Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Morning Links: Lime wins LA approvals, other cities fight climate change while LA does nothing, and snipping Ottolock

Lime has become the second company to win official approval to deploy scooters in the City of Los Angeles. 

The company follows Uber-owned JUMP, which received its permit a month ago

However, the hopes of many Angelenos that Lime would bring its dockless ebikes to the streets of LA may remain unfulfilled, at least for now. 

This is the press release Lime sent out yesterday announcing the approval

Scooter photo from Lime website.

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Leave it to Minnesotans to show LA’s supposedly progressive leaders how to deal with traffic and climate change.  

As part of the city’s new housing and transportation plan, Minneapolis is eliminating parking minimums throughout the city

But that’s just the beginning. 

The plan calls for discouraging new surface parking lots, and prohibits new gas stations and drive-throughs. It also bans auto-oriented land use, such as auto repair shops, near transit stations, along with even stricter parking restrictions.

And in a move that would send Los Angeles NIMBYs running to their lawyers, it calls for increased density near traffic, and allows triplex apartments in every neighborhood — even those currently zoned for single family homes. 

The goal is to — wait for it — cut the number of local driving trips by 40%, while reducing emissions 80% in the next 30 years.

Compare that to the current Los Angeles policy, which is to hope that self-driving electric cars will somehow magically save us from having to make any tough choices. 

Good luck with that. 

These are all actions LA should take as quickly as possible, since California is already failing to meet its climate change goals.

And would, if the actions of our “progressive” leaders equalled their pro-environment, anti-climate change words. 

Instead, they’ll continue to fiddle while Rome burns in fear of further aggravating already angry drivers, and the dwindling number of homeowners who can actually afford a million-dollar single family starter home. 

Never mind making the hard choices the city, and our world, demand. 

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A little closer to home, Sacramento followed the Minneapolis model by voting to ban new gas stations, drive-through restaurants and auto repair shops within a quarter mile of light rail stations, while requiring a conditional use permit with a half mile. 

The city will also eliminate off-street parking requirements within a quarter mile, and loosen restrictions in a half-mile radius around transit stations. 

Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, 

<crickets>

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Evidently, the popular Kickstarter sensation the Ottolock may be pretty and convenient, but may not protect your bike from thieves

In fact, it can apparently be cut through in just seconds. 

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It may not be the Twelve Days of Christmas yet.

But it is first day of the last 12 days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, as we begin the final countdown on our year-end fundraiser!

Please take a few moments to join the 34 others who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, and help keep this site coming your way every day.

You can donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. Then write off the full cost on your taxes next year!

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Local

LA County approved 58 miles of multi-use, hiking, mountain-biking and equestrian trails in the Santa Susana Mountains near Santa Clarita. 

Bicycling looks at the international manhunt that belatedly brought Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes to justice in the hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez, Jr. as he rode to work in Whittier nearly two years ago. 

CiclaValley continues his tale of ‘cross crashes and victory

State

San Diego bike advocates cautiously support the creation of a new mobility board that combines the previous bicycle advisory and parking advisory boards. Yes, parking.  

The planned Complete Streets makeover of San Francisco’s Market Street gets a $15 million infusion from the feds

Marin residents debate whether to allow ebikes on the trails recognized as the birthplace of mountain biking, as bike riders explain how the bikes allowed them to return to the activity they love, despite advancing age, illness and injuries. The local paper sort ofendorses approving ebikes, while saying safety is paramount

Napa bicyclists are giving back with their time and money to help maintain the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

National

People For Bikes calls for mobility for all

Steve Carell is one of us, describing his “fun fan encounter” with the woman who ran him down from behind on his bike. Eighty-eight-year old Gene Hackman is one of us, too.

Clean Technica says urban planners should ignore the reactionary anti-ebike steps taken by Israel and New York, because ebikes offer strong benefits to cities and counties

Pink Bike considers the future of bike industry trade shows in a wake of Interbike’s announcement it won’t hold a show in 2019. Or maybe ever. 

No surprise here. Oregon’s $15 tax on the sale of all new bicycles over $200 is bringing in far less revenue than expected, collecting less than half of the projected $2.1 million

This is why people continue to die on our streets. After a 92-year old holocaust survivor was killed by an Oregon motorist, the local police rushed to blame the victim and exonerate the driver.

The Seattle Times endorses plans to complete the missing link in a 20-mile bike trail with a protected bike lane in the public right-of-way, despite alternative facts from area business owners. 

A Washington man who helped preserve the area’s last undeveloped natural space will be honored with a permanent memorial where he died after suffering an aneurism while mountain biking. 

The usual debate over bike lanes and road diets rears its ugly head in Colorado Springs CO, as supporters and opponents confront the topic at a city council meeting

‘Tis the season. Residents at a Wisconsin retirement home received two three-wheeled pedicabs from the Cycling Without Age program as an early holiday present. 

Boston bike riders want to city to cancel plans to remove flex posts that mark a protected bike lane on a bridge over the Charles River; the city plans to take them out to make it easier to salt and plow the bridge for motorists. 

The usual battle over who owns the streets is heating up in Harrisburg PA, as the city installs a number of projects intended to slow traffic and give more space back to local residents, bicyclists and pedestrians. 

International

A lawyer and former paramedic describes what it’s like to be on the receiving end of emergency treatment after experiencing the dreaded death wobble while descending on his bike at 40 mph. 

Not only did the authors of Vancouver’s Modacity bring their own Christmas tree home by bicycle, they’re collecting photos of other people around the world doing the same thing

Victoria, British Columbia asks the court to dismiss a lawsuit from the Canadian Federation of the Blind alleging that the design of the city’s protected bike lanes violate the human rights of sightless people. 

London plans to remove parking to make room for the first of the city’s cycle superhighways in South London.  

No bias here. A British paper automatically concludes a bike rider was at fault in a road rage dispute with a London cab driver who accused him of riding off after crashing into a pedestrian. From what I can see, they both come off as a pair of total jerks

The UK’s Cycling magazine offersa reminder that booze and bicycling don’t mix

Oslo crowdsources traffic data using children biking and walking to school. And discovers it works better than expected. 

Bikeshare comes to the streets of Tehran

Syrian social movement has gotten over 4,000 women on bicycles, despite harassing catcalls and a country disrupted by civil war. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. The curator of South Africa’s world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden died after he was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this month. 

A pair of ill-prepared roadies take part in The Pioneer trail race in New Zealand, part of the grueling Cape Series. 

No shit. The widow of an Australian bicyclist complains about the inadequate charges against a road raging driver who caused his death after getting out of his car to confront him; he faces a maximum of a lousy two years for three traffic offenses. 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprise announcement, British broadcaster Sky is pulling the plug on its sponsorship of Team Sky after next season, leaving the future of the cycling’s most dominant team up in the air.  Meanwhile, the BBC asks why now and what’s next?

As Sky leaves, McLaren moves in. The English Formula One giant will become half owner of Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team.

Rouleur continues its interview with cycling great Bernard Hinault

Finally…

Forget Rapha; now you can wear Peter Sagan.  Bicycling’s most WTF moments of 2018.

And now you’ll be able to get a safety warning from the driverless car that’s about to run you down. 

