Tag Archive for who we share the roads with

Morning Links: No, road rage is not your fault, braving sexual violence to ride a bike, and filming Tesla porn on autopilot

Evidently, road rage is your fault.

A British triathlete living in Mallorca, Spain, has put together a “guide to safe (and courteous) riding” to avoid pissing off drivers.

Despite being the victim of road rage herself — and holding herself blameless for the driver’s actions — she believes the rudeness of her fellow riders results in the anger too often directed our way.

Which is, to put it politely, bullshit.

Yes, we all have an obligation to safely share the road. As well as to show courtesy to our fellow human beings whenever practical, regardless of how they — or we — travel.

But to blame the victims of road rage for stirring up anger in motorists is no different than telling victims of domestic violence that they had it coming.

Nothing a woman — or a man, for that matter — does justifies violence from their romantic partner.

Period.

It’s up to each of us to control our anger, and never strike another human being, let alone those we profess to love.

If you can’t manage that, the problem is yours, and yours alone.

The same goes for road rage.

Yes, drivers may become angry because of the actions of those of us on two wheels. Justifiably or not.

But failing to control that anger, and taking it out on someone else, isn’t the fault of those it’s directed at any more than the black eye sported by a domestic violence victim is their fault.

So ride safely, and show a little courtesy.

But it’s up to all of us to keep our fucking tempers under control.

Especially the people in the big, dangerous machines that can too easily be turned into weapons.

………

Beautiful piece from a Mexican woman, who braves sexual violence and harassment to ride her bike through the Sonoran desert and learn from the indigenous peoples.

And at the same time, learn about herself.

In Mexico it’s hard, as a woman, to travel by bike; it’s a country engaged in constant violence against women. It’s hard for us not to imagine being one of the women for which the rest of us claim justice. It’s hard for us not to imagine being the one who’s photograph is next to a Ni Una Menos (Not One [Woman] Less) banner. And this feeling is reinforced by how people ask, “Are you traveling alone?” “Aren’t you afraid?” “How do you dare to do it?” and by the expressions “What a relief to know you have company!” “How brave you are!”

What we want is not to be brave — but to be free. We know these comments and questions are not directed at men who travel by bike. Men in Mexico have liberties and privileges that the patriarchal system has granted to them.

Even so, Mexican women have dared to travel by bike and use it as a tool of autonomy.

 

She ends the piece with this thought. But it’s what’s in between that makes it worth reading.

And learning from.

So, when asked constantly whether I’m afraid of traveling by bike, the answer is yes, but the things you learn, the natural and cultural history, the social relationships that result because of it; the self-discovery of the body and mind of the resisting women, make it worth it. Traveling by bike is a political act and of resistance in Mexico and the world.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides along with the fabled 50-mile Rosarito-Ensenada ride on it’s 40th anniversary edition.

And credits the “friendship ride” with breaking down border barriers as families from both sides find common values.

We could all use a little of that these days.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A porn star shot her latest film while riding in a Tesla on autopilot with no one holding the wheel.

Or evidently, paying attention to anything outside it.

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Local

Riding Metro trains and buses will be free on Bike to Work Day for anyone with a bicycle or helmet this Thursday.

Speaking of Bike to Work Day, there will be a discussion and walkthrough of the photo exhibit Los Angeles Bike Rebels: The Sequel at the Caltrans museum in DTLA on Thursday. Thanks to Velocipedus for the tip.

Apparently, it’s bad luck to try to steal a bike from a Skid Row loading dock when the workers are watching. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

This is who we share the roads with too. Pasadena police wrote 639 tickets for distracted driving last month, with over half of those for texting behind the wheel. If they’d just crack down like that the other 11 months of the year, our streets might actually get a little safer.

LAist looks forward to the return of 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event on Sunday the 19th.

Santa Monica will celebrate Bike Week with a pair of bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement days on Monday and Thursday. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara will have one tomorrow. In both cases, police will ticket traffic infractions that put bicyclists or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A columnist for the Santa Monica Mirror accuses officials in California of having an anti-car agenda, and says drivers won’t willingly give up on their cars. Never mind that many of us already have. Or that he takes pride in promoting an unproven, snake oil cancer “cure” while accusing the government of trying to squelch it.

Long Beach gets the okay to move some palm trees lining Marina Drive to make way for a Complete Streets makeover.

 

State

A 72-year old Huntington Beach woman accuses the DMV of discrimination against older people for making drivers over 70 take a written test and eye exam every five years, saying that should be required of anyone who has a crash or gets a ticket. Sounds like a plan to me. But let’s keep testing older drivers, too.

A survey from Lime shows that San Diego residents are taking scooters instead of driving.

San Jose’s mayor shows he’s fully recovered from the injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Day bike crash by riding to work on Thursday.

The rich get richer. San Francisco’s mayor used that city’s Bike to Work Day to announce plans to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes, and start ticketing drivers who park in bike lanes. Anyone think LA’s mayor will make a similar announcement at our Bike to Work Day next week? Me neither.

They get it. A San Francisco TV station says traffic congestion is worse than ever, in part because of double-parked ride hailing-drivers, and because the city’s dangerous streets are chasing bike riders off them.

A new study shows that Uber and Lyft are responsible for two-thirds of of the increase in San Francisco traffic over the last two years. So now maybe drivers can stop blaming bike lanes, already.

A group of Google employees bike 40 miles to work on a regular basis, riding from San Francisco to Google’s office in Mountain View. Then again, you almost have to work for Google or another tech company just to afford to live in the City by the Bay.

Good question. A writer for the San Francisco Chronicle wants to know why “a man who’s minding his own business, riding his bicycle, end(s) up dead at the hands of a police officer” who says he wanted to educate him about bike safety.

A new obelisk sculpture was installed in bike-friendly Davis; naturally, it’s made of bicycle parts and children’s bikes.

Sacramento wants to copy Los Angeles, and get their paramedics on bicycles to improve response times during large events.

 

National

By the time you read this, you’ll have to pay 25% more for your bike parts. And maybe your next bike, as well.

Streetsblog says the coast-to-coat Great American Rail-Trail is really happening, providing a 3,700 mile bike route from Washington coast to Washington DC.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker visits Seattle for the first time, and calls out glaring gaps in the city’s bike network. And says if you really want to get people out of their cars, you need to make it difficult to drive.

Nice move from the family behind Walmart, as the Walton clan decides to open up their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers.

El Paso, Texas bike riders are complaining that a bike lane is too narrow. Which isn’t too surprising since it’s half in the gutter, and so narrow the bike lane symbol barely fits without going up on the sidewalk.

A writer for Popular Mechanics was called a cheater for riding New York’s iconic Five Boro Bike Tour on an ebike.

Once again, Atlanta Complete Streets advocates will risk road rage and the enmity of everyone else on the road by slow rolling a dangerous street during the morning rush hour.

Yes, hit-and-runs have reached epidemic proportions. But somehow, shooting a Georgia driver in the stomach to keep him from fleeing seems like a bit of an overreach.

A Florida dentist says he’s always loved his bicycle.

 

International

Fast Company says ebikes are helping to keep older people young, while alleviating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms.

Great idea. For the seventh year, Canada will host a nationwide series of Ride Don’t Hide bike rides next month to raise funds and promote mental health.

Speaking of The Guardian’s Peter Walker, he explores whether bike riders think we’re above the law — and whether it even matters. Hopefully you can get the video to play, because I couldn’t despite repeated attempts.

