Archive for May 29, 2020

Bike shops are booming while LA does nothing to meet demand, and the Covid bike boom keeps getting bigger

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence, due to an unanticipated ride on diabetic blood sugar rollercoaster.

Yet another reminder to do whatever it takes to get your own blood sugar under control before it’s too late, because you seriously don’t want this crap.

Never mind that diabetes puts you at greater risk of serious complications from Covid-19.

Fun times.


Yes, it’s true.

For weeks now, we’ve been linking to stories reporting about a nationwide bike boom brought on by the coronavirus crisis.

And lately, about how that boom is leading to a looming lack of bicycles across the US, as local bike shops sell out of their existing stock, and the usual endless bike pipeline unexpectedly dries up.

That was confirmed locally when I spoke with Carlos Morales, my brother from another mother and owner of Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa, who says he’s never seen anything like it.

According to Morales, he’s spoken with longtime bike shop owners who say there hasn’t been anything like this since the bike boom of the ’70s.

He says his shop has been so busy that he sometimes has to lock the front door to prevent overcrowding, or just catch his breath for a few minutes.

Morales has been lucky so far that he’s been able to develop sources for bikes and parts outside the usual distributors, and has been able to keep his store fully stocked as a result. In fact, he says his shop is overflowing with tubes and tires right now.

Many others haven’t been so lucky, telling Morales that the bikemakers and distributors they usually rely on have run out of bicycles, and aren’t expecting to restock until late summer or fall.

Which could make for a very long summer.

I heard the same thing from another source yesterday, when I exchanged emails with Alison Littlefield, owner of Utah’s Contender Bicycles.

Yes, Utah has been the same. It is wild. In mid-March when all of this hit, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that bike biz would boom. It is just crazy and we should all consider ourselves very, very lucky. In the winter even before COVID, I felt like we were a little heavy on inventory but I am sure happy we were.

Maybe this is exactly what the bicycle industry needs.

Just a few short months ago, many shops were hurting. It wasn’t unusual to see reports of longtime shops going under, or owners throwing in the towel after deciding it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

But many of those bike shops that have managed to stay open during the coronavirus lockdowns are reaping the rewards.

Even those without bikes left to sell are struggling to keep up with service requests.

Morales says repair work at his shop is now taking about five days. Which is short compared to other SoCal shops he’s spoken with, where it can take as long as 25 days just to get a bike on the bench, let alone do the actual work.

Of course, the question is what will happen when businesses reopen, and drivers flood back onto the streets.

Other cities have installed temporary bike lanes during the pandemic, with an eye towards making them permanent when this is finally over. Or building out the city’s bike plan while streets are quieter and the work can be done faster.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is doing nothing.

No bike lanes. No progress on Vision Zero. Not even the “comprehensive Citywide network of active transportation corridors” that were promised just a few months ago, when the mayor unveiled his latest iteration of the city’s Green New Deal with typical fanfare.

With the typical lack of followthrough so far.

That matters.

Because the clock is ticking. It takes about three months for bicycling to become a habit for a new rider, according to Morales.

And as we’ve all too often seen, once someone gets frightened off the streets, they seldom come back.

Right now, we have a once in a generational opportunity to reshape our streets, and change the way people get around this city.

But so far, Los Angeles is blowing it.

Which means when motorists come back, we’ll be back in exactly the same mess we were in before.

And our streets will continue to grind to a halt, until no one can go anywhere.

Bike shop photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.


I found Ms. Littlefield by following one of those typically winding online trails, fueled by lockdown boredom, which somehow led to a search for corgi bike jerseys.

No, really.

And unexpectedly turned up this.

Needless to say, I had to have it.

But when I couldn’t find it on the Contender website, Littlefield explained I was a few years too late. The jersey was for long past fundraiser for the Utah Humane Society.

So for now, I’ll have to content myself with gazing admiringly at the store’s PR staff.

But if they ever bring that jersey back, they can just come and take my money.


More on the boom in bicycling.

KCRW talks with the founder of Linus Bikes about the bike boom, and whether it will continue.

A Beverly Hills newspaper says the bicycling trend is growing stronger in the city. Which is something no one would have expected just a few years ago; although you’ll have to click through and download the online edition of the paper to access the story.

The numbers for Brooklyn, and New York as a whole, are way up as more riders take to the streets.

A Florida bike shop says they had four months of sales in April alone.

HuffPo questions whether America’s interest in carfree streets will outlast the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s not just the US. Bikes are booming in South America, as well, from Bogota to Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, tone-deaf Uber responds to the nationwide bike shortage by sending thousands of Jump ebikes to the scrapheap.


CiclaValley and child get their 15 minutes of joyful fame.


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

A British man will spend the next 12 weeks in a back brace after a driver appeared to intentionally knock him off his bike before fleeing the scene; a woman says a driver deliberately swerved at her as she rode the same road on the same day. Having spent a similar amount of time in a back brace, I can testify that it’s no fun.

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

Police in Humboldt County are looking for a bike-riding porch pirate.

A popular, long-time Colorado bike shop worker died in a struggle with police, who tased him as he brandished a knife.



Former LA city planner Dick Platkin relates what he’s learned about Los Angeles on his daily bike rides during the coronavirus lockdown. And the picture ain’t pretty.

Slow Streets are catching on fast in LA’s Mid City West neighborhood.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare remains free during the coronavirus crisis, thanks to a grant from the city.



Slow Streets are spreading across San Diego, with the county coming soon.

An alleged sexual assault suspect was beaten to death near a Ventura bike path after the victim cried out for help.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a 40-year old man died following a collision with another bike rider on Guadalupe River Trail. And no, he was not wearing a helmet, even though crashes like this are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Sad news from Petaluma, where a father of two young children was killed riding his bike by a driver stoned on prescription drugs, who crossed onto the wrong side of the road.

