Tag Archive for Santa Monica Blvd

CD4’s Raman rides through district to examine safety, and Sunset4All just $16,000 short of protected bike lane goal

Maybe there’s hope for my part of town yet.

CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman rode ebikes with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and the LACBC to learn just what bike riders face on the streets of her district.

And the overwhelming lack of safe bike infrastructure that forces them to.

Due to Raman’s council predecessors, there are not a lot of bikeways in this part of CD4; the only bike lane on the ride was on Hauser Boulevard through Park La Brea. The southern part of the district does feature many fairly well-biked areas, including 4th Street, a low-traffic sharrowed bike route long preferred by cyclists and pedestrians (during COVID, parts of 4th saw more walking and bicycling than driving.) The ride also visited neighborhood traffic-calming street closures along Fairfax Avenue, and the relatively calm 8th Street – which appeared on SBLA’s list of suggested relatively easy bikeways that Raman might consider taking on. There are currently no protected bike lanes in Raman’s district…

“My dream for this district and for the city as a whole is that we can make it safer and easier for people to be able to move around outside of their cars: have it be not just possible, but a pleasant and beautiful experience to get around this city.” “We started six months ago,” noted Raman, “but we’re at the beginning of that process now. And I am really excited to get the entire community involved in thinking about that.”

Let’s hope that she can and will finally get LADOT to actually get something done around here. And repair some of the damage cause by her less-than-bike-friendly predecessors.

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Sunset4All is now 36% of the way to their $25,000 goal to create a private/public partnership to install protected bike lanes on Sunset and Santa Monica blvds east of Hollywood, after crossing the $9,000 barrier.

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

A bike-riding Houston couple open up about the 4th of July incident, when the husband shot a road raging driver who shouted they didn’t belong on the street before intentionally ramming his car into the wife; police arrested the driver after concluding they shot him in self-defense.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Two scientists from opposite ends of the earth converged in San Diego to help change the world. And both lost their lives riding bicycles within 24 hours of one another.

One of those deaths was caused by an alleged drunk driver, part of a disturbing increase in DUI deaths in San Diego County.

Residents of San Diego’s Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods are taking matters into their own hands to recover their stolen bikes by pushing the apparent thieves off their bikes and demanding them back.

A San Jose man was left for dead after a hit-and-run driver fled the scene while the victim was on a group ride with 20 other people.

Tragic news from Fremont, where a 15-year old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike on the 4th of July; for a change, the 23-year old driver stuck around.

Big win in Oakland, where the city council voted unanimously to keep and improve the successful protected bike lanes on Telegraph Ave, rejecting a DOT plan to replace them with an unprotected buffered bike lane.

 

National

A trio of Utah advocacy groups are using a tandem bike as a two-wheeled metaphor to call for parents to support their LBGTQ+ kids to help keep them off drugs and alcohol.

The family of a popular Colorado Springs CO bike fitter has filed wrongful death suit, following his death in police custody while handcuffed and prone on his stomach after being tased multiple times; 49-year old Chad Burnett had allegedly threatened a neighbor with a knife while suffering a mental health crisis.

Here in Southern California, we have to worry about bearish drivers, but we seldom have to face the real thing, as a Montana bikepacker was killed by a grizzly that wandered into his campsite.

A Black Army vet used bicycling to recover from a devastating disease after receiving a stem cell transplant. Then she went on to found an annual bike race and a family bike fest to inspire others. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Michigan man began fixing discarded bikes as therapy for his depression. Now he’s fixed and given away nearly 400 bicycles to people in need.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls for the NYPD to combat the department’s windshield perspective by requiring officers to get out and bike their beats at least once a year. Although once a week would be much more effective for everyone.

The New York Daily News says the city’s 80,000 delivery riders are the unheralded heroes of the pandemic.

 

International

The owner of a bike touring company is refusing to pay damages for a bike-on-bike collision on an Edinburgh pathway, insisting she’s not to blame when the other rider was doing 20 mph around a blind corner.

An Irish newspaper calls bike fitting a 90-minute analysis that will change your bicycling life forever.

 

Competitive Cycling

The beat goes on, as Mark Cavendish, who wasn’t even expected to ride in this year’s Tour de France, is now just one win from tying The Cannibal’s once unreachable record of 34 Tour stage wins.

Defending Tour champ Tadej Pogačar says he doesn’t need to cheat since he’s leading this year’s race because he pushes “good watts.”

Today the Tour peloton with tackle the legendary Mount Ventoux, not once, but twice from different directions — 54 years after British cycling champ Tom Simpson collapsed and died on the slopes of the mountain.

By now, we’re all familiar with how the legendary Gino Bartali saved countless Jews by smuggling documents in his bike frame during WWII. But he also saved his own country a few years later when Italy was on the brink of anarchy, providing his countrymen with something to cheer for by gaining an incredible 30 minutes in just two stages to win the Tour, after being 21 minutes down in the general classification with just one week to go.

Dutch cyclist Lorena Wiebes took the fifth stage of the women’s Giro d’Italia Donne, while defending Olympic champ Anna van der Breggen held onto the pink leader’s jersey.

Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton isn’t the only rider trying to beat the Tour peloton into Paris; seven-day cycling distance record holder Jack Thompson is attempting to ride the entire Tour de France route in just 12 days.

Let’s hope you’re happy with the current direction of pro and amateur cycling, because we’re going to be stuck with it for another four years.

 

Finally…

Throwing a bicycle through a business window is not one of the recommended uses for it. And when a driver blocks the bike path, just walk your bike over it.

The car, that is.

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

Funds pour in to improve safety on dangerous Sunset & Santa Monica, and new Burbank protected bike lane

Let’s start with an update on Thursday’s lead story.

Sunset4All has raised nearly $7,000 of the $25,000 goal towards LA’s first public/private partnership to force encourage city officials to build protected bike lanes and other safety improvements on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, through East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park.

Every donation is being matched dollar for dollar this week, so that $7,000 really represents $14,000 to help keep bike riders safe on a dangerous corridor that’s way down on the city’s priority list.

So if you’ve got a few extra bucks, open your wallet and give what you can.

Because if this is successful, this kind of public/private partnership could come to your neighborhood next. And help improve safety where you ride.

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Burbank’s Hollywood Way is now graced by a new partially curb-protected bike lane.

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Video of the Nairobi Critical Mass proves that bicycling really is a worldwide phenomenon.

Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for forwarding the video.

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That feeling when a cough lozenge makes up for forgetting your bike’s front thru-axle that somehow caused a flat to your rear tire.

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Local

Streets For All is hosting another of their virtual happy hours, this time talking with UCLA distinguished professor and parking meister Donald Shoup on July 14th.

A couple dozen people turned out Saturday to ride in support of union organizing efforts for the workers who serve the Metro Bike program, which is operated for Metro by Bicycle Transit Systems.

KCRW looks at the volunteers behind Koreatown’s Bicycle Meals, who ride to feed the area’s homeless people.

 

State

A 33-year old San Diego man broke his ankle when he was right hooked by a bus driver, after coming off the sidewalk into the crosswalk.

Santa Barbara-adjacent Goleta wants to hear from you about whether they should invest in a bikeshare system. Which can and should be answered with a resounding yes.

Sad news from Hayward, where police are looking for the hit-and-run pickup driver who killed a 55-year old man riding a bike.

Legendary bike mechanic John Stein is hanging up his wrench after more than four decades serving Redding bike riders.

 

National

A new Kickstarter project promises to let you check your tire pressure with a swipe of your smartphone. As long as you don’t mind a big round bulb on your valve stems.

Even Las Cruces, New Mexico has installed popup bike lanes in an effort to get people safely outside while they study how to improve bike and pedestrian safety throughout the city. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the west, with roughly 40 times the population.

A Western Colorado bike shop just gave a $10,000 check to a shelter for homeless teens; the shop resells donated bike and gives the proceeds to the shelter, while donating some bikes to homeless kids.

An Evansville, Indiana community college partnered with a local school district to give away 280 bicycles, along with locks and helmets; the annual program has given away over 3,500 bikes over the last 15 years.

Cambridge, Massachusetts shelved plans for nearly five miles of separated bike lanes after local residents chose the convenience of streetside parking over the safety of people on two wheels.

The New York Times offers a reluctant rider’s guide to bicycling.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where an unlicensed drunk driver got just two to four years behind bars for killing the rider of a motorized bicycle in a left cross collision.

After years of watching the Tour de France together, it became more than just a bike race last year when a man’s DC-based father was dying.

After tomorrow, Virginia bike riders will finally be able to legally ride side-by-side, while drivers will be required to change lanes to pass them if the road doesn’t allow for a minimum three-foot passing distance.

An 1,186-mile bike ride from Fredericksburg, Virginia to Miami as teenagers in the ’70s helped bond three friends for 50 years.

 

International

Pink Bike looks at the year’s best mountain bike helmets.

Treehugger takes a look at the how and why of traffic calming.

An English woman is honoring her dying husband’s last wish by selling his prized bicycles to raise the equivalent of $6,200 for the cancer ward that cared for him.

Scottish bicycling deaths surged to a seven-year high as roads emptied and bicycling boomed during the pandemic.

Seoul, Korea will test child bike riders and provide a safe cycling certification, which provides a discount on the city’s bikeshare system.

A Singapore-based artist takes a zen-based look at bicycling.

Bicyclists in Hong Kong celebrate California’s lowrider bicycle culture.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, the third stage of the Tour de France was marred by crashes, which took down Caleb Ewing, Peter Sagan and Primož Roglič, who lost significant time on the leaders.

Geraint Thomas somehow finished the stage after a team doctor popped his separated shoulder back into place, while Robrt Gesink was forced to abandon the race; Mark Cavendish was lucky to avoid injury in a crash that trashed his bike.

Yet another crash may have knocked 27-year old Australian cyclist Jack Haig out of the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

A photographer for Peloton captured a gripping image of Ewing on the ground, surrounded by teammates.

The manager of French cycling team Groupama-FDJ calls for rule changes to prevent the sort of chaotic, crash-ridden stage finales seen Monday’s stage before someone gets killed.

Cyclist looks back at what may have been the Tour’s toughest stage ever, marked by a legendary ride by Lucien Buysse nearly 100 years ago.

SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera will represent the US in a grueling ride up Mt. Fuji in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Red Bull profiles French 2019 world downhill mountain bike champ Myriam Nicole.

 

Finally…

Who needs streets to evade the cops, when you can drive on a bike path? Your next retro chic ebike could do its own shifting.

And who really needs hubs, anyway?

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Thanks to Michael W for his annual donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news winging your way every morning. 

Donations are always welcome, regardless of size or reason. 

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

Donation match for LA’s 1st private/public bike lane partnership, and unconfirmed bicycling death in Solano Beach

Back in my blissfully misspent youth, there was a popular cartoon that showed a couple buzzards sitting on a fence.

One turns to the other, and says “Patience my ass. I’m going to kill something.”

It seemed funny at the time.

But that’s kind of where some LA bike advocates are right now.

Rather than wait endlessly for the city to finally get around to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians on Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds, they’re trying to speed things up by helping pay for it through a private/public sponsorship.

And they need your help.

Here’s how Terence Heuston, the former author of LA Bike Dad, describes it.

Sunset4All, in partnership with the LACBC, is launching a crowdfunding “match” campaign to fund the initial engineering plans for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards through East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park.

If the community reaches our $25,000 goal, angel donors will MATCH THEIR DONATION. Every dollar of their tax-deductible donation will be DOUBLED if we reach our goal! Declare your independence from traffic by donating before 4th of July!

The NUMBER of donors is as important as the number of dollars. The city of LA installs safe street projects where there is broad community support. Every individual donor is an individual VOTE for this project. Even a small donation is tangible PROOF that Angelenos support safer streets and protected bike lanes.

The private/public partnership model has been used successfully in other regions to accelerate the installation of the Arapahoe bike lanes in Denver and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. We want to transfer this innovative model to Los Angeles and release a flood of protected bike lanes region wide. It all starts with Sunset4All reaching its fundraising goal.

You can learn more — and contribute — here.

And yes, I just opened my wallet and put my money where my mouth is. If every else gives the same amount, we just need another 999 people to follow suit.

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I’m still waiting on official confirmation. But sadly, it looks like another bike rider has been killed in San Diego County.

This comes follows on the heels of another tragic death just a few miles south in La Jolla, where a young mother from India was killed when she was run down by a 74-year old driver while making a lane change on her bike on Tuesday.

Assuming the victim’s death is confirmed, that will mean nine people have been killed riding their bikes on the suddenly mean streets of San Diego County in just the first six months of this year.

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Calbike calls on everyone to write your California state senator to urge their support — or in one case, opposition — for a trio of bills.

AB 371: This measure will place a large and unprecedented insurance requirement on shared mobility systems. It won’t make our streets safer but it will put every bike-share system in California, public and private, out of business. Email your senator to vote NO on AB 371 to save bike-share.

AB 122 (Boerner Horvath): The bicycle safety stop (first introduced in Idaho in 1982) makes biking safer and easier, but some California groups don’t want this commonsense, pro-bike measure to become law. Tell your senator to vote YES on AB 122, the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

AB 1238 (Ting): The Freedom to Walk Act puts an end to unjust jaywalking laws advanced by the auto industry a century ago.  these laws prevent people from enjoying their streets on foot safely, in the interest of making them the exclusive domain of cars. Today, jaywalking laws serve as a sometimes tragic pretext for biased policing, as a hugely disproportionate share of jaywalking tickets are issued to Black Californians.  Tell your senator to support the Freedom to Walk Act, AB 1238.

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After several years covering the transportation beat, the LA Times Laura J. Nelson is taking on a new role as a rapid-response enterprise/investigative reporter.

Over the years, Nelson developed an encyclopedic knowledge of Los Angeles transportation issues, and her insights and in-depth reporting will be missed.

On the other hand, that means that her old job is now available.

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Ride in solidarity with the Metro Bikeshare and Donut Friend Unions tomorrow.

As the son of a union man, I only wish my slowly healing hands would let me join in on the ride.

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We’ll have to see how it ends up when they flesh out the details. But right now, it looks like active transportation may have lost out in the bipartisan compromise on the transportation bill.

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Pink Bike wants to teach you how to actually learn new bike skills.

Evidently, there’s a lot to learn, since this is just episode one of a ten part series.

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This is who we share the road with.

Apparently, bear spray has become the weapon of choice for aggrieved motorists and insurrectionists.

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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 Laguna Beach paper compares teenage ebike riders to the Lord of the Flies. No, really.

A nine-year old English boy was the victim of anti-bike sabotage, suffering a serious neck injury when he rode his bike into a rope someone had strung across a trail at neck level. Let’s hope whoever did this faces serious charges when they catch the jerk.

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

A woman made her escape by bicycle after robbing a San Diego nail salon at gunpoint.

Prosecutors threw the book at the San Francisco thief who was recorded riding his bicycle out of a Walgreens after dumping a pharmacy shelf into a bag, filing 15 charges for robbing the same store four days in a row.

Authorities near my Colorado hometown are looking for a man who apparently took offense when a woman nearly backed over his fellow bike rider, and punched her in the face. Seriously, don’t do that. It’s only natural to feel anger and fear when someone nearly hits you or a riding companion, but violence is never the answer.

A New Jersey man faces weapons charges after he dropped a stolen handgun when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Atlantic City.

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Local

Los Angeles is finally getting around to connecting the county’s disconnected rail system to the airport, with a new station that also promises to improve bicycling connections to LAX. Meanwhile, bike advocate Michael Schneider says why wait, when you can ride to LAX right now? Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

LA County received $32 million in grants from the California Transportation Commission, including $5.6 million for a two way, 1.5-mile protected cycle track on Union Street in Pasadena.

Streets for All is hosting a Culver City Pride Ride this Sunday.

Santa Monica-based Bird is getting into the e-bikeshare business.

California’s Clean Mobility Options program, funded by the state’s cap-and-trade system, will fund a $1 million e-bikeshare system for residents of the Rancho San Pedro affordable housing community, near the Port of Los Angeles; 19 other clean energy projects around the state will receive grants up to $1 million.

 

State

Enjoy a 10-mile, no one left behind, kickoff ride for the new Over the Hump mountain bike season in Laguna Niguel on July 8th.

The manager of Costa Mesa’s Specialized bike shop shares his favorite Orange County trails.

Despite years of outreach, some businesses and residents in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood still seem to be surprised, if not angry, over the loss of 450 parking spaces to makes room for new protected bike lanes on 30th Street.

Speaking of parking, San Diego is moving forward with a proposal to remove parking minimums for many businesses. Hopefully Los Angeles will follow suit.

San Jose removed traffic lanes on two downtown streets to give bike riders new concrete barrier-protected bike lanes, replacing the previous painted bike lanes.

 

National

City Lab says open streets aren’t always open to everyone, including people with disabilities, for whom they can be closed.

Gear Junkie offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle.

All seven victims of last weekend’s Show Low AZ vehicular attack remain hospitalized, with six in Arizona and one in New Mexico; the driver who deliberately ran them over with his pickup is also hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by police.

Heartbreaking news from Denver, where an 11-year old boy in suburban Aurora has now undergone five operations in two weeks since he was run down by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle, and dragged 50 feet beneath the driver’s car.

Not all Austin, Texas bike riders are thrilled about sharing their bike lanes with pizza delivery robots.

After an Oklahoma group gave a young man a new bike when they learned he had to walk 17 miles roundtrip to work and back, a crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $50,000 to buy him a new car. Which just goes to show that kind gestures can take an unexpected bad turn.

While Los Angeles continues its over-reliance on motor vehicles, Cleveland — yes, Rest Belt Cleveland — is reimagining itself as a denser, more walkable city effectively served by transit. Although it’s accused of backpedaling on plans for a sidewalk-level, two-way cycle track.

New York mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams promises that if he wins, he’ll ride his bike around town, take the subway and walk through neighborhoods like former Mayor John Lindsey in the ’60s. Which would be a big change from outgoing Mayor de Blasio, who’s infamous for being driven to the gym in a massive SUV.

A Florida man got ten years for stabbing a woman as she rode her bike in West Palm Beach, in an apparently unprovoked attack.

 

International

Yes, your ebike can get wet. But don’t try riding it through the pool.

Pink Bike questions whether mixed-wheel bikes, aka mullet bikes, with one wheel larger than the other, are here to stay.

Momentum Magazine rolls with Welsh DJ Dom Whiting and his mobile cargo bike party.

Ebikes far outsold electric cars in the UK last year, despite a government subsidy for the latter, as one ebike was sold in the country every three minutes. Meanwhile, British bicycling deaths jumped 40% last year, due at least in part to an increase in dangerous driving during the pandemic.

A stoned English driver got a well-deserved 11 years behind bars for killing two bike-riding men while speeding 30 miles over the speed limit in a stolen car.

An Indian writer says bicycling is back in vogue in the country.

People in Lebanon are taking to their bikes as the country runs out of gas. Literally.

Ebike sales have doubled in Singapore, driven by demand from food delivery workers.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a near-absence from the Tour de France in recent years, North Americans are making a strong comeback to the peloton, with four riders from the US, along with another three from Canada.

A writer for Bicycling offers a lengthy dissertation on what happens when she meets her idol, Primož Roglič. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for the AP says the Tour de France could come down to a rematch between fellow Slovenian’s Roglič and Tadej Pogačar.

French cyclist Audrey Cordon-Ragot says it’s about damn time there was a women’s Tour de France once again, as this year’s final La Course becomes the stepping stone to next year’s women’s Tour. Although she may not have put it quite that way.

Thirty-eight-year old Dutch cyclist Koen de Kort may have seen his cycling career come to an end after three fingers on his right hand were amputated following a crash in an off-road vehicle. And fellow Dutch cycling star Maurits Lammertink will miss the Tour de France after he was rushed into surgery for a brain injury caused by a collision with a scooter rider.

The director of the women’s Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus cycling team was banned for three-years after several riders accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is proof that sometimes, greatness runs in the family.

https://twitter.com/AlpecinFenix/status/1408123568714665994

 

Finally…

Your next Mercedes Benz could have just two wheels, and a battery. Proof you can be a billionaire fashion mogul and still bike to work.

And former pro Fabian Cancellara is selling…something.

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Thanks to David E for an unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

Okay, almost every day. 

Donations of any amount, at any time and for any reason, are always appreciated. 

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

WeHo proposes protected bike lanes on Santa Monica and Fountain, and witness looks for West LA bike crash victim

This could be a literal life saver.

West Hollywood is considering a motion to study how protected bike lanes can be installed on Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain Avenue at next Monday’s meeting.

As Streets For All notes, WeHo already has bike lanes on Santa Monica from Doheny to La Cienega. Even if you have to dodge drivers double parked in the bike lane, or pulling in or out of parking spaces.

On the other hand, bicyclists had to settle for sharrows on Fountain, which isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to ride, thanks to impatient, aggressive and often speeding drivers.

Well-designed protected bike lanes could make a big difference on both, providing safe and bikeable routes through the city, as well as better comfort and livability for everyone along the streets.

Streets For All explains how you can support the motion.

