Tag Archive for mountain biking

SoCal trails finally reopening, LA traffic cop menaced by Lyft driver, and the war on bikes goes on…and on…and on…

Things are finally starting to open up a little after nearly two months of coronavirus closures in Southern California.

Los Angeles is reopening parks and trails, except for popular Runyon Canyon and the beachfront bike path.

Long Beach is opening up trails this weekend, with the beach bike path through the city set to open on Monday.

Mountain bike advocacy group CORBA reports that LA County trails will be opening this weekend, after Ventura County trails opened earlier in the week.

While LA beaches remain closed, beaches in San Diego and Orange County are opening up for physical activities only; check to make sure the path or trail you want to ride is open before you go.

Remember to maintain social distancing when you ride, particularly on narrow trails. We’ve already seen how quickly things can be closed if we don’t.

And wear a mask if you’re likely to come near other people.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles traffic cop is suing Lyft, alleging that one of their drivers followed and menaced her, while blocking her car in for several minutes before police arrived.

All because she had the audacity to ticket him for parking in a bike lane.

And to make matters worse, he had a paying passenger in the car the whole time he was losing it and threatening her.

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A webinar later this month will teach advocates how to present a compelling story to help get the word out more effectively.

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

A Portland bike rider was shot in the arm by a road raging driver after tapping on the window of the man’s SUV that was parked in a bike lane.

An Amarillo TX driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider who tried to intercede in an argument between the driver and a woman.

No bias here. An anonymous, 80-something British letter writer complains about “arrogant self-opinionated (bike) riders who seem to have no regard for others, laws of the Forest or common decency.” There’s no disputing that some bicyclists are jerks — just like any other form of humanity. But painting with such a broad brush doesn’t help anyone.

Someone deliberately sabotaged a British bike trail by burying several nail-spike boards, which could have caused severe injury if a kid walked on the trail or a bike rider fell on them after suffering a flat.

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Local

A former LA city planner says the city’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate, despite fast-tracking street repairs during the coronavirus lockdown.

DTLA’s dangerous 7th Street is set to get temporary protected bike lanes as an interim test for permanent, curb-protected bike lanes down the road. Let’s hope this one has enough barriers to keep drivers from parking in it, like they do in other downtown “protected” lanes.

Bike Walk Glendale calls for Slow Streets in LA’s neighbor to the north. Or east, depending on your perspective.

Let’s hope this report isn’t right. A Santa Clarita bicyclist was busted for riding under the influence, after blowing a red light with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit. An sheriff’s deputy says the bike rider was cited for driving under the influence, which does not apply to people on bicycles; California has a separate law (CVC 21200.5) prohibiting bicycling under the influence, with a maximum fine of $250 and no points against your driver’s license.

Santa Monica responds to Covid-19 budget cuts by slashing nearly 400 staff positions, as well as the city’s Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

 

State

Streetsblog is hosting a virtual walk-or-bike-athon to raise funds for Streetsblog California and the California Association of Foodbanks.

SoCal bicycling guidebook author Richard Fox expounds on the joys of having the pathways of Palm Desert’s closed Desert Willow golf course all to himself.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Porterville teenager is dead, after getting run down on his bike by a 23-year old hit-and-run driver who was already on probation for a previous DUI; the driver had apparently disabled a required interlock device on his car. A DUI arrest is usually the tip of the iceberg; it’s seldom the first time someone has driven drunk, just the first time they got caught. Which is why any DUI should lead to an automatic loss of license.

The executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says the city is passing up on an opportunity by refusing to install Slow Streets for social distancing. Just like Los Angeles is.

Great idea. San Jose bicyclists will fan out across the city this weekend to distribute flats of seedlings to people in need, so they can begin a vegetable garden.

The San Francisco Ride of Silence scheduled for later this month has been postponed to an undetermined date; no word yet on the status of the LA, Orange and Ventura County rides.

A Vacaville man was busted for bike theft after a bike shop worker spotted him riding a customer’s stolen bicycle.

 

National

Popular Science — yes, it still exists — says Slow Streets not only allow for social distancing, but can prevent traffic surges when cities reopen, and could result in permanent bike-friendly changes. Except in Los Angeles, which is squandering yet another opportunity to improve safety and do something about the city’s crushing traffic and smog.

Lime buys out the competition, and is now the proud owner of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes and scooters, after the rideshare provider unloaded them to offset a portion of their massive $2.9 billion in losses due to Covid-19.

Cycling Tips talks with the founders of Strava about how it got to be, well, Strava.

