Archive for bikinginla

Conservative writer says pry his truck out of his cold dead hands, and crowdfunding for new Encino Velodrome lights

Um, okay.

A writer for a conservative website accuses car-hating liberals of wanting to take everyone’s cars away because they hate freedom.

No, really.

If there is one thing liberals hate more than guns, it’s automobiles, and not because of the climate; our vehicles are scorned by the Left because they free the individual to go anywhere he or she chooses.

In a word, privately owned cars and trucks equal F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

That’s why, in the same spirit as Charlton Heston once warned the gun grabbers, I now notify today’s successors to what Car & Driver‘s Brock Yates famously called the Anti-Destination League that they will have to pry my cold, dead hands off the steering wheel before they get me out of my pickup.

Never mind that the ongoing burden of car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance represents the exact opposite of freedom, as far too many Americans have to work just to keep a shiny hunk of metal and glass parked in their driveways.

The purpose of encouraging alternative forms of transportation isn’t to force anyone out of their cars — let alone take them away.

It’s to provide people with viable alternatives to driving, so they have the freedom to to travel however they choose, rather than forcing them into the tyranny of car ownership as the cost of getting from here to there.

Which you’d think any real conservative would understand.

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The sadly neglected Encino Velodrome, a 50-year old open-air treasure nestled in Balboa Park, is raising funds for a much-needed upgrade to the current dilapidated lighting system.

The facility, which has seen bigger and better days — and was nearly home to the track cycling events in the ’84 LA Olympics — has raised just $1,498 of the modest $20,000 goal.

We could easily get them over the top in the next few days with a little support from the city’s bicycling community.

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That’s more like it.

California may call surfing the official state sport, and three states claim rodeo.

But only Delaware names bicycling as the state’s official sport. Which raises the inevitable question of why the hell don’t we all live there?

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Streets For All is hosting my state senator for their next virtual happy hour one week from today.

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Cincinnati’s newly elected mayor one-ups New York’s new mayor, who took a bikeshare bike to his second day at work, by riding the city’s bikeshare to his inauguration.

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Now this is art.

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Local

CicLAvia recaps last month’s South LA event, calling it a view to LA’s open streets future.

 

State

Sad news from California’s San Joaquin Valley, where a Bakersfield man was killed when a driver crashed into his bike yesterday. And a 69-year old man was killed in a Fresno hit-and-run when a truck driver swerved onto the shoulder where the man was riding, and left him there to die alone in the street.

On a happier note, a San Francisco dad is taking advantage of the city’s carfree and slow streets to form a bike bus to get kids riding to school, with pent-up demand quickly swelling it to several dozen bike-riding children.

 

National

Forbes recommends cold weather gear to help keep you riding throughout the winter. Just in case you live somewhere where the weather actually gets, you know, cold.

JBL’s new handlebar-mounted speakers are perfect for your next bike party, or when you just want to annoy everyone else around you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old man relates his own history with ebikes, while walking you through everything you need to know to keep up with him on one of your own.

The founder of Bike Index details his investigation that helped uncover a Colorado bike theft ring that funneled hot high-end bicycles to a bike shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for resale at slightly less than their actual value. Yet another reminder to sign up for free lifetime registration with Bike Index today.

Sad news from Iowa, where a longtime mainstay of the annual RAGBRAI mass ride across the state has passed away at 94; she participated in the ride for nearly 30 years, starting when she was 65 and continuing into her 90s.

After watching it deteriorate for a couple years, a Brooklyn writer rescues a rare 1998 Litespeed softail titanium mountain bike that was in the process of slowly being stolen, one piece at a time.

North Carolina has given away over 30,000 kids bike helmets over the past five years, funded by the state’s Share the Road specialty license plates.

 

International

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British driver has been busted for distracted driving nine times over the past four years, but was still allowed to keep driving. Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous driver on the road.

Travel site Lonely Planet explains how to tour Edinburgh on two wheels, calling the city surprisingly easy to bike despite its ancient streets and undulating topography.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a van driver was fined the equivalent of less than $750 for knocking a man off his bicycle, fracturing bones throughout his body and leaving him unable to move for two months.

A new study from Zurich, Switzerland shows that shared ebikes and scooters may not be as eco-friendly as we were led to believe.

Commercial cargo bikes are changing the look of German streets.

A Cypriot woman was arrested for injuring a bike-riding woman while driving at six times the legal alcohol limit — before 9 am.

Bike riders in Hyderabad, India are calling for major safety improvements to make the city bike friendly after a man was run down by a drunk driver while riding with three companions.

A new Chinese bike cam system combines a front headlight, rear taillight with brake light, and an action cam into a single unit.

 

Competitive Cycling

Argentina’s early season Vuelta a San Juan has been cancelled for the second year in a row, courtesy of our old buddy Covid-19.

Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to ‘cross. But I don’t think this is supposed to happen.

 

Finally…

Zwift’s virtual Tron Bike could soon be coming to a real world near you. Your next ebike could be powered by hydrogen. And pedals, of course.

And you’ll now have to put a headlight on your ass to ride it in the roadway after dark.

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

Update — man and woman killed riding bikes in Chatsworth hit-and-run, first SoCal bike deaths this year

News is just coming in that two people on bicycles have been killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier this evening.

According to KCBS-2, the victims were riding on the 9500 block of North Lurline Ave in Chatsworth when they were struck by the driver of a Toyota Tacoma pickup around 7:15 Tuesday night.

Both victims died at the scene.

Neither has been identified at this time, though the station says they’re believed to be transients. Which should not lessen the tragedy in any way.

The truck was found nearby, and the driver taken into police custody.

Unfortunately, no additional information is available at this time.

This appears to be the first two bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, as well as the first in Los Angeles County.

Update: KABC-7 reports the victims are a man and a woman, while placing the location at Independence Ave & Knapp Street in Los Angeles, which is nearly a mile away from the original site

However, it’s possible that they may be referring to where the driver crashed into a wall while attempting to get away, after striking several other vehicles. 

According to the LA Times, the driver came to a halt at the corner of De Soto Ave and Knapp Street, which is less than a quarter mile from the location cited by KABC.

KABC also reports the driver may face a murder charge, which would suggest he — or she — may have been under the influence, and possibly a repeat offender.

Update 2: KNBC-4 reports the male victim was identified by his son as 58-year-old Canoga Park resident Matthew Zink; he was riding with a female friend, who was pregnant. 

Which means that three lives were needless snuffed out in a single moment. 

Update 3: KCBS-2 has identified the second victim as 37-year old Ana Hernandez.

Meanwhile, the driver has been identified as 58-year old Nelson Rodriguez. He is currently being held on $4 million bond, with arraignment scheduled for next Tuesday on two counts of felony murder, and a single misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run resulting in property damage. 

There’s no word on why he’s not being charged with felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene after the murders. Or why he is being charged with murder, which usually requires an intentional act or driving under the influence after a previous DUI conviction. 

A pair of ghost bikes were installed for Hernandez and Zink Thursday night. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ana Hernandez and Matthew Zink, and all their loved ones.

France tells carmakers to promote biking and walking in their ads, and Argentine driver runs down 5 riders on bike path

That’s more like it.

France is promoting alternative transportation by requiring all automotive ads to include a brief mention of alternatives to driving.

Options include “Consider carpooling,” “For day-to-day use, take public transportation,” or “For short trips, opt for walking or cycling,” along with the hashtag #SeDeplacerMoinsPolluer, or “Move and Pollute Less.”

That requirement applies to all TV, print, radio and internet advertising; failure to include one of the three options could result in a fine of up to fine of up to 50,000 euros, or $56,444 at current exchange rates.

Maybe we could see that on this side of the Atlantic some day.

We can dream, right?

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Horrifying story from Argentina, where a stoned driver doing 74 mph rammed five people riding on a bike path, before fleeing the scene with the help of four people waiting in a nearby truck.

Sadly, one of the victims died on the operating table.

Police arrested later arrested the driver, along with his accomplices. However, there’s no word on whether he lost control of his car and just caught a ride with people nearby, or if this was intentional and preplanned.

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Turns out some bike riders aren’t fans of red light-running scofflaw bicyclists who cut them off, either.

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I want to see this sign posted along every street in California.

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

Clearly, not everyone is a fan of the Bay Area’s Slow Streets. But not everyone threatens to come back with a Freightliner semi-truck and run over a woman to express their displeasure.

https://twitter.com/LukeBornheimer/status/1477781176471355392

A Singapore truck driver was caught on video blowing through a red light while honking his horn at the woman legally crossing the street on her bike to get the hell out of his way.

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

The LAPD is looking for a man who stole a bicycle to make his getaway, after he murdered a homeless man in Panorama City in an unprovoked shooting.

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Local

Urbanize LA readers chose Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path as the city’s best transportation project of the past year.

Newly freed Britney Spears is one of us, taking a spin on a high-performance ebike that looks more like a dirt bike with pedals, with a top speed of around 28 mph.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks forward to Sunday’s annual Encinitas Cyclovia, combining open streets, live music, safety clinics and a bike rodeo for the kids.

