San Diego declares war on ebike-riding seniors, and US bike deaths keep rising as planners prioritize cars over people

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Author Richard Fox writes that San Diego has declared war on ebike-riding seniors.

On April 7, four 78-years olds with ebikes stopped for lunch at a picnic table along the series of bike paths that surround picturesque Mission Bay in San Diego. The circuit around the bay is the main easy scenic bike ride in San Diego, enjoyed by walkers and cyclists of all ages. Suddenly, a park ranger appeared and demanded that they leave the park with their ebikes through the nearest parking lot and do the remainder of the ride on nearby busy roadways in traffic. 

While a small percentage of ebikers, usually youngsters and the occasional obnoxious adult, may terrorize multi-use trails by weaving around others at high speeds, most ebikers, especially seniors, are sensible and courteous, obeying posted speed limits.  But rather than targeting the miscreants, the City and Port of San Diego have banned all ebikes on their most scenic trails that line bodies of water such as San Diego Bay in San Diego Harbor, Mission Bay, and the Mission/Pacific Beach Boardwalk. 

Since many seniors, and those with physical disabilities, rely on the extra boost provided by ebikes, the city has effectively taken away their ability to ride on San Diego’s most scenic bike paths. And that includes this senior, author of enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.  In the book I sang the praises of San Diego and its world class biking opportunities, but now that is all in the past for those who ride ebikes. Not only is the Mission Bay ride off limits, but that ride is the hub for area rides to La Jolla, Ocean Beach and Old Town San Diego. The harbor ride is the connector between Liberty Station, Shelter and Harbor Islands, new protected bike lanes across downtown to Little Italy and Balboa Park, and the ferry to Coronado. Now ebiking seniors must dodge traffic and avoid the most scenic stretches that have e-bike bans, and sidewalks are no longer a safe option for them since San Diego has banned ebikes on those as well.

A better regulatory system needs to be implemented.  Seniors don’t deserve to be thrown under the bus because of the bad behavior of others, which is literally what may happen if they are forced to ride in traffic instead of the safety of bike paths in the most scenic areas of San Diego.

It’s now 110 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 34 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.


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

No bias here. The director of the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment says bike lanes are a good idea, except where they endanger bike riders, like along a truck route in beautiful Petaluma. Which suggests she may be less concerned with climate and the environment than the name of her center might suggest — especially since the piece also appears on the The Heritage Foundation website, which Wikipedia describes as an “activist conservative think tank.” 

An English woman was seriously injured when a driver pulled up next to her, and the car’s passenger pushed her off her bike and into a ditch last July; a suspect has been in jail since shortly after the attack. It takes a long time for British crime reports to percolate to the surface, due to the country’s strict privacy laws. 

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

A road-raging Singaporean bike rider was facing criticism online for not being cautious enough after dropping his bike in the roadway to confront a driver who failed to slow down and stop at a crosswalk. Because evidently, he should have somehow known the driver wasn’t going to see him right the hell in front of him, and placidly accepted the unanticipated threat to his life. 



No news is good news, right?



You’ve got to be kidding. Police in Salinas busted three kids who fled after the cops broke up a dangerous rideout of about 25 to 30 kids accused of riding recklessly and blocking major intersections — and charged them with multiple crimes, including felony evading, and one kid with conspiracy for organizing the rideout. Nothing like overcharging for a nonviolent crime. Thanks to PeddleEd for the link. 

City council candidates weighed in on San Francisco’s controversial Valencia Street centerline bike lane, with responses ranging from “needs work” to an outright disaster.



Good idea. The National Bicycle Dealers Association, aka NBDA, is establishing a database of all certified and insured ebikes available in the US to enable consumers, retailers, local governments and ebike incentive programs to differentiate between safe and unsafe makes and models. And no, I don’t know what “insured” means in this context, either. 

Meanwhile, Electrek recommends the best ebikes you can buy right now.

A Portland advocate says women need to talk about taking back the streets of the city, and most other cities, as well.

The high school in my adventure cycling brother’s new Colorado hometown is now hosting a class creating the next generation of bike mechanics by teaching them how to break down and rebuild bikes from scratch. Thanks to my old friend Tim Rutt for the heads-up. 

Bozeman, Montana is the latest city to consider banning parking in bike lanes, which shouldn’t be legal anywhere.

Houston’s Rice University has their own version of Indiana’s iconic Little 500, complete with pre-race water balloon fights, water chugging, vehicle decorating, and face painting. So maybe they don’t take it quite as seriously as IU does.

Collisions involving bike riders surged in Houston last year, jumping a whopping 21%.

The “world-renowned” TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back on in New York next month; Forbes calls it the world’s most inclusive bike ride. Which would seem to be impossible to quantify. 

New York says ebike batteries are becoming the most dangerous objects in the city, and offers a photo essay of the fire scars caused by dangerous lithium-ion batteries.

Ghost bikes are belatedly coming to Knoxville, Tennessee.

While Los Angeles remains too afraid of angry drivers to implement most road diets, Charlotte NC is moving ahead with a $12.9 million makeover of major street, reducing a little over half a mile from “four lanes to two to slow down vehicular traffic and improve pedestrian and cyclist access.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs is one of us, asking fans to “pray for your brother” while taking a casual bike ride across Miami, following recent FBI raids of two of his homes looking for evidence of alleged sex trafficking. Okay, so maybe not.



For the second day in a row, a Canadian driver faces a murder investigation for the death of a bike rider, as an Edmonton driver is accused of the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man he allegedly knew.

A group of London bobbies — aka cops — commandeered ebikes from passing bike riders to chase a man escaping by bicycle after allegedly stealing a bottle of Hennessy; the man was also wanted to be sent back to prison.

A reporter for the BBC corrects online critics and trolls, clarifying that her bakfiets cargo bike did in fact replace her car, saving her the equivalent of over $1,260 in fuel costs — and she paid for it herself. Meanwhile, Momentum recommends five bucket bikes that could do the same for you right now.

Talk about not getting it. Auto-centric British Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson calls bike cam-wielding CyclingMikey “the most dreadful man in Britain today,” while calling him a sneak for openly recording texting drivers — and says texting while stopped in traffic is “as dangerous as knitting.”

Switzerland is asking companies across the entire country to form teams to encourage employees to bike to work as often as possible in May and June.


Competitive Cycling

Women’s world champ Lotte Kopecky served as her own bike wrench, grabbing an allen wrench from the team car to tighten her stem while riding to victory in Paris-Roubaix.

Primoz Roglic shows off his bandaged butt, among other parts, following the 12-rider crash that left defending Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard with a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung.



The same tech that draws five-limbed people and insisted there were Black soldiers in Nazi Germany now wants to keep you safe from approaching cars.


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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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