Tag Archive for this is who we share the roads with

Chief Lunes cyclist dies in Vegas car crash, removing cops from traffic enforcement, and no 15-minute city in LA

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Between my diabetes, neuropathy and whatever the hell else was going on, Thursday was one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory.

Just one more reminder that I’m not in charge of my own body any more.

Which is a very hard thing for a formerly dedicated bicyclist to face.

And another reminder to see your doctor, improve your diet, and do whatever it takes to keep your blood sugar under control. 

Because you really don’t want this shit. Especially now

Photo by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

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Let’s start with some heartbreaking news.

Many of us got to know Spencer Sims, either directly or through sites like this, following the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA two years ago.

Like Woon, Sims was a member of the Chief Lunes cycling group, and was one of the leaders in the fight for justice for Frazier, as well as his mother and infant child, who was born after his death.

For well over a year afterwards, I got emails from Sims about the status of the case and the next moves in their battle for justice.

Sadly, I won’t be getting any more.

It took awhile to confirm, but Spencer Sims was killed, along with another man, in a single-car collision outside Las Vegas last week, when 19-year old driver lost control and the car they were riding in left the road.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

There were apparently no witnesses to the crash; a passerby reported finding the wreckage sometime later. Just a couple more sacrifices to the motor vehicle gods.

Now Woon’s mother will be even more alone and isolated without Sims looking in on her.

And he leaves this world without ever seeing justice for his friend and fellow rider. After a retracted confession and countless delays, Mariah Candice Banks, the woman accused of killing Woon in her high-end SUV, has yet to set foot in a courtroom for anything other than her arraignment.

Her long-delayed prelim is now scheduled for November 4th.

Sims won’t be there; let’s hope he and Woon are riding together somewhere. But maybe some of us can take his place.

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LAist makes the case for why we may not really need police to enforce traffic laws and curb traffic violence, suggesting there are effective alternatives like automated enforcement and self-enforcing street design.

This summer, a group of L.A. City Council members filed a motion calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and legislative officials to work with community members and report back on alternative methods of traffic enforcement, collision investigations and other traffic safety duties currently handled by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Some potential changes that will be explored: replacing LAPD officers with a “transit ambassador program” staffed by unarmed LADOT personnel and/or automated technology to monitor and cite drivers for speeding, illegal turns and other moving violations.

“Such a move would virtually eliminate the LAPD’s role in traffic stops, one of the leading forms of interaction between police and the public,” states the motion, which was filed by L.A. City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Herb Wesson.Breonna

It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read, well worth a few minutes of your time.

Because the current system really isn’t working for anyone.

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The C40 Cities — a group of 96 cities dedicated to taking action to fight climate change — says the concept of a 15-minute city is rapidly spreading around the world.

That’s the idea that you should be able to walk, bike or take transit to anything you need within 15 minutes of your home or office.

Except here in Los Angeles, of course.

Where the car continues to be king, nothing even slightly resembling a bike network exists anywhere outside of Downtown, and Metro just locked in major service cuts for at least the next year.

Never mind that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is the current chair of the Metro board. Not to mention chair of C-40 Cities.

Or are we not supposed to notice that?

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A truck driver floored it after encountering a Breonna Taylor protest in Hollywood, plowing through the crowd and seriously injuring a woman who was standing directly in front of his pickup.

That was followed by the driver of a Prius who forced his way through the crowd before being stopped and attacked with skateboards and bicycles.

A person was injured when a pickup driver plowed through a racial justice protest in Eureka, appearing to strike several people; the regional Coalition for Responsible Transportation condemned the attack.

A Milwaukee woman was injured when a driver accidentally hit her bike as she was riding on the wrong side of the road during a protest.

A Buffalo, New York woman faces charges for intentionally driving through a Bronna Taylor protest, seriously injuring a woman working as a bike marshal,

However, an Orange County woman flipped the script, seriously injuring two people by driving through a conservative, pro-Trump rally; 40-year old Long Beach resident Tatiana Turner was arrested.

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In a truly sickening action, a Seattle bike cop deliberately rolled his police bicycle over the head of a protestor lying prone in the street.

He was immediately placed on leave after the video surfaced, pending an investigation., while the victim decried the apparent disregard for human life.

Let’s hope this is the last time that cop wears blue.

A little further south in Portland, police threw an Uber delivery rider off his bike and hogtied him, even as he insisted he was just doing his job and had nothing to do with the protests.

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VeloNews follows along as five riders and a camera crew hope to inspire others with a 1,114-mile journey bikepacking tour exploring the Underground Railroad.

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Gravel Bike California goes riding in Puerco Canyon, as well as Latino Canyon and the iconic Rock Store.

For those Español challenged like me, that translates to Pig Canyon.

Just so you know.

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Slow Streets comes to Altadena, where most streets are, anyway.

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

A New York woman recounts her recent hit-and-run, describing a deliberate attack by a driver who knew he could get away with it.

Police are looking for a man who jumped off some rocks to attack two bicyclists with a bat as they rode on a paved trail through a Philadelphia park.

A Scottish cyclist reports an elderly “gentleman” tried to run him and another rider off the road, slowing down and swerving into them just after they completed a 31-hour, 560-mile ride. Although that pretty much defies any definition of gentleman I’m familiar with.

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

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who killed another man in an early morning bike-by shooting.

A defense lawyer in Canada’s Northwest Territories argues that his client was too drunk to form the intent necessary for murder, after killing another man following a day of bicycling in a drunken stupor.

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Local

Metro Bike is shutting down operations on LA’s Westside for a couple months starting today, as the system expands and unifies the Westside and Central bikeshare networks, as well as bringing in the popular ebike service.

Despite the budget cuts, Metro’s new long-range budget included plans to close the long-standing eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path, and provide better bike access to DTLA. Because evidently, those must be the only places anyone would ever want to go on a bicycle.

 

State

SoCal ebike maker Electric Bike Company has opened their first showroom in Huntington Beach.

A San Diego nonprofit is working with local small businesses to train young adults to work in the bicycle industry.

A Ventura man celebrated his miraculous recovery from a near-fatal mountain bike crash by paddle boarding 14 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor Marina from Anacapa Island.

Bay Area bike riders dropped Bike to Work Day and celebrated Bike to Wherever Day last week, instead.

San Francisco finally gets around to opening a carfree route through Golden Gate Park.

Seriously? A woman who was injured riding a Jump scooter in San Francisco has filed a class action suit against several e-scooter companies, including Uber and Segway, because…wait for it…no one warned consumers that scooters don’t have turn signals. No one tell her about bicycles.

 

National

How to access bicycling directions in the latest version of Apple Maps.

The former head of the League of American Bicyclists says it’s time to stop relying on commuter data as the primary measure to make traffic planning decisions, because there’s a lot more to transportation.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a small line of carbon ebikes that are a far cry from the road bikes he used to be known for.

Minneapolis’ Black-led Major Taylor bike club has been working for two decades to get more people of color on bicycles.

How to navigate your next bike vacation in the Big Apple.

 

International

An op-ed from The Guardian calls for media reporting guidelines for traffic safety, arguing that how stories are reported and the language used contribute to the dangers on our roads and how the law is applied.

He gets it. Another writer for The Guardian says denying a child the joys of riding a bicycle is an abdication of parental responsibility, adding “No video game, Covid-19 lockdown or computer simulation can replace the childhood liberation of being alone on a bicycle.”

E-cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities around the world.

Chances are, a 13-year old dog may have visited more countries by bike than you have, traveling through 26 countries on a two-year bike tour of Europe and South America.

Cycling Weekly directs your attention to the best eco-conscious bikewear brands.

Needless to say, Vancouver bike riders aren’t happy about the closure of a popup bike lane through a park, because drivers somehow insisted they needed two lanes each way for their cars. Yes, choosing cars over people in a park.

A bighearted Cambridge University academic replaced a speech therapist’s stolen bike, because they’d helped him so much when he was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment as a child.

An 11-year old English girl rode a tandem 70 miles with her dad to visit all 12 cricket clubs in the North Staffordshire area, raising more than four times her original goal of £500 for cardiac risk assessments for young people; she’s raised the equivalent of over $2,800.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British man raced competitively until he was 80, and still rides 150 miles a week.

A bike rider in the UK recorded 14 drivers traveling through a popup bike lane in just 35 minutes. Kind of makes you wonder how many went through it the other 23 hours and 25 minutes.

Forget CicLAvia. The entire city of Paris left their cars at home for one day for the city’s annual carfree day.

Parisian pedestrians find themselves competing for space with bike riders on the city’s busy streets.

France is introducing a new victim-blaming bike safety campaign as bicycling injuries go up with more people taking to the streets on two wheels.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. An Indian family is alive today because an anonymous bike rider was in the right place at the right time, leaping into action to pull them to safety after their car went off the road and into a natural drain before simply riding away afterwards; sadly, though, he wasn’t able to save the family’s three-year old girl.

