Tag Archive for Peter Flax

Morning Links: Cars killing progress on CA climate goals, Flax debunks call for helmet laws, and what a bike thief looks like

As things stand now, California is likely to miss its climate goals.

By a century.

That’s according to a report from MIT Technology Review, which says that despite significant reductions in the energy sector, the state is making little or no progress in other areas.

They point the finger at rising auto emissions, as car ownership climbs while transit use declines.

Transportation emissions, the state’s largest source, have steadily risen since 2013, as the improving economy put more cars on the road and planes in the sky. Emissions from waste dumped into landfills have also been ticking up since the recovery took hold. Meanwhile, highly potent greenhouse gases from the aerosols, foams, and solvents used in refrigeration and air conditioning are rising sharply…

At the same time, overall car ownership rates are rising, public-transit use is falling, and consumers are still shifting toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. And the 92% of vehicles sold last year that weren’t EVs will, on average, still be on the roads more than a decade from now.

Accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles is likely to require far stricter policies, far more generous subsidies, cheaper EVs, and a massive build-out of charging infrastructure. And even California’s efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the state have been complicated by the Trump administration’s legal challenges.

And while San Francisco and San Diego have been making progress in building out bicycle networks to entice people out of their cars, it’s ground to a near halt in the state’s largest city.

Yes Los Angeles, we’re talking about you.

Maybe one day, the so-called progressives, environmentalists and other assorted climate activists at city hall will stop talking about the problem, and actually do something.

But sadly, that day is not today.

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Bike scribe Peter Flax is up to his old tricks.

If you can call insightful writing and consistently hitting the nail on the head a trick.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the extremely flawed recommendations from NTBS — the National Transportation Safety Board, which usually concerns itself with plane and train crashes — to reduce the climbing rate of bicycle deaths.

Starting, and nearly ending, with bike helmets and high viz.

And yet the top-line proposals from the NTSB largely shifted responsibility to solve this deadly crisis onto cyclists themselves. Two of the three key recommendations focused on the need for riders to wear helmets and be more conspicuous. (The third was about improving road design, which is awesome because poor cycling infrastructure is an actual cause of cycling fatalities.)

He goes on to sum up exactly what the agency failed to address that’s actually killing people on bicycles, in one brilliant paragraph.

Now let’s talk about all the important stuff that the NTSB report passed over to focus on helmets and high vis and scold renegade riders. Like the problem of distracted driving—where four in 10 motorists admit using social media (and one in 10 say they watch YouTube videos) on their phone when they’re on the road. Or the nation’s pernicious problem with speed limit violations, a widely tolerated illegal behavior that is a known killer. They could urge the auto industry and tech sectors to work together to solve these entirely fixable problems. They could ask out loud how or why many states still don’t have 3-foot safe-passing laws or regulations banning handheld phone use, and how or why these laws are rarely enforced in those that do. They could demand that American trucks and passenger cars match the far superior standards set in Europe and Japan to keep vulnerable road users safe—why don’t our garbage and box trucks have side guards to protect pedestrians and cyclists from the wheels, for instance? They could address an epidemic of fatal hit-and-run crashes and the shifting complexion of impaired driving and America’s love affair with 5,000-pound SUVs. Rather than scold naughty cyclists, agency researchers could have examined the carnage caused by negligent and reckless motorists—and offered commentary on what to do about it.

It’s today’s must read.

So go ahead and click the link. We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, here’s the full two hours and forty-eight minutes of the woefully misguided NTSB meeting.

Thanks to Mike Cane for forwarding the video.

Photo of the ghost bike for the still unidentified Hollywood hit-and-run victim by Healthy Activest via Instagram.

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This is what it looks like when someone steals a bike from a San Marcos CA garage.

Hopefully, that video shows enough of his face to bring the jerk to justice.

Meanwhile, after a Georgia woman chased down the thief stealing her bike and demanded it back, the bighearted victim is offering to give him a bike to help him get a fresh start.

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This is what a passenger-side dooring looks like. Toronto bike riders are justifiably outraged.

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We’ve mentioned Malaysia’s basikal lajaks several times in the past two years, ever since eight riders of the modified bikes were killed when a driver plowed into them.

This response to my tweet shows exactly what the bikes are, and how they’re ridden.

A website calls them a menace to society, but the nation’s sports minister says the riders can be redeemed and represent the county in international competitions with the proper training.

Thanks to kirin for the heads-up.

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The Los Angeles Handmade Bicycle Show takes place tomorrow…somewhere.

Maybe LA bikewear maker Swrve knows, since they plan to be there.

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

A New York man faces two counts of reckless endangerment for killing a 67-year old woman when he ran a red-light on his bicycle, and slammed into her as she walked in a crosswalk with the light; he faces charges from the same DA who routinely lets drivers off the hook. This is wrong in so many ways. So just…don’t.

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Local

Streetsblog talks with Michael Schneider, the founder of Streets for All, LA’s first, and only, political action group, aka PAC, dedicated to changing city hall to change the city’s streets; the group is meeting in Hollywood next Saturday to discuss pedestrianizing Hollywood Blvd.

KCBS-2 reports nearly a third of the Metro Bike bikeshare bikes get stolen or stripped for parts.

A USC op-ed says students should be discouraged from driving to campus. Or looking at it another way, the school should do more to encourage students to bike or walk to class.

Beverly Hills received a $90,000 traffic enforcement grant from the state, which will allow them to do bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns, among other things. Even if their police department doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a workshop in Sacramento this Tuesday to kickoff discussion of the 2021 Active Transportation Program. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Call it a good time for a good cause. San Diego’s annual 20-mile Bike for Boobs bike ride and dinner takes place tomorrow to raise funds for a local charity to help women experiencing financial difficulties due to breast cancer.

The Coachella Valley Bicycle Coalition held a ghost bike memorial for Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime; sadly, the 30-year old hit-and-run victim left behind his wife and four-year old daughter, who will now grow up without a father.

Thousands Oaks has opened an expansion to the city’s bike park.

Santa Cruz has identified the bike rider who died after riding off a cliff as the owner of a Salinas bike shop.

This is who we share the roads with. Just hours after a Modesto man got out of jail on a DUI conviction for driving while stoned, he got drunk and drove again, killing a bike rider while driving with a BAC nearly two and a half times the legal limit; his trial was delayed five years when he was institutionalized for mental illness.

Lyft is returning their bikeshare ebikes to the streets of San Francisco; hopefully they won’t burst into flames this time. However, you won’t see them in London anytime soon.

 

National

An Omaha bike rider says bicyclists should have to pay the same fees drivers do and have to have a license to ride just like drivers do, saying he knows other cities require that. No, they don’t. I’m not aware of any city in the US that tests and licenses people on bicycles. Never mind that bike riders already pay more than our share.

Chicago bicyclists respond to the death of a woman killed by a dump truck driver by protesting along the bike lane she was riding in.

Now that’s more like it. Instead of warning bike riders when cars get too close, researchers at the University of Minnesota designed a system to warn drivers when they get too close to someone on a bike. Seriously, take my money, already.

A Minnesota advocate refutes common objections to riding a bicycle, calling it carbon-free transportation using the original two-stroke engine. 

An Indiana cycling club shows that yes, it is possible for a riding club to get involved in advocacy and help teach people how to drive around bicyclists. Just in case any LA-area clubs want to give it a shot. Thanks to Melissa for the link. 

Bicycle Retailer dives into the history of Ross Bicycles, calling it the Schwinn of New York.

Kindhearted New Jersey residents passed the hat to buy a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York’s non-helmet wearing mayor and failed presidential candidate is seriously considering making everyone else wear one.

Al Pacino is one of us; he worked as a bike messenger to support his sick mother before finding success on stage, then film. And yes, he still rides.

DC approves plans for a two-way, curb-protected bike lane even though it’s opposed by a neighborhood commission. And even though it means removing parking spaces.

As we noted before, New Orleans Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. Even if he has to tweet for someone to drive his broken bike to the shop, because he refuses to get to his games any other way. Thanks to BikeLosFeliz for the link.

 

International

The co-founder of Lumos Helmet discusses how they’re creating what they consider the next generation of bike helmets to help bicyclists feel safer.

Once again, the Mounties got their man, busting an 18-year old man for being a bike-riding serial butt slapper.

Twenty-five Montreal bike riders will be allowed to ride a bike path across an otherwise closed bridge to try out various snow clearing methods, as long as they wear a special vest and sign a waiver.

London’s Daily Mail suggests giving your child a bike for Christmas, saying you never forget your first bike. Good advice, even if it is an ad for a British retailer.

A British military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan was lucky to survive when he had a blowout on his handcycle and slammed into a truck at 25 mph, shattering what’s left of his right leg.

A Belgian city has managed to cut car motor vehicle traffic by 12% at rush hour, and 40% on key bicycling routes — resulting in a 25% jump in bicycling rates.

Here’s one for my own bike bucket list — a beer hall bike tour along Germany’s Danube River.

 

Finally…

Your next Harley Davidson could have pedals. Forget the family SUV, your new kid hauler could have three wheels with child seats up front.

And UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup gets animated.

No, literally.

 

Morning Links: A friendly talk with the father of vehicular cycling, gap closure on SaMo Blvd, and Popeye Doyle is one of us

Sorry about that. 

My brother Eric decided to spend a few more days than expected to rest up on his bike tour of the Western US. And after 74 days and 3,500 miles, with at least another 1,000 mile to go, he certainly had the right. 

But now that he’s safely on the road again, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. 

So grab you coffee and settle in. You may need a refill before we’re done. 

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Bike scribe Peter Flax sat down for a surprisingly friendly conversation with John Forester, honored and derided as the father of vehicular cycling.

It’s a good read, presenting the human side of a man often seen as dogmatic and cantankerous.

