Morning Links: Lime pulls plug on bikeshare, history of bikes, and Harry and Megan’s unborn kid gets a Trek

This is going to be the last Morning Links for awhile. 

I’ll be having surgery next week to hack out a chunk of my knee, and replace it with a piece of lifeless metal.

Otherwise known as a full knee replacement.

I’m going to need some time to calm my nerves and get ready for the procedure. And once it’s over, I expect to be too drugged out to get any significant work done.

However, I’m planning to put up a guest post or two, and hope to get to a couple of other brief items. And I’ll do my best to keep up with any breaking news while I’m out.

So check back every now and then so you don’t miss anything.

If all goes as expected, I should be back on Monday the 4th with a fresh Morning Links, and knee that actually works for a change.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you soon.

And stay safe out there.

………

The former Lime Bike continues to pull the plug on dockless bikeshare in favor of cheaper and more popular e-scooters, withdrawing with little notice from San Mateo, San Francisco and Burlingame, as well as Seattle, Rockville IL and Starkville, Mississippi. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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An intrepid, trench coated BBC reporter traces the early history of the bicycle firsthand in a video from 1963.

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Prince Harry and Megan’s new baby hasn’t even been born yet, and the kid’s already got as many bikes as I do.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as some Brit asshole — and I use the term advisedly — pushes a woman off her bike from a moving car.

Let’s hope police find this jerk, and give him a shove into a jail cell.

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Local

If you’re on a waitlist for a bike locker at a Metro station, you may have to keep waiting. The transit agency has proposed scrapping the program because of break-ins and bike thefts, and replacing it with smartphone controlled docking racks.

Safe Routes to School Los Angeles scored a $33.5 million state grant to improve safety around eight local schools.

A South Pasadena website looks back on the doomed California Cycleway, and the birth of the motorcycle when early SoCal bike riders added engines to their bicycle.

Speaking of South Pas, Gabe the Sasquatch dropped in on the city council meeting to promote May’s 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission open streets event.

Environmentalists are fighting plans to move a line of palm trees to make room for a Long Beach Complete Streets project. Even though palm trees aren’t native plants and are big consumers of scarce SoCal water.

A woman on a bicycle may or may not have been hurt when a Long Beach driver jumped the curb and backed into a building; Patch describes her as a pedestrian, while a tweet from the police says she was a bike rider.

Long Beach is expanding its scooter program from the current 1,800 citywide to as many as 6,000 within six months.

State

A San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a fall, apparently caused by a passing driver. Another reminder that a car doesn’t have to hit you to cause serious damage.

Santa Cruz bike rental shops say Jump’s dockless ebikes have unfairly cut into their business.

Facebook employees keep dumping their free company bikes on Silicon Valley streets. And police keep hassling the kids who pick ’em up and ride ’em.

A San Francisco supervisor joined with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in calling for more bike racks throughout the city.

One of the six cops who fatally shot an unarmed Vallejo rapper who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot last year was involved in the fatal shooting of another unarmed black man earlier in the year, firing his gun into the back of the man’s head during a struggle after stopping him on his bicycle.

National

The Conversation examines the problem of auto-centric urban design that’s literally killing bike riders and pedestrians.

The Bike League says states may forfeit as much as $1 billion in federal funding for sidewalks, bike trails and other safety projects if they don’t use all the money by the end of the year.

The Oregon driver who killed a woman riding a bike while high on 12 different prescription drugs — including her dog’s anxiety meds — was sentenced to a well–deserved 12 years behind bars. That’s one year for each medication; let’s hope she gets the drug treatment she seems to desperately need.

A professional reporter, who is apparently better versed in the 1st Amendment than some police officers, confronted an Arizona marshal who threatened to arrest her for following on her bicycle and filming him. Did I mention that she’s just 12-years old?

Idaho decides that ebikes are bicycles, and should be treated like any other bike.

New Belgium Brewing — based in my hometown and makers of my favorite beer — has teamed with Brooklyn Bicycle Co. to make their eponymous 2019 cruiser bikes.

