Tag Archive for self-driving cars

Morning Links: Bike the Vote rejects Measure S, self-driving cars can’t see you, and bike-following robots

Like it or not, housing issues affect more than just where you live and how much you pay.

That’s why Bike the Vote LA has come out against Measure S, which would impose a two-year moratorium on most major new housing construction, saying it would only increase sprawl, social inequity and traffic.

The group says it would “have far-reaching negative repercussions for our collective vision of a diverse, livable, affordable, walkable, bikeable city.”

Streetsblog reports that a large coalition of diverse groups opposes the measure, also known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, in next month’s election, calling it a “scorched earth” housing ban.

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Bad news for all those, like myself, who have been hoping that self-driving cars would mean safer streets for bike riders by taking the wheel away from today’s careless, aggressive, wasted and/or distracted drivers.

It turns out that detecting people on bikes is possibly the biggest problem hurdle developers have to overcome before autonomous cars take over the road.

In other words, they can’t see you. And too often don’t know what to do even if they do.

Which pretty much sounds like the way things are now, anyway.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal and Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Famed cycling photographer Graham Watson calls it a career; VeloNews talked with him late last year, before yesterday’s announcement.

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The LA Times says Trump’s travel ban isn’t expected to keep international athletes from competing in the US, an important consideration with the world paracycling championships scheduled for the VELO Sports Center in Carson later this month.

Cycling Tips talks with the Master’s racer who held on for dear life after crashing and going over a retaining wall.

A Pasadena site looks at the city’s role as the finish line of this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Bicycling takes a motor-doped bike out for a spin. Hopefully we won’t see any of those at the paracycling worlds or the ATOC.

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Local

Nice piece on Eric Bryan of the UCLA cycling team, as he continues his racing dreams as a third year student at the university.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is hosting a maintenance workshop tonight.

Most college students only have to worry about bad drivers as they bike to campus; bike-riding Pepperdine students have to watch out for mountain lions once they get there.

Santa Clarita is asking for input to gauge support for a bikeshare system.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition will hold its next meeting on Tuesday.

 

State

A San Diego advocacy group calls on the city to fix 15 deadly intersections.

Residents of La Jolla are uniting to keep San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare systems from besmirching their exclusive city.

A Menlo Park police chase leads to the arrest of a trio of bike thieves; police found numerous bicycles in one woman’s residence, along with other stolen items, but only three of the bikes had been reported stolen. Another reminder to register your bike, and report it the police if it gets stolen; too often they recover bikes that they can’t return to the owners because they have no idea who they belong to. And they can’t press charges if they can’t prove a bike is stolen.

A San Francisco Chronicle reader concludes that if it serves 100 riders a day, a $25 million bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge works out to $171 per ride over the four-year trial period. Except that bridges last a lot longer than four years, it could end up serving a lot more than 100 riders a day, and most bike commuters ride both ways, doubling the number of trips. But other than that…

A Castro Valley lawyer collects bicycles in reverse, buying and rebuilding bikes only to give them away to people in need.

 

National

PeopleForBikes discusses the prospects for bicycling under the Trump administration.

Bicycling Magazine wants to know how safe you feel when you ride.

Outside Magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary with their list of the 40 most iconic places on the planet, including mountain bike mecca Slickrock in Moab, Utah, the Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez, and the Festina car which lead to discovery of pro cycling’s doping problems. Although the latter is more a thing than a place.

The National Bike Registry has merged with the Project 529 bicycle registration service, creating a 400,000 combined database; anyone already registered with NBR will automatically be upgraded to a free lifetime membership with Project 529. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

City Lab conducts an autopsy on Seattle’s failed bikeshare system.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 78-year old New Mexico bicyclist has travelled around 90,000 miles since he took up bicycling in 2004, despite losing a year of riding due to aortic surgery. I mean about the riding at his age, not the aorta problems. Just to be clear.

Bighearted Oklahoma police buy a new bike for an 11-year old boy whose bike was destroyed when he was unexpectedly hit by a car. As opposed to all those people who leave home expecting to crash.