More sad news, as a 63-year old woman was killed in a bicycling crash in Chico.



Thrillist swears you can get a great bike for under $500. Which is nearly as cheap as a bicycle-shaped object from a big box store.

A local business paper talks with the Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League about the problems facing nonprofits. Like maybe a name that suggests competition rather than advocacy.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a difficult and painful meditation on racism, public space and transportation activism in the wake of Amy Cooper and the police killing of George Floyd. Sadly, cars aren’t the only danger people of color face on the streets. As a nation, we have to do better.

A new study from the University of Washington confirms that bikeshare is getting commuters to leave their cars at home.

A Boulder CO bike rider who barely survived a hit-and-run driver has advice on how to drive on coronavirus-light streets. Hint: Put down your phone and take you damn foot off the gas pedal.

A Chicago bike rider was critically injured when he was struck by a 16-year old boy who jacked an SUV at gunpoint; the same SUV nearly ran down three other riders, as well.

Slow Streets are coming to Chicago, too.

Something is seriously wrong when you can kill a 13-year old kid riding his bike in upstate New York, and walk away without so much as a ticket.

He gets it. A professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University says poor and black “invisible bicyclists” need to be part of post-pandemic transport planning, too.

Bikeshare provider Zagster is pulling out of the Atlanta area due to the coronavirus pandemic; they pulled the plug on my hometown, too.

New Orleans’ bikeshare system could be in jeopardy as Uber transfers ownership to Lime, which doesn’t seem it want it, either.

Leave it to New Orleans not to pass up a chance to get naked. Even though this year’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride has been cancelled most places, Big Easy riders will still strip down and saddle up, albeit in multiple rides of less than ten people.

Peter Flax is up to his usual moving work, as he takes an emotional, in-depth look at one-legged Paralympic cycling champ Leo Rodgers, calling him “the kind of cyclist we all need right now.” Meanwhile, the local Tampa FL paper takes pride in a hometown hero making the cover of Bicycling.



A new study shows even short amounts of bicycling activates a “cellular vacuum cleaner” to clear out muscular damage to keep things in working order. Although it would be a lot more appealing if they didn’t call it the “death marker protein.”

Bike Radar has tips for getting into, or back into, biking to work, while Cycling Weekly explains what you need to know before buying your first bike. Like it will only make you want another one. And another.

A Vancouver weekly says the city is setting the standard for North American bicycling.

Brit bike icon Chris Boardman is calling for presumed liability to protect bike riders in a post Covid-19 world.

It takes a real schmuck to just keep going after plowing into a handicapped British bicyclist riding a handcycle. Or in this case, two motorcycle-riding schmucks.

Great idea. A Scottish inventor and an Olympian are teaming up to crowdfund new bicycling sunglasses with built-in mirrors to see what’s behind you. Now if they just make them in a prescription version, I’m in. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Scary story from Ireland’s former minister of state, who thought he was going to die on the side of the road after breaking his neck when his bike hit a tree stump.

Bicycling gets an inside look at Sweden’s MIPS as they work to prevent damage from concussions. Although sometimes a bike helmet doesn’t look like one.

Offers have been pouring in for the 15-year old Indian girl who carried her injured father over 700 miles home on the back of her bicycle. But all she wants is to go back to school.

A South African cyclist says the country’s roads are a war zone after a negligent driver nearly ended his life.

An Aussie political official has been posting online about riding to work in recent weeks. But she failed to mention she was riding because she’d lost her driver’s license earlier this year for multiple speeding tickets.


Competitive Cycling

German pro André Greipel is teaming with Strava for the Ride Around the World challenge on June 3rd’s World Bicycle Day to fight ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Spanish pro Gustavo César Veloso lost two bikes and gear worth over $11,000 when thieves jumped the wall to his house.



Everything you always wanted to know about Everesting but were afraid to ask. Is that a billy club in your bike shorts, or are you just happy to…well, you know.

And fix those squeaky brakes, already.


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

Bike rider killed in Coachella collision; third SoCal bicycling death in two days

Yet another person has been killed riding a bicycle in Southern California.

According to KSEQ-3, a bike rider was struck by a driver on Tyler Street near Avenue 54 in Coachella around 9:18 pm yesterday, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police report the driver stopped, and cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time, including the identity — or even the sex — of the victim.

But that’s more information than the Desert Sun reported, which apparently thought the crash involved a zombie car, since they didn’t even mention the driver.

A street view shows a dusty desert intersection, with a pair of two lane roads controlled by a four way stop.

This is how Victor Bale describes it.

This is an area I also ride often. It’s mostly an agricultural area with many date trees. There are no bike lanes, but with a low level of traffic, it’s relatively safe as drivers usually just move over into the oncoming traffic lanes. I must mention that there are no street lights in that entire area and at night it’s not a place to ride. My guess is this person was perhaps homeless or poor, and a bike was the only form of transportation available to him or her.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the third person killed riding a bike in Southern California in the past two days, following deaths in Irvine and San Diego on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

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

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Safe and beautiful bike lanes are possible, virtual Motherload film fest Saturday, and the war on bikes shows no sign of detent

It’s a relatively light news day, so let’s get right to it.


Michael Wagner sends a photo of Claremont’s popular Foothill Boulevard separated bike lane in all its spring glory, proving protected bike lanes can be safe and beautiful.

The author of the popular CLR Effect website concludes with this thought.

You know as well as anyone to not hold your breath on any municipal improvements for cycling, but we can hope. Maybe seeing what has been done other places will inspire someone, somewhere.

We can only hope.

Unfortunately, the small photo doesn’t do Wagner’s photo justice. So I’ll include a bigger version down below, just because. 


Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a virtual screening of the award-winning cargo bike documentary Motherload this Saturday.


