Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Breaking news — California report says deadly 85th Percentile Law has to go, and new UK study say hi-viz doesn’t help

The report is in.

And it’s not good news for heavy-footed drivers.

A statewide Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, created under Burbank State Assembly Woman Laura Friedman’s AB 2363, has examined the deadly 85th Percentile law, and determined it needs to go.

F-S1: Existing law does not provide enough flexibility in urban areas to set speed limits that are appropriate for these complex environments.

Current procedures for setting speeds limits in California rely mainly on the 85th percentile methodology, an approach developed decades ago for vehicles primarily on rural roads. Although California’s population, roads, and streets have changed significantly, reflecting different modes of transportation including bicycling and walking, the method for setting speed limits has not. While the way that speed limits are calculated has remained essentially static, vehicles and street uses have evolved over time. CalSTA’s vision is to transform the lives of all Californians through a safe, accessible, low-carbon, 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Yet the 85th percentile methodology relies on driver behavior. Greater flexibility in establishing speed limits would allow agencies an expanded toolbox to better combat rising traffic fatalities and injuries.

The report goes on to conclude that posted speed limits are effective in reducing traffic speeds without the time and expense required for infrastructure changes.

And that cities need more flexibility to adjust speeds without conducting traffic studies, to reflect current circumstances and save lives.

Especially when it comes to people not protected by a couple tons of glass and steel.

F-S5: There is consistent evidence that increased vehicle speed results in an increased probability of a fatality given a crash. Vulnerable road users are disproportionately impacted by the relationship between speed and crash survivability. State and local agencies would benefit from additional classes of locations eligible for prima facie speed limits which do not require an engineering and traffic survey.

Prima facie speed limits are those that are applicable on roadways when no posted speed limit is provided. They do not require an engineering and traffic survey to be enforceable. Current law defines two prima facie speed limits covering six classes of locations. The first speed limit is 25 mph and is applicable to business and residential areas, school zones and areas around senior facilities. The second speed limit is 15 mph and is applicable to railway crossings, uncontrolled intersections and alleyways. Some allowances are currently provided to reduce these speed limits further, for example, to 15 mph and 20 mph in school and senior zones. State and local agencies on the Task Force stated that additional classes of locations should be eligible for prima facie speed limits especially in areas that have high concentrations of vulnerable road users.

In addition, the report calls for legalization of automated traffic cameras to supplement, but not replace, the work of traffic cops in enforcing speed limits.

F-EF1: International and U.S. studies have shown that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to speeding that can have meaningful safety impacts.

Automated speed enforcement systems work by capturing data about a speed violation, including images and license plate information, which is then reviewed and processed at a later time to determine if a violation occurred. Currently, automated speed enforcement is used extensively internationally and in 142 communities in the U.S. Numerous studies and several federal entities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have concluded that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeding-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

F-EF2: Automated speed enforcement should supplement, not replace, traditional enforcement operations.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, automated speed enforcement is a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional traffic law enforcement operations. Automated speed enforcement systems can effectively augment and support traditional enforcement operations in multiple ways. Automated speed enforcement systems serve as a “force multiplier” that allows limited law enforcement resources to focus on other public safety priorities. ASE can be operated in areas where in-person traffic stops would be impractical as well as on higher speed roadways where traffic calming devices may not be appropriate. While ASE does not provide an educational opportunity nor afford the exercise of judgment in issuing a citation that an officer would have from an in-person stop, it may also provide for more consistent and impartial enforcement. Examples of cities that have deployed automated speed enforcement programs without reducing law enforcement staffing levels include Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

In other words, the report takes 68 pages to sum up what bike and pedestrian advocates have been arguing for years.

The 85th Percentile method currently enshrined in state law allowing speeding drivers to set their own speed limits is outdated and dangerous.

And it’s got to go.

Now.

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In news that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers in the UK have concluded that wearing hi-viz clothing doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Neither does wearing casual clothing, as opposed to a spandex kit, when it comes to how close drivers pass.

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, there was no marked difference between ‘experienced rider’ kit, and a vest marked ‘Novice Cyclist’, nor between ordinary clothes and hi-viz kit.

Irrespective of any of the kit worn, 1-2 per cent of overtakes were within 50cm (Ed: roughly 20 inches), suggesting that nothing a rider wears makes any significant difference to the incidence of very close passes.

Unless that hi-viz happens to identify you as a police officer, that is. And even then, it’s only a gain of about two inches.

The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.

The researchers concluded that better infrastructure is a more effective means of improving rider safety than how you dress.

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

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The rich get richer, as the Dutch continue to show the rest of us how it’s done.

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The LACBC released a letter in support of keeping the protected bike lanes installed as part of the Reseda Great Streets project right where they are, for anyone attending tonight’s Streetsblog CD12 transportation forum.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, a very active neighborhood chapter of the LACBC, is meeting tonight.

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This is who we share the roads with.

After his son was killed in a traffic collision, an Oklahoma man got drunk and got behind the wheel of his pickup — then fled the scene after plowing into several members of a high school cross country team.

Two girls were killed. Four others were injured; at least one remains in critical condition.

There’s just no fucking excuse.

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

Davis police are looking for a man who fled the scene on a bicycle after coming up from behind and fondling a woman who was unloading her car.