HOW YOU CAN HELP IN TWO STEPS

FIRST…

Send an email right now (by 4p on Monday at the latest) to West Hollywood City Council. We’ve pre-filled the text to make it super easy, but the more personal you can make it, the better.

EMAIL PUBLIC COMMENT

SECOND…

Register to speak at the West Hollywood City Council Meeting this Monday, Mar 1 at 530PM by emailing the clerk saying that you wish to speak and then calling in at 530pm on Monday:

Dial 669-900-6833
Meeting ID 946 3099 4369 #

REGISTER TO SPEAK

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A Nextdoor user is looking for the bike rider who got hit by a driver at Olympic and Bentley in West LA on Wednesday.

Nextdoor isn’t the easiest platform to respond to someone if you don’t live in the same neighborhood.

But if you know the person they’re looking for, I can pass his or her contact information on the the person who sent this to me, and hopefully they can pass it on to them.

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Calbike urges you to sign the petition calling on California to provide rebates for ebike purchases. And so do I.

The nonprofit organization is also looking for a part-time temporary Policy Associate.

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Little known fact, courtesy of Zachary Rynew — Los Angeles is both one of the lowest and one of the highest cities in the US, thanks to Mt. Lukens, the city’s highest point.

Which is where Gravel Bike California grinds this week.

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I rode on a low curb once. Does that count?

https://twitter.com/RexChapman/status/1364958258914594828?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364963776559255571%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es2_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost-new.php

Thanks to Mike Burk for the link.

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There are none so blind as drivers who refuse to see the light.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1365142951211331584

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

A Rancho Cucamonga man is behind bars for stealing a man’s cellphone at knifepoint after rear-ending the victim’s car on his bike. The story doesn’t mention it, but it crash that started it all sounds like an insurance scam.

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Local

Yahoo picks up a paywalled story from AFP Relax that says riding a bike in Los Angeles isn’t always easy — and sometimes dangerous — but there’s hope. A faint hope, at this point. But still.

 

State

Los Alamitos is reaching out to the nearby unincorporated community of Rossmoor in an attempt to integrate plans to make the area more walkable and bike friendly.

San Diego e-scooter riders can get a buck of their rental by parking it in a scooter corral.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco bike riders get two more protected bike lanes.

If you had a bike stolen from your San Francisco garage recently, the SFPD may have good news for you.

Anyone in the Wine Country who’s in the market for a kid’s bike should head up to Santa Rosa’s nonprofit Community Bikes, which is blowing out an overabundance of refurbished bicycles at a fraction of their value.

 

National

They get it. Slate calls for ebikes for everyone, asking why shouldn’t the feds help Americans get one?

The Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition calls attention to the state’s three-foot passing law, reminding drivers they have to change lanes to pass a bike rider if they can’t give at least three feet. And yes, that’s a hell of a lot better than California’s law, which allows drivers to pass at less than three feet if they slow down to some unspecified safer speed.

Boulder CO police bust a machete-wielding man who tried to make his escape on a stolen bicycle after he was caught burglarizing a house.

Mountain bikers could soon get another 240 acres of trails just outside Dallas in Denton, Texas. Which is also home to the world’s first and only self-proclaimed nuclear polka band.

An Ohio barber is asking for donations of kid’s bikes, hoping to give away a hundred new bikes and helmets to get children off their screens for awhile.

A member of New York’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club describes how bicycling helped her bounce back following a devastating diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Support is growing to keep cars off Philadelphia’s waterfront MLK Drive permanently, which has been closed to cars during the pandemic.

Delaware bike riders want the state law allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields to be made permanent, rather than expiring this year as currently written.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 73-year old Florida woman is thrown more than half the length of a football field by a drunk driver, suffering life-threatening injuries just because she had the misfortune of sharing a street with the jerk.

 

International

Pink Bike asks whether bicycles are actually getting less expensive, with better bikes available for under three grand — or two grand for hardtails.

Road.cc considers the best second bike for roadies.

A London paper offers a guide to riding safely and confidently in the city in order to avoid using public transport while the pandemic rages on.

A British site says forget the SUV and get a folding e-cargo bike; they like this one from Rad Power for around $1,500.

They get it. The UK’s iNews looks at the true cost of bike theft, which goes far beyond the bike’s price.

An Indian paper remembers a noted poet and Hindu priest who passed away on Thursday, known for riding his bike everywhere in the city of Thiruvananthapuram.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Italy, where a promising 17-year old member of former Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali’s cycling team was killed in a collision while on a training ride.

Cycling News highlights ’84 Olympic legend Nelson Vails, describing him as “the Harlem kid who became America’s first Black Olympic medalist.” Every February, news outlets across the US remember Major Taylor for Black History Month as America’s first Black cycling champ, forgetting there’s a straight line connecting him with Vails, and LA-based former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams.

Taking a page from what Americans call soccer and the rest of the world calls football, cyclists who commit safety violations can now get a red card for a third offense.

Bad news for the competition, as 38-year old Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s feeling faster than ever, which is saying a lot for the four-time world champ.

The Queen of Pain, aka endurance cyclist Rebecca Rush, recalls the 350-mile 2020 Iditarod Trail Invitational, describing it as the race that nearly broke her.

 

Finally…

Anyone can do a few laps at the velodrome; not many can do 90 laps despite suffering from a variety of mental, physical and genetic disabilities.

And you know things are bad when West Covina sells its own streets.

To itself.

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Any contribution is always welcome and appreciated!

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

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

Sorry about that. 

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And continues to defend his perspective.

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

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

It’s a long read.

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

For better or worse.

………

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

The bad news should be pretty obvious.

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

………

Gene Hackman is one of us.

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

………

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

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

Sort of like this.

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

………

‘Nuff said.

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

CBS looks at the great scooter backlash.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

https://www.instagram.com/p/B20Oue7AU6C/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=dlfix

………

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

 

Update: Bike rider killed in big rig crash on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles

This morning, I received two separate reports of a serious crash involving a bike rider and a tractor-trailer on Santa Monica Blvd in West Los Angeles.

David Drexler emailed to say he had driven past a crash involving a tractor-trailer at the southbound onramp to the 405 freeway on Santa Monica Blvd.

I could not get on the highway there at approx. 10 am, ramp was closed and highway patrol looked like it set up an investigation scene.  There was a very crumbled bicycle in the middle lane of the on ramp sitting at the back tires of the truck that was sitting in the lane as well.  The victim must have been removed earlier.

That was followed by this tweet from CG.

Then late this afternoon, Caltrans District 7 confirmed the death on Twitter.

As anyone who has tried to ride that section of Santa Monica Blvd knows, it is a very dangerous, poorly designed and overly crowded intersection, with a high risk of a right hook or left cross from drivers attempting to get onto the 405.

Not to mention the usual jockeying for position from too-often distracted drivers trying to snake through the congestion.

Most riders don’t try it second time, opting for the safety of Ohio Blvd a few blocks to the north; those who do usually stick to the sidewalks, which are often blocked by homeless people.

And even that requires coming off the sidewalk to ride past the onramp.

For whatever reason, this person sadly paid the price for that bad design.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: A GoFundMe page has identified the victim as Frank Guzman; it’s raised over $500 of the $5,000 goal in the first few hours.

