Tag Archive for Los Angeles

San Diego bicycling death confirmed, a little LA gravel grinding, and fresh paint coming to Burbank Blvd

A couple quick notes before we get started. 

Thanks to the efforts of Phillip Young, we now have confirmation of the fifth bicycling fatality in San Diego last year. 

As we noted Tuesday, we had received numerous reports that the victim of a collision on San Diego’s Moreno Blvd last November had passed away after he was hospitalized, but were unable to confirm the death. 

Now we know that 27-year old Dylan Herrick died as a result of the crash. 

I’ll followup with the long-delayed story over the weekend. Because like every fallen bike rider, he deserves to be remembered, even if it’s two months late. 

Photo is fallen bicyclist Dylan Herrick.

………

In better news, we now have a new advertiser over there on the right. 

CyclingSavvy, one of just two national organizations offering bike safety training, along with the Bike League, is now offering online training modules

I wish safety training like this wasn’t necessary. But until we have safer streets and better infrastructure, it’s vital to know how to keep yourself safe out there. 

As a result, I’m providing them with an ad on this site for the next few months. Use the code bikinginla, and you’ll get a 25% discount on the training sessions.

At the same time, I’ll also get small amount for each person who signs up. 

Check it out, and let me know what you think. 

………

Here’s evidence that it’s possible to show a little humanity in the worst situations.

If it’s real, that is.

A man storms into store, accusing a customer at the counter of stealing his custom-built bicycle, and demands it back.

But when the customer tells him he bought the bike for $10 to get to work, the man quickly changes his tune, and says he can borrow it for now. Then says he can keep it once he finishes the bike he started building when the first one was stolen.

But there’s more than a few red flags to suggest this one may have been staged, which is why I’m not embedding the video here.

I’ll let you decide.

………

Nothing like a little gravel, past and future, to start your day.

And apparently, women cyclists like gravel, too.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew isn’t just into rough trails, though. He’s got a pretty good eye for bouncing baby bike lanes, too.

………

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

A 57-year old man was stabbed in the head by a younger man who fled by bike, in an apparent random attack near New York’s Times Square.

………

Local

The guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of us. Or was, anyway; Josh Klinghoffer got the boot after riding his bike over to Flea’s house, to make way for original band member John Frusciante.

The North Hollywood Neighborhood Council rejects the ridiculous plan to widen the already too wide and too fast Magnolia Blvd.

 

State

San Diego’s El Cerrito community is mourning a beloved neighborhood postal worker who served the area for 25 years; 56-year old Kevin Wilson was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Monday.

A kindhearted cop in Sanger arranged to get a new bike for a young boy, after the one he received as part of a Christmas bike giveaway was stolen.

California’s cap-and-trade program is paying for walking trails, sidewalks and bike lanes in disadvantaged Fresno neighborhoods.

A San Jose op-ed argues that no bikes of any kind belong on the area’s trails, ebikes or otherwise.

San Jose is focusing on a number of Vision Zero improvements this year to fight the rising tide of traffic deaths in the city. Los Angeles, meanwhile, is making room on the shelf for Vision Zero, right next to the city’s dusty mobility plan and the 2010 bike plan it subsumed.

 

National

No surprise here. No SoCal business made the Bike League’s list of new or upgraded Bicycle Friendly Businesses; the nearest one was a San Luis Obispo government agency, which upgraded to a gold level.

PeopleForBikes announces their latest list of community grants, none of which are in California. Hate to say it, but their name just looks awkward jammed together into one word like that. Says the guy from BikinginLA.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after an Austin TX bicyclist spotted the hand of a man who’d been trapped in a drainage tunnel for over 24 hours; it took over an hour for rescuers to get him out.

Justice delayed doesn’t always mean justice denied. A Michigan man was arrested for a five-year old hit-and-run that left a then-18-year old man on a bicycle seriously injured; fortunately, the victim has made a full recovery.

Nashville TN is the latest city to adopt an Americanized version of Vision Zero.

New York Governor Cuomo calls for legalizing ebikes and scooters in the state, with mandatory helmets for ebikes that can go over 25 mph. And says he needs to see more data before calling for car helmets. And yes, he’s serious.

New York City’s notoriously anti-bike crusading reporter demands to know why ebike riders should be required to wear helmets, but other riders aren’t. Maybe because most bike riders don’t go over 25 mph on a routine basis. And bike helmets aren’t designed for those kinds of speeds, anyway.

The Brooklyn borough president says double parking is fine as long as the scofflaw drivers are going to church. Let’s hope they pray for the bike riders they’re endangering while they’re in there.

A kindhearted Pennsylvania community came together to raise $400 to buy a new bicycle for disabled man known as the town’s unofficial mayor, after his was stolen.

There’s a special place in hell for any driver who’d flee the scene after hitting a kid; fortunately, they caught the woman behind the wheel, and the five-year old Florida boy she hit was not seriously hurt.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for why every bike should have a kickstand. Not on my roadie, you won’t.

Sadly, no surprise here, either, as the US refuses to extradite the spy’s diplomat’s wife who killed a British motorcyclist in a hit-and-run, then fled the country claiming diplomatic immunity; officials say it would set a bad precedent to bring a cowardly killer to justice.

An English man is asking for help recovering his $7,200 ti mountain bike, one of just 500 worldwide, after thieves threatened him at knifepoint.

Puducherry, India — population just under 250,000 — becomes at least the sixth Indian city to get a bicycle mayor. Los Angeles, with a population twelve times larger, still doesn’t have one. Or any other sort of mayor devoted to improving bicycling in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie Ritchie Porte took the ochre leader’s jersey in the Tour Down Under as the peloton passes through regions devastated by recent fires. Be honest, who actually knew what color ochre is without looking it up? I didn’t think so.

 

Finally…

When it’s just too hard to move a badly parked dockless bike. I don’t have a problem with ride outs, but this is pretty much how you define the term effing idiot.

And your next bike ride could be on a turn-of-the-century carousel.

No, the other century.

 

Bike the Vote LA voter guide for CD10 race, your very own little pony trike, and another Peloton parody

Bike the Vote LA has posted their voting guide for LA’s 10th Council District.

Outgoing LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, considered a shoo-in by most pundits, rates a surprisingly low C+ on the survey compiled by a number of the Southside’s leading bike advocacy groups.

Meanwhile, a pair lesser known candidates, Channing Martinez and Aura Vasquez, lead the way with their support for non-automotive transportation and Complete Streets policies.

Hopefully, the other candidates will garner enough votes to deny Ridley-Thomas an outright victory in arch, and force a runoff that with get both candidates on the record, for better or worse.

Whomever that other one might end up being.

Meanwhile, the Bike the Vote LA newsletter includes opportunities to help get out the vote for Loraine Lundquist in CD12, and Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman in CD4, along with Dan Brotman in Glendale.

Full Disclosure — My personal interactions with Ridley-Thomas have all been good, which is why I’m surprised to see him score low here.

On the other hand, I’m tired of career politicians using the LA City Council as a soft place to land after getting termed out of other jobs.

Let’s hope whoever gets elected will be committed to safer streets in the long-ignored district. 

………

Here’s the ultimate proof you can carry anything on a bike — your very own two-pony semi-covered tricycle for the equivalent of just $5,900, sans ponies.

………

Peloton continues to populate YouTube parodies. Like this one, for instance.

………

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

Someone has been booby trapping Dallas, Texas bike trails with nearly invisible twine or rope in an apparent attempt to knock riders off their bikes. Let’s get this straight. This isn’t a prank, it’s a deliberate attempt to injure innocent people and frighten them off the trails. Which makes it an act of anti-bike terrorism.

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

Still more proof you can carry anything on a bicycle. Including other people’s stolen car batteries in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Evidently, we were right. San Diego is reporting five bicycling fatalities last year, along with 24 pedestrians killed. Which is about 29 people too many.

Some San Mateo residents are looking forward to a road diet on North San Mateo Drive, but several automotive businesses see it as an attempt to drive them out of business.

The San Francisco Chronicle examines women-only night at a Bay Area bike co-op. Which should be a required feature everywhere for women tired of mansplaining mechanics.

Streetsblog says San Francisco needs a bicycle mayor. LA just needs to listen to its own already appointed, and usually ignored, Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Finishing out our San Francisco trifecta, the city’s iconic Market Street will officially be carfree starting next week. Which is kind like banning drivers from LA’s Wilshire Blvd. Which isn’t a half bad idea.

Okay, make it a quadfecta. San Francisco’s transit authority is testing out 50 special adaptive scooters from Jump, Lime, Scoot and Spin for people with disabilities. Hopefully that will prove successful and spread down here.

Alameda is asking for public input to help keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting hit by motorists.

Oakland is considering a bike and pedestrian bridge leading to a proposed A’s baseball stadium in the city’s Jack London Square.

Business owners are supporting a proposed 19-mile bike trail along the Russian River despite the $145 million price tag, saying it could bring in more business from people on two-wheels.

 

National

A writer for Best Reviews recommends the best mountain bike, which probably isn’t. If you can put up with the Chicago Tribune’s multiple popup ads.

Gear Junkie offers tips for fat bike winter fun, for anyone with access to a little snow.

Bike thieves hit a Boulder CO bike shop for the second time in weeks, making off with “tens of thousands of dollars worth of new bikes.”

Curbed makes the case for why you should ride your bike all year in frigid Chicago, even in the winter. Which LA bike riders know is unreasonable, since we get cold when the temp drops below 70°.

It was a bad year on Ohio roadways, where 23 people were killed riding their bikes in 2019.

Kindhearted Philly cops buy a new bicycle for a boy whose bike was stolen by a group of older kids just before Christmas.

Credit a West Virginia police chief with a good grasp of the obvious, as he steps out on a rock-solid limb by linking drug use and bike thefts.

Seriously? Daytona Beach police are trying to drive down bike and pedestrian deaths by focusing on the potential victims rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines, explaining that there’s no point in focusing on drivers, because they usually don’t see the victims until it’s too late. Which couldn’t possibly be a reason to slow down and pay attention to the road in front of you, could it? Or why it remains the fourth most dangerous city in the state.

Orlando, Florida’s mayor has a plan — or rather, multiple plans — to shed its reputation as the nation’s deadliest city for pedestrians. But as the story says, “…pledging something and doing something are very different, especially when it comes to the multifaceted challenge of making our streets safer.” As we in Los Angeles know all too well.

Congratulations to Tampa International Airport, which has been named the nation’s first bicycle-friendly airport by the League of American Bicyclists.

When you’re already a twice convicted Florida felon, probably not the best idea to ride your bike with a fully loaded 9mm, crack, weed and oxycodone, along with a full face mask and $644 in cash. Just saying.

 

International

Mexican authorities are feeling well-deserved international pressure to solve the murder of a young women’s rights advocate after she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in downtown Juarez; the deadly border city saw 180 women murdered last year alone.

A Spanish bike rider learns the hard way that bicycles and massive storm-driven waves don’t mix.

Tragic story from India, where the wife of a major bicycle manufacturer was found hanging in an apparent suicide, though police are treating it as a suspicious death. Seriously, if you’re thinking about it, get help now by calling the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Canberra, Australia is finally showing Sikhs a little respect, dropping the ridiculous requirement to wear a helmet atop their turbans when they ride a bike. Now they just have to drop that ineffective mandatory helmet law for everyone else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will start what promises to be a long and difficult comeback from the massive injuries he suffered preparing for last year’s Criterium du Dauphine at the UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates next month.

With a start like this, frenzy is the right word for this Kiwi mountain bike race. But do they really have to destroy fragile terrain by wildcatting off the trail?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be wood. You could soon stop riding on air.

And congratulations, Critical Massers. You’re now considered a radical left-wing group that bears watching.

 

 

Morning Links: Killer road-raging SoCal drivers, and parolee charged in Escondido death of fallen cyclist Kevin Lentz

They drive among us.

A couple of bizarre non-bike road rage incidents illustrate just who we share the roads with.

In a truly strange, tragic and confusing case in my own neighborhood, a 26-year old mother is dead after rear-ending a motorcyclist, then getting run over by her own passenger after she got out to argue with the man on the motorbike when he followed them home.

The passenger ran away after killing her friend. Literally.

And there’s a special place in hell for the road raging Corona resident who inexplicably went ballistic over the age-old Ding Dong Ditch prank, jumping into his car and ramming a car filled with six teenage boys as they tried to escape him.

Anurang Chandra could face multiple counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon after three of the boys were killed when their car went off the road and slammed into a tree.

Seriously, people, just chill already.

Motor vehicles bring out the worst in far too many people. Myself included.

One of the many reasons I quit driving was that I may be Bruce Banner on my bike or in a bus, but you wouldn’t like me behind the wheel.

And I didn’t, either.

Photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

A prison parolee will stand trial for the drunk and stoned crash that killed mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido last November.

Jamison Connor faces ten charges, including vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and driving under the influence, as well as drug and weapons violations.

He also faces a single count of child endangerment for allowing his four-year old son to sit unrestrained in the car as he fled the scene after — allegedly — killing Lentz.

Never mind the meth and loaded semi-automatic police found in his pickup when they busted him.

………

Unlike Los Angeles under current international Climate Mayor Eric Garcetti, the former Climate Mayor is making great strides in reimagining the streets of Paris and the city as a whole.

………

Call it Peloton’s revenge for the bikelash over the now-infamous Peloton Wife commercial.

View this post on Instagram

Typical Denver

A post shared by Michæl Wang 📷 (@mwangtv) on

So maybe FedEx is just trying to keep up.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the first link.

………

Your next DIY ebike could be solar powered. As long as you don’t mind hauling a bigass bike trailer everywhere you go.

………

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

Florida police are looking for a bike-riding robber who holds-up people parking their cars in a Tampa parking garage, then makes his getaway on his bike.

………

Local

New advocacy group Streets for All will meet this Tuesday to discuss a campaign for a Venice Blvd Complete Street.

A ghost bike will be placed in Arleta this Thursday in honor of fallen bike rider Jesus “Gallo” Urbina, who was killed while using his bike to deliver water to some homeless friends.

 

State

San Diego is still struggling to cut pedestrian deaths, despite a Vision Zero pledge to end all traffic-related deaths in the next five years. Judging by recent news, they’re not doing so good on the bike front, either.

A new poll shows San Diegans overwhelmingly oppose installing bike lanes at the expense of parking spaces, and want to keep e-scooters, but impose stricter regulations on them.

An Embarcadero restaurant is endangering San Francisco bike riders by continuing to place its valet stand directly in the bike lane, while a protected bike lane currently being built stops just short of the restaurant.

 

National

In a story that could be a ripped from the headlines look at LA’s own mayor, Fast Company says there’s a “big disconnect between what mayors want in terms of street design and what they’re actually willing to support to make it happen.” Except virtually no one in LA is writing headlines about the mayor’s failure to support his own Great Streets, Complete Streets and Vision Zero programs. Except yours truly, of course.

Terrano is offering a 25% discount on their cycling communications and bluetooth system, for hands-free communications with other riders on the road.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland man’s bicycle on the one-year anniversary of his kayaking death on the Hood River. Then again, it takes a major schmuck to steal a bike, period.

A New York congressman swears he supports bike lanes, despite a racially charged King Day speech accusing them of causing gentrification. So he says bike lanes cause gentrification, and he supports bike lanes. Which would seem to suggest he supports gentrification, too.

Los Angeles Laker LeBron James announced he was teaming with Lyft to give free bikeshare memberships to kids at the Harlem YMCA; he also called for a better bike lane network in the Big Apple. Let’s hope someday he’ll address the lack of safe bike lanes in his new hometown, too.

Apparently, getting a driver’s license suspended in Florida is the end of life as we know it. While most of us can empathize with someone who can’t afford to pay a traffic fine, there are valid alternatives to driving that lots of people actually use in real life.

 

International

A 26-year old woman who campaigned to halt violence against women in Juarez, Mexico became the latest victim, when she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in Downtown Juarez; nearly 180 women were murdered in the city last year.

A writer for the Daily Mail complains about the sexual harassment women like her face riding London’s Tube, and says women on bicycles don’t have it any better. Seriously guys, just knock it the fuck off, and start treating women like human beings for a change.

The bighearted English man who reunited a stolen bike with its original owner after buying it for the equivalent of around a hundred bucks has become an internet hero, earning a shoutout from rapper Stormzy.

If you’re looking for bike-friendly cities in the UK, skip Manchester and head straight to Lancaster.

Girls riding bikes isn’t news. Unless you’re in Karachi, Pakistan, where it’s discouraged, if not actually prohibited. But some brave girls are doing it anyway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips wants to know if gravel racing can maintain its renegade status, even as it moves to the mainstream.

Speaking of gravel, America’s Colin Strickland decides he’d rather keep racing — and winning — the Kansas Dirty Kanza than compete on the WorldTour and race Paris-Roubaix.

Next month’s Tour of Oman has been cancelled, after a year of mourning was declared following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Australian Rohan Dennis says he walked away from last year’s Tour de France to save his marriage, afraid his deteriorating mental state due to conflicts within the Bahrain-Merida (now Bahrain McLaren) team would drive his wife away.

Congratulations to Guam’s first professional cycling team.

Former pro Phil Gaimon pens an understanding letter to a lower-level pro busted for doping, suggesting he skip the post-suspension hostility and just move on with his life.

 

Finally…

Police have better things to do than deal with fake theft report from a bike rider. Dockless bikeshare — the new getaway choice of bank robbers.

And it only takes three comments to blame bicycles for a crash that didn’t involve any.

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Women fight thieves for their bikes, medical insurance fail, and what a punishment pass looks like

Don’t mess with women.

Or their bikes.

A Toronto woman ran out of a store and beat up the thief who tried to make off with her unlocked bike, even kicking him when he was down. Unfortunately, the video is posted to a private account, and I haven’t managed to find a copy.

And a 72-year old British great-grandmother wrestled a stolen mountain bike away from a thief after reading about the theft on Facebook; the man had tried to sell her the $1,500 bike for the equivalent of just $200.

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

………

Retired pro Phil Gaimon somehow manages to maintain his sense of humor, even after a recent crash left him with $250,000 in medical bills.

And yes, that’s with insurance.

Just another example of how broken America’s medical and insurance system is.

………

A Dublin Bus driver is under fire — and under investigation — after a frighteningly close punishment pass.

Seriously, keep watching after the first one.

………

Take a break for few minutes with a video of mountain biking in Israel.

Work can wait, right?

Unless you’d prefer a ride through Madeira, Portugal.

………

Pink Bike offers some clever ideas on how to stash your tools on your bike when you don’t want to use a pack.

………

Local

Who knew? A Reddit post points out that LA County has a page devoted to reporting problems with bike paths, promising a pretty remarkable two-day response time.

 

State

Things are looking up for the San Diego-area man with Parkinson’s disease whose new ebike was stolen before he could even ride it; a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy a new bike in just four hours, while local company Juiced Bikes gave one to his wife so they can ride together. Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspects for the theft.

Clearly, drivers aren’t the only risk people on bikes face these days. A Riverside man joined the rising toll of bike riders across the US who’ve been shot in recent weeks; the victim was discovered lying in the street after several people reported hearing shots and died after being taken to a hospital.

Ventura County’s Ojai Valley Bike Trail reopens today, after construction work to repair storm damage forced it to close five months ago.

 

National

The fat bike craze is getting skinnier, with just half of the fat bike makers from 2015 still here five years later.

A Tucson letter writer says bicyclists should be required to use lights at “dusk, night and dawn,” just like the law already requires. And says those “handlebar ringydingy bells” would be nice, too.

Other cities continue to make progress while Los Angeles just keeps falling back, as the already bike-friendly Mile High City commits to building another 125 miles of bike lanes over the next three years. Unfortunately, the Denver Streetsblog won’t be around to cover it, at least not in its current form.

A Chicago bike lane remains faded, months after the city promised to repaint it following the death of a woman on her bike.

A New York community board says the lack of crosstown bike paths through Central Park are a ticking time bomb; they claim one rider has already lost his life as a result.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a woman was fined just $1,000 for the distracted driving crash that killed two people on a club ride — which works out to just $500 for a human life. And she’ll get her license back in a lousy six months. Shameful.

Kindhearted Florida cops buy a new bike and helmet for a nine-year old boy after his was stolen, even making him an honorary junior officer.

 

International

Bike Radar continues their look at the year’s best bikes, with a ranking of the top steel framed bicycles.

Victoria, BC swears it’s not clearing snow off bike lanes before the rest of the street.

The rumored future Bond, James Bond is one of us, as James Norton rides his bike through the streets of London. But why does the press always seem to assume someone had to “settle” for riding a bicycle?

Britain’s biggest bike retailer said scooter and ebike sales nearly doubled compared to the last quarter of the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal reports bike riders are driving up real estate prices in Girona, Spain, which has seen prices go up 15% in the last year. Unfortunately, the usual WSJ paywall problems apply. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

India’s Hero Cycles develops plans to rule the bike world. Or 5% of it, anyway.

US Customs says ebikes are motorcycles, but that’s a good thing. The misclassification allows them to avoid Trump’s onerous 25% tariff.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fayetteville, Arkansas has been selected as the site of this year’s Pan-American Cyclocross Championships.

Dutch champ Anna van der Breggen looks forward to defending her Olympic road race gold metal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Indoor climbing walls are nothing new, but indoor bike park, not so much. Unless maybe you’d rather ride your bike on water.

And someone has finally developed an all-weather corgi carrier for your cargo bike.

What.

 

Morning Links: AB 582 raises fatal hit-and-run penalties, grading CD14 candidates, and tilting at Major League windmills

Sometimes I get it wrong.

After a friend alerted me to a bill in the California legislature that appeared to lower the penalties for hit-and-run in the state, I went on Twitter to raise the warning like a digital Paul Revere.

Except in this case, the Red Coats weren’t coming.

While the marked-up text of AB 582 made it look like a number of assembly members had signed on to a bill to reduce prison sentences for hit-and-run causing injury or death, it was actually sort of the opposite.

As currently written, the bill would leave the penalty for misdemeanor hit-and-run — not resulting in serious injuries — just the same as it is right now, with up to one year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The penalty for felony hit-and-run causing serious, permanent injury would also stay the same, from a minimum of 90 days in county jail to up to four years in state prison.

However, under AB 582, the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run would go up slightly, ranging from 90 days in county to up to six years in state prison, rather than the current four.

Which sounds good. But it’s a big drop from six to eight years in prison, as the bill was originally written.

So while it’s nice to see the legislature finally address the hit-and-run epidemic, AB 582 won’t do a damn thing to keep drivers from hitting the gas after a crash, and leaving their victim bleeding — or dying — in the street.

If they really want to do something, it will either take a dramatic increase in prison time, or a more creative alternative approach to sentencing.

And don’t get me started on why a driver who fails to kill his victim should get rewarded with a lower sentence, when the intent was exactly the same.

………

The good folks at Bike the Vote LA grade the candidates for the March primary in CD14, but decline to make an endorsement in the race.

The big surprise is that former Senate president pro tem Kevin de León graded so highly.

………

LA Councilmembers “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and Paul “Killer” Koretz once again demonstrate that they have apparently solved all the real problems in Los Angeles, and have nothing better to do than tilt at Major League windmills.

………

Get your headshots out.

Here’s your chance to break into cycling cinema.

………

CiclaValley offers a recap of last Saturday’s LA Tourist Race, which set gravel bikers, mountain bikers and combined riders on a route-less dash cross the San Gabriels.

………

A new ebike introduced at CES folds down small enough to fit in a backpack.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a paralyzed Phoenix man’s wheelchair from his driveway.

An off-duty New York cop was hit in the face with a bicycle chain in an apparently random attack while riding the subway, which does not necessarily mean the attacker was one of us. And no, New York Post, calling a large black man a “brute” isn’t racist at all. No, really.

………

Local

Street closures will be in effect in DTLA Saturday for the annual Women’s March, as well as an anti-abortion march held the same time; other marches will take place in Riverside, Hemet, Idyllwild, Coachella and Yucca ValleyIf you’re planning to attend, leave the car at home and take transit or ride a bike.

A Pasadena writer says the Rose City needs its own Green New Deal, including better options for walking and bicycling.

Overall thefts are up in South Pasadena, while bike theft remains high.

Redondo Beach may not be the scene of a Women’s March this Saturday, but it will be home to a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits line.

 

State

Streetsblog has more on Tamika Butler’s unexpected resignation from the California Transportation Commission after just four months.

Santa Maria Police will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation today, so the usual protocol applies. See Redondo Beach, above.

This is what a Fresno ebike thief looks like. Note to Fox26News: If you’re going to do a story about a bike thief caught on video stealing an ebike, maybe you should, you know, actually show him stealing the ebike. Just a suggestion.

A Fresno man was shot in the leg as he was riding his bike; he’s reportedly not cooperating with investigators.

 

National

Bicycling finally gets around to addressing the Deloitte study that says ebikes and bikeshare will lead to a doubling of bike commuters around the world in just the next two years; we mentioned it here nearly two weeks ago. And the magazine offers yet another reminder to get medical care ASAP if you’ve had a head injury.

The new China trade agreement eliminates tariffs on kids bikes and ebikes, but leaves a 25% tax on most other bike-related products.

Forget the fight for bike lanes on the street; where we really need them is on LEGO streetscapes.

A Chicago man was killed in a drive-by shooting while apparently riding his bike home from the market.

An Illinois man is suing Walmart for $50,000 after a tire on his new bike exploded, throwing him to the ground; the other tire had exploded before he even left the store.

An Ohio bike rider redefines collateral damage by ending up in the hospital when he’s struck by a flying deer after it was hit by a car.