PF: Well, as someone who presently lives and rides in Los Angeles, I’m curious what it was like to ride a bike in LA in the 50s and 60s

JF: Well, when I was with Los Angeles Wheelmen, we published a newsletter that got posted in bike shops, and some rides would start at a corner of Venice Boulevard somewhere in West LA. Or else they would car start — go in a car to a certain location and unload your bike and go off for the ride. Even then we knew that Los Angeles was just too damn big — if you wanted to get out of town, about the only way you could do it was on the coast highway. On any other route it a long, long time to get out of town, other than the mountains just behind Los Angeles. And the same sort of mix took place in Northern California — some rides starting at a local place, but for Marin rides I’d go up by car.

PF: So talk to me about this period, you’ll probably know the exact start of it better than I do, the late 60s and early 70s, when this bike boom finally came to the US.

JF: What I noticed toward the end of the 60s — I was still in Los Angeles in this time — was that there were road people, meaning Americans who drove sports cars, showing up with bicycles aboard. Good bicycles — I mean semi-racing or racing bikes. I’d upgraded my equipment by that time, too. I ordered a Holdsworth bicycle and parts to make up an all-Campy bike, and I switched to tubulars because they rolled easier. So I saw more people coming in cycling and they were not poor people, they did it because they enjoyed doing things on the road — driving cars and riding bikes.

Yet Forrester is someone who has probably had a greater influence on bicycling infrastructure, or the lack thereof, and how we’ve ridden for the past 50 years than anyone else.

And continues to defend his perspective.

PF: They put in a protected bike lane on Venice Boulevard for a mile a couple years ago, and I ride that stretch often. And what I perceive as a rider is that probably more than before I have to be more attentive when I get to intersections, but when I’m on the mid-block portion, I feel more relaxed because I feel protected. Perhaps it’s rearranged the risk, but my perception is that when you look at both the US and abroad, the data indicates that there are fewer fatal crashes when that kind of infrastructure is put in. That there are instances — like just a couple months ago in San Francisco where a young woman who works in the tech industry had someone open a car door in front of her and she swerved to avoid the door and got hit by a delivery truck. People see those kinds of incidents happening and then when protected lanes go in, they feel like that particular kind of risk has been erased for that kind of rider.

JF: Well, in the first place, don’t ride in the door zone. That’s one of the early rules of the game. And also, what you’re reading is people killed; you don’t read about broken ankles, concussed brains, cracked ribs, they don’t make the news. Only 2% of car-bike collisions are fatal; you’re making the tail wag the dog. And not only are just 2% of car-bike collisions fatal — they’re much more likely to occur during darkness and on rural roads than other car-bike collisions. Furthermore, as I’ve said only 5 percent of car-bike collisions are caused by same-direction motor traffic; 95 percent by turning and crossing movements. In other words, the people who you are quoting are making the tail wag the dog. And doing that because they are more frightened of traffic from behind than they are of anything else. That’s their phobia; it is a phobia because it is an unrealistic fear contrary to scientific knowledge.

It’s a long read.

But worth it to understand how we got where we are today.

For better or worse.

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The good news is Los Angeles has finally closed the gap between the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes that previously ended in Century City, and the relatively new bike lanes through Beverly Hills.

The bad news should be pretty obvious.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood leaders showed a little more political courage, voting to remove parking on one side of Santa Monica Blvd to connect their long-time bike lanes with the ones in Beverly Hills.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

Patrick Dempsey is one of us, too. But you knew that, right?

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A writer for the Orange County Register considers why almost no one wears a bike helmet in the Netherlands.

But like most who tackle the topic, he neglects to consider the benefits of a step-through frame on a typical Dutch bike, which allows riders to simply step off in the event of a fall.

Sort of like this.

https://twitter.com/ritaxben/status/1177676740220637185

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‘Nuff said.

https://twitter.com/GreavsieE17/status/1173926051468206080

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Call me crazy, but maybe they’re taking this “shrink it and pink it” thing for women’s bikes a little too far.

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

The road-raging Singaporean truck driver caught on video squabbling with a bicyclist swears he only swerved his truck at the man to avoid a taxi. Because when you’re faced with a crash with something hard, like a taxi, always aim for something soft. Like a person.

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

Police in Santa Clara are looking for the vicious jerk who attacked a 91-year old man with a rock while he was visiting his wife’s grave, then made off on a bicycle with the victim’s belongings.

Police are looking for a bike rider who smashed the drive-through window on a Bronx Burger King with a bike chain when they refused to serve him because he wasn’t in a car.

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Local

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu unveils a new HAWK beacon — short for High-intensity Activated crossWalK — to protect pedestrians on 6th Street, where local residents fought to have a life-saving road diet installed instead. And lost.

UCLA looks forward to this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia, which celebrates the 100th birthday of the university in its former Downtown location.

CiclaValley is a fan of the new Euro-style raised crosswalks in Beverly Hills.

Santa Monica has begun a project to improve the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail from Muscle Beach to the city limit north of the Annenberg Beach House to widen the current path and build a separate walkway; bicyclists will be required to get off their bikes and walk them along a temporary trail through the construction zones.

Brooks McKinney talks with Frank Ching, Metro’s head of alternative mobility and transportation demand management programs.

 

State

A newspaper in Santa Clarita recommends what they call the great eight California bike trails, including LA County’s Marvin Braude Bike Trail, as well as bike paths in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Tragic news from Orange, where a man died from multiple stab wounds after falling off his bicycle; he was apparently riding his bike to get help when he collapsed.

The Coast Highway in Encinitas will soon get buffered bike lanes. Unfortunately, it comes several years too late to save the life of Encino randonneur Jim Swartzman.

More bad news, as a 28-year old man was killed in a drive-by shooting while walking his bike in San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood, after exchanging words with the men in the car.

A Victorville man was hospitalized in grave condition after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. Although judging by the headline, what really mattered was the road closure that followed.

It was a bad week in Fresno County. A bike-riding man from India was killed in Selma by a 19-year old woman who was allegedly driving without a valid license, and reportedly has other undisclosed traffic crimes on her record. Three days later, a 76-year old man was killed in nearby Reedley when he reportedly rode out of an orchard into the path of another 19-year old driver.

Things weren’t much better in neighboring Merced County, where a man was killed when his bike was right hooked by a truck driver.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an entire truckload of donated bicycles intended for a class of Alameda 4th graders.

Megan Lynch forwards more on Cal Poly’s successful effort to set a new collegiate human-powered vehicle record, with a former Davis High grad manning the pedals.

 

National

CBS looks at the great scooter backlash.

CityLab celebrated my birthday with a ranking of the best and worst places to live carfree. Not surprisingly, San Francisco topped the list; shockingly, the LA metro area checked in at number ten. On the flip side, better keep your car if you live in San Bernardino or Riverside counties.

CityLab also says yes, a mass switch to electric vehicles could help bring down planet-killing emissions, but the real solution is for Americans to cut back on their driving right now. And Sacramento is ground zero in the fight.

A Seattle woman wants to know what happened to her ten years ago, when she was found next to her bike on the side of the road with a burst spleen and 22 broken bones, and no memory of what happened. Naturally, police blamed a fall caused by bad pavement, instead the far more likely possibility of a hit-and-run.

A Washington woman proves the old axiom, if you want to place high in a half-marathon, cheat by riding a bike.

Apparently order in the courtroom doesn’t extend to the streets, as a New Mexico judge slammed her car into a pair of bicyclists, killing one person and injuring the other.

A formerly homeless man in my hometown lifted himself off the streets, and turned his hard luck into a nonprofit dedicated to providing bicycles to those in need. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

A Kansas man is suing the police for unlawful arrest after he refused to give his birthdate when he was stopped for riding on the sidewalk without a headlight. He served three months of a 17-month sentence when police found meth on his bike after the arrest; his conviction was later thrown out on appeal when the court ruled he was under no obligation to tell them, and that it’s against the law to arrest anyone suspected of committing a traffic violation.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Wisconsin driver faces charges for killing a 43-year old bike-riding teacher while driving at nearly three-times the legal alcohol limit; it was his third DUI in just three years.

Chicago police are writing fewer tickets to bike riders. But most are still going to people in predominantly black neighborhoods.

A Kentucky cop flipped his police cruiser during a chase. So naturally, someone on a bike gets the blame.

Authorities in Long Island continue their assault on teenage ride outs, monitoring social media to crack down on planned rides, impounding kids’ bikes and fining their parents up to $100 to get them back; advocates describe the ride outs as an effort to escape poverty and drugs, while opponents call it the most dangerous subculture on two wheels.

A Brooklyn town hall called by a bike lane opponent devolved into angry pushing and shoving, accompanied by a lot of shouting. Proof that LA public bike lane meetings can get worse. But not much. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A New York driver faces life in prison for allegedly murdering a bike rider by running him down with his SUV after the man allegedly tried to break into his SUV, then cut a woman with a screwdriver.

Apparently, a call to kill people on bicycles is what passes for satire at Penn State. Unfortunately, it’s an independent publication, so the unfunny schmuck who wrote it can’t get the F he so richly deserves.

The speeding driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while attempting to evade police last April has been sentenced to eight and a half years behind bars in a plea bargain; he had faced up to 30 years if the case had gone to trial.

Video from Florida shows why you should always inspect a dockless bike or scooter before riding, as a man is seen tampering with two scooters in Fort Lauderdale.

This is who we share the roads with. A Florida man looks almost overjoyed to get his fifth DUI and 12th ticket for driving with a suspended license. Seriously, this is why people keep dying on the streets. Just taking away someone’s license doesn’t do a damn bit of good if they keep driving anyway. We need to impound their cars, and send the drivers to jail for repeat violations. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link. 

