Tag Archive for protected bike lanes

Upcoming bike events, Metro approves plan for NoHo to Pasadena BRT, and NBA’s Klay Thompson is one of us

Let’s start with a look at a few upcoming events.

The raucous Belgian Waffle Ride rolls through the countryside around San Marcos this weekend, with races starting today.

The LACBC and Metro Bike will host a family friendly Earth Week ride through the NoHo Arts District tomorrow.

A South Pasadena paper looks forward to the opening ceremony for Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission open streets event, which returns after a three year Covid-induced hiatus.

Wednesday is National Bike and Roll to School Day, so plan accordingly.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 12th, when Streets For All hosts a virtual happy hour with Culver City mayor and congressional candidate Dr. Daniel Lee.

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Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news of several events in both Northern and Southern California.

He reports racing has resumed at San Diego’s open air velodrome.

San Jose’s Viva Calle SJ open streets event rolls on Sunday.

And San Jose’s Helllyer Park Velodrome is resuming Wednesday night racing next week.

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The Metro board has approved plans for the North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit line.

The approved option, based on the community designed Beautiful Boulevard plan, calls for dedicated bus lanes, protected bike lanes, on-street parking, and a single car lane in each direction.

The 18-mile long route drew widespread community support, despite very vocal opposition accusing Metro of “trying to manufacture gridlock.”

Meanwhile, a writer for City Watch calls it an unnecessary boondoggle, while attacking the board and the Measure M sales tax funding the project, and accusing supporters of being “bought and paid for.”

In that case, I’d sure as hell like to know who is passing out those checks, because I’m still waiting for mine.

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Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, riding his bike to play in the decisive game five against the Denver Nuggets.

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

No bias here. A piece originally written for — and firewalled by — the Denver Post takes a clearheaded look at bike law, and the rights and responsibilities of bike riders in the wake of Colorado’s adoption of the Idaho Stop Law. But frames it by saying the law is creating animosity between motorists and bicyclists.

A man in Edinburg, Scotland apparently took issue with a woman riding her bike on a shared use path, and pushed her into the river.

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

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Local

The crowdfunding campaign to help send fallen cyclist and pastry chef Leonidas Accip Serech back home for burial in Guatemala, and benefit his brother and family, has now raised almost $17,000 of the $20,000 goal. Serech was riding to work with his brother when he was killed by a driver trying to escape another man in Koreatown.

Culver City News reposted a piece on bike safety written for State Farm Insurance, without crediting the source. And without bothering to use any paragraphs.

 

State 

Longtime transportation equity advocate and Antioch University professor Dr. Adonia Lugo has been appointed to a position on the California Transportation Commission, though she still needs confirmation by the state senate.

The Pacific Beach Planning Group recommends that San Diego continue plans to make the Slow Street on Diamond Street permanent, after the city cancelled an earlier effort after running into vocal opposition.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says he’s committed to improving the city’s bike lane network, even when those projects face vocal opposition — despite the recent controversy that resulted in the removal of new advisory lanes in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, with the mayor going door-to-door to apologize.

A new documentary follows a Palo Alto ultracyclist as he rides 3,000 miles across the US in the Race Across America, aka RAAM, to raise money for cancer research.

Congratulations to Rich City Rides co-op founder Najari Smith on being named a 2022 Bike Champion of the Year for Contra Costa County. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving and inspiring person. 

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking for comments on a proposed rating system for vehicle impacts on pedestrians. And by extension, bike riders. Let’s tell them that any vehicle that rates less than three on the five point scale should be banned from the roads. Starting with oversized pickups and SUVs with high, flat grills designed to kill.

A crowdfunding page for a 13-year old Utah boy killed by a hit-and-run driver has raised over $33,000 of the $36,000 goal in a single day; he was just one block from his home when he was killed.

Unbelievable. An Iowa man charged with killing a bike-riding woman while driving distracted walked when the judge dismissed the case, agreeing with the defense that there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction.

Houston, Texas is continuing to improve the city’s disjointed bike network, with plans for new bike lanes to connect several existing segments.

The Boston Globe says the best way to visit Maine’s Acadia National Park is by bicycle, whether you’re an experienced rider or just a beginner. Then again, that’s true just for about every other national park, too. Hint: Stop the page as soon as it loads to get past the paper’s paywall. 

Streetsblog says the NYPD’s supposed crackdown on drivers who failed to yield to pedestrians is anything but that.

About damn time. A group of New York councilmembers are calling for the Department of Education to add bicycling to the curriculum, and teach bike safety in every school.

New York’s annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour returns to full strength this weekend, with 32,000 riders registered for the 40-mile bike tour through each of the city’s five boroughs.

 

International

A questionable new British study claims e-scooters are five times safer than riding a bicycle, and pose much less risk to pedestrians than assumed.

An English man was collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers, one of whom has denied responsibility for his death in court.

Mail carriers in New Zealand will deliver the mail by foot or on a bicycle, after the entire fleet of electric mail buggies were taken off the road due to a maintenance issue.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular Over The Hump mountain bike race series kicks things off on Tuesday at Lakeview Park at Irvine Lake, in Santiago, CA.

Finally some good news about Dutch pro Amy Pieters, who regained consciousness following four months in a medically induced coma, after suffering severe brain damage in a training crash; however, doctors are unsure how much of her previous abilities she’ll eventually recover.

  

Finally…

That feeling when a former pro cyclist, soldier, CEO, lawyer, author, academic, hostage responder, weapons instructor and Strava KOM king isn’t. If you lose an arm in a collision while riding your bike, just build a new one.

And before you get carried away celebrating your victory, make sure you really won.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Witnessing road rage and Hollywood hit-and-run, and 76-year old man gravely injured in Griffith Park bike crash

Friday, I witnessed what too many of us face too often on LA streets.

I stood in front of my building watching as a man rode his bike down our residential street, narrow enough that drivers traveling in opposite directions have to negotiate clearances to pass safely.

He was positioned correctly, just outside the door zone, while leaving plenty of room for drivers to pass.

However, an impatient driver sped up from behind, and was apparently angry that he had to wait a few seconds for driver coming the other way to pass. So he subjected the rider to a needlessly close punishment pass — then brake checked him after the man on the bike strenuously objected to the close pass, like most of us would.

The incident ended when they exchanged words at the stop sign at the end of the block, then turned in opposite directions. Although I’m not sure if the guy on the bike turned left simply to get away from the jerk in the car.

It all happened too quickly for me to react and get my phone out, let alone catch the driver’s license plate.

But it serves as yet another sad reminder that we are all subject to the whims and temperament of those we share the road with.

Because it’s far too easy for drivers to take their bad day out on the nearest person on a bike.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only witness to bad driver behavior last week. A Reddit user posted the following message about a hit-and-run he witnessed in Hollywood on Wednesday.

Hit & Run @ Wilcox & Delongpre tonight (4/21)

Driving home from work tonight in Hollywood around 6:50pm I saw a black Tesla model X right hook a cyclist travelling southbound on Wilcox. Tesla sped away and I followed them to get their license plate number – if that sounds like it was you shoot me a DM and I’d be happy to share.

Thanks to tsmith8808 for the heads-up.

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Bad news just keeps coming from Griffith Park.

One week after the death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive, a 76-year old man was in grave condition after somehow falling from his bike in the 4358 block of Griffith Park Drive on Saturday.

Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on how or why he fell.

But what should be one of the safest places to ride a bike in Los Angeles is looking far from it these days.

Meanwhile, Lionel Mares writes to remind us that the Griffith Park Advisory Board will hold a Zoom meeting at 6:30 pm this Thursday. Which might be a good opportunity to demand safer streets — and fewer cars — in LA’s iconic park.

