Tag Archive for windshield bias

LA Times fans OC ebike mayhem panic, City Hall die-in this Saturday, and Slate questions efficacy of bike helmets

No bias here.

The Los Angeles Times reports on complaints about ebikes in Orange County, where they face bans and draconian speed limits on and near beach trails.

No, just the complaints.

At least until you reach the bottom of the story, by which time most Times readers have already moved on to Marmaduke.

Instead of reporting objectively, the paper settles for reprinting the long list of complaints from Orange County’s anti-ebike crowd, who seem to consider them the worst tech advance since Elon Musk bought Twitter.

Here’s how the paper frames the story, starting with a longtime Newport Beach resident who compares the local boardwalk to the 405 Freeway.

Three decades ago, Levine moved to what some refer to as the city’s “war zone,” a nickname given not because of crime but for the reputation of summertime rowdiness along the boardwalk, which now includes an abundance of electric bicycles. The strip’s 8 mph speed limit means nothing to some of these people, he said.

He’s watched people get mowed down, dogs hit and too many near misses to count, he said. City leaders for years have studied how to manage the proliferation of e-bikes along the route but have stopped short of banning them.

“What we’re witnessing on the boardwalk is mayhem,” Maureen Cotton, president of the Central Newport Beach Community Assn., told the City Council during a meeting urging officials to address e-bikes last year.

So, let me get this straight.

It’s been a war zone for decades. But ebikes have somehow ruined everything.

Sure, that makes sense.

Then the paper moves on to repeating the same tired and previously discredited stats we’ve been hearing for months from PR staffers at the local hospital trying to fan the flames of an anti-ebike pyre.

During the first 10 months of last year, staffers at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo documented 198 e-bike injuries. Doctors saw 113 injuries in 2021 and just 34 in 2020, according to data provided by the hospital.

Between January and October of last year, 78 of the 198 people who suffered an injury on an e-bike were not wearing helmets and 99 suffered some type of head injury, data show.

“My feeling about the whole situation with e-bikes is that we got a device a little bit too fast, and the culture is not completely set for it,” said Tetsuya Takeuchi, the trauma medical director at Providence Mission Hospital…

Where to begin.

Evidently, some people who got injured riding ebikes weren’t wearing bike helmets. But most were.

And half of the people who were injured riding an ebike suffered a head injury. Which may or may not have been the 40% who weren’t wearing helmets.

It may come as a shock to the kind and caring people at Providence that some people who ride regular bikes don’t wear helmets, either. And some of them get hurt, too, though not always with head injuries.

Which is just one of the great, inexplicable mysteries of bicycling, that some people who don’t wear bike helmets don’t suffer head injuries, and some who do, do.

Then there’s the exponential increase in ebike injuries. Which just happens to coincide with the exponential increase in ebikes.

That doesn’t mean ebikes are dangerous. Just that a lot of people are using them now.

In fact, I’d consider 198 injuries a relatively small amount, given the untold thousands of Orange County residents who’ve adopted them.

Lastly, let’s consider the question of speed, which has apparently gotten “a little bit too fast.”

Under California law, which has been copied in most states, Class 1 and 2 ebikes, whether ped-assist or throttle-driven, are limited to 20 mph.

Which virtually anyone could top with a decent effort on a decent road bike. Never mind today’s lightweight, technological marvels engineered for every higher speeds.

The bikes, I mean, not the riders. Though some of them have been engineered for speed, too.

Yet somehow, those bikes aren’t considered too fast. And no one has banned 27 speed carbon-fiber bikes or their spandex-clad riders from the boardwalk.

And just wait until the good doctors at Providence learn how fast cars can go, and the damage they cause.

In fact, my stats show 12 people were killed by drivers while riding bikes in Orange County last year, a drop from the obscene 17 killed in 2021.

Ebike riders killed somewhere around zero in Orange County over that same time period, to the best of my knowledge.

So which of these is actually dangerous?

Then there’s the way the paper takes about halfway through the story, after fanning the flames of ebike haters, to even mention that there are different categories of ebikes, and dozens of different types.

And even then, fails to mention that the faster Class 3 ebikes are banned from bike trails that aren’t attached to roadways, beachfront or otherwise.

Or that even people on regular bikes struggle to meet those ridiculously low 8 mph speed limits without falling over.

But once again, no one is seriously suggesting that regular should be banned.

The key, as they finally get around to mentioning just before the end of the story, is behavior.

Someone who is a jerk in a car — or on a skateboard, or with a shopping cart — is just as likely to be a jerk on an ebike.

And a kid who has never been taught to ride a bike safely — electric or otherwise — is going to ride a bike or bike like a, well, kid.

Just what they’re riding doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it.

So let’s put away the torches and pitchforks, and learn to live with all those scary ebike monsters. Because really, they’re not bad, just new and different.

And seriously, LA Times, do better.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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We’ll let Streets For All put things in perspective with their call to participate in the Saturday’s City Hall die-in to protest traffic violence.

If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist in Los Angeles, you’re probably used to hearing about traffic fatalities in our community. But 2022 was a record-breaking year — in the worst way. Last year, there were 309 traffic fatalities in LA, breaking the 300 mark for the first time in more than twenty years. This is a staggering increase of almost 30% from 2020.

These statistics are tragedies in and of themselves, but they’re made even worse by the fact that pedestrians and cyclists are impacted the most by every measure. Cyclist fatalities alone went up 40% between 2020 and 2022.

We can’t keep living like this. Join us on the steps of City Hall on Saturday, January 21st at 9:30am for a die-in protest. It’s time for our electeds to start paying attention.

RSVP for more details

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A writer for Slate examine the limited efficacy of bike helmets, noting that “When it comes to the dangers threatening cyclists, wearing a helmet is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.”

They make the same argument I’ve been making for years — bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high impact crashes with motor vehicles.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear one.

The overwhelming majority of bicycling injuries result from falls, not crashes. Which is exactly what they’re made for.

I still credit my helmet with saving my grey matter, and possibly my life, during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident, and never ride without one.

But they should always be considered the last line of defense when everything else fails.

You’re a lot better off not getting hit by a car and its driver in the first place, rather than count on your helmet to save your life if you do.

………

In a related story, the Manhattan Beach Police Department tells teenage bike riders not to be melon heads, as they gleefully smash watermelons as a metaphor for helmet-less bike riders.

Even though watermelons smash much easier that teenage skulls, and most heads aren’t filled with seeds.

And yes, I said most.

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Ted Faber finds a pothole that could be the gaping maw of the gates of Hell.

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This is who we share the road with.

An alleged drunk driver in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood backs through a crowd of people trying to stop him from getting behind the wheel, then takes off, leaving injured bystanders strewn in his wake.

Thanks to How the West Was Woke for the heads-up. 

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

An South LA man apparently angry about his pending divorce decided to take it out on his wife’s house, and all the cars in the neighborhood.

But sure, tell us again about those OC ebikes.

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San Francisco Bay Area cyclist Nehemiah Brown is asking other people of color to join him in accepting the gift of gravel.

………

More proof of our auto centric world, as Irish Tic Tok’ers are shocked to see a man transporting a new flatscreen TV on his bike.

Even if he’s just using it as a cart.

@all_about_rosalilla

Who thinks this TV is making it home in one piece? #fyp #onlyinireland #tiktokireland #irelandtiktok #fypage #nanocelltv #whatsontelly #foryoupage

♬ Crash – The Primitives

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And this video pretty well sums things up, I think.

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

No bias here. Plans for a Manhattan bike lane are being held up by judges who don’t want to give up their cushy curbside parking next to the courthouse, with one court official comparing their efforts to the French attempting to hold back Nazi Germany prior to WWII.

A road raging British driver is on trial for allegedly punching and choking a man riding a bike, after clipping the arm of the victim during a close pass; he blocked the victim’s path and got out of his car when the bike ride slapped it and called him an idiot.

Another road raging British driver gets a lesson in setting the handbrake before going off on a bike rider, who didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

 

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

A British runner justifiably blasts schmucks who park on the sidewalk to go mountain biking.

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Local 

Longtime KPCC and LAist reporter Frank Stolze introduces the seven candidates who have qualified so far to run in the race to replace ex-councilmember Nury Martinez in LA’s CD6.

Speaking of Streets For All, Streetsblog reports on their call to transform current-day Mid City car sewer San Vicente Blvd into a linear park.

 

State

Orange County will install a new traffic signal at Oso Parkway and Coto de Caza Drive, just outside Coto de Caza, where eight-year old Bradley Rofer was killed by a pickup driver in September. As usual, the long-needed traffic fix only comes several months after Rofer was killed.

Former NBA great Bill Walton reacts to being harassed by homeless people while riding his bike through Balboa Park by suggesting all the city’s unhoused residents should get rounded up and sent to a camp on a military base — voluntarily, of course. Because that worked so well last time, apparently.

The CHP is looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a 22-year old Santa Barbara man riding his bike on PCH (scroll down) north of Ventura early Friday morning; there’s no description on the driver or vehicle, and no word on the condition of the victim.

 

National

Calvin, of “and Hobbes” fame, faces up to his greatest tormenters, including his bicycle.

Scott is recalling their 2022 Speedster road and gravel bikes due to a defective fork that could break during use.

Nonprofit group Black Girls Do Bike celebrates ten years of changing what the cycling world looks like by “providing welcoming, safe and fun opportunities for women of color to ride bikes.”

The Washington Post examines where cars outnumber drivers, let alone people. Surprisingly, California ain’t one of them.

In a report that should surprise absolutely no one, the Rhodium Group concludes that transportation is the leading source for climate damaging emissions for the sixth year in a row. To which bicycles contributed just this side of zero.

Apparently, not even Congresspeople are safe from traffic violence, as Oregon Representative Suzanne Bonamici and her husband were struck by a driver as they were crossing a Portland street Friday evening. Although CNN somehow manages to get through the entire story without mentioning that there was someone behind the wheel. 

A kindhearted Boise, Idaho group donated over 50 bikes to Ukrainian refugee children in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This is who we share the country with. Wyoming, the state where even Liz Cheney wasn’t considered conservative enough, continued its race to the bottom when state legislators proposed banning electric vehicles in a childish tantrum to protect the gas and oil industries.