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Thanks to Michael W for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to help keep this site coming to your screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Run down by e-scooter, scooters invade the SFV, and bicycling keeps your heart young — literally

Last night it was my turn.

I’ve seen and heard countless comments from people complaining about getting hit by e-scooters over the last year. In fact, two people in my building have been injured in collisions with scooter riders in the past few months. 

I almost joined them last night.  

The Corgi and I were walking on the sidewalk in a residential section of Hollywood Blvd when I saw three adult men on scooters coming up from behind. So we moved over to the grass to give them room, and they passed without incident.

But several seconds later, after we moved back onto the sidewalk, something slammed into me from behind with no warning.

I was still trying to figure out what the hell happened when I saw a man hurry to get back on his scooter and rush away, without a single word of apology or even a glance back to see if we were okay. 

Fortunately, neither one of us were seriously injured, though my back hurts everywhere as I write this several hours later. And I suspect I’m going to be pretty immobile for the next few days.

And he’s lucky he didn’t hit the Corgi, or Lime would need a proctologist to get their scooter back.

I know there are people think e-scooters should be banned because of incidents like this. 

But it wasn’t Lime who a) illegally rode on a residential sidewalk, b) had the throttle wide open trying to catch up to his friends, and c) tried to squeeze past us without a single word of warning.

E-scooters, like bicycles and cars, are just tools. 

And while steps can be taken to improve their safety, I don’t know any way of ensuring that jerks like that aren’t allowed to use them. 

After all, it hasn’t worked with motor vehicles yet. And probably never will, until we take humans out of the equation. 

One quick reminder: You’re required to stop and render aid, and exchange ID, after any crash, whether in a car, on a bike or riding an e-scooter. Anyone who fails to do so can be charged with hit-and-run — besides being a total schmuck.

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Speaking of e-scooters, they’re about to make their first big push into the San Fernando Valley

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Here’s one more reason to ride a bike. 

NPR reports that seniors who exercise regularly can have hearts that look 30 years younger

And yes, ped-assist ebikes count, too.

So I can safely say that after a lifetime of bicycling, the rest of me may be reaching its expiration date, but my heart can still hit run circles around hearts half its age. 

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It’s Day 20 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

If you haven’t donated yet to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, please give today to BikinginLA coming your screen every morning.

You can donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, and the email address on this link.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

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Local

As expected, the LA city council voted to raise speed limits on over 100 miles of surface streets throughout the city so police can legally use speed guns to enforce the new limits, as required by California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law. Seriously, this law has to be changed. Because Vision Zero is nothing but a bunch of pretty platitudes if we keep increasing speeds to ever more dangerous levels

This is why people keep dying on our streets. In Los Angeles, you can flee the scene after killing a pedestrian with your car — even a successful musician — and walk away with nothing more than probation.  

Congratulations to CiclaValley, who’s so excited about his recent cyclocross win he had to break the story into multiple parts.  

State

The mayor of Encinitas calls for speeding up the timeline for safety improvements on the North Coast Highway following the crash that critically injured bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker.  

A hard-hitting Streetsblog editorial says a debate over a Complete Streets makeover of an Oakland street boils down to whether people in cars are worth more than everyone else.

National

According to a new report from the US Department of Transportation, the problem isn’t that traffic lanes are too small, it’s that fire trucks and other heavy vehicles are too damn big, saying smaller trucks could save lives while doing the job just as well. 

Fast Company relates five steps most cities go through to make themselves better, including stop doing the wrong things, and stop doing the wrong things better. LA is still stuck on that first step. Maybe permanently.   

new report from the Seattle DOT shows driving, bike riding and walking are down, while transit use and carpooling is up.  On the other hand, bike safety is improving, as Seattle bicycling deaths and injuries are down for the year.

An Idaho town is developing bikepacking trails of up to 180 miles to provide shorter alternatives to the state’s premier 600-mile adventure cycling route. 

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska judge sentenced a driver to 12 to 14 years for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, and revoked his driver’s license for 15 years. Hopefully, the clock on his license won’t start counting until after he gets out

Atlanta has the same problem Los Angeles has, as streets designed for speed are leading to an increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths

Candidates for Tampa mayor agree that street safety must be improved for bike riders and pedestrians

International

New figures from the World Health Organization show worldwide traffic deaths rose to around 1.35 million, with people traveling by foot or bicycle making up overt a quarter of those deaths. 

Road.cc explains everything you need to know about MIPS helmets

After a London butcher shop switched from delivery vans to e-cargo bikes, they reduced delivery times and expenses, and cut carbon emissions — while improving the health of their delivery people. 

Authorities in Liverpool, England released new images to show what a Complete Street makeover of a major street would look like — but removed any trace of a bike lane from the pictures

The Polish host city for the UN’s climate change talks now has a new bicycle mayor.  

lack of cycle tracks and safe bike parking keeps people in an Indian city from bicycling — and the cleaner air that would come with it. Sort of like just about everywhere else.

An Australian writer says male cyclists need to lose the attitude and encourage women riders like her

Not surprisingly, Japanese bicyclists have largely shunned a shuttle service that ferries bike riders across a bridge where bicycles are banned. 

Competitive Cycling

The new Continental cycling team sponsored by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner will be called Floyd’s Pro Cycling, after Canada denied permission to name the team after cannabis purveyor Floyd’s of Leadville.

Interesting move by the organizers of the four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, which is dropping the men’s race to focus solely on the women’s race going forward; the race will be the only standalone women’s-only bike race on the UCI and USA Cycling Pro Road Tour calendars.

VeloNews looks at how Ellen Noble overcame crippling anxiety attacks to become America’s top cyclocross racer this year.

Possibly the most successful mountain biker of all time, 45-year old Norwegian cyclist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, decides to call it a career

Finally…

If you’re riding drunk, try not to fall off your bike— or crashing it when you try to get back on. When chasing volcanoes isn’t thrilling enough, open a bike shop.  

And what’s the point of being a bike snob if you’re just going to like stuff?

Morning Links: Rampart Village NC considers Mobility Bill of Rights and banning Vision Zero tonight

It’s Day 19 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle using the banking app that’s already on your phone.

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Call it the good, and the really, really ugly. 

The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal at tonight’s meeting to embrace a revival of the moribund Cyclists Bill of Rights, now dubbed the Mobility Bill of Rights.  Which was sort-of adopted by the LA city council ten years ago at the behest of the late Bill Rosendahl, then promptly forgotten. 

“10. Discussion and possible Action on – the recommendation from the President to take a position on the Bike Writer’s Coalition (BWC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council claims & asserts the aspirational document known as “The Mobility Bill of Rights”; RVNC embraces the public space of our community & the City at-large by proclaiming that “Streets are for People!” “

That’s the good. 

The ugly is the following motion to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures — the few that have actually been installed, anyway — and return Los Angeles to its deadly, exclusively auto-centric recent past. 

“11. Discussion and/or Possible Action on – the recommendation from the Executive Committee to take a position on the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council demands that the city enforce the laws & within 30 days of our demand to start the process to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures, including but, not limited to the controversial road diets.”

