Tag Archive for PCH

Questions raised about PCH door zone warning, and driver crashes into home built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

Yesterday, a series of tweets were directed my way to tell me I got it all wrong about the proposed changes to PCH that would seem to put bike riders in the door zone.

Those were quickly followed by a comment on here, and a series of increasingly rude and insulting private messages blaming me for somehow ruining 20 year of bicycle advocacy by repeating what was said in a news story from a Malibu paper.

Which I was apparently supposed to somehow be able to deduce had made some yet-to-be confirmed error in reporting the story.

Then again, I was also accused in those private messages of somehow plagiarizing that same story by someone who had apparently never read it, and clearly has no idea what plagiarism means.

Seriously, feel free to do a side-by-side comparison, and see for yourself if I copied anything.

While I wasn’t involved in this project, and had no idea it was even in the works before this week, I have long fought for bike safety on PCH in Malibu. And worked with and supported Eric Bruins in his surprisingly successful campaign to turn the city from extremely anti-bike to a newfound commitment to welcoming people on two wheels.

And this project was definitely not what I remember asking for.

I also don’t remember meeting Mr. Laetz during all those years that I represented the LACBC on the PCH Task Force, before illness forced me to step down.

Which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, or wasn’t working for bike safety in other ways. With all the meds I’m on these days, I have trouble remembering last week, let alone what happened a decade or so ago.

But maybe he’s right.

My reaction to this project was based entirely on Wednesday’s story in the Malibu Surfside News, which said this in the very first paragraph —

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.

Note that last phrase, “adding motor vehicle parking.”

The writer of that piece, Scott Steepleton, the editor of the Malibu Surfside News, cited a Malibu Planning Commission document as his source.

According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”

I never hid the fact that this was my source, and linked back to the story in my original post. I also sent the link to Mr. Laetz when he objected to my story to confirm where the information came from.

Yet he continued to attack me, both publicly and privately. Right up to the point I told him what he could do with himself, and blocked him from my personal Twitter account.

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

This is how he describes the project in a comment Mr. Laetz left on here.

WAIT A MINUTE, The city’s plan is to WIDEN the shoulder, by narrowing the median and shifting the traffic lanes to the center, No parking will be added, none will be eliminated. Te (sic) plan will leave shoulders that are in excess of 14 feet wide. It will also add marked bike lanes at the traffic lights. The Coastal Commission will not allow the city to add parking (reducing coastal access to bicyclists) or decrease parking (reducing parking access for people in vehicles). This plan is parking neutral. It will eliminate much of the wide, unused median. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Despite repeated requests, he never sent me a link to any source to back up his description of the project, though he did reference a story he claimed to have written for the Malibu Times, which I haven’t been able to find on their website.

However, assuming the shoulder will in fact be a minimum of 14 feet wide, while that may be enough room to safely pass an average parked car, it would leave only a sliver of space outside the door zone of today’s massive pickups and SUVs.

And that’s if the driver pulls all the way to the right, which hardly ever happens the real world.

It also raises the question of whether that space could be better used to provide a parking protected bike lane that would keep riders safely out of the door zone, as well as away from drivers cutting over to park their cars or pull out of a parking space.

And why maintain those plush eleven-foot traffic lanes, which encourage higher speeds, when they could easily be narrowed a foot to help slow traffic, and provide more space to work with on either side?

As I tried to point out to Mr. Laetz, even if this project would be wholly beneficial for people on bicycles, the worst thing that resulted from calling it out is that hundreds of bike riders are newly aware of it, and prepared to give it the scrutiny any bike project should have.

So go ahead and email your comments and concerns by Sunday night, if you haven’t already. And attend Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission to learn more about it if you can.

Full disclosure, I won’t be able to make it Monday evening. Somehow, I suspect my wife’s birthday has to take priority if I don’t want to see a permanent change my sleeping arrangements.

I’ve also offered to let Mr. Laetz write a guest post for this site to clarify anything he thinks we got wrong.

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

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I do my best to be as truthful and accurate as possible in everything you read on this site.

If I get something wrong, I’m more than happy to correct it, which I’ve done more times than I can count. Just reach out to me, either in the comments below, at the email address on the About page, or on Twitter @BikinginLA.

Just be able to back it up. And don’t be a jerk about it.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts driver slammed her SUV through the side of a 371-year old house built by the great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, after swerving to avoid an early-rising squirrel.

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

Although it may have been the house’s fault, since the owners say there have been a number of near-misses since they moved in.

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Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

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A Utah TV station wins the award for best attempt to remove any agency for an injury collision, with a headline that suggests some unidentified “person” was injured when a car without a driver somehow collided with a bicycle without a rider.

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Call a happy bike surprise.

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

After a Denver man attempted to stop a woman from stealing his neighbor’s $5,000 mountain bike, she returned in a beat-up SUV and smashed into another car while attempting to run him down. But even after they tracked the attacker to a nearby homeless camp, the police have refused to go in and do anything about it.

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

Must have been in a hurry. A New York “transit menace” snatched a bikeshare bike out of the hands of the person who rented it, rode it to the subway station, the jumped the turnstile to catch his train.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. Bicycling talks with a 77-year old Lake Forest man who still rides a bike every day, despite two serious heart surgeries. Or maybe because of them. I mean, without all the heart problems and stuff. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

San Diego letter writers continue to beat a dead bike lane horse, still complaining about the new protected bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park that are already under construction.

Police in Salinas are asking for the public’s help identifying a thief caught on camera stealing a mountain bike.

 

National

CyclingTips examines the custom Trek Domane Richard Branson pretended to ride to Sunday’s space launch, in what they accurately describe as part of a billionaire “dick-measuring competition.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

A culture website suggests four exciting US cities to ride a bike in. If you really want excitement, though, it’s hard to top mixing it up with LA drivers. Although it may not be the kind of excitement you want.

Nearly a hundred Portland-area kids now have newly refurbished bikes, thanks to an organization dedicated to giving kids free bikes who might not be able to get one otherwise.

No surprise here. Las Vegas is being sued by the family of a Black man who died in police custody in 2019 with a cop’s knee planted firmly in his back; Byron Williams was recorded saying 24 times that he couldn’t breathe, after getting stopped for the capital crime of not having a light on his bike. The family is being represented by the same lawyer who filed suit in the George Floyd case.

Montana’s first shuttle mountain bike park is now open near the Flathead Lake resort area, incorporating a shuttle service to carry riders from the end of one gravity trail to the start of another.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an off-duty cop in a jacked-up truck ran over a little boy and dragged him to his death; nine-year old Hershel Weinberger was riding his bike in a crosswalk when the driver reportedly ran the stop sign, even if the local union head swears he stopped and looked both ways. But investigators failed to hold the off-duty officer accountable after he played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, by claiming he just didn’t see the boy. Although chance are, just flashing his badge was probably enough.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a driver faces a single year behind bars for killing a 16-year old boy riding a bike, after prosecutors allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor moving violation. Sad to know that’s all a kid’s life is worth to them.

