Tag Archive for bike advocacy

Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

……….

Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

………

My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

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bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

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April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

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Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

Weekend Links: Support bicycling on your neighborhood council, stupid insurance tricks, and more bike events

There’s one sure way to make a difference on our streets.

Run for your neighborhood council.

LA’s neighborhood councils are where decisions are made on whether or not to support bike lanes, road diets and other bike-friendly improvements and livability issues. And they can have a big influence on elected officials, who are reluctant to do the right thing without public support behind them.

Yet while some councils get it, others are too often dominated by auto-centric nay-sayers who find it easier to just say no than to take the time to understand how bikeways can provide an alternative to driving and improve safety and livability for everyone.

You could change that by signing up to give a voice for bicyclists right where you live, work or study, as online registration is open now for 35 of the city’s 96 councils.

Naturally, mine is not among them. Nor is the Westwood council, which desperately needs some help.

Those you still have to register for the old fashioned way.

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LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss forwards news of a lawsuit that really should have been settled out of court.

According to a notice in the LA Daily Journal, a cyclist asked for $25,000 in damages after he was injured in a right hook while riding on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica; the insurance company countered with an offer of just $6,300, before doubling that to $13,000 just before trial.

The jury, on the other hand, awarded the cyclist over $78,000 — over three times what the rider was asking for — after a three day trial.

That’s what the insurance company gets for being cheap.

And that’s a good example of why you need to talk to a good lawyer if you get hurt while riding.

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Even after last week’s massive listing of bike events, there are still more coming up in the next few weeks.

Streetsblog looks at the coming Great Streets Challenge Grant Events for February and March, starting today in Reseda.

CiclaValley reminds us he’s leading the LACBC’S Sunday Funday CicLAvia Preview Ride through the Valley tomorrow.

The LA Planning Commission considers amendments to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the recently approved Mobility Plan this Thursday; if you can’t be there, email your support for keeping the plan intact.

Santa Monica hosts a Valentines Day Kidical Mass Ride on the 13th.

A free screening of the acclaimed documentary Bikes vs Cars will be held at Debs Park in Northeast LA on the 17th; you can see a trailer for the film here. Thanks to Alice Strong and Harv for the heads-up.

On the 20th, Culver City Biking Buddies invites you to join in on the Family Ride: The Sustainability Tour.

There will be a Lunar New Year Bike Train celebrating the Tet Festival in El Monte on the 21st.

BikeSGV will Bike the Gold Line in celebration of the opening of the Gold Line extension on March 27th.

BikeSD is hosting a 20-mile Bikes & Beers SD ride through the streets of San Diego on March 26th.

And start training now for the eighth annual Pablove Across America ride from San Francisco’s East Bay to LA to raise funds to fight childhood cancer; October 2nd through 8th.

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The LA Times says BMX legend Dave Mirra was the “reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground” while riding their bikes, as athletes and celebrities respond to his death.

Bicycling notes Mirra won the 2014 RAAM team competition with former pro Dave Zabriskie and two other riders, while gossip blogger Perez Hilton is unusually kind in posting a statement from Mirra’s wife.

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The chips keep falling in pro cycling, as Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov becomes the latest rider to be banned for doping; his Katusha team could face sanctions since he’s the second rider from the team to be banned in the past year.

A medical website says bike racing is rapidly reaching the point of no repair when it comes to doping and other forms of cheating, and asks where’s the outrage within the sport? Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian says don’t judge the beautiful, brutal sport of cyclocross based on the motor doping scandal.

Cycling Weekly says motor doping comes out of the Wile E. Coyote section of the cycling rule book, along with painting tunnels on brick walls and dropping anvils on your competition.

And America’s only remaining Tour de France winner offers a six-point plan to eradicate motor doping. Which will undoubtedly be ignored by those in charge, just like his warnings about doping were.

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Local

Don’t count on the LA River bike path through Silverlake and Atwater Village reopening anytime soon.

KPCC says not so fast on that report that LA is the most dangerous place in the US for pedestrians; the county ranks just 10th when ranked on a per capita basis. On the other hand, 10th may suck a little less, but it still sucks.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for experienced part time tour guides. Or you could be an organizing rep for the Sierra Club, or maybe manage the new PUBLIC Bikes store in SaMo.

Support is growing for a bike ferry linking the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path across the Marina del Rey inlet.

Family and friends remember Long Beach bike courier Daniel Nguyen, who fell to his death while rescuing a fellow hiker on Mt. Baldy this week.

Long Beach’s Pacific Avenue bike corridor is being extended into Los Cerritos.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency recommends riding the San Diego Creek Trail, calling it an inviting escape from the urban environment.

San Diego moves to improve safety on a one-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous streets; as usual, local residents prefer keeping their parking to saving lives.

