Maybe things have gotten safer.
Or maybe not.
A new study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that collisions involving bicyclists decreased during the pandemic last year, as bike riders shifted from rush hour commutes to more midday rides, and from crowded roadways to offroad trails.
However, other reports suggest that bicycling collisions increased last year as the bike boom encouraged more riders to take to the roadways, with greater lethality as less crowded streets allowed motorists to drive more aggressively.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until statistics for 2020 come out next year to know what really happened in the last one; right now, 2019 is the most recent year available.
And it remains to be seen whether things have reverted to previous levels as more traditional traffic patterns have resumed as businesses reopened this year.
But I’d put my money on things being worse, not better.
Graphic by tomexploresla.
For any of us who remember the bad old days of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills before it unexpectedly got bike friendly, hell has officially frozen over.
— Streets For All (@streetsforall) November 19, 2021
After entirely justified criticism for failing to investigate a bike chop shop being openly operated on a Mar Vista Street, the LAPD discovers it can, in fact, do something about it.
Today, our officers conducted an investigation at the homeless encampment @ Inglewood/90 fwy. They identified: 1 stolen moped, 1 stolen motorcycle and 1 stolen bicycle. A person was arrested for Receiving Stolen Property.
— LAPD Pacific (@LAPDPacific) November 18, 2021
Once again a bike rider is a hero to man and beast.
Cyclist frees a mountain goat that got its horns trapped around a tree. pic.twitter.com/ycaXksAakk
— The Entertainer.🧑🎤 (@haverkamp_wiebe) November 19, 2021
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
This is who share the road with.
I was slapped by a driver when I questioned his use of the bike lane. To be fair, he did say "i will slap you if you say one more word". I said "one more word" 🙂 @BadDrivingBmore md:2ej1363 pic.twitter.com/HmKo8AUnoS
— BikeLaneBaltimore (@BaltimoreBike) November 18, 2021
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A British man was knocked out by a pair of men who’d been following him on their own bikes, and when he woke u, they’d stolen his.
CleanTechnica doesn’t pull its punches, accusing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of leveraging poor bicycle infrastructure to deprive people of color of their human rights, and hacking the Fourth Amendment to allow questionable, if not illegal, searches of bike riders.
Metro’s universal basic mobility pilot program starting in South LA next summer will allow users to ride a bike, scooter, car, bus or train with a single low cost transit pass.
A chance meeting with an elementary school principal led to a donation of 24 balance bikes for Huntington Beach kindergarten students courtesy of BMX pro Mike Clark, as part of the All Kids Bike program.
Nonprofit advocacy group BikeVentura is opening their second Bike HUB co-op, in downtown Oxnard.
LA’s Metro Bike isn’t the only California bikeshare system facing change, as San Francisco’s Bay Wheels faces an uncertain future.
Men’s Health looks forward to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on bikes.
The U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation announced a plan to draw on funds in the new infrastructure bill to refocus transportation in National Parks on greener options, including expanded bike trails and shared micromobility programs.
A bighearted crew of Austin, Texas BMX and stunt riders dug into their own pockets to buy a new custom-made bike for an 11-year old boy after his bicycle was stolen, and made him their guest of honor on their weekly 16-mile joyride through the city.
A pair of Indiana radio personalities are living atop a scissor lift for five days to encourage donations to the station’s bike drive, which has distributed over 11,000 bicycles to kids in need in the past five years.
A New York writer hires a bike whisperer, after a crash into the metal bollards on the Hudson River Bikeway led to a fear of bike paths.
New York takes a big step towards secure bike parking with the first Oonee curbside bike lockers, capable of holding up to ten bicycles each in a single parking spot, and fully insured against theft.
The New York Post offers a video “biker’s guide to not dying” on the city’s streets.
Seriously? Virginia considers a wrong-headed plan to ban bikes from in front of the state capitol, forcing crosstown riders to dismount and walk for several blocks, all because a state official has “occasionally seen near-collisions” between people walking and riding bikes in the area. It’s like every collision or near miss inevitably gets blamed on the people on bicycles, as if pedestrians never step out without looking.
A Florida weekly examines the weekend biker boys of the Bikes Up, Guns Down movement.
A Toronto website offers the reasons why they love ebikes — and hate them at the same time.
Brompton introduces a new lightweight line of foldies that checks in at less than 22 pounds.
London’s mayor warns of major transportation cuts, including cutting back on bike lanes and pausing the city’s Vision Zero program, as the city’s transportation department faces a budget hole equivalent to $1.7 billion.
Spanish bikemaker Orbea addresses the bike shortage with a new online tool allowing you to check the availability of their bikes, and reserve the one you want.
A Pakistani woman is teaching girls how to ride a bike so they don’t have to rely on others to get to school, despite the country’s long-held conservative attitudes.
An Australian stroke survivor was struck by a driver while on a 5,600-mile recumbent ride across the continent to raise money for stroke support services, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and broken leg.
Forbes rides with former pro cyclist Ian Boswell, who traded the pro peloton for Vermont’s gravel roads after a bad crash left him with a lingering brain injury.
And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wannabe TikTok stars.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.