Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

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LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

………

The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

………

This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

………

Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

………

Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

………

Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

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Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

………

Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

………

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

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

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Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

………

A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

Morning Links: Triathlete killed in crash during race, bicyclist talks abductor into freeing her, and Riverside cyclist t-boned

Just a quick warning.

We’ve got some rough stories to start with today. So you might want to skip the first few items if you don’t want to deal with that this morning.

………

A triathlete was killed when she was run down by a semi while competing in the bicycle portion of the Ohio 70.3 Ironman triathlon.

Police say the right lane of a highway was coned off to provide a safety zone for competitors, but for some reason she was outside the safety zone.

Which apparently made her fair game.

Never mind that organizers somehow thought a few orange cones would offer sufficient protection from high-speed traffic and heavy trucks.

Or that no one participating in a race would go outside the cones to, say, pass other participants.

Meanwhile, Stephen Collins points out the sheer idiocy of noting that the victim was wearing a helmet, as if that would somehow protect her from getting run over by a massive truck.

Or that the driver was wearing his seatbelt.

Seriously.

Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels.

………

In another outrageous story, an Australian triathlete was knocked off her bike by the driver of a delivery van, bound with electrical tape, then kidnapped and driven to a rundown house on the outskirts of town where she was stripped and beaten.

Yet somehow, 27-year old triathlete and former cycling champ Nathalie Birli managed to talk her abductor into releasing her — by complimenting his orchids.

Police later used the GPS on her racing bike to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Let’s hope they toss him in a very deep hole until he gets the help he obviously needs.

Meanwhile, Megan Lynch reminds us that this case is eerily reminiscent of the killing of American biologist Dr. Suzanne Eaton on Crete, who was struck twice with a motor vehicle before the driver abducted and raped her, then abandoned her in a World War II bunker to die.

The difference is that Birli was able to talk her way out of it.

Raising the question of just what the fuck is wrong with these people?

As well as just how easy it is to turn a motor vehicle into a weapon.

………

Robs Muir forwards a Facebook post reminding us all to be careful out there, after a Riverside bicyclist was t-boned by a stop sign-running driver.

But aren’t the people on two wheels supposed to be the dangerous ones who run stop signs and jeopardize all those poor, innocent motorists?

Maybe not so much.

………

Evidently, Denver has some pretty spectacular NIMBYs, too.

Even after a woman was killed by a garbage truck driver while riding her bike, residents of the street she was killed on still oppose a bike lane.

So a local newscaster called them out, suggesting that maybe they shouldn’t argue for the aesthetic appeal parking while bodies are lifted off the street.

………

He makes a good point.

………

Unbelievable.

A Milwaukee bicyclist was the victim of a strong-arm robbery while he was competing in a 24-hour race, after a man confronted him, then wrestled his bike away and rode off with it.

………

 

Local

Los Angeles looks to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA and Vernon, creating a single 32-mile pathway in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The Long Beach Post goes riding with the Pedal Movement bike tour to visit the Pow! Wow! murals of the city.

 

State

Police in San Diego will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today. So the usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

San Diego bike riders remember a fallen bicyclist a year after he was killed while inexplicably riding on a busy freeway.

A San Diego op-ed says everything is fine, just keep on driving and don’t let those bad, bad bureaucrats force you onto a bike or transit.

One last item from the self-proclaimed America’s Finest City, as Good Samaritans chased down a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light and knocked down a bike rider; the victim refused to go to the hospital, despite suffering a head injury.

A San Francisco op-ed by the head of Policy Initiatives for dockless e-scooter provider Spin says it’s time to rebuild cities for people, not cars.

Horrible tragedy in Turlock, where a bike rider was killed on the way to the hospital when the ambulance he was riding in after getting hit by a car rolled over when it was hit by a truck driver; five other people were injured. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Davis columnist says the city was dissed in PeopleForBikes ranking of California’s top ten bicycling cities, which was topped by San Diego and didn’t include Davis at all.

After seven year’s, Truckee’s bike park is still going strong.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling asks drivers if their time is really more important than his life. That loud roar you hear is impatient drivers across the US screaming “yes!”