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

Police in Illinois busted a 19-year old man for pushing a man off his bicycle and leaving the scene afterwards.

A British mountain biker says he’s lucky to be alive after riding face-first into a barbed wire booby trap strung across a popular trail.



LA’s proposed new budget includes a $3.4 million cut to Vision Zero, which is already dramatically underfunded; CD4 city council candidate Nithya Ramen points out that two-thirds of the city’s $233 million in Covid-19 induced budget cuts could be avoided if LAPD officers simply agreed to put off a raise they negotiated last year.

Los Angeles Magazine questions whether LA’s e-scooter craze will survive the pandemic, as the wings come off Santa Monica-based Bird.

A new petition is calling for more bike lanes in South Pasadena.

So much for that. Pasadena is now allowing cars back on the popular rose Bowl Loop, after weeks of carfree running, walking and bicycling. Not to mention breathing.



San Diego’s first Slow Street opened to mixed reviews in Pacific Beach.

A 33-year old homeless man suffered major injuries in a Ventura hit-and-run Sunday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Subaru.



Electrek recommends the best ebikes you can still get on Amazon, starting at just $529.

CNN explains everything you need to know before you start riding again. As long as all you need to know is where and what to buy.

Boulder CA decides that 20 is plenty when it comes to traffic speeds.

Tragically, there’s still no sign of the Colorado mother who disappeared while riding her bike on Mother’s Day.

A Texas driver was smoking weed just minutes before slamming into a seven-year old boy riding his bike, leaving the kid with serious injuries.

An Oklahoma driver faces a first degree manslaughter charge for killing a bike rider while speeding and driving distracted. The police investigation also concluded that the driver didn’t give the victim the required three-foot passing distance. Which would seem obvious, since he ran into him.

Sad news from New York, where a 79-year old Staten Island grandfather lost his life, not because of the coronavirus pandemic, but because he left his home on his bike to get some lemons.

Vice explains how New York ghost bikes come to be. Although if we could just skip the first step in the process, we wouldn’t need the rest.

The Wall Street Journal says bicycling is proving resilient as New Yorkers flee transit during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, you probably can’t read it, thanks to the paper’s extreme paywall.

A New Jersey columnist says yes, he’s riding a 40-year old women’s bike, and who cares?

Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish plans to build 100 miles of bike lanes and 250 mile of offroad bike paths. Which only comes a few decades too late to do any good when I lived there.



A senior writer for Forbes says no matter how you look at it, bicycles are the future of transportation — even if we have to redesign our cities to accommodate them.

Cycling Tips explains how to clean your bike. considers how to pick the best bike cam, and recommends their favorites, though you’ll have to convert the prices into dollars. A bike cam is your best insurance if you get a ticket or hit by a driver. Even if it always seems to be off when anything actually happens.

Cycling News takes a look at several safe and stylish bike helmets designed for city streets.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole the bike a British man rode to Istanbul with his new wife; his best friend had inherited it following the man’s tragic death in an Egyptian boating accident, after he pushed his wife and several others to safety.

A bike rider in the UK was forced to tread water for over an hour after falling into a canal, before someone finally heard his calls for help.

After being quarantined in an Indian hospital for 55 days, a Hungarian bicyclist attempted to leave town, only to be stopped by police and brought back to the quarantine center.


Competitive Cycling

Belize is mourning the death of Glen “The Big Man” Gordon; the 65-year old was one of the country’s leading cyclists in the 1970s.

We mentioned yesterday that a 71-year old Montreal bike rider died when he fell after swerving to avoid a pedestrian; today, we learned Gilbert Bessin was an icon of Canadian masters cycling.


As promised, here’s that bigger version of the lead photo — and you can click on it to make it bigger still.

Thanks again to Michael Wagner for sharing it. And hats off to that first rider for wearing a mask. 



Don’t use terms like Carmaggedon if you don’t know what it means — or how to spell it. We may have to deal with crappy streets and distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about grizzly bears.

And don’t kick a water buffalo while riding a motorbike.


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

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in hit-and-run; driver moved the victim before fleeing

SoCal streets are getting more dangerous as our cities reopen from their Covid-19 slumber.

The latest example comes from San Diego, where a man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in the city’s Rolando neighborhood Tuesday evening.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding west on the sidewalk near the Salvation Army Kroc Center on University Ave around 7:05 Tuesday evening, when he allegedly turned in front a westbound driver at University and Alamo Drive.

The driver then got out of his car and moved the victim back into the street, before fleeing the scene. Although why he moved him, and from where, is unclear.

It’s also not clear why the victim would have turned in front of the driver’s car when Alamo exits to the right off westbound University, rather than the left.

The victim died after being taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest; he’s described only as a man who appears to be in his late 40s.

Police eventually found the suspect’s car abandoned a little over a mile away, at El Cajon Boulevard and 68th Street.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon to help clear up the apparent discrepancies.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: Police arrested a 30-year old man later the same night, alleging he was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash. 

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Bike riding celebrities flood the streets, LA Slow Streets picking up speed, and bicycling with a disability

Today’s common theme is bicycles and the celebs that love them.

LA Ram’s safety Taylor Rapp is one of us, riding 125 miles over the holiday weekend — including one 103-mile century.

Snoop Dogg’s wife is one of us, too. Which gave me the best smile I’ve had in days.

Yes, Tyler the Creator is one of us. And cooler than most of us.

Christian Bale donned a mask but skipped a helmet as he rode along with his five-year old son in Los Angeles.

The Bieb did his riding bare faced and bare footed.

Harry Styles rode through the ‘Bu with a bare head and sans face mask.

On the other hand, Joe Jonas armored up with a mask and skid lid for his ride through LA. But someone should tell him bike riding is good for his pregnant wife Sophie Turner, too.

Young and Restless star Robert Adamson was one of us, before some jerk stole his Blue Specialized Levo mountain bike in West LA.

