California goes on lockdown while bicycling — and bike shops — get a pass, and some newly free coronavirus reading

The other shoe has finally dropped.

All 40 million Californians are now expected to remain at home except for essential activities for an unspecified time due to the coronavirus crisis, while Los Angeles residents are expected to be self-shut ins for at least the next month.

Except we’re all encouraged to get out and walk, hike, run or bike to maintain our health, mental and otherwise. As long as you maintain a six-foot distance from anyone other than the people you’re with.

And not in groups larger than ten.

Even Fox News says so.

And yes, you can still get your bike repaired, and likely get a new one. Which is the best possible way to support your local bike shop.

The same holds true in San Francisco, too.

Although LA County apparently needs to get onboard.

Thanks to Active SGV for the last tweet.

Photo by Serjj from Pexels.

………

Cycling magazine Rouleur says stay the eff home, and read their back issues for free.

………

Local

Very disappointing news, as the LA Times suggests we may have a clue why the FBI raided the offices of outgoing CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, one of the city’s most bike-friendly officials, and why his wife dropped out of the race to replace him. Because a political fundraiser pled guilty to delivering nearly a half million dollars in bribes to an unnamed member of the LA city council who seems to match Huizar’s description. Say it ain’t so, José. Say it ain’t so.

Michael Keaton is one of us, as he rides his ebike through Pacific Palisades.

CiclaValley rides the tunnels to nowhere in Shoemaker Canyon.

 

State

You could win $5,000 for claiming the KOM for the fastest woman to make it up the iconic Old La Honda climb outside Palo Alto before April 15. Somehow, Queen of the Mountain just sounds kinda sexist to me.

A Pleasanton bike club is calling on Caltrans to fix an intersection over a newly widened expressway where light cycles are too short for bike riders to get safely across, leaving them stranded in the middle of a busy street.

Bay Area mobility advocates recommend ways to build protected bike lanes that work for elderly and disabled people, as well as people on bicycles.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride safely during the coronavirus crisis. Most of which is how I usually ride anyway.

A bike industry insider says the coronavirus could result in a new bike boom, as people try bicycling and discover they like it.

Seated dockless e-scooter provider Wheels follows Lime’s lead, and suspends operations until next month — not just on the West Coast, but throughout the US.

The Cherokee Nation has announced the nine participants in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which covers 950 miles from Georgia to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. And remembers one of the greatest injustices and atrocities in American history.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money to support a youth cycling education program for children on Arizona’s Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations.

Idaho authorities have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a woman whose body was found in a ravine three days after she was hit while riding her bike.

A Boston bicyclist rides through the mostly carfree streets of downtown in the age of Covid-19. In case you’re wondering, I prefer to the non-hyphenated version carfree because it looks like carefree. Which it would is. 

Instead of the usual group ride, a Buffalo NY slow roll ride encourages people to ride together separately, while staying at least six feet apart.

No surprise here, as car crashes are down by a third in New York as people stay home from work, willingly or otherwise. And bicycling injuries are up 43% over the same week last year, with more people are taking to their bikes rather than risking the viral lottery on the city’s subways; New York’s mayor swears he’ll do something to help.

The jump in New York bikeshare ridership has ended, but is still at normal levels despite a massive drop in overall commuting rates. Meanwhile, the usually anti-bike New York Post says bikeshare is one of the safest ways to travel during the coronavirus crisis, but fails to note that riding your own bike is even safer.

Bike shops are once again considered essential as Philadelphia shuts down.

A Florida public radio commenter observes that cities are realizing that roads aren’t just for cars. And says coronavirus is a speed bump, not a stop sign.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske reports that all charges have been dropped against the 18-year old bike rider arrested for fleeing from an officer and resisting arrest for the crime of rolling a stop sign. As well they should be. And the officer should be given a little retraining. Okay, maybe a lot.

 

International

Two-year old World Bike offers paid, guided mountain bike tours in Nepal and Guatemala, with Peru and Lesotho planned for later this year, using the funds to help get women in those countries into the sport.

Mexico City may follow the lead of Bogota, Columbia by expanding the city’s bike paths virtually overnight to slow the rate of coronavirus infections. Los Angeles could take advantage of the traffic slowdown to do the same thing, so it would be ready when the city comes back to life. 

A former Canadian soldier who served in Syria, Bosnia and two tours in Afghanistan received a $1 million settlement from the city of Vancouver, after he have to leave the military due to injuries he suffered when he was forced to jump off his bicycle to avoid a driver who ran a stop sign. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t explain why the city was held liable for injuries that would seem to have been caused by the actions of the driver.

No bias here. Residents of a wealthy English town say bike riders who don’t wear hi-viz make them feel “unsafe” while they drive their expensive SUVs. Evidently confusing their safety with that of their potential victims.

France has banned bicycling entirely in an effort to fight the new coronavirus.

A German professor at an Indian University is remembered fondly as the Bicycle Lady, riding her bike across the length and breadth of the campus, while arguing that cars don’t belong there. I like her already.

A Japanese man is on trial for sneaking into a bike shop to steal the equivalent of $910, and killing a female employee when she screamed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A community paper in Highlands, CA mourns the loss of this year’s Redlands Classic, but notes there was no other choice.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Olympic qualifying, forcing USA Cycling to make adjustments on the fly.

Five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Hinault says we shouldn’t hesitate to cancel the race it that’s what’s called for, because life is more important than cycling.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs spokes?

And Merry Christmas, indeed. Even if spring just started.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

 

2 comments

  1. Matt Stewart says:

    I often biked through the intersection of Isabel and Vineyard that you mentioned (usually as an eastbound left turn as part of the Bakery group ride every Wednesday when I lived in the Bay Area). Isabel (the north/south street) was widened from one lane each way to two. Bike lanes were built and for me, it feels safer to ride there now. Turn lanes were widened. A pedestrian refuge island was added on the south leg crosswalk because the crosswalk is absurdly wide (137′). It was actually 154′ before the project due to a skew.

    The 10 second “minimum green” referenced in the article may be accurate per California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) guidelines. My guess is the recent issue is that the bicycle detection loops are not working correctly and the green that has been served is less, leaving the cyclists out to dry. However, on wide intersections like this, even the “minimum green” may not feel safe to many cyclists, or when riding in groups (because the minimum green is not extended for additional cyclists, and the yellow time is calculated and provided for motor vehicles rather than human powered ones).

    Here’s some info about signal timing if anyone is curious for advocacy efforts: After the project, the westbound bicycle crossing distance from the nearside limit line to the far side edge of conflicting traffic (southbound through lane) increased from 78′ to 124′. These distances do not account for the southbound right turn lane or west side crosswalk, per the MUTCD. The MUTCD states that a “minimum green” time “should” be provided for bicyclists that is greater than (6 seconds) + (6 feet + Width of Crossing)/(14.7 feet/second) – Yellow – All Red. For this westbound approach that would be 6+(6+124)/14.7-4.5-1 = 9.3 seconds. The idea behind this is that a bicyclist would require 6 seconds to get up to speed (assumed to be 14.7 feet per second which is 10 mph). The minimum timing is meant to ensure that bicyclists traveling at this speed would be protected from conflicting traffic. Unfortunately, the minimum green would only serve the first bicyclist arriving at the limit line. Also, the yellow time is calculated for vehicles driving at the speed limit and leaves anyone on a human powered vehicle out to dry.

  2. David says:

    Good news that bike repair will stay open!
    I will be riding my bike a lot more during this crisis for sure.

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