CA ebike voucher program’s failure to launch, what it takes to make LA bike-friendly, and Hyperloop bites the dust

It’s the final weekend of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three short days to open your heart and wallet, and show your support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

So thanks to Kurt G and Michael M for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. 

Now it’s up to you.

We’ve got a long way to go to catch up to last year’s record-setting fund drive — let alone once again top the previous year’s total for the 9th year in a row. 

It’ll be a stretch, but we can do it with your help.

So don’t wait.

Seriously, stop what you’re doing, and donate now!

Because the time to give is rapidly running out.


As always, we’ll be taking the coming week between the holidays off, so I can have my annual pre-scheduled emotional collapse after making it through another year.

Okay, I’m joking. Sort of.

So please accept my best wishes for warm and wonderful holidays, whatever and however you celebrate. And a heathy, happy and prosperous year to come.

Just be careful riding over the next ten days, when the number of drunks on the road will increase exponentially, and frenzied shoppers and celebrants will be looking for anyone but you.

I want to see you back here bright and early January 2nd.


If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we all face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to actually do anything about it.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.


Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: -1

As expected, the California Air Resources Board once again missed their own self-appointed deadline begin operations this fall — in fact, all their self-appointed deadlines for two years running.

Talk about a failure to launch.

Instead, thousands of low-income Californians have continued to burn fossil fuels and clog our roads, when they could have switched to cleaner, more efficient ebikes instead — defeating the entire purpose of the program, which was the first in the nation when it passed the state legislature.

And now could end up being one of the last to launch before they finally get it going.

Or maybe if.


Writing for City Watch, former Los Angeles city planner Dick Platkin considers what it will take to create a bike-friendly LA.

From his perspective, the problem stems from —

Reason 1:  Despite bike plans adopted by Metro, LA County and LA City, Los Angeles has consistently underfunded the construction of a robust bicycle lane network

Reason 2:  There is little effort to follow the official plans, no constant funding to build bicycle lanes, and too much bicycle infrastructure is built to serve new commercial projects, rather than meet actual need

Reason 3:  City proposals to construct new, buffered bicycle lanes on wide boulevards often meet organized resistance by people who don’t want to lose parking or traffic lanes

Reason 4:  Too many proposals for new bikes lanes come from local boosters to build stand-alone bicycle lanes so nearby real estate projects can reduce costly parking requirements

I’d say the problem is more a lack of political will among elected leaders, who listen only to the loudest voices, combined with flushing too much money down the induced-demand toilet that could go to reducing the demand for cars.

But it’s worth taking his thoughts into consideration when we consider how to fight for safer, more complete and livable streets


Engage schadenfreude now.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project bites the dust, after failing to reinvent transit.


A new book intends to empower women of color to get on their bikes.


Gravel Bike California returns to Maverick Cycles to go deeper into the dirt around the hills of Whittier.


‘Tis the season.

An Ohio bike nonprofit donated 137 bike and helmets for local kids in need, and has given away over 1,000 bicycles over the last eight years.

Also in Ohio, an automotive software company continued their six-year tradition of building bicycles to donate to children, many of whose parents are military members.

Forty-four Indiana preschoolers got new bicycles in a holiday raffle, courtesy of the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition.

A Virginia bike group cooperated with the local Jewish Family Services and a community tool bank to distribute new bikes to families in need.


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

A US judge declared open season on bike riders by federal agents, concluding that the case against an Oregon DEA agent could be dropped because he was performing his official duties when he ran a stop sign and killed an Oregon bike rider.

Bike riders in Queensland, Australia could be subjected to random breathalyzer tests to ferret out people biking under the influence, under a new proposal from the state government.

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

Um, okay. A Greeley, Colorado man got drunk and followed another man on his bike, while somehow swinging a 25-pound propane tank. Something tell me there’s more to this story. And chances are, we’ll never find out what it is, dammit. 

