Archive for General

Today’s post called on account of pain

When it comes to my health, some nights are better than others.

And this is definitely one of the others.

My neuropathy has me writhing from the knees down, while my thighs are spasming like I just finished a century ride without training.

Or water.

Meanwhile, bilateral carpal tunnel has me in pain from my finger tips up.

Normally, I’d just try to work through it. But the meds I have to take for both have turned my brain to mush tonight. And the ones I took because the others aren’t working will knock me out any minute now.

So I’m throwing in the towel, making my way to bed while I still can, and hoping that, as usual, it goes away by morning.

Please accept my apologies, and come back tomorrow to catch up on anything we may have missed today.

Move along, nothing to see here — diabetes edition

My apologies once again.

I’ve been struggling with my diabetes since the holidays, but managed to work through it most nights.

Not this time.

Tonight my blood sugar levels are kicking my ass, and making it impossible to get any work done.

I’m throwing in the towel and putting myself to bed in hopes it will come back down by morning.

So get out on your bike and enjoy this beautiful sunny SoCal weather. Or try a little Viking biking if you find yourself somewhere else.

And I’ll see you bright and early Friday morning to catch up on whatever we missed today.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Writer and adventurer Roy Wallack killed in mountain bike crash in Santa Monica Mountains Saturday morning

Roy Wallack wrote that bicycling would help you live to be 100.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Irvine resident, author of Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, was just 64 year old when he died following a crash on the Guadalasca Trail in Pt. Magu State Park Saturday morning.

According to the Ventura County Star, Wallack was riding with friends on the difficult trail when he fell around 9:20 am, although he had not been publicly identified yet in the original story.

The crash took place on the Guadalasca Trail, he said, which cuts through steep, technical terrain near the Backbone Trail. The cyclist, a man in his 60s, had reportedly been riding with friends when he crashed his bike and lost consciousness, Worthy said. The cyclist’s city of residence was not immediately known Saturday.

The man’s friends called for emergency medical assistance and performed CPR until the sheriff’s helicopter arrived with paramedics and a flight nurse. The crew continued life-saving measures but the cyclist did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Worthy said.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

A former columnist for the LA Times, Wallack was a prolific writer, according to the Star.

Wallack was a health and fitness journalist who had penned stories and columns for publications including The Los Angeles Times, magazines including Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal, and had authored a book, “Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100…and Beyond,” according to his online profile on Twitter and on his Muck Rack page. His most recent tweet from Nov. 17 links to an LA Times story offering tips on buying and selling fitness gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google search shows he’s the author of at least eight other fitness books.

The Times describes Wallack as a avid hiker, runner and bicyclist who took part in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, as well as the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike tour.

Wallack’s work for The Times spanned barre classes, triathlons, kayaking, the L.A. Marathon and more. He penned a gear column for many years, keeping fitness fans in the loop about the hottest must-haves.

He began a 2016 piece: “Hiking the Grand Canyon was not on my bucket list. A marathon, yes. Bike 200 miles in a day, yes. Ironman triathlon, absolutely. But for some reason, a mere day hike, even in one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, was never on my radar.”

Wallack ended up being won over by the 15-mile trek, describing it as “an otherworldly journey into a land before time” and “a true bucket-list adventure.”

The paper also describes his efforts to keep his 84-year old father active, despite being housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper reports that he recently finished one last book, about Richard Long, the founder of GT Bicycles, who was killed in a collision with a truck while riding his motorcycle to a bike race in Big Bear in 1994.

Tributes were beginning to pour in as word of his death began to spread Sunday evening.

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

My deepest condolences and prayers for Roy Wallack and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Mike Burk for the heads-up.

Mayor Pete tapped to head US DOT, register to run for Hollywood Hills West NC, and drawing dicks with ebike tires

It’s Day 20 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Jamie S for a generous donation to help bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning — and especially for the kind words. 

Don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

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Today’s common theme is the nomination of former South Bend IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg to take the helm of the US Department of Transportation in the new Biden administration.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says Buttigieg isn’t a transportation visionary, but he may not need to be because his new boss is.

Streetsblog considers what Mayor Pete would mean for the Transportation Department, noting some of his progressive campaign promises, as well as a few problems.

And The Points Guy considers what hims nomination means for transportation.

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Here’s your chance to add another bike-friendly voice to your neighborhood council, if you live or work in Hollywood.

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

Aussie authorities are looking for the man responsible for the bizarre crime of using the throttle on his ebike to draw phallic symbols on a bike path with the bike’s tire.

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Local

Metro Bike offers tips on how to stay safe riding a bike during the holidays. No, from Covid-19.

Pasadena police wrote 155 tickets during their latest bike and pedestrian safety crackdown, writing up 108 drivers, 25 bike riders and 22 pedestrians. Even though the biggest danger the last two posed was to themselves, which isn’t the case for the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Santa Monica is establishing a one-square mile, first-in-the-nation zero-emissions delivery zone in the downtown area, which should lead to an abundance of e-cargo bikes and delivery vans.