 

International

A 12-year old Montreal boy has a new bicycle thanks to Canadian pro cyclist James Piccoli, who replaced his stolen bike after reading the boy’s angry social media post.

They get it. A UK organization for disabled bicyclists introduces a campaign to promote bicycles as mobility solutions. Which should be required viewing for everyone who claims handicapped people can’t ride bikes, and bike lanes are a barrier for them. Because it ain’t necessarily so.

A British designer insists this is a bicycle. Something tells me you might not want to ride it, though.

No bias here. An English writer accuses “ultra-slick, leg-shaved, aerodynamic-obsessed Lycra louts” of being “yobs in tight shorts” who keep other people from riding bikes with their bad behavior.

Dubliners question why it should cost more to park a bike than it does to park a car. Or why it should cost anything, period.

Sexual harassment on the streets is one reason only one in 250 teenage girls bike to school in Ireland.

The prime minister of the Netherlands explains why he rides his bike to work.

Belgian bike riders can now get back to nature on a circular elevated bike path through the woods. Thanks to Fred Davis for the tip.

Horrifying story as a woman on a bicycle was dragged by a German train at 75 mph after she got her hand stuck in the door helping someone else board; remarkably, she only suffered cuts and bruises.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a ride through Italy’s Tuscan countryside from Florence to Siena.

Residents of the former Indian principality of Gondal needed a license to ride a bicycle. And continued to renew their licenses for a decade after the law and principality came to an end with Indian independence in 1948.

More proof that some drivers think they own every inch of the road, as a road raging Brisbane driver screamed at a bike rider to get out of his way — while he was illegally driving in the bike lane.

An Aussie opposition leader trots out the ultimate insult, saying an underground highway project will turn Sydney’s west communities into a “Little Los Angeles.” Even though Los Angeles doesn’t have any buried highway junctions like that; all our misery-inducing freeway intersections stand proudly above ground.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s worlds were a Dutch affair, as Annemiek van Vleuten finished first in a 65-mile breakaway, while her fellow countrywoman Anna van der Breggen finished second, a little over two minutes later.

American Chloe Dygert prevented total Dutch women’s world domination, winning the rainbow jersey in the individual time trial, and beating van Der Breggen by over a minute to become the youngest ever women’s world champ at just 22 years old.

Twenty-three-year old Dane Mads Pedersen became the youngest men’s world champ in 20 years, when the favorites floundered after a soggy six and a half hours riding in the rain.

An 18-year old Columbian cyclist broke down in tears on the side of the road after losing a tire, as any hope of winning evaporated when the team car couldn’t get to him. Meanwhile, the drama continued as the apparent winner of the men’s U23 race was disqualified for drafting a team car while fighting his way back to the peloton after suffering a mechanical.

The era of doping may be officially over, but someone forgot to tell the Columbian cyclists.

An African website considers the story of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, who became America’s first black sports hero.

 

Finally…

Maybe a fish needs a bicycle after all. If you’re going to ride a bike topless after shoplifting a pair of flip flops, always take the lane.

And if there’s a bear in your way, just jump it.

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L’Shanah Tovah Umetukah to everyone observing Rosh Hashanah today.

 

Morning Links: Jeff Jones Memorial Sunday, the cost of traffic violence, and biking through a 6-year old’s eyes

Before we move on to today’s news, I received word yesterday that a memorial service will be held this Sunday for Jeff Jones.

The popular photographer was killed in collision while riding his bike on Griffith Park Blvd last month.

Exactly the kind of residential street so many people insist we should ride on. And one that was supposed to get new bike lanes under the LA bike plan passed nearly a decade ago.

See larger version of memorial flyer below.

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Sigh.

Another brilliantly heartbreaking piece from Peter Flaxabout a young New York bike messenger who lived to ride.

And the effect their — as the victim preferred to be called — death had on the people left behind.

It’s definitely a must read piece.

One that also reflects the marginalization too many people experience when they decide to get on a bike.

Even in New York, which has done far more than most major cities to tame its streets.

There remains a public perception that most cyclists are entitled hobbyists, but even normally privileged individuals who get on a bike can experience what it feels like to exist in the margins of society, where one’s right to exist without threats is frequently challenged by systematic animosity, flawed infrastructure, and inadequate legal protections. And for someone like Robyn Hightman—who had struggled to find stability in their daily life and who rode a bike as their primary mode of transportation and employment—that marginalization was exponentially more intense. Robyn had endeavored to find a safe place through riding and was denied in the most extreme way possible.

As I did the reporting for this story—talking to more than 30 people who knew Robyn well—one unexpected theme emerged: Every single person who rides a bike told me about getting hit.

And it’s far worse here in Los Angeles, where little has been done in recent years to make our streets safer and more inviting for anyone who chooses not to drive.

We all deserve better.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Rising country singer Kylie Rae Harris was killed in a collision while making her way to her next gig in a tiny Texas town; she was just 30 years old. For someone I’d never heard of before yesterday, she was pretty damn good.

A Milwaukee mother teaching her teenage son to drive was shot to death by a road raging driver because of a fender bender with the killer’s van — after he had cut her son off by making a left turn from the wrong lane.

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Take a couple minutes to see an urban bike ride through the eyes of a six-year old.

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Local

Los Angeles officially opened a new half-mile segment of the Los Angeles River Greenway, better known as the LA River bike path, in Studio City yesterday; eventually the pathway should extend the entire length of the LA River.

A two-block section of Glendale’s Artsakh Avenue is scheduled to get a $7.3 million pedestrian-friendly makeover. Now if LA would just do the same with Hollywood Blvd at Highland, which is begging to be a pedestrian plaza.

CiclaValley conquers Topanga State Park on the Send It Sunday gravel ride. Although it should be noted that the park was unarmed, and refused to fight back.

Hermosa Beach’s bicycle traffic school allows bike riders to attend bicycle education classes in lieu of paying a traffic ticket, just like the people in cars have been doing for decades.

A man was critically injured while apparently trying to cross dangerous Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach on his bicycle; for a change, the driver stuck around. If LCD isn’t the deadliest street in the city, it’s pretty damn close.

 

State

Governor Newsom signs a bill that will allow bike riders to go straight through marked left or right turn lanes, rather than having to “thread the needle” between turn lanes and high-traffic through lanes.

The New York Times visits San Diego, and can’t see the ocean for the scooters.

A 22-year old San Diego woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she allegedly made a left turn on her bike in front of a driver traveling in the same direction.

A domestic violence suspect accused of trying to escape police by riding his bicycle into a Martinez Home Depot armed with a sawed-off shotgun has pled not guilty to felony counts of assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.

A local paper calls on car-centric Petaluma to do a lot more to encourage bicycling to fight climate change.

 

National

Former Chicago and DC DOT director Gabe Klein examines the stats, and says cities should focus on Vision Zero and traffic safety to fight crime affecting every resident on a personal level.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your confidence back after crashing your bike. My approach has always been to get back on my bike, and ride the same route I crashed on to drive that fear out of my head.

Kindhearted Portland police and 911 dispatchers buy a 12-year old girl a new bike to ride to school after the one her grandmother had saved up for was stolen.

The Sierra Club magazine goes riding on what they call the “American Serengeti” in Montana, where ranches have been combined and fences torn down to form the American Prairie Reserve at the edge of the Great Plains.

A retired marine living in Milwaukee says bicycling saved his life, losing 141 pounds after his doctor warned he could be dead in ten years.

A New York condo and co-op site says a building’s failure to securely maintain a bike room is just a lawsuit waiting to happen, regardless of any warning signs.

Curbed NY says, despite Mayor De Blasio’s musings, more regulations aimed at bicyclists won’t make New York’s streets any safer.

A DC protected bike lane is on hold because the sergeant-at-arms for the US Senate doesn’t want to give up 37 street parking spaces, even though there are roughly 12,000 more surrounding the capital building.

A writer for City Lab takes one of DC’s new 30 mph dockless electric mopeds out for a spin. And likes it.

In an apparent effort to increase traffic congestion on a new Maryland bridge, a letter writer says bicyclists and pedestrians should pay their fair share and be subject to the same tolls drivers are. Because Lord knows you wouldn’t want to encourage people to walk or bike across the bridge instead of getting back in their cars and making traffic worse for everyone. Besides, if bike riders and pedestrians were charged our fair share, they’d have to pay us to cross. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walks with loving caress on the wrist for killing a nine-year old boy riding his bike, after the judge gives her a lousy $1,000 fine and suspends her license for a whole six months. It’s hard to call that justice when it was her carelessness that sentenced an innocent little kid to death.

 

International

Streetsblog looks at people of color expressing themselves through bikes, art and music, from Philly to Chile.

A recent British Columbia design school graduate won a bronze award at an international conference by placing barcodes on a bike jacket to keep bicyclists from getting run over by autonomous cars. Which, however well intended, is just another way of making humans subservient to motor vehicles, autonomous or otherwise.

Someone in Hamilton, Ontario could be getting their bicycle back, after police bust a man on a failure to appear warrant, and discover the bike he was riding had been stolen four years earlier. Which is why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

A Montreal city councilmember wants to require all bike riders younger than 18 to wear helmets.

A 78-year old Australian man was forced to lie on the side of the road for over 90 minutes after he fell on his bike and broke his hip, while people passing by ignored his cries for help.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews catches up with lifelong bike racer and industry veteran Andrew Bernstein, who was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver in Boulder CO in July.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t ride on water? Probably not the most effective move to try to escape police by setting a kid’s bicycle on fire.

And it takes a special kind of person to say offensive things about people on bicycles, then get offended when they take offense.

 

Morning Links: Successful 626 Golden Streets, Smokey Bear visits AToC, and NIMBY traffic safety denier Bingo

We’re back with a nice, long update after yesterday’s unexcused absence.

