Morning Links: Killer road-raging SoCal drivers, and parolee charged in Escondido death of fallen cyclist Kevin Lentz

They drive among us.

A couple of bizarre non-bike road rage incidents illustrate just who we share the roads with.

In a truly strange, tragic and confusing case in my own neighborhood, a 26-year old mother is dead after rear-ending a motorcyclist, then getting run over by her own passenger after she got out to argue with the man on the motorbike when he followed them home.

The passenger ran away after killing her friend. Literally.

And there’s a special place in hell for the road raging Corona resident who inexplicably went ballistic over the age-old Ding Dong Ditch prank, jumping into his car and ramming a car filled with six teenage boys as they tried to escape him.

Anurang Chandra could face multiple counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon after three of the boys were killed when their car went off the road and slammed into a tree.

Seriously, people, just chill already.

Motor vehicles bring out the worst in far too many people. Myself included.

One of the many reasons I quit driving was that I may be Bruce Banner on my bike or in a bus, but you wouldn’t like me behind the wheel.

And I didn’t, either.

Photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

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A prison parolee will stand trial for the drunk and stoned crash that killed mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido last November.

Jamison Connor faces ten charges, including vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run and driving under the influence, as well as drug and weapons violations.

He also faces a single count of child endangerment for allowing his four-year old son to sit unrestrained in the car as he fled the scene after — allegedly — killing Lentz.

Never mind the meth and loaded semi-automatic police found in his pickup when they busted him.

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Unlike Los Angeles under current international Climate Mayor Eric Garcetti, the former Climate Mayor is making great strides in reimagining the streets of Paris and the city as a whole.

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Call it Peloton’s revenge for the bikelash over the now-infamous Peloton Wife commercial.

View this post on Instagram

Typical Denver

A post shared by Michæl Wang 📷 (@mwangtv) on

So maybe FedEx is just trying to keep up.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the first link.

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Your next DIY ebike could be solar powered. As long as you don’t mind hauling a bigass bike trailer everywhere you go.

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Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Florida police are looking for a bike-riding robber who holds-up people parking their cars in a Tampa parking garage, then makes his getaway on his bike.

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Local

New advocacy group Streets for All will meet this Tuesday to discuss a campaign for a Venice Blvd Complete Street.

A ghost bike will be placed in Arleta this Thursday in honor of fallen bike rider Jesus “Gallo” Urbina, who was killed while using his bike to deliver water to some homeless friends.

 

State

San Diego is still struggling to cut pedestrian deaths, despite a Vision Zero pledge to end all traffic-related deaths in the next five years. Judging by recent news, they’re not doing so good on the bike front, either.

A new poll shows San Diegans overwhelmingly oppose installing bike lanes at the expense of parking spaces, and want to keep e-scooters, but impose stricter regulations on them.

An Embarcadero restaurant is endangering San Francisco bike riders by continuing to place its valet stand directly in the bike lane, while a protected bike lane currently being built stops just short of the restaurant.

 

National

In a story that could be a ripped from the headlines look at LA’s own mayor, Fast Company says there’s a “big disconnect between what mayors want in terms of street design and what they’re actually willing to support to make it happen.” Except virtually no one in LA is writing headlines about the mayor’s failure to support his own Great Streets, Complete Streets and Vision Zero programs. Except yours truly, of course.

Terrano is offering a 25% discount on their cycling communications and bluetooth system, for hands-free communications with other riders on the road.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland man’s bicycle on the one-year anniversary of his kayaking death on the Hood River. Then again, it takes a major schmuck to steal a bike, period.

A New York congressman swears he supports bike lanes, despite a racially charged King Day speech accusing them of causing gentrification. So he says bike lanes cause gentrification, and he supports bike lanes. Which would seem to suggest he supports gentrification, too.

Los Angeles Laker LeBron James announced he was teaming with Lyft to give free bikeshare memberships to kids at the Harlem YMCA; he also called for a better bike lane network in the Big Apple. Let’s hope someday he’ll address the lack of safe bike lanes in his new hometown, too.

Apparently, getting a driver’s license suspended in Florida is the end of life as we know it. While most of us can empathize with someone who can’t afford to pay a traffic fine, there are valid alternatives to driving that lots of people actually use in real life.

 

International

A 26-year old woman who campaigned to halt violence against women in Juarez, Mexico became the latest victim, when she was shot in the back of the head while riding her bike home in Downtown Juarez; nearly 180 women were murdered in the city last year.