Clearly, riding a bike is nothing new for Britain’s royal family.

Chris Dangerous, drummer for the Swedish rock band The Hives, is one of us.

And we already knew LeBron James was one of us. But evidently, so is his entire family, as they took a holiday weekend ride through empty LA streets.

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.


LAist says LA’s Slow Streets program is picking up speed as it spreads through the city, even if some people respond by attacking the signs.

Evidently, though, a mostly closed street has the power to soothe an outraged mind.


If you ride a bike despite a disability — or maybe because of one — NACTO wants to hear from you.

Speaking of which, this woman is living her best life on a mountain bike, despite a crippling case of juvenile arthritis.


The 15-year old Indian girl who carried her injured father over 700 miles back home on the back of her bicycle continued to make news over the weekend.

India’s Cycling Federation has reached out to offer her a tryout with the national cycling team, which she rejected to focus on her studies.

However, some people criticized that offer as a PR stunt that demonstrated “the worst kind of insensitivity.”

And Ivanka Trump took fire for praising the girl, instead of criticizing the transport shutdown that forced her, and countless others, to ride hundreds of miles to get back to their homes.


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

Police in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are investigating after a man shouted racist slurs and physically attacked a 15-year old boy of Asian descent as the boy rode his bike, accusing him of “spreading the virus.”

A British columnist seems to think the idea of stringing piano wire across a roadway at neck height to clothesline a family of bike riders is thigh-slappingly funny. He would be wrong about that.

Police in the UK are looking for a motorcyclist who kicked a man off his bicycle for no apparent reason.

Horrible news from India, where a vegetable vendor was beaten to death by a road raging driver after accidentally colliding with his car.


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

Laguna Canyon trails are taking a beating due to illegal mountain biking modifications.

A Florida man is ticked off — and deservedly so — at the sidewalk-riding bike rider who threw ice at the man’s deaf wife because she couldn’t hear him yelling at her to get out of the way as she walked her service dog.

Costa Rican bicyclists ignored the country’s health minister and took to the streets in groups, despite coronavirus restrictions.

And don’t do this to anyone. Especially when the driver is a columnist for the LA Times. And who the hell is Becky, anyway?



Bike paths in LA county are finally, and officially, open.

Metro responds to the coronavirus crisis with a motion to allow open streets funds to be spent on Slow Streets, temporary outdoor dining, and tactical urbanism projects. Meanwhile, the Slow Streets movement is spreading to Los Angeles County, too.

Speaking of Metro, they’re adding bus-only lanes on 5th Street, 6th Street, Grand Avenue, Olive Street and Aliso Street in DTLA. Bikes can use them too, as long as you don’t mind having a bus up your ass. Correction: In scanning this story, I missed author Joe Linton’s suggestion that bike lanes could be added or moved to the left side on one-way streets, or made protected on others, to avoid conflicts with buses.

And speaking of LA County, they’re moving forward with plans for a 2.5 mile bike path, and a 1.8 mile multi-use path, as well as two bike, walk and equestrian bridges, to connect with the San Gabriel River Trail through the cities of Southeast LA County.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will carry out another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation tomorrow, from 7 am to 11 am. So you only have to mind the letter of the law for four hours.

BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners introduces Malibu’s launch of the new Go Safely California program to prevent pedestrian deaths. Although if they really want to prevent pedestrian deaths — as well as bike riders — they should do something about that killer highway that passes for the town’s Main Street.



Officials abruptly closed a section of Fullerton’s Wilshire Bike Boulevard to bikes and cars with no warning to allow restaurants to expand out into the street; the closure is expected to last through November.

A Santa Barbara man is riding 22 centuries this year to raise $100,000 for diabetic research, in honor of his ten-year old son, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes six years ago.

Sad news from Fresno County, where a 72-year old Clovis man was killed when he allegedly swerved his bicycle in front of a motorcyclist.

Oakland’s Slow Streets program continues to evolve, adding Essential Places to enable safer access to essential neighborhood services, including grocery stores and food distribution sites.

More bad news, after a 65-year old woman was killed when she swerved right to avoid a car coming from the opposite direction, but crashed into her riding partner and fell in front of it.

A Humboldt County woman is itching to get back to her round-the-world bike tour after her trip was shut down when the Argentine border was.



Maybe Phoenix, Arizona’s 12News can explain how a bike and a car could collide with no humans involved. But if there was no one on the bike or in the car, who was seriously injured?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever slammed their car into a bike-riding Arizona family and fled the scene, leaving a three-year old boy to die in the street.

A Wisconsin man refused to leave a Dairy Queen drive through after they refused to serve him because he was on a bicycle, instead of in a car. So they called the police to have him removed, instead of just selling him a damn hamburger or dipped cone, or whatever the hell it was he wanted.

An Indiana nonprofit teamed with a martial arts academy to give 100 bicycles to families in need.

Hats off to a Texas university cycling team, which is using the interruption in the racing season to deliver groceries to seniors during the pandemic.

New York’s leading advocacy group hopes the city’s new open streets plan leads to a new approach to the city’s streets.

They get it. The Boston Globe says cities should use this time to re-imagine a post-pandemic commute.

Florida police have found the boy who was caught on camera stealing the bicycle that was an 88-year old woman’s only form of transportation; while they haven’t recovered her bike, kindhearted community members chipped in to buy her a new one.



Even the United Nations sees bicycles as the key to a post-Covid-19 green recovery.

Cycling News explains how to find the right commuter bike. Hint: The best bike for your commute is the one you have.

A Montreal man became the city’s first bicycling casualty in the past two years after falling when he swerved to avoid a pedestrian.

A Toronto writer says Carmaggedon is coming when people emerge from their Covid-19 shutdown, but bike lanes can prevent it — but only if the city “has the guts to use them.”