An expert on autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence suggests the solution to getting more kids to ride bicycles is to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road — which will presumably be safer and not bang into them as much. I won’t hold my breath. Especially since current AVs have a problem recognizing and avoiding people on bicycles.

A pair of Oregon women spent their Saturday night shoplifting from TJ Maxx, then running down a bike rider as they made their getaway, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

An Iowa priest overcame a stroke to take part in this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, with the help of friends and a ‘bent built for two.

Former Texas congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s dad was one of us, hopefully passing along his passion for bicycling across the country, as well as his ability to lose well.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers rode borrowed bicycles to training camp, as area kids competed to to get their heroes attention and loan them their bikes.

A Chicago alderman wants to ban bikes on the city’s popular Riverwalk. Or maybe just the entire city.

The spirit of Major Taylor is energizing a Minnesota bike club, as they try to get more African Americans on bicycles.

She gets it. A St. Louis letter writer politely excoriates the local paper for calling a bike-car crash an accident.

Pennsylvania kids as young as 13 say the Bike Life movement helps keep them off drugs and out of trouble, even if they annoy the crap out of drivers when they swarm the streets.

Streetsblog says the Green Wave plan presented by New York’s mayor is “long-overdue — and not truly visionary,” but should make a clear difference, while the Daily News says now its up to the mayor to actually deliver on his promises.

No bias here. The traditionally anti-bike New York Post says in response to the previous news that “bike supremacy” is ruining the city, with “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.” Never mind that bike lanes don’t take an inch from sidewalks. Or that bike delivery people who use those bike lanes are just doing their jobs, just like the delivery drivers the Post champions. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Aussie model Jordan Barrett is one of us, illegally riding on a New York sidewalk on a bikeshare bike with his newly bleached hair.

A North Carolina bridge dedicated to a fallen bike rider finally gets a plaque in his honor, 28 years after he died.

An Atlanta columnist kind of makes fun of Atlanta’s people protected bike lane last week but manages to get through the entire piece without saying much of anything. Although the protesters called it an LIT lane, for Light Individual Transport, to include scooters and other forms of micromobility.

 

International

An Ottawa newspaper succumbs to a severe case of both side-ism, telling everyone to act like adults and not attack one another when it comes to bicycle safety. Except the attacks were coming from a city councilor in response to bike riders saying they don’t want to get killed.

Speaking at a 288-mile fundraising ride in her honor, the family of assassinated British Member of Parliament Jo Cox says the country’s politics has gotten more toxic since she was killed by a far-right gunman.

Victoria’s Secret model Alexina Graham is sort of one of us, posing for a UK photoshoot astride a bicycle in the very practical riding attire of work boots and a tiny red bikini.

No, it’s not the English bikeshare system that failed when only 25 of the 5,000 promised bikes were ever delivered in the first place, it’s the people running it.

A doctor from the UK raised the equivalent of over $130,000 for a breast cancer charity by competing on a two-man team in the Race Across America.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a member of Parliament who champions the benefits of bicycling and walking as the country’s new roads minister.

An Edinburgh couple agreed to bike around the world in their initial Tinder message; 18 months and 19,000 miles — and one Yosemite marriage — later, they’ve made it back home.

Evidently, banning cars is more popular than they thought. Madrid’s new mayor is backing off a campaign pledge to reverse the ban on cars in the city center after a citizen backlash rises to defend it.

Four New Zealand bicyclists ended up in the hospital following a car-free crash at “reasonably high speed” while on a club ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Egan Bernal won this year’s Tour de France after gaining the lead in a controversial finish to stage 19, when organizers stopped the race early after hail covered the the course leading up to the finish, depriving France’s Julian Alaphilippe the opportunity to make up for lost time and defend his yellow jersey.

Newsweek tells you everything you need to know about Egan Bernal but were afraid to ask.

Team Ineos — the former Team Sky — marked Bernal’s win by turning Bernal’s bike yellow down to the water bottles, with special yellow-accented kits for his teammates.

Bernal says he doesn’t even know how to describe the feeling of happiness his victory gave him.

Billboard celebrates Bernal’s win with five bicycle-themed songs, most of which are, appropriately, in Spanish.

