Calbike vetoes recall, urges support for Safety Stop; hidden history of LA bikes; and bikes & coffee go good together

Let’s start with a little news from Sacramento.

Starting with Calbike urging everyone to vote no on the election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Personally, I’m no fan of Newsom. But the place to challenge him is in next year’s general election, not a needless and wasteful recall that’s nothing more than an attempt to claim a prize the GOP couldn’t otherwise win in deep blue California.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy group urges you to contact your state senator no later than tomorrow to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

The bill would introduce a partial Idaho Stop Law in California, allowing people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yields. However, it would not allow bike riders to treat red lights as stop signs, as the Idaho law does.

And finishing our Calbike trifecta, the organization is working with the California Air Resources Board to draft an ebike rebate program to go into effect next July. The $10 million program is already fully funded, so it’s just a matter of working out the details.

Meanwhile, Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman says we’re getting close to breaking the death grip of the 85% rule on California streets.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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Great twitter thread on the forgotten history of bicycles in the City of Angels.

All of which makes you wonder why most of it never showed up on our streets.

Or have LA leaders always suffered from a lack of political will, and the courage to stand up to angry NIMBYs?

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Registration has opened for next year’s 44th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.

The event will mark the Lunar New Year with a series of run, walk, bicycling and dog walk events held over the weekend of February 19-20, 2022, including rides of 20 and 40 miles.

Photo courtesy of Firecracker LA.

Meanwhile, the annual Long Beach Marathon will return this October, along with a 20-mile bike tour before the race.

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Bloomberg makes what may be one of the most inadvertently accurate — and unfortunate — word choices ever.

In a story discussing the difficulty of building self-driving cars, Waymo staffers says they’ve solved 99% of the problem.

But it turns out that last 1% has been a killer. Small disturbances like construction crews, bicyclists, left turns, and pedestrians remain headaches for computer drivers. Each city poses new, unique challenges, and right now, no driverless car from any company can gracefully handle rain, sleet, or snow. Until these last few details are worked out, widespread commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles is all but impossible.

Killer, indeed.

Especially after one of Uber’s self-driving cars ran down and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a Phoenix roadway two years ago.

So maybe the last 1% might be a tad more important than they think.

Correction: I originally wrote that Herzberg was killed by a Waymo car, but it was actually an Uber vehicle. Thanks to Andy Stow for catching the mistake.

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Pull up another chair at the coffee shop.

In what may be the best news ages, it turns out bikes and coffee really do go together.

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How to use your brakes to improve mountain biking speed.

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Take an Andorran mountain bike ride with Peter Sagan.

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

A group of New Jersey bicyclists were threatened by a pickup driver and his passenger who buzzed them, then got out of the truck after blocking their path, and told them to get off “their” road or they would kill them.

No bias here. A British paper is up in arms over a spacious 11-foot wide bike lane next to 9.5-foot traffic lanes, failing to grasp the concept that narrow lanes improve safety by forcing drivers to slow down.

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

Probably not the best idea to tow a loaded shopping cart with one hand while riding your bike with the other.

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Local

CicLAvia is looking for an event production assistant to help put on the country’s most successful open streets events.

Los Angeles considers improvements to Huntington Drive in Lincoln Heights, using funds originally earmarked for the cancelled 710 Freeway extension. Let’s hope they don’t try to sell us yet another incomplete street under the guise of Complete Streets.

Santa Monica is hosting a two-day open streets festival on Main Street this weekend.

Long Beach is moving forward with plans to actually reduce speed limits in Belmont Shores, one of the few times state-mandated speed studies have actually resulted in slower streets.

 

State

A bike-riding woman gets dangerously buzzed in a pair of punishment passes on San Francisco’s newly reopened Great Highway, which had been closed to cars during the pandemic. The video of the passes embedded in the story doesn’t work, but you can see it here

NorCal bike chain Mikes Bikes has been sold to the Dutch company behind Santa Cruz, Cervelo and Gazelle bikes.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly Davis is installing a new green bike lane and a two-way cycle track on the west side of the UC campus.

 

National

The Manual makes their picks for the best road bikes, most of which cost at least 11 grand — and go up from there.

Marin Bikes is recalling several mountain bike models to repair a defective bottom bracket that can break while riding.

At least some Las Vegas cops were disciplined for the death of a Black man, who was initially stopped for riding without a front light on his bike; like George Floyd, he repeatedly told police officers he couldn’t breath as one knelt on his back. Unfortunately, though, that could mean anything from a simple reprimand to dismissal from the force.

A Utah man will face the equivalent of a vehicular homicide charge for the alleged drunken and distracted crash that killed a man riding his bike last year.

A San Antonio, Texas CEO rode his ebike 9,500 miles through 30 states to visit all of his company’s offices and call attention to the need for senior care, while raising $100,000 to install grab bars in the homes of local seniors.

A Michigan town backs down on plans for bike lanes on a state roadway after local residents brought out the torches and pitchforks, opting to install parking on both sides of the street, instead.

Florida’s Sarasota Magazine explains what Everesting is and how to get started. Step 1, leave Florida for someplace a little less flat.

 

International

A Scottish bike shop lost over $42,000 worth of bicycles to a trio of late night burglars.

The Dutch city of Groningen is introducing a small fleet of hydrogen-powered ebikes available to various city departments, and fueled by “green hydrogen” produced by a nearby solar power plant.

How to buy and ride a bike in Denmark. Step 1, move to Denmark.

 

Competitive Cycling

Overhead video shows a massive crash at the Vuelta that took down half the peloton, resulting in a change in the leader’s jersey.

Three novice mountain bikers share the lessons they learned training for, and competing in, Colorado’s legendary Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your next bike bag could be made from leftover Burleys. If you insist on skitching, try not to lose your grip.

And nothing like the ever-popular genre of loser bike rider advertising.

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

2 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    An Uber self-driving car killed Elaine Herzberg. Waymo is not and never has been Uber.

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