Tag Archive for just the links

Morning Links: A moving look at Dave Mirra and the need to succeed, and bike racers get blown and disinvited

Let’s just jump right in today.

Triathlete Jordan Rapp writes movingly about the suicide of BMX legend Dave Mirra, and the emptiness that comes with a constant need to excel at the highest level.

Rapp himself was nearly killed in a collision with a Camarillo hit-and-run driver in 2010, and survived only because a passing stranger saved his life. Yet came back just eight months later to nearly podium in the Ironman Arizona triathlon.

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Even in the off season, it’s hard to get away from racing news.

Let’s start with word that motor doping may have been going on a lot longer than anyone realized, as a video surfaces of an electric motor hidden in a 1970’s era road bike.

American cycling great Evelyn Stevens will attempt to set a new women’s hour record at the Olympic training center velodrome in Colorado Springs CO at the end of this month.

Russia, which appears to have returned to its Soviet-era state-sponsored doping, takes a page from the Lance/Lloyd playbook by denying any problems in its cycling program.

The world’s number one ranked cycling team gets treated like number two, as they’re disinvited from the Tour of Qatar for demonstrating a lack of respect — by taking too long to get dressed and walk to the podium.

And sometimes bike racing blows, as wind knocks cyclists competing in a Spanish race off their bikes. Thanks to joninsocal for the link

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Local

Here’s a warning for anyone riding Mulholland Highway, as a motorcycle site reports someone may be sabotaging the roadway by pouring oil on curves. That could pose a real danger for bicyclists as well, especially on fast descents.

Glendale residents discuss what changes they want for local parks; one calls for a bikeway along the Verdugo Wash.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses Pasadena parklets and Complete Streets on Las Tunas Drive in Temple City.

Metro suggests 16 places you’ll be able to explore once the Gold Line extension opens, including the Duarte Bike Path and Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area. Or spice up your ride with a visit to the Sriracha factory.

 

State

You only have until end of business day today to offer comments on Caltrans plans to close eight miles of Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County to bicyclists, cutting off a key route for bike tourists without providing any alternative.

When paving engineers work in a different department from city planners, the result can be dangerous for cyclists, as a recent Berkeley collision shows.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was killed by a driver heading back to a Super Bowl party; somehow, the victim “came out of nowhere” despite being in the roadway. Seriously, no one, ever, comes out of nowhere; the question is why the driver failed to see him.

 

National

A Seattle writer tries to connect the dots to say there’s a vast bikeshare conspiracy in the city.

A Las Vegas paper looks at the city’s coming bikeshare program in the downtown area.

Tres shock! An El Paso TV station catches a pair of cyclists running a red light to catch up to their riding partner, who made it through on the green. Although you have to wonder how many scofflaw drivers they might have caught by leaving their camera running at the same location.

A $9,000 investment in enclosed showers and a camping area for cyclists helped save a Montana town at the crossroads of two major bike touring routes.

A Cincinnati protected bike lane comes under attack before it can even be finished, despite support from neighborhood councils.

Wisconsin legislators nix a plan for a contraflow bike lane through the Capital Square in Madison; instead, bike riders have to keeping going all the way around the square and up a hill.

Over 20% of residents in three DC districts commute by bike, pointing the out the need for better bikeways through the city.

A Virginia epilepsy foundation wants to eliminate bicycle collisions resulting in death or serious brain injury. So naturally, they tell kids to wear helmets, rather than urging people to drive safely.

Just weeks after a man rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the US, a former Spice Girl evidently rode one all the way to Miami Beach. Or maybe the Daily Mail just has no idea what city they’re actually in.

 

International

London businesses overwhelmingly support a proposed new cycle superhighway through the city. Meanwhile, a London cop is caught on video taking advantage of one of the city’s cycle superhighways to bypass traffic with his emergency lights flashing. Which could be an argument for bikeways, since people often raise imaginary fears of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic to argue against them.

A British bicycling website sings the praises of bananas, calling them a superfood that proves God is a cyclist.

Not even the mayor of London can bike past security at a top secret high-end fundraiser ball for Britain’s Conservative Party.

Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt when a speeding Irish driver tried to pass a group of cyclists on a training ride, only to realize too late there was an island in the middle of the road and cut back in, hitting several riders; one rider was reportedly thrown 75 feet through the air.

South African police stress that bikes are not allowed on a freeway after a drunk driver plows into a group of 30 cyclists on a training ride, killing two.

Australian police issue 806 tickets in a three-week bicycle safety crackdown, only 89 of which went to motorists. And even then, mostly for driving or parking in a bike lane. If half of all safety violations involve riding without a helmet, maybe it’s the law, not the behavior, that has to change.

More proof bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a cyclist in the Philippines regrets her reaction but refuses to apologize to the driver who harassed her for riding in the traffic lane.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t go off on someone in a wheelchair when she asks you to move into the street so she can get by. If you really want to see that video of a Brit cab driver whacking off while he reads a porn magazine, feel free. Or you can just read about it, which seems like a much better alternative.

And for the equivalent of just $56,000, you can own a 92-year old British bike shop once bombed by the Luftwaffe.

 

Morning Links: Close encounter with a sidewalk cyclist, football players ride among us, and some bikes used for evil

My wife got hit by a bike rider yesterday.

We were walking back from brunch on a Sunset Blvd sidewalk, when we heard a bike bell from behind.

I quickly moved off to the side with our dog. But before my wife could figure out just where the rider was and which way to go, he zoomed past, brushing against her as he blew by.

And never looked back to see if she was okay.

Fortunately, she kept her balance and wasn’t hurt; it could have been much worse.

This is why I’m not a fan of bike bells. They tell you a bike is present, but the listener has to figure out first where the sound is coming from, and then what to do in response.

Make that mental calculation too slowly with the wrong rider, and you could end up on your ass.

Meanwhile, every bicyclist is equipped with a simple, yet effective means of letting people know where you are and what you intend to do.

Your voice.

It’s easy enough to politely say “excuse me,” and tell them you’re passing on their left or right. Politely being the key word.

