Tag Archive for speeding drivers

LA Times voter guides for CD4, CD6 and Healthy Streets LA; SGV bike ride Sunday; and Weiner talks speed governors

332 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles Times offers a detailed voter guide to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, including a look at what it does and doesn’t do, as well as who supports and opposes it.

And there’s a lot more of the former than there is the latter.

The paper also provides election guides for the six-way race for the CD6 seat currently held by Imelda Padilla on an interim basis, as well as the two men challenging Nithya Raman in the reconfigured CD4.

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Update: This ride has been postponed until next Sunday due to risk of rain.

Safe Streets For SGV is hosting a moderately paced, nine-mile bike ride on Sunday to call for safer streets and promote better connections between Alhambra and South Pasadena.

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State Senator Scott Weiner describes his bill that would require speed governors in all new cars, which would “only” allow drivers to break the law by 10 mph.

Which sounds perfectly damn reasonable to me.

Thanks to MYVOTECD1 for the heads-up.

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The latest episode of Bike Talk is available online now.

A listener, Reese, speaks for connected, protected bike lanes in Utah. 2:00

News: With pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Los Angeles at an 8-year high, the departing Los Angeles Police Chief blames their reckless biking and walking habits. In California, SB 961 calls for all new cars to have speed governors. A Die-in against traffic violence at LA City Hall. 7:12

When a 14 year old on his bike was hit by an uninsured motorist in Chicago, personal injury lawyer Jonel Metaj took the case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Now, people in Illinois with uninsured motorist coverage will be protected when biking and walking, too. 18:57

Alison Cohen is the founder of Bicycle Transit Systems, which operates bikeshare in cities throughout the US. She explains how BTS came to be threatened with replacement by Lyft in Los Angeles. 33:00

A Bike Thought by Stacey. 52:23

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Not only was Farrah Fawcett one of us, but she could clearly do “Look Ma! No hands!” with the best of them.

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It’s now 43 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A couple of young Frenchmen walked without a single day behind bars for an eight-month series of attacks in which they leaned out of a moving car to push at least a dozen bike riders off their bikes and into ditches, and hit at least one man repeatedly with a small truncheon; they were both sentenced to two-year suspended sentences after telling the judge they were really, really sorry. No, really.

No surprise here. A pair of Australian teenagers were arrested for intentionally running down two Melbourne bicyclists in a stolen car last week, leaving the men with serious, potentially life-changing injuries, and posting video of the attack online. They joined a now worldwide social media-inspired trend of teens stealing cars and intentionally attacking people on bicycles — including recent attacks in Huntington Beach and Las Vegas — for no other reason than they can.

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Local 

Metro announced plans to improve streets, bus stops and bike lanes along the 710 Freeway corridor, after cancelling plans to widen the freeway in the face of public opposition.

Seven Culver City cops will join the Police Unity Tour, riding 300 miles to honor fallen officers.

 

State

San Diego and Imperial counties will share $12 million in state infrastructure funding, including for bike and pedestrian projects.

The atmospheric river that poured through California yesterday left a Santa Barbara bike lane closed due to flooding, with no projected opening date.

 

National

Bike Rumor picks the year’s best bike handlebar bags.

SRAM issued a recall for all aftermarket 12-speed eTap AXS Red, Force, Rival and Apex shift-brake levers produced before July 2023 that were not installed by a bicycle dealer, telling owners to stop using them immediately.

Forbes recommends fat biking as one of “three winter adventurers (sic) you can’t afford to miss in Anchorage.” Especially since they finally have snow this year.

A kindhearted Maine high school resource cop called on a local bike shop to donate a refurbished bike for a kid who was struggling with attendance, leading to a new program accepting donated bikes for students.

A Baltimore letter writer says traffic calming doesn’t work, and new bike lanes will never lure people out of their motor vehicles, because cars.

After losing his own vision, a New Orleans man created a tandem bicycling group to allow blind people to keep riding.

 

International

Momentum offers seven “examples of stunning and inspiring bicycle infrastructure around the world.” None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A longstanding worker-owned bike shop in London’s Brixton neighborhood is begging for donations to help it withstand the worst year in its two decade history.

Singer Harry Styles is one of us, spending the last day before he turned 30 riding through London in a quilted orange puffer jacket.

A new London study suggests male Sikh bike riders might not benefit from bike helmets, because the style and thickness of their turbans could already provide the best possible head protection.

British ebike brand Gocycle is introducing a futuristic take on the family e-cargo bike — as long as you have at least seven grand burning a hole in your bank account.

Unbelievable. A road raging Jersey teenage was acquitted of manslaughter for killing a bike rider with a single punch to the face, claiming he was frightened by the victim, despite repeatedly honking at him and getting out of his car to confront him after the man deservedly flipped him off.

This is who we share the road with. Italian saboteurs are cutting down speed cams, and ripping out speed humps to fight for their God-given right to speed.

The Jerusalem Post highlights the best selling bike phone mounts. One of which I already own. 

A pair of Aussie researchers say e-scooter injuries are rising, but there’s not enough data yet to say if they’re more dangerous than other micromobility methods, such as bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

The first win of the 2024 cycling season goes to Belgian Soudal Quick-Step sprinter Tim Merlier.

 

Finally…

Why you shouldn’t trust your bike to the cheapest lock you can find at CVS. What happens when you let a Magic 8-Ball write your bike lane headlines.

And when the mayor’s office says just kidding about scrapping the city’s annual bike ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New bill requires speed governors on new California cars, LAPD Chief blames traffic victims, and LA bike deaths jump 41%

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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San Francisco state Senator Scott Weiner introduced two bills to improve traffic safety, including requiring speed governors on all new cars, and side guards on trucks.

Here’s how Calbike, which sponsored the bills, explains them.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced the Speeding and Fatality Emergency Reduction on California Streets (SAFER California Streets) Package, Senate Bills 960 & 961, a first-in-the-nation effort to make California roads safe and accessible to all users. Senate Bill 961 requires changes to vehicles directly, including a first-in-the-nation requirement that all new vehicles sold in California install speed governors, smart devices that automatically limit the vehicle’s speed to 10 miles above the legal limit. SB 961 also requires side underride guards on trucks, to reduce the risk of cars and bikes being pulled underneath the truck during a crash.

Senate Bill 960 requires that Caltrans, the state transportation agency, make physical improvements like new crosswalks and curb extensions on state-owned surface streets to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, the disability community, and transit users.

These changes are a head-on attempt to tackle vehicle fatalities, which are surging across the U.S.—and especially in California—amid a rise in reckless driving since the onset of the pandemic. A recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, found that traffic fatalities in California have increased by 22% from 2019 to 2022, compared to 19% for the U.S. overall. In 2022, 4,400 Californians died in car crashes.

The speed governing requirement is probably unlikely to pass in its present form, as it will undoubted face stiff opposition from organizations defending California drivers’ God-given right to speed.

But it could be one of the biggest steps the state could take to ensure drivers follow speed laws, and save lives.

Sort of, anyway. Since it would still let them speed by the same 10 mph over the limit that most California drivers do now, anyway.

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Outgoing LAPD Chief Michael Moore caused an uproar by blaming the victims for the city’s climbing traffic deaths, placing responsibility on pedestrians for crossing streets outside of crosswalks, and bicyclists for riding on streets without bike lanes and not wearing reflective gear.

Not on, say, drivers for speeding or driving distracted or under the influence, or just generally not managing to avoid hitting other people. Or on his own officers for failing to enforce traffic laws.

Schmuck.

His misguided criticisms hardly explain LA’s rapid jump in bicycling deaths, since bike riders seem no less likely to use bike lanes or wear hi-viz and reflective gear than they were just three years ago.

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Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is looking for volunteers to promote Saturday’s die-in at LA City Hall at tomorrow’s Critical Mass Ride.

SAFE is holding a Protest for safe streets on Saturday, January 27th, on the steps of City Hall in order to demand LA City leaders do something effective about safety in our roads. Our goal is to have at least 330 people in attendance to represent each life lost to traffic violence in 2023.

We will be at the LA Critical Mass ride on Friday, January 26th, to let the cycling community know about the protest and enlist their help. We need volunteers to join us and make our protest as big and loud as possible!

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Metro wants your input on how to reduce traffic.

Traffic Reduction Study (TRS) Survey closes Jan 31, 2024 
TRS is looking at how we can manage demand to reduce traffic through congestion pricing, and make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of how they choose to travel. Following the conclusion of the survey, Metro staff will take the time necessary to assess and evaluate the feedback received countywide to include in the study’s technical analysis. We appreciate your assistance in helping us understand what your priorities and concerns are about traffic. Please take the survey here.

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I hope you weren’t planning to ride Orange County’s Mariposa Bridge anytime soon.

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That’s more like it.

An Arizona tow truck driver got 17 years behind bars for plowing into a group bike ride, killing one woman and injuring five other people, despite playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eyes. Although part of that sentence is for the kiddie porn cops found on his phone.

A 19-year old New Mexico man got a little more than seven years for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a 63-year old man riding a bicycle, after prosecutors dropped an additional seven years from his sentence in a plea deal.

And the Florida drawbridge operator who walked with seven years probation for failing to check if anyone was on the bridge before opening it, killing a woman walking her bike across it at the time, could be headed for nine years behind bars after failing a urine test required as a condition of her probation.

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More proof that brilliant writers ride bikes.

I mean, besides me.

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It took me about two seconds to find the bike with no rider, for whatever that’s worth.

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It’s now 35 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

A British bicycling organization says the country’s addiction to ever bigger cars is driving bike riders off the roads, as car widths increase an average of one centimeter a year — a little less than half an inch.

A London bike rider filmed a motorist driving blissfully the wrong way down a bike lane, as bicyclists dodged out of his way.

 

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

New York’s self-appointed sidewalk vigilante has made over 5,000 documented reports to the city’s 311 systems, thanks to a personally-programmed camera aimed to capture people illegally riding bikes on the sidewalk.

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Local 

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 out-of-the-mainstream bike shops to help discover the city’s thriving bicycle culture. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link, who says his go-to shop Safety Cycle should have made the list, too.

Hollywood Progressive profiles Leon Comerre’s breathtaking 1903 painting Cycling at Vesinet.

 

State

A writer for Streetsblog says the California Transportation Commission needs to hit pause on highway projects to address the state’s massive budget shortfall, arguing that putting a potentially problematic $200 million highway expansion on hold was a step in the right direction.

Sad news from Livermore, where a 58-year old man died when he went over his handlebars after apparently suffering a mechanical problem with his bike.

San Francisco celebrity chef, restaurateur and philanthropist Chris Cosentino is one of us, riding his bike to help manage his mental health.

The City by the Bay is proposing a $9 million settlement after an infamous roadway bump resulting from a botched water pipe repair left a bike rider with life altering injuries; four other people have sued for under a million each for injuries suffered hitting the bump with their bikes. Which raises the obvious question of why not just fix the damn thing after the first person got hurt?

 

National

Oregon truckers are complaining that road diets and buffered bike lanes are making traffic lanes too narrow for their bigass trucks. Which is a better argument for making the trucks smaller than reducing bike lane buffers.

Separated bike lanes in Austin, Texas are paved with terra-cotta, making them more resistant to wear, and red instead of the usual green.

Streetsblog criticizes New York Mayor Eric Adams for once again failing to even mention bus or bike lanes in his annual State of the City address, in contrast to his vocal support as a candidate. But he does feel the need to regulate ebikes, proposing a new Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate micro-mobility.

A DC website offers a step-by-step playbook for starting your own family biking group.

A Richmond, Virginia bike shop reopened after an unexplained closure left customers without the bikes they had ordered or had repaired, resulting in at least one customer lawsuit, as well as a suit filed by Giant Bicycles over an unpaid $144,000 tab.

 

International

A tech site says Europe’s bike industry is hitting bumps as the bicycling craze cools. Although other recent reports have suggested the opposite.

In a bizarre case, a British woman took her own life after learning her estranged husband had been riding a bicycle with another woman. Which hardly counts as infidelity, unless maybe they were sharing the same bike seat.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to plan a family bike trip around France’s Lake Annecy.

A 41-year old Sydney, Australia man says people make fun of him because he never learned to drive, but he’s better off riding a bike and taking transit when necessary. And so’s the planet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mathieu van der Poel’s remarkable ten race unbeaten streak to start the ‘cross season finally came to an end, with a fifth-place finish in the Benidorm World Cup.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a deep dive into the relatively recent history of motor doping, including an unconfirmed accusation against American Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

Don’t look so surprised if you get popped for biking under the influence. The Bike Share Batman fights evildoers by stealing back stolen bikeshare bikes.

And why would you need more than one wheel to check out of a hotel, anyway?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Caltrans meager PCH safety efforts, a peloton ticketed for following too close, and a call for a life-saving super power

It’s the last four days of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Last year, it took a real Chrismukah miracle to top the previous year, with more than 25 donations in the last five days.

We’ll need at least that many this time around just to catch up — let alone set a new record for the 9th year in a row. 

So thanks to Steven H and Joshua H (no relation) for their generous support for SoCal’s best source bike news and advocacy.

But time is rapidly running out for this year’s fund drive. 

So don’t wait.

Stop what you’re doing, and give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 0

Seriously, is anyone really surprised that the California Air Resources Board missed their latest self-imposed deadline once again?

Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.
Then share it with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Even reporters for the Los Angeles Times question whether Caltrans meager safety “improvements” on PCH will be enough to make a difference.

Writing about Monday’s performative press conference to announce a lousy $4.2 million in safety work for the 21 miles of PCH that snakes along the Pacific Coast — which works out to just $200,000 a mile — they almost immediately called the announcement into question.

While there is a process each project will have to undergo, “this is not a ‘business as usual’ approach,” Omishakin said as cars whizzed past.

After several deadly pedestrian crashes that roiled Malibu and sparked calls for change, business as usual won’t be enough, transportation activists said. Damian Kevitt, founder of Streets Are for Everyone, told The Times the “design of PCH through Malibu is simply and clearly deadly.”

“It needs to be a transformed from a highway where people can do 60 to 80 to even 100 mph through residential [areas] and businesses, with families and cyclists, unprotected, just a couple feet away,” Kevitt said.

Hopefully, Caltrans can demonstrate a little more urgency than the $34.6 million project currently underway to sync red lights along the highway, presumably to make speeding drivers stop for red while the typically non-existent non-speeding drivers on the highway will see greens.

The project was approved seven years ago, but because the highway is under California Department of Transportation jurisdiction, it had to be reviewed by the state.

“The Caltrans review process, while undoubtedly necessary for ensuring regulatory compliance and safety standards, proved to be more cumbersome than anticipated,” said Matt Myerhoff, Malibu’s public information officer.

Gee, you think?

Although red lights are typically synced to smooth traffic flow, rather than control speeds.

Meanwhile, Caltrans pledged to study PCH to determine if it can be designated as a safety corridor, in which fines for speeding can be doubled.

But f the mounting death toll on the highway isn’t prima facie proof of the problem, I don’t know what yet another study will accomplish. Then again, you could quadruple the fines, and it won’t matter if the drivers don’t get caught.

Which points to the sheer stupidity of California’s speed cam pilot program only being allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, while completely ignoring the state’s deadliest corridors.

But still.

Members of Seetoo’s Fix PCH Action Team, including Kevitt, say the seven years it took Caltrans to allow Malibu to begin the signal synchronization project “doesn’t indicate that Caltrans is prioritizing safety at all.”

Collecting and studying the data could mean “years and years more delay before they even decide if they can slow down this highway that is known to be deadly,” Kevitt said.

Chris Wizner, another action team member, told The Times he wondered how many more deaths it would take for Caltrans to slow down PCH.

That’s easy.

The formula has always been N+1.

It will take one more death than we’ve already suffered, no matter how many there have already been.

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A Santa Barbara cop takes a turn at demonstrating he knows nothing about riding in a peloton, without saying it, as a group of Santa Barbara bicyclists got delayed tickets in the mail for following one another too closely, after one rider went down and took several other riders down with him.

Here’s the full text of the tweet.

Insult to injury rant: Group ride Santa Barbara to Ventura & back Nov. 21, a cyclist in the peloton front crashed & took down several of us. EMTs came & took me for a brain scan. I’m fine. Cop pretended to help me as he asked my name etc.

I just got a ticket for “following too close”. In a peloton. Seriously. $235 or contest it in court.

I’m tempted on principle. Would love to confront this cop & ask why he didn’t give me the ticket then & there (others also got tickets in the mail). He probably knows we would have pitched a fit.

Disgraceful. I’m lying there on the ground in paid, bloody & nauseous & this MF cop is writing me up for a traffic violation. No wonder people don’t trust the police. “Protect & Serve”. Bullshit.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Somehow this one slipped under the radar, as Robert Leone forwards the results of the Universal Postal Union’s 2023 letter writing competition.

Okay, maybe I know why this one slipped under the radar.

Regardless, the UPU asked children to write on the following topic:

“Imagine you are a super hero and your mission is to make all roads around the world safer for children. Write a letter to someone explaining which super powers you would need to achieve your mission.”

The winner, a 13-year old girl from Kenya, requests a simple super power — the ability to write posters that will make drivers slow down, because children are the most helpless road users.

Amen.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the following video, which includes these key points:

  • Soul-crushing car traffic makes the Yosemite experience very frustrating
  • That frustration gets unloaded on retail workers there
  • You should definitely ride a bike in Yosemite
  • But don’t leave anything on your bike because even in Yosemite thieves will strip it to the frame

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‘Tis the season.

A San Diego group is continuing a five decade tradition of giving, by working to build 150 bikes to give to kids on Christmas Day.

A Cedar Rapids, Iowa bike shop turned into Santa’s workshop as volunteers joined staffers to refurbish 50 bikes for kids in need.

An Alabama Baptist church collected more than 300 bikes to give to area kids for Christmas.

The work of Florida’s legendary Jack the Bike Man lives on, as the charity he founded gave 100 bicycles to people in need, despite his death earlier this year.

