Guest commentary from the South Bay, LA and OC closed this weekend, and give a lot more distance when you walk or ride

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent has a lot on her mind today.

And all of it worth reading, which is why I’m reposting her email. There’s a lot to unpack here, so I hope you’ll give it a good read.

Including a couple reminders of the problems women face on their bikes that men don’t, especially at night.

Yesterday afternoon I rode to Carla Becerra’s ghost bike, with the intention of posting a little sign to remind the world that she was a registered nurse who we should have on the front lines right now, and also with a little P.S. (piece of smacktalk) addressed to the skunk who stole her jewelry.

There was a necklace hanging on the ghost bike. Just a piece of costume jewelry that the rain hasn’t been kind to. It was the bike’s only ornamentation.

It appears to have an olive green beveled stone pendant in a bronze setting, and several smaller, opaque chartreuse stones, clear glass beads, and pale blue gems on a tarnished silver or bronze alloy chain. I took it.

Can you contact the family and ask if it might be hers? If it is, they should have it. If not, I have to return it to the ghost bike.

………

I am cranky not knowing how court cases are proceeding, especially the Banks and Lindsley cases.

………

The speeding drivers lately are less worrisome than the speeding drivers in the rightmost lane. I swear, close calls lately have been a lot closer.

Why the f are drivers with two completely free lanes to their left still trying to share my lane, a substandard width lane that’s already occupied, at 45mph???

………

On Saturday night, on a stretch of my commute through an area between the freeway and a commercial/business park, a car slowed wayyy down as it came up from behind. It had barely passed as I hit the brakes and did a track stand at its 5 o’clock. Its driver yelled, “WANT SOME CASH?”

Are.you.fucking.kidding.me.jpeg.

I bellowed my standard response, which is a loud, stern, unambiguous, “Get away from me and stay away from me.” And then swerved behind him to flood his rearview with 1100 lumens. He took off.

For the record, since it’s pertinent information, I was wearing knee-high Dr Martens with cargo pants tucked in, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a reflective jacket, and a provocatively sexy giant lump of a 45L-capacity Chrome bag. And no make-up.

The bars are closed. The strip clubs are closed. The corners & bus stops are empty of trafficked girls.

The lonely and the predatory are still out there, though.

………

Much closer to home, I’ve taken to cutting through the empty parking lots of another commercial park in the past few weeks, mainly because there are cameras that can be accessed if I turn up missing.

Two nights ago, a couple of guys were vaping in front of a business, door open, lights on inside. One of them yelled at me, “Stay safe!” Last night, they were out there, so I stopped to say hi and ask them not to yell at me. The one guy is the business owner. He and his friend are sleeping inside the office with guns, just in case. They’re worried about their fledgling business and looters (and possibly saving on residential rent.) Anyway, I told them I’d alert them if I saw anything suspicious while passing through, and I expect they’ll continue to have their smoke break right about my commute time. This area is usually a ghost town but now I feel a little safer with my own personal armed bodyguards.

………

Some nights I would catch a northbound bus to cut a few miles off my commute (especially if, for example, it rained), but that particular transit agency has cut its service hours to 6am-9pm. Us schlubby little wage slaves who man the warehouses & run the mini-marts & stock the shelves & bake the factory bread aren’t the ones who benefit from such operating hours. And the 9-to-5ers who could commute exclusively during these hours are now working remotely. So fuck you if you’re off swing shift at 11pm, or if you work graveyards. Just stop bein’ essential, lol.

………

Last Friday shortly before 11pm, a rider was hit and left for dead on El Segundo Blvd, just a half mile west of a corner where a house was hit by a drunk driver on March 29th. And Monday about 7:45pm, a driver with a previous DUI hit a cyclist in East LA. Nothing in the news. And I wonder if these drivers are simply released, despite the violent nature of their crimes.

Photo by Burst from Pexels.

………

I was going to offer a list of all the park closures in LA and Orange Counties this weekend. But it’s easier to just say wherever you’re thinking of going, assume it’s closed for the holiday weekend.

However, most bike paths appear to be open, other than those along the beach.

………

No surprise here.

A study from Belgium and the Netherlands suggests that you need to give a much greater distance to stay safe from Covid-19 while biking or walking — up to 16 feet walking single file, 33 feet for a casual bike ride, and twice that for a hard ride.

So much for those pacelines and other group rides right now.

………

Speaking of group rides, hopefully the coronavirus will let up in time for fall’s Phil’s Fondo.

And a tip of the cycling cap to Phil Gaimon for aiming for another $100,000 for No Kid Hungry.

………

Not sure why this popped up again today, but it’s worth revisiting, as South LA’s own Justin Williams, the US crit champ, discusses the lack diversity in cycling.

And how he’s addressing it with his multicultural Legion of Los Angeles cycling team.

………

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

No bias here. London bike riders are facing even more abuse from drivers than usual, because several newspapers used a telephoto lens to make bicyclists riding in parks look like they’re much closer together than they really are and breaking social distancing rules.

………

Local

New rules in Los Angeles don’t appear to require a mask or other face covering while you ride a bike, but they are required if you stop to shop or talk with anyone; Los Angeles Magazine lists apparel makers who’ve turned their attention to non-medical masks for the time being.

 

State

California advocacy groups are moving bicycle training courses online — including LA County’s ActiveSGV.

The executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association offers tips on how to hit the trails while social distancing.

 

National

Inc. confirms what we’ve been seeing lately. The coronavirus has resulted in boom times for bike shops, as people turn to bicycles for social distancing-compliant exercise and self-care, as well as virus-free transportation. Although not everyone’s business is booming, evidently.

Build a simpler, if somewhat stranger, bike, and the world will beat a path to your website.

VeloNews wants you to gear up wisely on gravel gear.

Vice offers advice on how to get back into bicycling during the pandemic. Because apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike.

A Kansas college student is working with her classmates to design and build a custom adaptive bike to help her father ride again, a decade after he suffered a near-fatal stroke. And crowdfunded five grand to pay for it.

This is what happens when people use bike trails illegally. A hearing impaired Nebraska man was injured when he was startled by a pair of miscreant dirt bike riders zooming down the non-motorized trail he was riding on.

A popular Syracuse NY musician was the victim of a double hit-and-run as he was riding his bike; he was struck by the second driver while he was sitting in the street waiting for an ambulance after the first driver fled.

Streetsblog says no one wants to take credit — or maybe blame — for banning ebikes on New York’s popular Hudson River Greenway, even though they’re now legal in the rest of the state.

The New York Times celebrates the rarified magic of empty streets, suggesting social distancing is giving us a rare opportunity to fix our cities.

Tennis star Serena Williams is one of us; the Florida gator she encountered while out on a ride, not so much.

No bias here. A Florida letter writer carefully explains when and why bike riders are allowed to take the lane. And then says stay to the right, anyway.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. An Alberta judge acquitted the driver who killed an off-duty Mountie as he rode his bike on the shoulder of a highway, blaming the sun and shadows for making the victim hard to see. Even though the driver shouldn’t have been driving on the shoulder in the first place. Never mind that he refused to take an alcohol test after an officer smelled it on his breath.

When their school was shut down due to Covid-19, a group of bighearted Montreal students devoted their time and their bikes to help seniors isolating in their homes.

Piers Morgan, host of Good Morning Britain, apologized to a Member of Parliament for the “complete moron” on a bike who kept riding through the background of their TV interview. He also blamed the bike rider for violating the county’s three-foot social distancing requirement, even though he doesn’t appear to come that close.

A London woman with cystic fibrosis will ride the equivalent of 62 miles in her garden this weekend to celebrate the third anniversary of the lung transplant that saved her life, after the country’s lockdown forced her off the streets. And despite the fact her new lungs are failing.

After a British boy spent six months saving up for a new bike, it was stolen the first time he rode it to school. So his kindhearted teachers crowdfunded the money to buy him a new one in just three hours.

A Welsh man is suing Bianchi for the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million after going over his handlebars when both sides of his front fork snapped at 20 mph.

A pair of competing bicycle organizations have set aside their differences and are working together to compile a list of UK bike shops still open under the country’s lockdown.