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana busted a bike-riding robber who chased a “mildly intoxicated” man before whacking him with a metal pipe and stealing $300 at knife point. Although the thief claims he was just trying to get back money the victim had stolen from him, but he doesn’t really remember because he was too stoned at the time.

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Local

Streets For All reports the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will discuss a motion to support protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd at tonight’s meeting.

Streetsblog takes a look at LA’s newly opened Red Car Bike & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village.

A group of San Fernando Valley residents have pitched in to clean up a section of the LA River bike path in Reseda.

 

State

A Davis columnist insists that city, not Portland, is the bicycling capital of the US. Even if it can’t muster a quorum for the city’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission. At least they have one; Los Angeles just has a toothless Bicycling Advisory Committee, whose members are usually ignored by the councilmembers who appoint them. Creating an actual commission would give them the authority they currently lack. 

San Francisco supervisors rejected a demand for an environmental impact statement for a bikeway pilot project from a pair of notorious anti-bike crusaders, who blame it for the actions of angry drivers who can’t keep their hands off their damn horns.

 

National

An engineer digs into the data, and discovers that the panic over e-scooters may be overblown, concluding they don’t appear to be any more dangerous than riding a bicycle. Which is good news and bad news, when you think about it.

Kindhearted Utah cops dug into their own pockets to buy a nine-year old boy a new bike after the one he got in a Christmas donation was stolen.

Denver residents ignored the cold weather to ride to work after the city plowed a protected bike lane following a heavy snow. Meanwhile, Los Angeles NIMBYs continue to insist no one will ever commute by bike in the mild SoCal winter, where temperatures sometimes dip all the way into the 60s.

This is why you always carry ID on your bike. Texas police are appealing to the public to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike. A wallet helps, but can get lost or stolen following a crash. Better to actually carry some form of ID on you, or wear something like a Road ID with your name, emergency contacts and any medical conditions.

Hats off to a kindhearted Omaha, Nebraska Eagle Scout, who is collecting and refurbishing adult bicycles to donate to homeless people.

Chicago decided to make room for humans on the double-decker Lake Shore Drive, and convert one of the lower level lanes to a walkway and protected bike lanes. That’s got to be the only city in the US where it’s okay for drivers to be on LSD.

Great idea. Knoxville, Tennessee opened a new accessible bike trail specifically designed for people with disabilities riding adaptive bicycles.

A proposed New Hampshire bill to require helmets for everyone from bike riders to motorcyclists received overwhelming opposition, with 259 people lining up to speak against it and only four in favor.

New York advocates are up in arms over a secret plan to close part of the popular Hudson River Greenway to make long-delayed repairs resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York prosecutors inexplicably let a killer driver off the hook for backing over an elderly woman last year — even though he continues to rack up tickets for speeding and red light violations.

DC finally gets around to banning parking in bike lanes, fining drivers $150 for blocking the flow of bicycle traffic. It’s illegal to park in bike lanes in Los Angeles, too. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone, especially in DTLA.

New Orleans cops get a firsthand view of the streets from a bicyclist’s perspective, as officers ride with a group of cycling instructors through a variety of problematic locations. That would solve a lot of problems if we could convince every police and sheriff’s department to try that.

 

International

A 51-year old nursery school teacher was one of the victims of Sunday’s terrorist knifing attack in South London as she rode her bike home after meeting friends, saying she’s lucky to be alive.

A pair of British doctors set a new record for riding around the world on a tandem bike, traveling over 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours.

The British government will ban all gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2035, moving the deadline forward by five years. Meanwhile, the US has committed to banning gas powered vehicles by, um, never.

Parisians are staying on their bikes, despite the winter weather, even after a major transportation strike ended; January ridership was up 131% over the same month last year.

An Indian university tells faculty members that bicycling isn’t just for students.

Failed Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo switches gear and reinvents itself as a shopping platform — and decides to keep users deposits anyway. Scroll down past the obnoxious full screen ad to get to the story, when and if you can. 

A globe trotting Indian bike tourist says he’s not worried about coronavirus as he nears the end of his 16 year ride through 154 countries to promote HIV and AIDS awareness; his now in Beijing while riding through China, leaving 37 countries to go.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for non-Californians. San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride, a mixed-surface, ultra-distance race, is branching out to Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah this year.

Pro cyclists offer advice on how to beat jet lag. Personally, I’ve never been able to ride fast or far enough for that to be a problem.

Twenty-two-year old world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney is getting a little extra coaching to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics from her new riding partner, retired NBA player turned mountain bike aficionado Reggie Miller.

 

Finally…

Apparently, dropping your bong while fleeing police on your bike is a bad thing. If you’re carrying nearly three dozen pre-measured bags of meth on your bike, make sure it at least meets legal standards.

And presenting the perfect gift for bicyclists who drink their bourbon through a straw.

No, really.

 

Punishment pass brush-by, CD12 transportation forum, and forget coronavirus — cars are the health crisis

This is what a real punishment pass looks like.

Allyson Vought, the LA Bicycling Advisory Committee representative for Council District 15, forwarded this video to me yesterday.

It’s hard to see from the rear-facing cam, but the driver actually brushes her as he — let’s assume it’s a he — passes as closely as physically possible without actually sending her to the ER.

Or worse.

Which makes it hit-and-run. Not to mention assault with a deadly weapon.

And yes, she reported it to the police; what, if anything, they’ll do about it remains to be seen.