An op-ed from the wife of a fallen San Diego bike rider killed by a wrong way driver, along with the advocacy manager for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, takes the Union-Tribune to task for an editorial cartoon showing a business owner run over by bike riders, while saying the city needs to do far more to improve safety for people on bicycles and prevent more needless deaths.

A mountain biker was airlifted to a Riverside hospital with moderate injuries after he rode off an embankment on a Jurupa Valley trail, just north of the Pomona Freeway.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition has put together a handy dandy little tool to help you calculate the benefits of any Complete Streets project, including safety, health, the environment and the economy.

A Colorado letter writer complains about the sentence given the speeding driver who killed pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag, calling the three-year sentence “pitiful,” especially since he could get out in just 18 months.

A Wisconsin man was able to get his stolen bike back after spotting it for sale online; police arrested the thieves when the man set up a meeting, and recovered several other purloined bicycles, as well.

That’s more like it, part two. New York-based grocery delivery service Buyk is expanding into Chicago with a commitment to deliver purchases within 15 minutes, without delivery fees, while paying their delivery riders a competitive wage starting at $17 per hour. Maybe we can talk them into coming to Los Angeles next.

Santa Monica based-Lime destroyed around 1,000 bicycles when they pulled out of South Bend, Indiana before the pandemic, despite donating 100 bikes to the city as the basis of a new community bikeshare system, and sending 200 bikes to Africa for people in need.

Unbelievable. The Allegheny County medical examiner ruled that the death of a Pittsburgh man was accidental, even after he was tased by police eight to ten times for the crime of taking an apparently abandoned bicycle around the block for a test ride. Which makes you wonder what the hell the cops would have to do to call it a homicide.

New York Streetsblog highlights five dangerous neighborhoods new Mayor Eric Adams needs to address to get the city’s failing Vision Zero back on track. There’s no way to get LA’s Vision Zero back on track, because it never was on track to begin with.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a complete guide to immersive chain waxing, calling it the gold standard for lubricating your bike chain.

A university in the Netherlands is testing out an 82-foot section of a smart bike path, complete with embedded with sensors, 3D cameras, wifi, radar and bluetooth, which can tell researchers how many people are using it, how fast they’re going and when; smart paths could ultimately be used to keep bike riders from waiting at red lights in bad weather, or direct riders to a faster route if it gets too busy.

The BBC shines a well-deserved spotlight on a 17-year old Ghanan boy who builds handmade wooden e-motorbikes to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Even if the report is written in pidgin English. Seriously, I’ve known a number of people from Ghana, most of whom speak English at least as well I do, if not better.

Aussie researchers are looking at the worldwide trend of nonprofit bicycle kitchens that provide tools, second hand parts and bikes, and help with repairs, as well as offering a hub for community building. That’s true for several LA bike co-ops, including the Bicycle Kitchen, Bikerowave, The Bike Oven and the Ride On! Bike Shop in Leimert Park.

A Kenyon man spent three months riding the 2,700 miles from Malinda, Kenya to Durbin, South Africa to raise funds for orphans, while suffering three crashes along the way.

A Philippine website remembers a 74-year old endurance athlete and medal-winning triathlete who died recently from a stroke, competing for decades after losing his leg in a 1978 bombing that killed his 16-year old brother.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Dan Martin calls it a career after becoming just one of three Irish riders to win a stage in each of the Grand Tours, living up to his promise that he would walk away when he stopped enjoying it.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could look like a turtle and unfold with the pull of a string. Arnold has to tell his ebike “I’ll be back” after being spotted with a plastic boot on his leg.

And apparently, blue is for boys and pink is for girls — even when it comes to pro cycling kits.

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

CDC Bike Safety stats miss mark, Move Culver City adjusts lane markings, and Desmond Tutu was one of us

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive such a big success, with new records for both the number of donations and the total amount — topping last year’s record-setting total by over $1,200!

So please join me in thanking William C, Lois R, Carol K, David D, Julie C, Erik G, Bryan H, Audrey K and Jennifer P for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And let me give a special thanks for the comments so many people made along with their donations, which touched me more than I can begin to say. 

So to everyone who contributed, please accept my undying gratitude. Or at least until next year’s holiday season, when we’ll do it all again. 

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File this one under the heading of you’ve got to be kidding.

The CDC’s Bicycle Safety page helpfully suggests the main risk factors for bike crashes.

Never mind that children and adults over 50 are among the largest bike-riding age groups. Or that the well-documented gender gap means three times as many men as women ride bikes.

