Tag Archive for the war on bikes

Morning Links: More NTSB bike helmet fallout, OC bike rider dies after hit-and-run, and the wise really do ride bikes

Let’s start by wishing a happy Veterans Day to everyone who has served their country to help keep the rest of us safe.

Cycling Weekly considers how military training can make you a better bicyclist.

And hundreds of bike-riding military vets, many disabled, were expected to roll through Las Vegas this Veterans Day weekend as part of Project Hero to call attention to the problem of suicide among veterans.

Let’s hope that one day veterans will finally get the care they need to come all the way home.

Artwork by VintageBlue from Pixabay.

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The fallout over the National Transportation Safety Board’s call for mandatory helmet laws continued over the weekend.

NACTO told the NTSB not so fast on calling for mandatory helmet laws, saying building safe places to ride a bike will keep people safer than making everyone wear a helmet; you can read their full statement here.

Sonoma’s Press Democrat begged to differ, however, saying requiring helmets for all bike riders of any age would save lives. Although more than a few studies have suggested the opposite is true.

An automotive website notes that not one state currently mandates all bicyclists have to wear helmets.

And bike riders aren’t sold on the idea, either.

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Just learned that OC bike rider Virgil Lemus Garcia died last month, two days after being critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Unfortunately, there was no follow-up story in the news, and no coroner’s report since he died in the hospital.

We’ll post our story later today.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

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Don’t give drivers the bird.

Especially it’s on your handlebars.

Clearly, any owl that rides a bike really is wise.

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Cute video from pro stunt cyclist Cam McCaul, as he goes for a bike ride with his adorable daughters, and takes a spin around a bike park with his three-year old on his bike.

But thankfully saves the back flips for when he’s riding solo.

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When a bike gets too old to ride, you can still use it to hold your burger and beer.

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

A Stanford student was the victim of a hate crime when a white woman pushed a woman of Asian descent off her bicycle, then stood over her on the street and called her an ethnic slur before walking away.

The owners of a Portland bikini coffee shop face charges after a road rage incident involving a group of bicyclists in front of their shop; after one of the riders didn’t take kindly to being yelled at, one the men got out of their car carrying a hammer, punched one man, then knocked a phone out of a woman’s hand before punching her out cold.

The New York Post claims that in four years, the city’s war on cars has claimed 6,100 parking spaces. On the other hand, it’s also claimed the live of 39 people riding bicycles over the same period. So which side is losing?

Yet another British man has been pushed off his bicycle by someone in a passing vehicle; this time the victim was a 72-year old grandfather.

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

A man on a bicycle could face attempted murder charges for shooting two homeless people with a bow and arrow in the East Bay city of Richmond CA; the victims are in stable condition following surgery.

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Local

Michael over at CLR Effect questions whether officials on La Verne are just yanking our chains by failing to paint the promised bike lanes after Baseline Road was repaved, and restriped for every other purpose. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

 

State

The former mayor of Encinitas wears her windshield bias on her sleeve, concluding that a road diet on the coast highway is a bad idea because only around 300 people in the city ride their bikes to work. So apparently, all those people who ride their bikes to school, for errands or shopping, or for recreation and exercise through the city don’t exist. Or maybe just don’t count in her book.

Horrible story from Mead Valley, where a woman was mauled by a pair of pit bulls as she walked her bicycle; police also found the badly decomposed body of the dogs’ owner when they checked their home.

Bad news from San Francisco, where a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was collateral damage after another driver hit a car and swerved into her. Note to KRON-4 — yes, the vehicles stayed at the scene. But only because the people driving them did.

A Bay Area pedestrian advocacy group has started a Slow Our Streets campaign to call for reduced speed limits, speed bumps and better traffic enforcement to protect the lives of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. A Marin County woman will face a handful of charges for killing a woman on a bicycle last year, after investigators presented evidence that she was drunk and possibly impaired by cannabis and a medication to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, and had been texting moments before the crash.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an SUV. Yet somehow, the city’s CBS station manages to get through the entire story without mentioning that the SUV may have had a driver.

 

National

Good advice. Bike Snob says don’t try to fix your bike when there’s nothing wrong with it.

A new study from BYU says yes, an ebike gives you a real workout, but it doesn’t feel like one.

Skip the recovery drink after your next ride, and just grab a cold one.

A New Mexico man looks back on earning ride patches in the early days of the League of American Wheelmen, long before the group changed its name to the League of American Bicyclists and transformed in to the advocacy group better known as the Bike League.

An Arkansas man is likely to go away for a very long time; in addition to a felony bike theft charge, he faces ten years for violating probation for burning down a barn, and another ten for not updating his registration as a sex offender after getting kicked out of a halfway house.

Wouldn’t a better term for an “interactive live mannequin” pedaling in the window of a Wisconsin bike shop be a person riding a stationary bike?

After Chicago suffers its third bicycling death of the year, the Chicago Tribune calls on the city’s drivers to start seeing people on bicycles.

A Illinois man has earned the title Bike Man by saving over 3,000 broken bikes from the junk heap and repairing them to give to people in need.

A new sculpture in Auburn NY will honor former slave and Underground Railroad founder Harriet Tubman with bicycles depicting different aspects of her life.

Evidently, public shaming motivates police departments, too. Streetsblog reports the NYPD was motivated to hold a reckless driver who crashed into a bike rider accountable, but only after they asked cops about a viral video showing the crash.

The carnage continues on the streets of New York, where 25-year old professional wrestler Matt Travis became the 28th person to be killed riding a bike in the city this year when he was struck by a dump truck driver making an illegal turn.

We already knew New Orleans Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us; now he’s thanking the people who unexpectedly fixed his bike so he didn’t have to walk to Sunday’s game.

 

International

The Financial Post considers how former Microsoft star J Allard developed the 529 Garage app, and worked with police in Vancouver to cut bike theft by 40% in four years.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail wants to know what Canadian officials are doing about distracted driving, calling it as dangerous as DUI was decades ago.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. Police in Ontario fined a semi driver $615 for weaving all over the road while he was watching TV behind the wheel.

A London cartoonist offers his view of bicycling in the city. I particularly like his take on the urban peloton and the reality of city cycling.

The New York Times takes a deep dive in the bicycling world of Copenhagen, where the only traffic congestion is on two wheels, and even the dead ride bikes.

A Ugandan-born man won Sweden’s 2019 Environmental Innovator of the Year Award for offering tours of Stockholm on Greek-made wooden bicycles.

While most of Europe is moving forward with creating bike lanes and space for people, Madrid is in retreat.

An Aussie teacher and mother of two has traded her car for a bicycle and pledged not to even set foot in a car for the next year.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a close call for 52-year old Italian great Mario Cipollini, who was lucky to survive a major heart problem thanks to a five hour surgery; now he faces charges for pointing a gun at his ex-wife.

Another trans woman has been subjected to online harassment after winning a bike race; fixed-gear racer Evelyn Sifton said no one cared when she finished in 20th or 30th place, but only when she finally won one.

 

Finally…

Using a bicycle as an anchor to weigh down a body may not be its best use. Any bike cartoons that feature Santa Claus and a corgi can’t be all bad.

And James Bond is one of us. No, not that one. Not him, either. Nope, not that guy. Or the other guy, for that matter.

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Thanks to Felicia G for being the first person to donate to this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, before it even started. 

The annual fund drive won’t officially launch until Thanksgiving, but the page is already active in case anyone else wants to get a head start on it. 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward as hit-and-run epidemic claims another victim, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

One quick note.

A number of people have forwarded stories this week after they were already mentioned on here. 

So if you don’t see them here, that’s the reason why. 

But thank you all anyway.

I’d much rather get stories we’ve already discussed than risk missing out on some good ones we haven’t. 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels.

