Tag Archive for the war on bikes

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

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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.

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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

………

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.

 

Morning Links: Sunland ghost bike tonight, limiting cars in city centers, and ATL rapper rides — and is — a Lil Bike

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for a 55-year old Tujunga man who was killed in a Sunland hit-and-run two weeks ago, one of two bicycling deaths that came to light over the weekend.

The second was an 82-year old man killed on a killer intersection on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal in Long Beach.

Ghost bike photo by Matthew T Rader from Pexels.

………

Today’s common theme is a mostly one-sided debate over whether it’s possible to encourage bicycling and other forms of so-called alternative transportation to reduce motor vehicle traffic. 

And for a change, the bikes are winning.

The short-sighted editors of LA County’s Antelope Valley Press say car-free streets are just an impossible dream, ignoring the fact that several European cities are already banning private cars from their urban centers.

A local paper says Spokane WA was built for bicycles, before those bullies in cars came along and took over the streets. But an Indiana college professor says we can get back there with a commitment to Complete Streets and better bike infrastructure.

And a writer for the Washington Post says European cities show it’s not only possible, but beneficial to limit cars and encourage bicycling.

………

Trek develops an Aussie accent to introduce their new offroad bike in a tongue-in-cheek ad that just keeps going on…and on…

………

When your rap name is Lil Bike, you’ve got to include at least one in your new video.

………

Building your own DIY bike horn to scare the crap out of anyone.

Except, of course, for modern drivers in their hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof vehicles, who can’t even hear a firetruck bearing down on them.

Unfortunately, I lost track of who forwarded this to me over the weekend, so my thanks and apologies, whoever you are. 

………

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

A group of young men shouted profanities at an English bicyclist as they passed by in a car, then made a U-turn and came back to physically push him off the road, the fourth such attack in the area this year.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

It takes a major schmuck to just ride off on his bike after knocking a five-year old boy from the UK off his bicycle as he rode home from school; the middle-aged hit-and-run bicyclist left the kid lying in his own blood with a number of cuts and bruises.

………

Local

LAist wants to know what’s up with the long-closed Arroyo Seco Bike Path, concluding a big part of the problem is a “virtual Russian doll” of intertwined jurisdictions. And don’t hold your breath on the promised September re-opening.

Santa Clarita’s mayor invites people to come out and bike the city’s numerous bike paths and trails, as well as the fourth annual Santa Clarita Gran Fondo later this month.

A new road project on Palmdale’s Rancho Vista Boulevard will widen it to three lanes in each direction, while adding five-foot bike lanes on both sides.

 

State

California’s ebike voucher bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom; it will allow some low-income drivers to trade in their inefficient cars for vouchers good for bikeshare or ebike purchases. Unfortunately, I suspect my 1994 car is still one year too recent to qualify, dammit.

The co-founder of an Irvine-based kids bike maker says the whipsaw effect of Trump’s tariffs will force small businesses like his to go under.

It was a bad few days in San Diego, where a 64-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a Point Loma bike lane. And a 22-year old woman suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by an SUV driver after allegedly veering in front of her vehicle.

San Diego officials plan to redevelop the city’s Mission Valley to accommodate 28,000 new homes, with new neighborhoods designed around bicycling, walking and the San Diego River.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was left lying in the road by a hit-and-run driver, and struck again by the driver of a second vehicle. As always, there’s no way of knowing if the victim would have survived if the asshole heartless coward in the first car hadn’t left him bleeding in the street.

A San Jose man is behind bars after a sharp-eyed Milpitas mall cop spotted the suspected burglar who rode off on a homeowner’s bicycle after an early morning break-in; police were able to return the bicycle just hours after the theft.

San Jose police bust an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike in a crosswalk last month.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle an 81-year old Sacramento man used to ride to the library.

 

National

A hard-hitting piece from Vice says bicycling deaths are exploding because American cities are car-friendly death traps, citing New York and Los Angeles as the nation’s deadliest cities for people on two wheels.

Inspired by a celebration of life after his brother’s death from leukemia, a 60-year old Los Angeles man with no bicycling experience is riding diagonally across the US, covering 4,764 miles from Neah Bay, Washington to Key West, Florida — including at least one mile a day on his brother’s 1982 bike.

A Washington bike rider says if drivers can’t afford a 15-second delay caused by someone on a bicycle, they need to plan their trip better.

A Reno bike co-op is expecting four truckloads of bicycles abandoned by Burning Man revelers, which will be fixed and recycled for use again next year.

A Montana newspaper doesn’t appear to be a fan of new Trump administration rules to allow ebikes on some National Park and BLM trails.

My favorite Scottish bike and bunny blogger takes a ride on Iowa’s 46-mile High Trestle Trail, so called because it takes you over a former railroad bridge.

A Fargo, North Dakota man is angry after getting hit with a special assessment on his home to pay for a new bike path, which the mayor says is needed to attract millennials to the city — even though it will cost him just $10 a year.

With Ohio bicycling deaths piling up, staff members for a Cleveland website debates what to do about it.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says New York Mayor and mostly ignored presidential candidate Bill De Blasio’s call for mandatory bike helmets isn’t the answer, suggesting this is how Vision Zero dies.

A New York mother faces charges after her five-year old special needs son was found riding his bicycle alone in the middle of the night.

