Happy virtual Bike Week, Bike the Vote makes Culver City endorsements, and the time to reimagine public transport is now

Welcome to the long-delayed Bike Week for the Age of Covid-19, where not much is going on, and like everything else in this plague infested year, what does will be mostly virtual.

The one actual semi-activity to hit the streets will be tomorrow’s Ride A Bike Day, on what is otherwise known as Worldwide Car Free Day, in which you’re encouraged to ride your bike somewhere.

Or anywhere.

The Bike League simply calls it Bike There Day, wherever there happens to be.

So do what you’d probably do anyway, and get out on your bike to enjoy what passes for relatively smoke-free fall weather here in Southern California.

But give yourself a pat on the back for it.

Meanwhile, Ventura County has a number of eco-friendly activities to get you involved.

And enjoy this from Pedal Love.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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With the upcoming election is just over a month away, Bike the Vote LA is offering their endorsements in the Culver City race.

There are three out of five council seats on the ballot. Only one incumbent is running (Mayor Goran Erickson), as Bike The Vote L.A.-endorsed Meghan Sahli-Wells is termed out and bike-friendly Councilmember Thomas Small decided not to seek re-election. Five of the eight candidates running responded to Bike The Vote’s questionnaire. Each of the responses were promising, but Bike The Vote’s Cuvler City committee determined that these three candidates stood out as worthy of endorsements.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s BikeSD offers their own endorsements in local races.

And consider this my endorsement for Downey’s bike friendly Alexandria Contreras for city council in District One.

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The NRDC says the moment to reimagine public transportation is right now.

The environmental organization lists three key themes, including —

  • Streets are not just for cars
  • Public transportation infrastructure needs and deserves investment
  • Access to safe, effective transit is very much a racial justice issue

That’s exactly what’s being done in cities around the world, particularly when it comes to bicycle access during the coronavirus pandemic.

And exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles.

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They get it.

Lyft has partnered with several New York advocacy groups to pen a white paper calling on New York City to create resilient streets for transit, biking and walking.

(You can find an edited version of the piece on New York Streetsblog if you’ve used up all your free Medium visits for the month.)

At the risk of repeating myself, that’s exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles, where the need may be even greater than in Gotham.

And exactly what the city has been pledging, and failing, to do for the past decade.

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Speaking of which, when is a bike lane not a bike lane?

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Some people are seriously effed up.

Drivers in London’s upscale Hackney borough compare limited access Low Traffic Neighborhood with Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip — and the Holocaust.

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Malaysian are aghast at the sight of a bike rider drafting a truck.

https://twitter.com/Aweeff/status/1307172043171872770

The tweet awkwardly translates to this, which appears to be saying that all bike riders get blamed for one rider’s actions.

Because a drop of tilapia spoils the milk of an orange. Deck because of a cyclist’s suicide act exhausted all cyclists are beaten equally.

Which, sadly, is all too true.

And seriously, kids. Don’t do that.

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

Canadian authorities are looking for a man who yelled at a pair of bike-riding women, then used a telescoping camera pole to knock them off their bicycles.

No bias here. When the Queensland, Australia Department of Transportation asked online about the minimum passing distance on a road with a 43 mph speed limit, readers insisted the bike rider shouldn’t be on the road to begin with.

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

A Philadelphia bike rider opened fire on three plainclothes cops when they slowed down to ask if he was okay; another man joined the firefight after the officers got out of their car to exchange fire. Fortunately, none of the cops were seriously injured.

A road raging Irish bike rider was bitten in the nose by a passenger in a car, after the passenger got out and attacked the bicyclist for shattering the car’s windshield with his bike; both men face well-deserved charges.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a frame-by-frame analysis of the video the LA Sheriff’s Department says is proof that their deputies were justified in shooting Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, and says bullshit.

A Silver Lake gym owner and social justice advocate is riding his bike across the US, accompanied by a documentary crew, to explore American’s attitudes and show we’re stronger together than apart. Yahoo mirrored the story in case you can’t access the Times site

 

State

An ad hoc group of Bakersfield bicyclists are turning out for weekly half century rides on a local bike path to keep in shape during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

National

Former basketball player Damen Bell and professional skier Connor Ryan moved their Break the (Bi)cycle” ride from the left coast to the Rocky Mountain states after fires in Washington and Oregon forced them to change their route; they’re riding to call attention to mental health for Black and Indigenous men.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Montana man celebrated his 84th birthday by riding 84 miles along the Bitterroot Trail.

