Speeding ebike riders put others at risk, Times equates chokeholds with scuffed shoes, and driver flashes gun at bicyclists

Let’s start with this note from frequent link contributor Victor Bale.

I needed a break from the heat of the Coachella Valley so I spent Thursday thru today at the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. I rode the length of the boardwalk all the way to Sunset Beach and other bike trails every day and I was struck by how many ebikes I saw. They were everywhere and here’s a couple of thoughts.

I love that ebikes are bringing new blood to the sport but I was bothered by the recklessness of “some” of the cyclists.

Many were traveling at speeds totally inappropriate (the speed limit on the boardwalk is 8 MPH) to a narrow boardwalk full of families walking, cyclists on beach cruisers, very young kids cycling or on scooters and seniors out for a lesurely stroll.

I watched as a young man knocked over a woman riding a beach cruiser. No harm to her other than road rash but she was lucky. When he passed me he was using throttle only and exceeding 20 MPH. I watched as people were cut off. I watched as ebikes rode on the boardwalk paperboy style at high speeds just to show off. It was crazy. I’m surprised high profile accidents haven’t happened yet.

Nobody likes onerous regulations and enforcement but I worry about what the future will bring if something isn’t done now about regulating ebikes and ebike usage. It’s only a matter of time before an ebike rider kills a pedestrian (if it hasn’t happened already).

Take that as a warning.

Coastal cities have cracked down on bike riders exceeding the admittedly exceedingly low speed limits on the beachfront boardwalks. And will undoubtedly do it again if they think things are getting out of control.

Never mind that it takes a major jerk to zip blithely along while putting everyone else at risk.

And while I’m not aware of anyone being killed or seriously injured by an ebike rider in Southern California, it has happened in other cities.

So slow the eff down, already.

Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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There’s something seriously wrong when a movie critic for the LA Times equates an “[expletive], entitled bicyclist who scuffs Buggin’ Out’s pristine Jordans,” with cops killing Black men with chokeholds.

Maybe someone should tell him there’s a difference between being an obnoxious jerk and, you know, actually killing someone.

Or maybe the Times should just do the right thing and remove this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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If you can’t afford to fix your bike, Pasadena wants to help.

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The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t stopping, with at least two bike rides to honor Breonna Taylor this weekend, in Richmond VA and Grand Rapids MI.

There was a similar ride in Los Angeles over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to be online yet.

Meanwhile, police in Ottawa, Canada apologized to a Black bike rider who stopped to rest on a bridge, only to have a white woman call 911 to demand he get off so she could pass uninhibited.

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GCN says wheel weight doesn’t matter after all.

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

An ugly incident caught on video, as a couple of bicyclists confronted a Florida driver who passed too close, and told them to stay the fuck off the road — and brandished a gun as he got out of his SUV. Or maybe not; it’s possible he was just putting it in his pocket as he got out, as he claimed.

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

San Francisco authorities are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a 44-year old man as he was walking along the street.

Bicycles seem to have become the getaway vehicle of choice, as the FBI looks for a weaponless bike rider who robbed a Chicago area bank.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee police are looking for a knife-wielding man who rode off on a bike after stealing merchandise from a pair of stores.

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Local

The LA Galaxy is teaming with the East Side Riders for a bike ride from Watts to Dignity Health Sports Park for the Galaxy’s match with LAFC this Saturday.

El Monte officially unveiled the new San Gabriel Valley ebike bikeshare, which will eventually grow to 840 bicycles.

Caltrans and Malibu will host a Zoom meeting Wednesday evening to discuss replacing the narrow bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH, including bike lanes and shoulders in both directions, as well as a westbound right turn lane onto Trancas Canyon Road.

Gerard Butler is one of us, as is his former model and house-flipping girlfriend Morgan Brown.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is offering a number of bike education classes over the next ten days, starting with one tonight.

Speaking of San Diego, the city has ordered cafes to remove outdoor tables that were blocking a bike lane.

Hundreds of young Santa Barbara bike riders turned out for an officially unsanctioned Familia Rideout on Saturday, though masks and social distancing appeared to be largely forgotten.

A bike-riding woman in Contra Costa County suffered major head injuries in a collision with a driver, although the Mercury News appeared to blame her for colliding with the car.

A San Francisco man is putting his lockdown time to good use by putting discarded and unloved bicycles back on the road.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offer tips on how to stay safe riding on a bike path.

Forbes suggests the best bikewear and accessories for women, apparently based on the mistaken assumption that everyone wants to sport spandex and ride roadies. And despite what the caption says, a bicycle is all you really need to start riding. So don’t let that other crap get in your way; you can always get it later if you want.

Popular Science continues their unexpected bike theme, explaining how to carry just about anything on your bike with a rack and some bungee cords. And offers tips on how to avoid common beginner’s mistakes.

Bicycling considers how to find the best bike routes when you’re far from home.

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is one of us, though she’s definitely not in the spandex camp, with her bigass all-turquoise fat tire ebike.

Tragic news from Glendale AZ, where a man and woman were both killed when a driver slammed into their bikes as they rode together.

A Denver weekly examines the worst habits of pandemic drivers. Which would be all of them. Habits, that is. And drivers.