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

Eureka scrapped plans for a buffered bike lane on Myrtle Street, caving to angry residents who prefer convenient parking to protecting human lives, as long as those lives get around on two wheels instead of four.

No surprise here, as compromises forced on a Brooklyn protected bike lane by people loathe to sacrifice parking or traffic lanes resulted in a project that virtually no one is happy with.

No bias here. A New York councilmember calls for mandatory licensing and registration of ebikes, rhetorically asking “How many actual ebikes do you see stopping at a red light or observing traffic laws?” Just wait until someone tells him about cars and their drivers, which are already registered and licensed, and regularly break traffic laws anyway.

Evidently, verbally abusing and repeatedly swerving a car into a woman riding a bike isn’t illegal anymore, after police in the UK “mistakenly” close the books on a road raging driver.

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Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton applauds yesterday’s deep dive on dooring in the Los Angeles Times.

Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, along with free Metro Bike Share for the first half hour from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

 

State

A man was arrested in Santa Ana Saturday after walking out of an Irvine Walmart with a new beach cruiser. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least steal a better one.

Streetsblog zeros in on San Diego’s new Complete Streets policy, examining how advocates pushed for and won a better approach to street design.

A local San Francisco website says sales data doesn’t back up claims from merchants along Valencia Street that the new centerline bike lane has killed their business, showing just a 6% drop in retail sales during construction of the bike lanes. Although to be fair, a 6% drop can mean the difference between profit and loss for some businesses, but it’s a far cry from what they claimed.

At the same time, San Francisco website Underscore_SF says the controversial centerline bike lane was never going to work, and San Francisco should move the bike lanes to a more traditional curbside configuration.

 

National

GCN offers six top tips for descending on a road bike.

REI’s second-gen e-cargo bike is on sale for its lowest price ever; CNN called it the year’s best ebike, cargo or otherwise. At less than $1140, you could easily buy one with California’s ebike voucher program, and have change left over — if the voucher program ever actually launches.

More churn in the ebike world, as Harley-Davidson sold its Serial 1 ebike division to Florida ebike maker LEV Manufacturing.

Not surprisingly, bike riders in Ashland, Oregon support plans to install more bike parking in the public right-of-way.

A pair of alleged bike burglars face charges for breaking into Lance Armstrong’s storage unit — yes, that Lance Armstrong — and stealing four complete bicycles and a couple frames valued at $105,000; it’s not clear if any of the bikes were recovered.

A Texas man will face two counts of criminally negligent homicide for killing a married couple as they rode their bikes this past June; he was allegedly texting when he hit their bikes, which explains why he says he never saw them.

More on the bizarre ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court that says cities aren’t liable for injuries to bike riders due to bad pavement because streets without bike lanes aren’t intended for bicycles.

Inmates in a New Hampshire county jail are learning to repair bicycles, working towards their master bike technician certification while serving their time. Which should provide a nice incentive to commit another crime if they get released before earning their certification.

A Long Island woman faces a host of charges, including 2nd degree assault and disabling an Interlock device, for speeding through a parking lot where a triathlon was being held and slamming into a competitor riding his bike, leaving the victim with a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine fracture.

 

International

Toronto’s paramedic’s union said a controversial protected bike lane cost an ambulance crew 30 seconds getting through an intersection because drivers couldn’t get out of their way. Maybe someone should tell them those little car-tickler plastic posts are designed to bend, so you can drive right over them. 

Sad news from the UK, where popular industry pro Nils Amelinckx died after a lengthy battle with stage four bowel cancer; Amelinckx founded the nonprofit Rider Resilience to promote the use of bicycles as medicine, as well as the bicycling wing of gear maker Lyon Equipment. He was just 36.

Grieving British parents called for mandatory speed limiters on all motor vehicles, after a speeding driver climbed the curbed and killed their 14-year old daughter as she rode in a separated bike lane.

Bankrupt Dutch ebike maker VanMoof intends to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes with plans for a new e-scooter.

The BBC examines how the Finnish coastal city of Oulu became the winter bicycling capital of the world, despite its location just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta released its course for next year, starting and ending with time trials, and “savage” climbing in between.

 

Finally…

Aquaman is one of us. This is what it would look like if Tony the Tiger sponsored a cycling team.

And your next e-cargo bike could haul a baby grand piano.

Or a grown-up one, even.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

NTSB calls for speed limiting tech, World Day of Remembrance, and LA Times calls for fast-tracking non-freeway projects

Time to start scrounging under your cushion for lost nickels and dimes, because we’re just five days away from the official kickoff of the Ninth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

That means we’re also just five days away from my annual Eff Black Friday campaign, in which I urge you to skip the stores, save your money and get out on a bike ride, instead. 

And if you want to donate some of the money you save by not shopping, be my guest.

Then visit your favorite local bike shop the next day for Small Business Saturday, to help ensure they’ll still be there the next time you need something. 

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About damn time.

Fast Company is reporting that the National Transportation Safety Board, aka NTSB, is calling for speed limiting technology to be installed on all new cars in an effort to reduce the needless carnage on our streets.

The idea is to use geolocation to give drivers an audible warning when they’re going too fast, or make it harder, but not impossible, to press down on the gas pedal when they exceed the posted speed limit.

I vote for the latter.

Because that might have saved the lives of four young women on PCH last month, allegedly murdered by a driver doing 104 mph in a 45 mph zone. Along with countless others killed on American streets, whether on two feet, two wheels or four.

Speeding is now a factor in almost a third of the crash deaths in the U.S. The traditional approaches to reducing that toll all have significant limitations. Police can issue tickets to individual drivers, but law enforcement can hardly be in all places at all times. Automatic speed cameras, which allow police to mail citations directly to vehicle owners, are more effective; but many states, such as New Jersey and Texas, have banned their use (and they’re far from ubiquitous even where they’re allowed). Another partial solution would be to reconfigure dangerously fast roads with narrower lanes and additional intersections that naturally lead drivers to slow down, but doing so nationwide would be prohibitively expensive—and it would do little to combat reckless speeding on highways and interstates that facilitate car traffic at speeds of 45 to 85 mph…

NTSB’s proposed solution: Adopting Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA), a modern and techier version of the speed governors that Cincinnati considered a century ago. Rather than preventing a vehicle from ever exceeding a given threshold, ISA uses geolocation to automatically reflect the legal limit on a given street or highway. “Passive” ISAs issue audible or haptic alerts to drivers who exceed the top programmed speed, hopefully compelling them to slow down. “Active” ISAs intervene in the car’s mechanics, often by requiring the driver to apply extra force on the accelerator. ISAs can be set to kick in a few miles above the posted speed limit, giving drivers the ability to go faster when, for instance, passing a vehicle in the slow lane.

In the EU—where residents are several times less likely to die in a crash than in the U.S.—regulators are requiring that ISA be installed on new cars as of next year. But no similar effort is afoot in the United States (the federal government did propose requiring them on heavy trucks, a move that has faced stiff opposition from some truckers).

Let’s hope federal regulators take their recommendation seriously.

Because it can’t happen soon enough.

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Speaking of federal regulators, it starts at the top.

Fortunately, the Biden administration’s Transportation Secretary seems to get it, as Pete Buttigieg marked the World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence by calling for safer streets to get cities down to zero traffic deaths.

Including more protected bus and bike lanes.

For a change, the World Day of Remembrance got a lot of attention in the media.

Starting with a moving and dramatic display in Malibu, where volunteers installed 58 white car tires to commemorate the 58 people killed on PCH in the beachfront city since 2010.

Just in case you ever wondered why I call it LA County’s killer highway. Although it’s not much better in Orange County, either.

The World Day of Remembrance was also marked in San Diego, Fresno, Knoxville, Philadelphia, Portland, Charlotte and Houston, among many others.

Maybe one day we can remember those we’ve lost to traffic violence, without worrying about adding more names to the list.

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Good question.

After the mad-dash rush to repair the fire damage to the 10 Freeway that disrupted traffic for just over a week, the Los Angeles Times asks why more transportation projects can’t be fast tracked the same way.

So, why can’t more transportation projects get the speedy treatment? Although the work being done on the 10 Freeway is a model of expediency, other important transportation repair jobs have taken far longer to complete.

Take for example the rail line used by Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink between Orange and San Diego counties. It’s the second busiest passenger route in the country, but was out of service for six months from late 2022 to early 2023 after a landslide and coastal erosion undermined the tracks.

It’s taken a year in some cases to repair storm-damaged bike paths in Los Angeles, leaving those routes closed to riders and forcing them onto busy streets, notedMichael Schneider, founder of the road safety advocacy group Streets for All.

Meanwhile, a letter writer says the freeway closure is an opportunity for more people to try public transit, and to invest in bus lanes and a quick-build bike network.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles only seems to know how to quick builds when it comes to freeways.

………

Evidently, they take murder seriously down in Texas.

A Texas jury sentenced former international fugitive Kaitlin Armstrong to a whopping 90 years behind bars for fatally shooting gravel champ Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas last year.

However, she will be eligible for parole in just a third of that time.

Armstrong was convicted of killing Wilson in a jealous rage, because she considered her a rival for the affections of her former boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland.

