Tag Archive for People for Bikes

Free LED safety gear for low-income Culver City commuters, and reasoning with an angry climate denying driver

Bike Culver City is starting a light giveaway program for bike riders and pedestrians in the city.

BCC steering committee member Art Nomura writes to say the organization has won a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) GoHuman program to purchase and distribute hi-quality LED safety equipment to low income workers in Culver City and the vicinity.

Bike Culver City will be giving away a free top-rated LED Vest or a pair of hi-vis LED lights to qualified recipients; night or early morning workers that bike or walk to work (including first and last milers) are especially encouraged to apply.

Anyone interested in the program can click on this link to see what is available and to fill out a simple application form in English or Spanish.

However, he stresses that the application period ends on August 16, so this is a limited time opportunity.

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Um, okay.

An angry Portland driver goes off on a cargo bike rider because of his sticker reading This Machine Fights Climate Change, calling climate change a hoax and a scam, and saying the rider’s Antifa buddies can go to hell.

No, really.

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People For Bikes urges you to contact your US senators to demand the inclusion of an ebike tax credit and bicycle commuter benefit in the final draft of the new climate bill, aka the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Although at last report, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was the last remaining holdout on the bill, looking to add back tax breaks for corporations and private equity managers.

So the question isn’t what your senator will support, but what can they get Sinema and bill co-author Joe Manchin of West Virginia to sign off on.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed in a traffic collision, along with two of her staffers, when a driver traveled onto the wrong side of the road and hit her SUV head-on.

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That feeling when a famed mountain bike park is full of bears. And no, you probably shouldn’t greet one like a lost puppy.

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If you need me, I’ll just be pretending I’m on my way to Bruges now, thank you.

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

After a Toronto bike rider was hit by a cop rolling a stop sign, he claimed the same officer had been harassing riders in a city park all day.

A 65-year old English man was injured when a road raging driver pushed him off his bike for the crime of not riding in a bike lane; he says he was hurt so badly he had to quit his job as an undertaker, and now struggles to play his trombone and bass guitar. Although probably not at the same time.

A British driver and his passenger face murder charges for deliberately driving onto a sidewalk and killing a man who was riding a bicycle with his girlfriend on the handlebars, before fleeing the scene without stopping.

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

Police in New York are looking for a Brooklyn bike-by shooter who shot a man who was standing outside his house, leaving the victim in critical condition. Although the NY Post can’t seem to decide whether the shooter was riding an ebike or a scooter.

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Local

Streetsblog is over halfway to their summer fundraising goal of $15,000, and just needs to raise another $7,000 to keep up their vital work reporting on Los Angeles and California transportation issues.

The Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia route returns on August 21st, once again heading along the Hollywood Walk of Fame before dropping south to Santa Monica Blvd.

Camilla Cabello is sort of one of us, trying a kids bike on for size at a Los Angeles area Walmart.

 

State 

Carlsbad’s long-awaited 94-acre Veterans Memorial Park could soon be home to the city’s first bicycle park, complete with pump track, jumps and a slalom course.

Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pled not guilty to a charge of DUI stemming from a May injury collision in Napa County; the 82-year old driver had a blood alcohol level of .082% after the crash — just over the .08% limit.

 

National

A trio of Republican senators are fighting for your right to drive drunk, introducing a bill that would remove a requirement for carmakers to install passive drunk-driving detection mechanisms on all new cars by 2024.

The prestigious National Law Review considers the causes of bicycling crashes and how to avoid them.

Planetizen says accurate bicycle counts on city streets matter, because inaccurate — or non-existent — counts could lead to an underinvestment in bike infrastructure.

Streetsblog considers the multiple strange and varied vehicles that get called ebikes, and where they belong on the road, while Wired offers the latest deals on ebikes, e-scooters and accessories.

Prevention recommends the best women’s bike shorts. Only one of which is actually intended for, you know, riding a bike.

Seattle is testing a number of alternatives for building protected bike lanes this summer, from armadillos to low concrete barriers, with a goal of placing the winner throughout the city.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer insists residents of the city have been duped into thinking ebikes can have a tangible reduction on greenhouse gas emissions. Although he seems to think the point is to replace regular bike trips, rather than replacing car trips with ebikes.

A bighearted Odessa, Texas shop owner bought a new bike for a longtime customer after his was stolen outside the store.

Heartbreaking story from Michigan, where one of the two men killed by an alleged DUI driver shared his motivation for participating in the challenging 300-mile ride just hours before his death — a bracelet with the name of a Make-A-Wish child that he looked at whenever he needed inspiration.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop bought a new bike for a little kid who started crying after realizing he didn’t win one in a raffle on Tuesday’s National Night Out.

That’s more like it. A Manhattan community board is onboard with plans for a road diet and bike lanes, but are insisting on concrete barriers instead of just paint.

Another tragic ebike fire in New York, where an exploding battery took the life of a five-year old girl and a 36-year old woman in a Harlem apartment, along with their three dogs; the girl’s father survived in critical condition. Although once again, the local CBS station can’t seem to decide if it was an ebike or an e-scooter.

 

International

Bike Radar recommends the best torque wrenches to work on your bike. And no, that’s not what you use to hammer a tight nut you can’t get off.

An 80-year old Canadian man is trying to set a new world record for the longest journey by motorized bike, riding an ebike over 8,000 miles from Alaska to Panama.

Canadian bicycling injuries jumped 25% in the first full year of the pandemic, likely due to an increase in bike ridership. 

More proof that opposition to bikeways melts away over time. Despite the opposition of some drivers, local residents strongly support the UK’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, Britain’s version of Slow Streets; in one study, 44% opposed an LTN in their neighborhood before it was installed, but after five years, less than 2% wanted it removed.

Porsche is jumping deeper into the ebike market by creating two new companies — one to make ebike components, and the other to build complete ebikes based on them.

A new German study suggests drivers pass bike riders just as close, if not closer, on streets with low speed limits as they do on faster streets.

Australia has issued an urgent recall notice for the children’s eZee Viento folding ebikes, which could suffer a broken frame while being ridden. The bikes were also sold in the US, but no word on a recall here yet.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the members of the US team for the Mountain Bike World Championships in Les Gets, France later this month.

Note to race organizers — speed bumps defeat the purpose of bike races. A half-dozen cyclists went down hard after clipping a speed bump in the last quarter mile of Spain’s Vuelta a Burgos.

 

Finally…

Is it really an ebike if it doesn’t have pedals, looks like a dirt bike and goes 38 mph? Or if the pedals are so hidden away they’re almost impossible to use?

And the story may be science fiction, but at least Amazon’s Paper Girls gets the ’80s bikes right.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

A breakup letter with 6th Street Viaduct, CalBike ED moves to People For Bikes, and CA ebike rebates fail to launch

He gets it.

Well, of course he does.

Michael Schneider, founder of the transformational transportation Political Action Committee Streets For All, is the latest to accuse Caltrans and LADOT failing to protect bike riders on the new $588 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and Caltrans have sent a “love letter” that is actually a breakup letter to people on bikes. Whether intentional or not, it signals that the city doesn’t really care about the safety for people on bikes (or they do, unless the space is needed for cars). Spending $600M of our taxpayer dollars on a substandard multi modal bridge in 2022 isn’t acceptable. The striping should be changed ASAP to accommodate broken down cars and emergency vehicles in the center while physically protecting people on bikes with concrete and extending the lane for the full length of the bridge.

We’ve already discussed that failure several times in recent days. So take a moment to read Schneider’s Medium piece.

