Oakland settles Biking While Black bust, bicycles don’t cause congestion, and woman on bike shoots road raging driver

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

You know I’m having problems when I can’t even manage to post to say I won’t be posting anything. 

On another note, remember that tomorrow is a legal holiday.

It’s hard to say what it will be like in this extremely effed-up year, but three-day holidays usually mean an increase in traffic the afternoon before as people get off work early to get a jump on the weekend — often after stopping for a drink.

Or several. 

Those who still have jobs, anyway. 

So just be careful if you’re riding this afternoon. 

Use a little extra caution, ride defensively and watch out for careless drivers. Because they won’t be watching for you.

Photo by Ana Arantes from Pexels.

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Oakland officials reached a $147,500 settlement with Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op.

Smith was arrested, but never charged, for resisting arrest when cops accused him of playing music too loudly while on a group ride, even though witnesses reported he responded to them respectfully.

Richmond’s mayor said arrest of the respected community leader was nothing more than a case of Biking While Black.

Police also destroyed his bicycle and the bike trailer he used to tow the sound system he routinely used when leading group rides, for no apparent reason.

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No surprise here. Unless you’re a driver.

Bike riders have been urging motorists to be patient for years, insisting that the time they spend following a bike rider only amounts to a few seconds out of their day.

Turns out, we were right.

Writing for Forbes, Carlton Reid explains that a new Portland study confirms bike riders don’t cause traffic congestion, despite the common perception. And that any loss of time caused by someone on a bike is “negligible.”

“Bicycles are not likely to lead to reduced passenger car travel speed, despite their differences in performance capabilities,” says the study, conducted in Portland, Oregon, on roads without bicycle lanes.

“Bicycles do not reduce passenger car speeds by more than 1 mph,” add the study authors concluding that cyclists are not guilty of “negatively affecting travel speed or creating congestion.”

That negligible delay also means the common argument that bicycles cause increased auto emissions by delaying traffic is just so much smoke.

“A general concern of motorists [concerning] the presence of bicycles on roads without bicycle lanes is that they will impede motor vehicles because of their differing performance characteristics, which may serve to increase congestion and vehicle emissions,” explained the study, finding that a 1 mph differential in speed caused by the presence of cyclist would not cause congestion.

And by not being a cause of congestion, cyclists’ presence on roads is not a cause of increased emissions from motorists, either.

It also means that the common motorist maneuver of speeding up to pass someone on a bike, then cutting back in front of them — referred to here as MGIF, or “must get in front” — is just a needless waste of effort that increases danger for everyone on the road.

So the next time you have an impatient driver on your ass, keep your finger holstered. And tell them to just take a breath and get over it, already.

Yeah, that’ll work.

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I don’t even know what to make of this one.

A Detroit driver is dead after an apparent road rage dispute with a man and woman riding bikes.

When the driver pulled over and got out of his car, armed with a knife, the woman pulled out a gun and shot him dead. Which sounds like self-defense.

And yes, she had a permit for a concealed weapon.

Although someone should tell Detroit’s Fox-2 that it was a bike-riding woman who pulled the trigger, not merely “the cyclist’s girlfriend.”

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Looks like Calbike is finally endorsing speed cams.

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I want to be like her when I grow up.

Happy birthday to 1930’s Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland, who’s still one of us, even at the ripe old age of 104.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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A new ad for Dutch ebike maker VanMoof was banned by French advertising authorities, after apparently hitting the auto industry a little too close to home.

Although by banning it, they simply ensured that it will be seen by an exponentially greater number of people.

Speaking of VanMoof, they’ve been honored with a prestigious design award for the year’s best ebike designs.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the tip.

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This is who we share the roads with.

https://twitter.com/GentesSinSuerte/status/1277774192801460225

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Is it bad luck to almost run over a bear with your bike, or good luck you didn’t hit him?

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

Speaking of Biking While Black, a London bike rider was stopped by a cop for “anti-social behavior,” accused of not wearing a helmet and hi-viz, or having a license on his bike. None of which are required in the UK.

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Local

Remember, you can get free 30 minute rides on LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare this weekend, starting Saturday. Or save up to a third off monthly or yearly passes.

Britain’s Prince Harry is one of us, after he was spotted, but not photographed, riding at Surfrider Beach in the ‘Bu. Hard to believe the paparazzi actually missed a celebrity, and a formerly royal one at that. And note to Hollywood Life: Merely stopping to watch the waves does not a surfer make.

 

State

You can drive a stake through the heart of California’s auto-centric focus on Level of Service, aka LOS, as the state replaces it with the more accurate Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which takes into account all forms of travel.