………

While we endure the seemingly endless wait for California’s ebike incentive program, the nonprofit program chosen to administer it offers safety advice for ebike riders, though with a glaring omission.

Sign up for email announcements here for when and if they finally get it going.

Speaking of which, Electrek says all the sales currently underway make this the best time ever to buy an ebike, while CBS News lists all the best early Black Friday sales on ebikes.

None of which you can take advantage of if you’re waiting for California’s program to launch.

And waiting. And waiting.

………

It’s almost always faster to ride a bike in city traffic for relatively short distances.

When I used to ride my bike from Westwood to DTLA for Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — now BikeLA — board meetings, I found I could bike the roughly ten mile distance as fast or faster than I could drive it.

And have a hell of of lot more fun doing it.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

I’ve never been a Dierks Bentley fan.

But anyone who carries his kid on a cargo bike is okay in my book.

………

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

The Port of San Diego says you’re not welcome on the city’s Embarcadero if you ride an ebike, e-scooter or a pedicab. Although something tells me they’re setting themselves up for a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

No bias here. A Wisconsin website says they drove Milwaukee’s new advisory bike lane and barely survived, calling it a game of automotive Frogger. Because evidently, drivers haven’t learned anything from the previous hundred-plus years of sharing narrow streets.

………

Local 

Speaking of BikeLA, the nonprofit bike advocacy group is downsizing due to limited funds, announcing “a temporary reduction in staff and operating expenses.”

Hip-hop legend MC Lyte says her best Sundays in LA include renting a bike and going for tacos at the beach. Both of which I can wholeheartedly endorse.

 

State

A San Francisco city supervisor led an informal delegation of VIPs on a damp bike rider marking the last day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

At least two of the nearly two hundred triathletes whose bikes are impounded due to a shipping dispute live in the Bay Area; their hi-end trim bikes could be auctioned off for pennies on the dollar, and they won’t receive a dime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

Romper names the year’s best balance bike to unlock the joy of bicycling for your toddler.

The Seattle Times considers how the Pacific Northwest became the nation’s ‘cross capital.

A Las Vegas public bus driver faces charges for running a red light and killing a man riding a bicycle while apparently driving drunk on the job.

There’s a special place in hell for the Flagstaff, Arizona tow truck driver who ran a red light and killed a woman participating in a bike party ride, and injured several others; he reached a plea agreement after the investigation into the crash also turned up evidence he sexually exploited a minor.

New York’s fire commissioner says lithium-ion ebike batteries are a ticking time bomb.

Police in New York suspect a headless body that washed up onshore at Rockaway Beach could be an Irish filmmaker who disappeared on a bike ride two weeks earlier; despite the condition of the body, they don’t suspect foul play, suggesting he drowned and his body was dismembered by sharp rocks and fish. FYI, stop the page from loading before the popup to get around the paywall.

The Daily Mail seems to be suitably appalled by New York’s Bike Kill Brooklyn block party, featuring “‘freaks’ with mutant bicycles, scantily clad women and bizarre costumes,” along with Victorian unicycle jousting.

They get it, sort of. A Chattanooga, Tennessee newspaper applauds a road diet currently underway, saying safer streets and more bike lanes will benefit everyone — although the same site complains that bike lane construction is adding to the chaos on city streets.

A bystander was the innocent victim of an Atlanta shooting that began with a dispute over a bicycle. Yet another reminder that no bike is worth a human life. 

 

International

A columnist for Cycling Weekly argues that pre-internet local bike shops weren’t as good as you remember.

A kindhearted Saskatoon, Saskatchewan doctor is trying to donate more than 800 bicycles to African communities in need.

Who says you can’t carry big things on a bike? Road.cc says tradespeople like electricians, plumbers and gardeners are increasingly turning to cargo bikes to transport their goods and tools, while a London man borrowed a cargo bike to transport a big chest of drawers across the city, and had a blast in the process.

The BBC reports a spike in violent bikejackings has left some Londoners afraid to ride their bikes.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy says they expect to become profitable next year, even as some competitors are swirling the drain.

A German bikemaker introduced what Road.cc calls the most unusual road bike of the year, which ignores UCI regs to ditche the seat post, incorporating it into the extremely compact frame.

Once he’s caught, an Indian truck driver will face a murder charge for the high-speed hit-and-run that killed one man riding a bicycle, and injured a woman and her son on another bike.

Times of Israel profiles a presumed hostage who disappeared after driving to meet friends for a bike ride near the border with Gaza; his car was later found shot up and abandoned.

Italian extreme cyclist Omar Di Felice is attempting a solo bike ride across the entire continent of Antarctica.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo says Columbian cyclist Rigoberto Urán’s recent performance at the Gran Fondo of Colombia is a reminder that the pros are way, way faster than you and me.

Twenty-six-year old New Zealand mountain bike champ Kate Weatherly is being forced out of the sport by new UCI regulations banning trans cyclists who transitioned after reaching puberty from competing in women’s cycling.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made for bikepacking, but look like a Penny Farthing drawn by a drunk who’s never seen one. We might have to dodge dodgy LA drivers, but at least we don’t usually have to worry about hit-and-run golf cart drivers.

And Rosalyn was one of us.

May she rest in peace, after a lifetime of service.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Four Pepperdine students dead thanks to official inaction on deadly PCH, and more context-free San Diego ebike panic

This is who we share the road with.

Tuesday night, four young Pepperdine University students were killed by an alleged speeding driver on Southern California’s killer highway.

The four 20-year old college seniors were standing on the side of the road in an area locals call Dead Man’s Curve when the 22-year old driver slammed into three parked cars, knocking them into the women.

And making them all collateral damage on a roadway designed and build to accommodate, if not encourage, high speeds.

The driver, Fraser Michael Bohm, was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, which will likely be upgraded to four counts once he’s arraigned.

It’s only a pity that the people who have gone out of their way to keep this killer highway dangerous and deadly won’t face charges with him.

It was nearly a decade ago that I began representing the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, now BikeLA, on the PCH Task Force.

The task force was created by the state legislators who then represented the Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Ventura County areas to address safety and other concerns on the highway, with input from the various stakeholders.

The LACBC took an interest because PCH is such a popular route for bicyclists of all kinds. And claimed so many as victims.

In fact, it is the single most deadly roadway for bike riders in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The LACBC joined with other representatives to demand safety improvements to the highway, ranging from road diets and protected bike lanes, to eliminating roadside parking and reducing speed limits.

In almost every case, we were told what we were asking for was impossible. We were told the road, Malibu’s 22-mile long main street, was necessary to funnel commuters from Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley in and out of the LA area.

The overly wide traffic lanes, high speed limits that were nearly universally exceeded, slip lane right turns and roadside parking were all necessary to prevent excessive traffic congestion, or so we were told.

Never mind they also encouraged speeding drivers weaving in and out of slower traffic 22 hours a day. And put bike riders at needless risk of right hooks and dooring.

Caltrans, which has responsibility for the roadway, could have taken steps to dramatically improve safety years ago.

They didn’t.

Malibu, Los Angeles and Santa Monica could have demanded changes that would have saved lives.

They didn’t.

Sure, minor changes were made. A painted bike lane here, widening the shoulder there. But the killer highway remained, and remains, a deadly speedway for most of the day and night.

Now four young women, who did nothing to put their lives in danger, are dead — victims of an alleged speeding driver, and the officials, engineers and bureaucrats who enabled him.

The young man behind the wheel is likely to be middle-aged before he gets out of prison, unless an overly lenient judge takes pity on him.

It’s just a pity that the others who have worked so hard to keep PCH so deadly won’t be there with him.

What a fucking waste.

A 2013 publication highlights the joys of biking sans helmets on SoCal’s deadliest highway.

……..

San Diego media sources were whipped into a tizzy by “startling new statistics” from the city’s Rady Children’s Hospital, which shows increasing rates of ebike and e-scooter injuries, especially among children.

Yet once again, they fail to put any of it in context.

Injuries can be expected to rise with increasing rates of any activity. If more people started playing Frisbee golf, we’d see rising rates of arm and impact injuries as a result.

What matters is whether those injuries are rising faster than the increase in ridership, or becoming more serious than a baseline of bicycling injuries.

Unless and until we have that context, reports like this are nothing more than a concerning, but anecdotal, data point.

……..

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch forwards news that UC Davis journalism students, not the professional press, are digging into what’s been done since a student was killed by a university employee while riding her bike.

I was lucky enough to be logged on to Mastodon at the time the MuckRock bot sent this through. Otherwise I’d never have known someone was finally making a CPRA request on this. Sadly, it was not made by UC Davis student journalists, but students in a journalism class at University of Nevada, Reno.

You may remember that (19-year old sophomore) Tris Yasay was killed by a yet-unnamed UC Davis employee driving a UC Davis sanitation truck on May 25, 2022. First responders were all UC Davis employees as well (UCDPD and UCDFD). Local press didn’t ask many questions and the few that the Davis Enterprise followed up on was because I got after the reporter about it. It still wasn’t what was needed.  UC Davis was successful in burying the questions.

Months later, its PR flacks linked the “accident” and the grant they applied for re “cyclist and pedestrian safety” that simply targets pedestrians and cyclists for re-education, not its own drivers.

