Life has been upended by Covid-19 and demands for racial justice in recent weeks.
And not too surprisingly, bicycles are playing a significant role in both.
So let’s start with the latter. Like The LA Metro Bikes at Sunday’s massive All Black Lives Matter protest march in Hollywood there on the left.
Then there’s Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who points out that bicycles have been agents of change for 200 years, saying they should be used for revolution, not police violence.
The Verge takes a similar theme, saying bicycles can be a tool of protest, as well as police brutality.
Not all the protest rides are past tense; Black bike riders in Richmond CA are holding the 2nd Annual Bike 4 Justice this Friday, aka Juneteenth.
Reno, Nevada saw one hundred bike riders take over the streets of downtown to bring awareness of racism in the bicycle community.
Denverites rode their bikes to the state capital to support Black Lives Matter.
Two hundred people in New Haven CT took to their bikes to protest police brutality.
A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper offers a photo essay of that city’s Cycle for Change protest ride intended to bring awareness to young people.
Over one thousand bike riders turned out for a Gotham bike protest (scroll down).
Probably 1000 cyclists ready to ride out from Grand Army Plaza for the latest bike protest. “This isn’t a race, it’s a protest,” organizer reminds crowd pic.twitter.com/zfdKq1StYw
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) June 12, 2020
The NYPD is accused of illegally seizing bicycles from protesters and reporters.
Philadelphia songwriter Orion Sun says she was brutalized by police after using her bicycle as a barricade to prevent riot cops from getting to other protesters. Then went home and wrote a song inspired by the experience.
The owner of a Philly bike shop is taking getting looted in stride, saying there are far more serious things to be mad about.
Apparently unable to pick just one form of transportation, the Big Easy took a break for a gay pride and Black Lives Matters bike ride. And a motorcycle rally. And a motorcade.
Miami protesters took to “two wheels for one reason,” calling for an end to lives lost due to racial injustice.
And Slate says drivers ramming into protesters fits into a long tradition of motorized attacks celebrated by extremists. Although some drivers just seem to be impatient, entitled jerks.
Meanwhile, the world is still responding to the coronavirus crisis, as well as the resulting bike boom.
Returning to Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, he says let’s not blow the bike boom by being critical of new riders.
Forgetting that the whole idea behind Slow Streets is that they’re temporary, a Napa letter writer says there’s no need for them in the city because they won’t be necessary when people go back to work.
The founder of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes says the pandemic has proven bikes are essential.
A New Jersey bikemaker for Walmart says their company has never been busier, and it’s now taking minimum of three weeks to resupply stores.
British bike retailer Ribble has seen an across-the-board 300% increase in sales, from inexpensive hybrids to cutting edge time trial bikes.
Britain’s Chris Boardman says pop-up bike lanes are a form of social justice.
An Indian website questions why a bikemaker would shut down entirely in the face of booming bike ridership.
Even Bahrain is experiencing the coronavirus-inspired bike boom, as Hamad Town responds by approving plans for striped and separated bikeways across the city.
Around 30 Nigerian bicyclists rode through the streets of Lagos while observing social distancing to call attention to Covid-19 on World Bicycle Day.
As Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Indonesia, commuters are turning to their bicycles to avoid the virus.
Sydney, Australia is installing six pop-up bike lanes leading to the central business district, with bicycling up 50% and increasing numbers of people saying they’ll keep riding when they go back to work. That compares to Los Angeles, which so far has installed exactly none.
Police in Redondo Beach are looking for the owners of what they describe as a pair of high-end bikes they suspect were stolen after detaining the suspected thief.
Which is just one more reminder to register your bicycle today. And always report the theft to the police if your bike is stolen, because those are the best ways to ensure you’ll get it back if they recover it.
GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.
Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A group of bike-riding teenage boys pushed a 26-year old woman on a bicycle into a canal, apparently simply because they could.
Gerrard Butler is one of us, driving to the beach to ride the bike path through Santa Monica.
An Encinitas newspaper considers complaints that the new protected bike lanes along the Coast Highway in Cardiff are making things worse. We looked at the same problem here early last month.
A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested for the Corona hit-and-run that took the life of a 21-year old man who was out riding his bike with a couple friends Thursday night.
A Sacramento Korean War veteran and survivor of the Japanese American internment camps marked his 92nd birthday with a bicycle parade; he rode a bike into his 80s until he had to give it up for walking, instead.
Sad news from Redding, where a man was killed in a solo fall after apparently hitting a curb.
He almost gets it. A writer for a business site calls for better infrastructure and laws to promote bicycling — but also for mandatory helmet laws and reflectorized vests.
After a ten-year old Utah girl’s adaptive tricycle was stolen, a kindhearted Good Samaritan stepped up to buy her a new one.
A writer for Forbes thinks people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to drive on streets with words painted on them, and says they’ll confuse self-driving cars, too. If that’s the case, it neither one should be on the streets. And I don’t mean the painting.
Not everyone in Austin, Texas is on board with the city’s new Healthy Streets, which is just another — and much better — name for Slow Streets. Although the same could be said about any street change, anywhere.
Community members in an Ohio town are raising funds for a nine-year old boy who suffered a serious brain injury when he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike last month.
Detroit-based ebike and Vespa-style e-scooter maker GenZe is going belly up, after its parent company decided to shut down operation within the next six months.
Seriously? There weren’t even any charges when an off-duty Rochester NY police lieutenant was killed when he was rear-ended by a 70-year old driver while riding his bike.
A ebike rider suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Queens NY; the other victim, a man in his 60’s, was in stable condition. A tragic reminder that crashes between bicycles and pedestrians are just as dangerous for everyone involved.
Streetsblog says the NYPD is a lousy partner on Vision Zero.
A Hoboken councilmember calls for allowing people to lock their bikes up in municipal parking garages. Better yet, just kick out the cars and make the whole thing bike parking.
Philadelphia police are no longer welcome to participate in the city’s Vision Zero.
A writer for Rouleur learns the hard way what it’s like to come off your bike and break a collarbone. And how long it takes to recover.
Ottawa bike riders were ignored when they warned that painting super sharrows on a busy street would be too dangerous; now a young woman paid the price when she was seriously injured by a pickup driver.
A Montreal district ignores pleas to install more bike racks, then seizes bikes locked to trees because there wasn’t any.
A London man is nearing the finish line on his personal goal of riding 100 km — slightly more than 62 miles — a day for 100 days, and planning to ride a virtual Race Across America once he’s done.
When a man in the UK found his stolen bike for sale online, the cops told him to handle it himself. And were immediately contradicted by other cops.
An elderly British driver wrecked his $300,000 Ferrari. So naturally, a bike rider got the blame.
Just wait until they hear about Los Angeles. A European policy site says there are too many cars in Azerbaijan, where one in seven people own one, and it’s essential to switch to bicycles instead.
A developer in New Zealand is offering to build new bike path along a major highway at no cost to the city, in exchange for the rights to install digital billboards.
Melbourne is planning to remove hundreds of parking spaces to make way for 26 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.
Cycling News wants to know why Black bike riders are so underrepresented in the pro peloton, calling it a case of everyday racism.
Speaking of which, Specialized Bikes founder Mike Sinyard will donate ten million dollars to the company’s Outride Foundation to fight racism and promote diversity in cycling.
Remember to always carry a spare bicycle in your trunk, just in case. No bike is complete without a Chinese-style Lucky Cat bike bell waving a paw on your handlebars.
And hang on Rigoberto Urán’s wheel at 27 mph while earring a backpack and work boots, and he could give you a new bike (scroll down).
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.