 

State

Bicyclists in Encinitas called for safety improvements in the coastal San Diego County city as a ghost bike was installed for Dr. Dr. Jennings Worley, a noted authority in the battle against cystic fibrosis, who was killed in a collision while riding his bike last month.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where word broke that the chief financial officer of the Sports Basement was one of the five victims who were killed last week when a trucker smashed into a group ride outside of Las Vegas.

 

National

Streetsblog says 2021 could be the tipping point when driverless cars become inevitable.

Cycling USA is raffling off a pair of Cannondale/Rapha/Palace bikes used in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, with funds going to support co-ed teams at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities for the next three years

Popular Science tries out the new Harley Davidson ebikes.

‘Tis the season. A Tulsa OK organization donates over 200 bikes for local family in need.

Police in Ohio are looking for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 60-year old man out for a bike ride on his birthday.

Boston police recovered dozens of hot bikes after a large-scale investigation.

New York will finally begin work on finishing the long-delayed Queens Boulevard protected bike lane next year, even after the mayor attempted to pull the plug at the behest of a car-centric community council member.

Snopes confirms that a Florida manatee really did free itself from a bike tire that was stuck around its body for up to a year.

An 89-year old resident of a massive Florida retirement community pled not guilty in the hit-and-run that injured two bike riders, one seriously. Yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what the bike industry can learn from the bizarre Tesla ebike prototype.

Portugal is mourning legendary, record-setting cyclist and firefighter Carlos Vieira, who died of Covid-19 at 68.

Bike riders in Calcutta, aka Kolkota, asked the police commissioner to allow bicycles on all of the city’s streets, as a growing number of people, many of them poor, are riding to work to avoid crowded public transport during the pandemic; bikes are currently banned from major arterials.

Two Chinese college students filed suit against former dockless bikeshare giant Ofo in hopes of getting their deposits back. Meanwhile, Ofo competitor Mobike is shutting down after being purchased by another company.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for diversity-based cycling team L39ion of Los Angeles, which just announced a sponsorship agreement with deep-pocketed Zwift. You can join a virtual Zwift ride with the team next Tuesday.

A new documentary recounts the long road to recovery for Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx, who was nearly killed in a horrific collision with a race moto in the 2016 Tour of Belgium, after almost miraculously awakening after six months in a coma.

 

Finally…

Just sprinkle a few kids bikes around the neighborhood in hopes that someone who needs one finds it. When traffic backs up at a drive-through holiday event, always blame the people on bikes.

And that feeling when your only motorcade is a bicycle.

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

Give to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Donate now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Welcome to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Think of it as sort of like a pledge drive for your favorite public radio station. Except we don’t take away the reason you came here while we ask for your money.

Or maybe plead is a better word this year.

Like a lot of people, we’re hurting this year, emotionally and financially, after my wife’s job disappeared along with the company she worked for during the first Covid-19 lockdown. And we’re facing an even bigger cliff when her health insurance disappears along with her job at the end of the year.

Good times.

But those are my problems. You’ve undoubtedly got your own right now.

Which is why I’m not asking for your help if you’re struggling, too. If you can’t afford it, don’t sweat it. Just coming here to read this site means more than I can ever begin to tell you.

But if you’ve to a few extra bucks lying around, keep reading.

Because running this site is a more than full-time job, for a lot less than minimum wage. And while I truly appreciate each of our sponsors, their support, as valuable as it is, doesn’t begin to cover what’s needed to keep this site going.

I count on whatever comes in during the annual fund drive to tide me over until those sponsors renew in the spring.

If they do in the middle of this pandemic, which could be in doubt, just like everything else right now.

But that’s where you come in.

Your support helps fill in that gaping gap, and allows me to devote my working hours to bringing you all the latest bike news, from around the corner and around the world.

And devote whatever time I have left in this world to helping make it a safer place for people on bicycles, and a more livable world for all of us.

Because we can’t fix the problems we all face if we don’t know what they are. And our elected leaders can’t hide the truths we shine a light on.

So please, give what you can, or what you want.

But give something if you can.

You can contribute with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the using the Zelle feature that came with the banking app already on your phone; just send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla.com (after removing the spaces, of course).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated. And will help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Thanks to Arthur B and Eric L for their generous contributions before this fund drive even began.

And a special thanks to Todd Rowell, who came up with the idea for this fund drive in the first place.

Finally, say hi to the new corgi puppy, as she takes a break from training to be a diabetic service dog to make her debut as official spokesdog for the Holiday Fund Drive!

 

Move along, nothing to see here

It’s two in the morning as I write this, after writing about the 82-year old man killed riding his bike in Temecula over the weekend.

And to be honest, I’m emotionally exhausted after writing about someone killed on SoCal roads every day this month.

So I’m going to throw in the towel and take myself to bed. And hopefully find a better frame of mind in the morning.

As usual, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed today.

And ride safe. I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone else.

 

Move along, nothing to see here — 2020 sucks edition

Looks like I’ll be out of business for awhile.