 

But one thing is clear.

In most cases like this, the driver would simply claim he didn’t see the person on the bike. That won’t work here, since he blared on the horn as he passed, indicating he not only saw her, but wanted her to get the hell out of his way.

And that makes it intentional.

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If you live, work or ride in the San Fernando Valley’s 12th Council District, cancel your plans for tomorrow and attend this transportation town hall instead.

And yes, it’s that important.

Although something tells me regressive short-term incumbent John Lee may skip this one.

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A new Chinese study confirms what we already knew. If you want to get fatter and out of shape, just get a car.

Which means the real health crisis isn’t coronavirus. It’s driving.

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We mentioned last week that Mars Volta and Marilyn Manson bassist Juan Alderete was in a coma after suffering a serious brain injury when he went over the handlebars on his bicycle.

Now a crowdfunding page has been established to help pay his medical expenses, raising over $50,000 of the $250,000 goal in just two days.

Alderete suffered a diffuse axonal injury, despite wearing a helmet; several studies have suggested that bike helmets can contribute to, rather than prevent, that kind of injury.

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Congratulations to Culver City, which voted to protect the lives of children walking or biking to school, after a years-long struggle to improve safety.

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

What an effing waste. A Fresno man is dead because a man riding a bike took offense to his support of the 49ers during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and shot him with a homemade zip gun; police found him hiding in a nearby homeless camp.

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Local

The LA Kings teamed with the Bikes for Kids Foundation to donate new bicycles and helmets to all 65 third grade students at Compton charter school.

 

State

No bias here. The San Francisco Chronicle highlights the suffering of Bay Area teachers, whose lives would be just dandy if it wasn’t for that darn bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Because apparently, there was no traffic on the bridge before they installed the bike lane as an alternative to driving. And induced demand isn’t a thing.

About damn time. San Francisco’s port authority finally decides that allowing restaurant valets to block bike lanes in the city’s Embarcadero is a bad thing. Which should have been done after a popular pedicab driver was killed two years ago.

In LA, we have to fight to get bike lanes anywhere; in San Francisco, the question is whether Valencia Street should get protected bike lanes or ban cars entirely.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where a woman riding her bike was killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene after Sunday’s crash.

A couple hundred people decided to skip the Super Bowl and ride a NorCal century instead, a Chico tradition since 1981.

 

National

Yes, ebikes are beginning to infiltrate gran fondos and group rides. I’ve heard of at least one popular group ride that’s been struggling with the issue of whether to allow ebikes for a couple years now.

Seriously, what does it mean when cold and snowy Denver has a Winter Bike to Work Day coming up next week — on Valentines Day, no less — and warm, sunny Los Angeles doesn’t even have one?

A Minnesota professor is trying to improve bike safety by designing a $500 smart bicycle with the sort of $80,000 LIDAR and sensors found on a self-driving car.

After gutting a bill mandating helmet use for bike-riding children, the Indiana legislature revives it to allow a state public safety fund to purchase and distribute helmets to kids. Proving that there are other ways to encourage helmet use besides fining people who ride with bare heads. Hint: The same thing works for bike lights, too.

Speaking of Indiana, an attorney from the state offers tips on what to do before and after getting hit by a car, including always riding with one or more cams on your bike. And if there’s any question why, see the video at the top of this page.

Maybe LA could take a tip from Memphis, which is conducting lane reconfigurations — aka road diets — on six streets to improve safety in the city formerly named the worst bike city in America. Meanwhile Los Angeles, which currently holds that dubious distinction, is currently planning exactly zero.

A New Orleans op-ed makes the case that the city’s docked bikeshare system is a form of public art.

Decatur, Georgia faces a bikelash after a three-year effort to improve bicycle safety and walkability in the Atlanta suburb. Kind of like every other place that’s tried to take an inch of roadway from motorists.

Miami bike advocates call for protected bike lanes instead of a painted green lane on a popular causeway where a woman was killed last year, complaining that the city has done nothing to improve safety following her death.

 

International

Even in bike-friendly Europe, nearly 20,000 people lost their lives riding bicycles in 28 EU countries in the nine years from 2010 to 2018.

Evidently, the best way for an ordinary Brit to get on American talk show is to buy a stolen bike and track down the owner.

A British man won’t be driving for the next year, after deliberately running a bike rider off the road for the imagined crime of not using a bike lane.

Evidently, the only thing that stinks in Limburg, Belgium is the cheese. Because anyone on a bike can ride along the city’s architectural artworks through a lake and over a forest, past sights including a 19th-century castle and an open-air museum.

According to a German expert, the top two-wheeled trends in Deutschland are ebikes, custom bikes and gravel bikes. Or if you really want to be on trend, just build a custom gravel ebike.

This is who we share the roads with. Horrible news from Australia, where an alleged drunk driver faces 20 charges after jumping the curb and killing four young children, and seriously injuring another; three of those killed were from a single family.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie “F’n” Compton looks to the future after her 4th place finish at the ‘cross world’s.

Dutch pro Jakob Fuglsang says he ain’t done nothing wrong, despite reports he’s been hanging out with Lance’s preferred doping doc, and the good doc asserts he’s never been convicted of anything. Which is not the same as never being implicated.

Cycling Tips reminisces about the chaotic 2005 Sun Tour, which marked the start of Simon Gerrans rise as a pro, but nearly marked the end of the then 53-year old stage race, which is still going strong.

