Decrying LA’s death cult of speeding drivers, cycling without going outdoors, and proposed $1,500 US ebike rebates

They get it.

Letter writers to the Los Angeles Times respond to the recent column by Steve Lopez that we discussed here, decrying the culture of death caused by speeding drivers.

Including this from former LACBC board member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Kent Strumpell.

To the editor: As an everyday cyclist, I have direct experience with the conditions that Lopez highlighted in his column. In recent years, I have been struck from behind by a distracted driver and have had two frightening close calls that could have ended my life.

Speeding and reckless, distracted driving are commonplace because there are rarely consequences for the offenders. Enforcement of traffic laws is spotty and therefore ineffective.

The technology of speed cameras to automatically cite violators, 24/7, is proven and readily available. It is inexcuseable that our state and local governments have not enabled this much-needed solution that could save lives.

Kent Strumpell, Los Angeles

Then there’s this one, which is exactly what I’ve been asking ever since Monique Munoz was killed in a Westwood intersection recently by a kid apparently attempting to set a new land speed record on Olympic Blvd.

To the editor: Why would anyone allow a 17-year-old to drive a Lamborghini?

Ginger Durgin, Woodland Hills

Why, indeed.

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Today’s common theme is cycling without the benefit of being outdoors.

Bicycling offers advice on how to keep riding indoors from being mind-numbingly boring, as the Yahoo version puts it.

Meanwhile, an arts critic for the New York Times says Peloton aims for nothing less than totally curating your mind.

The LA Times wonders if newly reopened cycling studios can drag people off their Pelotons.

Compete in Canada’s most grinding gravel race this year without having to hit the rocks. Or go outside, for that matter.

And a writer for a student-run UC Davis website says Peloton just displays the privileges of wealth, allowing the upper class to stay fit while reducing the risk of Covid-19.

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Write your congress person, and urged them to give ebike riders the same kind of support they’ve long given buyers of electric cars.

https://twitter.com/DavidZipper/status/1371573014689673217

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a discussion on how to revitalize LA’s aging boulevards at noon today.

Hint: Less space for cars, and more and safer space for bikes.

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The local neighborhood council is backing a proposal for much-needed bike lanes on Los Feliz Blvd.

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Utah is now the latest state to legalize a modified Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields.

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Here’s your chance to work for the bike industry’s biggest advocacy group.

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Pink Bike offers advice on how to buy a used mountain bike.

Pro tip, don’t buy one from anyone who rides it like you would.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits the newly protected bike lanes on Figueroa in DTLA, complete with new bike traffic signals. Although they can be a tad narrow in some spots.

Metro will hold a virtual public meeting this afternoon to discuss a proposed bus lane on Alvarado Street; Los Angeles allows bike riders to bus the lanes, too. As long as you don’t mind having a bus running up your ass, that is.

 

State

About damn time. A new bill introduced in the state legislature would finally get around to legalizing speed cams to rein in California’s heavy footed drivers.

The bike-friendly mayor of Encinitas announced her run for the state senate.

A 70-year old Chula Vista man thanks the Good Samaritan who helped saved his life after he wiped out riding his bike on a rain-slicked road.

A planned ten-mile bicycle superhighway connecting San Jose with Santa Clara will be the Bay Area’s first.

Clint Eastwood used to be one of us, getting the boot from Piedmont High School as a kid for destroying the football field by riding his bicycle in the wet grass.

 

National

Your next bike tires could be based on technology for NASA’s lunar and Mars rovers, without needing a bit of air; Cyclist wonders whether this represents the future of bike tires.

She gets it, too. A writer for Bicycling says it’s okay if you don’t wear a bike helmet, because while helmets can protect against certain head injuries, they’re no substitute for safer streets and drivers who actually pay attention. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of this one.

And so does he. A writer for a Jesuit Catholic website suggests Jesus would ride a bicycle, calling it “the only tool that can simultaneously fight climate change, pollution, segregation, poverty, illiteracy, disease and the daily slaughter of 100 Americans a day in car accident.” And fit for a literal God, evidently.

Flux Magazine says fat tire bikes aren’t as hard to ride as you might think.

The Verge recommends the best open-ear earbuds for bike riding.

E-scooter providers are pushing the Biden administration to widen roads to provide more space for their customers. Maybe instead of further reducing greenery and sidewalk space, they could take a little space from cars without expanding the streets, instead.

A Texas-based e-bakfiets startup will be pitching for dollars on Shark Tank on the 26th. Although it’s questionable whether they’ll reel in a shark, since there doesn’t seem to be anything unique or proprietary about a three-wheeled, ped-assist bucket bike.

A new Indianapolis study shows bikeshare can benefit tourists as well as locals, while the higher fees paid by visitors can help fund the program.

New York’s Suffolk County approved the state’s first three-foot passing law.

The North Carolina town of Kitty Hawk, famed for a pair of Ohio bike-making brothers, stood up to the state and rejected a $69,000 grant for a raised boardwalk that would have required giving bike riders the boot from coastal trails.

 

International

Wearable bicycle lock Litelok took advantage of the pandemic lockdown to shed weight while increasing strength, winning the top rating from a British nonprofit rating system.

Brexit is beginning to cause shockwaves in the Australian bike market, as well as in Europe and the UK.

A British financial site says while regular bikes are covered by homeowner’s insurance, ebikes may not be because they have an engine. Which is a good reminder to look into your own home or renters policy to make sure your bike is insured against theft or loss, regardless of whether it has a motor or which side of the ocean you’re on.

An alleged hit-and-run bike rider is on trial for speeding through a red light, and killing a 72-year old English man who was walking home last year.

A New Zealand town attempts to improve traffic safety by installing polka dots and speed bumps in key intersections.

A 58-year old Aussie man was lucky to survive after suffering a massive heart attack while riding his bicycle, in part because an off-duty firefighter happened to notice his feet sticking out of the bush.

 

Competitive Cycling

Reigning Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, topping second place finisher Wout van Aert by more than a minute.

After topping the podium at Alaska’s 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, endurance and adventure cyclist Rebecca Rusch sets her sights on becoming the first person to ride a bike across Iceland in the dead of winter.

More proof bike riders are tough. A team of Ohio cyclists prepares to tackle the  grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM, even as the team leader battles cancer.

Australia’s first female Olympic cyclist is donating her brain to science to study the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by repeated concussions and blows to the head. Presumably once she doesn’t need it anymore.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to fall off your bike in front of a cop — three times. When your job is crap — no, literally — but at least you get to ride a bike.

And just call them Shaeros.

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

5 comments

  1. Alan Coovert says:

    Why are just Ebikes getting some kind of refundable tax credit? All bikes should be getting the same tax credit. I’ve a bike commuter going on 30 years and I don’t get a tax credit? All the Ebikes have a battery that will contribute to the ongoing Ewaste in our landfills around the world once the batteries are used up. I got nothing against Ebikes but its typical for this failing nation that regular cyclist are getting screwed by this whole Ebike BS.

  2. james says:

    I’m very annoyed that I haven’t heard any cyclist org. suggest publicly that all bicycles be included in the tax credit.

  3. Ralph says:

    IF your home owners or renters insurance doesn’t cover e-bikes you can ask for a rider to add the coverage. It will cost you a little more but might be worth it. Adding to an existing policy doesn’t usually cost a lot since you are paying for a much greater potential loss already. Adding $3,000 to a $100,000 policy doesn’t increase their exposure much.

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