I spent all day yesterday begging Spectrum cable to come fix the internet modem their massive outage broke on Sunday. The earliest appointment I could get was Sept. 18th, until they finally agreed to squeeze us in tomorrow.

Which was good news, until it wasn’t.

Because the corgi puppy did something really cute tonight, squeezing herself into a pillow case she’d previously chewed a hole in.

Only problem is, in trying to extricate her, I knocked over a glass of water, which landed on the laptop I thought was safely out of reach.

And even though it was closed, it’s now dead as hell.

Which is why I’m pecking this out on my phone.

So unless there’s some sort of MacBook Air miracle in the morning, it looks like we’ll be offline for the foreseeable future until I can get another one.

Which could be a long damn time since both my wife and I are out of work. Me because of the diabetes and neuropathy keeps me from holding a job, and Sandy because the company she worked for closed down permanently during the coronavirus shutdown.

Hopefully, Congress will get its collective head out of its collective ass and do something, because we’re hurting like everyone else out there.

Until then, I’ll try to figure something out.

But it may take awhile.

Move along, nothing to see here

Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel.

A combination of an early morning commitment today, and a late night last night tending to a new puppy who got into something she shouldn’t have, means I’m out of time to get anything done tonight.

As usual, we’ll be back on Friday to catch up on anything we missed.

Enough! A fight for full accessibility and inclusive bicycling at UC Davis and the University of California system

Recently I’ve been trading messages with former South Pasadena resident Megan Lynch, as she struggles with the challenges of being a disabled bike rider attending grad school at an ostensibly bike-friendly university.

Or maybe, bike-friendly as long as you’re physically abled.

She’s struggled with everything ranging from finding safe and affordable handicapped-accessible housing, to simply finding a bike rack that can accommodate her adaptive recumbent bicycle.

Both of which could easily be corrected if someone actually gave a damn.

Big if, evidently.

Because this past weekend, I received this heartbreaking email indicating she’s had enough.

I have barely survived this first year of grad school because UC Davis is so ableist. Grad school is hard for abled 20-somethings in the prime of their lives. It is so much worse for anyone who is not in this society’s hegemonic class.

I went to the Disabled Students Center – they didn’t care.

I went to others at UC Davis – they didn’t care.

I went to my union – they didn’t care.

I went to the wildcat strikers – they didn’t care.

Finally, I saw that no matter how much this place was hurting my health, no one cared. Once more, I was the only person that was going to save me. So I looked around for other disabled students who wanted to work on this. They gave input, but no one made the time. I did this by myself until just the beginning of July when I finally found disability activists at UC Berkeley, UCSD, and potentially at UC Santa Cruz.

It shouldn’t have to be like this.

This past Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, mandating access for people with disabilities in every aspect of American life, from employment and housing to education.

And yes, bicycling.

It’s a law that has literally been life changing for countless people. Yet one that is too easily ignored when it becomes just a little too inconvenient.

Which is why she’s joined with UC Access Now to release a manifesto demanding change.

Because they’ve been ignored for far too long.

And it’s long past time someone listened.

ADA Is a Floor Not a Ceiling

“Do you know what it means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss is trying to say? It’s like ‘Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.’” – Chris Rock

Attempting to meet ADA and no further is admitting that you’d do less if you could get away with it. In 30 years of ADA, UC still hasn’t fully met ADA conditions. But meeting ADA isn’t enough. For example, accessible cycle racks & lockers are important for transportation to those disabled people that can cycle, especially on a majority cycle campus like UC Davis. But when asked, abled transportation & parking services workers say “Bike racks aren’t covered under ADA”. This is not likely true, but even if it were ruled so, it’s just another argument for exceeding ADA to achieve an inclusive and accessible campus environment.

Here are a few more entirely reasonable quotes pulled from their list of demands.

• Cycling racks & cycling lockers must be U-racks that will accommodate the types of cycles disabled people are more likely to ride such as handcycles, tricycles and quadracycles (both upright and recumbent). Racks must be far enough away from each other and from obstacles like curbs, hedges, and walls for a large cycle (including cargo cycles) to fit and for a large person to be alongside the cycle locking it without being too close to the next person over also locking their cycle at a rack.

• Campus cycling facilities should have staff trained in the maintenance and repair of cycle frames disabled cyclists use like handcycles, recumbents, tricycles, quadracycles, and e-assist cycles of all types.

• Each campus should have a hub for wheelchair and mobility aid repair. In addition to carrying parts and executing repairs, specialized wheelchairs for outdoor recreation on trails and at the beach should be available to rent by disabled students who use wheelchairs.

If there’s anything there that’s unreasonable, outrageously expensive, or too difficult to implement, I can’t see it.

You can follow UC Access Now on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And contact the administrators at UC Davis and the UC Board of Regents to demand change.

Because people don’t stop riding bikes because they’re disabled.

They stop riding because no one cares enough to accommodate them.

And the same goes for higher education.

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Come back tomorrow for our usual Morning Links to catch up on anything we missed today. 

And meet the furry new BikinginLA intern. 

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