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The hit-and-run epidemic just keeps claiming more victims.

This time it’s a pedestrian in DTLA, who was run down by a speeding, red light-running driver who plowed right into him as he was crossing the street in a crosswalk.

Fortunately, the victim, a 27-year old man, survived.

As always, there is a standing reward for any hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

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

A New York bike rider says he was chased onto a park path by a driver who intentionally tried to run him over and drove off with the bikeshare bike he had been riding. Then the cops took an hour and a half to get there — and refused to take the incident seriously once they did.

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Local

Santa Monica says over the past year, nearly half of the bikeshare and dockless scooter trips taken in the city replaced car trips.

 

State

California legislators are looking into what the state’s role should in in regulating micromobility and bikeshare. It would certainly help speed the growth of both if providers didn’t have to deal with a mishmash of regulations that vary drastically from one city to another.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s department is looking for unused or unloved bicycles that can be refurbished for their annual Christmas bike giveaway.

A writer for a Fresno college newspaper says the only downside to riding a bike is the risk of getting killed by a distracted driver.

Streetsblog says the problem isn’t that San Francisco isn’t working on street safety improvements, it’s that the improvements aren’t working.

More sad news from Santa Rosa, where a 79-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 74-year old driver; he’s the second bike rider killed in the city in just two days.

Sacramento is planning to triple the amount of parking-protected bike lanes in the downtown area, up to 93 blocks from the current 29.

 

National

An investigative news site takes a dive into the state of bicycling in the US, and concludes it’s stuck in first gear. Or maybe we only have one gear over here.

Strava’s move to a new web-based platform makes their urban riding data more available to smaller cities.

A Canadian paper wonders whether Seattle’s dockless ebike system could represent the future of bikeshare systems.

A mistrial was called in the case of a 64-year old charged with killing a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, after he attempted to kill himself the first day he was scheduled to appear in court.

A pair of Idaho men decided they wanted to learn more about the environment around Yellowstone National Park, so they spent two weeks riding 1,200 miles in a loop around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

New laws in Oklahoma require a driver to move into the left lane to pass a bike rider, or give a three-foot passing distance on two lane roads; another allows bicyclists to ride through a red light after stopping if the light doesn’t change.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Michigan man plans to mark his 80th birthday by riding his bike across the US for the fifth time; he previously took the journey when he was 38, 50, 60 and 70.

This is who we share the roads with. A Rhode Island driver was still stoned and over two and a half times the legal alcohol limit several hours after running down two separate bike riders; one of his victims is still in a rehab facility over five weeks after the crash.

The New York Times provides a very belated obituary for the legendary Annie Kopchovsky, aka Annie Londonderry, who left her husband and three children behind in Boston to become, more or less, the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world in the 1890s.

New York’s incoming police commissioner likes the idea of mandating bike helmet use, though the city’s mayor is less sure, even though he called for that himself earlier this year. And even though he doesn’t wear one himself.

A Virginia business executive says lessons learned from bicycling will make you a better leader and colleague.

Charleston SC bike riders will soon get a standalone bike and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River after the city received an $18.1 million federal grant.

 

International

Pink Bike rides and rates ten of the best handlebar-mounted bike lights, while British Cycling suggests grabbing a good one and going trail riding in the dark.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. An 82-year old man is the first person in Britain known to have ridden his bike one million miles in his lifetime, and has the records to prove it; he still rides 25 miles every other day. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

An Australian court was told a Dutch couple’s dreams were shattered when a stoned driver traveling at twice the speed limit in a stolen SUV slammed into the young woman as she rode her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American national road champ Ruth Winder nearly didn’t make it to this year’s race after developing an eating disorder that resulted in low energy availability and menstrual dysfunction.

American Peter Stetina is walking away from the WorldTour to focus on gravel racing and ultra-endurance mountain biking.

VeloNews says the great thing about the Amgen Tour of California was the way it allowed domestic riders to battle against the sports biggest stars.

Who needs the Tour of California when you’ve got brakeless, foot-dragging, single-speed racing on a short, flat dirt track, and sponsored by a distillery?

A Canadian woman broke her own record in a 24-hour time trial in Borrego Springs, California, covering 460 miles; the top men’s finisher managed 540 miles.

 

Finally…

At last, an ebike that doesn’t look like one. If you’re out to egg cop cars, maybe not wearing a mask would make the police less suspicious.

And nothing like riding nearly 600 miles in 24 hours without going anywhere.

Morning Links: Molina Silver Lake hit-and-run car found, biking the civil rights road, and LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat

The search goes on.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 talks with 57-year old David Molina, the homeless man who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Silver Lake last week.

Molina remains hospitalized with a broken leg, broken arm and fractured spine.

Meanwhile, the LAPD is still looking for the heartless coward who sped away without stopping, leaving Molina bleeding in the street.

They have found the car, but need to identify who was behind the wheel. And the owner isn’t helping.

Which doesn’t seem suspicious at all, does it?

And yes, the $25,000 reward remains outstanding. So if you know anything, it could pay to come forward.

Literally.

Screen grab of LAPD security video via KCBS-2/KCAL-9.

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Here’s today’s must read.

A white Baptist minister takes part in a 150-mile bike ride from Montgomery to Birmingham “through some of the most hallowed and blood-soaked ground of the Civil Rights Movement.”

On the way, he contemplates civil rights and white privilege, and the necessity of moving “from not-racist to anti-racist.”

It’s a troubling and powerful piece.

And must have been even more powerful to experience.

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Let’s do better, folks.

People with limited eyesight and other physical disabilities need clear sidewalks to get around safely.

And almost out of the way just isn’t good enough.

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

UK police are looking for a pair of motorists who forced a bike rider off the road by passing too close.

After a close pass from a driver forces a bicyclist into the back of a car parked in a Malta bike lane, leaving him fighting for his life, all some callous people cared about was whether he was going to pay for damage to the car.

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

A Vancouver bike rider gets offended when another rider runs a stop sign, so he tweets that he hates cyclists and wishes the guy had gotten clipped by a car. Then gets offended when people who ride bikes get offended.

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Local

Once again, LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat for people on bikes.

 

State

An opinion piece in the New York Times says the refusal of Californians to live sustainably means the end of the state as we know it.

San Diego County creates a program allowing low-income residents to dump their gas guzzlers for cleaner options, including an ebike. Almost makes it worth moving down there again.

Speaking of San Diego, they’re considering becoming the latest city to ban cars from a busy street by converting eight blocks of Fifth Ave in the popular Gaslamp District to a pedestrian plaza. Your move, LA.

A Belmont hit-and-run victim reminds drivers to give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law (scroll down).

An annual Los Altos event aims to keep used bikes out of landfills by asking residents to drop off their unloved bikes so volunteers can clean and fix them, and pass them on to people who need one.

 

National

A writer for Slate says self-driving cars and hyperloops aren’t the future of transportation, but bicycles and buses are. And elevators.

Scientific American says a few algorithms could make bikeshare more efficient.

Fox Business takes a look at five smart locks to help you hold onto your bike.

Outside recommends gear to make a cold bike commute more bearable. Most of which has little or nothing to do with the temperature outside.

Sad story, as a survivor of the New York bike path terrorist attack says she still feels lost and guilty for surviving when others died, two years after the Halloween attack

DC bike riders spread out across the river, and use an app to count over 300 bike lane violations by Arlington VA drivers in just five hours.

Tampa FL officials promise a new crosstown cycle track will transform transportation in the city once it’s finished.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A Scottish driver is caught on bike cam pulling away from the curb without looking, barely missing the bike rider next to him.

Slovakia bans handheld cellphones, and limits bicyclists to a BAC of .05.

There’s something seriously wrong with people who find amusement in watching a Singapore bike rider slam into the back of a car, whose driver stopped short in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on next year’s “hiatus” of the Amgen Tour of California.