Let’s hope enough people show up to halt this misleading and dangerous motion put forward by the traffic safety deniers behind groups like Keep LA Moving

Thanks to Stephen Box for the heads-up

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David Drexler forwards a photo of a menorah bike, captured at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade on the next to last might of Chanukah. 

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Local

Midnight Ridazz host their annual All City Toy Ride this Friday

An LA Times op-ed says yes, you can have free public transit and traffic-free roads, thanks to the miracle of congestion pricing. 

Another Times op-ed takes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to task for talking the talk on climate change, but failing to walk the walk by failing to acknowledge, let alone address, climbing driving rates. Yet oddly, the authors fail to even mention bicycling

Environmental groups complain about Metro’s exclusively auto-focused plans to mitigate traffic caused by the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, with bike and transit improvements left for discussion some unspecified time in the future. Or not

feeder ride will roll out from the Spoke Bicycle Café on Saturday in support of the March for Public Education at LA City Hall. 

date has been set for the next 626 Golden Streets open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley; the new route will pass through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel on May 19th. 

State

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist was nearly run down by a police officer using the bike lane he was in as a passing lane to zoom by slower traffic, sans lights and siren. 

This is who we share the roads with. Palo Alto police are looking for a driver who exposed himself to a woman as she rode her bike, masturbating behind the wheel as he stared at her. Let’s hope they find the jerk and lock him away for a long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link

Davis considers making changes to its “Claw” curbside trash pickup, which can result in bike lanes blocked with trash when homeowners put it out incorrectly.  

National

A writer for Men’s Health attempts to jump starts his brain to see if it will make him a better cyclist

Pink Bike writes an obituary for the loved and hated Interbike trade show.

NBC News suggests better clothes for active commuters

A Portland paper takes a deep dive into Oregon bike crashes, and ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bicyclists; bike-friendly Portland is number two. 

four-lane Chicago-area highway could go on a diet to make room for bicycles. 

Chicago’s dwindling bike messengers want the same access to commercial buildings that food delivery riders enjoy

Here’s one problem LA bike riders don’t have. Boston will remove flex posts separating a bike lane from car traffic to make it easier to salt and plow snow and ice on the bridge they’re on.

New York startup is placing expandable pods on a Manhattan street to provide bike riders with a safe and convenient place to park on a subscription basis. 

The New York Times discusses the lack of bikeshare options for people with disabilities; ebikes can help some would-be riders, but even those are in short supply. And adaptive bikes are virtually nonexistent. 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips discovers firsthand what it takes to ride a solo double century

A new report details the problem of police profiling in Toronto, including a black man who was arbitrarily stopped while riding in a bike lane.

UK bike writer Laura Laker questions whether cracking down on bicyclists will really improve safety, concluding that as long as the government listens to the most hysterical voices, rather than the evidence, nothing will change. 

Bighearted British bike riders deliver hundreds of teddy bears to the ICU unit of a local hospital. 

A Spanish carmaker most of us have never heard of promises their new radar system will detect the “telltale signature of bicycles travelling in the same direction” so their cars won’t run you over. 

An education news site looks at the growth of bicycling in BerlinAlthough the story appears to be so badly translated that it might be easier to read in the original German

Here’s a list of roads to avoid if your travels happen to take you to Dubai on Friday. Unless, of course, you plan to participate in what organizers call the biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East.

No bias here. The political editor of a New Zealand newspaper complains about spending tax money to build bikeways he says no one wants and few will ever ride. And that the need for safety for people on bikes pales in comparison to improving safety for the people in cars. No, really.

It’s time for more women to start riding, because Australia’s MAMILs are lonely. 

The King of Thailand led several thousand people in a nationwide Bike for Love and Warmth to celebrate the opening of a month-long fair. 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers an obituary of the late bicycling broadcaster Paul Sherwen; a childhood in Kenya made him the only cyclist in the 70s pro peloton who could speak Swahili. 

Finally…

Riding the famous Chisholm Trail; no, the one in the UK. Maybe you can’t drive safely while on your phone after all. 

And you have a serious problem when your alibi for DUI is claiming you were merely texting, instead.

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Thanks to Lisa G for her generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Morning Links: Raising funds for Woon’s baby, the Onion satirizes LA bike lanes, and taps for WeHo Pedals

And we’re back!

Let’s start with a special thanks to Steve S for debugging the new WordPress upgrade to get us back online in time for today’s post. 

Now grab the beverage of your choice and settle in for awhile. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing Friday’s post. 

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It’s Day 18 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your screen every morning.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make this a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Let’s start with a small ray of hope this holiday season. 

A baby sized ray, in fact. 

Last April, Frederick “Woon” Frazier was run down by a heartless hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA. 

Now his infant son is just days from being born, eight months after Woon was killed. A tiny miracle bringing hope and joy to a family so desperately in need of it. 

Even if he will have to grow up and spend his entire life without a father. And without a father’s emotional or financial support. 

But you can help with the last part, anyway. 

crowdfunding campaign is raising money for his son to help cover medical costs related to the birth, and help him get off to the best possible start in life. 

Meanwhile, his killer has still not been charged, despite turning herself in a month later as police were closing in. And after painting her white SUV black in an attempt to cover up the crime

His mother, who has been outspoken in her calls for justice, is asking everyone to turn out for a candlelight Christmas vigil this Wednesday at the site where Woon was killed. Both to remember her son, and to renew the call to prosecute his killer. 

Thanks to Sahra Sulaiman for the heads-up

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The Onion discovers the nation’s worst bike city, writing with satirical tongue planted firmly in cheek that LA will add a buffer lane for bike riders to recover after they’re hit by a car

 “L.A. has fallen short of bike-friendly places like Portland and Philadelphia for years, which is why the City Council voted today in a landslide 11-0 decision to finally create a bright green pathway where you can get doored and safely roll around, clutching your knee and writhing in unbearable agony,” said mayor Eric Garcetti… “Countless accidents occur every day because of our poor cycling infrastructure, reckless motorists, and many other factors within our control, but luckily Central L.A. will soon have miles of road fully dedicated to letting riders regain consciousness from these collisions. Never again will you be side-swiped, rear-ended, or cut off by a distracted Uber driver without having a place to tend to your wounds.”

Maybe a little open ridicule will be enough to get city officials off their metaphorical asses and actually do something non-satirical to improve safety. 

We can dream, can’t we?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the tip. 

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That music you hear isn’t Jingle Bells. It’s the sound of Taps for West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare program. 

The city is pulling the plug on its docked bikeshare system after two years of low ridership and mounting financial losses, and considering opening the door to dockless bikeshare providers as a replacement

Although oddly, not reconsidering their ill-conceived ban on e-scooters.

Much of the blame falls on WeHo’s lack of bike lanes, as well as a sparsity of docking locations in much of the city. And the lack of ebikes didn’t help users navigate the steep hills leading up to Sunset Blvd. 

Unfortunately, the closure will leave a large gap in the planned Westside bikeshare system, which was intended to link Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, UCLA and West Hollywood in a single, interoperable network. 

It’s questionable how long the others will be able to survive without private sponsorship, and as dockless ebikes and scooters dominate the bikeshare landscape. 

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Bad news from North San Diego County. 