 

Finally…

Apparently, golf cart drivers are just like any other drivers. How to create traffic jams on Google Maps with a little red wagon full of cellphones.

And if a Tesla Cyberbike doesn’t exist, just build your own. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

 

 

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

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No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

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No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

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And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

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That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

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Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

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Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

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

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

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Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

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Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

Proposal for bike-friendly Hollywood Blvd, where to ban cars from LA streets, and a bigger Bird hits Los Angeles

CD13 City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell unveiled proposals for a much-needed head-to-toe makeover of Hollywood Blvd.

The plans calls for reducing or eliminating parking, widening and fixing the already wide sidewalks, and installing bike lanes on either side.

However, the plans don’t call for protected bike lanes, or closing the boulevard entirely to create a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland.

If approved — and it still has a long damn way to go — they could create the first east-west bike lanes in Hollywood.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

They could also improve safety for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit the street every day, while improving livability for the rapidly growing residential population in Hollywood.

O’Farrell reports that $4 million in funding has already been secured for the project, which could go a long way towards making it a reality.

Rendering by Gensler.

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As we’ve discussed for the past few weeks, cars are now officially banned San Francisco’s formerly busy Market Street.

The LA Times throws down the gauntlet, saying if the Bay Area city can close one of its largest and most iconic streets to motor vehicles, Los Angeles can do it, too.

Streetsblog then picks it up, suggesting ten LA-area streets from Pasadena to Santa Monica that could use a similar treatment — including the afore mentioned Hollywood Blvd; we mentioned Curbed’s seven suggestions earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Car and Driver wants to know how far this carfree streets thing is going to spread, and Fast Company lists 11 additional cities where it already has.

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Call it Big Bird.

C|net reports that Bird is introducing a heavier, more durable and hopefully, more vandalism resistant e-scooter they’ve dubbed Bird Two.

The vehicle comes with “autonomous damage sensors” that are designed to detect potentially dangerous maintenance issues. It has puncture-resistant tires, an anti-tipping kickstand and “enterprise level anti-theft encryption.” And its design minimizes exposed cables and screws.

“The absence of excessive exposed screws helps create a sleeker design while also reducing injuries and vandalism,” the company said in a statement. Bird said this feature will also help with safety (which makes sense considering some scooter haters like to cut brake cables).

The site says the company is introducing the scooters in San Francisco, then eventually rolling them out to other cities.

Evidently, they forget to tell that to their LA-area staff.

I spotted this one while walking the foster corgi in Hollywood; other Twitter users reported seeing them along the Figueroa corridor.

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

Long Island police are looking for a bike-riding man who stole $3,000 from an unlocked car. Then again, what kind of idiot leaves three grand in his car, and doesn’t bother to lock it?

………

Local

A Larchmont newspaper profiles all four candidates in the CD4 race — incumbent David Ryu and challengers Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman, as well as write-in candidate Susan Collins; both Levy and Raman have been endorsed by Bike the Vote LA. And speaking of Levy, she’s asking transit and mobility fans to canvas for her this weekend.

Santa Monica could cut the number of dockless bike and e-scooter providers in the city by half under new rules approved by the city council.

 

State

Eroica California returns to Cambria this April, now with rides for modern and classic bikes on different days.

Tragic news from Galt, 27 miles south of Sacramento, where a 34-year old man riding a bike was killed in a collision with a motorist.

A Sebastopol writer talks with a zero-waste, locavore, electric vélomobile owner.

Plans for a median-protected bike lane move forward in Modesto, despite the inevitable complaints from local businesses that it would take space away from cars.

 

National

Streetsblog says the national transportation policy proposed by the Democrats in Congress has a lot to offer, even if it has little chance of becoming law.

A writer for Mashable tries out a $4,000 ebike for a year, and is surprised to learn it’s heavy, and can replace a car, but only in good weather. Never mind that lots of people ride ebikes and regular bikes year ’round, in all kinds of weather.

Ebike prices continue to drop, like this barely sub-$1,000 bike from Propella. And no, I’ve never heard of the brand, either.

A new active transportation advocacy group intends to make Spokane WA friendlier for people on bikes and on foot.

Once again demonstrating that the Bureau of Land Management has no respect for the land they’re supposed to manage, the BLM has put two parcels up for oil and gas drilling near Moab, Utah, even though it could result in irreversible damage to the famed Slickrock mountain bike trail.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Wisconsin, where a hit-and-run driver got a lousy three months behind bars for the drunken crash that injured a bike rider; he hit the victim as he was driving to another bar, and blew over twice the legal limit when he was arrested.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a flatbed truck, becoming the first bicyclist killed in New York this year after the city suffered a nearly three times increase in bicycling deaths last year. As usual, the driver wasn’t ticketed or detained, despite being caught on video making an illegal U-turn. Warning — that last link clearly shows the victim getting hit, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking it. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A North Carolina mother is under arrest after her four-year old son was found riding his tricycle naked at 12:30 am, in front of a bar, in 40° weather.

Nice gesture from a New Orleans Mardi Gras krewe, which is hosting a block party to call for bike and pedestrian safety at the site of the drunken crash that killed two bike riders and injured several others during last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

 

International

A young man from Matamoros, Mexico just graduated from a college in Brownsville, Texas, thanks in part thanks to the $40 flea market bicycle he rode across the border every day.

