Archive for bikinginla

Longest-serving LACBC staffer out due to Covid-19 shutdown, and Nextdoor user claims bikes can’t use bikeways

Normally, I’d wish you a happy April Fools Day. 

But with everything that’s going on in the world, we all need to be able to trust what we read right now. Here, and everywhere else.

Photo by Татьяна Чернышова from Pexels.

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Very disappointing news today, as the coronavirus shutdown claimed another victim.

This is part of an email that was forwarded to me today.

…I’m writing to tell you that this will be the last email you get from me at LACBC. As of Friday March 27, my time as an employee of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition officially came to a close.

As you probably know, LACBC has been struggling financially for over a year now. Thanks to the tremendous work of Eli Akira Kaufman, the Board of Directors, and my fellow staff, we were on a path to recovery, until recently. Unfortunately, the current pandemic has effectively put a hold on the contracts I’ve been managing, our annual LA River Ride is hanging in the balance, and our finances are even tighter than before. Eli and the board have had to make some difficult decisions for the sake of keeping LACBC rolling.

That message comes from Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Education Director Colin Bogart, the coalition’s longest serving staff member, and the last remaining link to the group’s founding.

I also want you to know that it’s been a great joy and a pleasure to work at LACBC and with all of you. I’ve always considered myself lucky to be doing this work and to be able to work with so many great people. And I’m forever grateful to those of you who have volunteered your time or supported LACBC through various fundraising efforts. I hope that you will continue to do so. LACBC still needs all of you.

Lastly, this is not good-bye. Instead, it’s more like “see you later.” As many of you know, I truly believe in bicycling as a means to make our world a better place. I’m not going anywhere and I intend to stay engaged. (Some of you may recall that I myself was a volunteer and a board member for years before I was hired)…

If you believed, like me, that Colin would be the one turning out the lights if the worst ever came for LA County’s leading bicycle advocacy group, this day brings special sadness.

It marks an end of an era stretching back two full decades, and the final, last loss of institutional memory for the LACBC. Thanks to board term limits and staff turnover, no one is left who has been with the coalition more than four years.

He will be very missed.

And so, too, will the LACBC if we don’t all pull together to save it.

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Nothing like citing just half a law.

And trying to tell people they can’t ride bikes on a bikeway. Or let their kids ride legally on a sidewalk.

Actually, that section of the Municipal Code reads,

No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, roller skates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Which kinda changes the whole meaning.

So you and your kids can feel free to ride any bikeways, boardwalks or sidewalks that are still open right now.

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

A British woman opens up about the sabotaged bike trail that left her mountain biking husband in a wheelchair, just two years after he survived a heart attack.

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

San Diego deputies busted a man who escaped by bicycle after he allegedly assaulted a woman in a Poway park. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time.

Not many homicides are solved as easily as this one, after a Charleston SC man rode his bike up to the crime scene and shouted out his confession to the shooting.

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Local

The only upside of the coronavirus crisis is the clean air in the mostly carfree City of Angels.

Gossip Girl actor Chase Crawford is one of us, taking a spin through Los Feliz on his ebike.

 

State

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is looking for a new executive director.

A half dozen high school art students will ride from San Francisco to New York to spread the message of pedal power over gas power.

 

National

NACTO suggests ten ways cities should respond to Covid-19 on their streets, including getting rid of beg buttons, which LA is starting to do in DTLA and MacArthur Park.

PeopleForBikes is is looking for ambassadors for their Ride Spot digital biking platform.

Your next bike could fold all the way down to its airless tires.

A writer for Golf takes on the sport’s Peloton king, and wins. Call it a good ride ruined.

Portland’s annual Filmed by Bike festival will be streaming online instead of in theaters, starting this Saturday.

Nevada encourages families to get out and walk, bike or hike on Wednesdays.

Pink Bike takes a field trip to Sedona to try out four sub-two grand mountain bikes.

Nice guy. The bighearted owner of an Idaho bike shop is giving away 5,000 pounds of potatoes to people affected by the coronavirus shutdown to thank community members for their support over the years.

Unfortunately, the federal ruling that bike shops provide an essential service doesn’t carry the force of law, allowing New Mexico to conclude the opposite and order them shut down.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag outside Durango CO was traveling nearly twice the speed limit at the time of the crash.

A Chicago bike courier collective is helping restaurants survive the shutdown by safely delivering meals across the city.

New York installed a temporary protected bike lane to fix a dangerous gap during the city’s Covid-19 bike boom, only to have someone move the cones off the street onto the sidewalk.

The celebrity bike boom moves to the other coast, as former Wolverine Hugh Jackman rides the streets of New York in the protective gear of our times.

A bighearted Florida man is refurbishing bikes and giving them to people who’ve lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Asking for a little more tolerance on the road, a Florida bicyclist complains when a pedestrian tells his bike club to get off a shared use path, and another tells them to get off the road a few minutes later.

 

International

Forbes says bikes are making a comeback, as social distancing has led to a bike boom around the world, including ChicagoFlorida and Sheffield, England.

Pez Cycling News talks with bike brands on both sides of the Atlantic about how they’re doing during the coronavirus crisis.

Cycling Weekly suggests eight places in the UK to add to your bike bucket list once the country’s coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Cycling Tips has advice on fifteen mistakes to avoid if you’re doing your riding indoors on Zwift.

Two men have confessed to being the lowlife jerks stealing bikes from Nottingham, England hospital workers while they were treating coronavirus patients.

The Verge calls the new ped-assist ebike from Dutch bikemaker Stella a “near-perfect city bike.” Meanwhile, New Atlas calls the new bike from the Netherlands’ Mokumono Cycles “the perfect urban ebike.”

No irony here. A New Zealand man was rescued by helicopter after he hit a pothole and went over the handlebars, while he was on a fundraising ride for a rescue helicopter service.

Clearly, not everyone has given up on April Fools Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the annual Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race is officially kaput for this year.

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas says he just wants to race his bike again.

 

Finally…

No. Just…no. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. 

And this is what happens when an actual pro cyclist tries to ride with Zwift.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

US gives up everything for Lent, tactical techniques to slow speeding drivers, and sharing the road with driving dogs

As we noted yesterday, this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

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Catholic or not, thanks to Covid-19, we’re all giving up virtually everything for Lent.

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Streetsblog recommends tactical traffic calming measures to slow speeding drivers, newly freed from the constrictions of traffic.

The LAPD shows the tragic results of that speeding — a triple fatality crash on what looks like Highland Blvd.

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This is who we share the roads with, canine edition.

A Washington man was busted for leading police on a 109 mph chase while trying to teach his dog to drive.

Yes, his dog.

No word on whether it had a license.

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A new helmet mounted, dual lens bike cam simultaneously captures images to the front and rear as you ride. And the video quality is pretty damn good.

At the equivalent of roughly $220, the price isn’t bad, either.

And yes, this is moving to the top of my wish list.

Even if it does stick up like a periscope.

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Global Cycling Network steps you through some basic maintenance tasks you may have been putting off.

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

A 16-year old Long Beach boy suffered non-life threatening injuries when he shot by a pair of men riding bicycles Sunday night, in what police describe as an apparent gang-related shooting.

The next day, a man fleeing from police on a bicycle was injured in an officer-involved shooting after allegedly firing at police, who were responding to a reported shootout at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Long Beach.

No word on whether these two incidents may be related.

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Local

The recent rush of celebrities to take a bicycle break from the coronavirus stay-at-home order continues, as Jennifer Garner went out for a ride through Pacific Palisades.

