Archive for bikinginla

The upside of coronavirus, no cars; the downside, no April CicLAvia; and wear a bike helmet if you’re getting married

Let’s start with a quick note, because I’m as tired of writing about coronavirus as you probably are reading it.

Let alone sheltering at home worrying about it.

Or whether we’ll be able to keep our jobs and pay our bills because of it.

I won’t give you advice. We’ve all gotten as much as we can handle already, and you’ll find still more below.

So let me just wish you good health and good luck as we try to weather this the best we can.

And let’s all remember to be kind to everyone we encounter, online and in real life.

Because we’re all afraid right now, however we express it.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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On the other hand, there is one upside to our not so brave new world, as David Drexler discovered yesterday.

Decided to take the beach cruiser out around Santa Monica today between rain days and discovered that our nation’s virus tragedy we are in right now is really a boon for cyclists.

With all the closures and people staying home it was like riding around on Xmas Day. Extremely light and polite traffic all over SM. You could take the entire right lane and no one would bother you. Ride in the green bike lanes and few worries about cars opening doors or pulling out.

What is usually danger at every turn and a stressful ride around was a relaxing day around the city.

And judging by the numbers of cyclists on the beach path today — I hope they still have their jobs and are just taking advantage of the clear weather.

It wasn’t just Santa Monica, either. And the air’s better, too.

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No real surprise here, as CicLAvia has pulled the plug on next month’s planned Mid-City meets Venice open streets event.

The first one was even popular with drivers.

Or one, anyway.

As of now, June’s return to Glendale is still on. And hopefully will stay that way.

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Maybe wait a few days to unbox that new bike.

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Now this is how you self-isolate.

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

Oxnard police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial butt grabber; the suspect is also accused of approaching women while masturbating. Seriously, this ain’t funny. Keep an eye out if you ride in the area.

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Local

LAist offers a “no panic” guide to the coronavirus. Tell that to the people who ravaged my corner market.

LA County health officials say it’s safe to get out to run, hike or bike right now. Safer than usual, in fact, since most of the cars and their drivers are off the roads.

A British tabloid is worried about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health, after he got the sniffles while riding his ebike in Los Angeles. Then again, I get that anytime I ride on a cool day. And yes, bike sniffles is a recognized medical condition. 

 

State

Lime says it’s just pausing e-scooter service in the Golden State because of the coronavirus crisis, rather than pulling out permanently.

Good news for bike riders, as Orange County blocks vehicle access to regional parks in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus. After all, everyone knows cars are carriers.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss calls bikes the ultimate pandemic contingency plan, while Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers a guide to maintaining your physical and mental health in these stressful times.

A Colorado bike advocacy group says wash your hands and ride a bike to fight the virus.

Officials in Colorado are throwing the book at an 18-year old alleged intoxicated hit-and-run driver, who’s accused of killing a man on a bike while passing another car on the right; he’s charged with 1) vehicular homicide, 2) hit-and-run, 3) careless driving causing death, 4) DUI, 5) weaving, 6) passing on the right, 7) underage consumption of alcohol and 8) possession of marijuana.

An Iowa bike shop owner says go for a bike ride, not despite it being slower than a car, but because it’s slower than a car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $1,200 three-wheeled bike from an 87-year old Arkansas man, which he credits with helping him recover from a stroke he suffered 24 years ago. But thanks to an anonymous Good Samaritan, he’ll be able to keep riding.

Pittsburgh is preparing to release its first bike plan of the millennium, making their current plan the oldest of America’s 60 largest cities. But as any LA bike rider can attest, it doesn’t matter how recent a bike plan is if the city refuses to implement it.

The coronavirus bike surge is calling attention to the lack of quality bike infrastructure in Philadelphia.

A Minnesota website offers basic tips on overnight bikepacking, while a Pennsylvania paper says grab a multi-piece rod and ride to your favorite fishing hole.

Despite calls to stay home, bike shops are booming in the Big Easy, as people turn to their bikes to commute, and enjoy family time now that schools are closed.

 

International

Bike industry insiders say it’s not time to panic yet.

Cycling Weekly offers tips on how to stay sane while you self-isolate.

A British Columbia man was acquitted in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after prosecutors were unable to prove he was behind the wheel of his truck; he was convicted in the death of another bike rider less than a decade earlier.

By the time you read this, a pair of British women should have shattered the record for riding around the world on a tandem, beating the existing record — set by a couple men — by over two weeks.

Spain tells 25,000 tourists on Mallorca to go home from the popular bicycling destination.

The Pyrenean principality of Andorra joins neighboring Spain in banning outdoor bike riding.

Not even Copenhagen gets it right all the time, as the city promises to fix Denmark’s widest bike path in response to complaints.

An Aussie newspaper reminds us that bicycling is the perfect form of social distancing, as well as commuting.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike reports losing over 205,000 bikes to theft and vandalism last year alone.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride is the latest domino to fall, after the popular event was pushed to November.

It could be a very busy fall cycling calendar, as UCI president David Lappartient hopes the Giro d’Italia and spring classics can all be rescheduled for this autumn, after all races were cancelled through the end of April. However, the Giro might have to trim itself to fit into a reduced window.

 

Finally…

At long last, an ebike for baby makers. If you’re going to steal a bike off someone’s front porch, at least smile for the camera.

And if you’re getting married at city hall, be sure to wear a helmet.

 

Only you can prevent coronavirus, Lime pulls out of California and Washington, and Lundquist catching up to Lee in CD12

Okay, so it’s not about bicycling.

But Curbed’s Alissa Walker has penned a very good, and very important, call to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus in your own home, saying the choices we make today will help those closest to us.

And everyone else, too.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer says it’s time to make some streets mostly carfree during the pandemic, to create the space necessary to allow people to practice the social distancing that’s impossible on narrow sidewalks.

Or you could just settle for a few Zwift doodles while you cycle inside, if you prefer.

Even though Calbike says riding your bike outside is risk-free.

From Covid-19, anyway.

https://twitter.com/CalBike/status/1239975127569141761

Photo by Korhan Erdol from Pexels.

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Those ubiquitous e-scooters could soon be a lot harder to find, as Lime is suspending service in California and Washington State to avoid spreading the coronavirus, while Bird is cutting back but not quitting.

Meanwhile, Uber faced a Sunday deadline to get their Jump bikes and e-scooters off the streets of Los Angeles after refusing to comply with the city’s requirement to provide realtime user data.

The company swears it will file suit in federal court over the requirement this week, though that could be complicated if the feds join the county in closing courthouses.

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It looks like Loraine Lundquist is catching up in her bid to unseat City Staffer B, better known as CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

Just after the vote, it was revealed that Lee allegedly accompanied previous councilmember Mitch Englander on a $30,000-plus bribery and escort filled weekend in Las Vegas.

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I’m not the only one concerned about the survival of local bike shops and other bike businesses during the pandemic and resulting closures and economic slowdown.

Cycling Industry News offers their help to any bike business that needs assistance, or who has a story they want to share.

Maybe they could start with San Jose bike co-op Community Cycles of California, which sent out an email saying it’s being forced to shut down, except to help those for whom riding a bike is an essential service.

And they could use your help to survive the shutdown.

With that said, as you can imagine, we have financial uncertainties ahead. Therefore, we ask for your help to endure what is going to be a difficult start to a cycling season. Since shopping with us won’t be an option for a few weeks, your tax-deductible donation can provide relief for missed revenue during that time.  Here are some ways your donation helps:

  • $50      Sponsor one bicycle for an adult in need
  • $100    Sponsor one bicycle with safety package (lock, lights, helmet) to an adult in need
  • $300   Sponsor one mechanic-in-training
  • $500   Sponsor one mobile repair clinic providing 20 free repairs
  • Or please consider making a recurring donation. Thank you.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the email.