If the UK wants to experience a golden age of cycling, it will have to make women feel safer riding bikes.

A very forgiving British Catholic bishop says it’s his fault he fractured his skull after getting doored, because he didn’t wear a helmet. A dooring is always the driver’s fault, for not making sure the open door won’t interfere with other road users before opening the damn thing. And if he or she had, the bishop wouldn’t have needed one.

Dutch brand VanMoof is riding the crest of the bike boom wave.

A Spanish bicyclist is finally on her way home, after getting stuck in an Indian city for 78 days due to the country’s coronavirus lockdown; she had ridden through 18 Asian and European countries before her journey came to a sudden end.

A late blooming Philippine bike rider says it’s not enough to just throw some paint down and call it a bike lane.

Authorities found the body of an Australian man in the bushland over a month after he disappeared while riding his bike, terming his death “suspicious” while they search for his missing bicycle.

A Sydney, Australia man explains how he went from suffering a heart attack to becoming a daily bike commuter.

Police stats show cops in Australia’s New South Wales are using the state’s draconian helmet law as a cudgel to target poor and vulnerable people, while avoiding enforcement of the law in wealthier — aka whiter — neighborhoods.

It’s true. Aussie traffic counts show people in the country are riding bikes more than ever before.


Competitive Cycling

This is what it feels like to fly off the road — and off the mountain — in the middle of a Giro descent.

We have our third new Everesting record in the past two weeks. But this time it’s on the women’s side, as American cyclist Katie Hall broke the existing women’s record by a massive 2.5 hours.

Despite his fall from grace, Lance is still a millionaire fifty times over, thanks to a well-timed hundred grand investment in Uber. Meanwhile, a sports site catches up with fellow doper, ex-Tour de France winner, CBD purveyor and all-around Lance nemesis Floyd Landis.

And no, you will probably never look that good on a bike. But it doesn’t hurt to try.



Who needs a dating app when you can fall in love over mountain bikes? If you’re going to sell drugs from your bike, maybe cover up those tatts so you aren’t so easy to identify.

And Alex Trebek gets it.


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

70-year old woman killed in Irvine crash; 7th Orange County bike death this year

Orange County, we have a problem.

Just five months into the year, the county has already seen seven people killed riding their bikes.

The latest came this morning, when a 70-year old woman lost her life at the hands of motorist, who was barely mentioned in news reports.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck somewhere near the near the intersection of Portola Parkway and the 261 toll road around 9:59 am.

She was pronounced dead on at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or whether it happened on Portola or the 261.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect he or she was under the influence.

Victor Bale forwards word that the intersection is near the entrance to the Peters Canyon Trail.

According to Bale,

It’s a pleasant and popular trail in Orange County that can be used to head to Laguna Beach and Dana Point or further south to San Clemente or Oceanside. It also is used to lead to trails that go to Newport Beach’s back bay.

He added,

I’ve been at that intersection probably hundreds of times, typically riding on Portola over the 261 to reach the trail on the other side.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t tell us if she was exiting the trail onto Portola (can be sketchy and you need to be very careful) or if she was trying to reach the trail via Portola as I usually do.

Hopefully we’ll learn more after the holiday.

Anyone with information is urged to call Motor Officer Mike Bergstrom at 949/724-7212, ext. 2046.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 70-year old Irvine resident Linda Smythe

Still no word on how the crash occurred; however, Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin reports she was thrown 105 feet by the force of the impact, which suggests she was struck at a high rate of speed. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Linda Smythe and her loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Bill Sellin for the information. 

Have a good Memorial Day, and see you tomorrow

When I was a kid, I once asked my dad if anyone he served with was killed in the war.

He just turned away without a word, his eyes glistening.

I never asked again.

Whatever you do today, wherever you are, take a moment to remember those who never came home.

We’ll be back tomorrow, as usual.

Photo by luxstorm from Pixabay.

Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating today!

LA beach bike path opens — or not, keep Rose Bowl Loop carfree, and LADOT blows it on 7th Street bike lanes

Before we start, let me offer a special thank you to Pasadena-based bike lawyer Thomas Forsyth for renewing his sponsorship for another year.

It’s pretty remarkable that all three of this site’s primary sponsors stepped up and renewed their ads, despite the economic disaster wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

So if you get the chance, take a moment to thank those guys over there on the right. Because this site wouldn’t be possible without them. 

And if you ever need a good lawyer, you know what to do.


LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn put out the welcome mat for bicyclists on the county’s beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

But the Daily Breeze says not so fast.

The paper notes that final approval has to come from the Los Angeles County of Department of Public Health, which hasn’t happened yet.

And they can’t do anything until the county’s Safer at Home order is amended.

So maybe it will be open when you ride to the beach this weekend. Or maybe not.

But considering how crowded it’s likely to be, maybe you’re better off waiting for next week, anyway.


Add your voice to a call to keep the popular Rose Bowl Loop carfree.


Patrick Pascal forward another view of the new 7th Street protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles.

Or as drivers call it, the only free parking zone in DTLA.

Photo by Patrick Pascal

Pascal also notes that there was some sort of obstruction on every block between Main and Figueroa when he rode it this week.

Which means LADOT needs to do better.

Because a protected bike lane does no damn good if we can’t ride it because it’s not protected enough.


Today’s common theme is Slow Streets, pop-up bike lanes, and the need to provide alternatives to driving as the world reawakens from its pandemic slumber.

NACTO has released a guide to creating streets for pandemic response and recovery.

The Smithsonian considers how cities intend to use extended bike lanes and wider sidewalks to keep traffic out when lockdowns lift. Although someone should tell them that bike riders and pedestrians are traffic, too. Just not the stinky, dangerous and road clogging kind.

A physics website says Covid-19 inspired pop-up bike lanes could result in permanent changes to our cities. And need to.

