Lee’s office responds to buses in SFV bike lane, Covid-19 claims 2020 LA River Ride, and marking Bike Month by yourself

Good news, sort of.

Steven Hallert reports he got a response from embattled Councilmember John Lee’s office to his complaint about Metro buses using a San Fernando Valley bike lane as a layover spot.

Albeit a very noncommittal one.

Mr. Hallett;

Thank you for contacting the Office of Counbcilmember John S. Lee with your concern about the bus layover location on Rinaldi. Your message was forwarded to me for response.

As that is a Metro bus layover location, I initially forwarded your email to them for response.  I do understand your concern. Our Office does work with Metro to evaluate and locate bus layover locations and this locale is no different.  As you may be aware, bus drivers do need to be able to stop along their route to take breaks, etc., and commercial areas adjacent to shopping centers meet their needs exceedingly well.

However, we also consider active transportation as a major part in the first/last mile process in transit so there should be some consideration taken of the existing bike lane impacts. As such, I have asked Metro to evaluate your concerns in an effort to determine if we can mitigate those impacts.

Metro should be responding directly to you shortly.

So that can be read as forwarding the complaint to the responsible department. Or just passing the buck.

We’ll see how Metro responds.

The sign in today’s photo suddenly appeared on my street, even though we’re miles from the nearest bike path. Maybe someone’s just getting ready in case we ever get one.

………

More bad news, as Covid-19 claims another victim.

The LA River Ride.

Below is part of an email from LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman last Friday.

We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the 20th Annual Los Angeles River Ride due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is the health and safety of all Angelinos especially the essential workers who are on the front lines of the crisis. We need to stay safe by staying the course. The good news is that we have been working closely with the Autry Museum to reschedule in early June of 2021. This postponement to the same approximate date next year gives LACBC, our sponsors, partners, vendors and participants along with the County of Los Angeles time to recover from the pandemic so we can host a River Ride worthy of it’s 20th Anniversary.

Of course we will honor all of the ride registrations for the new date in 2021! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and check out our LA River Ride Reschedule FAQs for additional information.

What he doesn’t say is that this could have a huge impact on the group’s already troubled finances, since the River Ride is the LACBC’s biggest fundraiser every year.

There are many people and organizations that need your help right now.

But try to find a little extra to send the LACBC’s way. Because the group that’s done so much to help everyone who rides a bike in LA County needs our help to get through this coming year.

………

Now there’s a good idea.

Robert Leone forwards a message from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition offering an option to celebrate biking next month, even though their Bike Week has been moved to September.

When – May Power

May is National Bike Month and we hope you will engage with our May Power riding program while maintaining proper physical distance from those who are not part of your household.

  • May 1 to 9 is Flower Power week. Please take a picture of flowers you see while riding and post with the hashtag #FlowerPowerSVBC.
  • May 10 to May 16 is People Power week. Take a picture of yourself on your bike and post with the hashtag #PeoplePowerSVBC.
  • May 17 to May 23 is Pedal Power week. Take a picture of your shoe and pedal and post with the hashtag #PedalPowerSVBC.
  • May 24 to May 31 is Wheel Power week. Take a picture of or through your bicycle wheel and post with the hashtag #WheelPowerSVBC.

You may have heard that Bike to Work Day is postponed from May 14 to September 24. However you can still celebrate biking on May 14 by treating it as Bike To Wherever Day! If you are not able to get out and bike on any other day, we really hope you’ll still get out and ride at least on this BTWD!

He also sends a crossword puzzle from Adventure Cycling, if you need a little entertainment off your bike.

Because doing a crossword while you ride may not be the best idea.

………

Today’s common theme is Bicycle Day, commemorating yesterday’s 77th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered the psychedelic effects of the drug as he rode his bike home in Basil, Switzerland.

Rolling Stone says celebrate the day by taking a trip, though I don’t think they meant on your bike.

The estate of former Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia issued a special limited edition poster to mark the occasion.

Curiously, an Indian website marks the day with ten facts about bicycling. But none about LSD, which is what the day is really about.

………

It looks like local officials are trying to send a granular message that the beachfront bike path is officially off limits.

That looks like the northern section of the path where it reenters Los Angeles, but there’s not enough detail to say for sure.

………

Looks like Finish the Ride is going virtual for now.

………

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

Once again, bike riders are under attack, after someone tossed tacks across a popular riding route in southeast London; Road.cc speculated that it may be related to complaints over people continuing to ride during England’s coronavirus lockdown.

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

Police in Selma, California busted a bike-riding parole on an arson spree, who set eight fires in just 30 minutes, for no apparent reason. And may have set more the day before.

It takes a major schmuck to crash into an elderly British Columbia man, then just straighten his handlebars and leave the man lying on the sidewalk.

………

Local

The LA Times says it’s possible walkers and bike riders outnumber drivers right now, and calls on Mayor Garcetti to do the right thing and give Angelenos enough space to walk, run or ride a bike with kids without having to worry about getting run down by one. Although that’s not likely now that the mayor is furloughing thousands of city workers.

Talk about not getting it. An opinion writer for the Southern California News Group demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of induced demand, while supporting sprawl and complaining that Caltrans will no longer fund projects that increase traffic demand. And noting that California “only” accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gases. Yes, she seriously seems to think that a single state accounting for a full 1% worldwide is a good argument.

It’s not your imagination. There’s more traffic now than during the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown.

Bike-friendly Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole resigned under fire after residents of the city complained about budget and staff cuts in reaction to the sudden loss of tax revenue due to the coronavirus shutdown.

You aren’t required to wear a mask when you ride, unless you’re riding in Beverly Hills, Glendale or Riverside County. But it’s not a bad idea.

A professor at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont calls on California not to ban bicycling as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

Former six-division boxing champ Floyd Mayweather is one of us, repeatedly riding his bike through DTLA with an entourage last week. Seriously, it’s great he’s out on a bike, but maybe save the group rides until the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

Reese Witherspoon rides with her scooter-riding son through the ‘Bu. Maybe they ran into Dakota Johnson, who went riding in Malibu with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and his kids.

 

State

The first 22 days of the coronavirus lockdown saved California $1 billion in traffic injury and fatality costs.

Mechanics at a San Diego motorcycle shop are credited with saving the life of a 74-year old man by using a jack to lift an SUV off him after he allegedly rode his bike off the sidewalk into traffic; the victim is hospitalized with multiple broken bones.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is calling on the city to improve safety and relieve pressure on overcrowded sidewalks in response to Covid-19. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

When a Fallbrook toddler suffers an arm injury in a collision while riding oin a bicycle child seat, you’d think they might actually mention that someone was pedaling that bike. But you’d be wrong.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike during the Covid-19 pandemic, while keeping others safe, too. Hint: ride alone when possible.

The American Prospect says the country is finding solace in bicycling in response to being cooped-up by Covid-19.

1986 BMX cult film Rad is making a comeback in 4k.

Kindhearted Oregon firefighters bought a new bike for a seven-year old boy and his sister, after rescuing the kid when he rode his bike off a 40-foot cliff.

Seattle considers banning cars from 15 miles of streets to make room for people.

Even Jackson, Wyoming is getting a protected bike lane.

New York’s city council intends to overrule the mayor, forcing the city to open a planned 75-miles of streets to bike riders and pedestrians whether or not he likes it. And he doesn’t.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh shows what any bike rider could have told them — the bigger and busier the road, the more stressful it is to ride.

The World Resources Institute says bicycling provides a critical lifeline during the coronavirus crisis.

London volunteers are turning out in force to deliver food to vulnerable people by bicycle.

An English teenager can ride a bike for the first time after she was fitted with the world’s first medically-certified 3D-printed bionic hand.

Bike thieves continue to target healthcare workers in the UK, as a Scottish nurse got off a 12-hour shift to find someone had stolen his ebike. However, the story is better for an English nurse, who got a new bike from kindhearted strangers within hours of having hers stolen.

An anonymous British garbageman says there are a lot more bicyclists on the road now that the country is under lockdown, claiming he has multiple close calls with riders every day.

The UK has issued new guidelines allowing roads to be closed to cars during the coronavirus crisis.

A Michelin-starred British chef says he’s more successful than ever after switching gears to deliver meals and baked good by bike.

A Dublin bike shop owner is showing support for frontline medical workers battling Covid-19 by offering free repairs.

Everyone else is finally catching up to the story we linked to a couple weeks ago, about pro cyclist Davide Martinelli using his bike to deliver medications to vulnerable residents of his Italian hometown, which doesn’t have a pharmacy. Seriously, I could have easily linked to a couple dozen sources for the same piece. 

Berlin is adding temporary bike lanes to a number of streets through May.

Bengaluru’s bicycle mayor is heading an effort to deliver necessities by bike to elderly people throughout the Indian metropolis.

You can move almost anything on a bicycle. Even the body of a homeless man in India, after no one else was willing to transport him because of his HIV+ status.

Bikeshare is booming in Wuhan, China as the city that sparked the worldwide coronavirus pandemic returns to life.

Aussie bike shops are recruiting new staffers as bike business booms.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas raised the equivalent of nearly $375,000 for Britain’s National Health Service by riding three twelve hour shifts on Zwift. On the other hand, Peter Sagan says he’s a real cyclist, not a virtual one.

Australian domestique Adam Hansen is spending his time off the bike making 3D-printed masks for health workers.

Cycling News says too many questions still remain around the postponed 2020 Tour de France, which is now scheduled to start in late August.

Former pro Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France — for a single stage in 1986 — is training for the Gran Fondo World Championships in Whistler, British Columbia this September, aiming for a top three finish in his age group.

 

Finally…

Pro tip: If you’re going to rob a bank, don’t ride away on your bike before you get the money. If you’re riding a bike with a gun tucked in your pants, you’re probably better off just keeping it there.

And maybe don’t post your photo online if it shows you breaking the country’s coronavirus quarantine.

Even if you are the world time trial champ.

………

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

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