Parisian boulangeries are responding to the coronavirus lockdown by delivering baguettes by bicycle.

Uganda’s Covid-19 lockdown forces a couple to simplify their wedding, limiting them to just ten guests as they arrived on foot, while the pastor came by bicycle; all public and private transportation other than bikes are banned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News looks back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the dawn of the modern super bike.

British Cycling, the UK’s national governing body for bicycling, has cut a third of its staff, after the coronavirus leads to losing the equivalent of nearly $5 million in donations.

The Tour de France is considering a proposal to move the start of the race back nearly a full month in hopes Covid-19 will go away by then, though Spartacus is standing by with a bucket of cold water.

 

Finally…

Now that’s a fixie. Unless maybe you’re looking for an exquisite vintage men’s bike — or maybe an ex-Giro winning bike. Of course, you’ll also need some stylish shoes to go with it.

And it wouldn’t hurt to design your own helmet, too.

Personally, I’ll take the Bottecchia hands-down, in case anyone wants to get me an early birthday present. 

………

Chag Pesach samech to everyone celebrating Passover this week.

Be safe, and stay healthy.

The problem with group rides, a solo “intergalactic” charity ride, and closed isn’t closed on SaMo beachfront bike path

An image created by San Diego’s Serge Issakov makes the problem of group rides in the age of coronavirus pretty damn clear.

Right now, we’re all better off staying home.

But if you have to ride, ride alone or with members of your own household. Also stick close to home, and save the epic and group rides for when this is finally over, whenever that may be.

And wear a damn mask, already.

………

Basketball great Bill Walton is hosting an “intergalactic” Bike for Humanity event on April 25th, with net proceeds benefiting coronavirus victims and the healthcare professionals fighting it.

Individuals are encouraged to get out and ride their bikes for up to two hours in an area where they can practice social distancing at a minimum of 6-feet 11-inches in honor of Walton’s true height (at least the last time he was measured). Current CDC guidelines recommend a minimum of six feet of social distancing in an effort to stem the pandemic.

It is critical to note that Bike for Humanity is not a group ride and riding clusters are prohibited due to the coronavirus. Interested participants can ride anywhere in the galaxy as long as they are in a location where they can practice social distancing.

Hopefully the current restrictions encouraging people to remain in or near their homes will be lifted by then.

Otherwise, this may be all about maintaining social distancing while riding with Zwift.

………

No surprise here.

Beach bike paths are officially closed in LA County as part of the social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus shutdown.

But David Drexler reports that closed appears to be a relative thing where bike paths are concerned.

In front of Casa del Mar on Saturday. The path was still closed, but you would hardly know.

Looking north from Casa del Mar toward the pier. Path is closed but you would not know it.

Santa Monica spent a lot of money fencing now closed Palisades Park. Almost looked like they were getting ready for the finish of some sort of race on Ocean Avenue. Top photo is section next to California Incline.
However, they left open the protected bike lane on the California Incline that leads down to the new widened path section on the beach. New this weekend were dozens of signs indicating temporary closure placed in the middle of the beach path.

Looking south towards the Venice Boardwalk from the Venice – Santa Monica border. A lineup of homeless encampments as far as the eye could see where you usually see tables of people selling things. No closure signs here.

………

A new webinar explains how to train in the age of coronavirus this evening.

………

Local

The LA Times looks at what’s open and closed in Southern California this week, even though LA city and county officials are encouraging everyone to just stay home. And as we noted above, closed doesn’t always mean closed.

A Pasadena resident calls for a fresh look at our streets as public space, flipping the priority from a focus on cars to providing people with space to get outdoors while maintaining social distancing.

This is who we share the road with. A Lancaster man faces a well-deserved murder charge for the DUI hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian two years ago.

 

State

VeloNews talks with mountain biking Calabasas resident Reggie Miller, who also used to play a little basketball.

No surprise here, as velodromes in San Jose and San Diego are closed for the foreseeable future. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Sad news from Tulare County, where a 76-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike, although the CHP was quick to absolve the driver of any responsibility by blaming the victim for wearing dark clothes on a dark bike in poor lighting conditions. However, no mention is made of whether the victim had the legally required lights and reflectors on his bike. Or if the driver had any lights at all on his car, which would theoretically allow him to see a bike rider directly ahead of him, unless he was violating the Basic Speed Law by driving too fast for conditions.

 

National

Good piece from Outside, as Joe Lindsey says studies show hi-viz works — but only if a driver is paying attention.

Bicycling says it’s never too late to learn how to ride a bike.

How to ship your bike without risking a trip to the airport. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus considers the new rules for riding in the age of coronavirus, including masks, leaving more room, and etiquette for passing.

A Tacoma, Washington man has turned shouting messages to strangers from his bicycle into a thriving very small business.

Business is booming at Phoenix bike shops.

A kindhearted Missouri man built a handmade adaptive bicycle with a sidecar so a mother could ride with her disabled young daughter.

Chicago Streetsblog recaps a webinar on Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During COVID-19 featuring officials from Duluth, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Bogotá.

Teenage bike riders emerge from “hibernation” in Schenectady NY, angering drivers by swarming streets and breaking social distancing rules.

New York’s mayor decides to pay for the city’s coronavirus response by cutting funds from Vision Zero and bicycle safety improvements, as well as bus lanes and the Staten Island ferry. But God forbid he should touch funds to subsidize motor vehicle travel.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to get a new bicycle, helmet, lock, lights and safety vest for a DC nurse who was walking four and a half miles to and from work each day to avoid unknowingly infecting people on public transportation with coronavirus.

 

International

Road.cc explain how “proper” bicycling clothing can improve your rides.

Kindhearted Brits donated the equivalent of nearly $700 to a midwife with the National Health Service after her bicycle was stolen while she was working.

British researchers call for a switch to bicycling to help keep other people safe.

No surprise here, as a UK study shows male drivers are twice as dangerous as female drivers, and male bike riders pose twice the risk to others as female riders.

Bicycling is considered an essential form of transportation in at least one Philippine city.

Paris has imposed a daytime curfew on all outdoor sports from 10 am to 7 pm. Although it’s not clear whether that only includes recreational riding, or bicycling for transportation, too.

Police in Australia’s Victoria state rescind a $1,652 fine a man received for violating the coronavirus lockdown by driving 35 minutes to ride on a mountain bike trail.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour of Utah becomes the latest bike racing domino to fall, while Indiana’s famed Little 500 bike race bites the dust for this year, too.

Cyclist looks at the hellish history of the famed Hell of the North, after the legendary Paris-Roubaix race was scrapped for this year.

Reigning Paralympic road champ Jamie Whitmore thanks the Challenged Athletes Foundation for its support in helping her transition to cycling. after a misdiagnosed cancerous tumor ended her career as champion triathlete.

A British woman rides her first road race — and first road bike — at what she calls the world’s toughest amateur bike race in Oman.

The BBC examines how Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to ride to victory in the ultra-endurance, self-supported and self-navigated Transcontinental Race across Europe last July.

 

Finally…

Country star and American Idol judge Luke Bryan scared the crap out of his wife as she rode her bike by blasting his truck horn in a “hilarious” stunt.

Which any bike rider would recognize as the seriously dangerous and unfunny actions of an obnoxious jerk.

 

We can only hope it doesn’t inspire other similarly antisocial drivers to follow his lead, with riders they aren’t related to.

But it probably will.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

Bike riders encouraged to stay in your neighborhood or just stay home, and interactive map shows open bike shops

Maybe you should rethink that long ride right now.

For weeks now, we’ve followed the advice from healthcare officials, and recommended getting out and exercising, while maintaining social distancing.

But that advice is starting to change.

Now everyone is being encouraged to stick to their own neighborhoods, regardless of how you travel; LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says he may make that a requirement in the coming days.

And LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is urging everyone — not just seniors or people with underlying health conditions — to just stay home this week as Covid-19 cases are predicted to spike.

If you go out anyway, wear a mask when you’re around others, for your protection as well as theirs.

And whatever you do, don’t ride in groups.

For your health, as well as everyone around you.

Because it only takes one pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic person to infect everyone else — then take that home to everyone you love.