Which brings up the question of courtesy, which is where this rider failed badly.

While he did the right thing by ringing his bell, he should have slowed down and waited for us to get out of the way. With the understanding that moving out of the way is a courtesy, not an obligation.

Sidewalks may be shared turf in LA, where riding on the sidewalk is legal, unlike many other cities in the area. But people on bikes have an obligation to ride safely and courteously around pedestrians, leaving plenty of room for the people on foot.

In other words, show the same courtesy to pedestrians you’d want drivers to show you on the street.

Another inch or two, and my wife could have been hurt badly. And we’d likely be looking for a hit-and-run cyclist, instead of just complaining about some jerk on a bike.

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A key member of the newly minted Super Bowl champs is one of us, even though he had to sit out the game. So is former Pro Bowl tight end and San Diego resident Kellen Winslow II.

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Bikes aren’t always used for good.

Bike-riding, mask-wearing German extremists torched or trashed 48 luxury cars to protest gentrification in Berlin.

And a suicide bomber on a bicycle killed eight people in Pakistan.

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Local

A pair of community groups help beautify a stretch of Jefferson Blvd near USC before bike lanes will be painted on the street in the coming weeks.

Pasadena proposes a road diet, wider sidewalks, parklets and reverse angled parking, but no bike lanes, on a stretch of Colorado Blvd east of Old Town.

The San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center operated by Bike SGV has new extended hours.

 

State

A non-profit group is building a home for a San Diego Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan, just months after he rode 3,000 miles across the US to raise funds to support wounded Marines and their families.

A century ride through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park east of San Diego had 26 volunteers this year. And just three participants. Correction: There were actually 225 riders who rolled across the start line. Blame a misleading lede, cut off too soon by a paywall. Thanks to Bill Clare for the correction. 

Fontana receives $3 million for a north-south bike and pedestrian trail due to be completed in 2018.

Sad news from Santa Barbara, as a long-time advocate for the homeless was killed in an apparent solo fall, possibly brought on by a stroke; tragically, he had purchased the bike just hours before.

In a twist on the usual complaints from business owners about the loss of car traffic, merchants on a San Francisco street are urging the city to make a ban on cars permanent.

The beloved founder of a one-man Sacramento bicycle food delivery service is battling leukemia; local restaurants are stepping up to raise funds for his medical expenses.

 

National

The author who outed Lance says motor doping could spell the end of pro cycling.

Utah is making a successful effort to get federal funds for bicycling enhancements; Idaho, not so much. Speaking of Utah, a bike builder builds a new business model by offering their own customized bikes over the Internet for up to 40% less than comparable bikes.

A Minnesota woman finished third in a frozen fat-tire endurance race — despite pausing to breast feed at each stop.

New York considers letting bicyclists join pedestrians in getting a head start over motor vehicles at some key intersections.

Uber is taking over Gotham’s bike messenger business, accused of undercutting traditional courier services by not paying worker’s comp for its riders.

Opponents to a proposed DC bike lane say it’s an attempt to run black churches out of town, and tell bike riders to take their “pastime” to a park.

The Daily Mail reports BMX legend Dave Mirra was making plans for the future before he took his own life; the mayor of his North Carolina hometown suggests multiple brain injuries may have led to his depression.

 

International

A newly minted Newfoundland roadie discovers the joy of winter fat bike riding.

Bike Radar talks with the developer of the Laserlight that projects an image of a bicycle on the pavement in front of your bike.

Nice piece from a former London bike courier, who appreciates the boom in bicycling but misses having the streets to herself.

Evidently, British royalty-in-law Pippa Middleton is one hell of a cyclist if she can complete a 54-mile bike ride “in a matter of minutes.”

A Brit writer relives his childhood by teaching his six-year old son to ride a bike, with both calling it the best day of their lives.

No, really. A Pakistani paper says keep riding because it makes your skin glow. So does riding through a nuclear plant.

Aussie merchants lament the effects construction of a new protected bikeway on their business, as well as the switch from diagonal to parallel parking.

 

Finally…

If you’re planning to steal a quarter ton of beef, always send a kid on a bike to scope it out first. When you’re riding with dope and a stolen Miley Cyrus sex doll in your backpack, remember to ride with traffic.

And evidently, things get boring when you’re driving a cab.

 

Morning Links: Bad weekend for pro cyclists, a crib sheet on protected bike lanes, and OCR’s David Whiting nails it

It was a bad weekend for pro cyclists.

Movistar rider Adriano Malori was hospitalized in intensive care after a massive crash due to a pothole in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina; he was the second place finisher in the time trial at last year’s Worlds.

Meanwhile, six members of the Giant-Alpecin team were injured when they were hit by a wrong-way driver while training in Spain; riders Chad Haga and John Degenkolb were the most seriously injured. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

And former French pro and world track champion Robert Sassone died far too young at age 37.

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I usually avoid linking to items sent to me by businesses, let alone embedding them, since they’re often nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at SEO marketing.

However, this infographic offers some great information about physically separated bike lanes, gathered from a number of studies. And clearly shows that protected bike lanes increase ridership while reducing crashes and injuries.

Consider it a crib sheet for your next public meeting.

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Local

A “crowd” of people turned out for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s third annual Community Bike Ride on Saturday, followed by a workshop to highlight the Sherman Way Concept Plan.

Burglaries and bike thefts are up in LA’s upscale Brentwood neighborhood; the LAPD’s senior lead officer for the area urges residents to keep their bikes inside, and lock them up even if you keep yours inside a garage.

Richard Risemberg offers a noir tale involving private dicks, a nasty crack and an injured cyclist. All that’s missing is a femme fatale.

A Long Beach woman plans to raise funds and awareness by biking and walking the LA River from the coast to the tributaries in the San Gabriel Mountains.

 

State

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting nails it with a column saying too many bicyclists have died on the county’s streets, and it only takes two seconds off your life to help ensure a longer one for someone on a bike. Although we’ve got to get him back on his own bike after the loss of a friend.

