Morning Links: Bike-riding spy in Nazi Germany, Inside the Issues clips, and solving US health crisis with bikes

There’s not much about bikes in this story.

But something tells me you’ll want to read it anyway.

A 98-year old woman, now living with her husband in Los Angeles, describes what it was like to infiltrate Nazi Germany as a 24-year old, blue eyed blond Frenchwoman who lost her sister and 29 other relatives in the Holocaust.

As Allied forces entered Germany, she borrowed a bicycle to ride to the southern part of the country. And posing as a frightened German citizen, found out from a Nazi officer where the remnants of the German army were waiting to ambush the Allied Forces.

There’s no telling how many lives she may have saved, or how much her bravery may have shortened the war.

A reminder that you never know who that little old lady once was.

Like maybe a 4’11” bike-riding hero who helped save the world.

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Unfortunately, I can’t link to Friday’s Inside the Issues report about LA bicycling issues on the Spectrum News 1 channel, since they don’t archive their shows online.

Never mind that people paying for their cable and internet service might actually want to see it if they missed the initial broadcast. Let alone everyone else who doesn’t get SoCal Spectrum service.

Let alone Inside the Issues.

But at least they’ve tweeted a few clips from the show, including one with yours truly talking about the Frederick “Woon” Frazier tragedy.

And yes, my choice of attire was entirely intentional.

They also posted this too-brief clip of new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, followed by a clip from their report on ghost bikes.

Which I didn’t know they were doing until I arrived at the studio wearing that shirt.

Hopefully they’ll post clips from the same Inside the Issues show with Curbed’s Alissa Walker and CicLAvia ED Romel Pascal.

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A 409-page benchmarking report from the League of American Bicyclists says more bicycling and walking could solve America’s public health crisis, as well as reduce traffic congestion, and shows where it’s getting better and worse to ride a bike in the US.

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To help get you in the mood for Valentines Day, CBS News says the key to a happy marriage may be a tandem bike.

Or at least it’s worked for a New Jersey couple who’ve been riding together for 45 years.

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Bystanders in Oaxaca formed an impromptu cheering squad for a late night family bike ride.

Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

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Nothing will cure a case of the Mondays faster than this thread from Peter Flax, showing a number of classic Hollywood celebrities were each one of us, too.

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Local

LA Magazine examines how the mostly student-led group Westwood Forward successfully created the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, splitting off from the existing Westwood NC, which had fought to restrict “bike lanes, nightlife, and new housing.” And anything remotely resembling fun.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says forget expensive highway projects in the mayor’s 28 by 2028 program to accelerate Metro projects for the ’28 LA Olympics; instead, he says focus on transit and equity, as well as expanding open streets, bikeshare and protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles could be about to fix a “bureaucratic quirk” that left hundreds of streets unrepaired because they were officially withdrawn from use. Even though no one actually bothered to close them, or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly stoned driver plowed into a crowd of people in Fullerton as they left local nightspots early Sunday morning, seriously injuring ten people. But sure, tell us again how you were nearly killed by someone on a bicycle that one time.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. An apparently drunk or stoned woman carefully drove around security barriers and into the lobby of the San Pedro police station, then backed out with a cop hanging onto her open door — and with her baby in the car.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, aka AQMD, is moving forward with a proposal for a half-cent sales tax increase to fund clean air projects. Someone should tell them there’s nothing cleaner than bicycles and bike lanes.

State

San Diego faces a more than half a billion dollar deficit in funding to fix a backlog of transportation infrastructure projects, including streetlights, bike lanes and sidewalk repair.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist says he’s the one who was seriously injured in a crash with a truck driver on Gibraltar Road last year; he’s now fully recovered and back to riding the popular climb, though he’s now descending at 12 mph instead of 30 mph.

Santa Barbara is planning a pair of road diets to slow traffic and improve safety under the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Santa Maria is stepping up police enforcement and working on new bike and downtown streetscape planes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Napa County’s new bike plan proposes another 453 miles of bikeways, to compliment the county’s existing 142 miles. Although those totals include bike routes, which are pretty meaningless except for wayfinding. And not always then.