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Speaking of Leone, he also forwards word of the latest road closures in Camp Pendleton.

CLOSURE UPDATE as of MARCH 16, 2020:

  • Stuart Mesa Road – Northbound and Southbound lanes CLOSED from Las Flores (41 Area) to Las Pulgas Road.  *Open for Emergency Traffic only.
  • Beach Club Road – CLOSED to the public in both directions.  *No Emergency Traffic
  • Basilone Road – OPEN to the public in both directions.
  • Vandegrift Blvd – OPEN to the public in both directions.  *Right-hand eastbound lane CLOSED in Box Canyon.
  • Del Mar Gate – CLOSED inbound and outbound until further.

Please check Facebook for updates.

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Clearly, stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is not a weight weenie, or non-electric bike purist.

And can do the same stunts he’s famous for on a 50 pound ebike.

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Finally found someone who shares my daily bike commute.

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Local

If you were going to participate in May’s Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, 5k and Bike Tour, you can start making other plans.

Santa Monica is suspending all user fees related to the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

 

State

Tragic news from San Jose, where an 82-year old woman was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she was trying to cross the street. I’d like to say older people deserve better. But everyone does.

A spokesperson for San Francisco’s mayor says yes, you can still ride your bike, despite the shelter in place order for seven Bay Area counties. And bike mechanics can continue to provide an essential service.

On the other hand, no one is going to go to jail for breaking the Bay Area ban.

Redwood City police busted an alleged 18-year old perv who grabbed the breast of a 13-year old girl as he was riding his bike.

 

National

Heartbreaking news, as an Idaho woman survived for some time after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike; it’s possible she might have survived if the heartless coward had just called 911 instead of leaving her lying in a ravine until her body was discovered three days later. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do that.

If you need a job to tide you through the pandemic, Whole Foods in New York is hiring bicycle delivery workers.

New York’s DOT is still dithering over how to accommodate Gotham’s coronavirus bike boom, as commuters flee crowded transit in favor of bicycles.

Police in New Jersey thank a dozen or so Good Samaritans who spilled out of nearby buildings to help officers lift a car off a bike rider, who was trapped underneath after a crash. Fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

Another reminder that bike riders are far tougher than many people think, as a Pennsylvania man rode his bike several blocks to get help after he was beaten and stabbed by a pair of robbers; thankfully, he’s expected to be okay. Note to Williamsport Sun-Gazette — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

A DC website looks at the first women’s bicycle, which was invented in the city and currently resides in the Smithsonian. Even if it does look a little worse for wear. And unlike modern bikemakers, they didn’t just pink it and shrink it.

The bike-riding backup quarterback for the New Orleans Saints is packing his bicycle and moving to Carolina, where he will presumably continue riding it to home games.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske takes a look at the recent bust of a Florida bike rider for allegedly fleeing from police and resisting arrest for the heinous crime of…wait for it…rolling a stop sign, and not responding to a police command he couldn’t hear.

 

International

Cycling Weekly recommends eleven bicycling books you can read while you shelter in place.

Road.cc offers helpful advice on how to choose the right tyre width for your bike and how you ride. The same advice should hold for tires over here, too.

Now that’s more like it. Bogota is fighting the coronavirus by expanding their bikeway network, adding 72 miles of new bike routes in an effort to reduce crowding on the city’s transit system.

The British bike industry teamed with advocates and academics to urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to ban bicycling in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus, and exempt bike shops from any imminent retail closures.

E-scooters may finally become legal in the UK. Just in time to be severely restricted or banned as the pandemic spreads.

 

Competitive Cycling

After an Oregon town was forced to cancel an annual mountain bike race, they responded by turning it into a virtual competition.

Organizers have pulled the plug on next month’s Paris-Roubaix classic, as well as the Tour of Yorkshire, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

 

Finally…

Your next bicycle could be a BMW, assuming you have a spare $5,500 lying around. Nothing like riding over 30,000 miles without leaving your living room — and no, I don’t want to be like him when I grow up.

And there’s more than one way to create social distance.

 

 

Bike shops threatened by coronavirus, and Solvang Century organizer spreads false coronavirus conspiracy theory

Before we dig into today’s news, let’s consider one group that’s been ignored among all the fears for businesses and workers harmed by the coronavirus crisis.

Virtually every independent bike shop is already on the edge financially; most are lucky to eke out enough to keep the doors open each month. And too many already don’t.

Whether they’re forced to shut down, as they have been in the Bay Area, or simply are empty because people heed the calls to stay home, losing two week’s business could threaten the continued existence of your friendly neighborhood local bike shop; losing two months could lead to a mass LBS extinction.

I don’t have a solution.

Normally, I’d tell you to go into your favorite bike shop and buy something, anything. Or go in for the service you’ve been putting off too long already.

But that advice contradicts the advice of health experts to self isolate.

So if they have a retail website, maybe you can use it to order something. Or find some other way to throw them some business in their time of need.

Or at the very least, commit to going in and spending some money once this is all over, whenever that may be.

Because we all need to do something to help out now if we want them to still be here for us later.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Evidently, there was a bizarre dustup in the California bike world over the weekend.

Last week, questions began to be raised over whether the Solvang Century scheduled for this past Saturday would be cancelled, after repeated calls from government officials to limit exposure to large crowds due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Yet despite the concerns, the ride director of the Solvang Century emailed that the event would go on as planned.

At least one person responded, calling the decision irresponsible.

Then Thursday night, Santa Barbara County health officials pulled the permit for the ride, as did city officials in Buellton and Solvang, over the “strong objections” of ride organizers.

Logically, that’s where it would have ended. Just another disappointment, in a weekend full of them, as the entire country braced for the pandemic.

But when he responded to someone asking about the cancellation, the ride director included an article about an MIT Ph.D who claimed the coronavirus is a deep state fraud intended to manipulate the world’s economies.

Then again, the researcher in question also claims to have invented email as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s, even though it was already in use nearly a decade earlier.

Unfortunately, the only link I can find to the original article included in the email appears to be corrupted.

But the same story appears on another site, with a slightly different headline. And includes the following tweet, which pretty much sums it all up.

If it is a deep state fraud, that means the CDC and World Health Organization are in on it. As are the governments of China, Italy and Spain.

And never mind the more that 182,000 people who claim to have gotten the disease around the world. Or the over 7,100 people who have died from it.

Let alone Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, a handful of professional athletes in the US and Europe, and the wife of Canada’s prime minister.

You would think a massive worldwide fraud like that would be impossible to pull off.

And you’d be right.

Fox News doesn’t even buy that crap anymore.

As the entire world mobilizes to fight what is likely to be the worst pandemic since the 1919 Spanish flu outbreak, it doesn’t help anyone to spread false conspiracy theories, regardless of your politics.

Especially when it comes as temper tantrum because a bike ride got cancelled at the last minute to keep a killer disease from spreading uncontrollably.

Thanks to John Murphy for the tip.

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No bias here.

A Fresno op-ed writer agues that California Governor Newsom is misappropriating funds from the state’s increased gas taxes by allowing them to be used for things like bike lanes and road diets.

Never mind that the law simply requires that the funds be used for transportation projects. Not just highway repairs, as he seems to insist.

Evidently, he doesn’t think bikes are a form of transportation. Or that safer streets benefit everyone who uses them.

Yes, even people in cars.

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The LACBC becomes just the latest organization to close their office and cancel organized activities due to the threat from the coronavirus.

However, the San Diego County Bike Coalition wasn’t far behind. Unless maybe they did it first.

And Adventure Cycling has pulled the plug on organized tours nationwide through next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the last two links.

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Late notice, but the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals is hosting a webinar starting at noon today to discuss how Edmonton and Bellingham quickly and successfully implemented bicycling infrastructure; the cost is $85 for nonmembers.

Maybe we can get Eric Garcetti and the good folks at LADOT to sit in on this one.

Thanks to Marvin D for the heads-up.

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

A British bike rider complains that a teenage driver used his car as a weapon to deliberately sideswipe him while one of the car’s passengers filmed the attack.

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Local

Due to coronavirus concerns, the LAPD now wants you to report most nonviolent crimes online. And yes, that includes bike theft.

Bike cam video shows bars were packed in West Hollywood on Sunday, just hours before they were shut down to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. And long after people were told to remain at least six feet apart. Although that’s clearly Santa Monica Blvd at San Vicente, rather than on San Vicente, as the story says.

 

State

Calbike wants you to write a letter supporting a bill that would require the DMV to include the Dutch Reach in their training manuals.

Bad news from Santa Maria, where a male bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

More bad news, this time from Central CA, where a 70-year old Madera man was killed riding his bike when he was struck by two drivers yesterday morning.

 

National

The Bike League is cooperating with Uber to train their drivers to protect bike riders, and train scooter users to protect themselves.

Road Bike Action Magazine compares three bike helmets under $150. And not surprisingly, finds the more they cost, the better they like ’em.

Horrifying news from Idaho, where a woman was found dead in a ravine, three days after she was apparently struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long she clung to life after the crash, or if her injuries would have been survivable if she’d gotten help right away. Which is why hit-and-run drivers should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let their victims die rather than calling for help.

Kanye is one of us, as he goes for a ride on his $14 million Wyoming ranch. Although that is so not a mountain bike, despite what the story says.

After researching the issue, a group of North Dakota second graders are calling on the state to require helmets for bike riders under 18. Because everyone knows grade schoolers make the best independent researchers.

It only took a deadly pandemic to get New York’s mayor to finally halt the crackdown on throttle-controlled ebikes used by bicycle delivery workers, saying they’re performing a service as people are being asked to remain at home.

The son of Georgia Congressman Tom Graves is beginning the long, hard road to recovery after suffering severe head trauma when he crashed in a crit while competing as a member of the Georgia Tech cycling team.

 

International

Cycling News rates the best shoes for gravel biking. Not all of which cost an arm and a leg. 

A pair of independent English book shops are shutting down due to the pandemic, but offering free bicycle delivery service to keep their sales going.

Apparently, big chains aren’t doing so great, either. The UK’s largest bike chain is shutting down its performance bike stores, putting over two hundred jobs at risk.

A British inquest hears how a woman was killed when an ebike battery exploded inside their mobile home two years ago.

The Guardian examines how Oslo and Helsinki cut traffic deaths to zero last year.

Spanish riders risk fines up to the equivalent of over $3,300 for violating the country’s coronavirus ban on being outside, while an Italian bicyclist denies the country’s laws even apply to him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time US mountain biking champ Sonya Looney continued to ride all through her pregnancy, posting a video of her rocking the rollers at a British Columbia bike park just days before giving birth.

 

Finally…

Note to world — if it doesn’t have any pedals, it’s a scooter. That feeling when you spot your stolen bike for sale online, and the cops tell you to just buy it back.

And your old tubes could have a sexy new life on someone’s legs.

 

Socially responsible transportation in the age of coronavirus, Los Angeles NC meetings on hold, and Woon prelim Tues

The good news is — maybe the only good news right now — that riding a bike is perhaps the most socially responsible form of transportation in these depressingly Covid-19, coronavirus shaded days.

Unlike public transportation, ride sharing or even walking, riding on your own provides automatic social distancing, with virtually no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. And at the same time, strengthening your immune system, respiratory system and overall health.

Even riding with a friend, it’s very easy to keep your distance from one another.

The only time it becomes difficult is on a large group ride, where you’re likely to find yourself far less than six feet from others.

As for driving a car, it’s automatically self-isolating as long as you’re the only one in it.

But it’s hard to describe it as socially responsible, even in better times.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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Speaking of which, the New York Times examines the surge in bicycling as New Yorkers turn away from transit; Salon says bikeshare use is up 67% compared to last year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has good advice — and a reading list — for riding in the age of Covid-19, including wiping the bike down with antibacterial wipes if you use bikeshare. Which goes for scooters, too.

Good advice from Bicycling on how to ride safely amid coronavirus concerns, including that you’re better off doing your riding outside right now. And keep those damn loogies and snot rockets to yourself.

Portland bike shops face the difficult question of whether to stay open or close, while Seattle alternative paper The Stranger, which is facing its own existential crisis, says at least bicycling is less stressful now.

A new study in the Lancet suggests that if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure, you’re pretty well screwed. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

On the other hand, the 79-year old publisher of Outside says the coronavirus is overblown to pump up media sales, and says it’s only “scary to a degree” because there’s no vaccine for it. Tell that to the 6,500 people who’ve already died from it worldwide. And their loved ones. Schmuck. 

And a writer for Psychology Today says there’s an upside to the virus going viral, because old people like him are the most likely to die, and have had good, long lives. So he looks forward to going out “listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on my iPod,” after polishing off a Napa Cabernet. Maybe someone could point out that viruses are, by definition, viral. Which is pretty much the kindest thing I’d want to say to him right now. 

Meanwhile, Calgary provides an easy to understand yardstick for what’s a safe distance.

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Forget making your case for bicycling at your local neighborhood council anytime soon.

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The rescheduled prelim for the woman charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is supposed to take place tomorrow.

But don’t be surprised if it’s rescheduled once again because of the coronavirus.

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Thanks to Robert Leone, who’s been so busy forwarding San Diego-area news this weekend that he gets his own little section.

First up is an update on road closures for Camp Pendleton riders, courtesy of the Camp Pendleton community liaison.

  1. Basilone Road and Anglim Court between commissary and San Onofre 2 and 3, housing is flooded, traffic can still go through for now.
  2. Beach Club Road closed:  People can access through state side gate per MCCS.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd, vicinity Box Canyon East bound lane closest to shoulder is closed due to falling debris. One lane is still open for travel East bound and Two lanes open for West Bound travel.
  4. Stuart Mesa Road is open.
  5. Beach club Road is closed.
  6. Las Pulgas Gate closed – Only open to emergency vehicles. Cyclists may use the I-5 shoulder to ride if access to the bike path is closed.
  7. De-Luz Road at Sequoia Road closed. De-Luz Road closed all the way before the training area by O’Neil Heights.
  8. Lake O’Neil housing can be accessed by from both direction on Santa Margarita Road and De-Luz Road.

Please check Facebook for updates.

Next comes notice that San Diego’s Bike to Work Day has at least temporarily bitten the dust due to — you guessed it — our friend Covid-19.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition has pulled the plug on many of their activities for now.

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

A bike-riding London man was convicted of murder for stabbing a 14-year old boy to death for his Nikes.

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Local

Kate Hudson is one of us. Though someone might tell her bike helmets work better if you actually wear them.

The planned U.S. Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica will likely run right through the campus of Pomona College.