And Los Angeles Times readers write to call for safer streets in Griffith Park.

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This is the last week to register for this year’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park, which is all the more important after the events of the last two weeks.

Finish the Ride was founded by hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt, who lost the lower part of his right leg when he was struck by a van driver on Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, and dragged onto the 5 Freeway before he could free himself.

It started as a single event to call attention to the hit-and-run epidemic, and finish the ride he was unable to complete because of the 2013 crash. And has morphed into a powerful nonprofit movement to fight the scourge of fleeing drivers.

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About damn time.

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Renée Zellweger is one of us. And knows how to dress the part.

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A couple boys from India demonstrate a little tandem teamwork on a single seat bike.

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Ignore the news story. Just pay attention to all the bicycles in the background, which shows what’s possible with decent infrastructure.

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A British rider learns the hard way that maybe attempting a 124-mile ride on a $38 Amazon bike isn’t the best idea.

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If there are any international art thieves out there, this would look very good on my wall.

Just saying.

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

No bias here. A Staten Island website says traffic deaths continue to rise in New York, despite the city’s Vision Zero, and nearly a “decade of demonizing motorists as almost the exclusive cause of deaths on the road.” Considering drivers are the only ones who are killing people, it seems appropriate.

Twenty-three-year old French pro cyclist Lucie Jounier suffered a concussion, trapezoid fracture, and cuts and abrasions to her face when she was deliberately brake checked by driver while on a training crash; needless to say, the driver didn’t stop afterwards.

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

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Local

The Beautiful Boulevard plan is nearing the finish line, after a Metro committee approved plans for North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit lane, which incorporates many elements of the Eagle Rock resident-designed plan; the last step will be approval by the full Metro board at Thursday’s meeting.

Road Bike Rider reviews the new $3,800 mamarachi-style Cero One utility ebike, made by West Los Angeles-based Cero Bikes. And likes it. I like the corgi-sized utility basket up front.

 

State 

The rich get richer. San Diego continues its drive to be bike friendly with the opening of the new 3.1-mile Landis Bikeway connecting North Park and City Heights, part of a 12-mile network of bike boulevards. Although it’s probably not named after former San Diego resident and ex-Tour de France winner, and current CBD purveyor, Floyd Landis.

Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood bemoan the loss of a few dozen parking spaces for a new bike lane, while bike riders applaud the new separated lane.

A month after the so-called People’s Convoy truckers protest was held up by a single bike rider in Washington DC, they were pelted with eggs amid shouts of “Get out of town” during a pass through Oakland.

Sacramento police are looking for the driver of a work truck who fled the scene after rear ending a man on a bike, resulting in major injuries.

 

National

USA Today offers tips on how to upgrade your bike commute.

Washington City, Utah installed a pair of ghost bikes to honor Adam & Matthew Bullard, who were both killed by an alleged DUI driver while participating in the Tour of St. George earlier this month. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the brothers families has surpassed the $100,000 goal, with over $107,000 at this writing. Thanks to Kent Russell for the heads-up.

Residents of my Colorado hometown consider how to make the platinum-level bicycle friendly community even safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Milwaukee woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after she initially tried to blame her boyfriend for the crash, even though he wasn’t even in the car. Which is a pretty good clue that maybe he needs to rethink their relationship.

Tennessee has passed a bill requiring killer drunk drivers to support the children of their victims; the first of its kind law now goes to the governor for his signature.

Twelve New York residents were injured in four separate incidents when ebike batteries unexpectedly burst into flames.

This is who we share the road with. A Florida teenager with a history of recording himself driving at extreme speeds on public highways now faces six counts of vehicular homicide after he rear-ended another vehicle while traveling at 151 mph. Vehicular homicide carries a maximum penalty of 15 years per count in Florida; if the judge imposes consecutive sentences, he could end up serving up to 90 years behind bars.

 

International

Yet another study shows the health benefits of riding a bike, showing bicycling can reduce your risk of premature death by 23%.

T3 looks at the best new bikes from the London Ebike Festival, with a lineup heavy on foldies and micro bikes.

A 51-year old man was critically injured in Leeds, England when he crashed his bike head-on into another man on an ebike as they were both riding in opposite directions on the sidewalk.

India’s Hero Cycles is opening a new ebike assembly line in Manchester, England.

Typical. After a Welsh driver got the equivalent of a $532 fine for passing a group of bicyclists too close at too high a speed, other drivers insist on social media that he didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t get the video to load; it may not be available in the US.

Thousands of Scottish bicyclists turned out for the 10th Annual Pedal on Parliament to demand safer streets. In Los Angeles, we’re lucky if we can get a could dozen people to show up for a protest. Maybe if we had numbers like this, city officials might actually listen to us. And do something. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège to complete her best ever spring campaign; she also won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as well as notching three second place finishes and one fourth in the spring classics.

Twenty-two-year old Remco Evenepoel won the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his maiden effort in cycling’s oldest classic, as Belgium swept the podium.

Ouch! American Larry Warbasse will miss Switzerland’s Tour de Romandie after suffering testicular lesions with hematoma in a high-speed crash in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. World champ Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax in the same crash, while his teammate Ilan Van Wilder ended up with a broken jaw.

Twenty-four-year old Tyler Stites claimed victory in the Redlands Classic, sliding atop the podium with a third place finish in the final stage; 27-year old Heidi Franz took the women’s title.

An Indiana University fraternity claimed its first Little 500 victory in over 20 years.

 

Finally…

Riding tandem on a single-seat bike with a kitty as your stoker. And who needs an ebike when your passenger pitches in?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Santa Barbara bicyclist seriously injured in PCH hit-and-run, and Huntington Beach pulls the plug on bike path project

The hit-and-run epidemic show no sign of stopping.

The same day a Santa Ana bike rider was murdered by a driver who fled the scene, leaving his or her innocent victim to die in the street, another bicyclist was lucky to survive being run down by a hit-and-run driver on the Ventura County section of Southern California’s killer highway.

Or maybe calling PCH a serial killer highway is more accurate.

Here’s a brief press release from the victim’s family.

Santa Barbara family seeks answers and witnesses in PCH hit-and-run

On Saturday, February 12 at 11:10 a.m., Santa Barbara resident Jeff Sczechowski (seh-CHOW-ski) was struck from behind and thrown into a parked vehicle while riding his black mountain bike on the shoulder of the northbound side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This was just north of the Sycamore Canyon State Park entrance across from the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground that is south of the large sand hill on the inland side of the PCH.  He was wearing a white helmet and grey and yellow cycling clothing.  The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he is hospitalized and receiving care.  He has sustained significant injuries to his back, leg, and arms.  Jeff, a chemical engineering PhD, manages a research center in the UCSB Department of Physics.  He is also an avid cyclist and bonsai tree artist.  Jeff, his wife, and their children ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the event to please contact Ventura California Highway Patrol Officer Bowen at 805-662-2640.

Shamefully, fully half of the 12 people killed riding bicycles in Southern California this year have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Yes, 50 percent.

There is simply no excuse.

Not for the heartless cowards who lack the basic human decency to stick around after a crash. Or for those in elected office who lack the courage to do anything about it.

I’ve offered my suggestions on how to stop it. And I’m sure there are other options out there to put a stop to .

But one way to another, this epidemic has got to stop. Now.

Photo of Jeff Sczechowski taken just hours before the crash. Thanks to Todd Mumford for the heads-up.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

After gathering feedback on its proposed Trails to the Sea project, Huntington Beach has pulled the plug on the entire thing.