Even mild coronavirus cases pack a punch. And it can take a rapid turn for the worse, as bike-riding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson learned the hard way on Monday.

So maybe just stay home this week. And take in the best air quality of any major city in the world.

There will be plenty of time to ride when this crap is finally over.

………

A new nationwide map shows what bike shops are still open.

It shows dozens in LA and Orange Counties, including local favorites like DTLA Bikes, Golden Saddle, and Helen’s in Santa Monica.

………

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

Police in South Carolina are looking for a late night, bike-riding tagger.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials are cracking down after discovering what nearly every bike rider and pedestrian has learned in recent weeks — empty streets encourage drivers to speed. Meanwhile, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds says it’s time to reform California’s 85th Percentile Law so speeding drivers don’t force speed limits through the roof.

The upcoming Griffith Park edition of Finish the Ride has been pushed back to September.

The Santa Monica Mirror investigates the infamous Zoom video conference used to fire over 400 employees of SaMo-based Bird. Although to its credit, the company did provide laid-off employees with four weeks’ pay, three months of health insurance and 12 months to exercise stock options. Which does not make up for the callousness of the way they handled it.

Not only is Usher one of us, he’s got some skills. Like riding no-handed to a Los Feliz park with his girlfriend, and his Goldendoodle cradled in one arm.

 

State

Failing to practice extreme social distancing could cost you $1,000 in San Diego County, as several people learned the hard way over the weekend. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Bike Mag examines how bike companies determine whether they are essential, and if they should stay open during the pandemic lockdowns.

A writer for Ride Apart questions whether the new self-cleaning handlebar grips on Wheels e-scooters really work.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult tricycle from a Phoenix man with cerebral palsy, who is legally blind and has a cognitive disability, as he worked at his new job at a grocery store; fortunately, kindhearted strangers pitched in to replace it, giving so much his sister had to ask people to stop donating.

Just a day after the Dirty Kanza gravel race was postponed until September, the annual Bike Across Kansas ride has been cancelled entirely.

Bike shops in North Texas report they’re as busy as they’ve ever been thanks to the coronavirus bike boom. And in Houston, too.

A Chicago bike commuter offers advice on how to ride city streets safely and confidently, even if you’re new at it.

We need this everywhere. Bicycling checks in with the New York program that matches unused bikes with essential workers who need them for transportation.

New York magazine doesn’t pull its punches, calling Mayor de Blasio’s minimalist, half-hearted and short-lived stab at street closures simply pathetic; the failed presidential candidate canceled the program because no one showed up in bad weather, and with little notice.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court rules a high-speed, reckless driver who killed a seven-year old boy riding his bike while fleeing from police over 20 years ago will have to finish his 28½ to 57-year prison term behind bars.

Tampa advocates are urging the mayor to “rebalance” a street where speeding motorcyclist and a bike rider in a crosswalk were both killed in a collision, after the coronavirus shutdown cut motor vehicle traffic by 40%; almost needless to say, the mayor said no.

A Florida paper seems to leave out a key detail, reporting that a bike rider was seriously injured when the front of his southbound bike was somehow struck by the side of the driver’s northbound SUV. And of course, the driver fled.

 

International

Next City says Covid-19 shows how micromobility can help build more resilient cities.

Bicycle insurance provider Yellow Jersey has been forced to change their policy limits, as Covid-19 has reduced travel and eliminated bike racing.

Bike Radar lists six ways the international bike industry is stepping up to battle the coronavirus.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says Covid-19 may change the way people think about bicycles.

How to tell when it’s time to toss your tires.

A Winnipeg architect says the city should respond to the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis by rethinking infrastructure and rapidly implementing a comprehensive active transportation network.

Irish police bust the thieves that broke a boy’s heart by stealing his bicycle Christmas morning — and remarkably, recover his bike after more than three months.

After getting trapped in Southern Spain by the coronavirus lockdown, a British man wandering the world on his bike is grateful to be taken in by local farmers in Andalusia.

A German press agency provides advice on how to clean your bike to reduce the risk of coronavirus. Or your car, if you still have one of those things.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sports Illustrated considers what effect surviving Covid-19 would have on an athlete’s body. Short answer, no one knows yet.

Cycling Tips talks with defending Dirty Kanza champ Colin Strickland, who now has several more months to hold the title.

 

Finally…

Who needs a truck to deliver new modems when you’ve got a pro cyclist? One more reason to ride a bike — no one is going to cough on your gas pump.

And never worry about battery life on your e-scooter again — just add a gas-powered generator to keep it going.

Which would kinda seem to defeat the whole purpose, but still.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask.

Biking responsibly in the age of Covid-19, returning streets to the people, and 1,000 days of biking to (now closed) school

Last week we brought you the bad news that two of the last remaining LACBC staffers, including coalition’s longest-service employee, were let go as the organization faces serious financial problems exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.

Today, we’re reposting a letter sent out to members by Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, as he addresses both the state of the organization, and advice on whether to ride your bike for the time being.

Because this matters. All of it.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen, we have been listening closely to our public health officials and our community leaders about what we can do to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus. The health of the bicycling community and our pedestrian and transit riding friends is our top priority. So we are asking you to do your part by exercising an abundance of caution in everything you do, especially when you take to the street on your bicycle for an essential ride.

What qualifies as essential? We are hearing a range of opinions on this topic, from staying in your neighborhood within a reasonable distance from your home, to avoiding more challenging and/or longer rides with increased exposure to risk of injury, to riding in smaller groups of fewer than 5 or just with members of your household to maintain recommended social (physical) distancing of at least 6 feet. Of course, each of us is different in terms of our level of comfort and fitness on a bike so it really comes down to using common sense and following the very clear guidelines that our civic leaders and public health officials have been sharing for weeks now. At the end of the day, the last thing we want is to end up needing medical attention when our first-responders and healthcare providers are working overtime to handle the pandemic which has been made all the more challenging by the fact that medical resources they need are in such short supply. Once again we believe that all of us need to do our part for the safety of our families and our communities. The more we can avoid non-essential trips, the more we can limit the spread of the disease.

I recognize that hearing this from your Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition may feel off message from our normal advocacy in support bicycle culture and improved infrastructure but that is precisely the point. The COVID-19 pandemic is a new normal that we must adjust to by responsibly advocating for biking as one of the best ways to maintain our physical, mental and community health within our new reality.

In fact we are looking beyond the current surge in COVID-19 cases to the period of months, if not longer, when the virus is still with us but under control enough for Los Angeles County to reopen. How our region reopens is an important question, but we anticipate there will be guidelines for Angelinos to maintain the practice of social (physical) distancing. We also anticipate that during this time non-essential workers and those who can use alternative modes of transportation will be asked to help lessen the crowds on our buses and subways by walking and bicycling. Which is why we anticipate an even greater need for everyone to join us in advocating for safer, healthy, more sustainable and equitable streets for a more livable Los Angeles for everyone.

One more note about our streets during this crisis: many of our fellow riders have jobs that are at essential businesses and many more are still riding as a part of their daily commutes. To support those riders, we ask that everyone take extra care when you are out and about, especially if you are driving. Due to the reduced traffic, many drivers are finding the empty streets a temptation to speed. As many of our fellow riders are still making essential trips, including people commuting and also traveling around their own neighborhoods, we ask all of you to exercise extra caution while you are outside your homes. Whether you are in the saddle or behind the wheel, please make sure to be extra aware of your surroundings, put away the distractions, and travel at safe speeds for your own safety and the safety of others. Again the last thing we need now is more people further burdening our increasingly already strained healthcare system.

Finally, I am sure some of you have heard that LACBC has had to make the difficult decision to reduce our staff for the second year in a row and permanently close down our offices in DTLA to work remotely. The current COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a significant loss of revenue for us this year, especially as spring is one of our most important seasons for our events and education programs. I want to close with a special note of gratitude to the two staffers who we had to let go last week. Colin Bogart and Kevin Claxton have been key members of the LACBC community and larger transportation justice movement for years and in Colin’s case for decades. It has been my privilege to work alongside and learn from Kevin and Colin. They will be deeply missed.

While the current situation is among the hardest we’ve had to endure at LACBC, I firmly believe that we will make it through this crisis and come back stronger than ever. We ask you for your positive thoughts as we prepare LACBC for its next chapter.

