Welcome to a pandemic Bike Week, Newsom gives extra half billion to active transportation, and don’t Koretz our streets

Welcome to Bike Week 2021.

Such as it is.

Thanks to year two of the pandemic, there’s no opening event, no Blessing of the Bicycles, and no pit stops on Friday’s Bike Anywhere Day — the Covid inspired replacement for Bike to Work Day.

But Metro is trying to fill the gap with a series of online bike classes ranging from basic bicycle repair and maintenance to how to use bikeshare.

Speaking of bikeshare, they’re offering a free 1-ride Metro Bike pass this Friday only, using promo code 052121, or half-off a 365-Day Pass using Promo code: BIKEANYWHERE2021.

You can also get a one-year Metro Bike Hub pass for just $20 this month, two-thirds off the usual $60. Register here with promo code MAY2021.

Metrolink — no relation to Metro, despite the similar names — is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle this week. Which is a great excuse to hop a train to Ventura, San Bernardino or Oceanside to try riding somewhere new.

The LACBC is continuing their Bike Month Photo Scavenger Hunt all month, in conjunction with Las Fotos.

And Wednesday marks the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen bicyclists; sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any rides scheduled in the LA area this year.

Hopefully this damn disease will be behind us soon, and we can bounce back with an even bigger and better Bike Week next year.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

Okay, so I screwed up on Friday.

Thanks to Joe Linton for pointing out that I had the wrong link to LADOT’s virtual public meeting to discuss closing the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path.

The meeting will take place this Wednesday at 5pm; advance registration is required.

The .7 mile gap in the bike path was forced by homeowners in Cheviot Hills, who settled for stopping the bike path through their neighborhood after failing to stop the Expo Line itself — somehow fearing that the bike path would bring some sort of criminal element, who would bike off with their bigass flatscreens.

Metro and city officials decided it would be easier to leave the gap and just build the train line, and come back to to close it at a later date — and at a much higher cost.

But the joke was on the homeowners, since the gap in the bikeway forces riders to take a more circuitous route in front of their homes, rather than on the other side of a wall behind them.

The usual NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it. So make sure to attend if you can to voice your support.

This is what Streets For All is asking for.

We encourage you to attend and to make public comment asking that:

  • the bike path be open to people on bikes 24/7 (there is a NIMBY effort to close it after dark)
  • the bike path have multiple access points to maximize convenience for people on bikes (there is a NIMBY effort to limit access)
  • the bike lanes on Motor be physically protected from moving car traffic

………

Governor Gavin Newsom is tossing bike riders and pedestrians a half-billion dollar Active Transportation bone, although that’s just a small part of the state’s $79 billion pandemic tax windfall.

Never mind that he seems to be doing his best to buy a victory in the upcoming recall by spreading state money around to everyone.

………

I wasn’t the one who first turned “Jerry Brown” into a verb meaning a dangerously close pass, after he vetoed not one, but two three-foot passing laws before finally signing a much weaker version.

But I sure as hell did everything I could to popularize and spread it.

Now Alissa Walker has turned pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz into a verb, as well.

As in CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León tried to Koretz Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan.

And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

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This is who we share the road with.

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9 to 5 Mac puts Apple’s new AirTag to the test for a simulated bike theft. And likes the result.

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

No bias here. A London paper tries to stir up anger with a one hour time-lapse camera showing barely any bicyclists using a new bike lane, as drivers complain about snarled traffic. Even though it doesn’t look very snarled. It also does say what time of day the video was taken; it was likely filmed at the slowest part of the day.

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

An unidentified man escaped by bicycle following a failed attempt to scale a wall into Ben Affleck’s Los Angeles home, after he was chased off by paparazzi.

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Local

Metro plans to boost spending on induced demand by 80% in their upcoming budget, devoting $212 million to widening highways and other highway “improvements;” it will be on the agenda of their meeting this Wednesday. Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard will also be on the agenda.

Hancock Park residents opposed LADOT’s Stress Free Connections plan for a safer and more bikeable 4th Street, with the head of the homeowner’s association saying “We want to make the neighborhood safer for everyone, not just those riding bicycles,” apparently failing to grasp that making it safer for bicyclists makes it safer for everyone.