A family member describes him like this.

She added this —

Frank was 31, lived in Glendale and is survived by his parents, two siblings, his girlfriend and niece who he adored. He worked full time and was also in school trying to further his education. He was a foodie. Loved to try new things & always seeking adventure.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Frank Guzman and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to David Drexler and CG for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: LADOT is working on bike lanes and bike paths after all, and a bike rider was killed in Sun Valley

Maybe the apparent lack of action on LA bike lanes isn’t as bad as it seems.

The list of active bike projects at LADOT contains a lot of surprises. Like the fact that the city is actually working on bike projects.

One that immediately jumps out is project 89 on Santa Monica Blvd, which is in the planning stages to close the gap between the existing LA bike lanes that end at Century City, and the new green bike lanes in Beverly Hills.

That will take some creative engineering, especially eastbound where bike riders have to make the jump to cross over the right lanes of traffic exiting onto Little Santa Monica without getting killed by impatient LA drivers.

Not to mention the westbound bike lane as it travels past the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton hotels in Beverly Hills, which is more often used as a parking and loading zone than an actual lane for bike travel.

Now we’ll have to get West Hollywood to close the gap on their side where the bike lanes are missing on last block or two east of Doheny.

Then there’s the fact that LADOT is finally working on a handful of Bicycle Friendly Streets, which appeared to have been all but forgotten. It’s not exactly the third-level bicycle network we were promised in the 2010 bike plan, but it’s a start.

It’s also interesting to see that 4th Street is once again considered a Bicycle Friendly Street, after former Councilmember Tom LaBonge bungled the initial rollout. And somehow got local residents to oppose a plan that would have significantly benefitted them.

So far it appears to be nothing but mini roundabouts, but again, it’s a start.

I’ll look forward to the Mid City Low Stress corridors, which may finally provide a comfortable north/south route in and out of Hollywood. Although I’m not sure how low stress it will be when you have to keep jumping from one street to another.

And I’m not thrilled that the only east/west project in Hollywood is currently considered inactive.

There are a number of other projects throughout the city, from bike paths to bike lanes, separate, protected or otherwise.

I don’t think anyone will look at this and think LA is finally justifying its status as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

But it’s good to finally see things moving forward again.

Click either photo to increase size. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up. 

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Today’s photo is a reminder how not to lock your bike. This half-eaten bike along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd in Century City was locked with decent U-lock. But only through the frame, allowing the thief to take both wheels. We may never know why they left the rear tire — and an extra seat.

………

KABC-7 reported last night that a bike rider was killed in an apparent hit-and-run in Sun Valley on Sunday. However, the story was not online as of this writing, and no details are currently available.

We’ll try to catch up on the story when there’s more information.

………

Local

Downtown LA’s Spring Street has been upgraded to a left side, parking protected bike lane. Although not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

National Public Radio profiles popular DTLA band Vignes Rooftop Revival, who bike, walk or skate to all their gigs, because they want to.

A Santa Monica architect, who is clearly no fan of e-scooters, says the city is conducting an uncontrolled experiment by foisting the “dangerous machines” on the public.

LA County is planning a bike and pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Blvd, the final link in the 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, which promises to connect Baldwin Hills to the beach by 2020.

SoCal Cycling talks with Dayna Galbreath of SAFE and Finish the Ride.

 

State

The CHP is starting a year-long campaign to improve bike and pedestrian safety. The question is whether they’ll focus on getting people to drive safely around bike riders and walkers, or continue their long tradition of victim blaming.

Twelve Wounded Warriors finished a month-long ride across the US when they pedaled into San Diego yesterday.

Moving story from San Francisco, where a bike rider tracked down the friends of a fallen bicyclist looking for closure, after coming on the scene moments after the crash and comforting the victim.

 

National

Bicycling provides an athlete’s guide to CDB, the portion of cannabis that won’t get you high. My personal experience is that CBD is great for stopping muscle cramps and soothing aching muscles, but not so good for pain control.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver becomes just the latest the plow through a group of protesters, something conservative lawmakers have been pushing to make legal in several states. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists in Fargo ND don’t appear to have any objection the city quadrupling fines for some bicycle traffic violations — to a whopping $20; most will remain at $5.

Volunteers in Dubuque, Iowa prepare hot meals for the homeless, then deliver them by bicycle throughout the downtown area.

Even in bike friendly Madison WI, “undocumented and other minority residents” struggle to find safe routes to ride in areas unserved by the city’s extensive network of bike paths, trails and bike lanes.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Chicago bike rider was severely beaten by a road raging driver, after attempting to run the rider down when he yelled at the driver for cutting into a protected bike lane, nearly hitting him. On the other hand, the rider chased down the driver to confront him when he had several opportunities to defuse the situation and let the police deal with it.

Chicago finds it can’t fire a bike racing paramedic, despite two separate convictions for bike theft — including participating in a theft ring that stole $48,000 worth bikes and parts from a freight train.

A Minnesota girl credits her bike helmet with saving her life when she was hit by a semi. The truck jackknifed and ended up on top of her leg, breaking her femur, clavicle and pelvis; she also ended up with concussion and a collapsed lung.

A Minnesota bicyclist captures shocking video of a bike rider running a stop sign — after a long line of drivers do the same. But maybe that’s the point. Personally, I always stop, or at least slow to a crawl, for stop signs. But the most important thing is to always observe the right-of-way. 

A Boston public radio station attempts to untangle the science on bicycling and sexual dysfunction, as one San Diego doctor insists there’s a connection, despite several studies showing just the opposite.

The Boston Globe considers what to do about the advent of e-scooters, comparing them to the disruption caused by the introduction of bicycles in the late 1800s.

The New York Times promotes the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings.

Interesting idea. Philadelphia is considering plans for a prototype bike corral in front of fire hydrants to provide additional bike parking and keep drivers from parking in front of them.

The Baltimore bishop convicted of killing a bicyclist in a drunken hit-and-run three years ago could be released from prison as soon as next month, after asking a judge to change her consecutive sentences to concurrent terms instead.

No shit. Regional traffic planners take issue with Maryland’s plans to make bike riders share a lane with 50 mph traffic on a bridge over the Potomac.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains the value of a bespoke bike frame.

A new device makes it wheelie easy to ride on one wheel.

The European Union allows a quadrupling of power for ebikes, from 250 to 1,000 watts, but keeps maximum assist speeds capped at 15 mph.

Ed Ryder forwards this story of a London woman who found her stolen bike online, and stole it back when the police refused to help

New handlebar lights currently raising funds on Kickstarter promise to reduce unsafe passing with red and while lights that stay on all the time, then change to orange to signal turns. The lights were featured on a British show similar to Shark Tank.

A bike rider in the UK has an uncomfortably close encounter with a felled tree. Someone might want to teach the crew how to block a traffic lane before they bring a tree down in it. Just a suggestion.

Seriously? After he was caught on video driving through a bike lane and jumping a curb in an attempt to run down a bike rider on the sidewalk, a Dublin cab driver defends his actions by claiming he was simply trying to apprehend the bicyclist for reaching out to break his mirror as he rode by. Because apparently, people on bicycles are just randomly destructive for no apparent reason.