And if you are in a position to assist financially, please take a moment to send us a donation.

I’m not exactly rolling in money these days, especially after my wife was let go when her company shut down, perhaps permanently, because of LA County’s stay at home order.

Like far too many others out there.

But I’m going to find the money to renew my membership in the LACBC in the next few weeks.

It’s not going to lift them out of their current financial difficulties.

But we all need to do what can to save an organization that does so much for us.

………

One of the few positives to come out of all this whole pandemic mess is that cities across the US are taking entire streets away from cars and giving them to people to get outside and exercise.

Denver shut down four streets to make more room for pedestrians and people on bicycles; more streets may follow soon to allow people to get out while practicing social distancing.

St. Paul, Minnesota, shut down three streets, but only through this Friday, while City Lab maps how cities are reclaiming street space for people.

On the other hand, Los Angeles, which has closed virtually all popular parks and trails, still insists on reserving every inch of asphalt reserved for the cars and drivers that often aren’t there right now.

Rather than giving a little of it back to the people to get outside for awhile.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the links.

………

We can all use a smile these days.

Bicycling provides a good one, as they check in with eleven-year old Bodhi Linde, who’s been riding his bike to school every day since kindergarten.

But like schools everywhere, his Rapid City, South Dakota shut down due to the Covid-19 outbreak — just as he was approaching his 1,000th straight day.

So he kept riding the 2.1 miles to school every day anyway. Then turned around and rode back home to take his classes online.

And yes, he hit the mark.

………

Heartless bike thieves continue to plague medical workers in the UK, despite the current coronavirus crisis. Or maybe because of it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a British paramedic’s bicycle as she was working a 12-hour shift.

A Northern Irish pharmacist saw an outpouring of support after her bike was stolen from her car as she worked, before it was replaced by a local bike shop.

Pro cyclist Luke Rowe came to the rescue after someone stole a bike from a Welsh intensive care medic while he was treating patients; Rowe was having a new bike delivered today.

Speaking of Britain’s National Health Service, this tweet pretty much puts things in perspective.

………

On a related subject, today’s common theme is a return of the sort of kindhearted people we usually only see around the holidays.

A pair of Fontana cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a seven-year old boy after someone cut the lock to steal his.

A seven-year old Illinois girl ended up with two bicycles, after a Good Samaritan replaced her stolen bike, just hours before police recovered it.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bike for a 12-year old British Columbia boy after the one he got for his birthday was stolen.

After a Malaysian man chased down an aid van from a non-government organization on his bicycle to beg for food for his family when the factory he worked for was shut down because of Covid-19, not only did they respond the next day, but a number of generous people reached out to help.

………

Police immediately seized the license of an 81-year old woman who nearly ran people down while speeding along a Rhode Island bike path.

Don’t get me started on the need for elderly drivers to give up their keys when they can’t drive safely anymore.

Instead of driving them everywhere, hop in the passenger seat and let your older relatives drive. And see if they’re still the safe drivers you remember.

If they ever were, that is.

………

Now that the hockey season is on hiatus, NHL players have time for the little things.

Like spending time with their kids. And teaching ’em to ride bikes.

………

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

Security has been tightened at a San Anselmo CA school after a group of teens on mountain bikes harassed a security guard, allegedly coughing in his face while making jokes about the pandemic.

A Columbian bike rider was shot to death after opening fire on two cops who stopped him for violating the country’s coronavirus curfew; one of the officers was wounded in the shoulder.

British police are looking for a trio of bike-riding teenagers who attacked a radiographer with the National Health Service in an apparent attempt to steal his headphones; one will need a new bike seat after using it as a weapon during the attack.

………

Local

Lyft scooters are now free for health and transit workers for the remainder of the month, here in Los Angeles and in cities around the US; the company is also bolstering their supply of e-scooters around hospitals.

The Wall Street Journal drops their paywall for a photo essay of mask-wearing Angelenos, including Midnight Wilder from Manny’s Bike Shop in Venice.

The coronavirus has given Angelenos a glimpse of what’s possible with fewer cars, as the city enjoys its cleanest air in four decades.

The rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills is one of us. And barely survived coronavirus, anyway.

Andy Garcia is one of us, too, as he takes a casual ride on his cruiser bike through the streets of LA.

Isla Fisher takes a “spirited” bike ride with husband Sacha Baron Cohen through Los Angeles.

Simon Cowell went for an ebike ride with his family through the ‘Bu.

 

State

Millennials say don’t blame them for jerks on San Jose trails.

The CHP has released a very blurry photo of the truck driven by the suspect who allegedly killed a Patterson bike rider in a hit-and-run last week.

The annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride scheduled for June has been pushed back, and will be combined with September’s annual Tour de Tahoe.

 

National

An industrial engineering writer says light yourself up and wear reflective clothing, because it’s better to be uncomfortably conspicuous than be a fatality statistic.

Essential workers around the US are getting to work by bike. Meanwhile, Bicycling talks with five bicyclists on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.

Shades of Burma Shave, as Kansas residents post jokes along a local bike path.

Wisconsin bike riders will have to keep their clothes on for another year, as Madison’s annual World Naked Bike Ride has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The coronavirus bike boom seems to be having a different effect in different places; while bike shops in some areas can’t keep up with the demand, Chicago shops are seeing a big drop in business.

The Chicago Tribune recommends their top picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

A writer for the New York Times says go outside, but maintain social distancing on the sidewalk. And don’t ride your bike there.

A New York writer says things are worse than you think for the city’s food delivery riders, while bike-riding volunteers are delivering desperately needed  parts for face masks and ventilators. A Medium piece examines how you can support bicycle delivery workers right now. Here’s a tip: Tip.

Writing for the Daily News, a New York college professor says the problem isn’t the cars, it’s the coronavirus; meanwhile, an economic publication calls the pandemic a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the way we travel.

The celebrity bike craze jumps to the East Coast, as CNN’s Anderson Cooper rides through New York sans helmet and face mask while balancing an iced coffee on his handlebars.

Tragic news from Tampa Florida, where a man on a bike and a motorcycle rider were both killed in a collision as the bicycle rider was attempting to cross street a major in a crosswalk.

 

International

Road.cc considers what a fixie is good for, and whether you should get one. Unless maybe you’d prefer riding with a stoker in back.

Cyclist examines the best masks to protect urban bike riders from pollution. And hopefully, coronavirus.

Bike Radar recommends ten cheap hybrid bikes that won’t break the bank.

Quebec is just the latest province or state to conclude that bike shops provide an essential service; New York State fell in line after initially leaving bike shops off the approved list.

London’s Daily Mail visits the world’s largest bicycle garage in the Netherlands, which offers room for 12,500 bikes.

Megan Lynch forwards a great Spanish language piece about Britain’s Clarion Cycling Club, which sent members down to Spain to fight a losing battle against the fascists in the Spanish civil war. If, like me, you don’t read Spanish, just copy the text and dump the whole thing in Google Translate.

A wheelchair-bound Polish man rode his hand-bike over 371 mile across Iceland to raise money for an orphanage. In winter.

An Indian bicycle delivery rider is covering the length and breadth of Delhi delivering food to people who can’t get out — mostly doctors busy battling Covid-19.

Seriously? After a five-year old Taiwanese kid crashed his bike into a parked Tesla, police gave him a breathalyzer test.

The worldwide lockdowns are putting the squeeze on Taiwan’s bikemakers.

New Zealanders are debating whether bike riders are abiding by the country’s lockdown rules, which limits bicyclists to local rides.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour of Utah pulls the plug.

VeloNews talks with former women’s pro cyclist Allison Tetrick, now the queen of the Dirty Kanza gravel race, which will now be held in September.

Cycling gazes into its crystal ball to predict the future of pro cycling, while French cyclists request permission to train outside during the country’s lockdown.

Now you can ride just like Lance in his prime; doping optional.

Who says there’s no bike racing this year? Pro cyclists took part in the cancelled Tour of Flanders as the race went virtual; Belgian Greg Van Avermaet won in a virtual breakaway.