So far as I know, UC Davis has not done any campaign to re-train its own drivers or at least it has not publicized one. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that the claim was that the driver could not see the cyclist in the side view mirror. In which case, the position and efficacy of these mirrors needs to be examined. Because cyclists are a regular feature of the UC Davis campus and if the side view does not accurately reflect what’s going on, drivers should be trained to crane their heads around and look for themselves BEFORE turning. “Blind” spots should be minimized on the vehicle.

But haven’t read about any of that happening.

I’m interested to see what the student journalist finds and if the MuckRock interface will let everyone see it when UC Davis responds. They also requested the City of Davis Bicycle Action Plan.

……..

Our Deutschland correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a newsletter from the ADFC, aka General German Bicycle Club, on the subject of licensing bicycles, and why that’s a bad idea.

Here is a link to the ADFC newsletter on the subject of bike license plates. And their list of reasons not to have them. A huge one is the cost because of bureaucracy. Something Germans know a little about.

However, you’ll either need to read German, or dump the story into a translation service like Google Translate.

……..

I used to ride this same route almost daily to get to Lake Hollywood when I first moved to Los Angeles about a hundred years ago.

It didn’t feel safe then, and it feels a lot less safe now.

………

Bike Talk posts their latest episode, starting with questioning the effectiveness of Vision Zero on both coasts.

………

LA County wants your input on proposed bike paths in the county.

………

Local 

West Hollywood’s city council voted to end the city’s e-scooter trial phase and extend their contracts with Lime and Bird, although by a narrow 3 to 2 margin; the increasingly conservative WeHoVille site predictably did not approve.

 

State

Calbike claims a number of “big” legislative victories that survived the governor’s desk, along with concerns about bills creating an ebike safety study and a Caltrans bike czar.

The Kern County coroner’s office has finally identified the 39-year-old woman killed by a driver while riding her bike in Bakersfield last month; the CHP continues to blame her for crossing in front of the driver’s car.

The two people killed by shifting lumber form a passing Freightliner truck while riding their bikes on Napa County’s Silverado Trail were identified as a married couple from Portland, Oregon; no word on why they were riding in Napa. It’s questionable whether the driver gave them the required three-foot passing distance, which might have spared them from the impact. 

No one seems to like San Francisco’s new Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane, as advocates call it dangerous and counterintuitive, while merchants along the street say it’s killing their business.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director once again, as current ED Jannelle Wong is stepping down after just 18 months on the job.

 

National

NPR reports on the recent study that shows regular bike riding can improve mental health for middle school students. Which is one more reason for Safe Routes to Schools

Bicycling offers a requiem and post-mortem for the popular Surly Cross Check, which has been discontinued by the bikemaker. This one doesn’t seem to be available from other sources, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you. 

Friends of 32-year old BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller want to know why the Las Vegas driver who killed him hasn’t been charged for the September crash, after security cam video surfaced showing the speeding driver jerking between lanes before crashing into Miller’s bike, then crashing into a fence and a parked vehicle.

The wife and daughter of fallen former Bell, California police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst first realized he was injured when they got an alert of a fall from his Apple Watch, then heard police sirens and helicopters just blocks from their Las Vegas home; two teens face murder charges for intentionally running down Probst in a stolen car, apparently just for the hell of it.

A 62-year old Florida woman has been identified as the hit-and-run driver captured in a viral video crashing into an 11-year-old girl riding her bike in a school parking lot, and pushing her at least 60 feet with the car; instead of helping the girl, she just got out of her car, asked if the victim was okay, and told her to just go home and take a shower.

Once again, a cop has killed someone riding a bicycle, this time in Marion County, Florida, where a 22-year old sheriff’s deputy ran down a 63-year old man early Wednesday; investigators quickly blamed the victim for riding on a dark roadway without a helmet or reflective clothing, or using lights on his bike. Because apparently, patrol cars in Florida don’t have headlights that could have illuminated someone riding a bike.

 

International

Momentum offers 13 helpful tips for a worry-free first-time bike commuting experience.

Inside EVs says the new European Declaration on Cycling offers 36 principles aimed at advancing bicycling in the European Union, laying the groundwork for future legislation to unlock the full potential of bicycles.

An Australian woman has been seriously injured riding her bike, less than a week after warning a Victoria state parliamentary inquiry into road safety about the extreme risks bicyclists face on the country’s roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Arizona, where longtime bike racer John Timbers, a previous winner of the Iron Horse Classic and the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, and founder of Arizona’s Vuelta de Bisbee stage race nearly five decades ago, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Tucson early Tuesday morning; he was 78.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a trio of random tweets tells a story about traffic violence and automotive hegemony. Nothing like suffering a daily aerial assault on your bike commute.

And who says you can’t do stunts on a heavy-ass bikeshare bike?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New York proposes speed limiters for habitual speeders, and LA won’t fix dangerous bump on LA River bike path

They get it.

Sort of.

State legislators in New York have proposed a bill that would require habitual speeders to install a speed limitation device on their cars, similar to an interlock device for drunk drivers.

“We are going to literally force you to slow down by requiring you to install a speed limiter on your car,” bill sponsor state Sen. Andrew Gounardes warned reckless drivers on Tuesday during a press conference at the Atlantic Avenue intersection where a speeding driver killed Katherine Harris, 31, in April.

The proposal comes amid an historically deadly year for city streets, in which 132 people have died in crashes so far, including 49 pedestrians. Speed limiters have been shown to reduce traffic deaths by 37 percent, supporters said, citing a report from the European Transport Safety Council.

So far, so good.

But the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Like a particularly devilish requirement that the law doesn’t kick in until a driver receives at least six speeding tickets in a single year.

As if you can’t kill anyone by driving too fast until the seventh time you get caught. Never mind that virtually no one only speeds once or twice.

Or that most drivers routinely exceed the speed limit, at least here in Los Angeles.

The other devilish detail is that even with the device installed, drivers could still speed by 5 mph over the post speed limit. Because evidently, requiring drivers to actually observe the speed limit is cruel and unusual punishment.

But it’s a good start.

And something like that would make a great companion piece to the proposed speed cam pilot project here in California.

………

KCAL News led off last night’s broadcast with a report on a dangerous bump caused by a tree root on the LA River bike path. which has already injured a number of bicyclists.

And yet, the city has done nothing to fix it, despite repeated requests going back a couple years.

Which means that every injury caused by the raised, cracked pavement could cost exponentially more to settle, because lawyers can easy show that officials were aware of the problem, and let it continue to cause injuries, anyway.

Meanwhile, the LA city council is considering a $60 million contract with Metro to build a 13-mile segment of the Los Angeles River bike path in the San Fernando Valley.

The project would plug existing gaps in the bikeway between Vanalden Ave to the west and Forest Lawn Drive/Zoo Drive to the east.

Maybe they can use a little of that money to fix a bump, too.

………

Once again, we’re likely to hear howls of protest from local business leaders, somehow convinced their businesses will fail unless people can park their cars directly in front of them.

Because people who walk and bike apparently live off the grid, don’t eat or drink and buy nothing.

………

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

Four Virginia bike riders have been injured riding into a gate used to close a popular roadway at night, after the city failed to open it on time. Although you’d think it wouldn’t be that hard to see a gate blocking a roadway.

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

A small New Jersey town has amended the city’s bike rules after blaming teens on bikes for ruining the “Downtown experience.”

After a couple of South Carolina kids killed someone’s schnauzer while riding an ebike on the sidewalk, an op-ed writer says blame the careless bike riders, because it’s not the ebike’s fault.

………

Local 

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, offers a quick lesson in the importance of language in framing perceptions — like saying crash instead of accident.

Metro wants your input for first mile/last mile improvements around the Culver City Metro Station. You know, like restoring the Move Culver City protected bike lanes recently ripped out by the city’s new conservative city council.

The Pasadena Star-News considers whether it’s legal for drivers to cross into a bike lane to make a right turn, correctly answering yes, while calling out careless drivers. Unlike most other states, California requires drivers to enter a bike lane prior to an intersection to make a right, rather than turning across the lane.

 

State

A Bay Area writer complains that San Mateo County was an early Vision Zero adopter, but the concept was never taken seriously. Sort of like the chronically underfunded Vision Zero program in Los Angeles.

Sad news from Rohnert Park, where police were surprised to learn the bike-riding man killed in a collision was actually a homeless woman.

 

National

CNN suggests the best gear for beginning mountain bikers, while Road Bike Rider offers advice on how to keep your bike clean.

Cycling News considers your best options for ebike conversion kits.

CleanTechnica questions why the website doesn’t cover more bikes without plugs.

Anthropocene suggests your next EV should have two wheels instead of four, saying ebikes now prevent a lot more emissions than all the world’s Teslas.

Idaho authorities recommend that a 14-year old driver face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for the hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike last 4th of July; Idaho allows residents to get a learner’s permit at 14 and a half, but they aren’t allowed to drive unsupervised.

Boulder, Colorado bike riders say a new door zone bike lane fails the comfort and safety test.