So grab some coffee and buckle in.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Today’s photo is from the Amgen Tour of California women’s final at the Rose Bowl, courtesy of David Drexler. See below for more.

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The LA News Group’s Steve Scauzillo offers a recap and photos from Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event in South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel.

Meanwhile, an Alhambra paper says crowds flocked to the event once the rain ended.

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As long as we’re on the subject of open streets, CicLAvia has released the map for the Mid City Meets Pico Union event at the end of next month.

………

David Drexler forwards some photos from the women’s Amgen Tour of California final on Saturday. Unfortunately, we don’t have names to go with the photos, but its amazing how close fans can get to the riders.

Drexler also took part in the Rose Pedal Ride after the race, when the Rose Bowl course was open to bicyclists while remaining closed to drivers.

And nearly had the entire thing to himself.

This is how he describes it.

What if you threw a CicLAvia and No One Came?
It was called the Rose Pedal — where was everyone??
After the Amgen from 2 Pm to 8 Pm there was a ciclovia — all the roads were closed to car traffic around the Rose Bowl, but it was me and less than 10 other cyclists. Sometimes I rode half way around the Bowl with no one in back or in front of me, no cars. It was weird.
I almost think that there would have been more people out there if it was not for Amgen keeping the regulars away due to car restrictions.
I had this vision of 1000’s of people cycling around he Rose Bowl like the LA CicLAvia’s.
Lot’s of people came on bikes to Amgen, but when it ended — most left?

And he posed for photos with a couple of celebs, one of whom is former US Postal Service Team rider and current broadcaster Christian Vande Velde.

I’m told the other one is pretty famous, too.

………

Bike journalist Peter Flax plays Bingo with LA’s favorite traffic safety deniers. Take this one to your next contentious traffic safety meeting.

Then again, aren’t they all these days?

………

Apparently, those new protected bike lanes we were promised as a condition of granting permits to build the towering Wilshire Grand aren’t exactly what we got.

………

Evidently, it’s even worse in San Francisco, where a bike rider films himself riding, or trying to ride, through one of the city’s car-choked bike lanes.

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The next time you need a babysitter, maybe don’t call Danny Macaskill.

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

Maryland police are looking for a road raging driver who yelled obscenities at a group of bike riders, then intentionally swerved into three riders, forcing one woman into a ditch.

Meanwhile, Maryland police seem more concerned with whether the driver violated the three foot passing law. One of the victims says he may give up bicycling after 20 years, while his friend and fellow rider remains in the hospital, fighting for her life.

And evidently the motoring world has enlisted wildlife on their side. A kamikaze deer ran out into the road and smashed into a woman’s bicycle during an upstate New York fondo.

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Local

LA Bike Dad offers a status update on all the current bike projects in the City of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, LADOT provides update on work along the LA River bike path, including storm damage near the Riverside bridge that may force an additional closure. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the heads-up.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Actress Rebecca Gayheart says she didn’t want to live after killing a nine-year old boy as she was driving in Los Angeles. On the other hand, the kid probably did want to live. And her comment of “Why me? Why Jorge?” seems to prioritize the victims of this crash the wrong way. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up. 

The Eastsider picks up the story of CD4 Councilmember David Ryu’s unexpected support for retaining, and improving, the road diet and bike lanes on Rowena Ave. It’s so cute that they pretend there’s actually a democratic process on the city council, when whatever a councilmember decides for his or her district goes.

CiclaValley enjoys his best bike weekend ever, witnessing the Mt. Baldy stage of the Amgen Tour of California, and taking in a vintage BMX show. On the other hand, my best bike weekend is all of them.

Malibu sheriff’s deputies will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown today. As usual, that means riding to the letter of the law while in the city. And hoping deputies don’t fall back into their bad habit of ticketing riders for nonexistent requirements to ride single file and hug the door zone.

 

State

California’s proposed Complete Streets bill moved forward in the state legislature, while a bill that would have re-allocated active transportation funds died in committee.

Meanwhile, the state assembly approved a bill to regulate e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, requiring companies to get permits from cities and agree to local rules on how to run things; it now goes to the senate for consideration.

Olympic freestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy says he’s participating in next month’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride to remind people that HIV rates are still climbing. He’s raised $153,000 to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; his goal is to raise $1 million.

The NRDC says California cities are rolling towards a more sustainable future, calling out San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego for their efforts to increase bicycling rates. Noticeably missing is Los Angeles, for good reason. Maybe CA cities have to be named afters saints instead of angels to actually do something about building better streets for bike riders.

An Irvine bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run driver who slammed into him at the Irvine Blvd onramp to the 133, then fled north on the highway; no word on the victim’s condition. Thanks to Bill Sellin for the tip.

A writer for the Riverside Press-Enterprise says yes, bike riders are required to stop for stop signs and traffic lights, after a driver writes he did, and a bicyclist didn’t. However, there have been times when a driver called me out for running a stop sign I had already stopped at, so take it with a grain of salt.

Santa Barbara firefighters flew a critically injured mountain biker out by helicopter after the rider suffered what was described as a major spinal injury Monday afternoon. Let’s offer our prayers and best wishes for a fun and fast recovery.

Frank Lehnerz forwards another story about the Fresno crash where a Telsa’s onboard cameras proved the bike rider was at fault. Although judging by the headlines, the self-riding bicycle apparently didn’t have one.

Cupertino is widening a roadway to make room for protected bike lanes by moving the sidewalks, five years after a high school student was killed there riding his bike.

Traffic deaths are soaring in San Francisco, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

A San Ramon letter writer somehow feels the need to remind us that bikes are inanimate objects and don’t have rights. And that mountain bikers have the same access to trails that anyone else does — on foot. Bikes may be inanimate objects, but the people who ride them do have rights.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero. A 20-year old woman is alive today after a passing bicyclist saw her drive off a 450-foot cliff and into the ocean in a remote area of Napa County.

 

National

A new NACTO report says fixing intersections — where nearly half of all urban bicycling deaths occur — could dramatically reduce crashes between bikes and cars.

Distracted driving is the new drunk driving, responsible for at least 3,166 traffic fatalities and countless close calls in 2017. And those are just the ones they know about; too many distracted driving crashes go undetected because police need a warrant to examine the driver’s phone, which requires probable cause. The law should be changed to require implied consent to search the driver’s phone after a crash, just like with blood alcohol levels in many states.

Hats off to the Bike League for teaming with the LA-area’s LACBC, T.R.U.S.T South LA and ActiveSGV, as well as the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, to produce a much-needed Spanish language version of their bike education manual.

Go ahead and take it with you. American Airlines becomes the latest US air carrier to drop extra fees for bicycles.

A Seattle writer says his bike commute was ruined by the city’s mayor, who canceled plans for a protected bike lane and replaced them with…nothing.

Running about a week behind, Bicycling catches up with the story about Walmart heirs opening their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers. Speaking of Walmart, the massive retailer has cut prices on ebikes up to 40% for Bike Month.

A city councilmember in Colorado’s high country apparently thinks only fit, able bodied people should be allowed on 55-mile mountain bike path, voting to maintain a prohibition on ped-assist ebikes.

Longmont, Colorado, wisely considers lifting a requirement for sidewalk riders to get off their bikes and walk across a crosswalk.

A week after a six-year old Iowa boy was nearly killed in a collision while riding his bike, he started collecting bike helmets for kids without one, while Detroit physicians call a bike helmet the best way to protect kids from bike crashes, while noting that one in five kids don’t wear one. Actually, the best way to protect kids is to fight for safe streets and teach kids how to ride safely. Although helmets are still a good idea, since children are far more likely to fall on their own.

Apparently, it’s okay to actually kill someone on a bicycle and flee the scene in Texas. Just don’t try tampering with the evidence to cover it up. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A Detroit columnist says there’s a lot of synergy between high-end bikes and cars — and a lot of bike riders in the halls of car makers.

Ohio cops want to know where all the abandoned bikes keep coming from, when no one ever reports them stolen.

New York advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian path on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to help people on and off Staten Island without cars.

Bighearted Philly police fixed a young boy’s bike for him while he was at school, after he asked if he could leave it at the station because his rim was broken and he didn’t have a lock. And threw in a new lock while they were at it.

 

International

Great idea. A shipping container is converted into a portable bike parking locker that fits into a single parking space, capable of holding 24 bicycles.

A former Vancouver writer recalls the city’s bike-riding mayor, who convinced the city council to invest $25 million in remaking the streets to be safer for people on bicycles. One more reason LA needs to elect a bike-riding mayor in 2020.

A writer for the AP says Quebec endlessly beckons to bike riders, thanks to its beauty, history and an extensive network of bike trails.

A British lawyer wants bicycle training returned to the schools to cut injuries among children now, and throughout their lives.

I think we’ve been insulted. A Scottish op-ed says the system that kept Edinburgh from becoming a second-rate Los Angeles is broken, while calling for a greater emphasis on making the city safe for people on foot.

Over 40,000 people turned out for a Moscow semi-pro bike race and open streets event.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers eight takeaways from last week’s Amgen Tour of California; VeloNews offers their takes, as well.

Cycling Tips’ Neal Rogers wants to introduce you to AToC champ Tadej Pogacar, calling him a future World Tour winner. Meanwhile, Pogacar set a new power record for the Mt. Baldy climb.

As for races that still have two weeks to go, Bicycling says Italy’s Valeria Conti may have the lead, but Slovenian Primož Roglič is in the best position to win the Giro. And yes, I had to copy his name to get it right.

Meanwhile, riders in the Giro say sure, it may be boring so far, but just wait.

 

Finally…

When you’re holding a fundraising bike ride, but you can’t tell anyone because it’s top secret. If you somehow feel an irresistible need to cremate a mouse, maybe try taking it out of the bike shop first.

And just…don’t.