 

State

Kendall Jenner is one of us, too, as she takes to an ebike in Palm Springs. And looks like she actually knows how to ride it, although her take on Covid-19 got panned.

A pair of bike lovers are opening a new brewery and taproom in Thousand Oaks tomorrow. Assuming they actually get to, under the circumstances.

This year’s edition of the Eroica California scheduled for next month in Cambria finds itself sacrificed on the Covid-19 altar.

 

National

My brother ran Alaska’s famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, finishing three. But he never rode a fat tire bike in the Iditarod Trail Invitational along the same frozen trail.

He gets it. A Minnesota columnist says drivers “learning bike-passing and road-sharing best practices” may be the best way to improve safety and encourage bike riding. Or maybe second best, after providing safe, protected and effective bikeway network.

A Providence RI site films a busy street post-road diet, and is shocked! shocked! to discover drivers outnumber bike riders in the middle of winter 191 to 1. Never mind that most road diets are conducted to improve safety and reinvigorate communities by reducing road capacity, and bike lanes are merely a very beneficial tool to do it.

Owners of a Delaware funeral home complain that a new post-protected bike lane is affecting their business by blocking them from parking in front of the funeral parlor. Or maybe they just want to force bikes back into the street to drum up more business.

He gets it. A Pasadena letter writer says don’t blame the victim in a bicycling fatality, because bicyclists have a legal right to the road. No, the Maryland Pasadena. And no, I didn’t know there was one, either.

A North Carolina columnist complains about “the elitist scourge known as ‘road diet,'” which he claims it intended to force a healthy lifestyle down their throats for the sake of a tiny minority.” So evidently, people who ride bikes — like students and the soon-to-be laid off busboys who work in the local bars and restaurants — are elitists. Good to know.

 

International

How Sidi got its swirly.

The BBC offers a detailed overview of what they call the world’s most flexible form of transport — the bicycle.

A British columnist experiences what many of us have, as a well-worn article of bikewear gets him reminiscing about his favorite rides.

A Welsh website suggests five cheap and easy bike upgrades you can do yourself while you self-isolate, including building your bike a house.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an Irish doctor’s bike while he’s covering a 13-hour shift for a colleague forced into coronavirus isolation. Or just steal someone’s bike, period.

Yes, please. The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is building a high-density residential district for 12,000 people, where cars will be banned and bikes will rule.

Bike riders get to see a lot of things most motorists miss. Like the pope taking a walk through Rome, for instance.

Rideable bikes are down 90% for a New Zealand dockless bikeshare provider since they launched three years ago, which appear to be prone to wheels collapsing; an expert says the bikes are unsafe, while the company blames their own customers.

A Kiwi website remembers the 1930s world traveling bike-rider and performer the Woman in Red.

Aussie drivers complain about bike riders on the streets. Which may be why they’re driving on the bike paths, too.

A 66-year old Singaporean secondhand bike seller was busted for his sideline of giving free massages and exorcism rituals to women, as an excuse to molest and film them.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice stage race came to an end on Saturday, as Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann claimed the individual title after Sunday’s final stage was cancelled.

European pros won’t be allowed to even train in Spain for the next two weeks, as the country cracks down on all activity to battle the coronavirus. Although the sport’s governing body doesn’t seem to be taking it all that seriously yet.

Speaking of UCI, they plan to backdate Olympic qualifying, which will screw anyone who hadn’t qualified for the cycling events by March 3rd.

Dutch pro Mathieu Van der Poel gets it, saying cancellation of the early cycling season is a disappointment, but there are much bigger problems in the world right now.

The organizers of next month’s Redlands Classic followed the Tour of the Gila in pulling the plug on this year’s 36th annual edition.

 

Finally

Your next Mecedes-AMG could have just two wheels — if you can afford to drop around five figures on one. The sex shops may be closing, but at least the bike shops will stay open.

And one worth repeating, as a young Frank Zappa plays a bike instead of riding it.

Update: Bike rider killed in Newport Beach crash; police won’t release details

A person was killed riding a bicycle in Newport Beach late Saturday night.

And for some reason, the Newport Beach Police Department refuses to release any details.

OnScene.TV is reporting that police received a call about a traffic collision at San Joaquin Hills Road and Newport Ridge Drive West at the entrance to the gated Newport Ridge community around 11:21 pm Saturday.

Raw video from the scene shows a very badly mangled bicycle, several hundred feet from what appears to be a man’s shoe. Assuming that it belonged to the victim, which is not clear from the video, it implies he or she was struck at an extremely high rate of speed.

The video also shows two vehicles inside the police tape, an older Honda Insight with visible damage and a Toyota SUV. That could suggest that the person on the bicycle was collateral damage in a crash between the two drivers, or that one of the drivers hit the victim while street racing.

A street view shows a gently curving four lane road on San Joaquin Road with a bike lane in each direction, and a 55 mph speed limit — a deadly configuration far too common in Orange County.

But again, we have too little information right now to know what really happened.

Hopefully we’ll learn more in the morning.

This is at least the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County since the start of the year.

Update: Unfortunately, there’s still no official confirmation of the crash, or any information about the victim. 

However, the Orange County coroner posted this announcement, which lines up with the city and time of the crash. 

But again no guarantee she was the victim of this crash.

Update 2: A Newport Beach website has confirmed that Aubrye Foote was killed in the collision. Her Facebook page identifies her as a loving mother and the owner of a local business. 

However, unconfirmed reports suggest that Foote may have been driving a vehicle, and was killed when she got out of her car after a teenage boy was struck while riding his bike. 

I’m also told the unidentified victim on the bike was killed, as well. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Audrey Foote and the other victim, as well as their loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for his work on this story.

Covid-19 halts bike world, bicycle parking that comes to you, and Burbank Complete Streets plan moves to council

It’s a light day on the bike news front, as the Covid-19 coronavirus sucked all the air out of the room on Thursday.

CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield has indefinitely postponed his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride scheduled for next weekend.

San Francisco Streetsblog considers how the pandemic affects Bay Area bike and pedestrian advocacy and events.

San Francisco bike riders will have to keep their clothes on for another year, as organizers pull the plug on the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride scheduled for tomorrow.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus considers cycling in the age of Covid-19.

Stats from New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare show the city really is experiencing a bike boom as commuters turn from crowded trains to riding a bike.

The annual London Bike Show originally scheduled for this month has been postponed until July.

British physicians offer advice on bike riding and self-isolation in the age of coronavirus.

Britain’s Cyclist offers a running account of pro teams pulling out and races canceled., while Cycling News provides a dispiriting timeline.

Road.cc considers how Italian bicyclists and bike brands are coping in the locked down country, in what could be a taste of things to come for the rest of us.

Japan’s prime minister — an Olympic medalist himself — immediately shot down Donald Trump’s suggestion of postponing the Olympic Games for a year.

And cancel those plans to check out track cycling at the Carson velodrome this month. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

That’s more like it. Secure bike parking that comes to you.

………

Professional mountain biker Thomas Vanderham finds the balance between riding and being a dad.

………

Local

Burbank’s draft Complete Streets plan is headed to the city council on Tuesday for review, before moving on to the city’s Infrastructure Oversight Board on March 26th.

 

State

Need a job? The CHP is looking for a pedestrian and bicycle safety grant coordinator in their Sacramento office. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

 

National

AutoBlog considers whether the MonkeyLetric LED wheel lights are worth the price, and concludes with a resounding yes. As the proud owner of an early pre-graphics version of the lights, I concur.

