Tag Archive for Phillip Young

Aluminum foil foils traffic light sensor fails, unconfirmed report of Newport Beach bike death, and new Downey bike lane

Phillip Young writes today with a brilliant DIY workaround for the problem of carbon wheels not being recognized by traffic signal sensors.

Would you please pass this traffic light safety tip along to your readers with carbon rim wheels?

Carbon rim bicycle wheels usually do not trigger traffic signal light sensor coils buried in the pavement and can be a safety issue. The non-conducting carbon rims do not change the magnet field around sensor coils, so the traffic light doesn’t change for you.

If the traffic signal light doesn’t trip in your travel direction and you have waited for 2 or 3 minutes, you may be inclined to run the red traffic signal light dodging traffic at your peril.

My carbon rim bicycle wheels would not trigger traffic light sensor coils buried in the pavement until aluminum foil tape was applied to the rim circumference with some foil tape overlap.

I added 3M adhesive backed aluminum foil tape cut about the width of rim tape where the normal cloth rim tape goes. The adhesive backed aluminum foil tape sticks well to the carbon rim material and weighs almost nothing. This should work on all carbon rims using inner tubes.

Push the aluminum foil tape down against the rim to get full contact and adhesion. Install the normal cloth rim tape on top of the aluminum foil tape. The foil tape also offers additional support to the rim tape over the rim spoke holes.

The rim with aluminum foil tape now reliably triggers traffic light sensor coils. The bicycle wheel rim with aluminum foil should be positioned parallel to and directly over the sensor coils buried in the pavement rewarding you with a green light.

May your travels be safe and green lights will always be with you,

Phil

PS: Aluminum rim bicycle wheels usually work triggering traffic signal lights if the wheel is positioned parallel to and directly over the pavement sensor coils.

For those looking for a more detailed explanation of why this works, Young followed up with this post from Cyclelicious.

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Nextdoor users have been reporting a possible bicycling fatality Monday morning on Dover Drive near PCH in Newport Beach.

So far, though, I’ve been unable to find any confirmation. So let’s hope that Nextdoor, which is not exactly known for its veracity, is wrong this time.

Thanks to David Huntsman and Lois for the heads-up.

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Downey has a new painted bike lane on Old River School Road.

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A crowdfunding campaign to help the victims of Saturday’s vehicular attack at a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona has raised nearly $60,000 of the $100,000 goal.

Which works out to just $10,000 for each of the critically injured victims.

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For anyone who needs a little something to entertain yourself on the rare moments you’re not riding your bike, how about coloring a few LA landmarks?

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This is who the anti-bike crowd are really opposing when they stand up against bike paths and protected bikeways.

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Nothing like heading out for a McDonald’s run with a tandem bike-powered car.

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

No bias here. After a California man was killed when he struck a chain blocking a Carson City, Nevada trail, the local sheriff warns against riders over-extending their confidence levels, instead of warning about dangerous chains strung across pathways that can kill unsuspecting people on bicycles.

Pennsylvania police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who sideswiped at least five bike riders with his passenger side mirror; the victims believe it was a deliberate attempt to buzz, if not injure, the riders.

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Local

Los Angeles received an $18 million grant for safety improvements to the Broadway corridor in South Los Angeles, rather than the $64 million the city asked for, on the condition that they limit the project to the safe street infrastructure component of the application for the deadly street, and guarantee completion; the street is one of LA’s most dangerous streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

LAist examines how Van Nuys’ Retro Xpress Bicycles navigated the pandemic as an essential business.

NoHo ‘bent dealer Bent Up Cycles is now the proud owner of Florida recumbent maker Bacchetta Bicycles.

 

State

San Diego drivers are complaining about a lack of parking in certain parts of town. Which is a pretty good argument to not drive if you don’t have to.

That’s more like it. A TV reporter tries out San Francisco’s Lyft bikeshare ebikes, and swears she’ll never drive again.

 

National

NBC News examines whether removing freeways built on a legacy of inequity can heal historic wounds.

VeloNews offers tips on how to avoid cyclist’s palsy, the painful numbness and tingling in your hands and arms from gripping the handlebars.

A new report shows that the jump in traffic deaths during the pandemic was more likely to affect Black people, who were killed at a rate 25% higher than white people.

Tragic news from Texas, where a man drowned in a North Texas lake when he rode his bike into the side of a bridge and fell over the guardrail.

The New Yorker takes a stab at humor by suggesting that riding a bicycle isn’t just like riding a bike, after all.

 

International

Yet another new study shows that ebike riders can complete a trip faster and with less effort than on a conventional bike, but still gain significant health benefits.

Vancouver has honored fallen mountain biker Jordie Lunn by naming a new bike park after him, two years after the famed stunt cyclist was killed trail riding with friends in Mexico.

An Ontario, Canada man begged a judge for mercy after he was convicted of the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding woman, insisting he just “panicked and made a mistake.” Never mind that the prosecutor is only asking for a “stiff sentence” of only two years behind bars. Then again, how much mercy did he show his victim, who was sentenced to death at his hands?