Then get mad.

Damn mad.

Because as much as we want to love the new bridge, city and state officials have made it clear that your life and safety is worth less to them than a broken-down car.

And it should come as no surprise to anyone that drivers on the bridge are already behaving badly.

Rendering from From 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

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CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder is leaving the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Snyder has led the California Bicycle Coalition, better known as Calbike, nearly half of its existence, joining the 26-year old organization in 2010.

According to a press release posted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News,

Under Snyder’s leadership, CalBike’s tenacious, hardworking team has passed model e-bike legislation, pushed through Complete Streets reform at Caltrans, defeated a helmet mandate, legalized protected bike lanes, and gotten several bills passed to protect bicyclists, including the Three Feet for Safety Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. They have gotten more funding for bicycling as well, securing an increase in state-level funding for biking and walking from around $100M to over $1 billion, and winning $10M for e-bike purchase incentives.

CalBike has helped to coordinate more than twenty local advocacy organizations with a combined membership of over 100,000, influencing elections for the California State Assembly and Senate and building support for ballot measures such as the successful defeat in 2018 of a proposed repeal of the gas tax.

He’s leaving to take a position as Senior Director of Local Innovation with Colorado-based People For Bikes.

He’ll be missed.

Current CalBike Operations Manager Kevin Claxton will step in as Interim Director while the group conducts a search for new leadership.

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Streetsblog continues to stay on top of California’s continued failure to launch a promised and fully funded ebike rebate program.

Despite the overwhelming success of Denver’s ebike rebate program, California’s minimally funded $10 million program, which was supposed to launch this month, has been dead on arrival, apparently due to the state’s inability to select anyone to administer it.

Putting off a decision adds delay to an already slow-moving process, and could push the program start date out until after the end of the year. Other sources of e-bike incentives, including under the Clean Cars for All program being handled by regional air districts, have been just as slow to get going.

It almost feels as if CARB is more than reluctant to offer these incentives, even though it is increasingly clear that e-bikes can be excellent replacements for private cars. Their carbon footprints, costs, parking requirements, and the space they take up on roads is also considerably less than that of electric cars, and CARB doesn’t seem to have much trouble pushing EVs as a climate solution.

Never mind that California provides $425 million to purchasers of electric vehicles, which offer far fewer public benefits than electric bicycles.

You’d think that a cost of just 2.3% of the EV program while getting more cars off the road would be enough of an incentive for the state to get its shit together.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

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Just 136,000 of the reasons I’m a fan of the East Side Riders.

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The LA area’s biggest bike race of the year is coming to the South Bay on Sunday.

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This is what can happen when a country’s leaders actually give a damn about ending traffic deaths.

Unlike a certain North American country we could name.

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

A Rhode Island man faces multiple charges for intentionally backing his car into a 12-year old boy’s bike, then following the kid and knocking him off his bike, all because he took offense at comments the boy made to his friends.

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Local

You see a lot of things riding a bike.  Like a cackling arsonist starting a brush fire, and a bike rider with a bleeding head injury who insists on riding off rather than waiting for paramedics. Seriously, if someone insists you need medical help, listen to them.

 

State 

Bad news from Oxnard, where a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a 19-year old van driver while riding his bike.

The writer of a Santa Barbara op-ed, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a Class 1 bike path and Class 2 bike lanes, opposes the former because it could mean the loss of trees on a street that already has the latter.

Santa Rosa bike riders are complaining about the unexpected closure of a bike path due to a small homeless encampment that officials said was “impeding safe public use of the trail.”

 

National

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to lead a group ride, in an article that’s exclusive to subscribers. And apparently anyone who has access to Yahoo.

A writer for The Oregonian suggests leaving your car at home, and taking your bike on an Amtrak train if you’re headed to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Sheriff’s deputies in Pocatello, Idaho are increasing bike and foot patrols to cope with high gas prices.

A kindhearted stranger stepped up to buy a nine-year old Michigan boy a new bicycle, after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen the first night he had it.

Political pranksters have added a faux historical marker denoting Brandon Falls, the coastal Delaware location where Joe Biden fell off his bike last month; the name is a play on the “Let’s go Brandon” chant that stands in for a much cruder epithet. Meanwhile, the former Mayor Pete — now Transportation Secretary Pete — says he’s just “glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle.”

 

International

A British Columbia farm region is offering a free bicycle lending program, allowing local residents, refugees and migrant workers to simply take one when they need it and return in good working order it when they’re done.

South London is being plagued by knife-armed bike thieves on motorcycles.

London’s Independent tries out the Brompton’s nee $4,400 ebike foldie for a month, and likes it.

This is who we share the road with. An English police commissioner was caught speeding five times in just three months, after vowing to crack down on heavy-footed drivers.

UK bike riders argue that slowing down due to the country’s extreme heat leads to more aggressive passing from overheated and sleep deprived drivers; it was a record-setting 104° in London yesterday.

Swedish mobility company Vässla is switching to e-cargo bikes to deliver their mopeds through crushing Parisian traffic.

Taiwan is now allowing bicyclists and scooter riders to forgo their face masks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s Hugo Houle captured the biggest win of his career yesterday, topping the podium as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees for the final week of racing; Houle dedicated the win to his little brother, who was murdered by a hit-and-run driver ten years ago.

NBC offers a beginner’s guide to the Tour’s various leaders jerseys.

Twenty-four-year old Italian pro Marta Cavalli hopes to build on her second place finish in the Giro d’Italia Donne, as the inaugural eight-stage Tour de France Femmes prepares to rollout on Sunday.

L39ion of Los Angeles pulled its men’s and women’s teams out of Sunday’s Salt Lake Criterium after an incident of the final lap led to an exchange of blows following Saturday’s race; US pro crit champ Kendall Ryan says she’s astonished by the disrespect she gets as a member of the team.

 

Finally…

How to carry three on a tandem. Few things suck more than getting your new ebike stolen just an hour after you bought it.

And that feeling when you walk away from a promising cycling career to run the local post office.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

How to make bicycling more inclusive, police demand bike licenses in Lompoc, and $1000 ebike rebates in Sonoma

A new study from PeopleForBikes takes an in-depth look at how to break down the barriers to bicycling in the US, and make it more inclusive.

Bicycling Retailer reports the study concluded with five recommendations.

  • Meaningfully engage with historically marginalized communities on their turf: This is critical for facility planning, implementation, and promotion of cycling. It means going to places of work, play and residence and not expecting them to come to traditional meetings.
  • Don’t shy away from conducting focus groups in and with communities of color: A lesson learned during the study was the lack of experience many had with engaging and recruiting people of color to participate in the focus groups. It’s important to continue building rapport.
  • Expand private-sector encouragement programs: Businesses should encourage employees to commute by bike and provide incentives, from financial to amenities like shower facilities and indoor bike storage.
  • Develop tailored and culturally relevant educational materials, marketing, and outreach strategies: Bicycle safety and road sharing education needs to be provided for drivers, bicyclists, e-scooter users — and police officers, too.
  • Build and invest in bicycle infrastructure, both the big and small stuff: Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or age, most focus group participants said having a network of protected bike lanes was the No. 1 factor that would increase comfort and safety while bicycling. This is especially true with women and less-experienced bicyclists in high-traffic areas.

I’d add a sixth recommendation — find a way to overcome the inbuilt bias in favor of motor vehicles that permeates virtually every city, and prevents the building of safe bike infrastructure that would encourage more people of every description to ride.

Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

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In a report that doesn’t make any sense, a group of Santa Barbara-area TV stations say Lompoc police will now require bike riders to have a bicycle license, which is illegal under California law.

Not to mention every other state.

According to the report, the goal is to curb reckless bike riding by groups of young people.

The police department said it commonly receives reports of a group of young bicyclists riding in and out of traffic dangerously, cutting off vehicles, riding throughout parking lots and blocking traffic.

“The biggest complaint that we get is on these kids riding wheelies in the middle of traffic and playing chicken with vehicles,” said Sergeant Arias. “They’ll ride a wheelie for a long distance of time and a vehicle is coming and they’ll stay with the vehicle, and right at the last second they’re swerving to miss the vehicle and the goal is to see how close you can get to a vehicle.”

The problem is that only the state is authorized to write laws governing traffic, and it strictly controls what cities are allowed to do. And operator licensing is a right reserved to the state, which only requires them to operate motor vehicles.

Not to mention that police are only allowed to enforce traffic laws, not make them.

It could simply be a matter of bad reporting, with the station confusing bike licenses with registration.

State law allows cities to decide whether to require bicycle registration to prevent theft, and impose a small fine for failing to do so.

(I can’t find the code online right now, but as memory serves, it’s somewhere around $12.)

But the purpose of the law is to aid in recovering a stolen bike, not to rein in bad bike behavior.

So either the police intend to abuse the bicycle registration requirement to enforce behavior, or they are illegally attempting to rewrite the state vehicle code.

Neither one is good.

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A Sonoma Clean Power program is offering select ratepayers a $1,000 rebate to buy a new ebike.

Which raises the obvious question of why isn’t it available everywhere?

Or at least here in Southern California, where we “enjoy” the nation’s worst traffic and air quality, and desperately need efficient — and affordable — alternatives to driving.

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Pink Bike wants to show you how to survive mountain biking in wet weather.

Aside from just not doing it, that is.

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

A North Carolina bike rider learns the hard way exactly what a brake check looks like after complaining about a too close pass.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente CA letter writer wonders why the city is concerned with banning ebikes from the boardwalk, when local residents are “literally terrorized” by bullying roadies who refuse fail to comply with any traffic laws.

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Local

The LA Times explains how to hike the Santa Monica Mountains’ 67-mile Backbone Trail in eight easy day hikes. I know that’s not about bikes, but it’s all I found today.

 

State

San Diego residents will now be able to voice their concerns about dangerous road conditions, including bike lanes or the lack thereof, in new online forums maintained by the San Diego Association of Governments. Which could be a great idea if they actually read and act on them — without letting the motoring/NIMBY crowd dominate the conversation.

A professor emeritus at UC Berkeley says he’s back on his bike after nearly losing his life on his 19th cross-country bike tour, when the lane he was riding in suddenly ended on a steep descent.

No bias here. A Sacramento TV station warns about dangerous street rides taking over area roadways, then proceeds to report on a weekly, well-mannered family ride in Tracy, where even the police say there have been few problems.

 

National

She gets it. Curbed’s Alissa Walker says America’s standstill traffic is the only thing keeping traffic death rates from being even worse.

Recovering raptors in Bend, Oregon have a bike shop to thank for their new perches, as a local bike shop recycles its used tires by sending them to a nearby wildlife hospital.

Bike Portland profiles a “35-year-old, gay, armless, bike-loving former Russian orphan who wants to be Oregon’s next governor.”

Seattle bike shops are warning customers that the pandemic bike boom, and resulting bicycle shortage, is still going strong, and if you want a new bike this summer, you’d better order it now. Although an industry expect says a bike glut is inevitable when this is all over.

A 16-year old Las Vegas boy decides to pay it forward when strangers raise over $1,000 to replace his bicycle, which was stolen while he was at work; the boy, who has been in and out of foster care most of his life, will hold a bike drive this weekend to help others.

Missouri state troopers remind drivers that bicyclists have a right to the road, and motorists have a responsibility to drive safely around people on bicycles and motorcycles.

A New York website examines why so many automakers are now offering ebikes, concluding if may be less of a transitional step to buying an electric car than a realization that “life’s much more fun (and less expensive) on two wheels.”

A county executive on New York’s Long Island vetoed a measure to ban reckless bicycling by allowing police to “confiscate bikes and issue fines to cyclists who weave through traffic or ride with no hands, among other infractions.”

 

International

Cyclist dishes advice on how to make your bike faster, including reducing drag from flapping clothing and getting a good bike fitting. Although in my experience, the best way to get faster is to drop your own weight, if you have a few extra pounds to lose.

Sad new from Ecuador, as 59-year old former Olympian cyclist John Jarrin was killed when he was struck by the driver of a garbage truck as he rode his bike to work in the city of Cuenca.

A short film from Outside profiles the trail builders behind British Columbia’s new Kamloops Bike Ranch.

Good idea. A new sign now tells drivers when someone is riding a bicycle on a British Columbia bridge.

An 80-something London letter writer argues that he sometimes walks and sometimes rides a bike, but that doesn’t make him a cyclist or pedestrian. And that the best way to get more people to walk and bike is to reduce motor vehicle traffic on the crowded streets.

Hello contradicts former bonny prince Harry’s statement to Oprah in the recent interview that he didn’t get to ride a bike as a kid, showing photos of him riding with his royal parents.

British bike legend Chris Boardman says e-cars are now the biggest hindrance to active transportation, because they give people a reason not to change their behavior.

 

Competitive Cycling

Early season bike racing continues, as France’s Julian Alaphilippe out sprinted the peloton to win the second stage of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, while Belgium’s Wout van Aert holds the overall lead.

Cyclist profiles all-time women’s great Jeanie Longo as part of their series of legendary women; Longo continued winning races into her forties, despite allegations of doping.

Cycling Weekly asks if enough is being done to protect riders in the peloton from concussions. Short answer, no.

 

Finally…

Presenting a new city bike with a real twist — no, literally. And a collision between a bike rider and a truck driver is a wreck, not a battle.

Even if it does feel like a war out there some times.

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

Soda pop cargo bike art in East LA, has Covid-19 affect your bike riding, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

Why does East LA get all the good art?

Aurelio Jose Barrera caught this soda pop delivery truck adorned with a Jariritos-selling cargo bike.

If they didn’t have so much sugar, that would be enough to get my dollars.

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PeopleforBikes wants to know how Covid-19 has affect your bike riding.

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

Newly found video shows a Portland driver intentionally run over a man’s bike as he tried to cork traffic during an August protest; naturally, police just let the driver go.

A North Dakota woman pled guilty to using her car as a weapon to intentionally run over a man on a bike after they argued about money; the victim was lucky to escape with road rash and bleeding.

No bias here. A London paper gleefully reports that a popup bike lane will be removed after causing traffic congestion, leading to calls to remove others, as well. Although no one seems to consider that it’s all those cars that cause traffic congestion, not bike lanes or the people using them.

A London driver didn’t take kindly to being told to drive more carefully, telling BBC presenter Jeremy Vine to fuck off.

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

Police in Milwaukee are looking for a bike-riding, saw-toting man wanted for damaging several trees.

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Local

Bike-riding Downey city council candidate Alexandria Contreras will be on Bike Talk this evening. However, the link in the tweet is dead, but you can find the show here.

 

State

Weight weenies rejoice! Morgan Hill’s Specialized has introduced the lightest disk brake bike yet, checking in at a svelte 13 pounds, even though they insist it’s really about the ride quality. As long as you’ve got a cool twelve and a half grand in spare cash lying around, that is.

