Irrational bike hate on the roads, Black bike rider confronted by wealthy white SF resident, and right hooked in Los Angeles

She gets it.

A New Zealand writer perfectly captures the fear and frustration bike riders feel, where we’re blamed and threatened just for being on the road.

Or maybe on the planet.

Discrimination based on stereotypes and assumptions is unacceptable, whether it’s racism, sexism or speciesism. Hatred of bike riders is another -ism, and there’s no justification for it. It’s bullying. It incites drivers to harm or intimidate people on bikes. Whether it’s a shock jock on talk back or The Daily Blog, hating on bike riders is dangerous and can endanger peoples’ lives.

When you ride a bike, it’s like you have a target painted on your back. Every day, when I get on my bike, for fun, fitness and transport, I become a target for people who suddenly irrationally hate me– because maybe they saw someone on a bike who ran a red light once, or something. But I don’t suddenly turn into a bad person on my bike – to the contrary, I’m very happy!- I’m just someone trying to do my bit for the planet, who wants to get home alive…

It’s not rational to hate cyclists even though it seems to be a national sport, whether you’re a driver or not. So give us a break. Car drivers don’t actually own the road. People on bikes aren’t some foreign species undeserving of the right to life. We’re mums and dads, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunties. We’re loved, and we love life. But every time you hate on us, condemn us for riding, you risk us staying alive.

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What the fuck is wrong with people these days?

Once again, a Black bike rider is confronted by an allegedly racist White man. And once again, the interaction is caught on video.

In this case, the man on the bike is delivering Narcan to a halfway house to help prevent opioid overdoses in San Francisco’s wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood, when he’s accosted by a man questioning what he’s doing there.

As if bike riders of color don’t belong in the overwhelmingly white community.

And yes, driving and biking while Black or brown is a real thing.

Or walking, for that matter.

And not just in the Bay Area.

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This is what a right hook looks like.

And how to bail to avoid one.

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Great video showing hundreds of Angelenos Riding for Freedom in South LA on Saturday.

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Paris wasn’t Paris that long ago, either.

Just remember that the next time someone says Los Angeles isn’t Amsterdam. Or Copenhagen. Or New York.

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

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Never mind the trashcan in the bike lane.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Yeah, no.

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How to vinyl wrap your bike shoes to add a little bling, without suffering the indignity of bedazzling them.

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Adventures in bad headlines. Something tells me the unfortunate bicyclist was more than just “involved.”

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Here’s your Monday mountain bike break.

Although you may want to take your dramamine first.

Unless maybe you’d rather ride in Utah.

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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 surfing writer admits to fantasizing about running down bike riders on PCH, and says ultra-surfer Kai Lenny reveals a sadistic side by embracing the pain that comes with surfing and his newfound love of road cycling. Apparently he’s confusing sadism — inflicting pain and suffering on others — with the self-inflicted suffering of masochism.

A New York state legislator calls for requiring helmets, operator’s licenses and registration plates for every bike and scooter rider in the state, regardless of age — because he nearly killed a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” while he was driving. Even though all of those requirements have been show to be ineffective or counterproductive, at best. And maybe he’d be better off paying more attention to the road, because no one ever comes out of nowhere.

A Kiwi hardware chain has to publicly apologize after an employee used his personal Facebook page to threaten bicyclists — while including a reference to the company he worked for. Oops.

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

Police at the University of California Sacramento, aka Sacramento State, are looking for a bodycam that was stolen from an officer after he or she was rammed with a bike when he told a group of bicyclists to stop doing stunts on a sign they tore down to use as a ramp, then was surrounded and attacked by a group of 10 to 12 riders before backup arrived; two people were arrested.

Once again, Minneapolis police are accused of using their bicycles as weapons against protesters. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Gone Girl, Six Feet Under and Nashville actor Lisa Banes is in critical condition after an apparent hit-and-run collision involving someone on a motorized bicycle or scooter in New York City’s Upper West Side.

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Local

Nice to see LA Times columnist Nita Lelyveld profile Kenny Uong, everyone’s favorite Metro transit meister, who many of us have watched come of age on Twitter.

Learn how to fix your rear derailleur with Metro this Wednesday. Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

 

State

San Diego proposes eliminating parking requirements for businesses near mass transit or in small plazas near dense residential areas, allowing them to immediately transform parking into outdoor dining areas or extra retail space.

Team USA BMX Cycling champ Brooke Crain was censored by administrators when she was invited to talk to students at her Visalia alma mater, who refused to let her share her coming out story while calling for suicide awareness and prevention, following the death of her own father at his own hand.

 

National

Bloomberg says bike prices are up, if you can find one — and you might have to wait until the new models come out later this year.

A bighearted 29-year old Illinois man set out to ride 4,400 miles across the US to raise $4,400 for the Trevor Project to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. Then he just kept going, riding 17,000 miles through the US and Central and South America, raising over $11,000 in the process. Make that nearly $13,000.

A Spokane, Washington paper celebrates the state’s 700-mile Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Route. There’s no reason why California shouldn’t have a similar cross-state trail. And probably more than one.

A travel website makes the case for Tucson — yes, Tucson — as a bicycling paradise.