An Irish writer suggests taking a bike tour of Mallorca, Spain. And overcomes his aversion to spandex in the process.

Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor is one of us, using his bike to train for last Saturday’s fight. Maybe he needs to train harder to fight in the ring, and less out of it.

Evidently, its against the law to ride a bicycle while under the influence in Ireland, after a man was fined the equivalent of $265 for riding into traffic while “highly intoxicated.

More proof that we all face the same problems wherever we ride. A hit-and-run driver in Malta was sentenced to three years behind bars for driving off when he hit a bike rider, after telling his passenger to just calm down.

Police in India arrested 42 people for driving on cycle tracks. We could use some of that here. Or maybe a lot of it.

An Aussie rider discovers the social side of bicycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Canadian cyclist Michael Woods has arrived, after the 31-year old former running finished third at the worlds.

VeloNews talks with ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis about his plans to start a Continental level cycling team using the funds he got from the feds’ lawsuit against America’s other ex-Tour de France winner.

 

Finally…

Seriously, stop calling non-ebikes “analog.” Consider this a guide for your next spooky Halloween-themed LA bike ride.

And this is what happens when your NASCAR competitors know you’re a passionate bicyclist, and ask for a dozen road bikes.

 

Morning Links: It’s a Day Without a Scooter in SaMo, progress on Beverly Hills bike lanes, and NACTO visits LA

Still more news on the scooter beat.

Supporters of Lime and Bird e-scooters are urged to head to Santa Monica City Hall tonight to protest plans to boot the popular scooter providers out of town.

City staff has recommended using scooters provided by Lyft and Uber, instead, the latter of which clearly intends to monopolize every form of shared transportation humanly possible.

Call me crazy, but it makes far more sense to me to work with the scooter companies that have already established a solid foothold in the city, then bring in other companies to compete with them on an even basis.

Meanwhile, an Ohio city shows that it is in fact possible to take a common sense approach to scooters.

………

Patrick Pascal sends word that bike lane striping on the westbound side of Santa Monica Blvd is about one-third finished, currently stretching from Doheny to Palms in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

………

NACTO will be meeting in Los Angeles in two months.

The group, formally known as the National Association of City Transportation Officials, will be coming here the first week of October to discuss Designing Cities.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti paints a glowing picture for attendees of a city transforming the way we get around.

Maybe we can get the mayor to take them on a tour of Temple Street, and 6th Street, and Lankershim Blvd, and Westwood Blvd, and Central Ave, and North Figueroa, and all the other streets where LA councilmembers have blocked that “transformation.”

Not to mention Rowena Ave, where Councilmember David Ryu apparently wants to rip out one that’s already been successfully transformed.

………

No bias here.

An Ohio TV station reports that a 60-year old bicyclist was killed in a collision after he ran a stop sign.

But what they fail to mention is that he was competing in a triathlon at the time.

………

Local

CiclaValley looks at how the North Hollywood Block Party I couldn’t talk my wife into going to claimed the streets, if only for one day.

Councilmember Jose Huizar officially opened the new and improved Alhambra Avenue, including 1.5 miles of lane reductions and door zone bike lanes. Proving that it is possible to implement a road diet in Los Angeles, as long as it doesn’t affect entitled Westside drivers.

Burbank opens far more appealing buffered bike lanes on Riverside Drive, with the buffer on the curb side to keep riders out of the door zone; it could be coming to 1st Street soon, as well.

Pasadena authorities are urging drivers to be cautious as thousands of children head back to school this week. That goes both ways for bikes — ride carefully around children, and ride defensively around their parents as they drop them off.

 

State

California’s record wildfires are having a negative effect on bicycle sales across the state.

A real estate website ranks the nation’s most affordable “outdoorsy” cities, with Bakersfield coming in number two on the list behind Spokane WA.

Berkeley is installing a hybrid traffic signal designed to automatically detect bicycles and trigger a flashing yellow light, followed by a red light.

A bike-riding Stockton minister led the installation of a ghost bike for a man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago; he also runs the bicycle ministry for a local Episcopal church.

That’s a safe bet. A Chico letter writer says the driver who struck and killed a bike-riding physician apparently didn’t give the victim a three-foot passing distance.

 

National

NFL legend Emmitt Smith is one of us, as the three-time Super Bowl champ has traded his running shoes for a bicycle. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Bicycling recounts 30 “insane” cycling records, including the world’s tallest rideable bike, Stoopidtaller built by LA’s own Richie Trimble.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where no charges will be filed against the driver who ran down and killed two German bike tourists last May. Apparently not noticing two people on bicycles directly in front of your car before you run them over is perfectly legal in Kansas.

A Texas bus driver blames a bike rider after sideswiping him, even though the rider was in the bike lane the bus driver kept drifting into.

A conservative writer calls a Chicago bike rider’s decision not to report a crash with elderly Latina driver who was in the country illegally “lefty compassion run amok,” even though she once did exactly the same thing. Except in her case, he was Irish. Which I’m sure had nothing to do with her change of heart. Right?

A 15-year old Kentucky girl says she’s not going to ride her bike again after she was hit by the town’s mayor while riding in a crosswalk; the mayor was cited for hit-and-run after he drove off, then returned later, claiming he had no idea he hit anyone despite knocking the girl off her bike.

A Vermont police chief survives the dreaded death wobble after crashing while descending at 45 mph. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the link.

He gets it. An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News says it’s time to stop blaming bicyclists for their deaths, adding “those of us who don’t drive SUVs everywhere are not just second-class citizens — we’re disposable.”

A Pennsylvania county adopts an ambitious bike plan calling for 800 miles of bike-friendly paths, even though it currently has just 19 miles of bike lanes. Although as we’ve learned the hard way in Los Angeles, a bike plan is meaningless until you can actually ride it.

Great idea. A coalition of bicycling organizations has released a subway-style map showing what an actual network of connected bikeways could do to better serve the DC area.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists are calling for the legalization of riding two abreast after five riders were run down and injured in Edmonton; a bike club was riding abreast when the driver somehow failed to see them right in front of him. One of the injured riders understandably says it’s heightened his fear of cars.

Speaking of Edmonton, local bicyclists say the proposed location of a protected bike lane is just an attempt to make drivers happy.

Police in the UK defend their actions after being criticized on social media for stopping 50 kids who were popping wheelies and riding their bikes in an “anti-social manner.”

Britain’s Conservative Party has deleted a tweet accused of demonizing bicyclists, as they attempt to crack down on the perceived threat of dangerous bicyclists. Cycling Weekly responds by noting that you’re more likely to be killed by cows than someone on a bike, while Chris Boadman says you’re more likely to be killed by Christmas decorations, and asks why they hate us. Good question.

In a sad commentary on the state of British roads, a 95-year old English couple is giving up riding their tandem after 78 years because of disrespectful drivers.

A Freedom of Information request shows Dublin’s city council is failing to meet demands for bicycling infrastructure. Which sounds like another city council we could name, in a city NACTO will be visiting soon.

Maybe you’d like to try a little Irish speed dating on two wheels.

A German vehicle association has developed a new standard for measuring the range of ebikes, promising to level the playing field in comparing one ebike to another.