San Francisco is moving forward with plans for a complete Slow Streets network after ruling against several CEQA appeals that were holding things up.

Next City examines how Oakland was inspired by Covid-19 to get real about equitable urban planning.

Historic Angels Camp will get new bike lanes and sidewalks to serve the town’s 3,800 residents and assorted tourists.

 

National

A new study shows it only takes 15 minutes of high-intensity bicycling to boost your memory. You can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

Bicycle Times takes a trip in the wayback machine to review the 1972 Schwinn Paramount.

A new bike helmet takes a more subtle approach to lighting, and will call for help if you crash.

A pair of young Armenian and Turkish bike riders formed an unlikely friendship on a ride across the US despite centuries of hostility between the two countries, including the mass genocide of Armenians at the hands of Turks a century ago.

Shaq is one of us, even if he has to have his bikes custom built to fit his 7’1″ frame. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo, too.

One app to rule them all, one app to find them. Lime takes a step towards world domination, or at least the world of micromobility, by offering Wheels scooters through their app, along with the usual Lime e-scooters and ebikes.

The bad news is, Boston has removed its popup bike lanes. The good news is, they’re making them all permanent, instead.

When Rhode Island cops were unable to recover a boy’s stolen bike, the kindhearted officers pitched in to buy him a new one.

A new candidate to replace termed out Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York says bike lanes should be part of the city’s transportation network. But fails to mention that city law requires 50 miles of new protected bike lanes and 30 miles of bus lanes every year. Unlike Los Angeles, where city officials are legally required to build absolutely nothing. And too often don’t. 

A Pennsylvania man will face charges for running down a bike rider after running not one, but two stop signs while driving without a license.

Another unlicensed Pennsylvania driver pled guilty to charges of slamming his SUV into a bike trailer pulling an 11-month old infant; fortunately, the critically injured baby pulled through.

Maryland drivers will now be allowed to briefly cross a double yellow line to pass bike riders on narrow roads. California drivers would have the same privilege, except Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an early version of the three-foot passing law because it contained the same provision.

She gets it. A Delaware letter writer says developers should be required to build a mile of bike lanes and sidewalks when they get project approvals.

 

International

A writer for Tech Digest shares what he’s learned by riding a bike during the coronavirus lockdown, including that cars are scary, pedestrians are not your friend, and no, you don’t look good in Lycra.

Cycling Industry News asks a panel of experts about the role of bikeshare in attracting new bike riders.

Revel Bikes is raffling off a custom painted Rascal mountain bike to benefit LoveYourBrain; tickets are just $5.

You can add Colombia to your bike bucket list, as bicycles create a sustainable path to tourism in the country.

Forget speeding drivers, Toronto cops are turning their speed guns on bicycle riders exceeding a bike path’s 12 mph speed limit.

A pair of Welsh bike thieves are pretending to have mechanical problems while riding on a bike path, then riding off with the victim’s bike when they stop to help.

An Irish mother is calling for more and safer bike lanes after a near miss with a driver as she was biking to school with her seven-year old daughter.

A trio of Rwandan firms will pitch in to provide bike helmets for bicycle taxi riders in Kigali.

Motor loving Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor is one of us, riding his chunky $635 e-foldie through Mumbai with his mom.

Bollywood actor, professional model and former first runner-up to Mr. India Rahul Rajasekharan is one of us, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas is out of the race with a broken pelvis. And out for the remainder of the season; VeloNews says that leaves the race wide open.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look pretty cool, even without a front hub. Nothing like doing a century in less than two and a half hours — while drafting, of course.

And seriously, don’t ride your bike directly at cars, no matter what you call it.

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

Morning Links: PeopleForBikes leads ebike fight, CHP victim blaming, and the best 3 minutes 27 seconds of your day

I recently received the following press release from People for Bikes — or as they now call themselves, PeopleForBikes (I should talk, I know).

I don’t normally repost PR stories in their entirety, if at all. But it’s a good message and a battle worth fighting.

Besides, it’s a quarter to four, I’m tired and cranky, and the Corgi needs her beauty sleep and won’t go to bed until I do.

Research over the past year has extolled the virtues of e-biking: Studies have shown that e-bikes significantly bring down cities’ CO2 emissions, reduce noise pollution, get people active, and even have the capacity to create car-free households. Simply put, e-bikes form a certain way to help our planet as it enters an uncertain future. That’s why PeopleForBikes has made e-bike advocacy a core part of their work, working to drive the conversation that’s building towards an “e-bike revolution.”

PFB has supported pages and pages of research and resources that have been instrumental parts of legislation giving people access to and infrastructure around e-biking. PFB has generated information on state-by-state e-bike policy, easy-to-read research and statistics, and e-bikers’ favorite city-by-city routes. They’ve seen some awesome results: Through the work of advocates and legal advisors, 22 states have passed PFB’s model e-bike legislation, which regulates e-bikes like regular bicycles. This is a huge win for the health of our cities, the planet, and e-bike riders.

Of course, many challenges remain ahead. Most states have confusing laws saying where e-bikers can and can’t ride, and tariffs make bike motors and e-bikes themselves more expensive than they need to be. PFB wants to continue to be at the forefront of this conversation as we push for accessible e-biking for all.

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No windshield bias here.

A Santa Rosa bike rider was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who continued without stopping, throwing him onto the opposite side of the roadway, where he was struck by another car.

But instead of addressing the heartless coward who murdered an innocent man, the CHP blamed the victim for possibly riding in the traffic lane instead of the bike lane, and wearing dark clothing on a dark street.

Which shouldn’t matter in the slightest if the victim had the legally required lights and reflectors on his bike, which they don’t mention at all.

And maybe someone should tell the CHP about the numerous exceptions to CVC 21208 that allow bicyclists to leave a bike lane whenever necessary.

Not to mention that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the exact point of contact for a bike crash unless the driver braked before impact, which doesn’t seem to have happened here.

But sure, let’s keep demonstrating that notorious CHP windshield bias.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

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Watching this video could be the best 3 minutes and 27 seconds of your day.

Or maybe you have a more exciting life than I do.

But still.

………

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

Someone has been planting dangerous medieval-style booby traps on biking and hiking trails in national parks across Australia’s New South Wales; one local official called the people responsible “complete scumbags,” which pretty well sums it up.

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Local

City Watch talks with environmental justice advocate and CD10 city council candidate Aura Vasquez, who wants to fix our streets and build more bike and micromobility lanes.

Dodger Stadium is scheduled to get a $100 million makeover next year. But that huge parking crater surrounding it will remain, despite previous plans to replace it with housing and an entertainment district. Let’s hope they at least improve bike access, and provide safer places to park your bike. Or better yet, a bike valet.

 

State

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department busted a Dana Point bike chop shop on Tuesday; if you recently had a bike stolen in the area, they may have found whatever is left of it.

The owner of a new Encinitas gelato shop talks about his only other job as a pro cyclist in Italy until a knee injury forced his retirement at the ripe old age of 22.

A San Diego TV station considers SB 127, the Complete Streets bill currently working its way through the state legislature, which would mandate bike and pedestrian accommodations any time a state roadway is resurfaced.

Sun-baked Banning will build a bike lane crossing the entire city in an effort to improve the health and waistlines of its residents; the city expects the lane to draw 400 bike riders a day, while a Safe Routes to School Coordinator bizarrely responds they’ll be lucky to get that many in a year, because no one bikes in Banning. Maybe they would if they actually had safer places to ride, as he should well know.

Deadly Rancho Mirage has introduced a $400,000 bike and pedestrian safety plan.