Morning Links: Preparing for time change, the great bike helmet debate, and Gordon-Levitt pulls an endo

Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.

So when you turn your clock back, make sure you have working lights for your bike, front and rear.

Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, throw a pair of cheap lights in your seat bag, in case a flat or other mechanical problem keeps you out later than you planned.

It beats the hell out of trying to make it home without them.

And remember that the days clocks change are among the most dangerous days for car crashes.

So ride carefully and defensively until drivers adjust to the earlier darkness.

Meanwhile, New York is using it as an opportunity to roll out a new Vision Zero initiative.

Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t.

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets. Or the lack thereof.

Peter Flax explains why he hasn’t worn a bike helmet in five months, despite harassment and trolling from drivers and others, well meaning and otherwise.

An Australian safety expert says a proposal to ease the country’s law requiring bike helmets on sidewalks and offroad trails is “stupid.”

A new Canadian study shows bike helmets reduce the risk of dying in a collision with a motor vehicle by 34%. And that you’re at greater risk of dying if you’re over 35.

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We already knew the star of Premium Rush was one of us. Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is healing after appearing to go head over handlebars on a bikeshare bike while filming in New Orleans.

View this post on Instagram

I have bad luck shooting on bikes 🤕

A post shared by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitrecordjoe) on

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A road raging Portland driver cools down before things go too far — despite a punishment pass and leaping out of his truck to confront a bike rider who was forced into traffic when wet leaves blocked the bike lane.

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Local

Mark your calendar. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting an open house on November 15th to discuss a planned boulevard improvement project on Reseda Blvd. The improvements include better bike lanes and closing the gap in the bike lanes between Vanowen and Valerio Streets.

The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly program to hand out free bike lights to riders without them will kickoff this Monday in San Pedro.

Officials from Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach met to discuss “making beach city streets multimodal, safer, more pleasant and effective.” But they drew the line at a proposal for a Complete Streets makeover of Aviation Blvd, comparing it to the short-lived road diet on Vista del Mar. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

Outside lists the 50 best places to work. Unfortunately, you have to get to number 40 before finding one in the LA area; San Diego’s SportRX — who made the best glasses I’ve ever owned — checked in at 24.

 

National

VeloNews talks with a physician specializing in treating bicyclists about how to avoid the most common bicycling injuries. Step one, don’t fall off your bike. Step two, don’t get hit by cars.

Bicycling suggests that ebikes won’t necessarily cost you your hard-earned fitness, and aren’t really cheating.

HuffPo says Uber and Lyft are helping to cause the congestion they claim to be fixing.

The Houston Chronicle takes an in-depth look at the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face in the notoriously auto-centric city, where everyone blames someone else for the deadly divide between drivers, bike riders and people on foot.

A Chicago design museum is kicking off an exhibit on the cultural history of bicycling in the Windy City.

A Minnesota letter writer says the “the main difference of the ‘stupid’ cyclist’ and the ‘ignorant’ driver” is that only one is traveling at killing speeds.

Louisville KY is investing $140 million for a six-mile Complete Streets makeover of an overly wide main street, including possibly converting part of the extra wide sidewalks into bike lanes.

WaPo questions whether DC’s plan to ban some right turns on red lights will really save lives.

Things aren’t so great for bike riders and pedestrians in Charleston SC, either. But authorities can’t do much to fix it because most roads are controlled by the state.

 

International

A writer for Quartz says one way to make urban cycling safer is fewer angry dudes. But what she really seems to be saying is that we need more women and children, not fewer men, angry or otherwise.

An eco business website asks if dockless bikeshare represents a green revolution or parasites making a profit off the public space. Unlike Uber and Lyft, taxis, private buses and limos, evidently. Not to mention billboards, and other businesses that make money using public spaces.

Like the outdoor Vision Zero ad campaign we mentioned the other day, Toronto is using items that belonged to people killed in traffic collisions to create a hard-hitting safe streets art exhibit.

London business owners are calling for a crackdown on pedicab operators, who have a reputation for riding on the sidewalk and ripping off tourists, deserved or not.

A British study shows 26% of people believe the roads are too dangerous to commute by bike. That number would probably be a lot higher here in Los Angeles.

Maybe you want to add bicycling in Montenegro to your bike bucket list.

Tel Aviv cracks down on scofflaw ebike riders.

Norway’s ambassador rides in Canberra, Australia to share his country’s bicycling culture with the less than bike friendly country.

This is who we share the roads with. Over 20% of Aussie drivers admit to directing road rage towards people on bicycles.  Apparently, the other 80% just don’t admit to it.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer says if you think e-scooters are a safety menace, just wait until you hear about cars. Not to mention the people in them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling profiles former rising pro Adrien Costa, who’s back on a bike after leaving the pro cycling and losing a leg in a rock climbing accident.

Cycling News talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner and current legal dope meister as he looks for closure, and tries to move past the “disgraced cyclist” label.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to be a former beauty queen to benefit from bicycling. It’s true, women bicyclists deviate more than men.

And those fake painted speed bumps aren’t fooling anyone.

 

Morning Links: Catching up on road raging drivers, e-scooters news, older bicyclists and self-driving cars

We’ve got a lot to catch up on this morning. 

So pour yourself a big cuppa joe, settle in for awhile, and let’s get right to it. 

Photo by Kevin Menajang via Pexels.com

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

A road raging British driver got two years for punching a bike rider who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, knocking him into the path of oncoming traffic.

Caught on video: A road raging Aussie driver slammed the side of his SUV into a bike rider, knocking him off the roadway, then got out of his car and tossed the victim’s bike into the bushes.

It also goes the other way. A Portland man claims that after he cut off a bike rider while pulling into a parking garage, the road raging rider tracked him down, went to his home and slashed all his car’s tires, leaving a note on his windshield reading, “You were so easy to find, Mark. You should drive more carefully.” A commenter says that’s more evidence that entitled cyclists are real, and not helpful.

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Once again, e-scooters are in the news.

The LA Times gets it, with an even-handed editorial saying e-scooters could be an invaluable addition to the transportation system, but providers need to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

A New Zealand newspaper says let’s not be too quick to slap regulations on e-scooters.

And Peter Flax writes that instead of seeing e-scooter riders as the enemy, bike riders should welcome them as allies in the fight for safer streets.

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Speaking of Flax, he hit the trifecta in today’s news, with a second piece noting that painted bike lanes offer little physical protection — and virtually no legal protection. I’ve long argued that bike riders should enjoy the same unquestioned right-of-way in bike lanes that pedestrians are supposed to enjoy in crosswalks, but too often don’t.

And finishing out today’s Peter Flax news, an Akron OH columnist takes offense at a bike rider from Los Angeles — or anywhere else — poking his nose in the city’s business, even if it’s to defend the concept of road diets from someone who doesn’t quite seem to get it.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

An 85-year old bike rider remains a pillar of the Waco TX bicycling community, after nearly 30 national championships and several state and world titles.

The incomparable French cyclist Robert Marchand came out of retirement to take a lap on the country’s national velodrome at the ripe old age of 106.

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Then there are the driverless vehicles of our near future, which should be an improvement on the distracted driver ones we currently have.

Or maybe not.

A Berkeley-based urban planner says self-driving cars ain’t gonna solve our transportation problems.

And a team from MIT crowdsources the tough question of who self-driving cars should kill; you may not want to be an old criminal in the autonomous future. Or a cat.

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No bias here. A writer for the Sacramento Business Journal apparently thinks he’s writing a witty little satiric piece on how to be a successful Sacramento pedestrian.

See if you can find even a modicum of wit here, because I certainly can’t.

2. See if you can intimidate someone riding one of those ubiquitous arrest-me-red bicycles into either running into you or sloppily avoiding you, thereby wobbling out of the designated bike lane and into the path of a car.

You see, bicyclists don’t believe they’re on a two-wheeled deathtrap, which, if it collided with a German shepherd, would see the dog emerge triumphant (though not happy about it). Instead, bicyclists believe they’re pedaling in a bubble, a challenge even to fans of physics. They believe they can control their scrawny vehicle, not knowing that lithe pedestrians can usually flee the scene of an accident more easily than bicyclists can — unless the bicyclists are more motivated than the pedestrian to do so, possibly due to their having a record of DUI arrests, which also would account for why they’re riding bicycles, not driving their recently totaled automobiles.

 

All I see is someone who doesn’t seem to understand what he’s writing about, and apparently doesn’t care enough to ask anyone.

………

Megan Lynch forwards a reminder that there are many kinds of distracted driving. Some cuter than others.

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Local

Los Angeles Magazine explains the meaning of every proposition on the November 6th ballot.

Los Angeles Walks invites you to honor the victims of traffic violence at the LA observance of the International World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18th at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

LA is still trying to deal with the problem of cut-through traffic caused by Waze, which road diets and bike lanes unfairly get blamed.

Nice story from Long Beach, where bighearted police dispatchers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 14-year old boy after his was stolen.

The rebuilt Broadway corridor Complete Streets project in Long Beach should be finished by the end of the year.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority has received a $75,000 grant to provide bicycle-skills training and bike and pedestrian safety.

A Redlands paper looks at the projects which would be lost if Prop 6 passes and the gas tax increase is repealed.

Over 200 bike riders turned out for the annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour.

Sad news from Santa Clara, where a 49-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by a bus driver while riding in a bike lane.

In a pilot project, San Francisco will install a new protected bike lane on dangerous Valencia Street next year, as quickly as possible using existing materials; the idea is to speed up implementation of Vision Zero projects. On the other hand, new protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero appear to be on the slow track.

San Francisco Streetsblog offers a roundup of what Bay Area advocacy groups have to say on Props 6 and 10, as well as local propositions.

Bike riders in San Francisco’s famed Castro District donned high heels and wigs to protest Prop 6, along with a congressional candidate’s comments that “people would be forced to bike and take trains, and that wouldn’t work for her because of her ‘hair and heels.'”

