Despite ebike panic, the real danger comes from drivers; and Manhattan Beach approves likely illegal bike crackdown

My apologies once again for last week’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still struggling to adjust to taking insulin with meals multiple times a day, and relearning what and when to eat. 

Every time I think I have my diabetes figured out, they change my meds and I have to start all over again. 

Last week that resulted in wild, more than 200 point swings in my blood sugar levels, which is over twice the normal range. And which inevitably knocks me on my ass whether I’m too high, or too low. 

But hopefully that’s behind me now, and we can ease back into all the latest bike news. Although it could take me a few days to catch up on everything. 


He gets it.

The Los Angeles Times’ Ryan Fonseca writes that the recent panic over ebike safety obscures that fact that the real danger stems from cars, and the people who drive them.

Not from the ebikes themselves.

In fact, despite the recent bicycling state of emergency that ensued after 15-year old Brodee Champlain Kingman was killed in a collision while riding an ebike in Encinitas, 88% of ebike crashes since 2020 also involved someone driving a motor vehicle.

Here’s just part of what Fonseca has to say.

I noticed a car-sized hole in much of the media coverage and government response; overwhelmingly, the collisions and injuries and deaths resulted from a car driver hitting a bike rider. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from reading news articles or government reports.

The focus on young e-bike riders’ safety can obscure the bigger crisis: People driving cars and trucks are killing more people on our roads.


Manhattan Beach announced a crackdown on bike riders in the beachside city, although they may have gone just a tad too far.

Okay, a lot too far.

According to the city’s website, the new restrictions include —

  • Prohibits riding on City sidewalks, plazas, grass areas, the Strand, parking structures owned or operated by the City, County, or State, and Veterans Parkway.
  • Prohibits riding at speeds over 15 miles per hour on the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (i.e. Beach Bike Path), and maintains the current “Walk Only Zone” on both sides of the pier.
  • Requires wearing of properly strapped helmets for all riders under 18 years of age;
  • Requires riders to use bike lanes where possible, and on streets without bike lanes, to ride close to the right curb or edge of roadway.
  • Requires riders to ride in single file and not more than two abreast.
  • Prohibits riding on the back of a bicycle or e-bike without a seat.
  • Prohibits speeding, racing, or stunt activity.
  • Reaffirms requirements to yield to pedestrians at all times.

The regulations call for a $500 fine for a first violation, $750 for the second, and $1,000 for each additional infraction within one year of the person’s first citation.

Although state law already covers some of these, like requiring bike riders under 18 to wear a helmet, and for bicyclists to use bike lanes on streets that have them, even though they’re allowed to leave the bike lanes for any number of reasons.

However, Manhattan Beach oversteps their authority when tinkering with traffic regulations, which are exclusively the authority of the state, not local governments.

That includes requiring bike riders to ride next to the curb, when state law only requires riding as close to the curb as practicable. They also can’t legally prevent bicyclists from taking any lane that is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, or when traveling at the normal speed of traffic.

Nor can they require bicyclists to ride single file, or prohibit riding more than two abreast in a single traffic lane, which is permitted under state law.

Never mind that the requirements to ride single file and not more that two-abreast are self-contradictory. And those fines are meaningless if they exceed what the state allows for the same violation.

If it’s a violation at all under state law.

It’s also worth noting that the restrictions on sidewalk riding could go out the window if AB 825 passes in the state legislature, which would legalize sidewalk riding statewide, and is signed into law by the governor.

Which is a damn good reason to ask your state representatives to support it.

And if you get a ticket for violating any of the new restrictions on any surface street, get yourself a damn good lawyer.


Pasadena’s first protected bike lane is officially open for business.

State Senator and congressional candidate Anthony Portanino joined Pasadena officials in opening the new 1.5-mile Union Street Protected Bike Lane, the area’s first two-way protected bike lane.

Students from all five South Pasadena schools, from elementary through high school, turned out for a bike ride to mark the grand opening of the new Union Street bikeway.

A Pasadena writer celebrates the bikeway’s opening, but expresses concerns that not enough outreach has been done to educate bike riders and drivers about the risks of a two-way bike lane, as well as regretting that the project didn’t include a bike lane on Colorado Blvd, as well.


It’s now been a full two years since California approved what would, and should, have been the nation’s first ebike rebate program.

Which is too damn long to wait.

Instead, we’ve seen countless other cities and states move forward with programs of their own, without the endless delays we’ve had to endure.

But at least they’re finally accepting applications from retailers to participate in the program, so maybe there’s hope.

But don’t hold your breath.


Irwindale bike shop Irwindale Cycles may be forced out of business after 25 years, after three men stole 17 bicycles worth $40,000 in an early morning break-in two weeks ago.

A crowdfunding page to help the owners meet business expenses and replace the purloined bikes has raised nearly half of the modest $10,000 goal.


BikeLA says you, too, can become an LCI.