The Guardian says those pop-up bike lanes and carfree streets provide much-needed relief from auto exhaust, which much be maintained when city’s reopen.

San Francisco expands its Slow Streets program, temporarily closing 13 additional corridors to allow for more social distancing outside the home for bike riders and pedestrians. The city is also installing a quick-build protected bike lane on 7th Street. Something tells me they won’t allow parking in that one, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Even the conservative Washington Times asks if cities will be ready for the boom in bike use, as people go out of their way to avoid transit when they go back to work. And tosses in a rebound in micromobility, for good measure.

A London advocacy group warns cars will be coming back any day, and the city will be in real trouble if emergency bike lanes aren’t built soon.

Bikes are really booming in France, with bike use up nearly 50% as the country reopens from its coronavirus lockdown. It’s amazing just how much bike use has jumped in cities and countries around the world in the last two months. And just how little we’re doing about it here in Los Angeles.


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

No bias here. A Rhode Island letter writer says resistance to aggressive, narcissistic Lycra-clad bicyclists is futile. How the hell can you look at a bike rider speeding past and determine if he or she is a narcissist? Does she think we spend the whole time admiring ourselves in the reflections on the shiny jerseys of the riders in front of us?

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

Santa Barbara residents are riled by a ruckus-raising, sidewalk-riding masked bike-rider with a wrench.



Authorities identify the victim who was stabbed to death by a man on a bike on the Venice boardwalk last weekend.

CiclaValley takes a look at the new and improved Laurel Canyon Bike Lane.



This is who we share the roads with. Heartbreaking and infuriating story from San Jose, where a 26-year old man faces multiple counts of murder for the drunken crash that killed four passengers in his car, and injured another; Rabbi Kumar Khanna was subject to a murder charge after receiving a Watson warning for a previous DUI. Just one more example of officials keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.



The National Safety Council confirms what we already knew — pandemic-emptied streets are enticing drivers to floor it, resulting in greater risk and lethality on our streets.

Keep your bike locked away with your toilet paper. CBS News says we’re in a vicious cycle, as soaring bike sales result in shortages, which is causing panic buying.

Vice says the fight for greener neighborhoods is a matter of life and death, particularly in denser, less privileged areas.

ZZ Top’s bearded Billy Gibbons is one of us, a sharp dressed man in cheap sunglasses with his tush on a bike seat and legs working the pedals, enjoying a Viva Las Vegas ride with a friend.

Seattle bike brand Rad Power is introducing a new and improved version of their e-cargo bike, with a relatively affordable $1,599 price tag.

Idaho prosecutors learned the hard way that if you’re going to ticket a bike rider for violating the state’s Idaho Stop Law after she was struck by a driver, it helps to charge her under the right statute. And props to the victim for appealing a measly $90 fine.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Ride of Silence was still held in some places, like this one in Abilene, Texas.

After they had to cut a little girl’s bicycle to get her foot loose, kindhearted Arkansas firefighters teamed with the local police to buy her a new one.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode a bikeshare bike up to a mentally disturbed New York woman, and chatted her up before viciously attacking and raping her. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough. Or a sentence long enough.

Spike Lee is one of us, breaking his New York self-isolation on a bicycle. And yes, I’m impressed.

If you or I plan a century ride, no one notices. When new Carolina Panther’s QB Teddy Bridgewater plans one, it makes Sports Illustrated.

New Orleans kicks off an expansion of the city’s bike lanes, with plans to stripe another 75 miles over the next two years. Which is only about 75 miles more than Los Angeles has committed to.

A short bike ride through town provides a ticket out of isolation for a Natchez, Mississippi man.

A kid in Florida was caught on camera stealing a bicycle from an 88-year old man, who used it as his only form of transportation to pick up groceries and medication. Let’s hope the little jerk’s parents see this, and give him a time out until he’s 35.


International has tips for weight weenies on how to strip a few more ounces off your bike. And insider advice you should know before buying a bike light.

Cycling Tips reviews a bike bell battle royale.

Toronto belatedly builds a bike lane barrier to prevent drivers from using it as free parking.

London bike couriers are playing a vital roll in the battle against Covid-19, rushing coronavirus samples to labs throughout the city.

A UK city councillor tells bike riders and pedestrians to be nicer to each other, already.

Bike riders in Kyrgyzstan are riding to the rescue, delivering insulin to homebound diabetics. Thanks again to Robert Leone.


Competitive Cycling

The Guardian says Lance shows plenty of rage but little regret in ESPN’s eponymous new documentary, while Outside says he gets brutally honest in the film. And he still hasn’t forgiven Floyd, apparently.

VeloNews talks with past and present record holders Phil Gaimon and Keegan Swenson about how to Everest like a pro.

Speaking of which,

But can you really Everest without leaving your home?



Peloton’s new stationary bike will only cost a leg. Forget drive-ins, the future of live music is bike-in shows.

And you’ve only got a few more hours to vote for America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for the Greatest of All Time in Nevada sports.

I mean, seriously, how many TdF’s did this Snyder guy ever win?


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

Covid-19 fuels inequitable urbanist fantasies, YouTube stars recovering from hit-and-run, and carry anything by bike

A powerful piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the coronavirus isn’t fuel for urbanist fantasies.

Instead, the virus is revealing the inequities that have long existed in our cities. And which need to be addressed if we’re going to make any real progress.

Even before the staggering impact of the novel coronavirus had been fully revealed, the people who write and think about cities were busy writing prescriptions for their recovery. But instead of bearing witness to mass death as a moment of reflection, many urbanists are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to accelerate their pre-pandemic agendas—agendas which ignore the issues that made COVID-19 more catastrophic than it should have been.