Sad news from Pittsburgh, where a bike rider was killed in a collision on Friday.

A local paper offers a survival guide to biking in not-so-bike-friendly Santa Rosa. Meanwhile, a Santa Rosa writer says yes, bicyclists pay their own way.

 

National

People for Bikes has developed free tools to help calculate the economic benefits of bicycling to communities.

A former bike racer writes about the relatively new, mostly urban phenomenon of rideout culture, in which teenage bike riders swarm the streets, while performing stunts and darting in and out of traffic — a practice guaranteed to leave drivers and city officials frightened and apoplectic.

A new device raising funds on Indiegogo promises to end bike theft by installing a GPS tracker on your bike to alert you if anyone moves it.

Portland community members investigate a bike chop shop in a homeless camp, and discover a young girl’s bike that was registered with Bike Index.

UPS is testing out cargo ebikes for deliveries in Seattle, with the help of the University of Washington.

The LA Times says now that it’s cooled off, the new bikeshare system in Las Vegas is the perfect way to see the city.

North Texas bike riders give up on the Dallas area’s congested streets, and turn their hopes to an unbuilt network of offroad bike trails.

A grieving mother biked the entire length of the Mississippi River to honor her 22-year old son, who drowned there.

That’s one way to get attention. After an Indianapolis bike rider was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver, he somehow managed to make it up to the governor’s mansion get get help.

DC promises to double the amount protected bike lanes in city over the next six years by building another ten miles of protected lanes — which works out to a measly 1.67 miles per year.

A Navy pilot in Virginia used his bike to overcome the depression that that nearly claimed his life.

Atlanta plans to stitch a network of old freight rail lines into a 22-mile walking, cycling and light rail beltway surrounding the central city.

Bicycles are changing the way people in New Orleans get around, as the city has worked to build out an effective bike network. Seriously, if they can boost bicycling in New Orleans, with its high heat, bugs and humidity, just imagine what we could do with LA’s much gentler climate.

 

International

A “lifelong, avid cyclist” says the new bike lanes in Victoria, British Columbia are nothing more than an expensive vanity project that inconveniences motorists, while sitting empty most of the day. Pretty much like most streets, which are packed at rush hour, and far overbuilt the rest of the day.

A Canadian man who’s losing his vision due to a progressive eye disease turns to bicycling to stay mobile and keep in shape.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says what we really need is safe infrastructure, not a bunch of bike helmet scolds.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where an Uber driver faces a maximum $2,000 fine in the death of a bike rider.

London continues to show the US how it’s done, with plans to pedestrianize half the streets in the historic city core, while reducing speeds to 15 mph and expanding protected bike lanes and the city’s cycle superhighways.

A smile-inducing London-based pedicab company is attempting to crowdfund the equivalent of nearly $200,000 to expand their ped-assist taxi service throughout the city.

A Welsh website considers the bizarre death of bicyclist and MI-6 spy Gareth Williams, whose death was originally ruled an accident — even though his naked body was found padlocked inside a suitcase.

Bike riding is going upscale in India.

Here’s your guide to riding a bike on your next trip to the United Arab Emirates — including a spin around the Abu Dhabi F1 track. Making race car noises while you ride is optional.

Three Kenyan students have developed a solar powered, all-wheel drive, all terrain ebike that can also produce enough energy to power a home for three days.

And you thought your potholes were bad. A Kathmandu bike rider was killed when his bike fell through an open manhole cover.

This is who we share the roads with. A New Zealand driver plows through a family of ducks crossing the road, despite the best efforts of a bystander to protect them. The video is graphic, heartbreaking and sickening, so be advised before you decide to click on the link.

The ancient Vietnamese city of Hội An is planning to increase the number of non-motor vehicle zones, and boost bicycling for both locals and tourists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France route has been officially unveiled; Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas kind of like it, especially the climbs.

Elite cyclist Evelyn Sifton discusses finding acceptance in fixed gear racing after coming out as trans.

 

Finally…

Next time you encounter a polite driver, give ’em a big palm smile. When you have 4,999 bike riders, and still can’t get in the Guinness book.

And bikes are perfect for the coming zombie apocalypse and other disasters, natural and otherwise.

 

Morning Links: LA wins best bike cities race to bottom, the beauty of bicycling, and update on SaMo bike crash

Bicycling is out with their bi-annual ranking of the best bike cities in America.

Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t win.

Our bayside neighbor to the north is second, the same position San Francisco held last time.

My hometown slid up to third, while Seattle was a surprising choice for the top pick among America’s best bike cities after ranking fifth in 2016.

Then there’s LA.

The City of Angels, which ranked 24th on the best bike cities list last time around, didn’t come in quite so high this time.

In fact, LA didn’t make the list at all.

Then again, simply not making the list would have been an improvement for a city that was rated as the worst bike city in America.

That’s right, we’re number one on Bicycling’s list of America’s best bike cities. From the bottom.

An honor, if you want to use the term, that is well-deserved as city leaders have seriously backslid in their support for bicycling in Los Angeles.

Let alone safe streets.

This is what Peter Flax had to say on the subject, after he was asked to write the story for Bicycling.

Los Angeles should be heaven for cyclists. The weather is beyond dreamy—downtown L.A. has gotten less than four inches of rain so far this year. The city is an enormous, mostly flat grid of wide boulevards with plenty of room for smartly placed bike infrastructure. The traffic is literally the worst in the world, making it all the more reasonable to cover shorter trips by bike. The metro area boasts postcard-perfect oceanfront riding and spectacular climbing in legendary spots like the Malibu hills, Palos Verdes, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Every day, I see hundreds of people pedaling around town with smile on their faces, despite the challenges the city throws at them.

That’s the good news.

It all sounds quite lovely until you start to contemplate all of the cyclists who have been killed—and ask yourself why. In the past five years alone, more than 180 riders in the metropolitan area have been killed by people driving motor vehicles. During the last three years that national crash data has been compiled (2014-2016), only three U.S. states have seen more cyclist fatalities than just L.A. County—Florida, New York, and California as a whole.

The roads themselves are a disaster. The cruelest irony is that the city is spending money on them. But instead of investing in the quality infrastructure, millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay out civil lawsuits brought by severely injured cyclists or the families of killed riders. The sad truth is that in L.A., it’s more politically expedient to pay seven-figure civil damages than to fix all the crappy roads and build the infrastructure that keeps people from getting hurt or killed.

 

There’s more, sadly. A lot more.

Looking to sustain L.A.’s broken and ineffective transportation system are a cadre of well-funded organizations like Keep L.A. Moving, who are fighting any safety project that might remove a single driving lane from the urban grid. In their minds, one or two cyclist fatalities a month are acceptable collateral damage to keep a big car-centric city properly lubricated…

This angry populist rebellion resonated far beyond the borders of Playa del Rey. L.A. City Council members saw the political might wielded by angry motorists. So did Mayor Garcetti, who has aspirations for national office and wants to shy away from unpopular controversies. And since the bike lanes in Playa del Rey got ripped out, the already glacial pace of making streets safer practically came to a stop in L.A.

It’s not exactly pleasant to read.

But it’s worth your time, because Flax nails it, accurately calling out the multitude of problems we face. And the shameful lack of political support for making the changes we so desperately need.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call for our bad publicity-shy public leaders. Or maybe embarrass them just enough to actually do something.

At least enough to get us back onto the list. Even if we have to settle for the 50th spot, as America’s worst best bike city.

Which would be a hell of an improvement over where we are now.

Meanwhile, Long Beach did make the list, checking in at 27th, up one from their previous ranking.

Here’s the methodology Bicycling used to determine the rankings.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

………

It was a busy day for Peter Flax; if the last story left you feeling down, take a few minutes to read his take on everything that’s beautiful about bicycling.

Trust me, you’ll feel better.

………

Sort of good news.

In answer to yesterday’s request for more information about a bike crash at 23rd and Navy in Santa Monica, City Manager Rick Cole responded that the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.”

Not exactly good news, but better than we had feared.

Let’s keep out fingers crossed for a full and fast recovery.

………

Speaking of bad news, I somehow missed the news that an unidentified bike rider was killed in Stanton on Monday. The driver initially fled the scene, but returned a short time later.

I’ll try to catch up with the story later today.

………

The Los Angeles Fire Department offers a video profile of LAFD’s bike-riding paramedics at LAX, who use their bicycles to respond to emergencies faster than they could by motor vehicle.

………

Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the best way Angelenos can support climate action is to stop driving so much. And support improved transportation and density.

Streetsblog says California needs more bike diversion programs, after Bike SGV’s Andrew Yip helped a poor immigrant get into one when he faced a choice between a $240 fine or jail for riding on the sidewalk.

 

State

A writer for Medium says today’s hipsters have a long way to go to match San Francisco’s mustachioed high wheeled cycling fanatics of the 1890s.

 

National

The good news is bicycling fatalities in the US declined 8.1% last year. The bad news is they’re still too damn high, with an average of over two deaths a day, every day.

Lucky us. A new study shows, on average, every 13th driver that passes you on your bike is driving distracted.

Forbes says shared mobility data offers an opportunity to reshape cities.

Cycling Industry News refutes ten bike fit myths. I can personally testify to #4; bicycling is the only thing that held my balky right knee together as long as it did. Even now that I’ll need to get it replaced in the coming weeks, I can still ride with minimal pain, which is more than I can say about walking. Or sitting.

Speaking of that best bike cities list, Portland received its worst ranking ever, coming in at number five. Which is still 19 spots higher than LA ever has.

A Grand Junction CO newspaper urges donations to a Colorado high school marching band that was stiffed by an annual bike tour. If you’ve got a few extra buck lying around, there are worse things you could do with it.