A New Mexico county judge somehow avoided charges for killing a bike rider, even though she was seen driving erratically and investigators say she made no attempt to stop prior to the impact. She also failed to inform the police she had a second cellphone with her at the time of the crash, in addition to the one she handed over to the police.

A number of organizations in my home state are working to get more girls and young women on bikes.

Four different kinds of Dallas bike riders you’ll meet on the road.

Gravel grinding has moved down to the high school level in Walmart’s hometown, with the country’s first high school gravel racing team in Bentonville AR.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer cops a plea to hit-and-run involving a bike rider while falling down drunk. And gets sentenced to a whopping two to four days behind bars. Yes, days.

No bias here. A Maryland letter writer says it’s no surprise a bike rider got killed and two others injured on a local roadway, since “hordes” of “strident ‘bicycle rights’ activists” seem to enjoy holding up traffic. Even though the victims were riding single file on the right edge of the roadway, and were hit by an SUV driver on the wrong side of the road.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to measure a bike frame to determine sizing, which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

A British Columbia city is expanding its bike network, including closing a roadway to turn it into a greenway.

An English bike rider captures the moment she broadsided a car when the driver cut across a roadway without checking if anyone was in the bike lane.

Yesterday’s panicked headlines all focused on the greater risk facing bike commuters in a British study, but New Scientist says the real story is confirmation that the health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks.

Hacking an ebike to boost the speed beyond legal limits in France will now cost you the equivalent of $34,000, and up to one year in jail.

It takes a special kind of schmuck to rip out native trees in a critically endangered New Zealand snail habitat to make way for an illegal mountain biking trail.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, as Italian Niccolo Bonifazio calls his victory in stage five a gift to his country, which is on lockdown due to the coronavirus.

With at least the early cycling season likely to be cancelled, Canadian Michael Woods should have plenty of time to recover from a broken leg suffered in a stage five crash at Paris-Nice.

American Tejay van Garderen quit the race rather than being separated from his family because of the new European travel restrictions (scroll up).

 

Finally

If someone steals your lover’s heart, don’t respond by stealing their bike. And who says you can’t bike to school with your kid?

More Covid-19 bike news, you can’t carry heavy things on a bike, and Del Rey gets its very own Great Street

Today’s Covid-19 news comes from New York, where commuters wary of possible germ-infested subways are taking to bicycling, many for the first time.

Meanwhile, the city’s mayor and failed presidential candidate swears he was only joking when he said he wouldn’t follow his own advice to bike to work to avoid the new coronavirus because his bike skills need work.

And an op-ed says New York has to make the streets safer to make bicycling safer.

………

As everyone knows, you can’t carry heavy loads on a bicycle.

I said, you can’t…oh, never mind.

………

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in the Verdugos and Cherry Canyon with Gravel Bike California.

………

A London bike rider stresses the importance of keeping a close eye on everyone on the road.

And misses the pothole that took him down.

Something I can relate to, after once noting the location of every vehicle at an intersection before leaning into a perfect high-speed right turn. Yet somehow failing to spot the puddle directly in front of my wheel.

Then almost miraculously skidding across eight lanes of busy traffic without getting run over, and smashing into the curb on the far side.

I was lucky to get up with just a broken elbow, road rash from head to heel, and my shredded spandex shorts literally hanging a thread from indecent exposure.

Good times.

………

A speeding British driver loses control on a slick roadway, barely missing a bike rider before flying off the road.

………

Local

Centinela Ave in LA’s Del Rey neighborhood is now the second street in Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th Council District to receive a Great Streets designation. Hopefully this one won’t bring out the NIMBYs for another years-long fight like the one on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

KCET presents seven places where you can discover the LA River, much of which is accessible by bike. And all of which should be by 2028, when the LA River bike path is scheduled to finally be completed.

Hoodline uses Yelp reviews to list the four highest-rated budget-friendly bike shops in Los Angeles, including Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave.

Pasadena’s Over Town Brewing Co. will celebrate their first anniversary by joining with the SGV Foothill Flyers Vintage Bicycle Club to host a Vintage Bike Show and Swap Meet on Sunday.

Friday the 13th could be unlucky for scofflaw bike riders, pedestrians and motorists in Santa Monica, where police will conduct bike and pedestrians traffic enforcement safety operations throughout the remainder of the month, starting tomorrow. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The owner of Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles is buying the ebike shop next to the Fullerton store to expand their electric offerings.

Coronado’s popular My Bike kinetic sculpture is getting a tune-up.

Family members have identified the Bakersfield father who was killed in a collision with a sleeping motorcyclist while he was riding on the sidewalk; a crowdfunding campaign has raised just $900 of the $5,000 goal. Something is seriously wrong when people have to raise money from strangers just to bury innocent victims of traffic violence. And how the hell do you fall asleep riding a motorcycle?

The 2020 Bicycle Leadership Conference sponsored by PeopleForBikes, usually held in conjunction with the now-postponed Sea Otter Classic, has been rescheduled for October.

Palo Alto authorities have identified the 11-year old boy who was killed by the driver of a flat bed truck while crossing the street on his bike last Friday; his parents tell drivers to slow down for kids. Seriously, when we will decide that too many of our children have been senselessly killed on our streets — and finally do something about it?

A Modesto couple is credited with saving a man’s life after he suffered multiple seizures while riding a bike.

 

National

Curbed is turning the panel discussion that was planned for the now-cancelled SXSW into a virtual discussion at 9:30 am PDT tomorrow.

A pair of writers for Urology Times, which most men rush to read every month, says the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the risks, but while bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction, men should get a professional bike fit to lower the risk of urethral strictures, genital numbness and saddle sores.

Must be nice. All the Portland city council candidates agreed on the city’s transportation issues at a recent forum, including opposition to widening a freeway, and supporting more and better sidewalks and bikeways.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike a 61-year old Wisconsin man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation. Even if an anonymous Good Samaritan replaced it with a new one the next day.

DC will try out experimental advisory bike lanes on streets too narrow for bike lanes without removing parking, by striping bike lanes on both sides with just one narrow center lane for drivers, but allowing drivers to merge into the bike lanes to pass cars coming in the opposite direction.

After Maryland officials rejected a proposal to put a bike lane on a new bridge across the Potomac, bike advocates responded with a plea to save the old one and turn it into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

A Florida driver got a well-deserved eight-years behind bars, plus another seven years probation, for the hit-and-run, distracted driving deaths of two women riding their bikes. The bad news is, he’ll get his driver’s license back three years after he gets out.

 

International

A new study published in the prestigious BMJ medical journal says yes, bike commuting is riskier than other forms of transportation, but the health benefits outweigh the risk.

US News & World Report — yes, it still exists — says carfree streets around the world help combat loneliness by providing spaces where strangers can mingle.

The London detective responsible for traffic safety says video evidence is “almost the biggest single agenda item” to improve safety on the streets. Except it still can’t be used in California, and much of the US, for enforcing traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

Residents of an English village pitched in to replace an 11-year old boy’s new mountain bike after it was stolen from his school.

Yes, it can be done. A British man quit his job of 20 years, sold his house, bought a bike and set out to travel the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside profiles 58-year old mountain biking legend Tinker Juarez, who has been riding for 45 years of his life and still beats competitors half his age.

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, with a forth stage individual time trial. Enjoy it while you can; this is likely to be one of the last professional races we’ll see this year.

 

Finally

Riding a bike across the US isn’t that unusual anymore; doing it while dying of stage-four cancer is. When you get sued by the driver who hit you, take your case to the People’s Court.