The project would have added 4.75 miles of offroad trails along a pair of channels, where they would have had zero impact on traffic and the surrounding community. And provided much needed safe routes through the beachside city, which is already one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in Orange County.

Instead, the responses from local residents were apparently so bad that local officials decided not to do the right thing, and killed the project instead.

Never mind the current dangers faced by bike riders and pedestrians in the city. Or the desperate need to get people out of their cars, at a time when Orange County is already a year-round fire zone.

And never mind that access to a safe bikeway increases local property values.

There’s simply no rational reason to oppose a project like this, let alone cancel it.

But they did anyway.

Thanks to Eric Eberwein for the tip.

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Say goodbye to the green bollards on Del Amo Blvd in Long Beach, and hello to a new curb-protected bike lane.

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The Davis Bike Counter wasn’t just removed. It was killed by an errant driver.

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Megan Lynch also forwards this news about a single bike rider blocking a protesting Canadian trucker from blocking the roadways.

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Real talent is riding a bicycle around a stage during a live performance without missing a note.

Thanks to GlennC1 for forwarding the tweet. 

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

A South Carolina man was arrested for stabbing a bike rider who nearly hit him while riding on the sidewalk, despite the bike-riding man’s repeated apologies.

No bias here. After a 15-year old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver, Florida sheriff’s deputies somehow insist on noting the victim didn’t have lights on his bicycle — over half an hour before sunset.

No bias here, either. An Indian protected bike lane was removed after drivers were “inconvenienced” by the lane reduction to make room for it, never mind that bike riders were inconvenienced by the drivers parking in it.

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

An Albuquerque, New Mexico BMX rider is under arrest for a horrific stabbing spree that left eleven people injured at seven separate sites, riding his bike to attack people apparently at random.

Welsh police are looking for an ebike rider who is accused of “terrorizing” the residents of a small seaside town; officers seized his bike after he fell off while being chased, but the rider managed to get away on foot.

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Local

Nice to see East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III honored with a trip to the Super Bowl in recognition of his volunteer work.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders turned out for a ride to honor 49-year old Fremont resident Ellen Le, a week after she was killed in a head-on collision with an SUV driver while riding with a Santa Clara County bike club.

Hundreds more turned out for a demonstration to keep JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park carfree.

San Francisco ripped out a protected bike lane due to a construction zone, temporarily replacing it with a painted bike lane, despite being on a street where three people have been killed in three years. Never mind that removing the protected lane will make the city liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

A Vallejo driver faces a murder charge for the hit-and-run death of a 52-year old bike rider, due to a previous DUI arrest; naturally, the defense attorney wants to blame the victim, instead.

 

National

The New York Times says billions of dollars in last year’s federal infrastructure bill dedicated to highway expansion could worsen climate change.

A Washington mountain biker couldn’t find bikewear to fit her plus-size body, so she started her own company to make it.

Utah’s law cutting the blood alcohol level required for DUI to .05, from the .08 allowed the other 49 states, is showing demonstrable benefits, with drunk driving deaths and crashes dropping 20% in the state since the law went into effect.

A man is restarting his cross-country bike ride in the middle of the North Dakota winter, five months after he was nearly killed by a pickup driver, which ultimately cost him a tooth and his spleen.

Nice move from a Tulsa OK bike club, whose members raised $5,000 to buy a racing bike for a promising young rider who has never owned a bike of his own.

No coverup here. After a New York cop hit a kid while driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Halloween, the NYPD bizarrely tried to claim the boy somehow ran across the hood of a stationary patrol car, then they tried to just pretend the while thing never happened.

New York Streetsblog says it’s not the speed cams that are racist, it’s the road designs in low-income communities of color.

A 62-year old Pennsylvania man is alive today because his friends rushed to call  911 and perform CPR when he suffered a sudden heart attack on a long group ride.

A cautionary story from Charleston, South Carolina, where police are reopening a crash investigation after a man died two months after he was hit by a driver, despite being released from the hospital the same day with an apparent misdiagnosis of just minor injuries.

Always get the keys back after you fire someone. A Florida man faces charges for helping a former bike shop worker come back and steal $15,000 worth of bicycles after she was let go.

 

International

They get it. An op-ed in London’s Independent questions how the country can get to zero carbon emissions when the UK suffers from cyclophobia, and riders aren’t safe on the roads.

No shit. BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine says that the safety of people on bicycles is more important than drivers getting to their destinations on time.

A new British report shows bikeshare is a gateway drug to get people back on their bicycles, with bikeshare use reducing car use 53%, with an average of 3.7 miles per user.

The game ball for a rugby match between Wales and Scotland traveled 500 miles by bike to get to there, as part of a charity ride to raise fund to fight motor neuron disease.

Porsche is moving further into ebikes by purchasing a 20% stake in Munich ebike maker Fazua, to gain access to their removable engine and battery tech.

Cycling Tips is accusing UCI of silence in the face of allegations of death threats, abduction and torture involving the Afghan Cycling Federation during and after efforts to evacuate cyclists from the country.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 93-year old South African man’s bicycle when he stopped at an ATM; he got the bike from his parents in 1950 and rode it for the past 72 years.

In an obvious effort to thin the herd, Melbourne, Australia has painted sharrows between the rails of a tram line, encouraging people to ride their bikes directly in front of an oncoming train.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome called for banning time trial bicycles, saying it would be safer and fairer to train and race on road bikes; his comments have drawn support from his fellow riders.

Retired Irish pro Nicholas Roche has been warned not to ride in the mountains south of Dublin, while he’s filming the British version of Dancing With the Stars in the city, because thieves are known to knock riders off their bikes, then toss them in their van and drive off while the rider is still sprawled in the roadway.

The Italian movie The Pantini Affair should be coming to the US, after Capital Motion Picture Group picked up the North American rights to the 2020 film about the last five years in the life of legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

A Steamboat Springs, Colorado newspaper offers photos of downhill dual slalom racing on a snow-packed mountain, while UCI considers plans for a Snow Bike World Cup.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be carved from wood. That feeling when the peloton has to jump the median to avoid a police roadblock.

And we may have to deal with the horns of angry drivers. But at least that beats the horns of an angry bull.

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

New book says accidents aren’t accidents, WeHo considers protected bike lanes, and keeping deadly drivers on the road

She gets it.

The New York Times’ Peter Coy talks with journalist Jessie Singer about her new book, which concludes that there are no accidents, just events that could have been prevented.

And that too often, it’s the marginalized members of society who pay the price.

On the other hand, Coy clearly doesn’t get it.

Coy: …Anyway, is it possible to go too far in preventing accidents? It wouldn’t make sense to limit cars to going 30 miles per hour.

Singer: It is our moral and ethical imperative to do everything in our power to protect human life. When people talk about the nanny state, what they’re doing is making excuses for deeply preventable, deeply racialized and class-divided causes of death.

If we look at places that do everything in their power to protect human life, from Sweden’s Vision Zero traffic safety policies to Portugal’s harm-reduction overdose prevention policies, we see that countless lives could be saved just by putting people first.

Never mind that cities across the world have successfully reduced the frequency and severity of collisions by cutting speed limits below 30 mph.

Let alone the worldwide 20 Is Plenty movement to reduce the risk of collisions as well as the risk of death or serious injury by slowing drivers to 20 mph in populated areas.

So yeah, it does make sense to lower speed limits to 30 mph, or less. Because the convenience of drivers should never outweigh the lives and safety of those around them.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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There may be hope for WeHo bike riders yet.

Streets For All reports that a pair of studies could result in protected bike lanes on Fountain and Santa Monica Blvd, respectively.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490794943794716674

Either one would be a game changer.