After 20 years, Victorville is nearing completion of the Mojave Riverwalk, an eleven-mile bikeway with four miles of offroad shared use paths.

San Francisco bicycling and walking advocates turn out to demand safer streets and call for the declaration of a traffic emergency in the city after the deaths of 21 people walking or riding bicycles so far this year.

A woman has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a Crockett bike rider, after another woman overheard her telling the second woman’s roommate she’d been in a crash, but wasn’t sure what she’d hit because the sun was in her eyes. God forbid she should have stopped her car to find out — especially in full daylight. Let alone stopped once she realized she couldn’t see, and avoided the crash altogether. 

 

National

A new nationwide study confirms that protected and separated bike lanes improve safety for everyone on roadway, not just the people on two wheels. And that cities with the greatest number of bike riders also have the best safety records. Which brings up the whole chicken/egg thing — do safer streets attract more bike riders, or do more bike riders improve safety?

Surprise your best friend with a dog-friendly e-cargo bike, complete with his or her own set of handlebars.

Slate examines what happens to all the old bikes when bikeshare providers pull out of a city or shut down entirely. In most cases, the picture isn’t pretty.

Your next steel frame bike could be printed, not built. And have a really weird looking kink in the seat post.

You can now legally ride your bike — or your e-scooter — through any Portland fast food drive-through.

Seattle considers adopting Dutch-style intersections to improve safety for bike riders.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheels of a disabled Nebraska man’s bicycle, in broad daylight as people walked by, leaving him without any form of transportation; fortunately, the local Trek dealer gave him a new set of wheels and tires worth up to $500. And a lock to secure them.

The Texas driver who ran over a bike cop’s bicycle while fleeing a traffic stop last month and dragging his partner by the arm, has been arrested after being identified in a photo lineup.

A Chicago bike rider was killed when he somehow fell off a train station platform and landed on the electrically charged third rail; three other riders were also injured in separate incidents last week.

Ohio State University collects over 500 abandoned bikes each year and donates them to a local bike co-op.

Four “reckless” Connecticut bike riders were busted for loitering near a park, harassing residents and blocking traffic with their bicycles. No doubt it’s just a coincidence that they all happened to be biking while black.

No bias here. New York approves a pilot program to allow bike riders to use leading pedestrians intervals to cross intersections before drivers get the green light. But the anti-bike New York Post insists on calling it a “green light for cyclists to run red lights.” Just wait until someone tells them about the Idaho Stop Law.

So much for Vision Zero under presidential candidate Bill de Blasio. New York’s death toll keeps getting worse, as two more bike riders lose their lives in collisions with the drivers of large trucks; 17 bike riders have died in the city this year, compared with ten for all of last year. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

The driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while fleeing a traffic stop pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, after the DA reduced the charge from second degree murder. The city will install a road diet and bike lanes that Salovesh had long fought for on the street by 2021 — just a tad too late to save his life.

A new study shows drivers are actually less likely to stop for bike riders who activate a crossing signal on a New Orleans greenway than if the riders simply crossed the street without it.

Shameful. Florida police use deadly force to stop a fleeing teenage bike rider, ramming his bicycle for the crime of, yes, popping wheelies. And yes, biking while black.

 

International

A Victoria, British Columbia letter writer insists the city’s newly appointed bike mayor is crazy for thinking that safer streets will improve bike safety more than requiring bike helmets. And somehow feels the need to inform her she’s not in Amsterdam, in case she was unaware.

An Australian driver insists on demonstrating that fatal hit-and-runs against bike riders aren’t just an American phenomenon. Although unlike most Americans, he turned himself in 40 minutes later. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Make a good impression on your next trip to Korea by talking bikes in the local lingua franca.

An English language website makes the case for bike commuting in Hong Kong, where most people only ride recreationally.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France riders adopt the risk and rewards of the super tuck to increase downhill speed. And prayers to make it down safely.

Defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas hit the pavement for the third time in 16 stages, saying he was thrown from his bike when the gears jammed. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang crashed out of the race.

Rising Belgian star Wout van Aert left the hospital following successful surgery to repair a deep cut to his upper thigh acquired when he caught a retaining barrier during the individual time trial in this year’s Tour; doctors want him to stay off his bike for another two months.

Esquire asks pro cyclists what it feels like to ride in the Tour de France, while London’s Telegraph examines the not-so-secretive inner workings of the race.

A former Tour de France reporter looks back on Greg LeMond’s remarkable comeback victory exactly 30 years ago yesterday, after he was nearly killed by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident.

Rouleur makes the case for Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and the late Robert Sherwen to be inducted into the Cycling Hall of Fame.

 

Finally…

Your next water bottle could come back as a collapsable bike helmet. That feeling when your eight-year old gets his low-rider bicycle back after it was stolen — both times.

And every bike ride should end with pie.

Or beer. Or maybe both.

 

Morning Links: Not so bikeable Los Angeles, Times endorses Lundquist in CD12, and dodging distracted bicyclists

The latest rankings of America’s most bikeable places are out.

And this year, my Colorado hometown only ranks second, behind nearby Boulder CO, and one spot above Eugene OR.

Somehow, I’m sure they’ll get over it.

People for Bikes, the nonprofit bike industry-sponsored advocacy group the compiled the rankings, explained their methodology this way.

To compile the data, PeopleForBikes crunched Census figures, analysis from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, plus the group’s own analysis of city planning information, maps, and surveys from community members in cities.

“We focused this year’s efforts on engaging more cities to improve accuracy of ratings,” PeopleForBikes director of research Jennifer Boldry said in a statement. “Better accuracy provides a more valuable tool that helps cities benchmark, set goals and measure progress.”

The list changes year to year to account for traffic injury rates, ridership figures and public investment in creating bike lanes and other infrastructure.

Bikeable Santa Monica was the highest rated SoCal city, checking in with an eight-way tie for 11th with a 3.1 overall score; a group that also included Santa Barbara.

San Diego was a notch behind at 3.0, while Ventura and Goleta both scored a 2.9.

And where did the not-so-bikeable City of Fallen Angels rank?

Over 180 notches below the leaders, with a lousy 1.7. And as CiclaValley points out, a significant drop from last year’s 2.6.

Not that we’re going the wrong way or anything.

But who knows?

Maybe if LA’s leaders get serious about Vision Zero and building out the mobility plan, and lose their irrational fear of angering the NIMBY traffic safety denying segment of LA’s driving public, we might work our way back up to 1.9 — or maybe even a 2.0 — in no time.

It could happen.

On the other hand, at least we’re not Detroit.

………

The LA Times endorses astrophysicist Loraine Lundquist for LA City Council in CD12 to replace Mitch Englander, who decided he didn’t want the job anymore; she also got an A rating from Bike the Vote LA.

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It may not be the holiday season, but generosity still carries the day.

A player for the Denver Broncos donated 70 bicycles to kids at a Denver elementary school, in hopes it will help the develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

A former foster mom continues to provide new bicycles, locks and helmets to Ohio foster kids through her Bike Mom charity, providing more than 11,000 bikes over the past 11 years.

………

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

A Florida bike rider was injured when he ran into a fishing line that had been strung across a path, slicing his throat.

Two 16-year old Japanese boys face attempted murder charges for stringing a rope across a roadway, seriously injuring a 79-year old woman on a scooter.

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Local

A transit site says LA Metro is hosting a host of LA Bike Month events.

Santa Monica police with run one of their periodic bike and pedestrian safety enforcement days this Friday. And this time, they’re throwing scooter violations in the mix, as well. So ride to the letter of the law as long as you’re in the city.