VeloNews considers when a bonk could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Portland has installed the first one hundred traffic diverters for their Slow Streets program. Which is about one hundred more than Los Angeles.

Not only is Seattle installing Slow Streets, but the city is planning to make at least 20 miles of them permanent.

Slow Streets are proving successful in Salt Lake City, as they move forward with closing additional streets for bike and pedestrian traffic.

Bruce Willis’ six-year old daughter is now one of us, too, after learning how to ride from her half-sister Rumor while the mixed family isolates in Idaho.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle calls for more bike lanes for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Paul MN business owners lost a fight to delay installation of a new bike lane, arguing that the parking spaces that would be lost are needed for take-out customers and delivery drivers during the coronavirus crisis. For a change, they may have a point; while bikes are good for retail businesses — especially bars and restaurants — it helps if they’re actually open to the public.

An occasional bike rider discovers how helpful bicyclists can be, when not one, not two, but three separate Good Samaritans stop to help when he suffered double flats on a Missouri bike trail.

Seriously? A nine-year old Palm Beach kid gets the blame for the crash that killed him; authorities claimed he was momentarily distracted before riding his bike into a construction front loader — even though he managed to leave a five-foot skid mark on the sidewalk. After all, no tractor driver would ever miss a little kid on the sidewalk before turning in front of him, right?

 

International

The demand for bicycles has spiked around the world, both real and stationary. And yes, I did resist the temptation to say pretend.

Apparently, wealthy people are panic buying Pelotons. But don’t forget the indoor cycling shoes. Yes, that’s a thing now. Really.

For those of us with somewhat smaller budgets, Road.cc rates fourteen of the best indoor turbo trainers.

A British Columbia writer proposes paying people not to drive to keep traffic from roaring back once the lockdown ends.

An English cop has been suspended for punching a black bike rider after accusing him of stealing his own bicycle, even though it wasn’t the same color as the missing bike; the same cop kicked a boy in the head a day later.

British world heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is one of us, too.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proclaiming a new Golden Age of cycling, promising full details over the weekend.

A Korean bicyclist is sheltering in Guinea for the next several months after getting caught in the country during the coronavirus outbreak, two years into a round-the-world bike tour — and is shunned by hotels because he is Asian.

A stoned New Zealand driver was sentenced to a measly 26 months in jail for killing a bike rider, nine years after her own son was killed by a drunk driver. Apparently, she didn’t learn anything from her own experience.

A little Aussie boy escapes his dad’s grasp and rides out directly into the path of a roadie, taking them both out.

 

Finally…

Play a little virtual bike tag while you’re under lockdown. Do your next club ride on a rare mid-2000s Colnago time trial bike, or maybe a brand new 1995 BMX.

And nothing to see here. Just Spider-Man on a Penny Farthing.

https://twitter.com/Artfrombikeshed/status/1258501543868993536

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A belated and heartfelt thank you to Mark J for his unexpected Giving Tuesday donation to help support this site. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, so it came as major morale boosting surprise. 

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

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

Don’t mess with women.

Or their bikes.

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

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

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

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

And yes, that’s with insurance.

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

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

Seriously, keep watching after the first one.

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

Work can wait, right?

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

What.

 

Morning Links: New California mountain bike org seeks funding, road raging drivers, and banning cars won’t fix it

The new year brought California a much needed bouncing baby statewide mountain bike organization.

And they’re looking for your help get it off the ground.

CAMTB ANNOUNCES FOUNDER’S FUNDING ROUND

Become a CAMTB Founder

Santa Rosa, Calif. — The California Mountain Biking Coalition is announcing a Founding Donors round of funding. The pending 501(c)4 organization was formed to serve the needs of the mountain bike community andin Sacramento is inviting donors to help build the trail advocacy organization that Californians haveour sport has long needed.

Even though mountain biking was invented in California, until now, every statewide MTB nonprofit has been locally driven. It has become painfully clear, while local advocacy is important, it needs to be buttressed by a statewide voice!  Due to the unique challenges of mountain bike trail advocacy, direct action must be taken towards the state capitol, specifically in lobbying lawmakers, drafting legislation and endorsing candidacies.

Donations from our founders will be used to accomplish the following:

  • Increase the capacity of a statewide trail advocacy organization through strategic planning
  • Create awareness of the issues which limit trail access for local clubs across the state
  • Develop messaging that will foster a positive image of mountain biking to emphasize education, diversity, and healthy lifestyle choices
  • Support lobbying efforts in Sacramento
  • Build an effective and collaborative resource hub for trail advocacy best practices

Please give generously to help us accomplish our mission of, “More trails. Better trails.”