Community leader and bike and pedestrian advocate Roberta Walker was critically injured when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle in Encinitas around 6 am Saturday. 

The executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Walker was riding on North Coast Highway 101 near Phoebe Street when she was run down, resulting in serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. 

In a tragic irony, she was hit while riding on a section of the Coast Highway where she had advocated for significant safety improvements, including roundabouts and bike lanes, as part of the proposed Leucadia Streetscape project.

Thanks to JMK for the link

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Congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman on being named the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

I’m told he’ll take the helm of the LACBC in January, after moving over from his current position as ED of River LA

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Megan Lynch forwards word of a suspicious looking Craigslist post for a high-end recumbent. She identified the bike as a Haluzak Horizon, and says it’s very unusual for someone selling a bike like that to not know, or at least mention, the make and model. 

So if you know someone who’s had one stolen, give ‘em a heads-up. 

Lynch also says this one looks fishy, with three ‘bents available for sale in Santa Ana, but no brand listed for any of them. 

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After moving from Las Vegas to Reno this year, the Interbike trade show may have gone belly-up. Organizers have canceled the 2019 show, while making vague promises to return in 2020… somewhere. 

Bicycling Retailer says the country’s largest bicycle trade show died a needless death.  

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Before we go on, take a six-minute virtual self-supported mountain bike ride across the beautiful and treacherous volcanic Icelandic landscape.

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Local

We’re not the only ones raising funds this month. Streetsblog LA is holding a fundraiser, hoping to raise $10,000 before the first of the year

Bike Talk features Scott Gamzon and Terrence Heuston of Keep Rowena Safe talking about their efforts to fight attempts to rip out the successful road diet and bike lanes

Metro CEO Phil Washington made what may or may not have been a serious suggestion to implement congestion pricing, and use the money to make transit free

Good Twitter thread from Greg Spotts on where the newly arrived Lyft scooters aren’t welcome to be left or rented on the Westside. 

Forbes profiles Los Angeles-based Kym Perfetto, who’s gone from bike messenger to one of the first SoulCycle instructors to fitness social influencer, riding her bicycle across North and South America, Europe and Japan in the process. 

Riding a bike across the US may be challenging. But it’s nothing compared to a paraplegic Hollywood man rolling across the country in a hand-propelled wheelchair

The LAPD is forming a task force to deal with the rising rate of stolen bikes in the Venice area, as well as a number of open air bike chop shops. 

Curbed dubs Santa Monica the ebike and e-scooter capital of the world

The new Spectrum News 1 channel examines Santa Monica’s efforts to corral dockless bikes and scooters in designated parking areas.

State

Apparently, it takes two years for Cathedral City bicyclists to take off their clothes

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer complains about the county’s bicycle obsession and the money spent on bikeways, saying “bicycles should be registered and pay.” Never mind that dangerous drivers are the only reason we need safe bike lanes and paths. Or that bicycles don’t actually have any money.

Los Angeles isn’t the only California city with crumbling pavement. Berkeley’s streets are falling apart, with no plans to pave anything this year

Tragic news from San Francisco, where a surfer died after being revived by paramedics; a passing bicyclist called 911 when he spotted the man floating unconscious in the water. 

A Marin public workshop will consider whether e-bikes should be allowed on the mountain considered the birthplace of mountain biking

National

A new report from American Progress says the dawn of autonomous vehicles presents an opportunity to redesign the surface transportation system to prioritize the needs of nonautomotive users, calling it a “transportation and urban development imperative.” 

Nice piece from Bicycling about a woman who cured her depression by taking off on cross-country ride with her ‘bent, a dog and a violin, traveling 4,000 miles, 12 miles at time. Then decided to kep going across Canada. And plans on riding the Pan-American Highway to Argentina next year.

Cycling Industry News asks if belt drive bikes are bad for local bike shops

Wired considers how e-scooters could save our cities

Seattle blames historic wet weather for a 20% drop in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, a local magazine makes the case for e-scooters after the city’s mayor call them too dangerous for the streets.

New Mexican bicyclist says he’s throwing in the towel because the cars have won. 

A local writer recommends biking Colorado’s Vail Pass from the top down, while a columnist in nearby Aspen suggests beating the winter blues by riding a bike during ski season

Denver plans to move e-scooters to the bike lanes, allowing users to ride on the sidewalk only when other options aren’t available — and only at 6mph. 

Baltimore has passed a Complete Streets law, requiring all new street construction to have a bike and pedestrian friendly design.  

A North Carolina pastor is bicycling across Africa to bring fresh water to the continent

International

Vancouver bicyclists rode in honor of a 72-year old bike advocate who died after falling off his bike. 

Caught on video: A British Columbia bike rider gets doored when a truck passenger opens a door into him. 

A bighearted 14-year old Yazidi boy who had been an ISIS captive is behind a Winnipeg program to provide his fellow refugee children with bicycles; thanks to a contribution from an American man, he’s been able to distribute 100 bikes so far. 

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has Christmas lunch at the world’s “oldest, poshest and most eccentric” — and exclusively male — Dickensian bike club.

London is the latest international city to get Lime’s e-assist dockless bikes.

A British bike rider is calling for more bike racks at the entrance to a local mall, after counting 200 empty bike racks hidden in the back. American bicyclists would be happy for any bike racks at most malls

Britain’s Cyclist magazine employs a wind tunnel in an attempt to answer what’s the best descending positionIn my case, it’s whichever one keeps me in one piece until I reach the bottom. 

bike-riding serial butt slapper walks with probation for attacking 21 English women after the judge rules he’s too intellectually impaired to cope with life behind bars. And no, there’s not a damn thing funny about that

The idea that won’t go away. A Swedish company is following in Volvo’s footsteps by encouraging bike riders, pedestrians and yes, even pets, to spray themselves head-to-toe with an invisible reflective paint.

In a frightening story, a South African bike rider describes how he used his bike to fend off an attacker armed with a broken bottle until a passing motorist intervened with a Taser. 

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Kiwi bicyclists are still riding competitively in their 80s and 90s, with the youngest racer a spritely 79. 

No bias here, either. A new “pro-car” political party in New Zealand has its sights set on bicycling, calling it a “150-year-old technology that cars have virtually eliminated.”

Or here. An Aussie website says the roads are plagued by coffee-swilling middle-aged men in Lycra, and that cycling will never succeed in the country without an “international embargo on epilepsy-colored activewear and padded undies.”

new tongue-in-cheek study in the Medical Journal of Australia says yes, MAMILs exist, even if they don’t ride to work. 

An Australian website looks at the Melbourne company whose innovative bike bell took Kickstarter by storm

Quietly exploring Hokkaido, Japan by bicycle, where “motorists are ridiculously courteous.” Let’s hope that’s contagious

A new Korean startup hopes to boost bicycling by ending the problem of abandoned and thrown-away bicycles through fixing them up and putting them back on the street. 

Bangkok, Thailand closed down 25 streets on Sunday, as part of a nationwide ciclovia

China’s massive abandoned bikeshare bike dumps caught in pictures. 