The annual Race Across America, aka RAAM, has been cancelled for this year in favor of a virtual race across the country.

One advantage of virtual cycling — the crashes don’t hurt as much. On the other hand, you can’t win if your bike is unplugged.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from used plastic bottle caps. Create a preschool indoor trainer with training wheels and a pair of shoes.

And even the Easter Bunny is practicing social distancing on his bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Funds pour in to aid cargo bike mugging victim, ebike maker donates medical masks, and bikes are bliss on two wheels

Let’s start with a little good news for a change.

Because there are still a lot of very kind and generous people in this world.

Yesterday we mentioned the cargo bike-riding elotera who was mugged when a pair of thieves assaulted her in South LA, stealing her purse with the meager amount she had earned to support her family.

She lost $80 to the muggers.

But now, thanks to the generosity of over 450 kindhearted strangers, she’ll be getting more than 135 times that much back.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

………

Speaking of generous people, I was happy to find this announcement in my inbox yesterday.

Luis Razo, Manager of Operations at Aventon Bicycles, an Ontario, California-based E-bike manufacturer & retailer, says the community has supported the company, so now it’s time to give back four thousand surgical masks and one thousand N95 masks to Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where supplies are running short.

The company will also donate two E-bikes to Loma Linda University Medical Center. It’s a personal mission for Luis Razo. His wife Gracie is an RN at Loma Linda Hospital, on the front lines of this pandemic.

Nice to see so many members of the bike industry pitching in to help when our entire world is in crisis.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

He gets it.

An Illinois writer describes bicycling as bliss on two wheels. And doesn’t stop there.

Of all avocations, riding a bike is, almost beyond dispute, the finest. With endorphins and all, it is as much exercise for the brain as the heart, lungs or legs, a way to solve all the world’s problems while seeing the world.

Which is about as good a description as I’ve ever come up with.

………

Phil Gaimon remembers what it was like to ride with other people.

………

Local

He gets it, too. A writer for the LA Times says it’s time to take streets away from cars and give it to people.

The LA Times examines what’s open (hint: not much) and closed (almost everything) in LA, Orange and San Diego Counties this weekend. At last word, the Ballona Creek bike path, LA River bike path and San Gabriel River Bike Trail were still open, but that could change any time.

Evidently, it was family bike day in LA, with Kate Hudson riding with her son in her LA neighborhood, Arnold riding through West LA with his less-famous daughter, and  Adam Sandler going for a ride with his daughter in the ‘Bu.

English actress and Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of us, too, even if she sticks to the sidewalks of Los Angeles.

 

State

A San Jose man writes in to complain that Millennials and their dogs are ruining bike trails for everyone else. Seriously? There are just as many jerk and jackass Baby Boomer and GenXers as there are Millennials — and just as many kind and considerate people, too. It’s no more fair or accurate to blame every member of any generation for the actions of a few than it is any other social, ethnic or religious group.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says get your bike ready, and get out for a slow ride. Thanks to Robert Leone for the forward.

Tragic news from Stanislaus County, where a 51-year old single father was run down by a driver as he was riding his bike, and left to die alone on the side of the road.

 

National

VeloNews looks at more bikes from the virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, including one from my hometown, as well as a very cool wooden tandem. The cycling magazine also offers their take on the best women’s mountain bike gear for 2020.

Bike Mag suggests hacks you can try out on your own bicycle while you’re stuck at home.

Neil Young famously said rust never sleeps. But there are things you can do to keep it from ruining your mountain bike.

Sears waits until the entire bike industry is on the brink to try to claw back money it paid out to several bicycle companies before it went belly up two years ago.

The annual Iron Horse Classic in Southwestern Colorado has been postponed, if not cancelled.

A kindhearted Boise cop bought a bike for a homeless man so he’d have a way to get to work after he was involved in a crash.

The local paper in Lincoln, Nebraska offers tips on how to avoid collisions while maintaining social distancing on the city’s newly crowded bike trails. If that photo is any indication, crowded is a relative term.

A Milwaukee man wanted to show his support for local bike shops struggling to hold on in the coronavirus crisis, so he set out on a solo bike tour of several shops to post words of encouragement in their windows.

A Chicago letter writer says we may be keeping our distance, but people have never been friendlier.

Eight beautiful bike rides in the Chicago area. Or maybe get back to nature on Houston bike trails.

A writer for Jalopnik goes carspotting in New York, and discovers classic bikes are the real city cars. Including the first modern bike built for women.

Bike shops are listed as essential businesses in Pennsylvania.

 

International

Good question. Fast Company questions whether we can maintain the current coronavirus bike boom when the world finally comes out the other side. Which it inevitably will, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.

Cycling Weekly examines what steps bike shops are taking to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Road.cc wants to get you in a gilet.

British Columbia advocates join their counterparts around the world in calling for more space for pedestrians and bike riders during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Brompton is crowdfunding the equivalent of nearly half a million dollars to donate 1,000 of their iconic foldies to staffers with the UK’s National Health Service; they’ve raised the equivalent of nearly $110,000 with 12 days to go.

The Next Web loves the new race bike from Germany’s direct-to-consumer bikemaker Canyon, but says it’s “hella expensive;” at the equivalent of nearly six grand, though that’s barely midrange these days. On the other hand, Gear Patrol thinks Canyon’s full-suspension mountain bike is surprisingly affordable at $2,399.

Heartbreaking story, as an Indian man is riding over 1,300 miles on a secondhand bike from Mumbai to Kashmir to see his dying father one last time, despite the country’s 21-day mandatory lockdown.

After the country went into a coronavirus lockdown, New Zealand’s Health Minister stirred up controversy by bending, if not breaking, the rules by driving to get out for a mountain bike ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta says they’re sticking with their August start date, despite the cancellation or postponement of most of the cycling season so far this year.

Covid-19 is taking a toll on pro cycling, as riders are forced to take a drastic cut in pay until racing resumes later this year — assuming it does.

 

Finally…

No, you don’t need Android Auto unless you’re actually in one. Oh, nothing much, just a casual fat bike ride through the Yukon at 44° below zero.

And keeping the team alive by riding together every morning, separately. And at home.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Man killed in Huntington Beach bike collision; fourth Huntington Beach bicycling death in last four months

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bike in Huntington Beach.

And unfortunately, there’s almost no information available.

According to the Orange County Register, the crash happened near Yorktown Avenue and Vasile Circle about 8 pm Wednesday.

Police responding to the call found the victim, identified only as a man, lying unresponsive in the street; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 46-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.

As usual, the driver was uninjured.

A street view shows Yorktown is a four lane street with a center turn lane and bike lanes on either side, with a 40 mph speed limit — low by Orange County standards.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Accident Investigators A. Turner, 714/536-5670 or D. Kim, 714/536-5666.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the third fatal collision involving a bike rider in Huntington Beach this year, and the fourth in less than four months.

Which means half of those deaths this year have been on the unforgiving streets of just one very deadly town.

And if that doesn’t scream there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed, I don’t know what the hell would.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Improve mobility and open space access during Covid-19 shutdown, CA crashes down by half, and bike shops are essential

Los Angeles leaders are focused on fighting the coronavirus.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t provide safer transportation and exercise options for LA residents during the shutdown.

That’s the case nonprofit group Streets for All has been making with city councilmembers and the mayor’s office in recent days.

Here’s what they have to say.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on Los Angeles; tens of thousands are out of work, hundreds of thousands are working from home, and millions have been ordered to only leave their homes if absolutely necessary.

Because of these changes, our road space far exceeds the required amount for vehicle traffic. At the same time, for their own physical and mental health, many Angelenos need to get to/from work if they are an essential employee, need to go to the market or a doctor’s office, or perhaps just need to go for a run, bike ride, or go play with their kids. It isn’t possible to do this and maintain 6’ of space on our current transit, sidewalk, and bike lane infrastructure.

Proposals to enhance mobility and open space access in Los Angeles during COVID-19:
  1. Pilot a temporary emergency safe streets network to slow down speeding cars and give residents a safe 6’ distanced option for active transportation while reinforcing connections to grocery stores, hospitals, LAUSD food centers, delivery services, parks, and other essential resources. View our potential network.