A London woman describes how she went a full year using only her feet or bicycle for transportation.

The mayor of Paris says if she’s re-elected, every street in the city will by bicycle-friendly by 2024.

SUVs should be banned from urban areas, according to a Brussels-based safety think tank, which called for urgent action to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A Belgian ex-cyclist-turned-journalist makes, then deletes, then apologizes for a sexist joke about how little an Argentine reporter was wearing; apology not accepted, evidently, after she responded by calling him a brontosaurus.

Vienna is offering free admission to museums and concerts to people who leave their cars at home in an effort to cut traffic and pollution.

VeloNews goes to Germany to jerk their chains. And otherwise test 13 of the most popular bike chains.

A South African radio station says it could be the death of motoring, as Millennials and Gen Zers are falling out of love with cars.

It better be a damn big reward. Indonesian authorities want a volunteer to take a motorcycle tire from around a 13-foot crocodile’s neck.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado man looks back on a half-century as a cyclocross racer, starting long before most American cycling fans ever heard of the sport.

Still more sad news, as British cyclist Josephine Gilbert was killed last week when she was struck by a truck driver while riding in the UK; the 25-year old rider was called an inspiration by her teammates. She becomes just the latest in a long line of professional and amateur racers killed or seriously injured by drivers in recent years.

 

Finally…

It may be broken English, but “Abandoning boy to death” drives the point home better than the more pedestrian “hit-and-run.” If you want to keep passing as a blind beggar, leave the SUV at home.

And this is who we share the roads with. And yes, it’s pretty much the definition of an entitled driver.

Driver charged in fatal El Cajon hit-and-run, who we share the roads with, and get the damn location right, already

Accused killer driver Craig Wendell Nelson has been charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Kevin Wilson east of El Cajon last week.

Nelson faces a well-deserved four years and eight months behind bars if he’s convicted.

Police found him hiding in the bushes after abandoning his car, possibly to avoid being taken into custody for a number of probation violations for previous convictions.

Didn’t work.

But that’s just one more example of the penalty for hit-and-run not even coming close to matching the severity of the crime in this state.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A jury awarded a Calabasas woman $18 million for the hit-and-run crash that killed her mother and critically injured her as they walked in a crosswalk.

The jury also ruled there was malice in the case, considering that after running over the two women, the driver pulled the mother’s body out of the road, then backed up her pickup and parked it on a side street, pretending to police she wasn’t involved.

Note to world — whatever else you may or may not think of them, cops aren’t stupid.

………

This is who we share the roads with, part 2.

A Los Angeles fire captain is under investigation for the apparent high-speed hit-and-run crash that totaled a woman’s parked car, knocking it 160 feet down the street and into a neighbor’s driveway.

He then went home and refused to respond to sheriff’s deputies, later denying he’d been drinking, despite being found passed out in the bathtub the next morning.

Instead, he told the victim the next day that he’d had to rush home after the crash because he was suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

Deputies couldn’t enter his home to arrest him because a hit-and-run that results in property damage is just a misdemeanor.

Even if it destroys an entire car, and gives the driver plenty of time to sober up from his, uh, diarrhea.

Just another example of how California’s lenient hit-and-run laws don’t fit the crime.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

If you’re going to use a tragic Huntington Beach bike death to promote your law firm, maybe figure out where the hell the city is, first.

Hint: It’s not in San Bernardino County.

………

San Diego kicks off the second Regional Bike Summit next Thursday featuring beer, pizza, group rides and advocacy discussions; the three-day event is sponsored by the San Diego Bicycling Coalition.

The SDBC is still looking for volunteers to help out. Contact the coalition for more information.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

………

The World Economic Forum offers a quick look at the world’s most exciting bicycle infrastructure projects, none of which are in Los Angeles.

https://twitter.com/wef/status/1222096980610093057

Thanks to Thomas Riebs for the heads-up.

………

Local

A Hollywood Hills-based private chef describes how he and his riding partner heard the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crash, and were among the first people on the scene afterwards.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests 13 fun and family-friendly bike rides you can get to using Metro transit lines. I’m going to bookmark this one myself. No, wait, I just did.

 

State

An Escondido transient with major facial tattoos is behind bars for fatally stabbing another man in a Burger King parking lot, in a dispute that allegedly was over a bicycle.

Santa Ana police are looking for a bike-riding man who shot and killed another man in a Santa Ana restaurant parking lot.

Authorities in Santa Cruz are looking for an unidentified bike rider as a person of interest in the unsolved murder of a tech millionaire last October.

Now you, too, can own a 120-year old San Francisco bike shop.

San Francisco’s iconic Market Street is now officially free from cars; the fight for a carfree Market Street dates back to 1896. Los Angeles, the ball’s in your court

 

National

Your next ‘bent could be a shaft-driven foldie.

Like it or not, e-scooters and other micromobility devices are here to stay.

Kindhearted police buy a new bike for a nine-year old Utah boy after learning his stolen bike was his family’s only form of transportation.

No overreaction here. Police in San Angelo, Texas shut down an entire neighborhood because a man on a bicycle refused to pull over when they tried to stop him for the crime of…wait for it…riding salmon. After finally tracking him down, police searched him and found an empty baggie with drug residue and a pipe. Which any good lawyer should be able to get tossed as an illegal search and lack of probable cause.