Andy Garcia is one of us, too, taking a spin on a fat tire bike through his West Los Angeles neighborhood, while calling on people to exercise to boost their immune system.

Gubernator scion Patrick Schwarzenegger took to an elliptical bike ride through LA with his girlfriend, and mother Maria Shriver.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers why so many Hollywood celebs are taking to ebikes, saying the bicycles are perfect for life in Los Angeles.

 

State

San Francisco has moved its annual Bike to Work Day from this May to September 24th, in hopes this mess will all be over by then.

 

National

After much dithering, the federal government has finally concluded that bike repair workers provide an essential service, and should be allowed to keep their shops open. Meanwhile, Minnesota is the latest state to designate bike shops as essential businesses during the pandemic.

VeloNews looks at performance ebikes, and says there are a lot of changes yet to come. The magazine also offers an online preview of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which has been postponed until August.

Chicago bike riders pulled the plug on Critical Mass this month, opting instead for solo rides or riding with a friend while maintaining social distancing.

While other cities are experiencing a jump in bicycling rates due to coronavirus fears, Cincinnati shuts down its bikeshare system to slow spread of the disease.

An Ohio newspaper recommends doing your social distancing on two wheels.

A Massachusetts school superintendent has postponed a planned 400-mile ride to celebrate his town’s 400th anniversary.

Buffalo, New York’s slow roll ride has released detailed route maps so people can do their own rides while practicing proper social distancing.

A 79-year old bike rider says she’s not sure how safe New York’s parking protected bike lanes really are, after she was hit by drivers twice in just the last eight months.

New York bicycling injuries are still up for the year, despite a slowdown in the last few weeks as traffic has slowed due to the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Philly advocates are joining the nationwide call to close some streets to cars to allow bike riders and pedestrians to get out while maintaining social distancing, rather than overwhelming popular trails.

Good idea. A New Orleans bike advocacy group is coping with social distancing by offering virtual bicycling basics workshops.

The Covid-19 bike boom has extended all the way down to Florida.

 

International

Road.cc rates the five best foldies for 2020, including the usual suspects.

Ottawa, Ontario debates whether to take space from cars on the city’s now overly wide streets to create more room for people and bike riders.

A handful of workers with Great Britain’s National Health Service will get free ebike loaners for three months to help them avoid crowded transit services; hopefully, other companies will contribute so more people can ride.

Britain’s biggest bike chain is now offering free tune-ups to NHS and emergency workers, whether they’re on two wheels or four.

Thailand’s recently installed king has rented out an entire German hotel for himself and his entourage, including a harem of 20 concubines, as he reportedly rides his bike through the roads of Bavaria.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sixty-nine-year old former Milan-San Remo winner Pierino Gavazzi is in critical condition as he battles Covid-19 (scroll down), while 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says cancelling this year’s Tour de France will cost cyclists their jobs.

 

Finally…

That feeling when surviving a mountain bike crash convinces you to make a pro wrestling comeback.

And this is probably not the best way to get a ride in without getting busted for breaking the coronavirus lockdown.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Bike riders come out in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica closes down, and bicycle deliveries in the age of Covid-19

One quick note.

With April 1st just two days away, I want to stress that this site will not observe April Fools Day. 

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, you need to be able to trust what you read. Especially here.

Credit David Drexler with the photo of an eerily empty 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. 

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You can hear the results of my interview with Take Two’s Leo Duran archived on the KPCC website, as we discuss social distancing on a bike and riding bike paths that were shut down within hours of our conversation.

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It was rewarding to see dozens of people riding bikes in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills as I passed through with my wife over the weekend, ranging from spandexed roadies to families with small kids.

More evidence that people will return to the streets if they feel safe, and bring their kids with them.

Notably, there were no large groups of riders; the largest non-family group I saw was just three people riding together, and staying widely spaced from others on the street.

Which is exactly what we need to do for the foreseeable future.

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David Drexler reports that the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through Santa Monica was shut down over the weekend, as announced, after people ignored social distancing requirements to pack it the previous weekend.

He also says the newly widened bike path was open north of the pier, though very few people were taking advantage of it.

And with the other closures in place, the primary route people were taking to get down to the beach appeared to be the steep California Incline, below.

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This is what an everyday hero looks in the age of Covid-19.

The LA Times talks with bike messenger Justin Zemlyansky about delivering food — despite being at higher risk of serious complications due to diabetes and a compromised immune system.

Speaking of everyday heroes, I’m told the owner of DTLA restaurant Redbird is one of us, as he teams with LA Family Housing to provide 1,300 boxed meals every day to feed the homeless during the coronavirus crisis.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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The worldwide rash of bike theft news goes on.

Last week, we mentioned the British doctor whose bike was stolen while he was tending to coronavirus patients. Even though the bikemaker replaced it for him, the outpouring of support from kindhearted strangers was so great, he’ll be donating several additional bikes he was given to his colleagues at the National Health Service. Police arrested two men in the theft.

A nurse in the UK felt like she’d been targeted after someone broke into her car and stole her bicycle, uniform and other items, then used a stolen key fob to break into her partner’s home. But the joke may be on the thief because the dirty uniform could be infected with Covid-19.

Another English nurse had to walk home after a thief stole her bike while she was working a 12-hour shift.

A bold thief snatched a bike belong to a British midwife literally behind the back of her husband as she was shopping in a market.

A Victoria, British Columbia bike shop replaced a healthcare worker’s bicycle after it was stolen.

Answering the eternal question of what kind of person would steal a bike, an Ottawa bike theft suspect repeatedly spat on police officers as they took him into custody, claiming he had Covid-19.

Then there’s this one, from our own back yard.

Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the Velo Pasadena link.

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Learn about rebalancing the streets for people this Thursday.

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Before we move on, maybe you could use a soothing bike-related interlude. Lord knows I could.

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Local

The latest word is Los Angeles County is closed until further notice. Long Beach followed suite by closing all bike and pedestrian paths — and dumping mulch into skate parks — while Pasadena has closed the popular Rose Bowl Loop after complaints that people weren’t practicing social distancing

The LACBC offers tips on how to ride safely in the age of Covid-19, while the California Mountain Biking Coalition offers their own guidelines for riding safely during the coronavirus crisis.

LA-based Wheels is responding to the coronavirus by introducing self-sanitizing handlebar grips.

Santa Monica-based Bird laid-off 30% of its employees on Friday; workers complained that they were let go without notice when they connected to a Zoom conference.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, as he goes for a ride through Pasadena with his apparently no-longer-estranged wife.

Robin Wright went for a bike ride in Brentwood with her husband and dog, wearing matching black outfits. And yes, that includes the dog.

Adam Sandler went out on his Pedego ebike for a spin around the ‘Bu.

And Ben Affleck’s eight-year old son is one of us, too.

 

State

Caltrans commits to incorporating Complete Streets practices in its highway maintenance projects, but only where feasible; Streetsblog says it’s difficult to tell just what they mean by that, however. Bearing in mind that what’s feasible is too often in the eye of the windshield-biased beholder.

A man riding a bike was critically injured in a Victorville collision Friday night.

A San Francisco advocate reflects on the weird calm of the city’s virtually carfree streets.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss doesn’t mince words in declaring that bike shops are essential businesses, and more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis. However, not everyone agrees.

Evidently Weiss has been busy, as he also writes to recommend the joy of riding alone in trying times. Which has helped keep me sane for the better part of four decades.

