Tag Archive for ‘Tis the season

Morning Links: Speeding across the US at 123 mph, the once and future CicLAvia, and more post-Peloton ad hysteria

Before we start, let me take a moment to thank every who’s given to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive so far.

Since we started ten days ago, not a single day has gone by without at least one donation. And often, more than that.

So let me offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike W, Ilya G, Philippa M, Gregory S and Glen S for their generous donations to since we saw you last.

Because their open hearts, and open wallets, is what helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which means the only question is, who’s going to join them today?

And will it be you?

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This is who we share the roads with.

Writing for Bicycling, Joe Lindsey criticizes a culture that allows motorists to break the law with seeming impunity. And chuckle when someone gets away with it.

Like drivers in a highly modified Mercedes using every trick known to man to evade the police while speeding across the US at an average of 123 mph.

And a top speed of 193 mph.

Speeds which would be instantly fatal to anyone outside of the car in the event of a crash. And probably in it, too.

All to win an illegal, unauthorized race across the country, speeding 2,800 miles across the US in less than 27 and a half hours. And putting the lives of everyone else on the roadway at risk, in every city, county and state they drove through.

Maybe it’s here where I point out that all of this is patently insane.

It’s insane to shift-drive across the country on open roads at triple-digit speeds. It’s insane to have such arrogant disregard for the law that you heavily modify a vehicle specifically to evade the police, using technologies that are themselves illegal in many states—laser jammers are illegal in California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name three states on the route, and it’s illegal in every state not to have functioning brake and taillights. It’s insane to try to pass this off as both a bold adventure AND a paragon of driving skill and discretion. And it’s insane for the media to accept that narrative so credulously and uncritically…

Cars are the apex predator in a transportation ecosystem where menace and aggression are literally built into the grilles, and where drivers can hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians and walk away without charges, or receive laughably minimal punishment when they are brought to court. Our devotion to cars is a stuck parking brake on the economy, a pox on public health, and is killing the planet.

It’s today’s must read.

And well worth the few minutes it will take to speed through it.

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The Los Angeles Daily News says the final CicLAvia of the year opened people’s eyes to “the sights, scenery (and) shops” in Canoga Park, Winnetka and Reseda yesterday.

But don’t worry.

CicLAvia will be back next year with a return to South LA and a first foray into Watts in February.

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It’s worth clicking on the tweet below just to read the long list of witty responses.

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San Diego is moving forward with the long-debated protected bike lanes in North Park, removing 450 parking spaces to make room for them.

At the same time, however, it’s also beginning work on a pipeline under the street, which could mess up your bike commutes for the next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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Leone also forwards news that parts of Camp Pendleton were closed due to flooding as of this past weekend.

Please be aware of the following closures due to flooding:

  1. BEACH CLUB ROAD REMAINS CLOSED
  2. RAMP TO WIRE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM VANDEGRIFT BLVD  ENTERING FROM MAIN GATE CLOSED
  3. LAS PULGAS GATE IS NOW CLOSED
  4. STUART MESA RD, 41 AREA TO LAS PULGAS IS NOW CLOSED.

Roads and gates above will re-open once water subsides.

For additional information regarding these closures, please contact Mr. Sam Jammal.

Sam Jammal, Community Plans Liaison, Camp Pendleton

Osamah.jammal@usmc.mil

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Nothing like a leisurely bike ride along the Nile.

No, on it.

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Just when you thought discussion of the much-loathed Peloton ad had beaten the subject into the ground…

…actor and gin meister Ryan Reynolds takes a swing at it.

Meanwhile, a Fox News host insists the whole controversy stems from the actress’ expressive eyebrows. No, really, he’s serious.

Apparently failing to understand what actors do for a living, some very stupid people have been sending death threats to the man who plays the husband in the spots. And a writer for the Guardian says the actor’s attempts to prove he’s not sexist misses the point.

And not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live got in on the action, not once but twice. Although you have to watch the first one all the way through.

Unfortunately, the actor in the ad isn’t an SNL fan, either.

At least not in this case.

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‘Tis the Season.

Inmates in an Iowa county jail refurbished 25 bicycles for local kids.

A western Pennsylvania bike drive resulted in 1,245 bike for Toys for Tots; the founder says he wants to make sure every kid has the chance to ride one like he did.

Twenty-six Long Island NY kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit.

A Tampa Bay nonprofit built 900 bicycles for local kids in need.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes keeps gaining speed.

No, people on bikes don’t think they own the road. But evidently, the woman in this Texas truck thinks she does.

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Local

Los Angeles got a pair of state grants totaling $3.5 million to build 2.2 miles of multi-use pathways along the LA River in North Atwater Village, as well as improving habitat along the river.

If you’re carrying a garage door opener, crack pipe and several change purses on what’s probably a $5,000 stolen bike, stay off the sidewalk — and put a damn light on it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists rode Friday to celebrate the completion of new bus and bike lanes along El Cajon Blvd.

Mind your turn signals and stop signs in Oxnard tomorrow, when the police conduct a bike and pedestrian safety sting, calling it an educational operation. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

San Jose pedestrian fatalities are at an all time high, with other traffic deaths not far behind.

A somewhat incredulous Sacramento reporter follows a Christmas tree delivery in three parts to prove it can be done by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for Quartz questions why women don’t ride to work when they love bikes so much.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a dump truck driver walks with community service for killing a new mother on her first bike ride after giving birth. And apparently gets to keep his license, too.

Conservative Texas aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the entire state by 2050. Unlike progressive California, which hasn’t even discussed Vision Zero.

A Chicago alderman (alderperson?) backed down on plans to dangerously reconfigure bike lanes to make room for more parking.

He gets it. An Illinois writer says you “meet the most interesting people, see what most drivers rarely notice, and discover places you wish you had known years ago” when you ride a bike.

No surprise here, as Pittsburg drivers make like a quarterback avoiding a blitz by using bike lanes to swerve around speed humps without slowing down.

Gothamist wants to know why ebikes are okay for Amazon and UPS deliveries in NYC, but remain illegal for immigrants delivering food. And why the governor hasn’t signed a bill to rectify that.

New York’s Port Authority makes La Guardia Airport virtually off limits to people on bikes, suggesting it’s your fault for making drivers feel bad when they have to hit you.

 

International

Stats show most Toronto bicycling and walking deaths occur during the day, suggesting the free reflective armbands offered by police won’t help very much.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver will serve less than two years behind bars for killing a bike rider when he couldn’t even see her because of the tray table he built onto his dashboard.

A British woman says she’s lucky to be alive after the brakes on her bike failed during a steep descent on a 114-mile charity ride, sending her crashing into a rock.

British Prime Minister and Captain of the H.M.S. Brexit Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he’s ever done was ride a bike on the sidewalk. But London’s Mirror begs to differ, insisting Boris has done much worse — like using highly offensive racial slurs, for instance.

A new Austrian inner tube offers lower rolling resistance, combined with the kind of savings weight weenies could only dream of — if you’re wiling to pay the price.

An African photographer focuses his lens on Burundi’s bicycle taxi culture.

The best way to visit the Cypriot city of Nicosia is by bicycle, according to a local paper. Then again, that’s usually the best way to visit any city.

A visually impaired Japanese man can finally live his dream of racing with his wife after friends and family hand-built a lacquered bamboo and beech wood tandem they can ride together.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist picks the cycling team of the decade; three of their eight picks are women — with Marianne Vos topping the list.

Eurosport considers the most controversial moments in the 2019 bike racing season.

Although maybe you’d prefer watching the top riders and their crazy bike handling skills seen below.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1202302881224896513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202302881224896513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-velon-recap-shows-amazing-bike-handling-skills-pro-riders-443996

 

Finally…

When your stolen bike — and subsequently stealing it back — becomes the topic of a children’s book. If you spot a tempting bicycle sitting outside the sheriff’s office, just leave it alone, already.

And if you want to avoid ripping the skin off your penis, put some damn grips on your handlebars.

Assuming you have one, of course.

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Morning Links: F*** Black Friday & and support your LBS instead, ebiking clergy, and handicapped people ride bikes too

I doubt I have to tell you Thanksgiving is coming.

Which means the unofficial holiday dedicated to worshiping unbridled consumerism and spending will inevitably follow, as day follows night, and doping allegations follow cyclists.

Which is why a writer for Outside clues you in on tested and approved Black Friday deals for bike riders.

But seriously, screw Black Friday.

Get out and ride your bike instead, to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner and restore some semblance of post-holiday sanity, then go spend some money at your local bike shop the next day for Small Business Saturday.

Maybe you’ll find some of these things to kick off your holiday shopping.

Speaking of which, a few years back, David Kool, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, wrote what remains the best explanation I’ve seen for why supporting your local bike shop matters.

Because it does.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A surprising common theme today: Ebikes and the clergy.

Starting with a Sacramento nun who combines her love of bicycling with her vocation to serve those in need, riding her ped-assist adult tricycle to perform outreach to the homeless.

Then there’s this Brooklyn priest, who’s nearly as evangelical about his ebike as he is the church.

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Carry this one with you to your next public meeting, when someone will inevitably insist that handicapped people can’t ride bicycles.

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This one from Spain is scary as hell. And naturally, the driver flees the scene afterwards.

Maybe they forgot to make eye contact.

Let’s just hope the victim is okay.

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It’s our first ‘Tis the Season of this year’s holiday season.

And more than one.

The bighearted owners of a Santa Maria gym are raising funds for a bike rider who’s learning to walk again after losing the use of his arms and legs in a bicycling crash.

Around a thousand volunteers turned out in San Jose on Saturday to build 2,400 bikes as holiday gifts for low income kids.

Tennessee community members turned out in force to raise $2,000 to buy an adaptive tricycle for a four-year old kid suffering from an extremely rare gene disorder.

It’s not unusual for a cop to make a woman cry. Except in this case, it was a kindhearted Louisville KY cop who dug into his own pocket to buy her a new bicycle, just 20 minutes after she told him the bike she used as her only form of transportation had been stolen.

A Louisville KY radio station held its annual bike collection drive and bike build to ensure around 2,000 children will have a happy holiday season.

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

A Birmingham, England bicyclist became just the latest victim of that country’s recent anti-bike terrorist fad of pushing people off their bikes from a passing car, shattering his arm and destroying his bicycle in the process.

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Local

Government Technology says the recent CoMotion LA conference pushed attendees to rethink the nature of mobility in a city with fewer cars.

LAist explains how Santa Monica brought order to the city’s e-scooter chaos.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is giving you a chance to put you money where your passion is, offering $3,000 mini-grants for “local programs and organizations that encourage people to choose biking as their main form of transportation.”

San Diego could be the next landing spot for Brooklyn-based Revel’s dockless, Vespa-style mo-peds; one EPA scientist says “I hope Revel users have signed their organ donor cards.” Because that sort of extreme safety judgement is exactly what the EPA does, right?

A San Diego family estimates they’ve saved as much as $150,000 by trading their cars for bikes and transit.

The annual Eroica California vintage bike ride will return to Cambria next April — assuming it can find a new home.

San Francisco’s new transportation chief wants to create a city where cars are no longer king.

Berkeley is working on its own Vision Zero plan, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries by 2028.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a homeless bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who may have been seen swerving all over the road.

Once again forgetting the lessons of induced demand, a Sacramento-area highway project would remove bike lanes from a causeway to widen I-80, replacing them with a separate bike/ped crossing. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one, as The Verge ranks the transportation modes in the Wizard of Oz; surprisingly, the bicycle came in second behind the ruby slippers. Personally, I would have gone with the witch’s flying broom. And maybe toss in a few of those flying monkeys, too.

Arizona’s annual El Tour de Tucson rolled on Saturday with nearly 6,000 participants, including former congresswoman and gunshot survivor Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut and possible future senator Mark Kelly. Another participant was riding after suffering multiple skull fractures and a collapsed lung last year while training for the ride.

The newly elected mayor of Lewiston, Maine, hit a woman walking in a crosswalk with his van two weeks before the election. So naturally, it’s people riding a bicycle and a scooter in the bike lane who get the blame.

A Manhattan bike messenger shares a bike rider’s view of the streets after getting $240 worth of tickets for riding though a yellow light.

A Long Island writer tells the tale of Mile-A-Minute Murphy, who set the first bicycling world speed record by riding 61 miles an hour while drafting — and crashing into — a train.

DCist tries to crack the city’s #2 case, talking with a repeat poop smearer to try to answer why someone has been smearing crap of unknown origin on bikeshare bikes and scooters for the last few weeks.

Los Angeles continues to fall further behind the rest of the country, as Washington, DC commits to building 20 miles of protected bike lanes over the next three years.

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a “brisk” Atlanta bike ride with semi-famous wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Palm Beach FL authorities make an extremely belated arrest in a six-year old case where a driver killed a homeless vet riding a bicycle, while traveling at twice the speed limit. And tried to let the woman he was with take the blame. Be forewarned, this was a horrifying crash, and the story gives a graphic description of it.

 

International

Travel & Leisure says cities around the world are cracking down on e-scooters; CNN agrees, saying scooters could be running into serious trouble, in part because they disproportionately affect people with disabilities.

Cyclist says don’t let winter weather keep you from riding. Especially here in LA, where temperatures sometimes drop all the way into the 60s. Brrrrr.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is credited with saving a woman’s bike from thieves, noticing she’d left it unlocked and carrying it into the pub where she worked.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a ghost bike; a British Columbia writer found a stolen ghost bike that had been stripped of its wheels, not far from where the victim had been killed.

A British Columbia city councilor says forget drive-thrus, what the world really needs is a few good bike-thru restaurants because bicycles run on calories.

I come across a lot of horrible news, but this is the worst I’ve seen in years, as heartless Toronto motorists continued to drive around a hit-and-run victim as she lay dying in the street next to her bicycle.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a speeding driver got a whole two years behind bars for killing a bike rider — despite driving 25 mph over the speed limit, fleeing the scene and reeking of alcohol when police found him hiding under a house five hours after the crash.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A Scottish police chief says close passes by motorists aren’t a problem, and it makes more sense to target people on bicycles because drivers aren’t causing any wrecks. Meanwhile, councilors in another Scottish city insist the real problem is those damned inconsiderate bicyclists who ride two abreast, just because they don’t want to get killed or anything.

A British man went to the market to buy some cat food, and left with someone else’s bicycle — then someone else stole it from him four days later.

A Cork, Ireland dealer will take your car in trade for a new ebikeSpeaking of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, they beat that by seven years, working with the car dealer across the street to accept cars in trade for a new bicycle

India’s Congress Party promises a job for every family in one state, along with a free bicycle for every girl whose family earns less than 10,000 rupees a month — the equivalent of $139.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sometimes just riding a bike is cheating. A woman has received a lifetime ban from the Shanghai Marathon for using a man’s number and riding a bicycle instead of completing the race on foot.

French pro Elie Gesbert was lucky to escape without any major injuries when he became just the latest cyclist to be hit by a driver while training.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to get in a crash with a police car. Who doesn’t need a Vogue-designed Shinola bike?

And no, the bicycle wasn’t invented in ancient India some 1,800 years before the first European velocipedes.

 

Morning Links: Recapping the biking year that was, New Year’s bike resolutions, and one last ’tis the season

Please accept my best wishes for a very healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

We have a lot of ground to catch up on after taking the holidays off, so grab your coffee and strap yourself in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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‘Tis the season for a long list of annual recaps.

People for Bikes lists their ten best ebike stories of the last year.

Bicycling offers the year’s most viral bike moments, while Pink Bike contents itself with the best mountain bike fails.

Bicycling also lists the 101 best products they tested over the past year. If you have time to click through all 100-plus pages, that is. Once you finish reading this, of course.

Road.cc remembers the ten most bizarre bicycling stories of 2018, from a hero Romanian dog to a hero British actor. And Kanye.

A Minnesota paper says goodbye to the year in labored verse.

CiclaValley looks back on his favorite Instagram moments of 2018.

And LA Bike Dad remembers 2018 as the year his bike got run over by a bus.

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‘Tis the season for resolutions, too.

Vancouver’s former chief planner offers some timely suggestions on how you can resolve to make your city better this year.

A British website offers 15 suggestions to improve bicycling in the country in the year to come.

If your New Year’s resolution was to ride your bike more, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid has 45 good reasons to back that up — including a longer, healthier life.

And not only is LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis one of us, she’s resolving to ride her bike more.

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‘Twas the season, too.

A North Carolina program gave away 773 bikes to kids on Christmas morning, for their 22nd straight year of bike donations.

Volunteers pitched in to build 200 bicycles donated by Trek for victims of November’s Woolsey Fire in the Malibu Hills, courtesy of the Westlake Village Trek store.

San Diego, uh, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon worked with Rally Cycling to give 100 inner city Gardena kids new bikes, helmets and locks.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson continued his annual tradition by giving away over 1,000 bicycles to kids in South LA.

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Lots of healthy bike news to report, as well.

A new study shows bicycling can help you live longer, even if you can only ride of weekends.

A writer for Bike Biz says bicycling could provide the antidote to childhood obesity.

Just six months of bicycling can improve thinking stills in older adults with cognitive impairments.

Egypt’s president gets on his bike to set an example after calling his countrymen and women fat. And gets ridiculed in response.

And forget the energy drinks, have a chocolate bar.

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Phil Gaimon continues to ruin a good retirement, this time going for KOMs on a pair of the South Bay’s favorite rides.

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Local

Get ready for the next round in Pasadena’s battle over unsafe streets, as the city holds a meeting next Tuesday to discuss a lane reduction and Complete Streets proposal for Cordova Street. If previous meetings are any indication, the city’s traffic safety deniers are likely to turn out in force to halt any hint of progress.

State

As of yesterday, you can legally leave your helmet at home when you ride a scooter. And you can be charged with hit-and-run if you ride off following a crash with another person on a bike path.

The good news is, a new law will require California drunk drivers to install interlock devices on their cars after a DUI conviction. The bad news is, they’ll be able to keep their licenses as a result. And don’t forget that Breathalyzers only detect alcohol use, and do nothing to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

Santa Ana builds Orange County’s first curb-protected, separated bike lane.

San Diego has started work on a 9.3 mile cycle track connecting the city’s downtown to the surrounding neighborhoods. But those protected bike lanes aren’t protected yet, so needless to say, they’re being used as parking and traffic lanes.

A San Diego firefighter is riding across the US to honor his friend, who was killed fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in 2017.

It’s a San Diego trifecta, as letter writers respond to a letter in the Union-Tribune to insist that roads were built for us, too.

San Jose’s mayor is recovering from being hit by a driver on New Years Day, suffering a broken collarbone and chest bone, as well as injuries to his back and neck. Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

San Francisco struggles to find answers after hit-and-run deaths spike in 2018; Vision Zero deaths blamed on fleeing drivers more than doubled over the previous two years. Actually, finding solutions isn’t the problem; finding the political will to actually do something is.

So what did you do to celebrate your high school graduation? Chances are, it wasn’t a 4,200-mile ride across the US like this 18-year old Santa Rosa man.

National

Outside says stop tossing your damn banana peel on the trail.

The New York Times says the West Coast is kicking the East Coast’s collective butt when it comes to transportation. And yes, they include Los Angeles in that.

Heidi Klum is one of us. So are her fiancé and kids.

The top bike city in Oregon probably isn’t the one you think.

To prevent doorings, Illinois residents will now be required to learn the Dutch reach to get a driver’s license.

Great story. After a Massachusetts man is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he dedicates whatever time he has left to putting underprivileged kids on bikes.

No bias here. A conservative Boston newspaper says the state’s new bike plan should take a hike, calling bikes a Victorian-era solution to 21st century problems.

It’s a New York trifecta, too, as Streetsblog says it should come as news that cars are the problem with our cities. And always were.

Vision Zero is working in New York, with traffic fatalities down for the fifth straight year, to the lowest level in 100 years.

Tragic news from the city, however, as a New York ebike rider was killed when he was doored by a cab driver, knocking him into the path of a car headed in the opposite direction. Doorings are among the most common types of bicycle crashes, but are seldom fatal.

In an editorial that could have been written in any city in the US — and most cities out of it — the Washington Post says too many people died in DC traffic collisions last year.

We may have problems getting bike lanes built in LA, but at least we don’t have to deal with Congress.

Writing in the Washington Post, a self-described occasional bike rider says he knows bicyclists don’t have all the answers on bike safety, because he was hit by one while he was walking in a park. And he wants bike riders to be required to have insurance and a license — or at least turn signals on their bikes, which wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest since he was hit from behind.

Normally it’s just drivers who are a pain in the ass. A South Carolina man may be riding his bike gingerly for awhile after a passing bicyclist shot him in the butt for no apparent reason.

International

The BBC explains how not to die on a bike.

An engineering website challenges any takers to improve on the design of the traditional diamond bike frame.

Bike Biz asks if ebikes could save the bicycling industry.

Bike culture is growing in Sonora, Mexico.

Fifteen years after breaking three ribs while working as a bike messenger, a Toronto woman is working to make sure other messengers have the financial help she didn’t.

Toronto’s mayor says the city’s Vision Zero program just isn’t working, despite investing $100 million in making changes over the past five years; advocates says it’s because the city hasn’t made the right changes. Los Angeles tried the opposite approach; don’t fund Vision Zero and don’t make any major changes, and just hope deaths go down.

It’s a Toronto trifecta, as well, as a driver writes that society is over governed, so people on bicycles should be, too. And drivers should be required to learn all those silly little traffic laws that they’re already required to know.

If you want to be invisible, ride a bike. A drone-flying couple disrupted thousands of flights at London’s Gatwick Airport before Christmas, making their getaway in plain sight on bicycles. And while wearing hi-viz.

With the city’s transportation systems shut down for Christmas Day, Londoner’s take to bikeshare.

London-based Simon Cowell is one of us now. Whether we want him or not.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a reckless bike rider was fined the equivalent of less than $560 for crashing into a pedestrian, leaving the victim with life-changing brain injuries.

Business Insider takes a video look at how Copenhagen got its 7,500 miles of cycle tracks.

Oslo, Norway says it’s time to stop planning cities for cars and start planning for people, by banning cars from the city center.

An Indian entrepreneur says a little reflective tape could have prevented over 20,000 bicycling deaths in the country. Um, probably not.

A month after a married Indian man went missing on a solo cross-country bike tour and was presumed drowned, he was found safe and sound in a Mumbai motel. With his girlfriend.

NPR goes for a bike ride with a group of Pakistani women to see firsthand the abuse they suffer just trying to ride their bikes through a conservative Karachi slum.

Two new Aussie studies confirm what you already know — some drivers just don’t like people on bicycles, and won’t move over or slow down, regardless of what the law says.

In a desperate attempt to go viral, a Singaporean teen turns himself into a human crash test dummy, jumping off at the last second as he deliberately crashes a dockless bikeshare bike into a wall. If he really wanted to go viral, he should have stayed on the bike.

A foreign policy website considers the rise and fall of China’s dockless bikeshare companies. And asks what the hell happened.

Competitive Cycling

Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Cycling Weekly ranks the ten best performances of the 2018 road cycling season, while Road.cc lists the ten biggest stories in the pro peloton, and Cycling News offers the ten biggest stories in pro cycling last year.

Chris Froome is planning to skip the Giro this year to focus on the Tour de France in an effort to tie the record for most victories. As long as you don’t count Lance, that is.

Finally…

If you’re going to build a track bike to honor one of history’s greatest cyclists of any color, try to get the date of his first championship right. If you’re going to steal a bike, maybe you should pick one that isn’t locked up in front of the police station.

And if you’re going to get drunk on the job, try not to ride your delivery bike into a cop.

Seriously.

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Thanks to Passion Beauty Inc and Terence H for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

With your help, we raised nearly $2,100 to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And let’s all give a special thanks to Todd Rowell for his exceptionally generous donation of a new laptop keep BikinginLA online and, at long last, put an end to nearly a year of dead and dying laptop misery.  

Morning Links: Sweating on your bike to improve your health, and Elon Musk’s Tesla Tunnel with a bike rack

Just four days left in the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Time’s running out to support SoCal’s leading source for bike news and advocacy. Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world. 

Besides, you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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Let’s start with a pair of medical studies.

Mike Wilkinson forwards news of a new study that shows just six months of walking for bicycling may reverse cognitive decline. Although at that rate, it ma take me a couple years.

And don’t throw away your pills just yet. But a new British study shows working up a good sweat while riding can lower your blood pressure as well as prescription medication can.

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‘Tis the season. The Virginia Beach VA Rotary club teamed with a local Methodist church to collect and refurbish 45 bikes for underprivileged kids.

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Local

Elon Musk unveils his first test tunnel, with plans to solve urban traffic problems using modified Teslas on an underground track. And maybe even put a bike rack on the back. Meanwhile, Streetsblog calls it a bad joke.

State

Trek Bicycle Westlake Village in Thousand Oaks is working with volunteers to donate 200 bicycles to victims of the Woolsey Fire.

National

People for Bikes ranks the top 10 new protected bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles?

Streetsblog asks if e-scooters are unsafe at any speed, as the Centers for Disease Control — aka CDC — prepares to look into it.

Bike Snob says cars and great cities don’t go together, suggesting that to have the latter, we have to ban the former.

Snow biking in the Colorado high country near my hometown.

Chicago opens separate bike and pedestrian pathways along the lake front, as well as a flyover to keep both from having to deal with dangerous intersections.

Boston plans to use a peanut to improve bike and traffic safety.

New York added nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes in 2018, for a total of 45 in the past two years. Meanwhile, Los Angeles only added the semi-protected MyFigueroa.

Jacksonville FL is getting its first two-way cycle track, courtesy of a new road diet.

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes mistakes so you don’t have to.

It’s been a bad year in Trinidad and Tobago, where bicycling fatalities are up 300% over last year.

Cyclist explains why bikes make the perfect Christmas gift for the kids in your life. Grownups, too.

In business news, virtual cycling firm Zwift has raised $120 million to expand into esports; the company already has deals to operate cycling championships in Great Britain and Australia.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare bikes are about to jump to the UK and Ireland.

Police in Punjab, India are “adopting” ebikes in a pilot project.

A New Zealand man invents a detachable taillight assembly to keep your bike and rack from blocking your car’s lights.

The CEO of dockless bikeshare provider Ofo says the company nearly filed bankruptcy after misreading the market, in what would have been the biggest failure of a Chinese startup.

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Tosh van der Sande has been suspended by his Lotto-Soudal team after testing positive in a doping test. Thank goodness the doping era is over though, right?

Floyd’s Pro Cycling, the new Continental-level cycling team started by America’s other ex-Tour de France winner, is attracting top talent by promising riders they’ll get to compete on a variety of surfaces and types of racing.

Following in his dad’s tire tracks, a man sets out to finish the 120-mile, three-pass Colorado road race his father created.

A West Virginia woman uses a sports talent search to make the rare leap from high school wresting and soccer to track cycling Olympic hopeful.

Now you, too, can own the Van Gogh inspired bike that Giant gave Dutch cycling star Tom Dumoulin, for a low, low $22,000. Cutting off your ear to match the bike is optional.

Finally…

Pseudo cycling products for cheapskates. Chances are, those grey-bearded guys could drop you like freshman English.

And so could a 90-year old spin instructor.

Or maybe that’s just me.

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Thanks to James E and Darryl K for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 



Morning Links: Rapley death leads to effort to catch texting drivers, and more holiday bike giveaways

It’s the last week of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Give today, and join the 37 generous people who’ve already given their hard-earned money to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. And help keep this site coming your way every day.

Donate in just minutes via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Or if you own a business, consider buying an ad on BikinginLA to show your support for this site, while you spread your message to thousands of bike riders in Southern California and around the world.

Not to mention you can write off the full cost as an advertising expense on next year’s taxes.

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The death of an Australian tourist on an LA roadway has led to safety improvements Down Under. 

James Rapley was riding on Temescal Canyon while on an extended layover at LAX on his way back home for the holidays five years ago when he was run down by a stoned and distracted driver who drifted into the bike lane.

Now one of his best friends has developed a camera system designed to catch distracted drivers, and keep anyone else from dying needlessly. 

The system, from a company called Acusensus, works like a red light camera, capturing photos of distracted drivers and mailing them tickets. 

While no tickets have been issued yet, a four week test of the technology this past October captured an average of 11,000 drivers a day using their phones illegally

Something like that would probably require a law change here. But it might finally get California drivers to put down their damn phones and pay attention to the road ahead of them. 

And possibly avoid thousands of needless deaths and injuries every year. 

Then maybe Rapley’s death won’t have been in vain.

On a related note, I worked with Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and LADOT to push for a parking-protected bike lane on the uphill side of Temescal Canyon where Rapley was killed. 

However, the plan LADOT developed for a road diet on Temescal with a protected bike lane on the uphill side and a separated bike lane on the downhill side met local opposition from Palisades homeowners in its only public presentation.

And was quietly shelved following the tumult over the Playa del Rey road diets in Bonin’s district. 

Let’s hope sanity returns someday, and the plan can be revived before anyone else gets killed. 

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‘Tis the season. 

couple dozen Idaho kids got new bikes, along with free helmets, air pumps and water bottles in a holiday giveaway. 

Hundreds of Detroit kids got free refurbished bikes and helmets from Free Bikes 4 Kids

A Roman Catholic priest, one of 700 selected by Pope Francis to travel the world doing good deeds, gave every 2nd grader in a Kentucky school a new bike and helmet from Trek.   

A London neighborhood sees over 500 cycling Santas turn out on BMX bikes

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Horrifying security video captures the moment an Australian bicyclist was run down from behind by a driver high on meth, who then continues on to hit a pedestrian and another car. 

No word on whether the victim was injured, or how badly. 

But fair warning, before you push play, be sure this is something you really want to see. The video is graphic and disturbing, and you can’t unsee it. 

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Local

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a man was critically injured in a hit-and-run while riding on La Tuna Canyon with his adult son last year, Los Angeles officials unveiled a new separated bike lane and other safety improvements along the dangerous roadway

This is the cost of traffic violence. Two nine-year old girls are battling for their lives after suffering “massive” head trauma in a street racing crash; one driver was arrested, while the other fled the scene. 

Bird briefly flocked to Redondo Beach on Thursday, only to have its wings clipped and unceremoniously ordered to get the flock out of town by Sunday. 

State

Seriously, don’t kill the newtsThanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up

San Diego’s Holiday Joy Ride shines a light on safety improvements in the city, with many new projects set to be unveiled in the coming year.

North San Diego County bicyclists rode to honor bike and pedestrian safety advocate Roberta Walker, who was critically injured in a crash while riding her bike recently. 

After a bike rider was killed by a speeding driver on Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage, local bicyclists express their concerns about the dangerous roadway. And the local TV station offers tips on how bicyclists can stay safe, without a single word on how drivers should slow down and avoid killing people. 

An Oakland news site operated by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a video report on the latest plan to complete the bike path on the Bay Bridge.

National

In yet another blow to alternative transportation, the Trump administration is converting the popular TIGER grantsthat helped build bike and walkways across the US into a highway building program. 

That energy drink could mess with your blood flow

A Seattle judge sends the city back to the drawing board, ruling in favor of a coalition of maritime and industrial businesses who sued to halt the proposed completion of an 18-mile bike path that’s been in the works for over thirty years. 

A local paper says a planned redo of I-70 through Colorado’s Vail Pass will have to balance the needs of motorists, bicyclists and wildlife; a bike advocate says some sections of the existing bike path through the Rockies are terrifying in places where it runs too close to the freeway. 

Wichita Falls TX bicyclist calls attention to the dangers bike riders face in the city after he was hit from behind with no warning by a drunken motorcyclist. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Wisconsin state senator praises the country’s longest serving state legislator, who she calls the dean of the senate — and who rode nearly 3,000 spandex-clad miles this year at 91-years old.  

Connecticut Public Radio discusses the origin of bicycles, and how bikes paved the way for the women’s movement over a century ago

After a New York ebike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane, the NYPD trips over itself to blame the victim and exonerate the missing driver.  

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Times says urban areas around the world are getting the message that cities are for people, not carsMaybe Los Angeles will finally figure that out someday

An op-ed in the Washington Post says traffic laws are universally ignored, and safety will never improve until drivers have to pay for breaking the law

An Orlando FL plastic surgeon says bike riders have to be taught traffic laws, and the laws have to be enforced to improve safety. In other words, he’s blaming the people on bikes for getting hit by cars, and not the people who hit them.  

International

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are calling for a permanent memorial where a bike rider was killed by a cab driver earlier this month, saying the death can’t be swept under the rug. 

Life is cheap in London, where a dump truck driver walked with a suspended sentence in the death of a pregnant woman as she rode her bike. 

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton gets back on her bike for the first time since giving birth in October. 

Troubling piece from a gay couple who biked along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as Brexit throws the border into question, and find gay people hidden deeply in the closet and a revival of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants waiting just under the surface.

A new competition-winning Dutch app enables employers to track bike commuters to pay them for riding to work

Thousands of people in Kathmandu continue to ride their bikes, despite the dangers and chaotic traffic — including missing manhole covers exposing open sewers. 

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist says it’s okay if he hates on bikeways as a ridiculous waste of money, because he rides a bike himself. Sure, let’s go with that

Competitive Cycling

Normally, Stephen Hyde’s third consecutive US national cyclocross championship would be damned impressive. Except the incomparable Katie Compton just won her 15th in a rowYes, fifteen

The former long-time coach of the late, lamented Jelly Belly team has found a new sponsor, allowing him to continue fielding a Continental-level cycling team

Sad news from the UK, where a court heard a cyclist died of a heroin overdose, driven in part by a crippling fear of urinating in public, which prevented him from turning pro over his fears of being forced to take drug tests in front of a witness. 

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.  

Finally…

Even the trees are out to get us.  Strava Santa is coming to town

And not everyone wants cycling gear for ChristmasThat’s okay; I’ll gladly take whatever he doesn’t want


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Thanks to James van G and Mitchell D for their generous donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

Morning Links: Westbound PCH closures for fire repairs, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and more ‘Tis the season

It’s the 13th day of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

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Don’t plan on riding PCH anytime soon.

Caltrans will be closing sections of the right lane and shoulder on a 20-mile stretch of the westbound PCH in Malibu between Coastline Drive and Decker Canyon Road to repair damage caused by the Woolsey Fire.

The work will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Saturday; no word on when they expect to be finished.

The state will also close one lane in each direction on PCH between Puerco Canyon and Corral Canyon roads to work on a median project.

………

CiclaValley has a notable ride to work for the second day in a row — and not in a good way — after yesterday’s high-speed buzz by a motorcyclist.

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A second Dutch bike rider barely avoided getting run down by a train after riding around crossing barriers, just days after video surfaced of a similar incident.

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‘Tis the season.

One hundred kids from a Gardena youth and family services program got new bicycles courtesy of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Rally Health.

London’s Telegraph offers a holiday gift guide for roadies.

An English news site is attempting to raise the equivalent of nearly $160,000 for the country’s MS Society this holiday season; woman with MS who bought an ebike with a grant from the group calls it a game changer.

And in less happy news, a Cape Town, South Africa bike shop was vandalized and looted in the wake of a festival kicking off the holiday season; authorities were able to get four of the stolen bikes back.

………

Local

An environmental justice advocate is recruiting bicyclists to monitor air quality in Southeast and East LA.

Pasadena public radio station KPCC examines why California’s three foot passing law is so seldom enforced in the LA area, and how that contributes to the city’s well-earned status as America’s worst bike city; you can find the same report on LAist if you’d rather read than listen. Both versions have the extreme good taste to quote yours truly.

 

State

San Diego will spend $2.3 million to connect two existing bike paths in Carmel Valley, closing a missing link in the regional bike network.

A Palo Alto bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was run down from behind by the driver of a Porsche SUV, while riding in a green bike lane.

San Francisco voted to become the first major city in the US to eliminate minimum parking restrictions.

The City by the Bay will add parking protection to an existing bike lane to keep parents out of it when they drop off and pick up their kids from a nearby school.

On the other side of the Bay, Oakland approved plans for a purple and green parking protected bike lane.

 

National

Streetsblog offers suggestions of what a Green New Deal could look like.

The former head of the Chicago and DC departments of transportation says the solution to quickly and easily accommodating e-scooters and other forms of micromobility is restriping streets to create narrow “slow lanes.”

An 1896 Portland map shows the city’s bike culture goes back at least 122 years.

Oregon police use a bait bike to bust four bike thieves. That’s something that the LAPD still doesn’t use, despite the city’s soaring bike theft problem, due to the City Attorney’s office fears of entrapment.

A Washington man rode 4,233 miles through 13 Mid-American states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance. Although it doesn’t seem to have worked just yet.

The LA Times recommends a seven-day bike tour through the Arizona desert, beginning and ending in Tucson, for the low, low price of just $2,995. Or you could just, you know, go to Tucson, get on your bike, and start riding.

Now that’s more like it. A DC-area county has approved a new bike plan calling for an additional 750 miles of paths, trails and separated bike lanes, to go with 250 miles already on the ground; as usual, they just need the money to pay for it.

Florida bicyclists want to know why the distracted driver who killed two bike riders wasn’t charged; police say the sun was in her eyes, yet somehow it didn’t blind the group of riders she slammed into.

 

International

National Geographic offers their take on the world’s best bike cities. San Francisco made the list; oddly, Tucson got the only honorable mention, despite ranking just 24th in the US according to Bicycling. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

An Irish writer politely notes that some bicyclists are “bending the rules,” perhaps because the explosive growth in bicycling is outpacing bike infrastructure. Or it could be that some people are just jerks, whether on two wheels or four.

Dutch bike writer David Hembrow says overuse of motorized transport is destroying everything.

He gets it. The mayor of Tehran has joined the country’s Car-Free Tuesdays movement to help reduce the effects of air pollution, riding his bike to work this week, while taking a subway last week.

Apropos of today’s weather in Los Angeles, Bicycle Times offers tips from an Aussie rider on how to stay safe while biking in the rain.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story reporting next year’s Amgen Tour of California would end with a stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. So maybe you now have advanced word if they took it down because they jumped a news embargo. Or not.

VeloNews explains why elite women’s ‘cross is must-see TV.

Phil Liggett say the death of close friend and broadcast partner Paul Sherwen is hard to believe, and hints that it may cause him to rethink his role as the voice of professional cycling.

American pro cyclist Ian Boswell explains what happens when a bike racer turns race promoter.

 

Finally…

The bicycling model of financial management. Evidently, wearing a mask on your bike in the cold can get you arrested for frightening children.

And London’s bike shop to rock royalty.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Keith Richards riding a bicycle. Fortunately, you don’t have to

Morning Links: Bikes are good for business, victim-blaming in the press, and 1st ‘Tis the Season of the season

Once again, a study has shown that bikes are good for business.

Researchers in London concluded that people who arrive at businesses by bike, walking or transit spend 40% more than people who get there by driving.

Yes, forty percent.

Yet most business owners will insist that their business can’t even survive the loss of a few parking spaces.

But that’s just the start.

The study shows that improving access for people on bikes and on foot nearly doubles the number of people walking in a given neighborhood.

People also spent more time there, increasing activity such as going into shops and cafés by a whopping 216%.

At the same time, retail rents increased 7.5%, with a 17% decline in retail vacancies.

Which proves once again, that business owners who fight bike and pedestrian improvements are just shooting themselves in the foot.

………

This is how easy it is to blame the victim in a bike crash.

According to the Sacramento Bee, a 75-year old man was killed in a crash while riding his bike Saturday evening.

This is how they described it.

A 50-year-old Carmichael man was driving a red Lexus, the release said, when he entered an intersection at the same time as the biker, who was not using a light or wearing a helmet. The impact caused the biker to be thrown from his bicycle onto the roadway.

Note how mentioning the lack of a light and helmet subtly shifts the blame, even as the next sentence notes that the crash is still under investigation.

And never mind that every crash is the result of the operators of two or more vehicle attempting to occupy the same space at the same time.

The question is why.

But chances are, after reading the above description, most people would assume that a 75-year old man somehow ran a stop sign or a traffic signal.

Whether or not there even was one.

………

‘Tis the season.

An Oklahoma charity is building bikes to give to children for the holidays; last year they bought, built and gave away 1,350 bicycles.

Fifteen Minnesota bike riders braved snow and icy streets to collect $450 worth of food for victims of domestic violence in the annual Cranksgiving ride.

Baton Rouge Cranksgiving bicyclists turned out to collect food for a local food bank; last year they collected over 400 pounds of food.

A group of cycling Santas took to the streets of Windsor, Ontario to spread some pre-Thanksgiving Yuletide cheer in the form of $5 McDonalds gift certificates for the homeless and others in need.

And Road.cc offer a Christmas gift list for bike riders for whom money is no object.

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Nice promo piece from Metro says we refuse to be labelled a car culture.

At least some of us, anyway.

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Turns out former Tour de France champ Vincenzo Nibali is pretty good on gravel, too.

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Local

Metro wants to know where you’d put new bikeshare docks as they plan their expansion west from Downtown. Unfortunately, Hollywood is still not an option.

Speaking of Metro, should we really be surprised that they’re recommending replacing plans for the recently cancelled 710 extension with equally car-centric surface street plans?

UCLA transportation expert Michael Manville talks about the benefits of congestion pricing in an NPR podcast, saying a toll that would reduce driving less than 5% would increase speeds up to 20%. Although increasing speeds isn’t exactly what we should b doing under Vision Zero.

Uber’s JUMP has beaten out Lime and Bird to score LA’s first official e-scooter permit.

Bike SGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash and fundraiser on December 1st. Which would be a great way to get in the mood for the next day’s CicLAvia.

 

State

Friends, family and fellow firefighters turned out on Saturday to remember fallen Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding his bike in Mission Viejo.

San Diego is considering requiring homeowners to fix their broken sidewalks before they sell, after paying out $11 million for bicyclists and others injured on them.

San Diego State University has opened a bicycle-themed art exhibit in their downtown gallery.

Still more San Diego news, as the city is planning its first bike and pedestrian promenade through the Hillcrest district.

San Francisco has received a $75,000 to educate bicyclists and pedestrians to improve safety. Even though they could improve it a lot faster by getting drivers to slow down and put their phones down.

 

National

The owner of Performance Bike, and distributor of a number of bike brands, has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though the CEO insists it will survive. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

NBC News examines the rise in e-scooter injuries as providers spread across the US and around the world. The two scooter deaths that have occurred so far are two too many. But in context of the massive scooter usage numbers — Bird alone has surpassed 10 million rides — it’s not significantly more dangerous than riding a bicycle, and perhaps even safer.

Speaking of which, NPR looks at why Ford is getting into the scooter business.

Bike-friendly Portland makes plans to grow without adding more cars.

That’s more like it. A Washington man got nearly eight and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a teenage bike rider on his way to work.

Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only place homeowners leave trash cans in bike lanes. After Washington rider writes to complain — following a crash with a fog-shrouded garbage bin — a columnist says don’t leave your trash there, even if there’s no law against it.

Over 6,000 people took part in the 36th annual Tour de Tucson on Saturday.

A Utah bike shop owner explains why you should support your local bike shop.

Local riders say Topeka KS has made great progress in making the streets safer and more inviting for people on bicycles.

A Kansas City entrepreneur says coming up with bad ideas for bike safety first is what led to plans for colored bike lanes and harsher punishments for drivers that hit bicyclists. Or she could have asked just about any bike advocate, most of whom have been calling for those things for years.

Boston bicyclists mark the World Day of Remembrance by installing a ghost bike for a rider who was killed last week. Meanwhile, a local news site asks what the city should be doing to improve safety for people on bicycles.

No bias here. A Florida writer freaks out over the $35 million price tag to put a seven-mile bike and pedestrian path on a local bridge. But doesn’t seem at all fazed by the $841 million being spent to make the bridge over for drivers.

 

International

Road.cc says the Toronto cop who walked for dooring a bike rider while stopped in a bike lane got credit from the judge for successfully not dooring three other riders before he nailed one.

After losing her leg in a bicycling crash, a British woman says it’s time to recognize the dangers of traffic collisions. And actually do something about it.

There once was a teenager from Limerick, who stole 14 bicycles in four months. And no, it doesn’t rhyme and the meter sucks, just like the crime.

At least no one died when California drivers rose up in a failed attempt to roll back a gas tax increase. One person was killed and over 100 injured when French drivers rioted over plans to increase fuel taxes in that country. Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the heads-up.

An Indian writer explains why riding a bike to work in Delhi around the Diwali holiday isn’t a great idea. And not just because of the pollution.

A New Zealand driver is pissed off when she finds herself following a group of bicyclists riding up to four abreast. Even though they stayed in just one lane, and didn’t take up any more lane space that a single rider taking the lane would have.

A Brisbane, Australia paper says the city’s river brings $70 billion in financial benefits every year, including a riverside bike path that brings a whopping 80,000 people to work each year, with 30,142 bike rides each working day.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe it’s just me, but a pro cyclist talking about how much she enjoys suffering and watching others suffer on their bikes probably isn’t the most effective to get more women to ride. But I could be wrong.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says fellow Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is just looking for attention by praising ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Bicycling looks at how former world champ Lizzie Deignan got a new pro contract, even though she’s six months pregnant.

 

Finally…

The new Cirque du Soleil is one of us, too. Riding a sort-of bike at speeds approaching 90 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

And no. Just…no.

 

Morning Links: The backstory of a bike giveaway, a possible bike lane in the ‘Bu, and entitled bike path drivers

Every year, we mention the countless bike giveaways held across the US during the holiday season.

But we usually never learn the backstory.

Like how the people behind the giveaway came to get involved. And what struggles they had to overcome to see those smiles on children’s faces.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Peter Flax looked into the story of one bike giveaway involving mountain biker Amanda Batty and a Bay Area ebike maker that put 208 needy children on two wheels in Albuquerque NM.

The holiday’s may be long over.

But this story that could put that smile back on your face.

Photo taken from the Cycling Tips story.

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A much-needed bike lane may finally be coming to the eastern part of Malibu on PCH.

Or not.

A Malibu radio station reports that a Caltrans press release announced that they will begin striping a bike lane from the tunnel to the Malibu Civic Center next week.

Which came as a surprise to city officials, who understood that they would merely restripe the fog line.

So evidently, we’ll all find out once the paint dries.

Thanks to Warren Bowman for the heads-up.

………

When Chicago drivers wanted to avoid a traffic backup due to a highway crash, they turned an offroad bike path into a roadway.

But sure, let’s talk about those entitled cyclists again.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

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Local

The author of a new Rapha-sponsored book on bicycling in the Los Angeles area offers three practical tips on riding in the city.

UCLA says the reason Metro ridership is down is because more Angelenos are buying cars. When they should obviously be buying more bicycles instead.

New rules for establishing neighborhood councils could keep UCLA students from splitting with the bike-unfriendly Westwood NC.

CiclaValley captures some great photos of the popular Nichols Canyon Ride.

A new La Colombe coffee shop is opening in Frogtown within sight of the LA River bike path. Because few things go together as well as coffee and bikes.

Claremont looks forward to the year’s first CicLAvia on April’s Earth Day.

The LACBC visits LA’s Little Ethiopia on their popular monthly Sunday Funday Ride this weekend.

 

State

Bike advocacy group BikeVentura teamed with Newbury Park’s Giant Bicycles to donate 120 bicycles to victims of the Thomas Fire, with 80 more left to give away.

Somehow we missed this tragic story earlier in the week, as a Kern County man was killed in a hit-and-run as he was walking alongside a roadway, just a week after surviving another hit-and-run as he was riding his bicycle.

If you live in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to ride with the mayor of Mountain View.

 

National

Bicycling considers everything you always wanted to know about you bike but were afraid to ask, and myths about women’s cycling that need to die.

Two years after an Idaho woman was paralyzed from the waist down, and her riding partner killed, when they were hit by a driver while riding to the Oregon coast with Bike & Build, she plans to finish the 780-mile ride using a handcycle.

A writer complains about the fears elderly New Yorkers have of being run down by bike delivery people on ebikes, while contending that bike riders have a “sense of superiority about being bicyclers.”

Two different unlicensed truck drivers, two tragic crashes involving Brooklyn bicyclists, two different legal outcomes. And neither one beginning approach the severity of the crimes.

The LA Times looks at the success of Vision Zero in New York. Which should be a model for Los Angeles, but won’t be without the political backing their department of transportation has enjoyed.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles have helped the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, and whether they will continue riding after the island gets back on its feet.

 

International

Britain’s Cyclist reviews the new documentary MAMIL — Middle Aged Man In Lycra, which features the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa. And which will have its US premier in Alhambra later this month.

A West London borough will try lowering the speed limit to 20 mph following the death of a bike rider in a traffic collision. Compare that to Los Angeles, where speed limits of 45 mph or more aren’t unusual. And then ask why traffic fatalities are so high here.

A British contraflow bike lane ends without warning, unceremoniously dumping riders into parked cars or in front of oncoming traffic.

An Aussie bicyclist got off with a suspended sentence for plowing into a pedestrian crossing the road, leaving her with severe head injuries.

New blue bike lanes in Kuala Lumpur have turned into de facto parking lanes thanks to a lack of enforcement.

A Singaporean writer says he has the solution to abandoned bikeshare bikes.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blaming bike riders for individual stupidity is very un-conservative. Three days before the kickoff, the New England Patriots lead the Philadelphia Eagles three bicyclists to one.

And yell at the train that nearly killed you all you want, it’s probably not going to hear you.

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Thanks to Karen K for her generous donation to help support this site. Our annual holiday fund drive may be long over, but contributions of any size are alway welcome.

Morning Links: Gardena motorcyclist murdered by road raging driver, Brompton recall, and bike giveaways

It’s penultimate day of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just two days left in this fundraising campaign, the only time all year we beg shamelessly for your financial support.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Jennifer S, Katherine D and Richard S for their generous contributions to help keep this site coming your way every day. And to everyone else who has opened their hearts and wallets over the past month.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A 21-year old motorcyclist was killed by a road raging driver in Gardena yesterday, and the driver arrested on a murder charge.

One life has ended far too soon, leaving a hole that can never be filled in the lives of his loved ones. And another life has been thrown away, facing years behind bars.

What a senseless waste.

………

If you bought a Brompton in the last three years, your bike could be subject to a recall.

………

‘Tis the season.

Forty-one Dana Point children got new bicycles, locks and helmets through an earn-a-bike program run by the YMCA.

The family of a fallen bicyclist donated 13 bicycles to troubled Kentucky kids in memory of the man, who was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver; his killer is serving a 35-year sentence for the crime.

An Ohio counseling center gave 50 bicycles to children with a history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

A Georgia Baptist church gives 160 new bikes to local kids as part of their annual bike giveaway.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton samples LA’s three dockless bikeshare systems, with LimeBike coming out the clear winner.

Despite the anti-road diet hysteria on LA’s Westside, the Eastside’s Alhambra Ave will be getting a road diet and new bike lanes in the El Sereno neighborhood; work is scheduled to begin next month.

A Burbank bike rider finally achieves his goal of getting a contestable ticket for riding a bike on the Mariposa Bridge leading to Griffith Park, where equestrians have succeeded in getting bicycles banned.

Long Beach will offer a free bike valet at their monthly 4th Fridays on 4th Street tonight.

Another great piece from Peter Flax, who created his perfect year on the bicycle by cutting the tech cord and embracing his life as a bike commuter and advocate.

 

State

A San Diego weekly issues a call to arms to fight a proposal to allow bicycles in wilderness areas, accusing a mountain biking group of working with Republicans to roll back protections of public lands. Although they seem somewhat confused about what a wilderness area is, since neither of the places they mention would be affected by the bill.

The CHP has found the damaged Prius that was involved in the hit-and-run that left a Fallbrook bike rider seriously injured last week, but haven’t been able to locate the driver.

A Visalia restaurant owner thanks the strangers who came to her aid when she was hit by someone riding a bike on the sidewalk; she is recovering despite being knocked unconscious in the crash.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in an early morning hit-and-run as he rode in a bike lane.

A Berkeley cycle track made People for Bikes list of the country’s best new protected bike lanes.

Sad news from Santa Rosa, too, where a 67-year old man died nearly three days after his bicycle was rear-ended by a driver.

Oher cycling groups jump in to help after the Santa Rosa Cycling Club lost $150,000 worth of bikes and equipment when a wildfire destroyed the home they were renting for their headquarters.

Bighearted Chico fifth graders spent a month refurbishing old bicycles to give to kids through the Boys & Girls Club.

 

National

After Seattle bicycling rates drop .3% to a 2.6% mode share — still a number most cities, including Los Angeles, would envy — a radio host says bicycling will never catch on in the hilly city, despite “placating militant bicyclist activists.” Or maybe they’re just average people who want a safe place to ride their bikes.

A Phoenix homeowner was pepper sprayed by a bike riding “porch pirate.”