A British school has found the ultimate solution to bike theft on campus — just ban bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Ireland, where a man was killed during a bike race when he ran into a motorcycle parked along the course.

Cycling News offers a preview of next week’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Bay Area woman who fought for, and won, equal prize money for women surfers is now alleging a civil rights violation against the Tour of California for giving women just three stages and 177 miles of racing routes, compared to seven stages and 777 miles for the men.

In a surprise move, German pro Marcel Kittel walked away from the Katusha-Alpecin team after he was left off the roster for the Tour of California, following a dispute with team officials last month.

 

Finally…

Forget avocado toast; stick one on your bike instead. One day you’re a 10-year old in elementary school, the next you’re on tour as a BMX champ.

And your next tire pump could stick to your bike like magic.

Unless your bike is aluminum.

Or carbon fiber.

Or titanium.

 

Morning Links: LA club rider suffers life-threatening injuries, distracted driving addicts, and LACBC Bike Month calendar

Once again, we seem to be the bearer of bad news.

Very bad, in this case.

I’m told a Los Angeles-area man is on life support after a solo crash while on a club ride last weekend.

I was forwarded this Facebook post from his ex-wife. However, I’m withholding his name for now out of respect for his family.

As many of you know, my ex-husband was in a horrible bike accident on Saturday morning. He had ridden from the Rose Bowl to Duarte with his bike group, and while the group was riding in a parking lot at the Santa Fe Dam, he hit a parking curb at low speed and went over the bike’s handlebars. He hit the ground face first, so his helmet offered no protection. He fractured his skull, broke his neck and spine, and suffered many other injuries. Yesterday the neurologist said that he couldn’t detect any brain activity, and that there is about a 1% chance of the best case scenario at this point, persistent vegetation. The Don we knew is gone.

My heart aches for our children…Don loves them dearly and is very proud of them, as we all are. I am also sad for his loving family and friends who will miss him dearly. And I am so, so sad for Don, his suffering, and the lost opportunities and experiences he will never have…

I’m heading back to County USC with the kids this morning. Don is on a ventilator in an induced coma, and the hospital is still running diagnostic tests on him. Please send up a prayer or good thoughts for him and his loved ones. Show your family and friends how much you love them, savor the blessings you have and pay them forward. You never know what life will deal you.

 

As she says, prayers or good thoughts are in order, whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tell your loved ones how much you care now, before your next ride.

Because bicycling is usually a safe activity. But as this case reminds us, bad things can happen unexpectedly.

I’ll follow up if I learn more.

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This is who we share the roads with.

According to the LA Times, insurance companies are tracking distracted driving and smartphone usage by drivers. And the news isn’t good.

Although that shouldn’t surprise anyone who spends much time on the streets.

The report says one out of every 12 drivers is considered to be addicted to their phones, which they define as looking at a smartphone at least a third of the time while driving. A number that’s predicted to rise to 20% of all drivers within the next three years.

Yet remarkably, one-third of the worst distracted driving offenders consider themselves extremely safe drivers.

Right up to the point they run someone else down. And then probably blame the other person.

The story says apps that remind drivers to put their phones down or track how much they use their phones while driving can cut usage by 35% to 40%.

But the only real solution will be requiring smartphone makers and carriers to block everything but navigation apps and 911 calls on the driver’s phone while the car is in motion.

And yes, that includes the text readers and in-dash internet systems car makers inexplicably insist on building into their vehicles to satisfy their phone-addicted customers — and make them more dangerous for everyone else.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal for an LA Green New Deal was criticized for it’s auto-centric focus and waiting until it’s already too late to address climate change.

Not to mention halving the commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes a year that we were promised in the 2010 bike plan.

And since LADOT shifted to measuring distances in lane miles after the plan was adopted — in effect counting each side of the roadway as separate bike lanes — that actually works out to just 10 miles of new bike lanes per deal.

Not exactly a solid commitment to a greener, bike-friendlier future.

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It’s May.

Which means Bike Month in Los Angeles, and most of the US.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has kindly provided a calendar of Bike Month events in the City of Angels.

Metro has a more complete Bike Month calendar here.

Sadly, the annual Bike Month wrap-up at Union Station isn’t on it, which mens it’s probably not happening this year.

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Congressional leaders met with Donald Trump yesterday morning, and left with an agreement for a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

Sort of.

After the meeting, the White House waffled on the price tag, and both sides agreed to meet in three weeks to discuss how to pay for it.

And only then will discussions begin on what, exactly, the government will buy with that money — if, and only if, they actually agree on funding, which seems pretty unlikely at this point.

The good news is, along with highway and bridge repairs, airports, mass transit and high speed internet, there could be a few dollars left over for bikeways.

We hope.

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Local

CiclaValley catches three bad drivers in the space of just two minutes.

Los Angeles has agreed to share data with Waze and other similar apps in exchange for excluding some streets from their rat run, cut through driving route recommendations.

LAist considers LA’s first two-way bike lane in context of the bikelash we’ve seen in other areas.

The mayor of Inglewood appeared to be responsible for a collision near USC that left an injured LAPD motorcycle cop as collateral damage.

Pasadena is in the final design process for its first two-way protected bike lane on Union Street. The city will hold a public meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the project.

Santa Monica will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation on Monday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Despite widespread handwringing over e-scooter injuries, statistics from Santa Monica’s pilot program shows just 89 scooter related injuries last year; 49 of those involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

 

State

San Diego’s iCan Bike camp has been helping kids with disabilities learn to ride a bike for a full decade.

About damn time. A street in San Diego’s North Park and South Park neighborhoods will lose up to 420 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. That was my neighborhood when I lived in San Diego. So once again, somewhere I used to live finally becomes bike friendly long after I’m gone. Which means I may have to leave Los Angeles before it finally becomes the bicycling paradise it’s meant to be.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, a World Cup mountain biker shows of the trails of his hometown.

A teenaged Vacaville robber was busted by a cop on a borrowed bike, when someone loaned the officer a bicycle to pursue the suspect through a rugged park.

Someone has been tossing nails on an Orangevale street for the past six months. And for a change, they’ve been nailing more than bike tires.

Railroad fans have filed suit against Sacramento to halt plans to remove unused rails to make room for a bike path, in hopes that they could be used for a vaporware excursion train someday.

 

National

Outside recommends the best cycling gear from their recent bike tests. I’ll take the Bontrager lights and Fizik road shoes, thank you.

Treehugger explains how to build a solar powered shed to recharge your ebike.

More proof that sidewalks aren’t the safest place to ride. A 16-year old Washington bike rider was injured when a driver decided to use a parking lot as his own personal cut-through lane to avoid stopping for a red light. But sure, tell me again how bicyclists never stop for traffic signals.

Montana police busted a pair of apparent bike thieves when they stopped a suspicious vehicle, and found a “high-value” bicycle in the back that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.

There may be a dispute over just how effective bike helmets are on the streets. But a North Dakota climate expert says put one on for tornado protection.

Tragic news from Tulsa OK, where a woman fled to Mexico before she could face charges for the death of her five-year old son, who was hit by a car after he fell off an e-scooter she was allegedly riding in a reckless manner; she didn’t even stick around for her own son’s funeral.

A Chicago boy received a new bike built for him by members of a girls soccer team, part of a program for high school students to give 100 bicycles to children of military service members.

A Minneapolis health company’s new office is designed around a bicycling theme, including bike seats and handlebars, to go along with the cycling team they sponsor.

That’s more like it. An Indiana city considers fining drivers $1,000 for dooring a bike rider.

Tragic news from Cincinnati, where a man pled guilty to accidentally shooting his own 13-year old cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang dispute as he rode his bike home after helping clean a community center after school.

Pennsylvania considers allowing parking protected bike lanes on state roads; they’re already legal on city-owned streets.

We so need this in Los Angeles. A beta app allows DC road users to report dangerous drivers and look up their license plates for citations and outstanding tickets.

The Washington Post offers nine things to consider before you decide to go carfree. Including whether you live in sprawling Los Angeles.

Baltimore’s drunken, hit-and-run Episcopal bishop will be released from prison this month after serving just half of her seven-year sentence for killing a bike rider; Heather Cook was defrocked after her conviction, but her victim’s children will spend a lifetime without their father.

As long as you’re going to break into a Florida bike shop and walk out with a $3,500 mountain bike, you might as well take the change from the cash register with you.

 

International

A new self-charging, belt drive, single speed ebike promises you may never have to charge it.

Yes, it may have pedals. But that doesn’t make it a bicycle.

Victoria, British Columbia, has appointed Canada’s first bicycle mayor.

Instead of expanding the Saskatoon bike network, city leaders vote to roll it back by removing a bike lane and slowing down further implementation.

A Toronto website lists the city’s best neighborhoods for people who ride bikes.

A European website says a new bike registration system in Brussels can guarantee you’ll never have your bike stolen again. Actually, it only means your bike could be recovered if it’s stolen and someone finds it.

Clearly, beauty is no protection from dangerous drivers. The runner-up to 2017’s Miss France was killed in a collision while riding her bike with a friend, when she swerved to avoid a driver and was struck by a tractor driver pulling a load of logs.

Exploring Bern, Switzerland’s hidden gems by bike.

An elite Australian cyclist is dead, and a 21-year old woman will face charges for killing him, because she couldn’t resist texting her boyfriend seconds before running him down.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet another bike racer has been killed in a traffic collision. Thirty-year old Australian amateur Damion Drapac was killed in a head-on collision while riding to a bike race. If the name sounds familiar, his father is the owner of the Drapac-Cannondale development team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a dog holds more world records for riding a bike than you do. Coworking in a parking space for a pocketful of quarters.

And who needs a tent when you can tow your home behind your bike?

 

Morning Links: Garcetti unveils LA Green New Deal, sharing the road with texting drivers, and Woon fund nears $10,000

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled his proposal for an LA Green New Deal, calling for a net zero carbon footprint for the city in just 31 years.

Sort of like that 20% drop in traffic fatalities we were promised by 2017.

So how’s that working out for you, anyway?

In addition to other proposals to fight climate change, Garcetti is calling for a zero-emission transportation network by 2050, driven — if you’ll excuse the phrase — by a major shift to buses and trains, resulting in a 45% drop in miles driven.

And yes, he does include bikes and scooters in that LA Green New Deal. Though just how much emphasis they’ll receive remains to be seen.

Which means safe riding routes will be necessary if the city is going to come anywhere near that 45% goal. Let along allow more Angelenos to go carless altogether.

As always, however, the question is whether Garcetti and LA’s other elected leaders have the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to get nearly half the city’s cars off the streets. Or to maintain those goals when new leaders come in to take their place.

Because so far, at least, saving lives hasn’t been enough to do it.

But maybe the city’s climate-conscious councilmembers, such as self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, will finally support bike lanes if it means saving the planet.

We can dream, can’t we?

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Pasadena police wrote 366 tickets in just four days for texting while driving during April’s Distracted Driver Awareness Month, along with another 273 tickets for other violations.

Which means that if you think you’re surrounded by distracted drivers every time you get on your bike, you’re probably right.

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It’s been a few days since I checked in on the crowdfunding campaign to give the impoverished infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier a better start in life.

So I was surprised to learn it’s now just $614 short of the $10,000 goal.

Credit Peter Flax for the jump in donations, whose story for Bicycling called attention to the tragedy of Woon’s death, and the heartbreaking impact his loss has had on those who loved him.

And led to over $8,000 in donations in less than a month.

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

A Tulsa, Oklahoma bike rider was shot in the leg three times by someone in a passing car.

A Peoria, Illinois truck driver threw a water bottle at a bike rider, followed by threatening him with a gun, after yelling at the bicyclist to get out of the road. Must be a rough town; a jaywalking pedestrian was threatened with a gun by another driver two days earlier.

Horrifying news from Michigan, where a hit-and-run driver dragged a bike rider under his car for more than a mile before he shook loose; the victim was hospitalized in critical condition. Seriously, what kind of walking human scum could be so cruel, uncaring and violent towards a complete stranger?

A British man drove 65 miles to deliberately slam his car into a bike rider he blamed for ruining his life — then got out of his car to hit, kick and strangle the victim as he lay in the street with gaping wounds and multiple fractures to both legs.

………

Local

More on the opening of LA’s first two-way protected bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the LACBC says they’re already talking with LADOT on how to improve the new lanes.

A Los Feliz newspaper recognizes a number of local streets on LA’s Vision Zero High Injury Network; the city says it’s working to make safety improvements to some. Without, you know, actually inconveniencing drivers or anything.

 

State

A new Riverside bike commuter wonders why everyone yells at him when he rides on the sidewalk. Maybe it’s because sidewalk riding is illegal in Riverside. Or maybe just because bike riders are actually safer riding in the street under most circumstances.

Outside follows a San Francisco bike commuter on his two-hour, 35-mile mountain bike ride to and from work along some seriously technical singletrack trails.

There’s a special place in hell for the coward who drove off and left a Sacramento bike rider unconscious and bleeding in the street.

You never know when the owner of your favorite Berkeley coffee shop could turn out to be a former BMX star.

A 15-year old Carmichael boy was critically injured when a red-light running driver crashed into him as he as riding in a crosswalk with the green light. Yet somehow, the police still manage to blame him for failing to wear a helmet or reflective clothing.

A knife wielding Chico man was severely beaten by another man using an unspecified bike part. Which makes me wonder just what part he was using, and whether the rest of us could use it for self-defense against road raging drivers.

 

National

Speaking of Outside, the magazine is conducting its mountain bike testing in my brother’s new hometown.

A writer for Singletracks says all bikes are gravel bikes if that’s where you ride them.

More proof bike thieves are among the lowest forms of human life. After a Portland man was busted while burglarizing a bike shop, police discovered  he was responsible for the hit-and-run death of an 85-year old woman who was run down on her daily morning walk.

A bighearted Washington cop dipped into his own wallet to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen and the police couldn’t recover it.

Nice story, as a Utah community gathers to celebrate the 70th birthday of a man known to everyone as Bicycle Brent, who makes a point of honking his bike’s horn and waving to the people he passes.

A San Antonio TX newspaper asks if the city can convince — or force — scooter riders to wear helmets. Short answer, no. Longer answer, no one is going to carry a helmet with them all day on the off chance that they might ride a scooter; they’ll either skip the helmet, or skip the scooter and drive instead.

An Ohio bike advocate is urging the police to take a report on all collisions involving a bicycle whether or not anyone says they’re hurt, because bike riders often don’t know they’ve been injured until the adrenaline wears off. That’s a common complaint, which is why I always advise telling police you were injured, whether or not you feel any pain.

I like it. When a Pennsylvania bike rider got tired of being harassed and run off the road, she responded by strapping a BMUFL sign on her back.

After a Texas paper’s DC bureau chief sent a tone deaf tweet calling bike and scooter riders who run red lights “adult assholes” — on the same day bike riders rallied for safer streets following the death of leading advocate Dave Salovesh — a writer responds by comparing the actual stats on how many people are injured or killed by bike riders to those injured or killed by motor vehicles. And no, there’s no comparison.

The NYPD is being sued for fining delivery riders using banned ebikes, instead of following department policy and fining the restaurant owners.

Former NY Rangers hockey star Sean Avery is one of us, calling it therapeutic to confront drivers who illegally park in bike lanes.

Baltimore bicyclists rally to keep a parking protected bike lane from getting ripped out because drivers can’t figure out how to park in it.

Horrifying news from Georgia, where a teenager fatally shot a 60-year old man just to steal his bicycle.

Four Florida bike riders were seriously injured when the wheelchair lift gate on a medical lab truck fell open, and the driver kept going without realizing he was mowing people down.

 

International

An op-ed in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the bikelash to the city’s efforts to improve safety for bike riders is unwarranted and short-sighted. Pretty much like the opposition to safer and Complete Streets anywhere else.

The Beeb — as opposed to the Bieb — recounts the history of the bicycle, and explains why the future of bikes is so bright it has to wear shades.

An English soccer legend was seconds away from getting hit head-on by a red light-running driver, as he set out on a long-haul triathlon across the country.

A pregnant, cocaine-binging British mom was busted for driving on a suspended license, after she was released from a year behind bars for slamming into a bike rider while high as a dragon in Westeros.

A man in the UK has put together a Twitter thread to demonstrate just how differently bike riders and drivers are treated after killing someone. Which is an exceptionally rare thing for bicyclists; for drivers, not so much.

Brussels, Belgium is planning a protected bike lane on the auto-centric street in front of the European Union Parliament building.

Now that’s more like it. An estimated 10,000 bike riders turned out in the rain to demand safer streets in Budapest.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has named the riders who will compete for the national team at next month’s Amgen Tour of California, which rolls in less than two weeks.

 

Finally…

When you have meth at home and your carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, maybe riding salmon in the left lane isn’t the best idea. Nothing like installing the bollards in the wrong place on a two-way, now unprotected, bike lane.

And there could be an Android smartphone hidden inside your bike computer.

 

Morning Links: A bike path in the rain, Major Taylor rides again, the war on bikes, and who we share the roads with

Greetings from Los Angeles, America’s second-place city™.

The Super Bowl is over, but the rain isn’t.

So be careful out there. Light yourself up even during day rides, and ride defensively, because drivers assume no one in their right mind would ride a bike in weather like this.

And they may be right.

But when has that ever stopped us?

And let’s hope none of those drivers were inspired watching yesterday’s game, and decide to drive like the people in car ads.

My apologies to anyone who sent me links over the weekend. While I truly appreciate it, I’m afraid I lost track of some of the people who sent them. So please accept my apologies, as well as my thanks.

………

In case you wondered, this is why they close the bike path on the LA River, and other water-adjacent bike paths, when it rains.

………

Even a separated bike path isn’t safe when it rains, as this driver ended up upside down on the San Gabriel River bike path.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

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The New York Times gives the legendary Major Taylor the obituary he deserved, but never got, when he died penniless in the 1930s.

Known as the Black Cyclone, he was the first African American cycling world champ, and just the second in any sport.

And like those who integrated other sports, he had to overcome hatred and prejudice, as well his opponents on the track.

He also made a brief splash in yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Unlike a certain LA team we could name.

………

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

After a New York bike rider raps on a man’s car to chastise him for parking in a bike lane, the driver gets out and threatens to shoot her in the head if she does it again.

Which is a nice, psychopathic response to a totally non-threatening gesture.

In a bizarre case, an 8-year old South Carolina boy claims a car full of men stopped next to him as he rode his bike, and the driver pulled a gun on him for no apparent reason.

A Florida man says a pickup driver forced his bicycle off the road, then attacked him with a metal pipe.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on meetings being held to discuss options to close the 8-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA; one last meeting will be held in Cypress Park on Thursday.

Urbanize Los Angeles offers a better look at the streetscape improvements coming to Broadway and Manchester in South LA.

A Nigerian journalist offers a tourist’s eye view of the City of Angeles, including a bike tour of Venice, after an Ethiopian airline begins direct flights from Togo. Although he seems to confused Los Angeles with San Diego, size-wise.

A Long Beach police detective is in deep trouble after a pair of allegedly drunken and/or stoned crashes, including fleeing the scene after rear-ending a bike rider in Marina del Rey, followed by crashing into another driver on the 405; she was released on $100,000 bond. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Police in Gardena pulled over a suspected drunk driver who was weaving across the street, with a BAC over four times the legal limit — a level so high it’s usually fatal. He was already on probation for a previous DUI, and had an interlock device on his ignition, which he somehow managed to defeat.

State

Costa Mesa officials discuss plans for a buffered bike lane and multi-use path on Merrimac Way.

San Diego lifeguards rescued a half dozen dockless bikes that had been tossed off a cliff into the ocean, spotting and retrieving them while on a training mission.

San Diego’s Planning Commission voted to eliminate parking requirements within a half mile of major transit stops.

Bakersfield police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding woman with major injuries.

A San Jose columnist credits bike lanes with a drop in bike and pedestrian deaths last year, equalling the number of homicides in the city, which is not necessarily a good thing. In the same piece, a former prosecutor and defense attorney tries to excuse DUIs, saying everyone does it and drunk drivers should get off with just a diversion class. I’m not saying he’s completely full of shit, but if someone gave him an enema, he probably disappear entirely.  

The San Jose Mercury News says Complete Streets are spreading across the state. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where too many councilmembers lack the courage to stand up to NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

Bicycling and transit use have both dropped in San Francisco in recent years, as the overwhelming majority of people still prefer cars.

Is anyone really surprised that a pair of scooter providers have failed to live up to the promises they made to get permits to operate in San Francisco?

A man on a bike is accused of attacking and choking a Novato hiker after she tried to stop him from kicking her dog.

Horrible news from Napa, where a grandfather was beaten to death while riding on a local bike path. Meanwhile, in nearby Santa Rosa, a homeless man was beaten to death by two men who accused him of stealing a bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth that.

Nice gesture from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which gave away 600 bicycles to children affected by the devastating Camp Fire.

National

No, a Peloton bike probably won’t get you the body of your dreams.

Lime is pulling their dockless bikes from St. Louis, replacing them with e-scooters.

Stephen Katz forwards a rare story of forgiveness, as the family of a bike rider killed by a dangerous bus driver on the campus of the University of Texas decides to turn the other cheek.

Oh, hell no. A proposed update to Rhode Island’s transportation budget would gut bicycle funding by shifting over $31 million into highway projects.

A New York teacher is planning to bike across the US to raise money for cancer patients, just two years after she had open-heart surgery.

International

Mazatlan, Mexico now has a docked bikeshare system, which will eventually grow to 350 bikes and 50 stations.

A self-described avid cyclist in Windsor, Ontario says there’s got to be a better way to improve bicycling without removing parking or traffic lanes for bike lanes. If he knows one, maybe he could actually make a suggestion or two.

London considers establishing an app-based bikeshare system; no, not that London. Meanwhile, a writer in the other London is looking forward to getting e-scooters on the streets trod by Nelson, Churchill and Dickens. And Jack the Ripper.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas offers UK readers advice on buying a bike, from ebikes and single speeds to gravel bikes and roadies. No offense, but is a pro cyslist who probably hasn’t bought his own bike in years really the best person to offer advice to casual and transportation riders?

I love a story with a happy ending. Carlton Reid tells the tale of a Brit CEO who traded his Mercedes supercar for an e-cargo bike. And lived healthier and happier ever after.

In today’s edition of two countries divided by a common language, English authorities warn people not to ride croggy. And yes, I had to click the link to learn what the hell that meant. Just like you will.

After police caught up with a British hit-and-run driver, she claimed she didn’t stop because she didn’t do anything wrong, and that the bike rider she ran down was trying to get hit. No, really, Because we all enjoy pain, especially when it’s delivered at the end of a bumper.

Great Britain’s future heir and two spares enjoy daily bike rides and dog walks, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — third, fourth and fifth in line for the British crown once their father and granddad kick the bucket — enjoy a relatively normal upbringing with their self-defense and evasive driving-trained nanny.

Horrifying story from Scotland, where a driver hit an Edinburgh bicyclist with his van, talked him into getting inside to take him somewhere to get help — then dumped him in the street a few blocks away, dragging him out by his leg.

NPR considers how women are breaking the taboo against bicycling in Karachi, Pakistan.

A woman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is leading the way to get more women on bikes in the conservative country, with 7,000 followers on her social media account dedicated to bicycling.

A Kenyan state governor shocks everyone by riding a bicycle to work sans security detail.

Social media users are calling a South African high school student a hero for swooping in on his bicycle to rescue a schoolmate who was being attacked, and losing his phone in the process.

A Kiwi columnist says don’t waste time arguing over e-scooters, when the real danger is quad bikes. Which aren’t really bikes at all, since they have four wheels.

One of Australia’s most wanted men is taking that feeling of being invisible on a bike seriously, hiding out from the authorities on a bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Sanne Cant clearly can, winning her third consecutive cyclocross world title. Although it kind of sucks when your own father costs you the title, as second-place Lucinda Brand learned the hard way.

Speaking of which, the ‘cross worlds will come to Walmart’s neck of the woods in three years, as Fayetteville, Arkansas is awarded the 2022 meet.

When a pair of Pro Continental riders found themselves unemployed after their Aqua Blue Sport team folded, they got their cycling mojo back by bikepacking across the alps.

Fat bike racing in the recent Minnesota polar vortex.

When the cycling team from India’s Rajasthan state showed up for the country’s national championships, they were forced to sleep on the floor under the velodrome.

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’re carrying coke, weed and prescription drugs on your bike at 4:30 am, put a light on it. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and weed in your pockets, put a damn light on it, already. Chances are you make a lousy travel companion.

And feel free to do this on the mayor’s desk if I ever get killed in a crash.

Morning Links: Who we share the roads with, Spring Street filming, and parking in the not-so-protected bike lane

This is who we share the roads with, part 1.

A hit-and-run driver plowed into a line of parked cars at 6th and Daisy in Long Beach, resulting in a daisy chain of crashed cars.

Or as the Long Beach Post called it, a car conga line.

But sure, tell us again about those entitled bicyclists.

Or maybe scooters.

………

This is who we share the roads with, part 2.

A Texas woman had this to say about the driver of the bus she was on after the driver fatally rear-ended a bicyclist on the University of Texas campus.

“She was drunk or she was crazy or something. She was not normal. I could feel it the whole time I was on the bus,” Mitchell said. “She was all over the place. One second she’d be 34 miles per hour, then 17 miles per hour, then 21 miles per hour. There was nothing steadfast about it.”

Not exactly the most comfortable way to get from here to there. And as usual, it was the guy on the bike who paid the price.

Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

………

This is who we share the roads with, part 3.

A drunken Honolulu driver killed three people when he somehow drove his truck across three lanes, jumped a traffic island and hit six people, followed by crashing into a pole, then into another truck.

Three other people remain in critical condition, including the driver of the other truck.

Initial reports indicate one of the people killed was on a bicycle.

………

CiclaValley points out that the new Spring Street sort-of-but-not-really protected bike lanes don’t seem to have hurt filming, unlike the Hollywood rebellion over the previous green lanes.

Then again, it also seems to double as a parking lane.

But wait, there’s more.

Then again, I’m told that parking in the bike lane is a daily occurrence.

And so is the filming.

………

BikinginLA sponsors Cohen Law Partners offer advice on how long you have to file a lawsuit after a crash — two years in most cases.

Unless the driver holds you captive.

No, really.

………

Freemont, California approved plans for a 17-mile, $1 million bike lane network to make up for their existing patchwork of disconnected lanes.

And yes, the plans include Complete Streets and lane reductions.

Although Robert Leone suggests that maybe it’s just a ploy to keep more motorists off the main streets and on the highways.

………

Local

A Los Angeles architect says little vehicles like e-scooters and bicycles can help heal car-centric cities.

Long Beach has seen an average of over one person killed in traffic collisions every week this year, including two pedestrians and two bike riders.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department received a nearly $2 million grant from the state to conduct traffic safety operations over the coming year, including DUI checkpoints and bicycle and pedestrian safety education.

State

San Diego officials suggest defunding proposed bike lanes and sidewalks in a low income urban neighborhood, and moving the money to another project — even though it scored much lower on the city’s Visio Zero network.

The two-day, 30-mile Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride across San Diego County is intended to “help military veterans wounded on battlefield begin a new path towards healing.”

A mountain biker was airlifted to a hospital after suffering serious injuries while trail riding at the Vail Lake Village Resort east of Temecula.

The faux Dutch village of Solvang put a bike lane project on hold, after discovering it was cheaper to remove parking on both sides of the street than just on one.

A San Francisco woman got her $4,000 foldie e-cargo bike back after it was stolen, thanks to Bike Index and an alert cop. One more reminder to register your bike for free before something like this happens to you.

Not bias here. A Marin newspaper says six months is plenty of time to judge if a pilot bikeway program on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is a success. Let’s see if they say the same thing about the area’s next highway project.

Petaluma police busted a pedal-pushing burglar peeping into parked cars with drug paraphernalia and break-in tools in his pack.

Chico got a $12 million cash infusion from the state’s Active Transportation Program to build a bike bridge over a major roadway.

National

Good news. A new study shows “extreme” exercise like bicycling or running doesn’t put any extra strain on your middle-aged heart.

A writer for Bicycling wants to know if Google Sheets is trolling her with the image of four bicyclists on its homepage.

A new study of 22 cities shows that transit use drops an average of 1.27% annually when ride-hailing services enter a city; the only one not to see a drop was Seattle. It would be interesting to see if it has a corresponding effect on bicycling.

A Washington driver was sentenced to four and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a woman out for a 30-minute bike ride; her 81-year old husband found her body in a ditch when she didn’t come home.

In yet another example of our legal system keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Las Vegas hit-and-run driver with a previous DUI conviction downed three-quarters of a gallon of beer before he ran down a bike rider. Then downed another three-quarters afterward because he said he was going to jail anyway.

A Montana writer says it’s dangerous to tailgate bike riders, so don’t do it. Especially in the snow. Which is not a problem LA riders are likely to face anytime soon, though rain is another matter.

Pensacola FL embraces Complete Streets after a previous effort was torpedoed by city leaders.

West Palm Beach, Florida officials credit the city’s Vision Zero program for a more than 20% drop in crashes involving bike riders and pedestrians over the past year. Even though they didn’t adopt it until the last five months of the year.

A hate crime lawsuit was filed against the white Miami driver who threatened a group of black teenage bike riders with a gun while yelling racist epithets. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

International

Toronto votes to make a set of separated bike lanes permanent after they reduced crashes involving bicyclists by a whopping 73% during the pilot period. More proof that bike lanes work, despite what the traffic safety deniers claim.

There’s a lot of good people out there. A British woman wants to thank the strangers who rushed to her aid after she skidded on some oil and flew off her bike.

Not surprisingly, a UK used car magazine’s campaign to give free reflective wear to vulnerable road users got a lot of blowback on social media, even though the company says they had a great response from the bicycling community.

Twenty more bicyclists have come forward claiming they had “inexplicable” crashes at a single intersection on an English roadway, bringing the total to 28 people who say they were injured falling off their bikes at the same location.

No size shaming here. An Irish rugby player says when he sees someone who weighs 280 pounds riding a bicycle, he wonders “What’s the point?” The point is a) they’re improving their health, b) they may be going somewhere, and c) they’re enjoying themselves. So get over it, already.

A Norwegian startup has developed a rechargeable, bendable GPS tracker that can be wrapped under your handlebar tape to help fight bike theft.

A one-armed Indian bicyclist rode nearly 1,000 miles from Delhi to Mumbai in just 15 days. No word on whether anyone lent him a hand.

An Aussie newspaper says motorists are wrong when they criticize bike riders for breaking the rules — like the man who drove on a bike path to swear at two bicyclist who were riding in the road, not doing a damn thing wrong.

A bicyclist says the barriers blocking an Australian bike path are just a load of bollards.

Hurry, and you might be able to score one of two remaining handmade ti bikes inspired by the ancient Chinese imperial court in the Forbidden City, for just under $6,000; the other seven have already been given to foreign dignitaries as national gifts. Or you could just ask your favorite dignitary to give you theirs.

Finally…

Evidently, the fifth time is not the charm. If you’re trying to ride away from an angry owner after stealing his bike, watch out for cross traffic.

And now you can ride My Boo.

As long as you’re willing to move to the UK first.

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

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How to build a DIY wooden bike.

………

A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

………

It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: Tagging bike lane blockers, who we share the roads with, and bad biking in the sand

Let’s catch up with a few recent emails.

Chris Buonomo suggests that Los Angeles needs a movement to start tagging cars belonging to drivers who block bike lanes, whether with an #iparkinbikelanes hashtag on social media, or attaching stickers reading the same thing directly on the cars.

Or maybe we just need to invite a few of LA’s more infamous taggers to spray the message on drivers’ cars and trucks who block bike lanes.

That might put a stop to it pretty fast.

………

J. Patrick Lynch offers another example of who we share the roads with, as a big rig driver ignores restrictions against oversized trucks, contributing to a slow speed disaster.

………

Who out there is old enough to remember the Shangri-Las, and their classic hit, Biking in the Sand?

For the rest of us, here’s the real original.

………

This is who we share the roads with, too.

A road raging New York cab driver was caught on video beating an older Hasidic man in a crosswalk, before chasing after a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene.

The incident started when the driver became angry because the victim wasn’t crossing fast enough, and spiraled out of control when the Jewish man tapped on the driver’s window to confront him.

Or maybe it was an anti-semitic hate crime, as the victim alleged, but the police dismissed.

………

Finally, Stephen Katz forwards news of a speeding truck driver on trial for the hit-and-run death of an Ottawa, Canada father as he was riding his bike; both the victim and his killer were captured on security cam video just seconds before the crash.

………

Local

Turning its back on proven traffic engineering and best practices — as well as anyone who chooses not to drive — Pasadena officially pulls the plug on plans for a road diet and Complete Streets makeover of Orange Grove Blvd, caving in to the demands of an organized auto-centric pressure group modeled on, and organized by, Los Angeles traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving.

Bike SGV is offering one of their infrequent Traffic Skills 101 bike safety courses this Saturday.

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is holding a Halloween party on the 27th.

 

State

Sad news from Redlands, where a 48-year old scooter rider was killed in a hit-and-run; this is at least the fourth fatality involving e-scooters since their recent spread across the US. Update: A reporter for the Souther California News Group has clarified that the victim was on a moped, not an e-scooter.

Santa Maria is finally attempting to get bike friendly, ten years after adopting the city’s bikeway master plan. So maybe there’s hope for Los Angeles and its 2010 bike plan yet.

San Francisco shows what can happen when civic leaders aren’t terrified of angry drivers and business owners, committing to remove lanes from two major downtown arteries to improve safety for everyone. Unlike a few SoCal cities we could name.

Streetsblog questions whether enough scooters have been allowed to return to San Francisco to make it a useful transportation service.

A Dallas writer describes bike touring through the Sonoma wine country, while a self-described Indian Mamil visits nearby Napa Valley by bike.

 

National

Bloomberg says cities will have to find a way to safely accommodate e-scooters, because the “promise of cheap, easily available, motorized personal transportation is too alluring to be legislated out of existence.”

Life is cheap in Oregon, where a FedEx driver was acquitted of a lousy misdemeanor charge for failing to yield to a rider in a bike lane after fatally right-hooking a bike rider, when his lawyer successfully argued that the bike lane didn’t continue across the intersection if it wasn’t actually painted on the street.

According to a local TV station, Seattle says no to e-scooters because they’re too dangerous, while nearby Tacoma says “Wheeeeee!Someone should give that headline writer a raise.

Streetsblog says New York is going backwards — “giving in to a backlash from the city’s car-owning minority” — while cities like Madrid move forward on traffic safety with a sub-20 mph speed limit. Sadly, they’re not the only ones.

New Orleans bicyclists face a long road to justice after being injured by hit-and-run drivers, thanks to a lack of police investigations and a court system that brushes them off. Unbelievably, the city refuses to get involved in hit-and-run cases as long as the driver has adequate insurance. That’s like saying it’s okay to rob a bank as long as you come back later to pay for any damages.

After a University of Alabama student was injured when his bike collided with a golf cart driven by a university employee, the student newspaper reminds everyone that the official policy is to walk your bike in pedestrian areas. Except the golf cart was traveling in a bike lane.

 

International

A 23-year old São Paulo woman is fighting to confront the supremacy of motor vehicles in Brazil’s largest city.

A Toronto paper asks if bike riders are next after drivers mow down the plastic bollards on a protected bike lane. Although it’s hard to call something protected when there’s nothing separating people on bikes from motor vehicles except a thin line of easily knocked down plastic posts.

A new Canadian study shows government subsidies for electric vehicles could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions at the public’s expense.

A study from King’s College London says children living in the first London borough to install a Mini-Holland bicycling network will live an average of six weeks longer as a result.

Heartbreaking news from London, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run on an unprotected street just hours after a tweet calling for more protected bike lanes.

An engineering website says this lightweight, flexible British bike lockavailable through Kickstarter — is the world’s best bike lock. Although it may not be available on this side of the pond.

You’ve got to be kidding. A 17-year old English boy somehow avoids jail, despite being caught on video hitting and kicking a man to steal his bike, and dragging him across the pavement. The judge says they had to dig deep to find any good in him, while his lawyer argued it would be unfair to single him out. Unlike, say, the innocent victim who took a beating trying to hold onto his bike.

The BBC talks with a woman who forgot how to speak English after crashing into another bike rider and suffering a serious injury when she landed head-first on the street.

A Dutch report says ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes, but that older riders are are greater risk using them.

The LA Times recommends a $6,400 bike tour of Turkey’s ancient sites. Or add another $1,200 if you’re traveling alone.

Another one to add to your bike bucket list, as a pair of Indian architects take a bike tour of the Kashmir region. Or maybe you’d rather ride around Hanoi’s largest lake.

A Kenyon banker quit his job to work as a wrench and open his own bike shop.

Yes, bike riders in Queensland, Australia can get a nearly $400 ticket for distracted bike riding. But no, they can’t get points taken off their driver’s licenses.

 

Competitive Cycling

Conservative websites continue to object to transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon’s victory in the 35 to 44 bracket in the recent world masters track championship. A GOP website repeatedly calling her a man, while a Christian site implies it’s unfair for women to have to compete against the “opposite sex.” Even though the third place finisher in the race, who also complained, had beaten her in 11 of 13 previous races.

Phillippe Gilbert says he has no intention of hanging up his cleats, despite breaking his kneecap during the Tour de France.

A young Brit cyclist faces the possible end of his WorldTour career after breaking his collarbone during last weekend’s Il Lombardia; Rouleur says it shows the murky, cutthroat side of the sport.

 

Finally…

Is it a model of mountain bike or a strain of newly legal Canadian weed? Speaking of the latter, it might make you faster.

And honestly, who hasn’t taken a naked selfie next to a busy street in broad daylight?

Morning Links: LACBC responds to LA worst bike city nod, Englander bails, and who we share the roads with

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition offered a response yesterday to Los Angeles being named the worst bike city in America by Bicycling magazine.

Worst Bike City in America Another Mandate to Make LA’s Streets Safer

Reading Peter Flax’s article “Los Angeles is the worst bike city in America” is not a wake up call for LACBC, but we hope it serves as one for some of our leaders. For those that work, partner, and volunteer alongside us, we’re highly aware of the dangers of biking and walking in LA, and care deeply about making our streets safer for all road users. Since 1998, LACBC has steadily grown our advocacy and education efforts around safe streets, with a re-focused commitment to equity and inclusion for the most vulnerable road users over the past three years. And while Los Angeles has seen some progress over our two decade history, having to see our friends and neighbors continue to die on our streets while walking and biking is not something we take lightly.

The October 10 article in Bicycling Magazine makes some excellent points, and speaks to the urgency regarding the state of our county’s streets and sidewalks. Working to advocate for livable streets in all 88 cities in LA County is a difficult task, but one from which LACBC does not shy away. Our team is proud of the framework our Interim Executive Director Janet Schulman and our Board of Directors are providing to the organization, and looks forward to ever-increasing our presence in making Los Angeles a better place to bike. During this time of transition, staff continues to focus on critical mobility justice issues.

As a 501(c)3, the LA County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to helping our community identify and implement complete street changes that would make our streets safer for people walking and biking. Much of our non-profit’s time is focused on base-building and advocating for policies and practices that encourage safer street design and improve the community engagement process. This is work that takes years to develop and grow, and the programs are transforming Los Angeles’s landscape into one that supports a culture of complete streets.

Like you, we take great pride in being an Angeleno, and we’ll never tire in trying to make tomorrow better than today. We invite you to become a part of the movement for safer streets in Los Angeles, and to volunteer with us in making our streets safer for those traveling around LA County.

It’s not exactly the hard-hitting response we might have wanted. But it may be the best we can hope for as the coalition struggles without permanent leadership after losing two executive directors in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, there’s still no hint of a response from the mayor’s office, or any member of the city council.

Today’s photo, like yesterday, represents the massive fail of being named America’s worst bike city. And the repeated failures on behalf of city leaders that brought us to this point.

Maybe we’ll just keep using it every day until they finally do something about it.

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Speaking of the city council, the only Republican on the panel, CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, announced he’s leaving the city council at the end of the year.

He becomes the second councilmember in recent years to blow off the people who elected him in favor of a higher paying job in the private sector.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Florida man was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into another car and sent it into a man walking his dogs on the sidewalk.

And was so drunk he didn’t even realize he’d suffered a compound wrist fracture, with the fractured bone breaking through the skin.

Blood tests afterward showed he had an alcohol level of .28, three and a half times the legal limit.

He had two previous arrests for DUI in Florida, as well as four DUI convictions in a ten year period in Virginia, along with another three for driving with a suspended license, earning him a whopping one year of probation.

He’s now facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving.

Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous drunk driver on the roads until it’s too late.

And on the other side of the world, the passenger in a New Zealand contractor’s truck can be heard on video urging the driver to run over a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway.

The owner of the company responded by calling it “extremely embarrassing.”

Never mind how embarrassed he should be that his employees were stupid enough to post it online.

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Local

L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar officially opened the new left-side Spring Street parking protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting in DTLA.

The LA Daily News reports on the ghost bike installation for Roberto Perez, the victim in Sunday’s Sun Valley hit-and-run. Now if we can just find the heartless coward who left him to die in the street.

North Hollywood residents will have more time to weigh in on the planned widening of Magnolia Blvd through the NoHo Arts district after people questioned whether it meets LA’s Vision Zero goals; you now have until November 26th to comment.

CiclaValley looks back at the recent NACTO convention in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County rapper Innate followed up last year’s solo album with a 5,000-mile bike ride across the US.

The California Coastal Commission has given its blessing to plans for a lane reduction, bike lanes and Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia.

San Francisco’s new mayor shows what can happen when the mayor isn’t running for president, moving to speed up work on a pair of safety projects on Market Street. Maybe LA’s mayor could take notes the next time he has a layover at LAX.

JUMP is looking to hire a Market Entry Project Manager in San Francisco.

 

National

Bicycling repeats what we’ve been talking about all week. If you want to fight climate change, leave your car in the garage and ride a bike.

Three bike riders tell Bicycling what Coming Out Day means to them, and why it matters. I’ve had a number of deeply closeted friends over the years, and have seen close up the damage living a double life can do. And the relief that comes with coming out.

Singletacks talks with the executive director of Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to mentoring young girls on mountain bikes.

Outside talks with the professional race car driver who helped Denise Mueller-Korenek shatter the land speed record for a human-powered bicycle.

An Oregon FedEx driver is going on trial for failing to yield in the death of a bike rider; the case hinges on whether a bike lane continues through an intersection. But it’s still just a traffic citation, rather than a criminal case.

A Seattle TV station questions whether it’s really the best bike city in the US. On the other hand, a Seattle weekly doesn’t mince words, saying Bicycling is dead wrong about the city’s first place finish.

My hometown is just one of four Colorado cities that made Bicycling’s list of the 50 best bike towns in the US.

A Denver TV reporter bikes to work live on camera, then learns from angry viewers that the state didn’t actually legalize the Idaho stop, they just made it so individual cities could if they want. And so far, Denver doesn’t.

Residents of an Ohio city are unhappy with plans to relocate a bike path in front of their homesEven though studies show it will make their property values go up.

Akron, Ohio is right sizing the city’s streets by removing lanes and installing bike lanes. And without the near riots that accompanied LA’s attempts to do the same thing on the Westside.

