Unconfirmed report of West LA bicycling death, fighting for racial justice and equity in bicycling, and Metro Bike turns 5

One quick note —

Get out on your bike and enjoy the summer weather with the three-day Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend.

But remember drivers are likely to be distracted, and possibly under the influence after outdoor barbecues and picnics. 

So have fun. But remember to ride safely and defensively. 

I expect to see you back here safe and sound on Tuesday. 

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Once again, we have a credible report of a fatal bicycling collision, but still have to wait for confirmation.

KNX 1070 helicopter pilot Scott Burt tweeted that traffic had been halted on a dangerous stretch of Sunset Blvd between the 405 Freeway and Veteran Ave in West Los Angeles, due to what he termed a deadly vehicle versus bicycle incident.

The photo appears to line up with the intersection of Sunset and North Lenroy Ave. Although it’s hard to tell just what we’re looking at in the photo, beyond the officers and patrol cars securing the scene and investigating the crash.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am of this crap.

Is it really too much to ask for the right to ride a damn bike and expect to return home in one piece afterwards?

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Bike equity and racial justice advocate Tamika Butler has penned another powerful piece for Bicycling, arguing that we’re still not seeing the inclusivity promised by the bike industry in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.

Never mind that people of color don’t experience the same level of safety on our streets as white riders.

Or rather, the lack of it.

We ride bikes, we get how dangerous this can be. Yet, white advocates didn’t realize that the color of someone’s skin meant that they were more likely not to be seen by a driver while at the very same time exponentially more visible to police. For bicycle advocates of color, especially Black advocates, the goal was never to make streets safe-er. Instead, we are fighting for the same baseline level of safety that white cyclists enjoy.

We worry about being doored or hit by a careless and distracted driver just like all cyclists. But we also carry the burden of knowing that our risks are amplified because we can’t ride around with the protection of whiteness. We too want the experience of riding our bikes without worrying whether people think they look too expensive for us to own, or living in a neighborhood that isn’t deemed too poor or too Black to deserve infrastructure.

Seriously, read it.

And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, apparently forgetting their commitment to widely share stories about racial equity.

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Happy birthday to Metro Bike, which is celebrating five years since the bikeshare system was introduced in DTLA.

To mark the occasion, they’re offering free 30 minute Metro Bike rides and the sticker below, or half off an annual membership.

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Now that’s more like it.

Amazon announced a new program to reimburse employees up to $400 a month for using a bicycle to commute to work instead of driving.

The exact amount will vary by city — it’s just $175 a month for workers in Nashville. However, it’s unclear if it just applies to the company’s five regional centers, or if the benefit will be available to workers at Amazon’s distribution centers and warehouses, as well local delivery drivers.

Now we just need to convince other employees that it’s in their benefit to pay workers not to drive instead of paying for employee parking.

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A London bike rider was lucky to walk away from a head-on crash, as a driver suddenly swerved onto the wrong side of the street before continuing on to crash into a pole on the sidewalk.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 25-year old Detroit man, who can expect to spend the next 14 to 25 years behind bars after admitting to breaking into a woman’s home and raping her, then fleeing by bike.

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Local

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives busted a pair of men accused of mercilessly shooting two other men as they rode past the victims on a bicycle and skateboard; they also arrested three other people, and seized a number of ghost guns.

 

State

Encinitas will hold a meeting to talk ebikes at some underdetermined date, to address fears from residents freaking out over the ped-assist bikes in the coastal San Diego County town.

Oakland bike riders will have one last chance next Tuesday to fight to keep the highly successful protected bike lane on Telegraph Ave.

 

National

The US House approved a $715 billion transportation infrastructure plan, with $920 million specifically marked for projects throughout California, including a bicycle garden in Antioch. San Diego County would get $97 million, but much of that would be wasted on demand-inducing freeway projects.

PeopleForBikes wants you to Ride For Freedom this month, offering patches to riders who complete 7, 14 or 21 rides of at least for miles before the end of the month.

Bicycling lists some of the best 4th of July sales on bike gear. Here’s the Yahoo link if the magazine blocks you.

The bike boom goes on, especially for ped-assist bikes, with someone in the US buying an ebike an average of every 52 seconds.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Thirty-eight-year old Boryana Straubel, a philanthropist and founder of sustainable jewelry maker Generation Collection, was killed in a head-on collision while riding her bike in Nevada’s Washoe County, outside of Reno. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Texas court decides to lock up a deadly driver and throw away the key, sentencing him to life without parole for intentionally slamming his truck into a group of riders participating in a bike race, killing a man and a woman, and injuring three others.

A Black-owned startup benefitted from a Milwaukee business incubator program to bring their next-gen, IoT-enabled ebike to market.

A new Ohio law prohibits the use of eminent domain to take land for a planned bike path for the next five years, delivering a victory for property owners but a significant delay, if not defeat, for anyone hoping to ride it.

 

International

An English man has set out on a 3,100 mile ride up the UK’s steepest ascents to raise money to fight homelessness, after being told he’d never ride a bike again following a major high-speed collision.

You’ve got to be kidding. More proof that life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver was sentenced to a lousy 12 weeks behind bars for killing a 71-year old man out for a bike ride. And even that was suspended for 18 months.

Portuguese bike riders are planning a 30-minute sit in and vigil to call attention to too many people being killed and injured while riding their bikes, in the wake of a bike-riding expectant mother who was killed by a driver.

An engineering website takes a look at South Korea’s 20-mile solar panel-covered, electricity-generating bike path. Which has the misfortune of being located in the center of a freeway, exposing riders to noise and smog from passing cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Make that 32 stage wins in the Tour de France, as Mark Cavendish closes in on the once-unreachable record of 34 set by the legendary Eddy Merckx.

At least some members of the peloton think arresting a fan is a step too far, even if the 30-year old sign-carrying Frenchwoman did cause a massive crash in first stage of the Tour while giving a shoutout to her grandparents. Meanwhile, the operators of the Tour backed off a threat to sue the woman when she was caught. Which she was.

He may not wear the yellow jersey, but 29-year old Australian cyclist Lachlan Morton intends to be the first rider to reach Paris, as he rides the entire route of this year’s Tour de France — plus an extra 1,302 miles — on a self-supported bikepacking tour to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief; so far he’s raised enough money to donate over 1,400 bicycles to help change lives in need. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

We all admire cyclists who get up from a major crash and keep riding to the finish. But a writer for Cycling Tips says racing with broken bones isn’t something to admire.

The world’s biggest women’s stage race, the Giro d’Italia Donne, kicks off today, with rising American star Katie Clouse making a surprise debut in the 19-year old cyclist’s first year on the world stage.

US mountain bike champ Chloe Woodruff withdrew from the US Olympic team, citing personal reasons; she was replaced by Erin Huck.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t move your entire apartment by bicycle?

And here’s your vertigo-inducing mountain bike ride of the day.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

One comment

  1. Ralph Durham says:

    Cavendish deserves some praise for the numbers he has put up. I would put an asterix beside any record since he is such a specialist. His team works to keep him protected until the last 500 meters of the race. Not saying he is not an immense talent but Eddie was something else.

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