A San Diego pediatrician is back riding his bike a month after he had titanium rods attached to his spine, after fracturing three vertebrae when he stepped in to protect a security guard who was being attacked by a patient at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

California’s switch from LOS to VMT may be intended to reduce traffic, but don’t expect to see sidewalks and bike lanes in San Diego County’s backcountry.

Ventura County will join Los Angeles County, and most of Orange County, in shutting down the beaches over the 4th of July holiday weekend, including  many beachfront bike paths.

A Lodi bike rider remains in critical condition after he was struck by a driver on Sunday.

 

National

A writer for Forbes offers advice for women on how to buy a road bike. Assuming you can actually find one these days. A bike, that is. Although women are getting harder to find, too. 

A bike and donut date with her son teaches a mother that every day is an opportunity for a “once in a lifetime” moment.

Livestrong is still around, apres Lance, and has suggestions on what bike bags to buy.

Arizona traffic fatalities dropped to a three-year low in 2019; however, bicycling deaths were up, despite a decline in bicycle crashes.

A Denver TV station says not only are bikes in short supply now, but getting one in time for Christmas may be a challenge.

Unbelievable. A Kansas City TV station reports a 15-year old kid was killed by an “on-duty vehicle” belonging to the US Service. But takes until the very last line of the story to mention that the vehicle had a driver.

NFL Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith is one of us, as he shares his interval workout with Bicycling, and discusses his Dallas-based fondo. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

There is something seriously wrong with anyone who could run down a 13-year old kid and leave him to die on a Chicago street; the driver now faces two well-deserved felony counts for leaving the scene and failing to report the crash, as well as a pair of misdemeanors. To make matters worse, the boy was killed just after getting his first bicycle.

This is the definition of tragic irony. A woman who was critically injured in a collision with a Chicago Department of Transportation truck driver while riding her bike works as a safe streets ambassador for the department.

The Detroit News says the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing American cities to adopt a Copenhagen-style bicycle model. Someone tell that to LA’s “climate mayor.” Please.

A coalition of current and former staffers called on Bike New York, the nation’s largest bicycle education program, to do more to become actively anti-racist.

An Atlanta bike rider is a hero after loaning his bicycle to a cop in foot pursuit of a murder suspect on a local bike path; the suspect is now in custody on a murder charge.

A pair of Florida sheriff’s departments are the proud recipients of two dozen police fat tire ebikes, courtesy of country music star Brian Kelly of the group Florida Georgia Line.

 

International

A Calgary nonprofit donated 190 bicycles to local families, in part to keep kids from sitting at home stressing about the coronavirus.

Ford is updating a European campaign urging drivers to share the road, and keep bike and e-scooter riders safe in the age of Covid-19.

London drivers are dealing with popup bike lanes by driving onto sidewalks to get around barricades.

Britain’s Daily Mail offers a panicky report that e-scooters will be legal in the country as of Saturday, fearing that cities will be overrun and people may die. Never mind that the biggest risk scooter riders face comes from drivers, not scooters.

A British railway worker is being hailed as a hero after interrupting a bike thief, then sticking around after his shift to look after the bike and ensure it got back to its owner.

Bike-friendly Paris now has an e-bikeshare service. Which is more than can be said for Los Angeles these days after Jump’s retreat from the market.

Thirty-one miles of Parisian popup bike lanes are expected to be made permanent following the reelection of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

A new ranking of the world’s top 90 cities for bicyclists named Utrecht the world’s best bike city, topping Munster, Antwerp, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The top US city was San Francisco at 39, followed by Portland at 41; shockingly, Los Angeles actually made the list at 57.

The Netherlands’ famously helmet-free reputation could be due for a shakeup, after a think tank recommended that the country mandate bike helmets for children and ebike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the US national championships have been cancelled for this year for every category except collegiate cycling, marathon mountain biking and cyclocross; the current champs get to hold onto their titles for another year.

 

Finally…

Call it virtual virtual cycling. Your next ebike could be made of wood. Except for the motor, of course. And the tires. And the chain. Probably the gears, too.

And they get it.

https://twitter.com/BritishCycling/status/1278349622688260096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1278349622688260096%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-1-july-2020-275047

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to support this site, and keep it coming your way every day. 

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

One comment

  1. Marcy Robbins says:

    “Is it bad luck to almost run over a bear with your bike, or good luck you didn’t hit him?”

    It is no better than driving a motorcycle down the same path – both degrade the environment and intrude on the bear’s natural habitat. Bikes don’t belong everywhere – especially being ridden like that. (Just because you can do something, does not mean you should.)

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