Boston-based bikeshare startup Go Bike is focusing on Nigeria as the first step in their goal of becoming the leading bikeshare provider in Africa.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has developed their own ebike with a top speed of 12 mph. Which is the same slow speed a Los Angeles proposal would limit scooters to.

 

Competitive Cycling

The all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk makes a Rwanda radio DJ eat his words after he said diabetics can’t compete and that the team was a joke, by coming back to win the Tour of Rwanda.

Cycling Tips admires the climbing ability of Tour of Utah winner Sepp Kuss. Then again, who doesn’t?

You may be seeing double at the Vuelta, as the Yates twins make late decisions to ride.

A 33-year old British man set a new record by running the entire course of the 2018 Tour de France, beating the cyclists to Paris, in the latest moving piece by Peter Flax.

 

Finally…

Your next Pashley could be a Morgan. Your next Yamaha could have pedals — and a battery.

And someone should tell the paper this sequence of events is highly unlikely.

 

Morning Links: Battle over LA streets, bike events, e-scooter legislation, and new bike lanes in Beverly Hills

The battle for LA’s streets made it into the pages of Los Angeles Magazine.

Writer Andy Hermann examines the fight over road diets, or what traffic safety deniers describe as “lane theft.”

“It’s just created havoc,” says John Russo of KeepLAMoving, an organization that sued the city to remove the Playa del Rey bike lanes. That Venice Boulevard already had a bike lane (albeit an unprotected one) and hadn’t seen a cyclist death since 2010 has only added to the outrage. “I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a good explanation as for why Venice Boulevard needed a road diet,” says Selena Inouye of Restore Venice Blvd., a neighborhood group opposed to what it calls the L.A. Department of Transportation’s “lane theft.”

Which suggest that drivers do, in fact, own the roads. Or at least think they do.

However, there is another side to the argument.

In a region with the world’s worst traffic congestion (for six years running, according to transportation analytics firm INRIX), it’s hard to fault people who would rather drive than bike for being impatient. But it’s also hard to blame people who opt out of driving and choose to pedal. “Our streets are already built out,” says Rogers. “There’s no room to expand them. So the only way to guarantee the failure of our streets is to do nothing. If you keep doing exactly what we’re doing now, we will reach a dystopian future where our streets are so gridlocked that nobody can move at all.”

 

And yes, that’s me he’s quoting there.

It’s worth reading the full piece.

Then maybe get mad, and demand that the lives of human beings start taking priority over the convenience of selfish drivers.

And do something to save our lives, and our city, while we still can.

………

Let’s catch up with a few upcoming events to add to your calendar.

Pure Cycles is hosting a Bike Metro Back to Basics bicycle education class at their Burbank headquarters tomorrow.

Also on Saturday, Metro Bike Share is hosting Pedals and Pitstops — Back to the Beach along the Venice canals and the Artists & Fleas LA on Abbot Kinney.

On Sunday, join with the Street Librarians Ride to replenish little street libraries in Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Metro presents the Pride of the Valley open streets event on September 16th in Baldwin Park and Irwindale.

The ultimate CicLAvia rolls on September 30th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the LA Phil with a massive, eight-mile street party connecting Walt Disney Hall in DTLA with the Hollywood Bowl.

BikeSGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash on December 1st.

………

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature could make it considerably easier to use an e-scooter.

AB 2989 would still require a driver’s license to use a motorized scooter, but it would eliminate the requirement for a helmet for anyone over 18.

It would also allow scooters to be legally used on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph, or on higher limit streets that have bike lanes.

They’re currently limited to streets with bike lanes, or a speed limit of just 25 mph.

………

It’s official. Hell has frozen over.

………

A new study says not so fast on the bike helmets.

According to the study, four times as many drivers and five times as many pedestrians died of head injuries, compared to bike riders.

While head injuries accounted for 46% of bicycle deaths, 25% of drivers killed in traffic collisions died of head injuries, as did 42% of pedestrians.

Yes, studies have shown that bike helmets are effective in reducing the risk of head injuries.

But no one suggests that pedestrians should wear them, let alone people in cars, where they could theoretically save far more lives.

………

Local

The East Side Bike Club is raising funds to provide bicycle safety eduction to kids in South LA.

Former LA pro Phil Gaiman offers his insights on seventeen pieces of awesome summer cycling gear in the latest Men’s Journal.

A 10-year old junior Jonathan Gold reviews Culver City’s new bike themed Super Domestic Coffee.

Pasadena bought new Complete Streets software to identify gaps in the street networks, and design solutions while keeping the public involved, in hopes of avoiding more disastrous meetings like the one that killed plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd.

Long Beach gets nearly $1 million dollars in Caltrans grants to make zoning changes and create complete streets on the city’s north side.

 

State

After this year, you can be charged with hit-and-run if you leave the scene of a crash on an off-road bike path. Governor Brown signed AB 1755 last week, which removes any question of whether hit-and-run laws apply to bike riders on trails; the law takes effect Jan 1st.

CiclaValley explores California’s Central Coast by bike.

A 28-year old woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Crockett on Tuesday.

If you live or ride in the East Bay Area, take a few minutes to sign a petition calling for the Major Taylor Bike Park and Velodrome in Richmond.

 

National

A new study that should surprise absolutely no one shows UberPool and Lyft Line are making traffic congestion worse, and helping to creat a hostile environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Portland’s famed Velo Cult bike shop is closing its doors, six years after moving from San Diego. The shop, which was unable to keep up with requirements to maintain it’s license to serve beer, will now focus exclusively on e-commerce, which does not require a local liquor license. Thanks to brer bear for the heads-up.

Nevada has its first official US Bicycle Route.

A Flagstaff AZ public radio reporter goes for a ride with a pair of experienced women’s mountain bikers who are mentoring the next generation of riders.

Houston PD is the latest big city police department to use an electronic device to measure precisely when drivers come too close to people on bicycles. Meanwhile, the LAPD doesn’t.

A 77-year old Texas man has put together his own guide on how bicyclists and motorists can share the road. Although it would help if you can read upside down if you want to know what it says.

Once again, a state department of transportation does the right thing once it’s too late, as Rhode Island officials study the lack of effective safety measures on a bike path after a six-year old boy was killed in a collision.

A bike path around DC’s National Zoo is closed for the next year after heavy rains cause the pathway to crumble and tumble into a creek.

If you know a diocese that’s looking for a killer bishop with a drinking problem — who apparently still refuses to take responsibility for her actions — former Baltimore Episcopal bishop Heather Cook has applied for work release from her well-deserved sentence for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014.

This month’s Miami Critical Mass will be dedicated to Miami native Patrick Wanninkhof, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on an Oklahoma highway in 2015; his childhood friend Janna Belle says her latest music video was inspired by the crash.

 

International

Police in Hamilton, Ontario are looking for witnesses in a five year old murder case, where someone in a pickup chased down a bike rider before running him over.

Montreal bikeshare bikes will soon come equipped with lasers that project an image of a bicycle on the pavement ahead.

London announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2041, after already reducing fatalities 50% over the past decade.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British rider was clotheslined by a rope strung across a bike path at chest level.