A Marin columnist says a six-month trial period for a bikeway on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge makes sense, saying it should go back to a car lane if it has low ridership during peak hours. Only if cars get just a six-month trial period to prove it actually cuts congestion before reverting back to a bike lane.

National

Bloomberg endorses the Dutch Reach to prevent doorings and save bicyclists’ lives.

Bicycling celebrates Black History Month with 15 “rad, influential and super-fast cyclists” they say you need to follow on Instagram.

More from Bicycling, arguing that if Congress is serious about fighting climate change, any Green New Deal has to include support for bicycling.

The Onion says always make eye contact with drivers, so they’ll feel guiltier when they run you over. The satirical newspaper adds that “only 62 total Americans are intelligent and thoughtful enough to operate a motor vehicle.”

Inspired by Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, five Australian musicians rode their bikes from Sallisaw OK to Bakersfield to recreate the Joad family’s journey on just $420 — the modern equivalent of the $18 the Joads got for selling all their belongings — busking and relying on handouts along the way for the rest.

A Minnesota man raised $30,000 dollars for charity by riding his bike 11,000 miles around the permitter of the lower 48 states, saying it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be.

A bike-riding Tennessee columnist says bicyclists don’t deserve the treatment we get from motorists. Amen, brother.

A speeding drunk driver gets a well-deserved five years behind bars for killing a 74-year old Boston grandfather as he was riding his bike.

She gets it. Writing for The Conversation, a Harvard research scientist says bicycle-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just wealthy white cyclists.

A Connecticut man is living his best life as a self-appointed, bike-riding costumed traffic superhero.

A columnist for the New York Post gets it, saying drivers need to start paying to use the city’s streets in order to fight traffic congestion.

No one seems to know why bicycle and pedestrian deaths are up in the DC area. Although I think most bike riders and pedestrians could take some pretty good guesses.

International

An automotive website asks if a McLaren designer has created the perfect folding ebike.

A travel writer for the LA Times experiences a carfree ciclovia in Santiago, Chile.

The late, great Albert Finney got his start playing a blue collar worker in a British bicycle factory.

British comic Rowen Atkinson is one of us in real life, as well as on the screen.

An 82-year old English great grandmother is back riding a bike despite losing her vision, thanks to a local bike library’s program to get blind people on tandems.

Residents of Glasgow, Scotland hold hands to form a human-protected bike lane to call for a more concrete one. Thanks to Megan Lynch.

The Winter Bike to Work Day was a success in Minsk, Russia.

A pair of German bike tourists pause in the United Arab Emirates on their three-year journey around the world, saying the country has the worst traffic they’ve seen.

No bias here. The Daily Mail says Aussie truck drivers are outraged after bike riders won a three-year battle to have large trucks banned from a busy street, rather than focusing on a successful effort to improve safety and traffic flow.

An Australian website asks if it’s a country of horn-honking hulks and road-ragers, noting that one in five Aussies say they’ve experienced road rage or aggressive driving directed towards people on bicycles.

“Anarchistic” rogue mountain bikers are being blamed for the extinction of the endangered plants in an Australian national park.

An Australian professor bizarrely compares advocates calling for an end to the country’s mandatory bike helmet laws to climate-change deniers and anti-vaxxers.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere. Four days after opening the Philippines’ first protected bike lane, drivers are already using it as just another traffic or parking lane.

A Japanese newspaper says bike riders need to have better manners and be prepared to pay significant damages for crashes with pedestrians, as a government panel considers what would be the right level of compensation.

Competitive Cycling

British pro Scott Auld tells how survived a chain reaction crash caused by a careless driver that sent him down a ravine, and nearly cost him his life.

Sad news from Pakistan where a 4-time national champion died of cancer at just 32 years old.

Finally…

When you’re setting off on a bike tour of another country, it’s usually best not to start out riding salmon on a major highway. Who needs an ebike when you’ve got a strong dog?

And at last someone’s come up with a solution to LA’s crushing traffic problems.

Just let me know when Fleet Week rolls around.

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Thanks to Danila O for her generous donation to support this site, and keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Donations of any amount are welcome any time, for any reason.

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