The LA Times looks at the recent crackdown on mountain bikers at Miramar.

Oceanside approves a road diet, complete with wider bike lanes and buffers along the Coast Highway. Calling safety improvements a pilot study is a great way to overcome initial opposition and give it a chance to prove it works.

Nearly 7,000 bike riders took part in Sunday’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Bakersfield cyclists host a monthly full moon ride.

San Francisco police arrest one suspect and search for another following a brief pursuit when an officer saw the driver flee after hitting a bicyclist; however, the rider was gone when police went back to look for him.

A bighearted Stockton driver — yes, that’s sarcastic — checks his car for damage after rear-ending a 15-year old bike rider, asks if he’s okay, then just drives off after agreeing the bike was seriously messed up in the wreck.

The Chico newspaper calls for banning bikes from the city’s Esplanade and its frontage roads, apparently unaware that would be illegal. CA state law allows bicycles on any public roadway where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited-access highways. So if they want to ban bikes, they’d have to ban cars, too.

 

National

A Denver writer says bike lanes serve to improve safety and livability for everyone, not just bike riders.

Now that’s a bike-friendly university. My hometown college is boosting campus bike parking to 18,000 spaces, as well as offering showers for bike riders in the new chemistry and biology buildings and the soon-to-be-built on-campus stadium.

A Buffalo NY couple open a year-round cargo bike delivery service.

Plain white rapper Vanilla Ice dodges jail for burglary and bike theft by completing 100 hours of community service in Florida.

 

International

Here’s another reason to register your bike. An English rider who was unable to tell rescuers who he was following a collision was identified through the registration on his bicycle. You should always carry multiple forms of ID when you ride; unscrupulous people have been known to steal wallets from cyclists after collisions or solo falls. Personally, I never leave the house without my Road ID, whether or not I’m on my bike.

Belfast embarks on a “radical” plan to remake the city’s streets by improving existing infrastructure, building a bike-only street, and replacing car parking with cycle tracks.

In the ongoing saga of bike-riding Syrian refugees who exploited a loophole to cross the border into Norway from Russia, the latter country refuses to take them back after the former decided to boot them out. Nice to see so much human compassion for people fleeing the proxy wars in their battle-scared county.

Now that’s a bikeshare program. Hangzhou, China’s eight-year old program offers over 3,500 stations with 84,000 bikes.

 

Finally…

Sure, it was cycling commentator Phil Liggett who made Lance a star; evidently, winning all those bike races had nothing to do with it. Talk about windshield bias; even on a cycle track, it’s the cyclist’s responsibility to avoid the drivers using it.

And it’s better to have people think you’re a Trump supporter than let them know you only have one bike.

 

Morning Links: Dockweiler Beach bike path still closed, fund for homeless man who saved bike rider’s life

Just one more week to help someone you know win new bicycle. Read more about our first-ever bike giveaway and suggest who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net!

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The Marvin Braude bike path on Dockwieler Beach in Playa del Rey remains closed due to damage from last week’s rains and heavy surf. And is likely to stay that way for some time.

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In a heartwarming story from Montebello, a Sherman Oaks triathlete sets up a gofundme account for a wheelchair-bound homeless man who suffered two broken legs when he was hit by a car while on his way to a hospital for follow-up care for a leg infection.

She met him while riding a double metric century before the holidays; completing the circle, the man, who once worked as an EMT, helped save the life of a stranger who had collapsed from a heart attack while riding his bike last year.

As of this writing, the fund had raised just over $3,000 of the $5,000 goal.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is pushing for 10% of a possible transportation sales tax measure to be set aside for biking and walking projects, while noting that other areas commit more.

LADOT Bike Blog talks with Bridget Smith, the department’s new chief of staff.

Melissa McCarthy is one of us, going for a pre-Golden Globes ride with her family.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton kicks off a new series of podcasts focused on sustainable transportation in the San Gabriel Valley by talking with Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian and Bike SGV’s Andrew Yip.

The Steering Committee of BikeCulverCity, formerly the Culver City Bicycle Coalition, meets tonight at Kay ‘N Dave’s Cantina on Culver Blvd.

A new art exhibit just opened in Culver City focusing on works sculpted from bicycle wheels.

Santa Monica’s bike share coordinator offers tips on how to use the city’s Breeze bikeshare system.

LA Magazine looks at the LA Public Library’s San Pedro Book Bike.

 

State

Formed by a then-13-year old kid, Redlands’ rapidly expanding GS Andiamo Junior Cycling Development Program is helping to introduce teenage riders to the sport of cycling.

Bakersfield police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who injured a bike rider last month.

Improvements in bicycling safety appear to be paying off in San Luis Obispo, as bike collisions are down 20% since 2009 even as ridership increases; overall traffic collisions in the city reached their lowest point in 15 years.

Great piece from the Bay Area looking at streets that are dangerous by design for bicyclists and pedestrians to an extent that would be unacceptable for roads designed for motor vehicles. The story notes that traffic fatalities are three times higher in California cities on streets laid out after 1950, before California’s deadly auto-centrism took over.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s interim director begins work while a search goes on for a new leader.

Fairfield police use a bait bike to bust five bike thieves. As the story implies, most bike thieves don’t suffer any real consequences; we need to change the law to make the theft of any bike a felony, regardless of value.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to deal with angry drivers. Nothing defuses an angry confrontation faster than pulling out your phone and taking a photo of the driver and his or her license plate, while making a show of dialing 911 will almost always get them to drive away. Just don’t stand in front of their car while you do it.

Seattle moves forward with a one-mile protected bike lane on a popular riding route that preserves 90% of parking along the street, but at a surprising political cost for a city that supports bicycling.

As fat-tire bicycling gains popularity, bike theft becomes a year-round problem in Alaska.

A Colorado driver gets eight years for killing a bicyclist while driving drunk; the judge wanted to show more leniency, but the driver showed no hint of remorse or taking responsibility for his drinking. Contrast that with a Georgia case where a motorist got off with one year of probation after pleading to vehicular homicide in the death of a cyclist.