Police in the UK are looking for two young mountain bikers who punched a driver after blocking his car. As usual, no word on what the driver might have done to encourage the assault. Which does not make it right in any way.

British schools are starting to prohibit parents from using motor vehicles to drop their kids off at school in the name of safety. Doing that here would not only improve safety, but the health of the students, while dramatically reducing morning traffic congestion and improving air quality.

An English woman was rescued by four strangers who lifted a car off her after the driver hit her bike.

The UK’s growth in cycling is being driven by experienced bicyclists riding more and further, rather than more people taking it up.

Never mind that ban on bicycles in Prague’s city center; a city court has overturned a law prohibiting bike riding in pedestrian zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling discusses what it’s like to drive a race moto in the Tour de France. Hopefully without putting any more cyclists in the hospital.

What it’s like to have someone grab your arm while leading the Tour.

Pro cyclists debate whether the super tuck position on descents should be banned.

The New York Times considers the Tour de France’s continued insistence on maintaining the sexist and outdated tradition of having podium girls.

 

Finally…

Canadians love separated bike lanes, as long as they’re in someone else’s neighborhood. And Lance wants your love.

 

Morning Links: Green bike lanes coming to Beverly Hills, and windshield bias from Pepperdine economics prof

Hell is about to freeze over.

After years of telling us it was impossible and repeatedly voting it down, Beverly Hills has given final approval for bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, between Wilshire Blvd and Doheny Drive.

The city council also overrode a staff recommendation for white striped lanes with a little green paint at key conflict zones, instead voting for green lanes the entire length, at a cost of around $100,000 — nearly triple the staff’s $35,000 budget.

Which should give you an idea just how cheap bike lanes really are.

The work should be done sometime this spring.

Thanks should go to Beverly Hills’ bike-friendly Mayor Lili Bosse, as well as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who continued a quixotic and nearly solitary fight for the lanes, long after others had given up.

Myself included.

Photo from Beverly Hills website.

………

I’d give this econ professor an F.

In an Op-Ed for the Orange County Register, Pepperdine’s Gary Galles writes that transit use is down because cars remain popular.

And that the reason they are so popular is because they are “vastly superior” transit and other forms of non-motorized transportation.

Many things are already in motion to solve transit agencies’ problems. For instance, in 2015, Los Angeles began a 20-year plan to remove auto lanes for bus and protected bike lanes, as well as pedestrian enhancements, diverting transportation funds raised from drivers and heightening congestion for the vast majority who planners already know will continue to drive.

Such less than effective attempts to cut driving by creating gridlock purgatory suggest we ask a largely ignored question. Why do planners’ attempts to force residents into walking, cycling and mass transit, supposedly improving their quality of life, attract so few away from driving?

The reason is simple — cars are vastly superior to alternatives for the vast majority of individuals and circumstances.

Of course, what he fails to consider from his windshield-perspective perch overlooking PCH is that drivers around Southern California already complain about massive traffic congestion.

And, in fact, one of the reasons bus use is less attractive that driving is that bus schedules are constantly thrown off by all those people in cars jamming streets beyond their practical capacity.

So what traffic planners are attempting isn’t to create a gridlock purgatory.

It’s dealing with the traffic congestion hell we already find ourselves in, and preparing for an otherwise dystopian future in which more and more people try to jam themselves into an already built-out traffic system that can no longer be expanded.

So unless we provide those people with safe, practical alternatives to driving, our streets will continue to get worse with every new car added to the grid.

That means more frequent and reliable transit, and safer walking and biking. Which in some cases will require making traffic worse in the short term in order to make it better in the long term.

As an economics professor, he should understand that.

But as a shill for the motor vehicle industry, he’s doing a damn good job.

………

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council will discuss the draft Hollywood Community Plan at the William & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 West Sunset Blvd on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 pm.

If you live, work or ride in bikeway-challenged Hollywood, you’ll want to be there to support the bike lanes described in Section 6 of the plan.

Because the Hollywood Hills homeowners will undoubtedly turn out in force once again to complain about density and traffic congestion. As well as bike lanes, if they think it will contribute to either one.

Thanks to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

………

Local

A Pacoima square will be dedicated in honor of fallen cyclist Saul Lopez, the 15-year old boy who was collateral damage in a crash between two cars at Glenoaks Boulevard and Vaughn Street after one of the drivers ran a red light.

 

State

Coronado, where bike lanes give residents vertigo, considers improving bike safety by replacing stop signs with roundabouts; needless to say, not everyone approves.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this weekend, and a letter writer says it’s rude to ride two or more abreast and force drivers to change lanes (scroll down) to go around them. Even though that’s exactly what drivers are supposed to do, unless there’s a solid yellow line.

A Bakersfield columnist shares the joys of his regular Saturday morning group ride, which has been riding together for over 20 years.

Not so fast on the bike boulevard in San Luis Obispo, as the cycle track portion of the project has been put on hold after residents rise up to demand their God-given right to free street parking.

The former mayor of SLO tries to out-crazy the Coronado NIMBY’s, describing the planned bikeway as “urban rape … not to be performed by a male penis, but by thousands of inanimate bicycles … .” No, seriously.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan will host a pair of California fondos, starting with a gravel ride in Truckee this May, and a road ride in a city TBD in November.

 

National

Nice idea. In an attempt to support sustainable transportation, a Washington couple builds a small Bike Hut on the edge of their property, providing riders in need with spare tubes, chain lube and other small necessities.

A Montana paper looks at the efforts of rural towns to capitalize on bicycle tourism.

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance in Minneapolis.

After moving off campus, a Johns Hopkins University student discovers the joys of bicycling in Baltimore and the city’s monthly Bike Party.

A writer from Los Angeles falls head-over-heels — literally — for mountain biking just a few hours outside Atlanta. And wonders why he doesn’t do it more here in California.

 

International

A couple of British pub owners ride the length of South America, covering over 3,000 miles from Chile to Argentina.

A London physician gets it, saying the city’s Camden neighborhood won’t meet its smog reduction goals without a greater emphasis on bicycling and presumed liability. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, presumed liability assumes the operator of the more dangerous vehicle is at fault in any collision, unless it can be proven that the other party is at fault, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid crashes due to their ability to cause greater harm.

A British coroner rules that a velodrome did not follow safety guidelines when a cyclist was killed in a 35 mph crash with another rider in 2014.

An Aussie letter writer says bicycles should be required to have bells, since there’s apparently no other way to politely warn others a bike is approaching. And seems to be under the illusion that drivers politely yield to people on bikes and on foot.

 

Competitive Cycling

An entre Italian amateur team gets busted for systematic doping (scroll down) following the heart attack death of a 21-year old cyclist last May. But sure, tell us again how the era of doping is over.

VeloNews previews this year’s Amgen Tour of California, and says the key stages will be the famed Gibraltar climb and the time trial in Morgan Hill. And looks at how the pros overcome the fear of failure and getting hurt.

 

Finally…

Evidently, I’m not actually a road cyclist. Maybe someday you’ll ride wearing an inflatable flak jacket.

And today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

So pat yourself on the back if you were able to somehow endure Southern California’s sunny winter weather on your way to work this morning.

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