  2. Create an accelerated path for street closure requests to increase local access to open space, especially in neighborhoods with limited park access. Potentially using the framework studied with Play Streets. These could be hard closures block by block, or maintaining local access for parking.

    Specifically we suggest:

    • Waiving fees and insurance requirements

    • Giving Neighborhood Councils the same request exception as council offices

    • Increasing application turnaround to 10 days

    • Allowing option for LADOT to install barricades

There’s more, as they make a solid case for why it should be done. And done now.

Check it out, and get involved.

………

No surprise here, as California traffic collisions — not accidents, please — have been cut in half as the entire state shuts down for the coronavirus, thanks to a 60% drop in traffic volume.

However, there’s no word on the severity of those crashes, as the lighter traffic has meant higher average speeds on the roadways.

………

New Mexico finally came to its senses and joined most other states in allowing bike shops to reopen as essential businesses, in response to outrage from the local bicycling community.

But only under extremely limited circumstances.

Under the new orders, customers can’t enter the bicycle shops, retail sales are banned, payments are to be made by credit card or debit card remotely; customers must leave and pick up bicycles outside the store; and the bikes have to be disinfected before being brought inside. Staff must also wear protective equipment and the stores have to be routinely disinfected.

But despite the restrictions, it’s not the strictest regulations in the country, according to Bicycle Retailer.

In Michigan retailers are allowed to service bikes only if the bikes are used by workers to get to a job that is considered essential.

Meanwhile, bike shops got the nod as an essential business in Nebraska. And in Louisiana, too.

Hopefully with less draconian restrictions.

And advocacy groups from the US to Russia and Japan call for bike shops to be recognized as essential businesses during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Thanks to Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl for the New Mexico heads-up.

………

Bike Index reports they’ve helped recover over 7,000 stolen bikes worth nearly $10 million.

Which seems like a pretty good reminder to register your bike for free right now, before you need it.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the tip.

………

Here’s your chance to work in SoCal transportation social justice.

………

This should get your heart going if you can’t get out for a ride.

………

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

An apparent road raging driver faces an attempted second-degree murder charge for getting out of his car and shooting several times at a group of bike riders; fortunately, he seems to be a bad shot.

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

Texas police bust a man who rode away on his bicycle after a fatal stabbing.

………

Local

SoCal Cycling mourns the death of cyclist Randy Houston, who died peacefully on March 17th; no cause of death was given.

A cargo bike-riding street vendor in South LA was attacked in a shameful strong arm robbery; the attack was caught on low-res video.

It looks like the popular Rose Bowl Loop is only sort of closed right now.

A Santa Clarita man was busted for assault with a deadly bicycle rim after he was allegedly caught burglarizing a garage.

Reese Witherspoon is one of us, and so is her seven-year old son.

 

State

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says right now, while we’re all sheltering in place, is the perfect time to convince non-riding friends to give bicycling a try. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

San Francisco’s MTA head it’s time to build cities for buses, bikes and feet, not cars.

Yes, you can still walk or ride your bike in the Bay Area even after coronavirus restrictions are tightened, though you’re asked to consider if your trip is really essential.

A Roseville man describes touring the state by bike, including four trips to Yosemite and an epic Sonora Pass bonk that ended in the ER.

 

National

In case you missed it last month, Jeff Vaughn reminds us that bicycling is the best way to get around during the pandemic.

An automotive website says now is the time to take advantage of the empty streets to get into bicycling.

NPR says double your distance from others to protect yourself from coronavirus while safely exercising outside.

VeloNews picks the year’s best mountain bike gear, and offers a look at some of the best bikes from their virtual North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Streetsblog points out that no one forced scooter companies to pull them off the streets because of Covid-19.

After getting laid-off from his job as a sous chef, a Tacoma WA man channels his anger into a new business riding his bike around town and shouting messages to people sheltering inside their homes.

A Washington man builds a Victorian era safety bike for a new period drama airing on HBO. Which is as good a reason as any to tune in once the show airs.

A very sad Aspen CO girl writes a letter to the local paper asking for her stolen bicycle back.

A local magazine recommends six bike paths to try out on your next trip to Austin, Texas.

The president of an Illinois advocacy group says it’s time to get back on your bike and shift the perception of bicycling from a sport to transportation.

A Minnesota man gets his bike back six years after it was stolen, after a bike shop owner with a long memory finds it in a pawn shop when it was advertised on Craigslist.

Inspired by Stephen Colbert fixing a flat on his bike, a Cleveland columnist gets his bike tuned and starts riding again to save what’s left of his sanity.

New York state eliminates an entire criminal class by finally getting around to legalizing ebikes.

Great idea. A new DC program matches people who have an extra bicycle or two lying around with essential workers who need one for safe transportation.

Fox Racing’s enduro/ebike helmet scored the highest in the latest bike helmet ratings from Virginia Tech.

 

International

Road.cc readers explain how their bicycling habits have changed due to the pandemic.

British Columbia’s Whistler ski area is still on track to open a bike park this May despite the coronavirus crisis, though the situation remains fluid.

Where to get the best online bike deals if you live in the UK. Hint: Email or call your favorite local bike shop before you buy anything online. They need the business, and will appreciate it more.

A British triathlete defends his nine hour, 201-mile bike ride in violation of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

A 78-year old former Irish amateur cycling champ calls himself an unrepentant sinner for defying the country’s restrictions and getting out on his bike, insisting he never touches anyone when he’s riding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Covid-19 will deal a serious blow to pro cycling, as teams fold and the sport may never be the same. Pro cycling never recovered from the doping scandals, and many teams have for been circling the drain for years now; this will only speed the process.

 

Finally…

Surprisingly, it turns out a $550 stolen bike is worth around…$550. Which means that a $50 Craigslist Gary Fisher bike is worth…more, evidently.

And get out the crayons to pass the time until we can all ride again.

………

Thanks to Matthew R for his very generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. Contributions of any amount are always appreciated, especially in times like this.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Longest-serving LACBC staffer out due to Covid-19 shutdown, and Nextdoor user claims bikes can’t use bikeways

Normally, I’d wish you a happy April Fools Day. 

But with everything that’s going on in the world, we all need to be able to trust what we read right now. Here, and everywhere else.

Photo by Татьяна Чернышова from Pexels.

…..

Very disappointing news today, as the coronavirus shutdown claimed another victim.

This is part of an email that was forwarded to me today.

…I’m writing to tell you that this will be the last email you get from me at LACBC. As of Friday March 27, my time as an employee of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition officially came to a close.

As you probably know, LACBC has been struggling financially for over a year now. Thanks to the tremendous work of Eli Akira Kaufman, the Board of Directors, and my fellow staff, we were on a path to recovery, until recently. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has effectively put a hold on the contracts I’ve been managing, our annual LA River Ride is hanging in the balance, and our finances are even tighter than before. Eli and the board have had to make some difficult decisions for the sake of keeping LACBC rolling.

That message comes from Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Education Director Colin Bogart, the coalition’s longest serving staff member, and the last remaining link to the group’s founding.

I also want you to know that it’s been a great joy and a pleasure to work at LACBC and with all of you. I’ve always considered myself lucky to be doing this work and to be able to work with so many great people. And I’m forever grateful to those of you who have volunteered your time or supported LACBC through various fundraising efforts. I hope that you will continue to do so. LACBC still needs all of you.

Lastly, this is not good-bye. Instead, it’s more like “see you later.” As many of you know, I truly believe in bicycling as a means to make our world a better place. I’m not going anywhere and I intend to stay engaged. (Some of you may recall that I myself was a volunteer and a board member for years before I was hired)…

If you believed, like me, that Colin would be the one turning out the lights if the worst ever came for LA County’s leading bicycle advocacy group, this day brings special sadness.

It marks an end of an era stretching back two full decades, and the final, last loss of institutional memory for the LACBC. Thanks to board term limits and staff turnover, no one is left who has been with the coalition more than four years.

He will be very missed.

And so, too, will the LACBC if we don’t all pull together to save it.

………

Nothing like citing just half a law.

And trying to tell people they can’t ride bikes on a bikeway. Or let their kids ride legally on a sidewalk.

Actually, that section of the Municipal Code reads,

No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Which kinda changes the whole meaning.

