Socially responsible transportation in the age of coronavirus, Los Angeles NC meetings on hold, and Woon prelim Tues

The good news is — maybe the only good news right now — that riding a bike is perhaps the most socially responsible form of transportation in these depressingly Covid-19, coronavirus shaded days.

Unlike public transportation, ride sharing or even walking, riding on your own provides automatic social distancing, with virtually no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. And at the same time, strengthening your immune system, respiratory system and overall health.

Even riding with a friend, it’s very easy to keep your distance from one another.

The only time it becomes difficult is on a large group ride, where you’re likely to find yourself far less than six feet from others.

As for driving a car, it’s automatically self-isolating as long as you’re the only one in it.

But it’s hard to describe it as socially responsible, even in better times.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the surge in bicycling as New Yorkers turn away from transit; Salon says bikeshare use is up 67% compared to last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has good advice — and a reading list — for riding in the age of Covid-19, including wiping the bike down with antibacterial wipes if you use bikeshare. Which goes for scooters, too.

Good advice from Bicycling on how to ride safely amid coronavirus concerns, including that you’re better off doing your riding outside right now. And keep those damn loogies and snot rockets to yourself.

Portland bike shops face the difficult question of whether to stay open or close, while Seattle alternative paper The Stranger, which is facing its own existential crisis, says at least bicycling is less stressful now.

A new study in the Lancet suggests that if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure, you’re pretty well screwed. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

On the other hand, the 79-year old publisher of Outside says the coronavirus is overblown to pump up media sales, and says it’s only “scary to a degree” because there’s no vaccine for it. Tell that to the 6,500 people who’ve already died from it worldwide. And their loved ones. Schmuck. 

And a writer for Psychology Today says there’s an upside to the virus going viral, because old people like him are the most likely to die, and have had good, long lives. So he looks forward to going out “listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on my iPod,” after polishing off a Napa Cabernet. Maybe someone could point out that viruses are, by definition, viral. Which is pretty much the kindest thing I’d want to say to him right now. 

Meanwhile, Calgary provides an easy to understand yardstick for what’s a safe distance.

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Forget making your case for bicycling at your local neighborhood council anytime soon.

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The rescheduled prelim for the woman charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is supposed to take place tomorrow.

But don’t be surprised if it’s rescheduled once again because of the coronavirus.

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Thanks to Robert Leone, who’s been so busy forwarding San Diego-area news this weekend that he gets his own little section.

First up is an update on road closures for Camp Pendleton riders, courtesy of the Camp Pendleton community liaison.

  1. Basilone Road and Anglim Court between commissary and San Onofre 2 and 3, housing is flooded, traffic can still go through for now.
  2. Beach Club Road closed:  People can access through state side gate per MCCS.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd, vicinity Box Canyon East bound lane closest to shoulder is closed due to falling debris. One lane is still open for travel East bound and Two lanes open for West Bound travel.
  4. Stuart Mesa Road is open.
  5. Beach club Road is closed.
  6. Las Pulgas Gate closed – Only open to emergency vehicles. Cyclists may use the I-5 shoulder to ride if access to the bike path is closed.
  7. De-Luz Road at Sequoia Road closed. De-Luz Road closed all the way before the training area by O’Neil Heights.
  8. Lake O’Neil housing can be accessed by from both direction on Santa Margarita Road and De-Luz Road.

Please check Facebook for updates.

Next comes notice that San Diego’s Bike to Work Day has at least temporarily bitten the dust due to — you guessed it — our friend Covid-19.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition has pulled the plug on many of their activities for now.

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

A bike-riding London man was convicted of murder for stabbing a 14-year old boy to death for his Nikes.

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Local

Kate Hudson is one of us. Though someone might tell her bike helmets work better if you actually wear them.

The planned U.S. Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica will likely run right through the campus of Pomona College.

 

State

Kendall Jenner is one of us, too, as she takes to an ebike in Palm Springs. And looks like she actually knows how to ride it, although her take on Covid-19 got panned.

A pair of bike lovers are opening a new brewery and taproom in Thousand Oaks tomorrow. Assuming they actually get to, under the circumstances.

This year’s edition of the Eroica California scheduled for next month in Cambria finds itself sacrificed on the Covid-19 altar.

 

National

My brother ran Alaska’s famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, finishing three. But he never rode a fat tire bike in the Iditarod Trail Invitational along the same frozen trail.

He gets it. A Minnesota columnist says drivers “learning bike-passing and road-sharing best practices” may be the best way to improve safety and encourage bike riding. Or maybe second best, after providing safe, protected and effective bikeway network.

A Providence RI site films a busy street post-road diet, and is shocked! shocked! to discover drivers outnumber bike riders in the middle of winter 191 to 1. Never mind that most road diets are conducted to improve safety and reinvigorate communities by reducing road capacity, and bike lanes are merely a very beneficial tool to do it.

Owners of a Delaware funeral home complain that a new post-protected bike lane is affecting their business by blocking them from parking in front of the funeral parlor. Or maybe they just want to force bikes back into the street to drum up more business.

He gets it. A Pasadena letter writer says don’t blame the victim in a bicycling fatality, because bicyclists have a legal right to the road. No, the Maryland Pasadena. And no, I didn’t know there was one, either.

A North Carolina columnist complains about “the elitist scourge known as ‘road diet,'” which he claims it intended to force a healthy lifestyle down their throats for the sake of a tiny minority.” So evidently, people who ride bikes — like students and the soon-to-be laid off busboys who work in the local bars and restaurants — are elitists. Good to know.

 

International

How Sidi got its swirly.

The BBC offers a detailed overview of what they call the world’s most flexible form of transport — the bicycle.

A British columnist experiences what many of us have, as a well-worn article of bikewear gets him reminiscing about his favorite rides.

A Welsh website suggests five cheap and easy bike upgrades you can do yourself while you self-isolate, including building your bike a house.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an Irish doctor’s bike while he’s covering a 13-hour shift for a colleague forced into coronavirus isolation. Or just steal someone’s bike, period.

Yes, please. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is building a high-density residential district for 12,000 people, where cars will be banned and bikes will rule.

Bike riders get to see a lot of things most motorists miss. Like the pope taking a walk through Rome, for instance.

Rideable bikes are down 90% for a New Zealand dockless bikeshare provider since they launched three years ago, which appear to be prone to wheels collapsing; an expert says the bikes are unsafe, while the company blames their own customers.

A Kiwi website remembers the 1930s world traveling bike-rider and performer the Woman in Red.

Aussie drivers complain about bike riders on the streets. Which may be why they’re driving on the bike paths, too.

A 66-year old Singaporean secondhand bike seller was busted for his sideline of giving free massages and exorcism rituals to women, as an excuse to molest and film them.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice stage race came to an end on Saturday, as Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann claimed the individual title after Sunday’s final stage was cancelled.

European pros won’t be allowed to even train in Spain for the next two weeks, as the country cracks down on all activity to battle the coronavirus. Although the sport’s governing body doesn’t seem to be taking it all that seriously yet.

Speaking of UCI, they plan to backdate Olympic qualifying, which will screw anyone who hadn’t qualified for the cycling events by March 3rd.

Dutch pro Mathieu Van der Poel gets it, saying cancellation of the early cycling season is a disappointment, but there are much bigger problems in the world right now.

The organizers of next month’s Redlands Classic followed the Tour of the Gila in pulling the plug on this year’s 36th annual edition.

 

Finally

Your next Mecedes-AMG could have just two wheels — if you can afford to drop around five figures on one. The sex shops may be closing, but at least the bike shops will stay open.

And one worth repeating, as a young Frank Zappa plays a bike instead of riding it.

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