Together, they would provide the first safe bicycling route through the city, from La Brea in the east to Beverly Hills in the west.

Let’s just hope they both get the go ahead.

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Today’s common theme is the lenient courts and government officials who inexplicably keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

Like the heartbreaking news from New York, where a 99-year old Holocaust survivor was killed by a reckless driver with a long record of speeding and red light violations.

Or the Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a 70-year old man riding a bicycle, and was somehow still on the road despite five previous DUIs; he was caught after two days, which presumably gave him plenty of time to sober up before he was busted.

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

No bias here. A candidate for San Diego city council says the city’s new bike lanes are death traps that go unused for weeks at a time.

A Florida city puts the entire obligation for safety on bike riders by requiring lights and bells on their bikes. But there’s not a bike bell made that will do a damn thing to stop aggressive, speeding and/or distracted drivers.

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Local

Work is proceeding on an $8.1 million, 2.8-mile extension of Pasadena’s Greenway Trail. Correction: Make that Whittier, not Pasadena. Thanks to Joe Linton for keeping me honest.

 

State

A new bill from bike-riding La Cañada Flintridge State Senator Anthony Portantino would require cities and counties to identify a High Injury Network of their most dangerous roads and intersections, and create a plan to correct them within 15 years. But do we really want to let them keep killing people for another 15 years? Cut the timeline to five years, and I’m all in.

Streetsblog offers more details on SB 922, which would permanently exempt bike lanes and other environmentally friendly transportation projects from lengthy environmental reviews. Which are too often abused to halt or delay bike, pedestrian and transit projects that would benefit the environment.

San Diego belatedly begins work on building a separated bikeway along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park, after a bike commuter and a scooter rider were killed on the existing bike lanes last year. Meanwhile, the family of noted architect Laura Shinn, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike to work, have filed suit against the city. Considering the years-long delay in improving the bike lane, they might as well just back up the Brinks truck. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Bad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike was hit head-on by a driver after they both crossed the yellow line while rounding a curve from opposite directions.

A Pittsburgh CA man was sentenced to 28 years to life behind bars for fatally shooting man as he was stealing the victim’s bike; the shooter bizarrely claimed self-defense, claiming he felt threatened by the victim’s attempt to get his bike back. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

 

National

In a question that answers itself, Streetsblog asks if America needs a Mobility Bill of Rights, after a group of Washington nonprofits author one for their state. Los Angeles bike advocates created a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights over a dozen years ago, which was sort-of approved by the city council, until it wasn’t, and then promptly forgotten, which was probably the city’s intent all along.

Popular Science says don’t buy an ebike, just build one using the bike in your garage.

Cycling Utah talks with our own Peter Flax, who offers a “look at racial justice issues through the lens of his deep and nuanced understanding of the various facets of bike culture.”

The Boston Globe questions whether the city will keep up the pandemic momentum that spurred bike lane creation throughout the area. Unlike Los Angeles, which squandered the opportunity presented by light pandemic traffic by failing to build a single new bike lane that wasn’t already in the works.

A Brooklyn councilmember tries, and fails, to successfully navigate a street without leaving the bike lane, missing out on the $100 challenge due to an array of drivers blocking it.

DC intends to install another ten miles of protected bike lanes this year, adding to its existing 24-mile network, with another 20 miles coming by 2024.

 

International

Worst dad of the year award goes to British father stole his daughter’s bicycle from the trunk of her car to teach her a lesson.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a careless driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding his bicycle; she was sentenced to 280 hours of community service and lost her license for a lousy 14 months.

A study from Belgian ebike brand Cowboy confirms previous studies showing ebikes offer the same fitness benefits as regular bicycles.

Amsterdam wants to give you over $2,200 for ideas on how to improve bicycle safety in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

At last, some good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who was released from the hospital two weeks after a training crash left him critically injured; however, he still faces a very long recovery.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could come wrapped in rice and potatoes. How about an ebike can actually fly?

And ebike riders of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

No, literally.

………

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

Transportation chair Mike Bonin to step down in CD11, and LADOT officer permits parking in DTLA protected bike lane

If it looks like I lost my best friend, it’s because I have.

Or rather, we have.

Embattled CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, the best friend the bicycling community currently has on the LA City Council, announced yesterday that he won’t seek a third and final term, and will leave the council when his current term expires next year.

Which will put the leadership of the city council’s Transportation Committee in play, as well as his coastal Los Angeles district, which encompasses Venice, Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Bonin has received an incredible amount of abuse in recent years from drivers angered by lane reductions in Playa and Mar Vista, and wealthy NIMBY gentrifiers angered by homeless encampments while actively blocking efforts to build housing and shelters to get them off the streets.

Not to mention dealing with at least three failed recall attempts in recent years, as opponents attempted to undo his overwhelming victory in the general election.

And apparently, it’s taken a toll.

He vows to remain active and keep fighting the good fight in his final year in office, as well as after he leaves.

The problem now is that anyone who isn’t already campaigning to replace him now have just 16 days to file their candidacy with the city clerk’s office. Which could leave the race to the handful of less progressive, decidedly un-bike-friendly candidates who had lined up to challenge Bonin.

They would likely have had little chance of beating Bonin. But now they face a wide open race where anything could happen, and anyone could win.

And not necessarily someone who will support safer streets.

So let’s all give our thanks to Mike Bonin, and offer our best wishes for healing for him and his family as they recover from the challenges of holding office in today’s abusive environment.

And hope we can find someone to take his place who will continue his fight, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers and reactionary local residents and business owners.

I’ll leave you with this final thought from Alissa Walker.

………

That feeling when even the people responsible for enforcing the law seem to have no idea what it actually is.

https://twitter.com/seanmeredith/status/1486427970323443713

Not only are drivers not permitted to park in bike lanes, it’s a violation of the California Vehicle Code 21211(b), which specifically prohibits parking in any bikeway.

(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

And yes, LADOT agrees.

Maybe something like this would finally get drivers to stop parking there.

………

Nice to see bike-riding Lakers fans turn out to remember Kobe Bryant, on the second anniversary of the helicopter crash that took his life, as well as eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.

Speaking of Kobe, he drove a hard bargain from a young age, demanding a red bicycle in exchange for his first endorsement deal.

………

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

A UK county council admits it acted illegally by ruthlessly ripping out a temporary bike lane installed on an emergency basis during the pandemic, before it could even be finished.

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

A Black Milwaukee bike rider was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide for the road rage shooting that killed a White immigration lawyer; the shooter alleged the victim had called him a racial slur.

A Spanish bike rider got the equivalent of a $1,120 fine for his drunken crash into a pedestrian, which was captured on security cam.

………

Local

LADOT will host the rescheduled Central LA Neighborhood Design Lab and Tree Adoption on Saturday, February 12th, after the original date was scrubbed due to the Omicron surge.

Streets For All will host their next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, February 9th, with special guest Stephanie Wiggins, the new CEO of LA Metro.

 

State

Gravel Bike California talks with former BMX pro Andrew Jackson about his jump into gravel, as well as his family’s efforts building a pump track in Inglewood.

A longtime Santa Barbara bike rider says he crossed over to the Dark Side by buying an ebike, and doesn’t regret it a bit. Although it’s hard to imagine anything that gets people out of their cars as part of the Dark Side.

Steroids may have kept Barry bonds out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t stop him from living an idyllic life riding his bicycle in Marin County. Besides, performance-enhancing drugs have a long tradition in bicycling, anyway.

Sacramento will now require people using dockless e-scooters or bicycles to leave them in drop zones or lock them up to bike racks, or face a whopping $15 fine.