  • $50 or greater donation will receive a CAMTB sticker, a letter from the CAMTB Board and listing on Founders Wall at CAMTB.org
  • $100 or greater donation will receive the above and one CAMTB Founders Tshirt*
  • $500 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB inaugural Summit  (TBA, targeting FALL2020/WINTER2021)
  • $1000 or greater will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB MTB Legislative Strategy Session in Sacramento (late Feb, TBA)
  • $2500 or greater donation will receive the above and a personal visit by one or more of the CAMTB Board and/or Executive Director for a bike ride and private meal.
  • $5000 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB Board retreat (June 2019, Lake Tahoe).

Even though CAMTB is so new the paint isn’t dry, we are already making an impact. We were voted  “Trailforks Advocates of the Year” by PinkBike. The CAMTB Board of Directors is comprised exclusively of experienced, non-profit Mountain Bike Club Leaders from across the state with more than 60 years of combined advocacy experience and an Interim Executive Director who has 30 years of experience in the bike industry. In addition to your financial support, CAMTB is driven by trail & mountain bike volunteers from across the state. You are also invited to get involved. Visit our website to learn how.

Donations to CAMTB are not tax-deductible, t. They support our advocacy and lobbying efforts. CAMTB is a pending non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) organization, EIN #84-3396574.

Check donations gladly accepted.

Payable to: CAMTB

PO BOX 1123

Santa Rosa, CA  95402

To donate online, go to: http://camtb.org/donate.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles man remains in a coma after he was knocked out by a road raging driver and his passengers with a single punch in Van Nuys on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, a road raging Milwaukee driver stopped and shot two young kids for throwing snowballs at his car; fortunately, they will both be okay.

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They get it.

The Brookings Institute says just banning cars from new developments won’t solve the problem, until we rethink cities to reduce the need for long trips.

Meanwhile, Toyota is attempting their take on it by building a prototype smart city where cars are pushed to the outskirts, unless they can drive themselves.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

An Ontario, Canada man loses his car and driver’s license for a whole seven days for driving the equivalent of 135 mph in a 65 mph zone.

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Tesla head honcho Elon Musk makes waves with two letters, apparently promising to add tech to prevent doorings in a future upgrade.

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

When an Austin TX woman paused at a coffee shop to adjust her bike, a visibly stoned man drank her coffee, then hurled a log at her. Confirming the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Speak softly and throw a large stick.

Unbelievable. Washington man claims self-defense for running over a bicyclist with his car — after flipping the bike rider off for “staring at him” — claiming he struck the victim before the man could assault him. Which he had no intention of doing.

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Local

Road diets work. Santa Monica reports a 71% decrease in severe injury collisions on formerly dangerous Ocean Park Blvd since implementing the improvements.

Speaking of Santa Monica, the LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke are hosting a MetroBEST beginning bike safety class in the city this weekend.

 

State

Learn more about SoCal’s WheelTales bike tours with a pair of Inland Empire meetings in the coming weeks.

Talk about burying the lede. A Sacramento TV station says police are looking for a vehicle that struck a Stockton bicyclist last week. Except he was killed, not just struck. And chances are, that vehicle probably had a driver.

 

National

Location, location, location. A new study shows that, like real estate, the success or failure of bikeshare systems depends primarily on the location of the docks; the most successful location is within four blocks of a transit station.

Now you, too, can own a rare 1903 ped-assist gas-powered bicycle, up for auction in Las Vegas later this month.

A Utah family is mourning a second loss, after someone stole the tricked out ‘bent belonging to their late father and grandfather. On the other hand, it says something that the thief broke into the garage and stole the bike, but left the car.

A Washington mountain bike maker is moving to my former Iditarod-running brother’s new western Colorado hometown. No doubt they were drawn by his expertise in sled dog racing, mountain biking and bike touring across the West. And the nearby corgi breeders, of course.

A Dallas magazine questions how the city can make its Vision Zero plan work when so many others — including Los Angeles — are failing. For one, they need to actually implement the plan, rather than resorting to wishful thinking like LA.

A Kansas City councilwoman is under fire for responding to the death of a popular bike rider by saying the city’s bicycle infrastructure plan really isn’t a priority.

Now that’s a degree you can put to use. A Minnesota state college is offering a program in bicycle design and fabrication.