Pez Cycling News looks at the movie that inspired me to start riding and develop a huge crush on Robyn Douglass.

Bike Mag talks with bike shops around the country to see how they’re handling the coronavirus crisis.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Portland man continues to ride a bike, 15 years after he rode every street in the city — then set out to ride every street in the suburbs, too.

An Idaho bike shop owner says more people are turning to mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the roads.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Minnesota man credits riding a bike every other day and seldom smoking with helping him get to be 90 years old.

Bike riding in Minnesota is up 20% since the governor declared a state of emergency.

An arrest was finally made in the hit-and-run death of an Arkansas bike rider, who was killed just 58 days after he got married.

Sad news from Massachusetts, where a man has died after he, his wife and son were critically injured in a collision while riding their bikes; still no charges against the driver.

A New York op-ed says the mayor’s social distancing plan gets it all wrong, and that the city should either open up more street space for bike riders and pedestrians, or lock everyone up at home.

Seventy-five-year old Rod Stewart is one of us, taking a spin around his Miami block on his mountain bike.

 

International

Cycling Weekly tells the story of a man who’s struggling to get back on his bike after losing the use his limbs, literally overnight, due to a rare medical condition.

Road.cc has a list of 36 books they say every bike rider should own. Of which I have exactly two.

The Verge says it’s a great time to buy an ebike as a way to practice social distancing over long distances.

London’s Mirror lists the year’s best foldies, starting at the equivalent of a surprisingly affordable $167.

The wife of a 40-year old British man is telling the world to take Covid-19 seriously, as the “young, fit” British bike rider recovers following a terrifying seven-day struggle for his life.

A Brit triathlete flaunted the country’s coronavirus lockdown by taking a nine hour, 200 mile ride he termed the Tour of Norfolk, saying if it’s okay to go out for a one-hour ride, it’s okay to go out for five or six. Even though he exceeded that by 50%.

No irony here. A UK motorists’ group calls on people to to leave their bicycles at home so they don’t fall off and overwhelm the country’s health service during the pandemic. Because we all know no one ever gets hurt riding in a car.

Bike Radar examines Scottish former hour record holder Graeme Obree’s new “weird and wonderful” homemade bike.

Dutch ebike riders will be allowed to use the country’s bike paths because red lights don’t recognize their lightweight ped-assist bikes on the streets, but they’ll be limited to 18 mph.

An Indian man carried his wife on his bicycle over seven miles to a hospital after she was injured at the factory where she works; he couldn’t afford the nearly $270 cost for an ambulance.

Evidently, they’re serious down there. A Johannesburg, South Africa bike rider became the first person arrested for violating the country’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown.

A Kiwi website uses Strava data to show bicyclists and runners are flaunting New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France could be held without spectators this year, if it’s held at all. Although it would be virtually impossible to clear spectators from the 100+ mile stage routes, and would do nothing to prevent transmission of Covid-19 between the cyclists and crews; the best hope is that the virus simply recedes by then and allows the race to go on.

The mountain bike world championships scheduled for Germany this June has fallen to Covid-19, just like every other bike race so far.

Even though there’s no bike racing right now, you can always live in the past.

The Dirty Kanza gravel race will be holding a virtual training camp for would be competitors.

In a case of good news/bad news, or maybe vice versa, Canadian pro Mike Woods has plenty of time to recover from the broken leg he suffered in the final stage of Paris-Nice, thanks to the pro cycling coronavirus shutdown.

One the other hand, South African cyclist Nic Dlamini finally got the all clear from his doctors after national park rangers broke his arm last year while trying to seize his bike for the crime of not paying the entrance fee on a training ride. But now there are no races to ride, and the entire country is under a total lockdown.

The action continues in yesterday’s stage 7 of the Tour de Quarantine.

 

Finally…

At last, a vegan ped-assist bike, just like virtually every other bicycle. And this might just be the screaming, bike-riding comedian we need right now.

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Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

Coronavirus closures in Redondo Beach, bike thieves target frontline med workers, and China blames US cyclist for virus

If you just can’t get enough BikinginLA, I’ll be talking about bikes in the age of  the Covid-19 coronavirus with Leo Duran on KPCC’s Take Two this afternoon. 

If you’re in the LA area, tune in to 89.3 between 2 pm and 3 pm — Duran’s segment should come on around 2:45 pm — or listen live online wherever you are.

And don’t worry if you miss it, you can download the show on the show’s webpage

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The seemingly endless string of coronavirus closures just keeps on coming.

Redondo Beach is the latest city to crack down on non-social distancing crowds, shutting the Redondo Beach Pier, the International Boardwalk, Esplanade and Veterans Park for at least the next four weeks; some segments of the city’s beach bike path are closed, as well.

You can read the full announcement here.

And David Drexler sends photographic proof that the popular Santa Monica stairs are closed for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for Redondo Beach links. Photo of Redondo Beach bike path by Ted Faber.

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As we’ve said too many times already this week, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from a medical professional anytime, let alone someone treating patients during the coronavirus crisis.

Yet there seems to be a worldwide rash of bike thieves targeting busy doctors and nurses.

Like this physician from Nottingham, England.

Fortunately, a number of kindhearted people and bikemakers reached out to offer him a replacement. Which left him with choice between a Boardman, Brompton or a Ribble identical to the one that was stolen.

Evidently, he’s not big on bikes that start with B.

Meanwhile, a 32-year old English health care assistant had the bike she relied on to get to work stolen during an eight-hour shift, as well.

But it’s not just medical professionals; teachers seem to be on the hit list, too.

Thanks to Philippa Moore for the heads-up about the Nottingham doctor, who just happens to be her brother-in-law.

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Bike business is booming throughout the US, despite the calls for social distancing.

Or maybe because of it.

People all around the country are dusting off their bikes or buying new ones, and enjoying one of the few outdoor activities still available to most people while keeping them safely separated from others.

You’ll find basically the same story concerning booming bike shop business in Arizona, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Florida. Although at least one NC bike shop decided to shut down on its own.

Yet confusion abounds, as some states rule bike shops are essential services, while others order them to close before changing their minds.

Closer to home, Los Angeles, LA County and the Bay Area classify bike shops as essential. But still no word from the state of California.

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Chinese officials and internet users are seizing on an unsupported conspiracy theory claiming a US cyclist brought the Covid-19 coronavirus to China while competing in October’s World Military Games.

Maatje Benassi led much of the women’s 50-mile road race before crashing on the last lap.

However, there’s no evidence that she has, or ever had, the disease.

Nor is there any evidence of the disease in the US prior to spreading here from China early this year.

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Frequent contributor Megan Lynch is looking for a pannier for her Xtracycle.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1242571292496154624

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Speaking of a special place in hell, there is something seriously wrong with anyone who would steal a wheelchair bike from an Oakland family.

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

A Boston cop witnesses a beating and strong-arm robbery in progress, and chases down the suspect as he tried to escape on a mountain bike.

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Local

Maybe you’ve noticed how clean the air is in Los Angeles since schools and businesses started shutting down this month, demonstrating what the city could be like if we ever get around to taming cars. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

Free bike publication Cycle California! is having problems distributing their magazine due to coronavirus closures, so they’re inviting you to sign up for a free online edition. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Apparently, not even coronavirus can stop applications for the state’s Active Transportation funding program, due on June 21st.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Governing explains how transportation agencies know how harmful policies that prioritize single-occupancy vehicles are, yet stand in the way of much-needed changes.