The Guardian says the only surprise is that it took a Columbian so long to win the Tour de France. Or anyone from South America, for that matter.

It wasn’t just Bernal. Bicycling lists the winners of all four categories that are celebrated with a colored jersey.

The pain of crashing out of the Tour with serious injuries is more than just physical. Especially when you’re carrying the hopes of the home country on your shoulders.

Outside says the motor-doping tests at the Tour de France are a joke, accusing officials of just going through the motions rather than actually looking for motors on competitors bikes.

Canadian Michael Woods became the first person to both run a sub-four minute mile and finish the Tour de France.

Gear Patrol questions when athletic gear so innovative it might be cheating should be banned from the sport, like Graeme Obree’s record-setting homemade track bikes.

 

Finally…

Never leave your bigass truck unlocked with the keys inside, or someone on a bike may ride up, toss his bike in the back and drive off with it. Pedal your bike up to your secluded treehouse; no, literally up.

And seriously, if drivers can’t see a rider on a one-ton horse, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

 

Morning Links: Metro talks congestion pricing, induced demand goes both ways, and FilmedByBike this Sat

Metro’s board of supervisors considered congestion pricing to discourage driving and fund the 28 by 28 initiative at their monthly meeting on Thursday, but decided not to decide until next month.

The plan would provide funding to complete 28 transit projects in time for the 2028 LA Olympics. Metro’s CEO has also discussed using congestion pricing funds to provide free bus and train rides throughout the LA area.

LA’s ever-worsening traffic congestion means we have a choice between encouraging people to leave their cars behind by making it more convenient to ride a bike or use transit, or taking painful steps to force them to.

But the city’s ever-present NIMBYs, entitled drivers and traffic safety deniers have fought to block bike lanes, and too many spineless city officials have caved in to them.

So now congestion pricing is on the table. Whether they like it or not.

………

More evidence that induced demand goes both ways.

The Seattle Times looks into where the 90,000 drivers who formerly used the city’s shorefront Alaskan Way Viaduct every day went once it was closed down, and before the new tunnel meant to replace it opens.

The paper concludes that some drivers moved to another highway, some switched to transit, and some took to their bicycles.

But most, they say, either changed their commutes, or simply stayed home.

………

Looks like LAist and LA Magazine know a good thing when they see them.

LAist recommends The Frogtown Show comedy night at the Spoke Bicycle Cafe along the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley Saturday Night.

And both recommend FilmedByBike — Los Angeles at the Boomtown Brewery in Aliso Village on Sunday. Admission includes two movie screenings, a panel discussion, raffle and 25 exhibitors with bike demos. Correction: Earlier I wrote it was on Saturday; it’s actually Sunday. Thanks to Joe Linton for the correction.

………

An impatient driver forced his way through an Oakland protest, running over a bicycle — after the rider jumped off — then ran over the leg of a blind homeless man, while driving on the sidewalk.

Remarkably, no arrest was made, as police appeared to make excuses for the driver.

You can see some of the event below, despite the shaky camera work.

………

You can’t keep a good man down.

Or off an arena with his camera crew, evidently.

A British court ruled that YouTube star Ryan Taylor can legally post video of his scofflaw BMX ride on top of London’s massive O2 Arena.

Even if it encourages others to copy his dangerous stunt.

And eve if his ride was interrupted by a police helicopter.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. A woman was arrested for killing a MacArther Park pedestrian Wednesday night; the victim was walking in a crosswalk when he was run down by the driver, who was viewing messages using WhatsApp.

LADOT is hosting a mixer for community-based organizations and community leaders on February 19, from 3 to 6 pm.

More on the selection of homegrown Long Beach bike service provider Pedal Movement to operate and expand the city’s bikeshare program.

State

Santa Cruz, which already has the state’s second-highest bike commuting rate, will raise downtown parking fees to finance efforts to further increase bike and transit use.

Bay Area bike riders say not so fast to plans to steal back a long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and give it to the same drivers who claim the other five lanes.

A San Francisco TV station honors Richmond’s Rich City Rides for its work building community around bicycle rides and projects.

National

Entrepreneur talks with William Shatner, the new captain of the starship Pedego.