So you and your kids can feel free to ride any bikeways, boardwalks or sidewalks that are still open right now.

………

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

A British woman opens up about the sabotaged bike trail that left her mountain biking husband in a wheelchair, just two years after he survived a heart attack.

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

San Diego deputies busted a man who escaped by bicycle after he allegedly assaulted a woman in a Poway park. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time.

Not many homicides are solved as easily as this one, after a Charleston SC man rode his bike up to the crime scene and shouted out his confession to the shooting.

………

Local

The only upside of the coronavirus crisis is the clean air in the mostly carfree City of Angels.

Gossip Girl actor Chase Crawford is one of us, taking a spin through Los Feliz on his ebike.

 

State

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director.

A half dozen high school art students will ride from San Francisco to New York to spread the message of pedal power over gas power.

 

National

NACTO suggests ten ways cities should respond to Covid-19 on their streets, including getting rid of beg buttons, which LA is starting to do in DTLA and MacArthur Park.

PeopleForBikes is is looking for ambassadors for their Ride Spot digital biking platform.

Your next bike could fold all the way down to its airless tires.

A writer for Golf takes on the sport’s Peloton king, and wins. Call it a good ride ruined.

Portland’s annual Filmed by Bike festival will be streaming online instead of in theaters, starting this Saturday.

Nevada encourages families to get out and walk, bike or hike on Wednesdays.

Pink Bike takes a field trip to Sedona to try out four sub-two grand mountain bikes.

Nice guy. The bighearted owner of an Idaho bike shop is giving away 5,000 pounds of potatoes to people affected by the coronavirus shutdown to thank community members for their support over the years.

Unfortunately, the federal ruling that bike shops provide an essential service doesn’t carry the force of law, allowing New Mexico to conclude the opposite and order them shut down.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag outside Durango CO was traveling nearly twice the speed limit at the time of the crash.

A Chicago bike courier collective is helping restaurants survive the shutdown by safely delivering meals across the city.

New York installed a temporary protected bike lane to fix a dangerous gap during the city’s Covid-19 bike boom, only to have someone move the cones off the street onto the sidewalk.

The celebrity bike boom moves to the other coast, as former Wolverine Hugh Jackman rides the streets of New York in the protective gear of our times.

A bighearted Florida man is refurbishing bikes and giving them to people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Asking for a little more tolerance on the road, a Florida bicyclist complains when a pedestrian tells his bike club to get off a shared use path, and another tells them to get off the road a few minutes later.

 

International

Forbes says bikes are making a comeback, as social distancing has led to a bike boom around the world, including ChicagoFlorida and Sheffield, England.

Pez Cycling News talks with bike brands on both sides of the Atlantic about how they’re doing during the coronavirus crisis.

Cycling Weekly suggests eight places in the UK to add to your bike bucket list once the country’s coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Cycling Tips has advice on fifteen mistakes to avoid if you’re doing your riding indoors on Zwift.

Two men have confessed to being the lowlife jerks stealing bikes from Nottingham, England hospital workers while they were treating coronavirus patients.

The Verge calls the new ped-assist ebike from Dutch bikemaker Stella a “near-perfect city bike.” Meanwhile, New Atlas calls the new bike from the Netherlands’ Mokumono Cycles “the perfect urban ebike.”

No irony here. A New Zealand man was rescued by helicopter after he hit a pothole and went over the handlebars, while he was on a fundraising ride for a rescue helicopter service.

Clearly, not everyone has given up on April Fools Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the annual Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race is officially kaput for this year.

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas says he just wants to race his bike again.

 

Finally…

No. Just…no. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. 

And this is what happens when an actual pro cyclist tries to ride with Zwift.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

US gives up everything for Lent, tactical techniques to slow speeding drivers, and sharing the road with driving dogs

As we noted yesterday, this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

………

Catholic or not, thanks to Covid-19, we’re all giving up virtually everything for Lent.

………

Streetsblog recommends tactical traffic calming measures to slow speeding drivers, newly freed from the constrictions of traffic.

The LAPD shows the tragic results of that speeding — a triple fatality crash on what looks like Highland Blvd.

………

This is who we share the roads with, canine edition.

A Washington man was busted for leading police on a 109 mph chase while trying to teach his dog to drive.

Yes, his dog.

No word on whether it had a license.

………

A new helmet mounted, dual lens bike cam simultaneously captures images to the front and rear as you ride. And the video quality is pretty damn good.

At the equivalent of roughly $220, the price isn’t bad, either.

And yes, this is moving to the top of my wish list.

Even if it does stick up like a periscope.

………

Global Cycling Network steps you through some basic maintenance tasks you may have been putting off.

………

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

A 16-year old Long Beach boy suffered non-life threatening injuries when he shot by a pair of men riding bicycles Sunday night, in what police describe as an apparent gang-related shooting.

The next day, a man fleeing from police on a bicycle was injured in an officer-involved shooting after allegedly firing at police, who were responding to a reported shootout at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach.

No word on whether these two incidents may be related.

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Local

The recent rush of celebrities to take a bicycle break from the coronavirus stay-at-home order continues, as Jennifer Garner went out for a ride through Pacific Palisades.

Andy Garcia is one of us, too, taking a spin on a fat tire bike through his West Los Angeles neighborhood, while calling on people to exercise to boost their immune system.

Gubernator scion Patrick Schwarzenegger took to an elliptical bike ride through LA with his girlfriend, and mother Maria Shriver.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers why so many Hollywood celebs are taking to ebikes, saying the bicycles are perfect for life in Los Angeles.

 

State

San Francisco has moved its annual Bike to Work Day from this May to September 24th, in hopes this mess will all be over by then.

 

National

After much dithering, the federal government has finally concluded that bike repair workers provide an essential service, and should be allowed to keep their shops open. Meanwhile, Minnesota is the latest state to designate bike shops as essential businesses during the pandemic.

VeloNews looks at performance ebikes, and says there are a lot of changes yet to come. The magazine also offers an online preview of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which has been postponed until August.

Chicago bike riders pulled the plug on Critical Mass this month, opting instead for solo rides or riding with a friend while maintaining social distancing.

While other cities are experiencing a jump in bicycling rates due to coronavirus fears, Cincinnati shuts down its bikeshare system to slow spread of the disease.

An Ohio newspaper recommends doing your social distancing on two wheels.

A Massachusetts school superintendent has postponed a planned 400-mile ride to celebrate his town’s 400th anniversary.

Buffalo, New York’s slow roll ride has released detailed route maps so people can do their own rides while practicing proper social distancing.

A 79-year old bike rider says she’s not sure how safe New York’s parking protected bike lanes really are, after she was hit by drivers twice in just the last eight months.

New York bicycling injuries are still up for the year, despite a slowdown in the last few weeks as traffic has slowed due to the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Philly advocates are joining the nationwide call to close some streets to cars to allow bike riders and pedestrians to get out while maintaining social distancing, rather than overwhelming popular trails.

Good idea. A New Orleans bike advocacy group is coping with social distancing by offering virtual bicycling basics workshops.

The Covid-19 bike boom has extended all the way down to Florida.

 

International

Road.cc rates the five best foldies for 2020, including the usual suspects.

Ottawa, Ontario debates whether to take space from cars on the city’s now overly wide streets to create more room for people and bike riders.

A handful of workers with Great Britain’s National Health Service will get free ebike loaners for three months to help them avoid crowded transit services; hopefully, other companies will contribute so more people can ride.

Britain’s biggest bike chain is now offering free tune-ups to NHS and emergency workers, whether they’re on two wheels or four.

Thailand’s recently installed king has rented out an entire German hotel for himself and his entourage, including a harem of 20 concubines, as he reportedly rides his bike through the roads of Bavaria.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sixty-nine-year old former Milan-San Remo winner Pierino Gavazzi is in critical condition as he battles Covid-19 (scroll down), while 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says cancelling this year’s Tour de France will cost cyclists their jobs.

 

Finally…

That feeling when surviving a mountain bike crash convinces you to make a pro wrestling comeback.

And this is probably not the best way to get a ride in without getting busted for breaking the coronavirus lockdown.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Bike riders come out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica closes down, and bicycle deliveries in the age of Covid-19

One quick note.

With April 1st just two days away, I want to stress that this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Credit David Drexler with the photo of an eerily empty 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. 

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You can hear the results of my interview with Take Two’s Leo Duran archived on the KPCC website, as we discuss social distancing on a bike and riding bike paths that were shut down within hours of our conversation.

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It was rewarding to see dozens of people riding bikes in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills as I passed through with my wife over the weekend, ranging from spandexed roadies to families with small kids.

More evidence that people will return to the streets if they feel safe, and bring their kids with them.

Notably, there were no large groups of riders; the largest non-family group I saw was just three people riding together, and staying widely spaced from others on the street.

Which is exactly what we need to do for the foreseeable future.

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David Drexler reports that the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through Santa Monica was shut down over the weekend, as announced, after people ignored social distancing requirements to pack it the previous weekend.

He also says the newly widened bike path was open north of the pier, though very few people were taking advantage of it.

And with the other closures in place, the primary route people were taking to get down to the beach appeared to be the steep California Incline, below.

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This is what an everyday hero looks in the age of Covid-19.

The LA Times talks with bike messenger Justin Zemlyansky about delivering food — despite being at higher risk of serious complications due to diabetes and a compromised immune system.

Speaking of everyday heroes, I’m told the owner of DTLA restaurant Redbird is one of us, as he teams with LA Family Housing to provide 1,300 boxed meals every day to feed the homeless during the coronavirus crisis.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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The worldwide rash of bike theft news goes on.

Last week, we mentioned the British doctor whose bike was stolen while he was tending to coronavirus patients. Even though the bikemaker replaced it for him, the outpouring of support from kindhearted strangers was so great, he’ll be donating several additional bikes he was given to his colleagues at the National Health Service. Police arrested two men in the theft.

A nurse in the UK felt like she’d been targeted after someone broke into her car and stole her bicycle, uniform and other items, then used a stolen key fob to break into her partner’s home. But the joke may be on the thief because the dirty uniform could be infected with Covid-19.

Another English nurse had to walk home after a thief stole her bike while she was working a 12-hour shift.

A bold thief snatched a bike belong to a British midwife literally behind the back of her husband as she was shopping in a market.

A Victoria, British Columbia bike shop replaced a healthcare worker’s bicycle after it was stolen.

Answering the eternal question of what kind of person would steal a bike, an Ottawa bike theft suspect repeatedly spat on police officers as they took him into custody, claiming he had Covid-19.

Then there’s this one, from our own back yard.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the Velo Pasadena link.

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Learn about rebalancing the streets for people this Thursday.

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Before we move on, maybe you could use a soothing bike-related interlude. Lord knows I could.

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Local

The latest word is Los Angeles County is closed until further notice. Long Beach followed suite by closing all bike and pedestrian paths — and dumping mulch into skate parks — while Pasadena has closed the popular Rose Bowl Loop after complaints that people weren’t practicing social distancing

The LACBC offers tips on how to ride safely in the age of Covid-19, while the California Mountain Biking Coalition offers their own guidelines for riding safely during the coronavirus crisis.

LA-based Wheels is responding to the coronavirus by introducing self-sanitizing handlebar grips.

Santa Monica-based Bird laid-off 30% of its employees on Friday; workers complained that they were let go without notice when they connected to a Zoom conference.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, as he goes for a ride through Pasadena with his apparently no-longer-estranged wife.

Robin Wright went for a bike ride in Brentwood with her husband and dog, wearing matching black outfits. And yes, that includes the dog.

Adam Sandler went out on his Pedego ebike for a spin around the ‘Bu.

And Ben Affleck’s eight-year old son is one of us, too.

 

State

Caltrans commits to incorporating Complete Streets practices in its highway maintenance projects, but only where feasible; Streetsblog says it’s difficult to tell just what they mean by that, however. Bearing in mind that what’s feasible is too often in the eye of the windshield-biased beholder.

A man riding a bike was critically injured in a Victorville collision Friday night.

A San Francisco advocate reflects on the weird calm of the city’s virtually carfree streets.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss doesn’t mince words in declaring that bike shops are essential businesses, and more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis. However, not everyone agrees.

Evidently Weiss has been busy, as he also writes to recommend the joy of riding alone in trying times. Which has helped keep me sane for the better part of four decades.

Pez Cycling News looks at the movie that inspired me to start riding and develop a huge crush on Robyn Douglass.

Bike Mag talks with bike shops around the country to see how they’re handling the coronavirus crisis.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Portland man continues to ride a bike, 15 years after he rode every street in the city — then set out to ride every street in the suburbs, too.

An Idaho bike shop owner says more people are turning to mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the roads.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Minnesota man credits riding a bike every other day and seldom smoking with helping him get to be 90 years old.

Bike riding in Minnesota is up 20% since the governor declared a state of emergency.

An arrest was finally made in the hit-and-run death of an Arkansas bike rider, who was killed just 58 days after he got married.

Sad news from Massachusetts, where a man has died after he, his wife and son were critically injured in a collision while riding their bikes; still no charges against the driver.

A New York op-ed says the mayor’s social distancing plan gets it all wrong, and that the city should either open up more street space for bike riders and pedestrians, or lock everyone up at home.

Seventy-five-year old Rod Stewart is one of us, taking a spin around his Miami block on his mountain bike.

 

International

Cycling Weekly tells the story of a man who’s struggling to get back on his bike after losing the use his limbs, literally overnight, due to a rare medical condition.

Road.cc has a list of 36 books they say every bike rider should own. Of which I have exactly two.

The Verge says it’s a great time to buy an ebike as a way to practice social distancing over long distances.

London’s Mirror lists the year’s best foldies, starting at the equivalent of a surprisingly affordable $167.

The wife of a 40-year old British man is telling the world to take Covid-19 seriously, as the “young, fit” British bike rider recovers following a terrifying seven-day struggle for his life.

A Brit triathlete flaunted the country’s coronavirus lockdown by taking a nine hour, 200 mile ride he termed the Tour of Norfolk, saying if it’s okay to go out for a one-hour ride, it’s okay to go out for five or six. Even though he exceeded that by 50%.

No irony here. A UK motorists’ group calls on people to to leave their bicycles at home so they don’t fall off and overwhelm the country’s health service during the pandemic. Because we all know no one ever gets hurt riding in a car.

Bike Radar examines Scottish former hour record holder Graeme Obree’s new “weird and wonderful” homemade bike.

Dutch ebike riders will be allowed to use the country’s bike paths because red lights don’t recognize their lightweight ped-assist bikes on the streets, but they’ll be limited to 18 mph.

An Indian man carried his wife on his bicycle over seven miles to a hospital after she was injured at the factory where she works; he couldn’t afford the nearly $270 cost for an ambulance.

Evidently, they’re serious down there. A Johannesburg, South Africa bike rider became the first person arrested for violating the country’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

A Kiwi website uses Strava data to show bicyclists and runners are flaunting New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France could be held without spectators this year, if it’s held at all. Although it would be virtually impossible to clear spectators from the 100+ mile stage routes, and would do nothing to prevent transmission of Covid-19 between the cyclists and crews; the best hope is that the virus simply recedes by then and allows the race to go on.

The mountain bike world championships scheduled for Germany this June has fallen to Covid-19, just like every other bike race so far.

Even though there’s no bike racing right now, you can always live in the past.

The Dirty Kanza gravel race will be holding a virtual training camp for would be competitors.

In a case of good news/bad news, or maybe vice versa, Canadian pro Mike Woods has plenty of time to recover from the broken leg he suffered in the final stage of Paris-Nice, thanks to the pro cycling coronavirus shutdown.

One the other hand, South African cyclist Nic Dlamini finally got the all clear from his doctors after national park rangers broke his arm last year while trying to seize his bike for the crime of not paying the entrance fee on a training ride. But now there are no races to ride, and the entire country is under a total lockdown.

The action continues in yesterday’s stage 7 of the Tour de Quarantine.

 

Finally…

At last, a vegan ped-assist bike, just like virtually every other bicycle. And this might just be the screaming, bike-riding comedian we need right now.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

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