Britain’s looking for more success in Olympic track cycling next year with a new bike built by Lotus to be as light and aero as possible.

 

Finally…

Fleeing from police when riding your bike drunk only makes you look more suspicious.

 

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

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

Sorry about that. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And continues to defend his perspective.

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

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

It’s a long read.

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

For better or worse.

………

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

The bad news should be pretty obvious.

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

………

Gene Hackman is one of us.

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

………

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

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

Sort of like this.

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

………

‘Nuff said.

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

CBS looks at the great scooter backlash.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

 

Morning Links: Ex-Angeleno Maria Sipin honored, closing LA River bike path gap in DTLA, and no drop in solo LA drivers

Just a quick note before we start.

I’m planning to post again tomorrow, despite the call for websites to go dark in observance of the Global Climate Strike.

While I support the goals of the strike, I expect to take a couple days off next week to spend time with my brother once he arrives on his 4,000-plus mile tour of the western US.

I’ll also be observing my birthday on Tuesday, even though it’s going to be a sad one without the Corgi.

I just don’t want to risk going three or four days in a row without posting anything. So call me a scab, but I’ll be crossing the virtual picket lines tomorrow.

And if you want to give me something for my birthday, I’m registered with Don’t Get Your Ass Run Over On A Bike.

Seriously, ride carefully out there. I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone else, unless it’s good news. 

Capisce?

Photo of Maria Sipin shamelessly stolen from Alice Awards website; see next item.

………

Let’s start out today with a pair of my favorite ex-LA advocates.

Former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson sends word that former LACBC volunteer and current People for Mobility Justice board member Maria Sipin is being honored with the Emerging Leader Award at Oregon’s Alice Awards, presented by the Street Trust.

Here’s how they describe the awards.

The Alice Awards celebrate our transportation heroes who continue to fight for safe and convenient walking, biking, and transit.

And here’s what they had to say about Sipin.

Maria Sipin will receive the Emerging Leader award. She is a transportation planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).  In addition to her work at ODOT, Maria works for the community via several venues, and she participates in The Street Trust’s Women Bike Program.

Maria is in her fifth year as a board member for the non-profit People for Mobility Justice based in Southern California and is a certified cycling trainer by the League of American Bicyclists.

Maria is active in working for the community on transportation projects and activism supporting the needs and rights of low-income communities of color, teen health, and LGBTQ youth of color.

I’ll add that she’s also one of the nicest, most upbeat and indefatigable people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

So I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Maria Sipin.

She deserves this one.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up.

………

We may finally get a bike path from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

As long as you’re willing to wait another six to eight years. And if Metro can find a spare $158 million or so under their cushions.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved moving forward with required environmental studies for three options to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Vernon and DTLA.

Which, if you’ve ever tried to ride it, is a major pain in the ass right now.

The good news is, Metro already has $365 million in Measure M funding to pay for it.

The bad news, depending on the option they choose, it could run as little as $329 million, or as much as $523 million.

And won’t be finished until 2026 at best.

………

Is anyone really shocked that new census data shows single occupancy driving is down throughout the US — but not in auto-centric Los Angeles?

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Long Beach expats and professional bike tourists The Path Less Pedaled, who take bicycling and painting excursion to Washington’s San Juan Islands.

………

You still have time to be entered to win free Cycliq bike cams just for reporting obstructed bike lanes.

And no, for those of us who live in Los Angeles, “all of them” is not acceptable.

I tried that already.

They also offer a page full of tips and reviews for buying a bike cam. Just in case you don’t win.

………

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

Physicians had to scrape a 67-year old British man’s elbow down to the bone to remove road debris after he was pushed off his bicycle by a masked passenger on a passing motorcycle. Yet remarkably, says he bears no malice towards his attacker.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Police are looking for masked gunman who rode a bike up to a Chicago woman, and shot her in broad daylight on a crowded sidewalk; fortunately, she’s expected to survive.

………

Local

If you have a little extra cash lying around, give some serious thought to donating to the crowdfunding page for LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan, who was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday; so far it’s raised just over $2,400 of the $15,000 goal in the first day.

CiclaValley takes a challenging ride up to the Hollywood Sign.

 

State

Police in Porterville are accused of using excessive force to arrest five bike riders in their early to mid teens, including throwing one boy off his bike; they were apparently participating in a ride-out with up to 100 other people. Naturally, the police denied they did anything wrong.

A letter writer in Half Moon Bay makes a call for bike bells to give a warning to pedestrians. Or at least put them on all the rental bikes.

Frequent contributor Robert Leone says he’ll be volunteering with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s bike rodeo at this Sunday’s Viva Calle San Jose open streets event in San Jose. If you go, try to find him and say hi for me.

Biking and walking advocates in San Francisco offer their suggestions on how to stop people in cars from killing people. They can start with reducing speed limits and installing speed cameras, as the story suggests, then block cellphone signals in moving cars — all of which would require changes to state law. Then move on to reducing the number of cars on the street.

Speaking of which, San Francisco is considering banning cars from some neighborhoods to address safety concerns. A similar proposal in Los Angeles would probably result in NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers rioting in the streets.

Concluding our San Francisco trifecta, bike advocates are applauding approvals of protected bikeways on both sides of the bay.

 

National

Men’s Health ranks the 100 fittest cities in the US. Shockingly, car-centric Los Angeles checks in at #16, while San Francisco tops the list, with San Diego and San Jose close behind.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says federal transportation policy is undermining climate progress.

PeopleForBikes is giving away prizes for completing their 2019 Community Survey, including a bike from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

A writer for Gear Patrol says a $6,000 ebike doesn’t beat his motorcycle for commuting to work, but it’s a lot of fun, anyway.

San Antonio TX police bust a serial burglar who terrorized a downtown neighborhood by stealing high-end bicycles and tools.

Fascinating, yet gut wrenching story of a Minnesota renaissance man — named Genghis Muskox, no less — who rafted down the Mississippi, built his own bikes and rode across Europe. Then was brutally murdered by an Iraqi war vet and fellow alcoholic suffering from PTSD.

Officials in Dayton, Ohio may remove a requirement to have bike bells on bicycles, which has been described as burdensome and a “ticky-tack” excuse to make a police stop.

The rate of regular bike riding in New York appears to have dropped by 5% over the last two years, even though it’s increasing in Manhattan and bikeshare memberships are up. However, a lack of infrastructure in the outer boroughs and this year’s rash of bicycling deaths could be contributing factors.

New York’s Streetsblog refutes “the five stupidest things” that were said at a recent community meeting called to address the mythical war on cars.

Yes, adults can learn to ride a bicycle, even if they’ve never done it before. A DC man took an adult bike training class, and managed to stay up upright for the first time in his 38 years.

 

International

London’s buses will soon try out new safety systems to prevent driver fatigue and keep them from running over you.

A British man is happy to get his stolen bike back, even though he had to pay the equivalent of $45 to a man who claimed he bought it; several accessories were missing, but they did fix his flat tire.

After catching a close call on his cam with a driver drifting into the bike lane he was riding in, a bicyclist in the UK concludes that paint isn’t infrastructure.

An Aussie website says painting eyes on the back of your helmet or attaching cable ties won’t keep magpies from attacking you.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at why the punishing 3,000-mile Race Across America, aka RAAM, is cycling’s hardest race. I once met a competitor in several of the first races who said he started hallucinating by the time he got to Missouri, warning his support crew to watch out for dinosaurs on the freeway.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine considers how much the world championships have changed in the 37 years since they were last held in the UK.

Germany’s Tony Martin is bouncing back from a nasty crash in the Vuelta, and preparing to lead his country’s team in next week’s worlds, despite looking extremely worse for wear.