A pair of teenaged Detroit brothers founded a $100,000 handmade soap company in order to pay their father back for a new bike, after the older brother’s bike was stolen when he failed to lock it.

Michigan authorities recovered an $8,000 bicycle stolen from a motel room prior to last summer’s inaugural Traverse City Ironman Triathlon; a brother and sister were busted for the theft.

Call this Michigan event whatever you want, it’s not a real bike race unless the bikes actually move.

Demonstrating true zero vision, as opposed to Vision Zero, New York police continue to ticket more bicyclists than truck drivers, despite the significant difference in their respective risk to others.

A bike-riding thief burgled a Pennsylvania American Legion post.

Now that’s more like it. A New Orleans program takes cops through the city’s crowded rush hour streets on bicycles to give the officers a bicyclist’s eye view of what bike riders are up against.

Talk about not getting it. The same day Coral Gables, Florida declared a climate emergency, they shot down a proposed bike lane. Evidently, they’ve been mentored by the LA City Council.

 

International

The US isn’t the only country where bicycle and pedestrian deaths remain high, despite an overall decline in traffic fatalities. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in the UK, as well, while bicycling fatalities have shown a modest decline even as bicycling rates have remained stagnant.

Curbed examines how European countries are offering a roadmap to a world with fewer cars.

The Dutch province of Utrecht is moving forward with the installation of a 82-foot long solar bike path; a second one will be nearly a quarter-mile long.

A new study from New Zealand says biking to work could lower your mortality risk up to 13%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thai police are investigating the death of a promising teenage South Korean cycling champ, who was killed in a collision while training in the country on Tuesday.

Call him the two-wheeled Kobe Bryant. Peter Sagan says the only reason he’s on a bike is a desire to win.

 

Finally…

Some people can’t seem to see the bike lane for the parked cars. If you’re carrying non-legal weed and an illegal gun, don’t ride salmon, already.

And fighting for your right to keep using rim brakes since, um, now.

 

CA bike deaths set 25-year high, bicycling cop pays dangerous driver a visit, and bike video captures Kobe crash conditions

Yes, they really are killing us out there.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that California bicycling fatalities are the highest they’ve been in 25 years.

The NHTSA analyzed the data for the state, and found more bicyclists died in traffic collisions in the years from 2016 through 2018 than any other three-year period since Bill Clinton took office.

And that’s a long damn time ago.

Needless to say, LA County once again led the way for the entire state, with an average of 35 deaths per year in that same three year period, compared to a little less than 25 per year from 2006 to 2008.

Also needless to say, the best way to stop people from dying on the streets is to lower the damn speed limits.

Which would require repeal of the deadly 85th Percentile Law, and legalization of speed cams to enforce it.

And that can’t happen soon enough.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

………

A bike-riding LAPD cop describes going to visit a reckless driver who nearly ran down a pair of bicyclists at Ohio and Veteran in Westwood.*

And for a change, it has a happy ending. Well worth a short six minutes of your day.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

*Exactly where I used to ride both coming and going at least three or four times a week before we moved to Hollywood.

………

Apparently, Mr. Rynew has been a very busy boy, filming the first bike video connected to the helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

Then stumbling on the Coaster Bike Challenge.

………

Streetsblog is hosting a Transportation Town hall in CD12 next month; both regressive incumbent John Lee and progressive challenger Loraine Lundquist have been invited, but only Lundquist has confirmed so far.

………

Once again, the Marines have decided to some military stuff on Camp Pendleton — like helicopter operations, according to the base — which will mean shutting down the bike path for the week of February 10th.

However, people on bikes are allowed to ride I-5 through the base, while cursing the Marines for forcing them out there.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

………

Every bike event should be held in a craft brewery. And every bike path should lead to one.

Just saying.

………

Robert Leone also forwards opportunities for San Diego bike riders to get more involved, courtesy of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

This Tuesday, January 28th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at our office downtown (300 15th St. San Diego, CA 92101) we will have a presentation from Susan Baldwin on Measure A. She will highlight the importance of smart growth and how crucial this is for the San Diego region. Learn more here. We invite you to join us and learn more so that you may make informed decisions when you vote.

This Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm the Draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the City of Chula Vista will be presented at a specially scheduled Safety Commission Meeting in the Council Chambers. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the Draft ATP. The address is 276 Fourth Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Next Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 2pm the City Council members from the City of San Diego will vote on the Budget Priority Memos they each submitted Friday, January 10, 2020 to the Mayor’s office. Click here to see what they submitted. If you would like to attend and speak, please join us. There will be a lot of people who plan to attend with their requests. The more we can speak up for cyclists the better!

………

It may not have been easy, but Bicycling once again proves there’s no such thing as a theft-proof bike lock.

Then again, as one cop put it, all you really have to do it make easier for a potential thief to steal someone else’s bike instead.

………

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the latest Lance Armstrong documentary, which premiered at Sundance in advance of its airing on ESPN.

But this pretty well sums up what you need to know.

Every word he says in the documentary feels either lawyered to death or endlessly rehearsed over countless solitary bike rides…because he’s still halfway between victimhood and martyrdom in his own mind.

Touché.

To paraphrase an old country song, how can we miss him if he won’t go away?

