’s common theme is hit-and-run in the City of Fallen Angels.

Curbed considers the problem of drivers who flee crashes in Los Angeles, noting that less than one percent of drivers who flee the scene of an injury crash are ever convicted of a felony.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a hard-hitting photo essay examining the human toll of hit-and-runs, concluding like this —

Our streets are full of too many memorials.

Whether they be traffic-related or gun-related or manifest in the sheer number of folks living on the street, there’s too much evidence of how little we care for our fellow Angelenos, particularly those on the margins.

Too much evidence of how little we are willing to expend to make their lives even just the tiniest bit less fraught.

Both of those come the same day news broke of yet another bike rider was left to die alone in the streets, a 50-something man run down as he was crossing the street after collecting cans in South LA.

By all appearances, just another one of those Angelenos living on the margins that Sulaiman referred to.

But the simple fact is, we’re dying out here — rich and poor, bike riders, pedestrians and, yes, even drivers. And no one is doing a goddam thing about it.

Yes, our elected leaders talk about it, and make endless promises to do something.

But talk is cheap.

Speaking strictly for myself, I’m sick and tired of waiting for the day when our elected officials care enough to actually do something to keep drivers from fleeing the scenes, instead of futilely trying to track them down after the fact.

Let alone the day when our city leaders finally take our hard-won bike plan off the shelf and build the fucking thing.

And don’t even get me started on the city’s ludicrous lack of action on Vision Zero, as that promised 20% drop in traffic deaths the first year has turned into a continually rising curve.

As someone else pointed out, there’s no need to flee a crash that never happened in the first place.

I don’t have the answers. Lord knows, I wish I did.

I’ve offered my own suggestions to bring an end to hit-and-runs once and for all, which have been presented to state legislators. And forgotten in less time than it took to explain.

But someone has to come up with an answer, maybe more than one.

Now.

Because the problem is only getting worse.

And I don’t want your loved ones, or mine, to be the next ones left to die alone on the streets.

………

Seriously, the Culver City PD’s hearts may be in the right place, but their advice to pedestrians seriously sucks.

Simply put, no one is going to walk blocks out of their way for a crosswalk if there isn’t one where they need to cross.

Nor should you have to dress up like a clown during the day, or light yourself up at night just to attract the attention of drivers who probably won’t see you anyway because their noses are illegally buried in their phones.

While people should pay attention crossing the streets — or just walking on the sidewalk, for that matter — no one has shown that distracted walking is a significant cause of traffic deaths and injuries, here or anywhere else.

And I’d much rather see someone walking after getting drunk or stoned than getting behind the wheel. Or in or on any other personal transportation device.

And yes, that includes a bicycle. Although even that is far better than driving.

Maybe next time they can try a little harder, and not just reprint AAA’s seriously windshield-biased talking points.

………

Semi-frequent contributor Mike Wilkinson asked me to urge you to contact your state legislator to support SB 127, the Complete Streets Bill that would require Caltrans to consider the needs of all road users whenever they rework a state-owned or managed roadway.

But since he already did, I’ll let Mike do it.

………

BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine sends a video message to his local council, politely pointing out the need for safer streets.

………

A new video from Patagonia traces how mountain biking saved the California gold rush town on Downieville.

………

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

No bias here. An Oklahoma country DJ says yes, bicyclists have a right to the road, unless they get in his way or slow him down, in which case he reserves the right to throw ball bearings at them, or crash into a group ride because he somehow thinks several humans on bikes will cause less damage to his pickup than hitting an animal.

A Maryland man was the victim of a drive-by dooring, as the passengers in a passing car intentionally doored him as he rode his bike, then got out and beat him as he lay on the ground. All just to steal a pack of cigarettes.

………

Local

The LA Times considers LA’s new Rainbow Halo project, which will place colored disks at the site of traffic fatalities to cast a rainbow on the sidewalk below, as part of the city’s Vision Zero program. So we can’t get road diets or safe bike lanes, but we’ll try to stop drivers from killing people with rainbows. Maybe they couldn’t find any unicorns, so they’re hoping to attract leprechauns.

Sadly, West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals has gone to that great bikeshare in the sky.