Probably not the best idea to tweet a photo of the broken bike that made a Swiss pro crash spectacularly (see below), since team bike sponsors usually don’t like things like that.

 

Finally…

Maybe it’s time for shower helmet shaming. Kids, don’t bring your handlebars to class or unless you want to put the school on lockdown.

And more proof you can do just about anything on a bike.

Morning Links: Why LA’s Vision Zero is failing, rebutting SaMo Jump bike death rumor, and getting the helmet story wrong

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The LA Times belatedly discovers the rising pedestrian death toll in the US, but neglects to mention the corresponding jump in bicycling fatalities.

And they put the national figures in context with the City of Angels, along with what passes for an LA Vision Zero program.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. The city has completed hundreds of projects, but the pedestrian death toll has soared — up 80% from 2015 to 2017, when 134 died. The number killed last year dipped slightly, to 127.

Eliminating traffic deaths is an “aspirational” goal, Dan Mitchell, chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, said. “But what other goal is acceptable? How many people, if it’s not zero? How many people should be allowed to die just getting around the city streets?

And there’s the problem.

We were told the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was “aspirational” shortly after it was unanimously approved by the LA city council, too.

That’s exactly why Vision Zero is failing here, when it’s succeeding in other places. 

Because Vision Zero isn’t aspirational. And it’s not a goal.

It’s a commitment.

It’s an unshakeable commitment to do whatever it takes to stop traffic deaths, and not settling for a lousy “aspirational” vision.

And until our elected leaders and the people charged with carrying it out get that, people will keep dying needlessly on our streets.

Whether they’re on two feet or two wheels.

Or surrounded by two tons of glass and steel.

………

Two bike riders were seriously injured in Santa Monica collisions over a three-day period last week.

Persistent rumors have spread online saying the first victim, a teenage boy riding a dockless Jump ebike, was killed when he was struck by the driver of a Mini Cooper at 20th and Santa Monica Blvd Thursday afternoon, or that he passed away sometime afterwards.

As of Monday afternoon, neither was true.

At last word, he was still receiving care at a local hospital, though medical privacy laws prevent the release of his name or condition.

So let’s all say a prayer or send a few good thoughts in hopes that remains the case until he’s able to walk out on his own power.

………

Talk about getting the story wrong.

A Boston TV station says a new UCLA/Drew University study shows that the vast majority of bike riders don’t wear helmets.

Except it shows nothing of the sort.

As we mentioned yesterday, the study measured how many people who suffered head and neck injuries while bicycling were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

It had absolutely nothing to do with measuring bike helmet usage in general.

The study concluded that just 22% of those injured bike riders were wearing helmets.

Not that only 22% of bike riders do, which is a completely different thing

………

For today’s video entertainment, the world’s first front flip tsunami on a downhill bike. And no, I didn’t know what that is, either.

………

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

Gangs of UK moped riders are getting their jollies filming themselves pushing people off their bicycles, which could result in serious injuries.

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

New York police are looking for a bike-riding groper who’s attacked four women in recent months.

And sometimes it’s both.

Road-raging bike and Vespa riders come to blows — and kicks — in a Denver park. As the news anchor says, that’s not a good look for anyone.

Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, not C-R-A-N-E as I mistakenly wrote yesterday — for the heads-up.

………

Local

CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is looking for a $4 million grant to complete a 2.2-mile bike path on the east side of the LA River in Atwater Village. Los Angeles officials love bike paths, because they get people on bikes off the streets without annoying people in cars. Maybe he could look for a similar grant to fund the road diets and protected bike lanes that might actually improve safety in his district. Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.  

A man on a bike was fatally shot in South LA’s Florence-Firestone neighborhood Sunday night; unfortunately, there’s no information on the shooter, or the victim.

KNBC-4 reports on a possible bike chop shop at a homeless encampment in Playa del Rey, apparently failing to notice what goes on at virtually every other homeless camp in the LA area.

Santa Clarita is adding new bike lanes in Saugus and Valencia after making sure they won’t affect traffic circulation. Because God forbid you should slow down a few cars to save a life or two.

Streetsblog looks back at Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica.

Groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor was one of us. And so is legendary actress Pam Grier, who bought him a bicycle so they could ride on the beach together.

 

State

He gets it. A writer for a car and motorcycle enthusiast website says California’s new law allowing some low-income people to trade their cars for ebikes is great, but it’s another thing to ensure they’re safe on the streets once they do.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Diego, where someone posted flyers claiming that everyone now supports the controversial bike lanes on 30th Street, copying the ones posted by opponents a few weeks ago. Note to KUSI TV — The message on them may be fake, but the flyers are real.

Palm Desert plans to start work next year on their five-mile segment of the planned 50-mile CV Link multi-use path around the Coachella Valley.

A Palo Alto driver, who says he’s wished for safer biking conditions for decades — honest! — wants to know who decided  to “make driving harder, slower, more dangerous and difficult” to do it. And insists on trotting out the myth that whole classes of older and disabled people can’t ride bikes.

Streetsblog SF says San Francisco police were quick to blame the victim when a 73-year old bike rider collided with a driver last week, even though the intersection itself could have been to blame.

A 67-year old Oakland man says that as a lifelong bicyclist, he’s never obeyed all traffic laws, nor should he, because trying to make bicyclists obey laws written for cars is like trying to herd cats (scroll down). Which brings up one of the best commercials ever.

 

National

Now that’s a bikepacking trip. A woman rode solo, much of it off paved roads, to map all 2,200 miles of the Pony Express route from St. Joseph MO to Sacramento.

Oregon welcomed Bontrager’s new WaveCel technology to its new home in a Wilsonville warehouse.

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is one of us. Or was, before someone stole her ebike from a doubly secured garage; fortunately, she had the good sense to register it for free with Bike Index and add it to their nationwide stolen bike database. Although a Seattle radio host wants to know why Bagshaw’s stolen bike mattered more to police than her daughter’s did.

A Bellingham WA newspaper asks what the proper hand signals are to use when riding a bike. That depends entirely on how pissed off you are at the time.

Sad story from Washington, where a hit-and-run driver marked a stranger’s 34th birthday by fatally running him down with his car as the man was riding his bike back home to his family. Let’s hope they find the schmuck.

Kindhearted Tucson police buy a new bicycle for a young man whose bike was stolen after learning it was his only form of transportation.

A Utah researcher spent 125 days riding 2,300 miles around the Great Salt Lake on a mountain bike pulling a trailer — and getting shot at — to study the risk of dust pollution as the lake continues to dry up.

Two years later, there still hasn’t been an arrest, or any named suspects, in the murder of mountain biker Tim Watkins, who was shot while riding on a Southern Colorado roadway; the non-suspect list includes a man who was arrested shortly after Watkins death for threatening hikers and bicyclists with a hatchet on the same road.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists have had enough, and are planning a die-in to protest recent bicycling deaths.

Chicago puts its money where its Vision Zero is, investing $6 million to improve dangerous streets on the city’s West Side.

An Illinois cop’s own body cam shows him citing the law to a well-versed bike rider, who politely points out that he got it wrong. And insists on a ticket so he can prove in court that the officer doesn’t know the law. It’s a common problem. Most cops receive little or no training in bike law, so they go by truncated cheat sheets or what they think it is. And too often, they’re wrong.

Maybe he’s not paying attention. Detroit’s mayor said reports of e-scooter injuries are BS.

That more like it. Ohio officials will install an 11-mile bike lane on a highway where two bike riders have been killed in recent years, while noting that it can’t keep drugged drivers off the roads.

Bicyclists in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood are calling a protected bike lane on Grand Street a grand failure due to the city’s failure to use stronger barricades to keep cars and trucks out.

New York has finally decided not to ban bicyclists during the UN General Assembly next week, instead creating a special protected bike lane to replace two being shut down for it. But they will have to pass through a security check.

