February 2017

Cycling Jacket Shines At Night

From GearJunkie.com

Shine bright on dark rides wearing an ultra-high-vis jacket with lights and complete fabric reflectivity.

Nighttime visibility is a constant concern for cyclists. Riders can employ strobes, high-lumen head- and taillights, reflective decals, even animated LED wheels.

Each of these has two drawbacks: 1) They illuminate parts of the bike, not the rider; and 2) They’re dependent on line-of-sight (only shine one direction).

Showers Pass released a waterproof cycling jacket that tears the doors off of biker visibility. The High-Vis Torch is a waterproof, vented cycling jacket that has an impressive three-prong approach to keeping cyclists safe.

  1. High-vis yellow paneling for daytime visibility.
  2. Four removable, multi-function LED lights along the cuffs and rear hem.
  3. Fully reflective coating on the front, rear, and sleeves.

In short: It is the most eye-catching piece of cycling apparel I’ve ever seen or worn. It blocks rain and wind as advertised, and provides a solid shell for winter bike layering. Its cost ($325) and weight (1 lb. 7 oz.) mean it’s for commuters who place a premium on safety and don’t mind paying extra for it.

Bike safety gizmo looks like it’s straight outta Star Wars

From NewAtlas.com

Safety-conscious cyclists could get themselves a separate tail light, brake light, turn indicator systemrear-view camera and crash detector … or they could soon get all of those things in one device, in the form of the Hexagon. Not only does it pack several features into one gadget, but it also looks a lot like Darth Vader’s TIE fighter.

The Hexagon is attached to the bike’s seatpost via an included quick-release mount. Its back-facing 1080p/30fps HD camera uses Wi-Fi to transmit real-time video to a display on the user’s handlebar-mounted smartphone. The rider can view that display as they would a rearview mirror, plus they can record the video on the Hexagon’s SD card, or they can livestream it via an accompanying app.

That app can additionally be used to track speed, calories burned, and distance travelled.

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New “cycling-inspired” cafe rolling into Highland Park

From The EastsiderLA.com

A “caffeine fueled, cycling-inspired” cafe is preparing to join the other new restaurants, bars and shops along York Boulevard.

The owners of à Bloc, which is taking shape inside  an approximately 1,300-square-foot storefront at 5025 York,  will not only serve coffee, pastries and snacks but will also sell custom cycling kits, urban cycling apparel, cycling accessories, caps, socks, water bottles and t-shirts.

“We want to bring our passion for coffee, cycling culture, and food together into one space, and build a community for like minded individuals to enjoy all three of these symbiotic elements,” said Kjeld Clark, one of the partners in the new shop.

The Clark and husband and husband-and-wife team Katherine and Johnny Richardson not only bring a love of cycling to the business but also backgrounds in retail and restaurants to run à Bloc. Clark owns a cycling apparel brand, superdomestik.cc, and has worked in bike shops and restaurants.  The Richardsons have extensive restaurant experience.

“Running any business takes many skill sets, and between the three partners we hopefully have them covered,” said Clark in an email. “Our three personalities will be revealed to our customers as we all put in time behind the coffee bar, pulling great shots and serving superb food, beverages and snacks.”

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Sharing the Road – Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists

From DMV.ca.gov

 

Each year in California, more than 100 people are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured in bicycle collisions. Some bicycle related crashes are connected to the bicyclist’s behavior, while others are due to the motorist’s lack of attention.

  • Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations. Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules.
  • Motorists must look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes, and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.

 

Four Basic Safety Tips

Here are four basic bicycling tips:

  • Maintain control of your bicycle.
  • Protect yourself–reduce the risk of head injury by always wearing a helmet.
  • Be visible, alert, and communicate your intentions.
  • Ride with traffic.

 

Maintain Control of Your Bicycle

There are many things you can do to control your bicycle, even in an emergency. First, ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you. A properly fitted bicycle is easier to control, more comfortable, and causes less fatigue. A bicycle shop can help you choose the correct size bicycle. Ensure your bicycle is in good working order by inspecting it regularly.

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) contains specific laws pertaining to bicycle riders. For example, it is unlawful to operate a bicycle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug (CVC §21200.5).

Convictions are punishable by a fine of up to $250. If you are under 21, but over 13 years of age, your driving privilege will be suspended or delayed for one year once you are eligible to drive.

