Archive for bikinginla

65-years of love and bikes fill LA couple’s lives, LA cop buys girls new bikes, and 1890’s LA bike and camera club

Anyone who’s been active in bike advocacy in Los Angeles, or done bicycle volunteer work, has probably met — and liked — Aubrey Provost and his wife Melba.

Myself included.

The Bicycle Advisory Committee member represents the Eighth Council District on behalf of Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and both have volunteered with CicLAvia and the LACBC. And taken part in virtually every major bike ride and event the city has to offer.

The LA Times marked Valentine’s Day by talking with the octogenarian couple about their 65-year love affair that only gets stronger by biking together nearly every day.

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A bighearted LAPD cop dug into his own pocket to buy new bikes for a couple of young girls after their bicycles were stolen from their mom’s car.

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Bikes and cameras just naturally go together.

And apparently, always have.

Check out those bigass pneumatic tires, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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This is what happens when drivers turn onto the wrong side of the road in the UK.

For what it’s worth, the West Midlands police responded on Twitter to say the driver appears to be in the wrong.

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Take a two and a half minute Monday mountain bike daydream.

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

A driver in the UK blared his horn at a bike rider before knocking the man off his bike, then got out of his van to scream at him. Although from the story, it’s not clear if he left the scene, or if police are just looking for witnesses.

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

WTF? It takes a real jerk to perform bike stunts on a fragile, 1,750-year old ruins of a Roman wall in the UK. Seriously, don’t do that.

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Local

LAist reporter Sharon McNary walked and biked the newly completed 13-mile Park to Playa trail, which stretches from the Crenshaw District to Playa del Rey.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White is one of us, as he rides through LA with his girlfriend. Although someone should buy the man a shirt.

WeHo is considering a plan to shut down Robertson Blvd from Santa Monica Blvd south to Melrose to everyone but pedestrians — but only on Saturday nights and Sundays, at least for now. You have until 4 pm Tuesday to get comments in, or you can ask to speak at the 6 pm council meeting.

Pasadena police busted a bike thief who stole a couple’s bicycles at hammer-point after they discovered him and another man attempting to smash their bike locks; police are still looking for the other man.

 

State

Montecito’s newly rebuilt San Ysidro Bridge opened to bike riders and pedestrians after a three-year closure, providing renewed access to recreational trails.

Thieves stole $70,000 worth of high-end bicycles from a Fresno bike shop in a pair of break-ins just three weeks apart.

A new effort is underway to get a bike lane across the entire Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco; the current bikeway bizarrely stops halfway across, forcing riders to turn around. Or swim.

 

National

Who says you have to choose between an ebike and gravel?

The Nevada truck driver charged with the alleged meth-fueled death of five bike riders last December had his bail set at three-quarters of a million dollars; no word on whether he’ll be able to raise it.

A Michigan appeals court tossed out a killer driver’s overly lenient one-year sentence for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider two years ago.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The abusive father of rapper Nicki Minaj was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he walked along a Long Island roadway.

Armed robbers beat a New York delivery man to steal his ebike in an attack caught on video.

Once again, New Yorkers voice their support for bike lanes as long as they’re on someone else’s street.

Streetsblog wants to know why Gotham’s bike lanes still haven’t been cleared, nearly two weeks after a massive storm dumped snow on the city.

No surprise here, as traffic deaths increased in the DC area, despite a drop in vehicular traffic. Which tracks with what cities and states around the US have been reporting.

A Charleston, South Carolina newspaper applauds the state DOT’s embrace of Complete Streets.

 

International

Meet the designer of some of the most iconic bikes of the past 20 years.

Shimano’s head of training explains how to keep your ebike running like new.

An 18-year old Mexican man suffered life-threatening injuries when a man known only as El Bananas broke into his home as he was sleeping and shot him, accusing him of stealing the man’s bike.

A Toronto paper remembers a longtime bike advocate who died of cancer after decades of working tirelessly to “improve street safety and the labor conditions of bike couriers.”

Studies from the UK show that exercise can help prevent cancer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Seriously? A British woman who just wanted to let her four-year old daughter ride a bike was ticketed the equivalent of $103 for parking without paying in a pub parking lot, even though it had been closed by the pandemic.

After watching a man get stabbed by his friend in a ferocious attack, an English junkie got on the victim’s bicycle and rode off, telling the court he was just frightened and trying to get away; he somehow walked with a year’s probation, despite 17 prior convictions.

A British man suffering from terminal cancer plans to ride the length of Great Britain to raise funds to fight Ewing’s Sarcoma, despite not taking up bicycling until after his diagnosis; he’s already raised the equivalent of nearly $28,000, almost $7,000 more than the initial goal.

The rate of bicycles stolen from homes more than doubled in the UK last year.

Next City examines how New York and Paris got more women on bikes; even lowly Los Angeles saw a more than 80% increase in women riders last year, according to Strava.

Two-time Formula One world champ Fernando Alonso had surgery to repair a broken jaw following a collision while riding his bike in Switzerland.

An Indian columnist says a kid’s bicycle is a metaphor for freedom. Or maybe just freedom, period.

A Korean ebike concept looks to be the future of commuting bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Banning the extreme aero tuck position could cost bike racers as much as 3 mph in lost speed on descents.

Former Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he’s finally back to 100%, two years after a frightening solo crash training for the Critérium du Dauphiné; Froome spent the off-season rehabbing in Los Angeles.

A rainy finish line crash in the Tour de Provence raised more questions about rider safety on the pro tour after a spectator moved onto the course causing American Matteo Jorgenson to lose a shot at his first win; Jorgenson responded saying it sucks to miss his first real chance at victory like that.