A writer for the Daily Mail complains about the sexual harassment women like her face riding London’s Tube, and says women on bicycles don’t have it any better. Seriously guys, just knock it the fuck off, and start treating women like human beings for a change.

The bighearted English man who reunited a stolen bike with its original owner after buying it for the equivalent of around a hundred bucks has become an internet hero, earning a shoutout from rapper Stormzy.

If you’re looking for bike-friendly cities in the UK, skip Manchester and head straight to Lancaster.

Girls riding bikes isn’t news. Unless you’re in Karachi, Pakistan, where it’s discouraged, if not actually prohibited. But some brave girls are doing it anyway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips wants to know if gravel racing can maintain its renegade status, even as it moves to the mainstream.

Speaking of gravel, America’s Colin Strickland decides he’d rather keep racing — and winning — the Kansas Dirty Kanza than compete on the WorldTour and race Paris-Roubaix.

Next month’s Tour of Oman has been cancelled, after a year of mourning was declared following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

Australian Rohan Dennis says he walked away from last year’s Tour de France to save his marriage, afraid his deteriorating mental state due to conflicts within the Bahrain-Merida (now Bahrain McLaren) team would drive his wife away.

Congratulations to Guam’s first professional cycling team.

Former pro Phil Gaimon pens an understanding letter to a lower-level pro busted for doping, suggesting he skip the post-suspension hostility and just move on with his life.

 

Finally…

Police have better things to do than deal with fake theft report from a bike rider. Dockless bikeshare — the new getaway choice of bank robbers.

And it only takes three comments to blame bicycles for a crash that didn’t involve any.

 

53-year old man killed in El Cajon hit-and-run; Kevin Wilson 2nd San Diego County bicyclist killed this year

Last year, there were just four confirmed bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for the entire year.

Or maybe five, if we include a man who reportedly died in the hospital after he was struck by the driver of a pickup while ghost riding another bike in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood last November, but which I have been unable to confirm.

After yesterday, there’s already been two bike riders killed this month alone.

According to multiple sources, 56-year old La Mesa resident Kevin Wilson of La Mesa was riding east in the bike lane on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon Monday morning, when he was run down from behind by 56-year old Craig Wendell Nelson around 10:45 am.

Wilson was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nelson reportedly veered his car into the bike lane, slamming into Wilson’s bicycle before fleeing the scene; there are no word on whether he stopped or slowed down before speeding away.

He abandoned the damaged car on Sloane Canyon Road, and was arrested after a police helicopter crew spotted him hiding in the bushes.

He’s being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, and expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s El Cajon area office at 619/401-2000.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Wilson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

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Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

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You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

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Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

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Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on. 

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

But sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

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Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Women fight thieves for their bikes, medical insurance fail, and what a punishment pass looks like

Don’t mess with women.

Or their bikes.

A Toronto woman ran out of a store and beat up the thief who tried to make off with her unlocked bike, even kicking him when he was down. Unfortunately, the video is posted to a private account, and I haven’t managed to find a copy.

And a 72-year old British great-grandmother wrestled a stolen mountain bike away from a thief after reading about the theft on Facebook; the man had tried to sell her the $1,500 bike for the equivalent of just $200.

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

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Retired pro Phil Gaimon somehow manages to maintain his sense of humor, even after a recent crash left him with $250,000 in medical bills.

And yes, that’s with insurance.

Just another example of how broken America’s medical and insurance system is.

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A Dublin Bus driver is under fire — and under investigation — after a frighteningly close punishment pass.

Seriously, keep watching after the first one.

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Take a break for few minutes with a video of mountain biking in Israel.

Work can wait, right?

Unless you’d prefer a ride through Madeira, Portugal.

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Pink Bike offers some clever ideas on how to stash your tools on your bike when you don’t want to use a pack.

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Local

Who knew? A Reddit post points out that LA County has a page devoted to reporting problems with bike paths, promising a pretty remarkable two-day response time.

 

State

Things are looking up for the San Diego-area man with Parkinson’s disease whose new ebike was stolen before he could even ride it; a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy a new bike in just four hours, while local company Juiced Bikes gave one to his wife so they can ride together. Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspects for the theft.

Clearly, drivers aren’t the only risk people on bikes face these days. A Riverside man joined the rising toll of bike riders across the US who’ve been shot in recent weeks; the victim was discovered lying in the street after several people reported hearing shots and died after being taken to a hospital.

Ventura County’s Ojai Valley Bike Trail reopens today, after construction work to repair storm damage forced it to close five months ago.

 

National

The fat bike craze is getting skinnier, with just half of the fat bike makers from 2015 still here five years later.

A Tucson letter writer says bicyclists should be required to use lights at “dusk, night and dawn,” just like the law already requires. And says those “handlebar ringydingy bells” would be nice, too.

Other cities continue to make progress while Los Angeles just keeps falling back, as the already bike-friendly Mile High City commits to building another 125 miles of bike lanes over the next three years. Unfortunately, the Denver Streetsblog won’t be around to cover it, at least not in its current form.

A Chicago bike lane remains faded, months after the city promised to repaint it following the death of a woman on her bike.

A New York community board says the lack of crosstown bike paths through Central Park are a ticking time bomb; they claim one rider has already lost his life as a result.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a woman was fined just $1,000 for the distracted driving crash that killed two people on a club ride — which works out to just $500 for a human life. And she’ll get her license back in a lousy six months. Shameful.

Kindhearted Florida cops buy a new bike and helmet for a nine-year old boy after his was stolen, even making him an honorary junior officer.

 

International

Bike Radar continues their look at the year’s best bikes, with a ranking of the top steel framed bicycles.

Victoria, BC swears it’s not clearing snow off bike lanes before the rest of the street.

The rumored future Bond, James Bond is one of us, as James Norton rides his bike through the streets of London. But why does the press always seem to assume someone had to “settle” for riding a bicycle?

Britain’s biggest bike retailer said scooter and ebike sales nearly doubled compared to the last quarter of the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal reports bike riders are driving up real estate prices in Girona, Spain, which has seen prices go up 15% in the last year. Unfortunately, the usual WSJ paywall problems apply. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

India’s Hero Cycles develops plans to rule the bike world. Or 5% of it, anyway.

US Customs says ebikes are motorcycles, but that’s a good thing. The misclassification allows them to avoid Trump’s onerous 25% tariff.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fayetteville, Arkansas has been selected as the site of this year’s Pan-American Cyclocross Championships.

Dutch champ Anna van der Breggen looks forward to defending her Olympic road race gold metal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Indoor climbing walls are nothing new, but indoor bike park, not so much. Unless maybe you’d rather ride your bike on water.

And someone has finally developed an all-weather corgi carrier for your cargo bike.

What.

 

Morning Links: AB 582 raises fatal hit-and-run penalties, grading CD14 candidates, and tilting at Major League windmills

Sometimes I get it wrong.

After a friend alerted me to a bill in the California legislature that appeared to lower the penalties for hit-and-run in the state, I went on Twitter to raise the warning like a digital Paul Revere.

Except in this case, the Red Coats weren’t coming.

While the marked-up text of AB 582 made it look like a number of assembly members had signed on to a bill to reduce prison sentences for hit-and-run causing injury or death, it was actually sort of the opposite.

As currently written, the bill would leave the penalty for misdemeanor hit-and-run — not resulting in serious injuries — just the same as it is right now, with up to one year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The penalty for felony hit-and-run causing serious, permanent injury would also stay the same, from a minimum of 90 days in county jail to up to four years in state prison.

However, under AB 582, the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run would go up slightly, ranging from 90 days in county to up to six years in state prison, rather than the current four.

Which sounds good. But it’s a big drop from six to eight years in prison, as the bill was originally written.

So while it’s nice to see the legislature finally address the hit-and-run epidemic, AB 582 won’t do a damn thing to keep drivers from hitting the gas after a crash, and leaving their victim bleeding — or dying — in the street.

If they really want to do something, it will either take a dramatic increase in prison time, or a more creative alternative approach to sentencing.

And don’t get me started on why a driver who fails to kill his victim should get rewarded with a lower sentence, when the intent was exactly the same.

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The good folks at Bike the Vote LA grade the candidates for the March primary in CD14, but decline to make an endorsement in the race.

The big surprise is that former Senate president pro tem Kevin de León graded so highly.

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LA Councilmembers “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and Paul “Killer” Koretz once again demonstrate that they have apparently solved all the real problems in Los Angeles, and have nothing better to do than tilt at Major League windmills.

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Get your headshots out.

Here’s your chance to break into cycling cinema.

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CiclaValley offers a recap of last Saturday’s LA Tourist Race, which set gravel bikers, mountain bikers and combined riders on a route-less dash cross the San Gabriels.

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A new ebike introduced at CES folds down small enough to fit in a backpack.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a paralyzed Phoenix man’s wheelchair from his driveway.