As if their jobs weren’t dangerous enough, 24 New York food delivery workers have had their ebikes jacked in the last four months. That’s not counting the ones seized by police, in a city where throttle-controlled ebikes remain illegal.

Apparently, New York’s mayor doesn’t need any facts or stats to decide those ebikes are dangerous; he appears to be more than happy to settle for self-delusion common sense.

A DC app allows bike riders and pedestrians to report bad driver behavior to the proper authorities, and check to see how many infractions the driver has racked up using that car. Let’s hope that goes nationwide soon.

After Mobile, Alabama conducted a road diet on a local parkway, going from five lanes to three with bike lanes on either side, people just started driving in the bike lanes, instead.

 

International

Rouleur considers the success of collaborations between bike and car makers.

A Toronto bike lawyer could use his own services after nearly getting beaten to death by a road raging driver and his passenger last New Years, then getting hit by a driver while riding to a rehab appointment.

A UK website says riding a cargo bike is like driving an SUV, only cooler, and backs it up with a very bizarre looking Japanese entry. Unless maybe you’d rather have a $4,000, 30 mph scooter made by the owner of the LA Times.

Germany’s Canyon Bicycles was the victim of a massive cyber attack over the weekend; their North American operations were reportedly unaffected.

An Australian mountain bike maker promises to plant a tree for every bike they sell, anywhere around the world. Those trees could come in handy after the country’s devastating fires.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome denies rumors he left his team’s training camp after just two days, or that the lingering effects of the injuries he suffered at last year’s Criterium du Dauphine will keep him out of this year’s Tour de France.

The Radavist has details on this weekend’s LA Tourist Race.

 

Finally…

Who wants to be the first to trade the family SUV for a $8,800 three-wheeled, solar-powered, ped-assist e-rickshaw? If your ride isn’t on Strava, did it really happen?

And the next time you’re run down by a hit-and-run driver, maybe call the police before you walk home and take a nap.

 

Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Morning Links: The real reasons bike riders keep dying, $100k OCTA bike safety grant, and Oaxaca Day of the Dead race

Last week, Peter Flax explained why the NTSB — the National Transportation Safety Board — was wrong about their call for mandatory bike helmets to cut the rising rate of bicycling fatalities.

This week he’s back to spell out the real reasons people are dying on our streets.

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

He starts by recounting the last decade’s decline in bicycling deaths.

Then this.

The situation seemed great—until it wasn’t great. Right around 2011, things started arcing in the wrong direction. In 2010, a total of 618 cyclists were killed—hardly miraculous, but the lowest toll in at least 40 years. Then every year after that, the number of casualties has gotten progressively worse. The newly released 2018 statistics mean that the fatality rate for riders has risen 37 percent in just nine years—and NHTSA data indicate that the death rate for urban and female cyclists has soared even more.

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade.

It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the real problems are, and why we keep dying.

And do something about it.

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Orange County’s OCTA announces a grant to improve bicycle safety and education.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety classes and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.

The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.

“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Council member in La Habra. “OTS has provided grant funding for the past three years to develop programs improving conditions for walking and biking, and ongoing grant funding will help us with one of our primary goals of reinforcing safety throughout Orange County.

Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
  • Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
  • Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians

The need for increased safety training is clear. Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise for the past decade.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

The pedestrian and bicycle safety program and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2020. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, and to stay updated on where classes are being scheduled, visit octa.net/bike.

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The LACBC is looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights to riders who don’t have them in Koreatown next week.

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Tune into Bike Talk at 6 pm tonight to hear, and maybe chat with, Juli Briskman, the Virginia woman who lost her job after flipping off Trump’s motorcade.

And responded by running for office — and winning.

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

A 13-year old New York boy credits an Emergency 911 app on his phone with scaring off a group of older boys on bikes who tried to rob him.

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Local

A 35-year old Fontana man was arrested for a Pasadena hit-and-run that left a juvenile bike rider hospitalized with critical injuries; he was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI resulting in serious injury or death. Let’s all say a pray or offer best wishes that the kid makes a full and fast recovery.

People for Bikes invites you to join the weekly Ride and Pint mountain bike ride rolling out of Pedlar’s Fork in Calabasas every Thursday. You can find it, and other great rides, through their Ride Spot app.

The future of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is in doubt as it faces stiff competition from dockless bikeshares; the city will have to fork over $225,000 in subsidies just to keep it operating for the next year. West Hollywood has already pulled the plug on its money-losing sister operation.