A new study suggests 30% of DC crashes involving a bike rider or pedestrian go unreported, reducing the reliability of the data Vision Zero relies on.

 

International

Talk about flash photography. A British woman snapping a selfie captured the exact moment she and her brother and sister were struck by lightening as they were sheltering under a tree, after getting caught in a thunderstorm while riding their bikes to see their aunt; fortunately, they were all okay after being treated for burns.

The final stage of the Tour de France is just the start of festivities as Paris bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns, as only Paris can.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Thursday’s final hors catégorie climb, which was pretty much Wednesday on repeat.

Here we go again. CyclingNews is reporting that French authorities raided the hotel and team bus of the Bahrain Victorious cycling team before Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, as prosecutors open a preliminary investigation into doping allegations. But we all know the doping era is over, right?

Road Bike Action wants to help you build the perfect bike for Sunday’s Belgian Waffle Ride.

 

Finally…

Why pro cyclists dance with their bikes. Your next (really weird looking) touring bike could come with a built-in chair and day bed.

And if you have to ask…

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

 

Protest Malibu’s PCH door zone plan, Caltrans District 7 active transportation plan, and Sunset4All halfway to goal

After we sounded the alarm yesterday, Streets For All is calling on everyone to email the Malibu Planning Commission.

The street safety PAC is urging bike riders to protest plans to widen a two-mile section of PCH to “improve bicycle safety” by installing even more roadside parking, forcing bike riders into the door zone.

And yes, that means you.

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

Thanks to our friends at Biking In LA for pointing out that the City of Malibu is considering an item on its next planning commission agenda (item 5B) to improve safety for people on bikes on PCH.

However, their proposal is really a way to add even more parking for cars on PCH, while putting people in bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better, and eventually would love a protected bike lane for the entire stretch of PCH.

As usual, they include a link, complete with email addresses and a sample email, to contact the Malibu Planning Commission by this Sunday and voice your concerns over this dangerous “bike safety” plan.

Photo by DJ_Moertel from Pixabay.

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Cuong Trinh, the Active Transportation and Complete Streets/ Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for Caltrans District 7, wants your input on the state DOT’s active transportation plan for the Los Angeles region.

Hello Community Stakeholder,

I wanted to let you know that we are undertaking the development of the Caltrans District 7 Active Transportation Plan.

Our plan serves as a needs assessment, by utilizing our government agency partners, non-government stakeholders and members of the public to identify bicycle and pedestrian needs along the State Highway System. In order to undertake the completion of this plan, we have a Consultant that is analyzing existing planning documents from cities and counties, as well as user and partner-submitted needs (using a location-based-needs survey) that your organization and its stakeholders can participate in.

The State Highway System includes all state-owned freeways, select regional highways and some local streets. All of these freeways, highways or local streets are signed by a red and blue Interstate freeway shield (Interstate 5) or a green California state highway shield (State Route 2).

Next Thursday, July 22nd, we invite you to attend one of our informational meetings intended for our non-governmental stakeholders where we will provide an introduction to the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans and the effort to complete the plan in Caltrans District 7, serving Los Angeles and Ventura counties. You may be aware that other Caltrans districts are also in the process of completing their district-specific plans as Caltrans has 12 districts that serve 58 counties statewide.

Your organization and its stakeholders may be aware of bicycle and pedestrian needs on our State Highways. These needs can range from missing or broken sidewalks to gaps in bicycle lanes and paths along or across State Highway System facilities. We see that your input is critical in providing locations and context for those needs. With your help, we can prioritize those needs in our future highway projects. However, without sufficient input from our stakeholders, we would be short of sufficient information that our project engineers could use to address non-motorized user needs.

You can learn more about the CAT Plans, as well as take a survey (where users are invited to place pins on a map) at http://www.catplan.org and click District 7.

We have scheduled two informational meetings in the next week that you can attend at your convenience, as the same materials will be presented at either meeting. Therefore, you can attend one meeting that best fits your schedule.

Feel free to attend one of these (virtual) meetings at your convenience:

Also feel free to forward this to anyone from other organizations or people who may find the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans effort of interest or relevance, as we may have missed many organizations and local interests.

Should you have any questions regarding the CAT Plans, don’t hesitate to contact the project lead for the Caltrans District 7 Active Transportation Plan, at cuong.trinh@dot.ca.gov.

Hope you stay healthy and safe.

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Sunset4All is now over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 to fund a public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on eastern sections of Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds.

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If you’ve got a few extra bucks, take a moment to help support the LA-area’s most important voice for transportation news.

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Now tell me again why businesses need to keep every car parking spot to survive.

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GCN explains how to successfully deploy chamois cream to keep your bike from being a pain in the ass.

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

Horrifying video from Idaho, where a 26-year old man faces charges for responding to a minor dispute between kids at a skate park by chasing two young boys in his pickup, and running over their bicycles after they barely jump out of the way. Never mind what kind of a sick schmuck would actually do something like that.

No bias here. A Missouri newspaper says a young boy was injured when he hit a car with his bicycle. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what actually happened from the brief three-sentence article. But that probably wasn’t it.

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

There’s a special place in hell for a “‘bitter’ and jealous man” who rode his bike up to his ex-girlfriend as she got a London bus and threw a caustic chemical in her face, leaving her with severe acid burns; the attack followed a months-long harassment campaign.

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Local

LAist looks at the continuing efforts by Metro Bike workers to form a union to protect their interests with the company who manages it for Metro. As the son of a union man, you probably don’t have to guess which side I fall on.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles didn’t make the list of the 20 US cities with the worst urban heat islands. Despite what it feels like here in Hollywood on hot days.

 

State

The 4th of July continues to take a toll on bike riders, after a 15-year old Fremont boy died of injuries he suffered in a collision while riding his bike that night.

Despite a number of street safety projects across the city, San Francisco is failing to make progress on Vision Zero, with roughly the same number of fatalities last year as in 2014, when the program to eliminate traffic deaths was adopted. On the other hand, at least they’re undertaking major Vision Zero projects, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south we could mention, which continues to just nibble around the edges.

A San Francisco website says yes, the city needs cheaper bikeshare. But it also needs to do something about those damn potholes and fractured streets.

Redding hopes the public turns out for a mile-long bike parade to celebrate the opening of a new two-way cycle track.

 

National

New Statesman considers how the “populous and multifarious history of women’s cycling” set women free.

A new study shows police traffic stops don’t prevent crashes, while unfairly targeting people of color.

Writing for Road Bike Action, a doctor explains how to treat and survive road rash. Don’t get me started. I once wiped out during a high-speed turn and ended up with road rash from my ankle to my chin. Good times.

Tucson, Arizona man faces a second-degree murder charge for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a 56-year old man riding his bike.