Let’s not forget that more people ride bikes in urban areas, simply because there are more people there.

And does it really tell us anything that either the driver or bike rider had been drinking in 37% of bicycling fatalities, without breaking out whether the bike riders or drivers had been drinking, and whether they were actually under the influence or just had a trace amount of alcohol in their blood?

All of which makes this set of risk factors just this side of useless.

And just to be clear, the information on alcohol consumption comes from the 2015 Traffic Safety Fact Sheet Bicyclists & Other Cyclists, which shows that 22% of bike riders killed were legally drunk, compared to 12% of drivers; another 4% in each group had some amount of alcohol in their blood, without being legally drunk.

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Culver City is responding to complaints about the new Move Culver City bike and bus lanes by making adjustments to the lane designs.

Which is exactly how it’s supposed to work.

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Newport Beach’s century-old Balboa Island Ferry will be bikes and pedestrians only for the next month, with cars forced to take the long way around to avoid electrical work near the ferry terminal.

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Turns out even the late, great Bishop Desmond Tutu was one of us.

And yes, I looked it up. He really did say this.

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1475186686816628759

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Literary great Henry Miller was one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1474968213221883908

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So was 1930s Western matinee hero Buck Jones, featured here in a Schwinn brochure produced in the final year of his life.

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Who needs headphones when you ride a bike?

Which seems like an opportunity to remind everyone that it’s illegal under California law to ride a bike with earbuds in, or headphones over, each ear.

Even though someone on a bike would have to have their headphones cranked up pretty damn high before they’d hear as badly as someone in a car with the windows up and the music system on.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only one struck by the number of bicycles in this year’s Rose Parade.

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

A San Diego grandmother is conducting her own search for the road-raging driver who ran down her 22-year old ebike-riding grandson, making a U-turn to chase down him down in what appears to be an intentional attack. The question is, why was she able to locate security video that the police didn’t?

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 49-year old woman got a lousy fine — the equivalent of just $1,100 — for pushing a 15-year old boy off his bike for the crime of riding on the sidewalk, then bragging about it on Facebook, saying he “wouldn’t be so lucky” the next time.

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

A British doctor is now afraid to walk alone after she was run down from behind by a hit-and-run bike rider descending at high speed; she now wonders if the crash was deliberate.

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Local

LA County sheriff’s deputies blame culture and training for aggressively policing bike riders — usually Latino — in unincorporated areas, despite finding illegal materials in less than 10% of their searches. And don’t forget, you are under no obligation to consent to a search of you or your bike.

Get two-thirds off the cost of a one-year Metro Bike Hub membership through the end of this month.

London’s Daily Mail oddly gets all hot and bothered over Harrison Ford riding the streets of Los Angeles swathed in spandex.

 

State

Electrek visits the sprawling new production facilities for Newport Beach’s Electric Bike Company, which sounds more like a kids show on PBS.

Encinitas will host a carfree Cyclovia for four hours this Sunday.

There’s no lower form of human scum than anyone who would steal an adaptive bike from an 18-year old disabled San Diego woman.

San Diego Trek locations are collecting used bicycles for the next month, hoping to net more than 1,000 bicycles for a bike giveaway in collaboration with the San Diego chapter of Free Bikes 4 Kidz and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

A Highland newspaper complains about a $6.4 million demand from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offset the environmental effects of a planned Class 1 bike path through the Upper Santa Ana River Wash, which is nearly 50% more than the cost of building the actual pathway.

This is who we share the road with. A two-time DUI loser now faces a murder charge for causing a chain-reaction Palm Springs crash that took the life of a 36-year old former Marine from Chula Vista; 41-year old driver Andrew Watson Hibbard had previous DUI arrests in Oregon and Palm Springs. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

Salinas cops and firefighters are competing for the affections of their favorite fan, a teenage boy who rides his bike to follow them around the city; they pitched in together to buy him a new bike after someone stole his.

An Oakland bike thief faces up to 40 years behind bars after he was convicted of fatally shooting a man who was trying to get his bike back as the thief was making off with it.

Sad news from Rancho Cordova, where a bike rider was killed in a collision just trying to cross a roadway Saturday evening.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says with used car prices going through the roof, there may never be a better time to go carfree. And unlike his other recent columns, this one isn’t hidden behind a paywall.

Fast Company examines how cities across the US are making the temporary changes they’ve made to the streets during the pandemic permanent.

The US Public Interest Group warns about unfixable bikes that are only made to last a matter of months.