The fight continues over a $12 million Houston road diet and bike lane project, as a county commissioner pushes it forward while a city councilmember works to halt it.

A pair of kindhearted Texas cops surprised a young boy with a new bike, after they fixed the chain on his old beat up bike so he could make it home from school.

Boston readers freak out over a single still photo of a woman on what looks like a bikeshare bike trying to merge onto a local highway, with her shopping bag dangling from her handlebars.

The New Yorker talks with the daredevil behind the city’s infamous bikeshare-riding stunt crew, the Citi Bike Boyz.

A DC proposal would give ebike buyers a $400 tax rebate, with an extra $500 for e-cargo bikes; low-income buyers could get up to $1,200 plus the e-cargo bike bonus.

At least 80 bike riders turned out to honor a pair of Baton Rouge, Louisiana high school cheerleaders who were killed in a collision with a cop at the end of a high speed chase; the cop was arrested and could face charges.

Young Miami bike riders conducted their annual MLK Day Wheels Up Guns Down ride. But somehow, all the local press could focus on was the usual heavy-handed police response, and the 58 felony and 11 misdemeanor arrests — not the hundreds, if not thousands, of peaceful riders and their message of hope. 

 

International

Havana, Cuba is installing their first public bikeshare dock, part of what promises to be a 300 bike fleet.

The former boyfriend of a Welsh woman killed while watching a mountain bike race in 2014 calls for more protection for bike race fans; she had come to see him compete.

Young “demon” ebike riders are accused of turning Amsterdam’s once angelic streets into a living hell, as they ride their souped-up ebikes at the unholdy speed of…24 mph. Which would make them relatively tame by Orange County standards.

India’s bike industry threatens a series of hunger strikes over a new requirement to install reflectors on bicycles; industry officials say the problem isn’t the mandate, but the penalties that would be imposed for failing to comply.

An Indian man was tied to a pole and viciously beaten and stomped after he was accused of stealing a bicycle. Look, I dislike bike thieves as much as anyone, but that’s going too damn far.

The bike boom continues, as Taiwan’s exports of bicycles and bike parts rose 23.11 percent annually to $6.15 billion. Or it could just means that more production is shifting to Taiwan from mainland China.

Gizmodo Australia misses the mark, insisting safety bikes came into widespread use about the same time cars did, and that bikes only enjoyed a few months as king of the roads before they were shoved aside by motor vehicles. Meanwhile, Adventure Journal marvels that bicycles were invented after the much more complex locomotives wereBut as Carlton Reid makes clear in Roads Weren’t Built For Cars, bicycles were widely adopted around the world long before cars ruled the earth. And if you haven’t read it yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Grace Brown kicked off the women’s cycling season by out-sprinting Amanda Spratt to win the Santos Tour Down Under, after Alex Manly led following the first two stages.

Sad news from the Netherlands, where 40-year old retired Dutch pro Lieuwe Westra was found dead, after suffering from depression for several years; nicknamed The Beast, Westra won stages at Paris-Nice, the Tour of California and Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as winning the Tour of Denmark and Driedaagse De Panne.

UCI is telling team cars to back off, instead of giving their riders an extra boost during time trials by changing the airflow behind the rider.

Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman has formally lost his medical license as a result of his involvement in a doping scandal, when he was caught ordering testosterone gel for an unnamed male cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you try a 30-foot jump on an ebike — and nail it. Maybe it’s time to put this “slightly used” VanMoof out of its misery.

And if you’re going to ride a kid’s Barbie bike across an entire country, always choose a small one.

Country, that is.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Soto-Martinez calls for new bus and bike lanes in CD13, San Diego op-ed calls bike lanes a rip-off, and drivers behaving badly

Less than 12 days left in the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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So let’s all thank Nina M and Todd T for their generous donations to ensure the bike news you need is ready and waiting when you need it. 

Don’t wait. Donate today via PayPal or Zelle.

Or better yet, stop what you’re doing and donate right now to keep all the bike bike news coming your way every day!

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You can’t say things aren’t changing in Los Angeles these days.

And Hollywood in particular.

In his first council session after replacing the recently ousted Mitch O’Farrell in LA’s 13th Council District, Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez introduced a motion calling for LADOT to report back with a list of bus lanes, bike infrastructure and pedestrian safety improvements that can be implemented within the next 18 months, as well as calling for placing shelters at every bus stop in the district.

Quite a change from O’Farrell, who spent eight years slow walking most safety projects, if not outright blocking them.

You can ask Soto-Martinez about his plans for the district at this evening’s Streets For All virtual happy hour; RSVP here.

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No bias here.

A retired university professor suggests that San Diego’s commitment to building bike infrastructure, with a goal of achieving a 10% bike commuting rate, is just another special interest rip-off.

Is this a joke? Or is it a monumental rip-off perpetrated by a very small but clearly well-organized special interest group of biking enthusiasts?

And then there is a safety issue. To date, there seemingly has not been any effort by the city or the state to either educate or enforce the multiple safety issues that are important for a mutual use of roadways by bicycles and automobiles. Few bikes on the road after dark have reflectors or lights; it is very rare to see a bicyclist signal to turn. And bicyclists blow through red lights and stop signs consistently — usually as they fly down one of the hills.

Just wait until he sees how people drive, in their big, smelly, two-ton death-dealing machines as they text on their phones, roll stop sighs and race to the next red light.

Of course, his proof that it’s a rip-off is that he and his husband don’t see bikes in the exact bike lane they’re watching, at the exact moment they’re watching it.

And never mind that the well-funded advocacy groups he complains about are in fact dramatically underfunded nonprofits who have to beg for money to continue their work every year.

It would be of interest to know which consultant arrived at this 10 percent number — and how. Special interest groups are focused, connected, well-organized and funded. My guess is that they were heavily involved in the planning for the pathways. And while clearly their prerogative, their influence seems to have outweighed the broader public good.

In reality, the broader public good includes getting people out of their cars — electric or otherwise — before we succeed in our so far successful efforts to destroy our planet, unless and until the erstwhile world’s richest man manages to find another one to move us all to.

And, of course, he can’t manage to make his case without the stunning revelation that “San Diego is not Copenhagen, Stockholm or Amsterdam.”

No, it isn’t. San Diego has much better weather for much of the year. And none of those cities were bike-friendly until they made the commitment and difficult transition to become that way.

But there is one thing he gets right.

San Diego is hilly, built around numerous canyons and hillsides. Yet I somehow managed to find relatively flat routes to get wherever I was going when I lived down there decades ago.

I doubt it’s gotten any hillier since.

Then there’s the ability of ebikes to flatten that terrain, and let anyone ride up and down them with minimal effort.

And if you’re to believe the local media and panicked seaside city officials, the entire place is already being overrun by ebike-riding social terrorists.

It’s possible that the city’s efforts to increase bicycling rates may fail, with too many people clinging to their steering wheels like Charleston Heston to his guns.

But it’s far too soon to give up, when the city’s bike network is still in its nascent stage. Let alone when its success is the only way the city can meet its climate goals.

So give it time, and keep building bikeways.

The worst thing that will happen is that the city will continue to get safer and more livable.

And maybe someday, someone in Copenhagen or Amsterdam will insist that they’re not San Diego.

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This is who we share the road with.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, except for the driver of the suspected stolen truck.

And a Laguna Beach hardware store was forced to close when a woman somehow drove her Tesla through the outer wall. Luckily, no one was injured.

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You only have until the end of this month to offer your input on how to make Redondo Beach Blvd and Ripley Ave safer and more comfortable spaces to bike and walk.

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After yesterday’s item about the brief flight of a pedal-powered plane, Steven Hallett reminds us about the Gossamer Albatross, the human-powered plane that successfully crossed the English Channel all the way back in 1979.

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

New York building owners are banning ebikes and e-scooters over concerns about battery fires, even though the problem is largely limited to refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

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

The people have spoken. People commenting here have all said we should stop linking to articles here where bike use is just incidental to some crime, rather than central to the story. So from here on, this section will be reserved for bike riders who fuck up big time. Let’s just make sure it’s not you, k?

Or me, for that matter.

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Local 

A Los Angeles actor and producer makes a pilgrimage to the great bicycling meccas of Europe.

In what should be must-see viewing for local and state officials, the new documentary 21 Miles in Malibu examines LA County’s killer highway, calling it one of the deadliest stretches of roadway in California.

 

State 

Caltrans is holding a webinar on Friday to present a progress report on the the Statewide Bike and Pedestrian Plan, with public comment extended to January 13th. Yes, Friday the 13th.

Streetsblog examines the worthy active transportation projects that didn’t get funded by the California Transportation Commission under a one-time, $1 billion state funding boost, demonstrating just how much demand there is for better bike and walking infrastructure.

‘Tis the season. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office held their annual Christmas Bike Giveaway for the 33rd straight year, donating 300 bicycles refurbished by county jail inmates to kids in need.

San Francisco Streetsblog checks the progress on the new curb-protected bike lanes on Oakland’s iconic Telegraph Ave.

 

National

A writer for Planetizen argues active transportation and micromobility can do far more to provide cost-effective cuts in emissions than most current emission reduction plans. Meanwhile, Government Technology suggests micromobility has rebounded from its pandemic-induced downturn.

A Streetsblog podcast talks with historian and author Peter Norton about the history of roadside memorials to the victims of traffic violence.

Bike Portland reports the city is working with the FHA to build several advisory lanes, where bike riders get a lane on both sides, and drivers share a single center lane.

Kindhearted Texas cops worked with a nonprofit group to give a boy with special needs a new bike after his was stolen. Don’t get me started on what kind of schmuck would steal a bike from a special needs kid, though.

More on the Michigan bike shop owner killed in a Florida collision while delivering bikes to children affected by Hurricane Ian; 57-year old Steven Pringle was a grandfather and Army vet who founded a nonprofit providing “bicycle therapy” to veterans by repairing bikes to give to children in need.

The bike lanes on New York’s Roosevelt Island Bridge got a new weather-resistant surface, replacing the metal grate that was prone to causing tire punctures.

New York building owners are banning ebike and e-scooters over fears of battery fires.