 

State

Congratulations, Los Angeles. According to a new study, LA doesn’t suck as much to drive in as Oakland or San Francisco, coming in at a surprising 93rd among the top 100 American cities for ease of driving; our state mates to the north checked in at 99th and 97th, respectively.

 

National

As usual, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss gets it, insisting people on bikes and on foot are natural allies in the battle for safer streets, even if cars have driven us apart.

Bicycling looks at the new rules that will allow ebike riders on many national park and BLM trails; Fast Company says not everyone is convinced that’s a good idea.

They get it, too. Seattle votes to include protected bike lanes on any paving project costing over $1 million, and build 3,000 bike parking racks by the end of next year.

A Colorado bike shop owner explains the effects Trump’s tariffs are likely to have on his business after he’s forced to raise retail prices to cover them.

There are worse ways to mark your 66th birthday than riding a 66-year old Bottecchia ten speed down Route 66 through Oklahoma. Except for the part where he drives part way before getting out and riding for awhile. Although anyone who would abase himself by riding in a car when he has a sweet piece of Italian steel like that really doesn’t deserve it anyway.

Cooler heads prevailed in Schenectady NY, as the city council voted down a proposal to seize bicycles belonging to teenagers accused of “reckless” trick riding, concluding it was “a little extreme” and could haunt the kids later.

Sounds like fun. Buffalo NY will mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Steel Strike with a bike ride touring the sites made famous in 1919 by the men who led America’s largest labor strike, and the violent response they were met with in return.

Talk about keeping a dangerous driver on the roads. A 41-year old New York ex-con faces a murder charge for intentionally killing a bike-riding bandit with his SUV, after the victim had tried to break into cars and threatened a couple with a screwdriver. The victim had an extensive rap sheet with 38 previous arrests, which his killer easily topped with a whopping 42 priors. Clearly, New York doesn’t have a three strikes law, or both of these guys could have been safely behind bars already.

New York advocates says the problem isn’t that protected bike lanes take up too much space, it’s that the city’s vehicles are too damn big.

A Louisiana man faces a murder charge for shooting a suspected bike thief in the head as he was riding off on the shooter’s bike, then simply leaving him there and walking away.

 

International

An Ottawa columnist says bicyclists and drivers both need to develop more empathy for one another, adding that bike riders need to be more predictable when they ride, while motorists need to be more understanding.

New Atlas says Czech automaker Škoda is rolling out a new pedal-less throttle-controlled 28 mph ebike concept that looks pretty, but you probably wouldn’t want to ride it.

Writing for Cycling Tips, an anonymous Iranian bicyclist explains what it’s like to defy the country’s fatwa against women riding bikes.

Apparently, it’s not just an American problem. Even authorities in ostensibly polite Japan are looking for solutions to the rising rate of road rage incidents. My apologies, I lost track of who brought this to my attention today. But thank you anyway.

Thailand’s roads remain among the deadliest in the world, especially for the poor; only war-afflicted Libya is worse.

A Malaysian newspaper says e-scooters aren’t helping the environment after all, as a German study shows they replace more environmentally friendly bicycle trips.

 

Competitive Cycling

A former lower-rung pro cyclist recalls all the dietary myths that were passed down like revelations from the gods among racing teams.

 

Finally…

When you really, really don’t like seeing naked people on bicycles — and bikeshare seats, in particular. Into each life a little rain must fall, but apparently, a little Cat 5 storm is just too much for a charity ride.

And a tip of the Stetson to that Okie DJ we mentioned earlier, who somehow thought this cool pre-war bike safety video was a slam against modern bike riders.

………

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

Any donation is always welcome, in any amount, and for any reason.

 

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while walking bike across street in South LA

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless coward on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

According to KABC-2, the victim was struck by a driver around 11:50 pm last night near 92nd Street and Grape Avenue in the Florence-Graham neighborhood of South LA.

The driver fled the scene, apparently without stopping, leaving his victim to die in the street.

The victim, publicly identified only as a man in his 50s, was dead by the time first responders arrived.