And riding a bike to avoid coming down with something may not be a new idea, after all.

Calls for John Lee to resign in corruption probe, Covid-19 wreaks havoc on bike world, and SaMo protected bike lanes

As we discussed yesterday, CD12 Councilmember John Lee is facing calls to resign after he was identified as the city staff member who took a corrupt Vegas joyride.

Lee’s alleged involvement was spelled out in an indictment against his predecessor and former boss Mitch Englander.

Oddly, Lee won’t confirm that he was the unidentified City Staffer B who accompanied Englander on his — allegedly — bribe and escort-filled Las Vegas fling, which was paid for by an LA businessman. Even though he admitted as much on Monday.

Lee continues to lead challenger Loraine Lundquist as the vote count in last week’s city election crawls on. Although the situation would likely be very different if the news had broken just a week earlier before Election Day.

Meanwhile, political advocacy group Streets For All joins the chorus demanding Lee’s resignation.

You can add your voice to the call by signing the petition demanding that Lee to quit immediately.

And in a related note, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Fuerer, whose office was raided in the same FBI probe of city officials, tossed his tainted hat into the race to replace termed-out Eric Garcetti as the city’s mayor.

Which could turn out to be the tip of an iceberg that could make the one that sank the Titanic look small in comparison.

And possibly bring down much of the LA political establishment.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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The Covid-19 coronavirus continues to take a toll on the bicycle community.

The annual Bentonville, Arkansas Bike Fest has been postponed until August in hopes the virus will run its course.

Streetsblog says it doesn’t help that New York’s mayor told people to ride their bikes to avoid the coronavirus, but didn’t add any capacity to the streets to make it easier for them to do it. Like opening bridges owned by the transit authority to bicycles.

In a surprising development, the Bike League has cancelled the annual National Bike Summit scheduled to begin this Sunday in Washington DC.

Things aren’t looking good for this year’s Giro d’Italia after the entire county went into a coronavirus lockdown.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled to begin in July could face a two-year delay until 2022.

And Monterey’s annual Sea Otter Classic has been rescheduled for this fall.

Thanks to John Huntsman for link to the Sea Otter tweet.

………

Santa Monica’s Broadway bike lanes will get the protected treatment.

Once again showing SaMo continues to run rings around Los Angeles when it comes to safety and livability.

………

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

An Akron, Ohio woman was sitting in her car when she was shot in the leg by a man in black as he rode by on a bicycle, in an apparent unprovoked attack.

A Brooklyn bike rider gets the blame for stealing a woman’s wallet from her car while she was on the other side pumping gas.

………

Local

Echo Park residents are demanding action after a string of fatal hit-and-run crashes, mostly on deadly Sunset Blvd. The Sunset4All plan would be a good place to start.

CiclaValley beats the clock by biking to Newhall and taking the train back home.

 

State

No surprise here, as San Diego is failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks thanks to its ongoing addiction to gas guzzling motor vehicles.

Two Victorville teenagers were busted on robbery charges after stealing a bike from a 13-year old girl, and trying to steal another, as she was walking to meet her brother with a pair of bikes.

Tragic news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider was killed when a driver fell asleep at the wheel, and woke up just in time to slam into the victim.

Watsonville has approved a Complete Streets to Schools Plan to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians around 15 schools.

No surprise here, as bike and scooter rides rise on San Francisco’s Market Street in the two months since cars were kicked off.

Authorities have made an arrest in the cold case murder of a Rohnert Park teenager who was last seen riding his bike in 2016.

 

National

Gear Patrol recommends what they call the best commuter bikes for every kind of road and rider. Not sure they accomplished that, but there are some interesting choices here.

That’s more like it. Bellingham, Washington is trading traffic lanes for a network of wide, buffered bike lanes.

Conspiracy meister Alex Jones of Info Wars infamy was busted for DUI after a fight with his wife in a Texas restaurant, even though his BAC was just under the legal limit. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

A “deplorable” Wisconsin driver got a well-deserved five years for killing a father riding bikes with his son, claiming he was distracted because he was looking down at his car’s radio. And didn’t bother to stop because thought he hit a mailbox.

Chicago has closed sections of the popular Lakefront Trail bike and pedestrian paths due to “recent historic high lake levels and severe storms.” But neglected to tell anyone they were closed, or why the concrete barriers suddenly appeared on the paths.

Minneapolis sets an ambitious goal of having 60% of all trips by bike, transit or walking in just ten years.

When is a protected bike lane not a protected bike lane? When the city of New York says it doesn’t exist, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Gerrard Butler is one of us, as he runs, bikes and walks throughout his day in New York. And gets stalked by paparazzi no matter how he travels.

Despite the NYPD’s nasty habit of repeatedly blaming the victims, an analysis by the New York Times shows errors by bike riders and pedestrians were blamed in just five percent of fatal crashes last year. You can probably guess who was responsible for the other 95%.

A North Carolina city bizarrely concludes that four-way stops at a pair of intersections wouldn’t do any good, because there is “no clear evidence that pedestrian or bicycle traffic is high at either of these intersections.” Except maybe that’s because it’s too dangerous to walk or bike there now without them.

Baton Rouge LA is starting the approval process on the city’s pedestrian and bicycle master plan. When I lived down there, the only master plan they had was for bike riders and pedestrians to stay the hell out of the way of drivers.

A Miami man told police he just wanted a better bike, after he was busted for violently attacking a couple to steal theirs. If you’re going to steal a bicycle, that’s about as good a reason as any.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Bike Biz says a love of bicycling is the greatest gift of all.

Outside visits what they call the hiking and mountain biking Mexico of your dreams in Baja’s Rancho Cacachilas.

Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the pretty damn funny collection of egregious bike user-errors and bad luck damage on the JustRidingAlong subreddit. Including the one we below that we’ll end with today.

A Toronto columnist calls for banning right turns on red lights, even if they do save gas and time.

The founder of a Swedish e-cargo bike maker and a bicycle delivery firm walks — or in this case, pedals — the walk, spending Fridays on a bike delivering packages alongside his employees.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says just riding a bicycle is an intensely political act in occupied Palestine, where he says the Israeli government imposes 705 obstacles to the free movement of the people.

A Moroccan man is traveling the world by bike to promote peace. Clearly, he has a long way to go — in every sense.

An Aussie study shows bike riders are more confident in their abilities than drivers. Which isn’t too surprising considering our lives depend on our bike skills.

 

Competitive Cycling

Road Bike Action Magazine reports on the third stage of the eight stage Paris-Nice bike race, where the finish was determined by a late crash.

Pink Bike talks with BMX and mountain bike crossover champ Anthony Napolitan.

VeloNews looks behind the scenes with the US team at the 2020 world track cycling championships.

 

Finally

If you’re tired of angry, aggressive and/or distracted drivers, you’re in luck.

And how to keep someone from stealing your bike seat.

Mmmmmm that saddle from Justridingalong

 

CD12 Councilmember John Lee implicated in FBI probe; his ex-boss, former CM Mitch Englander, indicted

A quick note before we get started. Let’s all thank Jim Pocrass of the Pocrass & De Los Reyes law firm for renewing their title sponsorship of this site for the coming year. 

Without their help, it wouldn’t be possible to keep BikinginLA going on a full-time basis. 

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Is anyone really surprised that former CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander may have been dirty?

According to the Los Angeles Times, Englander was busted by the FBI yesterday.

Not for being a very bad, bad boy, and allegedly taking bribes from a Los Angeles businessman, but lying to the feds about it.