 

International

CityLab sees a big opportunity in tiny electric minicars.

Quebec rules that a bike rider who was grazed, but not hit, by a passing motorist is entitled to compensation for her injuries. Although someone should tell them that getting “grazed” is getting hit. And so is getting sucked in or blown off the road by a passing vehicle. 

A London micromobiity company is placing a cognitive function test within their app, which will require ebike and e-scooter users to prove they’re not intoxicated before they’re allowed to rent one. So why can’t we do the same thing for motorists?

Portugal is the first country to reduce the value-added tax, or VAT, on bicycles in an effort to encourage increased ridership.

A Norwegian student praises the kindness of people in India’s Uttar Pradesh province, after thieves stole his phone, credit card, ID and other documents while on an around the world bike tour.

Bizarre story from Australia, where a young woman pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of a 7-foot tall man who was last scene riding his bike, after arguing that she only thought her boyfriend and another man were going to “kick the shit out of him,” not kill him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colombian cyclist Miguel Ángel López was unceremoniously fired from his Astana-Qazaqstan cycling team, after the team found “probable” connections to a Spanish doctor being investigated for suspected drug trafficking and money laundering. But the era of doping is over, right? Or did they just get better at hiding it?

A Burbank website profiles a 16-year old mountain biker who competes in competitions throughout the US.

 

Finally…

Your bike could soon tell you when it needs new shoes. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just build a better kickstand?

And that feeling when bikes get squeezed out by pickleball.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Tax rebate for carfree households vetoed, Ballona Creek path closure, and cops claim quiet street too dangerous for bikes

More climate arson courtesy of Gavin Newsom’s veto pen.

Or pocket veto, anyway.

The California governor drove the final stake through what once was a very good bill, which in its original form would have paid Californians five grand a year not to own a car.

State Senator Anthony Portantino’s SB 457 was watered down as it made its way through the legislative process, until the final form passed by the legislature provided just $1000 for carless households.

Meaning if one person took the bus or rode a bike, while their partner drove, they’d get nothing.

But apparently, even that was too much for Newsom, who returned the bill unsigned.

Newsom’s veto message says he wasn’t signing the bill because it created a nearly $1 billion unfunded obligation each year, despite California’s record budget surplus.

Then again, he could have covered the entire thing by just moving a billion from Caltrans $20 billion budget.

Photo by Kevin Malik from Pexels.

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Looks like you’ll have to negotiate the streets through Culver City for the next week.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

Tragic news from Houston, where an eight-year old boy was killed while riding his bike near his home on Monday.

Then the local cops added insult to literal injury, claiming the street wasn’t safe for someone on a bike. Or on foot, for that matter.

But as this photo makes clear, if this one isn’t, what street is?

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Cycling Tips attempts to break the 58-year old, 142-mile record for cycling between Derry and Dublin, Ireland.

And manages to shatter it by over an hour.

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

A Montana man says he’s not a fan of bike lanes, suggesting they increase risk for riders while providing a false sense of comfort. Although the problems he points out still exist with or without them.

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

A Colorado man bolted from the local courthouse after a judge ordered him taken into custody on felony charges, before making his escape by bicycle; no word on whether it was his bike.

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Local

Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez wants the city to commit to building 100 miles of bus lanes every year, which can be shared by people on bicycles. Although even better would be committing to building 100 miles of bus lanes and bike lanes every year.

Caltrans will tear down a 63-year old pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino this weekend because it doesn’t offer enough vertical clearance for oversized vehicles; the agency pinky swears to develop even better freeway crossings for bike riders and pedestrians, though, after local residents vetoed plans for a replacement bridge.

Los Angeles is finally making plans to fix San Vicente Blvd between Olympic Blvd and La Brea Ave, reducing the number of lanes on the up to ten-lane residential street, while improving walkways and installing parking protected bike lanes.

ActiveSGV is teaming with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to introduce an 840-bike, subscription-based bikeshare system.

Sad news from Long Beach, where an e-scooter rider was killed near Downtown Tuesday morning, after allegedly running a red light at Seventh Street and Chestnut Ave.

A man on a bicycle suffered undisclosed injuries when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in Pomona Tuesday night.

 

State 

Carlsbad is taking action to improve bicycle safety after declaring a state of emergency last month, including accelerating plans to repave and restripe streets to create space for walkers and bicyclists, while conducting a citywide review of speed limits. Meanwhile, the city will remove a traffic lane from the Coast Highway, reducing it to a single southbound lane to make room for a two-way buffered bike lane.

A reporting team from The New York Times goes for an autonomous car ride through the streets of San Francisco, describing the self-driving vehicle as the overly cautious opposite of the famous car chase from Bullitt. And ended up walking when the car mistakenly detected a possible crash, and refused to budge.

Sad news from Sausalito, where a man died several days after he was injured in a collision with an ebike rider on a local trail.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says the hottest new car isn’t a car, it’s an ebike. And for once, the story isn’t hidden behind their draconian paywall.

Wired makes their picks for the best bike computers, ranging from $45 to $750.

Nebraska bike riders are planning protests to fight the removal of Omaha’s first and only protected bike lane, after the city concluded it would be incompatible with a planned streetcar.

Three people suffered “significant but non-life-threatening injuries” when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver as they were leaving a Houston Astros game in a pedicab.

A 20-year old Texarkana, Texas man faces a manslaughter charge for the collateral damage death of a bike rider; he was driving nearly twice the 45 mph speed limit when he crashed into pickup and continued on to hit the man on his bicycle.

Chicago is fighting a long history of drag racing in a wetlands park by ticketing drivers who park in the bike lanes.

A Syracuse NY man completed a 16,600-mile ride through each state capitol, along with Washington DC, in a single year — while donating blood eight times along the way.

DC is following the lead of New York to become just the second US city to ban right turns on red, as advocates hope it marks the beginning of a nationwide trend.

 

International

Get ready for your next public meeting with a rousing round of SIM NIMBY, the utterly useless SIM game that doesn’t allow you to build anything, anywhere.

A London borough council is calling for a ban on “illegal and dangerous” ebike chargers, in the wake of a series of recent fires; the targeted chargers aren’t designed for use with ebike lithium-ion batteries.

A 45-year old Scottish woman who holds the record for bicycling across the UK from Lands End to John O’Groats suffered a broken pelvis when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver pulling farm equipment.

An Indian woman created her own bicycle child’s seat using a kid’s plastic chair attached over the rear wheel.

You can’t legally ride handsfree in Australia. Or while gargling in Arizona, or in a Los Angeles swimming pool.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vatican — yes, that tiny Roman Catholic enclave in Rome, Italy — sent a one-man cycling team to last weekend’s world road cycling championship; despite the heavenly connection, 40-year old Rien Schuurhuis did not win. Or finish, for that matter.

Angry Mathieu van der Poel fans are posting scathing reviews for a Sydney, Australia hotel, after the Dutch cyclist was convicted of chasing a group of teenage girls who repeatedly knocked on his room and ran while he was trying to sleep before competing in the Worlds.

New Zealand’s Niamh Fisher-Black had to pay her own way to the Worlds — and won the first-ever U-23 women’s title anyway.

A writer for Road.cc pens a love letter to ‘cross, calling it cycling’s silliest discipline.

 

Finally…

Why leave your furry friends at home, when you can pack them into your new throttle-controlled ebike? More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even if it’s not yours.

And your next touring bike could come complete with a built-in table, chair and bed.

No, really.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Embarrassed to be seen on an ebike, support for Venice Blvd bike lanes, and Sierra Club backs faux-environmentalist

A quick update before we get started. 

My brother has made it to Kansas a week into his latest cross-country bike ride.

So far, things are running smoothly, despite temperatures in the high 90s. 

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No bias here.

A writer for The Atlantic, who clearly doesn’t get it, says ebikes are monstrosities that need to develop an identity of their own, distinct from bicycles and motorbikes.

Never mind that ebikes open up this wild and wonderful world of bicycling we so love to countless people who couldn’t ride a bike before, or would love to ride one again.

Not to mention countless more who use them as a simple and efficient way to get to work or school. Or do their shopping without having to break out the family SUV.

Or own one, even.

But writer Ian Bogost doesn’t see it that way.

But I’ve been trying to live with one, and brother, I’ve got some bad news. These things are freaks. Portraying e-bikes as a simple, obvious, and inevitable evolution of transportation (or even of bicycling) doesn’t fully explain these strange contraptions. The Venicsame was said of Segways, and then of Bird scooters, and both flamed out spectacularly…

Perhaps my e-bike ambivalence comes in part from the bike’s strange social status. An e-bike isn’t cheap—the least expensive ones are about $1,000, and they go up to $5,000 or more. But the symbolic value one receives in exchange is minimal. Spending five large on a conventional bike would get you a status symbol—you’d come off as a cyclist for sure. For that matter, spending that dough on a Vespa would infuse you with an Aperol-tinged Italianate cool. You’d want to be seen arriving on your moped. But I don’t want anybody seeing me on my e-bike. It’s just kind of embarrassing.

Seriously.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but who honestly gives a rat’s rear about the social cachet of your bicycle, unless you are in fact dropping way too much on a high-end roadie designed to make you faster than your little legs and limited skills would otherwise allow?

You know, kind of like an ebike.

But wait, as they say in informercials, there’s more!

Currently, e-bikes are trapped in the weird smear between pathetic, loser bicycles and pitiable, low-end motorbikes. Especially in America, where bike infrastructure is far less developed than in the small, flat nations of Northern Europe that cycling advocates like to exalt as a model, e-bikes have become kind of a nuisance. Walking the streets of New York City, it now feels just as likely that you might get mowed down by an e-bike as a taxicab. Elsewhere, the narrow protected lanes and greenway trails built for human-powered bikes—already littered with stroller-pushers and joggers—don’t quite scale to the new swiftness of e-bikes. The pathways and roads themselves, perhaps already unsafe at bike speed due to uneven pavement and poor maintenance, feel even more dangerous on a not-quite-motorcycle.

So, no one wants ebikes and there’s no market for them, yet they’re as ubiquitous as taxicabs on New York sidewalks.

Sure, that makes sense.

Never mind that ebikes already outsell electric cars and plug-in hybrids combined in the US.

That would seem to refute the argument that there’s no clear market for them. Let alone that anyone other than him is embarrassed to ride one.

Maybe someone could just tell Mr. Bogost that 2012 called, and wants its hot take back.

Then again, maybe he wouldn’t feel so embarrassed if he was riding Mercedes new $5,800 Formula E-inspired ebike.

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The proposal to expand the protected bike lanes and bus lanes on Venice Blvd seemed to enjoy overwhelming support at yesterday’s virtual meeting, as well as on community surveys.

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Leave it to our local Sierra Club to get it wrong.

As someone who grew up in Colorado, I’d long seen the Sierra Club as a protector of the native environment.

But it didn’t take long after moving to Los Angeles to realize that the LA/Orange County chapter was mired in form of environmental conservatism unbecoming of local politics. And unwilling to upset the automotive hegemony and single-family home applecart to actually advocate for the change we need to save our city.

Let alone the planet.

Which leads to their endorsement of everyone’s favorite faux-environmentalist and termed-out councilmember, who apparently never met a bike lane he liked, or a NIMBY he didn’t.

My old friend Dr. Michael Cahn seems to sum up the sad situation pretty well.

………

Hats off to the East Side Riders for working to bring an ebike lending library to the South LA area.

Even if a certain writer for The Atlantic would be embarrassed to be seen on one.

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Beautiful cover art by the late, great French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé.

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More proof you can move anything by bike. Even if it looks like the dog is doing the steering.

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

Yet another cord has been strung over a Madison, Wisconsin bike path where it could clothesline an unsuspecting rider; one victim has already been seriously injured crashing into one.

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

A Welsh cabbie has been sentenced to two years behind bars for deliberately running over a road raging bike rider who slapped the hood of his car and called him a fat fuck in a dispute over the man’s driving.

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Local

What took so long? Ever since a speeding driver blew through a red light and killed five people in Windsor Hills, along with a pregnant woman’s unborn baby, I’ve wondered when they would get around to claiming she wasn’t conscious leading up to the crash.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton expounds on yesterday’s comment about the Ventura Blvd bike lane plans, questioning why the city is touting it as a bike safety proposal instead of the parking plan it really is.

 

State 

For the second year in a row, Governor Gavin Newsom killed a bill that would have allowed bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; this time he only had to announce plans to veto the bill to get it pulled by its sponsor. Never mind that it’s safely in use in an ever-growing number of cities and states. Maybe we’ll have to call getting ticketed for rolling a stop “getting Gavined.”

Calbike is looking for a full-time executive director, as well as a part-time individual giving manager. Let me know when that last position gets filled; I know a few individuals I’d be happy to give them.

Carlsbad literally put its money where its figurative mouth is, voting to allocate $2 million to confront a bike safety emergency, after bicycle and ebike injuries doubled over the previous year, and two ebike riders were killed there just one week apart; the funding includes half a million dollars to hire four additional traffic enforcement cops. Thanks to Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up; the way things our going in San Diego and Orange counties lately, they need a good bike lawyer down there. Or maybe an army of them.

 

National

Cycling Weekly offers a guide to smooth and efficient shifting, and announces their picks for the best bike bells. Wake me when somebody makes a bike bell that sounds like an old submarine klaxon.

ZDNet suggests where to hide an AirTag on your bike so thieves won’t find it. Apparently assuming that bike thieves don’t know how to Google.

A VeloNews podcast talks with mountain bike icon Gary Fisher, who has remained a force in the bike industry through two cultural revolutions.

An Orem, Utah elementary school is raising funds to teach kindergarten kids how to ride bikes, through the All Kids Bike program.

While LA bike riders struggle to get to SoFi Stadium, Houston is building a bike path to get riders safely to and from the NFL’s NRG Stadium; the city hopes to conclude work in time for the annual rodeo and livestock show in March.

A Minnesota bike rider explores John Prine’s “jungles of East St. Paul.” And makes it look pretty damn good in the process.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Michigan woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver, just moments after she ran out of her house to aid a bike rider who had just been killed by another motorist.

New York is considering an ebike rebate program that could slash prices 50%, up to a retail cost of $2,200.

The husband of an American diplomat killed riding her bike in Maryland has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $180,000 in just two days to advocate for safer bikeways, more than tripling the original goal.

 

International

The Guardian considers how our language has been colonized by cars, while wondering whether we really want to see the world from a windshield perspective.

Seriously? The Sun questions who was in the right, after a driver plows into a rider practicing stunts on his BMX bike in the middle of a dark street. Is all of the above an option?

No need to cork intersections anymore, with a new device that will let you control the traffic signal for up to 45 seconds at a time.

Road.cc wants to know who drained the color out of road bike tires, and why.

No irony here. A mayoral candidate in Winnipeg, Manitoba had his own bicycle stolen, just 85 minutes after announcing a plan to eliminate bike theft.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British paramedic’s bike while he was busy saving lives; the victim was riding his bike to save money after the birth of his daughter.

Bike Radar offers ten “weird and wonderful mountain bike throwbacks” from this year’s Malverns Classic in the UK.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie Kaden Groves won his first Grand Tour stage in Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, while Remco Evenepoel maintained his grip the red leader’s jersey.

Cycling Weekly examines Irish pro Sam Bennett’s return to his winning ways in the opening weekend of the Vuelta.

Over 1,800 riders are expected to turn out for the tenth anniversary of The Rebecca’s Private Idaho gravel race, founded by former cycling great and Idaho native Rebecca Rusch.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to ride highways smothered in Alfredo sauce. That feeling when Google Maps directs you to bike lanes that don’t exist.

And with hair like that, who needs a helmet?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

SoCal bike riders suffer critical injuries, Roadkill Gil shows his windshield bias, and shiny new Riverside Drive bike lanes

It’s been a rough few days for SoCal bike riders.

In addition to a man killed by a hit-and-run driver in LA’s Cypress ParkCitizen reports a bike rider suffered “grievous” injuries when they were struck by a driver in the Pico-Union neighborhood Tuesday evening.

And a 13-year old boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a cargo van driver as he was riding his bike in Beaumont Monday morning; needless to say, the 19-year old driver was not ticketed or charged. Although Patch says the victim was a girl.

………

Anti-bike CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo demonstrates his windshield bias, while showing he has no great love for pedestrians, either.

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

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LADOT shows off the freshly painted — and soon to be bollard protected — bike lanes on Riverside Drive.

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If someone loaned you a bike pump during Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride, LA Bike Dad would like it back, please.

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It’s no surprise when AAA gets bike safety wrong.

Or when Peter Flax calls them on it.

Speaking of which, a Tucson, Arizona driver who apparently lacked the ability to change lanes somehow felt the need to blare their horn at a parent protectively riding with a small child on an otherwise quiet side street.

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

Welsh police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally ran down a man riding an ebike, sending the victim to the hospital with serious injuries.

No bias here. An Aussie columnist responds to a vicious road rage attack on a bike rider by calling for safer roads and better protection for bicyclists. But something seemingly got lost on the way to the headline.

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

A man and woman will spend the rest of their lives behind bars for the murder of a Fremont CA executive chef to cash in on his life insurance policies; a neighbor saw the man ride his bike away from the victim’s home after hearing gunshots.

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Local

No surprise here, as Los Angeles continues to lead the nation with country’s most polluted air — and some of the highest gas prices —  as the city has failed to provide any safe and effective alternatives to driving, despite the mayor’s Green New Deal and a groundbreaking mobility plan that continues to gather dust. Although there may be hope.

Streetsblog explores Huntington Park’s new 10-block, half-mile long linear Veterans Park, complete with a paved biking and walking trail.

 

State 

California Streetsblog offers a compendium of bike and pedestrian bills in the state legislature. Although the question is less what they can pass as what can get past Gavin Newsom’s veto pen, who appears to be trying to out Jerry Brown Jerry Brown.

Time to take those baseball cards out of your spokes. The California Senate Transportation Committee has approved a bill that would allow six cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, to use automated noise monitors to ticket loud cars and motorcycles, similar to red light cams.

San Diego continues its bikeway expansion, with plans to install a protected bike lane on a one-mile section of Park Blvd in the University Heights neighborhood.

Palo Alto sacrificed a more than $900,000 federal grant to build separated bike paths and traffic-calming measures in the south part of the city, after failing to get their shit together for the past five years.

San Francisco continues their successful quick-build program, approving plans for a buffered and parking-protected bike lane on Evans Ave, despite a lack of protection in some areas. To which Los Angeles responds, “Wait. How can you build something without years of public meetings to water it down until it doesn’t offend or protect anyone?”

They get it. Davis police blame an inattentive driver for pulling out of a parking lot without looking, cutting off a seven-year old girl riding her bike with her grandmother and siblings, and dragging her under the wheel well; fortunately, she’s expected to recover after surgery to repair a broken leg.

 

National

To paraphrase a popular poster from the ’60s, free parking is not healthy for children and other living things.

Bicycling wants to tell you how to choose the best bike lights. But only if you subscribe, since this one doesn’t seem to be available on Yahoo.

More on the Fox News meltdown over Joe Biden’s bike ride on the beach, as Eric Trump questions what message it sends the world when the president is riding a beach cruiser in the middle of a weekend day. Maybe that it’s not time to panic, and it’s okay to take a breath before diving back in to save the world.

This is what we need in Los Angeles. Eight Seattle bike riders are suing the city over injuries they received while struggling to ride through an unfinished section of a popular bikeway. If every LA bike rider who was injured on one of the many unbuilt bikeways contained in the mobility plan sued the city over it, we might actually force them to build out the damn thing.

Las Vegas announced plans for a 17-acre bike park, which will finally give visitors to the city something to do after they lose all their money.

Colorado corrected a well-intentioned mistake by legalizing Stop As Yield, aka the Idaho Stop, throughout the state. A previous version of the law allowed individual jurisdictions to approve it, resulting in a patchwork where a bike rider could legally roll a stop in one city, and get ticketed for it in the next.

This is who we share the bike path with. A Montana driver was busted for his 4th DUI in 12 years when he was stopped for driving on a Kalispell biking and walking path. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road. Probably not the best idea to threaten the cop, either. 

Sad news from the DC area, where a beloved bike advocate and bike race organizer was killed when he was run down from behind by a van driver while riding in Maryland; 51-year old Shawn Blumenfeld rose from a bike courier to a respected leader in the bicycling community.

A DC driver kept apologizing after blowing through a stop sign, and hitting a father with his two-year old daughter on the back of his bike; the little girl suffered a small skull fracture, despite her father positioning his bike so he took the brunt of the impact. Maybe instead of apologizing, just don’t run stop signs and try not to crash into people on bicycles.

 

International

Apparently, recording scofflaw drivers and reporting them to the police makes you a snitch, at least in the eyes of a London columnist. I’d gladly accept that mantle if they’d just legalize video-based infraction and misdemeanor prosecutions on this side of the Atlantic. 

Bicyclists in the French city of Lyon have started a competition to find the worst parking jobs by drivers — or as they put it, “Garé comme une merde,” which loosely translates to “parked like crap.”

 

Competitive Cycling

WaPo spends a day with pro cyclist Ayesha McGowan, the first Black rider in the women’s pro peloton, as part of their series on the daily lives of working women.

Sad news from Colombia, where former pro and six-time Tour de France cyclist Samuel Cabrera was killed in a lightening strike while working on his farm; he was 61.

Italian cyclist Sonny Colbrelli was reportedly conscious and feeling okay, a day after collapsing at the finish line of Monday’s stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Scary/funny moment in Spain’s Volta a Catalunya, where Mattias Skjelmose Jensen went over the side of the road. And rose up from the deep drop demanding a new bike before heading off to a top ten finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have so many stolen bikes they’re visible on Google Earth.

And everyone knows you can’t go grocery shopping on a bicycle, right?

Right?

https://twitter.com/gspeng/status/1506497277866643456

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bicyclists call for safety improvements after fatal La Jolla crash, and hundreds turn out for Culver City Pride Ride

San Diego area bicyclists call for better education and safety improvements on La Jolla’s deadly Torrey Pines Road, in the wake of Wednesday’s crash that took the life of scientist and mother Swati Tyagi.

However, advocates are split on the benefits of installing a protected bike lane on the busy roadway, with some fearing it could do more harm than good on the steep downhill grade.

It’s been too long since I’ve ridden that area to recall specific details of the roadway. However, in many cases, it’s safer to have a separated lane with a wide buffer to give riders room to maneuver if need be, rather than trapping riders in a protected bike lane.

Which is exactly the opposite of what’s called for on the uphill side, or virtually any other situation.

It also doesn’t help that bicyclists haven’t even been consulted about planned improvements to the street.

(La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board) Chairman Dave Abrams asked (bicyclist Kurt) Hoffman and others to confer with a La Jolla Community Planning Association subcommittee, which LJCPA President Diane Kane said was looking into pedestrian and car access in and out of The Village, including via Torrey Pines Road.

On June 24, Kane told the La Jolla Light that the subcommittee, called the Village Visioning Committee, has “been working diligently on streetscapes in The Village and on entrances into La Jolla,” such as Pearl and Nautilus streets.

She said she hasn’t seen anything yet for Torrey Pines Road. “So far, bicyclists haven’t been part of the committee’s conversation on traffic calming and streetscape enhancements but will be welcome once the initial concepts are melded into a coherent whole,” Kane said.

Unfortunately, that’s how planning too often works.

And why it too often fails us.

Meanwhile, the Salk Institute issued a statement mourning the death of their colleague Swati Tyagi.

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A Redditor catches Sunday’s Culver City Pride Ride on his dashcam, featuring what appears to be hundreds of riders.

Although we could do without the idiotas y pendejos popping wheelies while they play chicken with drivers on the wrong side of the road.

Just saw this huge bicycle group ride through Culver City, where are they from? from BikeLA

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

Correction: That wasn’t the Pride Ride. This is the Pride Ride. 

Thanks to Joni for setting the record straight. 

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Alabama Representative Mo Brooks is one of us, unlocking his bicycle from a rack outside the nation’s capitol as the Big Lie backer refuses to talk to a reporter from CNN, saying he doesn’t trust the network to be honest.

Which is a great way to duck the hard questions.

Meanwhile, Uber’s CEO is one of us, too, spending a day working as one of his own Uber Eats delivery riders in San Francisco, even as Twitter users decry it as a publicity stunt.

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No bias here.

Apparently, in Hamilton, Ontario, you’re supposed to wait patiently at a stop sign until drivers in each direction wave you through the intersection.

Which will never, ever happen in real life.

And never wear headphones on a bike, even though you can usually still hear traffic noise, unless you’ve got the volume cranked up to ridiculous levels.

Unlike, say, drivers in their hermetically sealed vehicles, with the sound up so high they can’t even hear a fire truck bearing down on them.

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

A man was caught on video leaning far out of a car’s passenger window in an attempt to push a British man off his bicycle. However, the jerk’s failure to succeed in his terroristic attack against an innocent bike rider shouldn’t affect any possible charges one damn whit.

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Local

A preliminary Metro study suggests congestion pricing really would reduce driving in several areas around Los Angeles.

 

State

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride is back in San Diego’s North County after last year’s cancellation, including a two-day Expo and beer garden. Let’s hope the riders visit the beer garden after the race, though.

Officials in Encinitas are scaling back plans to remake the North Coast Highway 101 corridor, settling for modest re-striping in one section instead of the original plans to change the entire corridor at once.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 61-year old man was killed by a truck driver in a right hook crash.

A Napa Valley paper calls for repealing California’s jaywalking laws.

 

National

Streetsblog explains why slower speeds are better for “affordable, healthy, equitable, accessible and resource-efficient communities.”

US cities are pushing to make pandemic-era street changes permanent, despite the inevitable auto-centric pushback.

Once again, all it takes to convert a city official to a bike advocate is getting hit by a driver, as a Moline, Illinois alderman becomes a strong voice for better bikeways.

A Nashville bike rider wisely gave up his bicycle when he was threatened by a man with a machete; police later busted the thief, finding meth and drug paraphernalia on him, as well as the hot bike.

A 76-year old New Jersey man faces three counts of hit-and-run for the April crash that left three bike riders seriously injured.

A writer from Lafayette, Louisiana says her bicycle joy went full circle as she rediscovered her love of riding a bike during the pandemic.

A Florida man has just 1,500 miles to go on an 11,500-mile ride crisscrossing the US to raise funds to fight cancer; he’s raised nearly $93,000 of his $100,000 goal for cancer nonprofit Chemo Noir.

The husband of a bike-riding Florida woman who was run down by a hit-and-run driver is worried that the 89-year old woman is still driving while out on bail, even though she somehow couldn’t see two adult people on bicycles directly in front of her. Or cared enough to stick around after getting out of her car to look at the crumpled riders she’d nearly killed. Yet another example of authorities not taking the keys from an elderly driver until it’s too late.

 

International

A Toronto columnist goes all in on bicycling after buying an ebike.

Nat Geo recommends the five best bike day trips starting from London, for your next trip to the UK.

That’s more like it. Britain’s Bicycle Association issued new standards for bike parking, calling for safe, easy-to-use bike racks accessible by all bike riders, including disabled riders.

A former Scottish cycling champ now spends his days traveling the country to support renal failure patients and their families, five years after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant.

India’s Hero Bicycles takes on Chinese ebike manufacturers by cracking the European market for the first time.

A whopping 1,500 bike riders turned out for a mass bicycle parade in Budapest, after it was delayed a year and a half by the pandemic.

An Indian anthropologist says the answer to the country’s choking smog is to bicycle or perish.

A Philippine columnist says yes, the country’s new bike lanes really work.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? A 52-year old woman won the brutal Race Across America, aka RAAM, for the first time, as Leah Goldstein crossed the finish line in 11 days, 3 hours and 3 minutes.

The Dutch dominated the one-day women’s La Course race which preceded the Tour, taking three of the top four spots as Demi Vollering out-sprinted Denmark’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and former champion Marianne Vos.

Eighteen-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti recounts his surprise win in the crash-marred US national road championship.

The big news from the Tour de France is a first stage crash that took out nearly half the peloton in one fell swoop. What appeared to be an over-enthusiastic fan giving a shoutout to her grandparents knocked down Tony Martin with her sign, causing the others to fall like dominoes, although only Germany’s Jasha Sutterlin was knocked out of the race. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

Tour officials threatened to sue the woman, even though they have no idea who she is after she slipped away during the chaos; French police are looking for her, too. However, the director of the Dutch Jumbo-Visma cycling team blames Tour de France officials for the massive crash.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the day’s only massive crash, though.

Bodycam video shows a mechanic for Team Jumbo-Visma leap out of the team car and sprint through the peloton with a fresh bike for one of the downed riders.

https://twitter.com/JumboVismaRoad/status/1408897951984979969?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1408897951984979969%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fteam-mechanic-sprints-through-crash-help-his-team-284443

Since the race is being televised in the US, we’ll go back to our usual mostly spoiler updates for the next three weeks. Hence this blind teaser that the yellow jersey changed hands yesterday; you’ll have to click the link to learn who’s wearing it now. Or why it fulfills his famed grandfather’s dream.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be extremely extremely cool looking and made of wood. And here’s your chance to own a DeLorean of your very own.

Flux capacitor optional.

https://twitter.com/dorfman_baruch/status/1409359704271245314

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Vandals attack Slow Street in Valley Village, GoFundMe raises $25k for Black Lives bicyclist, and blocking bike lanes in SaMo

It’s a blustery day in LA, and much of Southern California.

With makes it a great day to get that KOM, as long as you can keep the wind at your back. Otherwise, it could feel like riding with an anchor.

And as someone who used to deal with Colorado’s notorious Chinook winds, bear in mind that an ill-timed gust can literally blow you off your bike, or all the way across the roadway.

Or both.

So maybe you’re better off just staying home with a good book.

Photo by Anja from Pixabay.

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No bias here.

Someone clearly isn’t a fan of the Slow Streets movement, at least not in Valley Village.

Or maybe they’re just a fan of speeding cars and keeping the streets the deadly domain of dangerous drivers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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The family of fallen Ride for Black Lives bicyclist Branden Finley call for help finding the carjacker who killed him in a hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles, as a crowdfunding page for his family raises over $25,000 the first day.

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What do you call a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A loading zone.

I tried fighting that same battle on San Vicente nearly a decade ago.

It wasn’t hard to get FedEx and UPS to agree that parking in a bike lane violated their internal policies, and pinky swear promise they wouldn’t do it anymore.

And while the Santa Monica police couldn’t grasp the concept that a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycle, or that blocking one is a clear violation of state law, the chief agreed that double parking is illegal, at least.

But that was several SaMo PD chiefs ago. And nothing ever changed.

Delivery drivers kept parking there. Cops kept ignoring it.

And bike riders continued risking their lives mixing with impatient drivers who couldn’t comprehend that blocked bike lanes mean bike riders have to merge into the traffic lane.

Clearly, adding Amazon delivery vans to the mix hasn’t helped, either.

The only solution is to make it a protected bike lane, which it should be anyway.

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

Frightening bike theft in Stockton, where a man in a car pulled a gun on a 54-year old woman and demanded the bike she was riding, tossing it in his backseat before speeding away.

A Healdsburg CA driver lays on his horn to demand a man riding with his son get the hell out of his way. And when they don’t, he rams the father from behind.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s butt before riding off on his bicycle. And no, that’s not cute or funny — it’s sexual assault.

A Singapore food delivery rider faces charges for crashing into an eight-year old girl as she walked home from school with her mother, breaking her glasses and seriously injuring her eye.

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Local

No surprise here. Los Angeles once again has the worst traffic of any major city in the US. Yet the city still isn’t taking any significant steps to provide alternatives to driving and get people out of their cars.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife and daughter.

 

State

Good news from behind the Orange Curtain, as Caltrans agrees to remove the ill-conceived rumble strips on PCH through Bolsa Chica that posed a needless risk along the popular riding route. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield advocate calls for the city to establish a Vision Zero program to become a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

National

There may be hope for all those many and varied bicycle-to-vehicle communication systems that are supposed to be the salvation bike riders and pedestrians, as a consortium of bicycle and automotive companies finally agree to set a common standard that will work across platforms.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t commute by bike.

An editor for Vice learns that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bike, even at the ripe old age of 29.

The Sierra Club offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside during the winter. Or better yet, let your bike sleep inside, and keep riding it outside, regardless of the season.

Who needs bikewear when you’ve got a $180 pair of denim overalls?

A new report shows Washington State needs to spend $5.7 billion to fix the state’s roads and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, while advocates say the existing strategies clearly aren’t working. Which is pretty much the same story in California, and just about everywhere else.

A Boise, Idaho nonprofit hand-delivered nearly 60 bicycles to families in need to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of service.

Even in rural Kansas, a driver can turn his or her car into a lethal weapon to deliver a punishment pass, as a bicycling trio learned firsthand.

Chicago is considering what looks like a curb-protected two way bike lane through the city’s Fulton Market.

When a Virginia pastor had trouble finding a new bike after his was stolen, he responded by starting a new ministry to repair and refurbish bicycles for people in need.

 

International

The bike industry clearly has the gravel bug, as Road.cc rates 18 of the hottest new gravel bikes from some of the most popular bike brands. And while they’re at it, they also pick the year’s best commuter bike, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $500.

Bike Radar gets a jump on next year’s holidays with a guide to the best gifts for bicyclists in 2021, starting with a five buck DVD of Breaking Away.

An Oxford University professor says forget the WHO’s guidance, and wear a mask when you run or ride a bike.

You know there’s a problem when South African bike riders are warned away from a particular road because the risk of getting robbed is too high.

Cyclist examines how Taiwan’s Giant became the, well, giant of the bike world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome blamed an undiagnosed strength deficit and an inexplicably painful screw resulting from his horrific 2019 crash for a disappointing comeback season in 2020. But that may be behind him, as he takes a couple KOMs on a “Super Saturday” ride through the Malibu Hills as he rehabs in Los Angeles.

Twenty-two year old Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands in the way of Froome’s search for a record-tying fifth Tour title, as he commits to defending his yellow jersey before tackling the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Saying a boy’s bike is easy enough for a girl probably isn’t the best marketing idea. For 25 grand, they could at least give you more than one gear. It’s not a giant Ferris wheel, it’s a bike tire.

And since we started the day with Winnie the Pooh, we might as well end it with a little Tickety-Boo.

………

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

Morning Links: South African cyclist assaulted by park rangers, NY ebike bill vetoed, and thirsty koala begs a sip

I take it back.

Even though the door officially closed on the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive before Christmas Eve, some very kindhearted people pried it back open anyway. 

So thanks to Plurabelle Books, Phillip Y and Michael D for their generous contributions to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Thanks to their last-minute gifts, we hit record 61 donations totaling $2,567, topping last year’s total of nearly $2,500.

To put that in perspective, that represents nearly 25% of my total income for all of last year. 

So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. 

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels.

………

NTT pro cyclist Nic Dlamini, one of the few black cyclists on the WorldTour, had his arm broken by South African national park workers — apparently for failing to pay a $6.40 entry fee.

Reports from the scene indicate that the workers lay in wait for him and grabbed his handlebars without warning, knocking Dlamini off his bike.

Thinking he was being robbed — not an unusual occurrence for South African cyclists — he tried to grab his damaged bike back, leading his attackers to conclude he was resisting arrest.

With predictable results.

Note: You can literally hear the bone in Dlamini’s arm snap in the flowing video, so you may not want to view this if you’re squeamish. Or at least turn the sound down.

Meanwhile, a witness says he was disgusted by the way Dlamini was manhandled; his injury could affect his racing schedule for the coming year, as well as preparations for the 2020 Olympics.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Proving he has no idea what he’s doing — or maybe trying to outdo the windshield bias of former CA Governor Jerry BrownNY Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have belatedly legalized ebikes in the Empire State.

Mostly because it didn’t include a provision requiring helmets for ebike users, even though they aren’t required for any other adult bicyclists in the state, no matter how fast they ride.

And even though many, if not most, other states have managed to legalize ebikes without undue restrictions on bikes that travel below 28 mph.

And even though the current ban hurts lower income, mostly immigrant food delivery workers the most.

While the bill passed by overwhelming, veto-proof margins, it’s unlikely to be overridden because the legislature would have to be called back in to special session.

Meanwhile, a new study shows ebike riders are more likely to suffer internal injuries.

Which helmets ain’t gonna help.

………

Proof that something can be too cute and too sad at the same time.

A koala in fire-scarred Australia flags down a bicyclist, and climbs her bike to share a little water on a 104° day.

But at least the little guy knew who to turn to for help.

………

It may not be about bicycling.

But take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting, painful piece from Tamika Butler about how to survive in the planning community when you’re young, black and queer.

………

Proof that Vision Zero can work.

But only if elected leaders have the courage to stand up to drivers to make real changes.

Hint: Ours apparently don’t.

………

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

A British woman was lucky to escape without serious injuries when she crashed into barbwire someone had strung across a bike path.

No bias here. A clickbait website lists 20 things that “guys riding bicycles” do that drivers can’t stand, including just about everything this side of merely existing.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Apparently, the giving isn’t over yet.

The Pasadena Police Department teamed with the Salvation Army and Pasadena Rotary Club to give 250 new bikes to local kids this year.

Kindhearted officers with the Seal Beach police union bought a new bike and helmet for a man after a thief pushed him off his bike and into traffic, before making off with his bicycle; police arrested the suspect a short distance away.

And ex-pro Phil Gaimon kicks off a great thread of kids enjoying their new bikes this year; just click on the tweet and scroll down.

………

We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover. So maybe we should just take a brief corgi break before moving on, courtesy of Mike Cane.

There. Doesn’t that feel better?

………

Local

The LAPD says they’re focusing on six Westside intersections that have seen an uptick in car crashes, including three each on Santa Monica and Sepulveda Blvds. Which would suggest that those corridors aren’t exactly safe for people on bicycles, either.

Apparently trying out for a job at the Onion, a Venice columnist insists that people who are able to bike or walk to work thanks to increased density will be more likely to die of strokes because of a lack of green space.

A writer for Bike Radar rides a $30 refurbished Univega from LA’s Bicycle Kitchen 130 miles to Tijuana to attend a worldwide gathering of DIY bicycle workshops, calling it the wrong bike for the right job. Let’s just say she’s not a fan of friction shifting.

CiclaValley celebrates one million vertical feet of climbing this year.

 

State

As of yesterday, you no longer have to merge to the left at an intersection when a bike lane becomes a right turn lane, or vice versa. But don’t try eating roadkill just yet.

California somehow continues to believe a slap on the wrist will change driver behavior, as drivers will now be charged a single point against their license for using a handheld cellphone — but only after the second offense in 36 months.

A San Diego bike rider suffered “significant” injuries when he was struck by a vehicle, which apparently didn’t have a driver. At least according to the news report.

It looks like justice denied in Bonsall, where the CHP apparently concluded that an experienced bike rider would somehow swerve into traffic without looking while surrounded by drivers traveling at highway speeds.

A Cambria writer takes up riding an ebike as an alternative to driving, and discovers he “had no idea how dangerous it is for people riding a bike” until he was one of them.

Note to self: Don’t ride around Bakersfield with a shotgun in your pants.

 

National

In a case of life imitating art — or advertising, anyway — the actor who played the husband in the infamous Peloton holiday ad gave one to his own girlfriend for Christmas. No word on whether she left him because of it, like one version of her fictional counterpart.

Streetsblog USA announces the winners of their simultaneously serious and tongue-in-cheek national Streetsie Awards, including a gridlock tweet from LA Times transportation beat reporter Laura Nelson.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of us. Although he might want to save that helmet for the upcoming impeachment trial, when things are likely to get rough.

A writer for Outside says she loved bike touring — until she decided to do it for a living.

How to carry your full-sized golden retriever with you on your bike.

Harvard Business Review examines why it’s so hard to change people’s commuting behavior; Treehugger laments how will we ever get people out of their cars?

He gets it. A police sergeant and CyclingSavvy instructor says no law requires you to endanger yourself, so stay out of the door zone. Just try explaining that to some of his less-enlightened compatriots, though.

Your next wall rack could look like you just bagged and mounted a bike seat. Although I’m not sure just what message that sends.

A self-professed Portland driver, off-roader, motorcyclist, bicyclist, runner and pedestrian says the city should end its war on cars, somehow mistaking carving out a little room for his other means of transportation as an attack on the first one.

Oregon became the latest state to adopt a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; a Portland TV station compares it to drivers rolling stop signs, except it’s for bikesl.

Well, that’s one problem we don’t usually have in Los Angeles, as Colorado beavers flood a popular Denver bike path.

Cowboy hats off to Wyoming, for claiming the title as the nation’s worst state for bike riders and pedestrians.

Once again, a bike rider’s around-the-world journey was cut short when he was run down by an American driver. A Scottish rider making his eighth attempt to circumnavigate the globe was run down from behind at 70 mph by a 60-year old woman in Texas, leaving him with 10 broken ribs, a fractured skull, pelvis and ankle, and a punctured lung. Needless to say, investigators conclude it was just an oopsie, harm but no foul.

Great idea. Michigan advocates are putting the cycle back in recycling, pedaling Christmas trees to the city’s drop-off site for a $25 donation. 

Nearly three times the number of bike riders were killed in New York this year compared to 2018, the highest rate in 20 years; the New York Times questions what went wrong with the city’s Vision Zero.

New York bicyclists are now legally allowed to start crossing an intersection during the Leading Pedestrian Interval, giving them a few seconds head start on motorists. Let’s hope that spreads here.

More proof that it it’s paved, someone will try to drive in it like this New York driver.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a family marked what should have been a little girl’s second birthday. She was killed on a family bike ride when a driver, stoned on coke, fentanyl and a laundry list of other drugs, jumped the curb and ran them down on the sidewalk; six months later, her father remains hospitalized with a brain injury

 

International

The Guardian says shifting to e-cars isn’t enough — if we’re serious about fighting climate change, it will take a shift away from car culture.

Here’s a few more rides for your bike bucket list, as Atlas Obscura gets rolling on seven “dreamy” European bike paths. Soon to be six, since the UK has decided it doesn’t want to be part of Europe anymore.

BoJo used to be one of us. But no more, as the British prime minister’s girlfriend gives him a new offroad motorbike after security officials take his bicycle away.

A former drug addict in the UK is honored for turning his life around after becoming a bike mechanic.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo takes the lead on fighting climate change, as the city’s newly built network of bike lanes is already transforming the city; it’s the new way to get around the City of Lights, with bicycling rates up 54% in just one year. Let’s just hope LA’s climate mayor is taking notes.

 

Competitive Cycling

LA Parent discusses the Youth Cycling Association, dedicated to building the next generation of competitive cyclists.

Look’s new track bike promises to give riders a full bike-length advantage in a 200 meter sprint.

Cycling Weekly looks back on the top ten cycling news stories from 2019.

Bicycling considers how to take the race out of bike racing.

Former pro mountain bike champ Amanda Batty says going downhill fast was the least risky thing she ever did.

Swiss pro mountain biker Jolanda Neff will be competing without a spleen from now on, after suffering life-threatening injuries in a harrowing crash in North Carolina.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, a tumbleweed can be a bike riders best friend. Now you, too, can ride your bike in a CBD-infused bodysuit — which may or may not be a good idea.

And it only makes sense that the keeper of the Nice and Naughty lists would be one of us, too.

………

That almost catches us up on everything we missed during my annual sabbatical. I’m going to keep my promise to actually try to get some sleep every now and then; we’ll catch up on the rest tomorrow.

Morning Links: Getting crushed by car culture, safety versus convenience, and LA’s new sideways bike lane sweeper

Let’s start with today’s must read, as an editor for The Outline says he’s seen the future.

And it’s not us.

There is also the unrelenting, often murderous hostility of drivers toward pedestrians and people on bikes. No cyclist I know has not been menaced by an enraged driver — brushed past within inches, bumped at an intersection, run off the road — and most of us have been menaced more than once. No pedestrian who has to cross at a mid-block crosswalk is unfamiliar with the experience of a driver actually speeding upwhen they see you; no one who has crossed at a regular intersection is unfamiliar with a turning driver laying on the horn and waiting until the last second to jam on the breaks as you scurry out of the way.

The car is a very specifically American symbol of freedom, but like so many instruments and symbols of American freedom, it is a tool of domination and control. A car is a missile and a castle, a self-propelled, multi-ton fortress, hermetically sealed against the intrusions of weather, environment, and, of course, other people. Drivers view the world through the lenses of speed and convenience — most of the anger at cyclists, in my experience, is at having to drive at something resembling a normal urban speed limit because there’s a bike in front of them — but also through the lens of ownership. Streets belong to cars. The rest of us are interlopers, invaders, invasive species.

He goes on to blame car culture, not the internet, for the crushing disconnection and loneness rampant in out society, as we move things further and further apart, forcing us to live more and more of our lives in motor vehicles.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it.

We’ll wait.

Then take a couple more to see just how right he is, as a new traffic congestion study is criticized for being too pro-car, while ignoring the “new realities of multi-modal transport.”

Making it all too clear that the auto-centric way of thinking won’t die easily.

Photo by John Howard from Pixabay.

………

Then there’s this one from Grist, questioning whether New Orleans can keep bike riders safe, as it revamps the streets with 75 miles of bikeways surrounding the downtown area in the next few years. 

This is a life-saving effort,” De Wulf said of his krewe’s push. “Would you rather have someone die on a bicycle, versus someone being inconvenienced for five minutes of their day?

Sadly, I’ve heard the answer to that one too many times, in dozens of public meetings, and in the comments online.

Because far too many Angelenos would rather get home a couple minutes earlier, your life or mine be damned.

And that, my friends, is what we have to change.

………

On the other hand, it looks like Claremont bike riders may have won that battle, at least on Foothill Blvd.

Michael Wagner’s excellent CLR Effect reports on the progress of Claremont’s nearly completed curb-protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd, which is looking pretty damn good at this early stage.

Hopefully neighboring cities will pick up on it, and extend them beyond Claremont’s city limits.

Although, like anywhere else, some drivers are a little slow to take the hint.

One of my major regrets lately is that I don’t have time to keep up with some of my favorite blogs. Starting with Wagner’s, which does an exceptional job of keeping up with biking in the Far East. 

Of LA County, that is. 

So don’t make my mistake. Bookmark CLR Effect now, and keep checking back to see what’s new.

It’s okay if you got so caught up you miss a new BikinginLA every now and then. Just don’t let it happen too often.

………

After trying out several models, Los Angeles is ordering a cute little mini-street sweeper for protected bike lanes.

Hopefully it will work upright, as well as sideways. Although it won’t get a lot of use either way unless LA builds some more protected lanes.

………

A new study shows women who say they have genital pain and numbness while riding a bike are far more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

So don’t grit your teeth and try to ignore it.

Get to a bike shop and buy a new seat to take the pressure off. Or get a good bike fit to change your positioning in the saddle.

Even if you have to get a friend to help and do it yourself.

………

Local

A writer for City Walk talks with bike and Complete Streets supporter Sarah Kate Levy about her race to unseat David Ryu in LA’s 4th Council District; Glendale has an election coming up next year, too.

WeHo sheriff’s deputes wrote 72 tickets to e-scooter riders over an 18-month period ending in July, mostly for riding on the sidewalk, compared to 800 scooter tickets over the same period in Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, Pasadena is working on a return of the legendary ArroyoFest next year; the original 2003 event may have been the region’s first modern day open streets event, shutting down the historic Arroyo Seco Freeway, aka the Pasadena Freeway, to motor vehicles, and opening it up to all human-powered forms of transportation.

Boulder CO-based Bicycle Retailer and Industry News is looking for sponsors for an ebike tour of Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica bike shops next month. Or better yet, just sponsor me and I’ll be happy to ride an ebike almost anywhere you want.

Long Beachize’s Brian Addison reports that 20 people have been killed in motor vehicle collisions in the city this year, including ten pedestrians and three people on bicycles. Yet no one there is calling for a ban on cars, unlike bikes or scooters if their users dare ride on the sidewalk or collide with someone.

Simon Cowell is one of us. And so is his son, as the TV talent show judge hopped on his bigass ebike to take the five-year old boy for a ride through the ‘Bu.

 

State

A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has pled guilty to sexually assaulting 16 women while on duty, including a woman he groped while she was riding her bike; he faces a well-deserved five years behind bars, and will have to register as a sex offender.

 

National

A new app promises to let you use bikeshare, scooters and transit systems across the US, including Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Outside profiles a 57-year old African-American grandmother who rode her bike across the US just five years after suffering a stroke, learning about gears along the way. And she plans to do it again.

A Milwaukee convenience store owner says he’s fed up with getting robbed by roving gangs of bike riding kids, saying he’s losing $5,000 to $6,000 worth of merchandise a day.

After retiring, a kindhearted Michigan man spends his days fixing up bicycles to donate to kids in need.

A Connecticut Bikes for Kids program gave out 36 bicycles and helmets to underprivileged kids over the weekend, a small part of the 500 bikes they give out each year.

A writer for the New York Daily News says a new bike lane will endanger children because they might get run down by speeding bike riders. Or maybe because emergency vehicles might get stuck in traffic. Or, something.

The NYPD continues to blame the victim, saying an ebike rider was at fault for the crash with a garbage truck that left him critically injured; not surprisingly, Steetsblog sees things differently.

Maybe they could have a chat with the CHP. After a South Carolina high school guidance counselor was killed in a rear-end collision, state troopers charged the driver with driving too fast for conditions. The same law is on the books in California, but the CHP doesn’t seem familiar with that section of the vehicle code. Then again, LA County Sheriffs could use a brush up, too.

 

International

A British woman is planning to swim the English Channel, five years after losing a leg when she was run over by a truck driver while riding her bike; she’ll be joined by a pair of air ambulance paramedics on her swim, including the one who saved her life.

Just heartbreaking. Moments after finishing a 45-mile Scottish charity ride, a man learned his father had collapsed and died while taking part in the same bike ride.