After Tulsa, Oklahoma responded to complaints by ripping out a bike lane that had been installed without consulting the mostly Black residents of North Tulsa, a lone Black man walked the route carrying his bicycle in a powerful solo protest, saying that as a bike rider, he feels like a minority within a minority.

A Houston man got life without parole for fatally shooting a homeless man, after previously shooting the same man in the leg a few months earlier; he also faces charges for the fatal shooting of a woman riding a bicycle five years earlier.

A new book from Massachusetts-based author Peter Zheutlin spins a fictionalized tale about his real life great-great aunt Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, aka Annie Londonderry, famed for being the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world over a 125 years ago.

This is who we share the road with. Five children were injured when an allegedly stoned driver lost control of her car and slammed into a Rochester, New York home, coming to a stop in the living room where they were gathered.

Bizarre story from Philadelphia, where a driver was physically attacked by a bystander while trying to get away after running over a 12-year old boy with his pickup, with the boy’s bike still trapped underneath.

 

International

Fast Company says simply designing cities better — whether through superblocks, a Paris-inspired 15-minute city or going carfree — could cut deaths by all causes up to 20%.

The European Union commits to phasing out new gas and diesel-powered cars by 2035.

The booming gravel bike market is keeping titanium-frame bikemakers busy.

Outside continues to consolidate its growing monopoly on bike news with the purchase of Canada-based Pinkbike and CyclingTips, as well as the TrailForks mountain bike mapping app; the company already owns VeloNews, Peloton, Beta and Triathlete.

A British website explains how to keep your bike from being stolen, and what to do if it is anyway.

A Dutch village near Utrecht unveiled the world’s longest solar power-generating bike path, stretching more than the length of three and a half football fields, as part of a drive to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Speaking of Utrecht, the city’s latest new district will go even further in prioritizing bicyclists and pedestrians by banning cars entirely. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be packing my bags and dusting off my passport.

A Singapore woman begs bike riders to announce their presence to runners and pedestrians before passing by ringing a bell or saying “on your right” (or left, here), or even just “excuse me.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Tadej Pogačar tightened his grip on the yellow jersey, as rivals tried and failed to wrest it from him on Wednesday’s penultimate mountain stage.

The New York Times and National Public Radio both pick up the story of Austrian cyclist Lachlan Morton’s remarkable solo ride along the entire Tour de France route, and every mile in between, raising over half a million for World Bicycle Relief while beating the Tour peloton the Paris by six days.

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride rolls into San Marcos this weekend with three days of festivals and bike racing, while the eponymous 132-mile multi-surface race takes place on Sunday.

A British woman was seriously injured when a commercial van driver apparently missed or ignored warning signs, and crashed into her while she was participating in an officially sanctioned time trial.

 

Finally…

How you, too, can become the country’s newest bicycle mayor. And always wear your helmet — it could save you from a tiger attack.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

 

PCH widening will put bikes in door zone, support urged for CA bike/ped safety bills, and Branson lied about biking to launch

Nothing like sacrificing bike safety on the altar of parking that hasn’t even been built yet.

Malibu is finally getting around to widening a two-mile stretch of deadly PCH between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road to improve safety for people on bicycles.

Except instead of adding bike lanes, they’re merely widening the shoulder so there’s room to add parking, while allowing bikes to share the space on the side of the roadway with the new parked cars.

Which means instead of dodging cars in the traffic lanes, bicyclists will now have to dodge swinging doors from parked cars. And risk getting knocked into those traffic lanes in front of speeding drivers if they don’t.

So if you ride the coast highway, tell everyone you know to tune into Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission.

And tell them to go back to the drawing board.

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Streets For All has made a number of calls to urge support for important transportation safety bills in the state legislature in recent days.

Unfortunately, most have come too late to repeat here, with the deadline for comments coming before you’d likely have a chance to see it and respond.

However, this one is different.

The LA traffic safety PAC is urging you to send an email before 4 pm today to support a pair of common sense bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and eliminating the state’s blanket prohibition on jaywalking.

Two bills to make our streets safer and friendlier for walking and biking have passed the Senate Transportation Committee and will soon be voted on by the Senate Appropriations Committee:

  • AB 122 would legalize the safety stop, allowing people on bikes to yield at stop signs. Eight states and a number of local jurisdictions have already taken this measure, and research has shown a reduction in bicycle injuries of up to 23% as a result.
  • AB 1238 would replace the archaic ban on “jaywalking” with common sense rules for crossing the street. Today’s laws are used as a pretext for racial profiling and originated from auto industry pressure and corruption.

Both of these bills are important for democratizing our street space. It is time for the rules of the road to reflect the needs of different users, rather than just motorists.

Please use our template below to email a comment to the Appropriations Committee by 4 PM on Wednesday, July 14. Feel free to add your own message, and remember to enter your name and address at the bottom for your comment to be considered.

Streets For All offers an email template you can modify and send to show your support for the bills, with the correct email addresses already included.

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Speaking of Streets For All, Joe Linton politely pointed out that I got the date wrong, and the group’s Zoom happy hour with UCLA parking expert and professor emeritus Donald Shoup is from 5 to 6 pm this evening, rather than last night.

Confirming once again that I have no idea what the hell day it is any more.

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That bike commute billionaire Richard Branson took to get to Sunday’s maiden launch of his Virgin Galactic flight into space?

Never happened.

According to Reuters, an anonymous company official admitted it was all a publicity stunt, and the famous ride was actually staged nearly a week before the brief flight.

Never mind that the faked video was supposed to form the basis for a cross-promotion with Trek, which will now be left looking like fools if they use it as originally planned.

Next they’ll probably tell us the flight was staged, too.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle bike rider was confronted by a road-raging driver, apparently for the crime of not confronting him when the motorist made a dangerous and illegal turn to go the wrong way on a traffic circle, and the rider just shook his head and went around him.

Then this —

It’s worth clicking on the tweets to read the whole tread, because most of us have been in similar situations with angry drivers.

And if you haven’t yet, chances are you will.

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That feeling when an Austin, Texas bike lane is just a feeder route for Pennywise the Clown.

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Oh, nothing. Just someone riding a bike one handed, with a bag suspended on his handlebars and a sofa on his head.

@albeezyyyyyy

One man moving company

♬ original sound – Albert Molina

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

There’s a special place in hell for a St. Louis hit-and-run driver who murdered two people at once when he ran down a 19-year old woman riding her bike home from work, despite being six months pregnant.

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

A California appeals court upheld the 16-year sentence for a man who calmly rode off on his bicycle after fatally stabbing an acquaintance in a South LA parking lot.

An Ohio man was shot by police when he pulled a knife on a cop, after he was stopped for carrying a baseball bat on his bike in an early morning incident.

New York police are looking for a Brooklyn bike rider who groped a woman’s ass as she walked on a sidewalk, then yanked down her top, exposing her breasts, before riding off. But at least the cops managed to get a damn good security cam image of the schmuck’s face before he disappeared.