 

State

Seven Orange County communities will host the first Meet on the Beach festival, offering a carfree open streets experience along 1.5 miles of Beach Blvd to reimagine what the street could be. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads up.

Temecula is opening a new pump track bike park this Tuesday.

A new 32-page manual put together by a pair of San Francisco advocacy groups explains how to build protected bike lanes that work for everyone, including pedestrians and disabled people.

The long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open tomorrow, despite continued efforts in some quarters to convert it to a yet another lane for motor vehicles. Because everyone knows just one more traffic lane will solve all our traffic problems forever.

 

National

EcoWatch makes the case for why your next car will be a bike.

Joe Biden attempts to boost his run for president with a new infrastructure plan that’s heavy on high-speed rail, transit and bicycling.

An Oregon Republican proves conservatives can support bicycling, too, as he announces his run for Congress.

Be careful carrying that bike. A 74-year old Detroit man was found dead after he fell down the stair while trying to carry his mountain bike up them.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls for eliminating free parking to pay for free transit.

Britain’s Beryl bikeshare brand makes a beachhead in New York’s Staten Island, booting Lime and Jump; meanwhile, Lyft is pulling the plug on their e-scooter operations in six smaller market cities.

After a Virginia boy’s new bike was stolen, his bighearted neighbors pitched in to buy him a new one. Stories like this remind us that there’s still a lot of good in this world, despite how it may seem these days.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man says he needs a miracle to keep giving thousands of refurbished bikes to kids in need, after the building housing the nonprofit was sold and the new owner jacked his rent up over $100 grand a year.

 

International

Cars could be killing us even without touching us. A new study has linked pollution from motor vehicles to brain cancer for the first time.

Bicycle Retailer reminds us that Trump’s trade war with China is still going strong, and the bikes are losing.

Your next bike helmet could be a custom-made, 3D printed number with individual hexagon-shaped crumple zones that the company says is safer than MIPS or WaveCel — if you have an extra $390 on hand.

A writer for Gear Patrol offers lessons learned from Trek’s mountain bike camp at the Whistler resort in British Columbia.

A pair of British doctors set a new Guinness record for circumnavigating the globe on a tandem bike, covering 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours, breaking the previous men’s record by nine days.

He gets it. An Irish letter writer reminds the anti-bike crowd that roads are a public service that we all pay for.

A European bikemaker came up with a smart, if somewhat creepy and invasive, sales promotion, scanning Paris license plates to determine how much CO2 each car puts out, and using that figure to offer the owner a discount on a new bicycle.

Tom Vanderbilt explains how he went from riding solo to taking his family along, thanks to a trip to Italy.

Now that’s more like it. A stoned, speeding Australian driver will spend the next 11 years behind bars and be prohibited from driving for two decades after walking away from the crash that killed a Dutch woman riding a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Cyclist magazine recalls the Motorola team that rose from the ashes of America’s late, great 7-11 team after the convenience chain declared bankruptcy — including the tragic death of Italy’s Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates cycling team is considering legal action against Croatian pro Kristijan Đurasek following his four-year ban for doping. But cycling officials keep telling us the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can get your very own ebike branded by your favorite soccer team — as long as your favorite team is Paris Saint-Germain. When your round-the-world bike trip gets interrupted by a water-logged passport, just fly home and get a new one.

And nothing like a little Dia de los Muertos mountain bike racing in the middle of Oaxaca.

 

Morning Links: DIY red cup protected bike lanes today, LA traffic deaths up despite Vision Zero, and a busy bike weekend

It’s National Red Cup Project Day. 

So go out and stake out your own protected bike lane by using your favorite brand of plastic red cups to mark your favorite bike lane for just a few bucks.

And knowing LA drivers, for just a few minutes before they run them over anyway.

But still.

Then send me the photos or video, and I’ll post them on here.

………

Good piece from the LA Times’ Laura Nelson, who writes that, despite Vision Zero, traffic fatalities are up significantly in Los Angeles; advocates blame inaction by the city and a lack of commitment to improve safety if it means inconveniencing drivers.

I’d say that about sums it up.

………

It’s a busy bike weekend in the LA area.

Culver City is looking for volunteers to clean up Ballona Creek on Saturday, presumably including the bike path.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosts his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride in Reseda Saturday morning.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event takes place on Saturday, as well.

And the ever-popular CicLAvia rolls through the streets of Wilmington on Sunday, with their first event of 2015.

………

KCBS-2 looks forward to Monday’s arrival of LA’s first two-way bike lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

Although unlike the photo they use to illustrate the story, it probably won’t be cobbled.