Competitive Cycling

Hour record holder Bradley Wiggins says his time at the top will be short-lived, insisting Belgian pro Victor Campenaerts will beat his record next year

Lance Armstrong: venture capitalist

Finally…

How to suck at cycling. How to ride rollers for 24 straight hours without going crazy. If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, you might want to take your license plate with you.

And your next mountain bike could be a Lego

………

Thanks to Ralph D, Kirsten B, Glen S and Janice H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: LACBC Open House tonight, and Amgen Tour of California gets Santa Clarita to Pasadena finish

It’s Day 14 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will celebrate their 20th anniversary tonight with an Open House at LACBC headquarters on Spring Street in DTLA.

The event is open to members only. However, you’re welcome to join the LACBC at the door if you’d like to attend.

………

Evidently, we got it right.

The Amgen Tour of California announced the host cities for next year’s race, starting in Sacramento on May 12th, and ending with a final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena a week later.

But you already knew that last part.

Or at least you did if you read BikinginLA yesterday.

After noting that the Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story about that final stage, we speculated that the paper may have jumped the gun on a news embargo by the race.

Sure enough, when the stages for next year were announced this morning, they included the aforementioned final stage.

So congratulations if you read that before the official announcement was made.

You got a jump on cycling fans around the world.

………

Forget singletrack. Try mountain biking down ramps, jumps and endless flights of stairs at breakneck speed through the alleyways of Medellin, Columbia.

Sort of like this.

Okay, maybe exactly like that.

………

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Local

The LA City Council will vote next Tuesday to raise speed limits on 67 streets around the city to comply with the deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law.

Marketplace looks at LA’s efforts to bring e-scooters and dockless bikeshare to Boyle Heights and other lower income neighborhoods.

Bike SGV says Metro is scheduled to vote this morning on an unhealthy, unsustainable package of auto-centric proposals to replace the now-cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Not even a Welcome to Glendale sign  is safe from traffic violence.

 

State

Safe Routes to School is hiring a Southern California policy manager.

A Los Altos bicyclist says one size does not fit all when it comes to bike lanes. Or paths.

‘Tis the season. A group of St. Helena bike riders greet Santa Claus on the city’s kickoff to the holidays.

 

National

Walt Disney was one of us. So was Sylvia Plath.

Bike Snob argues for not wearing a bike helmet, saying you don’t have to wear one just because the pros do. On the other hand, you don’t have to not wear one just because he says so.

Quartz says scientists are still debating whether drivers pass helmet-wearing bicyclists closer than non-helmeted riders.

Bicycling continues their profiles of people who made positive changes in their lives through bicycling, like this man who was pushing 400 pounds before he lost 150 after he started riding.

A new study being conducted by Portland State University will look at how bicycle and pedestrian street improvements affect retailers and other businesses.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere, as Albuquerque NM traffic engineers are working on keeping cars out of a new bike and pedestrian crossing, because motorists keep ignoring the posted No Motor Vehicles signs.

A bike rider found dead on a Boulder CO bike path in October died of a meth overdose.

She gets it. A Lincoln NE letter writer says it’s cheaper for the city to go into debt to build a bike lane than pay for injured bike riders because they didn’t.

Memphis gets a road diet right, reducing a five lane boulevard in the medical district to three lanes, with wheel stop-protected bike lanes, hi-viz crosswalks and self-watering planters.

NYPD officials refuse to call the thumb tack attack on a city bike a terrorist attack, settling for describing it as a nasty crime. And insist they’re taking it seriously.

A New York driver was arrested for hit-and-run, even though the cops were probably at fault in the crash for parking in a bike lane, which forced the victim to swerve her bike around their van.

 

International

Modacity offers photographic proof that it is possible to take your Christmas tree home on a bicycle. And lots of people do it.

Great idea. Vancouver’s Spikes on Bikes program uses trained volunteers on bicycles to spot homeless people suffering from drug overdoses, and intervene in time to save their lives.

Calgary is overcoming growing pains in their two-year pilot program with Lime’s dockless bikeshare.

Fourteen bike riders from the UK combined to ride 4,200 miles in just four days, raising the equivalent of nearly $45,000 for cancer research; riders included a former Olympic-level cyclist recovering from a life-threatening brain injury.

A road raging British traffic instructor loses his job after being convicted of running a bike rider off the road because he had the audacity to ride in it.

Now they’re just showing off. The transport minister in the Netherlands is going far beyond Vision Zero to set a goal of no traffic collisions at all.

A market study for a newly opened New Zealand bike shop predicts that ebikes will make up 80% of bike sales in the country within five years.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling is using Zwift to identify the next British cycling star with a 3D virtual reality eRacing Championship next February.

The San Francisco Chronicle says summer won’t sound the same without Paul Sherwen.

 

Finally…

Maybe there really is a conspiracy to keep mountain bikes skittish. How to match your bike to your kit instead of the other way around.

And reviewing bike helmets is one thing. Firsthand testing by crashing headfirst into a pile of rocks is another.

And not particularly recommended.

……….

Thanks to Kevin G, Robert K, Amanda G and Stephen C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Morning Links: Westbound PCH closures for fire repairs, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and more ‘Tis the season

It’s the 13th day of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

Don’t plan on riding PCH anytime soon.

Caltrans will be closing sections of the right lane and shoulder on a 20-mile stretch of the westbound PCH in Malibu between Coastline Drive and Decker Canyon Road to repair damage caused by the Woolsey Fire.

The work will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Saturday; no word on when they expect to be finished.

The state will also close one lane in each direction on PCH between Puerco Canyon and Corral Canyon roads to work on a median project.

………

CiclaValley has a notable ride to work for the second day in a row — and not in a good way — after yesterday’s high-speed buzz by a motorcyclist.

………

A second Dutch bike rider barely avoided getting run down by a train after riding around crossing barriers, just days after video surfaced of a similar incident.

………

‘Tis the season.

One hundred kids from a Gardena youth and family services program got new bicycles courtesy of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Rally Health.

London’s Telegraph offers a holiday gift guide for roadies.

An English news site is attempting to raise the equivalent of nearly $160,000 for the country’s MS Society this holiday season; woman with MS who bought an ebike with a grant from the group calls it a game changer.

And in less happy news, a Cape Town, South Africa bike shop was vandalized and looted in the wake of a festival kicking off the holiday season; authorities were able to get four of the stolen bikes back.

………

Local

An environmental justice advocate is recruiting bicyclists to monitor air quality in Southeast and East LA.

Pasadena public radio station KPCC examines why California’s three foot passing law is so seldom enforced in the LA area, and how that contributes to the city’s well-earned status as America’s worst bike city; you can find the same report on LAist if you’d rather read than listen. Both versions have the extreme good taste to quote yours truly.

 

State

San Diego will spend $2.3 million to connect two existing bike paths in Carmel Valley, closing a missing link in the regional bike network.

A Palo Alto bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was run down from behind by the driver of a Porsche SUV, while riding in a green bike lane.

San Francisco voted to become the first major city in the US to eliminate minimum parking restrictions.

The City by the Bay will add parking protection to an existing bike lane to keep parents out of it when they drop off and pick up their kids from a nearby school.

On the other side of the Bay, Oakland approved plans for a purple and green parking protected bike lane.

 

National

Streetsblog offers suggestions of what a Green New Deal could look like.