Coronavirus brings surfing culture to landlocked public lands, as some areas are implementing locals-only rules of questionable legality.

VeloNews recommends the year’s best women’s road bike gear, including bib shorts from LA’s own women-owned Machines for Freedom.

A Colorado cyclist tests positive for coronavirus, despite being in peak form. And urges you to take it seriously.

Chicago’s mayor says stay at home means no more long runs or bike rides.

A Dayton, Ohio writer calls on everyone to get your bike ready, then get out and ride to stay active while socially distant.

Where to ride in the Big Apple when you need to lift your spirits and replenish your soul.

New York’s comptroller says reduce speed limits, subsidize bikeshare memberships and greatly expand pedestrian space to help frontline workers get around in the age of Covid-19.

Streetsblog New York posts an ode to speeding drivers, with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania driver was high on coke when he killed a bike rider last year, yet was only charged with a couple misdemeanor DUI counts and a minor non-traffic citation.

Horrible news from Pennsylvania, where three members of the same family were run down by a driver as they rode their bikes, with two of them suffering life-threatening injuries; no charges yet, and no word on how the crash happened.

Adult tricycle-riding New Orleans icon Mamie Marie Francois announces she has Covid-19.

Orlando bike shop owners offer tips for new riders looking for a coronavirus alternative.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at budget bike cams for those of us who’d love a GoPro, but have to settle for what we can get.

Road.cc digs into the numbers, and examines just what a safe distance means on a bike, like we did the other day. And explains what the hell a hybrid bike is.

Ten tips for that sad day when you finally decide to do your riding inside.

Bad news from Ireland, where bicycling deaths are up 24% over the same time last year.

Italian bike manufacturer 3T has stopped making bikes, and turned their efforts to making valves for ventilator masks. Ten other bike companies are joining the fight, as well.

Bicycling tells the unexpected tale of American and British bike riders who met by chance in a lonely teahouse in the middle of a Kazakh desert, as they were both riding around the world from opposite directions.

You won’t see Bollywood star Salman Khan zooming around the streets of India anytime soon, as he shelters under the country’s quarantine for the next three weeks.

A retired sportswriter and endurance bicyclist finds himself marooned on a remote, sub-Antarctic New Zealand island after flying in from Hong Kong, as even relatives ostracize him over coronavirus fears.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria says he contracted coronavirus during last month’s truncated Emirates Tour, but has since recovered.

Pro cyclist Brent Bookwalter describes catching the last flight out of Spain to get back home to his wife in North Carolina to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

The Tour de France still hasn’t been cancelled, despite the rush to cancel or reschedule virtually every race leading up to the July race.

Former roadie Peter Stetina disregards the early coronavirus warnings to compete in Oklahoma’s mud-choked The Mid South gravel grinder.

What the pros are eating, drinking and rubbing on their bodies when they actually get to go outside to ride.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could respond to voice commands, and give you a lift when you need a little encouragement. Unless maybe you’d prefer a pretty awesome looking laminated bamboo bike.

And who needs skis or a snowboard when you can hit the slopes on an ebike?

LA not ticketing stay-at-home violations, but SaMo might; Dockweiler quarantine zone; and dropped by bionic runners

Despite recent rumors, the LAPD is not stopping, ticketing or arresting people for violating the LA and California stay-at-home orders.

However, Santa Monica police are now authorized to issue fines for violating the stay-at-home order, though walking and bicycling are still allowed.

For now, anyway.

Photo courtesy of LAPD Central Bike Unit.

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You might want to think twice about riding the Marvin Braude bike path through Dockweiler Beach for the foreseeable future.

All those matching vehicles in the RV park will be used to quarantine coronavirus victims who can’t isolate themselves at home, for whatever reason.

Authorities recommend avoiding the area entirely, for reasons that should be obvious.

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You could get dropped by a runner in the not-too-distant future.

A new paper published in the journal Science Advances suggests a mechanical exoskeleton based on bicycle mechanics could propel a runner as fast as 46 mph, just a hair below the speed where bike riders max out.

And no, I can’t ride that on my best day.

Which is long behind me, anyway.

Now if they can figure out how to apply that to a bike rider’s legs, we might be on to something.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on first mile-last mile connections to the coming L Line station, for the train formerly known as the Gold Line.

But at least they didn’t change it to an unpronounceable symbol.

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Newport Beach confirms that Back Bay Drive remains open to people traveling by foot or bicycle.

………

The deeply tongue-in-cheek Tour de Quarantine continues with a recap of Stage 4.

………

Local

As promised, Uber has filed suit against Los Angeles over the requirement to provide realtime user data for their Jump dockless ebikes and e-scooters. The only surprise is that they managed to find a court that’s still open.

Time to find an alternative route if you ride the Burbank Blvd bridge over the 5 Freeway.

House of Cards star Robin Wright leads off the latest round of celebrity bike riders getting away from sheltering at home for awhile, as she goes out for a fat-tired ebike ride through Brentwood with her husband.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, too, as he goes for a bike ride through Venice with his girlfriend. Except lose the Yankees cap, you’re in LA now.

Hats off to former gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who donated a cool million to buy medical supplies to fight Covid-19, before going for his usual ebike ride through Santa Monica. But maybe don’t split lanes while riding salmon.

Bike the Vote LA is looking for phone volunteers to support city council candidates in Culver City and Santa Monica.

A Long Beach bicycle courier service finds itself in greater demand delivering meals directly to customers’ doors.

 

State

The confusion continues, as it turns out Orange County parks and trails apparently remain open, but the parking lots serving them are closed.

San Diego triathlon manufacturer De Soto Sport has joined the tide of companies making masks and headwear for doctors and nurses.

Despite the state’s coronavirus shutdown, the Sacramento City Council moved forward with an $8.4 billion transportation plan.

Tahoe’s 29th annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride has been pushed from this June to September, on the hope this crap will be over by then. Let’s hope so, but don’t hold your breath.

 

National

No surprise here. America’s most prolific serial killer began his criminal career with a stint in reform school for stealing a bicycle.

The annual Filmed by Bike festival isn’t letting a little thing like a worldwide pandemic stop the fun; they’ll be hosting the Global Bike Festival on YouTube April 4th.

Bicycling offers advice on how to support local bike shops, nonprofits and ride promoters in their time of need. Meanwhile, their staff discusses whether they’re still riding during the coronavirus crisis, and why.

A woman complains about concerned bike riders asking if she’s okay when she gets off her bike, preferring they just leave her alone; Miss Manners politely says suck it up, lady. Albeit in a somewhat more mannerly way, of course.

Lyft is pitching in to help during the pandemic by offering free bikeshare passes for hospital workers, first responders and transit workers in New York, Boston and Chicago.

A Montana writer submits his updated version of a Bicyclist’s Creed.

A Minnesota woman rides along with her husband on his bike commute through streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis.

This isn’t the first global pandemic a 102-year old Queens bike shop has survived.

No surprise here, either, as speeding is out of control on New York’s newly quiet streets. We’ve seen multiple anecdotal reports of the same thing here in Los Angeles.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says instead of complaining about rude treatment from more experienced bike riders, it’s time for new riders to get radicalized.

A kindhearted Virginia firefighter raised money to buy a new three-wheeled bike for a man with Down’s syndrome after the one he relied on for transportation was stolen.