Tragic news from Laredo, Texas, where a 77-year old man died five weeks after he was beaten by two men who stole his bike after accusing him of breaking a window.

Great story about a Milwaukee bus driver who bought a ten-year old boy a new bicycle after he kept her company when her bus broke down.

Minnesota Public Radio talks with British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid about the coronavirus bike boom, as officials belatedly discover that people actually prefer clean air to heavy traffic.

For the first time, an 89-year old Ohio man opted not to ride his 1936 Shelby bicycle in the local parade, riding in a trailer instead while his grandkids rode his antique bikes.

Dockless Jump ebikes are returning to the streets of DC, just weeks after the company murdered tens of thousands of the bikes.

J.Lo is still one of us, even if she switched to an ElliptiGo for a ride through Miami this weekend.

Motocross rider Mike Alessi was lucky to escape with cuts, road rash and a cranial hematoma when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while training on his road bicycle in Florida; while he’s relatively okay, his bike was trashed.

 

International

You could soon be riding on dandelions.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, nine times over, as bicyclists around the world stepped up to make a difference during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a move that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, London is removing parking in the history City district to install bike corrals to accommodate the rising numbers of bike riders using the city’s expanding bike network. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, it seems to still be unthinkable.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver stoned on the opiate painkiller dihydrocodeine, as well as coke, weed and morphine, got just over two lousy years behind bars for killing a man riding his bike.

He gets it. Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas tells British GQ how to get started riding a bicycle, starting by suggesting a secondhand bike, without a single mention of spandex or high end gear.

An Irish writer says bring back the bicycle, suggesting we’d all be better off if we rode our bikes instead of driving whenever possible.

Bologna, Italy introduced a new campaign to get more people out on their bikes following the Covid-19 lockdown. Although the best way to do that is to provide more popup bike lanes, exactly like Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Covid-19 has brought Karachi, Pakistan back to the bicycling city it used to be before cars and security concerns chased people off the streets.

No more handheld cellphones while you ride your bike in Singapore after this month.

A New Zealand woman tells drivers an extra minute won’t kill them, but it could kill someone else — like it did her late husband, who died five days after he was run down by a truck driver. They’d been riding together ever since they met while bicycling across Canada 23 years ago; now she doesn’t know how she can ride again without him.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British semi-pro cycling champ credits an air ambulance with saving his life after he was hit by a dump truck while rounding a blind bend on a group ride.

PBS catches up with the pretend virtual Tour de France.

Cycling Weekly tracks down the virtual cyclists who virtually beat the virtually riding pros, and begs for their secrets.

 

Finally…

Political dirty tricks have seeped down to the animal kingdom, with a chipmunk attack on a bike-riding Democratic candidate. Apparently iguanas are out to get us, too.

And you don’t have to understand Italian to get the official song of the Giro.

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

5 comments

  1. Moore Rhys says:

    Ebikes are already regulated in CA and one that can go 20mph with throttle (class 2 or 3) are not legal on a separate bike path. Existing law is sufficient if it were enforced.

    • edh says:

      Nice thought but cops enforcing ebike violations might not be a high priority. In the meantime they, ebikes, will injure others because they are not a reasonable use on ped/bike paths or bike lanes for that matter. When they start proliferating off road we will be sorely put to keep joint use with the very vocal and powerful equestrian crowd.

  2. Christian says:

    Don’t need ebike to kill. The kinetic energy of an 180 lbs person going 18-20 mph? Ebikes top off at 28-30 mph? Elderly lady died after being hit in Irvine by bicyclist going approx 10-14 mph, maybe 10 years ago.
    And if you want enforcement, just one call complaint to HBPD will get them out in droves writing tix.

  3. Actually Class 1 and 2 e-bikes (20 mph max) are allowed on CA paved bike paths per AB-1096, whereas Class III (28 mph) are banned in most situations. So those exceeding 20 mph besides traveling at unsafe speeds for those paths were not supposed to be there.
    “A Class 3 electric bicycle is also called a “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle.” This is classified in AB-1096 as an electric bike that receives assistance from a motor only when pedaling, and whose motor stops assisting after the bike is going at least 28 miles per hour. The operation of class 3 electric bicycles shall not be operated on a bicycle path or trail, bikeway, bicycle lane established, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail, unless it is within or adjacent to a roadway or unless the local authority or the governing body of a public agency having jurisdiction over the path or trail permits, by ordinance, that operation 21207.5.(a).”
    That said, I’ve been riding those coastal bike paths per years, and there’s always been fast bike riders on them breaking the rules, even before e-bikes, mostly road bikers in Huntington Beach and BMX kids in Newport, but the majority of bike riders are slow cruisers. The vast majority of unsafe situations have come from clueless skateboarders and peds, especially unsupervised kids, groups of partiers, and people walking dogs. I wish all the coastal cities would do what Long Beach did, and build a separate ped path next to the main path.
    Please don’t bash all e-bikers for the poor judgement of a few, especially those on Class III bikes who shouldn’t even be there. I’ll be riding these trails on Thursday (on my legal Class I e-bike) and will see what’s going on with the Class III e-bikes. In this era of Trump telling his supporters to do whatever the hell they want in the name of liberty, like not wearing masks during a pandemic, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more obnoxious Class III e-cyclists on the trails not caring about any rules.

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