OC columnist cites mythical war on cars, the cost of traffic violence, and NYT declares it’s the Summer of Cycling

Welcome back from the long Memorial Day weekend. Now settle in, because we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels — time to gear up for the war on cars!

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No bias here, as a columnist for the Orange County Register goes all in on the mythical war on cars.

Susan Shelley says throw in the towel on climate change, stop building transit oriented development and duplexes and keep allowing parking minimums, because it really doesn’t matter what we do here in California, since the state only accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Which is kind of a lot for just one state.

And it might, you know, kind of inconvenience someone.

Besides, she insists, transit isn’t practical because that one time she plotted a route to some distant site 43 miles off it was easier just to drive.

Never mind that most people only need to travel a few miles. Or blocks, even.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A student at UC Davis remembers her best friend; the 19-year old woman was killed in a collision with a garbage truck driver last week.

Two young women are dead, and 20 people injured, after a speeding 18-year old driver crashed into another car before slamming into a group of pedestrians at an annual Nebraska cruising night; police are convinced it’s just another oopsie and wasn’t intentional.

A 25-year old NFL cornerback is dead, along with the woman he was traveling with, after apparently crashing his speeding car into another vehicle on a Dallas freeway; Jeff Gladney spent two years playing for the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the Arizona Cardinals this year.

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The New York Times has declared this the Summer of Cycling.

Which makes it official, right?

According to the paper,

In addition, there’s a couple stories we mentioned last week.

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Good questions.

Thanks to Grace Peng for the heads-up. 

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A Black-led bike club is raising funds to benefit people affected by the recent Buffalo mass shooting.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Evidently, only the top bananas get to ride in the official team pedicab.

Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

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That about sums it up.

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Apparently, e-tandems are nothing new.

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

Police in Boston are looking for a man who slashed the tires on ten bicycles parked at a transit station, for no apparent reason.

No bias here. The New York State Division of Consumer Protection urges everyone to wear a bike helmet, apparently convicted it’s the only thing that could possibly improve bike safety.

Or here, either. A Virginia writer says groups of bike riders are just recreating, while people in cars have important places to go. And it’s their fault if an impatient driver stupidly attempts to pass them all at once.

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

Police in Wheat Ridge, Colorado are blaming a bike rider for a head-on crash between two drivers, claiming one driver swerved to avoid someone on a bike, who left the scene. Even though they haven’t said the bike rider did anything wrong, or explained how they might have caused the crash. 

There’s a special place in hell for the schmuck who slammed his bicycle into a bike-riding 13-year old kid in Long Island, then used it to beat the boy with.

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Local

The Los Angeles River Recreation Zone is officially open for the summer; a local resident says the bike path along the river has been transformed, in a good way.

LA-based Urb-E, maker of the sit-down scooter popular with hip-hop artists a couple years back, has switched gears to join the fight on air pollution and congested streets by refocusing on high-capacity e-cargo bikes. Thanks once more to the prolific Megan Lynch.

Construction has begun on a new streetscape project on Melrose Blvd in West Hollywood’s Design District, including wider sidewalks, shade trees and “bicycle safety improvements,” whatever that means.

Watts-based East Side Riders Bike Club now has its own app to connect users “to the website, swag, rewards, and the ability to track their bike rides.”

 

State 

A public records request reveals San Diego officials went into damage control after the backlash over an advisory bike lane in the Mira Mesa neighborhood, with no more plans to install them anywhere else.

Emeryville mayor John Bauters insists he’s concerned about creating people-oriented spaces, not just bike lanes.

 

National

Build your own DIY ebike for under $500.

After the Portland Bike Index spotted a bike stolen in an armed robbery for sale on OfferUp, they tried to get the police to do something, only to watch that bike and others get sold to unsuspecting buyers, while the cops did nothing (Twitter thread).

Once again, Colorado authorities solved a hit-and-run by using an emergency alert system similar to an Amber Alert. Both Los Angeles and California have similar hit-and-run alert systems, but they’re seldom, if ever, used.

Austin, Texas bicyclists rode to remember gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was allegedly murdered by a jealous lover of pro cyclist Colin Strickland; sponsors have cut ties with Strickland over the killing, even though he appears to have had little involvement in it.

Bad news from Moline, Illinois, where a second victim has died after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a bike path paralleling a highway.

An Illinois judge expands cities’ liability for bike riders, ruling that the presence of bikeshare stations indicate that bikes are supposed to be ridden there.

A DC op-ed calls on physicians to help make bicycling safer by demanding safer infrastructure, saying it’s a public health issue.

The League of American Bicyclists, nee Wheelmen, was founded 142 years ago yesterday in Newport, Rhode Island; the group was instrumental in the fight for better roads before cars came along and drivers stole them all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the Mexican American lowrider bicycle culture in the city.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

Treehugger explains how an e-cargo bike can be life-changing.

After a single mom in British Columbia posted on Facebook that thieves has stolen the bicycle she gave her ten-year old son for his birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched into raise over $900 to buy him a new one.

Scotland’s active transportation minister is accused of spreading confusion by encouraging kids to wear a bike helmet, after saying they have no value for adult riders. On the other hand, at least they have an active transportation minister, unlike some countries I could name.

Seriously? A British minibus driver was told he “could be” facing jail time after he was convicted of deliberately swerving to slam into a bike rider, as his passengers watched. Someone needs to change that “could be” into damn well will be.

A former UK minister proves once again you can carry anything on a bike, as he sets off on a 2,000 mile bike tour of Europe with his trusty cello on an extended rear rack.

Bicycling rates are up 53% in Belgium, but bike theft continues to plague Brussels, even as it drops in the rest of the country.

A Czech company wants you to make tushy imprint and take pictures of it, so they can build a 3D-printed bike saddle custom-made to fit your butt, for a mere $400.

A crowdfunding campaign headed by Copenhagenize author and urban planner Mikael Colville-Andersen is raising funds to supply bicycles and build pop-up bike infrastructure for refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in Lviv, Ukraine; the crowdfunding campaign has raised roughly 1% of the more than $212,000 goal.

Bikeshare comes to Cairo, Egypt for the equivalent of just 54¢ per hour.

They get it. A New Zealand website refutes the myth that bike lanes are bad for business.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pre-race favorite Richard Carapaz held on to the pink leader’s jersey right up to the penultimate stage of the Giro, when he lost it to 26-year old Aussie Jai Hindley. Hindley held on in the final time trial, unlike two years ago when he lost the race in the final stage.

Hindley is the first Australian to win the Giro; a Sydney paper explains everything you need to know about the country’s newest cycling star.

Cycling News offers five moments that defined this year’s Giro.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is headed to Kansas this weekend for the 100-mile Unbound Gravel race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own NFT of the world’s first 3D printed bike. When you’re riding with an outstanding warrant, meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And why wait for bikes to hit the street before running them down?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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