Maybe keep it to yourself next time. A South Carolina man interrupted his bike ride to take a phone call from someone who wanted to know where he was. After telling him, the acquaintance drove up and shot him in the leg.

A Florida woman was busted for a hit-and-run that left a bike rider with minor injuries when she stopped to buy a couple beers, with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit; she was already on probation for ripping off an 81-year old patient at the rehab facility where she worked.

 

International

Cities around the world are exempting bike shops and building bike lanes as the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation. Los Angeles, however, is not one of them, at least as far as bike lanes are concerned.

Now that’s more like it. Road.cc recommends a dozen bike upgrades under the equivalent of $60, as well as protective eyewear below $54.

Officials conclude bike shops are essential in Ontario, but not in Quebec, while a Vancouver transportation advocate says you’re better off just staying home these days, anyway.  Actually, bike shops are essential everywhere, whether or not the government wants to admit it.

Yes, Brits can still ride their bikes, despite the country’s coronavirus lockdown; Britain’s biggest bike retailer reopened its stores after bike shops were deemed an essential service.

A bicycle in a Sarajevo museum serves as a reminder of the 1,425 day siege of the city during the 1990s ethnic cleansing war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An Indian writer complains that bicyclists are ignoring the country’s order to self-isolate, saying nobody cares about your Strava record now.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an ebike from a New Zealand ICU nurse while she was working a 15-hour shift treating Covid-19 patients. But at least she got it back after a sharp eyed person spotted it outside a store. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Alex Pavon is on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, working as a Tucson, Arizona EMT when she’s not racing. Unfortunately, though, it’s a reminder of the inequity in the pro cycling world, where women cyclists have to hold a full-time job in addition to racing.

Fellow rider Taylor Wiles offers a pro cyclist’s perspective on the coronavirus pandemic from her indoor pedaled perch during Italy’s complete lockdown.

Belgium extends the country’s cycling season through Halloween, but the cancelled Tour of Flanders is unlikely to be made up this year.

The 19-year old driver who killed professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag in Colorado could face a vehicular manslaughter charge for driving an estimated 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. There are some pretty horrifying details here, so be prepared if you click the link.

 

Finally…

Lots of people go paddle boarding; not many pull a stolen five grand fat bike out of the water. Business is booming for smart bikes that don’t go anywhere.

And a lockdown becomes just a tad more tolerable when you can get cold craft beer delivered by cargo bike.

Unless you’d rather have meals delivered to you by a topless driver.

 

Social distancing for bike riders, anti-bike sabotage on San Gabriel River Trail, and tell the state bike shops are essential

Just how far is safe on a bike?

I got that very interesting question from reader Maruta Taube yesterday, who was wondering how to maintain social distancing from another bike rider.

As she points out, the usual advice to maintain six feet of separation between yourself and others doesn’t work on a bike.

Assuming the experts are correct that Covid-19 droplets linger in the air up for to three seconds, you’d ride right through their viral-loaded expectorations if the rider in front of you sneezes or coughs.

Unfortunately, though, algebra and I took an instant dislike to one another back in the day. And haven’t made up since.

So I put the question to the Twitterverse last night, and it didn’t take long for people much smarter than me on the subject to come back with the answers.

Since relative distance is tricky to work out when you’re stationary, let alone moving, my take would be to follow three seconds behind another rider, which is easy to gauge by counting the seconds between when you each pass a stationary point.

Then give the other person as much space as possible when passing.

Just like you wish SUV drivers would give you.

As someone else pointed out, however, some reports indicate that the virus can linger in the air for hours, rather than mere seconds.

That refers to aerosolized particles, which occur under relatively rare circumstances in public spaces, as opposed to the heavier droplets expelled when someone coughs or sneezes.

The LA Times offers a great explanation in their story on how you can catch coronavirus.

Photo by Burst from Pexels. You can easily judge the usual six-foot social distancing space by the length of a standard bicycle.

………

Evidently, the fishing line strung across a Seal Beach bike path we mentioned yesterday is nothing new.

Richard Rosenthal writes to say another rider was attacked on the San Gabriel River Trail in a similar fashion last month, and forwards this comment from Nextdoor.

Again, this kind of sabotage is not just a harmless prank, but a violent assault intend to harm innocent victims, in an apparent attempt to frighten people off the path.

Like several other comments I received, Rosenthal points the finger at a nearby homeless camp.

Let’s just hope the police take this seriously.

And catch the people responsible — and hold them accountable — whoever it turns out to be.

………

Calbike wants your help to tell the state that bike shops and bike repair are essential services.

We salute those essential workers who have to travel — health care workers, delivery staff, maintenance people, and everyone else who is keeping society going — and we want them to be able to bicycle for their essential trips.

Biking at a safe distance from others is also one of the outdoor activities allowed while we try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now more than ever, a bicycle ride is important for our physical and mental health.

If biking is essential, bike shops are, too. 

That’s why we are sending a letter to the California State Public Health Officer, Dr. Sonia Angell, asking her to affirm that bike repair shops are essential services.

We need your support to deliver a strong message to Sacramento that bikes are vital in this time of social distancing. Please add your name to the letter to show your support.

………

Al Williams forwarded news that iconic parts maker Campagnolo was forced to shut down by the Italian government until at least April 6th as part of the country’s coronavirus clampdown.

So any orders received before that date won’t be processed until after they reopen.

………

Beach parking falls like dominos as people up and down the SoCal coast continue to ignore calls for social distancing.

Following the lead of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, parking lots have shut down in Long Beach and Manhattan Beach, as well as all California state parks.

Meanwhile, Orange County has closed all county parks and trails, along with parking lots for all county beaches; some OC cities are following suit.

………

After many false alarms this week, KNBC-4 reports the popular Runyon Canyon hiking trail will close before the weekend due to overcrowding.

………

Not only is Stephen Colbert one of us, he can change his own bike tube, too.

Cycling Tips mostly approves, sort of.

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Nothing like a little urban riding through the, um, streets of Ensenada.

Unless maybe you’d prefer ripping through a British Columbia bike park.

………

Local

Reese Witherspoon’s young son is now one of us, too.

 

State

A man and woman were both critically injured in a collision while they were crossing the street in Santa Ana Monday night. One of them was either riding or walking a bike; both deserved better.

In a truly bizarre crash, a Modesto man was killed when he tried to step between the dual trailers of a moving big rig that was blocking the crosswalk, apparently intending to step over the hitch between the trailers; that corner is the site of frequent bike and pedestrian collisions.

 

National

Ebike prices continue to drop, despite the ongoing tariff war; one new ped-assist bike checks in at just $1,499.

An Ohio family took a break from home schooling for a cold weather bike ride.

Nice move. After a Syracuse NY bikeshare pulled its bikes from the streets in response to New York state’s lockdown, they handed them over to local restaurants for their delivery workers to use.

Long Island communities now have a new excuse to crack down on groups of bike riding teenagers, saying they’re putting themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus. Which may be true, but follows months of heavy-handed attempts to make the bike-riding kids go away. Even if the kids do act like jerks way too often. 

New York’s 40,000 bicycle delivery riders are heroes in the battle against Covid-19, as the risk they take allows countless others to stay safely at home.

North Carolina bicycle component maker Industry Nine says they want to make ventilator parts to confront the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, but haven’t been able to cut through the red tape. They’re not the only bicycle company rising to the challenge in the world’s time of need, though. Or trying to, anyway.

DC’s mayor shuts the city down to halt the spread of coronavirus, but makes no bones about bike shops providing an essential service.

