Able-bodied mtn biker confronts disabled ebike rider, Metrolink helps promote bikes, and redesigning LA’s worst intersections

A video from last fall has popped up again, causing fresh outrage online.

Justifiable outrage, for a change.

David Wolfberg forwards a story from Boing Boing that picks up a video we posted last September, showing an able-bodied mountain biker complaining about a disabled rider’s adaptive ebike, and demanding to see the rule allowing him to use it on the Indiana trail.

Maybe you’ll remember it.

Lord knows I do.

The story doesn’t end there, though, as reprehensible as this uncomprehending attack on a disabled man is.

Wolfberg also forwards videos revealing the disabled man, Tom Morris, to be a noted endurance athlete and coach.

And yes, going back to the original video, Morris had every right to ride it on the trail according to this piece from Road.cc.

Morris…has since said he has been in touch with Terry Coleman, the deputy director of Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who told him that his bike was perfectly legal to ride on trails.

Morris said: “What I’m on is not an e-bike, it’s an adaptive piece of equipment. And adaptive equipment is allowed on all of the trails throughout all of Indiana. So if you’ve got this equipment, get out and use it, use it in the state parks, use it on these trails.”

Morris also said Coleman told him that the DNR had actually just bought 12 “off-roading wheelchairs”, to give disabled people in the state more access to trails and paths for leisure activities.

So the next time you find tempted to criticize someone else for some infraction, real or imagined, think twice.

Then don’t.

There may be some reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. And it doesn’t really matter whether you understand or agree with it.

Because it’s not your job to enforce the rules, any more than driveway vigilante drivers have the right to enforce their interpretations — or misinterpretations, more often — of bike laws on you.

Try a little empathy and understanding instead.

And maybe make this world a little better for all of us in the process.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Remember this tweet the next time someone insists Los Angeles isn’t (insert more progressive city here).

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Metrolink is teaming with the LACBC to promote bicycling as Bike Month sinks slowly in the west.

Taking Metrolink makes a great way to explore other parts of Southern California by bike, especially with their $10 weekend fares.

And particularly now that it’s getting safer to get back on a train.

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Great thread from 18-year old housing and transportation enthusiast Zennon Ulyate-Crow, who is doing the work LADOT should be doing to reimagine some of LA’s most problematic intersections.

Here’s his latest project, which turns an East Hollywood mess into something we could all live with.

Let’s hope LADOT is already keeping an eye on him, with the promise of a job once he gets his degree.

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Speaking of LADOT, it seems the ostensibly progressive department ostensibly focused on Compete Streets still hasn’t gotten the message of the mayor’s Green New Deal — that we have to reimagine our streets and how we get around if we’re going to meet the city’s climate change goals, let alone survive.

Or maybe they still have old school engineers on staff who retain their focus on automotive throughput, as an obsolete plan to widen Burbank Blvd rises from the dead.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton busts the myths in Metro’s half billion dollar highway budget for next year, saying this is not what Angelenos voted for when they approved Measure M funding.

With auto-centric crap like this is still being pushed by Metro and LADOT, maybe we can’t afford to wait, and need to get Ulyate-Crow working there now.

Or better yet, running it.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to instruct you in how to wear a bike helmet.

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

No bias here. San Carlos has installed a bicycle dismount zone where people are supposed to get off their bikes and walk them across an intersection to “minimize conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.” Even though bike riders have every right to just ride across the damn street.

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

A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting another man who tried to take his bicycle from outside a convenience store.

A Jackson, Mississippi man is on trial for fatally shooting a 14-year old boy in the back after one of the boy’s friends stole a bike from his yard. We all hate bike thieves. But no bicycle is ever worth a human life. 

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Local

Streets For All introduces Destruction for Nada, a much-needed campaign to stop all highway widening in LA County, as Metro considers an induced-demand boosting jump in highway spending at Thursday’s board meeting, along with a proposal to kill the wasteful and destructive $8 billion plan to widen the 710 Freeway. It’s long past time all of Metro’s funding was shifted to transit and Complete Streets.

Speaking of Streets For All and highways, mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 9th, as they host another of their virtual happy hours, featuring Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares.

LAist examines the battle over the Beautiful Boulevard plan to create a livable Complete Street along the route of the planned NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line through Eagle Rock.