Three young Fresno-area men were shot while riding their bikes; fortunately, only one was seriously injured.

A Modesto bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was struck by a big rig truck.

Good news from Berkeley, as a research scientist who was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike is expected to pull through. The driver, an actor who lists cycling as a skill on his resume, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

 

National

City Lab says it’s time to put sharrows to rest, and maybe get rid of centerlines while we’re at it.

Six-foot ten-inch Denver Nuggets basketball star Danilo Gallinari is one of us.

Bicycling looks at the unofficial Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte CO.

A Kentucky man has been charged with murder for running down a teenage bike rider while under the influence. Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously there.

Residents of New York’s Upper East Side rise up against plans to install painted bike lanes on six streets to calm traffic, even though they wouldn’t remove any parking or traffic lanes.

They take traffic crimes seriously in Florida, too, as a driver gets 12 years for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

I want one. A British man has developed a $37 DIY device to measure how close cars come when they pass you. Maybe we can combine it with a sign to show their score as they zoom by.

The company behind that solar power-generating bike path in the Netherlands will apply the technology to 600 miles of French roadways.

Maybe you want to spend your next vacation sampling the local cuisine on a bike tour of Macedonia. Or discovering why cycling in the Middle East is so attractive.

 

Finally…

Memorize this list for the next time you need a good excuse for failing your urine test; then again, none of them worked, so maybe not. We can all be grateful for bike commuters, especially if they’re riding to make beer every morning.

And this may be the greenest Super Bowl ever, but don’t try to bike there.

 

Morning Links: Cut off in a green lane, an 11-year old voice of reason, and an insightful look at LA’s Mobility Plan

Even with a green Santa Monica bike lane, some drivers can’t be bothered to look for bikes before cutting into it.

Thanks to John Montgomery for the video.

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It’s kind of sad that the voice of reason at Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet came from an eleven-year old boy.

Let alone the hate it inspired in some quarters.

Matty Grossman has become the perhaps unwilling star of LA bike advocacy, with an interview on KCBS-2 and a profile in the LA Times that features the following video, recorded by Sean Meredith.

It’s a little hard to hear — after all, he is just eleven — but it’s worth cranking up the volume as far as it goes to catch every word

Especially this segment excerpted from the Times’ story.

“I have lost track of the number of cars who have purposely violated my legal right to three feet of safety or shouted obscenities at me,” Matty said at Monday’s town hall. “Can you imagine the kind of monster who yells ‘F you’ to a child?”

And Matty, a sixth-grader, is over it.

“It’s whiny, entitled behavior you wouldn’t tolerate from a kid,” he told the room. “Why should I tolerate it from adults?”

Why should any of us?

Maybe it was being shamed by a kid that caused one rabidly anti-bike commenter to lash out in protest over a kid interrupting the conversation on “adult issues” like bike lanes and transportation policy.

But that’s exactly the point.

Because if some drivers will treat a little kid like that, imagine how they treat a grown-up on a bike.

According to the press reports, Matty wants to grow up to be mayor of Los Angeles. Or an astrophysicist.

He’s got my vote.

But if that doesn’t work out, I think we can get him a job with the LACBC.

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Speaking of Rowena, and by extension, the new mobility plan, Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers an insightful explanation of just why it’s so desperately needed, despite rumblings from some quarters.

Sometimes we tell ourselves it has been this way for all time. Recently a reader sent me an email that included this line: “Driving by car is how it’s done here.” (The word “son” at the end of the sentence was implied.)

But that’s not really true — not if you take a broad view of Los Angeles history. Look at a photograph of, say, Broadway in downtown L.A. in the late 1920s. It is full of people walking. But it is also full of people in cars, on bikes and on streetcars.

It looks vital. And guess what? It also looks very congested. In the decades that followed, in our tireless efforts to stamp out the congestion — something we became truly expert at — we wound up stamping out the vitality too.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it all the way through.

I’ll wait.

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Yet another young man has been fatally shot while apparently riding a bike in South LA, this time in the Florence neighborhood just after midnight Friday.

Excuse my language, but just when are we going to stop this fucking waste of life? The right to keep on living is the most basic of all human rights.

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There’s a new world record for a human-powered vehicle, set by a bullet-shaped bike ridden by Canadian Todd Reichart and the AeroVelo team at the annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge. It was clocked at 85.71 mph, beating the old record by 2.58 mph.

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That didn’t take long. The world championships haven’t even started yet, and a bike thief already made off with a $10,000 Specialized S-Works belonging to the Dutch team. And no offense to The Verge, but I’ve done a lot faster than 30 mph.

Former world champ Mark Cavendish is the latest high-profile rider to pull out of the worlds, along with Aussie Rory Sutherland.

WaPo offers a quick 11-point world championship overview, while Men’s Journal proffers seven reasons why you should care. One small problem with the course, though, is its made-for-TV tour through a virtual shrine to the Confederacy.