A man in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood had to seek medical attention after he was struck in the eye with a hard boiled egg hurled by a member of a bike “gang.” Although the story never actually uses the word bicycle, so the perp could have been a motorbike rider. 




Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, will conduct another die-in on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on January 27th.

Santa Monica-based Bird has gone belly-up, as the once high-flying micromobility company filed for dissolution in bankruptcy court; the filing comes just days after West Hollywood extended its contract with the company.

An unusually succinct Westlake Village letter writer says bike lanes are a start, but bike riders need protection, not paint.



Caltrans continues to flush our hard-earned money down the induced-demand toilet, with a $15.7 billion shopping list of highway projects.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike-riding man was killed when he was right hooked by a van driver turning into a parking lot; he was the 48th victim of traffic violence in the city this year.



Ebike sales have quadrupled in the US over the past five years. No thanks to California’s moribund voucher program. 

Slate considers how American motor vehicles grew into massive killers on steroids. lists the best offroad podcasts that you must follow in 2024. No, judging by the headline, it appears to be mandatory.

Pink Bike uses AI to makes big bike tech predictions, which promptly proceeds to get much of it wrong. But at least they didn’t let the AI write it.

So much for street art. Spokane, Washington removed a guerilla sculpture depicting a woman riding a bicycle up a massive bridge support column.

More on the moron who fled the scene after running down two bicyclists riding on Colorado’s Lookout Mountain while running another rider off the road, leaving one man in the ICU with major injuries; the story makes it sound like two Mustang drivers may have been racing, without actually saying that. A crowdfunding campaign for the most seriously injured victim has raised over $41,000 of the $50,000 goal. You know, in case you have any extra money left over after donating to this site.

A Texas advocacy group speaks out about the pickup driver charged with running down and killing a couple riding their bikes earlier this year, saying “under no circumstances should anyone drive distracted.”

Illinois bicyclists are pondering their next move, after the state Supreme Court made them all second-class citizens by absurdly ruling that bikes are merely “permitted” on the streets without bike infrastructure, but not the intended users. recommends being safer and more stylish on your bike at night with Reflauro, a new reflective technology devoted by 3M, and made in America by a women-owned company.

Momentum says New York needs more bike lanes like the extra-wide bike lanes on 10th Ave. Don’t we all.

Conflicting data out of New York, where bicycling deaths reached a record high, while pedestrian fatalities are reaching a historic low.



An 81-year old Brazilian man and his 19-year old son were both killed in a freak crash when the father went looking for his son on his bicycle, and crashed head-on into the son riding home on his motorbike.

The brother of a missing British man fears he may have ingested a poisonous mushroom while foraging in France, while on a long-distance bike tour from Scotland to India.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, as The Guardian says European cities are turning on the car by adopting varied approaches to reducing traffic congestion and pollution; Paris has joined London in having more bicycles than cars during rush hour.

Speaking of once high-flying companies, Swedish inflatable bike helmet maker Hövding has gone belly-up, after a Swedish consumer agency ruled the helmets are unsafe.

Japan’s National Police Agency is proposing fining scofflaw bicyclists up to 12,000 yen for violations such as running red lights or distracted bicycling. Which sounds scary, until you realize that converts to a tad over $84.


Competitive Cycling

Hats off to Australia’s Amanda Reid, who became the first paracyclist and indigenous person to be named the country’s cyclist of the year.

YouTube will premier the second season of the Call of a Life Time series next month, “chronicling the highs and lows experienced by key riders in the past year’s Life Time Grand Prix circuit.”

Cycling Weekly considers the silliest cycling rules UCI should do away with. Like a ban on puppy paws, for instance.



That feeling when no one uses the new bike lanes but Santa. Or when you want an ebike trailer inspired by the hideous Tesla Cybertruck.

And that feeling when you need a lowrider bike inspired by a regional cult-favorite hamburger chain.



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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    I think almost all Schwalbe tires come with a very effective reflector strip in the sidewall. Has a good angle for reflectivity, from the front or rear.

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