A British filmmaker stayed relatively close to home during the pandemic by filming a challenging 450-mile ride around Wales.

Over 85% of readers of the UK’s Courier newspaper think bike helmets should be made mandatory. Which only shows just how wrong 85% of readers can be.

Berlin is expanding the city’s bike network by making 15 miles of popup bike lanes installed during the pandemic permanentUnlike a certain Southern California megalopolis we could name, which missed out on a once-in-a-generation opportunity by failing to install any to begin with.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar may be one of the few people who can claim to have pedaled a path from village unicyclist to winner of the world’s greatest bike race.

Cycling News considers the unique mystique of Mont Ventoux in Tour de France history; competitors in this year’s race will have to surmount the mountain twice in a single stage.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome lowers his sights, insisting he’ll be happy just winning a stage in this year’s Tour.

Cycling Tips examines the eternal question of what team sponsors actually do on the men’s WorldTour.

Reuters looks at five women’s cyclists to watch at the Tokyo Olympics, including pink sock-wearing American speedster Chloe Dygert.

Cyclist considers the top rivalries in pro cycling, dating back to 1940s cycling legends Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

 

Finally…

Not every Olympic cyclist has her very own Chipotle bowl. That feeling when your epic bike ride from Moscow to California only takes a few hours.

And probably not the best idea to growl at the bear you just startled.

Just saying.

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

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

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While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

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The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

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Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

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A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

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Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

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Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1366440759113756674

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

Guest post: Inattentional Blindness & Conspicuity

Originally, I had expected to be laid up today following carpal tunnel surgery. 

So when Phillip Young sent me the following piece, I thought it would make a perfect guest post for today when I wouldn’t be able to write. 

But now that my surgery has been cancelled due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, I want to share it with you anyway. 

Because it could help you be seen. And that could make all the difference on your next ride.

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Good info that may save your life about what car drivers actually see especially inconsequential bicyclists and motorcyclists.

Before I read it I too couldn’t understand how drivers don’t see cyclists, often cyclists in bright clothing during daylight.  After all, I know I saw them. Our brethren Down Under have a term…SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See Ya). Or you hear about drivers who say “the cyclist came out of nowhere.”  I remember thinking drivers say this stuff as an excuse because they were texting or something.

But this article by Marc Greek Ph.D. explains the difference between sensory conspicuity and cognitive conspicuity, and how they’re both important for us to notice something. It talks about looking at something and not seeing it, and why.  And most important to cycling safety, or the thing that made the biggest revelation for me, is the importance of the role that relevance plays in cognitive conspicuity. In short, the more relevant something is to us for some reason, the more likely we are to notice it, and vice-versa.

First of all, this explains why we cyclists are better at noticing cyclists when we are driving than are drivers who are not cyclists. Cyclists are inherently interesting to us.  Do we know them? What are they riding? What are they wearing? What are they doing? Would we do that? These are all questions we cyclists are likely to ask ourselves about any randomly-encountered cyclist that non-cyclist drivers would never ask and couldn’t care less about. This makes any cyclists in our visual space relevant to us and therefore likely for us to notice. For non-cyclist drivers there has to be more for the cyclist to be relevant to them and therefore for them to be likely to take notice.

Secondly, I think it explains why cyclists are generally noticed and treated better in places where 80% of drivers also regularly ride bikes than here where it’s like 2%.

Most importantly it explains why drivers often don’t notice cyclists as they pass them.  Consider:

  • The less relevant the cyclist is to the overtaking motorist the more likely the motorist is to not notice the cyclist.
  • Compared to a cyclist using the full lane and “in their way,” edge riding in a travel lane makes a cyclist easier to pass and, so, less relevant and more likely to be overlooked to approaching motorists
  • Riding in a traditional striped class 2 bike lane makes a cyclist even easier to pass and less relevant and therefore even more likely to be overlooked than a cyclist edge riding in a travel lane.
  • Riding in a class 2 bikeway separated from the travel lane by physical barriers makes a cyclist even easier to pass and less relevant and therefore even more likely to be overlooked than a cyclist riding in a striped bike lane.
That is, a driver’s primary focus area (see graphic below) — naturally concentrated on the course ahead — is likely to stop at the right edge of their  lane. And that edge is probably sharper when it has barriers than when it’s just paint. And it only makes sense that the further a cyclist is from a driver’s primary focus area — “further” by relevance not just pure physical distance — the more likely they are to be unnoticed by the driver.
CBEB124C-951F-4A47-B2DC-343366B3D19B.png

Attention test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

Some excellent bicycling safety links at the bottom of the article.

Wear brightly colored [Yellow (best), White (2nd Best) or Orange (3rd Best)]:

  1. Jersey
  2. Helmet
  3. Reflective vest
  4. Shoes, shoe covers, or socks and pants (bio movement)
  5. Front and back blinky lights. Lights with bio movement are the best on arms and legs.
  6. Spoke reflectors and other rotating reflectors (pedals and cranks)

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