An off-duty New York cop was hit in the face with a bicycle chain in an apparently random attack while riding the subway, which does not necessarily mean the attacker was one of us. And no, New York Post, calling a large black man a “brute” isn’t racist at all. No, really.

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Local

Street closures will be in effect in DTLA Saturday for the annual Women’s March, as well as an anti-abortion march held the same time; other marches will take place in Riverside, Hemet, Idyllwild, Coachella and Yucca ValleyIf you’re planning to attend, leave the car at home and take transit or ride a bike.

A Pasadena writer says the Rose City needs its own Green New Deal, including better options for walking and bicycling.

Overall thefts are up in South Pasadena, while bike theft remains high.

Redondo Beach may not be the scene of a Women’s March this Saturday, but it will be home to a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits line.

 

State

Streetsblog has more on Tamika Butler’s unexpected resignation from the California Transportation Commission after just four months.

Santa Maria Police will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation today, so the usual protocol applies. See Redondo Beach, above.

This is what a Fresno ebike thief looks like. Note to Fox26News: If you’re going to do a story about a bike thief caught on video stealing an ebike, maybe you should, you know, actually show him stealing the ebike. Just a suggestion.

A Fresno man was shot in the leg as he was riding his bike; he’s reportedly not cooperating with investigators.

 

National

Bicycling finally gets around to addressing the Deloitte study that says ebikes and bikeshare will lead to a doubling of bike commuters around the world in just the next two years; we mentioned it here nearly two weeks ago. And the magazine offers yet another reminder to get medical care ASAP if you’ve had a head injury.

The new China trade agreement eliminates tariffs on kids bikes and ebikes, but leaves a 25% tax on most other bike-related products.

Forget the fight for bike lanes on the street; where we really need them is on LEGO streetscapes.

A Chicago man was killed in a drive-by shooting while apparently riding his bike home from the market.

An Illinois man is suing Walmart for $50,000 after a tire on his new bike exploded, throwing him to the ground; the other tire had exploded before he even left the store.

An Ohio bike rider redefines collateral damage by ending up in the hospital when he’s struck by a flying deer after it was hit by a car.

A five-year old Virginia boy refuses to let getting hit by a car keep him from riding his bike, getting back on it just weeks after getting out of the hospital for breaking “everything” but his “brain.”

 

International

Toronto’s best known ghost bike disappeared without a trace after ten years in place, then reappeared with a new lock and a fresh coat of paint. The bike honors bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was killed as he was holding on for dear life after he was hit by the provincial Attorney General at the time, who repeatedly swerved in an apparent attempt to shake him; needless to say, the AG wasn’t held accountable in any way.

Speaking of Toronto, the city is rocked by allegations that bike lanes get priority over regular traffic lanes when it comes to clearing snow. Which could just be because it takes less snow to create dangerous conditions for bicycles than motor vehicles.

A cross-border bike trail could bring bike financial benefits to the US and Canada. If Trump doesn’t decide we need a wall there, too.

Josh Quigley, the 27-year old round-the-world bicyclist who miraculously survived a high-speed crash in Texas last month, is finally preparing to fly home to Scotland.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a hit-and-run driver who left his victim lying in the street walks with a lousy four months probation and a two-year driving ban.

Curbed examines how the City of Lights became an unlikely bicycling success story, setting an example American cities can and should follow. Especially Los Angeles, which doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the Olympic host city just before us. Right, Mayor Garcetti? 

Muscular Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us, taking to his bike to shuttle between sets in Mumbai.

Now that’s a close pass. An Aussie bike rider is literally bumped by a passing trailer after the driver cuts it way too close.

A new proposal calls for bike lanes in Shanghai, with bicycle expressways in suburban areas.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under kicked off today, which is already yesterday there; Australia’s Chloe Hosking took the first stage. The men’s race kicks off on Monday.

Former pro Ted King offers a tourist guide to his Healdsburg hometown.

Who knew he was a bike racing fan? His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rushed to the aid of a cyclist who fell during a women’s race in Dubai Wednesday.

 

Finally…

When you want to ride around the world, but can’t live with a hot espresso. Your next bike could be copper plated, 3D printed and cost $9,500 — and without a seat tube.

And nothing like a little Welsh chariot bike racing.

 

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Oceanside collision; first SoCal bicycling death of the year

Unfortunately, it had to happen sooner or later.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a woman was killed in Oceanside around 7:20 pm when a driver slammed into her bicycle.

The crash occurred at near west State Route 76 and Benet Road.