Kentucky considers a bill requiring children under 12 to wear a bike helmet.

Kirstie Alley is one of us, riding through New York with her friends helped her lose 50 pounds and keep it off for the past year.

Seriously? New Jersey considers forming a commission to study how to better protect bicyclists and pedestrians. Because it takes a commission to find proven solutions like protected bike lanes, better crosswalks, slower speeds and prioritizing people over motor vehicles?

A Baltimore man was stabbed to death and robbed following a confrontation with a group of men while riding his bike; two teens are charged with his murder while police look for other suspects. Always try to ride away from confrontations, and remember no bike — or anything else you have on you — is worth you life.

 

International

A Winnipeg bike rider captures close calls with motorists on his helmet cam. That squeeze play with the semi is scary as hell.

A British cyclist lost her life because of a water-filled pothole that was supposed to have been fixed weeks earlier — and finally was, two days too late.

Britain plans a permanent memorial to fallen cyclists, inspired by the man who brought the first World Naked Bike Ride to Cambridge.

UK track cyclist Victoria Williamson is expected to make a full recovery after shattering her pelvis, ribs and several vertebrae in a crash with a Dutch competitor last week.

A new study from the Netherlands shows bicycling is so popular the country’s bike lanes are bursting at the seams. Note to City Lab: Referring to the Netherlands as Holland is like calling the US West Virginia.

That solar bike path in the Netherlands has proven successful after a full year of use, although the energy produced is far more expensive than other sources.

An Italian photographer catches images of Rome’s crumbling 20-mile riverside bike path.

A website in the United Arab Emirates offers an interesting look at the history of the bicycle, and looks admiringly as bicycling moves to the mainstream in NYC.

 

Finally…

Apparently, hemp seeds are dope when it comes to building muscle. Never mind its ability to take you places or improve your health, a bike is just one big fashion accessory.

And now you, too, can blog about bikes for fun and profit.

 

Morning Links: Too much bike tech, cyclocross nationals, and riding your bike pony through an LA El Niño

Someone you know needs a new bicycle.

Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

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Is there such a thing as too much tech?

Like maybe a bike helmet with a built-in brake light, turn signals and a Bluetooth speaker, that calls for help if you crash. Pick it up if you drop it, or you may find paramedics knocking on your door.

Uni-directional bike cams are so passé. New helmets from Giro and Bell will feature a 360° video camera, though there doesn’t seem to be a road bike version planned for the near future. Then again, maybe what you need is a mini-bike cam that wraps around your wrist.

And Garmin unveils a new heads-up display that projects turn-by-turn GPS directions, texts and notifications directly onto your glasses, as well as radar alerts of traffic approaching from behind. Or you could learn to look behind you, or get a mirror, and leave all that crap behind and just enjoy the ride.

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The amazing Katie Compton discusses battling depression, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection and a rare, cramp-causing genetic disorder, none of which has prevented her from reigning as America’s greatest cyclocross racer.

Meanwhile, North Carolina expects to see a boost in tourism from this week’s USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, while VeloNews offers a video preview of the course. Note to press: You can call it the Nationals, Nats or the National Championships, but please don’t call it the Nationals Championships.

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Local

LADOT Bike Blog offers timely advice on how to ride your bike through an LA El Niño, although speeding up the red lights for cyclists would be nice, too. Or you could take my approach, and just pull the covers over your head until next week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks forward to what 2016 could bring for livable streets, including bikeshare in DTLA, protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd and showdowns over the Mobility Plan.

LA gets new bike lanes on Edgemont Street near LA Community College.

The Weekly looks on as LA’s underground bike racing culture says goodbye to the iconic Sixth Street Bridge, which will be replaced by a more modern, bike and pedestrian friendly one.

Nice piece from Jessica Langlois about acquiring her first fixie, even if the name of the bike was a tad unusual.

The Wheelhouse, a bike-centric coffee and pastry shop, comes to Downtown’s Arts District next week.

Metro’s one and only Bike Hub will be hosting a free flat tire clinic in El Monte on the 27th.

 

State

It took just five minutes for someone to get out of a car and steal a teenager’s unlocked bike outside a San Diego Target.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls on the 23rd; if your legs have anything left the next day, you can stick around for a half marathon.

That planned 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley will now be subject to a vote in Rancho Mirage.

A Santa Barbara writer says trading your car for a bike can save you thousands while still allowing you to live comfortably.

HBO is looking for bike riding extras for a new series filming in Monterey.

 

National

A barely intelligible rant from an anonymous Portland woman accuses a bicyclist of “secretly incubating a veliciraptor’s (sic) egg inside (her) womb” for defending her right to the road, before she hauled off and hit the writer’s boyfriend when he confronted her for hogging it. Boy, would I like to hear the other side of this one.

Seattle residents — and a ranting writer — think a new cycle track designed to improve safety will actually make things worse for pedestrians, and ask the city to impose a 10 mph speed limit and force cyclists to stop at each of the 18 pedestrian crossings along the way. Which would be the best way to ensure riders won’t use it; besides, studies show protected bikeways improve safety for everyone, not just the people on bikes.

Now that’s more like it. A Fargo bike thief faces up to ten years in prison for stealing a $10,000 bike. I’d settle for seeing thieves serve just one year for stealing a bike worth up to a tenth of that.

Double good news from Illinois, as a pair of business owners pitch in to get a wounded vet a new adaptive bike after his was stolen; meanwhile, police recovered his bike, which will be repaired and sent to someone else with disabilities.

An unlicensed teen is charged with fleeing the scene on foot after killing a cyclist while driving a stolen car; as an 18-year old, he will likely charged as an adult. Which means he should be going away for a long time.

 

International

As most cyclists already know, beer and exercise go together. Though not always at the same time.

A famed cycling photographer is being forced to sell the barely-ridden dream bike that won best in class at last year’s UK hand-built bike show, due to a degenerative bone disorder.

A road raging London cabbie is charged with using his taxi as a weapon to ram a bike rider off the road after a dispute over parking in a bike lane.

