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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Learn about rebalancing the streets for people this Thursday.

………

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

………

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.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

One comment

  1. David says:

    Thanks for the Links to Sandler and Rod Stewart cycling–great stuff!

    And Yes, it’s one of the few times you can cycle in Beverly Hills without getting run off the road–really anywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: