Bicycle memorial to French Resistance, Sierra Madre cops recover hot Schwinn Continental, and bike cops behaving badly

A long overdue memorial to the French Resistance in World War II in finally underway, thanks to a retiring American Special Forces officer.

Using his spare time during the coronavirus lockdown to indulge his interest in history, Special Forces Cpt. Joseph Ivanov discovered there’s no memorial at Normandy Beach to the roughly 400,000 men, women and youths who risked, and often lost, their lives fighting the Nazis and preparing for the D-Day invasion.

Working with the designer of the site’s Navy memorial, he set out to rectify that with a design that also pays silent tribute to the bicycles that served as a primary means of transportation in the fight.

The pre-invasion shaping operations of the French Resistance, Ivanov says, were crucial to success on D-Day. He noted that French patriots reported German defense positions, produced and smuggled to England a massive map of the beachhead and cut enemy communications lines in advance of the landings. An estimated 1,000 German factories were sabotaged by the French Resistance during the war. Trains were derailed. Intelligence was passed along from children and women to Allied personnel in England and later in France. Around the D-Day window alone – June 4-6, 1944 – the French Resistance is credited for hundreds more acts of sabotage that enabled the Allies to storm the continent.

He hopes to have the memorial, which was initially funded out of his own pocket, installed next year.

You can contribute to the French Resistance memorial here.

Photo from The American Legion website.

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Sierra Madre police busted an apparently stoned burglar who allegedly stole a shotgun and a very cool Schwinn Continental ten speed — though not the one shown in the photo.

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Today’s common theme is bike cops apparently behaving badly.

And despite earlier condemnation, New York cops continue to brandish their bikes as barricades and weapons to corral members.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the Seattle link.

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Looks like the bike giveaways are starting early this year.

The kindhearted elves at the Richmond VA bike advocacy group raised close to $25,000 to buy and assemble hundreds of new bikes for local kids.

The “bike fairy” has given over 3,000 refurbished bicycles to foster kids in Central Florida in less than four years.

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I wasn’t familiar with this one, myself.

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James Van Der Beek may not be one of us, but his young daughter is after the family moved to Texas during the pandemic.

Even if she’s not getting anywhere.

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Don’t worry: I’m not going to be that parent who shames you for letting your kids watch TV and play video games. Because we all did it – especially at the beginning of quarantine. To keep them happy, to work, to just freaking get dinner made and get by. I’m posting this to let you off the hook and testify that boredom + space = creativity. I didn’t engineer this moment of ingenuity. It wasn’t because I read them some amazing book on ancient spear making or did some super cool physics lesson. This was a result of benign (loving) neglect. All we had to do was get super busy unpacking and say “no” to screens a few times. (And yes, moving to a MUCH bigger property helped a ton in terms of what we could offer as an alternative, but you’d be surprised how creative kids can get in small spaces, too.). The point is: Don’t underestimate your kid’s prowess when it comes to autonomous re-calibration.

A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) on

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Good advice.

GCN wants to teach you how to brake hard without crashing your bike or pulling an endo.

Which I may have done myself once or twice.

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Congratulations to BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass and the team at Pocrass & De Los Reyes.

But after getting to know them for the past several years, I never had any doubt.

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

A Canadian writer blames a bike lane for the bad behavior of drivers, rather than the people who can’t manage to drive between the lines.

A London town councillor blames bike lanes for excessive traffic, instead of all those people in cars rushing to run errands before Britain re-enters a Covid lockdown next week.

No, having a horn does not give an impatient English driver a superior right to the road.

Police in Brussels are conducting an internal investigation after a pair of Flemish women were assaulted and spit on by a road raging driver, and couldn’t find any cops who spoke Dutch to take their complaint.

A passing Aussie driver is caught on camera attempting to slap a bicyclist who was riding on the shoulder. And fails, thankfully.

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

A man tossed his bicycle into the bed of a $350,000 dual-axel pickup belonging to DJ Marshmallow, and led the LAPD on a three hour chase in the stolen truck.

Milwaukee authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for the bike-riding man who shot and killed another man following a dispute.

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Local

The award-winning Go Human safety program developed by the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, has received a $1.25 million grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, riding his mountain bike through the ‘Bu with a friend.

 

State

Bike-skate-paddle-snow-fitness e-commerce brand Retrospec is moving to a new 200,000 square foot warehouse in Perris after outgrowing their LA home.

Escondido police got over half a million dollars in grants from the state for traffic safety programs, including education efforts on the rights of bike riders and pedestrians; La Mesa police got a hundred grand. Who wants to bet that emphasis rights will end up focusing on the responsibilities of bike riders, instead?

If you lost a bike in the Bay Area recently, San Francisco police are looking for the owners of 18 apparently hot bikes recovered as a result of busting a fencing operation.

 

National

Bicyclists need strength training, too.

Your new bike may not be recyclable, but the packaging it came in may be.

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is one of us, and really, really loves his ebike. As usual, you can also read it on Yahoo if Bicycling block you out.

At last Baltimore has noticed that Black people ride bikes — and advocate for safer conditions, too.

The bloodbath continues in New York, which suffered its 21st bicycling fatality this year, just two years after touting the success of Vision Zero. That’s still a better rate than LA County, with a total of 14 deaths so far this year, despite having just half the population.

At least New York is doing something about it, though, with two new protected bike lanes in Brooklyn. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty presented a new adaptive bike to an 11-year old boy with muscular dystrophy, courtesy of the team and a local nonprofit.

Inspired by a fellow bandmate, a South Carolina musician lost 55 pounds after getting back on his bike for the first time in years. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

A nonprofit founded by a South Carolina woman gave a new bike to a homeless man after his belongings were lost, including his bicycle.

Covid-19 has put a sudden end to the bikeshare program at the University of Georgia.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A Florida woman celebrated her 70th birthday by riding 70 miles to raise funds to fight ALS.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard looks at the best bike lights and reflective gear for winter riding, including a light that fits in your water bottle holder to make you more visible from the side.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Edinburgh is working to install emergency infrastructure to protect bike riders at an intersection where a woman was killed riding her bike this week, the second bike death there in less than two years.

Add bikepacking through the wilds of Scotland to your bike bucket list.

Forbes tracks the decades of sometimes bizarre research by a Swedish mechanical engineer that led to MIPS bike and motorcycle helmets.

The bike boom has hit the disputed Kashmir territory on the Indian – Pakistan border, leaving bike dealers struggling to keep up with demand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Jasper Philipsen took the first Grand Tour stage of his career at Thursday’s stage 15 of the Vuelta.

Rouleur looks back at the 1960 Vuelta, where bike pumps were wielded like medieval lances, and “any sense of dignity was left behind on the mountaintops of Spain.”

Cycling Tips looks back at the 2020 racing season as seen in…Google reviews.

 

Finally…

Maybe driving in a bike lane while stoned with weed stuffed next to your panties isn’t the best idea. Then again, passing out drunk while riding your bike with a flask stuffed in your pants, and shouting “Our time will come” in Gaelic at the cops might not be a real winner, either.

And maybe hi-viz isn’t the answer after all.

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

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