Protect Yourself

Even a simple fall can cause a life threatening head injury. The brain is fragile and often does not heal the way that broken bones can. The damage can stay with you for life. Properly fitted helmets provide protection. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road (CVC §21212).

Be Visible and Alert

Even if you obey all traffic laws, there is always a risk of being hit by a motorist who is not obeying the laws, or who simply does not see you. Ride carefully–vehicles waiting at stop signs, in driveways, or parking spaces may suddenly pull out in front of you. Watch for vehicles that have just passed you and may turn right, as well as vehicles coming the opposite way that may turn left in front of you. Be prepared to stop or take evasive action.

Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes to warn traffic around you. To signal a left turn, look behind you, over your left shoulder, and then extend your left arm out. To signal a right turn, hold your left arm up with your elbow bent (you may also hold your right arm straight and point to the right). You do not have to keep your arm extended while completing the maneuver always have at least one hand on the handlebars to maintain control. To signal that you are slowing or stopping, extend your left arm down.

Using lights and reflectors at night is the law (CVC §21201). During darkness, bicyclists must have the following equipment:

  • A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet.
  • A rear red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet.
  • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet.
  • A brake which will enable the operator to make a one brake wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement.

Increase your visibility by wearing light or bright colored clothes, such as yellow or lime green. Red appears black in fading light and is not a good choice for riding in the evening. Mirrors provide opportunities for increased awareness of your surroundings, but use mirrors only as an aid. Always look over your shoulder to make sure the lane is clear before turning or changing lanes. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.

Ride With Traffic

Ride in the same direction as traffic. This will make you more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes, because they will know where to look for possible conflicts. On a one-way street, you may ride on the left as long as you are riding with traffic.

How Far to the Right?

Ride on the right, but not so far that you might hit the curb. You could lose your balance and fall into traffic. Do not ride too far to the right:

  • When avoiding parked vehicles or road hazards.
  • When a traffic lane is too narrow for a bicycle and vehicle to travel safely side by side.
  • When making a left turn so that vehicles going straight do not collide into you.
  • To avoid conflicts with right–turning vehicles.

 

Hazards

Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Avoid running over potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, puddles you can’t see through, or other unsafe road conditions. Look over your shoulder to avoid swerving suddenly into traffic. When possible, signal before changing lanes.

Parked Vehicles

Bicyclists should ride far enough away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door.

When to Take the Traffic Lane

A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists, marked by a solid white line, and typically breaking into a dotted line at the corner. A bicycle lane is different from a simple white line showing the edge of the road because it follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane. Many roads do not have designated bicycle traffic lanes, so bicyclists share the traffic lane to the left of the white line. If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane and the traffic lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room. Bicyclists can travel at speeds of 20 mph, or faster. You should also use the traffic lane when you are traveling at the same speed as the traffic around you. This will keep you out of motorists’ blind spots and reduce conflicts with right-turning traffic.

Motorists Passing Bicyclists

Be patient when passing a bicyclist. Slow down and pass only when it is safe. Do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road. If road conditions and space permit, allow clearance of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist.

Obey Traffic Signs and Signals

Bicyclists must obey STOP signs and red signal lights. It’s a good idea to stop for yellow lights too–rushing through a yellow light may not leave you enough time to make it across the intersection before the light changes.

Left Turns

There are two proper methods for making a left turn on a bicycle:

1. Using Traffic Lanes

As you approach the intersection, look over your left shoulder for traffic. If clear, signal your turn and move over to the left side of the lane, or into the left or center turn lane. Position yourself so that vehicles going straight cannot pass you on your left while making your left-hand turn. Yield to oncoming traffic before turning. If you are riding in a bicycle lane or on a multi-lane road, you need to look and signal each time you change lanes. Never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you’re in a bicycle lane.

2. Using Crosswalks

Approach the intersection staying on the right. Stop and either cross as a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or make a 90 degree left turn and proceed as if you were coming from the right. If there is a signal light, wait for the green light or the WALK signal before crossing. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A case for more bike infrastructure: Los Angeles is the world’s most traffic-clogged city, study finds

From LATimes.com

 

When it comes to getting stuck in traffic on the way to and from work, Los Angeles leads the world.

 

Drivers in the region spent 104 hours each driving in congestion during peak travel periods last year. That topped second-place Moscow at 91 hours and third-place New York at 89, according to a traffic scorecard compiled by Inrix, a transportation analytics firm.