Review a safety brochure, sign an injury waiver form, and you’ll get a free lift pass to ride the mountain bike trails at Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin — and a free beer.

Minnesota bike riders now have a green light to roll stop signs, becoming the latest state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, or Stop As Yield. And once again, California won’t be joining them, even though the law has been repeatedly shown to improve safety, after Encinitas State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner pulled her bill legalizing Stop As Yield in the wake of two previous vetoes from the governor.

Chicago residents are on the lookout for an 82-year old man with limited English skills who went missing after going for a bike ride.

Yesterday we mentioned a bike rider who was critically injured when he was struck by an Indianapolis cop, who swerved onto the wrong side of the road to avoid another car; tragically, the 34-year old father of two kids died of his injuries.

A Boston TV station examines how the city’s bike mayor is working to make the roads safer and more inclusive. Which is a reminder that Los Angeles still doesn’t have one.

A New York bike rider says the recent crash of mo-ped and electric motor scooter riders on the Manhattan Bridge calls for “difficult conversations about the purpose of the city’s precious bike lane real estate, food delivery worker equity and the role NYPD should play in enforcing existing rules.”

Planetizen complains that ebikes from New York’s Citi Bike are too popular for their own good, as bikeshare operator Lyft struggles with maintenance and charging.

 

International

Road.cc examines the world’s lightest, cost-be-damned road bike frames and components to create the ultimate featherweight bike. For weight weenies with more dollars than sense, apparently. 

Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier will have to find another way to get to work, after the bike he used to ride four and a half miles to the ballpark was stolen from his garage.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against wearing bike helmets from SQM and Xinerter, which don’t meet mandatory safety requirements and may pose a serious risk of injury or death, as the Chinese manufacturer refuses to issue a recall.

Officials at South Korea’s Camp Humphries US Army base urged soldies to register their bicycles, after a pair of sergeants discovered a trove of over 100 missing bikes when one of them went to recover her own stolen bike.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike garage looks like an Apple Store, but without all the computers and iPhones and stuff. If you’re going to bury the victim of a drunken hit-and-run, don’t leave your Red Bull can behind.

And it might be worth a pilgrimage to Pittsburgh to see Pee-Wee Herman’s iconic bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Protest calls for safer streets, more on death of masters track cycling champ, and not guilty plea in San Pedro hit-and-run

Dozens of people turned out on Saturday to demand safer streets and justice for Josh Mora, who lost his right knee when he was run down by a motorcyclist as he was walking in a Boyle Heights crosswalk March 30th.

According to KCBS-2,

Mora’s injury is far from the first to happen on the one-mile stretch of Whittier Boulevard between South Boyle Avenue and South Lorena Street. According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System, between 2013 and 2022 there were 225 crashes resulting in injury or death.

“Enough is enough,” said Damian Kevitt, the founder of the non-profit organization Streets are for Everyone. “People need to slow down.”

Kevitt went on to add that local residents have been pleading for safety improvements at the crosswalk for years, including safety cameras and other security devices.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s KRON-4 reports there were calls to pass AB-645, which would legalize speed cams around schools and dangerous streets.

Like in Boyle Heights, where the traffic fatality rate is 53 percent higher than the overall city, with more traffic deaths than any other L.A. neighborhood over the past five years.

………

More on the needless killing of masters cycling champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes in San Francisco. Boyes was hit head-on by a speeding driver who swerved onto the wrong side of the road in the Presidio National Park last week.

CNN reports Boyes was a 10-time national champion and held the world record in the 1,000-meter time trial for the men’s 35-39 age group at the time of his death.

San Francisco police are working with federal prosecutors on the investigation, since Boyes was killed in a national park.

A San Jose velodrome said Boyes would be remembered as a wonderfully kind human being on and off the bike, who always had a smile on his face and never failed to make people laugh. We could all do worse than to be remembered that way.

The New York Times considers Boyes death in the context of the city’s failing Vision Zero program, saying the crash occurred on a narrow and curvy stretch along a heavily used bicycling route that has been a safety concern for years.

Local bike advocates demand safety improvements in the wake of Boyes death, as one man says he shouldn’t have to feel like he’s risking his life just riding to school with his three-year old son.

………

Twenty-seven-year old Anisha Lockhart pled not guilty to the hit-and-run death of Oscar Montoya as he rode his bike in San Pedro early last month.

The 51-year old Montoya had just picked up a meal from a food when he was allegedly run down by Lockhart’s speeding car. Police arrested Montoya five days after the crash, based on tips from the public.

………

In case you ever wondered why those plastic car-tickler bendy posts aren’t protection.

………

A new video refutes the myth that no one uses New York’s bike lanes, with 321 people on bikes passing through a single intersection in a single half hour during rush hour, compared to a little more than 500 motor vehicles.

And it notes that no one rode salmon, despite the city’s reputation for wrong-way bicyclists.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

North Carolina Public Television offers a feature on Charlotte CyclingSavvy Instructor Pamela Murray, calling her a local bike hero.

………

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

No bias here. A London website reports that bicycling trip segments have tripled in the city over the past 20 years — but then goes on to question whether concerns about road safety, “though perfectly right and proper,” have taken undue precedence, and been overly influenced by campaigners and “misplaced public opinion.”

No bias here, either. London’s Daily Mail tries to stir up controversy by sharing photos of 19 bike riders rolling through a floating bus stop as passengers are getting on or off. Buried in the story is the fact it took place over five hours at multiple locations, along with the fact that the bus stops are new and it will take everyone time to adjust to them.

An Edinburgh, Scotland bike rider is justifiably angry after police refuse to do anything about a dangerously close pass by a bus driver, because “everyone was in their own lanes.”

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

When a Zimbabwe man applies for a job as a postman, the only requirement is knowing how to ride a bicycle, which he’s never done. So he says he does anyway; needless to say, it does not go well.

A Sydney, Australia bicyclist “went berserk” and repeatedly smashed the window of a packed bus, leaving it shattered, as one person commented the city is becoming totally lawless “like San Francisco.” No word on what set him off like that, but we can all probably guess. But nothing justifies violence, no matter how deserved it may seem in the moment.

………

Local 

A new coalition of Westwood Village and UCLA groups unveiled the new Westwood Connected campaign, which calls for a rail stop on the UCLA campus, pedestrian improvements, and protected bike lanes on Galey and Wilshire, as well as the long fought for bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. And it actually has a chance now that anti-bike lane former Councilmember Paul Koretz is gone.

Prolific character actor Michael Lerner passed away over the weekend at 81; the Oscar-nominated performer appeared in films ranging from Barton Fink, Elf and The Candidate, to Harlem Nights and Eight Men Out. Although the highlight of his career was undoubtedly playing a bicycle salesman in The Brady Bunch.

 

State

Two people were killed, and a pedestrian and a man riding a bicycle were injured, in an apparent street racing crash involving a motorcyclist and the driver of an Audi, who crashed into a minivan in Fullerton.

Ojai votes to move forward with a $6.2 million makeover of the city’s Maricopa Highway, including two-way sidewalk level bike lanes in front of the high school.

The CHP reports a man riding a bicycle in Oakhurst made a suicide swerve Saturday afternoon, striking the side of a large pickup as he allegedly began to make a U-turn. Which is probably bullshit; most alleged suicide swerves are likely the result of overly close passes, rather than careless bicyclists.

A kindhearted Stockton school supervisor bought a new bike for one of his middle school students, after the boy’s bike was stolen from the school’s campus.

This is who we share the road with. A 13-year old boy took the family car out for a joyride, causing a three-car crash near Sacramento that killed one woman and injured nine other people.

Bad news from Northern California, where a hit-and-run driver was arrested for killing the 59-year old finance director and treasurer for the town of Loomis as he was riding his bike to train for an ultramarathon.

 

National

Salon says yes, it’s possible to transition humanity to a carfree — or at least, car-lite, future, without compromising quality of life.

USA Today offers tips on how to resurrect your bike for spring riding if it’s been sitting in your garage all year.

Fortune talks with Forward health systems CEO Adrian Aoun, who rides his bike for mental clarity, calling it his meditation. I’ve long considered bicycling to be a moving meditation, allowing you to get out of your head and become one with the world around you. 

Washington state’s Complete Streets law is starting to show results, with any state highway project over $500,000 now required to evaluate whether fix any gaps in existing bicycle and pedestrian networks. California could have had a similar requirement, if it wasn’t for Gavin Newsom’s veto pen

Two University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers teamed with the owner of the Anchorage Trek bike shop to ride the Iditarod Trail on fat tire bikes, pedaling 1,000 miles across the frozen tundra to finish in 18 days and four hours.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom adaptive wheelchair bike from an athlete in my ostensibly bike-friendly hometown.

The workers at a Little Rock, Arkansas Trek bike shop were lucky to survive after they were forced to take shelter underneath a moveable metal staircase when a tornado tore the roof off the building last week.

Bighearted Flint, Michigan women’s light middleweight boxing champ Claressa Shields hosted an Easter egg hunt and bike giveaway on Saturday.

Jalopnik reports on the NYPD’s ongoing failure to ticket drivers who park in bike lanes, with less than 2% of complaints resulting in citations. Thanks again to Victor Bale.