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Local

The Bike Shop offers a look at last month’s Culver City Pride Ride.

Streetsblog looks at some of the 31 grants made to SoCal cities and groups as part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign, focusing on three in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A San Diego driver crashed his car not once, not twice, but thrice in just a few blocks while allegedly driving under the influence of…something.

Seriously? At least some San Diego residents are complaining that a new coastal bike path is too wide, arguing that it’s designed more like a highway.

Kern County advocacy group Bike Bakersfield offers tips for riding in hot summer weather. Which is something we’re all going to have to get used to.

San Luis Obispo has a shiny new protected intersection, the city’s first. But needless to say, some drivers find it confusing.

Participants in this year’s Pedal the Pacific campaign stop in Santa Cruz on their 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to call attention to sex trafficking. Note to Santa Cruz Sentinel — Just because a group of young women are riding together, a cycling team that does not make.

A Bay Area TV station explains what a bicycle superhighway is, as plans move forward for one in Santa Clara County.

Forbes tests Brompton’s new ebike foldie on the hills of San Francisco.

Sad news from Merced, where a 64-year old Ventura County man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 22-year old man after rear-ending his bicycleNote to cowards — If you’re going to run after a fatal crash, take your damn license plate with you. Or better yet, don’t.

 

National

Axios demonstrates a keen grasp of the obvious, observing that the US has a lot to learn from Europe when it comes to bike friendly cities.

While bikemakers everywhere are struggling to get the parts they need during the pandemic bike boom, Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power has cut 50 days off the supply chain simply by shifting overseas deliveries to a different port that isn’t so backed up.

A Colorado woman is on trial for murder after shooting an alleged meth-using man who had threatened her after she threw his bicycles and drug paraphernalia into the trash.

A San Antonio, Texas bike ride will stop at a pair of the city’s murals promoting vaccinations to call attention to the need to get your shot to fight Covid-19. And yes, that means you.

Kindhearted Pittsburgh firefighters made a little kid’s day by doing a little repair work after he flagged them over to fix the broken training wheels on his bike.

New York Streetsblog complains that the city’s Department of Transportation doesn’t care that a protected bike lane is being blocked by construction work.

 

International

London’s Independent recommends gear for people inspired to ride by the Tour de France.

Here’s your chance to own Princess Diana’s childhood chopper bicycle, if you have a spare thirty to forty grand lying around.

The 72-year old aide on the British version of The Apprentice will be off the show for the foreseeable future after falling off his ebike, and undergoing a number of surgeries due to the “horrific” crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

By the time you read this, Tadej Pogačar will be deeply engaged in defending his yellow jersey in the penultimate mountain top Pyrénées finish in the Tour de France, offering competitors just two more chances to realistically deny him a second straight title.

Pogačar is expressing his confusion over the “strange” tactics other teams are using, at the same time they’re complaining about his team.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome says Pogačar has the race all wrapped up as long as he keeps his bike upright during the final week.

Cycling Weekly fills in the details on Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton’s solo challenge to beat the peloton into Paris by six days, riding the same routes followed by the Tour de France, plus every mile in between. Morton’s ride has raised nearly half a million dollars for World Bicycle Relief, enough to send 3,110 rugged new bicycles to Africa for people in need. Although Bike Radar seems more concerned with his bikepacking rig.

Rouleur celebrates Marianne Vos’ record 30 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia Donne, which used to be known as the Giro Rosa, and her decade-long domination of women’s cycling.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is officially out of the Tokyo Olympics after the Slovak Olympic Committee and Cycling Federation said he won’t recover from recent knee surgery in time to compete.

Outside challenges you to take part in one of their favorite bike races this summer.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the ‘bent bike that drops you looks like a banana. Get a new bike for the price of a canned iced tea — but only if you live north of the border.

And good thing bike riders tend to wear quick drying clothes.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

 

Two bike riders killed in Malibu collisions on PCH; just two of five fatal crashes on LA’s killer highway in recent weeks

My biggest fear when I agreed to surgery on my arm and hand was that someone would lose their life riding a bike, and I wouldn’t be able to write about the victim.

Which is exactly what happened in Malibu.

And not once, but twice.

The first came when three men were crossing Pacific Coast Highway just west of Busch Drive around 10:35 pm on Easter Sunday, one of whom was apparently walking a bicycle.

According to the Malibu Times, the man with the bike was struck and killed by a driver headed west on PCH.

A few moments later, one of his companions was struck and killed by a second driver as he scrambled to collect the victim’s belongings from the roadway.

Both men apparently died at the scene, just minutes apart. According to the paper, there have now been three people killed at the same spot in recent years.

Six days later, another man was killed while riding his bike at PCH and Corral Canyon.

The crash occurred sometime after dark on Saturday, April 10th.

The victim was riding without lights or reflectors when he was run down by a driver headed east on PCH at 51 mph, as recorded on the vehicle’s black box. He was knocked onto the other side of the highway, where he may have been struck by another driver.

There’s no word on whether the victim was riding on PCH or trying to cross the street. There’s also no word on whether the second driver remained at the scene.

Unfortunately, no identification was given for any of the victims, other than the first two men were homeless, while the third may have been.

But they all deserved better.

These are at least the 18th and 19th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the fourth and fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

They are also just two of at least five people killed on PCH in Malibu since early March, along with another pedestrian and the driver of an SUV who went off the road.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for all the victims and their loved ones.

Thanks to Valley Duke for the heads-up.

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the season to give bikes to kids, LA delivery drivers turn bike lanes into parking, and dangerous PCH rumble strips

It’s the last four days of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Joel F, Kim D, Carol K, Danielle C, Brian N, Gregory C and John M for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Your support helps keep this site free for everyone, with no access or subscription fees. And no paywalls, popups or premium content. 

Period. 

So don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive now!

………

‘Tis the season.

Something to smile about in this plague-infected year is the outpouring of bike love we’re seeing, with groups all over the country giving their time, skills and money to make sure countless kids will have a bike under the tree this year.

A group of Ojai organizations donated 42 new and refurbished bicycles, along with helmets and bike locks, to local kids.

A kindhearted Sacramento CHP officer bought a new bike for a young boy after a driver ran over his bike and his family couldn’t afford to buy him a new one; fortunately, the boy wasn’t injured in the crash.

In addition to donating 420 bicycles to local kids, a Boise, Idaho nonprofit is delivering 100 bicycles to a pair of Indian reservations.

A Bozeman, Montana bike shop that refurbishes and resells bicycles most of the year allows kids to come in and pick a free bike every December, giving away 75 to 100 bicycles every year.

A Syracuse NY program gave away a remarkable 2,300 bicycles to kids in need despite the pandemic, while teaching kids to give as well as receive.

Thanks to a donation from a secret Santa, a Pennsylvania nonprofit was able to give 100 bicycles and helmets to kids in need.

Thanks to two Florida men, 25 local kids received newly refurbished bicycles reclaimed from the scrap heap.