So much for that whole pedtextrian myth. A new study from New York shows there is “little concrete evidence that…distracted walking contributes significantly to pedestrian fatalities and injuries,” to which the windshield-biased New York Times responds, yeah, but it’s still annoying.

A writer for the New Yorker says let’s just give up on climate change already, because the battle is already lost since people aren’t going to change their behavior. That’s the same kind of clear eyed, rational thinking that led John F. Kennedy to say, “Oh just forget it. The moon’s too far away anyway.” And Winston Churchill to tell the people of England “I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat and tears. So just fuck it and start learning German.”

The motorcycle rider who fatally shot a man on a regular Miami group ride was formally indicted on charges of 2nd degree murder aggravated assault; his lawyer says he’s never been in trouble before and is devastated to be behind bars. There’s a simple solution to that — just don’t shoot people. 

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says ebikes are great; buying them online, not so much.

Road.cc offers advice on how to pick the right bike cam. Which is your best protection against drivers and cops who blame you for a crash or blowing a stop signal you actually observed.

She gets it. An Ottawa columnist says the trick to a healthier population is designing public spaces in ways that naturally nudge people into moving around more without having to think about it.

Truly horrifying video of a 15-year old Toronto sidewalk rider literally getting run over by a pickup driver blowing out of a parking lot, who somehow didn’t notice — or maybe didn’t care — they’d just knocked him over; thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries. Be sure you really want to see this before you click on the link; even though he wasn’t seriously hurt, this one is very hard to watch. And to forget.

Powerful protest from the UK, as hundreds of Londoners stage a funeral procession through Trafalgar Square led by three horse-drawn hearses to protest bicycling deaths.

British police tell a doctor “that’s not my problem, it’s your problem” when it comes it bike theft, saying people understand that it’s not a big priority compared to other crimes. Except for the people whose bikes get stolen, of course.

In calling the Netherland’s Utrecht a “cycle-crazed” city, an architecture website demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of people’s psyches in the Netherlands. It’s not that they’re crazy about bicycling — it’s just normal. People hop on their bikes in the morning the same way most Americans walk to their cars.

Bollywood movie star Salman Khan is one of us, riding a bicycle through rain-drenched Mumbai streets to get to the set of his latest film.

 

Competitive Cycling

You know you’re having a bad year when a kitchen knife puts you back in the hospital; four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome severed a tendon on his thumb, just months after a major crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné knocked him out of action for most of this year’s racing season.

After a chaotic first week, no new lead changes in the Vuelta, as 24-year old American Sepp Kuss solos to victory in stage 15, notching his first long-range climbing win.

VeloNews says 27-year old Norwegian pro tour rookie Carl Fredrik Hagen continues to impress in his first Grand Tour, holding on to eighth in the Vuelta after finishing 18th in the Tour of Poland.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to hit a bike cop with your truck’s wing mirror. And who needs a water bottle when you can carry a six-pack and a spare on your bike?

No surprise it took an Aussie to figure that one out, either.

 

Morning Links: Failing presidential candidate calls for licensing bike riders, and CiclaValley to open LA River segment

Not exactly the best way to establish your climate change cred.

The same day CNN held their series of presidential candidate climate change town halls, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, who didn’t participate, said he’s considering requiring licenses and registration for bike riders.

And if that’s not enough to force New Yorkers back into their cars, forcing bikeshare riders to wear bike helmets should do the trick.

“We have to think about what’s going to be safe for people first, but also what’s going to work,” the mayor said of the helmet requirement. “Is it something we could actually enforce effectively? Would it discourage people from riding bikes? I care first and foremost about safety.”

Although if he truly cared about safety, he’d start by banning motor vehicles from Manhattan. And taking steps to tame them everywhere else.

Questioning whether 4th tier presidential candidate is trying to undermine his own city’s bikeshare system, Streetsblog succinctly captured their take this way —

De Brainless: Mayor Endorses Meritless Helmet and Licensing Requirements for Cyclists

New York’s Daily News summed it up best, though.

Whether or not he moves forward with the license requirement, the mayor said he plans to crack down on cyclists who break traffic laws, despite little evidence suggesting that bikes are a menace to public safety.

Maybe just he’s hoping that attacking people on bikes could boost his presidential poll numbers up to a full one percent.

Mandatory bike helmet photo by malcolm garret from Pexels.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew will be speaking at the official opening of a new section of the LA River Greenway — aka the LA River bike path — at 10 am today.

Look behind the Coffee Bean if you want to attend.

………

You still have time to call your state assembly member to urge the passage of SB 127, the state’s proposed Complete Streets bill.

CA Streetsblog breaks down exactly how Caltrans lied in an attempt to defeat the bill exaggerated its costs in their required estimate to state legislators by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog profiles new Caltrans Director Adetokunbo Toks Omishakin, saying he has a background in healthy living initiatives, Complete Streets and activite transportation with AASHTO, Nashville and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

So maybe there’s hope for the agency yet.

………

A live streaming bike rider in an undisclosed European city suffered a “brutal cycling accident” when he caught a wheel in some railroad tracks and fell off his bike, suffering a boo boo on his hand.

Maybe they define brutal just a tad differently over there.

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

A Stockton man is under arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon for intentionally using his car to attack a bike rider, who was able to jump off just in time to avoid getting hit; his bike was not as lucky.

The New York man with a long rap sheet arrested for intentionally running down and killing a bike-riding burglar says he was just trying to get close enough to catch the man, and blamed the victim for maybe doing something to mess up his brakes and steering. No, seriously.

………

Local

Looks like we won one for a change. Buried in an LA Times story about LA’s self-appointed anti-everything NIMBY extortionists Fix the City suing to halt the city’s Transit Oriented Communities program — which would stop much-needed affordable and market-rate housing — is the news that the group’s challenge to the Los Angeles mobility plan recently failed. That should free the city to finally get started on building bike lanes and safer streets. They should change the group’s name to something else with one more letter that also starts with F, which would be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Hats off to the Eastside Riders for installing a ghost bike for the still unnamed victim of the hit-and-run in South LA earlier this week.

Metro will start using automated cameras on the front of their buses to catch drivers illegally using the Bus Only Lanes. Maybe they could put them on all their buses to catch people parking in bike lanes while they’re at it.

 

State

A 78-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode though an intersection without yielding, and collided with an SUV. As always, the question is whether there were independent witnesses who saw him violate the right-of-way.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is proposing a road diet and bike lanes to tame dangerous Mission Blvd. It’s been 30 years since I lived down there, but Mission was a nightmare for bike riders and pedestrians then, and I doubt it’s gotten any better since.

The San Diego Reader rides the county’s 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail stretching from Oceanside to downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, though not all of it is paved.

Once again, a dangerous pass has taken the life of a bike rider, as a man riding in Fresno County was killed when a driver passed a semi and struck his bicycle head-on as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

The Stanislaus County town of Riverbank is adopting LA’s new permanent memorial signs to honor a fallen bike rider. With a little luck, maybe they will spread throughout the state.

Santa Clara County is considering a paved, 10-mile bicycle superhighway to encourage bike commuting.

Every first and second grader at a San Francisco school got a new bike, thanks to a Colorado nonprofit that’s given away 2,900 bikes to kids in low-income schools across the US. Make that 2,984 now.

 

National

Bicycling considers when, and when not to, wear bike gloves.

Financial website Market Watch considers the best bike helmets under $100. Which could come in handy the next time the stock market crashes.

Speaking of bike helmets, a new study shows drugs, alcohol and not wearing a helmet are frequent factors in e-scooter injuries — even though most of the injuries involved leg, ankle, collarbone, shoulder blade and/or forearm fractures, which bike helmets aren’t likely to prevent. And evidently, dangerous streets and bad drivers don’t play any role at all in e-scooter injuries.

Hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem anymore. A Denver-area man was killed when his bike was struck by two separate drivers, both of whom fled the scene, three minutes apart; police found what they believe is the first vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

A Minnesota woman got a minor miracle when someone spotted her stolen bike for sale on Facebook, and she arranged to meet the seller so police could swoop in and make the arrest. Which is exactly the right way to do it, without putting yourself at needless risk.

A researcher at an Ohio university used kitty litter panniers on her bike to ride around town and prove that squirrels eavesdrop on birds to tell when it’s safe to come out and find their nuts. Those are the same panniers my brother is currently using on his epic bike tour down the left coast, though I don’t believe he’s planning to eavesdrop on birds, squirrels or anything else.

Forget parking. The newest argument against a bike lane bordering New York’s Central Park is that it would cause problems for carriage drivers and their horses. Because really, what could be more romantic than forcing bike riders to contend with impatient drivers?

Police are looking for a Florida man who rode up to a bike shop on his bicycle, then left it behind and rode off with a customer’s $11,000 bike that had been left for service.

Apparently tiring of telling kids to get off his lawn, an anonymous Florida columnist says bikeshare bikes are an eyesore, and it’s a bicyclist’s own damn fault for whatever it was that happened to him. Or her.

 

International

A British woman had been up all night before she killed a bike rider while driving back home; studies show drowsy driving is as bad, or even worse than, drunk driving.

If there’s a major bike race in front of your building, you might want to hide your rooftop cannabis garden; although under Spanish law, it may or may not be legal.

Successive groups of Indian bike riders rode around the world nearly a century ago, each one inspiring the next — despite encounters with elephant herds and Amazon headhunters. Or deciding to drop out and stay in America.

Tokyo considers a government proposal to sort-of require bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without a penalty if they don’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says it was mixed results for the US team at the Mountain Bike World Championships, marked by grit and close calls, but no results. Admit it, you didn’t even know the mtn bike worlds took place over the weekend. Well, I didn’t, anyway.

USA Cycling hired former Olympic silver medalist and world champion Mari Holden to coach the women’s road cycling team leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing will encourage you to practice sprints like someone chasing you down the street waving a machete. What is it with bike-riding people — okay, men — wacking off in public lately?

And when your near drowning is captured on live TV.

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for Boyle Heights hit-and-run, new candidate for LA CD8, and bike stolen every 15 seconds

LAPD Central Traffic detectives are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Boyle Heights man lying in the street with severe injuries.

And the city is offering a $25,000 reward to bring the heartless coward to justice.

The victim was riding his bike east on Whittier Boulevard near Calzona Street around 10:20 pm last Thursday, when a speeding pickup driver traveling in the opposite direction lost control and swerved onto the wrong side of the road, hitting him head-on.

The man, identified by KNBC-4 as Gabriel Lopez, a 53-year old father of five, was pulling a kid’s bike trailer behind his bike. Fortunately, no one was in it.