The Motley Fool says it’s time for Apple to spend some of its cash, and buy indoor cycling provider Peloton.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. A 30-mile ride around Oregon’s Crater Lake, at 7,000 feet above sea level with 4,200 feet of elevation gain.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old New Mexico man continues to ride his titanium bikes every other day, and has biked through France, the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Scotland, Lichtenstein, Spain and New Zealand since he took up bicycling in his early 50s.

A bike pump ordered from Amazon gets the credit for saving a young family from the extreme fires outside Boulder, Colorado last week, after the Amazon driver gave them a lift to safety after trying to deliver their order.

Kansas woman was convicted of second-degree murder for downing several drinks, then running down a 16-year old girl riding a bicycle and leaving her to die in the street.

She gets it. Writing for The Atlantic, Cleveland-based planner Angie Schmitt says big cars are killing us, and the government can’t keep letting the auto industry treat people walking or on bikes as collateral damage.

Businesses in the Kentucky-Indiana area are collecting bicycles for victims of the recent Kentucky tornadoes.

An editorial from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the public deserves to know why a 51-year old Black man was killed by police, who tased him repeatedly for the crime of riding a discarded bicycle around the block; nine officers have been disciplined for his death, though what that means is still unclear.

Newly sworn-in New York Mayor Eric Adams is one of us, too, riding a Citi Bike bikeshare to his second day at work on Sunday. Thanks again to Victor Bale for the link.

Outgoing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves office with the highest traffic fatality rates of his tenure, despite eight years of the city’s Vision Zero program, which showed promise in its first few years.

Newly released bodycam footage shows a Virginia cop tackling a Black bike rider for the crime of riding without a headlight.

When a Louisiana donut shop employee’s bicycle seat was stolen, kindhearted customers pitched in to buy him a used car. But did anyone bother to ask if he’d rather just have a new bike seat?

This is who we share the road with, too. Florida police arrested a hit-and-run driver who jumped a curb and plowed into a group of little kids on the sidewalk, killing two children and injuring four others. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could just drive away after that.

 

International

Cycling Weekly gazes into its crystal ball to predict the top road bike trends of 2022.

An Anchorage, Alaska bike wrench is riding 1,560 miles solo through Baja California to raise funds to fight ALS; he already has $20,000 in pledges, and hopes to raise over $50,000.

A Toronto woman describes how avoiding public transportation during the pandemic turned her into a four season bike rider.

A London college professor explains why you can’t blame bike lanes for an increase in traffic congestion. In London, or anywhere else.

London’s transportation department is under pressure to remove a dangerous pass that sets off a road rage altercation from a new ad urging everyone on the road to try seeing things from the other guy’s perspective. Except there shouldn’t be another side to using a car to threaten the safety of someone on a bike or on foot.

After a local English official criticized new segregated bike lanes, saying drivers now feel hemmed in, an active transportation group does a little expert-level trolling by offering their sympathy for anyone who feels “rather claustrophobic” in their “one ton sofa-carrying steel boxes.”

A Scottish program to help low-income residents buy new ebikes fell flat, after no one took them up on the offer in the first three months, despite 290 people expressing interest.

He gets it. In an op-ed for The Guardian, a writer for Cycling Weekly asks how Britain can ever become a great bicycling nation when people on bicycles are subject to driver abuse, intimidation and terrible infrastructure. Then again, you could say the same thing about any city in the US, Los Angeles included. Or you could, if any of them actually wanted to be one.

Life is cheap in the UK, where relatives and advocates are calling for reforms after a driver got less than six years behind bars for the drunken, distracted hit-and-run that took the life of a 15-year old boy riding his bike.

Road.cc looks back fondly at the ten best British bike brands from the ’70s and ’80s. Any one of which I would have been happy to find in my Christmas stocking.

A game-changing UK traffic cam has captured 15,000 drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel. Which is exactly what we need here. Although drivers would complain about how unfair it is to get caught breaking the law.

A reminder that a driver doesn’t actually have to hit you to cause serious damage, as an Irish bike rider broke his collarbone when he was blown off his bike by the slip stream from a passing truck; needless to say, the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Because this new cliffhanging Kiwi bikeway is what rail-to-trail conversions are all about.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch national road champion Amy Pieters remains in a medically induced coma after suffering a serious head injury in a fall while training in Spain; there’s no way to tell if she’s suffered any lasting damage until she wakes up.

No surprise here, as the ever expanding world of Covid-19 is already forcing restrictions on the year’s first pro bike races in February.

Pez Cycling News reviews a new book about the legendary 7-Eleven cycling team from a former editor of VeloNews.