No bias here. A Seattle website accuses “anti-car ideologues” at area DOTs of forcing bicycles on an unwilling populace.

Oh, well that’s okay, then. A hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider in Salt Lake City told police he fled the scene because he was scared. Even if that was the case, he should have turned himself in the next day — after he sobered up, most likely.

A 19-year old Wyoming man’s self-funded film captures the spirit of freeride mountain biking.

Dallas isn’t afraid of road diets, unlike a certain SoCal city I could name. The Texas city approved plans to reduce a major streets from six lanes to four to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks. The same sort of six-to-four lane reduction was what made some Mar Vista drivers apoplectic, demanding its removal.

E-scooters could finally get the green light in Gotham, as scooter companies descend on the city to lobby for their approval. However, Gothamist warns there could be roadblocks ahead.

A 62-year old Brooklyn bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after suing the city accusing a police detective of shoving him into a parked car, suffering permanent injuries; needless to say, the officer denied touching him, bur security video — hidden from the defense for four years — showed otherwise.

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be confined to a wheelchair and walker for the next several months as she recovers from a painful broken pelvis and hip socket suffered in a bicycling crash; still no word on whether if was a solo fall or if she was hit by a driver.

A proposed DC ordinance would give scooter and ebike riders involved in crashes the same rights as regular bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bighearted North Carolina police pitch in to replace a bike that was stolen from a young girl, whose father is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Life remains cheap in Louisiana, where the driver who got just 90 days for killing a bike-riding city councilman gets another 90 days for injuring his riding companion. But he’ll serve just 17 days of that.

Georgia thieves steal a page from the Middle Ages and the Old West, laying a tree branch across a bridge to force a bike rider to stop; when he tried to move it, they popped out with guns and stole his cellphone. Although victims in the Middle Ages and Old West hardly ever carried cellphones with them.

He gets it. A Gainesville FL writer considers his transportation options, and concludes that cars are expensive and cumbersome, and nothing beats a bike.

The Tampa Bay Times says it’s time to make the dangerous city — and the entire state of Florida — safer for people walking and on bicycles.

International

Bike Portland looks at the bikeways of Baja.

Singer, rapper and producer Ray J plans to stay involved in the business, after selling his e-scooter company to a Canadian concern for a price tag in the high seven figures. The money will help rollout the scooters throughout North America.

A Vancouver newspaper asks if a proposal to put bike lanes and a walkway down the center of an existing bridge is smart planning or the first step towards Carmaggedon.

A British Columbia bike rider asks if the impatient driver who nearly ran her down was as frightened by it as she was. Probably not.

A Saskatoon, Canada teenager just became the youngest person to ride a bike around the world, covering nearly 20,000 miles through 16 countries.

A new report says building community bike hubs could encourage more bicycling in the Toronto suburbs; the hubs provide access to bicycles, repairs, tools and other items and services to promote bicycling in areas with no bike lanes and very few bicyclists.

The younger brother of royal spouse Kate Middleton is one of us, as he takes his two dogs for a cargo bike ride.

An “anti-social” bike mob is accused of frightening shoppers at a local mall, riding directly at them while hurling abuse.

It’s not every day that a bike thief asks to be put in prison to break his spiral of addiction; a Belfast judge was happy to oblige. Because everyone knows there are no drugs behind bars. Right?

Retired pro cycling favorite Jens Voigt tells an Indian newspaper that the problem with Millennials is they want to be millionaires in two weeks, and life doesn’t work that way. Don’t blame me, take it up with Jensie.

An Indian environmental website says bicycling would have huge benefits for the country, but the high cost of bicycles and a lack of a bicycling ecosystem are holding it back.

NIMBYs are everywhere. Even in South Africa, where white homeowners are fighting to have a new separated bike lane removed from their street.

A Singapore paper says don’t give up on dockless bike sharing yet.

Competitive Cycling

CiclaValley offers scenes from the SoCal Cross season finale.

Finally…

Turning bike parts into art. Even cartoon pigs have to wear bike helmets, ven if they originally didn’t.

And seriously, when you’re carrying meth on your bike after dark, put a damn light on it.

It might even help see the soft dirt when you flee from the police.