 

Finally…

About damn time someone designed a futuristic autonomous car with a built-in bicycle carrier in the back. Why let a little ice stop you when you can just swap your wheels for saw blades?

And that feeling when Paul McCartney borrows your bike to escape from fans while disguised as a cop.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Man killed in collision attempting to ride bike across Anaheim freeway onramp, CHP blames victim’s clothing

Freeway ramps are among the deadliest places to ride a bike.

That was driven home once again early Friday morning, when a man was killed trying to ride across an Anaheim onramp.

According to the Orange County Register, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding south on Lakeview Ave at the onramp to the westbound 91 Freeway around 4:50 am Friday.

Before he could reach the pedestrian crossing, he was struck by a car attempting to enter the freeway, driven by a 67-year old Anaheim woman.

No word on whether he died at the scene, or passed away after being taken for treatment.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A CHP spokesman was quick to absolve the driver of responsibility, instead blaming the victim’s dark clothing, and poor visibility due to rainy conditions and the early morning darkness.

However, no mention is made of whether the victim had lights or reflectors on his bike, or whether the onramp itself was lighted.

There’s also no mention of how the design of the onramp may have contributed to the crash. Dual slip lanes that begin at the intersection with East Riverdale Ave could enable drivers to accelerate to highway speeds before ever entering the freeway, especially at that hour.

But it’s much easier to blame the victim’s clothing than to confront road conditions that not only made a collision more likely, but less survivable.

It’s also yet another tragic reminder to avoid freeway ramps whenever possible, which are seldom designed for the safety of anyone not encased in a couple tons of glass and steel.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

$35 million lawsuit in LASD shooting of Black bike rider, driver turns brick wall into drive-thru, and Ted Lieu is one of us

No surprise here.

The family of fallen Black bike rider Dijon Kizzee has filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Kizzee was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in South LA last August in what initially began as a simple traffic stop for riding on the wrong side of the roadway.

He attempted to flee on foot, allegedly dropping a gun he was carrying inside some clothes, then picking it up and continuing to flee.

Deputies alleged Kizzee pointed the gun at them, shooting him 19 times in response.

However, witness testimony and security cam video don’t support the deputies’ version of events, suggesting Kizzee was turning away from them with his hands raised when they opened fire.

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This is who we share the restaurants with.

But where’s the bike lane that caused it?

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Look who’s looking for LA’s worst intersection.

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West Hollywood Congressperson and impeachment prosecutor Ted Lieu is one of us.

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Gravel Bike California directs your attention to May Canyon.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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Luke Cryer takes a fast run on a secondhand bike.

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

A South Carolina man will spend the next 40 months behind bars after copping a plea to intentionally running a bike rider off the road and robbing him at knifepoint.

A UK driver got a well-deserved 42 months behind bars for repeatedly running over an ebike rider before threatening to stab him, for no apparent reason, just minutes after agreeing to meet him at a pub.

No bias here. A British government office warns bike riders to consider not riding because of ice, but just tells drivers to use care. Even though the people in cars have a lot more potential to do serious damage.

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

New York police are looking for a man who rode his bike up to a cab driver’s open window, punched him in the face and stole a handful of cash from a cup holder, making off with around $155.

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Local

Active SGV wants to know how you get around El Monte and South El Monte.

Redondo Beach has a city council election coming up, but only one candidate even mentions bikes or lower speed limits.

A website looks at the $5,500 fat tire ebike the former Gubernator rides around the LA area.

Rookie director Robin Wright is one of us, taking to the streets of LA with her husband on their own fat tire bikes.

 

State

No bias here. A Fresno man was detained by a cop in nearby Easton for the apparent crime of riding a bicycle while playing Arabic music.

Bad news from the Bay Area, where Alameda police are investigating a crash that left a bike rider with severe, life-threatening injuries.

 

National

Another bill by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer would restore and improve the bike commuting tax benefit.

A Chicago writer looks back at an old Schwinn factory, now the site of a hard cider maker, crediting the company with the origins of the modern bicycle.

A Michigan man who viciously attacked a couple of Black teenagers with a bike lock while drunkenly shouting racial slurs at a state park last year, fracturing one kid’s skull, has been indicted on a pair of federal hate crime charges. And deservedly so.

Confronting the environmental disaster that is Mardi Gras means fewer beads and more bike bells.

A Palm Beach paper looks at Jack the Bike Man, who donates refurbished bicycles to help struggling adults and children get their lives rolling again.

 

International

How to maintain your bike through the winter.

Road.cc considers whether you should get a new bike or stick with your old one if you’re getting back into bicycling.

A writer for Cycling Tips questions whether the bike industry should operate a lot more like car sellers. And says your bike may not be as green as you think.

Brazil’s fourth largest city has cut traffic deaths in half by reimagining its streets to safely serve all users.

A stuntman takes a heart stopping run down an abandoned French Olympic luge track.

Two-time F1 champ Fernando Alonzo has been hospitalized with suspected fractures after he was struck by a driver while riding in France.

Just two years after record-setting Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley barely survived a horrible collision in Texas while attempting to ride across the US, he suffered a number of fractures throughout his body when a gust of wind knocked him off his bike while training in Dubai.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peloton looks back at 1960’s cycling star Franco “Crazy Heart” Bitoss. And no, I never heard of him either.

 

Finally…

When you want a stealth ebike that doesn’t look like one, and have an extra fourteen grand to spend. Call it an instant bike corral.

And a NASCAR rookie has Huffy in his corner.