A Florida sheriff teamed with a local group to give away 13 refurbished bicycles.

For the fifth year in a row, a retired NFL player is giving over 80 bicycles to kids in need at the Florida high school he attended.

On the other hand, Fayetteville, Arkansas’ annual Bicycle Man giveaway, which normally hands out up to 1,200 bikes each year, was cancelled due to the pandemic.

………

What do you call a Los Angeles-area bike lane filled with delivery vehicles?

An illegal parking lot. And dangerous as hell.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1340506670519078913

………

An effective new video calls for the removal of dangerous rumble strips along an already dangerous stretch of PCH in Orange County.

A Facebook post from the Riverside Bicycle Club explains the problem in more detail, as well as proposing specific actions to fix it.

Seriously, when will Caltrans finally learn that rumble strips should never be used on any roadway used by bicyclists.

Which is pretty much all of them.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Maybe there’s hope yet.

https://twitter.com/rufusgifford/status/1340346200671850496

Meanwhile, Bicycling considers what his nomination will mean for people who ride bikes. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you get blocked out of the Bicycling site.

………

This is why you should never rely on a cable lock to secure your bike.

Because chances are, there was a bike connected to this that someone is missing now.

It’s also a reminder to register your bike before this happens to you.

Because even the best bike lock can be defeated by a determined thief with the right tools.

………

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

A London man with a potentially life-threatening condition is suing to remove a bike lane in front of a hospital, claiming that potential congestion could delay his arrival at the hospital, and the removal of parking spaces means that his friend couldn’t park to bring him in. Never mind that his friend could always drop him off, and the bike lane could help countless others improve their health. For that matter, I have a potentially life-threatening condition too, as do countless other people who ride bicycles. 

A British truck driver will spend nearly four years behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite losing his license three months earlier due to diabetes and poor eyesore.

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

A 32-year old man was stabbed by someone on a bicycle in an apparent random attack while he was standing with friends on a bridge in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

………

………

Local

This is who we share the bike path with. The LA Times remembers one of the many men and women who live along the banks of the LA River in the shadow of the bike path, who, unlike most, was neither unknown or alone.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill under consideration at the state legislature could provide financial incentives to purchase ebikes, most likely in the form of rebates.

San Dieguito River Park near Del Mar received a $1.39 million grant to fill a gap in the planned 71-mile-long Coast to Crest Trail.

Construction workers lifted an arched bike and pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks in Emeryville.

 

National

Outside considers how much you should spend on a gravel bike, noting that higher cost doesn’t always translate to higher value.

Wired says learn to fix and upgrade your bike instead of buying a new one.

Cycling News looks at their favorite new bike tech of the year.

The Verge considers how to keep the pandemic-inspire bike boom from fizzling out. Which it will, unless our leaders take steps to encourage riding and improve safety.

Consumer Reports explores whether an ebike is right for you, while a writer for Forbes says that’s all she wants for Christmas.

More than a thousand people took part in a virtual bike ride to honor the victims of the Las Vegas bicycle massacre that killed five experienced riders; the Zwift ride raised $15,000 for the victims.

Boston removed the concrete barriers protecting a bike lane, blaming them for causing drivers to crash. Evidently, the barriers must have jumped out in front of people in cars without warning; otherwise, the blame should go to all those people who couldn’t manage to drive safely next to them.

New York’s least bike-friendly newspaper shows a little sympathy for winter bike riders blocked from bike lanes that weren’t plowed after a heavy snowstorm, unlike the streets next to them.

Six people are suing New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare, alleging they were injured when the brakes locked on the ped-assist bikes they were renting, throwing them off their bikes.

 

International

Two English men will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for beating a recent college graduate to death after he pushed a boy off his bike for riding directly at him on a sidewalk.

An English driver continued to claim a bicyclist somehow rode into his truck, despite video showing he plowed right into the young woman who was wrapped in hi-viz bikewear, while making no effort to go around her.

The Scottish bicyclist who nearly got killed on a Texas highway just miles from the end of his round-the-world bike ride has bounced back to have a record-setting year, and announced he’ll return to Texas for a group ride to raise funds for the two hospitals that saved his life. And this time, he’ll have a police escort to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Kenya’s second lady rode 90 miles to mark 100 days since she established the Mama Cycling club to encourage people to become more physically active and call attention to the need to prioritize road safety to protect people on bicycles.

A Manilla op-ed warns about the risk of wearing a face shield when you ride a bike, despite a new nationwide mandate; a Philippine advocacy group doesn’t like the mandate, either.

A Kiwi city became the canvas for a New Zealand man’s bicycle Strava reindeer art.

An Australian judge rejected a truck driver’s claim that he didn’t know he hit and killed a man riding a bicycle because his music was cranked up too loud.

 

Competitive Cycling

The L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team — pronounced Legion — unveiled their roster for the upcoming racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to shoplift a shitload of toys, try not to ride over a police bike making your getaway. Try not to break anyone’s leg when you’re biking under the influence.

And this is just what I feel like on a trainer.

https://twitter.com/deceuninck_qst/status/1339988426830049282

………

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

Breaking news: Man killed in apparent solo bike crash on PCH in Seal Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed yet another victim.

The Seal Beach Police Department is reporting that a man was found lying in the bike lane on Pacific Coast Highway near Seal Beach Boulevard around 9:17 Wednesday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to the police, he was apparently riding in the bike lane when he hit some unidentified object, and was thrown from his bike.

The article stresses that no other vehicle was involved.

However, without identifying the object he allegedly struck, it’s also possible that the victim could have been sideswiped by a passing driver, or fallen in an attempt to avoid one.

There’s also no word on whether the victim was wearing a helmet, which might have helped in this situation, depending on the speed he was riding. Or it might have been of no use, since they don’t specify what injuries he suffered.

Hopefully we’ll learn more later.

Anyone with information is urged contact Traffic Investigator Keith Phan at 562/799-4100 ext. 1625, or email kphan@sealbeachca.gov.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of in Orange County, which is having a very bad year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Caltrans wants input on replacing Encino ped bridge, best ad ever for LA bicycling, and maybe we should just move to Dubai

Caltrans is looking for feedback on a proposal to replace the pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino.

Or maybe not, since one of the options doesn’t involve a replacement.

Artwork from Caltrans rendering. Thanks to S. Martinez for the heads-up.

………

Phil Gaimon does a little lane splitting on PCH through the ‘Bu, passing cars like they were standing still.

Which, from the looks of it, they mostly were, as usual.

He calls this the best ad ever for cycling in Los Angeles. And he’s got a point.

Although I’m not sure I’d split lanes like that on SoCal’s killer highway, even though it’s perfectly legal.

But I confess, there’s a real satisfaction in passing long lines of stalled traffic on your bike.

………

Maybe we should all just give up on LA and move to newly bike-friendly Dubai.