A five-year old Virginia boy refuses to let getting hit by a car keep him from riding his bike, getting back on it just weeks after getting out of the hospital for breaking “everything” but his “brain.”

 

International

Toronto’s best known ghost bike disappeared without a trace after ten years in place, then reappeared with a new lock and a fresh coat of paint. The bike honors bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was killed as he was holding on for dear life after he was hit by the provincial Attorney General at the time, who repeatedly swerved in an apparent attempt to shake him; needless to say, the AG wasn’t held accountable in any way.

Speaking of Toronto, the city is rocked by allegations that bike lanes get priority over regular traffic lanes when it comes to clearing snow. Which could just be because it takes less snow to create dangerous conditions for bicycles than motor vehicles.

A cross-border bike trail could bring bike financial benefits to the US and Canada. If Trump doesn’t decide we need a wall there, too.

Josh Quigley, the 27-year old round-the-world bicyclist who miraculously survived a high-speed crash in Texas last month, is finally preparing to fly home to Scotland.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a hit-and-run driver who left his victim lying in the street walks with a lousy four months probation and a two-year driving ban.

Curbed examines how the City of Lights became an unlikely bicycling success story, setting an example American cities can and should follow. Especially Los Angeles, which doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the Olympic host city just before us. Right, Mayor Garcetti? 

Muscular Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us, taking to his bike to shuttle between sets in Mumbai.

Now that’s a close pass. An Aussie bike rider is literally bumped by a passing trailer after the driver cuts it way too close.

A new proposal calls for bike lanes in Shanghai, with bicycle expressways in suburban areas.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under kicked off today, which is already yesterday there; Australia’s Chloe Hosking took the first stage. The men’s race kicks off on Monday.

Former pro Ted King offers a tourist guide to his Healdsburg hometown.

Who knew he was a bike racing fan? His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rushed to the aid of a cyclist who fell during a women’s race in Dubai Wednesday.

 

Finally…

When you want to ride around the world, but can’t live with a hot espresso. Your next bike could be copper plated, 3D printed and cost $9,500 — and without a seat tube.

And nothing like a little Welsh chariot bike racing.

 

Morning Links: Pasadena’s VMT under attack by drivers, LA County District 2 survey, and what to do after a crash

Before we get started, Spectrum News 1 reporter Jada Montemarano reached out to say she’s working on a story about bikeshare and e-scooters, and wants to talk with frequent users, especially people who use it to get to or from work or public transportation. 

If you’d like to talk to her, you can reach her at jada.montemarano@charter.com, or on Twitter via @JadaMontemarano.

………

Pasadena could take a big step backwards at tonight’s city council meeting.

Reportedly under pressure from Pasadena’s traffic safety denying pressure group Keep Pasadena Moving, the city is considering going back to the outdated and discredited LOS — Level of Service — method of measuring traffic flow.

The problem is that LOS only measures automotive throughput; that is, how many cars can be moved through intersections as quickly as possible.

That contrasts with the more accurate VMT — for Vehicle Miles Traveled — that counts people, rather than vehicles, regardless of how they travel.

As usual, the auto-centric NIMBY crowd will likely be out in force. So anyone who bikes, walks, uses transit or yes, drives in Pasadena owes it to themselves to turn out in force for tonight’s council meeting:

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
Pasadena City Council Chambers, 100 Garfield Avenue, 2nd Floor
(Note: The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition notes the item is last on the agenda and it’s likely to be a long meeting!)

Or if you can’t make it, you can email your comments to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net; the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition includes a pre-written email you can customize with your own thoughts.

Meanwhile, the VP of a neighborhood association somehow blames VMT for turning the Rose City into a copy of LA’s Westside.

Which is a bad thing, evidently.

………

Bike the Vote LA is on the case in LA County’s 2nd Supervisor District with a hard-hitting survey to get the candidates on the record before the March primary.

And in another important, if not vital, race, a large turnout for the Democratic presidential primary could make the difference in lifting Democrat Laraine Lundquist over short-term incumbent Republican John Lee in LA’s nominally nonpartisan election in CD12.

In the short time he’s been in office since squeaking by in November’s special election, Lee has already shown himself to be one of the city’s most regressive councilmembers, attempting to block plans for a high-speed busway, and remove the city’s first protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

………

Last week a friend of mine was rear-ended by a driver.

Fortunately, he and his bike are mostly okay. But it serves as yet another reminder of what to do following a crash.

To start, never say it was your fault. In the moments immediately following a collision, you may be confused, or unsure exactly what happened. Give yourself time to analyze the situation before saying something you can’t take back.

The same goes for injuries. Never tell the other person, police, insurance companies or anyone else you weren’t hurt immediately following a crash. Chances are, you might be and just don’t know it yet. Get yourself to a doctor to get checked out. Or at the very least, go home and wait to see if anything develops overnight.

Exchange ID and insurance information with the driver. If you leave without the driver’s information, you’ll be on the hook if it turns out you are injured. And you could be cited for hit-and-run, even if you weren’t the one who hit or ran.

And if you end up with significant injuries, medical bills or lost work, at least talk to a lawyer. The job of an insurance claims adjuster isn’t to settle the case fairly, it’s to settle for as little as you’ll settle for. Which means you’re the one who could get screwed.

You don’t have to hire a lawyer if you talk to one. And you should never pay anything upfront; a liability lawyer should take his fee out of your settlement, only after everything is settled.

If you do need one, I can recommend three damn fine ones over there on the right; you can’t go wrong with any one of them.

And here’s a little more advice about what to do following a collision I wrote a few years ago.

………

Loos like South LA’s Eastside Riders is continuing their good works in the local community. And need your help to do it.

………

Here’s what you can look forward to seeing on the roads in the near future.

Too bad they may not be able to see you.

https://twitter.com/bikepedantic/status/1216484945784340480

Never mind that high, flat grill, which was apparently designed to inflict maximum damage to any bike riders or pedestrians who might get caught in its path.

But hey, it’s perfectly legal, right?

………

Local

An ArtCenter professor is teaming with biotech billionaire and LA Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiung to market a wide, fat tired scooter capable of doing up to 30 mph. The question is, what happens when it hits the streets, where e-scooters are often limited to 15 mph. And will it require a helmet, like ebikes capable of doing up to 30 mph?

 

State

Not only did San Diego police bust the thief who stole an ebike from a man suffering from Parkinson’s, they recovered another hot ebike — they just don’t know who it actually belongs to. Seriously, register your bike now, before something happens. And immediately report it to the police if it gets stolen, then add it to the free, nationwide Bike Index database of stolen bikes. Because the cops can’t return a recovered bike if they can’t prove who it belongs to.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a cool $90 million to keep regional bike lane projects on track.