As well as in the pits.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

51-year old Anthony Duran killed walking bike in Indio crash; alleged driver held on felony hit-and-run charge

A man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike in Indio last week.

But because the news stories identified him as a pedestrian, it didn’t cross my radar until the driver was arrested on Wednesday.

The victim, identified as 51-year old Indio resident Anthony Duran, was found lying badly injured in the street at Monroe Street and Avenue 42 around 4:50 am on Thursday, February 4th.

Police determined Duran was walking his bike across the intersection when he run down by a pickup driver, who fled without stopping.

Duran died at the scene. There’s no word on just how long he had to lay there, alone and bleeding, before someone saw him.

Police arrested 28-year old Mark Bravo of Indio on Wednesday; he’s being held on $75,000 bond on a single count of felony hit-and-run.

If there was any justice, he’d face a second degree murder charge for allegedly leaving his victim there to die; there’s no way of knowing if Duran could have survived if he’d gotten help sooner.

This is at least the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Anthony Duran and his loved ones.

32-year old man riding bike killed in collision with SUV driver near El Cajon

A man was killed riding a bike on a country road east of El Cajon Wednesday night.

And for a change, investigators were quick to blame the driver.

According to multiple identical stories from the City News Service, the victim was riding a cruiser bike on east Willow Glen Drive, west of Dehesa Road near the Singing Hills Golf Resort, when he was run down from behind at 7:20 pm.

The helmetless victim, who has been identified only as a 32-year old man, died at the scene.

A CHP spokesman said the eastbound driver, a 48-year man from El Cajon, somehow drifted to the right, striking the victim’s bike at around 45 mph and hurling him to the roadway.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. However, there’s no word on whether the driver’s phone was examined for evidence of distracted driving.

There’s also no word on whether the victim suffered a head injury; if not, it really doesn’t matter whether or not he had a helmet. And a crash at that speed was likely not survivable, with or without one.

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

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

Anti-bike bile from Indy shock jock, study shows parking causes traffic, and DTLA transportation ideas for Kevin de León

No bias here.

An Indianapolis shock jock has apparently appointed himself as master of the roads, with the power to determine who should be on them — and who shouldn’t.

And according to him, they’re only for people with big effing engines.

Which means bike riders should stay the hell off.

It’s time for bicyclists to learn their place on the roads of Indianapolis.

Yes, we’re all very happy that you’re under the impression you’re saving the environment and “keeping healthy” while breathing exhaust fumes and increasing your odds of getting crushed by a Goodyear radial. Bravo! Also, we hate you.

Yes, bicyclists can gain access to roads. Yes, they can use them for travel if they so choose. So can a squirrel, and we all know how that story ends.

WIBC host Tony Katz was responding to the following tweet from new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete.

In other words, Buttigieg gets it, while Katz clearly doesn’t.

And probably never will.

“Roads are for cars, trucks, busses, and the movement of people,” Katz continued. “Not [bicyclists] thinking they can make a left turn without signaling because ‘Look! I’m in spandex and I’m just like the people who compete in the Tour de France but without the hills and extraordinary athletic ability. But I’ve got the hat!’”

Of course, the entire point of putting people like that on the radio is to piss listeners off, because angry people listen longer and tune in more often, and drive the ratings up.

The problem is many of those people are listening while they drive. And they may just decide to take that anger out on the next person thet see riding on two wheels.

Fools like Katz just load and cock the gun. They let someone else pull the trigger.

And they don’t belong on the radio.

Or anywhere else.

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No surprise here.

A new study from a team of California academics shows that adding more parking really does encourage more driving.

Maybe we should try adding more bike parking and see if it holds true for us, too.

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Busted for cruising Thunder Road while wasted.

Funny how the news didn’t come out until after his Jeep Super Bowl ad aired, though.

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

Mounties in British Columbia are looking for a trio of men, including one on a bike, who sprayed bear spray into a building lobby. It must have worked, though, since there were no bears in the lobby afterwards.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a number of good actionable transportation suggestions for new CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, including quick-build protected and painted bike lanes, and longer term projects like adding back the protected bike lanes that were removed from plans for the new 6th Street Viaduct.

Metro is reopening the community engagement process for the proposed Rail to River Trail, after the route selected for the rail part of the project doesn’t leave room for a multi-use pathway.

 

State

A retired cop argues against adding bike lanes to Highway 67 in Ramona, insisting that bike lanes are only used by the privileged few. Never mind that even the most expensive bike costs just a fraction of a new car. Or that many people who rely on bikes cling to the lowest economic rungs. So maybe it’s the people in cars who are really privileged. 

Sad news from Fresno, where a 45-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a speeding driver; the 20-year old driver was also killed after hitting another car and slamming into a pole. The deaths came just two days after another bike rider was killed in the city.

 

National

About damn time. A new bill in the US House, co-sponsored by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California, would authorize a 30% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with a maximum rebate of $1,500.

They get it. CityLab says transitioning to electric cars won’t be enough to avert climate disaster; instead, we’ll need to dramatically cut motor vehicle use. Which is where those ebike rebates come in.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey explains what the lawsuit against Trek’s WaveCel bike helmet tech is all about.

Seattle is moving forward with building out an actual bike network, with a number of new protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

A pilot program in Colorado is fighting climate change while helping essential workers get to their jobs, using a $560,000 grant to give out an additional 100 ebikes.

Speaking of Colorado, one hundred bucks will buy you a chance to win a hand-built Alchemy Atlas road bike, with the funds going to benefit the Bicycle Colorado advocacy group, while seven bucks will enter you to win an Electra Townie cruiser bike.

How to keep riding through a Minneapolis winter, without the inconvenience of actually, you know, going outside.