Gotta hand it to a New Jersey bike thief, who swapped his bike for a better one at a train station, but at least had the decency to lock it up using the victim’s own bike lock and replaced the victim’s helmet on it before riding off. Although he or she might want to consider investing in a better lock next time.

A bike-riding Miami high school student was seriously injured when he was struck by an on-duty police sergeant headed back to the motor pool.

 

International

The president of the European Cyclists Federation says the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of the EU Commission are the perfect opportunity for legislators to turn their words into action and refocus on safe bicycling and walking.

Edinburgh bike riders are gearing up for this weekend’s worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride, a movement that began in Turkey seven years ago to mark World Car Free Day and encourage more women to ride bikes. If there’s an LA edition of the ride this weekend, let me know.

Paris is planning to offer residents a 500 euro incentive to buy an ebike — the equivalent of $550 — to help get more cars off the streets. Something Streetsblog says the US should be doing. Or at least something Los Angeles should do when and if they actually give us a safe place to ride them.

A 20-year old Malawi man is facing a murder charge for twisting his 12-year old nephew’s neck after catching him riding the man’s bicycle, then dumping the boy’s body in a pit latrine. Seriously, you can’t make this shit up. And you probably wouldn’t want to.

The swooping Magpie that caused a fallen Australian bicyclist to crash was so well known to locals that they named it…wait for it…Swoop Dog.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? South African pro Willie Smit finished another 16 stages of the Vuelta with 16 stitches in his knee following a mass crash in stage 15.

https://twitter.com/williesmurfy/status/1170612880594673664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170612880594673664&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcyclingtips.com%2F2019%2F09%2F16-stitches-and-a-life-of-pain-willie-smit-is-cyclings-toughest-rider%2F

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on a bicycle, try to make sure the cop chasing you isn’t in “near Olympic shape.” Complete Streets, you complete me.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: New helmet study finally studies head injuries, stop fat shaming bike riders, and the war on bikes goes on

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after Friday’s unexcused absence. 

So grab your coffee and settle in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

………

Finally, a bike helmet study actually looks at head injuries for a change.

Most previous studies have compared helmet use to fatalities — but without saying how many of those deaths actually involved head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable with one.

At least this one is different.

A new study from researchers at UCLA and LA’s Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science examined ten years of data on bicycling injuries from the National Trauma Bank.

They found that only 22% of adult bicyclists who suffered head and neck injuries were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, a number that dropped to just 12% for riders under 17.

Or looking at it another way, a full 78% of adult bike riders who suffered head and neck injuries weren’t wearing a helmet, along with 88% of riders under 17 years old.

Yet somehow, the authors conclude that the solution is mandatory helmet laws. Even though 21 states and over 200 local jurisdictions already require them for anyone under 18.

Call me crazy, but when 88% of injured riders under 17 weren’t wearing one, that would seem to suggest that helmet laws just aren’t that effective.

The study also found that women were slightly more likely to wear a helmet, at 28% versus 21% for men; helmet use was even lower for people of color.

Then there’s this.

Bicyclists who were wearing helmets when accidents occurred generally had less severe injuries, spent less time hospitalized, including shorter stays in intensive care, and were less likely to have died as a result of the accident…

Men were also 36% more likely die as a result of a crash.

Black bike riders were 16% more likely to be killed than white riders, while Hispanic riders were 17% percent more likely to die due to a bicycling crash. However, that may be due to well-documented differences in medical outcomes for people of color.

So whether or not you wear a helmet is up to you. And should stay that way.

It’s also important to remember that bike helmets should always be seen as a last resort when all else fails.

But if it does, you may be better off with one that without one.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

………

A self-described fat cyclist says she’s an athlete now, not in some alternative thin body.

And she doesn’t need to fix herself, thank you very much. But the attitudes of the fat-shaming bike world could use some work.

Seriously, take a few moments to read this one.

Because there’s an inherent bias in the bicycling community in favor of strong, thin and “healthy” bicyclists. And an all-too-real tendency to look down on anyone who doesn’t fit that mold.

I’d be the first to admit I was one of them, albeit unconsciously, even though there’s been no shortage of large and fluffy women in my life, including my own mother.

I should have known better.

But it took getting to know women who didn’t let their size dictate what they could and couldn’t do on a bicycle to get it through my thick skull.

Just one of the many lessons I’ve learned from the readers of this site. And for which I am eternally grateful.

………

Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

………

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

A New York woman was the victim of an apparently random attack by two men who knocked her off her bike and punched as she was riding in a bike lane; in traditional New York fashion, dozens of people allegedly watched but did nothing to help her.

A British Member of Parliament said there was a major problem in his district with car passengers pushing people off their bicycles; local police said it actually happened just once, with the victim suffering a broken shoulder blade. Then again, once is enough.

A British man out riding with his kids had to use his mountain bike to fight off a man who lunged at them with a kitchen knife.

………

Local

A West Adams bike shop owner and real estate agent led a bike tour of the historic — and historically black — neighborhood, leading to the same questions of gentrification that have rocked Boyle Heights in recent years.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Los Angeles man’s $2,000 custom handcycle. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 the difference between a quadriplegic and a paraplegic, because they don’t appear to know.

In a bizarre crime, a burned body was found stuffed in a shopping cart at a homeless encampment along the bike path through Balboa Park; police say the victim was burned somewhere else and moved to the site. However, they’re not ready to label it a homicide, despite a rash of fire attacks on homeless people in the LA area.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A driver crashed into a parklet in front of Book Soup on the Sunset Strip, apparently due to a mechanical failure.

 

State

Plans for a makeover of the nearly defunct Brea mall include over 300 apartments, and a walk and bike path connecting the mall to the civic center.

Uber has pulled its Jump ebikes and scooters from the streets of San Diego, blaming the new rules the city adopted in April; San Diego is also threatening to revokes permits for Lime, and previously suspended permits for Wheels until the company made modifications to its scooters.

Imperial Beach has jumped on the Vision Zero bandwagon, joining just two other cities in San Diego County in committing to end traffic deaths.

A hit-and-run driver has been charged with murder, manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license for killing a 61-year old Visalia woman as she rode her bike; he has a long string of priors ranging from animal cruelty to assault with a deadly weapon.

The CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group was lucky to escape with minor injuries after he was clipped by the wing mirror of an apparently driverless motor home while on a charity ride from Big Sur to Hearst Castle. There’s not one mention in the piece of the driver of the vehicle, or even if it had one. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

This is who we share the roads with. Pedestrians are taught to walk facing traffic, drivers not so much — especially on major highways — as two people were killed in Mountain View when a driver somehow sped the wrong way on a freeway. Thanks again to Robert Leone for the link.

Now that’s more like it. A San Francisco councilmember responds to a rash of traffic deaths in the Tenderloin district by proposing to ban cars entirely in the neighborhood.

Something doesn’t add up. San Francisco police blame a 73-year old man for making a left turn and crashing into a car traveling in the opposite direction, suffering life-threatening injuries.

San Francisco’s “Fruit Jesus” travels the city towing a half-ton of fresh fruit on a trailer behind his bike, delivering carfree to customers throughout the city.

An Oakland bike cop is a hero after resuscitating a clinically dead man who collapsed in the parking lot of the Raider’s opening game against the Denver Bronco’s.

A Berkeley woman was busted after fleeing the scene of a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured after she left crossed the man with her SUV, dragging him underneath it for several seconds.

A bike and pedestrian bridge in Mill Valley has been closed indefinitely after inspectors discovered one of the 12 piers supporting it has been “compromised.”

An obelisk made entirely of children’s bike parts has been named Project of the Year by the Sacramento chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Next time you visit Lake Tahoe, you’ll have a place to park your bike, after the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition installed 126 new bike racks, for a total of 340 in the past two years, along with two public fix-it stations.