The paper reports SR-76 is a surface street in that part of Oceanside, with stop lights at major intersections.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the first bicycling death I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County.

That compares with at least 78 SoCal bike deaths last year, and four in the county.

Update: According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, the collision occurred at SR-76 at Bennet Road in Oceanside. , with investigators blaming the victim for running the red light. 

A street view shows a busy intersection with a two lane road with a 45 mph speed limit on Bennet, while SR-76 has four lanes with a 55 mph speed limit. Most SoCal drivers routinely exceed the posted limits by 5 to 15 mph.

There is simply no excuse to allow speeds like that on a surface street, unless your intention is to kill innocent victims.

It also seems extremely unlikely that the victim would have run the red light at an intersection like that, unless she was caught mid-crossing when the light changed.

Which is not the same thing in any sense.

Correction: I originally wrote that the driver was arrested for DUI. However, I misread the ABC 10 News story, which actually said a second crash occurred as police were investigating the crash, and it was that driver who was busted for DUI. Thanks to Zero 007 for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Forgiveness and friendship follows near-fatal PCH crash, and no justice in fatal OC collisions

Sometimes a friendship can form in unusual ways.

Like getting run over by a truck.

After a La Habra man was nearly killed when a pickup driver ran him down from behind as he was riding on PCH last May, the driver — who was leaving an AA meeting — started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victim’s medical expenses.

He also modified his shower so it would be easier to get in and out as he recovered from multiple injuries.

That was after the victim’s wife reached out to tell him he was going to survive.

And they’ve been friends ever since.

Tom Sovilla hopes to get back on his back on his bike this year, with a goal of doing 5,000 miles before year’s end.

Meanwhile, the man who hit him, Jack Keith, went to five AA meetings the day after the crash, and looks forward to celebrating three years of sobriety in March.

Photo from Pexels.com; if they can be friends, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

………

Looks like there may not be any justice for Sidney Siemensma.

The 51-year-old bike rider was stabbed to death just short of three years ago today on Irvine’s San Diego Creek Trail.

Police arrested a 41-year old transient acquaintance, Dennis Thomas Monson Jr., for the crime, as well as an unrelated child pornography charge.

However, despite having enough evidence to take the case to a jury, the case has been put on semi-permanent hold after the judge ruled Monson is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It’s possible he could still stand trial, if and when his mental state improves.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

………

There definitely won’t be any justice for Laguna Nigel triathlete Scott Clark, who was killed when he was collateral damage in an alleged road rage dispute between two women.

According to Patch, the Orange County DA has concluded that there is no way to bring charges against driver Jamie Mulford after two independent experts were unable to conclude how the crash occurred.

Clark had the misfortune to run into a crosswalk just as Mulford allegedly cut off the other driver in the lane next to her, forcing the other car into Clark.

Despite what the Patch story says, Clark was training for a triathlon on foot, rather than riding a bike, at the time of the crash.

………

It looks like noted equity advocate and former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler has left her widely applauded appointment to the California Transportation Commission; no word yet on why.

………

A San Diego bike rider was allegedly assaulted by an impatient driver while taking the lane on a sharrowed street.

Unfortunately, whatever took place appears to have happened off-camera, and the brief description included on the YouTube page doesn’t clarify matters.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

………

A Tesla dashcam captured a hit-and-run in Whittier last Saturday when a bike rider was right hooked by someone turning onto the street; fortunately, the victim doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt.

No word on whether the driver was arrested, or even ticketed.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A drunk Florida man faces charges for chasing a bike rider and throwing an empty beer can at him as cops looked on. After all, there’s no point in wasting a full one.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

New York police are looking for a bike rider who spit in the face of a pedestrian in a crosswalk after accusing the man of cutting him off, then broke his wrist hitting him with a U-lock.

Also in New York, another bike rider — or possibly the same one — smashed a 61-year old woman in the face with some sort of hard object. Like a U-lock, for instance.

Florida police are police are looking for a hoody-clad man who fired his gun in a bike-by shooting; fortunately, no one was hit.

………

Local

BMX riders are the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s new Volta show, opening this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says a new request for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes killed by CD5 Councilmember and faux environmentalist Paul Koretz appears to be falling victim to a dispute between Westwood-area Neighborhood Councils. Which one do you think the city will listen to — an NC representing students, or one advocating for wealthy NIMBYs? I know which one my money is on.

Speaking of UCLA, a DIY bike co-op in the John Wooden Center is teaching students and staff how to fix their own bicycles.