Say hello to San Diego County’s first bike park in Bonita, thanks in large part to the efforts of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

The new 3.9 mile Mojave Riverwalk bike and pedestrian path connects the Mojave Narrows Regional Park with a seven-mile loop of bike paths and bike routes through Old Town Victorville.

Once again, an Apple Watch saves the day, with its fall detection software automatically calling paramedics when a San Francisco ebike rider was struck by a driver.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission thinks a carfree street next to the city’s new transit center would make a marvelous site for a parking garage ramp for a new hotel tower.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether ebikes can really replace cars, given their popularity in the Bay Area.

 

National

Vision Zero has finally made it onto the American political stage, with an endorsement for a national plan to eliminate traffic deaths from South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; unfortunately, he doesn’t include a deadline for the country’s last traffic death. And someone needs to explain the concept of induced demand to him.

Bicycling offers their take on the most exciting bike tech from last week’s CES trade show. But somehow missed the tiny little $8,800 solar powered ebike car.

Outside says dress warmly, and you won’t get stuck riding a Peloton all winter. Is it just me, or is everyone taking shots at Peloton lately?

Steve Harvey may or may not be one of us, but his grandson is now, after the erstwhile talk show host teaches him to ride on his Spider-Man bike.

A Washington writer says he was wrong, because it turns out Vision Zero isn’t just aspirational at all.

There’s a special place in hell for a San Antonio thief who shot a homeless man five times when the victim refused to give up his bicycle; now he’s under arrest, while the man he shot remains in critical condition. Just let it go. No bike is worth your life, even if it’s all you have.

A kindhearted Texas cop showed up at a little girl’s house with a new bike after hers was stolen just a week after she got it for Christmas.

Speaking of Vision Zero, Kansas City could become the latest city pledging to end traffic deaths. Someone should tell them that just talking about it isn’t enough, however, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

That’s more like it. An Ohio driver will spend the next three and a half years behind bars without parole after copping a plea in the drunken death of a bike rider; she’ll also have a drivers’s license revoked — for life.

A new app will crowdsource data about bad drivers. But only people in the DC area will be able to call up the driver’s DMV record.

A new app being field tested in Arlington VA uses traffic cameras to look for blocked bike lanes.

The kindhearted kids of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — site of a mass shooting two years ago — have collected 1,000 bicycles for impoverished kids in around Durbin, South Africa.

 

International

Road.cc picks their road bike of the year, with the price capped at roughly $4,500.

A law enforcement officer offers pro tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen. Hint: Lock the damn thing already. And register it.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says forget electric cars, ebikes could be the real answer to greener transportation.

A Vancouver letter writer accuses the city of pandering to a few bike riders, insisting that removing 700 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes won’t result in even 17 more bike riders. Which may be a reasonable argument, if you ignore the results from almost every other city around the world.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, looking decidedly dapper riding in London after fixing a flat.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole an e-bike from a 13-year old boy in the UK after pulling a sawed-off shotgun out of his pants. Honestly, though, who among us doesn’t keep a shotgun in their pants?

A Spanish website credits kindhearted cops with buying a delivery man a new bike after his was run over in a crash — except they were the ones who ran a red light and crashed into him.

A formerly homeless Singaporean man used a food delivery job to get off the streets, then lost weight after switching from an e-scooter to a road bike in response to the city’s scooter ban on sidewalks and pathways.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to pedal ski bikes, either. Don’t let a little blizzard keep you off your bike.

And why let a little thing like flooding stop you from riding your balance bike?

 

Morning Links: Oslo’s Vision Zero map, Hollywood commandeers Main Street, and busting distracted drivers with TAP cards

Please forgive my unexcused absence on Wednesday. 

I’ve been dealing with high blood sugar for the past few weeks. When it finally came down, it crashed hard, taking me down like a shot. And kept me there for several hours. 

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

………

Good question.

A writer for Strong Towns wants to know why Americans view Vision Zero as an impossible goal.

Even though Oslo, Norway has proven that it can be done.

And offers a recipe any city can follow to break America’s addiction to speed, and the cars that make it possible.

Although in most cities, the overwhelming number of cars and trucks make any kind of speed virtually unachievable for much of the day. Including right here in Los Angeles.

Or maybe especially in Los Angeles.

Never mind that the excess capacity that allows those cars to inch along at rush hour also allows drivers to blow well beyond what passes for speed limits the rest of the day. Putting the limbs and lives of everyone else on or near the roads at risk.

But here’s the path Oslo followed. And the one every other city could, and should, if human lives matter even a whit more than the convenience of people in cars.

Changing that basic fact is our challenge. It’s possible, but it’s going to require both institutional and far-reaching cultural changes, including but not limited to:

It’s a holistic strategy. It will take decades. The lesson from Oslo is that if we embark on this path, the potential rewards are great. We too could have cities where nobody fears losing their son or daughter or parent or best friend to a car crash.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

When is a new two-way protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When the city forgets that we live here too, and it becomes a Hollywood backlot.

https://twitter.com/Tomexploresla/status/1214611261238829056

When you run into something like that, complain to FilmLA, LADOT and the local councilmember — in this case, Jose Huizar.

………

Maybe we can get Metro to give the LAPD a few TAP cards.

………

Show up for the bike safety course, stay for the free helmet and bike light.

………

Evidently, work on the coming Red Car bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is coming along nicely.

………

It’s not too early to start thinking about impressing that Valentines date with a little hand-drawn bike art. .

………

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

Nothing like getting attacked by an angry driver who’s blocking a San Francisco protected bike lane. And yes, that’s assault with a deadly weapon, and should be reported to the police.

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

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding creep who approached a special needs student, then grabbed her ass when she tried to get away.

………

Local

New Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets for All wants your help electing Sarah Kate Levy in CD4, and Loraine Lunquist in CD12; both are running against incumbents who are anything but friendly to safer streets.

CiclaValley offers up a video bike tour of Elysian Park, the second largest park in the City of LA. And takes a gravel bike ride in the snow.

CicLAvia is celebrating ten years of America’s most successful open streets events with a fundraising party on the 2nd of next month.

Pasadena Weekly profiles longtime bike advocate and Altadena Councilmember Dorothy Wong.

LongBeachize says with 29 people dead as a result of traffic violence in the city last year, including four bike riders and 17 pedestrians, it’s time to change the way we talk about it.

 

State

San Diego County has paid an injured woman half a million dollars after she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown from her bike by bad pavement on Highway 8. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Speaking of San Diego, Robert Leone forwards SANDAG’s winter progress report, with 16 miles of bikeways currently under construction and more on the way.