 

The U.S. had half the cities on Inrix’s list of the top 10 most congested areas in the world and was the most congested developed country on the planet, Inrix found. U.S. drivers averaged 42 hours per year in traffic during peak times, the study found. San Francisco was the fourth-most congested city, while Bogota, Colombia, was fifth, Sao Paulo ranked sixth and London, Atlanta, Paris and Miami rounded out the top 10.

 

Being stuck in traffic cost the average U.S. driver $1,400 last year and nearly $300 billion for all drivers nationwide, Inrix said.

 

Study authors said a stable U.S. economy, continued urbanization of big cities, employment growth and low gas prices all contributed to increased traffic and congestion worldwide in 2016, lowering the quality of life.

 

It’s not likely to get better any time soon, wrote Bob Pishue, senior economist at Inrix.

 

“The demand for driving is expected to continue to rise, while the supply of roadway will remain flat,” he said in a statement.

 

Pishue suggests that governments use traffic data and technology to make traffic move more smoothly while they consider additional road projects.

 

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Top 10 Most Bike Friendly Cities in the U.S.

From EfficientGov.com

 

Cities all over the world — especially Europe — are known for their bike friendliness. But, cities across the United States are making strides in ensuring that their streets are accessible and safe for cyclists. BikingExpert.com has compiled a list of the top 10 most bike friendly cities in the United States for EfficientGov.

Cycling is an incredibly beneficial exercise. Your whole body gets a workout, including your heart, and as a bonus, your exercise doubles as a form of transportation. When you rely on a bicycle instead of a car to commute, you can save money on gas, auto insurance, car payments and parking fees. You can feel good about using your own two legs to get around, reducing air pollution while experiencing the health benefits of biking. The following U.S. cities make it easy for residents to reap the many benefits of bicycle transportation.

 

 

#1 Minneapolis, Minn.

You may not think of a congested metropolis as a great place for cycling, but Minneapolis has invested a lot of resources in the infrastructure required to support a large bicycle community. The city has a growing bike share program and network of bike lanes. In 2015, the municipal budget included $750,000 to build protected bikeways around the city, especially to make sure bike lanes stay clear of snow and ice in winter. Minneapolis was the first American city included in the Copenhagenize Indexof the most bike friendly cities in the world, and it’s still the only U.S. city to rank in the top 20.

 

 

#2 Portland, Ore.

As self-proclaimed “Bike City, USA,” Portland is well recognized for its efforts to support a bike friendly community. The city has programs to supply bike lockers, public bike rentals, free safety information and more. Portland even circulates free maps for tourists wishing to explore the city on a cycling tour. As of 2013, the city had more than 315 miles of pathways for cyclists, including specially designated “bicycle boulevards.” Portland also has the highest percentage of bike commuters to work at 7 percent. Its bike share program includes more than 1,000 smart bicycles.

 

 

#3 San Francisco, Calif.

San Francisco provides more than 200 miles of bike lines and low-traffic streets for cyclists, including a raised protective lane on one of the busiest thoroughfares. Many bike racks and garages are provided for commuters throughout the city, and locals have access to a bike sharing program as well. In 2016, San Francisco was named the second most bike-friendly city in the country by Bicycling magazine.

 

 

#4 New York City, N.Y.

New York City’s public parks are known for their policies to prohibit vehicle traffic during certain hours and on weekends, making them safer for cyclists. In addition, this highly populated metropolis provides 250 miles of dedicated bike paths, a bike sharing program and other cycling facilities. Approximately 200,000 New Yorkers cycle to work every day, and half a million people bike to work more than twice a month.

 

 

#5 Detroit, Mich.

The city of Detroit supports efforts to promote bike tours. Dedicated bike lanes can be found around the city’s best attractions and other heavily trafficked areas, which provide safety as well as recreation for cyclists and tourists. In addition, public and private projects are underway to connect Detroit to other locations in Michigan and Canada, making it easier for cyclists to travel longer distances by bike.