A Chicago bike rider and a pedestrian were injured when a teenage boy hopped behind the wheel of an unlocked car and speed off, crashing into several parked cars in the process.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider complains about private parks security racing down a multi-use path in an SUV to chase riders around tight corners — especially when the ones being chased can simply turn around to get away.

A Massachusetts city has removed their requirement for bicyclists to hug the curb, allowing bike riders full use of the lane, like other city’s in the state.

A long list of drivers are still allowed in New York’s Central Park, months after they were supposedly banished.

 

International

Cities around the world are facing the question of how to adapt to an aging population, and what an age-friendly city would look like — including safer streets, improved transit and making bicycling accessible to older people.

A new foam liner from Vittoria and Tannus promises to replace your tubes and make your tires puncture proof.

A “secret” cyclocross fondo through the British Columbia countryside is gaining in popularity, despite being unannounced and not having any maps.

Putting the “mounted” back in Mounted Police, Canada’s famed Mounties are learning that patrolling by bicycle helps officers improve community relations and stop street crime.

An annual London charity ride takes you up to 90 miles from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust. The perfect royal ride for the Anglophile in your life.

File this under you’ve got to be kidding. Just riding a bicycle through a chain of outdoor malls in the UK could result in prison time, thanks to a recent court ruling.

Understanding your Emotional Quotient can improve your performance on your bike, according to a British lecturer.

CityLab says Paris could be a model for how cities can combat climate change, as the city works to reduce motor vehicle use.

Dutch phrases you need to know to ride a bike in the Netherlands.

No bias here. A Reuters story says Africa is locked in traffic as the “poor man’s transport,” aka the bicycle, is ignored. Which feeds into the narrative that people only ride bikes because they can’t afford to drive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nebraska resident and new US cycling team member Ashton Lambie has gone from riding Kansas backroads to setting a world record in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit.

French cyclist Sylvain Chavanel reveals what he learned in 19 years in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Who needs an SUV when you can have a Sports Utility (e)Bike? That feeling when the city steals your bike to replace the rack.

And keep an eye on Craigslist; someone stole Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy.

Morning Links: Long list of bike events, a moving tale of a cross-country rider, and what the hell is Metro on?

We’ve got a long list of bike events to catch up on.

Explore the new MyFigueroa Complete Streets project this afternoon with the Bike on Fig Ride, hosted by BikeSafe USC and MyFigueroa.

Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program is teaming with People for Mobility Justice and the Ride On! bike co-op to host the People Street Bike Rodeo in Leimert Park starting at 6 pm tonight.

Culver City, Go Human and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) are sponsoring Experience Elenda on Elenda Street in Culver City tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, BikeSGV and Metro BEST are holding the Sriracha Slow Roll through Duarte and Irwindale to the famed Sriracha factory, riding along a little-known off-road greenway.

Party for a good cause tomorrow night at the Pure Cycles HQ in Burbank, benefitting the Pablove Foundation to fight childhood cancer.

Metro is hosting the Pride of the Valley open streets event in Baldwin Park and Irwindale from 9 am to 2 pm this Sunday.

The LACBC and the Metro Best Program are hosting the BEST Ride: Forgotten History of Venice this Sunday.

Beverly Hills is hosting the formal dedication and ribbon cutting for the reconstructed Santa Monica Blvd at 1:30 pm this Monday, including the new green bike lanes. Maybe it’s also time to formally retire their designation as the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Go Human is sponsoring Connecting Chino on September 22nd to demonstrate temporary street improvements around the Chino Community Building.

Go Human and City of San Jacinto are sponsoring Envision San Jacinto on the 29th.

Wrapping up our events for this month, CicLAvia celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the massive Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia from DTLA to Hollywood. Which will also feature the first ever public appearance of the Militant Angeleno as he leads his first epic CicLAvia Tour.

………

Today The Beauty of Cycling lives up to its name.

In a beautifully moving piece from Peter Flax, an Illinois college student describes his ride across the US, just 17 months after he barely survived what could have been a fatal car crash.

Seriously, if you can make it through this piece without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

………

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a series of stories about bike tourism on Thursday, including —

Speaking of bike tourism, my brother is nearing the end of the first week of what has so far been a soggy ride through the Pacific Northwest, forwarding these photos from the Washington coast.

He also notes that on just the second day of his ride, a total stranger insisted on giving him $20 to buy lunch.

Another reminder that there’s real kindness in this world, if we stop arguing long enough to let it surface.

………

Someone needs to find out who is slipping acid into the water coolers in Metro’s marketing department.

And mind your manners with your bike, or get banished to a distant planet.

………

Local

Fast Company gets the story half right, saying Los Angeles is making a massive push towards zero emissions transportation, calling for 45% of cars and trucks to be electric within ten years. On the other hand, the city is backing away from its commitment to safer streets for bikes, ebikes, scooters and other forms of personal zero emissions vehicles.

LADOT has opened the semi-annual window to apply for speed humps. Which should be installed on every street until LA drivers learn how to take their foot off the gas pedal.

 

State

Governor Brown has signed an executive order requiring California to be carbon neutral by 2045, a goal the state is unlikely to meet without a dramatic drop in driving.

The San Francisco Business Journal says Prop 6, which would reverse California’s new gas tax, is a road back to the past that shouldn’t be taken.

E-scooters and app-based dockless bikeshare are behind San Diego’s plan to create a new Mobility Board focused on improving safety and re-thinking road and sidewalk designs

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 78-year old retired physician still rides 100 miles a week around his Carlsbad neighborhood. After which he returns his bike to his garage where he keeps his other 21 bicycles — down from the 50 he used to own.

Nice story from La Quinta, where police officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bike for a 6th grade girl after hers was stolen. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Nearly 100 bike riders opened the new on-road Peninsula Bikeway, providing a connection between Redwood City and Mountain View.

Streetsblog says San Francisco may be hosting the Global Climate Action Summit, but the city falls short on bicycling, walking and transit policies.

Bay Area bike riders call for change after the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black; black bike riders are six times more likely to be ticketed than white riders in Oakland.

 

National

The US House has passed the Every Kid Outdoors Act, which would provide every fourth grader with a free pass to enter US public lands by foot or bike, accompanied by up to three adults.

Reno warns drivers to watch out for more bikes on the road as Interbike comes to town.

This is who we share the roads with. After nearly running a bicyclist off the road, a Washington driver says he was taught that bike riders were supposed to yield to people in cars, and have an obligation to get the hell out of his way.

Wired considers what they call the “exquisite, intricate insanity” of Denise Mueller-Korenek’s attempt to set a new two-wheeled human-propelled speed record this weekend at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.

A Minneapolis columnist wonders where bikes fit into the city’s updated transportation plan, while a city councilmember looks to the Netherlands for inspiration.

A Philadelphia trash company has settled with the family of a fallen bike rider for $6 million, as well as an agreement to improve driver training and fund local traffic safety organizations.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Louisiana, as a New Orleans driver gets 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

 

International

The United Nations is struggling to come up with crash avoidance strategies to keep autonomous cars from running over bicyclists.

Bike Radar offers a lucky 13 reasons to be a roadie.

Toronto bicyclists want to know why nothing has been done to fix death traps on the city’s west side.

A British writer tests Brompton’s new folding ebike, with an engine developed by an F1 team, to see if it’s worth the $4,000 price tag.

A team from Britain’s University of Liverpool has set new handcycle land speed records for both men and women, topping out at 51.86 and 41.86 mph, respectively.

After surviving a brutal hit-and-run, a bike rider says drivers in the UK show little respect for people on bicycles. Kind of like drivers everywhere else.

An Irish driver pens a letter to bike riders, insisting he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but if he does, it will be their fault for not wearing hi-viz and putting lights on their bikes. He’s right about the lights, but you shouldn’t have to dress like a clown just to ride a bike. You have an obligation to be seeable, while drivers have an obligation to see you.

A town in the Netherlands has opened a new 100-foot long bike path made of recycle plastic.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Fabio Aru apologized to famed bikemaker Ernesto Colnago for his comments after crashing when the derailleur locked up on his bike during the Vuelta; cameras picked him up yelling “cazzo di bici!”, which translates to “shit bike.”

Phillippe Gilbert unexpectedly returns to racing, two months after finishing a stage in the Tour de France with a broken kneecap.

Pro surfing is now offering equal prize money for men and women, but pro cycling has a long way to go, despite a few bright spots.

Former world track cycling champ Kristina Vogel says she’s ready to start her new life as a paraplegic after she was paralyzed in a training crash earlier this year; she hasn’t heard from the Dutch rider she collided with or the country’s cycling federation.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when 500 cyclists hit the wall. And if Google’s founder had his way, you could have been shot through a 35-mile tube at high speed, propelled from behind by a mixture of helium and oxygen.

Um, I don’t think so.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

 

Morning Links: Counterfeit bike parts, new weed-based recovery powder, and a photo link to make you smile

David forwards a warning not to buy bike helmets over the internet, after a Kentucky man was convicted of selling counterfeit high-end helmets on eBay.

I would modify that to say only buy online from a company you, with a good reputation for quality.

And be careful of buying any bike parts online. Because every part than can be faked has been — including entire counterfeit bikes.

But you’re always better off buying anything from your local bike shop. And so are they.

………

I usually don’t share press releases for new products, but this one seemed interesting.

Floyd’s of Leadville, the medical marijuana product maker founded by erstwhile Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, is introducing a CBD-based protein recovery powder.

Available in Chocolate and Vanilla, each bag provides 10 servings, with 25mg of CBD, 27 grams of high quality protein, essential amino acids, only 5 grams of sugar and 150 calories.