A Georgia bike advocate contemplates the role of bicycling in our brave, new coronavirus world. Seriously, this is not the future I ordered.

A 71-year old Florida woman was killed when she was left-crossed by the driver of a landscaping tractor after allegedly running a stop sign on her bike. As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw her blow the stop — and whether the driver actually stopped, either.

 

International

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a London doctor’s bicycle while she’s working up to 13 hour days treating coronavirus patients.

No surprise on either count, as 80% of people in a British town say they’d ride their bikes if there were more separated cycle tracks, while two-thirds say bicycling is currently the least safe way of traveling around the city.

UK bike shops are seeing a surge in business as people buy new bikes or fix old ones as an alternative to taking public transit, though not everyone agrees they provide an essential service. Michigan bike shops are seeing a jump in sales, too.

VeloNews looks inside a new art exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Italy’s legendary Columbus steel tubing company — which is good since it’s on lockdown with the rest of the country. Probably a good thing, too, because I’m not sure I could resist the temptation to walk off with that Mario Schifano painting if no one was looking.

A Sydney, Australia bookshop turns to bikes to serve their customers after they were forced to close.

The Korea Times looks back at Seoul’s bike-riding Wind Eaters of a hundred years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will now be held on some undisclosed date in 2021, putting preparations for athletes in limbo.

 

Finally…

Clean and lube your chain with one hand. Whacking someone with a bike seat is not an approved usage for it.

And there’s more than one way to maintain social distancing.

Bike riders clotheslined on Seal Beach bike path, and Baldwin Park teen struck by driver while fleeing bikejackers

Our anonymous correspondent reports two more victims in the ongoing war on bikes.

As if we all didn’t have enough to worry about.

Sunday afternoon in Seal Beach, two cyclists got nailed by fishing line pulled across the river path.

One of them was my landlord, who suffered an abrasion across his cheek and a busted knee when he slammed down onto the embankment. A cyclist who stopped to help him said the same thing had just happened to him about 15 minutes prior. This happened in view of a homeless encampment.

I’ll get more info when I get home in the morning (I’m “essential,” lol). My landlord is okay, no concussion or anything, but his wife and I are nagging him to report it. Again, I’ll have more details in the morning, and hopefully confirmation that it’s been reported.

Yes, attacks like this can and should be reported to the police.

It’s not just a prank. It’s an assault a deadly weapon, which can result in serious injury — or worse — to an unsuspecting victim.

And should be treated like the serious crime it is.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

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Horrible news from Baldwin Park, where a boy was struck by a driver while attempting to flee from robbers who wanted his bike.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here, as a new study shows in-dash infotainment systems are just another form of dangerously distracted driving.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

………

Take a virtual ride with former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati and his younger brother this evening, and every Tuesday. As much as I’d love to ride with Bahati, I’d hate to get virtually dropped. And I would.

Meanwhile, those of us who are jonesing for baseball can take a 30-minute virtual bike ride with Angels manager Joe Maddon through his Arizona neighborhood as he talks 1979, baseball and music.

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Congratulations to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew on bringing another bike rider into being.

………

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

Police in El Cerrito CA are looking for a man and woman who shot a bike rider after arguing with him on a popular bike path; the victim was hospitalized with a non-life threatening bullet wound to his leg.

This is what it looks like to be knocked on your ass by a sideswiping hit-and-run driver.

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

Police in Port Hueneme busted a homeless man who was following an Amazon delivery driver around a senior complex, then tried to flee by riding salmon on a major street; he was found with meth and drug paraphernalia, and was wanted on an outstanding warrant.

A Eureka man was busted on a charge of attempted robbery after fleeing from police carrying an unconcealed knife.

Michigan police are looking for a man who rode off on a black bicycle after robbing a gas station. But at least he maintained social distancing, right?

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times asks which SoCal public spaces are safe to visit during the coronavirus crisis? Trick question — none of them, if you can’t maintain a minimum six-foot distance with everyone else.

Meanwhile, a Times editorial says just stay home, already.

LA County trails were closed over the weekend; it was unclear whether LA city parks and trails would follow suit.

CiclaValley looks at how the closure of LA’s parks will affect bicycling.

Men’s Journal visits Silver Lake’s Golden Saddle, calling it LA’s most famous bike shop.

Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev is one of us. So is triple Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, as the couple went for a bike ride through the ‘Bu with her dog tucked under his arm.

 

State

Bike Mag examines how climate change is affecting mountain biking, with a look at California’s newly expanded fire risk.

One small plus in all this, as Newport Beach has closed the popular Back Bay Drive to vehicular traffic, while presumably remaining open to people on foot or two wheels.

Young people in San Diego practiced the opposite of social distancing on the city’s Pacific Beach boardwalk. The city closed beach parking lots to discourage such antisocial socializing, followed by closing the beaches themselves.

Joshua Tree National Park is now closed to everyone except for people traveling by foot or bicycles, which isn’t good news for people who live nearby.

Ventura County officials are reviving efforts to build a five-mile rail-to-trail bike path through the farmlands leading to Santa Paula; farmers have successfully halted it in the past by claiming bike riders and their pets will pee on crops and could be harmed by pesticides.

All Marin County Parks have been closed to cars, but people are still encouraged to walk or bike.

 

National

PeopleForBikes is still advocating for bicycles in today’s strange, new virus-infected world, while Cycling News explains why you’re better off riding solo. Thanks to Robert Leone for the latter link.

A writer for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News says heroic is the only word for bike shop workers who are staying open to help their customers through these trying times. And he’s right.

Bicycling manufacturers throughout the US are switching gears to make face masks and other medical gear to fight coronavirus. Which means it might be harder to find your next bike shorts or gloves, but you’ll be more likely to still be here to use them.

A writer for Gear Patrol says daytime running lights could save your life. Anecdotally, I noticed a drop in dangerous passing and angry drivers after I started using extra bright daytime lights a few years ago.

Bike shops are allowed to stay open under Oregon’s coronavirus closures.

The eight lane highway leading to Denver’s airport is an officially designated bike route, even if no one wants to use it.

The Minnesota man who killed a teenaged bike rider was drunk and stoned on a combination of booze, weed and pills at the time of the crash.

New York bike and pedestrian advocates recommend streets that should be closed to cars during the coronavirus crisis to create more space for pedestrians and people on bicycles.

A bike-riding Virginia bike mechanic stands to benefit from social distancing by being able to ride to his customers.

Once again, a bike rider has been blamed for inexplicably riding into the path of a law enforcement officer, this time in Florida. But this time, the victim will be able to tell his side of the story.

DC is shutting down the National Mall to bike riders and pedestrians to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and closing roads around the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms to everyone.

A DC site asks if the nation’s capital should follow the lead of New York, Philadelphia and Bogota in blocking off some streets to make more space for bicycling and walking.

A Florida newspaper questions whether police shot and killed the wrong man after attempting to stop a man riding a bike in connection with a nearby sexual assault; he was shot at six times after he tried to flee on foot.

 

International

The Verge says there’s no better time to take road space away from cars to promote social distancing during the pandemic.

A writer for Cyclist says it’s time to stop riding in groups, and regrets doing exactly that over the weekend.

Hats off to Pink Bike for testing eight relatively reasonably priced mountain bikes for a change, starting as low as $1,300.

While America’s president reportedly considers relaxing coronavirus restrictions put in place just last week, Britain’s prime minister ordered people to stay in their home after earlier measures failed to stop the spread of the virus; bike riding is still allowed, though, and bike shops can remain open.