 

International

The UK’s Cyclist magazine calls on Londoners to avoid the inevitable traffic nightmare caused by next week’s tube strike by joining the city’s 170,000 bike commuters.

The road-raging driver who was filmed threatening BBC personality Jeremy Vine has been convicted of threatening behavior and driving “without reasonable consideration.”

A British bicyclist navigates what he calls the nonsensical cycling scene in Cambridge, saying even if everyone behaved perfectly, there’s just not enough space for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists in the medieval city.

Caught on video: An English driver just backs up, turns his lights off and drives away after hitting a bike rider; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

Oslo, Norway is fighting pollution and traffic congestion by giving residents a $1,200 credit towards the purchase of an ebike. If California ever gets serious about fighting climate change and doing something about our crowded streets, a program like that could be cost-effective if it actually succeeds in getting people out of their cars.

A German explorer has spent the last ten years traveling the world by bicycle in an attempt to visit every country on Earth.

An Indian cyclist uses his own wedding invitation to promote the importance of bicycling.

A store owner in the Galapagos Islands converts a cargo bike into an animal ambulance to transport his poisoned dog to an animal hospital.

 

Finally…

Just what every bike rider needs: A $10,000 ebike inspired by Tesla. If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a loaded handgun on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, not the gun.

And who needs a cargo bike when you can get your own bike-following robot?

 

Morning Links: Former pro Steve Tilford seriously injured, Mercedes decides who to save, and retracing a rare bike

Hopefully we’ve finally got the problem with email notifications fixed. Let me know if you’re still not getting them.

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Former pro cyclist Steve Tilford, one of the first wave of American cyclists to enter the top levels of the sport, suffered a severe head injury in a fall last week.

Tilford was participating in a regular group ride when his bike struck a dog that had run into the street and he went over his handlebars, striking his head on the pavement; he was not wearing a helmet.

While the prognosis is positive, he is expected to take a year of intensive therapy to make a full recovery.

Another rider who crashed into him suffered a collapsed lung and four broken ribs.

And no, there’s no word on the dog.

For Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, it brings up the debate over whether or not to wear a helmet.

Meanwhile, BMX pro Scotty Cranmer is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after falling face-first when his front wheel got stuck in a hole; as of Sunday night, a crowdfunding site had raised over $25,000 for his medical expenses.

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In the ongoing debate over self-driving cars, Mercedes Benz decides the lives of its occupants are more important than the lives of others.

After all, they’re the ones paying for it, right?

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Nice piece from Peter Flax about tracking down the history of a rare Richard Sachs racing bike that won the collegiate cyclocross championship for Adam Myerson in 1997, after it found its way back to its original owner.

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Twenty-year old Dutch rider Amalie Dideriksen outsprints the favorites to take the women’s world championship. Meanwhile Peter Sagan repeats as the men’s champ and Mark Cavendish settles for second, while John Degenkolb gives another rider a squirt.

The head of UCI praises Qatar for developing a cycling culture, while saying with a straight face that there hasn’t been any cases of heat exhaustion in the extreme desert temperatures, despite the many riders who collapsed along the course.

Aussie cycling champ Anna Meares calls it a career after winning six Olympic medals.

The cycling community wants to ban the narcotic painkiller Tramadol, which is popular in the pro peloton to help riders bounce back from the pain of racing. Meanwhile, former world champ David Millar explains how the therapeutic use exemption allows riders to get away with doping; thanks to Ralph Durham and George Wolfberg for the link.

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Local

A homeless Santa Monica man was found with bike parts and a nine-inch bolt cutter, admitted to being a meth addict, and told investigators how to bust a U-lock by twisting the bike frame. And was let go with a citation, along with his companion, for medical reasons. Homeless people need help, not jail. But writing a damn ticket to a confessed bike thief isn’t going to stop anyone.

Santa Monica will host a Kiddical Mass Halloween costume ride on the 29th.