When a Los Angeles businessman treated then-City Councilman Mitchell Englander to a night out in Las Vegas in 2017, he pulled out all the stops, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday.

The perks allegedly included a hotel room with amenities reserved for high rollers, an envelope stuffed with $10,000 in cash, lavish meals and bottle service at a nightclub, and a female escort sent to his room at the end of a long night of partying.

But according to the indictment, Englander wasn’t alone in his nefarious activities.

Word quickly spread that the so-far un-indicted city staffer who accompanied Englander on his wild partying spree was current  CD12 Councilmember — and bike and transit foe — John Lee.

According to Bike the Vote LA,

We learned on Monday from reporting by the L.A. Times, NBC Los Angeles, and LAist that the FBI has focused on John Lee as a central figure in an alleged corruption scandal involving former CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, his former boss. You can download the full indictment of Mitch Englander here.

After being questioned by reporters, John Lee admitted that he was “City Staffer B,” the “high-ranking staff member” who is alleged to have joined Englander on an illicit trip to Las Vegas in which they received a $10,000 cash in an envelope, $1,000 in casino chips, $34,000 in nightclub bottle service, and “services” from two escorts.

Yes, Lee copped to the partying, if not the crimes.

But as Bike the Vote points out, the indictment doesn’t support his last claim.

John Lee claimed to be “the choice for law enforcement,” but apparently was an active participant in bribery and the coverup for his and his boss’ actions. Despite being aware he was under FBI investigation since 2017, John Lee chose to hide his actions from voters in hopes of bolstering his election campaign.

It’s important to remember that neither Lee, who’s currently leading in the vote to retain his seat, nor Englander have been charged with bribery or any other crime, other than Englander’s indictment for lying to the FBI.

But it’s also clear from the indictment that the FBI has both in their crosshairs. And Lee’s activities were shady, if not criminal.

Which is why a petition went live yesterday demanding that Lee resign effective immediately.

And yes, I signed it.

Bike the Vote LA is also calling on LA City Council President Nury Martinez to strip Lee of all his committee assignments until he doesn’t the right thing and resigns.

They have a sample email below; all you have to do is click the first line, and sign it.

Sample email (click HERE):
To: councilmember.martinez@lacity.org

Subject: Council President Martinez: Please remove John Lee’s Committee assignments

Email body: Honorable Council President Martinez,

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday morning that it has indicted former Councilmember Mitch Englander with seven counts of making false statements and obstruction of justice related to a corruption investigation involving then Chief of Staff and current Councilmember, John Lee, identified in the indictment as “City Staffer B.” The indictment describes a number of alleged illegal acts that John Lee took part in. It is imperative that the public trust be maintained, and it is for that reason that I am calling on you to remove all of John Lee’s City Council Committee assignments.

Amid a series of corruption scandals involving businesses and developers seeking to influence City decision-making, Los Angeles City Council must send a clear message: that corruption will not be tolerated from its own members. Until either the FBI has exonerated him from wrongdoing in this probe or he resigns from office, I call on you to immediately remove Councilmember Lee from the following City Council Committees:

• Information, Technology, and General Services (Chair)
• Personnel and Animal Welfare (Vice Chair)
• Planning and Land Use Management
• Public Safety
• Ad Hoc Committee on Police Reform

Thank you,
[YOUR NAME HERE]
Los Angeles, CA

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of speculation that Englander’s indictment is an attempt to get him to roll over on other officials.

And don’t forget the raid on CD 14 Councilmember José Huizar’s office in 2018, which led to his wife dropping out of the race to replace him.

So this may be just a single incident implicating two current and former councilmembers.

Or it could be the tip of a very deep, and possibly very corrupt, iceberg.

………

No bias here.

A New York lawyer claims the city’s new protected bike lanes are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Because apparently, bike riders are always at fault in collisions with pedestrians, who never step out in front of people on bikes without looking.

Yes, bike riders sometimes break the law.

But so do other humans, regardless of how they travel. And studies have shown that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Which you’d think a decent liability lawyer would know.

………

The next round of Metro BEST bicycle education classes will kick off at the end of this month.

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Local

A new study shows Los Angeles has the two worst corridors for motor vehicle traffic in the US, and three of the top ten. To which bike commuters said, “So?”

This is who we share the road with. A Hawthorne man has pled guilty to the 2017 road rage crash that killed a motorcycle rider.

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old man has raised over $400,000 riding his ‘bent through Death Valley to fight diabetes, and plans to take part in the Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes again this year.

A Cal Poly student says a century ride may be painful, but it’s worth it.

San Francisco remembers a woman who was killed in a dooring a year ago.

Sonoma considers plans for a road diet, with options for a protected or buffered bike lane. Note to Sonoma: If your protected bike lane still forces bicyclists to go around buses stopped in it, it’s not very protected.

Davis police want to know why a man was riding a bike through the UC Davis campus carrying a machete; they recovered the knife, but haven’t found the rider.

 

National

An Oregon public radio station warns listeners that better weather brings out the bike thieves.

Spokane WA is building its first bike and pedestrian friendly greenway, while a local bike advocate is calling for more.

A Massachusetts “urban cyclist” says if you don’t want kids swerving bikes and popping wheelies in traffic, just build them a bike park. Or stop chasing them out of empty parking lots.

More details are emerging in that fatal Maryland crash that took the life of a bike rider and injured two others — including one with life-threatening injuries. The seven riders in the group were reportedly well-lighted and riding in single file when the driver of an SUV crossed onto the wrong side of the road and hit them head-on.

The University of North Carolina has updated the Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation University Course, based on the latest recommendations. Let’s hope it doesn’t just come down to wearing a helmet and hi-viz. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up. 

Bad news from Georgia, where the son of a US congressman is in intensive care after crashing during a race with the Georgia Tech cycling team.

 

International

An English driver is charged with the equivalent of drunk driving and driving with a suspended license for critically injuring a man bicycling the length of Britain, from John O’Groats to Lands End, to raise money to fight cancer; his riding partner finished the ride alone.

A UK bike rider learns the hard way to always lock a bicycle to something, and not just lock the wheel, after a thief simply walks up and carries it off.

It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. A Zambian bike rider was killed after drifting out of his lane and colliding with another bicyclist, who suffered just a deep cut over his eye.

A Kiwi street artist is back at work painting Lego heads on a retaining wall after taking a few months off to recover from a broken collarbone suffered in a bike crash.

A new study from New Zealand shows what we already knew — ride your bike to work and live longer.

An Aussie driver crossing a roadway hits someone on a bicycle, and the country debates who was at fault. Which is only a question if they’ve repealed right-of-way down there.

Thor is one of us, as actor Chris Hemsworth goes for a ride with his kids in Australia’s New South Wales.

After video showed a Singapore man’s $10,000 mountain bike being stolen, local social media helped him get it back in just four days.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget those plans to attend the Olympic torch lighting ceremony on Thursday, which will now be held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

The Paris-Nice bike race is still ongoing, despite the worldwide coronavirus threat. And no, the riders don’t appear to be following health experts recommendations to stay at least three feet from other people.

The crit stages of next month’s Redlands Classic, as well as New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila, will be available on a free livestream, with highlights of other races available after the finish.

The four stage Colorado Classic women’s bike race announces its host cities for this year’s edition.

 

Finally

If you’re stealing a bicycle from an open garage, don’t drop your cellphone — and don’t call the cops to get it back. Look at the bright side of stress.

And now your cat can have its own tent on your next bikepacking trip.