………

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

A road raging New Mexico driver faces a well-deserved four and a half years behind bars after he was convicted of shifting his vehicle into reverse and backing into a group of senior bike riders he’d just passed, after exchanging words with them. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

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

A Wisconsin father hopes a $10,000 reward will lead to the two people riding bicycles who stabbed his son to death in an apparently random attack last September, then disappeared without a trace.

A Florida bike rider faces charges for pulling out a hammer and attacking a driver who almost hit him, after the driver told him he’d been watching out for cars, not people on bicycles. I’ve practiced nonviolence since I was a teenager, but I’d still be tempted to take a swing at him myself for that.

………

Local

Bike West LA, Bike Culver City and the Central NBA/Sunset4All will host the second annual Mobility Mixer tomorrow night at the Bike Shop California on Motor Ave in West LA.

ULCA’s Daily Bruin reports Wheels sit-down scooters will soon come with an attached helmet. Somehow I doubt those hygienic liners they promise to provide will keep people from sharing their scalp critters, though.

Ride Around Pomona and Pomona Valley Bike Coalition will hop in the wayback machine for a 1950’s themed casual ride through, yes, Pomona.

 

State

Give it up, scofflaw scooterists. Lime will soon know if you’re riding on the sidewalk illegally. Now if they can just figure out how to tell when they’re parked blocking the sidewalk.

Speaking of scooters, San Diego just voted to ban them from the city’s boardwalks.

This is who we share the bike paths with. A 70-year old Santa Cruz woman was busted for her third DUI after driving the wrong way on a local bike path. Just one more example of government officials keeping dangerous drivers on the roads. Or bike paths. 

Streetsblog says the Bay Area suburb of Fremont will soon have the area’s best curb-protected bike lanes. And definitely puts to shame anything we have down here.

 

National

Bike Snob breaks down and admits that some bike do have souls.

CityLab offers its predictions for the scooter industry.

Bicycling talks bike baskets, and lists the ones they recommend. But which is the best one for toting a corgi?

Forbes says much of the initial information about the killing of bike rider Elaine Herzberg by a self-driving Uber car in Tempe AZ was wrong, including the myth that she “came out of nowhere.”

A Texas TV station corrects a letter writer, saying runners and walkers are required to face oncoming traffic, but bike riders are forbidden from riding salmon.

Seriously, what good is a bike box if the cops won’t keep drivers out of it? The Chicago Tribune wants to know.

Congratulations to New York, which came out on top with the least impact in a ranking of the climate impact of 100 metropolitan regions, followed by the Bay Area. Los Angeles ranked a surprisingly good 34, scoring high for bike use — no, really — and transit, but losing significant points for vehicle miles traveled.

Mourners released balloons on Tuesday in honor of Deondrick Rudd, the Louisiana bike rider who was killed by street racing brothers last weekend; Rudd was preparing to propose to his girlfriend on Valentines Day. Don’t do that. Mylar balloons can short power lines, causing fires and blackouts, while latex balloons pose a risk to birds and wildlife once they come back down. And they always come back down. 

 

International

Unlike some bicycling magazines and sites we could mention, Road.cc apparently recognizes that not every bike rider has wads of money falling out of their Rapha, recommending five roadies under the equivalent of $390, as well as ten of the best affordable bike shorts.

A Montreal website says the city’s Vision Zero program is revolutionizing the way people think about Montreal’s streets. That compares favorably with Los Angeles, which is revolutionizing the way a Vision Zero plan can gather dust on the shelf.

An English writer stumbles on his stolen bike, and swears his way into getting it back.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver gets off with a measly eight months behind bars for killing a woman riding a bike while talking to his wife using a handsfree cellphone, despite blinding glare from the wet road.

An Irish paper breaks down where the country’s political parties stand on bicycling issues. All of which show more support for bikes than both of America’s two major political parties.

Paris offers yet another incentive to get people out of their cars, reimbursing residents up to the equivalent of $660 for buying an ebike or cargo bike.

Damn. A Bali mob beat a man to death over an accusation that he’d stolen a bike helmet; police have been unable to confirm the theft, let alone who did it.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews tells the tale of how Primož Roglič, aka he whose name must be copied and pasted, made the unusual leap from ski jumping to the top of the cycling world.

A writer for Cycling Tips struggles to find hope in the hopeless at the Tour Down Under — or as he calls it, the brushfire tour.

Cycling’s governing body has pulled the plug on China’s Tour of Hainan next month due to fears over the new coronavirus.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to make your bank robbery getaway by bicycle, maybe try something a tad more nimble than a cruiser bike. If you want to go unnoticed after shoving 30 purloined cellphones into your pants, maybe spandex bike shorts aren’t the best choice. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

And if you think a dangerous pass is a good idea, this British cop has some advice for you.

 

Input wanted on improving access to Santa Monica Expo Line station, and yesterday’s ride out honors Kobe Bryant

Santa Monica Spoke is asking for your input on proposed new safety enhancements to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians to the 26th Street/Bergamot Station Expo Line Station in Santa Monica.

The project could be in jeopardy after one business owner in the area complained. Even though it was designed with input from the local business community.

………

Hundreds of bike riders from across the city turned out for the decade’s first ride out.

And paused along the way to honor former LA Laker Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning, along with his daughter and seven other people.

