Bike and transportation bills pass in final days of legislature, ebikes as mobility devices, and unholy upside down lock job

You can stick a fork in this year’s state legislative session.

Amid the flurry of bills passed in the final days of the session were bills legalizing stop as yield for bike riders — aka the stop sign portion of the Idaho Stop Law — a bill legalizing jaywalking, and one that should allow local governments to lower some speed limits.

Another bill would allow cities to limit motor vehicle traffic by making Slow Streets permanent.

As always, however, the question is whether the governor will sign the bills once they reach his desk, assuming he survive’s today’s recall election.

Although he hasn’t shown any sign of wielding his veto pen like a sword to smite the legislature’s best efforts, unlike his predecessor in Sacramento.

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NIMBYs constantly remind us that not everyone can ride a bike, in order to justify their opposition to bikeways.

Never mind that virtually anyone can ride an ebike. And for many people, riding one is easier than walking.

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Ralph Durham briefly returns to California from his usual German haunts, just in time to discover this unholy upside down San Francisco locking job.

Photo by Ralph Durham

Then again, the owner did secure the front wheel and frame to the rack with a U-lock, with another locking the rear triangle and wheel, and a cable offering extra support.

It just looks strange.

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

An Ontario woman — no, the one in Canada — faces a handful of charges for a mini crime spree, including stabbing a bike tire, then throwing her knife at the bike’s rider while accusing the man of somehow cutting her off.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver can assault someone on a bicycle for riding two abreast, while still driving their car, and walk away with just an effing warning. No, seriously.

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Local

One more reason to end the deadly 85th Percentile Rule — nearly a third of the speed limit increases in the latest round were on streets with painted bike lanes, raising the risk for anyone who’s not encased in a few tons of glass and steel. Thanks to Roland Hannson for the heads-up.

Redditors discuss the viability of riding your bike to the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, concluding that you can ride there, but permanent bike parking could be in short supply. Thanks to TomG8090 for the tip.

It may just be a recall, but Metro is still offering free bus and bikeshare rides today for Election Day. Even if you voted weeks ago, like me.

Jennifer Garner is one of us, as is her nine-year old son Samuel, as they enjoyed a ride through LA’s Brentwood neighborhood.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man was lucky to escape injury when he lost control of his bike on a steep descent, and plunged 250 feet down the hill; he was rescued by sheriff’s deputies after local residents heard him calling for help.

Fifty-seven-year old NorCal bike shop chain Mike’s Bikes has been sold to Dutch conglomerate The Pon Group, parent company of Santa Cruz Bicycles, among other bike brands. But you may be out of luck if you ordered a Specialized bike from them, after the bikemaker abruptly pulled their account following the sale.

A 32-year old Davis man faces charges for walking down the street punching cars, then pushing a 15-year old girl off her bicycle and attacking her before he was stopped by bystanders.

 

National

PeopleForBikes applauds the $7.4 billion for bicycles in the proposed House infrastructure bill. Although the prospects of that passing the Senate unscathed aren’t looking good, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin demanding that the $3.5 billion bill be pared down to a relatively paltry $1.5 billion.

Private land owners are blocking access to Colorado mountains in the wake of a 2019 appeals court ruling that upheld a ruling making the US Air Force Academy liable for a mountain biker who crashed after hitting a sinkhole on a washed out trail.

Missouri is considering a rule change that would expand access by allowing ebikes into state conservation areas.

New York bicycle delivery riders team up to take their safety into their own hands, after accepting they can’t count on the police for protection.

 

International

Police in Alberta, Canada crack down on bike thieves, busting four bike boosters by using bait bikes. Which serves as your periodic reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to combat the ever-rising tide of bike theft, due to a flawed city attorney ruling that warned it might be seen as entrapment — even though bait bikes are successfully, and legally, used elsewhere in California.

Glasgow, Scotland drivers are up in arms demanding the removal of new bollards marking a bike lanes, insisting they have serious road safety concerns. Because the bollards apparently interfere with their God-given right to park in the bike lane, and they’re apparently unaware they can just drive over the plastic car tickler bendy posts, anyway.

Electrek considers the twenty coolest ebikes from this year’s Eurobike 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, including a wave-riding ebike, and wheels that charge your bike with solar power while you ride.

Even the Smithsonian Magazine is onboard with the $1,062 German-made backpack that inflates to form an upper body airbag in a crash. Combine that with your $450 Hövding inflatable helmet, and you’ll be nearly impervious to injury for a mere $1,500.

Business is booming in Portugal’s “bike valley,” which produces a quarter of the ebikes in the European Union, despite having just 2% of the population.

A new Indian e-scooter startup pledges its new factory will be run and operated entirely by women, with its eventual 10,000-person staff making it the world’s largest women-only factory.

Bikeshare comes to the capital of Rwanda in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and the city’s automotive dependency.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines the steps pro cycling is — or isn’t — taking to prevent the next horrific crash. This one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so if Bicycling blocks you, you’re out of luck.

Trinidadian women’s cyclist Teniel Campbell took Monday’s sixth stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche on a borrowed bike, after thieves stole all her team’s bicycles prior to the previous stage; other teams pitched in to contribute their spare bikes to keep the team in the race.

Kiwi Continental team Global 6 Cycling rode with bright green wheels during the recent Tour of Britain in support of refugees.

Speaking of the Tour of Britain, The Scotsman offers photos from last week’s stage race won by Belgian cyclist Wout Van Aert.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline, there’s only one bicyclist in Columbia, Missouri, who keeps getting bigger.

And who needs all those boring college classes when you can get your degree in bicycle assembly and repair.

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

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