………

Once again, an English police department shows their American counterparts how it’s done when it comes to enforcing safe passing laws.

………

Local

A Pasadena website looks at the new bike lanes in Arcadia and San Gabriel.

 

State

San Jacinto approves plans to implement critically needed bike and pedestrian safety projects.

Santa Maria police will step up bike and pedestrian safety enforcement from the 18th through the 25th of August. Standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get out of their jurisdiction.

Santa Cruz has chosen eleven streets for the city’s Slow Streets program.

San Francisco proposes a protected bike lane and other steps to fix a dangerous section of Folsom Street.

A Sacramento TV station wants to see your first bike.

 

National

A new Amazon Prime show from the producer of Survivor promises to pit the world’s toughest cyclists against the world’s most challenging bike race. If you can’t access the Bicycling site, you can read it on Yahoo.

Road Bike Action Magazine is offering free online access with registration. And entertain yourself for hours swatting their many popup windows.

Your next bike tires may never need air or a patch kit.

A columnist for a Salt Lake City paper says biking in the age of coronavirus is the least we can do. Which is all most people do, anyway.

The Green Bay Packers’ website goes all the way back to 1958 to uncover the source of the team’s annual tradition of borrowing kid’s bikes to ride to the first day of training camp.

Sadly, there will be no more bicycle taco deliveries in Milwaukee.

A Minnesota public radio station looks at the local chapter of Red Bike and Green, a Black riding collective founded in Oakland 13 years ago to bring more diversity to bicycling.

Heartbreaking news from Detroit, where a mother was killed, along with her one-year old son, when a driver plowed into the bike trailer she was pulling with her bicycle. Crashes involving bike trailers may be rare, but sadly, they do happen, despite what many drivers will tell you.

More proof that ebikes are real bicycles, as a Tennessee man lost 105 pounds and beat diabetes by riding one. Once again, if you can’t access the Bicycling site, you can read it on Yahoo. And before you ask, no, that won’t work for me; if I lost 105 pounds, there wouldn’t be much left. And I’d still have diabetes.

A Boston website takes understandable pride in Bicycling’s promotion of the hometown East Coast Greenway. Although hometown is a bit of a stretch for something that runs over 3,000 miles through 15 states.

A Hoboken NJ bike thief folded under interrogation about the theft of a folding bike, appropriately enough.

Apparently, Virginia state police plan to put a pickup truck behind bars for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage boy who was walking his bike, since they don’t even mention that it might have had a driver.

 

International

Bloomberg examines the problem planners face balancing expanded space for bike riders with the needs of disabled people. Although it’s worth noting that expanding space for bikes allows some disabled people to ride bikes, which many use as mobility devices.

CBC says cutting speed limits could slow climate change. Not to mention save lives.

That’s more like it. After 12 criminal convictions in the past 15 months — including four for bike theft — a prolific British thief has been banned from even handling or sitting on a bicycle for the next two years.

Surprisingly, bike theft in down dramatically in the UK, with 19,000 fewer bikes stolen compared to the previous year.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will never see the golden age of bicycling he anticipates as long as the roads continue to feel unsafe.

In what may be the best story of the day, a four-year old British girl rode three miles on her little pink bike — complete with a doll in the toy rear child seat — raising the equivalent of $522 to fight cancer, after her grandfather died of the disease.

Helsinki, Finland is converting a boulevard into a shared bike boulevard, creating an express bikeway where drivers have to slow to the speed of bike riders.

A play that premiered in Germany’s Terezín Ghetto during the Holocaust will be performed live in New York and Israel; The Last Cyclist is described as a comic allegory that “pits innocent bicycle riders (Jews) against escaped lunatics (Nazis) who seek to destroy them,”

Residents of India Goa state are turning to bicycles and running to stay fit and get away from the pandemic for awhile. They also have the country’s best cuisine, which is annoyingly hard to find in Los Angeles. 

A former Philippine volleyball star turned TV host is giving away 50 bicycles to deserving people to help them get to work during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

A writer for the New York Times examines the coronavirus lockdown phenomenon of Everesting and the rapidly falling world records.

Colorado’s high school mountain bike season is going virtual in response to Covid-19. Now if they can just figure out how to make that work with high school football.

Cycling News wants to know if anyone can beat Remco Evanepoel at the rescheduled Il Lombardia monument race.

You may never win a stage in the Tour de France or the Critérium du Dauphiné, but you can own the bike that did. Or might have, anyway.

Speaking of which, Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné featured an unexpected hazard — hailstones.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to revise your story because people don’t know what a stroad is. Your next bike helmet could squish down, so hopefully your head won’t.

And if you’re going to ride 621 miles on a stolen bicycle to see Tokyo for the first time, try not to get busted for bike theft just short of the city.

But at least the purloined bike the adventurous thief took was only worth $93.

Thanks to Robert Leone for that last one.

……

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

Bike riders under attack around the world, pickup-driving Torrance racists, and PCH bike path closure above Ventura

This is who we share the road with.

A Utah driver faces a murder charge for deliberately killing a bike rider, smashing into him and dragging him down the road, then turning around and doing it again; his rage appeared to stem from living in the same building with the victim.

No surprise here, as a Cleveland man who tried to run over a group of bike-riding Black teenagers while hurling racial slurs has been indicted on charges of felonious assault and ethnic intimidation; he also robbed his own brother at knife point.

Unbelievable. A British driver who used his car as a weapon to attack a bike rider walks without a single day behind bars, because the judge doesn’t want to send anyone to jail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then there is this stunning attack stemming from the ongoing protests in Seattle.

………

Closer to home, the danger comes from hate.

 

………

Congress finally got around to approving the Great American Outdoors Act.

The bill creates an ongoing $900 million annual fund for conservation and address the massive backlog of maintenance projects in American National Parks and other public lands.

………

Caltrans has announced a nighttime closure of the PCH bike path above Ventura.

………

That cycling KOM you’ve been gunning for may be a goner, thanks to bored pros waiting for the season to gear back up.

Although some pros may be looking for something a little more challenging.

………

Good point.

………

No. Just…no.

………

Bikes are good for soccer careers, too.

………

Pink Bike looks at easy ways to tuneup your mountain bike.

………

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

See above.

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

A Texas man told a Target employee he could take whatever he wanted as he stuffed a pair of shoes and shorts into his backpack; police stopped him as he rode his bike nearby to tell him “No, you can’t.”

A road-raging British bike rider punched a 78-year old driver in the mouth, knocking out a tooth, after the driver stopped his car when the man made rude gestures and shouted at him as he passed him and his two kids. Violence is never the answer. But that kind of response from a man riding with his kids just might imply that the guy earned it.

………

Local

Essential workers can get a free 30-day Metro Bike pass.

Pasadena is introducing Project Wheelie to bring a bike-matching service and basic bike repairs to low income residents who might not otherwise be able to ride a bike right now; it’s presented by public health nonprofit Day One in conjunction with the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Active SGV and the LACBC.