KCBS-2 provides more details, reporting that the victim was walking his bike across the street, though it’s unclear whether he was crossing 92nd or Grape.

He was found surrounded by aluminum cans, leading police to conclude he made his living by recycling them.

There’s no information available on the suspect or his or her vehicle at this time, and it was unclear which direction the driver fled.

It seems likely the victim was crossing 92nd, since it’s a through street, which would enable the driver to travel at high speed at that hour; 92nd has two lanes with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in each direction, while Grape is an unlined residential street that dead ends into 92nd.

The crash comes barely over 24 hours after Frank Mendez messaged to say he witnessed the aftermath of another crash just half a mile away at 92nd and Compton, suggesting a major safety problem on the street; fortunately, the victim did not appear to be seriously injured in that collision.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles.

At least six of those deaths in the county have resulted in hit-and-runs, half of which occurred below the 10 Freeway.

Yet city, county and state officials have done virtually nothing to halt hit-and-runs, even though a recent report found only 1% of LA hit-and-runs result in a conviction.

And meanwhile, we are literally being left to bleed — if not die — in the streets.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Permanent memorial for young Valley bicyclist, Aussie distracted driving cams, and more NY anti-bike bias

One tragic note before we get started.

I’m told that a man from Altadena has been gravely injured in an apparent solo fall while riding with a friend in the Northern California backcountry.

The victim is currently being treated in a Bay Area hospital for severe neck, spine and brain injuries.

I’m withholding his name and other details for now out of respect for his family and their privacy.

But prayers or best wishes are definitely in order.

………

He gets it.

Bike advocates rededicated the ghost bike for 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver while riding his bike in Woodland Hills on Easter Sunday last year.

The ceremony also saw the installation of the city’s first permanent marker honoring a fallen bicyclist, one of up to 20 per year the city will install with a reminder to drive safely.

Photo from Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s Twitter account

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield struck the right tone, reminding the small audience about the big hole Montero’s death left in the lives of everyone around him.

And that a simple sign wasn’t going to fix anything.

“The signs themselves are wonderful,” said Blumenfield. “[But] they’re not going to solve our problems with people dying on the roads.”

It will take a renewed commitment to Vision Zero by the people elected to serve all of us — not just the people in the big, dangerous machines.

And a willingness on their part to stand up to NIMBYs and angry drivers that has been sorely lacking in the city in recent years.

………

Great idea.

Inspired by the death of his friend James Rapley, the Australian bike rider killed on Temescal Canyon while on a layover at LAX six years ago, an Aussie entrepreneur has developed an automated camera system designed to capture drivers illegally using a handheld cellphone.

The automated cameras from Acusensus are designed to work like red light or speed cameras to provide photographic proof of the driver breaking the law, along with the license of the car.

Presumably, tickets would follow in the mail.

It would likely require a change in the law to use them in California, where red light cameras are allowed at local discretion, but speed cameras are currently prohibited.

However, it should withstand privacy concerns, since there is no legal expectation of privacy for anything that is readily visible in public.

Although the state’s overly entitled drivers would likely rise up to complain, just like too many do over any attempt to hold motorists accountable and keep them from breaking the law.

But there are few things the state could do virtually overnight that would have a greater impact on safety and do more to save lives.

………

No bias here.

The bike-hating New York Post says bike riders are killing pedestrians, and accuses the city of not doing anything to stop it.

Then they go on to explain there were seven pedestrian deaths in the last nine years — something works out to less than one a year, along with another 250 injured each year.

While one death is one too many, the paper doesn’t bother to mention how many bike riders were injured or killed in crashes with pedestrians.

Never mind who was actually at fault in those crashes.

And as anyone who has ever had a pedestrian step out into bike lane without looking, or turn suddenly in front of your bike can tell you, it ain’t necessarily the person on two wheels.

Nor do they bother to put it all in perspective by citing the 100-plus pedestrians killed by motorists each year.

Which only works out to a margin of slightly 100 to one, anyway. Making it pretty damn clear who represents the real danger to people walking.

But who cares about facts if it sells newspapers.

Right?

………

Speaking of which, a New York study shows zombie pedtextrians isn’t really a thing after all.