………

Kindhearted Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies surprised a young boy with a new bike after his was stolen; credit the local Bicycle John’s outpost for donating the bike.

Thanks to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

Speaking of Santa Clarita, the city’s mayor looks forward to next month’s visit by the Amgen Tour of California, while encouraging residents to explore the city by bicycle.

And a columnist for The Signal decries a “relative bloodbath of pedestrian and bicycle accidents” in the area, saying more must be done to improve safety, especially on busy six-lane McBean Parkway.

………

Today’s common theme: mountain bikes.

Recently retired football great Rob Gronkowski is one of us; Bicycling offers a little unsolicited advice as he takes up mountain biking.

Congratulations to gun maker Smith & Wesson, whose attempt to enter the mountain bike market ranks 41st on USA Today’s list of the 50 worst product flops of all time.

Finishing our mountain bike trifecta, Outside offers seven tips for beginning mountain bikes, whether or not they answer to Gronkowski.

But wait, there’s more!

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting takes a docent-led mountain bike tour through the volunteer-managed Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which he says most people have never heard of, even though at 40,000 acres it’s nearly as big as Bryce Canyon National Park and even more spectacular.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 is the latest LA news outlet to look at the city’s new program to install permanent memorials to fallen bicyclists.

A former LA city planner states the obvious, suggesting that LA traffic congestion is only going to get worse and that solutions like walking and biking remain woefully underfunded, without the safe infrastructure necessary to make them work. However, he also blames increased density and transit oriented development, as well as reduced parking requirements, calling them frauds, without citing evidence to back it up.

An op-ed in the LA Daily News says California drivers won’t willingly give up their cars.

This is who we share the beach with. A woman tells what it was like to get run over by an LAPD SUV while sunbathing on Venice Beach.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program could be on the chopping block due to competition from dockless bikes and e-scooters, as the city faces budget cuts and layoffs under a program to speed payment of its $448 million unfunded pension liability. 

He gets it. An op-ed from the vice chair of the Long Beach Transit board of directors says everyone deserves safe streets.

This is who we share the roads with. A Long Beach bus driver faces charges for sideswiping more than a dozen cars while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Signal Hill police will be cracking down on violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians net month.

 

State

California’s Complete Streets bill moves forward after passing through the Senate Transportation Committee; SB127 would require Caltrans to consider the safety of all road users on any state-owned road.

That’s more like it. An El Cajon woman driving with a suspended license got three years behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a nine-year old boy who was riding his bike to school.

A San Diego TV station says bike riders and skaters at a new pump track think the park isn’t big enough for both of them.

A 75-year old Indian Wells man was hospitalized with significant injuries after he somehow crashed into the back of a parked city van Thursday morning.

Riverside sheriff’s deputies are still on the lookout for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 21-year old Eastvale man as he was biking home from work five years ago; deputies originally arrested a man who admitted to driving while “drunk out of his mind” and thought he had hit something that night, but phone records placed him miles from the crash site.

The speeding driver in the Sunnyvale crash who intentionally rammed eight pedestrians and bike riders as they waited at a red light was reportedly suffering from PTSD from his time in the Army; witnesses said they heard him repeatedly moan “Thank you, Jesus” following the crash.

 

National

A tax bill pending in Congress could mean an extra $53 a month in your pocket for commuting by bike.

Fast Company says people only realized just how much they’d miss ebikes after they were taken away.

Breaking a sweat today can provide health benefits up to a decade later.

An Oregon weekly offers its annual bicycling edition, with stories ranging from BMX and gravel grinding to low stress bicycle networks.

Phoenix says what’s a few traffic deaths between friends, bucking the national trend by voting not to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

A new study from an Arizona professor recommends leading bicycle intervals or split LBIs to reduce the risk of collisions with right-turning drivers.

Colorado comedian Wally Wallace discusses the second edition of his bicycle and comedy festival in tiny Trinidad CO, choosing the city of slightly more than 8,000 people because it’s halfway between Los Angeles and Chicago by train.

A Boise, Idaho bike cop is about to log 100,000 miles on his bike.

A Minneapolis transportation columnist says if you want a happy commute, travel by bicycle.

The NYPD is cracking down on red light-running bike riders, after a woman suffered a fractured skull that left her in a coma when she was struck by a food delivery rider who blew through the light. Seriously, unless you live in Idaho or Arkansas, stop for the damn red light, already — especially when pedestrians are present.