 

State

Antioch could build the Bay Area’s first Bicycle Garden, a fully landscaped miniature streetscape within an existing park to teach bicycling skills to kids and adults.

The post-pandemic reopening is raising a debate over the streets of San Francisco, as advocates call for keeping closed-off streets carfree, while drivers insist they need the roads open to get around. That’s a debate that should be happening in Los Angeles, as well, as the city faces an urgent need to reimagine how people get around in order to meet climate goals, and confront the ever-increasing congestion on our streets. But isn’t. 

San Francisco installs the city’s first advisory lane, where bike riders use bike lanes on either side of the street, while drivers in both directions share a single center lane.

Sad news from Northern California, where a man riding a bike in Cottonwood was killed by a hit-and-run driver who just left him on the side of the road to die. As we’ve said before, in cases like that, the driver should face a murder charge once they’re caught for making the conscious decision to let their victim die.

 

National

Marketplace reports on why you should care about the draft update to the MUTCD, the country’s traffic control bible.

The NRDC has rejected the proposed federal highway bill under consideration in the US Senate, calling it a small step when we need a great leap.

Bicycling explains why you should ride your bike for fun more often. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An anonymous donor gave a whopping $1 million to purchase land for mountain bike trails on Washington’s Bainbridge Island, as well as conserving land and expanding an existing dog park.

A Chicago man took an “epic” bike ride across Indiana just to dine at the nearest Waffle House. Although the real story is how he was able to make almost the entire trip on offroad bike paths.

The New York Times offers a photo essay examining bike style around the city. These days my only sense of style is whatever will look least humiliating in public.

Island Press introduces Bike Easy, which has played a significant role in the remarkable transformation of New Orleans into a bike friendly — or at least, friendlier — city.

Miami joins the Vision Zero club, as the city announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles does, like planning to remove bike lanes and sidewalks to widen Burbank Blvd.

 

International

Momentum Magazine offers a primer on the different types of cargo bikes.

An IT professional from a tiny Uruguayan pueblo is now riding a bicycle through Mexico, in the fourth year of his quixotic quest to ride from Uruguay to Alaska.

A Canadian girl got a new BMX bike for being honest enough to return a bike a stranger had given her, after learning it had been stolen. Although the question is why did a stranger give her a stolen bike to begin with.

This is who we share the road with. A British man will spend six years behind bars for intentionally running down and killing another driver in a road rage dispute.

The UK press continues their onslaught of photos contradicting Prince Harry’s claim that he was never he was able to ride a bike with his father, heir-to-the-thrown Prince Charles.

Members of a Dublin bike club testify that a speeding driver rounded a bend on the wrong side of the roadway moments before slamming into a woman who couldn’t get her bike off the road in time; the driver is on trial for her death.

You’ve got to be kidding. When a Welsh bicyclist tried to take video of dangerous drivers to the local police, they threatened to charge him for swearing at the motorists who nearly killed him, instead.

The Air Force Times tells the story of a top secret suicide squad of bike-riding Jewish commandos dropped behind German lines during World War II.

More proof that bicycling pays. A study of bike paths in Helsinki, Finland, shows a gain of the equivalent of $4.41 for every $1.22 spent to place bikeways along major arteries in the city. Then again, they increase property values, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

The BBC questions whether anyone can beat Columbia’s Egan Bernal, saying the pink leader’s jersey is his to lose.

However, Cycling Weekly says the race is far from over, and offers five things to watch for as it enters its final week.

American Joe Dombrowski rode the cycling roller coaster in the just the first week of the Giro, going from winning a stage one day to crashing out the next.

Cycling Tips introduces Tim Declercq, who they call one of the world’s best domestiques, and who is always at the front of the action.

International politics once again reaches into the sports world, as Germany responds to the hijacking and apparent torture of an opposition journalist in Belarus by pulling out of next month’s Elite Track European Championships in the country. And yes, that’s the right move; hopefully other countries will follow their lead.

Durango, Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic mountain bike race has proven to be a launching pad for cycling careers, including rising US WorldTour star Sepp Kuss.

 

Finally…

The answer to N+1 could soon be a subscription. Your next ebike could go 40 mph — as long as you’re willing to get a helmet, registration and motorcycle license.

And if your toddler feels left out by the time you spend on your Peloton, just build him one of his own.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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