Santa Clarita is the site of a Gran Fondo next Saturday to benefit the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

Long Beach is looking for volunteers for their annual bike count this Thursday.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from a Long Beach man who had passed out from a diabetic incident.

 

State

A 15-mile stretch of bike path along the Santa Ana River due to be completed by 2019 would bring long-standing plans for a continuous 100-mile bike and equestrian trail reaching from the San Bernardino Mountains to Huntington Beach one step closer to completion.

A San Diego bicyclist was injured Sunday when her bike hit a steel plate in the road covering repair work. Which is a reminder that raised plates can knock you off your bike, while the plates themselves can provide little or no traction, especially if there’s moisture present.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you don’t come to a complete, foot-on-the-ground stop at stop signs. Actually, there’s no requirement that bike riders have to put a foot down when coming to a stop. And it can actually increase the risk, while being guaranteed to piss off the drivers around you if you insist on putting a foot down at every stop.

 

National

The Feds have finally concluded that bike boxes really do reduce conflicts between bike riders and motorists at intersections.

A writer looks at why cyclists and drivers don’t get along, explaining that insurance is a better option than trying to get even with someone. Although it’s a false premise; the overwhelming majority bicyclists and drivers do get along; it’s the exceptions that are the problem.

A former Hawaii police officer has been indicted for negligent homicide, tampering with evidence and filing a false report in the hit-and-run death of a vacationing bike rider; he was fired from the force as a result of his actions.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where the death of a mother of five who was riding in a crosswalk marked with flashers merits a lousy $150 fine. Although it will result in a change in the state’s driver’s manual requiring motorists to stop for a crosswalk warning signal until pedestrians and bicyclists have safely crossed the road. Because evidently common sense is not a requirement for a license, there or anywhere else.

A Chattanooga writer says bike riders shouldn’t be licensed and aren’t the real problem, but bike lanes don’t belong on busy streets. But what the hell is a “California-type politician”?

A 15-year old Pennsylvania boy was sentenced to spend the next 35 years behind bars for shooting another teenager while attempting to steal his bicycle.

Most drunk drivers get off with a slap on the wrist. A Delaware bicyclist busted for biking under the influence following a crash got 32 days in county jail, plus 90 days house arrest, a $1,500 fine and lost her driver’s license for 18 months. In California, that would merit just a $250 fine, with no points on your license.

NPR takes a look at sidewalk cycling in DC, making the point that, legal or not, you’re usually safer on the street — which is exactly where pedestrians want you. Thanks to Joni Yung for the tip.

 

International

Bike Radar offers 11 ways to be a greener cyclist. Like don’t drop your damn trash on the side of the road — and that includes gel packs and CO2 cartridges.

Canadian cyclists are outraged at Orange Theory Fitness for co-opting ghost bikes for their marketing campaign. Apparently, the chain gets enough benefit from the publicity that they don’t care about offending bike riders, since they keep doing it, despite the complaints.

A front page editorial in the Times of London blames segregated bike lanes for helping to increase traffic congestion, but hides most of the story behind a pay wall. Bike Biz points out just .02% of London roads even have them, never mind that the real cause of increased congestion is the millions of additional cars on the road.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a group of passing bicyclists save the life of a British woman who drove into a lake.

An Irish writer complains about the moral ambiguity of inviting Lance Armstrong to speak at a public event in Dublin, while imagining him being wheeled out in a mask like Hannibal Lector.

Two Indian cyclists rode 2,700 miles to raise awareness of the need for girls’ education.

A group of 30 cyclists plowed into a 95-year old Aussie man, then just left him lying on the side of the road. Although, despite what the article initially says, one rider identifying himself as a doctor did stop briefly to check the victim out before rejoining the other riders. Regardless, there’s simply no excuse to leave an injured person like that, young or old.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t peddle ice cream while pedaling in Victoria, BC. If you’re going to ride your bike over the roof of a car, make sure it’s your car.

And it’s no surprise that drivers who accidently run down cyclists just get a slap on the wrist when doing it on purpose only gets a year in jail.

 

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