Support is growing for a two-way protected bike lane on New York’s Central Park West.

The NYPD responds to Streetblog’s Freedom of Information request on its decision to “close critical Manhattan bike lanes” during last month’s United Nations General Assembly by telling them, in effect, to mind their own business.

He gets it. A Maryland university professor says the cities of the future should be built for people on two wheels.

 

International

A Canadian writer explains that there are good reasons why you don’t need a license to ride a bike.

European bike makers, bicycle tourism companies and nonprofit organizations have banded together to form an organization representing 650,000 workers to “unite all the private sector voices in cycling, behind one vision, in one structure.”

If you build it, they will come. London opened three new quiet ways across the city, as newly released figures show bicycling in the UK capital increased 8% last year. Los Angeles has no idea how much bicycling went up or down last year because they’ve never bothered to measure it.

Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says traffic planners should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people to improve safety.

British bike hero Sir Chris Hoy says it’s time to end the “us versus them” attitude between drivers and bicyclists. No shit. Especially since most of the latter are also the former.

A writer from the UK suggests that the 30-mile Sellaronda in Italy’s Dolomites may be the most beautiful bike route in the world.

 

Finally…

Why mountain bikers should be glad summer is over. And the forgotten era of women’s bike racing in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

Morning Links: Arrest in Valbuena hit-and-run, adaptive bikes in the news, and who we share the roads with

Police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Jonathan Valbuena in Torrance last month.

Thirty-seven-year old Thomas Hudson was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes following a two week investigation.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Valbuena, who was described as homeless, was left to die in the street following the 5 am crash at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street.

Let’s hope the DA’s office takes this case seriously, and don’t just write it off because the victim didn’t have a home. Or was on a bicycle.

And that our state legislators finally do something to stop this murderous epidemic.

………

Today’s common theme is adaptive riding.

Bicycling profiles handcycle mountain biker Jeremy McGhee, who has developed a rating system for mountain bike trails accessible to adaptive riders. But then they don’t bother to, you know, link to it.

After losing the use of his own legs, a Colorado framebuilder switched his focus to building one-of-a-kind adaptive mountain bikes to bring wheelchair-bound riders back to the trails.

A Pittsburgh paraplegic is preparing to make an attempt to set a new record for the most miles traveled by handcycle in 24 hours.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An allegedly drunk, off-duty Lyft driver takes a wide, fast turn onto Sunset Blvd, and takes out a handful of people standing on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey a Go Go.

Then there’s this guy.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a British driver with eight previous convictions for distracted driving killed a bike rider moments after reading a text. And just weeks after magistrates agreed to let him keep his license.

Maybe those magistrates should be looking for a new line of work.

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Get your zen on with mesmerizing drone footage of bicyclists rounding a roundabout in bike-friendly Davis.

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Women on Wheels rides to brunch in the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

Maybe they’ll bring me back something from Donut Man. Not that I could actually eat it or anything.

………

Damn.

This punishment pass from the UK is about the closest I’ve ever seen without actually hitting someone.

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Local

A motion by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield would revoke regulations that have officially taken 374 LA streets off the books, preventing some of them from getting repaved since 1934.

NIMBY pressure group Fix the City settled a lawsuit that had stopped plans for a Frank Geary designed complex on Sunset Blvd; the group had somehow sued to preserve a dangerous right turn slip lane at Sunset and Crescent Heights that puts pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at needless risk.

Lyft is teaming with LADOT to sponsor a promotion to get you out of your car for 30 days. Shouldn’t be a problem; I haven’t driven mine for 285 days, give or take. Although if you’re just going to move to a ride hailing service, it doesn’t accomplish much.

Good news for South Bay bicyclists, as bike-friendly former Long Beach city councilmember Suja Lowenthal has taken over as city manager for Hermosa Beach.

 

State

The Folsom History Museum is offering new exhibits combining bicycles and beer. Or you could just ride your bike to your favorite microbrewery.

 

National

A City Lab Op-Ed proposes the concept of Universal Basic Mobility, based on the idea that everyone has a right to get around — for a price.

A business writer considers the inevitable conflicts between mountain bikers and trail runners as a metaphor for resolving business conflicts. Although from his description, I get the feeling he doesn’t know enough regular bike riders.

Gear Junkie looks at the latest ebikes on display at Reno’s recent Interbike show.

A Colorado letter writer makes the point that even when a bike lane is empty, it’s “reducing congestion and aggravation for transportation users of all kinds.”

Now that’s a ciclovía. Colorado Springs CO is closing the spectacularly beautiful Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark to motor vehicles this Sunday, replacing the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic with people on foot and bikes.

An Idaho man spends a late fall Sunday riding a little too fast past bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone Park.

Boston is working to improve its bike infrastructure, including a new two-way centerline bike lane, protected intersections and bicycle traffic signals.

No bias here. The NYPD continues to target immigrant delivery people riding banned throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than the restaurants they work for, despite the mayor’s promises and in violation of the city’s ordinance governing ebikes.

A bike-riding New York councilmember discusses her proposal to require crews to provide bike lane detours around construction sites. We could really use a similar law here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina bicyclists are warning each other to be careful after a bike rider was hit by an object thrown from a passing car.

A Louisiana parish responds to the collision that killed a bicycling Baton Rouge city councilmember by adopting an anti-bike “bike safety” law requiring bicyclists to wear flouro hi-viz and ride single file in groups of ten or less. None of which would have prevented the crash that killed him. Or likely the next one, for that matter.

 

International

Talk about not getting it. A Montreal letter writer says a ghost bike should be installed in front of city hall to remind politicians to “curb inappropriate cycling behavior to prevent hogging the road.” Which is not exactly what ghost bikes are for.

Bike riders and pedestrians will be included in a small class of vulnerable road users as Nova Scotia updates its traffic regulations for the first time since 1932.

No, removing bike parking from an English train station is not an “improvement.”

Scottish blogger Town Mouse gets a bad case of the speed wobbles.

Paris will now ban cars from the entire city center on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, to improve air quality and share public spaces.

The mayor of an Istanbul neighborhood is doing more than encouraging people to people get out of their cars and bike to work; he gave up his own official car and is using a bike to get to and from appointments.

An Indian cycling club will try to set a new record for the longest line of moving bicyclists; the current record of 1,186 bicyclists is held by Bangladesh.

A Sikh cyclist is challenging an Indian randonneuring ride’s requirement for all riders to wear a helmet, since that would mean removing the turban he’s required to wear by his faith.

Australian bicyclists are angry that two of the most popular riding routes have been bumped off plans for promised bike infrastructure, leaving thousands of bike riders on their own every day.

Australia’s eight-time world BMX champ Caroline Buchanan took time off from training in California to marry boyfriend Barry Nobles at Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Japanese police explain how a wanted man was able to hide in plain sight by posing as a bike tourist in Osaka Prefecture for seven weeks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The barren dirt slopes of Afghanistan are witnessing the birth of an equal opportunity mountain biking movement; 40% of the cyclists in a recent race were women.

Women’s cycling will visit the UK’s north for the first time next year, with the three-day Tour of Scotland.

Hard-hitting piece from Canadian cyclist Devaney Collier, as she explains why she’s still afraid to leave her home for training rides, two years after her teammate Ellen Watters was killed in a collision.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bakfiets when you can just subscribe to one? Your wait for a gold-plated track bike is finally over.

And the best drink mix for every type of ride.

And no, margarita mix isn’t one of them.

 

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