And it’s been 21 years since the carbon frame conquered the world of racing.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at LADOT’s new annual report, and offers four metrics to guide future bikeway implementation.

Bicycling isn’t a luxury in South LA, where a bike count shows people who can’t afford cars riding to or from work and school. And people there have more to fear than dangerous streets and drivers.

He doesn’t mention bikes, but 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield writes about revitalizing Reseda through the Great Streets program on Sherman Way. Let’s just remind him to include some decent bike lanes while he’s at it. And slow the damn traffic down.

Nonprofit creative arts center Art Share LA is giving you one last chance to say goodbye to the soon-to-be demolished 6th Street Bridge with an exhibit called Ode to the Bridge.

After winning joint custody, Chris Brown wants to treat his daughter Royalty royally by teaching her to ride a bike.

 

State

An off-duty CHP officer spotted a man sleeping in an Oceanside bike lane; when he stopped to investigate, he discovered the man was the victim of a hit-and-run. He was in critical condition as of Friday morning.

After riding over 9,300 miles through 31 states with his rescue dog to promote pet adoption, an animal activist had his bike, iPod, GoPro and dog toys stolen in San Diego. At least he managed to hold onto the dog.

Prospects for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bikeway aren’t looking good, as Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage both vote to block the proposed route.

Sad news from Lompoc. A bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by an SUV, as the driver apparently tried — and failed — to pass. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill decides to expand efforts to make the downtown area “inviting to visitors on all modes of transportation.” Note to Morgan Hill: Sharrows don’t make for Complete Streets.

A San Ramon attorney will be sentenced next week for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist three years ago. Sentencing is at the judge’s discretion; he could actually get probation for killing another person and running away to cover-up his crime.

Thanks to Google, we may one day hear the anti-bike brigades say LA isn’t Silicon Valley instead of comparing us to Copenhagen.

Not taxing bikes or bike riders wins out with 56% of the vote in the SF Gate’s very unscientific poll.

Streetsblog is looking for someone to run the San Francisco site and cover transportation issues in the Bay Area. I’d consider it, but it would mean becoming a Giants fan. And some lines a man just can’t cross.

 

National

This Tuesday is Worldwide Car-Free Day. Which is not the same as free car day, unfortunately.

In case you’re desperate for a physics lesson, Wired obliges with a discussion of pulling a bike with a giant rubber band.

Bicycling reports on the Breaking Away reunion at Interbike, although the Las Vegas Review-Journal does it much better.

The level of bike commuting in Portland has reached an unheard of — in the US, at least — 7.2%; it was only at 2.8% in 2004.

Fifty-two soldiers complete a two day, 167-mile ride from Fort Knox KY to Fort Campbell.

When some Michigan hikers looked at pictures they’d just taken off a cliff, they discovered legs and a bicycle in the photos; when rescuers arrived, they found a the body of a man in his 30s at the base of the cliff.

Now this is a great idea. Over 70 businesses and many homes in Ashland VA have bike gardens — bicycles with planters or arranged like sculptures. Love to see something that spread around the LA area.

Very strange case from upstate New York as a cyclist has been unresponsive since he was found lying in the road, suffering from a double skull fracture and a broken orbital socket and clavicle. Yet his bike and helmet were undamaged and there was no sign of a collision.

Caught on video: It takes major huevos to steal a Philadelphia cop’s bike. Or maybe just major stupidity, since the bike was clearly marked “POLICE.”

A Charlotte NC writer says both cyclists and motorists have control over whether they get out of control. However, bicycling is not particularly dangerous, as he suggests; people in motor vehicles aren’t immune from collisions and serous injuries, or worse.

 

International

A Saskatoon city counselor says new bike racks are a waste of money, since cyclists can “tie up” their bikes to loading zone signs. Sounds like he’s more used to hitching posts.

You’re kidding, right? Toronto proposes producing a paltry 2.5 miles of new bike lanes a year for the next 10 years. No word on whether those are centerline miles or lane miles; the latter would mean bike lanes on just 1.25 miles of roadway per year.

The 18-year old London man convicted of fatally stabbing a 15-year old boy to steal his bike will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A Singapore court cuts the sentence of a hit-and-run cyclist to three weeks; he’d originally been sentenced to eight weeks behind bars for fleeing after injuring a 69-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk.

Kuala Lumpur cyclists crowd-source a route map to make the city more bike friendly.

 

Finally…

Evidently, commie bikes are hard to find in the UK, even if the new head of the Labour party rides one. If you’re selling crack cocaine from the seat of your bike, try not to ride into a car while making your getaway from the cops.

And maybe it’s better to quaff that ale post ride rather than pre. Although after reading the effects booze has on a bike rider’s body, you may need a drink.

 

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