 

International

Drivers in Merida, Mexico will face fines of up to the equivalent of $34.73 for parking in the city’s new bike lanes. Which hopefully will have a bigger impact on drivers down there than it would here.

Luxembourg is extending a program to provide residents with the equivalent of up to $722 towards the purchase of bicycle or ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana won’t be riding in this year’s Giro, after his Arkéa–Samsic failed to get an invitation.

Cycling in the South Bay talks with former pro Roy Knickman about what it’s like to be one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to abandon a car on a bike path when it’s full of stolen stuff and you’re already on parole. First rule of reporting — always blame the people on bikes.

And nothing like drafting a train at 60 mph.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

LA scores major Canoga Park bike grant from state, frightened bull scatters bike race, and Ride for Love rolls Saturday

The California Transportation Commission has released the latest round of state funding for active transportation projects.

The CTC, which is distinct from Caltrans, selected just 49 projects statewide, out of a remarkable 454 applications, for this four-year cycle.

The good news for LA is that a major project in the San Fernando Valley made the cut.

Highlights include the largest monetary award in the ATP’s history, $31 million for “Connecting Canoga Park.” This project will make improvements within the Canoga Park neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, focusing on improving intersections and bike facilities. It will add a new Class IV bike path between the L.A. River Greenway and the Orange Line path, create enhanced crosswalks, and add urban cooling elements.

Funding was also approved for three Safe Routes to School projects in the City of Los Angeles.

Other projects in LA County include sidewalk improvements and a $7.5 million cycle track on Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, as well as projects in Maywood, Bell Gardens and South El Monte.

In addition, the commission blessed active transportation projects in San Jacinto and Perris in Riverside County, Ontario and Muscoy in San Bernardino County; San Diego, Oceanside, Imperial Beach and National City in San Diego County; and a Safe Routes to School project in Ventura County.

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The peloton suddenly rides in reverse when confronted by a frightened bull in the middle of a Spanish bike race.

https://twitter.com/stereo100xela/status/1358444112211509259

For the Español challenged, like me, that tweet translates to —

#Ciclismo| This happened during the start of the 5th stage of the Tour Por La Paz in Jalapa. A scared bull, pounced on the cyclists waiting for departure. Fortunately no one was injured. The animal continued its course and the riders managed to get out. Via Hard To Pedal.

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South LA’s annual Ride for Love rolls this Saturday.

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Metro Bike invites you to take a self-guided ride along the Westside’s Ballona Creek.

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Thirty-three minute of mountain bike fails leading up to one spectacular stunt no one has done before.

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

Police in North Carolina are looking for a man who hit a woman in the head with a bicycle while shopping in Walmart.

A Japanese man charged with bike rage may be a repeat offender; he says he did it “…because all the cars were putting pressure on me…” and he wanted to make trouble for them.

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Local

Zocalo Public Square examines how Karate Kid reboot Cobra Kai illustrates the topographic and class divides between the neighboring cities of Reseda and Encino, with an expanded bike path connected to the LA River coming to the former.

Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with recently elected LA Councilmember Nithya Raman.

 

State

La Jolla approves plans to extend San Diego County’s Coastal Rail Trail through the exclusive city.

Solvang will get a new $12 million bridge on Highway 246 courtesy of the state, while the city will pitch in another $1.2 million to widen it enough for bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Which is probably just another word for sidewalks. 

A Fresno man is expected to recover after he was stabbed by three men who took his bike in an early morning attack.

Sad news from South San Francisco, where a man died after crashing his ebike into a parked car in an early morning wreck, wearing a novelty helmet that offered little or no protection. And possibly after drinking.

A new proposal calls for taking advantage of lower traffic to install a bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

 

National

Last year may have been one of the worst years on record for hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, as unofficial figures from Outside show 26.3% of drivers who killed a bicyclist last year drove away like the heartless cowards they are. That tracks with what we see here in Los Angeles County, where roughly a quarter of all bicycling deaths involve hit-and-run drivers each year.

Gear Junkie highlights five “badass” female outdoor photographers, including three who take some pretty awesome bike photos.

A governing website offers advice on how local governments can include bicycling in their municipal codes.

Bicycling asks if you should be double masking when you ride. Short answer, maybe, but make sure you can breathe. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Ostensibly bike-friendly Portland tosses out a 24-year old plan for bike lanes on a popular commercial street in favor of maintaining parking and five lanes of motor vehicle traffic.

Chicago traffic fatalities spiked 45% last year, despite — or maybe because of — the pandemic, as average speeds increased while traffic rates declined; bicycling deaths more than doubled over the year before.

That’s more like it. An Indianapolis man with a history as a habitual drunk driver got nine years behind bars, and another three years probation, for fleeing the scene after killing a man on a bicycle.

Kindhearted local businesses and organizations pitched in to help a Massachusetts man known as the Bike Man fix his truck after he blew an engine, with a car dealer tossing in a new engine and a repair shop installing it; he uses the truck to deliver bicycles, back packs and food to people in need.

A 22-year old New York driver faces charges of assault, hit-and-run and reckless endangerment for fleeing the scene on foot after critically injuring a delivery rider.

Philadelphia will install its first curb-protected bike lane, placing it along the center median to avoid conflict points at driveways.

 

International

Bike Radar drills down to the nerdy details that should inform your decision to buy a bike.

Cycling News examines the best women’s winter bike jackets.

Your next ebike could tell you how to avoid air pollution, let alone avoid adding to it.

Bike, run, walk or swim farther than you have before, and a bike-riding English professor — the country, not the language — will plant a tree in your honor.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where an unlicensed and uninsured driver walked without a single day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a bike rider.