The tenth annual Tour of Long Beach will roll this Saturday to benefit kids suffering from cancer. Meanwhile, the city is stepping up Visio Zero efforts after 31 people were killed in traffic collisions in Long Beach last year.

 

State

Vallejo police released body camera footage of a police officer shooting and killing a black man for the crime of riding a bicycle without a headlight, after the bike rider allegedly grabbed the cop’s flashlight during a struggle.

 

National

No surprise here. A pair of new studies conclude that the way the news media reports on bicycle crashes reflects a subtle bias that helps shift blame to the victim.

Following the introduction of their high-end mountain and gravel bikes, Walmart is jumping into the road market with a $2,300+ road bike available only online. Although if they had a better sense of humor, they would call it L’Viathon.

Amazon’s Waymo self-driving cars may have finally learned to recognize people on bicycles.

Common sense has carried the day in Oregon, where the legislature has passed a bill to overturn a bizarre court ruling, making it clear that bike lanes extend through intersections, even if the paint doesn’t.

He gets it. A Washington traffic columnist says bicyclists might be safer if they didn’t have to stop at stop signs.

Famed framebuilder Roland Della Santa was found dead in his Reno home on Saturday; he was 72.

A Nevada public radio station asks whether bike riders are safe on the state’s streets.

Sad news from Utah, where an 11-year old Rwandan refugee died just hours after she was placed in a foster home; she was allowed to ride her bike without supervision, despite knot knowing the area, and was killed in a collision.

60-year old Kansas man is given a free car so he doesn’t have to bike to work anymore. Which doesn’t sound like a happy ending from here.

New York’s presumptive presidential candidate mayor is urged to forget his quixotic quest to become president, and refocus on the city’s Vision Zero problems.

This is why you always ride carefully around pedestrians. A New York woman has died weeks after she was struck by an alleged red light running bike rider.

Over 200 bike riders turned out to form the funeral procession for a beloved New Jersey bike shop owner whose goal was to save the world with bicycles.

 

International

Your next ebike could make its own electricity.

A Dutch intern living and biking in Vancouver says maybe Amsterdam isn’t the best model to follow due to rage, chaos and clashes in the biking mecca.

A Canadian woman tries biking to work, and finds it wasn’t as easy as it seems.

Residents of a Montreal suburb are threatening to move because of plans to replace parking spaces with a bike lane.

A new Scottish study shows that active commuting can cut your risk of heart disease and early death, whether or not you’re overweight.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. An eight-day self-guided bike tour from Venice to Croatia.

China’s 29th International Bike Fair kicked off in Shanghai on Monday.

 

Finally…

Even sunglass-wearing dogs have to deal with bike theft. Don’t get mad and bust out the windows of a bike lane-blocking school bus with your U-lock — especially since we all have to pay to get that shit fixed.

And those damn distracted drivers…uh, bicyclists.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the video

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Thanks to Matthew R and Theodore F for their generous donations to help support this site.

Donations of any amount are always welcome. And appreciated. 

 

Morning Links: Fundraising goals met, LA misses a top 30 bike friendly ranking, and upcoming bike events

We’ve met our fundraising goals to send a message to LA’s elected leaders, raising $400 in less than 48 hours to give them each a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

I’ll be headed to city council meeting on the morning of Friday, May 18th to storm City Hall, and personally deliver them to demand safer streets.

I hope you’ll join me.

Thanks to everyone who donated!

………

Hats off to my hometown, which ranked number one in People for Bikes’ latest rankings of the nation’s most bike friendly cities.

Santa Monica came in a surprising seventh, with San Diego, which has made huge strides in recent years, just two steps lower.

Do I really need to mention that Fort Collins and San Diego only became bike friendly after I left them? Maybe I should move away from Los Angeles, so it can finally become the bike paradise it can and should — or at least somewhat less auto-focused — be once I’m gone.

Speaking of which, you’ll find the City of Angels on the second page, at what would be number 33 if they were numbered, which I suspect is a lot higher than most bike riders would rank it.

And no city ranked higher than 3.5 on the organization’s five point scale, which means there’s a lot of room for improvement, even in the best cities.

Meanwhile, Bicycling examines the criteria used to determine the rankings, while Curbed looks at the possibilities for data-driven change on our streets.

………

Let’s take a quick look at some of the upcoming events we haven’t mentioned yet. And one we have.

Arcadia is holding a free community bike ride tomorrow.

Bike SGV is holding free City Cycling classes in Montebello on Saturday, and again on May 19th.

Also this Saturday, the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup takes place at the Encino Velodrome, sponsored by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth; fans can feast on free hot dogs, tacos and water as long as they last.

Metro is hosting a Pedals and Pit Stops Ride using Metro Bike bikeshares this Sunday, starting at Smorgasburg LA.

The international CycloFemme ride rolls on Mothers Day, May 13th, including the Los Angeles edition.

Ride free with your bike on Metrolink during Bike Week, May 14 through 18.

………

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, is celebrating Bike Month behind the Orange Curtain this May.

  • May 14-18: Bike to Work Week – National bike to work week encourages people to switch up their morning commutes by riding their bikes to work.
  • May 16: Ride of Silence – The Ride of Silence honors those who have lost their lives or have been seriously injured while bicycling. Groups will depart at dusk, around 7 p.m., from locations in Fullerton, Irvine and Orange.
  • May 17: OCTA Bike Rally – The sixth annual event and ride is planned from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. starting at the Orange Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison St. and ending at the OCTA Headquarters, 550 S. Main St. in Orange.
  • May 18: Bike to Work Day – National bike to work day is recognized throughout the U.S. and gives people the opportunity to try a different way to commute.

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Local

More evidence of LA’s toxic car culture, if any was needed, as violent street takeovers by drivers spread throughout the SoCal area. Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

CiclaValley escapes to Camp 9, one of the most accessible rides from the San Fernando Valley.

A letter writer chooses parking over a two-way bike lane on Pasadena’s Union Street, but can’t seem to distinguish between Santa Monica parking garages and on-street parking.

The LACBC profiles James Chaves from the Montebello Bicycle Coalition for Bike Month.

South Bay letter writers rise up to insist Aviation Blvd is for cars, and they damn well like it that way. And those darn bike riders just break the law anyway.

 

State

A 79-year old Laguna Beach man is planning for his next 5k, despite a collision with a truck that coast him a leg, and a head-on crash with a bike rider that left him with a broken neck and mostly paralyzed from the neck down. Seriously, slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

San Diego’s Bike Month kicks off with new concerns about safety as dockless bikeshare brings unexperienced riders onto the roads.

The Riverside County sheriff offers tips for drivers and bike riders on how to avoid crashing into each other. Although the first two suggestions for bicyclists involve wearing a helmet, which does nothing to prevent a crash. Note to Sheriff Sniff — it’s dangerous enough for bike riders out there without inflating the number of bicyclists killed in 2015 by nearly 300.

Monterey gets it. The city is installing bike lanes and making pedestrian improvements on a fading commercial strip in hopes of spurring new businesses and development in the area. Studies have repeatedly shown that creating walkable, bikeable districts are good for business, as well as property values in the surrounding area.

San Francisco bicyclists staged another people-protected bike lane to call for safe spaces for active transportation. Something LA-area advocacy groups have yet to try. Hint, hint.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge will conduct a 10-day trial allowing bicyclists and pedestrians 24-hour access, which is currently restricted to 6 am to 9 pm.