Former pro and current Worst Retirement Ever rider Phil Gaimon is teaming with a trio of off-road cyclists, a ‘cross and track rider, and a 12-year old kid to form the multidisciplinary Jukebox Cycling team, but doesn’t expect it to change anything but whose banner he rides under.

Last week’s devastating pre-New Year’s fires outside Boulder, Colorado destroyed entire neighborhoods in Louisville and Superior — including the home of Tom and Alie Hopper, who both work for the EF Pro Cycling professional cycling team. A crowdfunding page to help them rebuild has raised over $102,000, more than doubling the $50,000 goal.

Two-time Mexican national champion and former EF Pro Cycling rider Luis Villalobos was banned for four years for doping. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike with a sword in your backpack, try not to fall off and stab yourself with it. Your next bike seat could have had a wedge to fit up your butt crack; thankfully it didn’t catch on.

And it looks like someone had a very good Christmas.

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

Man riding bike victim of apparent random shooting on Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach; gunman shot by police

A gunman took aim at a couple riding their bikes at Sunset Beach in Huntington Beach in an apparent random shooting, hitting the man in the back.

According to multiple reports, the gunman was shot by police shortly after police responded to reports of a shooting early Monday afternoon.

However, KNBC-4 reports he first drew attention when he attempted to carjack someone in the area of Pacific Avenue and 7th Street around 12:20 pm, without showing his gun.

He then stepped onto the bike path, facing south, where a witness says he pulled his gun, and stumbling backwards, took aim at the man and women as they rode past, firing at least three times and hitting the man in the back.

The victim immediately fell onto the grass, yelling for someone to call 911.

The gunman, identified only as a man from Norwalk, continued walking to South Pacific and 3rd Street, where he was confronted by police, and shot when he failed to respond to commands.

He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

Meanwhile, his victim was hospitalized in stable condition with a single wound that was not expected to be life-threatening.

71-year old man killed riding bicycle in Simi Valley collision, 4th SoCal bike death this week

This isn’t the news any of us wanted for Christmas.

The Ventura County Star is reporting that a 71-year old man was killed riding his bike in Simi Valley Friday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Royal Ave west of First Street when he was struck by the driver of an SUV around 7:10 pm.

He died at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or any factors that may had led to it.

While the driver wasn’t suspected of being under the influence, the paper bizarrely questions whether the victim was sober, without giving any reason to suspect he might not have been.

A preliminary investigation determined the driver of the SUV was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol but it was unclear if the bicyclist was sober.

This is the worst kind of victim blaming.

If this implication came from the police, the paper should make that clear, and explain why they suspect he might not have been sober.

If not, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Anyone with information is urged to call Simi Valley police accident investigators Laura Austin at 805/583-6183 or Cody Dee at 805/583-6224.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

He was also the fourth SoCal bicyclist killed since Tuesday.

Investigation prompts Tesla to say no to driver video games, free Metro Bike rides, and giving a hot bike to a homeless man

It’s the last day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Your last chance this year to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Nina M and Mark G for their generous donations to keep all the bike news you need to know coming to your way every day.

So what are you waiting for?

Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

And will help keep our spokesdog from suffering any further indignities. 

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Please accept my best wishes for a joyful Christmas and healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your loved ones. 

As usual, we’ll off the week between the holidays, unless there’s any breaking news. 

So stay safe and enjoy the ride. We’ll see you back here bright and early January 3rd.

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Funny how it only took an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to convince Tesla that allowing drivers to play in-dash video games while the car was in motion is a bad idea.

After all, it’s not like distracted driving poses a danger to anyone or anything.

Meanwhile, The New York Times examines how we’re all unwitting — if not unwilling — participants in the beta testing of autonomous cars.

None of which are ready for primetime. Let alone rush hour.

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Metro wants to give you unlimited free rides starting today through Jan. 2nd.

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If you need a booster shot for holiday spirit, this story should do the trick.

A New Jersey columnist writes about how his new bike was stolen out of his garage. And the rainy Christmas Eve last year, when he spotted it outside a convenience store, and confronted the person riding it.

A man emerged from the store, grizzled, disheveled, hooded and bundled in a soaked winter coat. Probably homeless. He got on my bike, but before he rode into the dark downpour, I called, “Hey, where’d you get the bike?”

A guy sold it to him, he said.

“You know where he got it?”

No, he said.

I was about to say, “My garage,” but didn’t. I looked at him. His face was creased and lined and his sneakers were battered. He looked like a man who just walked a thousand miles and had another thousand to go. I wasn’t sure what to do. Take it? Call the cops? Unleash the Kraken? It was Christmas Eve, the guy was cold and soaking.