A Malaysian newspaper recommends touring New York by bike, saying it’s safer than you think. And offers safety advice that goes beyond the usual admonitions to wear a helmet.

The head of the New York Civil Liberties Union is one of us, as the civil rights advocate rides her bike to the farmer’s market on Sundays while her husband walks alongside.

She gets it. A North Carolina letter writer complains about impatient drivers who “have little time to pay much attention to that pesky cyclist who is in their way.”

 

International

Bike Radar considers the lifestyle changes you can make to keep riding into your 70s.

If Shimano has their way, you may soon ride with cleats that move automatically to adapt to riding conditions.

Four international cities are showing how to rethink mobility and put people first.

A former British Columbia city council candidate blamed a curb-protected bike lane after his car got high centered on it, while local bike riders blamed the man behind the wheel.

Owen Wilson is one of us, going for a London ride on a Brompton foldie.

Sad news from Ukraine, where 28-year old cyclist Kostya Deneka was killed in a Russian bombing while fighting for his country near Bakhmut.

A Kenyan writer considers why a bike’s drivetrain is always on the right.

Now that bike helmets are required for all bike riders in Japan, people are having trouble finding them.

The Philippines commemorated the 81st anniversary of the infamous Bataan Death March with a fundraising bike ride for the upkeep of Bataan Death March markers and other World War 2 historic sites.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel swept to victory at Paris-Roubaix, claiming three of the five Monuments so far this spring, with Liège–Bastogne–Liège and Giro di Lombardia still to come.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert made the podium at Paris-Roubaix, but had to settle for second after a late puncture forced him to watch Mathieu van der Poel ride past on the way to victory.

What was likely Peter Sagan’s final Paris-Roubaix came to an early end when he was caught up in a crash with several other cyclists with around 100 miles still to go.

Canada’s Alison Jackson won the women’s Paris-Roubaix on Saturday with a sprint through the Velodrome, following a major crash that left most of the favorites behind.

Cycling News considers the concussion protocol for pro cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re planning to ride through 11 countries on a $125 tandem. Or when you really, really want to look stylish and glam on your bike.

And when you’re carrying meth and fentanyl and weed on your bike, put a damn light on it already.

The bike, that is, not the drugs.

………

Chag Pesach Sameach to all observing Passover. 

And Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Masters champ Ethan Boyes killed by SF driver, complications of comparing traffic death stats, and Justice for Josh tomorrow

Heartbreaking news from San Francisco, where Masters champ and US record holder Ethan Boyes was killed by a speeding driver Tuesday afternoon.

Boyes was riding at a “treacherous” intersection in the city’s Presidio when a witness says the driver careened onto the wrong side of the road, hitting Boyes’ bike head-on.

Advocates have long called for protected bike lanes on Arguello Blvd where he was killed; it’s unclear whether that might have saved Boyes, depending on the type of protection used.

For a change, the driver was also injured, though his injuries weren’t considered life-threatening.

Photos show the San Francisco resident at the VELO Sports Center in Carson last September, and again in November.

https://twitter.com/VELOSportsCtr/status/1573736328767758336

Track cycling advocate and former US team member David Huntsman describes Boyes as “a friend to everybody.”

………

Bicycling says comparing bicycling traffic death for American cities, and one year to another, is complicated.

The magazine considered the report we discussed yesterday, which showed Los Angeles was the second worst city in the US by one measure, and 16th by another.

Neither of which is anything to be proud of.

The magazine suggests that year-to-year comparisons can be misleading, since it takes nearly a decade to get an accurate sense of whether things are trending up or down.

Still, it’s troubling when data backs up the feeling many cyclists have, of hostility from drivers—the seeming inability to share roads and look out for more vulnerable users. Business Insider reported that in 2020, 938 people riding bicycles and other two-wheeled non motorized vehicles powered by pedals or riding tricycles and unicycles (referred to by the NHTSA as pedalcyclists) were killed in motor-vehicle crashes—9 percent higher than the 2019 figure, NHTSA reported. Several hundred other cyclists were killed in non-traffic accidents, according to the National Safety Council.

It’s easy to sense when a place feels kind or aggressive toward people on bikes. Even when nothing technically goes wrong, cyclists can tell when they’re around drivers who wished they didn’t have to share the road…

Of course, it’s not a simple story. To show a complete picture we would have to look at things like weather, unemployment, infrastructure, and other population statistics. But when so many people on bikes are killed by drivers in specific areas, it’s alarming to say the least.

Alarming, indeed.

Let’s hope LA city officials are paying attention. Because homelessness and housing unaffordability, while important, aren’t the only major issues this city faces.

As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

………

SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, forwards a reminder about tomorrow’s protest to demand justice for Josh Mora.

The teenager lost his right leg when he was struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist while crossing Whittier Blvd.

 

………

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

No bias here. Key Biscayne, Florida approved escalating fines for repeat offenders who break the rules riding an ebike or e-scooter, while one councilmember said “As far as I’m concerned, I’d love to take them out all together.”

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

A Memphis man was responsible for a one man crime spree, as he used his bicycle to rob six people, including carjacking a pickup, then used the truck to rob a seventh person, all in 30 minutes; he bizarrely stole money and cellphones from two men as they ate lunch, then returned their cellphones, before coming back and taking them again.

A seven-year old British girl was left with multiple fractures when she was run down by a hit-and-run, bike-riding woman on a narrow pathway that bicyclists aren’t even supposed to use.

An English bike rider suffered a broken ankle when a man grabbed her handlebars and pulled her off her bike, in an apparent random attack.

Now we know why the UK woman below wasn’t using the spacious red bike lane, as Road.cc readers describe it as a “rollercoaster,” “littered with stones” and potholes that guarantee a flat, and filled with stops and starts.”

https://twitter.com/NathanielJHall/status/1643880941926903809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1643880941926903809%7Ctwgr%5E3ecb8a413784429906bc0470e89578dcd7f87e6f%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fmailonline-accuses-cyclists-not-using-bike-lane-300449

………

Local 

Los Angeles traffic safety PAC Streets For All is getting into bed with bikewear maker Cleverhood, offering a 15% discount on the brand’s rain gear with a Streets For All crest, with the PAC getting 20% of the purchase price.

 

State

San Diego Magazine offers a beginner’s guide to urban bicycling.

Writing for a San Jose website, the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute calls for transition to a holistic, Safe System approach to stop the carnage on American roadways.

Sad news from Turlock, where a man in his 50s was killed when he was hit by a train while riding across the tracks, apparently going around the lowered crossing gates.

Kindhearted Sacramento cops arrange for a new bike for a 74-year old man after the bicycle he uses as his only form of transportation was stolen while he was in a market.

Plans for a new bike bridge over a busy highway will connect the north and south segments of West Sacramento.

 

National

Curbed reports problems at Lyft could “spell trouble for its near monopoly on the country’s bike-share market.LA’s Metro Bike system is operated by Bicycle Transit Systems, so it shouldn’t be a problem here.

Gear Patrol considers how to pick the right class of ebike to meet your needs, while ABC News offers everything you need to know about ebikes, from battery safety to pedaling.

Mountain bike legend Gary Fisher is getting into the ebike business, with plans to offer a subscription service for around $100 a month.

A Portland bike shop owner is calling for change after his store was burglarized for the fourth time in less than a year.

Washington state officials are considering proposals to fund $2 million for ebike lending libraries, and another $5 million for an ebike rebate program.

A Houston TV station examines the case of a female Army vet who went for a bike ride four years ago, and was never seen again.

He gets it. A Chicago letter writer says instead of arguing about bike lanes, motorists should all just slow down and drive safely.

Life is cheap in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a 72-year old man got a lousy 30 days behind bars for veering his pickup off the road, and killing a 15-year old kid riding his bike just a block from his home, after prosecutors dropped two felony counts in a plea bargain.

An Indianapolis paper rides along with the city’s Black Girls Do Bike cohort.

A Connecticut transportation advocate calls on the legislature to approve the recommendations of the state’s Vision Zero committee, including legalizing speed and red light cams.

New York installs the city’s first double-lane bike lane, with enough room to comfortably pass another bike rider or hold a conversation while you ride side by side.

 

International

Cyclist says Trek’s new top-tier MIPS helmets are faster and airier, as the company ditches the Bontrager name.

Men’s Journal suggests seven “wild new mountain bike trails and destinations” in the US, France and Mexico.

A London writer calls for banning “horrid” e-scooters, saying the only good thing about them is that drivers probably “hate their riders more than us cyclists.”

Life is cheap in Wales, where a delivery driver was sentenced to just ten months behind bars for killing a rising cycling star, even as the judge said that video of the crash showed poor judgement and a lack of attention from the driver.

A bighearted Dublin, Ireland bike shop owner repaired nearly 1,900 used bikes and donated them to Ukrainian refugees.

French bike sales were up 50% last year over 2019 figures.

National Geographic recommends an ebike tour of Italy’s “spectacular” Sella Ronda region, allowing your bike to take the strain out of the uphill climbs.