Nice move in Mad City, where advocates are helping to build a library of adaptive bikes for differently abled people.

Oneida NY’s Community Bike program donated over 200 refurbished bikes to children and adults who need an affordable means of transportation.

The director of a Pittsburgh advocacy group celebrates the progress they’ve made on the city streets and the likely election of the city’s first Black mayor, while noting they still have a long way to go.

Philadelphia’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride will return this August, with riders expected to wear as much or little as they’re comfortable with. Just make sure you get the date right, otherwise it’s frowned upon. Thanks once more to Keith Johnson.

 

International

A new study shows more than half of all women who ride bikes suffer some genital numbness and mild sexual dysfunction, especially on bikes with drop handlebars.

A pair of Canadian First Nation members are riding 215 kilometers for the 215 children whose bodies were found buried at a Catholic Indian school; the 135-mile ride has raised $1,110 of a modest $2,150 goal.

Londoners walked and rode bikes on a trail named for a former bike-riding mayor to commemorate her death at 92 years old; Jane Bigelow was mayor of London from 1972 to 1978.

An English writer schools himself when he discovers, despite his own biases, that the overwhelming number of bike riders use bike lanes, rather than taking to the sidewalk as he suspected. But he never bothers to find out if there’s a reason why some people ride on the sidewalk, instead.

Bike commuting rates in Britain have more than doubled over the past year, from six percent to 13 percent, making it the nation’s third most popular form of transportation behind driving and walking.

Something doesn’t add up, though, as Scottish drivers call for scrapping popup bike lanes in light of the country’s 30% drop in bicycling rates over the past year — despite the pandemic bike boom, and the overall jump in bicycling in the UK.

Toyota gets ridiculed for a British ad showing a man on a cheap ass mountain bike next to a $38,000 SUV, while calling it their “ideal adventure.”

Seventy-seven years after the D-Day landing, a Canadian museum in Normandy, France received a folding bicycle carried ashore by a Canadian soldier landing on Juno beach; when his unit shipped out to Germany, he gave the bike to a French farm boy, who rode it for school and work for another 40 years.

A Catholic website looks at people making a two-wheeled pilgrimage to worship at Italy’s shrine to the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicycling.

Police in Berlin shut down streets in half the city to make room for over 10,000 people on bicycles, who rode to the Brandenburg Gate to demand faster implementation of a plan to build a citywide network of protected bike lanes and safer intersections, as well as reducing the number of deadly crashes. If Los Angeles could ever turn out even half that many bicyclists we might finally see some real action here, too.

A severe storm nearly turned fatal for a 12-year old year old German girl when she was hit by a driver after a nearby lightening strike knocked her off her bike.

This is who we share the road with. After the pandemic shut down the world of dance, a Kolkata, India dancer and choreographer took a job as a food delivery rider to make ends meet — and got hit and threatened by an allegedly drunk motorcycle cop after just two days.  Although he may have been on a motor scooter, since the Indian media doesn’t usually distinguish between bicycles and motor cycles.

The head of India’s opposition Congress party promises to take care of the family of the famed Bike Girl, who pedaled across the country carrying her sick father on the back of her bicycle at the beginning of the country’s lockdown, so she can continue her studies and her passion for bicycling after her father’s death from Covid. Which is great, but what about the countless other less famous Indian families that have been left destitute by the virus?

 

Competitive Cycling

American Ian Boswell took a stand for transgender rights while winning the Unbound Gravel race in Kansas, formerly the Dirty Kanza, raising his arms in victory while wearing an armband in the colors of the trans flag.

Now that’s dedication. American cyclist Kiel Reijnen ran 18 miles in his socks after busting a wheel during Sunday’s Unbound Gravel race; he finally threw in the towel two hours later after realizing he wouldn’t make the cutoff.

Five people were seriously injured in a crash during an Australian bike race, ranging from broken ribs and collarbones to major facial injuries that required a medivac flight to the ER.

 

Finally…

Your bike helmet could have 5G before your phone does. Apparently, riding a half-century is good for your golf game, too.

And that feeling when the new song from world beating boy band BTS seems to be about a bicycle.

Although it may help if you understand Korean. Which I don’t.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

2 comments

  1. James says:

    I’ve had a lot of things thrown at me over the years while cycling (in southern california) but yesterday they finally hit me. I was riding in Fountain Valley and a passenger? in car that passed me at around 50mph hit me on the side of the head with a water bottle. The impact really tweaked my neck.

    Interestingly I never had anything thrown at me until I had to misfortune of moving to this area. I lived in the NW and Germany for 20 years and don’t remember this ever happening.

    I figured that reporting it to the Police was pointless – even if I had video evidence and a license plate on camera – but I had to share it with someone.

    • bikinginla says:

      Sorry that happened to you, James. If that happened in Los Angeles, you could file a claim in small claims court under the anti-harassment ordinance, but in Fountain Valley you’re on your own.

      However, I would file a police report, especially if you have video. It is a crime. And if nothing else, it could be used to show a pattern of behavior when they do it to someone else. That’s how the LA DA built a case against Dr. Christopher Thompson.

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