The first of world champ Peter Sagan’s two California fondos hits the dirt in Truckee this weekend.

 

National

Forbes says the bicycling industry is betting on an ebike gold rush.

Tres shock! A Seattle study shows that dockless bikeshare is a success in the city, with an average of nearly one rider per bike per day. But ridership goes down in bad weather — just like it does anywhere else, for any kind of bike riding.

A nonprofit director at Houston’s Rice University explains why he’s afraid to walk in the auto-centric city, where motor vehicles are allowed to run amok.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A five-time DUI loser was acquitted on his latest charge after refusing to take a roadside sobriety test, and telling police to “go get real criminals.” Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Friends and family remember a Purdue University student who died after a collision with a pickup, allegedly caused when he ran a red light.

The driver who fled the scene after running down a cyclist on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway last year — perhaps intentionally — will plead guilty in a plea deal.

A new study from Penn State University reveals that most people overestimate the time it would take to ride a bike somewhere. Which means that bicycling is a more viable option than most people think.

Too true. A Pittsburgh bike commuter says “There is no amount of bad behavior by cyclists that can remotely compare with the callous disregard for life displayed by these motorists.”

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A New York woman is arraigned on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for killing two small children while having a seizure, after her doctors repeatedly told her she wasn’t safe to drive.

The NYPD has already busted 5,000 bike riders for running red lights this year. No word on how many scofflaw drivers have been ticketed for the same offense, or which one poses the greatest threat to others.

Baltimore’s repeat drunk driving Episcopal bishop asks if she can spend the rest of her sentence for killing a bike rider in a drunken 2014 hit-and-run in the comfort of her own home. The victim’s sister reasonably calls the request “unconscionable,” which pretty well sums up the whole damn thing.

 

International

Mexican and German authorities are looking for a German man who went missing in Chiapas while on a bike tour of the Americas.

English police are looking for the driver who smashed into two bike riders, seriously injuring one, then fled the scene leaving his car lodged in a brick wall.

An English woman discusses the difficulties of riding your bike across town while remaining stylish.

Oslo, Norway is rolling out the red carpet for bike riders in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion, after committing to ban cars from the city core by next year.

An Aussie paper looks at the wild ride of the company behind the popular Fly6 and Fly12 bike light/cam combos.

 

Competitive Cycling

The LA Times offers a photo essay on the Titan Desert 2018, a 385-mile mountain bike race through the Moroccan desert.

You won’t find today’s start of the Giro on American TV, but you can see a one hour preview of the Amgen Tour of California on NBCSN this Sunday.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a pleasant little 2,400-mile ride to catch a soccer match or two. Cab drivers are your friend; okay, maybe just one.

And if you’re going to heroically chase down a bike-riding mugger, you might as well dress the part.

 

Morning Links: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index, LA bike safety sucks less, and new tax bill screws bikes

Another stolen bike has been returned to its owner thanks to Bike Index and the LAPD.

How the bike was recovered: A Good Samaritan searching for a used road bike saw a Craigslist posting for my bike for a suspiciously low price and thought to check for stolen postings online. He came across my posting on Bike Index, contacted me to confirm it was mine, and set up a meeting with the seller. I approached seller with the Los Angeles Police Department and had my bike returned! It was a very good day.

Let this be a reminder to register your bike. It doesn’t cost a dime, but could be the best investment you could make if your bike is ever stolen.

Although it never hurts to make a tax-deductible donation to Bike Index to help support their efforts to bring bikes back home to their owners.

………

Good news for LA bike riders, as Forbes Magazine reveals we’re only the tenth most dangerous city in America for people on bikes.

So we may suck, but not as much as San Jose and San Francisco, which came in fifth and seventh, respectively, or Albuquerque, which claimed the prize for the most dangerous city in the US for bicyclists.

And who knows, the way the city’s Vision Zero plan is going, one day we may move all the way down to eleven. Or maybe even twelve.

That’s something to celebrate, right?

Right?

………

People for Bikes wonders what the US Senate could have been thinking, as the new tax bill eliminates a small monthly benefit for biking to work, while maintaining much larger tax breaks for driving and using transit.

Here’s what they had to say.

Today, the Senate voted to eliminate the $20 per-month tax benefit available for those who bike to work while maintaining both the $255 per-month parking and transit benefit.

“What is the Senate thinking? Why single out a modest incentive that encourages people to bike to work, increasing community health and reducing congestion, while maintaining a significantly larger and more expensive incentive for people to drive?” said Tim Blumenthal, President of PeopleForBikes. “We encourage the conference committee to include this popular and common sense bike tax benefit as the House did in its version of the bill.”

PeopleForBikes spearheaded a letter from bike industry leaders calling on both the Senate and House to maintain the bike tax benefit. You can read the full letter here.

PeopleForBikes also joined a coalition 20 national organizations in support of the tax benefit. You can see the full text of the letter here.

………

‘Tis the season.

Four hundred Portland kids got their first bicycles, thanks to an organization that has given away over 10,000 bikes to lower income families since 1995.

Another 400 kids are expected to get new bicycles from a Boise ID nonprofit.

Employees of a New Jersey insurance company built 26 bicycles for a local toy drive.

On the other hand, the Salvation Army in Akron, Ohio turned Scrooge for the holidays, refusing to accept bikes as gifts for their Angel Tree program because they don’t have any room to store them.

………

This is day twelve of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Christopher M, Tyrone C and Robert K for their generous donations to help support this site.

………

Local

LA Magazine suggests the best ways to experience LA without a car, including taking a bike tour.

CiclaValley celebrates a new, if somewhat bee barricaded, drinking fountain in Griffith Park.

 

State

San Diego may be left behind when it comes to dockless bikeshare, thanks to the city’s exclusive contract with docked bikeshare provider DecoBike. Although a little inconvenience like may not stop some of the dockless providers from flooding the city’s streets with their bikes, by following the Uber model of coming in first and asking for permission later.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the winners of their 2017 Golden Gear Awards.

Caught on video: San Francisco advocates once again form a human protected bike lane to call for protected lanes on upper Market Street.

Sad news from Oakland, where a West Oakland bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run collision.

Chico police are looking for a bike-riding transient who may have started a fire that destroyed a local business.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to avoid injuries common to people over 40. And no, staying 39 is not one of the options.

Honolulu joins Orange County and San Francisco in evicting homeless encampments from a separated bike path.

The upscale Robb Report looks at how Denver’s Alchemy Bicycle Company hand builds their bespoke carbon, steel and titanium bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Colorado man faces charges of DUI, vehicular assault, hit-and-run, careless driving causing bodily injury and driving without a valid license for fleeing the scene after hitting a bike rider.

A Michigan man will spend somewhere between 18 months and 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a popular nun as she was riding her bike; he tried to claim he’d hit a deer instead. So he could end up with a slap on the wrist, or some serious time. Or anything in between.

A New York cruiser bike rider complains that he can’t obey the requirement to ride to the right when the bike lanes are on the left side of a service road.

 

International

Treehugger says almost all successful cities are clamping down on private cars and promoting bikes. Which would suggest — or maybe confirm — that Los Angeles isn’t one.

Ontario, Canada is investing $93 million to expand bike infrastructure across the province.

A new report delivered to London’s mayor says the way to improve safety is to reduce speeds to 20 mph, fix potholes and give bike riders priority at intersections.

A London bike rider describes what it was like to be attacked by three muggers who punched him in the face and stole his Brompton, part of a trend of violent bike-jackings in the city.

Maybe there is a war on cars after all. Someone left large bricks and rocks on a UK highway, damaging dozens of cars.