Bike riding is banned in Girona, Italy, but apparently still allowed in Berlin, as long as you carry ID and ride with family members or no more than one other person.

Calls for social distancing aren’t going over all that well in Pakistan’s Punjab province, either.

India’s Hero Cycles is anticipating a big boom in demand due to the coronavirus, even though the factory is currently closed to protect workers.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews mourns the passing of Italian writer Gianni Mura, who they describe as a giant of cycling journalism; no cause of death is given.

You can probably cancel those plans for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the 2018 Milan-San Remo race, led more than 4,200 people on a virtual ride over the course on the day the cancelled race was scheduled to be run.

 

Finally…

In case you need an emergency mid-ride espresso. Probably not the best idea to leave your bike in a cemetery after stripping for no apparent reason.

And no, that 60 mph ebike probably isn’t legal.

And you can probably forget that probably part.

Why we can’t have nice things — Ballona Creek, other LA area trails close because Angelenos won’t practice social distancing

Angelenos couldn’t manage to keep away from each other over the weekend.

Let alone stay home.

So now we have a lot fewer places to do it.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has closed all the parks and trails under their authority, including the popular Ballona Creek bike path, and at least some portions of the LA River bike path.

Which exactly the wrong move when bicycling is one of the safest forms of transportation for avoiding exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

And it severely limits safe options for bike riders used to using the creekside trail to bypass busy and dangerous Westside streets.

Think of it as akin to closing the nearby 10 Freeway, which would be unthinkable for most Angelenos. But is, apparently, all too easily done when it involves people on bicycles.

This comes after numerous reports of people crowding the beachside bike path in Santa Monica, which has also been shut down as of Sunday afternoon. As well as images from Runyon Canyon, which drew condemnation from across the US over the weekend.

Along with other sites in the LA area, and up and down the state.

Not to mention several sightings of spandexed idiots riding closely in pacelines, as if they and everyone they know or encounter were somehow immune to the disease.

Malibu’s Solstice Canyon is also closing effective today, after the CDC concluded that the necessary distancing couldn’t be achieved.

So let’s make it as clear as we possibly can.

Stay the fuck home.

Go out for necessities and essential services only. Which doesn’t mean shopping at Target, Costco or anywhere else because you’re bored.

Get what you need and go home. Because every stop you make, and every moment you spend out, increases the risk that you could catch Covid-19 or spread it to those you love.

Or to total strangers, some of whom may not survive it.

As a diabetic, my risk of death from coronavirus is much higher than most. And my wife, who suffers from a number of medical issues, is almost guaranteed to suffer serious complications if she is exposed.

And we’ll both lose our medical insurance at the end of next month if she can’t get back to work by then.

Our lives, and those of countless others, are literally in your hands.

So wash them, already.

Yes, you can go out to exercise and get some air. Walking and bicycling are highly recommended.

But when you do, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from anyone you don’t live with.

If not for us, then because they’ll take that away too if you don’t.

Just ask the people of Italy and Spain.

And now, France, where jogging more than one mile from your home is prohibited, and bicycling banned entirely.

There are very few people alive today who have ever seen a pandemic like this.

And unless they’ve already caught it, no one alive has immunity to it.

No even you.

Thanks to Michael Taggart for the heads-up.

Photo of non-social distancing on the Santa Monica bike path by David Drexler.

………

Bike riders are turning out to be heroes in our nation’s hour of need.

Bike Portland says bike delivery pros are proving their value — and their mettle — in the age of coronavirus.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 94-year old rides his bike 45 miles a day delivering food for Meals on Wheels, even during the Covid-19 outbreak.

A biking Brooklyn bartender is riding door-to-door to deliver mixed spirits to lift his customers’ spirits.

New York bicyclists are volunteering to buy groceries for older people who can’t get out on their own.

Bike riders in Tampa FL are pitching in to deliver food for local restaurants after they were shut down except for takeout and delivery.

And speaking of bicycle heroes, Italian bikewear company Santini has put padded shorts on hold while they devote their efforts to making as many as 10,000 medical masks a day.

………

The mayor of Watsonville discusses a recent police crackdown as part of the city’s Vision Zero effort.

But let’s be clear.

Bike helmets aren’t Vision Zero. Bike lights aren’t Vision Zero. And neither are traffic tickets.

Yes, they all may help. But Vision Zero is recognizing that people will always make mistakes, and redesigning streets so those mistakes don’t become fatal.

………

If you have a few extra bucks lying around, you can’t ask for a better cause.

………

If you’re bored at home — and who isn’t? — get the crayons or markers out and do a little coloring.

………

That feeling when a 10-year old can ride rings around you. Or over you.

………

Most people would just settle for a helmet cam.

………

No argument here. Although this was probably someone’s not-too-distant relative.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

As British track cyclist Lauren Bate would undoubtedly agree.

………

Local

Bike Talk talks LA bike politics this week.

Colin Hanks is one of us, taking his daughter for an ebike ride through the streets of LA.

Dennis Quaid is one of us, too, as he goes for a ride through Pacific Palisades with his fiancé.

And while we’re at it, we can’t forget Adam Sandler, who took a spin through the ‘Bu on his Pedego ebike.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 48-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; he was found off the side of the road next to his mangled bicycle.

A woman takes a ride through San Francisco with her 15-year old son after the lockdown, and finds a city neither recognizes.

San Francisco rejected calls to close RFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to provide safe walking and biking space.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man died as a result of an apparent medical event while riding his bike; first responders found him down on the ground, still straddling his bike.

 

National

A writer for Outside sets his course in life with a BMX faceplant in the driveway when he was seven years old.

A Missoula, Montana newspaper talks with locals who refurbish and ride vintage steel road bikes.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Minnesota man faces charges for allegedly being under the influence when he struck and killed a 16-year old boy; he has two previous DUIs, as well as at least six convictions for driving without a valid license, and a handful of criminal convictions.

An idea who’s time has come amid the coronavirus crisis, as New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for closing some streets to cars to make more room for pedestrians for social distancing, and to declare bike shops essential businesses during the virus closures. Unfortunately, New York’s governor disagreed, ruling bicycle repair was non-essential, despite the city’s recent surge in ridership, before eventually changing his mind.

Meanwhile, New York’s mayor responded with temporary protected bike lanes on two major corridors.

New York isn’t the only city seeing a bike boom. Ridership in Philadelphia has more than doubled since the first of the month, compared to the same time last week; one corridor saw a 471% increase. Then again, it’s boom times for bikes that don’t move, too; scooters, not so much.

 

International

Experts are calling for countries to generously fund bikeways in response to a worldwide jump in bike use due to Covid-19.

Mexico City’s mayor shut down the city’s popular ciclovía on Sunday to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Good question. A Canadian paper wants to know why things aren’t getting better after so many cities have embraced Vision Zero.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says the UK should encourage bicycling during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Bike Radar tries to answer all your burning coronavirus bicycling questions.

Pretty much the definition of tragic irony, as a London bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an ambulance driver.

A British father is still on the road after quitting his job on a whim to ride 28,000 miles around the world for the last two years.

India’s biggest bikemaker has shut down to protect its workers from Covid-19.

Think you know how to harden up? Try riding a paracycle 250 miles across Kenya while steering with your chin the entire way.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has pulled the plug on American bike racing through May 3rd. But don’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last bike race for quite awhile.