Bruce Willis is one of us, as he goes for an ebike ride in Brentwood. The cool thing about British tabloids is they’ll criticize someone for not wearing a helmet, then ridicule them if they do.

LA Curbed places tongue firmly in cheek, and lists 20 headlines you might read in the coming decade, but probably won’t — including permanent, year-round CicLAvia routes and an end to LA traffic deaths.

Alan Goldsmith, the former owner of Supergo, is returning to his roots by investing in Manhattan Beach’s South Bay Cycle bike shop, scheduled to open later this month.

Bike theft dropped 10% in Long Beach last year, despite an increase in violent crime.

 

State

In the wake of last year’s implosion of the Interbike trade show, the CABDA Expo West opens in San Diego today. Even though CABDA stands for the Chicagoland Area Bike Dealers Association, which this ain’t.

An 18-year old Barstow man faces attempted murder charges, along with a pair of underage teenagers, for a drive-by shooting spurred by the victim’s demand to get his stolen bicycle back.

A UC Berkeley neurologist has developed a new type of helmet designed to protect users from traumatic brain injuries caused by twisting impacts.

Lime is testing an accessible scooter for people with disabilities in OaklandAlthough it looks like all they did was bolt a seat onto their existing e-scooters.

San Francisco was already planning to install protected bike lanes along the Embarcadero next week; unfortunately, it comes too late for a woman who’s clinging to life after she was struck by a cement truck while riding an e-scooter on Monday.

Sacramento’s first food bike is peddling a 200-year old stroopwafel recipe.

 

National

American bikemakers are struggling to replace their Chinese supply chains after being priced out by Trump’s tariffs.

A new senior editor for Streetsblog explains her 15-year old transformation to a bike advocate.

A New Mexico state representative is once again riding her bike hundreds of miles across the state from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to attend this year’s legislative session.

My bike-friendly hometown is trying out back-in diagonal parking to improve safety for people on bicycles.

An Iowa woman will spend the next 40 years behind bars for stalking a man, before fatally running him over as he rode his bike in a parking lot, in a deliberate, drunken attack.

A Texas man faces charges for shooting a homeless man five times while trying to steal his bicycle.

Bad behavior has gotten Vermont mountain bikers kicked off parts of one of the East Coast’s best trail systems; Bike Snob says this is why they can’t have nice things.

A New York woman faces five well-deserved felony counts and four misdemeanors for the drunken, 85-mph crash that killed a man on a bicycle; she was still over twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, with bags of coke found all over her car.

A Manhattan councilmember calls for life-saving sensors on all large trucks to make drivers aware of people and things they can’t see from the cab. Like bike riders and pedestrians, for instance.

The allegedly racist, bike-riding jerk who was convicted of attacking a black DC driver with his U-lock lucked out when a second, similar charge was dismissed when the victim didn’t show up to court; he’s currently doing three years on the original charge.

A Miami man will face charges in the gruesome, apparently drunken, 100 mph hit-and-run crash that killed a homeless man riding his bike on a causeway last August.

 

International

A new bicycle from World Bicycle Relief can help lift children and their families out of poverty; the nonprofit has provided half a million bicycles in countries around the world.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to what you can look forward to on the bike tech front in the coming year.

The Guardian examines how Strava became a religion to bike riders and runners.

Arguing against building a bike lane, a Hamilton, Ontario city councilor estimates there are only 100 bicyclists in the entire city of 550,000; the city’s bikeshare system alone has over 33,000 members.

That’s more like it. An unlicensed English driver got six years for killing a man riding a bike, along with other unrelated charges; not only didn’t he have a license, he’d never even taken a driving test.

The founders of a British bike nonprofit have been banned for 11 years after paying themselves the equivalent of nearly $420,000 — nearly a quarter of the money it took in.

Staff members for Pink Bike design the mountain bike of the future as a joke. Then go to Taiwan and actually build it.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a truck driver who was caught on video crashing into a bike rider during a road rage dispute has been sentenced to just seven weeks behind bars and a $500 fine. He’ll also be banned from driving for two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s only remaining Tour de France champ is preparing to launch a new bike line made with a revolutionary “‘high-performance low-cost carbon fiber.”

Cycling Tips rates the team kits of the women’s pro peloton.

Pro/am gravel grinding is coming to the annual Sea Otter Classic this April.

A 17-year old Indian woman has won gold in the nation’s U-21 road race, bouncing back from a training wreck five years earlier that was so bad her mother ordered her to quit cycling, until her father intervened.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can zoom around on your new bike pretending you’re in Stranger Things. Nothing like having a bike tug-of-war with a fleeing meat lifter.