A judge issued a search warrant for the Austin, Texas bus driver who killed a bike rider on the UT campus last month; police say she appeared to be stoned on prescription medications, oblivious to her surroundings and driving distracted at the time of the crash, while failing to brake and ignoring passengers’ cries to stop. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A Minnesota bicycle columnist calls plans for a coast-to-coast bike path “fanciful but resilient,” saying Adventure Cycling is taking the long view in efforts to complete it. Wake me up when the LA Times — or any other local paper — gets around to hosting a column on bicycling.

Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a driver walked with just a $250 fine, and an order to donate another $250 to a local national park, after killing a bike rider while driving with a fogged-up windshield.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A woman reminisces about a beloved Boston librarian after she was killed by the driver of a cement truck while riding her bicycle.

The jerk who wrote a non-apology to a 10-year old upstate New York boy after sideswiping his bike may avoid a return to court, despite violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the judges order.

Bike Snob addresses New York’s war on bikes, as the NYPD continues its bizarre crackdown on bicyclists in response to the deaths of innocent bike riders at the hands and bumpers of lawbreaking drivers.

International

Seriously? A Vancouver veterans center says plans for a protected bike lane will put them out of business, evidently operating under the mistaken impression that veterans — even wounded vets — don’t ride bicycles.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton’s bike-raging celebrity fitness coach caused the equivalent of $4,800 in damage to a driver’s Mercedes following an altercation and some sort of contact between the car and his bike. He then reached into the car and grabbed the keys, throwing them into a nearby garden before attempting to rip off the door and damaging the upholstery.

A pair of road-raging moped delivery drivers got just under two years behind bars for knocking a British man off his bicycle and viciously beating him with a motorcycle helmet, breaking his arm and jaw — all because he was going faster than they were.

UK police investigating a bike theft from a train station busted a bike thief after discovering whopping 101 stolen bicycles crammed into his home.

A Scottish road safety researcher says lowering speed limits to 20 mph could actually make the streets more deadly by lulling bicyclists and pedestrians into a false sense of security. Which is another way of saying many, if not most, motorists would simply ignore the lower limits and drive as fast as they damn well please. Sort of like they do now.

Paris plans to optimize its beleaguered Vélib’ bikeshare system using artificial intelligence.

Apparently, life in Singapore is too hectic for roadway courtesy.

Competitive Cycling

The 2021 Tour de France will depart from Copenhagen.

American cyclist Peter Stetina says he’s fired up for the coming racing season after nearly retiring last year following struggles with a broken collarbone and the Epstein-Barr virus, as well as almost getting squeezed off the pro tour.

Columbian pro Egan Bernal isn’t feeling any pressure in leading Team Sky in this year’s Giro, saying the team will keep paying him whether he wins or loses.

The Redlands Classic stage race is looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals for this year’s edition.

Finally…

Maybe it’s time to start wearing a striped riding kit to keep the flies away. The best ABS system for your bike is probably a good brake finger.

And who needs wheels for a fast descent when you can ride a wooden ski bike?

Unless maybe you prefer to do your ski bike riding uphill.

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Thanks to Matthew R and Sameer K for their generous and unexpected donations to support this site — or maybe it was intended to help pay for my new knee.

Either way, it couldn’t be more appreciated.

10 comments

  1. keith says:

    e-scooters… noticing that the lime % bird brands seem to have been replaced by uber escooters on Larchmont Blvd. Interesting how the rental brands are able to carve out their territory.

  2. David Erickson says:

    Good luck with your knee surgery.

  3. Peter says:

    Best of luck with your knee. I hope it goes well and is relatively pain free afterwards.

  4. T Mo says:

    I’ll miss the morning rounds of cycling news that you put together so well. All the best with the surgery and speedy recovery to you. Look forward to your return.

  5. Andy Stow says:

    I hope the surgery and recovery are uneventful.

    Also, ”striped,” not “stripped,” which would be an entirely different look.

  6. David Drexler says:

    I hope that your knee surgery goes well!

    Looking forward to seeing you in the Amgen Race next year with your bionic knee.

  7. Good luck on your surgery. And listen to your physical therapist and do your rehab while paying attention to form and effort, so you get the most benefit and quickest recovery.

  8. Anthony D. Morrow says:

    Hoping your surgery and recovery go great!

  9. bikinginla says:

    Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I look forward to being back soon.

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