View this post on Instagram

First ride out of the decade #2wheelgang 🥶🥶

A post shared by G PERICO (@bgperico) on

Although similar rides in Fremont don’t seem to be as welcome as they are in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

Tragic news from the world of music, as Mars Volta, Marilyn Manson and Racer X bassist Juan Alderete is in a coma after suffering a serious TBI in a solo bike crash.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

………

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

Someone booby trapped an Australian trail with nail-spiked wine corks hidden under leaves, which could penetrate a shoe or take out a bike tire — or a person in the event of a fall.

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

San Diego police are looking for a BMX-riding arsonist who set fire to a business in the Talmadge neighborhood, causing $1 million damage.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge is now officially open, providing a bike and pedestrian alternative to the nearby Glendale-Hyperion Bridge over the LA River between Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

Rather than the dying commercial district that MarVista NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers would have you believe, the road diet and protected bike lanes that make up the Venice Blvd Great Streets project has resulted in a thriving business district.

An op-ed in the LA Times says ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. And questions why cities aren’t taking advantage of that. No, regular bicycles already claimed that title a long time ago, even if ebikes do offer a number of advantages.

Selena Gomez is one of us, going for a casual bike ride through Studio City.

Bike the Vote LA has endorsed Dan Brotman in his run for Glendale city council.

 

State

Streetsblog says former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler left the not-very-diverse California Transportation Commission due to a conflict of interest, but doesn’t shed much light on the subject.

A San Diego TV station talks with Maya Rosas, Policy Director for Circulate San Diego, about the city’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths within the next five years.

Bicycling catches up on the story of a San Diego man who rode his bike 1,426 miles across the US to meet the parents of a 32-year-old Navy flight surgeon, after receiving the service member’s heart to save his life. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

An Oxnard woman was rushed into surgery after she was struck by a heartless coward who fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.

A 75-year old Pacifica man is in critical condition with major injuries after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

The San Francisco Chronicle offers a timeline of the 114-year effort to ban cars from the city’s iconic Market Street. Or maybe it was really 124 years ago.

 

National

The Motley Fool says you could save as much as $9,000 a year just by kicking your car to the curb.

Forget Vision Zero, a third of US states are expecting an increase in traffic deaths.

Over 80 percent of drivers admit to road rage, while nearly half of all drivers are armed, legally or otherwise. And the other 20% are probably lying. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

Life is cheap in Denver, where a dump truck driver walks without a single day behind bars for the sudden right turn that took the life of a young mother as she rode her bicycle in a bike lane; needless to say, the victim’s family isn’t happy about it.

The Des Moines Register announces the route for this year’s RAGBRAI ride across the state.

The NYPD has finally decided to focus their efforts on unsafe bike riding, instead of targeting everyone on a ebike; ebikes could soon be legal in the state anyway.

New York Jets and former USC QB Sam Darnold may or may not be one of us, but his linemen are after the quarterback bought them all ebikes as a holiday gift.

DC plans to combat the growing clutter on the sidewalk by installing 100 on-street parking corrals for dockless bikes and e-scooters.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider was collateral damage in a street racing crash between two brothers in their 50s, who should have effing known better; now one is dead, along with the bike-riding victim, who was planning to propose to his girlfriend on Valentines Day.

Nearly 200 Miami bicyclists rode in honor of the leader of a local bike club, who was shot to death outside a bike shop three weeks ago while waiting for members to arrive for another ride.

 

International

The BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, pulls the plug on fossil fuels in the prestigious publication.

Cycling Weekly recommends what to buy when you have too much money and need to find some damn thing to spend it on aren’t willing to settle for anything but the best, or at least most expensive, components.

A British Columbia judge rules that yes, bike lanes extend across intersections even when they’re not painted all the way across, and 89-year old drivers don’t have the right to right hook women on bikes.

An Edmonton, Canada soccer player was flown home on Friday after a crowdfunding campaign raised over $136,000 when she was paralyzed from the chest down in a fall while bicycling in Costa Rica.

Local bike riders are often told by non-bike riding NIMBYs that no one will ever ride a bike in a Los Angeles winter. But an Ottawa, Canada bike rider explains how and why he started riding the city’s freezing, snow covered streets.

An English bike paramedic was viciously kicked in the head while tending to a patient last month, something he describes as becoming increasingly common.

A British truck driver got a well deserved three and a half years for killing a bike rider while high on coke and weed, despite playing the nearly universal Get Out of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes.

Congratulations, Critical Massers, you’re now on a counter-terrorism watchlist, at least in the UK.

People in the Belgian city of Ghent seem happy they kicked cars out of the city center.

Aussie cops take their vindictive bike helmet enforcement to a ridiculous extreme, fining bicyclists on a popular beachfront bike path $344 for not wearing a helmet on the offroad trail. That’s what we have to look forward to if helmet laws ever take hold here.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australian Ritchie Porte claims his home country’s WorldTour race, taking the ochre-colored jersey as winner of the Tour of Australia.

Lance Armstrong wants to take you on a bike tour of Mallorca with fellow doper George Hincapie for the low, low price of just $30,000. Or you could go with another world champ and cancer survivor for a bag of dirt.

 

Finally…

When your own backyard is a BMX park. If you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, not the meth.

And if you’re going to use your bicycle as a getaway vehicle after burglarizing a bakery, don’t ride salmon.

And don’t fall off when the cops close in.

………

RIP #8 #24.

And all the other victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash.

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. 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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