Europe’s longest bike bridge just opened in the Netherlands.

Manilla bike riders are calling for the city to speed up plans to install protected bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe Fayetteville really is America’s Bike City, as the Arkansas town will host professional mountain bike, cyclocross and road races in 2021.

 

Finally…

Maybe one day you, too, can be a bicycling brewista. That feeling when you win a bike for watching a bicycling show, but don’t ride one.

And how to ride a bike at 68° below zero.

Which is probably not something you have to worry about here in Los Angeles.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

New USDOT head wants agency to think small, just moving money around won’t cut it, and a call to keep Ojai bike lanes

Maybe there’s reason to be optimistic about federal transportation policy, for the first time in a long time, as new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete talks with Axios.

And says it’s time to think small.

On ways the pandemic has changed transportation forever, Buttigieg said his department will be thinking more “micro”: “We think trains, planes and automobiles. But what about bikes, scooters — wheelchairs, for that matter? And getting around in a way that’s a little closer to home.”

Buttigieg goes on to add that roads aren’t just for motor vehicles, and calls out the need for pedestrians, individuals, bicycles and businesses to co-exist on the same roads.

So under the circumstances, maybe we can forgive him for the hopefully inadvertent implication that people on bikes somehow aren’t individuals.

Photo by Thomas Hobiger from Pexels.

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Speaking of USDOT, representatives from the Bike League, Safe Routes and Transportation for America say the usual approach of forming committees and shifting funds from one silo to another won’t cut it this time around.

Our organizations believe that putting advocacy efforts behind creating new agencies or interagency committees would be a cosmetic change no more meaningful than a bike sharrow painted on a four-lane 45mph road. At worst, it would take energy away from real change by creating a positive talking point when we should be creating a transformational approach to transportation. The urgency of the crises before us require more from us than “checking a box” and potentially undermining the very change we are seeking.

Instead, they say nothing less than a complete shift in emphasis to a Complete Streets approach and a radical reconsideration of how we get around will meet the moment.

For Americans to feel this change on the ground, advocates for active transportation, the environment, and equity need to look beyond retrofitting mistakes that make our roads unsafe for those outside of a car, more polluting, and less of a means of access to opportunity. While seeking a separate Active Transportation Administration (or a mobility or research agency) may sound like an innovative idea, we firmly believe that exiling non-drivers off to the jurisdiction of a separate administration will not create safe, convenient, and just mobility for people of all travel modes across the transportation system. We need to look at system-wide policy and spending changes that help address the bigger issues of safety, racial equity and climate change. We will be working with our partners to push the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to do just that.

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An Ojai bike shop calls for support for the new bike lanes on Maricopa Highway before tomorrow’s city council meeting.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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You won’t find it on SoCal bike calendars, but this Friday is International Winter Bike to Work Day.

Even though we usually have the perfect weather for it, unlike most of the places that celebrate it every year.

So mark it with your own pre-weekend ride to work, school, or wherever you have to go. Or just ride nowhere in particular, if that works better for you.

And drop a line to Metro and your local elected leaders to ask why we’re not doing more to promote year-round bike commuting right here.

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A woman from the UK writes a Twitter thread on how she went from anti-cyclist to a joyful one.

And offers some insights on how to get more women on bikes — and how not to.

It’s definitely worth the click to read the full thread.

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Here’s your chance to take a pretend virtual ride with LA’s own former national crit champ.

And by tomorrow, he means today, if you’re reading this on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know to get rolling on Zwift. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version of the story this time. 

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The strip clubs may be closed — except, bizarrely, in San Diego. But clearly, strippers of a sort are still hard at work.

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The Department of DIY strikes again. Even if some people would prefer concrete to paint.

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

No bias here. An Aussie news host calls people on bicycles “a menace to themselves and others,” insisting bike riders should be required to pay registration fees to hold them accountable for their behavior, and banned from major roads and pathways.

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

A Kansas man faces multiple charges for allegedly attacking a police officer, who was responding to an unrelated call when the man rode past on his bike and reportedly tried to get the cop’s gun.

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Local

The Malibu Times looks at Phil Gaimon’s latest shot at Everesting, and his choice of Trancas Canyon Road to make the attempt. Unfortunately, the effort failed when unusually warm weather forced him to abandon; no word yet on whether he’ll try again.

Middle Eastern models are wanted for an outdoor photo shoot riding ebikes and scooters in Santa Monica.

Mexican actress and singer Eiza González is one of us, even if she was a little unsteady on her bike while riding in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange resident Diana Rodriguez pled not guilty to three felony counts for allegedly using her car as a weapon to deliberately run down her boyfriend as he was riding away on his bike; she also faces a pair of sentencing enhancements, as well as misdemeanor drug charges. A neighbor had to use a jack to get the car off him. Something tells me they may not be spending Valentines Day together this year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a collision after allegedly riding his bike out from an alley in front of an oncoming driver.

 

National

How to choose and install bike fenders for wet weather rides. Good advice for what passes for winter in Los Angeles, where all you have to worry about is getting a little wet. You can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out. 

A Seattle bookkeeper has been charged with swindling $200,000 from an unidentified high-end mountain bike manufacturer – an amount that could easily bankrupt most bikemakers.

The bighearted employees of a Boise, Idaho gas station dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for their favorite customer, after noticing the bicycle belonging to the special needs man was wearing out.

A Minneapolis op-ed says bike lanes have made the city’s streets safer, as injuries have fallen despite an increase in bicycling rates.

A writer for Streetsblog New York says the solution to pedestrian injuries is to build more protected bike lanes.