Finishing off our San Diego trifecta, business owners in the North Park neighborhood have proposed an alternative plan that would extend the protected bike lane planned for 30th Street, while allowing them to keep 100 of the 550 parking spaces scheduled to be removed.

Encinitas is closing a section of the coast highway for the first time ever for Sunday’s inaugural Cyclovia.

Heartbreaking news from Ramona, where 53-year old Michelle Scott remains unresponsive with minimal brain function more than three months after a hit-and-run crash while she was riding her bike to work; a crowdfunding page has raised just over $11,000 of the modest $15,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses. Let’s all say a prayer or send good wishes her way for a full recovery. 

Apparently Robert Leone gets around; he’s also looking forward to San Jose’s Library to Library bike tour next Saturday.

The new bike path on the Richmond – San Raphael Bridge may be great, but getting on and off apparently leaves something to be desired; there’s already been a fatal fall when a bike rider crashed into a fence. Thanks to Al Williams for the link.

 

National

A new insurance industry report ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bike riders; sadly, San Bernardino comes in 3rd and Chula Vista 6th; Bakersfield checks in at 11.

Streetsblog examines the real reasons e-scooter injuries are booming. Hint: scooter usage is, too.

No surprise here. A new study shows the US needs to invest a lot more in bicycling and walking infrastructure if they want active transportation rates to grow. On the other hand, if they just want our streets to become increasing clogged until no one can move, make our air unbreathable and our planet an oven, then carry on.

Lime is responding to continued losses by laying off 14% off its employees and pulling the plug in 12 markets, including San Diego; the company will continue serving Los Angeles, for now anyway.

Road.cc offers eight bike gadgets from this year’s CES tech trade show. And yes, that water bike really is a thing.

Ebike maker Blix has dropped its prices after moving to online distribution only.

Two men have already been arrested in the apparently random shooting of a bike-riding Texas teenager we mentioned just yesterday; still no word on a possible motive.

Evidently, biking while black or brown applies to people on foot, too. At least in New York.

In a remarkable outcome, a Philadelphia food delivery rider won’t spend a single day behind bars for fatally stabbing a wealthy real estate developer who reportedly threatened to “beat the black off” him. Michael White was acquitted on a number of charges after claiming self-defense, and sentenced to just two years probation for evidence tampering for throwing away the knife he had used.

A Maryland state legislator rode her bike 324 miles over a 13-month period to cover nearly every block of every street in her hometown.

A Virginia woman faces charges for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding father, who was found dying in a ditch nearly an hour after the crash; the driver still had the victim’s hi-viz safety vest embedded in her windshield when she was busted.

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been charged with 2nd degree murder for shooting a bike thief in the head as he attempted to make off with a bicycle from in front of a convenience store.

 

International

Now you, too, can own what may be the world’s most bicycle with a sticker price of £60,000 — the equivalent of over 78 grand in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines the rise of Peter Sagan over the past decade, saying he became the most popular pro cyclist by making winning fun.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to Tase a bike-riding young man for popping a wheelie.

And it’s always been my belief that people drive the way they push a grocery cart.

https://twitter.com/SafeCyclingEire/status/1212431490946088962

 

Morning Links: Study cites bogus jump in e-scooter injuries, KCRW talks Vision Zero fail, and Danny MacAskil hits the gym

Bullshit.

An alarming new UC San Francisco study shows a very disturbing jump in e-scooter injuries, citing a 222% increase from 2014 to 2018.

Worse, nationwide hospital admissions from e-scooter injuries went up a whopping 365% over the same period.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel,

“It is a rising public health concern that needs attention,” said Nikan K. Namiri, 22, a medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine and first author of the study, published in Wednesday’s issue of JAMA Surgery. “Injuries and hospitalizations have risen significantly.”

Just one problem.

Everyone who remembers riding an e-scooter in 2014 please raise your hand.

Anyone?

That’s because the first e-scooters didn’t hit the streets mid-2017.

So yeah, if you include those two and a half years when they didn’t even exist, there probably has been a huge increase in injuries.

Something the study’s authors almost acknowledge.

The rise in injuries — from 6 per 100,000 Americans in 2014 to 19 per 100,000 in 2018 — could simply reflect scooters’ growing popularity, Namiri said. Scooters can be unlocked for $1 with a smartphone app, and then costs just 15 cents per minute to ride.

It’s entirely predictable that injuries would increase along with ridership.

In fact, according to a NACTO study, Americans took 38.5 million trips on e-scooters as the industry expanded to around 100 cities in 2018, the first year they were widely available.

So why did the study’s authors go back five years, when there’s really only one year of data?

Good question.

The authors also decry the lack of helmet use.

In 2018, California loosened safety regulation for scooters, removing the helmet requirement for riders over the age of 18.  Scooter rental company Bird, which backed the legislation and lobbied for the change, noted that adult bicyclists are not required to wear helmets – and that more people would ride scooters if helmets weren’t mandated.

“That is not helpful,” said responded Namiri. “People over 18 experience the highest number of injuries. Not wearing a helmet poses a health risk.”

It makes perfect sense that most head injuries would be suffered by people over 18, considering that California requires scooter users to be over the age of 16 and have a driver’s license.

Because there are a hell of a lot more scooter users from 18 up than there are in the two-year age range from 16-17, even if some users are under age.

Then there’s this from the Sentinel story.

According to news reports, at least two Californians have been killed while riding scooters. A 53-year-old man died in San Diego after he lost control and hit a tree. A 41-year-old man died in Santa Monica when he fell off a scooter and was hit by a car.

Never mind that the Santa Monica victim was riding a sit-down mobility scooter when he fell off and was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Not exactly the sort of e-scooter that’s booming in popularity.

Finally, there’s this, again from the Sentinel.

Meanwhile, the tension between scooter transit and safety is playing out on many city streets. Pedestrians are frustrated by the clutter of abandoned scooters in sidewalks, street corners and doorways, as well as near-miss collisions when riders zip down crowded sidewalks. Cyclists are angered by the addition of motorized traffic to bike lanes. Scooter riders say the real problem is cars — and America’s outmoded transportation infrastructure, with not enough room for everybody.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not the least bit bothered by sharing a bike lane with e-scooters, any more than I am ebikes, skateboards or people in wheelchairs.

And it’s not just scooter users who think the real problem is America’s over-reliance on cars and a shortage of decent infrastructure for anyone who’s not surrounded by a couple tons of glass and steel.

Don’t get me wrong.