A DC website says it’s very charitable to conclude that the cop who hit a bike rider as he rode in a crosswalk actually had the right-of-way, as the local police insist.

Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a speeding driver who killed an 18-year old basketball star while he was riding his bike walked with just 75 days behind bars — and even that was suspended.

A travel writer visiting New Orleans says bikeshare is a surprisingly good way to tour the city.

 

International

Research papers usually tell just half the story about exercise science, since they too often leave women out of the equation, according to a Cycling Weekly writer.

Heartbreaking video from England, where a balance bike-riding three-year old became collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers; remarkably, the truck driver who killed him was cleared of wrongdoing. Evidently, road rage is perfectly legal in the UK, even if it kills an innocent person.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Britain, where a “remorseless” hit-and-run driver walks without a single day behind bars for leaving a triathlete with serious injuries after deliberately cutting in front of her bike — and saying she deserved it, calling it karma, for the crime of delaying his car for a few moments. Let’s wish him well, because karma’s got a nasty way of coming back to bite you in the ass.

Seriously? Japan Today points out the dangers of reckless bicycling, while noting that police blame bike riders for “nearly 100%” of crashes with pedestrians. While we have an obligation to ride safely around people on foot, anyone who’s ever had someone step off a curb or turn around in front of them knows that’s pretty damned unlikely.

The Japanese man whose wife and three-year old daughter were killed when their bike was struck by an 87-year old driver calls attention to elderly people who can no longer drive safely. We’ve got to find a better way to identify unsafe drivers and take the keys out of their hands. Because despite what Elon Musk says, self-driving cars are a long way off.

 

Finally…

When you’re sexually harassed by your e-scooter.  Here’s your chance to tour Winterfell by bike.*

And yes, I would.

In a heartbeat.

*dragons not included

Guest Posts: An attack on children and mountain biking, and LACBC response to last week’s FedEx bike death

Sorry to disappear on you this week. 

My St. Patrick’s Day was interrupted by a sudden sharp pain, a panicked trip to the emergency room, and an unplanned stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Where their firewall somehow prevented me from logging into this site. Not that I was capable of doing much in my morphine-induced haze, anyway.

Now I’m finally back home, a handful of kidney stones, a few pounds and a couple thousand bucks lighter.

I’m still trying to shake the last of that drug fog and make up for some lost sleep, so let’s skip the Morning Links one more day, and catch up on a couple of recent guest posts.

First up is a one from Mike Vandeman arguing against allowing kids to take up mountain biking. While it’s not something I agree with in any way, I’ll let him make his case. As he said in an email to me, you can’t argue with facts. We’ll let you decide just what those facts are.

Next, I had planned to share the LACBC’s press release on the tragic death of Elisa Gomez in Monday’s post, so we’ll finish with that today. As you’ll recall, Gomez was killed by a FedEx driver who pulled out from a stop sign while she was directly in front of his truck, then run over after he failed to stop, and fled the scene. A suspect was taken into custody, but no word on an arrest.

Then barring any unexpected setbacks, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Morning Links tomorrow.

………

Children and Mountain Biking

by Mike Vandeman, mjvande@pacbell.net

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking,
besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is
extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very
first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13!
Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told,
mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1)
they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural
areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand
and object to this activity. For 600+ examples of serious accidents
and deaths caused by mountain biking, see
http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996:
http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm. It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to
say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have
EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that
good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more
harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and
that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle
the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited,
and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see
http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm). I found that of the seven studies
they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every
case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to
the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided
mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not
favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches
kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s
good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm.

Note: It’s the policy of this site not to post personal contact information; however, Mike Vandeman’s email address has been included at his request.

………

LACBC CALLS ON OFFICIALS TO ACT FOR SAFER STREETS: 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON BICYCLE KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday morning, Elisa Gomez was hit by a delivery truck southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and left to die in the middle of the street. The 54-year-old bicyclist was riding Eastbound on Washington Avenue at around 8:30 in the morning and was struck from behind by a FedEx delivery truck, which then sped away. This tragedy is indicative of the grim realities faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on our county’s streets.

Los Angeles County is known as the “hit-and-run capital of the nation” with 50% of all traffic crashes categorized as “hit-and-run.” The national average is 11%. In 2015, over 28,000 hit-and-run crashes were reported across the county. That averages out to one hit-and-run crash every 18 minutes in Los Angeles County, a number that glaringly shows the risks faced by those walking or biking in our county.