French bicycle mechanics no longer have to be certified by the government.

A video compilation shows a series of close calls for cyclists on the streets of Malta. Which doesn’t look a lot different than riding the sometimes mean streets of LA.

Leave it to the Dutch to develop the Boncho, a stiff-front bicycle poncho. Which would certainly come in handy in LA this week; then again, so would pontoons.

A Jordanian man who wears a suit as he rides to work in Abu Dhabi says he’s never seen another Arab commute by bike.

A Namibian man rides to work in style on his self-customized bike, complete with handlebar-mounted radio and two rearview mirrors.

 

Finally…

Speaking of pontoons, why ride next to the bay when you can ride on it? Next time, try riding the bike to make a getaway instead of throwing it at the security guard.

And why settle for cowboy dreams when you can turn your bike into your very own pony?

 

Morning Links: Bicycle traffic diversion schools, record-setting rides and a bike friendly LA Planning chief

Don’t miss our first-ever bike giveaway. Just click here to learn more and nominate someone who deserves to get a free bike from Beachbikes.net.

Even if that person is you.

And come back later in the day when we’ll have the next installment in our new Describe Your Ride feature.

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One story that’s gotten lost in the shuffle in all the year-end discussion of new bike laws is California’s approval of bike traffic diversion programs last year. Which means if you get a ticket, you could see the fine waived or reduced once you successfully complete a bike training class.

To the best of my knowledge, none have been established in SoCal yet, though I understand the LACBC is interested in getting one going in the LA area.

Thanks to prinzrob for the reminder.

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It’s been a record-setting few days.

Three riders set out to set a new record for most miles traveled by bicycle in a single year last year; in the end, it was the lone American, Kurt Searvogel, who broke the 75-year old mark by finishing in Florida with 75,066 miles.

Meanwhile, a team of elite cyclists set a new record for riding the length of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town in just 38 days.

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Local

Los Angeles raids Pasadena, as Mayor Garcetti nominates Pasadena Planning and Community Development Director Vince Bertoni to head up the LA planning department. Bertoni was formerly a deputy planning director in Los Angeles, where he oversaw the creation of the city’s 2010 bike plan, now part of the recently re-adopted Mobility Plan 2035.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride rolls this weekend with a 21-mile tour of the Martin Luther King Blvd corridor in South LA, including stops at Leimert Park, the LA Coliseum and the historic Central Ave, birthplace of West Coast Jazz.

CiclaValley offers a preview of the year ahead, while the Militant Angeleno looks forward to the coming year in the City of Angels and nearby environs, including four — count ‘em — CicLAvia’s.

Actor Ed O’Neill is one of us, with a decidedly topless New Year’s Day ride in Santa Monica.

Actually, California’s three-foot passing law has been in effect for over a year now, despite what a Santa Clarita news site says on the subject.

 

State

Streetsblog CA says Caltrans new design guidelines for protected bike lanes really are a big deal.

Oceanside police are investigating a suspicious death on a bike path near Buena Vista lagoon; it does not appear to be bicycling related, however.

Streetsblog SF talks to the San Francisco supervisor behind the city’s proposed Idaho Stop Law, while the police captain who inspired the effort by cracking down on cyclists says it would create chaos on the streets. Kind of like all those drivers who roll stops without getting stopped.

 

National

Bicycling talks with transgendered cyclist Molly Cameron about her battle with gender issues in bike racing. The magazine also interviews the formerly 560 pound man riding cross country in a successful effort to lose weight and win back his wife.

How to keep your hands warm on cold and wet winter days. Could be useful information if you’re riding through the rain this week; my advice is to find an attractive riding partner to warm them for you.

Portland spends just $2,000 to improve a dangerous intersection for cyclists. Demonstrating that not every situation demands a complex or expensive solution; small improvements can make a difference.

Phoenix says it’s making progress on bike lanes, even if not everyone agrees. Change the name of the city, and that same story could be written just about anywhere. Especially here.

An Illinois man gets just two and a half years for the death of a cyclist, despite being high at the time of the crash.

Months of negotiations have left cyclists and local residents no closer to an agreement over a contested Baton Rouge bike lane.

 

International

Europe is investing in bicycling to cut carbon emissions; better health and reduced congestion are just added benefits.

Great piece from the Guardian’s Peter Walker offering advice to anyone planning to write an anti-bike screed. Which they will undoubtedly ignore.

A British driver is charged with deliberately striking a bike rider who gave him an obscene gesture after he yelled at her to get out of the way. Rule #1 — never flip off the driver behind you. No matter how much he or she deserves it.

London cyclists complain about a budget that allots just 1% of the transportation budget for bikes.

Caught on video: A Brit bicyclist is rescued from flood waters after clinging to a tree for 40 minutes. Take that as fair warning — bike paths along SoCal rivers, and other low-lying areas, will be prone to flooding with this week’s rains. Assuming they actually pan out as promised.

Indian women ride through the darkness to claim their share of the night space and call for an end to atrocities against women. We should all add our voices to that.

If you make it down to Australia, here are ten Sydney bike paths offering stunning views of the city.

A Florida writer bicycles through Myanmar to observe its tentative transition to democracy. Or maybe you’d prefer to tour Vietnam by bike. The latter looks a lot more inviting than when the government threatened to send me there.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding home after a night of drinking, try to keep your pants on — along with the rest of your clothes. Go out and build your own bike, says the record setting Flying Scotsman who made his from a washing machine.

And evidently, women make bad safety advocates — and heads of police chief councils — because they rely on emotion instead of facts; especially ones who rudely insist on riding bikes instead of bungee jumping.

No, really. You can’t make this shit up.

 

Morning Links: Still more new bikes for good girls and boys, and real Long Beach UPS workers deliver by bike

‘Tis the season.

Forty-five Clovis CA kids get bikes refurbished by local prison inmates.

Middletown CA’s Bike Angel has given 980 bikes to victims of September’s Valley fire, with another 600 to go.

A former pro football player teams with his brother to give bikes to deserving children in the Houston neighborhood where he grew up.

Texas police team up with Santa Clause to deliver 20 bikes to children in foster care.

PA law enforcement personnel pitch in to buy an adaptive bike for a disabled child.

Meanwhile, cycling Brit Santas ride to demand funding for safe bikeways.

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Local

No, those weren’t fake UPS workers stealing packages in Long Beach, they were actually making their deliveries by bicycle. But despite what the story says, it’s not only in Long Beach.

A Glendale letter writer says there’s a safer alternative route for bicyclists to bypass the Mariposa bridge, where riders are now required to walk their bikes across. Although walking across a dirt horse and pedestrian bridge seems pretty damn safe to me.

Santa Monica police bust a one-man crime wave in the process of stealing some bikes.

 

State

This is why you let the police handle it. A pair of San Diego men were stabbed in the back when they tried to recover a bicycle after it was stolen from the brother of one of the men.

Bizarrely, that wasn’t the only bike stabbing in San Diego, as a 45-year old rider was stabbed several times after colliding with a pedestrian.

The threat of bicycle theft is one of the biggest deterrents to bike riding, in Salinas or anywhere else; a new study from a Canadian university shows half of all riders have had a bike stolen, while one in five have lost at least three. One solution may be micro tagging. A better solution is increasing the penalty for bike theft to make it worth prosecuting.

A Brazilian tourist hit by an out-of-control San Francisco tour bus is making a full recovery, though he’s going to have a nasty scar on his head.

Sacramento is planning a 4.5 mile rail-to-trail conversion on an unused railroad corridor.

 

National

A transportation researcher says bicycles can be a huge part of fighting climate change. But it will only work if more people feel safe riding them.

Honolulu businesses blame a parking protected bike lane for a drop in business.

For once, the punishment fits the crime. A homeless Portland man who bragged of being the king of bike thieves has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and will need permission and a receipt to possess a bicycle after his release.

A Montana town is planning to develop a bike camp to host bike tourists.

A Savannah GA writer says a proposal to ban bikes in a park will force riders onto dangerous streets, and waste already scarce police resources enforcing it.

A Florida man faces charges a year and a half after a fatal, drunken hit-and-run, after his ex-girlfriend recants a claim that she was behind the wheel.

 

International

London’s Boris Bikes will be fitted with a Blaze laser light that projects the image of a bicycle on the roadway 16 feet ahead of the rider.

A UK site offers 10 questions every cyclist must answer. Which actually apply only to the subset of roadies who want to go really fast, like I used to.

The 2017 Tour de France will kick off in Dusseldorf.

New graphene-infused tires from Italy’s Vittoria will harden while riding straight, and soften when accelerating, braking or turning for better traction and control. No wonder the inventors won the Nobel Prize.

The Guardian says the new one-meter passing law in an Aussie state will be met with anger even while it saves lives. Meanwhile, one group says the state’s new requirement to carry ID while riding will make it an international laughing stock.

A New Zealand paper says it’s too early to criticize a new cycletrack when the lanes haven’t even been painted yet.

Singapore gets its first on-road bike lanes, but only on a resort island.

 

Finally…

No retirement plan? Try operating a London pedicab, where one rider tried to charge $894 for a half-hour ride. If you really want to lose weight, get off your bike and start dancing.

And is it really that impressive when Harrison Ford mounts a mountain bike atop his Mercedes?

………

It’s the last two days of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Thanks to George Wolfberg, Ralph Durham, Vanessa Gray, and Lois Rubin for their generous support.

Who could turn down a face like that?

Evidently, Santa’s reindeer are getting shorter this year. But seriously, who could turn down a face like that?

Morning Links: A Vietnamese bike flute, up on the rooftop with St. MacAskill & a self-pumping bike tube

It’s Friday, and no one really wants to work.

So kick back with a veritable boatload of links, starting with a couple of perfect pre-weekend timewasting videos.

………

Anyone can ride a bike, but how many of us can actually play one?

………

Turn the sound down and pretend you’re working while you watch Danny MacAskill turn the rooftops of a Spanish town into his own cycletrack.

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A Swiss inventor claims to have perfected the first self-inflating bike tube, which works with standard wheels and tires by pushing air into the tube through the mechanical energy from riding.

This would be great if it actually works. But they’ll have to prove it to me.

Update: British bike historian Carlton Reid notes that this technology is nothing new, pointing out that a patent for this same technology was issued in 1913. He adds that it really does work, but has a number of downsides, including cost. 

………

Submitted without comment.

Britain’s 18-year old junior national time trial champ admits to using EPO because cycling’s doping culture made it seem normal and justified.

A banned British masters champ swears he wasn’t doping, he just borrowed someone else’s used syringe.

And Lance says his biggest regret isn’t doping, it’s being such a colossal effing jackass in the way he treated people. Okay, I may have paraphrased that a little.

………

Local

Nice OpEd from the Times, as a young woman overcomes her fear of riding in LA traffic by bicycling from Marina del Rey to DTLA with the help of LA Bike Trains.

The planned redevelopment of the Redondo Beach waterfront includes a bicycle drawbridge.

The mayor of Agoura Hills plans bike-friendly improvements in the city, including a bike path on Agoura Road and a new bike race.

Clear your calendar for BikeSGV’s Holiday Social and Open House on the 19th.

 

State

The SoCalCross Prestige Serious wraps up their cyclocross season with the Santa Cross this Sunday in Silverado.

Wilshire Blvd is getting traffic circles and being converted to a bike friendly street. No, not LA’s iconic boulevard, this one’s in Fullerton.

San Diego installs a road diet to slow traffic on Clairemont drive, where speeds range up to 70 mph despite the 35 mph speed limit.

San Diego firefighters rescue an injured mountain biker who fell while riding in heavy fog.

Sad news from Kern County, as a bicyclist was killed while riding in East Bakersfield.

The active transportation coordinator in bike-friendly Davis says don’t pile leaves in bike lanes, for obvious reasons. The same goes for trash cans, parked cars, delivery trucks, or anything else that keeps the people they were intended for from using them.