 

National

Bicycling recommends eleven bicycling accessories that they say aren’t necessary, but will enhance your ride. I can personally vouch for the Polar Bottles to keep your water cool and drinkable for hours.

Outside reviews the new documentary Motherload, saying the story of one woman’s emancipation from the drudgery of the carpool foretells the coming cargo bike revolution.

Gear Junkie takes a ride on Walmart’s new $6,000 29er hardtail mountain bike, and likes it. And concludes it’s priced much lower than comparatively spec’ed bikes.

Apple is rumored to be working on a tracking chip that will be far more accurate than Tile, and could revolutionize the ability to track down a stolen bicycle. Or anything else, for that matter. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Arizona investigators offer a driver a Get Out of Jail Free card after he plowed into a group of bicyclists, injuring “five or six” bike riders, in a crash police blamed on glare from the sun. So apparently, in Arizona it’s perfectly legal to step on the gas when you have no idea what the hell is in front of you.

A new Denver map shows 400 miles of low-stress streets to encourage more people to get out and bike. We could really use something like that here in LA, since our existing bike “network” isn’t one, and isn’t likely to be one anytime soon.

A Boulder CO bicyclist says greater density means more cars. And more cars are bad for people on bicycle. Except the main benefit of increased density is that locations are closer, so people don’t have to drive long distances to shop or dine. As a result, it accommodates population increases without increasing the sprawl that forces people into their cars.

After a short rant about getting t-boned by a blond bike rider, a Durango CO writer gives a look at the vitriol, bile and threats spewed towards bicyclists on Facebook. But says the solution is for the people on two wheels to stop annoying the people threatening to kill us.

Good question. A Montana sixth grader wants to know why would anyone steal a kid’s bike.

A Nebraska mayor has summarily decided to rip out a six-year old road diet and bike lanes after the previous mayor spent $300,000 to put them in, because he says they confuse out-of-town drivers. No, really.

After being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative brain disease, a Massachusetts man set out to spend his last days giving bikes to kids in Massachusetts and Vermont; he now employs 34 people and has a stock of 2,000 bicycles ready to give away.

New York’s Central Park is now an obstacle course, no matter how you try to get around it.

Philadelphia church and temple goers enjoy relaxed parking regulations, avoiding the tickets they’d otherwise get. Even when they park in a bike lane.

A Virginia man describes what it’s like to move from bicycling’s second-class status in the US — if that — to ruling the roads as his family learns to ride like natives in the Netherlands.

Seriously, you just can’t win with some people. A retired Georgia police chief complains about a group of bicyclists riding single file on a narrow road, then complains when they start riding abreast when the road widens. And just can’t comprehend why people like to ride on narrow, curvy roads.

Some kindhearted Savannah GA cops bought a new bike for a 10-year old boy after the one he received for being student of the month was stolen just a week after he got it.

 

International

It’s back. Just when you thought it was safe to ridicule expensive airbags for bike riders, the inflatable Hövding bike helmet is out with their third generation, promising improved performance and faster response times. Though I’m going to hold out until they offer a full bodysuit that inflates on impact.

A Vancouver, British Columbia cop will face a traffic charge for colliding with a suspect who was trying to make his getaway on a bike as the officer pursued in his patrol car.

A nonprofit’s donation of 43 bicycles to two elementary schools in Canada’s Yukon Territory hit a snag when officials discovered it would cost more to ship them than the bikes’ $30,000 price tag.

No bias here. A Toronto columnist says “cycling zealots” are demanding “a cycling Shangri-La superimposed on the Toronto grid.Apparently she’s still angry over her failed attempt to ride a bike, and insists on taking it out on everyone who can.

Royal-in-law James Middleton, brother of Kate and Pippa, appeared thrilled to be riding his stolen and recovered bakfiets on the streets of London, as was his Labrador retriever.

No surprise here, as the Times of India says Bengaluru just isn’t bike-friendly, calling the city’s drivers “very rash.”

Vigilante justice can be swift in India, where a drunk man was beaten to death for attempting to steal a bicycle when the owner and three of his relatives spotted the man riding off on it. Not something I’d recommend, tempting though it may be. 

They get it. An Aussie website asks who’s really paying for free parking? Hint — It ain’t the people not paying to park there. Or even just the ones driving.

Strange and tragic news from Down Under, as a 76-year old Australian man died after crashing his bike to avoid an attacking magpie.

A 64-year old Singapore man opened a bicycle cafe along a popular bike path with views of jets taking off and landing at the airport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-year old former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič carried the Vuelta’s red jersey to victory in Madrid. Meanwhile, Movistar’s directeur sportif called out cycling’s governing body for letting Roglič use a team car’s slipstream to catch up with the peloton after a crash on stage 19.

About damn time. California takes the lead in creating equity in pro cycling, mandating equal prize money for men’s and women’s cycling. Meanwhile, VeloNews asks the experts what’s the best way to build interest in the women’s sport.

Great story from Outside, as 78-year old Thomas Camero was happy to finish his third self-supported Trans-Am transcontinental bike race on his $700 second-hand Surly in 99 days — dead last and 58 days behind everyone else.

A British Paralympic cyclist opens up about the surgery she endured to relieve her painful saddle sores.

Bicycling examines the newest frontier in cheating, comparing e-sports hacking to the next generation of doping.

 

Finally…

Call it a very roundabout way to set a record. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, try not to leave your shoes, phone and bike behind.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you already have a record and you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already.

 

Morning Links: 49% of LA car trips doable by bike, inspiring girls with best bike quote ever, and LA River bike path reopens

They get it.

A new report says ebikes and e-scooters are better for short trips than cars.

Electric scooters and bikes have a “universal potential” to provide more efficient, cheaper ways to get around U.S. cities than driving a car…

Why? It’s largely because drivers in many U.S. cities are taking short trips and sitting in traffic when they could be taking another transit mode.

Not surprisingly, the study ranked Los Angeles as having the ninth-best potential to replace motor vehicle trips with micromobility — or a regular bike, for that matter — with 49% of all car trips in the city just three miles or less.

All we need is safe places to ride them.

Ebike photo courtesy of Metro Bike.

………

With all due apologies to Lance, Eddy Merckx, Einstein and Steve Jobs, this may just be the best bike quote ever.

You can be feminine and girly and sparkly and be a really badass bike racer as well.

That’s from newly crowned world cross-county mountain bike champ Kate Courtney, the first American in 17 years to win the title.

And something that should be a mantra for every little girl from the time they’re old enough to ride a bike.

………

CiclaValley discovers the construction barriers have finally been removed from the LA River bike path between Zoo Drive and the Riverside Bridge.

And provides a detailed tutorial on plans for the pathway, and why it’s still far from finished.

His movie making skills are improving, too.

………

Washington Capitals hockey star Alex Ovechkin is one of us. That’s the good news.

………

Rock star and former Amy Winehouse boyfriend Pete Doherty is one of us, too, walking his dogs on a London bikeshare bike.

https://twitter.com/JordanMolinari_/status/1170994419618713600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1170994419618713600&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nme.com%2Fnews%2Fmusic%2Fwatch-pete-doherty-get-pulled-along-huskies-boris-bike-2547011

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

A 17-year old British bike rider may have been deliberately targeted by the 16-year old hit-and-run driver who ran him down and dragged him underneath his car, and is now facing a murder charge. This is the same crash we mentioned yesterday where bystanders picked up the car to lift it off the victim in a failed attempt to save his life.

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

After trading blows — or mostly receiving them — with the driver of an SUV, an Aussie bicyclist picked his bike up and tried to ram it through the car’s window. Which may have been satisfying in the moment, but couldn’t have done the poor bike a lot of good.