A Pennsylvania bill that would legalize parking protected bike lanes in the state has been named after a pair of bike-riding women who were killed as a result of traffic violence on streets that didn’t have them.

Juli Briskman, the bike-riding woman who gained fame for flipping off Trump’s motorcade — then lost her job in retaliation — is now building bike lanes after winning election to the board of supervisors in her Virginia county.

Mardi Gras may be cancelled this year, but you can’t stop the spirit, as New Orleanians decorated their homes instead of floats to mark the day, making for an ideal self-guided bike tour.

 

International

Britain’s Independent examines eight of the best multitools to stuff in your pack for quick fixes on the road.

Munich residents will get their bike lanes back, after the city decided to make several popup bike lanes that were removed for the winter permanent, with plans to restripe them in the spring.

Looks like the Philippine’s Quezon City is serious about keeping drivers out of bike lanes, fining 616 motorists for blocking bike lanes so far this year.

A Kiwi planner offers a very brief argument for why people in her profession should just say no to Cyclist Dismount signs, because they does nothing to improve safety and most riders will just ignore them anyway.

Melbourne, Australia business owners say they’d rather have their parking spaces back and let bike riders fend for themselves on the busy street — even though just 70 spaces were taken out, and ten times that many people pass by on bikes every day.

Australian officials are searching for a Canadian man who disappeared while on a 200-mile bike ride last week; he was planning to take a mountain crossing locals insist is impassible by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Tom Pidcock set tongues wagging with a remarkable time of 13:25 for a 5k run during an off-bike training session, just five seconds off the British record and 50 seconds off the world record; he plans to repeat the run later in the week to confirm his time after it was challenged by several runners and triathletes.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel finally got the all-clear to resume training after his horrific crash in last year’s Tour of Lombardy, where he flipped over a bridge wall on a high-speed descent and tumbled down a ravine.

UCI says keep your damn forearms off the handlebars, too. Not surprisingly, pro cyclists aren’t thrilled with the new safety restrictions, including the ban on the Super Tuck position.

USA Cycling is using grant money to build diversity and inclusion in the sport from the ground up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on your bike, try not to ride into a ditch. Why change tires for gravel when you can just zip new tread on?

And this is who we share the road with.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Tragic reminder to always carry ID, LAPD recovers bike thanks to Bike Index, and Mexico City bike riders brutalized by cops

My wife and I spent a little time on Burbank’s Magnolia Blvd over the weekend. 

And we were struck by what a pleasant shopping street it is. 

Or more precisely, what a pleasant street it could be without the constant noise and fumes from all the cars and trucks funneling through. 

Maybe someone should explain to the merchants along the route just how much they could benefit from a Complete Street that makes room for their customers, and not just the cars they came in. 

And thanks to everyone who let me know this site was down Friday morning. I still don’t know what happened, but it seemed to resolve itself after an hour or so.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Sometimes even I get tired of harping about the need to always carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when you ride.

And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated, which sadly happens far too often.

But this comment, which is reposted with permission from Gravel Bikes California, offers a tragic reminder why it matters.

This is long, but please read to the end.

Yesterday I met my friend Adam Lopez for a ride. We met at Eroica California in 2018 and have ridden together a number of times since he got his gravel bike in 2019. We started in Summerland at 11am and did just a wonderful/casual/beautiful ride through Santa Barbara on fantastic pavement, dirt, and gravel. We stopped for a burger at 4pm and were headed back to the cars when he started slowing down on easy climbs. He said that his heart rate was fine but that the air felt cold in his lungs. We passed butterfly beach and stopped again right before the turn at Jameson. We were 2.5 miles from the cars. He decided to press on since we were mere minutes away. He was pacing me just a few yards behind. Every 15 seconds or so I would glance back and see his light. This happened for a about a mile, and then I glanced back and didn’t see him. I rode maybe 150 feet back and saw that he was collapsed over onto the chain link fence, still clipped in, unresponsive and staring. Myself and passers-by who stopped to help called 911. I started chest compressions until fire arrived just a few minutes later. They took over, shocked him twice, established an airway, and continued cpr for 15 minutes. Unfortunately he never revived. He was gone when he hit the ground. His mother died of a heart attack 9 months ago, and his brother died of a heart attack a few weeks ago.

Now for the reason why I’m telling you this: he didn’t have any emergency contact info on him. Although I’ve known him for a while I only had his cell number. The sheriff was required to follow protocol and have the law enforcement agency closest to Adam’s home do an in person notification. I was absolutely helpless. I did advise the deputy that I authorized him today to give my information to Adam’s family, and his wife made contact with me today. She was happy that at least he died doing the thing he loved. She also told me that he had been feeling tired for some time but hadn’t been checked out yet.

Had he had something like a Road ID wristband we would have much more information, and his family could have been notified much sooner.

Please, I BEG YOU, get something like a Road ID so fellow riders or first responders can help. Please look after your health and get checked. And ride with buddies whenever possible. No one should see and go through what I did. I’m deeply saddened and affected.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always wear a RoadID anytime I leave home, whether or not I’m on my bike.

It serves as both my ID and contact information, and a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes.

I’ve never needed it, and I pray I never will.

But as this story so painfully illustrates, I’d much rather have it on me and not need it, than the other way around.

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Do you really need another reminder to register your bike today?

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Nothing like protesting traffic violence, only to be met by police violence.

Tired of police inaction in the wake of too many deaths and serious injuries, bike riders in Mexico City took to the streets to demand better safety and protection from the police.

In fact, while motor vehicle traffic has decreased as much as 50% in the city due to the pandemic, bicycling deaths doubled over the past year.