Instead, he just let the man keep it, without saying a word about who the bike really belonged to. And even drove him to the bus station to go someplace warmer, taking the bike with him.

If it doesn’t touch your heart, you’re a stronger person than I am.

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This is who we share the road with.

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Local

Metro has cancelled next month’s Design Lab and Tree Adoption workshop for stress-free connections in Central LA due to the rising Covid cases resulting from the Omicron variant. You’ve got your shots, right?

 

State

Petaluma is prepping for a road diet next month to convert a main street into a Complete Street that welcomes everyone.

 

National

CleanTechnica provides a long, long listing of all the ebike makers they could find. Meanwhile, Forbes offers tips on how to buy one.

Bicycling offers your bike-related resolutions for the coming year. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Pink Bike lists their nominees for mountain bike of the year.

Chicago bike riders complain that a new “protected” bike lane separated from traffic with car-tickler plastic bendy posts has made the street more dangerous than it was before.

Michigan lawmaker and bike advocate Dick Allen, founder of the multi-day Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw bike ride, passed away on Monday at age 88; the ride he founded just celebrated its 50th year.

New York Streetsblog gives the city a Streetsie Award for all the annoying things that didn’t get done.

‘Tis the season. A Mississippi 2nd grader went to a toy drive hoping for a new bike, but they were all gone before he could get one. So a kindhearted fire chief not only bought him one, he also made sure both the bike and matching helmet were green — the kid’s favorite color.

There’s not a hole deep enough for anyone who could run down a 13-year old Florida boy and just keep going; investigators have found the pickup, but need to determine who was driving it.

A Palm Beach, Florida magazine talks with the city’s famed Jack the Bike Man, whose nonprofit gives away over 2,000 bicycles every year.

 

International

A Toronto bike courier was acquitted of assaulting a driver after the judge ruled it was self-defense, following “loud and continuous” threats from the driver.

Record-setting Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley has finally finished his around-the-world tour, two years after he was nearly killed by a Texas pickup driver.

It’s six years behind bars for a British driver who texted friends about how drunk he was just before he killed a 15-year old kid out riding his bike. And fled the scene afterwards, of course. The boy was getting the half hour of exercise allowed under the country’s lockdown rules, while his killer was coming from slamming down beer and whiskey at an illegal lockdown party.

A Flanders man has a collection of classic bikes to lust after.

A mountain biker relates the lessons he learned riding a hardtail across the Alps.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bad news from Spain, where 30-year old Dutch national champion Amy Pieters was rushed into surgery for a head injury, after crashing while training with the Dutch track cycling team. SD Worx, the team she’s ridden with for the past six years, asked “everyone to respect the privacy of those involved,” which is not a good sign. Let’s all hope she bounces back.

Once again, a man and woman have ridden Zwift to pro contracts.

 

Finally…

Your next e-mountain bike could have three wheels — with two up front. Always give pedestrians plenty of notice.

And however you travel this holiday season, always carry a spare bike with you.

Just in case.

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

Man riding bicycle killed in Venice hit-and-run Wednesday night; 17th bike rider killed in LA County this year

Another day, another innocent life needlessly ended by a careless driver.

One who couldn’t be bothered to stick around afterwards.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding his bike near the intersection of Grand and Venice Blvds in Venice when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver around 9:50 pm Wednesday.

The driver was making a U-turn when he slammed into the victim, then fled the scene like the heartless coward he — or she — is.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died later that night.

Police are looking for a dark-colored Chevrolet Bolt, which will likely have front-end damage; unfortunately, there’s no description off the driver.

It’s hard to imagine how the crash could have occurred on Venice, since it’s a divided roadway with a wide median extending several blocks. That suggests it could have happened mid-block on Grand.

Both streets have painted bike lanes in both directions, which clearly didn’t offer any benefit to the victim in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division Officer Twycross at 213/473-0235.

This is at least the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also at least the 8th bicycling death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Twenty of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

Caltrans commits to Complete Streets — no, really, Raman wants your street requests, and Dierks does it again

It’s the penultimate day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just two more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Sarah S and Castell C for their generous donations to help keep all the best, brightest and freshest bike news coming to your way every day.

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

Streetsblog reports Caltrans has finally and formally embraced Complete Streets, supplanting an earlier policy that was seen as weak-kneed and too easy to weasel out of, which they usually did.

This time, it seems to have teeth.

The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”

It says all the right things.

We’ll see if they actually live up to it.

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If, like me, you still live in LA’s 4th Council District, which lost 2/3 of its previous residents in redistricting, it looks like Councilmember Nithya Raman is actually asking for help identifying needed changes on the streets.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1473777941440049157

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Country start Dierks Bentley, who was apparently born during a vowel surplus, learns a lesson about filming while fat biking in the snow. But at least he didn’t break a hip this time.

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Local

No surprise here. LAist says how long it takes to make safety improvements to a street depends on who represents your neighborhood on the city council. Or as we’ve learned the hard way, whether it gets done at all.

Speaking of which, South LA’s deadly Adams Blvd is finally getting a makeover under the city’s Vision Zero program, despite not currently having a representative on the city council after Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped back in the wake of bribery charges; the street saw nine traffic deaths in just three years, including a bike rider who remains officially unnamed two years later.

US Representative Judy Chu met with Glendora officials and Active SGV Executive Director David Diaz to tour the city’s Greenway Network, and tout the benefits of the new federal bipartisan infrastructure law.

 

State

Streets For All is joining Calbike in calling on the state to commit $2 billion of the record $31 billion budget surplus to active transportation projects; the money would fund 80 shovel-ready biking and walking projects throughout the state, including 17 in Los Angeles County.

 

National

Forbes recommends seven bike storage options to help get your whips squared away.

NBA all-star Kevin Love is one of us, telling a reporter the hardest workout he’s ever done was his annual ride up Utah’s 8.250-foot Mount Timpanogos.

Denver is reducing speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 20 mph. Which would be a good idea for Los Angeles, except the current 25 mph speed limit is already universally ignored by drivers.

A Michigan man can credit a wrong turn with saving his life, after an off-duty nurse spotted him writhing in a bike lane after she turned on the the wrong street on a freezing morning; without her help, the man could have bled out or frozen to death after apparently crashing his bike — or maybe getting knocked off it.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who stole a kids bike to make his escape as he fled a collision where he had just killed a woman while driving a stolen truck.

Nice. New York’s newly appointed transportation commissioner commits to replacing half of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts that pass for protection on too many of the city’s 198 miles of protected bike lanes, with something more solid and actually protective in his first 100 days in office.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare was knocked offline at the height of rush hour yesterday when Amazon’s internet servers went down again.

A 21-year old Florida man faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken and stoned crash that killed a father out for his daily bike ride. But his lawyer thinks he should get credit for sticking around and trying to help the man, who wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t been driving.

 

International

Momentum questions whether ebikes are suited for cold North American winters, noting that they don’t perform well in temperatures below 0° Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik examines the problem of lithium mines needed to fuel the world’s conversion to electric cars — a problem shared by ebikes, albeit to a lesser degree.

Speaking of a special place in hell, whoever stole a Vancouver man’s mountain bike as he lay in the hospital recovering from a ruptured spleen certainly deserves it; remarkably, police recovered the man’s bike days later after spotting it during a walkthrough of an SRO hotel.

An 85-year old Frenchman got back the bike his father built from spare parts in 1946 when he was ten years old, after it was recovered by a junk dealer in good, rideable condition.

An Aussie man got his stolen $15,000 Cervelo back after spotting an ad on Facebook selling just the wheels for $1,000; police charged a woman with possessing stolen property.

 

Competitive Cycling

Will the last bike race to leave the US please turn off the lights? The Tour of Utah became just the latest in a long list of major bike races to bite the dust, joining the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and too many others, in going out of business.

PEZ Cycling News considers history’s best comebacks in the pro peloton, including the problematic Mr. Armstrong.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to set a playground on fire, don’t leave your bike there afterwards — and don’t try to tell the police someone stole it. That feeling when the cops apparently stole a bike corral, because parking.

And celebrate the holidays with a mountain biker’s entertaining take on the season’s most interminable carol.

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

45-year old Jurupa Valley man killed in rear-end collision Tuesday evening; 9th Riverside County bike death of 2021

Yesterday was a bad day for SoCal bike riders.

The same day a man was killed riding on PCH in Malibu, another man lost his life 80 miles east in Jurupa Valley.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 45-year-old Jurupa Valley resident Jason Navoy was riding his bicycle on Mission Blvd near Tyrolite Street when he was struck by a driver around 5:30 pm.

Sheriff’s deputies report Navoy and the unidentified driver were both headed east on Mission when the driver rear-ended him.

He died at the scene.

The driver stuck around after the crash, and reportedly cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time — including why the driver was somehow unable to avoid a grown man on a bicycle directly in front of him.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Linfoot at 951/955-2600.

This is at least the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Navoy and his loved ones.

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