The CHP finally releases the 911 call from when a Sacramento judge ran down a cyclist last month. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks something stinks with the investigation on this one.

 

National

Gizmag looks at the year’s top 10 bicycling innovations, which doesn’t include a 14 pound foldie.

The president of People for Bikes talks about the new federal transportation bill and what’s in it for us.

Bicycling isn’t just a way to get from here to there, it’s a lesson in physics.

Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt talks with Kurt Searvogel, the American rider trying to break the year record for most miles traveled by bike in a 12-month period.

Fort Worth is finally on the long road to becoming bike friendly, even if it takes a Chihuahua in a backpack to make drivers back off.

Fast Company looks at New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare brought itself back from the brink.

Someone strung a rope across a bikeway in New York’s Prospect Park where it clotheslined a cyclist. Acts like this aren’t pranks, they’re deliberate attempts to injure and intimidate bike riders, and should be treated like the crimes they are.

A DC website says letting cyclists yield at stop signs won’t lead to chaos, despite what detractors say.

A Virginia professor discusses his new book on the golden age of cycling in the 1890s.

Key West riders celebrate the holidays with the traditional Christmas dolphin bike.

 

International

Caught on video 1: A London bike rider blows a red light and come within inches of crashing into a pedestrian.

Caught on video 2: A British cyclist gets caught in a terrifying ongoing dispute with a road raging driver who repeatedly attempts to run him off the road.

The UK’s Milton Keynes wants to become the city of bicycles, with its 170 miles of bikeways.

Touring Spain’s Andalusia region by bicycle.

Czech and Polish border towns are teaming up to build nearly 125 miles of singletrack for your off-roading enjoyment.

Recycled bikes from Britain gives South African kids a way to ride out of gang life.

When he’s not crashing vintage airplanes, Star Wars’ Harrison Ford is one of us as he rides his bike and fixes a flat Down Under.

Caught on video 3: A Kiwi rider’s multiple bike cams lead to the conviction of a road raging driver.

Thailand’s crown prince will lead an estimated 500,000 cyclists in a ride to honor the country’s king today.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding brakeless with dope in your backpack, try not to get hit by a car. Anyone can tow a trailer behind a bike, but how about a houseboat?

And evidently, every lane really is a bike lane, as a woman is under arrest for riding her bicycle in the middle of I-10 just outside New Orleans.

………

Extra added bonus: If, like me, you’re struggling to get into the holiday spirit, a polka version a Christmas tune couldn’t hurt. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Morning Links: Still more big hearts to celebrate the season, and how to ride a bike in Amsterdam

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

Donating to BikinginLA ensures your name will move to the top of Santa’s Good List. Or maybe Hannukah Harry’s.

In case you missed it, we started a new feature yesterday in which everyday riders describe their rides, starting with Adra Graves’ commute along the beach in Venice and Santa Monica.

If you want to tell us about your ride, good, bad or otherwise, just send it to the address on the About page.

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‘Tis the season for bighearted people.

Hats off to Long Beach’s Velo Allegro Cycling Club for donating 197 new bicycles, one for every kid in the third grade at the city’s Roosevelt Elementary School. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the heads-up.

The LAPD Foothill Division helped donate over 100 bikes and 1,500 toys to Pacoima families.

The Southern California Velo Cycling Club is collecting toys in conjunction with Incycle Bicycle Stores, and will host a Toy Ride on the 19th to deliver them to the San Dimas Sheriff’s station.

Midnight Ridazz is hosting the annual All City Toy Ride this Friday, with feeder rides starting throughout the city (scroll down).

Menlo Park police and city officials will join with cyclists for a bike ride with Santa Claus to deliver gifts to children at the Boys and Girls Club this Saturday.

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Trust me, it’s worth three minutes and 44 seconds of your day to watch ‪The Bike Instructor’s Guide to Cycling in Amsterdam. Especially since it explains why you should always ride with a potato in your pants.

Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

………

Local

LADOT Bike Blog asks riders and pedestrians to to safely and politely share the LA River Bike Path at the Glendale Narrows.

An Aussie website looks at LA artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, who turns junk bike parts into high-end chandeliers. As much as I admire the art, my preference remains turning bike parts into bicycles.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting an evening with the Adventure Cycling Association this Saturday.

A Manhattan Beach attorney gives kind of a weak response to a question about whether bicyclists should be licensed and insured, though he more or less gets it right about where we can ride.

 

State

Oceanside votes for temporary safety improvements where a 12-year old bike rider was killed on his way to school — but still has the boy’s father ejected from council chambers.

Modesto is building an additional two miles of curb-protected bike lanes. Which is about two miles more than LA has.

San Francisco’s proposed Idaho stop law moves towards a threatened mayoral veto. But despite what a local TV station says, it wouldn’t be the first city to have such a rule, since treating stop signs as yields has been legal in Idaho since 1982.

A Vacaville teen is convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing another boy who laughed when he fell off his bicycle; he was acquitted on a more serious charge of attempted murder.

 

National

Adventure Journal looks at why it’s standard to mount a bike from the left.

HuffPo talks with the director of Bikes vs Cars about how cities worldwide are rethinking bike safety.

Visually impaired New Yorkers naturally fear reckless bike riders, just like they are undoubtedly afraid of reckless drivers and careless pedestrians. Which has absolutely nothing to do with allowing cyclists to roll stops when it’s safe to do so, despite the breathless fear mongering of the local press.

A Florida killer hit-and-run driver gets a sweetheart deal from the DA; instead of facing 40 years, he gets off with a sentence of just two. On the other hand, Florida courts weren’t so generous with a 21-year old woman, who will spend the next 30 years of her life behind bars for killing a cyclist while fleeing from police in a stolen car.

 

International

A Brazilian cyclist plans to attempt a new world record for drafting a car on a public highway at the equivalent of 124 mph. Which is only about 90 mph better than my best.

The BBC says those bike parts you bought may be counterfeit.