“In addition to the softgels, tincture, and transdermal cream that we offer, we’re excited to bring to market these great tasting Recovery Protein powders,” states Floyd Landis, Founder and CEO of Floyd’s of Leadville. “It mixes easily with water or milk, and really provides a smooth flow of nutrients to maximize recovery after exercise, and even to start your day off the right way with a protein drink.”

Each 500 gram bag retails for $39.95, and will be available to Retailers and on the Floyd’s website within the next few weeks.

Go to floydsofleadville.com for more information and call 970.445.3209 with any questions!

For the uninitiated — like I was before my doctors put me on the stuff — CBD is the marijuana component that has a calming and soothing effect. And won’t get you high, like THC does.

Personally, I find that CBD helps stop the muscle spasms from my neuropathy, while a combination of CBD and THC is necessary for pain relief.

But that’s just me.

Your experience may completely different.

………

Great photo from Peter Flax, who dares you not to smile when you see it.

And I double dog dare you.

………

Local

Bike friendly DTLA councilmember Jose Huizar has called for a vote this Friday to install bike lanes on Fifth and Sixth Streets in LA’s Skid Row, in response to a request from local community members.

Streetsblog reports that the long-delayed My Figueroa project is finally nearing completion, with fresh green paint and newly installed bicycle traffic signals.

Just like Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, LAPD bike cops are going electric; they’ll soon be zipping down the streets on specially designed ped-assist ebikes capable of doing 28 mph.

CiclaValley unleashes part one of his CicLAvia Preview for Sunday’s San Fernando Valley open streets event.

The newly revived Long Beach Post talks with a Georgia transplant who found a home with the city’s cycling community.

 

State

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a distracted driver walks without a single day of jail time for killing a world champion triathlete when she “drifted” off the road and rear-ended the victim’s bike.

 

National

Inhabit considers how to make American cities bike friendly.

Now you can show your support for the man who believes slavery was a choice, with your own specially customized and basically useless Yeezy bicycling shoes with built-in mountain bike cleats.

Seriously? Bicycling reviews the best yoga mats for bicyclists. Which would pretty much be the same as for anyone else, since hardly anyone practices yoga while they’re riding.

The first six months of Seattle’s dockless bikeshare experiment show diverse ridership using the bikes primarily for transportation, rather than recreation. And head injuries haven’t increased, despite a low rate of helmet use in violation of the city’s mandatory helmet law.

Texas bicyclists are calling for safer roads in the oil boomtowns of the Permian Basin.

A Chicago weekly maps out the city’s lowest-stress bicycling routes.

Now that’s more like it. Buses and bikes get priority on a Minneapolis street as lanes are closed for highway construction, and drivers wait in backed-up traffic.

No, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, if the victims were riding bicycles, they weren’t pedestrians.

A Detroit writer does a great job of slicing, dicing and refuting the recent anti-bike “get off my lawn” screed from Crain’s scion Keith Crain, arguing that he’s writing for a dwindling audience of angry old businessmen. And that he wasn’t out of town when the city’s bike plan was adopted, just out of touch.

Apparently, when a man whose head is literally covered in racist tattoos crashes into an Asian bike deliveryman in New York, it’s just another accident.

 

International

A Costa Rican website looks at the time-honored tradition of bicycling in the country’s Guanacaste province.

Red Bull lists eight international cities that are “incredible” for active commuting. San Francisco made the list; needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

Canadian Cycling Magazine explains why bicycling leads to lifelong friendships.

Cycling Weekly explains how you, too, can have monster legs.

Road.cc offers advice on how to safely pass a horse, after a group of overly aggressive triathletes didn’t over the weekend.

Montreal motorists are rising up to complain about the mayor’s decision to block cut-through traffic over the city’s eponymous mountain to create a more livable, human park space.

A Toronto columnist says Vision Zero isn’t working, so it needs a little rebranding — like calling it Zero Vision, or a Vision 2089 commitment to have just 2,089 traffic deaths in the city in 2089.

Another Toronto columnist says the city’s streets will be safer once they are slower. Any chance we could get him to move to LA and write that for the Times?

We already know Katy Perry is one of us, so keep your eyes open for a woman on a bike shooting lasers out of her bra as she stops in the UK.

A pair of British cycling champs — and new mothers — offer advice on bicycling during pregnancy.

A British coroner has ruled that record-setting endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt took his own life after texting a friend to say goodbye. Fancourt, who set the record for the fastest crossing of Europe, was found in his own car surrounded by cocaine and drug paraphernalia this past January.

A Portuguese soccer fan biked nearly 3,200 miles in 45 days to see his team play at the World Cup.

The founder of an Indian bikeshare company explains how dockless bikeshare is reshaping the country’s urban areas.

A Chinese website says Shanghai can do a lot more to be bicycle friendly; the city will host the second annual Tour de France Shanghai this fall.

Yes, you really can buy a hi-tech ebike for around $261; you just have to move to China first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside says a new novel captures truths about the Tour de France, doping, and cyclists’ obsessive nature.

 

Finally…

Riding 135 mph on a 3D printed bike. No need to stop pedaling just because you run out of solid ground.

And that feeling when you want to ban bikes entirely, and blame commies on the city council for bouncing you from the bike lane committee.

No, seriously.

 

Morning Links: Arrest announced in Frazier hit-and-run, the healing power of bikes, and invasion of the e-scooters

For once, there may be justice in not one, but two South LA hit-and-runs.

According to KTLA-5, the driver of a Mercedes SUV who ran down and killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier on April 10th has been arrested; details will be announced at a press conference this afternoon.

However, 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks had already been booked on $72,500 bail after turning herself in last month, so it’s unclear just what police will be announcing.

Banks is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 am tomorrow at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center at 210 W. Temple Street in DTLA.

Meanwhile, the station reports police have arrested the driver who appeared to intentionally run into Quatrell Stallings as he rode his bike at a street protest over Frazier’s death, the day after Frazier was killed at Manchester and Normandie.

She had gotten out of her car to argue with some of the protesters, before slamming into Stallings and fleeing the scene.

Hopefully, details on that arrest will be announced at the press conference, as well.

Photo of Frederick Frazier’s ghost bike installation by Matt Tinoco.

………

A powerful and painful piece from Peter Flax, as he writes about the healing power of an Arizona bike tour when his wife suffered a miscarriage after just a year of marriage.

It’s definitely worth reading. Just make sure you have a tissue or two.

Or maybe the whole box.

………

A San Francisco writer warns in semi-apocalyptic tones about the invasion of the e-scooters.

On the other hand, a writer for the New York Times says they’re not urban menace or a harbinger of the apocalypse, they’re actually pretty great.

………

Local

Streetsblog LA is holding its Summer Fund Drive; a donation will enter you in a drawing to win a signed copy of Donald Shoup’s new book Parking and the City. Seriously, give what you can to help support LA’s most important source for transpiration news.

The Agoura Hills Acorn reports on the nearly $12 million settlement in the death of cyclist and entertainment lawyer Milt Olin; a local resident says rather than being punished, the LASD deputy responsible for Olin’s death was rewarded with a transfer.

 

State

Streetsblog offers a roundup of Tuesday’s California primary election. My sincere apologies to Eban Lehrer, who tried to submit a contrary view to my endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, but for some reason, his comment wouldn’t go through. But it didn’t matter in the end, as the former LA mayor fell several hundred thousand votes short of qualifying for the runoff.

Two participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were injured in separate solo crashes as the ride rolled through San Luis Obispo County yesterday; one rider had to be transported by helicopter.

A San Francisco bicyclist alleges he was deliberately run down by Lyft driver after yelling at her for talking on a cell phone while stopped in a bike lane; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, though his bike got pretty mangled.

 

National

Advice on how to look fly on two wheels, on any budget. For once, all the bikes they recommend are under a grand, although I could do without one that would look like a ghost bike if it wasn’t for the red seat and handlebars.

Tom Vanderbilt gets author and runner Malcom Gladwell on a bike, while accepting a challenge to train for a marathon.

Denver bike riders now have an app to report cars, trucks and other objects blocking bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll export it to other cities desperately in need of one, like maybe Los Angeles.

Dallas is attempting to tame the wild west mentality, and reign in the city’s dockless bikeshare companies.

A permanent memorial has been installed in Kalamazoo MI in honor of the five bike riders killed by a stoned driver two years ago.

An Illinois bike advocacy group unveils a bike safety campaign meant to humanize bike riders. For a change, it’s actually pretty good.

A Vermont ebike owner gets a lesson in how to ride safely. Because even in America’s second least populated state, traffic scares people off their bikes.

New York State considers legalizing ebikes, which are currently banned under state law.

A New York Democratic congressman goes full NIMBY in decrying plans for a protected bike lane on a deadly Gotham street, apparently preferring preserving parking over protecting the lives of his constituents.

 

International

Pink Bike gives five men’s summer mountain biking kits the test.

A writer for Cycling Weekly says we’re not MAMILS, we’re DICS.

No, Cambridge News, a vandalized Ofo dockless bikeshare bike didn’t desecrate the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens; the jerks who destroyed it and left it there did.

An off-road rider in the UK sets out to see if he can spend the night riding in the hills and still make it to work the next day.

A British man gets a well-deserved seven years for a drug-fueled rampage that began when he deliberately smashed his van into a man on a bike, then got out and threatened people with an axe, hijacking one car and using the axe to hack a bike lock.

He gets it. A Kiwi writer takes in the view from his neighborhood coffee shop, noting that if the people he sees riding bikes to work drove instead, traffic would get a lot worse. And if more people rode their bikes, traffic would get a lot better.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly boldly addresses the burning question of the day, explaining how cyclists pee during a race. And noting that it’s a lot easier for men.

 

Finally…

Note to Trek: If you don’t want to get sued, don’t name your fat bike after a dead celeb. And the world may see a cute kid, but all Time can see is a truck.

………

Thanks to David N for his kind words and generous donation to help support this site.

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