A former Michigan college student was reunited with her stolen bicycle when it unexpectedly turned up four years later. Which probably means it was taken by a fellow student.

They get it, too, Michigan’s Department of Transportation says most crashes aren’t accidents.

A New York bike commuter says the laws have to be changed to better protect people on bikes from road raging drivers.

The New York Times examines the anatomy of a protest, including the role of bike blockers to protect protesters.

Leftovers star Justine Theroux is one of us, taking an apparently chilly ride through New York, a day after speaking in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New Orleans police release a video they say proves a bike rider ran a red light before being struck by the driver of a police cruiser. Except the video doesn’t show traffic signal, which could have changed before the rider went through.

A drunken hit-and-run driver in Florida faces charges for killing a bike rider, then driving another two and a half miles down the highway dragging the victim’s bike beneath his car before police pulled him over.

 

International

Yet another study shows that both drivers and bike riders break the law. But drivers do it to save time, while people on bicycles do it to save lives.

Cycling Weekly considers the best comfort hybrid bikes, and offers advice on how to buy a bike on a budget without needing an upgrade six months later.

A Montreal bikemaker uses recycled steel, ethical suppliers and local labor to build high-end bikes.

The New York Times asks whether Canada’s bike boom will last through the winter.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley set a new world’s record by riding the 516-mile North Coast 500 route through the Scottish Highlands in just 31 hours and 17 minutes, less than a year after he barely survived being struck by a Texas driver doing 70 mph while attempting to ride across the US.

Seventy-three-year old former Tour de France winner Joop Zoetemelk broke both his legs when a driver knocked him off his bike, 40 years after he wore the yellow jersey in Paris.

A European court ruled that Barcelona soccer star Messi clearly ain’t Spanish bikemaker Massi.

After news got out about an Indian boy who made a bicycle for his younger sister out of newspaper, a kindhearted local business owner gave him a real one.

Hundreds of Nairobi, Kenya residents rode to protest harassment of people on bicycles, after a bike rider was killed when the driver of a private minibus cut him off.

A group of Chinese bike riders are using their bikes for good, riding up to 1,200 miles to buy agricultural products to support poor villagers, and delivering food and milk to those in need.

Indonesian bike riders are now required to wear a helmet and ride a bicycle certified to meet the country’s safety standards.

Ebike sales are projected to surpass car sales in New Zealand in the next three years.

 

Competitive Cycling

The biggest surprise in this year’s Tour de France is that they actually made it to the finish in Paris in the midst of a pandemic. The second biggest surprise came in Saturday’s time trial, where 21-year-old Tadej Pogačar upset everyone to became the youngest winner of the Tour de France in 116 years, following an epic collapse by leader Primož Roglič.

Cycling News calls Tadej Pogačar a shark in sheep’s clothing, while Cycling Tips asks what do you say to someone who just lost the Tour de France.

Nice move from the pro peloton, which came together on Sunday’s final stage to condemn racism, after Kévin Reza, the only Black rider in this year’s Tour, was subjected to racist abuse from at least one rider.

More on Oneida Tribe member Neilson Powless, the only Native American to compete in this year’s Tour de France, or any other year for that matter — including a couple of near-podium finishes.

Business Insider ranks the bikes ridden in the Tour this year, giving the win to Astana’s Wilier Zero SLR, even if the team didn’t.

Bicycling recounts the biggest and craziest comeback victories in the Tour de France; here’s the Yahoo link for the firewall deprivedGreg LeMond certainly belongs there, although I’m not sure I’d include Floyd Landis’ pyrrhic victory.

The Tour of Luxembourg took place at the same time as the other, better known Tour.

Cycling Tips catches up with everything you missed in this year’s Giro Rosa — which is probably everything, since the most important stage race in women’s cycling was nowhere to be found on TV, as usual. Italy’s Longo Borghini got the win, her first after six previous top ten finishes.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have an Apple logo. Or maybe be spokeless.

And forget a Covid mask. Just put your bike helmet on under this.

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

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    Comfort bike. Why not keep the town bike moniker? At least with a town bike you get chainguards, fenders, and lights.

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