The former head of the Chicago and DC departments of transportation says the solution to quickly and easily accommodating e-scooters and other forms of micromobility is restriping streets to create narrow “slow lanes.”

An 1896 Portland map shows the city’s bike culture goes back at least 122 years.

Oregon police use a bait bike to bust four bike thieves. That’s something that the LAPD still doesn’t use, despite the city’s soaring bike theft problem, due to the City Attorney’s office fears of entrapment.

A Washington man rode 4,233 miles through 13 Mid-American states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance. Although it doesn’t seem to have worked just yet.

The LA Times recommends a seven-day bike tour through the Arizona desert, beginning and ending in Tucson, for the low, low price of just $2,995. Or you could just, you know, go to Tucson, get on your bike, and start riding.

Now that’s more like it. A DC-area county has approved a new bike plan calling for an additional 750 miles of paths, trails and separated bike lanes, to go with 250 miles already on the ground; as usual, they just need the money to pay for it.

Florida bicyclists want to know why the distracted driver who killed two bike riders wasn’t charged; police say the sun was in her eyes, yet somehow it didn’t blind the group of riders she slammed into.

 

International

National Geographic offers their take on the world’s best bike cities. San Francisco made the list; oddly, Tucson got the only honorable mention, despite ranking just 24th in the US according to Bicycling. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

An Irish writer politely notes that some bicyclists are “bending the rules,” perhaps because the explosive growth in bicycling is outpacing bike infrastructure. Or it could be that some people are just jerks, whether on two wheels or four.

Dutch bike writer David Hembrow says overuse of motorized transport is destroying everything.

He gets it. The mayor of Tehran has joined the country’s Car-Free Tuesdays movement to help reduce the effects of air pollution, riding his bike to work this week, while taking a subway last week.

Apropos of today’s weather in Los Angeles, Bicycle Times offers tips from an Aussie rider on how to stay safe while biking in the rain.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story reporting next year’s Amgen Tour of California would end with a stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. So maybe you now have advanced word if they took it down because they jumped a news embargo. Or not.

VeloNews explains why elite women’s ‘cross is must-see TV.

Phil Liggett say the death of close friend and broadcast partner Paul Sherwen is hard to believe, and hints that it may cause him to rethink his role as the voice of professional cycling.

American pro cyclist Ian Boswell explains what happens when a bike racer turns race promoter.

 

Finally…

The bicycling model of financial management. Evidently, wearing a mask on your bike in the cold can get you arrested for frightening children.

And London’s bike shop to rock royalty.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Keith Richards riding a bicycle. Fortunately, you don’t have to

Morning Links: Performance Bike liquidation, car-focused street design in San Dimas, and LAPD gots ebikes

It’s Day 12 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote my time to doing whatever I can to make this world a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

I’m not a fan of liquidation sales as a rule, which feels like picking at the bones of a failed company.

And even less when it comes to national and online retailers that can undercut local bike shops. Especially when those sales are timed for the holiday season, which most bike shops count on to stay in the black and remain in business.

So I’m a little reluctant to relay the news that Performance Bike is offering a liquidation sale at all their locations — even the ones that won’t be closing.

But most of us can use a little extra savings this time of year. Just make sure anything you buy really is a bargain.

Before I went into advertising — and long before I began work on this site — I spent several years in retail, and got a first-hand look at liquidation firms in action.

And can attest that while you may find some decent bargains, there’s a good chance your LBS may offer you a better deal, especially in the long run.

Meanwhile, here are the Performance locations that are currently on the chopping block.

Let’s hope yours isn’t on the list. And that everyone who works for them will land on their feet.

Hint to bike shops: If you could use a few new employees, this is a great time to start looking.

………

What’s wrong with this picture?

Everything, according to Claremont Senior Bike Group member Robs Muir.

The newly rebuilt Golden Hills Road in San Dimas, long a popular route for bicyclists, appears to have been designed without giving people on bikes a single thought.

Here’s what Muir had to say about it.

Brand-new road (Lower Golden Hills) which is very popular with cyclists… No legal bike lanes, no signage to indicate that ‘Bicycles may use full lane’, no sharrows, completely unnecessary Botts’ dots across the entire road (very dangerous for narrow tires), Botts dots lining the center lines, no pedestrian sidewalk on south side of road, and double solid yellow lines which restrict vehicles from crossing over the middle of the road—preventing safe passing distances when overtaking bicycles.

Someone needs to hire a professional, knowledgeable, and responsible traffic engineer and get the developer to cough up the money to design a safe roadway appropriate to the year of 2018. This is pretty awful.

So much for California’s Complete Streets requirement.

But maybe they didn’t use any state funds for this. Or maybe they just didn’t give a damn about anyone who’s not in a car.

………

LAPD’s got ebikes, as seen in this clip of bike cops from Sunday’s CicLAvia.

………

Sometimes, you can hear it coming a mile away.

………

Now that’s a close call.

One blamed on bad road design that puts bike riders and motorists in conflict.

………

‘Tis the season.

A short 10-mile holiday toy ride could raise more than $450,000 and collect over 8,100 bikes for Southern Nevada kids in need.

A Detroit group refurbished over 1,100 bicycles to give to kids whose families can’t afford one for the holidays.

………

Local

CicLAvia has announced the date and location of their next open streets event, to be held March 3rd of next year in Culver City, Palms and Mar Vista, with the exact route still to be determined.

Writing for Streetsblog, Carter Rubin says Metro is preparing to pour more gasoline on our climate change fire by spending $400 million in new roads projects after cancelling plans for the 710 Freeway extension. Meanwhile, a former climate change skeptic explains why he was wrong, and why other conservatives should admit it, too.

The new Spectrum News 1 channel reports on Santa Clarita’s new pilot program testing an app to trigger green lights on bike trails when the regular bicycle detectors don’t do the job.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Holiday Joy Ride in Balboa Park on Thursday. Note to CBS8: Seriously? It’s not exactly solid reporting when you get the group’s name wrong not once, not twice, but five times in five paragraphs — especially when it’s in the Facebook post you embedded in the story.

Santa Maria is nearing approval of a multimodal streetscape plan to “better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians while also balancing the needs for vehicular and truck traffic.”

 

National

Former pro mountain biker Mark Weir describes surviving the the deadly form of heart attack known as the widowmaker, and the warning signs he ignored. That same type of heart attack was seconds away from killing my wife a few years ago.

A writer for Forbes offers a reminder that bike helmets lose their protective qualities over time, and should be replaced every three to five years.

A Utah bike co-op is offering 18 kids as young as eight years old a chance to earn a bike by learning how to repair it.

A Streetblog writer discusses staying joyful riding a bike despite Chicago’s harsh winters. Which should be a lot easier here in LA, where winter’s worst just means a little rain. Okay, maybe a lot of rain. 

A Kentucky man has developed a business selling refurbished bicycles through Instagram, Facebook and eBay.

As Atlanta approves a new transportation intended to re-align the city away from cars, advocates demand action on its previous commitments to bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users.

After cancelling the city’s mandatory bike registration program, New Orleans is developing a new, voluntary registration system to combat bike theft in conjunction with Bike Index. Which serves as yet another reminder to register your bike for free as part of the nationwide Bike Index database.

A Tampa newspaper lists the city’s most dangerous intersections for bike riders, most of which are located in lower income areas where many people don’t drive.

Lime has introduced dockless ebikes in OrlandoThat may offer a hint of what could be in the wings for LA once Lime receives official approval to begin operations in the city.

Evidently, Florida is challenging Southern California as the hit-and-run capital of the world, as two bike riders were killed in separate hit-and-run crashes in Central Florida less than four hours apart. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

 

International

A program to offer bikeshare to disadvantaged people in Glasgow, Scotland at a reduced rate has been a success, with 4,700 trips so far this year.

A 21-year old Scottish cyclist says he was on the brink of suicide before charity work saved him.

An Irish physiotherapist suggests that bicycling, or other forms of exercise, can help cancer patients overcome chemotherapy.

Wellington, New Zealand, has embedded 19 bicycle counters in city streets to gather accurate data on bicycling rates, with another three to come. Which compares somewhat favorably to LA’s zero counters. And explains why the city has no idea how many people ride bikes in Los Angeles, or where.

Now that’s an adventure. A group of Nepalese bicyclists ride gravel roads to Lo Manthang, the land beyond the Himalayas that served as the inspiration for the mythical Shangra-La.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling has more on the unexpected death of longtime cycling commentator Paul Sherwin, who partnered with Phil Liggett to broadcast the Tour de France for 33 years, after competing in it for seven. Cycling Tip’s Neal Rogers discusses why his death hurts so much.

Columbian cyclist Esteban Chaves will be back to racing next year after missing eight months due to the Epstein-Barr virus.

Writers for VeloNews debate whether Annemiek van Vleuten or Anna van der Breggen should be their female cyclist of the year.

The German cycling federation named Kristina Vogel as its Cyclist of the Year in an emotional return to the track, six months after she was paralyzed from the waist down in a training crash.

Forget a road race or triathlon. If you really want to test yourself, try a single-stage race through the wilds of Kyrgyzstan.

 

Finally…

No matter how hard it rains, SoCal riders hardly ever need studded tires for their bikes. Is it progress when even mob hitmen choose a bike as a getaway vehicle?

And clearly, restaurants should be required to wear helmets and hi-viz.

Morning Links: Sneak attack on traffic safety, BAC meets tomorrow, and ebikes benefit people with disabilities

Call it a sneak attack.

Over the weekend, supporters of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving tried — and failed — to get the LA Neighborhood Council Coalition on the record supporting a total ban on road diets.

The factually incorrect motion, which traffic safety supporters found out about less than 24 hours earlier, was tabled until next month after it met overwhelming opposition.

Here’s the full text of the motion, in case you want to mark your calendar for the next meeting.

BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a powerful message opposing the ban.

Today’s photo comes with a wish for a Happy Chanukah to all those celebrating this week.

Chanukah Sameach!

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold their regular bi-monthly meeting tomorrow night in the conference room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.

The committee is the only official voice for bicyclists in city government. Even if elected officials usually just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Click to enlarge

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Or more precisely, the way ebikes and other bikes can benefit people with physical limitations.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker calls ebikes a game changer for people who need them.

And makes a point I’ve been making for some time now.

A 2018 study by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities that surveyed 1,800 e-bike riders found that they bike more often, take longer trips, and make different types of trips than they do on pedal bikes. Plus, not only did more respondents feel safer riding an e-bike than they did riding a pedal bike, the percentage of people who felt safer on an e-bike was even greater when the respondents were women, over 55, or had physical limitations.

“E-bikes are making it possible for more people to ride a bicycle” reads the study, “many of whom are incapable of riding a standard bicycle or don’t feel safe doing so.”people

There are a number of bicyclists, especially roadies, who think ebikes are cheating.

I know, I used to be one of them.

And there many people who think older people and people with handicaps can’t ride bikes.

They’re both wrong.

Because unless you’re racing, bicycling is not a competition. Whether you’re riding for pleasure or transportation, anything that makes it easier to get on a bike is a good thing.

For the person doing the riding, for their community, and for the environment.

And ebikes make it possible for people who otherwise couldn’t ride a bike — because of age, physical condition, the length of their commutes, or any number of other problems — to get out and ride like anyone else. Going further and more confidently than they otherwise could.

Or at all, for that matter.

There’s another quote from the story that sums it up.

E-bikes are not a substitute for safer infrastructure, but they could help move more riders from “Interested but Concerned” to “Enthused and Confident.

And that’s a good thing. For all of us.

Meanwhile, a Boulder CO newspaper talks with a bike shop owner who says he used to be dismissive of ebikes, until he realized their benefits for people with physical limitations.

A British survey shows 72 percent of disabled bicyclists use their bikes as mobility aids, but half of respondents are afraid of being seen riding them for fear of losing their benefits.

And more than a quarter of the disabled commutes in Cambridge, England are made by bike.

………

Speaking of electric mobility devices, apparently they’re a wise choice. And not just limited to humans anymore.

https://twitter.com/therourke/status/1068875942473404422

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Sad news, as longtime Tour de France commentator Paul Sherwen died unexpectedly at his home in Uganda; no cause of death was announced.

He was 62.

………

It’s Day 11 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

Thanks to Adrienne G and Alan C for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

………

Local

By all accounts, yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia was another successful event. But it comes just days after the organization was sued by a woman who suffered a brain injury when a careless rider clipped her wheel.

A sports tech website talks with LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon about the tech he uses and life as a YouTube star.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver, who claimed he never saw the victim until he was in front of him. Unfortunately, that’s not too surprising; let’s hope investigators get a warrant for the driver’s phone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a women’s bike, and their recommendations for the best bike in 11 different categories.

The Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Walmart talks about his passion for mountain biking, saying he’s learned some of his best business lessons from the saddle. Something I can relate to; I often did my best work while riding my bike.

It may be a few years since their last basketball title, but the University of Kentucky can celebrate a national championship as the nation’s most Bicycle Friendly University.

A pair of New York bike advocates and engineers say they’ve figured out the exact optimal traffic signal timing to improve safety for everyone and ensure the highest number of green lights for both drivers and people on bikes.

A Virginia landscaper had the truck towed to be repaired and ordered employees to say a worker had hit a deer, instead of the bike rider he’d hit in a work truck and left to die on the side of the road.

 

International

An Op-Ed on Calgary website says traffic laws must reflect the new transport options, including dockless e-bikes. Meanwhile, the Calgary bike boom goes on, even in the winter months, after the city built out a network of protected bike lanes.

Sidewalk riding is a complicated issue, according to an Ontario, Canada letter writer in part because of poorly designed bike lanes and the people who drive in them.

The Guardian looks at who is behind the effort to have one of London’s most popular cycle superhighways ripped out, pointing the finger at a property company, and truck and taxi drivers.

A British man rode 3,200 miles from LA to New York in just 34 days — arriving at the airport half an hour before his flight back home.

A new paper by an English researcher argues that yes, drivers really do pass bicyclists who wear bike helmets closer than they do bare headed riders.

Brit mountain biking legend Hans Rey was the victim of bike thieves, who took eight bicycles, including custom bikes and bikes that aren’t currently available in the country.