Making streets safer for all road users has to be a priority for the City of Los Angeles,” stated LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen. “Simple steps can be taken to calm traffic and make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking. We know how it do it — other cities have shown immense progress building infrastructure to decrease speeds, make turns safer, and build a city at a human scale. Angelenos deserve safe streets and they deserve elected officials willing to show real leadership to make it happen.

Elisa was killed a block away from the Washington Blue Line Metro station southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. In 2017, LACBC partnered with other community organizations and Metro to conduct community engagement along the Blue Line to assess the safety and access needs for people walking and biking to stations. LACBC chose to focus on Washington Station, an area surrounded by the High Injury Network, to work to prevent tragedies such as these. Currently, Metro is using the data collected through this process to apply for funding to make infrastructure improvements identified by the community.

The widely-accepted belief that people dying on our streets is inevitable is a false one. These tragedies are wholly preventable, and that’s why we call them “crashes” and not “accidents.” LACBC calls upon our city and elected officials to be leaders for safe streets and commit to adequately funding and implementing initiatives like Vision Zero. Without their leadership, Elisa Gomez will not be the last bicyclist who will be killed on Los Angeles streets.

I reached out to Jansen for further comment, and received the following response.

Elisa Gomez didn’t have to die. While the driver is ultimately responsible for running her down and leaving her to die on the pavement, her death could have been prevented by ensuring Angelenos have access to safe streets. We know how to make streets safe, and Elisa Gomez deserved elected officials willing to show real leadership to end traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. We need action, and not just another plan sitting on a shelf.

It’s good to see the LACBC take an active lead in fighting for safer streets. Because if there’s any good that can come from this senseless tragedy, it will be keeping it from happening to someone else.

Mountain biker found dead after being missing overnight in Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Mountain biking is usually a safe sport, resulting in nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises.

Yet for the second time in less than ten days, a mountain biker has been killed riding on an off-road trail in the Inland Empire.

According to KABC-7, 43-year old Long Beach resident Sokha Pho was found dead today in a remote region off the Raptor Ridge Trail in Carbon Canyon Regional Park, just over the San Bernardino County line from Orange County.

However, KCBS-2 places the location in Chino Hills State Park.

The station reports he had gone riding yesterday morning, and relatives called authorities when he did not return as expected yesterday afternoon. Rescuers from Orange and San Bernardino Counties conducted a search by foot, vehicle and air before spotting his body around 2:30 pm, suffering from obvious signs of trauma.

Commenters on a member’s only Facebook group said the trail, which is normally safe, was overgrown with foliage and virtually impassible; one rider told me she decided not to ride the trail yesterday because she couldn’t get through the overgrowth.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.

Correction: KABC-7 originally identified the trail as Rafter Ridge, rather than Raptor Ridge. I’ve changed the story to reflect the correct location. Thanks to Bob for the catch.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sokha Pho and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Murrieta mountain biker killed in trail riding fall last Saturday

The Murrieta Patch is reporting that a mountain biker has died after losing control of his bike on a local trail.

Sixty-five-year old Murrieta resident Dennis Fabozzi was reportedly trailing a group of riders around 1 pm Saturday on a dirt trail near Tenaja Road and Via Volcano, when he fell and struck his head on a rock, resulting in a serious neck injury.

Witnesses performed CPR until paramedics arrived; however, he died at the scene without regaining consciousness.

The story notes that he was wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, that would have done nothing to protect his neck from blunt force trauma.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Dennis Fabozzi and all his loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker found dead after search in Angeles National Forest

An overnight ground and air search for a missing mountain biker led to bad news in the hills above Altadena.

According to KCBS-2, a Torrance man was found dead in the Angeles National Forrest around 10:30 Saturday morning, after going missing while riding on Friday.

The victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead after his body was discovered on the Brown Mountain Truck Trail.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, which suggests he may have died of natural causes, or perhaps succumbed to exposure from being lost on the mountainside overnight.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Pasadena Star News reports that, contrary to the earlier report, the victim did show trauma consistent with a fall. His body was discovered a short distance from his bike, which had been spotted by a hiker around 10 am about three miles up the trail. 

He had gone for a ride Friday morning; a search was initiated at 9 pm Friday when his cellphone was traced to an SUV parked at the trailhead.

Update 2: SFV Media identifies the victim as 49-year old Torrance resident Evan Bruce Sisson. The site reports he was discovered partway down a cliff, with his bike at the base.

Update 3: The LA County Coroner confirmed that Sission died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, rather than a fall.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Evan Bruce Sisson and his loved ones.

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