This was first obvious by early April, as cities including Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago began to report that black and Latino residents were dying at a higher rate than the rest of the population. Latinos, in particular, were at greater risk because they are more likely to work at essential jobs. Living situations—including overcrowding in small apartments due to high rents—were also pinpointed as a reason the virus was ravaging certain communities.

It’s not an easy read.

Especially if you insist on holding on to your own biases. And yes, we all have them.

But it’s important one, if we’re going to build the kind of cities we say we want.


YouTube stars Kristin and Marcus Johns are both out of the hospital, a week after they were apparently the victims in last week’s allegedly intentional hit-and-run while riding their bikes in Toluca Lake.

Police chased the suspect, but lost his car somewhere near Universal Studios.


Yet more proof you can carry anything on a bike.


When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s blocked.

As in this view of the Venice Blvd protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the photo.


Evidently, kids love gravel biking almost as much as their parents do.



Metro finally dumps its balky app, replacing it with the popular multi-city Transit app, which includes integrated transportation options like bikeshare, dockless e-scooters and ride-hail services.

An LA Times columnist straps on her face mask and bikes to Venice Beach, questioning why people breaking the rules by tanning on the beach aren’t getting tickets; apparently, talk radio station KFI doesn’t like what she had to say — or the Times, for that matter. Fortunately, she didn’t try riding on the bike path, or she could have been the one getting ticketed. Although that doesn’t seem to be enforced, either. 

A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News complains about over-engineering on the newly reopened and carfree Rose Bowl Loop.

Santa Monica plans to tear down an old church across from Santa Monica College to build low-income housing, with over twice as many bike parking spaces as car parking slots.

Long Beach approves an “open streets initiative,” allowing streets, sidewalks and parking lots to be repurposed for outdoor activities, including dining.

A Redondo Beach motorcycle rider tries out a beach cruiser-style ebike, and finds his commute to Santa Monica takes twice as long, but is much more peaceful.



Deadly car crashes have spiked in California during the coronavirus lockdown, as relatively empty streets entice too many drivers to put their foot down.

San Diego celebrates Bike Month by unveiling a new Better by Bike campaign. Can’t argue with that one.

A Bay Area street has been closed to car traffic, becoming home to daily cello concerts.

Davis police were able to quickly identify and arrest a thief who broke the window of a bike shop and made off with $1,600 bike. Note to CBS Sacramento — $1,600 is hardly “pricey” anymore. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Police in San Rafael busted two bike thieves using bait bikes. Something that the LAPD has still never tried, over fears of entrapment claims.

A travel website says you’ve got to add Tahoe’s West Shore Bike Cruise to your bike bucket list.



Inside Edition discovers the current Covid bike shortage, while CBS News picks up on the coronavirus bike boom, while noting that 50% of current riders plan to keep riding when the pandemic ends. Which will hopefully be much closer to sooner than later.

A writer for Grist takes a contrary position, questioning whether Covid-19 will halt the progress towards a carfree future.

Ebikes are the perfect antidote for coronavirus anxiety, according to a writer for a Santa Fe NM paper.

Even though Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Classic scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled, local residents worry mountain bikers will show up and try to do the ride anyway.

A Dallas woman is looking for the Good Samaritan who stayed with her and comforted her after she was hit by a driver, just days after she started riding a bike again.

Ben Stiller recounts how his late father Jerry ran through the streets of New York to chase down the kid who stole Ben’s bike when he was a child — then came back empty handed, saying the kid who stole it needed the bike more than he did.

Slow Streets slowly make their way to Atlanta.

Florida police busted a bike thief who made off with a bike that a woman had ridden across the US; they also recovered the bike — or what’s left of it, anyway.



Six ways to make city streets safer for pedestrians. And everyone else.

FloBikes tells you how to replace an inner tube. But you already know that, right?

Toronto bike advocates are calling for a two-wheeled post-pandemic future.

Britain’s bike industry is joining together to promote a new PR campaign, telling the public that Bike is Best. Which is true, even if it feels a little grammatically challenged.

British thieves are taking advantage of the bike boom, too, with bike thefts up nearly 50%.

The UK’s Alzheimer’s society says a bike ride or brisk walk three times a week can help stave off dementia in people over 60. So what are you waiting for, already?

An Irish paper says children are the future, so get them on bicycles.

French bike parts maker Mavic may be circling the drain, but a pair of unnamed former pro cyclists may be preparing to ride to the rescue.

A Manila op-ed says a connected bike lane network is just what the Philippine city needs. It’s just what Los Angeles needs, too. But Manila might actually get it.


Competitive Cycling

Makes sense. Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says Everesting is having a moment right now because, as George Mallory famously said, it’s there. And nothing else is right now.

Road Bike Action remembers the late, great Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled due to financial problems just in time to avoid being cancelled by Covid-19.

Word has it Lance doesn’t like the way he’s portrayed in the upcoming ESPN documentary about him. Which raises the burning question, who cares?

Rouleur examines the worst bike kit of the modern era.

And the road worlds could be coming back to the US.



You, too, can be the proud owner of a 1959 Schwinn cruiser bike for the low price of just $800. Bold move, declaring this is Bike Month when there’s only ten days left.

And no, bikes aren’t the new toilet paper.

They’re much harder to use, and nearly impossible to flush.


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

Somber solo Ride of Silence, bicyclist defends San Diego’s lockdown-busting ride, and protected lane parking in DTLA

You’re on your own for tonight’s annual Ride of Silence, which can be done solo or virtually.

Or maybe just join me tonight in remembering all those who have lost their lives needlessly.

Photo by Matt Tinoco.



A Los Angeles bicyclist defends the actions of the bike riders on Sunday’s mass ride through San Diego, which resulted in a literal fist fight with an angry driver.

As in,

“When you have that many riders, it’s going to be unruly. I wouldn’t say rowdy,” said Vasquez.