But instead of addressing their concerns, the protesters were brutally attacked and beaten by the same officers they were pleading with for help.

Even people who were trying to leave were stopped by multiple cops and brutalized.

A Spanish language news story Mexico City’s El Pais begins like this.

The police attacked this Friday night a group of cyclists who were demonstrating in Mexico City. The confrontation took place in the Periférico, one of the main arteries of the city, at the height of the Naples neighborhood, during a bicycle protest to demand justice for the deaths of cyclists in the capital. The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, described as “unacceptable” the aggression of the agents to the demonstrators and assured that the Secretariat of Citizen Security will carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. This Saturday, the mayor reported that “about 10” agents have already been removed from their positions.

Several protesters were injured in the head and face, according to images released on social networks, when they tried to access the second floor of the Periférico. In the recordings, it is seen how several agents surround some of the participants in the shooting and attack them with blows. The group was protesting to demand justice for the death of cyclists who died in traffic accidents in Mexico City, which in 2020 were more than 16, according to the Bicitekas association.

In the videos posted on social networks, protesters are seen with swollen faces and cuts on their faces after the confrontation. “We were protesting, we were leaving, and they ran, and they grabbed me like eight policemen,” one of the injured assured one of the reporters who was at the scene. “They cut my head open, they hurt my ribs,” said another, sitting on the sidewalk, when the protest, which had gathered around fifty people, already seemed dissolved.

The paper goes on the quote officials as saying an investigation has been launched into who ordered the attack, and the officers who carried it out. And that while some riders also attacked the police, the police had an obligation to maintain the peace, and ones responsible for their actions would be fired.

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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The annual Bicycle Film Festival takes part entirely online this year; any tickets purchased this week will benefit Sacramento and Davis advocacy organizations.

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One more reason flimsy plastic bendy posts do not a protected bike lane make.

In case you’re wondering what happened to the bike lane markers on Grand St…. from jerseycity

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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Take a break to catch a little air at a Virginia mountain bike park.

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GCN offers a pair of videos, pitting a GPS bike computer against a rider using an old-fashioned map and compass…

….and asking if hybrids can be just as fast as roadies.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Clemente is the latest SoCal coastal town to consider restricting ebikes on trails.

A San Diego paper asks if 2020 was the year that changed bicycling in the city for good. Let’s hope so.

Coachella’s Grapefruit Blvd is set to get a Complete Streets makeover, including sidewalks, trees and bike lanes. Although it’s also set to get a couple more traffic lanes, as well.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of off-duty cardiac care nurses hopped off their bikes to save the life of an Aptos mountain biker who had collapsed on the side of a trail.

 

National

Luxury site the Robb Report suggests ebikes for any kind of terrain, although most of the prices are what you’d expect for a site where money is no object. Then again, $3,200 is apparently considered entry level for an e-cargo bike these days.

Which of these is not like the others? A design website urges readers to commute in style with several outlandish-looking, planet-friendly ebikes, while a road bike and a couple foldies stand out just for not looking strange.

A Portland photographer documents a year of change as the city confronts the Covid-19 pandemic, while riding his new ebike 5,000 miles through the city.

They get it. The Las Vegas Sun reports that efforts to protect bike riders are gaining traction in the wake of the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists near the city last month, while correctly noting that people on bikes pay for the road, too.

An Albuquerque NM woman got her stolen bike back just a day later after Facebook users spotted it for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp, and concerned cops posed as buyers to bust the thief.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who ran down a Texas boy and just kept going in a crash caught on security cam; fortunately, the kid only suffered a few scrapes, even though he thinks the driver hit him on purpose.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan replaced a young Arkansas boy’s stolen bicycle, just hours after it went missing.

When a teenaged Chik-fil-A employee won a new car at the company Christmas party, she immediately gave it to a coworker who was riding a bike seven miles each way to work every day through the frigid Wisconsin winter.

Nice story from Florida, where a goodhearted stranger bought a new bicycle for an autistic man she’d just met after noticing the bike he was riding to work was worn out and had no functioning brakes. Then more strangers pitched in to replace it when the new bike was stolen the next day.

 

International

Specialized promised there wouldn’t be any major interruptions in retail sales after their UK headquarters went up in flames.

Internationally known London bike shop Geoffrey Butler Cycles closed its doors without warning, shuttering the shop overnight after 60 years, while the mail order business will shut down in July.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill could have some competition in a few years from a two-year old English stunt rider.

An independent press organization rules that Britain’s Mirror was wrong to publish a photo of identifiable bike riders apparently ignoring distancing guidelines.

Acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann learned to listen and developed his voice as a writer on a two-year bike trip across the US.

A Philippine official broke up an unsanctioned early morning bike race, even though it was taking place at 4:30 on a Saturday morning.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is reportedly doing well, after he and a pair of teammates — including his brother — tested positive for the Covid bug.

The maskless Australian Road Nationals show what’s possible when a country has the coronavirus under control.

Forget gravel, and do your racing on the white stuff without a front wheel.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to rob a couple convenience stores, maybe put a mask on first — and not just for the coronavirus. Before you steal a bike, you might want to make sure it doesn’t belong to the daughter of a mixed martial arts fighter first.

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

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Thanks to Robert L for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Our annual holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Low bike goals in new LADOT strategic plan, proposed retail bike registration requirement, and new Burbank bike path

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. But at first glance, the section on bike planning and implementation could use some major improvement.

While it’s good news that the city is finally getting around to working on the Neighborhood Enhanced Network — one of three comprehensive bike networks in the city’s mobility plan — completing just one major active transportation project per year sets an extremely low and unambitious bar for the city.