Australian bicyclists continue to be at risk, nearly a decade after a coroner’s inquest into the death of bike rider called for sensors to eliminate blind spots on large trucks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks at the Roubaix velodrome, the final point where the iconic Paris-Roubaix race could be decided after 161 miles of cobble hell.

The Dutch Jumbo-Visma cycling team will ride Paris-Roubaix with images of brains on their heads to promote helmet use.

VeloNews looks at the American pioneers at Paris-Roubaix, including George Hincapie’s second place finish in 2005, and Leah Thomas’ 12th two years ago on the women’s side. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bicycling says you can stream the women’s Paris-Roubaix on Peacock tomorrow, assuming you’re willing to get up at 6 am Los Angeles time. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you. 

Cycling Tips says L39ion of Los Angeles pro Lance Haidet’s story is the story of modern American bike racing, as the 25-year old cyclist competes in road, gravel, ‘cross, and cross-country.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with banks of LA drivers, but as least we don’t have to worry about riding into snowbanks. Now you, too, can own a vintage NFL bicycle hubcap — assuming your bike has hubs, that is.

And why wait until the bikes leave the shop before running them down with a bus?

………

Happy Easter!

Chag Pesach Sameach to all observing Passover. 

And Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Speeding off-duty deputy faces murder charge, a bike day Sunday on Pasadena Freeway, and new LA bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

An off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with murder for the high-speed crash that killed a 12-year old boy in South Gate in 2021.

Twenty-eight-year old Ricardo Castro was allegedly driving at up to 90 mph in a school zone when he T-boned the car carrying Isaiah Rodriguez and his sister.

………

ActiveSGV is proposing a return to a carfree Pasadena Freeway to mark the 20th anniversary of ArroyoFest.

The proposal would open a six-mile section of the 110 Freeway to bicyclists, skaters and pedestrians for just four hours on Sunday, October 29th.

The first ArroyoFest in 2003 also closed the freeway to cars, opening it up to bicyclists and walkers for a few short hours.

The freeway follows the route of the 1899 California Cycleway. Unfortunately, however. only two miles of the elevated wooden bikeway were built before financial problems halted construction, and cars ultimately claimed the roadway.

………

New protected bike lanes are appearing in LA’s Lake Balboa neighborhood, and painted bike lanes are coming to Fountain Ave in East Hollywood.

https://twitter.com/CD6LACity/status/1625923721176453121

Thanks to Ravener for the tip. 

………

Entitled Cycling posts video of a typical ride, just in case you wonder why our roads aren’t safe for people on two wheels.

Or any other living things, for that matter.

………

A short film looks at the volunteer heroes who maintain LA’s mountain bike trails.

………

The late Raquel Welch was one of us.

………

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

More on the random dooring attacks on Bay Area bike riders, as East Bay bicyclists say they’re frightened by drivers literally using their cars as weapons to assault innocent people; Streetsblog says Bay Area district attorneys are complicit in the anti-bike attacks for failing to prosecute dangerous and deadly drivers.

No bias here. A New York State senator is proposing laws requiring all bicycles to be registered, plated and insured, in an apparent attempt to keep people from riding them.

Once again, someone has boobytrapped a British singletrack trail by stringing a rusty wire between two trees, injuring a mountain biker who was thrown over his handlebars after crashing into it.

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

A California bicyclist learns the hard way not to talk back to a cop, after an entire group ride is pulled over for going through a traffic signal.

A fake bike cop was busted in Florida after he bumped a woman’s car, then tried to confiscate it claiming she used the wrong turn signal; he was arrested after the woman flagged down a real sheriff’s deputy who was driving by.

An Aussie father is justifiably complaining about a hit-and-run bicyclist who slammed into his 14-year old step-son, calling the ebike rider a coward for riding off and leaving the boy with “not insignificant” injuries.

………

Local 

The Los Angeles Times looks at Tuesday’s BikeLA report on the conditions and commonalities in last year’s 26 LA County bicycling deaths, including deadly corridors surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Figueroa Street, and a four-block stretch of Figueroa between 3rd and 7th in DTLA. You can read it on Yahoo if the paper blocks you.

No surprise here, as road rage continues to climb in the City of Angels, with nearly 870 incidents last year, nearly a third involving a gun.

The bicycling component of the 45th annual LA Chinatown Firecracker Run will roll through Pasadena this Saturday on a 40-mile route through the city and back.

Nonprofit news site Santa Monica Next makes a comeback, with an announcement that Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.

Streetsblog says the El Monte Metro Bike Hub will be closed for most of this year after a driver slammed into it last September.

 

State

About damn time. A proposal in the state legislature would require Caltrans to appoint a Bicycle Czar “to serve as the department’s chief advisor on all issues related to bicycle transportation, safety, and infrastructure.”

The owner of San Diego’s Happy EBIKES argues that kids should be required to take a safety course and pass a test before they’re allowed to ride an ebike, a sentiment that was echoed by the head of the city’s nonprofit ebike loan-to-own program.

 

National

In yet another example of officials keeping dangerous drivers on the road until its too late, Streetsblog examines why states require insurance companies to cover drivers in an assigned risk pool when their driving record is so bad no company will insure them, rather than just taking their licenses away. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Walkable Cities author Jeff Speck argues it may be time for a class action suit against transportation officials responsible for road design guidelines they know will lead to people getting killed in car crashes.

A Next City podcast examines how five US cities built 335 miles of bike lanes in just two years. Hint: Los Angeles was not one of them.

Four British “lads” bikepack Great Divide Mountain Bike Route between Jasper, Alberta, Canada, and Antelope Wells, New Mexico, completing the more than 3,000-mile trail in 29 days.

Tragic news from Las Vegas, where a bike rider died five months after allegedly turning left in front of an oncoming driver. Yet the death won’t be counted in traffic statistics because it came after the state’s 30-day reporting limit. Although you’d think after five months, they could at least identify the sex of the victim.

Jackson, Wyoming considers ebikes, buses and parking meters to alleviate congestion, after a study shows it would case billions of dollars to widen a highway, while causing environmental concerns for the local ecology and wildlife. Never mind that induced demand applies to roads in Rocky Mountain resorts, too. 

Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts argued against putting a proposal to remove a bike lane on the city ballot, and “revert back to a design that did not support a walkable, shoppable, or livable district.”

No surprise here, as New York courts order a psychiatric evaluation for the driver who plowed his U-Haul truck down a Queens sidewalk and bike lanes, injuring seven people, including at least three bicycle delivery riders, while killing one.

New York firefighters blame a massive Brooklyn blaze that left a woman in critical condition on a 50 ebike batteries stored inside a makeshift ebike repair shop.

A 56-year old man was charged with murder in the 1985 cold case death of a 13-year old West Virginia boy, whose body was dumped in a shallow grave after he was killed in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; the suspect was 18 at the time of the killing.

 

International

The New Statesman examines how the concept of the 15-minute city morphed into a rightwing conspiracy theory, with some people somehow convinced a walkable, bikeable city is nothing but an open-air prison dystopia in disguise.

Bike Radar offers advice on what you should and shouldn’t spend money on to begin bicycling on a budget.

A Canadian court has ordered a new trial for an alleged drunk driver who was acquitted of killing a ten-year old Halifax girl as she rode her bicycle.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail naturally blames the victim after video shows British broadcast personality Jeremy Vine nearly crashing his bike getting left hooked by a driver.

No bias here, either. Britain’s Independent Press Standards Organization ruled the Mail on Sunday didn’t breach ethics rules by publishing a composite photo of bike riders running a red light outside Buckingham Palace, under the headline Red Light Rats. Even though the road was actually closed to cars, and cops waved them through the intersection.

Nearly half of all British drivers admitted speeding on country roads in a recent survey. And the rest lied.

It’s not usual for a bike rider to be called a hero, but saint is another matter. A Spanish man could be considered for sainthood for his role in attempting to stop terrorists in Britain’s London Bridge attack, when he got off his bike to defend others with his skateboard; the Pope recently changed the rules to allow sainthood for someone who lays down their life for others.

An Indian website says bicycling can help clean the air in Delhi, but bike riders are 40 times more likely than motorists to die on city streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new safety campaign founded by Australian pro Rachel Neylan encourages bike riders to use bright running lights day and night; the campaign has been endorsed by two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, and former women’s world champ Elisa Balsamo. I found close calls and close passes dropped considerably when I started riding with at least two bright headlights and two to three bright taillights, day or night.

If you want to watch this year’s Tour de France — or any of the five that follow — you’ll have to subscribe to Peacock.

 

Finally…

Why buy a Pinarello when you can just buy Pinarello — and for the low, low price of just $268 million? There are countless smart ways to use a bicycle, but throwing it at a cop isn’t one of them.

And try not to let your beagle steal your bagel while you bike.

https://www.tiktok.com/@gappie_the_beagle/video/7194800318549445894?embed_source=121331973%2C71011723%2C120811592%2C120810756%3Bnull%3Bembed_blank&refer=embed&referer_url=www.newsweek.com%2Flaughter-beagle-steals-owners-bagel-mid-bike-ride-1781364&referer_video_id=7194800318549445894

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

………

The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

………

Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

………

The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

………

Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

………

This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

………

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

No bias here. A regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

………

Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.