Santa Clarita held their Bike to Work Week last week, and a community bike ride, complete with goody bags, on Saturday.

Long Beach may consider building a three-mile pedestrian pathway alongside the San Gabriel River bike path.

 

State

Call it a good argument badly framed. A columnist for the Southern California New Group points out the reasons why bike riders should be allowed to treat stop signs as yields. Although he calls it blowing though stop signs, a phrase that is guaranteed to piss drivers off.

San Diego is also dropping Bike to Work Day in favor of Bike Anywhere Week this week.

Speaking of San Diego, the city appears to be making progress with Vision Zero, as traffic deaths and serious injuries dropped for the second straight year.

The Bakersfield Californian calls for allowing ebikes and scooters on the 30+ mile Kern River Parkway Trail. Although they awkwardly refer to them as “motorized vehicles,” which likely means something entirely different to most people.

 

National

A new study from the CDC reports there were 596,972 emergency department visits for bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries in the ten years from 2009 to 2018; surprisingly, that represents a 5.5% decrease for adults, and a nearly 50% drop children. Although that could reflect a decrease in ridership among children as much as improved safety.

Gear Patrol recommends their favorite fixies, with prices ranging from $299 to $1199.

No bias here. A bad take from an insurance company based in the Pacific Northwest, which says there’s a “battle for road supremacy” in Portland and Seattle between drivers and increased numbers of people on bikes. Even though their survey shows half of the people who responded think bikes and cars share the road well.

A retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist rode his bike across the Permian Basin oil fields in New Mexico and Texas to call attention to climate change.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where a 13-year old boy was critically wounded when he was shot in the head and neck in a driveby shooting as he was riding his bicycle. There’s just no damn excuse for that crap. Period.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 69-year old man was killed when he was struck by a bike rider as he was crossing the street. Another reminder to always slow down and ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be unpredictable and don’t always look for bikes when they step out into the street. Which is not to say that’s what happened here.

A kindhearted New York filmmaker gave his own bike to a young man who recently rode a heavy bikeshare bike up a local mountain.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter questions why ebike regulations are so random, and no one is looking at them as part of the larger transportation picture.

A travel website looks at the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trails. Which is a large part of the appeal to some people. 

A Montreal woman is devoting her time to ensuring kids get bikes despite the short supply cause by the bike boom by passing along donated bicycles to underprivileged children; she’s given away over 250 bikes since March.

If you insist on stealing a bicycle, probably not the best idea to steal an English police bike.

An Irish man is riding his bike over 1,700 miles from Dublin to where he first met the love of his life in Spain to raise funds to fight Motor Neuron Disease, after she succumbed to the disease at just 31-years old.

Forget an inflatable helmet. A French company is introducing an airbag jacket that inflates if you crash or fall. As long as you have an extra nine hundred bucks to buy one.

Break India’s Covid curfew and you might have to do sit-ups in the street and carry your bike back home.

A Singapore writer says “errant cycling” gives the rest of us a bad name, and “we could all stand to exercise more graciousness.”

An Australian woman cried tears of joy after receiving a custom adaptive bicycle, following the loss of both legs and most of her fingers to a bacterial infection.

 

Competitive Cycling

French cyclist Victor Lafay won his first Grand Tour stage in Saturday’s stage eight of the Giro

About damn time. The organizer of the Tour de France says they’re going to bring back the women’s TdF after more than thirty years, with the first edition to come sometime after the men’s race. But he made it clear not to expect parity with the men’s Tour.

SoCal bike racing is back with the season opener for the California Bicycle Racing 2021 CBR Criterium Series; L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the men’s pro race, while Serious Cycling’s Chloe Patrick took the women’s race.

 

Finally…

Why vacuum with a Dyson when you can ride one, instead? That feeling when you accidentally photobomb a soccer team bus with your bakfiets and a poodle.

And probably not the best idea to jump into a river to avoid the police, after drunkenly smashing your head into a storefront window, and attempting to jack a bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    Yes, blowing stop signs annoys me also. It makes it seem that a cyclist is not even bothering to notice one. Most cyclists slow down and look both ways for safety.

    I consider it a term that drivers use to complain about the very behavior they do in their cars and trucks.

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