………

Local

A Palmdale letter writer says asking bike riders to pay a reasonable fee is the right thing to do, since car, truck and mobile home owners have to pay DMV fees. Never mind that DMV fees and gas taxes cover wear and tear on the roads, which bikes don’t cause. And that the overwhelming cost of local streets and roads, where bicyclists ride, come out of general tax funds, which we all pay. So in reality, he’s asking for bike riders to pay twice for damage we don’t cause. Seems fair.

A development company has proposed building a six-story, 236-unit apartment complex on environmentally sensitive land between the confluence of Ballona and Centinela creeks, just south of the Marina Freeway. The good news is that it includes plans for a much-needed bike and pedestrian bridge connecting the south bank to the Ballona Creek bike path; the bad new is, the bridge will be private.

Torrance police have finally identified the man who murdered an 11-year old girl, 47 years after she disappeared while riding her bike. And 16 years after the asshole her killer died.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer whose sole form of transportation is a bicycle says bring on the controversial 30th Street bike lanes.

Tragic news from Visalia, where a 61-year old woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she rode her bike, dragging her the length of two football fields under his car as he made his getaway; police arrested the allegedly drunk driver a short time later.

Monterey — which my brother should be passing through today or tomorrow on his bike tour of the left coast — is nearly finished with a new $8.5 million Complete Street makeover of North Fremont Blvd, including protected and physically separated bike lanes, as well as bike crossing signals.

They get it, too. A Petaluma newspaper says the city needs to do a lot more to make it friendly for bicyclists, calling bicycling one of the best ways to fight climate change.

They’ve got a point. Berkeley bike riders complain about hefty $238 fines for rolling stop signs — before court costs. Which is one more argument for a California version of the Idaho Stop Law; bike riders who carefully roll stops without jeopardizing anyone’s safety shouldn’t be punished that severely. Or at all.  

 

National

Bicycling takes a look at the hottest new bikes for fall.

Forbes looks at American bike part maker SRAM, saying it came out of nowhere with a single product to take on the established manufacturers.

Nonprofit bicycle registry Bike Index has introduced plugins for bike shop point-of-sales software to automatically register bikes in the background when customers purchase new bikes. Or get a free, lifetime registration with Bike Index here.

CityLab says instead of fighting it out, cities and private mobility companies should work together for a brighter multimodal future. Or we could just wait for the inevitable collapse of our gridlocked street systems, and wave at all the people trapped in their cars as we zoom by.

Curbed takes Amazon to task for putting 20,000 new delivery vans on the streets, calling for smaller, right-sized vehicles and delivery bikes to cut emissions and improve safety.

Portland offers a five-year progress report on their 2030 bike plan, only five years late. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet. Although something tells me Portland’s made a lot more progress than we have.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bicycle from a 12-year old Arizona boy with cerebral palsy.

Streetsblog Chicago offers some decent advice for casual bicyclists to keep riding a bike from being intimidating.

An Ohio high school teacher will be very late for class, after she was taken to a hospital when a driver ran into her bike on the way to school.

Seriously? A Kentucky letter writer says bikes are great fun! But rip out all the damn bike lanes because cars rule the road!

As New York Mayor Bill De Blasio continues his quixotic quest for the White House, back home advocates take him to task for a recent call for mandatory bike helmets and bike licenses, and demand that he focus on the real issues killing bike riders instead, like bad streets and reckless driving.

A Virginia letter writer says more cars aren’t the answer. And for every idiot he’s seen on a bicycle, he’s seen 10,000 more in cars.

A Florida woman organized a bike ride to honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center —including her own brother, a New York firefighter killed when the buildings came down.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Weekly discusses things you’ll inevitably have to explain to your non-cycling partner. When my wife and I first moved in together, she said my bike belonged on the balcony. I patiently explained that yes, I loved her, but I’ve known my bike a helluva lot longer. And if my bike has to sleep out there, so do I.

Vancouver cops bust a massive bike theft ring, recovering 150 purloined bicycles, including ebikes and high-end bikes. Makes you wonder how many they stole and moved or chopped before they got caught.

Employees at a British Columbia Starbucks pitched in to buy a new bike for an 18-year old Iraqi refugee after his was stolen from the patio as he worked there as a barista.

London — no, the one in Ontario, Canada — introduces the province’s first bicycle mayor, tasked with promoting bicycle infrastructure in a car-oriented city. Which sounds a lot like a certain SoCal city I could name, which hasn’t even considered appointing a bike mayor.

A Toronto man returned a stolen bicycle to its owner after the thief upgraded to his bike, slicing through the lock with a power tool in broad daylight

A UK thief gets eleven years for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police in a stolen SUV, along with another 18 months for a pair of burglaries.

No, Road.cc, it wasn’t a five-year old cyclist that got knocked off his bike by an adult hit-and-run bicyclist. It was a five-year old little boy on a bicycle.

The bike-riding, but apparently not very observant, former editor of the prestigious medical journal BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journalsays the time has come to license and register bicyclists, so they’ll obey the law like other road users. Most of whom don’t, regardless of license and registration.

After making an ill-advised pass around a group of bicyclists, a Scottish woman avoids a head-on crash with an oncoming car by steering back into the soft, squishy people on bikes instead, injuring two people.

An Irish father fights back against accusations that he put his eleven-year old son at risk by letting him ride to school without a helmet or hi-viz, saying he didn’t think a hemet would help in the event of a collision.

Philippine bike riders say banning bicycles from the bridges connecting Mactan Island and Mandaue City isn’t the answer.

A Buddhist bell maker in Kyoto, Japan is producing handmade Orin temple bell-style bike bells, designed to resonate through the bike frame to amplify the sound and warn people a bike is coming, while it drives away evil thoughts at the same time. Seriously, if anyone has me on their secret Santa list, this is what I want. Or a corgi.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s Wednesday stage was the fastest ever Grand Tour stage over 125 miles; riders said gusting crosswinds and aggressive tactics made the stage ruthless.

While the Vuelta lumbers on, the Tour of Britain rolls through its fifth stage.

VeloNews looks at world championship favorite Mathieu van der Poel’s murky future in road cycling, as he prepares to focus on mountain biking in the 2020 Olympics.

The Princeton Alumni Weekly profiles 77-year old John Allis, who went from novice bike rider to co-founding the Princeton cycling team to a three-time Olympian.

 

Finally…

No, really. You’re not a bike thief, you’re a bicycle collector. If you’re planning to walk out of a pawn shop with a $4,000 bike, maybe don’t leave your name first.

And why suffer in traffic when you can just drive your cab down a protected bike lane?

 

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, SF fixie legend dies, and Seattle radio station wants to kill their listeners

Yet another study confirms that bikes are good for business

As Treehugger notes, anytime someone proposes installing a bike lane on a commercial street, business owners complain it will put them out of business.

But the reality is just the opposite.

After an initial transition period as customers adjust to the changes, sales usually go up for some businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, while remaining unchanged for others.

That was the case in Toronto, where businesses fought tooth-and-nail against a protected bike lane that most would probably fight to keep today.

According to the study,

The number of merchants on Bloor Street reporting more than 100 customers per day increased substantially and significantly for food service/bar and retail establishments on both Saturdays and weekdays. No significant changes were detected for service establishments…

Our results indicate the business environment on Bloor Street improved during the time of the study: Reported visitor spending rose, visit frequency increased, estimated customer counts show growth in the number of customers, and vacancy rates held steady… Other data we collected from the visitor survey are consistent with positive changes in the pilot area. The proportion of shoppers driving to the neighborhood remained unchanged at 9%, and that of shoppers arriving on bicycles rose considerably from 8% to 22%.

Just most evidence that businesses in retail districts that fight bike lanes are just shooting themselves in the foot.

And chasing more business away.