A Chicago bicyclist says the way the city designs protected bike lanes makes them death traps for bike riders.

Treehugger says bike riders in New York and Toronto are dead because trucks aren’t required to have side guards.

Business owners in Queens, New York blame a new bike lane for a drop in sales.

Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks is one of us, shown riding an NBC Universal bike in a New York Times profile.

 

International

Life is cheap in Canada, where the death of a 17-year old girl riding her bike is officially considered just a tragic accident.

Calgary bicyclists say riding in foot-deep snow is no big deal. Meanwhile, Los Angeles drivers insist that no one will ride a bike in a sunny SoCal winter.

A letter writer says he can spot bike thieves from his seat at a popular Canadian diner in the middle of the night; he knows they must be bike thieves because they ride a different bike every night, and don’t use lights or reflectors.

After Canadian police recover a bicycle stolen from a British bike tourist in Niagara Falls, he donates it to a woman whose family helped him when he was stranded in the town.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a killer driver walks with just probation in the death of a bike rider, despite being convicted of careless driving.

The head of a British bike advocacy group was infuriated to have his own folding bike stolen from a train while he was talking bike safety with a stranger.

Caught on video: An Irish bicyclist is clipped by a driver after failing to signal or look before swerving into traffic.

Solar-powered ebikes outfitted with trailer chairs are serving as ambulances in Namibian villages.

In what has become an all-too common crime in South Africa, a cyclist was pushed off his bicycle and beaten with a pipe by robbers who took his bike and cellphone.

An Aussie rider received a six-figure court judgement three years after he was forced off the road by a truck driver, who was never identified; now fully recovered, he’s planning to ride as part of a two-person team in next year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM.

An Australian website explores what bikeshare programs need to succeed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A transgender Canadian cyclist is suing cycling’s governing body after she was forced to undergo humiliating gender verification exams, contending that rules allowing unqualified people to conducts the tests amount to a violation of human rights.

VeloNews names Dutch pro Anna van der Breggen their female cyclist of the year.

Chris Froome’s reputation is tarnished forever according to Lance Armstrong, who should know.

Suspended New Zealand cyclist Karl Murray will have to restart his nearly completed two-year doping ban after he illegally coached two young riders.

 

Finally…

Do you really need a concierge to tell you to ride a bike on Christmas Day? If your significant other won’t ride with you, don’t take it out on the koi.

And yes, car makers really are trying to kill us.

………

Please accept my best wishes for a very happy holiday.

And stay safe out there this weekend. Remember that many drivers will be drinking, and those who aren’t are likely to be more focused on finishing their shopping than on looking for you.

I’ll be taking Monday and Tuesday off, but will probably be back with a post or two next week.

Merry Christmas!

Morning Links: More frontline news from the war on bikes, and more heartwarming holiday bike giveaways

It’s a light bike news day today, which is no surprise as the world starts gearing down for the holidays.

But you can make up for it by checking out yesterday’s massive 2,600+ word missive, which we finally got online and working Wednesday afternoon.

Although you may need to take the rest of the day off to make it through both of these.

Hopefully the tech problems that knocked us offline for the first part of the week are finally behind us.

Fingers crossed.

And be careful riding out there. These next few days will be jammed with office Christmas parties and people stopping off for a few holiday drinks on their way home.

So use the standard protocol — ride defensively, and assume every driver on the road has already had a few too many.

And be especially careful around malls and shopping districts where drivers are likely to be more focused on looking for a parking spot — and their cellphones — than watching for you.

………

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

An English driver intentionally swerves into a bicyclist he says made a gesture at him; fortunately, the rider wasn’t seriously injured.

A passenger in a passing car got out and punched a New Zealand bicyclist who had the audacity to complain about a too-close pass, breaking his nose.

………

‘Tis the season.

Two kids from LA’s Harbor City earned new bikes donated by Full Factory.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated 30 bikes and 15 skateboards to be distributed to local kids.

A seven-year old Florida girl shows her holiday spirit after she received a new bicycle from a toy ride, and gives it to another girl since she already had one.

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Just three days left in the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

Damien Newton talks with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton and Wes Reutimann of Bike SGV in the final SGV Connect podcast of the year.

West Hollywood is installing speed feedback signs along sharrow-tattooed Fountain Ave in an effort to slow down speeding drivers. I have a hard time believing they actually do any good, but Wired insists they worked in Garden Grove; thanks to Brad Milison for the last link.

 

State

A local paper talks with Folsom Prison Inmate Mauricio Argueta, who spent the past year refurbishing 250 bicycles to donate to kids this Christmas. Too often, prisons just warehouse people until they’re released; it’s nice to see someone using his time behind bars constructively to help others.

Sad news from Sacramento, as chef and former Cat 2 cyclist Christopher Davis-Murai, owner of The Bicycle Chef restaurant, has passed away at age 51 after collapsing in his home.

 

National

People for Bikes ranks America’s ten best new bikeways this year, none of which are anywhere near Los Angeles.

Cyclocross Magazine offers ten maintenance tips before you put your bike away for the winter. Or you could just keep riding all year, especially if you live here in SoCal.

A new video looks at Seattle’s Bike Batman, who has used Bike Index to help return over 40 stolen bikes to their rightful owners.

Santa Fe cyclists will now have a tunnel under the rail yards to improve safety.

Caught on video: LA bike riders have to dodge cars, Tennessee bike riders have to dodge dogs.

A Louisville KY paper looks at the massive cave holding the world’s largest underground bike park, which is drawing tourists from around the world.

Philadelphia’s mayor says he wants to provide protected bike lanes to improve safety, but paying for schools and trash and police are more important; Next City says there’s no simple formula for when to roll out new bike lanes.

Speaking of Philadelphia, a 52-year old father was killed by a street racing hit-and-run driver as he rode his bike to work.

The rich get richer, as New York adds another 25 miles of protected bike lanes; the city is racing to provide safe alternatives before a subway line is shut down for reconstruction.

 

International

Halifax, Nova Scotia bicyclists hope the city’s new networked bike plan will mean no bike lanes to nowhere. Which is exactly what LA bicyclists were hoping for with the 2010 bike plan; let’s hope Halifax riders have better luck with it.

The London School of Economics considers what the rest of the world can learn from Mexico City’s bikeshare system, which has cut private car use by 5%.

No disconnect here. A British member of Parliament says bicyclists must use bikeways to improve safety — at the same time he’s trying to cut the budget for them. Bike advocates call his comments “unhelpful,” but he insists he was just misunderstood.

Sort of caught on video: A Bristol, England bike cop pulls over a Bentley when he sees the driver talking on her cellphone. And spent 30 seconds staring at her through the window before she noticed him.

A Dublin, Ireland advocacy group is warning that someone will get killed from getting a bike wheel caught on tracks for a new light rail line, as a local paper maps where riders are turning up with nasty injuries. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike rider gets hit by a cab while blowing a red light.

London’s Telegraph calls Croatia’s Istria peninsula Europe’s most beautiful but unexpected bicycling destination.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the new advocacy organization formed to fight for living wages for women pro cyclists. About damn time; let’s hope the people running pro cycling take them seriously.

The other shoe may not have dropped yet, as French authorities investigate an alleged motor doping conspiracy involving “very notable riders” with “links between international teams, private companies and cycling’s highest authorities.”

A new study shows that the opioid pain killer Tramadol, which is widely used in the pro peloton, may improve performance, but at the risk of reduced concentration and increased falls. Can’t speak for anyone else, but it definitely affects my performance; I won’t even take it if I have to drive anywhere.

 

Finally…

Now you can pedal and purify water at the same time. When two people appear to become one on a bike.

And now you can make your very own protein-packed, sexless gingerbread people.

  

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