Vegas driver gets up to 26 years for pushover death, bikes are good for the world’s health, and more ’tis the season

My apologies for the earlier proofreading errors to this post. Server problems combined with an internet outage to keep me making any corrections. Hopefully I’ve caught everything now. 

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It’s the 13th day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Bryan B for his generous donation to help keep everything you need to know about the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes coming your way every day.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, far more than I could ever put into words. 

So donate today, and let’s make this a lucky 13 for both of us!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

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That’s more like it.

In the conclusion to a tragic story we’ve been following for the past year, a Las Vegas man will spend a well-deserved 10 to 26 years behind bars for the death of a 56-year old woman as she was riding her bike.

Rodrigo Cruz was driving the van when he swerved close to the victim, Michelle “Shelli” Weissman, as his friend leaned out the passenger window to push Weissman off her bike, killing her.

In the ultimate tragic irony, the passenger, Giovanni Medina Barajas, fell out the window and died at the scene, as well.

Cruz’s attorney tried to write the whole thing off as a “some sort of dumb, childish prank.”

Now two lives have been needlessly snuffed out, and another irreparably damaged, all because two people thought harming an innocent person was funny.

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A new study from my hometown university shows that bicycling is good for the world’s health, too.

According to the study, as many as 205,000 premature deaths could be prevented every year worldwide if cities encouraged people to use a bicycle instead of a car. Although that figure depends on replacing all car trips with bikes by the year 2050.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

In what the authors describe as a more realistic scenario, 18,589 annual deaths could be prevented worldwide if just eight percent of people switched from cars to bikes.

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‘Tis the season.

A Waco, Texas builders association donated 87 bikes to Toys for Tots, while complaining that the pandemic-driven bike shortage kept them from giving more.

The county engineers office in Ohio’s Wayne County built 21 bikes to be given away to kids, including three for a domestic abuse treatment center.

A trio of Georgia bike clubs teamed up to deliver 88 bicycles that will be donated to kids in need by a local church.

After spending four days living atop a scissor lift, a Florida DJ collected 450 bicycles, as well as helmets and toys, for local kids.

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This is what a Slow Street can bring to life.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.   

No surprise here, as San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag lives down to its name by taking glee in a very unscientific DIY study showing hardly anyone is using the city’s new 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Prepare to dodge even more distracted drivers, now that Teslas allow drivers to play video games on the in-dash video screen while the car is in motion.

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sabotage of a protected bike lane with tacks and bricks.

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Local

Typical. Even though there’s an approved plan for bike lanes on Rosecrans Avenue, Metro will only make room for them in an overhaul of the street in anticipation of high speed rail, rather than actually building them. Evidently, a few bucks worth of paint would just add too much to the $156 million project.

 

State

San Diego’s bicycle-powered Coffee Cycle coffee cart now is now a brick and mortar coffee roaster in Pacific Beach.

This is who we share the road with. When a couple teenagers hit his pickup with water balloons, a 63-year old Ridgecrest man responded by shooting their truck with a 12-gauge shotgun; to make matters worse, he’s an ex-con who’s legally barred from owning a weapon, let alone using it.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco approves funding for another protected bike lane, this time in the city’s Panhandle neighborhood.

 

National

This is what the bike boom really means, as half of today’s bike riders either started riding in the last two years, or came back to their bikes after an extended layoff.

A former Aston Martin engineer has designed what looks like the first practical folding helmet.

A writer for Bike Portland says she’s obsessed with ebikes, even choosing to get drenched in pouring rain instead of hailing an Uber because they’re so much fun to ride.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is teaching third, fourth and fifth graders how to safely ride their bikes to school.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could hit a 13-year old kid in the Bronx with their car, and just keep going; fortunately, the kid wasn’t seriously hurt.

 

International

Bike riders from 195 countries around the world uploaded 10 billion riding miles to Strava over the past year. Speaking of which, you could devote all your working hours to managing Strava’s social media.

A writer for Cycling Tips hopes every bikemaker imitate’s Britain’s Brompton’s bike rental program, which allows people to rent a bike for up to 30 days for the equivalent of just $6.61 a day.

A serial bike thief who targeted an English train station walked with the equivalent of probation, but was ordered to repay his victims.

After conservative politicians ripped out a bike lane in the UK, a petition calling for its reinstatement collected three times the signatures as one demanding its removal.

Traffic speed matters more than traffic volume in deciding where to ride, according to a new British study, which showed most people prefer to ride their bikes on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or less.

A new study from the UK shows we’re losing the youngest generation, as a full 36% of primary school kids haven’t ridden a bike in the last year. And one in 20 has never ridden one.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. French authorities accuse a British expat of murdering his wife by flooring his car and running over her as she stood in front of it. Naturally, he says it was just a tragic accident.

When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, this is the bike you’re helping deliver to people in Africa.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand pro Olivia Ray says she’s still waiting for her $15,000 check for winning the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den crit, founded by L39ion of Los Angeles’ Williams brothers.

 

Finally…

The science of how your bicycling shoes work. It doesn’t do any good to catch a bike thief if you can’t keep him in your rusty jail.

And making cities more dog friendly, one bike ride at a time.

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

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