 

National

The Bike League has released a new benchmarking report examining five bike-friendly cities to show the importance of safe bicycle infrastructure and connected bicycle networks, while noting that the US is 40 years behind European cities in developing bike networks for people of all ages; City Lab offers an easy to digest summary of the report.

A former Uber driver had bid farewell to fares, and is riding his bike across the US to visit all 50 state capitals; so far he’s just over the halfway point, riding through 25 state capitals and Washington DC.

Michigan finally gets around to banning distracted driving.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever keeps breaking into a Louisiana bike co-op, stealing 15 bicycles worth $4,000 in a series of burglaries.

Florida’s Seminole County is planning to add a pair of bike tunnels to help riders get past the busy intersection of two highways. While bike tunnels may seem like a good safety solution, they’re also prone to collecting debris and can be subject to flooding, as well as providing a home for the homeless. And anything that removes bike riders from public view increases the risk of violent crime, particularly for women. 

 

International

A pilot project will encourage physicians in Bristol, England to prescribe bicycling and walking to address health issues such as obesity, inactivity and loneliness.

A new British study shows more people ride bikes when they feel comfortable on the roads. And aside from a lack of hills, nothing makes bike riders feel more comfortable than speed limits under 20 mph.

The UK’s Transport Minister has proposed law change that would treat deadly bike riders just like deadly drivers, by creating a new charge of death by dangerous cycling. Although wouldn’t treating killer bicyclists like deadly drivers mean just giving them a slap on the wrist, anyway?

Over two-thirds of French people support mandatory bike helmet use, even though only 30% of bike riders currently wear them. Or maybe because only 30% wear them.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has announced the ten-race schedule for the 2022 National Criterium Series. Although we Californians will have to travel to Salt Lake City to see the nearest one.

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off in Northern Spain’s Basque Country.

The British cycling organizer behind the Women’s Tour and the Tour of Britain calls for UCI to get off its collective ass and do something to prevent serious crashes, accusing the organization of allowing dangerous crashes to happen.

Egan Bernal’s teammate Tom Pidcock says cyclists need safer ways to train for time trials in the wake of the training crash that left Bernal in intensive care.

Biography profiles legendary American cyclist Major Taylor, the fastest man on two wheels and the world’s first Black international athletic superstar.

 

Finally…

Let’s all wish a happy belated 126th birthday to the ebike. That feeling when certain drivers can’t spot the bikes in a Captcha.

And have a thought for all those poor thieves Van Moof is trying to put out of business.

………

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

Massachusetts kicks 85th Percentile Law to the curb, new LA protected bike lane, and underground Tesla traffic jams

That’s more like it.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to completely reject the 85th Percentile Law — and base new speed limits on what’s safe for the most vulnerable road users.

California has been nibbling at the edges of the deadly law, which requires cities to set speed limits at the 85% percentile of driver speeds. And allows drivers to boost speed limits on any given street merely by stepping on the gas.

Instead of repealing the rule, a new law sponsored by Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman allows cities and counties to lower speed limits by 5 mph on high injury streets, as well as streets with a high number of bike riders and pedestrians.

It doesn’t begin to compare with what Massachusetts is doing.

But it’s a start.

………

Ted Faber discovers new-to-him protected bike lanes on Airport Blvd near LAX.

Correction: I initially misplaced this bike lane as being on Airport Ave in Santa Monica, but it’s actually the new protected bike lanes on LA’s Airport Blvd, which were installed last year. Thanks to LADOT’s Tim Fremaux for the correction. 

………

Evidently, Elon’s Musk’s vision for the future of urban transportation includes underground traffic jams.

And it looks like some things won’t change when our self-driving overlords take over.

………

Country star Dierks Bentley is one of us, proclaiming it perfect whether for a bike ride as he pedals through Nashville’e freshly fallen snow.

………

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

The Orange County Register once again raises a panic over a “dramatic” rise in ebike injuries, suggesting that ebikes are somehow more dangerous than other kinds of bikes, without noting what should be an obvious corresponding increase in ebike use.  (Hint: Stop the page from loading before the subscription popup loads.) 

Life really is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver walked with a suspended sentence for intentionally running down a bike rider who’d slapped his car following a dangerously close pass. And kept his drivers license because the judge didn’t want him to lose his job.

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

A Florida man was shot in the neck by his girlfriend as he tried to pedal away on his bike with her belongings; she insists that she only meant to scare him.

………

Local

This is who we share the road with. A pair of scofflaw diners used their car as a weapon to intentionally run down a Redondo Beach restaurant manager who confronted them for walking out on their check.

 

State

The allegedly stoned San Diego driver who killed a noted architect has been ordered to stand trial in the death of Laura Shinn; Adam David Milavetz was allegedly high on meth and fentanyl when he ran down Shinn’s bike, then tossed a bag of meth over a fence before police arrived.

The recent heavy rains in Northern California have had an unexpected benefit for bike riders by delaying plans for an emergency water pipeline that would have blocked bike access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

The American Business History Center offers a fascinating short history of the American bicycle industry, from the first bikes through Trek and Specialized, even if they’re not made in the US anymore.

He gets it. A writer for Slate says stop idealizing Dutch and Danish bikeways, and start explaining how and why something like that could work here.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a Denver-area driver who skipped a court date for the allegedly drunken crash where he dragged a boy and his bike under his SUV for a significant distance before bystanders flagged him down; they had to lift the SUV off the boy to get him out.

You’ve got to be kidding. South Dakota’s supreme court rules against a woman who was paralyzed when her bike wheel went through a poorly designed storm grate, even though the city was aware of the problem and failed to correct it.

A DC website says traffic may not be moving on the freeway, but yes, people really do ride their bikes in the winter.

A Florida distracted driver was focused on his phone for as much as 50 seconds before slamming into a bike rider and killing him; police say he is remorseful and fled the scene because “he got really scared.” Just imagine how the person he killed must have felt.

 

International

We Love Cycling magazine recommends the ten don’ts of e-mountain biking.

The Bicycle Film Festival has once again gone virtual, with over 40 short films available online for as little as $10.

SRAM’s CEO examines the supply chain disruptions that have created an imbalance between supply and demand in the bicycle industry, but says there really is light at the end of the tunnel.

Nice gesture from a group of English bike riders, who plan to escort the coffin of a man who died of a heart attack while on a group ride.

A British bike theft victim was victimized a second time when he found the bike being sold online and make arrangements with the men who mugged him to buy it, but the cops blew him off after promising to meet him to make the arrest and reclaim his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovakian cycling star Peter Sagan will miss the official unveiling of his new team and bike, after testing positive for Covid.

San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride will feature at least $30,000 in prize money when it rolls in April, with another $20,000 on the line for the four race series.

 

Finally…

Maybe someone should tell them it’s not a GoPro unless it’s a GoPro. When your Share the Road message is only slightly sillier than the competition you’re in.

And I’m not saying I’m old, but I remember this one from the first time around.

………

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

San Diego’s transformative new transportation plan, and Munich shows how bike lane bypasses should be done

It’s Day 8 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dongyi L, Alan C, Gregory S and Todd T for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So take a moment to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

Seriously, go ahead and do it right now. We’ll wait. 

………

San Diego is about to show California how its done.

San Diego Forward, a new 30-year plan presented by the San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, offers a transformational vision of what the city can, and should, be.

Here’s how Streetsblog explains it.

It is unlike any previous regional plan in San Diego, or in California. That’s in part because SANDAG got into a bit of trouble over its last, very inadequate draft plan, which pretended to be forward-looking but, like many regional transportation plans, was mostly a warmed-over rehash of previous plans that prioritize freeways. The previous SANDAG plan included some transit and bike improvements, but those investments were all put on the back burner, and highway expansions came first.

Not this time. The new draft plan – written under new SANDAG leadership – presents a utopian vision of what a connected, equitable, easy-to-navigate transportation system could be, focusing on new technologies for managing vehicle traffic, improving transit, and building streetscapes that work for people on foot and on bike.

Although the 3o-year timeline is about 20 years too late for the planet, which needs to see drastic shifts in how we get around in the next ten years to avoid catastrophic climate changes.

The other challenge is the cost, with an unfunded $160 billion price tag — yes, with a b — to build out.

And as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, the key to its success is actually building it, rather than letting it turn into dust sitting on the shelf, like LA’s mobility plan.

Which so far hasn’t been worth the silicon it’s printed on.

However, San Diego leaders have actually shown a willingness to live up to their commitments, such as the city’s climate action plan.

So maybe there’s hope of real change down there, even if it may take too long.

Now if they could just show the rest of us how it’s done.

………

Ralph Durham offers a followup to Monday’s photo of a spacious bike lane bypass through a Munich construction zone, protected by a sturdy metal barricade.

It gets better.

We were walking towards the intersection where I took pictures of the detour at the intersection. This time we tried to cross the bridge. The bridge is undergoing major construction and is down to two lanes from four. No sidewalk use either. However, on both sides there are temporary bike ped bridges. Four in total because there is a small island in the river.

Here is a picture of one of the temporary bridges. Yes that is snow.

Photo by Ralph Durham

………

That feeling when an anti-bike British lawyer demands his God-given right to dangerously pass a group of bicyclists who are legally riding two abreast to control a narrow lane.

And the cops politely say not today, Satan.

Although the police use a painful analogy to correct him on another one.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what it would be like to have police back us up like that in this country.

………

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

The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed an off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy along with another man over 15 years ago, and left his bicycle at the scene as he fled afterwards.

………

Local

Santa Monica will be building protected bike lanes on 17th and Steward Streets in the Pico Neighborhood on the eastern part of the city, along with improved crosswalks and safe routes to school for the area’s Edison Language Academy.

 

State

San Diego officials confirmed the identity of a man who was murdered by a driver as he was riding his bike near the Silverwing Recreation Center; police say 40-year old Octavio Mendoza was intentionally run down as the hit-and-ru driver apparently chased him across a grass field with his SUV. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

An Escondido bike shop owner is a repeat winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition, despite only recently taking up competitive baking, as opposed to biking.

A 43-year old Oakland mother suffered major injuries when she was doored while riding her bike in Berkeley, then immediately struck by another motorist as she fell to the street.

A Sonoma paper looks back fondly to bicycling’s local heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. No, the 1880s.

 

National

Fast Company says electric cars won’t be enough to save our cities.

A planned Portland lawsuit over the city’s decision not to build a bike lane is up in the air, after the ostensible plaintiff moved to Amsterdam despite crowdfunding $13,000 to fund the suit.

Tragic news from Arkansas, where a bike-riding paramedic was killed during the Little Rock Marathon when he grabbed onto a utility vehicle to respond to an injured runner and was pulled under the vehicle’s wheels; the state governor ordered flags flown at half-staff for two days in his honor.

Talk about a life well-lived. A developmentally disabled Wisconsin man spent 12 years riding his bike to raise funds for a local food bank, covering more than 75,000 miles and raising over $42,000 before his death last week at 75. We should all have a heart that big.

Chicago rolls out Lyft’s new ebikes as part of its bikeshare system.

A Michigan man faces up to 30 years behind bars after admitting to using meth and weed, and using Facebook Messenger while driving at highway speeds when he fatally ran down a woman riding her bike earlier this year.

The bike boom is straining New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, which is struggling to keep up with demand in some areas.

Philadelphia solves two problems at once by installing bike corrals to keep drivers from parking in front of fire hydrants.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where police revealed that the 14-year old Palm Beach boy who was murdered while riding his bike had been stabbed repeatedly in the head by a homeless man, in a totally senseless random attack; his killer had recently spent time in a mental institution after a similarly random attack on an Atlanta man.

 

International

Road.cc recommends essential tools for bike riders who do their own maintenance. And yes, I had all of those. Even if my wife won’t let me work on my bike in our apartment any more.

Vancouver is a little more colorful after installing artwork designed by university art students at five bike parking facilities near rail stations around the city.

Twin British brothers have been charged with murder in the death of a 63-year old man, whose body was found earlier this year after disappearing four years ago during a charity ride in Scotland; there’s no word on why he was killed, however.

Israel’s Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill that would require license plates on ebike and e-scooters.

The former chairman of Fly6 and Fly12 maker Cycliq discovered the hard way that bike cams don’t stop thieves, after burglars made off with a trio of rare racing bikes from his garage.

 

Competitive Cycling

The reluctance of Quick-Step GM Patrick Lefevere to form a women’s cycling team was behind sponsor Deceuninck switching its alliance to the Alpecin-Fenix team next year.

Twenty-five-year old American ‘cross cyclist and mountain biker Ellen Noble is stepping away from racing indefinitely to deal with health issues caused by an auto-immune disorder and a crash that fractured her spine in three places.

If you’re not doing anything tonight, here’s your chance to dip a toe into track cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you hope someone else buys a 20-year old custom-made cycling team bike so you don’t have to. Your next ebike could be a Porsche — and priced like it, too.

And people on bicycles hardly ever threaten anyone with a gun over bike parking.

Just saying.

………

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

 

 

Killer Oceanside hit-and-run driver gets 2 years, low curb hazard on new Culver bike lanes, and scam Bonin anti-recall site

Before we get started, just a quick reminder that today is Giving Tuesday, the one day each year set aside to support worthy nonprofit organizations that need your help.

We could name a very long list, from Streets For All and the LACBC, to Calbike and Streetsblog LA and California.

Along with your own local advocacy groups, wherever you live.

One group that recently came to my attention is the Los Angeles Bicycle Academy, a youth cycling and bicycle education program created to “empower, educate and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in youth between the ages of 8-18.”

Our focus is to work with youth from underserved communities where opportunity, access, equity, and exposure within the sport of cycling is extremely limited. We want to help more young people learn the positive impact a bicycle can have on their own lives, and the lives of those around them.

They have big plans for the coming year, including opening a community bike shop, launching a build-a-bike program, and developing a women’s cycling team.

It’s worth checking out. And maybe adding them to your giving list this year.

Speaking of giving, our spokesdog up there reminds you to support SoCal’s best bike news by giving to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

………

Life is cheap in San Diego County, where 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery got a lousy two years behind bars for killing 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside last July.

Tennery pled guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

She could have gotten up to four years in the state pen, with another year in county.

Instead, she got a relative slap on the wrist for leaving an innocent man to die alone in the street. Then hid her car for a full week until it was spotted by a homeless man.

………

You can’t please everyone.

Culver City officially unveiled their new Move Culver City initiative, installing quick build bus and bike lanes on three major streets in the downtown area — in a fraction of the time and cost required for similar projects across the city limit line in Los Angeles.

But while most people came out to celebrate completion of the project, I’m told a group of drivers turned out to protest, apparently under the misconception that 100% of the streets belong to cars.

And unwilling to give up a single inch, let alone a lane or two.

On the other hand, the response from the two-wheeled group seems mostly positive.

However, Mitchell Guzik pointed out an unexpected hazard posed by low concrete curbs intended to protect people using the bike lanes, but which could present a risk to any bike rider who runs into them.

Photo by Mitchell Guzik

Even in daylight, it’s a struggle to spot them in the photo. Which means it would be nearly impossible after dark.

And as we’ve seen on PCH in Cardiff, unintentionally hitting them can spill a rider into the roadway, with serious results.

The obvious solution, as Guzik suggests, is to paint the curbs a more visible color. Or go crazy, and let some of Culver City’s many artists decorate them.

Obviously, we don’t want to fall into the common SoCal trap of letting perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to bike lanes.

But just a minor improvement could make them safer for everyone.

Correction: I originally misspelled the name of Mitchell Guzik. My apologies for the error. 

………

They’re back.

A few very unpleasant years ago, I had the misfortune of tangling with the fraudulent Westside Walkers Twitter account, which was created in response to the 2017 lane reductions on Venice Blvd and in Playa del Rey.

As Peter Flax made clear in outing the person behind the account, the Westside Walkers pretended to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

But it was actually just one man’s political dirty trick, posing as a nonexistent group to muddy the advocacy waters and make his opposition to traffic safety measures seem more reasonable.

He even went so far as to claim to be a co-founder and operator of this site. Which I can assure you neither he, nor anyone else other than myself, had anything to do with.

Now he’s back, pretending to be the “Official Democrat Anti Recall” group supporting CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, which undoubtedly came as a surprise to the actual group opposing the recall.

As before, this is just another political dirty trick by a recall supporter and longtime Bonin hater, in an attempt to muddy the water.

And not hesitating to use outright lies to do it.

So don’t fall for it.

Whether or not you support Bonin — and I do — there’s no place for stunts like this, from someone with a long history of playing dirty.

Politics in Los Angeles are dirty enough.

………

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

No bias here. A London political columnist takes issue with bike lanes and the unlicensed people who use them, saying bikes were fine for Victorian times, but should only be used on private property these days (scroll down — no, keep scrolling). Just wait until someone tells him who the roads were really built for. 

A British driver sideswipes a bike rider while making an ill-advised pass. And naturally blames the guy on the bike for being there — and touching his car with his body. No, really. 

………

Local

DTLA’s Grand Ave now has a dedicated right-side bus lane to complement the protected bike lane on the other side of the road.

 

State

A truck driver who fatally right-hooked a bike-riding San Luis Obispo man faces a maximum of one lousy year behind bars or a $1,000 fine after being charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide, because he didn’t do it on purpose. On the other hand, the victim is still dead, whether or not it was intentional.

The CHP busted a hit-and-run driver who killed a 25-year old Watsonville man when he rear-ended the victim’s bicycle.

A Streetsblog op-ed accuses Oakland’s Vision Zero program of being an empty promise, and says the city needs to take it seriously if they want to eliminate traffic deaths. A sentiment most Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians could probably relate to.

The carnage continues in the Bay Area, as a San Jose bike rider was killed in a collision yesterday.

The victim of the fatal Moraga bicycling collision we mentioned yesterday has been identified as a 77-year old man, who surely deserved better.

 

National

The Washington Post says, despite the rising rate of disasters brought on by a rapidly warming climate, state transportation agencies are only beginning to plan for climate change.

US bicycling rates are up 10% nationwide, with some cities seeing up to a 50% jump in ridership.

Electrek looks at the year’s best ebikes for under a grand.

Cycling Tips talks with an Iowa artist who turns discarded bike parts into works of art.

Um, no. Treehugger says a New York company’s stylish, high-viz vests will make you want to ride your bike every day. Something is seriously wrong if you have to dress like a glow-in-the-dark clown just to stay alive on a bicycle.

Streetsblog makes the case that the NYPD is lying about the risks posed by ebikes, conflating crashes involving ebikes, which are legal in New York, with mopeds, which aren’t. And placing all the blame on the bike riders, while ignoring who was actually at fault in those crashes.

Something is definitely out of kilter when bike lanes become a wedge issue in a local New Jersey election.

 

International

Evidently, in Canada, a bicycle visible in your Zoom background is just a partisan prop.

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case for registering your bike in the UK. Something you can do for free with lifetime registration from Bike Index on this side of the pond.

A British newsletter takes issue with the legend that Scottish veterinarian John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in the 1880s, pointing out that another Scotsman had patented one 40 years earlier.

The Philippines pandemic-driven bike boom was accompanied by a nearly 50% increase in injury collisions.

 

Finally…

Bicycles for people with more dollars than sense. Nothing like wracking your nuts on the top tube on live TV

And probably not the best idea to drive a stolen car to sell a stolen ebike bike to the guy you stole it from.

………

It’s Day 5 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let’s thank Bernard B, Stephen M and Tom C for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

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

Study shows bicycling got safer last year, new Beverly Hills protected bike lane, and cops bust Mar Vista bike chop shop

Maybe things have gotten safer.

Or maybe not.

A new study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that collisions involving bicyclists decreased during the pandemic last year, as bike riders shifted from rush hour commutes to more midday rides, and from crowded roadways to offroad trails.

However, other reports suggest that bicycling collisions increased last year as the bike boom encouraged more riders to take to the roadways, with greater lethality as less crowded streets allowed motorists to drive more aggressively.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until statistics for 2020 come out next year to know what really happened in the last one; right now, 2019 is the most recent year available.

And it remains to be seen whether things have reverted to previous levels as more traditional traffic patterns have resumed as businesses reopened this year.

But I’d put my money on things being worse, not better.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

………

For any of us who remember the bad old days of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills before it unexpectedly got bike friendly, hell has officially frozen over.

………

After entirely justified criticism for failing to investigate a bike chop shop being openly operated on a Mar Vista Street, the LAPD discovers it can, in fact, do something about it.

………

Once again a bike rider is a hero to man and beast.

https://twitter.com/haverkamp_wiebe/status/1461587023379283969

………

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

This is who share the road with.

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

A British man was knocked out by a pair of men who’d been following him on their own bikes, and when he woke u, they’d stolen his.

………

Local

CleanTechnica doesn’t pull its punches, accusing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of leveraging poor bicycle infrastructure to deprive people of color of their human rights, and hacking the Fourth Amendment to allow questionable, if not illegal, searches of bike riders.

Metro’s universal basic mobility pilot program starting in South LA next summer will allow users to ride a bike, scooter, car, bus or train with a single low cost transit pass.

 

State

A chance meeting with an elementary school principal led to a donation of 24 balance bikes for Huntington Beach kindergarten students courtesy of BMX pro Mike Clark, as part of the All Kids Bike program.

Nonprofit advocacy group BikeVentura is opening their second Bike HUB co-op, in downtown Oxnard.

Palo Alto is opening the city’s long-planned new $23 million bike bridge tomorrow.

LA’s Metro Bike isn’t the only California bikeshare system facing change, as San Francisco’s Bay Wheels faces an uncertain future.

 

National

Spy considers the best cycling caps. I’ll take the Bianchi cap in the classic celeste, thank you.

Men’s Health looks forward to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on bikes.

The U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation announced a plan to draw on funds in the new infrastructure bill to refocus transportation in National Parks on greener options, including expanded bike trails and shared micromobility programs.

A bighearted crew of Austin, Texas BMX and stunt riders dug into their own pockets to buy a new custom-made bike for an 11-year old boy after his bicycle was stolen, and made him their guest of honor on their weekly 16-mile joyride through the city.

A pair of Indiana radio personalities are living atop a scissor lift for five days to encourage donations to the station’s bike drive, which has distributed over 11,000 bicycles to kids in need in the past five years.

A New York writer hires a bike whisperer, after a crash into the metal bollards on the Hudson River Bikeway led to a fear of bike paths.