………

Sad news from San Francisco, where the city’s Yellow Bike Company announced the death of fixie legend Keo Curry.

Curry also explored LA’s rising fixed gear scene in the groundbreaking documentary To Live & Ride in L.A.

No cause of death was given.

………

What the hell is wrong with some people?

Apparently annoyed at people on bicycles taking a shortcut through their precious parking lot, on-air personalities from a Portland radio station set up barriers to block them, while joking about clotheslining anyone who still comes through.

https://twitter.com/1080TheFAN/status/1169732695460499456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1169732695460499456&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikeportland.org%2F2019%2F09%2F10%2Fportland-radio-show-hosts-say-jerk-bikers-deserve-clothesline-wire-for-riding-through-parking-lot-304509

Apparently, they neglected to consider that some of their listeners — the people who keep them employed by tuning in — might just ride bikes themselves.

And that someone might actually be offended by that crap.

So they issued the sort of non-apology apology that’s become standard these days.

My advice would be to just avoid their station.

In the parking lot. And on the dial.

………

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

………

Unbelievable.

New York cops try to chase off a group of young bike riders hanging out in a parking lot by ordering them to leave.

Then one cop starts beating on a rider’s spokes with his baton in an apparent effort to keep them from doing exactly that.

Or maybe just for the hell of it.

………

A Michigan state agency offers a 360° view of a new mountain bike trail that looks more like a very shaky 140° view, at most.

………

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

A Denver bike rider is lucky to be alive after a truck driver apparently ran him down on purpose for the crime of being ahead of him at an intersection, escaping with just cuts and bruises; however, his bike was not so lucky.

A seriously disturbed Illinois man faces charges after chasing a 12-year old kid with his truck as the boy desperately tried to pedal away from him, eventually running over his bike, then grabbing the boy and threatening to kill him before strangers eventually intervened. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

A North Carolina man faces charges for intentionally slamming his car into a man on a bicycle following a dispute. But give him credit for one of the best booking photos ever. And by best, I mean worst.

A road raging British driver got six months behind bars and a ridiculously short 15-month driving ban for running down a teenage bike rider who got ahead of him at a red light, then getting out and punching the kid, shouting “Little shit, you’ve done this.” A 15-year ban on driving would be more like it. Oh what the hell, let’s just make it a lifetime prohibition, which is what it should be.

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

London police put out an APB for a head butt butt head after the bike-raging man turned around to knock his noggin into a pedestrian, who apparently had the right of way, after nearly colliding with him on the street.

………

Local

Both The Argonaut and TV station KNBC-4 look forward to Sunday’s COAST open streets event in Santa Monica; the somewhat shorter CicLAvia equivalent runs from 10 am to 4 pm.

Spectrum News 1 examines the sorry state of Sunset Blvd, where bike riders argue that replacing the street’s narrow door zone — and often truck-blocked — bike lane with a protected lane would improve safety for everyone.

The chef behind Santa Monica’s new French restaurant Pasjoli is one of us, meeting a reporter in his not-yet-open bistro with his black roadie propped against the wall. I like the joint already.

The Daily Breeze reviews Manhattan Beach restaurant Jimmy’s Kouzina, now operated by the son of the original chef and owner, who was killed in a bicycling crash ten years ago, before the restaurant could be rebuilt following a fire.

 

State

The state legislature passed California’s Complete Streets bill, which now moves on to the governor’s desk for signing; the bill requires Caltrans to include all road users in any new work on streets controlled by the state.

Tragic news from San Diego, where a teenaged mountain biker is paralyzed from the shoulders down after missing a 32-foot jump.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is partnering with a local artist for a bike-themed art exhibition this Sunday.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a cancer survivor is planning to ride his bike from San Diego to Florida to meet the family of his heart donor.

Berkeley police use federal traffic funds to target people riding through stop signs on bicycle boulevards, where they might possibly pose a risk to, uh…someone. Yes, everyone should stop for stop signs, at lest until we finally pass an Idaho Stop Law here. But there are probably places where targeting people for running stop signs would do a lot more good.

Six yeas later, a Chico family struggles to forgive the drunk driver who killed their daughter as she rode her bike home from college classes, as her killer is about to be released from prison.

 

National

They get it. The National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, wants to fit self-driving cars into cities designed for people, rather than the other way around.

Good idea. A Seattle writer takes an anti-bike city council candidate out for a bike ride on a dangerous street. And maybe sort-of wins him over.

Life is cheap in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when a woman walks without a day behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, as the judge somehow decides that a ten year suspended sentence is justice for taking an innocent man’s life. Seriously, if she’d accidentally shot him instead of using a car, the sentence would probably have been a lot different. Yet the result is the same.

Talk about getting the story wrong. Writing for her college paper, a Wisconsin journalism student somehow conflates the Milwaukee bikeshare’s new ebikes with e-scooters, saying they increase the danger for everyone. She should get an F for this oneThe slightest bit of research would have told her that ped-assist ebikes are no better or worse than any other bike when it comes to safety or ease of operation. 

A small Ohio bike shop is surviving competition from chain stores and online businesses by building their own one-of-a-kind bicycles customized for riders with special needs, as well as hosting their own podcast.

Maybe it’s lower overhead. The owner of a Buffalo NY ice cream bike wants to ride every street in the city, selling ice cream bars for just a buck — and giving them away to anyone who can’t pay.

A 13-year old Schenectady NY boy was stabbed in the back by a 12-year old boy who wanted his bicycle. And got it, until the police showed up. Fortunately, the victim should be okay; police described his wounds as minor.

A new New York study shows if you want to get across Manhattan, ride a bike, saying two wheels will get you there faster than four.

Virginia bike advocates call on Amazon to convert an existing bike lane near their new second HQ into a protected lane, saying it could be done for as little as $20,000.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter concludes that maybe buying an ebike online isn’t so bad after all. My advice is still to buy any bike from a local bike shop if you can find the one you want; the service you get should more than make up for what you’d save buying online. If it doesn’t, find another LBS, ’cause that one’s broken.

Road.cc looks at the latest bike tech products from the recent Eurobike show, practical and otherwise.

After a London driver ran down a teenage bike rider and dragged him under his car before fleeing on foot, a group of bystanders lifted the still-smoking car off the victim to free him; sadly though, police described his injuries as life-changing, despite their efforts.

A UK advocacy group calls for banning parking in bike lanes and on sidewalks in the country. It’s shocking that either is actually legal — but especially the latter.

Seriously? A British woman says Copenhagen — and the rest of Denmark — is a virtual hellscape for anyone not on two wheels.

A German sociologist calls cars weapons of mass destruction, and argues that driving is a drug that kills millions of people.

An international group of yoga instructors will bike nearly 2,500 miles across India to the Himalayas, offering free classes to school children along the way.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclocross rider Andrew Juiliano describes struggling with ulcerative colitis before doctors at LA’s Cedars Sinai finally got his disease under control, allowing him to finish the race he abandoned two years earlier.

Bicycling says Australia’s Bec McConnell might be the comeback story of the year for finishing third in the XC MTB worlds, after sitting out last year due to a persistent illness.

What’s worse than doping? Former pro cyclist and Olympic cycling champion Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow Russian cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev could face up to six months in jail for allegedly fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Anyone who thinks six months is an adequate sentence for fixing a bike race raise your hands.

Eurosport remembers Belgium’s Deloor brothers, who ruled the Vuelta after winning the first edition in 1935, before WWII interrupted their careers; Gustaaf Deloor was captured by the Nazis, survived a concentration camp and later emigrated to the US. And helped build engines for the first moon landing.

 

Finally…

Don’t bet on how long an African despot will live if you’re not going to give up your bicycle if you lose. Why just ride to the bay when you can bike on it?

And giving it the old college try to pedal their way to a human powered vehicle record.

 

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