Lopez was released after just four days in the hospital, despite suffering a fractured back, blood clot and numerous scrapes and bruises. And can’t feed his family until he can get back to work as a construction worker.

Which is likely to take a very long time.

Police are looking for a distinctive white 2011-2018 Chevrolet/GMC full-size pickup with a red front bumper and lower valance air deflector, black rims and a black bed cover. The truck may have a custom white rear bumper, and possible aftermarket headlamps and tail lamps.

The crash was caught on security cameras from two separate angles. However, be sure you really want to see it before you click play, because they’re not easy to watch. And you can’t unsee it once you do.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Central Traffic Division at 213/833-3713, or LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/486-0755; you can also email Det. Campos at 31480@lapd.online.

Let’s hope Lopez makes a full and fast recovery.

And the cops catch the jerk who did this to him.

Photo of suspect hit-and-run vehicle from LAPD. Thanks to John Damman and the LAPD Central Traffic Division for the heads-up. 

………

As long as we’re talking hit-and-run, City News Service offers more details on the march to honor 15-year old hit-and-run victim Roberto Diaz and call for safe streets in South LA.

Remarkably, Diaz has forgiven the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed him as he rode his bike in a crosswalk.

Which doesn’t mean he should escape justice, as the heartless coward is still missing, with a $25,000 bounty on his or her head, as well.

………

Which brings to someone who wants to help make those safer streets a reality.

Denise Francis Woods recently announced her campaign to represent South LA’s CD8 in the Los Angeles City Council, replacing Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

I offered her the chance to introduce herself to the bicycling community. Here’s what she had to say.

I am a life long resident of District 8 in Los Angeles, better known as South LA. I became aware of your site not along ago when Fredrick Woon Frazier was killed. I participated in a lot of the demands for change on several busy streets here, such as Manchester, to add efficient bike lanes. During those times I hadn’t even considered becoming a candidate, but over time, after not seeing any change in my community on many levels, I decided to take on the fight for social and economic justice for my fellow constituents.

I do not know a lot about the biking world. What I do know is that I’m an activist for doing the right things and fighting injustice for all. In regards to the biking world, I see a serious injustice in our local biking community here in South LA, where the bikers have not been given what is required in order to be safe while riding. As the councilwoman for the this district, I will make sure bike lanes are added to our major streets, in particular to Manchester, in honor of “Woon” and the other gentleman whom was also killed on Manchester recently.

Sounds like we could do a lot worse. Especially with someone who seems willing to listen and learn.

Then actually do something about it.

………

A new study from the Project 529 bike registry shows a bicycle is stolen in North America every 15 seconds — which works out to two million to bikes every year.

It also shows only 20% of those thefts are reported to the police. One reason just 5% of stolen bikes are ever returned to their owners.

Meanwhile, fellow bike registry Bike Index says they’ve helped recover over $8 million in stolen bicycles since 2013. And now they’re promoting stolen bike alerts on Facebook to help get more people on the lookout, and more bikes back home where they belong.

You can get free lifetime registration with Bike Index’s nationwide database right here on this site; Project 529 also offers free registration, though I don’t know what, if any, restrictions apply.

Best advice is to register your bike with every service you can to maximize your chances of getting your it back.

Especially if it doesn’t cost you a cent.

………

Be careful scanning those QR or bar codes for dockless bikes or scooters.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is looking for help fixing up a ghost bike and honoring 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year.

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

Company officials gave the “psychotic” driver of a Mr. Softee ice cream truck a stern talking to after he reportedly parked in a bridge bike lane and threatened riders who complained, telling him to “knock off the stupid stuff.” Yeah, that ought to do it. Sure.

………

Local

Streetsblog says the new ultra-modern suspension bridge over the LA River is nearing completion.

A new map shows block-by-block and hour-by-hour how Los Angeles belches smog into the air — and into your lungs. But sure, let’s keep fighting bikeways and alternative transportation, and demanding our God-given right to drive until we all die and take the Earth with us.

Area residents call for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd from East Hollywood to Dodger Stadium; the Sunset4All proposal would replace painted lanes with protective devices, improving safety while creating a prime bicycling corridor — and keeping parked trucks out. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

It was a rough summer at Orange County’s Chapman University, as three students died during the break — including Pablo Valdez, who was killed by a pickup driver while riding on Oso Parkway in Las Flores last month.

This is why you shouldn’t try to intervene if you see someone stealing a bicycle. A woman is on trial for first-degree murder for shooting a Bakersfield man who tried to stop her from stealing a bike. Call the police and let them deal with it. And take pictures or video if you can do it safely.

Maybe Facebook isn’t entirely evil, after all. Robert Leone sends word that the massive Menlo Park company held a free bike repair clinic over the weekend to get kids and adults rolling again.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 73-year old bike rider successfully tackles a hill climb challenge on NorCal’s Old Priest Road, a road so steep even the Amgen Tour of California said no thanks — and boasting an elevation gain of 1,630 feet in 2.5 miles, with a grade of up to 15.4%.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, Peter Flax turns fashion critic, concluding he was wrong about Primal’s bike jerseys being the Nickelback of cycling apparel. Although they have some new competition coming from Australia.

A new study shows spending time in urban green space — aka parks and trails — can make you as happy as Christmas Day. But is that Christmas as a kid when you got exactly what you wanted, or sad adult Christmas when your significant other dumps you and all you get is underwear from your folks?

Denver votes to boot e-scooters off the sidewalk and onto the streets, reversing the previous rules that required them to be ridden on sidewalks.

After officials posted notices urging bicyclists to use caution on a Denver-area trail, someone trolled them with their own — and better — signs.

A Kansas man was a one man crime wave, stealing a man’s car, cellphone and wallet, followed by making off with a woman’s bicycle, assaulting a police officer, and threatening to shoot up a bar.

In what may be the best video you see today, a 12-year old Oklahoma boy with cerebral palsy rides an adaptive bike for the first time, thanks to a Tulsa nonprofit.

Now that’s a good kid. A Northern Michigan girl is collecting cans to buy new bikes for less fortunate kids.

After a Columbus, Ohio boy’s bike was stolen from a friend’s porch after the first day of school, bighearted teachers at the school pitched in to buy him a new one.

A New York condo owner says a lawsuit from the building’s board intended to halt a Central Park West bike lane is out of order, because the board violated the building’s by-laws — and possibly state law — in not one, not two, but three distinct ways.

An ebike rider was critically injured in a collision with a 72-year old pedestrian  in New York’s Central Park; the pedestrian, who wasn’t seriously injured, was in a crosswalk, though it was unclear who had the right of way. Three other bike riders were injured within feet of the first crash site, suggesting the problem goes way beyond mere carelessness. Which didn’t stop a local TV station for blaming bike riders for an “alarming rise” in collisions with people on foot. Never mind who’s actually at fault. Thanks to Mike Cane for the tip.

A Lafayette, Louisiana man started a bike kitchen to keep fixable bikes out of landfills, after turning to one in Oakland when he was the victim of a home invasion and mugging.

 

International

Seriously? A Canadian driver insists there are no written rules for what bike riders are supposed to do when bike lanes end before intersections, apparently never having studied the rules of right-of-way. And that bicyclists put drivers in harms way by traumatizing them when we make them kill us.

He gets it. The founder and executive director of a Canadian transportation policy institute says “There is no war on cars. Everybody, including motorists, benefits from a more diverse and efficient transportation system.”

The Brits do have a way with words. An English bike rider calls new barriers blocking the entrance to a pathway a “potentially lethal abomination.”

Norway proposes spending $1 billion on bike highways through the hilly country.

Add this one to your coming bike bucket list. The European Union is helping to fund a 437-mile bike path though “the Amazon of Europe,” connecting Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Serbia. Hopefully this one isn’t on fire, unlike its Brazilian counterpart.

As long as we’re in the Balkans, Slovenia is creating the country’s first e-mountain bike bikeshare network in the mountainous Upper Sava Valley. If it’s a pretty as the picture, why the hell aren’t we all there already?

A Taipei, Taiwan paper calls for educating bicyclists, noting that half of all crashes involving bicycles are the riders’ fault. Which means that half of them aren’t. But oddly, they don’t call for re-educating drivers, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Colombia, where a 16-year old junior cyclist was killed when she was hit by a truck driver while riding home from a training ride with six other cyclists.

A Boulder CO paper offers a trio of photos — and a few more photos — of the “iconic mountains and cityscapes” from the recent Colorado Classic, calling it the only standalone women’s pro cycling race in the Western Hemisphere.

Retired Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi received a two-year ban for his role in a doping ring run by a German doctor; Austrian cyclists Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler both got four-year bans earlier this year for their involvement in the ring. But thank goodness the doping era is over, right?

American mountain bike world champ Kate Courtney looks back at her year in the rainbow jersey.

VeloNews says former elite runner Leigh Ann Ganzar has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the ranks of women’s pro cycling.

 

Finally…

Apparently, mediation is the ebike of the business world. No, you don’t have to lose your driver’s license to get an ebike, but it helps.

And forget Peter Sagan. It takes major skills to whack off while you’re riding.

Not to mention a callus indifference to going blind.

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Thanks to Denice H for her very generous donation to help defray the Corgi’s vet bills.

Your support is always welcome and appreciated, whether to help maintain this site, pay down massive corgi vet bills, or help get a new one…someday.

 

Morning Links: Eliminating car culture amid Vision Zero fail, and bike greenways at tonight’s Pasadena council meeting

Good essay by James Ramsey for Gothamist, questioning whether New York City should completely eliminate car culture.

It’s debatable whether New York City is a car town. On one hand, it’s obviously not — the majority of us take public transportation to work, cycling is at an all-time high, and there are people walking around at all hours of the day and night.

But the recent death of Jose Alzorriz, a 52-year-old cyclist from Park Slope, highlights a different reality about how the city is designed, and for whom…

But as economist and longtime cyclist Charles Komanoff wrote this week in an op-ed for Gothamist, the individual decisions of reckless drivers are merely the “proximate causes” of these tragedies.

“The wellspring of cycle fatalities lies deeper, in driving’s culture and sheer volume,” Komanoff writes.

Which is why he’s joining several prominent officials, most notably City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in saying we need to “break the car culture.” That means making it far more expensive to drive in the city; less placating of reactionary community boards (see the cases of the 14th Street busway, or the Central Park West bike lane); and taking away huge chunks of space currently devoted to free or cheap parking.

Komanoff goes on to add that ending car culture also means “placing public transit, biking, and walking at the center of all city planning decisions.”

Incrementalism isn’t enough, he argues. Adding a few bike lanes won’t “change the cultural assumption that cars reign supreme” in New York.

The same holds true for Los Angeles.

When the city was looking for public input on Vision Zero, several of us argued for the urgent need to break attitude that LA streets are for cars and the people in them.

And that Vision Zero would never succeed as long as the city’s longtime philosophy of autos über alles was allowed to continue.

Which was quickly agreed with. And then, like most bold steps in the City of Angels, promptly forgotten.

Instead, we got a weak-kneed call for drivers to watch their speed from the punter for the Rams.

Evidently, the city concluded the best way to change driver attitudes was to bore them to death, and start over with the next generation.

Like New York, we’re long past the point where incremental changes will make a damn bit of difference.

It’s time for bold action and real change from a mayor and council who seem afraid of both. Or more accurately, afraid of angry windshield-biased NIMBY voters.

That’s where genuine leadership and political courage must come in. Elected leaders willing to stand up and take the heat for changes the city must make if we’re going to survive the coming decades.

And that’s exactly what the city lacks right now.

………

If you live or ride in the Pasadena area, drop whatever you were planning to do tonight and head to the meeting of the Pasadena city council, where officials will discuss proposals for four bicycle greenways, aka bike boulevards.

  • El Molino Ave between Atchison Street and Bonita Drive
  • Wilson Ave between Washington Blvd and California Blvd
  • Sierra Bonita Ave between Washington Blvd and Colorado Blvd
  • Craig Ave between Orange Grove Blvd and Del Mar Blvd

Unless you were already planning to be at the meeting.

In which case, carry on.

………

Over a hundred people turned out for yesterday’s march to demand safer streets in response to a hit-and-run that has left a 15-year old bike rider hospitalized for the past three weeks.

At least it now looks like he’s going to survive.

………

Not only is former NBA star Reggie Miller one of us, he got a new gravel grinder for his birthday.

View this post on Instagram

YAASSSSSS it’s my Birthday, thanks @santacruzbicycles for the best gift EVER, my Stigmata CC.. Here on my new Santa Cruz Stigmata I’m rocking the new Sram Red AXS with the power meter integration into the front chainrings and a Kogel bottom bracket to keep it spinning. The gearing is 46/33 in the front and 10/33 for the cassette to get me climbing up the hills. Now to keep me rolling I’m on the Santa Cruz Reserve carbon rims laced to some Industry Nine torch hubs. For the tires I’m using the @vittoriatires 700x37c Terreno Zeroes and orange sealant to keep me from getting flats. For the cockpit I have some Easton bars and stem to keep me upright, to allow me to go the distance I have my Selle SMP Dynamic seat with carbon rails. Thanks @dropdeadzep for being the best Producer/Director of this video and @browncastle for the best bike fit and acting cameo.. Big ups to @nitrothomas and @incyclebicycles for fine tuning my new everyday machine.. Watch whole video on my IGTV.. 🎶 @wizkhalifa #BlackAndYellow #NewBikeDay

A post shared by Reggie Miller (@reggiemillertnt) on

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

Toronto bicyclists are turning to civil courts to confront road raging drivers after the criminal court system lets them down.

Three British teenagers have been charged with murder for ramming a popular, 18-year old taekwondo star and role model as he rode his bike in southwest London, then getting out and beating him as he lay on the ground.

Two Irish thieves rammed a rider to knock off his bicycle and into a ditch, then got out of their car and mugged him before taking off with his bike.

………

Local

The number of e-scooter riders ticketed by the LAPD is soaring, mostly for riding on the sidewalk — even before the Paul Koretz-inspired crackdown on sidewalk scooter riders began.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies ticketed 74 people during their recent crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, half of which were for distracted driving.

When Pomona police officers tried to return a young boy’s cellphone after it was stolen by older kids as he walked to school, they learned he was afraid to walk to class anymore. So the kindhearted cops surprised him a new bicycle, helmet and lock so he could ride to school, instead.

Active SGV considers LA County’s plans for protected bike lanes.

 

State

Yes, those cars with dark tinted windows are illegal in California. Which doesn’t mean they’re not out there threatening your life and safety on a daily basis.

Police are investigating a crash between a bicyclist and a motorcyclist in Rancho Santa Margarita that left one man dead; for a change, it was the man with the motor. Which does not make it any less tragic.

Sadly, a 48-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed his motorized bicycle into the side of a car while attempting to ride across a street; no word on whether he was on an ebike or one with a gasoline engine.

A Clovis woman apparently broke both arms and legs when she allegedly ran a red light and was struck by a driver.

The San Francisco Chronicle accuses Caltrans of trying to steamroll SB127, the Complete Streets bill that would force the state agency to consider the needs of all street users.

 

National

After the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed claiming “new left urbanists” want to use infrastructure to “make the masses conform to one vision of how to live — which unfortunately is hidden behind their paywall — a writer for Jalopnik responds that he never knew an op-ed could be so stupid.

A writer for the LA Times takes an ebike-aided bike tour of the Oregon Cascades. Which just happens to be where my brother is now on his solo bike tour across the west, except he’s currently on the coast.

Police, fire and EMS personnel rode 650 miles across Texas in eight days to honor fallen first responders.

After a homeless man stole a $10,000 road bike off a car rack, Tulsa OK police quickly mobilized to track him down, busting him a few hours later riding the purloined bike while carrying bolt cutters.

A Michigan man with muscular dystrophy will have to start over after his coast-to-coast fundraising bike ride to fight the disease was interrupted when a careless driver slammed into him and his riding partner with just 800 miles to go, leaving both with several broken bones; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see them. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse, but seldom is.

A Maine man is suing Ford for $1 million over a crash when he was riding his bike with his son. Not over the gardening truck that passed them, but for the the 50-year old Ford lawn mower in the back whose blade came off and nearly severed his leg.

If you’re riding a bike in Boston with a loaded gun in your pocket, try not to act so damn suspicious.

Hundreds of New Yorkers rode to honor a fallen rider and demand safer streets. And called for the city’s mayor to stop running for president and come back to deal with the recent rash of bicycling deaths.

A Philadelphia op-ed says taking steps to hold drivers accountable signals a change in the city’s pervasive car culture.

Philly goes all out for the city’s annual naked bike ride, and they’ve got the photos to prove it.

A Palm Beach FL columnist inadvertently shows how windshield bias can determine who gets blamed for bike and motorcycle crashes, pointing out that drivers get most of the blame in one county, and people on two wheels in the next. Even though studies show drivers are to blame in the majority of crashes.

A Florida woman is under arrest after slamming into a bike rider during her morning commute, then driving to work to begin her shift; she called her husband and asked him to return to the crash scene for her, but never bothered to call the police.

Seriously? After an older person complained about bikes in a Florida park, a city department ordered signs from — from Amazon, no less — banning bicycles in the park, knowing they weren’t official and couldn’t be enforced.

 

International

A pair of British Columbia bike thieves broke into a parking garage and made off with an $11,000 Yeti mountain bike, as well as another as-yet unidentified bicycle.

A 73-year old Victoria BC letter writer says he just rode in a new bike lane, and contrary to the usual hysterical reports, didn’t crash into any pedestrians, get hit by wobbly bike riders or run over by cars coming from a parking lot.

After a drunk, half-naked man got tossed out of an English supermarket, he grabbed a bicycle and tried to smash his way back in through the glass.

A British couple are riding over 3,700 miles to draw a bicycle across the face of Europe to call attention to the environmental impact of traveling by motor vehicle.

The breathless UK media freaks out over a man riding his bicycle on a “busy” street carrying a baby in one arm. For a change, they’ve got a point; a kid should always be in a child’s seat or some other type of safe child carrier on a bike.

An Irish government committee calls on the country to legalize e-scooters. Which means you could soon take a Bird to the Blarney Stone, or a Lime to Limerick.

Cargo bikes are becoming status symbols in Deutschland, as Germans turn away from electric cars in the switch to greener transport.

A Taipei, Taiwan committee calls on the transport ministry to prevent bike crashes, which they mostly blame on the people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News lists ten cyclists to keep your eye on in this year’s Vuelta, which kicked off on Saturday — including a rising young American rider for a change.

Twenty-two-year old American cyclist Chloe Dygert-Owen dominated the inaugural women’s Colorado Classic, winning all four stages, as her husband was 5,000 miles away in Spain competing in his first Grand Tour.

 

Finally…

Anyone can go biking on a mountain, but try riding a third of a mile under one. Are you a biker or a cyclist — or just someone who rides a bicycle?

And why ebikes burn like Jimi Hendrix’ guitar.

Morning Link: CicLAvia visits 3 out of 4 Hollywoods, 15-year old hit-and-run victim speaks, and the war on bikes goes on

By all accounts, Sunday’s Meet the Hollywood’s CicLAvia was another success for the open streets nonprofit group.

KNBC-4 said the event was the first CicLAvia to include West Hollywood, East Hollywood, Thai Town and Little Armenia, as well as the actual Hollywood, offering participants a carfree view of historic Hollywood icons.

Then again, Patch offers the exact same story, word for word, crediting City News Service as the source, which KNBC somehow failed to mention.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides his photos from the day.

Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti took part in the event, celebrating the Hollywood Great Streets project.

 

Except nothing of any significance has been done on the Hollywood Great Streets project, five years after it was announced.

Unless you consider a little improved lighting and a pair of scramble crosswalks a great street.

Because I sure as hell don’t.

Meanwhile a few other views of CicLAvia popped up on Twitter’s radar today.

And wins the Oscar for the cutest one of all.

But did he say “On your left?” Or even “On your right,” for that matter?

Unfortunately, thought, you’ll have to wait another two months for the next one.

……….

Fifteen-year old Roberto Diaz remains in “tremendous pain” two weeks after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, who dragged him the length of five football fields as he made his escape.

Diaz has endured a half-dozen surgeries just to stay alive after the driver hit him as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk — with the right-of-way.

And he has a message for the heartless coward who did it.

Without hesitation he says, “I just wanted to give a message to the person that did this to me… I just wanted to know why you do like what you did. You saw me. You hit me. You knew I was under there.”

“I remember everything,” Diaz says, “From like when I got hit. When I was stuck under there. I was just being dragged. I felt like all my air was being lost.”

Yet remarkably, he forgives his near-killer.

“I forgive him but I also want him to turn himself in,” he says, matter-of-fact.

Police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored four-door Honda, probably with damage to the front end.

Hopefully the standing $25,000 reward will encourage someone to speak up.

The story also notes that a bike race will be held this Saturday to raise funds for Diaz.

[Editor’s Note: A bike race is being held Sat. Aug. 24 with donations going to Diaz. Register time: 12:30 p.m., start time 1:30 p.m. Meet up at 35th and Maple. Starting point Jefferson/Maple – Ending point Angels Point]

If anyone has more information about the race, let me know; you’ll find my email on the About page.

………

Don’t try to ride an e-anything on the campus of San Diego State University, where “electric or motorized dockless scooters, bicycles, roller skates, hoverboards, skateboards and other micromobility devices” have been banned starting with the fall semester.

The Luddites at SDSU would probably even ban this one, too.

………

A British man set a new record for the fastest man on a bike.

Which is not the same as the fastest person, in this case.

Neil Campbell broke the 24-year old record for the fastest bicycle speed in an auto-assisted slipstream at over 174 mph, beating the old record by a full seven miles per hour.

But he still has a long way to go to beat the speed of American cyclist Denise Mueller-Korenek, who holds the women’s — and world — record at 189.3 mph.

………

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

It was nice while it lasted, but this unwanted feature once again rears its ugly head today.

After a man swerved his bicycle to avoid glass on a bike path, a road-raging Oregon driver followed him, then rammed his truck into his bike, got out and physically attacked him — until he realized a witness was calling police.

An Illinois bike rider was the innocent victim of a paintball drive-by when the occupants of a passing car shot him in the face with a paintball gun.

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

A Brooklyn woman was injured when she was hit by a red light-running bike rider while walking in a crosswalk with the right-of-way.

A Florida letter-writer says he suffered a broken jaw and numerous bruises when he was hit from behind while walking by a high-speed distracted bicyclist who was staring at his smartphone.

And sometimes the problem is both.

After a group of teenage bike riders surrounded a Long Island driver’s truck following a dispute, he ran over one of their bikes, nearly hitting some of the riders in the process. Naturally, the police only blamed the kids on two wheels for riding recklessly prior to the incident.

………

Local

Metro and the LACBC will be offering a free BEST class on the Rules of the Road in Gardena this Saturday.

A Sylmar nonprofit bookstore and cultural center won a $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to develop a plan to improve a one-mile bike and pedestrian path along San Fernando Road; they’ll get a chance to win another half-million dollar grant to actually implement the changes.

Santa Monica is gearing up for an open streets event of their own, with COAST opening two miles of streets to people — and closing to cars — on September 15th, along Ocean Ave, Colorado Ave and Main Street.

 

State

A San Diego TV station provides a preview of this weekend’s annual 25-mile Bike the Bay ride over the Coronado Bay Bridge.

San Diego is jerking Lime’s permit to operate within its borders after concluding the dockless e-scooter and ebike company hasn’t been playing by the rules.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a freight train. One more reminder to never go under, over or around crossing barriers or warning lights, even if you don’t see a train or one has just passed; there might be another one traveling in the opposite direction.

More sad news, this time from Healdsburg. A 61-year old former Huntington Beach resident died on Sunday, after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver last week; he’d been struggling to kick the bottle and get off the streets. Hats off to the Press Democrat for one of the most respectful stories I’ve seen about any homeless victim.

 

National

They get it. A writer for The Week says American cities need to phase out cars.

New Skip e-scooters come with swappable batteries to eliminate the need for daily recharging, making them more sustainable.

A Streetsblog writer says Denver’s 18-year plan to build out its bike network is unacceptable. But at least they’ve started work on theirs, unlike Los Angeles, which promised to complete its plan two years earlier in 2035. And has barely scratched the surface.

Meanwhile, Denver considers lowering speed limits to 25 mph to reduce traffic deaths; a local magazine questions whether it will really make a difference. Short answer, only if police enforce the new limit and drivers obey it.

A Fargo ND man reported finding syringes and needles strewn across a bike path. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day that ends in Y.

More proof of the danger rumble strips pose to people on bicycles, as a 72-year old Minnesota man was killed when he was thrown from his bike after hitting rumble strips while on a group ride.

Saying bikes can damage a skatepark, a Michigan town considers issuing misdemeanor tickets to kids who try to use their BMX bikes there.

We know the feeling. Curbed New York says achieving zero traffic deaths will require radical changes to the city’s streets, but they’re still waiting for that to happen. Sort of like Los Angeles, where city officials somehow seem to think making marginal changes here and there will somehow magically reduce deaths in the city.

A longtime Philadelphia lacrosse icon was killed while riding on a bike path on Saturday; unfortunately, no details are available.

A troubled 16-year old Georgia boy took part in a 500-mile ride through three southern states in an effort to turn his life around.

 

International

A British pair says a 12-year old girl would have been killed if she hadn’t been wearing her helmet when she was hit by a driver. Which is questionable considering she suffered a fractured skull anyway; it’s possible her injuries could have been much worse without it, but it’s also possible that the helmet somehow failed to protect her.

The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is the proud host of the world’s largest bicycle parking facility; the expanded facility can now hold as many as 12,500 bikes. Fortunately, there’s also video — in Dutch, of course.

Even in the Netherlands, elderly bike riders are at greater risk than their younger counterparts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising third-year star Lily Williams intends to show just how exciting women’s cycling can be at this weekend’s women’s-only Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Have a library card, check out a bike. Now drivers are trying to kill the dead, too.

And maybe the damn thing will wear hi-viz and a helmet next time.

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