E-scooter injuries are a legitimate problem, and people have been killed using them in cities throughout the US. We need valid studies to asses how e-scooters fit into the transportation matrix, and what needs to be done to make the streets safe for everyone.

But what we don’t need is junk science and scare tactics masquerading as legitimate research intended to shape public policy.

………

Boy, does she get it.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with LA Curbed editor Alissa Walker about why Los Angeles continues struggling to cut traffic deaths, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

Why has LA struggled so much? Alissa Walker of Curbed LA points to two factors: the slow implementation of strategies that have been recommended by LA’s Department of Transportation; and resistance from public officials. LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo has said he won’t have any road diets in his district. Councilmember John Lee is trying to take out a bike lane in his district in the Valley.

Invest seven minutes of your day and give it a listen.

………

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskil works out at the gym.

His way, of course.

………

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

San Francisco’s notorious driving advocate and his attorney are back and attempting to block plans for a new bike lane, after their farcical suit halted the city’s bike plan for several years.

………

Local

Good news and bad news from Long Beach, where the city council approved spending $127,000 to study an 8.3-mile bikeway along Orange Ave; the bad news is they want to expand parking in the city, including painting over red curbs. Not exactly the best way to increase safety and fight climate change.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a new ebike from a San Diego man with Parkinson’s just hours after he received it.

San Diego’s Planning Commissioner releases video of the hit-and-run crash that nearly killed her as she walked out of a restaurant, saying she’ll be in pain the rest of her life.

A Palm Spring bike rider escaped without serious injuries when he was hit by a driver at N Gene Autry Trail & E Tachevah Drive yesterday evening.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that applies even more to the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down a 93-year old man riding a bike in Goleta; fortunately, he only suffered moderate injuries.

Tragic news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a 1 am hit-and-run while riding his bike on Wednesday; the driver claimed he fled because he he was “threatened by another group of bicyclists” after the crash.

Visit your San Mateo branch library to check out a few books and a bicycle.

A Modesto man and woman were injured when a hit-and-run driver smashed into the bicycle and homemade trailer they were riding; he suffered serious injuries on the bike, while she suffered minor injuries riding in the trailer. Note to CBS Sacramento — The trailer may have been makeshift, but the bike probably wasn’t.

A Lodi man learned the hard way to obey traffic laws when riding his bike while carrying heroin and a flare gun converted to fire shotgun shells.

 

National

Singletracks offers ten arguments to try to convince someone you need a new mountain bike. Add one more — as midlife crises go, it’s pretty tame.

Seriously, who doesn’t want good cup of coffee with your new bike?

Who knew he had a sense of humor? Not only is Justin Bieber one of us, his Insta feed is full of images of him falling off his bike. Sort of.

Motley Fool says Peloton stocks can go a long way even with the company selling indoor bikes for two grand.

Forget the skis and snowboards. Just take your fat bike on your next winter trip to Tahoe.

Phoenix police fatally shot a man who led two officers on a chase on his bicycle, attempting to wrestle away the man’s gun before he fired a shot during the struggle, and was shot in return.

Dang. The owner of my favorite Denver bike shop is selling the business to his managers and retiring. I know damn well Alan Fine wouldn’t remember me from when I lived there, but that was one hell of a shop he had back then.

Apparently, Omaha, Nebraska’s only bike corral was removed on a whim, with no stats or study to support the decision to replace it with a single parking space.

A 17-year old Allen TX bike rider was lucky to escape without serious injuries when he was shot in the arm and leg from a passing car in an apparent random attack; an SUV was also struck by the gunfire, muddying the question of who was the intended target.

A writer for Chicago’s Streetsblog says it’s time to stop coddling drivers, and build a citywide protected bike lane network. Which applies equally well right here in Los Angeles,. If not more.

Nice story from Indianapolis, where two bighearted cops bought a new bike for a little girl after learning she didn’t get anything for Christmas because her parents couldn’t afford to buy gifts this year.

An Indiana cop was allegedly speeding and texting when she crashed into a woman riding her bicycle one five years ago; the case is just now going to the jury.

New York’s governor is calling for the legalization of throttle-controlled ebikes for delivery workers, saying it’s a social justice issue. Never mind that he just vetoed a bill to do exactly that.

A New Jersey man got a well-deserved 19 years behind bars after he was busted with the bicycle he stole from a special needs man — then threatened the victim with a hammer after spotting him with the bike a month later.

Maybe there’s hope for LA yet. After suffering the humiliation of being named the nation’s worst bike city, Memphis TN has added 270 miles of bike lanes in the last ten years. Unfortunately, Los Angeles city officials couldn’t seem to care less that the city is the current holder of that dubious title.

Now that’s more like it. A Louisiana man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for killing a man riding a bike while driving drunk and stoned. Although I always wonder if a white driver would have gotten a lighter sentence for the same crime.

 

International

Bicycling harks back to the unlamented days of Cycle Chic, with a look at how five people developed their signature bicycle fashion.

Road.cc considers that not everyone can, or wants to, spend several thousand on a new bicycle by naming their Bike of the Year for under £1000 — the equivalent of $1,3000. The winning bike sells for less than $700, while one of the runner-ups retails for just $520.

Seriously, what kind of schmuck steals 30 bicycles from a Kiwi bike co-op dedicated to refurbishing bikes to get more people riding — including a handmade mini-Penny Farthing made from recycled parts?

A New Zealand bike rider was seriously injured when he was somehow run over by another bicyclist; there may or may not have been a car involved.

Apparently suffering from a bad case of windshield bias, a Kiwi columnist says she’s got nothing against bicyclists — except that bike tourists should be banned from highways, so they won’t inconvenience people like her.

An Aussie bike rider got a whopping $915 ticket for riding on a sidewalk, not stopping for a red light and failing to wear a helmet, which is required Down Under. The good news is, that’s only $615 US.

An American bicyclist visits Japan, and raves about the people, the riding, and roads like poetry.

A Chinese website says that despite the growing popularity of bicycling in the country, there are significant roadblocks to overcome before it can reclaim its title as the Bicycle Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

He’s back. Longtime team owner and manager Bjarn Riis is the new manager and co-owner of NTT Pro Cycling; Riis is also a former pro cyclist and the winner of the 1996 Tour de France.

The final two wildcard teams are announced, completing the lineup for this year’s Tour de France.

Time to start training to be America’s first Gran Fondo National champ.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to fight bike theft by setting up your own DIY vigilante bait bike on the front lawn. Save the squirrels from scofflaw bicyclists — and corgis.

And forget ebikes. Now you, too, can build your very own steam-powered steampunk bicycle.

 

%d bloggers like this: