August 2016

Bicycles and the Law

Codes, Laws and Regulations for Bicyclists

This page is provided to help bicyclists understand how to ride safely and legally on public roads, parking, and on bikeways and law within the State of California and the City of Los Angeles. Please click on the links below to find the actual laws regarding bicycling.

  1. California Vehicle Code
  2. California Streets and Highway Code
  3. City of Los Angeles Municipal Code

For a quick review of the laws regarding Bicycling in California and the City, please see the California Vehicle Code and Los Angeles Municipal Code summary listed below.


California Vehicle Code (CVC) Bicycle Reference Summary

Bicyclist Rights (CVC 21200)
Bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers.

Alcohol and Drugs (CVC 21200.5)
It is against the law to ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Equipment (CVC 21201 and 21204)
Bicycles must be equipped with at least a brake which allows operators to execute to a wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. Handlebars must not be higher than the rider’s shoulders. Bicycles must be small enough for the rider to stop, support it with one foot on the ground, and restart safely. At night, bicycles must be equipped with a white headlight or white light attached to the rider and visible from the front. Bicycles must also have a rear red reflector and white or yellow pedal reflectors. There must be a white or yellow reflector on the front of the bicycle visible from the side, and a red or white reflector on the rear of the bicycle visible from the side. All riders must have a permanent, regular seat. Bicycle passengers less than 40 lbs. must have a seat which retains them in place and protects them from moving parts.

Use of the Roadway (CVC 21202)
Bicycles traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable except: when passing, preparing for a left turn, to avoid hazards and dangerous conditions or if the lane is too narrow.

Bicycle Path Crossing (CVC 231.6)
A “bicycle path crossing” is the prolongation or connection of the boundary lines of a bike path where the intersecting roadways meet at approximately right angles. Or any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for bicycle crossing by lines or other markings on the street surface.

Hitching Rides (CVC 21203)
Bicyclists may not hitch rides on vehicles.

Carrying Articles (CVC 21205)
Bicyclists may not carry items which keep them from using at least one hand upon the handlebars.

Motorized Bicycles (CVC 21207.5)
Motorized bicycles may not be used on bike paths or trails, bike lanes, or other bikeways.

Bicycle Lane Use (CVC 21208)
Bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use bike lanes except when making a left turn, passing, or avoiding hazardous conditions.

Obstruction of Pedestrians (CVC 21210)
Bicyclists may not leave bicycles on their sides on the sidewalk or park bicycles in a manner which obstructs pedestrians.

Bikeway Obstruction (CVC 21211)
No one may stop on or park a bicycle on a bicycle path.

Helmets (CVC 21212)
Bicyclists and passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet when on a bicycle.

Direction of Travel (CVC 21650)
Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic.

3-Feet for Safety Act (CVC 21760)
When passing a bicyclist, drivers of motor vehicles must provide bicyclists with a three feet buffer between their motor vehicle and the bicyclist. If roadway conditions do not allow for a three feet buffer, the driver must slow down when passing a bicyclist.

Toll Bridges (CVC 23330)
Bicyclists may not cross a toll bridge unless permitted by signs.

Head Phones (CVC 27400)
Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset covering both ears, except hearing aids.

Pinarello Dogma F8 Sky Di2 review

Reigning Tour de France champ Chris Froome’s swoopy-looking Pinarello Dogma 8


Pinarello’s latest Dogma follows the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke…’, as the F8’s frame has stayed the same since its launch. This is no bad thing as far as we’re concerned, as the F8 featured marked improvements over its 65.1 predecessor. And as Froomedog claimed his second yellow jersey on this bike last year, it’s not like it’s slouching its way through France…

  • Highs: Impressive on-road manners and a great turn of speed
  • Lows: The one-piece bar/stem is very stiff; some rear brake rub; that price
  • Buy if: You want a Tour-winning machine that’s fast, aerodynamic and comfortable


Aero-optimised frame with neat details

As with many pro machines Team Sky‘s bike has an aero-optimised frame, in this case featuring main tubes with what Pinarello calls a ‘FlatBack Profile’. It’s a profile that’s usually referred to as Kamm-tail, a truncated aerofoil that has an aerodynamic advantage but that doesn’t contravene the UCI’s 3:1 aspect ratio rule [the depth of the tube can’t be more than three times the width]

But for what is essentially an aero road bike, the design is clean and fuss-free, even though it has some very neat touches. The bow-legged fork is designed to reduce turbulence from the rotating front wheel, while the fork crown is shaped to closely match the standard brake. The asymmetrical frame is typically Pinarello, and is claimed to equalise the drivetrain forces.

While the frame is essentially unchanged, the same isn’t true for the rest of the bike. MOST’s new one-piece Talon bar is designed to be as aerodynamic as the bike, complete with teardrop-shaped stem and spacers. But what truly impresses with the F8 is the comfort that the frame and fork deliver. A bike with oversized aerodynamic tubes could easily be rigid and uncompromising, but the F8’s rear end plushness, in particular, is impressive and the comfort really shines through.


Rock-solid front end

The front does feel stiffer than the last F8 we tested, which has to be down to the rock-solid-feeling one-piece wing bar, but the hooks have a great shape and the flats on the bar tops aren’t so wide that they’re uncomfortable on long climbs – something the F8 has seen plenty of.

There’s little that we haven’t already said about Dura-Ace Di2 and we couldn’t fault Selle Italia’s SLR saddle either. Froome and Co will be riding Shimano wheels, while our bike has 47mm-deep rimmed Corima A+ clinchers with Vittoria’s graphene-infused Corsa tyres. These are among the best tyres we’ve tried recently, offering compliance, speed and grip.

The wheels roll smoothly, at 1400g they’re pretty light and they’re fine performers in crosswinds. And, like the frame, Corima’s rims have pedigree, being ridden by Astana to victory in the 2014 Tour, the 2015 Giro and Vuelta and this year’s Giro. The carbon brake tracks did whistle occasionally under hard braking, though this lessened as the brake blocks wore in, and we could induce a little rear brake rub sprinting hard, though some fettling with a spoke key reduced this.

We believe that Pinarello’s Dogma excels as an all-rounder with aero considerations rather than as an all-out aero road bike, with a balance of reactive handling and speed that closely matches the Bianchi Oltre we tested last month. Cannondale’s Evo and the Focus Izalco may be more nimble through the bends, but the F8 has the better of both when it comes to flat-out straight-line speed.

5 Max Heartrate Training Myths


Think you know everything about max heart rate and why it’s important? Think again.


For decades, athletes have used maximum heart rate as a way to figure out which zones they should be training in. The most common wisdom was to subtract your age from 220, and—voilà!—you had your max HR, a figure representing the greatest number of beats per minute your heart can achieve. Then, from that number, you could allegedly calculate your recovery, fat-burning, lactate threshold, and anaerobic heart-rate training zones.

However, it’s a rudimentary system—like, ‘might as well use an abacus as a bike computer‘ rudimentary.

“It’s been the standard for years but there are a lot of variables” that can throw off your max HR, says Cherie Miner, MD, a sports medicine physician and age-group Ironman athlete at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center. She adds that how fit you are, how hot it is, and how much stress you’re under can all affect your max HR at any given time.

Like the 220-minus-age rule, there are a lot of other myths surrounding max HR. Here, we debunk the worst of them.


If You Go Over Your Max HR, Your Heart Explodes

You’ve gotta admit, this would be equally horrifying and badass if true. Rest easy, though—it won’t happen.

“Your heart gets to the point where it can’t eject blood effectively enough; where it’s not productive anymore,” says Dean Golich, head performance physiologist for Carmichael Training Systems. When this happens, self-preservation kicks in and you slow down. If you’re in a race, that means you’ll either just get droppedor toss your cookies.

“Most people have 1 to 2 minutes max at their max HR; highly trained athletes may have more,” says Miner. Expect to see your performance suffer very quickly if you try and maintain your max HR for more than just a short burst.


Your Max HR Is the Same For Everyone Your Age

That’s what the old-school formulas assume, but Golich says it’s much more nuanced than that. Max HR is largely untrainable, and determined by genetics—some of us have hearts tuned like humming birds’ while others have the slow ‘n steady type.

“But it’s not an indication of performance,” Golich says. “If your max is 200 and someone else’s is 190, it doesn’t mean one of you is the better athlete.” In fact, he’s worked with numerous talented athletes at both ends of the spectrum.

It’s good to remember that everyone’s max HR does drop as they age—but again, that doesn’t mean you’re losing fitness. Regular training and good nutrition will affect performance more than the fact that your max HR is now slightly lower than it was three years ago. In reality, it’s not your max HR that determines your fitness level: Being able to hold your max HR for longer and longer sessions is what’s key.


Heart Rate Is A Measurement Of How Hard You’re Working

Heart rate is a reaction to work being done, not a measurement of actual work. For example, Golich says that if you ratchet yourself up to 200 watts for three minutes, for the first minute, your heart may tick along at 170bpm; by minute two it may be at 180; and by minute three you could be pushing 189. But you’re doing the same amount of work the whole time—200 watts.

If you were to ride for three minutes with the intention of maintaining the same heart rate, things would look different. Say you ramped up to 180bpm to start— you might ride at 200 watts for the first minute, but you’d likely have to drop your watts to sustain that heart rate for minutes two and three.

Golich himself prefers to have his clients train with power meters or using Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)—simply, a personal appraisal of how hard you feel you’re working—rather than HR.

“There are a lot of grey areas,” with heart rate, he says, adding that being overheated, under-fueled, or even just hopped up on caffeine will throw your heart rate numbers off for the day.

Furthermore, the number displayed by your heart rate monitor or the screen on a gym treadmill may not be accurate. Sure, using a computer is certainly more accurate than the 220-age formula, but Golich adds says that since these devices take measurements every few seconds, they’re probably not dead-on. If you really want to know your true max heart rate, an EKG is the best way to go, though Golich believes it’s not an expense worth taking on.


If I’m Not Working at My Max Heart Rate, I’m Not Working Hard Enough

Here’s your license to chill. Max heart-rate workouts should be done sparingly, says Miner, since the ultra-high intensity can lead to injuries, extreme fatigue, and other symptoms of overtraining. Plus, there’s merit to working in many different heart-rate zones—from increasing your base fitness with low-intensity sessions to pushing the boundaries at your lactate threshold, and even tipping into some anaerobic work.

If you only have two speeds—hard and OMG hard—you’re doing yourself a disservice.




Fabian Cancellara superb in final Olympics

Fabian Cancellara returned to glory at the Olympics with a gold medal in the individual time trial


In perhaps the most fitting final chapter to his decorated career, Fabian Cancellara won gold in the Olympics time trial on the wet roads of Rio de Janiero Wednesday. The Swiss, a 2008 Olympics TT champion and four-time world champion in the TT, will retire at the end of 2016. Cancellara rode a patient race as Australian Rohan Dennis clocked fast early splits in the 54.5km test. After the second climb of the Grumari circuit, Cancellara was clearly in charge. The 35-year-old ended up winning the race with a time of 1:12:15.42.

Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands was second, 47 seconds behind, while Tour de France champion Chris Froome won bronze, 1:02 back.

“It means a lot to participate in sport’s highest event that the world presents and to win the gold medal in my retirement year; I think I’m just super proud,” said Cancellara.

After the first 10 kilometers, Cancellara had the fastest split time: 15:12.88. Dennis was second-fastest, a fraction of a second behind, while Team GB’s Geraint Thomas had the third-best split, 5.86 behind the Swiss leader. Pre-race favorite Chris Froome was seventh at the first time check.

After 19.7km, Dennis had moved into the lead with a split of 28:47.05, while Cancellara dropped to fourth, 24.26 down. Dumoulin moved up to second, 16.91 back, ahead of third-place Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain, 21.92 behind.

On the second passage of the Grumari climb, Cancellara had clawed back his virtual lead with a split of 48:30.45. Dennis faded, and clocked a 48:48.42 time at the 34.6km time check. Dumoulin was third, 25.74 back.

Read more here

The best tech innovations on show at the Rio Olympic Games


The best tech innovations, heat-triggered chameleon frames, outrageous helmets, left-side drivetrains, and more.

With the 2016 Olympic Games kicking off this month in Rio, bike brands are breaking out all manner of special gear, from a Specialized frame that changes colour when it gets hot, to an outrageous Smith Overtake helmet and matching glasses, to a left-side drivetrain Felt track bike, and much more. Some of these designs are ostensibly for eking out marginal performance gains; others are just to make a big visual splash. Hey, it is Rio, after all.

Here are a few of the notable just-for-the-Olympic designs we’ve seen so far.

1. Specialized Torch frames and helmets

Everyone recognizes the Olympic torch, right? Specialized is putting a very new spin on the very old motif with its Torch frames and helmets, which change color from red to yellow at 71F / 22C.

The paint treatment was used on the S-Works Amira for Lizzie Armistead, the S-Works Tarmac for Vincenzo Nibali, and the S-Works Epic FSR for Peter Sagan, among other riders. The S-Works Evade aero helmet will also got the Torch treatment for the Specialized-sponsored Olympic riders.


2. Smith x Bicicleta Sem Freio collaboration

Smith partnered with the Brazilian artists Bicicleta Sem Freio for a limited edition package of the Overtake road helmet, Pivlock Arena sunglasses, Lowdown sunglasses and a T-shirt.

Bicicleta Sem Freio (which means “bicycle with no brakes”) is the group name for the artists Douglas Castro, Victor Rocha and Renato Reno, who have painted murals around the world and done work for brands like Nike, Levi’s and Volkswagen.

4. Scott goes fluoro for Rio

6. Canyon Olympic paint

Canyon has 20 sponsored athletes from 10 countries in Rio

Proudly waving the colors of the Brazilian flag, Canyon custom painted Aeroad and Ultimate CF SLX frames for its sponsored athletes in Rio.

In all, there are 20 athletes from 10 different nations riding Canyon bikes, including top-flight cyclists like Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM), as well as triathletes like João Pereira and Anne Haug.


7. Felt TA FRD

The Felt Racing Development team pursuit bike (TA FRD) is backwards. Well, not backwards, exactly, but the drivetrain is on the left in hopes of aerodynamic gains for the USA Cycling’s women’s pursuit team who hope to parlay their current world champ status into Olympic gold.

Why on the left? Over a 4km team pursuit track race, riders will encounter 64 left turns on the oval velodrome, and the right side of their bikes will be traveling ever-so-slightly farther and slightly faster than the left side of their bikes.


The bike also features asymmetrical airfoils, custom Hed wheels that can fit in a narrower fork, and a custom version of Vision’s Metron TT crankset with a prototype dual-sided Stages power meter. Oh, and Vittoria tubulars that are claimed to beat any rival in terms of rolling resistance and aerodynamics.

Team Sky has also ridden dual-sided Stages meters, but the company only sells the left-side meter.

“We believe in the single-sided meter’s ability and validity for training cyclists with power,” said Stages marketing manager Matt Pacocha. “Being a part of this project bike, however, presented an opportunity to for us to highlight our carbon technologies on the grandest stage, learn more and continue to test prototype dual-sensor technologies, especially by benefiting from the wealth of expertise that our national team’s best coaches and physiologists bring to the table.”



West Hollywood’s new bike-share system

The full system launch is not until August 30, but the city of West Hollywood soft-launched its bike-share system yesterday. WeHo Pedals now has dozens of bicycles available at four initial stations. Introductory annual memberships are just $69.

WeHo Pedals is operated by CycleHop, the same vendor that runs systems in Santa Monica (including Venice stations coming this month), Long Beach, Beverly Hills, and, coming soon, UCLA. The bikes are “smart bikes” meaning that the electronics are located on the bike itself, not the dock. Bikes can be locked up at designated docks, or at other locations within the service area. The system coverage area overlaps with neighboring Beverly Hills, so cyclists can pick up a bike in WeHo and leave it in Beverly Hills.


Nearly all of the bike-share stations are along Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood’s central spine. The four stations currently available are:

  • West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard
  • Santa Monica Boulevard at N. Crescent Heights Boulevard
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between Holloway Drive and N. Olive Drive

Get all the fabulous details at WeHo Pedals website. More photos from yesterday’s launch after the jump.


West Hollywood Bike Share


Read more here.

Here’s what you don’t know about California bike laws


Think you know California Bike Laws?

Bike advocates confidently told me that most cyclists are aware of their legal obligations while riding. But when I did a story about California’s new three-feet law last September, I took the opportunity to ask a bike expert about a couple of other rules.

Can I legally ride on the sidewalk? Is it OK for people to talk on a cell while riding? I see some do that occasionally on Spring Street …

I surprisingly got a few wrong. As someone who’s biked to work for about 15 years, I thought I would know better. (Answers: sort of. And yes, which is crazy to me.)

But I’m not alone. Quizzing friends and KPCC colleagues about other rules – bicyclists and non-bicyclists alike — no one walked away with a perfect score.


But bicycling will be a major part of Southern California’s future.

It’s a core piece of L.A.’s city infrastructure plan for the next 20 years, andCicLAVia is booming so much that it’s branching out with events in the San Fernando Valley and Pasadena.

If more cyclists hit the streets, though, is everyone educated enough so the roads can be shared safely?

When bikes and cars collide

There are no official statistics on how well-informed people are.

Talk to most drivers, and they would say cyclists aren’t well versed in the rules of the road. (Then again, about half of prospective drivers failed the DMV’s written English test themselves.)

Diehard bike advocates – as you’d expect – disagree.

Yet more than 15,000 accidents statewide involved a bike in 2012, according to the California Highway Patrol. About a third of those collisions happened in L.A. County.

The blame for those accidents is about even on the national level, says the League of American Bicyclists.

But locally, the CHP data shows bicyclists tend to be more at fault.*





The number one reason why bicyclists cause accidents is because they’re riding on the wrong side of the road.

Colin Bogart from the L.A. County Bike Coalition has a theory why that happens: It’s the way people were once taught.

“A lot of people are very frightened about being hit from behind,” he says. “I think that’s a big reason why a lot of people ride the wrong way in traffic.”

Meanwhile, the leading cause of accidents caused by drivers is when they turn into the path of a cyclist. At an intersection, for example, a driver might cut off a bicyclist while making a right without yielding – the bike was supposed to have the right of way.


Teaching cyclists and drivers on the road

Before drivers take to the streets, they have to take a class, pass a test and earn a license. For bicyclists, none of that has to happen.

Driver’s education doesn’t extensively cover what motorists should do around bikes, either.

That’s where local groups like the L.A. County Bike Coalition step in.

Every so often they’ll collaborate with the LAPD for Operation Firefly, a project where they’ll hand out free lights to passing bicyclists: In California you’re legally required to have a front-facing light and a rear reflector.

“It’s less about, ‘Hey, this is what you’ve got to do to avoid a ticket,'” says Colin Bogart from the LACBC. “It’s more about, ‘This is what you need to do to make yourself visible when you’re riding at night.'”

Police officers also take charge of educating motorists when they pull them over for infractions.

“That’s why we’re handing pamphlets out,” says Officer Mike Flynn of the LAPD’s Central Division, “trying to educate motorists if we see them committing stuff that’s unsafe.”

These moments become on-the-fly education for drivers and cyclists to better prepare everyone to be safe on the road.


What about learning the rules after you break them?

Throughout the country there are “bike traffic schools” for adults with a citation. Go to a class and your fine will be reduced.

Certain places in California tried to do that, too. The problem: It’s against the law in this state.

“Right now, they can’t, even if they want to,” says Dave Snyder of the California Bike Coalition.

The way the law reads, adults can only attend a traffic school of any kind to reduce points, not a fine. But, you know, bicyclists don’t get points.

A technicality in that law allows college campuses to have them, and Bike East Bay tried to bring its program at UC Berkeley over to the the city of Alameda in 2012.

The police chief at the time was bike friendly and developed a work around: Take a class in the 30 days before a citation is processed, and we’ll rip up the ticket.

But Alameda’s police chief left at the end of that year, and the program went with him.

Snyder says the coalition is working to find a sponsor in the legislature to change state law so all police departments are allowed to offer these classes.

“It’s the first time we’ve tried this,” he says, “but [cyclists] come out of those classes feeling a lot more confident and a lot more secure.”


Read more at take the quiz here.

Gold medal for Van Avermaet in the Olympic Road Race

Greg Van Avermaet put his broken collarbone from the Tour of Flanders and all his second place finishes behind him as the Belgian claimed his country’s first road race medal at the Olympic Games since Axel Merckx’s bronze in 2004 and first gold medal since André Noyelle in 1952. Van Avermaet gave himself a ‘five per cent chance’ of victory ahead of the challenging 237.5km race but got the better of Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) and Rafal Majka (Poland) in the spring for gold for the biggest win of his career.

“It’s the biggest thing ever. I think I can say that it is the highlight of my career. It’s going to be the highlight of all of my career to come. It doesn’t get any bigger than this so I’m just so happy that I could have a big win like this in my career. It’s really a good feeling,” Van Avermaet said of the victory.

Majka, Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) and Sergio Henao (Colombia) had been at the front of the race only for a crash to take out Nibali and Henao, leaving the Polish rider as the leader on the road. With Nibali nursing a broken collabone and Henao a fractured pelvis as the sat sat on the roadside with their gold dreams dashed, Majka led solo until Van Avermaet and Fuglsang bridged across in the final kilometres. Once under the flamme rouge, Majka pulled over to leave Fuglsang and Van Avermaet to battle for gold for the BMC rider coming out on top.

“This is a very nice moment. I’ve quite often been close, just not won, but this makes up for it,” added Van Avermaet.

Click here for the full race report, results and photos from Rio.


LACBC and Just Ride LA don’t want fear of getting stranded due to a flat tire or mechanical problem to keep you from enjoying a ride to work, to visit friends and family, to go shopping, or to just ride for fun. You don’t need to be a master mechanic to fix a number of problems that could come up during an every day ride. Bring your bike and we’ll show you some basic repairs and adjustments that you can do by the side of the road.

Colin Bogart, LACBC Education Director and Christian V, Just Ride LA mechanic extraordinaire will be your instructors. They’ll cover:

* Fixing a flat tire
* What kinds of flats are there and which ones can you fix?
* Shifter adjustment
* Brake adjustment

We recommend that you bring your bike so if you have any questions specific to your bike, we can answer them.

Attendees will be entered into a raffle for prizes at the end of the workshop.

August 17, 2016 at 7pm – 8:30pm
Just Ride LA bicycle shop
1626 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
United States
Google map and directions

Olympic cycling schedule will live stream every event of the Rio Games.

The cycling streaming schedule is here.

The sport’s full, event-by-event schedule is here.