Click to enlarge

 

At that rate, it could be decades before we’ll finally have a safe route across the city. Or through your own neighborhood, even.

And that vague term doesn’t even guarantee that the “major active transportation project” will include bikes at all.

To be fair, Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to be dramatically understaffed and underfunded, a situation that’s not likely to improve anytime soon, given the city’s precarious financial state.

Meanwhile, biking and walking continues to take a backseat to funneling ever larger amounts of motor vehicles through our already overstrained streets.

And don’t even get me started on the largely forgotten Vision Zero program, which has been pushed so far back on the list of priorities it risks falling off entirely.

While the commitment to major active transportation projects vaguely resembles the long-promised Backbone Network of bikeways on major streets, there’s no mention of the Green Network promised in the 2010 Bike Plan, which was subsumed into the mobility plan.

The idea was to have one network leading into another, giving riders the ability to travel in their own neighborhood, through the local community, and across the city.

Instead we’re left with vague promises, as LADOT continues to set the bar so low they have to be careful not to trip over it on the way out every night.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

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Saturday’s virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition will include discussion of a proposal to require retail sellers of new and used bikes to register them for the buyer with Bike Index.

Although that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

A better option would be to offer some sort of tax benefit to encourage bike shops to do what some are already doing — register their bikes when they take them into inventory, then transfer the registration to the buyer if the customer wants.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

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Okay, so you may not get much of a workout. But who wants to be the first to ride it today?

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

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Nice.

Pastor William S. Epps of South LA’s Second Baptist Church joined with over 50 bicyclists representing the Inner City Cycling Connection on Martin Luther King Day to pray for “healing in African American communities throughout Los Angeles.”

According to a statement issued by ICCC, the group’s members “cycle through a city where the neighborhoods have changed just like the terrain, we push and pedal towards the mountain top…we have our eyes set on the promise land and every muscle we burn, we are assured and filled with hope [that] the day of equality and justice are not just a dream. We pray for the courage to continue to stand up for justice, reconciliation and truth.”

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

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

No bias here. A British city councilor says segregated bike lanes are shortsighted because they’ll get too crowded and put residents at risk, and e-scooters are dangerous to cars. No, really.

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

West Virginia police bust a bike-riding shoplifter after a circuitous chase. It seems like a straighter route would have made for a more efficient getaway. But that’s just me.

What a jerk. A bike rider in Brussels is accused of intentionally kneeing a five-year old little girl because she didn’t get the eff out of his way fast enough. And it looks even worse than it sounds.

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Local

Congratulations to Arlo Day; the five-year old daughter of actors Leighton Meester and Adam Brody is one of us now, after her mother taught her to ride a bike.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to sign a petition calling for biking and walking to get a fair share of the federal transportation budget.

Bad news from San Diego County, where man riding in an El Cajon bike lane suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a motorist turning into a driveway; no word yet on whether his injuries are life-threatening. Although someone should tell the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was the driver, rather than the car, who was responsible for the crash; it took them until the last paragraph to even mention that the car had one.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 14-year old Fresno boy can’t ride his bike with a friend without getting accosted and shot; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

They get it. Pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco says Slow Streets should be made permanent. And not just in San Francisco, please.

Some Modesto parents are complaining about what they consider a heavy handed response by police in crackdown on unruly teens participating in last weekend’s Ride Out.

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

Who needs winter bike gloves when you have USB-chargeable, heated handlebar plugs?

Bicycling says hold off on that hot shower after a freezing bike ride. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall locks you out.

A Portland bike club was honored by USA Cycling as the nation’s Best Community Builder for 2020.

Utah’s version of the Idaho Stop law sailed through the state House, which voted overwhelming to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; the bill’s sponsor said allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs was too controversial to include it in the bill.

Bike riding has become a favored family activity in pandemic era Houston.

America’s first Bike City, joining cities like Paris and Copenhagen in receiving the designation from international cycling’s governing body, is…Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Streetsblog wants to know how New York plans to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, when they haven’t been able to consistently meet the previous goal of just 1,500 a year.

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

No surprise here. The American hit-and-run driver who fled the country after killing 19-year old London motorcyclist Harry Dunn, claiming diplomatic immunity, was working for an American intelligence agency at the time of the crash.

The British government sets a goal of half of all trips in cities and towns to be done by walking or bicycling by the end of this decade.

Someone please get these people some bikes. Despite the massive increase in bicycling driven by the coronavirus bike boom, Derry residents have the lowest access to a bicycle of anywhere in Northern Ireland.

If you build it, they will come. New figures from the Paris government show that six out of every ten people using the city’s popup bike lanes are new to bicycling. Yet another example of exactly what Los Angeles is missing out on by failing to install a single popup lane during the pandemic.

Ped-assist ebike fires doubled in Singapore last year, even as the overall rate of fires declined.

That’s more like it. An Aussie truck driver got four years behind bars for killing a bike rider after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision; the judge rejected the driver’s claim that that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, finding it “totally lacking in credibility.”

 

Competitive Cycling

The iconic, seven-day mountain bike BC Bike Race is launching a new five-day gravel race; the inaugural race of The Gravel Explorer, or BCBR Gravel, is set to roll at the end of September.

Cycling Weekly offers a comprehensive overview of the bikes being ridden on this year men’s and women’s WorldTour.

UCI will attempt to improve safety by requiring better finish line barriers, and assessing the safety of “super tuck” descents.

 

Finally…

That is one seriously funky looking ebike. Your next ebike could have a hydraulic drive instead of a chain.

And is that enough notice for you?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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