New York takes a big step towards secure bike parking with the first Oonee curbside bike lockers, capable of holding up to ten bicycles each in a single parking spot, and fully insured against theft.

The New York Post offers a video “biker’s guide to not dying” on the city’s streets.

Seriously? Virginia considers a wrong-headed plan to ban bikes from in front of the state capitol, forcing crosstown riders to dismount and walk for several blocks, all because a state official has “occasionally seen near-collisions” between people walking and riding bikes in the area. It’s like every collision or near miss inevitably gets blamed on the people on bicycles, as if pedestrians never step out without looking. 

A Florida weekly examines the weekend biker boys of the Bikes Up, Guns Down movement.

 

International

A Toronto website offers the reasons why they love ebikes — and hate them at the same time.

Brompton introduces a new lightweight line of foldies that checks in at less than 22 pounds.

London’s mayor warns of major transportation cuts, including cutting back on bike lanes and pausing the city’s Vision Zero program, as the city’s transportation department faces a budget hole equivalent to $1.7 billion.

Spanish bikemaker Orbea addresses the bike shortage with a new online tool allowing you to check the availability of their bikes, and reserve the one you want.

A Pakistani woman is teaching girls how to ride a bike so they don’t have to rely on others to get to school, despite the country’s long-held conservative attitudes.

An Australian stroke survivor was struck by a driver while on a 5,600-mile recumbent ride across the continent to raise money for stroke support services, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and broken leg.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes rides with former pro cyclist Ian Boswell, who traded the pro peloton for Vermont’s gravel roads after a bad crash left him with a lingering brain injury.

 

Finally…

Turn your bike into a two-wheeled Demogorgon. Confronting the mythical ninja cyclist.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wannabe TikTok stars.

Right?

https://www.tiktok.com/@lucasmcmillan1/video/7031737239692381445?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2F&referer_video_id=7031737239692381445&refer=embed&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

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

LAX opens massive climate-destroying parking garage, “immoral” painted bike lanes, and $1000 Prada bike shorts

While the world is literally burning, Los Angeles opens a massive new parking garage to encourage more people to drive to LAX.

Yes, Los Angeles will open a people mover to finally connect the airport to the city’s rail system in another two years.

Something that should have happened nearly two decades ago when the Green Line, now called the C Line, inexplicably bypassed the airport. Note: I originally misidentified this as the Blue Line; thanks to John for the correction.

The $5.5 billions plan to improve non-automotive access to the airport also promises to make it easier to bike to there. But exactly what that means, and when we’ll finally see it on the streets, remains unclear.

But as this massive car storage facility makes clear, the city is planning for driving to remain the primary way to access the airport for the foreseeable future — if not actively encouraging it through induced demand.

Climate emergency be damned.

Here’s another view.

https://twitter.com/schroedinger_/status/1450599873477152768

Thanks to Ted Faber and Schroedinger for the heads-up.

Photo of smoke-shrouded sky by Cole Keister from Pexels.

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Frightening video from the Bay Area earlier this month, when a small group of bicyclists were nearly run down by a driver who fell asleep and crossed over onto the wrong side of the road.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick offers it as evidence that painted bike lanes are immoral, leaving vulnerable road users in mortal danger.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1446183478777679888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1446183478777679888%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsf.streetsblog.org%2F2021%2F10%2F19%2Fwhy-painted-bike-lanes-are-immoral-in-one-video%2F

Although it’s hard to imagine that most protected bike lanes would prevent something like this, either.

Rudick notes that only a curb-protected bike lane or a parking protected lane would have kept this driver out.

And even those are questionable, since there’s a good chance the snoozing driver could have jumped a curb, while parking protected lanes depend on whether anyone is actually parked there at the time.

Never mind any of the more common bollard protected lanes, whether the fat plastic bollards or the car-tickler plastic bendie posts that are euphemistically termed protection.

The gold standard for protection remains heavy, albeit ugly, k-rails, or planters that are anchored to the pavement.

But plastic is less expensive. And paint is even cheaper.

Which should tell you what officials think our lives are worth.

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Southern California Families for Safe Streets is hosting their monthly brunch to fight traffic violence this Saturday.

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One of the big question marks in traffic safety is the shifting perceptions on the roll law enforcement should play.

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This is what could happen here if we had safer streets.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when you get kicked out of Prada with your $40 bike shorts.

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

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walked with a year of community service for intentionally running down a bike rider, who turned out to be the city’s former bicycling czar.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, received a $1.25 million state grant for its award-winning Go Human campaign.

Santa Monica is in the process of adding a protected bike lane and protected intersections on 17th Street, as well as other safety projects on streets surrounding the 17th Street/SMC Metro Station.

Sit-down e-scooter provider Wheels settled a consumer protection lawsuit with Santa Monica for $300,000, after the city accused it of operating without a permit.

Eternals actress Malin Akerman is one of us, after she was spotted riding the streets of Los Feliz with her eight-year old son on the back of a fat tire ebike.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The Bike League is looking for a temporary Advocacy and Outreach Assistant to help prepare for next year’s National Bike Summit.

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for reducing inequities in our cities through better management of the streets.

Singletracks offers a beginner’s guide to truing your mountain bike wheels.

A record-setting ebike rider is making a 6,500-mile loop around the US on a custom-built solar-powered electric bike, although he’s skipping the Deep South for some reason.

A 60-year old Portland woman has been frightened off her bike after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk. Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, but says the fear has deprived her of an important mobility tool. Simply put, we will never make a serious dent in car usage until average people of all ages feel safe on our streets without one.

San Antonio is the latest city converting its entire bikeshare system to ebikes.

Salem, Massachusetts is considering lifting a ban on ebikes, which are technically illegal under a state law intending to ban mopeds.

No surprise here, as New York’s only safe streets PAC has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams over Republican nominee and avowed bike lane hater Curtis Sliwa, who wants to remove any bike lanes that aren’t actively used.

Gothamist asks if New York is about to get its first bike mayor, after presumptive winner Adams pledges to regularly ride his bike to and from City Hall, adding “I think if people start seeing their mayor on a bike, they’d be more encouraged to know that the streets are safe to ride their bikes.” Although an actual bike mayor is something entirely different

A 72-year old Virginia woman has completed the last leg of her record-setting cross-country bike ride, using her route to draw a peace sign across the US in honor of her brother, who was killed when his plane went down in Laos when she was 20 years old.

Brian Laundrie may be one of us, after the reputed prime suspect in the killing of killing of Gabby Petito was reportedly seen riding a bicycle a few hours north of his Florida home. Then again, he’s also reportedly been seen all over the state, and as far north as the Appalachian Trail.

 

International

A new survey shows 40 percent of British people would consider buying an ebike, a jump of 11 percent since before the pandemic.

Pink Bike says clipless Crocs are a thing now, developed by a three-time French bike polo champ.

A Spanish firm has released the final designs for a wooden bike you can download and build yourself for around $500. Or maybe you’d rather buy a completed bespoke wooden bike for the equivalent of around $5,400.

Hungary plans to install eight luminescent, glow-in-the bike lanes by the end of the year.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Turkish man has ridden a bicycle almost every day for 71 years, and still rides 12 miles a day, when he’s not caring for sick or injured animals.

More proof bicycling pays, as bikes contribute a massive $6.3 billion to the Australian economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten is already back on her bicycle, just two weeks after breaking her pelvis and shoulder in the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Buy this unique mountain bike for $2,500 and get the patent for it free. Maybe it’s not the best idea to steal a bike from behind the police station since it probably belongs to a cop.

And that feeling when bikes power the show.

https://twitter.com/BBC/status/1449814065468018689

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

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