Bicycling violations are up as in Japan as bicycling booms during the pandemic.

Malaysian bike riders take issue with a call from the country’s road safety institute to license bicyclists and require numbered plates, saying it would not improve traffic safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Julian Alaphilippe won the world road championships with a late attack, becoming the first Frenchman to wear the rainbow jersey in over two decades.

Anna van der Breggen continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s road worlds, as the country placed three of the four top finishers; cyclists from the Netherlands have won the event four years in a row. Van de Breggen claimed the time trial title, too.

Last week we mentioned defending champ Chloe Dygert was injured after wiping out during the women’s time trial world championships. Turns out that injury was more gruesome than any of us probably imagined.

 

Finally…

If he really was Lucifer, why would he need to steal a bike? Two hundred miles in 32 hours is pretty good — especially when you’re doing it on your daughter’s little pink girl’s bike.

And evidently, moose don’t like cars any more than people on bikes do.

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

G’mar Chatima Tovah!

LASD exonerates itself in Kizzee shooting amid calls for sheriff to resign, and e-scooters just ain’t the problem

No surprise here.

Nearly three weeks after LA County Sheriff’s Deputies shot and killed Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, the department held it’s first press conference.

Not surprisingly, it exonerated itself completely, even while multiple investigations are still ongoing.

And even as community activist Najee Ali accused the Sheriff’s Department of trying to “blame a Black man unjustly shot … for his own murder by his deputies” while speaking on behalf of family members.

According to a department spokesperson, deputies originally attempted to stop Kizzee for riding salmon, a crime that does not normally carry the death penalty.

Kizzee reportedly was carrying a gun that had been stolen in Las Vegas, which he was not legally allowed to have due to a prior felony conviction and a restraining order.

Deputies fired at least 15 shots after spotting the weapon when he dropped it, along with some clothes he’d been carrying.

However, after giving the deputies over two weeks to get their stories straight talk to investigators, the gun somehow went from the ground, as the sheriff’s department originally stated, into Kizzee’s hand as claimed in the new report.

Never mind that security video appears to show the deputies shooting at Kizzee as he ran away.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure what happened, since LA County Sheriff’s Deputies aren’t currently required to wear body cams.

But the shooting does raise questions, especially in a department where gang-like groups wear matching tattoos and call themselves names like the Executioners.

It doesn’t matter who Kizzee was, or whether he had a record. It also doesn’t matter that he ran from the deputies, or briefly tussled with one when they tried to tackle him.

For the crime of riding on the wrong side of the street.

What matters is whether the deputies had a legitimate reason to fear for their own lives, or that of the public, before opening fire.

Let alone whether the department can, or will, conduct an honest investigation of its own deputies. Especially under the current administration.

Because this one doesn’t begin to pass the smell test.

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On a closely related subject, the LA Times says LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly ignored subpoenas and attempted to dodge civilian oversight, is the best advisement for the need for “muscular” oversight.

In addition, several city and county officials are calling on Villanueva to resign, including LA Councilmember David Ryu and county supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

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CBS News says micromobility is proving increasingly deadly, citing 41 deaths linked to e-scooters, ebikes and hoverboards over a three-year period.

Which compares to roughly 112,500 people killed in motor vehicle collisions over the same period.

Admittedly, I’ve never been very good at math, but I’m pretty sure 41 is less that 112,500.

A lot less.

So which one is really the problem on our streets?

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Something is seriously wrong when you’re not even safe from cars and their drivers in your own home.

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Here’s one for weight weenies, as GCN investigates whether bike weight really matters in the Tour de France.

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

Police in San Diego busted a bike-riding arsonist who used “molotov cocktail-like devices” to repeatedly set shrubs on fire outside a police station.

Chicago authorities are on the lookout for a masked bike-riding groper who has assaulted several women.

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Local

The LA Times catches up with the founder of the magical Venice Electric Light Parade weekly bike ride.

A former LA city planner accuses Los Angeles officials of being closet climate change deniers in environmentalist clothing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a temporary halt to the Long Beach State Cycling Club, which is unable to keep riding under current university restrictions

 

State

Seriously? San Diego washed away a series of children’s chalk drawings supporting Black Lives Matter on a La Jolla bike path just days after they were finished, citing complaints that they were “hate speech.”

Santa Barbara is looking for a way for bike riders to coexist with pedestrians after the city closed a popular street to make room for shopping and dining while social distancing, which was also the spine of the city’s bike network.

 

National

The Idaho Stop Law is slowly spreading across the US, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

A writer for Bicycling says never mind the cliche about never forgetting to ride a bike, because the truth is, you never forget how good it feels to ride one. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out

Good question. Wired wonders why Uber wasn’t charged in the death of an Arizona bike rider who was killed by one of their driverless cars, instead of the admittedly distracted human behind the wheel.

A new study from Portland’s Alta Planning and Design says don’t cut corners on corner design to prevent unsafe turns by drivers.

A kindhearted Texas cop replaced a nine-year old boy’s bike after it was stolen.

An Arlington Texas police detective was released from the hospital following a crash that killed a fellow bicyclist when a driver plowed into the group they were riding with. But since the driver remained at the scene, it’s evidently okay.

A Houston reverend will bike 500 mies through Michigan to raise funds to fight hunger in Guatemala.

Martha Stewart is one of us, enjoying the coronavirus quarantine while popping her new line of CBD-infused fruit pate and riding her ebike around her 153-acre New York state farm.

He gets it. A New York assembly member says the state should subsidize ebike purchases to wean people off of cars. We need to start hearing that from California officials, too.

 

International

A Scottish bicyclist who was nearly killed in a Texas collision while riding across the US will attempt to set a new record for riding nonstop over 500 miles through the Scottish Highlands, taking aim at the existing record of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

Paris is the latest major city to announce that 31 miles of popup bike lanes that were installed at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown will be made permanent. That compares favorably to Los Angeles, which will make zero lanes permanent, out of the zero popup bike lanes that were installed. 

Here’s something you won’t see in the US. The king and queen of the Netherlands took a casual bike ride while meeting with local officials, wearing a suit, gown and practical pumps.

A Singapore letter writer says licensing drivers doesn’t seem to make them any safer, so maybe it’s not the answer for bike riders, either.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 600 pound gorilla that is Team Ineos finally performs as expected in the Tour de France, at least for one stage.

The president of Slovenia is pretty pumped that two of his countrymen could be standing on the final podium when the Tour gets to Paris.

The director for leading team Jumbo-Visma got the boot from the Tour after losing his cool when inspectors allegedly damaged leader Primož Roglič’s bike checking for signs of motor doping.

Defending champ Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands is out of next week’s worlds after crashing while leading the Giro Rosa

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made of wood. Seriously, don’t bite the guy whose bike you just stole.

And don’t put dog poop in Trump supporters mailboxes.

On a bike or otherwise.

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

Bike riders under attack around the world, pickup-driving Torrance racists, and PCH bike path closure above Ventura

This is who we share the road with.

A Utah driver faces a murder charge for deliberately killing a bike rider, smashing into him and dragging him down the road, then turning around and doing it again; his rage appeared to stem from living in the same building with the victim.

No surprise here, as a Cleveland man who tried to run over a group of bike-riding Black teenagers while hurling racial slurs has been indicted on charges of felonious assault and ethnic intimidation; he also robbed his own brother at knife point.

Unbelievable. A British driver who used his car as a weapon to attack a bike rider walks without a single day behind bars, because the judge doesn’t want to send anyone to jail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then there is this stunning attack stemming from the ongoing protests in Seattle.

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Closer to home, the danger comes from hate.

 

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Congress finally got around to approving the Great American Outdoors Act.

The bill creates an ongoing $900 million annual fund for conservation and address the massive backlog of maintenance projects in American National Parks and other public lands.

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Caltrans has announced a nighttime closure of the PCH bike path above Ventura.

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That cycling KOM you’ve been gunning for may be a goner, thanks to bored pros waiting for the season to gear back up.

Although some pros may be looking for something a little more challenging.

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Good point.

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No. Just…no.

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Bikes are good for soccer careers, too.

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Pink Bike looks at easy ways to tuneup your mountain bike.

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

See above.

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

A Texas man told a Target employee he could take whatever he wanted as he stuffed a pair of shoes and shorts into his backpack; police stopped him as he rode his bike nearby to tell him “No, you can’t.”

A road-raging British bike rider punched a 78-year old driver in the mouth, knocking out a tooth, after the driver stopped his car when the man made rude gestures and shouted at him as he passed him and his two kids. Violence is never the answer. But that kind of response from a man riding with his kids just might imply that the guy earned it.

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Local

Essential workers can get a free 30-day Metro Bike pass.

Pasadena is introducing Project Wheelie to bring a bike-matching service and basic bike repairs to low income residents who might not otherwise be able to ride a bike right now; it’s presented by public health nonprofit Day One in conjunction with the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Active SGV and the LACBC.

Speaking of Pasadena, the Rose City received a $150,000 state grant for a bicycle safety outreach program.

Construction has started on a new bike park in Santa Clarita.

 

State

Calbike and Streets for All are urging you to contact your state senator to support AB 3153, which would extend an LA-style bike parking law to the entire state, allowing developers to substitute bike parking for car parking minimums.

Electrek reviews the latest 28 mph offering from Newport Beach’s Electric Bicycle Company.

In another sign the coronavirus hasn’t made our streets any safer, San Francisco authorities say they’ve seen a significant uptick in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

An Oakland councilmember calls for ripping out the protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue. Apparently, increased retail sales and a 40% reduction in collisions is a bad thing now.

Volunteer members of the American Ski Patrol have traded slats for wheels, and will be patrolling the 32-mile American River Parkway multi-use trail in the Sacramento area. Maybe we can talk them into patrolling a few trails down this way, too. Because no one else is doing it.

 

National

Market Watch says cannabis, whiskey and mobile bike repair businesses are thriving during the pandemic. Now if someone would just combine the three they might really be onto something.

A Portland State University study says no, bike riders don’t slow down drivers on most urban roads without bike lanes. But try telling that to the next impatient driver who gets on your ass.

Ebike sales will continue to drive the bike boom through the end of this year.

Colorado bike rack and lock maker Rocky Mount barely survived the pandemic, thanks to a loan from the Payroll Protection Program, but the owner realizes it’s not over yet. Just to be clear, the pandemic is barely getting started; it’s going to be a rough ride for all of us before things get better.

After someone stole a three-wheel adaptive bike from an Iowa man suffering from non-verbal autism, an anonymous, kindhearted stranger took it upon themselves to replace it.

Three burglars broke into a Texas bike shop and cleaned it out, stealing 19 bikes worth at least $45,000. Schmucks.

An Arkansas woman describes how she kept mountain biking, even if her first ride ended up in the back of an ambulance.

A Wisconsin nonprofit has managed to donate 100 bicycles to people in need, despite reopening from the coronavirus lockdown just one month ago.

Dozens of Louisville residents took to their bikes to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, who was mistakenly shot by cops busting into her apartment on a no knock warrant.

Calls for bikemakers to stop making police bikes after they were used as shields and weapons by cops during the Black Lives Matter protests is putting a Massachusetts Black-owned police bike startup in an awkward position.

After bikeshare user Sarah Jessica Parker intervened on behalf of a 100-year old New York restaurant, New York’s mayor agreed to move a bikeshare dock so they could set up outside dining.

Philadelphia bicyclists will ride this weekend to honor three young men killed by drivers while riding their bikes, and send a message that “We are not expendable;” meanwhile, an op-ed from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia asks how many preventable deaths will it to make the city care about bicycle safety.

When life gives you a pandemic-induced Florida school closure, take a cross-country bike ride with your twin brother to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

 

International

Google Maps now offers live bikeshare availability for 24 cities around the world, including Los Angeles.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says the most important traffic safety technology is street design.

Heartbreaking news, as an experienced bike tourist was killed in a collision just as she was starting a two-month bike ride across Canada. Although it would be nice if the story didn’t wait until the next-to-last paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit her had a driver.

Turns out the Mounties don’t always get their man, particularly when the suspect is one of their own, who ran down a bike rider with his car.

Dooring a bike rider will now cost British Columbia drivers $368, after the province quadrupled the previous $81 fine. Which is still way too low, but at least it’s going in the right direction.

An Ontario bike rider was just nine miles from the finish of a 472-mile fundraising bike ride when he was attacked by hornets while crossing a bridge, nearly dying before paramedics could get to him. So naturally, he went back and finished the ride as soon as he was released from the ER.

They may be considered safe enough for US streets, but Great Britain says American SUVs are too dangerous for their roads. Those killing machines shouldn’t be allowed here, either.

British filmmaker and Madonna ex Guy Ritchie apparently isn’t one of us. Although he may be soon, after losing his license for six months after a bicyclist caught him on camera driving distracted.

An Irish cycling organization was upset they weren’t allowed to compete in the ’72 Olympics, so they just crashed the race and did it anyway.

When the US Army challenged soldiers stationed in Europe to ride a bike 1,000 kilometers — 621 miles — they probably weren’t expecting anyone to do it in 19 days, on a mountain bike.

Even in France, demand for bicycles is outstripping supply.

This Dutch bike may be the world’s longest functional bicycle. But just try finding a place to lock it up.

More on Germany’s new safety standards for e-cargo bikes, which should be expanded worldwide — including here.

Six-time Formula 1 world champ Lewis Hamilton is one of us, enjoying a shirtless and well-tatted mountain bike ride just days after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.

A bike rider in Kyiv, Ukraine says bike ridership has probably seen a ten times increase during the pandemic, even though riding in the city remains a deadly business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s WorldTour races are the latest to bite the dust due to Covid-19.

Britain’s erstwhile Team Sky, which changed its name to Team Ineos after a sponsorship change, will now be the the erstwhile Team Ineos, as it changes once again to Ineos Grenadiers to promote an upcoming brand of SUV.

Former WorldTour cyclist Peter Stetina’s shift to gravel racing is on the rocks after everything was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Austrian cyclist Georg Preilder got a one-year suspended sentence for his role in a German doping scandal uncovered last year. But cycling is clean now, right?

 

Finally…

No, turning a bicycle into a monochrome planter is not upcycling, in any sense. On the other hand, turning it into a mobile washing machine might be.

And don’t use gasoline to disinfect your cloth face masks.

And don’t smoke if you do.

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

Endorsing Nithya Raman in LA’s CD4, bike riding reporter attacked by police, and this is who we share the road with

With everything going on these days, it’s easy to forget we have a city council election coming up this November in LA’s 4th Council District.

Bike the Vote LA is reminding you to get involved in any way you can to support Nithya Raman in the runoff against incumbent David Ryu, who only managed to become a belated supporter of safe streets and other urban issues after winning less than 50% of the vote in the March primary.

Which means, in any normal year, he’d be facing the worst reelection prospects of any sitting councilmember in years.

But this is anything but a normal year.

If the above hasn’t made it clear, though, Raman has my wholehearted support.

Not just because Ryu has repeatedly failed to support safer streets until his reelection was at risk, but because she’s always supported bicycling and safe streets.

And not just when it became expedient in an election year.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

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Evidently, Portland isn’t the only place where bike riders and the press are under attack.

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This is who we share the road with.

And a British celeb says she hates bicyclists and threatens to run them over — including her own husband.

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GCN explains why you might want to ride with a hole in your saddle.

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Looks like Martha Stewart is one of us.

Although I’d be more convinced id she’s actually throw a leg over that downtube.

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Looks like bike polo goes back a lot longer than some of us may have realized.

Okay, maybe just me.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forwarding the tweet.

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

A bike-riding British woman was attacked with a stick in a “vicious and unprovoked attack” by the passenger in a passing white van.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the cruiser bike-riding man who sexually assaulted a woman on a Temecula bike path last week.

And he’ll be joined by the racist Calgary, Alberta bike rider who shouted ethnic slurs and spat on a couple.

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Local

Forbes is favorably impressed with the body positive women’s kits from LA’s Machines for Freedom.

The West Hollywood City Council will be voting today on a much needed proposal to create a neighborhood greenway on the Willoughby, Vista and Gardner corridors; Streets For All is calling for everyone to get their comments in before 4 pm today.

Late night talk show host James Corden is one of us, as he hits the streets of Venice for a bike ride with his son.

Long Beach called on city workers to “pursue and implement” a citywide Safe Streets plan, including lane reductions, separated bike lanes, and measures to encourage more walking.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to call your state senator to support AB 3153, which would allow developers to build bike parking instead of more spaces for cars; Los Angeles has had a similar law on the books since 2013.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured by an alleged intoxicated driver; police found a loaded syringe in the car and suspect he may have passed out behind the wheel.

You’ll have to wait another year to take part in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says it took a global pandemic to remind us that local bike shops are community lifelines. And just like that, I’ve already hit the new monthly limit of just four stories a month that was announced this past Thursday

Speaking of Bicycling, they recommend their favorite fat tired ebikes, with prices starting at just $1,199.

USA Today examines how the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom across the US.

Writing for Men’s Health, Peter Flax says everybody is riding gravel these days, even with just one leg.

An Anchorage AK reporter takes a ride on the 32-mile Moose Loop created by stitching together several existing bike paths; it gets its name because it sort of looks like a moose head on the map if you squint just right.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Wisconsin driver won’t face charges for running down a bike rider from behind; police blame the victim for not having lights on his bike, but the driver didn’t turn his on, either.

Ebike engine maker Bosch has teamed with Tern Bicycles, Stile Products, Inc. and Chicago’s B-Cycle bikeshare to provide dozens of ebikes and e-cargo bikes to Covid-19 aid groups in the Windy City.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a killer driver got a whole six months for taking the life of a man riding his bike — and he’ll only have to serve that on weekends. After all, they wouldn’t want to inconvenience him or anything.

The Boston Globe talks with basketball great Bill Walton about the sequel to the Bike for Humanity virtual fundraising bike ride this Saturday; the first ride raised over $100,000.

Sarah Jessica Parker is one of us, too, as the bikeshare user called on New York’s Citi Bike to move a docking station so a 101-year old restaurant could use the space for outdoor seating.

Steph and Ayesha Curry are two of us, going for a casual Orlando bike ride while they wait for the NBA season to resume.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the streets, as a drunken hit-and-run Florida driver who ran down a bike rider while driving at nearly twice the legal limit won’t spend a single day behind bars, and will lose her license for just one year.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike.

Road.cc says your next bike should be a mountain bike; meanwhile, hardcore mountain bikers are heading to he hills of Mexico City.

A Canadian woman raised $40,000 to fight honor her late sister and fight ovarian cancer by riding 3,666 miles across the country in just 20 days. Which works out to an impressive average of 183 miles a day.

Ottawa bike couriers are responding to the drop off in business by making weed deliveries during the pandemic.

Sadly, it took the death of a young German scientist with “limitless potential” for a Quebec city to improve safety for bike riders.

The Paris bike boom is not a happy accident, but the result of years of planning to cut rising pollution levels.

Berlin is opening new Bicycle Streets in a pair of districts, giving people on bicycles the right-of-way and requiring drivers to adapt to their speeds. Although they could still use a little work.

One in four Japanese bike commuters began riding to avoid crowds during the coronavirus crisis.

Strangers rushed to rescue a Chinese woman after she rode her bike into a puddle, and suddenly found herself in water over her head.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look like a very narrow shipping box with wheels and pedals. Raise your damn seat, already.

And now this is a fat bike.

………

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

Coronado driver hits 4 bike riders, racist attack on preteen bike rider, and Velo Club La Grange talks Biking While Black

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A man in Coronado plowed into four people riding their bicycles in a bike lane after having an undisclosed “medical issue” while driving.

Three of the bike riders were taken to the hospital, with injuries described as ranging from minor to serious.

The other rider declined medical treatment — as did the driver, even though he was unresponsive when police arrived.

So his condition is serious enough that he can pass out behind the wheel, but not so serious he needs medical attention afterwards.

And presumably, he was allowed to leave on his own, without so much as a ticket, despite putting three people in the hospital.

Because, you know, a medical condition.

Hopefully, someone will stop him from driving before it happens again. But don’t count on it.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

………

In yet another sign of the times we’re living in, a San Francisco man faces hate charges after assaulting a preteen boy.

The 12-year old victim was riding his bike to Walgreens with his friends when he stopped to help a woman who was sobbing in the parking lot.

It was then that 29-year-old Brendon Kruse “ran up to him and began screaming epithets,” according to SFist.

Though the victim’s friends ran away, the boy held tight — perhaps because Kruse prevented the victim from taking his bike — while Kruse continued yelling insults at him; Kruse at one point showed his lightning bolt and skull tattoos and explained to the boy they meant he “kills [plural n-word].” Kruse allegedly also threatened to kill the boy.

Kruse faces well-deserved charges for “criminal threats, child endangerment and false imprisonment with hate crime enhancements.”

Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough for someone who could do that.

And something tells me we know who made the woman cry, too.

Note, I would have linked to the original story in the San Francisco Chronicle, except for their paywall. 

………

While we’re on the subject of race, Velo Club La Grange, LA’s longtime leading cycling club, is taking a big step towards understanding what it means to bike while Black in the City of Angels.

On Tuesday, July 7th at 7 pm PT, La Grange will be hosting a virtual Town Hall where a number of local Black cyclists have agreed to share their perspective and experiences and then engage in an interactive question and answer session. The Town Hall is open to all. We invite you all to attend and hope you will join us for this critically important conversation. Please feel free to share with fellow cyclists and anyone interested!

The Town Hall meeting will take place online on Tuesday, July 7 @ 7pm; click here for access to the Zoom meeting

You can read the club’s Full Anti-Racism Statement here

Thanks to Jaycee Cary for the heads-up.

………

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum takes a look at the problems faced by Black bike riders in the US, and how bicycling could help drive racial equality, saying “It is time to dissociate racialist culture and bicycle culture; cycling in itself is agnostic to any culture.”

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle man faces two counts of vehicular assault for driving the wrong way up an offramp, around a road closure barrier installed by the state police, and onto a freeway that had been closed for a protest over police brutality.

He swerved around several cars that had been parked across the roadway to serve as barricades, and slammed into two of the protesters.

Twenty-four-year old Summer Taylor was killed, while another person remains in serious condition at a Seattle hospital.

No word yet on why he did it.

But we can probably all take a guess.

………

A Friday town hall will discuss SB 288, a California state senate bill that would exempt bike and pedestrian projects from CEQA requirements.

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David Drexler forwards this opportunity to put your favorite transportation modality where your mouth is.

No, literally.

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Forget bike polo.

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

Horrible story from the UK, where a woman riding a mountain bike was attacked and severely beaten by a 60-something man wielding a six-foot long stick. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

Local

CicLAvia is now part of the Highline Network, which credits the organization with building a “unifying social fabric,” rather than permanent infrastructure.

 

State

She gets it. A Bakersfield columnist says the Slow Street movement slowly making its way through the state could change our cities for the better, permanently.

No surprise here, as the annual Sea Otter Classic has gone virtual for 2020.

A nearly $25 million state grant will build 74 low income apartments in Modesto, as well as rail improvements and a new 1.5 mile, high-quality bike path.

Tragic news from San Raphael, where a 36-year old man was struck and killed by a train after falling on the tracks when he reportedly rode through the crossing gates. Never do that, no matter how big a hurry you’re in or how tempting it is.

 

National

Senate leader Mitch McConnell calls the bike-friendly US House infrastructure bill a “Green New Deal masquerading as a transportation bill.” Works for me.

Streetsblog looks into the bill, and offers four things they think every advocate of sustainable transportation should know. Unfortunately, the bill is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate as long McConnell is in charge.

Dump the woodie, and strap your board to your “uncool” ebike the next time you head out to surf.

A new clip-on device promises to add turn signals to any bike helmet; you can preorder it on Kickstarter starting at the equivalent of $51 for the next few days.

A Catholic paper briefly explains how the Madonna del Ghisallo became the patron saint of bicyclists, amid a story about the patron saints of various summer activities. Never mind that many of us don’t just ride in the summertime  Still, a little devine intervention couldn’t hurt; I never ride without my helmet, or my Madonna del Ghisallo medal.

Maybe there’s hope after all. Tacoma, Washington has repealed a 26-year old ordinance requiring bike helmets for all bike riders. Which only leaves another 20 or so cities in the state to go.

About damn time. A new Colorado law gives bike riders the right of way in bike lanes, requiring drivers to yield to people on bicycles. Which seems like an obvious thing, but apparently isn’t. At least not as far as California is concerned.

A South Chicago Bike Out rolled to protest a decision to keep cops in schools, as well as another to allow a scrap metal recycler to move to the area.

The New York Times considers whether the city is finally on the road to becoming a bicycling city, while a 102-year old Queens bike shop struggles to keep up with the pandemic bike boom.

The Guardian looks at the Black-led groups that are biking against racism in New York.

The Bike League bizarrely named Florida the nation’s tenth most bike-friendly state — despite consistently being the nation’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians. Apparently, it’s a great place to ride a bike, if you survive.

 

International

CyclingTips explains why the dreaded speed wobbles happen when you’re descending. And more importantly, what to do about it.

The Business Times says bicycles are edging cars off the streets of Europe as the coronavirus accelerates a shift away from motor vehicles.

The bike boom has hit Mexico City, too, with new riders taking to a network of popup bike lanes on major arteries throughout the city, to minimize one-on-one contact on public transportation. Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, home to the world Climate Mayor, <crickets>. 

A Winnipeg, Manitoba business is confronting Covid-19 by paying its employees $50 a month to bike to work.

After inexplicably destroying tens of thousands of Jump bikes around the world, new owner Lime is reintroducing the dockless ebike system to London.

Six years after losing her leg — and nearly her life — when she was hit by a distracted truck driver, a 28-year old London woman is riding a bike for the first time by using a three-wheeled adaptive handcycle.

An English man in his 70’s was critically injured in a collision with a bike rider. Pedestrians can be unpredictable, and very fragile. So always ride carefully anytime they’re around.

The auto-centric UK lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole accuses government officials of rushing through plans for a one-year e-scooter pilot program. Even though the country is over a year behind the rest of the world.

No bias here. A Scottish columnist tosses told water on Vision Zero, saying the only way to prevent traffic deaths is to ban cars, which he says is no more realistic than banning kitchen knives to prevent stabbings. Yet the example he uses is a 91-year old driver who killed a three-year old boy outside a toy store, as if nothing could have been done to ensure someone that old could safely drive car.

After walking out of the hospital, British BMX champ Jason Bynoe thanked the medical staff who cared for him after he somehow ended up under his car when he swerved to avoid a deer; he suffered multiple fractures, as well as horrific road rash, and feared he would never walk again, let alone compete.

It’s not just an American problem. A popular Spanish bicyclist was run down and killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver who left him to die in the street.

Turkish actor Engin Altan Duzyatan is one of us, and so is his four-year old son.

He gets it, too. The German ambassador to Pakistan urges the country to get on its bicycles.

A joint city and state committee was formed to examine bicycle safety after a Brisbane, Australia woman was killed riding her bike, just feet from the hospital where she worked.

An Aussie mountain biker was lucky to survive falling over 30 feet down an unmarked mine shaft. And needless to say, he’s planning to sue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Belgium, where 20-year old amateur cyclist Niels De Vriendt died of a heart attack, after crashing in the country’s first bike race following the coronavirus lockdown.

Disappointing news, as SoCal’s Over the Hump mountain bike racing series has been cancelled for this year.

The NTT cycling team holds the lead in the pretend Tour de France currently taking place on Zwift, as France’s Julien Bernard took the pretend second stage.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to rob a man to steal the bike he’s walking, make sure he isn’t walking it because the tire is flat. Going for a bike ride while suffering from Covid-19 may be the best argument yet to require helmets for MMA fighters.

And evidently, cars have been around a lot longer than we thought.

………

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

SoCal trails finally reopening, LA traffic cop menaced by Lyft driver, and the war on bikes goes on…and on…and on…

Things are finally starting to open up a little after nearly two months of coronavirus closures in Southern California.

Los Angeles is reopening parks and trails, except for popular Runyon Canyon and the beachfront bike path.

Long Beach is opening up trails this weekend, with the beach bike path through the city set to open on Monday.

Mountain bike advocacy group CORBA reports that LA County trails will be opening this weekend, after Ventura County trails opened earlier in the week.

While LA beaches remain closed, beaches in San Diego and Orange County are opening up for physical activities only; check to make sure the path or trail you want to ride is open before you go.

Remember to maintain social distancing when you ride, particularly on narrow trails. We’ve already seen how quickly things can be closed if we don’t.

And wear a mask if you’re likely to come near other people.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles traffic cop is suing Lyft, alleging that one of their drivers followed and menaced her, while blocking her car in for several minutes before police arrived.

All because she had the audacity to ticket him for parking in a bike lane.

And to make matters worse, he had a paying passenger in the car the whole time he was losing it and threatening her.

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A webinar later this month will teach advocates how to present a compelling story to help get the word out more effectively.

………

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

A Portland bike rider was shot in the arm by a road raging driver after tapping on the window of the man’s SUV that was parked in a bike lane.

An Amarillo TX driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider who tried to intercede in an argument between the driver and a woman.

No bias here. An anonymous, 80-something British letter writer complains about “arrogant self-opinionated (bike) riders who seem to have no regard for others, laws of the Forest or common decency.” There’s no disputing that some bicyclists are jerks — just like any other form of humanity. But painting with such a broad brush doesn’t help anyone.

Someone deliberately sabotaged a British bike trail by burying several nail-spike boards, which could have caused severe injury if a kid walked on the trail or a bike rider fell on them after suffering a flat.

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Local

A former LA city planner says the city’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate, despite fast-tracking street repairs during the coronavirus lockdown.

DTLA’s dangerous 7th Street is set to get temporary protected bike lanes as an interim test for permanent, curb-protected bike lanes down the road. Let’s hope this one has enough barriers to keep drivers from parking in it, like they do in other downtown “protected” lanes.

Bike Walk Glendale calls for Slow Streets in LA’s neighbor to the north. Or east, depending on your perspective.

Let’s hope this report isn’t right. A Santa Clarita bicyclist was busted for riding under the influence, after blowing a red light with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit. An sheriff’s deputy says the bike rider was cited for driving under the influence, which does not apply to people on bicycles; California has a separate law (CVC 21200.5) prohibiting bicycling under the influence, with a maximum fine of $250 and no points against your driver’s license.

Santa Monica responds to Covid-19 budget cuts by slashing nearly 400 staff positions, as well as the city’s Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

 

State

Streetsblog is hosting a virtual walk-or-bike-athon to raise funds for Streetsblog California and the California Association of Foodbanks.

SoCal bicycling guidebook author Richard Fox expounds on the joys of having the pathways of Palm Desert’s closed Desert Willow golf course all to himself.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Porterville teenager is dead, after getting run down on his bike by a 23-year old hit-and-run driver who was already on probation for a previous DUI; the driver had apparently disabled a required interlock device on his car. A DUI arrest is usually the tip of the iceberg; it’s seldom the first time someone has driven drunk, just the first time they got caught. Which is why any DUI should lead to an automatic loss of license.

The executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says the city is passing up on an opportunity by refusing to install Slow Streets for social distancing. Just like Los Angeles is.

Great idea. San Jose bicyclists will fan out across the city this weekend to distribute flats of seedlings to people in need, so they can begin a vegetable garden.

The San Francisco Ride of Silence scheduled for later this month has been postponed to an undetermined date; no word yet on the status of the LA, Orange and Ventura County rides.

A Vacaville man was busted for bike theft after a bike shop worker spotted him riding a customer’s stolen bicycle.

 

National

Popular Science — yes, it still exists — says Slow Streets not only allow for social distancing, but can prevent traffic surges when cities reopen, and could result in permanent bike-friendly changes. Except in Los Angeles, which is squandering yet another opportunity to improve safety and do something about the city’s crushing traffic and smog.

Lime buys out the competition, and is now the proud owner of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes and scooters, after the rideshare provider unloaded them to offset a portion of their massive $2.9 billion in losses due to Covid-19.

Cycling Tips talks with the founders of Strava about how it got to be, well, Strava.

VeloNews considers when a bonk could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Portland has installed the first one hundred traffic diverters for their Slow Streets program. Which is about one hundred more than Los Angeles.

Not only is Seattle installing Slow Streets, but the city is planning to make at least 20 miles of them permanent.

Slow Streets are proving successful in Salt Lake City, as they move forward with closing additional streets for bike and pedestrian traffic.

Bruce Willis’ six-year old daughter is now one of us, too, after learning how to ride from her half-sister Rumor while the mixed family isolates in Idaho.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle calls for more bike lanes for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Paul MN business owners lost a fight to delay installation of a new bike lane, arguing that the parking spaces that would be lost are needed for take-out customers and delivery drivers during the coronavirus crisis. For a change, they may have a point; while bikes are good for retail businesses — especially bars and restaurants — it helps if they’re actually open to the public.

An occasional bike rider discovers how helpful bicyclists can be, when not one, not two, but three separate Good Samaritans stop to help when he suffered double flats on a Missouri bike trail.

Seriously? A nine-year old Palm Beach kid gets the blame for the crash that killed him; authorities claimed he was momentarily distracted before riding his bike into a construction front loader — even though he managed to leave a five-foot skid mark on the sidewalk. After all, no tractor driver would ever miss a little kid on the sidewalk before turning in front of him, right?

 

International

The demand for bicycles has spiked around the world, both real and stationary. And yes, I did resist the temptation to say pretend.

Apparently, wealthy people are panic buying Pelotons. But don’t forget the indoor cycling shoes. Yes, that’s a thing now. Really.

For those of us with somewhat smaller budgets, Road.cc rates fourteen of the best indoor turbo trainers.

A British Columbia writer proposes paying people not to drive to keep traffic from roaring back once the lockdown ends.

An English cop has been suspended for punching a black bike rider after accusing him of stealing his own bicycle, even though it wasn’t the same color as the missing bike; the same cop kicked a boy in the head a day later.

British world heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is one of us, too.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proclaiming a new Golden Age of cycling, promising full details over the weekend.

A Korean bicyclist is sheltering in Guinea for the next several months after getting caught in the country during the coronavirus outbreak, two years into a round-the-world bike tour — and is shunned by hotels because he is Asian.

A stoned New Zealand driver was sentenced to a measly 26 months in jail for killing a bike rider, nine years after her own son was killed by a drunk driver. Apparently, she didn’t learn anything from her own experience.

A little Aussie boy escapes his dad’s grasp and rides out directly into the path of a roadie, taking them both out.

 

Finally…

Play a little virtual bike tag while you’re under lockdown. Do your next club ride on a rare mid-2000s Colnago time trial bike, or maybe a brand new 1995 BMX.

And nothing to see here. Just Spider-Man on a Penny Farthing.

https://twitter.com/Artfrombikeshed/status/1258501543868993536

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A belated and heartfelt thank you to Mark J for his unexpected Giving Tuesday donation to help support this site. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, so it came as major morale boosting surprise. 

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

A foster corgi’s 15 minutes of fame, anti-bike lane bias in San Diego, who we share the road with, and sax on two wheels

Before we get started, the LA Times City Beat column about the corgi we’ve been fostering, and the homeless man who wanted him to have a better life while he got back on his feet, is online now.

It’s the story of a traumatized dog who slowly got his smile back, and made friends out of three people who probably would have never met under other circumstances.

And helped all of us get to a better place, while we thought we were helping him.

There’s also an unmentioned bike angle to the story. The corgi’s owner is one of us, and commuted by bike by choice for years before it turned into his only form of transportation. 

Take a few minutes to read it, because it’s probably the most moving thing you’ll see today. Or this week, even. 

After you read the story, if you want to help, you can donate to the foster corgi and his owner here.  

And thanks to Nita Lelyveld for telling it so well. 

………

No bias here.

A San Diego writer complains about an uphill bike lane that apparently doesn’t inconvenience anyone, because he can’t imagine anyone but a “colony of fit Europeans preparing for the Alps leg of the Tour de France” ever using it.

As if it’s possible to go very far in San Diego without going uphill.

And he considers it a poor substitute for the jet packs his generation was promised.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Washington state driver reportedly drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway when she took her eyes off the road to light a cigarette. And when she looked up, saw she was about to hit a man riding a bicycle.

So rather than do the sensible thing and jerk her car back to the left to avoid him, she jerked the wheel directly towards him, apparently preferring to slam into the squishy person on a bike over maybe hitting something hard, like another car.

Then kept going until she crashed into a sign and a barrier, without ever touching her brakes.

Let’s say that again. In this entire process, she never put her foot on the brake pedal to maybe avoid hitting another human being.

The 56-year old man on the bike suffered a broken leg and hand, a concussion and facial cuts. But can probably count himself lucky that he’s still be here with us.

Meanwhile, the 19-year old unlicensed driver faces a well-deserved charge of vehicular assault, for showing a disregard for the safety of others.

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This is who we share the road with, too.

………

Great piece from the UK, where a Welsh writer offers ten things drivers will never understand about people on bicycles.

Flip the road references from left to right, and it applies just as well right here in the states.

I particularly like this simple, but effective, explanation for why we sometimes wear spandex. Or Lycra, as the rest of the English-speaking world calls it.

7. I’m not trying to be all ‘Tour de France’

Please don’t make fun of my lycra – I know you don’t have to wear lycra to ride a bike. But when I’m doing 50-100 miles, lycra and padded shorts really are essential.

Cycling jerseys, cycling shorts and cycling shoes are actually functional – they’re not about looking like you think you’re in the “Tour de France” (because, firstly, there isn’t a women’s one) – they just make the rider more comfortable, and thus more capable, and safer.quick-build project

The rest is just as good, and worth a few minutes from your day.

………

A reminder to get yourself a good lock — and always use it.

And register your bike, already.

………

So you think you’re talented on a bike?

………

Why indeed?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for forwarding what he calls a “cheeky” Cape Town, South African wayfinding sign.

………

Local

Not only is Christian Bale one of us, he can ride the mean streets of Brentwood with one hand, while balancing a tray of hot coffee in the other.

Santa Monica stats show that the number of bike and pedestrian crashes are going down in the coastal city, even though deaths are up slightly.

 

State

A change to the state’s Active Transportation Program may shift funds to more quick-build projects that can transform streets simply and inexpensively.

UC San Diego finally completes a long promised bike and pedestrian bridge connecting grad students with the rest of the university. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. Also for the correction, after I misplaced the bridge as being at San Diego State. But at least I got the city right, right?

The CEO of Morgan Hill-based bike brand Specialized discusses his promotion of ecstasy, psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs to treat depression, trauma and addiction, as well as using bicycles to relieve ADHD. Or you could just combine them to celebrate next month’s Bicycle Day

Sad news from Palo Alto, where a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike on Friday.

Sunnyvale wants your input on the city’s draft active transportation plan. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Apparently having never heard of induced demand, a Marin paper calls for allowing drivers to use the new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during peak traffic hours, saying an average of 116 bikes per weekday doesn’t compare to 80,000 motorists. Even if those 116 people are riding in the middle of winter, on a bridge with no connecting bikeways yet.

A Sacramento woman has filed suit claiming a bike cop broke her leg by inexplicably ramming his bicycle into her during a protest over a police shooting.

 

National

Bicycling says NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson could become bicycling’s biggest advocate as he nears retirement, after becoming a two-wheel evangelist among his fellow drivers and mechanics.

Pickups and SUVs are getting so big, they’re outgrowing the spaces to park them in. As every bike ride who’s had to go around one, or felt the implied threat of a massive truck revving behind them, can attest.

A 13-year old Oregon boy and his friends have refurbished and donated more than 600 bicycles in the past five years, starting when he was just eight years old.

No bias here, either. An Arizona letter writer says he hates California expats because he can’t stand their politics, and blames them for a curb-protected bike lane he doesn’t like, either.

The death of professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag last Wednesday sent shockwaves through the southern Colorado bicycling community, causing other riders to recall their own close calls.

Now here’s the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting we all can benefit from, as a Dallas writer explores the city’s best breweries for bike riders.

A Minnesota hospital gave children with disabilities a chance to sample adaptive bikes, and experience what it’s like to ride a bicycle.

A University of Michigan lecturer says America’s aging population needs walkable, bikeable cities. And not just the people running for president.

Good Samaritans in Brooklyn chased down and tackled a van driver who fled the scene on foot after running down a woman on her bike.

A New York woman is suing a New Jersey heliport operator, alleging a rising helicopter blew her off her bike and into a wall.

Awful news from Maryland, where a driver plowed into a group of seven bicyclists, including the president of a local bike advocacy group, injuring two riders and killing one.

A pair of kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his bike was stolen, along with his mom’s bike.

He gets it. A Florida columnist says don’t accept and shrug off bicycle and pedestrian deaths, because the status quo is unacceptable. Or obscene.

A Florida man became a suspect in the burglary of a 97-year old woman’s home when his fitness app showed he was frequently in the area. Because he, you know, lived there.

 

International

A writer for Pinkbike marks International Women’s Day by considering how to get more women to work in the bicycle industry.

An urban governmental website wonders if Great Britain needs stronger regulations for ebikes, while e-scooters are still prohibited.

Convictions for dangerous driving are soaring in the UK, thanks to videos submitted to police by bike riders and others. That’s currently illegal in California, where police officers are required to witness a violation themselves before they can ticket a driver or file a misdemeanor charge. Just one more law we need to change.

Apparently, British social media runs slow, as a driver just now posts video of a young woman on a bike drifting across a busy highway back in September.

A Nigerian man is biking across the width of Africa to perform the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, after repeatedly dreaming of routes across the continent.

The streets were dotted with naked Kiwis on wheels as the 2020 World Naked Bike Ride kicked off in New Zealand. Cape Town, South Africa joined in on taking it off, as well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite rising fears over coronavirus, the eight-stage Paris-Nice race kicked off from the outskirts of Paris on Sunday. If you had Maximilian Schachmann in a sprint for the first stage, you win. And so did he.

Meanwhile, French cyclist Warren Barguil got the boot from the race for drafting on his team car following a spill. Proving that doping isn’t the only way to cheat.

 

Finally

What 007 would ride if he rode an ebike. Clearly, bike theft is nothing new.

And seriously, if you’re carrying weed and ecstasy on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign.

 

LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

………

Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

………

Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

………

Enough said.

………

Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

………

The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

………

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

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

Garcetti orders bold climate plan, couple killed by drunk driver on Goleta bike path, and Corona DIY hit-and-run investigation

Maybe he means it this time.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive yesterday to enhance portions of the city’s Green New Deal.

Which would be a big deal, if he actually follows through this time.

There’s a lot to like in the plan. Starting with a commitment to active transportation; according to My News LA, the plan would

— promote walking, bicycling and micro-mobility with a comprehensive citywide network of active transportation corridors, including protected bike lanes, paths along regional waterways and low-stress neighborhood bike improvements;

The order also calls for more cool streets and roofs, a congestion pricing pilot program, zero emission buses, and increasing transit speeds by 30% in the next ten years.

More importantly, it calls for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled through expanded use of transit, walking, bicycling and micromobility.

And of special interest to many of us, more frequent open streets events.

But as always, the devil is in the details.

It remains to be seen whether that implementation plan for an active transportation network means we’ll finally get around to building out the hard-won 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously passed by the city council when Garcetti was still council president.

Or if they intend to re-invent the wheel yet again, with or without our input.

Curbed reports the mayor at least struck the right sense of urgency.

“Can we make this happen?” Garcetti asked Monday, speaking broadly about the city’s sustainability goals. “We don’t have a choice.”

But they added —

It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to achieve one of the key goals laid out in the city’s Green New Deal: A nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of miles LA residents drive daily.

Although it’s not a bad sign that the NRDC is on board with it.

The problem, of course, is that we’ve been here before.

Any progress on the bike plan, or the mobility plan that subsumed it, ground to a near complete and total stop after Garcetti took office as mayor.

And any real progress on the mayor’s own Vision Zero plan came to a halt the first time drivers complained about a road diet.

The result that not only have bike and pedestrian deaths not declined by 20%, as the plan called for by this year, they’ve actually gone up.

So this could be the beginning of the groundbreaking, tide-turning movement to re-invent the City of Angels into the more livable — and survivable — city so many of us have fought for.

Or it could be just another bold plan that will soon by gathering dust on the shelf.

It’s all up to Mayor Garcetti.

And whether he’s suddenly found the political will to see it through.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Or in this case, a bike path.

Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk website reports that a married couple was killed in a collision while walking their dog on an offroad Goleta bike path Sunday evening.

The driver, later identified as 39-year old Eric Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar of Goleta, fled the scene on foot.

A writer for the site estimated that Aguilar had to have driven at least 100 yards on the bike path before coming to a stop, slamming into his victims somewhere along the way.

Police took the alleged drunk driver into custody three hours later in nearby Carpinteria. He was a passenger in a car, whose driver was returning from Ventura County after learning that Aguilar was a wanted man.

Authorities threw the book at him, and deservedly so.

According to the site,

Aguilar was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated causing injury, hit and run causing death or injury, fleeing the scene after committing manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated, with an enhancement for causing the deaths of more than one person.

He remained in custody Monday night, with bail set at $100,000.

Fortunately, the dog somehow survived the crash, and was turned over to a family member.

Let’s hope Aguilar gets the hard time a crime like this calls for.

But let’s face it.

As long as drunks continue to get behind the wheel, we’re not safe anywhere. And no amount of jail time can bring back the lives they take.

………

This is who we share the roads with, too.

After a Corona mother was killed in a hit-and-run while riding her motorcycle last week, leaving behind eight kids, her husband made it his mission to track down her killer.

Remarkably, he found the car parked in a nearby apartment complex, with passenger side damage matching the details of the crash.

Police arrested the 85-year old driver, Tashiro Isa, on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD is asking for your help to find the heartless coward who fled the scene after backing into a 92-year old man, leaving him bleeding in the street.

………

Or as we call it here in balmy Los Angeles, Friday.

………

After a British truck driver knocked a bicyclist off his bike in a left hook, the equivalent of our right hook, the driver refused to admit he was behind the wheel — and walks with just a fine and points against his license.

………

Take a quick break with mountain biker Greg Williamson doing “dusty laps” on a dry and dirty Kiwi singletrack trail.

I think Dusty Laps will be the name of my new cowboy alter ego, although Twitter user Mumen Rusto suggested that could be my porn name.

But no one wants to see that anymore.

………

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

An Aussie state department of transportation posts a simple question about bicycling rules online. And opens the floodgate for an avalanche of bike hate.

A Tokyo bicyclist catches a punishment pass and a brake check from a school bus driver on his bike cam — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

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

Sacramento police are looking for a man who fled on a bicycle after robbing a business and threatening the employees at gunpoint.

………

Local

Streetsblog adds its voice to those calling out against plans to widen dangerous Magnolia Blvd, which is already on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.

Bike riders aren’t the only ones being inconvenienced by the closure of the Arroyo Seco pathway; horse people are calling for the equestrian trail to be reopened, as well.

While Los Angeles talks about safer streets, Santa Monica is actually doing something, as the city announces plans to make over deadly Wilshire Blvd to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

Sad news, as longtime bike industry vet Jim Whitsett died of an apparent heart attack before South Bay Cycle, his new 2,100 square foot Manhattan Beach bike shop, could open this coming weekend.

 

State

My point exactly. A writer for California Streetsblog argues that the state is missing a significant opportunity to fight climate change by failing to offer the same sort of rebates for ebikes that they do for electric vehicles. Except we should go further, and offer them for any bicycle intended to replace at least one car trip a week.

They get it. An editorial in the Times of San Diego says driving like maniacs is the root cause of bike and pedestrian collisions.

Fifty-six-year old Julian resident Craig Wendell Nelson faces up to four years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of Kevin Wilson as he was riding his bike on a rural road east of El Cajon last month; police eventually found Nelson hiding under some bushes after abandoning his car.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike, like the one that was installed for fallen bicyclist Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime following the Palm Springs hit-and-run that took his life; the killer of the 30-year old father is still a large.

Palo Alto considers fixing a “terrifying” intersection used by around 4,000 cars and 20 bicycles per hour during the morning rush. Maybe more bike riders would use it if it wasn’t so scary.

San Francisco bike riders are calling for a concrete barrier along the Embarcadero bike lanes.

Uber says Sacramento ranks second in the world for shared rides, if you include bikeshare and e-scooters along with ride hailing.

 

National

VeloNews says 2020 is all about gravel and e-bikes and smart-bikes and materials and versatility.

Bicycling says blame a stiff neck for your numb hands.

New York bike riders can’t use the city’s bike lanes because they were built wide enough for street sweepers and snow plows, which makes them wide enough for people to drive and park in, too.

New York is finally getting around to questioning whether dangerous drivers should be taken off the road before they kill someone. Not after, like the woman with eight speeding and red light violations who killed a couple kids as they were walking in a crosswalk.

Florida bike riders are up in arms after an 18-year old bicyclist was cuffed and arrested after allegedly running a stop sign; the officer says he and another bike rider refused to stop when ordered to, while the riders say they just didn’t hear him. Advocates also want to know why the kid from Puerto Rico was the only one to get busted. Thanks to Victor Bale and J. Patrick Lynch for the links.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine unveils the secrets bike mechanics don’t want you to know, like maybe you’re putting your bar tape on wrong.

The English city of Coventry just got Britain’s first bicycle mayor. Meanwhile Los Angeles, with ten times the population, is still waiting.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A French woman who may have been the world’s oldest person was still riding her bike as she approached 100.

The Netherlands ranks second in Europe for bicycling fatalities. Which isn’t too surprising, considering they also have one of the continent’s highest rates for bicycling.

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Aussie man who failed to show up for sentencing after pleading guilty to killing a bike rider; the victim frequently posted videos of close passes while calling for a safer passing distance.

Macau leaders shut down hiking trails and bike lanes to combat the novel coronavirus, telling everyone to just shut yourself in and exercise at home.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tour de France champ Egan Bernal will lead the Ineos team in this week’s Tour of Columbia.

New Zealand’s Georgia Williams is making a comeback to the women’s pro cycling tour after being knocked off her bike by the increasingly common Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, aka RED-S, which prevented her from getting enough fuel for her body while making her bones more brittle.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could fold up to fit in your briefcase or backpack; let’s hope it also protects your head. Now you, too, can compete in the world’s greatest bike races without risking all that road rash and broken bones and stuff.

And apparently, Los Angeles used to be a lot better for bicycling.

Breaking news — California report says deadly 85th Percentile Law has to go, and new UK study say hi-viz doesn’t help

The report is in.

And it’s not good news for heavy-footed drivers.

A statewide Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, created under Burbank State Assembly Woman Laura Friedman’s AB 2363, has examined the deadly 85th Percentile law, and determined it needs to go.

F-S1: Existing law does not provide enough flexibility in urban areas to set speed limits that are appropriate for these complex environments.

Current procedures for setting speeds limits in California rely mainly on the 85th percentile methodology, an approach developed decades ago for vehicles primarily on rural roads. Although California’s population, roads, and streets have changed significantly, reflecting different modes of transportation including bicycling and walking, the method for setting speed limits has not. While the way that speed limits are calculated has remained essentially static, vehicles and street uses have evolved over time. CalSTA’s vision is to transform the lives of all Californians through a safe, accessible, low-carbon, 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Yet the 85th percentile methodology relies on driver behavior. Greater flexibility in establishing speed limits would allow agencies an expanded toolbox to better combat rising traffic fatalities and injuries.

The report goes on to conclude that posted speed limits are effective in reducing traffic speeds without the time and expense required for infrastructure changes.

And that cities need more flexibility to adjust speeds without conducting traffic studies, to reflect current circumstances and save lives.

Especially when it comes to people not protected by a couple tons of glass and steel.

F-S5: There is consistent evidence that increased vehicle speed results in an increased probability of a fatality given a crash. Vulnerable road users are disproportionately impacted by the relationship between speed and crash survivability. State and local agencies would benefit from additional classes of locations eligible for prima facie speed limits which do not require an engineering and traffic survey.

Prima facie speed limits are those that are applicable on roadways when no posted speed limit is provided. They do not require an engineering and traffic survey to be enforceable. Current law defines two prima facie speed limits covering six classes of locations. The first speed limit is 25 mph and is applicable to business and residential areas, school zones and areas around senior facilities. The second speed limit is 15 mph and is applicable to railway crossings, uncontrolled intersections and alleyways. Some allowances are currently provided to reduce these speed limits further, for example, to 15 mph and 20 mph in school and senior zones. State and local agencies on the Task Force stated that additional classes of locations should be eligible for prima facie speed limits especially in areas that have high concentrations of vulnerable road users.

In addition, the report calls for legalization of automated traffic cameras to supplement, but not replace, the work of traffic cops in enforcing speed limits.

F-EF1: International and U.S. studies have shown that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to speeding that can have meaningful safety impacts.

Automated speed enforcement systems work by capturing data about a speed violation, including images and license plate information, which is then reviewed and processed at a later time to determine if a violation occurred. Currently, automated speed enforcement is used extensively internationally and in 142 communities in the U.S. Numerous studies and several federal entities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have concluded that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeding-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

F-EF2: Automated speed enforcement should supplement, not replace, traditional enforcement operations.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, automated speed enforcement is a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional traffic law enforcement operations. Automated speed enforcement systems can effectively augment and support traditional enforcement operations in multiple ways. Automated speed enforcement systems serve as a “force multiplier” that allows limited law enforcement resources to focus on other public safety priorities. ASE can be operated in areas where in-person traffic stops would be impractical as well as on higher speed roadways where traffic calming devices may not be appropriate. While ASE does not provide an educational opportunity nor afford the exercise of judgment in issuing a citation that an officer would have from an in-person stop, it may also provide for more consistent and impartial enforcement. Examples of cities that have deployed automated speed enforcement programs without reducing law enforcement staffing levels include Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

In other words, the report takes 68 pages to sum up what bike and pedestrian advocates have been arguing for years.

The 85th Percentile method currently enshrined in state law allowing speeding drivers to set their own speed limits is outdated and dangerous.

And it’s got to go.

Now.

………

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers in the UK have concluded that wearing hi-viz clothing doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Neither does wearing casual clothing, as opposed to a spandex kit, when it comes to how close drivers pass.

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, there was no marked difference between ‘experienced rider’ kit, and a vest marked ‘Novice Cyclist’, nor between ordinary clothes and hi-viz kit.

Irrespective of any of the kit worn, 1-2 per cent of overtakes were within 50cm (Ed: roughly 20 inches), suggesting that nothing a rider wears makes any significant difference to the incidence of very close passes.

Unless that hi-viz happens to identify you as a police officer, that is. And even then, it’s only a gain of about two inches.

The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.

The researchers concluded that better infrastructure is a more effective means of improving rider safety than how you dress.

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

………

The rich get richer, as the Dutch continue to show the rest of us how it’s done.

………

The LACBC released a letter in support of keeping the protected bike lanes installed as part of the Reseda Great Streets project right where they are, for anyone attending tonight’s Streetsblog CD12 transportation forum.

………

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, a very active neighborhood chapter of the LACBC, is meeting tonight.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

After his son was killed in a traffic collision, an Oklahoma man got drunk and got behind the wheel of his pickup — then fled the scene after plowing into several members of a high school cross country team.

Two girls were killed. Four others were injured; at least one remains in critical condition.

There’s just no fucking excuse.

………

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

Davis police are looking for a man who fled the scene on a bicycle after coming up from behind and fondling a woman who was unloading her car.

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana busted a bike-riding robber who chased a “mildly intoxicated” man before whacking him with a metal pipe and stealing $300 at knife point. Although the thief claims he was just trying to get back money the victim had stolen from him, but he doesn’t really remember because he was too stoned at the time.

………

Local

Streets For All reports the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will discuss a motion to support protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd at tonight’s meeting.

Streetsblog takes a look at LA’s newly opened Red Car Bike & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village.

A group of San Fernando Valley residents have pitched in to clean up a section of the LA River bike path in Reseda.

 

State

A Davis columnist insists that city, not Portland, is the bicycling capital of the US. Even if it can’t muster a quorum for the city’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission. At least they have one; Los Angeles just has a toothless Bicycling Advisory Committee, whose members are usually ignored by the councilmembers who appoint them. Creating an actual commission would give them the authority they currently lack. 

San Francisco supervisors rejected a demand for an environmental impact statement for a bikeway pilot project from a pair of notorious anti-bike crusaders, who blame it for the actions of angry drivers who can’t keep their hands off their damn horns.

 

National

An engineer digs into the data, and discovers that the panic over e-scooters may be overblown, concluding they don’t appear to be any more dangerous than riding a bicycle. Which is good news and bad news, when you think about it.

Kindhearted Utah cops dug into their own pockets to buy a nine-year old boy a new bike after the one he got in a Christmas donation was stolen.

Denver residents ignored the cold weather to ride to work after the city plowed a protected bike lane following a heavy snow. Meanwhile, Los Angeles NIMBYs continue to insist no one will ever commute by bike in the mild SoCal winter, where temperatures sometimes dip all the way into the 60s.

This is why you always carry ID on your bike. Texas police are appealing to the public to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike. A wallet helps, but can get lost or stolen following a crash. Better to actually carry some form of ID on you, or wear something like a Road ID with your name, emergency contacts and any medical conditions.

Hats off to a kindhearted Omaha, Nebraska Eagle Scout, who is collecting and refurbishing adult bicycles to donate to homeless people.

Chicago decided to make room for humans on the double-decker Lake Shore Drive, and convert one of the lower level lanes to a walkway and protected bike lanes. That’s got to be the only city in the US where it’s okay for drivers to be on LSD.

Great idea. Knoxville, Tennessee opened a new accessible bike trail specifically designed for people with disabilities riding adaptive bicycles.

A proposed New Hampshire bill to require helmets for everyone from bike riders to motorcyclists received overwhelming opposition, with 259 people lining up to speak against it and only four in favor.

New York advocates are up in arms over a secret plan to close part of the popular Hudson River Greenway to make long-delayed repairs resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York prosecutors inexplicably let a killer driver off the hook for backing over an elderly woman last year — even though he continues to rack up tickets for speeding and red light violations.

DC finally gets around to banning parking in bike lanes, fining drivers $150 for blocking the flow of bicycle traffic. It’s illegal to park in bike lanes in Los Angeles, too. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone, especially in DTLA.

New Orleans cops get a firsthand view of the streets from a bicyclist’s perspective, as officers ride with a group of cycling instructors through a variety of problematic locations. That would solve a lot of problems if we could convince every police and sheriff’s department to try that.

 

International

A 51-year old nursery school teacher was one of the victims of Sunday’s terrorist knifing attack in South London as she rode her bike home after meeting friends, saying she’s lucky to be alive.

A pair of British doctors set a new record for riding around the world on a tandem bike, traveling over 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours.

The British government will ban all gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2035, moving the deadline forward by five years. Meanwhile, the US has committed to banning gas powered vehicles by, um, never.

Parisians are staying on their bikes, despite the winter weather, even after a major transportation strike ended; January ridership was up 131% over the same month last year.

An Indian university tells faculty members that bicycling isn’t just for students.

Failed Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo switches gear and reinvents itself as a shopping platform — and decides to keep users deposits anyway. Scroll down past the obnoxious full screen ad to get to the story, when and if you can. 

A globe trotting Indian bike tourist says he’s not worried about coronavirus as he nears the end of his 16 year ride through 154 countries to promote HIV and AIDS awareness; his now in Beijing while riding through China, leaving 37 countries to go.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for non-Californians. San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride, a mixed-surface, ultra-distance race, is branching out to Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah this year.

Pro cyclists offer advice on how to beat jet lag. Personally, I’ve never been able to ride fast or far enough for that to be a problem.

Twenty-two-year old world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney is getting a little extra coaching to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics from her new riding partner, retired NBA player turned mountain bike aficionado Reggie Miller.

 

Finally…

Apparently, dropping your bong while fleeing police on your bike is a bad thing. If you’re carrying nearly three dozen pre-measured bags of meth on your bike, make sure it at least meets legal standards.

And presenting the perfect gift for bicyclists who drink their bourbon through a straw.

No, really.

 

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