Speaking of Pasadena, the Rose City received a $150,000 state grant for a bicycle safety outreach program.

Construction has started on a new bike park in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Calbike and Streets for All are urging you to contact your state senator to support AB 3153, which would extend an LA-style bike parking law to the entire state, allowing developers to substitute bike parking for car parking minimums.

Electrek reviews the latest 28 mph offering from Newport Beach’s Electric Bicycle Company.

In another sign the coronavirus hasn’t made our streets any safer, San Francisco authorities say they’ve seen a significant uptick in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

An Oakland councilmember calls for ripping out the protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue. Apparently, increased retail sales and a 40% reduction in collisions is a bad thing now.

Volunteer members of the American Ski Patrol have traded slats for wheels, and will be patrolling the 32-mile American River Parkway multi-use trail in the Sacramento area. Maybe we can talk them into patrolling a few trails down this way, too. Because no one else is doing it.

 

National

Market Watch says cannabis, whiskey and mobile bike repair businesses are thriving during the pandemic. Now if someone would just combine the three they might really be onto something.

A Portland State University study says no, bike riders don’t slow down drivers on most urban roads without bike lanes. But try telling that to the next impatient driver who gets on your ass.

Ebike sales will continue to drive the bike boom through the end of this year.

Colorado bike rack and lock maker Rocky Mount barely survived the pandemic, thanks to a loan from the Payroll Protection Program, but the owner realizes it’s not over yet. Just to be clear, the pandemic is barely getting started; it’s going to be a rough ride for all of us before things get better.

After someone stole a three-wheel adaptive bike from an Iowa man suffering from non-verbal autism, an anonymous, kindhearted stranger took it upon themselves to replace it.

Three burglars broke into a Texas bike shop and cleaned it out, stealing 19 bikes worth at least $45,000. Schmucks.

An Arkansas woman describes how she kept mountain biking, even if her first ride ended up in the back of an ambulance.

A Wisconsin nonprofit has managed to donate 100 bicycles to people in need, despite reopening from the coronavirus lockdown just one month ago.

Dozens of Louisville residents took to their bikes to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who was mistakenly shot by cops busting into her apartment on a no knock warrant.

Calls for bikemakers to stop making police bikes after they were used as shields and weapons by cops during the Black Lives Matter protests is putting a Massachusetts Black-owned police bike startup in an awkward position.

After bikeshare user Sarah Jessica Parker intervened on behalf of a 100-year old New York restaurant, New York’s mayor agreed to move a bikeshare dock so they could set up outside dining.

Philadelphia bicyclists will ride this weekend to honor three young men killed by drivers while riding their bikes, and send a message that “We are not expendable;” meanwhile, an op-ed from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia asks how many preventable deaths will it to make the city care about bicycle safety.

When life gives you a pandemic-induced Florida school closure, take a cross-country bike ride with your twin brother to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

 

International

Google Maps now offers live bikeshare availability for 24 cities around the world, including Los Angeles.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says the most important traffic safety technology is street design.

Heartbreaking news, as an experienced bike tourist was killed in a collision just as she was starting a two-month bike ride across Canada. Although it would be nice if the story didn’t wait until the next-to-last paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit her had a driver.

Turns out the Mounties don’t always get their man, particularly when the suspect is one of their own, who ran down a bike rider with his car.

Dooring a bike rider will now cost British Columbia drivers $368, after the province quadrupled the previous $81 fine. Which is still way too low, but at least it’s going in the right direction.

An Ontario bike rider was just nine miles from the finish of a 472-mile fundraising bike ride when he was attacked by hornets while crossing a bridge, nearly dying before paramedics could get to him. So naturally, he went back and finished the ride as soon as he was released from the ER.

They may be considered safe enough for US streets, but Great Britain says American SUVs are too dangerous for their roads. Those killing machines shouldn’t be allowed here, either.

British filmmaker and Madonna ex Guy Ritchie apparently isn’t one of us. Although he may be soon, after losing his license for six months after a bicyclist caught him on camera driving distracted.

An Irish cycling organization was upset they weren’t allowed to compete in the ’72 Olympics, so they just crashed the race and did it anyway.

When the US Army challenged soldiers stationed in Europe to ride a bike 1,000 kilometers — 621 miles — they probably weren’t expecting anyone to do it in 19 days, on a mountain bike.

Even in France, demand for bicycles is outstripping supply.

This Dutch bike may be the world’s longest functional bicycle. But just try finding a place to lock it up.

More on Germany’s new safety standards for e-cargo bikes, which should be expanded worldwide — including here.

Six-time Formula 1 world champ Lewis Hamilton is one of us, enjoying a shirtless and well-tatted mountain bike ride just days after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.

A bike rider in Kyiv, Ukraine says bike ridership has probably seen a ten times increase during the pandemic, even though riding in the city remains a deadly business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s WorldTour races are the latest to bite the dust due to Covid-19.

Britain’s erstwhile Team Sky, which changed its name to Team Ineos after a sponsorship change, will now be the the erstwhile Team Ineos, as it changes once again to Ineos Grenadiers to promote an upcoming brand of SUV.

Former WorldTour cyclist Peter Stetina’s shift to gravel racing is on the rocks after everything was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Austrian cyclist Georg Preilder got a one-year suspended sentence for his role in a German doping scandal uncovered last year. But cycling is clean now, right?

 

Finally…

No, turning a bicycle into a monochrome planter is not upcycling, in any sense. On the other hand, turning it into a mobile washing machine might be.

And don’t use gasoline to disinfect your cloth face masks.

And don’t smoke if you do.

………

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

Morning Links: Forgiveness and friendship follows near-fatal PCH crash, and no justice in fatal OC collisions

Sometimes a friendship can form in unusual ways.

Like getting run over by a truck.

After a La Habra man was nearly killed when a pickup driver ran him down from behind as he was riding on PCH last May, the driver — who was leaving an AA meeting — started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victim’s medical expenses.

He also modified his shower so it would be easier to get in and out as he recovered from multiple injuries.

That was after the victim’s wife reached out to tell him he was going to survive.

And they’ve been friends ever since.

Tom Sovilla hopes to get back on his back on his bike this year, with a goal of doing 5,000 miles before year’s end.

Meanwhile, the man who hit him, Jack Keith, went to five AA meetings the day after the crash, and looks forward to celebrating three years of sobriety in March.

Photo from Pexels.com; if they can be friends, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

………

Looks like there may not be any justice for Sidney Siemensma.

The 51-year-old bike rider was stabbed to death just short of three years ago today on Irvine’s San Diego Creek Trail.

Police arrested a 41-year old transient acquaintance, Dennis Thomas Monson Jr., for the crime, as well as an unrelated child pornography charge.