Never mind that unruly ride violated every semblance of California’s Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Which currently prohibits groups of more than ten. Let alone the few hundred bike riders it drew from all over the state.

And never mind that they couldn’t do a better job of spreading the disease if they tried.

If only one of the riders had a symptom-free case of coronavirus without knowing it, they could have shared it with dozens of others on the ride, who would then take it home to their family and friends.

Not to mention putting innocent bystanders at risk along every inch of the ride route.

Irresponsible doesn’t begin to cover it.

According to the LA bicyclist — who I won’t name, even though the story does — the mass ride was sponsored by a group called Keep it Rolling.

Maybe they’ll think before they roll out again.

So maybe they next time we read or hear about them, it will be because they got it right.

Not for crap like this.


No surprise here.

The new protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA have turned into one more example of free curbside parking for any drivers willing to squeeze through the bollards.

Just like what happened after every other protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles was opened.

Which makes you wonder why LADOT apparently hasn’t learned anything from the experience.

Thanks to Melanie Freeland for the heads-up.


Pasadena police are warning about an increase in bike thefts, with advice on how to prevent it.

All good advice.

Although I’d add that bikes aren’t safe on balconies even if they’re secured, unless it’s too high to climb up. And it probably isn’t.

Your garage isn’t much better, unless it’s securely locked at all hours.

Also, take lots of pictures of your bike — including your bike’s serial number, which is the easiest way to make sure you always have it with you.

And register your bike for free with Bike Index right now while you’re thinking about it. Before anything happens to it.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.


Who was that masked man?

If you’ve spotted a 7-foot tall man riding a bike through Los Angeles lately with only his eyes visible, it may have been the Lakers’ JaVale McGee.

Although maybe someone should teach him how to fix a flat.


Here’s your chance to sort-of ride with the world’s best — and only — all type 1 diabetic cycling team.

But only if you’re diabetic, too.

Speaking of which, CNN says the team has turned type 1 diabetes into its greatest strength.


If you live or work in my neighborhood, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is having a virtual meeting this evening.

If you have the patience to wait until they finally get around to general comments, ask for some Slow Streets in Hollywood.


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

An Omaha woman was knocked off her bike by rock-throwing teenagers, just days after resuming riding for the first time since she was eight years old. Jerks.



Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin talks LA’s Slow Streets program on KPCC’s Take Two.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino gets it. He’s calling for allowing Los Angeles businesses to expand out into sidewalks, streets and parking lots for dining al fresco and other outdoor activities. Seriously, anything that gets Angelenos to re-envision our streets is a good thing.

You should be able to find plenty of bike parking in South Pasadena now, after the city worked with Active SGV to install 200 new lime green bike racks, including covered bike corrals.

Just weeks after buying Uber’s Jump Bikes, Lime is pulling the company’s ebikes and scooters off the not-so-mean streets of Santa Monica.

Long Beach is planning to turn currently under-used streets into outdoor dining, too.



San Francisco’s Sierra Club says we should try making Slow Streets permanent.

Sacramento is finding space on the roads for Slow Streets, too.

A bike-riding Davis columnist tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.



Curbed calls Slow Streets the path to a better city.

Yahoo lays out your fashion choices for every type of ride this year. Or you could just wear whatever the hell you want.

Gear Patrol says you’re wearing your bike helmet wrong, especially if it’s on backwards.

Portland business owners get it, where 60 businesses say they support a proposed protected bike lane in front of their shop.

Colorado teens are trying to defend a DIY bike park after the city moves to remove it.

If anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, bikemaker Detroit Bikes is remaking the 1965 edition of the iconic Schwinn Collegiate model, which will be available at Walmart for just under a grand. Or just get me a corgi.

A new public health study shows collisions involving bike riders dropped 13% in Philadelphia after the city’s bikeshare opened, despite the increase in ridership and no new infrastructure, giving more proof to the safety in numbers theory. And more people bike commute in cities with bikeshare, too.

Good news: New Jersey is allowing bike shops to reopen. Bad news: They’re reopening car dealers, too.

A Savanah, Georgia paper says the heir to the roadside Stuckey’s chain is one of us, too.



Treehugger says ebikes are eating the market, as Rad Power Bikes sees an almost 300% increase in sales during the coronavirus shutdown.

Strava defends their decision to start charging for leaderboard access and break thousands of third-party apps, saying the company isn’t profitable. And needs to start raising revenues now.

Peru is now a bicycling paradise, courtesy of the Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Americas Quarterly asks if the pandemic could mark the beginning of a biking revolution in Latin America.

Canadian Cycling Magazine takes a look at Supremely overpriced designer bicycles.

Analog bikes are booming, too. A UK bike shop has seen a nearly 700% jump in sales of bike over the equivalent of $600 compared to last year.

Eight ways to avoid the crowds on your next bike ride through London.

German bike shops are busier than ever.

Tel Aviv is taking a step beyond Slow Streets, converting eleven streets in the city center into pedestrian zones.

Bikes are booming in Uganda, too, where driving is prohibited under the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Nothing like adding a slightly illegal 5,000 watt, 49 mph ebike conversion kit from a Hong Kong company to your existing bicycle.


Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome is threatening to jump ship midseason, leaving Ineos for a rival team after being overshadowed in recent years by fellow Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal. Although it’s hard to call it midseason if there haven’t been any races.

Running a few days behind, as usual, Bicycling catches up with pro mountain biker Keegan Swenson’s new Everesting record, as he tops Phil Gaimon’s new world record by 12 minutes, just four days after Gaimon set it.

Seriously, who’s shocked that Lance started doping long before he turned proBetter question: Who still cares?



Yes, Peloton, it is possible to be too white. If you’re going to use pool noodles to protest cars coming too close, maybe try keeping away from them, too.

And not bad for my first self-applied Covid haircut, if I say so myself.


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