And don’t shoot guy you’re arguing with, shoot his bicycle instead.

 

Move along, nothing to see here

My apologies.

Had another rough night after my diabetes kicked my ass, proving once again I’m not in charge of my own body any more.

As a nearly life-long cyclist, I’ve proved to myself time and again that I could will my body to do anything, at least on two wheels.

Now my own body is attacking me. And all I can do is struggle to control it, and too often, fail.

So let me remind you once again, if you’ve been told you’re at risk for diabetes, or have a family history of the disease, get tested. Then do whatever it takes to avoid getting it.

Seriously, you don’t want this shit.

As usual, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

Stay safe out there.

Morning Links: Pasadena’s VMT under attack by drivers, LA County District 2 survey, and what to do after a crash

Before we get started, Spectrum News 1 reporter Jada Montemarano reached out to say she’s working on a story about bikeshare and e-scooters, and wants to talk with frequent users, especially people who use it to get to or from work or public transportation. 

If you’d like to talk to her, you can reach her at jada.montemarano@charter.com, or on Twitter via @JadaMontemarano.

………

Pasadena could take a big step backwards at tonight’s city council meeting.

Reportedly under pressure from Pasadena’s traffic safety denying pressure group Keep Pasadena Moving, the city is considering going back to the outdated and discredited LOS — Level of Service — method of measuring traffic flow.

The problem is that LOS only measures automotive throughput; that is, how many cars can be moved through intersections as quickly as possible.

That contrasts with the more accurate VMT — for Vehicle Miles Traveled — that counts people, rather than vehicles, regardless of how they travel.

As usual, the auto-centric NIMBY crowd will likely be out in force. So anyone who bikes, walks, uses transit or yes, drives in Pasadena owes it to themselves to turn out in force for tonight’s council meeting:

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
Pasadena City Council Chambers, 100 Garfield Avenue, 2nd Floor
(Note: The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition notes the item is last on the agenda and it’s likely to be a long meeting!)

Or if you can’t make it, you can email your comments to mjomsky@cityofpasadena.net; the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition includes a pre-written email you can customize with your own thoughts.

Meanwhile, the VP of a neighborhood association somehow blames VMT for turning the Rose City into a copy of LA’s Westside.

Which is a bad thing, evidently.

………

Bike the Vote LA is on the case in LA County’s 2nd Supervisor District with a hard-hitting survey to get the candidates on the record before the March primary.

And in another important, if not vital, race, a large turnout for the Democratic presidential primary could make the difference in lifting Democrat Laraine Lundquist over short-term incumbent Republican John Lee in LA’s nominally nonpartisan election in CD12.

In the short time he’s been in office since squeaking by in November’s special election, Lee has already shown himself to be one of the city’s most regressive councilmembers, attempting to block plans for a high-speed busway, and remove the city’s first protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd.

………

Last week a friend of mine was rear-ended by a driver.

Fortunately, he and his bike are mostly okay. But it serves as yet another reminder of what to do following a crash.

To start, never say it was your fault. In the moments immediately following a collision, you may be confused, or unsure exactly what happened. Give yourself time to analyze the situation before saying something you can’t take back.

The same goes for injuries. Never tell the other person, police, insurance companies or anyone else you weren’t hurt immediately following a crash. Chances are, you might be and just don’t know it yet. Get yourself to a doctor to get checked out. Or at the very least, go home and wait to see if anything develops overnight.

Exchange ID and insurance information with the driver. If you leave without the driver’s information, you’ll be on the hook if it turns out you are injured. And you could be cited for hit-and-run, even if you weren’t the one who hit or ran.

And if you end up with significant injuries, medical bills or lost work, at least talk to a lawyer. The job of an insurance claims adjuster isn’t to settle the case fairly, it’s to settle for as little as you’ll settle for. Which means you’re the one who could get screwed.

You don’t have to hire a lawyer if you talk to one. And you should never pay anything upfront; a liability lawyer should take his fee out of your settlement, only after everything is settled.

If you do need one, I can recommend three damn fine ones over there on the right; you can’t go wrong with any one of them.

And here’s a little more advice about what to do following a collision I wrote a few years ago.

………

Loos like South LA’s Eastside Riders is continuing their good works in the local community. And need your help to do it.

………

Here’s what you can look forward to seeing on the roads in the near future.