However, despite having enough evidence to take the case to a jury, the case has been put on semi-permanent hold after the judge ruled Monson is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It’s possible he could still stand trial, if and when his mental state improves.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

………

There definitely won’t be any justice for Laguna Nigel triathlete Scott Clark, who was killed when he was collateral damage in an alleged road rage dispute between two women.

According to Patch, the Orange County DA has concluded that there is no way to bring charges against driver Jamie Mulford after two independent experts were unable to conclude how the crash occurred.

Clark had the misfortune to run into a crosswalk just as Mulford allegedly cut off the other driver in the lane next to her, forcing the other car into Clark.

Despite what the Patch story says, Clark was training for a triathlon on foot, rather than riding a bike, at the time of the crash.

………

It looks like noted equity advocate and former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler has left her widely applauded appointment to the California Transportation Commission; no word yet on why.

………

A San Diego bike rider was allegedly assaulted by an impatient driver while taking the lane on a sharrowed street.

Unfortunately, whatever took place appears to have happened off-camera, and the brief description included on the YouTube page doesn’t clarify matters.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

………

A Tesla dashcam captured a hit-and-run in Whittier last Saturday when a bike rider was right hooked by someone turning onto the street; fortunately, the victim doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt.

No word on whether the driver was arrested, or even ticketed.

………

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

A drunk Florida man faces charges for chasing a bike rider and throwing an empty beer can at him as cops looked on. After all, there’s no point in wasting a full one.

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

New York police are looking for a bike rider who spit in the face of a pedestrian in a crosswalk after accusing the man of cutting him off, then broke his wrist hitting him with a U-lock.

Also in New York, another bike rider — or possibly the same one — smashed a 61-year old woman in the face with some sort of hard object. Like a U-lock, for instance.

Florida police are police are looking for a hoody-clad man who fired his gun in a bike-by shooting; fortunately, no one was hit.

………

Local

BMX riders are the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s new Volta show, opening this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says a new request for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes killed by CD5 Councilmember and faux environmentalist Paul Koretz appears to be falling victim to a dispute between Westwood-area Neighborhood Councils. Which one do you think the city will listen to — an NC representing students, or one advocating for wealthy NIMBYs? I know which one my money is on.

Speaking of UCLA, a DIY bike co-op in the John Wooden Center is teaching students and staff how to fix their own bicycles.

Bruce Willis is one of us, as he goes for an ebike ride in Brentwood. The cool thing about British tabloids is they’ll criticize someone for not wearing a helmet, then ridicule them if they do.

LA Curbed places tongue firmly in cheek, and lists 20 headlines you might read in the coming decade, but probably won’t — including permanent, year-round CicLAvia routes and an end to LA traffic deaths.

Alan Goldsmith, the former owner of Supergo, is returning to his roots by investing in Manhattan Beach’s South Bay Cycle bike shop, scheduled to open later this month.

Bike theft dropped 10% in Long Beach last year, despite an increase in violent crime.

 

State

In the wake of last year’s implosion of the Interbike trade show, the CABDA Expo West opens in San Diego today. Even though CABDA stands for the Chicagoland Area Bike Dealers Association, which this ain’t.

An 18-year old Barstow man faces attempted murder charges, along with a pair of underage teenagers, for a drive-by shooting spurred by the victim’s demand to get his stolen bicycle back.

A UC Berkeley neurologist has developed a new type of helmet designed to protect users from traumatic brain injuries caused by twisting impacts.

Lime is testing an accessible scooter for people with disabilities in OaklandAlthough it looks like all they did was bolt a seat onto their existing e-scooters.

San Francisco was already planning to install protected bike lanes along the Embarcadero next week; unfortunately, it comes too late for a woman who’s clinging to life after she was struck by a cement truck while riding an e-scooter on Monday.

Sacramento’s first food bike is peddling a 200-year old stroopwafel recipe.

 

National

American bikemakers are struggling to replace their Chinese supply chains after being priced out by Trump’s tariffs.

A new senior editor for Streetsblog explains her 15-year old transformation to a bike advocate.

A New Mexico state representative is once again riding her bike hundreds of miles across the state from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to attend this year’s legislative session.

My bike-friendly hometown is trying out back-in diagonal parking to improve safety for people on bicycles.

An Iowa woman will spend the next 40 years behind bars for stalking a man, before fatally running him over as he rode his bike in a parking lot, in a deliberate, drunken attack.

A Texas man faces charges for shooting a homeless man five times while trying to steal his bicycle.

Bad behavior has gotten Vermont mountain bikers kicked off parts of one of the East Coast’s best trail systems; Bike Snob says this is why they can’t have nice things.

A New York woman faces five well-deserved felony counts and four misdemeanors for the drunken, 85-mph crash that killed a man on a bicycle; she was still over twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, with bags of coke found all over her car.

A Manhattan councilmember calls for life-saving sensors on all large trucks to make drivers aware of people and things they can’t see from the cab. Like bike riders and pedestrians, for instance.

The allegedly racist, bike-riding jerk who was convicted of attacking a black DC driver with his U-lock lucked out when a second, similar charge was dismissed when the victim didn’t show up to court; he’s currently doing three years on the original charge.

A Miami man will face charges in the gruesome, apparently drunken, 100 mph hit-and-run crash that killed a homeless man riding his bike on a causeway last August.

 

International

A new bicycle from World Bicycle Relief can help lift children and their families out of poverty; the nonprofit has provided half a million bicycles in countries around the world.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to what you can look forward to on the bike tech front in the coming year.

The Guardian examines how Strava became a religion to bike riders and runners.

Arguing against building a bike lane, a Hamilton, Ontario city councilor estimates there are only 100 bicyclists in the entire city of 550,000; the city’s bikeshare system alone has over 33,000 members.

That’s more like it. An unlicensed English driver got six years for killing a man riding a bike, along with other unrelated charges; not only didn’t he have a license, he’d never even taken a driving test.

The founders of a British bike nonprofit have been banned for 11 years after paying themselves the equivalent of nearly $420,000 — nearly a quarter of the money it took in.

Staff members for Pink Bike design the mountain bike of the future as a joke. Then go to Taiwan and actually build it.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a truck driver who was caught on video crashing into a bike rider during a road rage dispute has been sentenced to just seven weeks behind bars and a $500 fine. He’ll also be banned from driving for two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s only remaining Tour de France champ is preparing to launch a new bike line made with a revolutionary “‘high-performance low-cost carbon fiber.”

Cycling Tips rates the team kits of the women’s pro peloton.

Pro/am gravel grinding is coming to the annual Sea Otter Classic this April.

A 17-year old Indian woman has won gold in the nation’s U-21 road race, bouncing back from a training wreck five years earlier that was so bad her mother ordered her to quit cycling, until her father intervened.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can zoom around on your new bike pretending you’re in Stranger Things. Nothing like having a bike tug-of-war with a fleeing meat lifter.

And don’t shoot guy you’re arguing with, shoot his bicycle instead.

 

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

………

My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

………

This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

………

Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

………

Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

………

Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

………

And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

………

Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

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