A report from the British transportation agency says meeting the country’s goals for bicycling and walking could prevent 13,000 pollution deaths over the next ten years, and save the equivalent of over $12 billion.

Relatives of a fallen Belfast bike rider were angry that someone stole a bicycle painted in his club colors, which had been installed as a memorial; the bike was recovered after they made an appeal on Facebook.

Speaking of stolen Belfast bikes, a student who posted a noted asking the person who “borrowed” her bicycle to please return it didn’t get it back, but she did get a used bike from a kindhearted stranger.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist barely avoids sliding out into traffic after slipping on a wet sidewalk.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A new Australian campaign examines the ripple effect roadway trauma has on the victim’s families and communities.

Who needs a bike car on a train, when you can have an entire Japanese bike train?

 

Finally…

This is why you don’t blow through red lights. Please don’t throw dockless bikeshare bike in front of an oncoming train.

And how can drivers to avoid bike riders when they can’t even avoid a rock?

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Norm Bradwell for the last link.

 

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

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Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

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People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

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Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

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Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

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Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

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Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

Morning Links: Truck driver charged in 2015 death; LA capitulates on green lanes, and ranks low on low stress

About damn time.

After a 20 month delay, the LA County District Attorney’s office has finally charged the driver responsible for the death of Long Beach bike rider Robert Castorena in 2015.

Fifty-year old Utah resident Wesley Phil Blake was charged with vehicular manslaughter for attempting to cross under a railroad bridge in Carson that was too low for the load he was carrying on his flatbed truck. It dislodged the massive shipping container, which fell off and crushed Castorena as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

Blake was reportedly driving as a result of a trucking strike at the Port of Los Angeles, and may have been attempting to cut corners since he was being paid by the load, rather than the hour.

He faces up to six years in prison if he’s convicted.

His victim has already been sentenced to death.

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Once again, the LA City Council has chosen the film industry over your safety when it comes to putting green bike lanes on the streets.

A compromise agreement with the city council — which reads more like a capitulation to the industry — commits the city to using a far less noticeable shade of forest green, which pretty much defeats the entire purpose of green bike lanes.

It also establishes a three-year moratorium on any new green paint in popular filming locations, and commits to notifying the city’s FilmLA before installing green paint on other high filming streets.

Yet all this is just the industry forcing the city to bend over to kiss its collective ass to its will, since the green paint can be removed in post production, and can be easily covered before filming.

Maybe we should start a crowdfunding campaign to buy some damn black mats to cover the green lanes during locations shoots, since Hollywood production studios can’t seem to find any money for them in their $100 million budgets.

And maybe remind the council that, as important as the film industry is to LA, this is a city, not a studio backlot.

And people actually live here.

This is the dull color LA’s new green bike lanes will be, as opposed to the bright, highly visible green on Santa Monica’s Main Street at the top of this page. Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the photo.

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People for Bikes has introduced a new nationwide map to show how 299 cities rate in terms of being able to ride your bike on a low stress network, determined by factors such as how easy it is to ride to school, shopping or a doctor.

Not surprisingly, many small towns rated high for low stress.

And equally unsurprising, Los Angeles scored an extremely low 19, compared to other cities, which scored as high as 80.

The site is still in beta, and looking for feedback through the 14th of next month. But they seem to have gotten our ranking right, anyway.

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The LACBC will host a ride on the lower portion of the LA River bike path this Saturday.

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The grueling Race Across America — better known as RAAM — kicked off in Oceanside yesterday; the winners should reach the finish in Annapolis MD in a little over a week.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters are competing to raise funds and awareness for their fellow firefighters with cancer.

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Yesterday we linked to the Go Fund Me page for track cyclist John Walsh, who was seriously injured in a fall while competing on Sunday. Now Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests it wasn’t an accident.

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Local

Maybe he got the message. CD1’s Gil Cedillo is co-hosting a discussion with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council next Tuesday to draft an action plan to improve pedestrian, bike and traffic safety. Show up and tell him to approve the North Figueroa road diet if he’s serious about saving lives; if not, it’s just more talk and political posturing. Thanks to Harv for the heads-up.

KABC-7 professes to offer tips to keep you safe while bicycling, but doesn’t get any further than helmets and lights. Note to KABC — bike lights are required in California, and every other state in the US. Not just Santa Monica.

A San Marino jewelry store owner has set out on a 3,000 mile ride across the US to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), after his riding partner died of the disease four years ago.

LA County has issued a $10,000 reward for the capture and conviction of a bike-riding man who attempted to rape a woman on a South El Monte bike trail. Let’s hope they find this creep and lock him up for a long time.

 

State

A new UC Irvine study shows safe passing laws don’t appear to have had any effect on fatalities.

Go Human and Orange County Parks hosted a pop-up event to show how cycle tracks could connect a gap in the county’s 66-mile OC Loop bike trail network.

The Daily Pilot discovers the South African cyclist towing a replica rhino down the left coast as he pauses in Huntington Beach to raise awareness of the risks to the endangered species.

A Central California public radio station looks into whether mountain bikes should be allowed in US wilderness areas.

San Francisco’s BART rail system is testing a new smart bike lock system in their stations; the Estonian maker of the lock says not a single bike has been stolen from one of their locks in over a million uses in Europe.

An Oakland resident maps out a two-wheeled pub crawl.

A Marin columnist says separate but equal is the solution to the county’s conflict over allowing mountain bikes on the local trails.

 

National

Bicycling looks at where you can legally ride your ebike, which isn’t as simple a question as it seems. In California, ebikes capable of up to 20 mph are allowed on bike paths, and bikes capable of up to 28 mph can ride in bike lanes. Anything faster than that is legally considered a motorcycle, and requires a license and helmet.

An Austin TX bike group says the minor charges against the driver who ran down four bicyclists, claiming he fell asleep at the wheel, aren’t serious enough to fit the crime.

Nice story, as a seven-year old Louisiana girl stops in Chicago to meet with bike cops on a nationwide tour to hug police officers in every state across the US.

Police in a Chicago suburb are ticketing bike riders for good behavior by giving them coupons for free ice cream for riding safely.

After someone stole a custom tricycle from an adult man with Down syndrome, Chicago-area residents crowdfund money to buy a replacement within days.

A Massachusetts bill would establish a three-foot passing distance for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as equestrians and road workers, increasing by one foot for each 10 miles per hour over 30 mph.

The Department of DIY wins one for a change, as Providence RI replaces toilet plungers installed by a bike rider with actual plastic flex poles to mark a protected bike lane.

A Baltimore judge issues a restraining order to keep the city’s mayor from ripping out a partially installed protected bike lane in response to complaints from NIMBYs.

 

International

A Canadian consultant argues that better bike lanes don’t just improve safety, they boost the local economy.

Traffic speeds are being cut to 20 mph on streets throughout the UK through 2020 as part of a Scottish study to determine if lower speed limits really do reduce injuries and fatalities.

Why settle for one world record, when you can set four in a single day?

Yes, France’s new president really is one of us, and so is his wife and security detail.

An Aussie newspaper says cyclists can’t stay at the bottom of the street food chain.

 

Finally…

Nothing like trying to do a good deed, and going for an unexpected swim; thanks to David Wolfberg for the link. If you’re investigating a hit-and-run involving a bike rider, it might help to release a photo of the truck that hit him instead of the bike that got hit.

And when your first sentence starts “”The time of the year when middle aged morons take to the highways with their bicycles and block traffic…”, it’s smart to hide behind a paywall.

 

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