A UK woman hugs and forgives the driver who cost her one of her legs in a bicycling collision.

A Brit writer explores the linguistic Babel that divides the world of bicycling.

A bike cam catches a near collision between runners and a mountain biker on an Australian trail. A good reminder to always be prepared and on the lookout for, and considerate of, others.

Domino’s has switched to e-bikes in an Australian city to increase delivery efficiency with a lower environmental footprint.

About damn time. An Aussie coroner says trucks should not be allowed on the roads without appropriate technology to eliminate their blind spots. Now we just have to get authorities to come to the same conclusion here and everywhere else.

A successful Chinese entrepreneur walks away from the global business he built to found a new smart bike company; the $390 bike includes GPS tracking, puncture-resistant tires and a self-powered, battery-less electric system.

These days, it seems like wealthy Chinese are buying everything. Including, possibly, the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

 

Finally…

There’s nothing like a multimodal police chase. Or riding your bike with 129 pounds of millstones balanced on your helmetless head.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after hitting a cyclist, make sure you take your license plate with you.

 

Morning Links: A little pre-turkey safety advice, wishing Seth a speedy return, and British Lords go bike batty

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Just a quick note before we get started.

Today is the busiest travel day of the year, and not just in the skies. Starting this afternoon, the streets will be filled with crazed drivers trying to fight their way out of town, or rushing to get the last of their pre-holiday errands out of the way.

So be careful out there.

That doesn’t mean stay home, or bundle yourself in your car and leave your bike behind.

It does mean use extra caution and ride defensively, positioning yourself to be seen yet still assuming that no one will, and preparing yourself to react when some driver does exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.

Because chances are, someone will.

And that goes double for Black Friday.

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Best wishes to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who got a ride to the hospital after taking a spill last week, but clearly kept his sense of humor intact. He blames the new mismatched tires, though sabotage from the Trump camp can’t be ruled out.

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Let’s take a quick peer at Great Britain’s peerage.

England’s Lord Sugar is a big supporter of dedicated cycle paths, except when they happen to inconvenience him. And is given a high-end Union Jack Pinarello racing bike co-engineered by Jaguar to smooth out the bumps in the road, lest they bruise the noble bum.

Meanwhile, another Lord — who happens to be the UK’s Under Secretary of State for Transport — says with a straight face that cyclists pose a greater danger to commuters than cars and trucks; bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid points out he’s just slightly off base.

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Local

LA County has approved a redevelopment of Marina del Rey’s Pier 44 along Admiralty Way, including improvements to the Marina bike path; 18% of the project’s parking spaces will be reserved for bicycles.

CiclaValley goes back to San Francisco’s East Bay.

 

State

A section of Orange County’s Quail Hill Trail has been renamed in honor of Irvine bike advocate Juanita Moe.

An OC bike activist says it’s time to get rolling on safe streets in the aftermath of the county’s recent Active Transportation Forum at UC Irvine.

As long as Caltrans has to replace a couple of Carpinteria overpasses, they plan to widen them to include bike lanes and sidewalks in both directions.

A writer for Wired says San Francisco’s new raised bike lanes won’t keep bicyclists safe, and says what we really need is something like the largely ridiculed British plan to build elevated limited access bikeways over train lines. Never mind that it would force riders into industrial areas, and prevent them from having access to the local market, or anything else anyone would actually want to ride to. But other than that, it’s brilliant, right?

A Chico bike thief gets six months for stealing a bait bike.

 

National

A new bill in Congress would allow bikeshare commuters to use a pre-tax transit benefit to pay for their memberships and user fees.

A Minnesota county plans to install rumble strips on county roads that have significant bike and pedestrian traffic, even though they’re opposed by cyclists and have been removed elsewhere in the state.

Cleveland will be getting a second bikeshare program, provided by the company behind Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare, just in time for next year’s Republican National Convention.

A New York councilmember calls for an Idaho stop law in the city, saying it doesn’t make sense to treat vehicles and bikes the same way; needless to say, the Post calls it “extreme,” saying it would allow riders to blow through red lights. They’re right, if coming to a full stop at red lights and proceeding only when it’s safe can be called blowing through.

For a change, New York neighborhood groups say a proposed street overhaul isn’t bold enough, and actually call for the removal of a traffic lane to make room for bike lanes and other improvements.

Redesigning New York’s streets to provide dedicated space for bikes has resulted in a remarkable 72% decrease in the risk of serious cycling injuries.

 

International

A women’s cycling website profiles ten inspiring women who are doing awesome things for the development of women’s cycling.

A new backpack includes what may be the world’s largest bicycle taillight.

Former British cycling champ Chris Boardman says the UK’s cycling revolution won’t take off without proper funding. Which goes for this country, as well.

A road raging Brit driver gets a year behind bars for pushing a 74-year old man off his bike, resulting in a broken leg, because he couldn’t tell a wave to go around from an obscene gesture.

A British writer questions why the focus is on what women bike riders wear instead of improving safety and encouraging more women to ride.

Busy night. A teenage Belfast bike rider gets community service after shouting a cheer for the IRA when police try to stop him for reckless riding, then sparks a 50-person fight.

Pro cyclist Guillaume Bonnafond wears a facemask to ride one of cycling’s most famous climbs to call attention to the problems of Chronic Pulmonary Lung Disorder (COPD).

No irony here. A prominent Kiwi architect who designs bikeways somehow avoids prison for dragging a cyclist under his Porsche; he claimed he thought he hit a traffic cone and kept going in an attempt to dislodge it. Because the best way to get anything out from under an expensive sports car is to drag it beneath the undercarriage, rather than stop to see what the hell you hit, right?

A trio of Nepalese cyclists have reached Myanmar on a world tour to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.

Over half of Singaporeans say they’re willing to share foot paths and road space with bicyclists.

 

Finally…

Once again, repeat after me: If you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it — and don’t tell the cops to meet you at a someone’s apartment when they try to stop you.

And caught on video: Amsterdam wins the 2015 European Bike Stealing Championships with a time of just under 23 minutes.

 

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