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

No bias here. A New York bike rider got a summons from the NYPD for riding his bike on the sidewalk when he tried to keep cops from parking on it.

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Florida bike rider was injured in a collision, the local TV station can’t even be bothered to mention that the car had a driver.

No bias here, either. A driver in the UK walked without charges, or even a ticket, despite reversing down a country road at a bike rider following a punishment pass — and running over a dog in the process — after police investigators concluded he probably just wanted to talk with the person on the bike, who was warned not to shout at any drivers in the future. All I can say is they’re damn lucky that wasn’t my dog. 

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

A Singaporean bicyclist is being investigated for an alleged road rage attack on a driver’s car, after denting the car’s hood with his fist in response to the impatient driver honking at him.



The LA Times considers the challenges Woodland Hills drivers are having adjusting to reverse diagonal parking on Ventura Blvd, which allows for more parking spaces while eliminating the risk of dooring bicyclists. Never mind the risk we face from drivers backing up in the bike lane.

Beverly Hills to planning to install bike lanes on Beverly Blvd, which would connect to planned bike lanes in West Hollywood.

Culver City cops busted a pair of would-be bike thieves who tried to steal a bicycle from a Rite-Aid on Culver Center Drive in broad daylight.

The curvy, 2.4-mile stretch of steep canyon road through the Santa Monica Mountains known as The Snake could reopen in January, after closing to motor vehicles for the past four years due to damage from the Woolsey fire and subsequent mudslides.



Calbike wants you to take the State Highway Complete Streets Survey.

A jury has been seated in the murder trial of Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez for intentionally running down and killing 46-year old Riverside resident Benedicto Solanga with his pickup, as Solanga walked his bike with another person; Gutierrez allegedly flipped Solanga the bird as he drove by, then made a U-turn to come back and ram into him.

Someone riding a bicycle in Indio was hospitalized after they were struck by a driver Sunday afternoon.

A new study suggests that fears that a proposed road diet and wide, protected bike lanes on San Francisco’s Grand Avenue could delay buses are unfounded.

Critical Mass returned to Lake Tahoe after a decade, in response to a Caltrans proposal to increase speed limits.



NPR explains why journalists often use a passive voice to describe crashes, after a listener complains about a headline saying 17-year old fallen cyclist Magnus White was hit by a car, not a driver.

Las Vegas bicyclists installed a ghost bike to honor former Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst, who was allegedly murdered when he was intentionally run down from behind by a 17-year old driver in a stolen car.

A writer for an Apple website used his iPhone to document a 4-day, 253-mile tour of central Minnesota.

A Buffalo NY writer gets her first new bike at age 70, after a lifetime of bicycling.

Now that’s an open streets event. Thousands of DC-area bike riders turned out to enjoy a whopping 20 miles of carfree streets.



Momentum highlights North America’s best bike trails, including NorCal’s 25.4-mile Buzz Johnson Trail.

Canadian national park officers shot and killed an aggressive coyote in Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton that had chased people on bicycles, after a second coyote bit a woman when she got off her bike last week.

The National Review offers a photo essay of the decennial Knutsford Great Race on Penny Farthings.

Police in the UK pulled an accused terrorist off a bicycle as he rode along a London canal path, four days after he escaped prison by strapping himself to the bottom of a food delivery truck.

An Indian driver faces murder charges after security cam video shows him intentionally running down a 15-year old bike-riding relative, just because the boy had told him not to urinate near a local temple.

A South Korean bike path may smell of exhaust from the cars speeding by on either side, but its solar panel covering provides power for around 500 homes, as well as shade for the riders using it.


Competitive Cycling

Colorado’s Sepp Kuss is just six days from rolling into Madrid wearing the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey, after making the surprising leap from top domestique for Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard to leading them by more than a minute and a half.

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel continued to attack on Sunday, seeking a second consecutive stage win after falling out of the overall battle after his disastrous stage 13 ride up the Col du Tourmalet on Friday.

Belgian Wout van Aert won his second Tour of Britain, despite being forced to fight for the win on the final stage.

L39ion of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner won the women’s and men’s elite races in the penultimate race of the American Criterium Cup series, but it was American Cycling’s Danny Summerhill who clinched the men’s Crit Cup title.

Instagram users came through for former US crit champ Rahsaan Bahati and his Bahati Foundation by locating his team’s abandoned trailer in Long Beach after it was stolen and ransacked, with $15,000 worth of equipment taken.

Sixteen-year old US national age group time trial champ Gray Barnett got his $12,000 racing bike back after the airline lost it, thanks to an Apple AirTag, which tracked it across the Atlantic.



When you’re on the run from the cops, try not to run past a boy willing to loan them his bike. Trying out the cheapest ebike on Amazon to answer the burning question, “how bad can it be?”

And The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards begrudgingly signs autographs for bicyclists riding next to his limo. Thanks to Westside Wheelmen for the heads-up. 


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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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