 

A foster corgi’s 15 minutes of fame, anti-bike lane bias in San Diego, who we share the road with, and sax on two wheels

Before we get started, the LA Times City Beat column about the corgi we’ve been fostering, and the homeless man who wanted him to have a better life while he got back on his feet, is online now.

It’s the story of a traumatized dog who slowly got his smile back, and made friends out of three people who probably would have never met under other circumstances.

And helped all of us get to a better place, while we thought we were helping him.

There’s also an unmentioned bike angle to the story. The corgi’s owner is one of us, and commuted by bike by choice for years before it turned into his only form of transportation. 

Take a few minutes to read it, because it’s probably the most moving thing you’ll see today. Or this week, even. 

After you read the story, if you want to help, you can donate to the foster corgi and his owner here.  

And thanks to Nita Lelyveld for telling it so well. 

………

No bias here.

A San Diego writer complains about an uphill bike lane that apparently doesn’t inconvenience anyone, because he can’t imagine anyone but a “colony of fit Europeans preparing for the Alps leg of the Tour de France” ever using it.

As if it’s possible to go very far in San Diego without going uphill.

And he considers it a poor substitute for the jet packs his generation was promised.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Washington state driver reportedly drifted onto the shoulder of a roadway when she took her eyes off the road to light a cigarette. And when she looked up, saw she was about to hit a man riding a bicycle.

So rather than do the sensible thing and jerk her car back to the left to avoid him, she jerked the wheel directly towards him, apparently preferring to slam into the squishy person on a bike over maybe hitting something hard, like another car.

Then kept going until she crashed into a sign and a barrier, without ever touching her brakes.

Let’s say that again. In this entire process, she never put her foot on the brake pedal to maybe avoid hitting another human being.

The 56-year old man on the bike suffered a broken leg and hand, a concussion and facial cuts. But can probably count himself lucky that he’s still be here with us.

Meanwhile, the 19-year old unlicensed driver faces a well-deserved charge of vehicular assault, for showing a disregard for the safety of others.

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This is who we share the road with, too.

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Great piece from the UK, where a Welsh writer offers ten things drivers will never understand about people on bicycles.

Flip the road references from left to right, and it applies just as well right here in the states.

I particularly like this simple, but effective, explanation for why we sometimes wear spandex. Or Lycra, as the rest of the English-speaking world calls it.

7. I’m not trying to be all ‘Tour de France’

Please don’t make fun of my lycra – I know you don’t have to wear lycra to ride a bike. But when I’m doing 50-100 miles, lycra and padded shorts really are essential.

Cycling jerseys, cycling shorts and cycling shoes are actually functional – they’re not about looking like you think you’re in the “Tour de France” (because, firstly, there isn’t a women’s one) – they just make the rider more comfortable, and thus more capable, and safer.quick-build project

The rest is just as good, and worth a few minutes from your day.

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A reminder to get yourself a good lock — and always use it.

And register your bike, already.

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So you think you’re talented on a bike?

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Why indeed?

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for forwarding what he calls a “cheeky” Cape Town, South African wayfinding sign.

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Local

Not only is Christian Bale one of us, he can ride the mean streets of Brentwood with one hand, while balancing a tray of hot coffee in the other.

Santa Monica stats show that the number of bike and pedestrian crashes are going down in the coastal city, even though deaths are up slightly.

 

State

A change to the state’s Active Transportation Program may shift funds to more quick-build projects that can transform streets simply and inexpensively.

UC San Diego finally completes a long promised bike and pedestrian bridge connecting grad students with the rest of the university. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. Also for the correction, after I misplaced the bridge as being at San Diego State. But at least I got the city right, right?

The CEO of Morgan Hill-based bike brand Specialized discusses his promotion of ecstasy, psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs to treat depression, trauma and addiction, as well as using bicycles to relieve ADHD. Or you could just combine them to celebrate next month’s Bicycle Day

Sad news from Palo Alto, where a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike on Friday.

Sunnyvale wants your input on the city’s draft active transportation plan. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Apparently having never heard of induced demand, a Marin paper calls for allowing drivers to use the new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during peak traffic hours, saying an average of 116 bikes per weekday doesn’t compare to 80,000 motorists. Even if those 116 people are riding in the middle of winter, on a bridge with no connecting bikeways yet.

A Sacramento woman has filed suit claiming a bike cop broke her leg by inexplicably ramming his bicycle into her during a protest over a police shooting.

 

National

Bicycling says NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson could become bicycling’s biggest advocate as he nears retirement, after becoming a two-wheel evangelist among his fellow drivers and mechanics.

Pickups and SUVs are getting so big, they’re outgrowing the spaces to park them in. As every bike ride who’s had to go around one, or felt the implied threat of a massive truck revving behind them, can attest.

A 13-year old Oregon boy and his friends have refurbished and donated more than 600 bicycles in the past five years, starting when he was just eight years old.

No bias here, either. An Arizona letter writer says he hates California expats because he can’t stand their politics, and blames them for a curb-protected bike lane he doesn’t like, either.

The death of professional mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag last Wednesday sent shockwaves through the southern Colorado bicycling community, causing other riders to recall their own close calls.

Now here’s the kind of hard-hitting investigative reporting we all can benefit from, as a Dallas writer explores the city’s best breweries for bike riders.

A Minnesota hospital gave children with disabilities a chance to sample adaptive bikes, and experience what it’s like to ride a bicycle.

A University of Michigan lecturer says America’s aging population needs walkable, bikeable cities. And not just the people running for president.

Good Samaritans in Brooklyn chased down and tackled a van driver who fled the scene on foot after running down a woman on her bike.

A New York woman is suing a New Jersey heliport operator, alleging a rising helicopter blew her off her bike and into a wall.

Awful news from Maryland, where a driver plowed into a group of seven bicyclists, including the president of a local bike advocacy group, injuring two riders and killing one.

A pair of kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his bike was stolen, along with his mom’s bike.

He gets it. A Florida columnist says don’t accept and shrug off bicycle and pedestrian deaths, because the status quo is unacceptable. Or obscene.

A Florida man became a suspect in the burglary of a 97-year old woman’s home when his fitness app showed he was frequently in the area. Because he, you know, lived there.

 

International

A writer for Pinkbike marks International Women’s Day by considering how to get more women to work in the bicycle industry.

An urban governmental website wonders if Great Britain needs stronger regulations for ebikes, while e-scooters are still prohibited.

Convictions for dangerous driving are soaring in the UK, thanks to videos submitted to police by bike riders and others. That’s currently illegal in California, where police officers are required to witness a violation themselves before they can ticket a driver or file a misdemeanor charge. Just one more law we need to change.

Apparently, British social media runs slow, as a driver just now posts video of a young woman on a bike drifting across a busy highway back in September.

A Nigerian man is biking across the width of Africa to perform the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, after repeatedly dreaming of routes across the continent.

The streets were dotted with naked Kiwis on wheels as the 2020 World Naked Bike Ride kicked off in New Zealand. Cape Town, South Africa joined in on taking it off, as well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite rising fears over coronavirus, the eight-stage Paris-Nice race kicked off from the outskirts of Paris on Sunday. If you had Maximilian Schachmann in a sprint for the first stage, you win. And so did he.

Meanwhile, French cyclist Warren Barguil got the boot from the race for drafting on his team car following a spill. Proving that doping isn’t the only way to cheat.

 

Finally

What 007 would ride if he rode an ebike. Clearly, bike theft is nothing new.

And seriously, if you’re carrying weed and ecstasy on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign.

 

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