Too bad they may not be able to see you.

https://twitter.com/bikepedantic/status/1216484945784340480

Never mind that high, flat grill, which was apparently designed to inflict maximum damage to any bike riders or pedestrians who might get caught in its path.

But hey, it’s perfectly legal, right?

………

Local

An ArtCenter professor is teaming with biotech billionaire and LA Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiung to market a wide, fat tired scooter capable of doing up to 30 mph. The question is, what happens when it hits the streets, where e-scooters are often limited to 15 mph. And will it require a helmet, like ebikes capable of doing up to 30 mph?

 

State

Not only did San Diego police bust the thief who stole an ebike from a man suffering from Parkinson’s, they recovered another hot ebike — they just don’t know who it actually belongs to. Seriously, register your bike now, before something happens. And immediately report it to the police if it gets stolen, then add it to the free, nationwide Bike Index database of stolen bikes. Because the cops can’t return a recovered bike if they can’t prove who it belongs to.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a cool $90 million to keep regional bike lane projects on track.

Say hello to San Diego County’s first bike park in Bonita, thanks in large part to the efforts of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

The new 3.9 mile Mojave Riverwalk bike and pedestrian path connects the Mojave Narrows Regional Park with a seven-mile loop of bike paths and bike routes through Old Town Victorville.

Once again, an Apple Watch saves the day, with its fall detection software automatically calling paramedics when a San Francisco ebike rider was struck by a driver.

San Francisco’s Planning Commission thinks a carfree street next to the city’s new transit center would make a marvelous site for a parking garage ramp for a new hotel tower.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders whether ebikes can really replace cars, given their popularity in the Bay Area.

 

National

Vision Zero has finally made it onto the American political stage, with an endorsement for a national plan to eliminate traffic deaths from South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg; unfortunately, he doesn’t include a deadline for the country’s last traffic death. And someone needs to explain the concept of induced demand to him.

Bicycling offers their take on the most exciting bike tech from last week’s CES trade show. But somehow missed the tiny little $8,800 solar powered ebike car.

Outside says dress warmly, and you won’t get stuck riding a Peloton all winter. Is it just me, or is everyone taking shots at Peloton lately?

Steve Harvey may or may not be one of us, but his grandson is now, after the erstwhile talk show host teaches him to ride on his Spider-Man bike.

A Washington writer says he was wrong, because it turns out Vision Zero isn’t just aspirational at all.

There’s a special place in hell for a San Antonio thief who shot a homeless man five times when the victim refused to give up his bicycle; now he’s under arrest, while the man he shot remains in critical condition. Just let it go. No bike is worth your life, even if it’s all you have.

A kindhearted Texas cop showed up at a little girl’s house with a new bike after hers was stolen just a week after she got it for Christmas.

Speaking of Vision Zero, Kansas City could become the latest city pledging to end traffic deaths. Someone should tell them that just talking about it isn’t enough, however, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

That’s more like it. An Ohio driver will spend the next three and a half years behind bars without parole after copping a plea in the drunken death of a bike rider; she’ll also have a drivers’s license revoked — for life.

A new app will crowdsource data about bad drivers. But only people in the DC area will be able to call up the driver’s DMV record.

A new app being field tested in Arlington VA uses traffic cameras to look for blocked bike lanes.

The kindhearted kids of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — site of a mass shooting two years ago — have collected 1,000 bicycles for impoverished kids in around Durbin, South Africa.

 

International

Road.cc picks their road bike of the year, with the price capped at roughly $4,500.

A law enforcement officer offers pro tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen. Hint: Lock the damn thing already. And register it.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says forget electric cars, ebikes could be the real answer to greener transportation.

A Vancouver letter writer accuses the city of pandering to a few bike riders, insisting that removing 700 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes won’t result in even 17 more bike riders. Which may be a reasonable argument, if you ignore the results from almost every other city around the world.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, looking decidedly dapper riding in London after fixing a flat.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole an e-bike from a 13-year old boy in the UK after pulling a sawed-off shotgun out of his pants. Honestly, though, who among us doesn’t keep a shotgun in their pants?

A Spanish website credits kindhearted cops with buying a delivery man a new bike after his was run over in a crash — except they were the ones who ran a red light and crashed into him.

A formerly homeless Singaporean man used a food delivery job to get off the streets, then lost weight after switching from an e-scooter to a road bike in response to the city’s scooter ban on sidewalks and pathways.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to pedal ski bikes, either. Don’t let a little blizzard keep you off your bike.

And why let a little thing like flooding stop you from riding your balance bike?

 

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