 

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MOSKITO Smartwatch Bike Speedometer

Get the most out of your wristwatch with the M O S KI T O Smartwatch Bike Speedometer. Elegantly worn on your wrist with the included strap, this device mounts effortlessly to your bike to track metrics. The M O S KI T O uses high-quality components and is manufactured in Switzerland. It easily screws into place on your wristband as well as screwed into place on your bike. In addition to providing the time, it can show your speed, distance, average speed, date, as well as a chronograph. The M O S KI T O Smartwatch Bike Speedometer is rechargeable and compatible with top brands such as Strava and Garmin. Finally, the M O S KI T O remains connected to give you notifications via Bluetooth when you need them.

 

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The Tweed Ride 2017

The Tweed Ride is back! Put on your tweediest finery and join, C.I.C.L.E. for the Tweed Ride in DTLA. This will be the first day of daylight savings, so there will be plenty of daylight and photo ops as we ride to the gorgeous turn-of-the-century homes in Alvarado Terrace, built between 1890 and 1904, like the Gothic-styled Marley-Stone house or the Kinney-Everhardy house. The ride ends at a local downtown pub near Union Station. Check back for updates as more details come available.

Date:  March 12th, 2017

Time : 12:00 p.m.

Start: Union Station (Exact location TBD)

 

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Los Angeles Marathon Crash Ride 2017

Let’s ride the LA Marathon route. In preparation for the event, streets along the route are closed off to traffic starting at 3 am. This means that the majority of the route will be car free till 6 am when the event starts and people are asked to get out of the way.

Official marathon route: http://www.lamarathon.com/event-info/the-course/course-map

This event is a feeder ride to the route, starting at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights and ending in Santa Monica. If anyone wants to be part of this ride, there are a few things to take into consideration:

* We won’t be doing the full 26-mile route of the marathon, we’ll be riding between 20 to 30 miles total getting to the route, the breakfast spot, and the Santa Monica train station to head back home.

* The group will be meeting up and riding out from Boyle Heights to the marathon route, but once there, the group will break up since everyone will be riding at different paces. Feel free to go as fast or as slow as you want, but know that you will be removed from the route at 6 am by the police.

* Make sure your bike is in riding condition and that you have any and all tools to fix a flat tire or make adjustments to your bike. The route varies in inclination levels, so be sure to double check your gears, breaks, tires etc.

* Bring 1 or 2 extra inner tubes, a bike pump, and any tools your bike might specifically need. Make yourself visible and have your lights on, both front and rear. There will be other folks with tools and extra inner tubes, but don’t rely on anyone else. Come prepared.

* We’ll be catching the route over on Sunset and Fig, avoiding a steep hill and some circling. Some of us will be riding directly to the breakfast spot, Rae’s Restaurant to beat the rush. After eating, we’ll be riding as a group to the Santa Monica Train station to head back home.

* There might be other riders on the route, so be mindful of others around you, call out hazards, your signals etc.

* Don’t forget to bring anything else you might need for this ride, water bottle, cash, tap card, phone charger etc. Everyone will be responsible for themselves and/or for the group, they’re riding with.

* It will be cold, so make sure you are layered up and in comfortable clothes that won’t impede your riding.

 

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People For Bikes wants to know what you think about bicycling in your community.

From PeopleForBikes.org

In fall 2017, we’ll publish the first PlacesForBikes city ratings: a data-driven system identifying the best U.S. cities for bicycling and rewarding those that are improving the fastest.

Want your town on the all-star list? The ratings will be based in part on your input.

 

TAKE THE COMMUNITY SURVEY >

Everyone can participate regardless of where, how or why they ride. It asks questions such as how safe biking feels, whether it’s getting better, and where are your favorite places to ride. Click on the link above to take the 10 minute survey and share this link with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. The more responses we get by April 15, the better picture we’ll have of local biking.

For a chance to win a $1500 Trek bike and other prizes, you can provide your name and email. [Official sweepstakes rules.] Or you can participate anonymously.

To get the full picture of bicycling in your community, we are also gathering data on your city’s bike network and recent progress. Please forward this link to your city leaders and ask them to complete the City Snapshot. The deadline for completed City Snapshots is also April 15, 2017. One staff person from each city or town should fill out the City Snapshot.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CITY SNAPSHOT >

The five-star ratings are based on several pieces of data, including Community Surveys and available data on safety and bike riding. The PlacesForBikes ratings evaluate how good biking is today, an acceleration factor of progress being made, and a piece we call reach, which looks at how well the entire community is being served by biking.

For technical difficulties or questions with either survey, contact us at placesforbikes@peopleforbikes.org.