Thanks to a new Dutch bike rack design, your bike could power the city.

Madrid bans cars built before 2000, and diesel vehicles built before 2006, from driving in the city center to battle air pollution. Los Angeles will need to do the same for the entire county if we’re going to meet pollution, let alone climate change, goals.

Malta’s prime minister suggests widening the roads to make more room for all road users, while creating preference lanes for bikes, buses and electronic cars.

Tel Aviv is building a 68-mile network of bike trails in an effort to become the Amsterdam of the Mideast.

After the first of the year, you’ll need a special driver’s license to operate an ebike in Israel.

More grist for the climate change mill, as a New Zealand study shows that bike lanes and pathways do, in fact, coax people out of their cars, resulting decreased emissions.

Australian football legend James Hird suffered a broken leg when his bike was hit by a driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

Anyone can win a bike race; the Eurosport website recounts the cycling world’s most spectacular flops of 2018.

Aussie cyclist Mark Renshaw will miss a number of events Down Under after he suffered a fractured pelvis when a driver when through a stop sign.

Cycling Tips talks with women’s cycling legend Marianne Vos about getting her grove back this year.

A roadie discovers he can do more than he thought, completing a 78-mile gravel race despite fears caused by a recent runaway heart rate.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding a bike with crack and purple heroin, put a damn light on it, already. Call it Waze for bikes.

And yes, Vladimir Putin is one of us.

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

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A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

………

It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: LAPD shames walkers, Mexico City driver’s anti-bike rampage, and former ‘cross star makes music

Apologies for my tardiness.

The hosting service I use went down just as I was getting this ready ready to publish. When it still wasn’t back by 4:30 this morning, I gave up and went to bed. 

Which means they probably got it back online by 4:35. 

Barring any more disruptions, we’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow. 

………

The LAPD has already reached a new height — or maybe low — in victim shaming under new chief Michael Moore.

Under a new insurance company-sponsored initiative , the department will distribute 1,200 hi-viz reflective vests and clip-on lights to people stopped for jaywalking.

Because, as we all know, it’s far better to make regular people dress up like clowns than actually expect drivers to slow down like the law requires and look away from their smartphones long enough to see what the hell is in the road in front of them.

Or, you know, actually build an adequate number of safe crosswalks so people don’t have to cross without one, or anything.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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

And worldwide.

A road raging driver in Mexico City was injured — along with his intended victim, a restaurant hostess and two diners at an open air cafe — when he used his truck as a weapon in a attempt to run down a bike rider.

After arguing with a man on a bike, he slammed his pickup into reverse, striking the bike rider, then smashed into a parked car. Both vehicles appear to have crashed into the restaurant before coming to rest against a tree.

Let’s hope Mexican authorities charge the driver with four counts of attempted murder. And don’t write this off as just another crash.

Note: If you don’t read Spanish, you’ll have to translate the link, like I did. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Twenty-one year old former junior cyclocross star Gavin Haley is making a name for himself as a musician as he tours the Golden State.

………

It’s Day 7 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

LA County is studying how to create harmony between e-scooters, bikeshare bikes, cars and pedestrians in unincorporated communities and county roads.

It looks like a new bike lane is coming to Stewart Street in Santa Monica.

Pomona residents recommend separated bike lanes and a shared bike and pedestrian path to improve access to a proposed Gold Line Metro station — if it’s ever built.

 

State

A Contra Costa County judge has blocked bike access through an East Bay country club, denying riders a long-time bypass route to avoid a dangerous roadway.

New parking protected bike lanes in Sacramento are filling up with wet, slippery leaves that can pose a risk to the riders using them.

The bighearted people at a Nevada County bicycle recycling project have donated 30 rebuilt bikes to victims of Northern California’s Camp Fire.

 

National

CNET says e-scooters could be sending as many as one thousand people to the ER every month, based on figures they apparently just made up.

Colorado’s playground for the rich and famous is trying to get ahead of the curve by writing regulations for e-scooters, even though no one’s offered to put them there yet.

What’s left of a Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the speeding, out-of-control driver who killed their wife and mother as she was participating in a randonneuring event. Naturally, the driver claims the sun was in his eyes. Which doesn’t explain why his foot was on the gas pedal.

When is an ebike not a bicycle? Evidently, when you’re in Ohio’s Amish Country, where people seem to be freaking out about them.

New York food delivery riders are organizing to fight for healthcare after one of the workers died from an untreated ulcer.

After New York councilmembers call for legalizing ebikes and e-scooters, Streetsblog says the city’s mayor, who opposes the measure, is blind to the real dangers on the streets. And it ain’t the people on two wheels, battery powered or otherwise.

Apparently, a New Jersey community has a lot of kindhearted cops. After a Roxbury police officer bought a man a used bike as he watched him commute in all kinds of weather on a rusted bike, he bought him a new one after that one wore out. Only to  learn that the man’s original bike had been a gift from another officer.

Bicycling says a close-knit cycling community is in mourning, following the crash that killed two Florida bike riders.

A 415-pound Puerto Rican man took up bicycling to lose 20 pounds, and ended up riding 27,000 miles and losing 167 pounds. And quit smoking, too.

 

International

Turns out even the best air pollution masks filter out less than half of the particles they’re exposed to. Which doesn’t sound much better than tying a bandana around your face.

Forbes says cargo bikes, not drones, are the future of delivery.

A Quebec letter writer says laws requiring drivers to use snow tires in the winter are ineffective. So we should extend them to bike riders, too.

You just can’t please some people. Montreal-area drivers are complaining that a new separated bike path is impeding traffic on the nearby roadway, even though officials didn’t actually remove any traffic lanes or reduce capacity to make room for it.

No bias here. Over a thousand tickets were issued to London motorists for distracted driving or not having insurance during a two-week crackdown on dangerous driving. Yet somehow, the headline was about the 519 bike riders who got tickets, too.

No bias here, either. A study commissioned by a pressure group dedicated to the removal of one of London’s cycle superhighways has found that it’s costing businesses the equivalent of $6.8 million a year. Even though no other study has found that it even causes traffic congestion, let alone huge loses due to it.

They get it. Over two-thirds of the residents of Perth, Scotland call for improving safety for bicyclists by installing protected bike lanes, even if that means less space for drivers.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a fondo in sunny Saint-Tropez. Unless you’d rather ride on the riverfront bike paths of Taipei.

A new Swiss study shows that switching to an active commute can help you lose weight, but says it isn’t clear if that applies to ebikes, as well. But a Norwegian study shows ebike riders exert almost as much energy as regular bike riders.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a drunk, speeding teenager who was driving without a license got just 25 months for killing a man as he was riding his bicycle.

A former Australian football great was injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African pro cyclist Willie Smit donated the equivalent of over $43,000 in bicycles and equipment to a Cape Town cycling academy dedicated to serving underprivileged kids.

Former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbot tells her own story of how even the best roadies can make the worst mountain bikers.

 

Finally…

Tres shock! Bike riders sometimes look at billboards and pretty people. When in Amsterdam, do like the Dutch and watch out for bikes.

And your next bike helmet could help prevent concussions, and call for help if it doesn’t.

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