The family of a fallen Irish bike rider calls for safer infrastructure and a ban on dangerous passing to protect bicyclists on the Emerald Isle.

Your next Dutch bike could be very strange, heavy, uncomfortable-looking and 3D-printed.

A new study suggests Barcelona’s plan to limit car use and reserve 70% of street space for bicyclists and pedestrians could save 667 lives a year. Which seems like an oddly specific number.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews explains why Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic finds himself in the Vuelta’s red jersey instead of competing in the Tour de France earlier this year. And looks at former mountain biker Sepp Kuss’ rapid rise to a stage victory in the Vuelta.

The next time someone tells you ebikes are cheating, point them to Belgian pro cyclist Wout Van Aert, who’s using one to rehab a severely torn muscle suffered during the Tour de France.

London’s Independent looks back on legendary 1960s Italian cyclist Felice Gimondi, one of just seven riders to win all three Grand Tours, including his first Tour de France when he was just 22. Even in his best dope-fueled days, Lance never even tried to win any of the other Grand Tours. 

If James Joyce was a mediocre bike racer. Or writer, for that matter.

 

Finally…

Until you get eyes in the back of your head, a new bike helmet could be the next best thing. If you’re going to break out of prison, at least try to change clothes before getting on a stolen mountain bike the next day.

And we may have to deal with f’ed-up LA drivers, but at least we don’t have cope with schtupping copperheads.

Or toxic plants, for that matter.

 

Morning Links: PeopleForBikes leads ebike fight, CHP victim blaming, and the best 3 minutes 27 seconds of your day

I recently received the following press release from People for Bikes — or as they now call themselves, PeopleForBikes (I should talk, I know).

I don’t normally repost PR stories in their entirety, if at all. But it’s a good message and a battle worth fighting.

Besides, it’s a quarter to four, I’m tired and cranky, and the Corgi needs her beauty sleep and won’t go to bed until I do.

Research over the past year has extolled the virtues of e-biking: Studies have shown that e-bikes significantly bring down cities’ CO2 emissions, reduce noise pollution, get people active, and even have the capacity to create car-free households. Simply put, e-bikes form a certain way to help our planet as it enters an uncertain future. That’s why PeopleForBikes has made e-bike advocacy a core part of their work, working to drive the conversation that’s building towards an “e-bike revolution.”

PFB has supported pages and pages of research and resources that have been instrumental parts of legislation giving people access to and infrastructure around e-biking. PFB has generated information on state-by-state e-bike policy, easy-to-read research and statistics, and e-bikers’ favorite city-by-city routes. They’ve seen some awesome results: Through the work of advocates and legal advisors, 22 states have passed PFB’s model e-bike legislation, which regulates e-bikes like regular bicycles. This is a huge win for the health of our cities, the planet, and e-bike riders.

Of course, many challenges remain ahead. Most states have confusing laws saying where e-bikers can and can’t ride, and tariffs make bike motors and e-bikes themselves more expensive than they need to be. PFB wants to continue to be at the forefront of this conversation as we push for accessible e-biking for all.

………

No windshield bias here.

A Santa Rosa bike rider was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who continued without stopping, throwing him onto the opposite side of the roadway, where he was struck by another car.

But instead of addressing the heartless coward who murdered an innocent man, the CHP blamed the victim for possibly riding in the traffic lane instead of the bike lane, and wearing dark clothing on a dark street.

Which shouldn’t matter in the slightest if the victim had the legally required lights and reflectors on his bike, which they don’t mention at all.

And maybe someone should tell the CHP about the numerous exceptions to CVC 21208 that allow bicyclists to leave a bike lane whenever necessary.

Not to mention that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the exact point of contact for a bike crash unless the driver braked before impact, which doesn’t seem to have happened here.

But sure, let’s keep demonstrating that notorious CHP windshield bias.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

………

Watching this video could be the best 3 minutes and 27 seconds of your day.

Or maybe you have a more exciting life than I do.

But still.

………

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

Someone has been planting dangerous medieval-style booby traps on biking and hiking trails in national parks across Australia’s New South Wales; one local official called the people responsible “complete scumbags,” which pretty well sums it up.

………

Local

City Watch talks with environmental justice advocate and CD10 city council candidate Aura Vasquez, who wants to fix our streets and build more bike and micromobility lanes.

Dodger Stadium is scheduled to get a $100 million makeover next year. But that huge parking crater surrounding it will remain, despite previous plans to replace it with housing and an entertainment district. Let’s hope they at least improve bike access, and provide safer places to park your bike. Or better yet, a bike valet.

 

State

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department busted a Dana Point bike chop shop on Tuesday; if you recently had a bike stolen in the area, they may have found whatever is left of it.

The owner of a new Encinitas gelato shop talks about his only other job as a pro cyclist in Italy until a knee injury forced his retirement at the ripe old age of 22.

A San Diego TV station considers SB 127, the Complete Streets bill currently working its way through the state legislature, which would mandate bike and pedestrian accommodations any time a state roadway is resurfaced.

Sun-baked Banning will build a bike lane crossing the entire city in an effort to improve the health and waistlines of its residents; the city expects the lane to draw 400 bike riders a day, while a Safe Routes to School Coordinator bizarrely responds they’ll be lucky to get that many in a year, because no one bikes in Banning. Maybe they would if they actually had safer places to ride, as he should well know.

Deadly Rancho Mirage has introduced a $400,000 bike and pedestrian safety plan.

After 20 years, Victorville is nearing completion of the Mojave Riverwalk, an eleven-mile bikeway with four miles of offroad shared use paths.

San Francisco bicycling and walking advocates turn out to demand safer streets and call for the declaration of a traffic emergency in the city after the deaths of 21 people walking or riding bicycles so far this year.

A woman has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a Crockett bike rider, after another woman overheard her telling the second woman’s roommate she’d been in a crash, but wasn’t sure what she’d hit because the sun was in her eyes. God forbid she should have stopped her car to find out — especially in full daylight. Let alone stopped once she realized she couldn’t see, and avoided the crash altogether. 

 

National

A new nationwide study confirms that protected and separated bike lanes improve safety for everyone on roadway, not just the people on two wheels. And that cities with the greatest number of bike riders also have the best safety records. Which brings up the whole chicken/egg thing — do safer streets attract more bike riders, or do more bike riders improve safety?

Surprise your best friend with a dog-friendly e-cargo bike, complete with his or her own set of handlebars.

Slate examines what happens to all the old bikes when bikeshare providers pull out of a city or shut down entirely. In most cases, the picture isn’t pretty.

Your next steel frame bike could be printed, not built. And have a really weird looking kink in the seat post.

You can now legally ride your bike — or your e-scooter — through any Portland fast food drive-through.

Seattle considers adopting Dutch-style intersections to improve safety for bike riders.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheels of a disabled Nebraska man’s bicycle, in broad daylight as people walked by, leaving him without any form of transportation; fortunately, the local Trek dealer gave him a new set of wheels and tires worth up to $500. And a lock to secure them.

The Texas driver who ran over a bike cop’s bicycle while fleeing a traffic stop last month and dragging his partner by the arm, has been arrested after being identified in a photo lineup.

A Chicago bike rider was killed when he somehow fell off a train station platform and landed on the electrically charged third rail; three other riders were also injured in separate incidents last week.

Ohio State University collects over 500 abandoned bikes each year and donates them to a local bike co-op.

Four “reckless” Connecticut bike riders were busted for loitering near a park, harassing residents and blocking traffic with their bicycles. No doubt it’s just a coincidence that they all happened to be biking while black.

No bias here. New York approves a pilot program to allow bike riders to use leading pedestrians intervals to cross intersections before drivers get the green light. But the anti-bike New York Post insists on calling it a “green light for cyclists to run red lights.” Just wait until someone tells them about the Idaho Stop Law.

So much for Vision Zero under presidential candidate Bill de Blasio. New York’s death toll keeps getting worse, as two more bike riders lose their lives in collisions with the drivers of large trucks; 17 bike riders have died in the city this year, compared with ten for all of last year. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

The driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while fleeing a traffic stop pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, after the DA reduced the charge from second degree murder. The city will install a road diet and bike lanes that Salovesh had long fought for on the street by 2021 — just a tad too late to save his life.

A new study shows drivers are actually less likely to stop for bike riders who activate a crossing signal on a New Orleans greenway than if the riders simply crossed the street without it.

Shameful. Florida police use deadly force to stop a fleeing teenage bike rider, ramming his bicycle for the crime of, yes, popping wheelies. And yes, biking while black.

 

International

A Victoria, British Columbia letter writer insists the city’s newly appointed bike mayor is crazy for thinking that safer streets will improve bike safety more than requiring bike helmets. And somehow feels the need to inform her she’s not in Amsterdam, in case she was unaware.

An Australian driver insists on demonstrating that fatal hit-and-runs against bike riders aren’t just an American phenomenon. Although unlike most Americans, he turned himself in 40 minutes later. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Make a good impression on your next trip to Korea by talking bikes in the local lingua franca.

An English language website makes the case for bike commuting in Hong Kong, where most people only ride recreationally.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France riders adopt the risk and rewards of the super tuck to increase downhill speed. And prayers to make it down safely.

Defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas hit the pavement for the third time in 16 stages, saying he was thrown from his bike when the gears jammed. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang crashed out of the race.

Rising Belgian star Wout van Aert left the hospital following successful surgery to repair a deep cut to his upper thigh acquired when he caught a retaining barrier during the individual time trial in this year’s Tour; doctors want him to stay off his bike for another two months.

Esquire asks pro cyclists what it feels like to ride in the Tour de France, while London’s Telegraph examines the not-so-secretive inner workings of the race.

A former Tour de France reporter looks back on Greg LeMond’s remarkable comeback victory exactly 30 years ago yesterday, after he was nearly killed by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident.

Rouleur makes the case for Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and the late Robert Sherwen to be inducted into the Cycling Hall of Fame.

 

Finally…

Your next water bottle could come back as a collapsable bike helmet. That feeling when your eight-year old gets his low-rider bicycle back after it was stolen — both times.

And every bike ride should end with pie.

Or beer. Or maybe both.

 

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