Yes, the pros are on lockdown, too.

American cyclist Lawson Craddock is in self-quarantine in his Texas home after returning from the abbreviated Paris-Nice stage race, to prevent inadvertently spreading the virus to his family.

When there’s no bike racing, there’s nothing to talk about except recent cycling kerfuffles.

 

Finally…

Just want we need — a Mercedes pickup made just for bicyclists. Who says there’s no bike racing now?

And maybe there’s a reason why downhillers don’t use roadies.

View this post on Instagram

Came in way too hot. Whoops.

A post shared by Adam Blythe (@adamblythe89) on

 

61-year old man killed after allegedly turning his bike in front of San Bernardino police officer

Even cops will tell you they’re often among the worst drivers on the streets.

Yet somehow, they never seem to be at fault when something goes wrong.

That was the case in San Bernardino on Thursday, when a man was killed in a collision with a police officer.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, the victim, identified only as a 61-year old San Bernardino resident, was riding west on Baseline Street east of Valencia Avenue during a rain storm when he allegedly turned left across the five lane street in front of oncoming traffic, and was struck by the patrol car.

He died at the scene.

The Herald News places the time of the crash as 4:55 pm.

The San Bernardino Police Department insists the officer was driving at normal speed, even though he or she was responding to a call at the time of the crash; no mention of whether the emergency lights and siren were being used.

And despite what the Sun’s headline suggests, the victim did not crash into the officer’s car. It hit him.

It’s entirely possible that the crash occurred exactly as the police described it. The rain could have obscured the victim’s vision, and he might have turned in front of the car as a result.

Or it’s possible that the rain obscured the officer’s view, and he or she didn’t see the victim making his turn until it was too late.

It also seems unlikely that the cop was just puttering along at normal speed while responding to a call, though again, it’s possible.

Unless there were independent witnesses to the crash, we’ll only have the officer’s perspective to go on, because the victim can’t tell his side of the story.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Dan Acosta or Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909/384-5792.

This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

 

California goes on lockdown while bicycling — and bike shops — get a pass, and some newly free coronavirus reading

The other shoe has finally dropped.

All 40 million Californians are now expected to remain at home except for essential activities for an unspecified time due to the coronavirus crisis, while Los Angeles residents are expected to be self-shut ins for at least the next month.

Except we’re all encouraged to get out and walk, hike, run or bike to maintain our health, mental and otherwise. As long as you maintain a six-foot distance from anyone other than the people you’re with.

And not in groups larger than ten.

Even Fox News says so.

And yes, you can still get your bike repaired, and likely get a new one. Which is the best possible way to support your local bike shop.

The same holds true in San Francisco, too.

Although LA County apparently needs to get onboard.

Thanks to Active SGV for the last tweet.

Photo by Serjj from Pexels.

………

Cycling magazine Rouleur says stay the eff home, and read their back issues for free.

………

Local

Very disappointing news, as the LA Times suggests we may have a clue why the FBI raided the offices of outgoing CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, one of the city’s most bike-friendly officials, and why his wife dropped out of the race to replace him. Because a political fundraiser pled guilty to delivering nearly a half million dollars in bribes to an unnamed member of the LA city council who seems to match Huizar’s description. Say it ain’t so, José. Say it ain’t so.

Michael Keaton is one of us, as he rides his ebike through Pacific Palisades.

CiclaValley rides the tunnels to nowhere in Shoemaker Canyon.

 

State

You could win $5,000 for claiming the KOM for the fastest woman to make it up the iconic Old La Honda climb outside Palo Alto before April 15. Somehow, Queen of the Mountain just sounds kinda sexist to me.

A Pleasanton bike club is calling on Caltrans to fix an intersection over a newly widened expressway where light cycles are too short for bike riders to get safely across, leaving them stranded in the middle of a busy street.

Bay Area mobility advocates recommend ways to build protected bike lanes that work for elderly and disabled people, as well as people on bicycles.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride safely during the coronavirus crisis. Most of which is how I usually ride anyway.

A bike industry insider says the coronavirus could result in a new bike boom, as people try bicycling and discover they like it.

Seated dockless e-scooter provider Wheels follows Lime’s lead, and suspends operations until next month — not just on the West Coast, but throughout the US.

The Cherokee Nation has announced the nine participants in this year’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which covers 950 miles from Georgia to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. And remembers one of the greatest injustices and atrocities in American history.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money to support a youth cycling education program for children on Arizona’s Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations.

Idaho authorities have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a woman whose body was found in a ravine three days after she was hit while riding her bike.

A Boston bicyclist rides through the mostly carfree streets of downtown in the age of Covid-19. In case you’re wondering, I prefer to the non-hyphenated version carfree because it looks like carefree. Which it would is. 

Instead of the usual group ride, a Buffalo NY slow roll ride encourages people to ride together separately, while staying at least six feet apart.

No surprise here, as car crashes are down by a third in New York as people stay home from work, willingly or otherwise. And bicycling injuries are up 43% over the same week last year, with more people are taking to their bikes rather than risking the viral lottery on the city’s subways; New York’s mayor swears he’ll do something to help.

The jump in New York bikeshare ridership has ended, but is still at normal levels despite a massive drop in overall commuting rates. Meanwhile, the usually anti-bike New York Post says bikeshare is one of the safest ways to travel during the coronavirus crisis, but fails to note that riding your own bike is even safer.

Bike shops are once again considered essential as Philadelphia shuts down.

A Florida public radio commenter observes that cities are realizing that roads aren’t just for cars. And says coronavirus is a speed bump, not a stop sign.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske reports that all charges have been dropped against the 18-year old bike rider arrested for fleeing from an officer and resisting arrest for the crime of rolling a stop sign. As well they should be. And the officer should be given a little retraining. Okay, maybe a lot.

 

International

Two-year old World Bike offers paid, guided mountain bike tours in Nepal and Guatemala, with Peru and Lesotho planned for later this year, using the funds to help get women in those countries into the sport.

Mexico City may follow the lead of Bogota, Columbia by expanding the city’s bike paths virtually overnight to slow the rate of coronavirus infections. Los Angeles could take advantage of the traffic slowdown to do the same thing, so it would be ready when the city comes back to life. 

A former Canadian soldier who served in Syria, Bosnia and two tours in Afghanistan received a $1 million settlement from the city of Vancouver, after he have to leave the military due to injuries he suffered when he was forced to jump off his bicycle to avoid a driver who ran a stop sign. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t explain why the city was held liable for injuries that would seem to have been caused by the actions of the driver.

No bias here. Residents of a wealthy English town say bike riders who don’t wear hi-viz make them feel “unsafe” while they drive their expensive SUVs. Evidently confusing their safety with that of their potential victims.

France has banned bicycling entirely in an effort to fight the new coronavirus.

A German professor at an Indian University is remembered fondly as the Bicycle Lady, riding her bike across the length and breadth of the campus, while arguing that cars don’t belong there. I like her already.

A Japanese man is on trial for sneaking into a bike shop to steal the equivalent of $910, and killing a female employee when she screamed.

 

Competitive Cycling

A community paper in Highlands, CA mourns the loss of this year’s Redlands Classic, but notes there was no other choice.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Olympic qualifying, forcing USA Cycling to make adjustments on the fly.

Five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Hinault says we shouldn’t hesitate to cancel the race it that’s what’s called for, because life is more important than cycling.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs spokes?

And Merry Christmas, indeed. Even if spring just started.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

 

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