………

Go for a Monday mountain bike ride with the great Peter Sagan.

But maybe drop a little dramamine first.

………

Thanks to Sgt. Helper for forwarding video of a bike-riding nun who could probably drop most of us.

Well, me anyway.

………

Local

Hats off to LAPD officer Andrew Gonzalez, who rode his bike 300 miles from LA to Stanislaus County to deliver a flag to the family of a fallen Newman police officer who was killed during a traffic stop last year.

Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt are two of us, as they enjoy married life on a mountain bike ride in Los Angeles.

NoHo’s Chandler Bikeway is set to get $1.2 million in improvements. None of which is apparently aimed at improving safety for bike riders.

E-scooters are officially banned in the ‘Bu.

The Daily Breeze recounts the story of deadly Vista Del Mar, including the failed 2017 attempt to install a road diet, which was ripped out when drivers insisted on their God-given right to go zoom zoom even if it keeps killing people.

 

State

A San Diego woman suffered severe head trauma when a driver leaving a parking lot smashed into her bike as she rode on the sidewalk. Yet another example of why riding a bicycle on the sidewalk isn’t as safe as most people think.

After a Murrietta boy was hit by a car while riding his bike, the kindhearted people at Target gave him a new one.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 56-year old bike rider died after allegedly making an abrupt left turn into the path of a pickup driver.

San Jose police bust ten suspects in a series of burglaries targeting bike shops, as well as construction sites and school districts in the Bay Area.

A San Jose columnist goes for the jugular, arguing that a bike rider killed in a head-on collision on popular Mount Diablo would be alive today if parks officials hadn’t ignored a judge’s 27-year old order to improve the roadway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Officials identified the victim in last week’s fatal hit-and-run in East San Jose as a 44-year old San Jose man. Thanks to Ralph Durham and Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Indicating a total misunderstanding of what speed limits are for, a Santa Rosa-area letter writer says drivers should be required to drive the speed limit, and bike riders should get the hell out of the way so they don’t slow down the more important people in cars. Just like drivers, bicyclists are required to pull over when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles stuck behind them and unable to pass; the law does not apply if there are two or more lanes in each direction, or if the people can safely pass them.

Three new members were named to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis; the trio will be inducted November 2nd.

A Eureka woman was busted for trying to pass a phony $100 bill at a bike shop to buy a bicycle for…wait for it…$5.46. Sound like maybe she was getting a fake bike for her fake money, anyway.

 

National

New rules for the national parks system would allow ebikes on any trails other bicycles are allowed on, providing new access to the wilderness for older or less able-bodied riders.

Buzzfeed says Amazon’s next day delivery is bringing chaos and carnage to America’s streets, while the company avoids responsibility for the harm they’re causing.

New street design guidelines from the American Society for Landscape Architecture show why inclusive cities start with safe streets.

Guarantee your kid wins playtime at the park with his or her very own Harley-Davidson e-balance bike.

Portland police finally busted the bike thief who stole a 69-year old man’s $11,000 bicycle in a strong-arm robbery in July; a friend of the victim had filmed the thief riding it shortly after the theft.

A hit-and-run bike rider rode over the hind leg of an eight-month old Labradoodle puppy on an Idaho greenbelt, snapping it in two, then simply rode off. Which makes him no less of a cowardly a-hole than any heartless hit-and-run driver. Schmuck.

Kansas City MO develops the usual factions in the fight over bike lanes, as advocates argue for improving safety and boosting local businesses, while opponents fear harm to businesses and want to keep their dangerous streets just the way they are.

A Texas man refuses to take no for an answer after doctors told him he’d never ride a bike again when he lost his leg in a horseback riding accident, completing a 168-mile ride on a prosthetic leg he designed and built himself.

An 18-year old girl rode 550 miles on a tandem bike with her father from Chicago to Toronto for her first day of college, while a Flint MI bike shop owner saved the day when they developed a crack in their tandem’s steering tube.

More proof hit-and-run isn’t just a California thing, as Chicago police are looking for the heartless coward who slammed into a mountain bike rider, and left him to die on the side of the road. Thanks to Art S for the tip.

After a legally blind Indiana man’s bike was stolen, a friend spotted it on someone else’s porch and stole it back.

Congratulations to Ohio officials for keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until he killed someone. The alleged drunk driver who killed a bicyclist on Saturday had been charged with driving while impaired seven years ago, but prosecutors pled it down to a single count of reckless driving with a small fine; the victim was chief counsel to a former Ohio governor. Which means his blood is on their hands.

A driveway vigilante is under arrest after a New York driver took the law into his own hands, deliberately slamming his SUV into the screwdriver-toting bike rider he suspected of breaking into his vehicle, and killing him.

New York’s former parks commissioner says bike and pedestrian traffic in Central Park has become so chaotic and dangerous due to its growing popularity and lack of pedestrian and cycling safety infrastructure that he won’t ride his bike there anymore.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News says sure, bikes are all fine and good, but the city’s Belmont neighborhood needs its parking. Unlike, say, every other neighborhood that says the same thing, until they find out they’re actually better off with more bikes and fewer cars.

Need a haircut? A bike-riding New York barber says he’ll go anywhere to cut hair, traveling from Machu Picchu to Tokyo.

Now that’s more like it. A Philadelphia man is suing a delivery company for repeatedly blocking a bike lane, as well as the city’s parking authority for failing to enforce it.

A Delaware man who is “hardly a bike-phobe” says they’ve already had several bike riders killed in the area, and its totally the fault of those careless, lawbreaking vacationers on bicycles.

An op-ed in the Washington Post says we can have an enormous impact on improving our cities by making it easier to ride a bike and harder to drive a car.

Life is cheap in Virginia, where a woman walks without a single day behind bars despite a conviction for reckless driving in the death of a man riding his bicycle.

A new Clemson University study confirms that daytime taillights can significantly improve your safety. Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve had far fewer close calls since I’ve started riding with multiple taillights and an ultrabright headlight during the day. As much as it really pisses me off to have to do it. 

 

International

London is changing building design rules for skyscrapers to reduce the wind tunnel effect for bicyclists.

A British writer calls for taming the automotive hegemony on our streets by banning all car advertising.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden is one of us, too, going for a casual ride with her two daughters.

A new study shows cargo bikes are more efficient than delivery vans in urban areas, so the UK government put its money on…flying taxis.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary, and an Irish columnist just wishes you’d show a little respect and use your bike bell on the way there.

Yet another study confirms the safety in numbers effect, as a new Belgian study shows motorists will adjust how they drive in relation to the number of bicyclists on the street.

South African police ended a nearly two-year reign of terror when they arrested a Zimbabwean man for murdering a bike rider and a hiker in a national park, as well as eight other nonfatal stabbings and muggings.

A New Zealand charity refurbishes bicycles to give to refugees, and teaches the recipients how to ride them, giving them new hope in the process.

An Aussie op-ed says just painting bike lanes on a street and assuming bicyclists will be safe and motivated to use them is delusional, and does nothing to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.

The Philippines considers a bill that would require elected officials to use public transport. We need something like that here, like requiring officials — elected and otherwise — to walk, bike or use transit at least once a week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A “crazy week” ends at the Vuelta with yet another leader change.

Cyclist looks at the winners and losers in the Vuelta’s first week, while Cycling Weekly confines itself to five talking points from stage 9.

One of those losers was Tejay van Garderen, who was forced to drop out with a broken finger following a crash on Thursday.

Rouleur considers how tiny Slovenia rose to the top of the cycling world.

A Mexican cyclist got a two-year ban after getting busted for doping. But the doping era is completely and totally over, right?

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a bicyclist competing in a Russian bike race loses control and veers off the course, but grabs a little girl to protect her as he falls.

Finally…

Yes, a bike lane can save your life the next time you inhale a wasp while riding. If you’re going to take your loaded shotgun into Home Depot, at least get off your bike first.

And don’t toss trash out the window of your chrome-covered Lambo.

Especially if there’s a bicyclist around.

………

One final note. 

This is exactly how I feel when I post most mornings. Now if I could only figure out how to include a decent bottle of booze as a downloadable attachment.

%d bloggers like this: