Archive for Morning Links

Kid driver trying to roll coal runs down 6 Texas bike riders, bike rider gets stung in Hermosa sting, and sad state of LA biking

What does it take for a driver to get arrested, anyway?

Because if anyone deserves to spend some time behind bars, it’s the 16-year old boy who tried to coal roll a group of bike riders, and plowed into them, instead.

But considering it happened in Texas, he’ll probably get a slap on the wrist and a pat on the back.

According to Houston’s Fox-26, a group of bicyclists were training for a triathlon in Waller County, northwest of Houston Saturday morning.

Roughly 75 miles into their training ride, Ferrell says a black diesel pickup truck slowed down near him and accelerated to blow smoke in his lane.  Moments later, the pickup trick tried doing the same thing to other cyclists riding ahead of Ferrell.

“The reason he couldn’t stop is because he was accelerating to blow more diesel fuel on these cyclists,” said Ferrell.  “He ended up hitting 3 people before his brakes even started.”

A total of six riders were run down by the kid behind the wheel, four of whom had to be hospitalized; fortunately, their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Yet despite everything, the kid was not ticketed, let alone arrested.

Rolling coal is assault with a deadly weapon, capable of causing riders to fall off their bikes, or cause lung damage, asthma attacks and eye irritation.

Let alone the risk of slamming into the intended targets while doing it.

This was anything but a mere oopsie.

It was a deliberate attack that led to serious injuries. And needs to be prosecuted that way.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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This is what can happen when you get caught up in one of those bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations.

A bike rider who prefers to be anonymous forwarded this ticket for running a stop sign in Hermosa Beach. The irony is, that could be legal soon if Governor Newson signs the bill legalizing Stop as Yield in California.

Evidently, Hermosa cops weren’t willing to wait.

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This twitter thread is worth a click to read the whole thing, as he describes the sad state of bicycling in Los Angeles.

Which keeps far too many people from riding their bikes.

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Somehow, we missed this video of scofflaw salmon drivers in LA’s Griffith Park earlier this month.

But they’re right. Cars don’t belong in public parks.

Period.

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Bicycle art, junkyard or illegal bike chop shop?

4th and vermont from LosAngeles

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Got to admit, it’s a pretty impressive work of Strava art.

Let’s just hope the grown-up guy who was the baby on the album cover doesn’t decide to sue him, too.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. New Orleans has been targeting ghost bikes for violating a proposed policy, even though there is no current rule in place prohibiting them.

Bizarre story from the UK, which reports a bike rider was intentionally run down in a collision with a van — yet fails to even mention that the van had a driver.

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

A 60-year old road raging Kiwi man was sentenced to 100 hours behind bars, and a $400 “emotional harm payment,” for physically attacking a driver who allegedly clipped his leg in a dangerous pass as he was riding a bicycle with his wife.

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Local

Metro has come back with a pair of plans for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, one of which is very similar to the locally drafted Beautiful Blvd plan. And the other one isn’t.

 

State

Residents of Santee are revolting against transportation plans from Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, insisting they’re not interested in bike lanes, but want more highway lanes to reduce congestion. Apparently they’ve never heard of induced demand, which would fill those new lanes with even more cars. Or that bike lanes can reduce traffic congestion by given some people an alternative to driving.

The CHP is looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a 60-year old woman as she was riding her bicycle on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo, leaving her with multiple broken ribs and two broken clavicles.

The San Francisco Chronicle has apparently dropped its draconian paywall for a special graphic report illustrating the progress the city has made building bike lanes during the pandemic. An opportunity Los Angeles lost by failing to step up efforts when they had the chance.

A Santa Clara newspaper honored a retired electronic salesman with their North Bay Spirit Award for this month, for his work with the nonprofit he founded to fix up unloved bikes and give them to kids whose parents can’t afford one; in just the past seven months, he’s taken in 100 bicycles and given 80 away after repairing them. Thanks to Murphstahoe for the link.

 

National

Forbes says Harley Davidson’s new Serial 1 Mosh/CTY could easily replace your car for local shopping or commuting. But good luck getting one of their special edition, vintage-style bikes, which sold out the first week.

Then again, Men’s Health says the same thing about Specialized’s new turbo ebikes.

Denver’s transportation department says they can’t put more bike lanes on the city’s wide streets, because there just isn’t enough space. Having ridden throughout the city when I lived there a few decades back, I can say with all confidence, bullshit.

An Iowa man will spend anywhere from 14 to 60 years behind bars for beating a 72-year-old maintenance man to death with a kid’s bicycle.

Common sense prevailed in Dayton, Ohio by denying a permit to tear down the Wright Brothers first bike shop.

Kindhearted Massachusetts cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a young boy after his was stolen from his yard.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever punched a nine-year old Staten Island boy in the face and stole his bicycle.

New York authorities blame obsolete replacement batteries for 65 ebike and e-scooter battery fires that have killed three people this year.

Speaking of which, police in New York are looking for a group of four men and a woman for allegedly tossing that exploding ebike onto the subway tracks, which had initially been explained away as an accident.

New York’s Department of Transportation wants to install cameras to catch people blocking bike lanes with their cars, which will require a law change from the state. Never mind that some of the worst offenders are cops.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old South Carolina man rode his bike 800 miles to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity.

A Florida woman was killed by a road racing motorcyclist, who hit her bicycle while he was racing a driver in a BMW as she was trying to ride across the street; no word on any charges, though police are looking for the driver of the BMW driver.

 

International

An op-ed by a British Columbia bike rider says the city of St. John’s is the worst bicycling city in Canada, without a single inch of bike lanes. And that has to change .

Life is cheap in the UK, where a doubly distracted taxi driver got less than three years for running down a man on a bicycle while using, not one, but two phones behind the wheel, leaving the victim with life-changing injuries.

Florence, Italy is extending its Bicipolitana network with two new lines; the concept refers to planning bikeways like subways, with primary routes leading across the city.

Italian bikemaker Colnago will fight bike theft by using blockchain technology combined with a non-removable RFID embedded in the frame.

Belgium has introduced the country’s first ever countrywide bike plan.

Seventy percent of the bicyclists killed in the Czech Republic this year weren’t wearing helmets. While that figure sounds disturbing, it’s meaningless without knowing how many of those victims suffered head injuries, and whether their injuries would have been survivable with or without one.

The late Zambian president and recording artist Kenneth Kaunda was one of us, with the 1960s guerrilla frequently riding the countryside carrying a guitar on his bike while leading the country’s freedom movement.

An Aussie columnist calls out the “gutter scum” who mocked the victims of collision on the paper’s Facebook page, after several bike riders were injured and a 63-year old woman was killed, when they were struck by a school bus driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

France’s Julian Alaphilippe repeated as men’s world road champ, in what Cycling Weekly termed possibly the greatest ride of his career.

Hometown favorite Wout van Aert said he just didn’t have the legs to compete with Alaphilippe, saying he’s only human.

Surprise third place finisher Michael Valgren saved the day for the vaunted Danish team at the worlds, telling himself “Shit, it’s up to me,” after realizing he was the only team member still in contention.

Youth was served at the women’s world road championships, as 23-year old Italian cyclist Elisa Balsamo outsprinted Dutch great Marianne Vos; VeloNews talks with Balsamo, as well as several other top competitors.

Cycling News blamed failed tactics for the Dutch team’s loss in the women’s race, which left a sour taste in Vos’ mouth.

Forget crits. Try testing your mettle on an “inappropriate” single speed bike in a brutal Slovenian bike race; towing a dog in trailer behind your bike is optional.

 

Finally…

Call it a split decision in an epic battle of man versus ebike. Nothing like setting up your own personal bait bike.

And if you can’t punch and kick an acquaintance and steal his bicycle, who can you?

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

Bike riding Sacramento amnesiac identified, calling out Manhattan Beach hypocrisy, and bikeshare for circus bears

One quick note before we get started.

It’s my birthday this weekend.

One I’ve tried to put off as long as possible, because it’s one of the big ones — marking the official demarkation between angry young man and crotchety get-off-my-lawn curmudgeon.

So do me a favor.

Ride just a little safer and more defensively for the next few days. Because we don’t want to ruin your weekend, or mine.

And I want to see you back here on Monday.

Even if I will be a crotchety old fart.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.

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Good news from Sacramento, where the man who lost his memory after he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, and had no idea who he is, has finally been identified thanks to tips from the public.

Unfortunately, we may never learn who he is, though, because the hospital won’t identify him, citing patient privacy.

And yes, it’s yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID with you when you ride.

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This pretty much puts it in perspective.

Manhattan Beach commuters insisted on keeping Vista Del Mar a deadly throughway, while following a completely different set of rules in their own community.

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This tweet from the UK kind of sums up the current state of bike commuting almost anywhere.

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Here’s your chance to be a somewhat different kind of bike messenger.

And you can still use the bike lane.

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

No bias here. A Yorkshire, England county councilor insisted that people on bicycles “do drive motorists somewhat insane,” and are “making themselves a great number of potential enemies and therefore dangerous situations.” And as an added bonus, trotted out the old myth that bike riders don’t pay for the roads.

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

A 19-year old Missouri man was busted for vandalizing homes by riding a bicycle around his own neighborhood with a backpack full of spray paint, and marking walls with phrases like “Blood Gang” and “Death to America.”

An op-ed writer says the only things keeping Brussels, Belgium from being a pedestrian-friendly city is a long list of problems, from bad drivers to embarrassingly reckless bicycle riders. (Emphasis hers.)

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Local

Long Beach is finally getting around to building the long-delayed Wrigley Greenbelt Project along DeForest Avenue from 26th Way to 34th Street, including what appears to be a meandering bike path.

Residents of remote Del Sur in the Antelope Valley are outraged after their hand-built BMX track was plowed under by the city.

 

State

Encinitas is the latest California city to adopt Vision Zero. Let’s hope they take it seriously, unlike a certain megalopolis to the north we could name.

San Diego belatedly installs car-tickler bendie posts along the bike lane through Balboa Park, too late to save the lives of a bike-riding woman and a scooter-riding man in recent months. But at least they’re doing something.

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog says traffic engineers and DMVs need to learn from the aviation industry how to make Vision Zero work.

Life is cheap in Contra Costa County, where prosecutors have apparently concluded that the killing od long-time NFL coach Greg Knapp was no big deal, declining to file criminal charges against the driver who swerved into the San Ramon bike lane Knapp was riding in to run him down from behind; Knapp died five days later. More proof, if we needed it, that a little stripe of white paint doesn’t keep drivers out. And that authorities don’t always care when it doesn’t.

In a case of corporate Biking While Black, a Google product manager says he was stopped by security while biking across the company’s massive Mountain View campus, because they couldn’t believe he worked there.

 

National

Cycling News explains the difference between a hybrid and a gravel bike.

The Washington Post looks at efforts by Congress to combat climate change by encouraging alternative transportation, including a proposed $750 tax rebate for buying an ebike. Although if they were really serious about fighting climate change, they wouldn’t have reduced the proposed $1,500 rebate down to a paltry $750. Especially when e-car buyers get ten times that amount.

Smart Cities says “we can’t forget public transit, walking and cycling in the push to decarbonize transportation,” adding that preserving private vehicle use won’t move us to a more equitable transportation future.

CleanTechnica wants to know why bikes are booming in the US, while sales of electric motorcycles are stagnant.

A new PeopleForBikes campaign encourages commuters to fight climate change one ride at a time.

A commercial trucker’s website says you can thank bike riders, along with early “automobilists”, for today’s highways.

Newsweek says Vision Zero is gaining speed across the US. Unfortunately, so are most drivers.

Spy considers the best bike gloves for every season.

A pair of kindhearted Massachusetts cops dig into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a six-year old boy after his was stolen for the second time in weeks.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts group has refurbished and given away over 340 bicycles since it was founded last summer.

New York’s bicycle delivery riders won first-of-their-kind protections from the city council, guaranteeing them bathroom breaks, minimum delivery payments and the right to keep whatever tips they earn.

A Savannah, Georgia physician and columnist reflects on life’s priorities, and the “vast amounts of irrelevant garbage that distracts us from the wonder of life’s everyday miracles” after surviving a hit-and-run collision while riding his bike.

 

International

The Guardian wants to know why other big bike brands aren’t following Trek’s lead by tracking their environmental impact. And then doing something about it.

Tragic news from Ontario, Canada, where a man was found dead in ditch next to his bicycle; he is believed to be the 81-year old man who went missing after leaving home on a bike ride a week ago.

A Canadian op-ed writer pens a loving ode to the amazing bicycle.

He gets it. A UK letter writer says it’s angry and selfish driving that kills people on bicycles, not the actions of the victims.

An Irish woman was convicted of dangerous driving for running over a bike rider following a collision; the woman, who was driving alone despite only having a learner’s permit, said she panicked after the crash and hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy is coming to America, after rapidly becoming one of the most popular brands in Europe, although they’re only making one model available in the US for now, at an early bird price of $1,990.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as the Croatian town of Vodnjan has built walking and bike trails to explore the city’s many churches, some several centuries old, as well as hundred of artworks and holy relics dating back to the fifth century. Okay, maybe just my bucket list. But still.

A man in Bangalore, India is lucky to be alive after he was knocked off an overpass when a motorcyclist sideswiped his bicycle; he survived by hanging onto some loose wires dangling over the side.

Hundreds of Mumbai bike riders took to the streets on two wheels to celebrate World Car Free Day.

 

Competitive Cycling

Road.cc says no, the pros aren’t switching to disc brakes just to get you to buy a new bike.

Cycling Weekly looks at UCI’s new gravel bike series, as well as a new ‘cross format and the relatively new sport of Snow Bike.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the nice cops explain you’ve been driving over a mile on walking and biking trails. At last, an ebike with an attached sidecar for your corgi…uh, dog.

And it’s about time Moscow had a bikeshare for circus bears.

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

Kids bike camp at VELO Sports Center, London shows what LA could be but isn’t, and rider attacked by ungrateful ‘roo

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is living up to its name by hosting the free USA Cycling “Let’s Ride” Camp.

The camp is being held in conjunction with the East Side Riders Bike Club and the Bahati Foundation to get more kids on bikes, and teach them to ride safely.

And who knows, maybe your precocious kid will get discovered by one of those Olympians or team reps, and set on a path to become LA’s next bicycling superstar.

It could happen.

Right?

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This is what Los Angeles could be. But isn’t.

And this is how you make the streets more efficient.

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

Bizarre crime in Brentwood CA (scroll down), where a man hopped out of a pickup and sprayed a bike rider in the face with mace outside a local brewery, in an apparently random attack, before riding off on a skateboard.

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

Police in Kuantan, Malaysia, are looking for a bike rider caught on dashcam video drafting a truck; he could face up to the equivalent an $80 fine if he’s caught, or $229 for a repeat offender.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times urges Newsom to sign AB 1238 to decriminalize jaywalking and let people cross the street when it’s safe, without having to worry about getting a ticket — especially in Black communities where jaywalking is too often used as a pretext for police stops. And a pair of writers for CityLab agree.

A group of UCLA researchers have received a $1 million grant to fund a digital art project designed to encourage more people to ride a bike, by creating art projects that only come to life when someone rides past on a bicycle.

You can now give Metro Bike the Bird by using the dockless scooter app to rent one of Metro’s bikeshare bikes.

Caltrans plans three Complete Streets projects in LA County. But don’t get too excited. Only one, on Western Ave, will have a bike lane; the others — on PCH in the South Bay, and Alvarado Street and Santa Monica Blvd — will only be sort-of complete.

 

State

BikeSD is urging everyone in San Diego County to attend SANDAG’s virtual meeting on Friday, or send in a comment, to help push four regional bikeways over the finish line.

The San Francisco Chronicle says a “permanently car-free John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park” could finally become a reality after more than 50 years of effort and advocacy; city officials want the public to weigh in on whether the street closure should be permanent.

Tips are reportedly flowing in to help identify a man who lost his memory in a Sacramento collision while riding his bike, and has no idea who he is.

 

National

Seriously? A Seattle website offers tips on how to get around the city without a car. But the first two suggestions still recommend using someone else’s car, whether through carshare or a ride hailing service. Which is the exact opposite of not using a car, even if it’s not yours.

Horrible news from Utah, where a man on a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by an older driver, who then repeatedly backed up and drove forward again and again, running over the victim twice. Yet witnesses inexplicably insisted she didn’t seem to realize she’d hit anything, despite what sounds like an intentional attack.

A Kansas woman is back behind bars where she belongs after her bail was revoked for leaving the state over the weekend; she’s charged with running down a man on a bicycle with her van, then getting out and fatally shooting him as he lay injured on the street.

Chicago announced the largest bike lane expansion in the city’s history, with a commitment to install 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes over the next two years at a cost of $17 million.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a retired police sergeant was found dead in a ditch nine hours after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while training for a Police Unity bike tour. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to flee once he or she is caught, rather than getting the help that might have saved her life.

Massachusetts police respond to complaints by taking steps to stop kids on bicycles from “harassing and endangering the public” by riding their bikes erratically around drivers and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where an 84-year old woman got a lousy traffic ticket for killing a bike rider. Yet another example of keeping an older driver on the road until it’s too late.

New York is set to unveil a redesigned Queens Blvd next month, including a bike lane and wider medians and pedestrian crossings, making it the centerpiece of the city’s Vision Zero program; the so-called Boulevard of Death saw 23 people killed or severely injured over a four-year period.

The DC city auditor is opening a 10-month investigation into the city’s Vision Zero program to determine why deaths have gone up every year but one since it was adopted in 2015. Maybe they can do Los Angeles next, which hasn’t fared much better. 

A Georgia man has named a state legislator and a local police chief in a wrongful death suit, accusing them of covering up a hit-and-run collision that killed the man’s bike-riding son; instead of dialing 911, the driver called his buddy the legislator, who called the police chief, neither of whom got help for the victim or charged the driver.

Brian Laundrie is one of us. The “person of interest” in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito was seen going for a casual bike ride with his mother after returning to his Florida home alone from an extended road trip with Petito, with no explanation.

 

International

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted cab driver got less than three years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving 70 mph and using his cellphone; he tried to cover up the crime by wiping the data on his phone.

A bike advocacy group said it was shocked when the Belfast, Northern Ireland transportation agency called for removing all the city’s popup bike lanes, or converting them to use by people on four wheels, as well as on two.

The number of people commuting to work by bicycle in Brussels dropped by a third since the pandemic began, but the distance they’re riding went up; 14 percent of commuters now bike to work, compared to 21 percent pre-ppandemic. Los Angeles would have to see a nearly ten time increase to reach the current level, let alone the previous one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great to see veteran German cyclist Tony Martin end his career on a high note by winning the mixed relay race at the world championships in his last race before retiring, after finishing sixth in Sunday’s individual time trial.

Seventeen-year old Austrian junior cyclist Leila Gschwentner was injured in a collision with a public bus in Leuven, Belgium, while training for Saturday’s junior road cycling world championship; no word on how badly she was hurt.

UCI is stepping in to tame the Wild West of gravel bike racing, metaphorically pinning on its own marshal’s badge to impose structure and a world championship on the formerly unregulated racing events.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to have a “brutal” mountain bike crash, make sure there’s an ER doc on the trail with you. That feeling when a rude ‘roo shows his lack of gratitude for being saved from drowning by attacking a passing bike rider.

And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting attacked by a rabid beaver.

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

It’s Car Free Day, San Diego driver faces murder for meth-fueled death of Laura Shinn, and always carry ID on your bike

Happy International Car Free Day!

Metro Bike is offering a free bikeshare ride today to celebrate, along with steep discounts on 30 day and yearly passes.

And a European website says if there is a war on cars, Car Free Day is winning converts to the anti-car side.

So leave the car at home today.

Or better yet, declare your own personal war on cars, and trade it in for a new bike or ebike, and make it Car Free Day every day.

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A San Diego man faces years, if not decades, behind bars for killing a woman as she rode her bike.

Thirty-eight-year old Pacific Beach resident Adam David Milavetz is charged with murder for running down well-known architect Laura Shinn while high on meth as she rode her bike to work in a Balboa Park bike lane last July.

He faces an additional felony count of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, giving jurors a choice of charges and potential sentences.

Milavetz, who works as a “420 mobilization tech” and delivery driver for a pair of cannabis dispensaries, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges; he has been held in custody without bail since his arrest.

He was arrested a month earlier for driving while high on meth.

And once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver the road until it was too late.

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Momentum Magazine says there’s still a lot worth fighting for in the $3.5 trillion House infrastructure bill, even if Congress did cut the proposed $1,500 ebike tax credit in half.

The e-bike tax credit and other bicycle programs that make up the massive bill are as follows, and it signifies a welcome change and an indication of just how fast and how large e-bikes sales are growing:

  • E-bike tax credit: 15% on the purchase of new e-bikes (the first $5,000), up to $750 benefit value. The credit was originally proposed for 30%.
  • Bicycle commuter benefit: Allow use of pre-tax dollars to fund bike purchases and bike-share memberships.
  • E-bikes for business tax credit: An incentive of a tax credit of 30% for businesses to install e-bike charging stations
  • Funding to reconnect or enhance communities split apart by highway projects.
  • Opportunities to build a sustainable and complete bicycle network.

Meanwhile, drivers will continue to get a tax credit ten times that size for buying an electric car, as the government works to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets.

And never mind that the prospect for the House bill aren’t looking good in the evenly split Senate, where Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are insisting on further steep cuts to the bill, even though it has already been reduced $1.5 trillion from the original proposal.

Slate asks what if Congress helped bicyclists instead of drivers for a change?

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Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

Authorities in Sacramento are trying to identify a Spanish-speaking man who is trapped in a fugue state following a collision with a driver while riding his bicycle, and can’t even remember his own name.

But don’t rely on your wallet or cellphone, or anything else that can be easily stolen if you’re incapacitated in a crash; it may sound ghoulish, but it happens often enough to be a valid concern.

I always wear a Road ID when I ride. Or any other time I leave home.

I also keep emergency contact information written down on a slip of paper in my jersey pocket or seat bag; other people attach information on their shoes or directly to their bikes.

But do something. You don’t want your loved ones frantically searching for you if anything happens.

Thanks to “Zero Carbon” Kevin and Megan Lynch for clarifying where this took place.

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Unless you have to share the road with LA drivers, that is.

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If you build it, they will come. Women, too.

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GCN examines whether we should be afraid of bicycles made by carmakers.

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

Police in the UK criticize the “depressing level of selfish and poor behavior” shown by motorists during a sting operation to catch drivers who pass too close to people on bicycles; a fifth of all drivers were stopped for violations.

Meanwhile, a bike rider in Cornwall, England shares video of repeated bad passes by drivers.

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

Police in Regina, Saskatchewan tackled a man off his bicycle as he attempted to flee, booking him on 11 counts including weapons charges, assault and possession of burglary tools.

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Local

A Long Beach couple started a petition demanding safety improvements to Los Coyotes Diagonal after their son was killed by a suspected drunk driver while trying to cross the deadly street earlier this month, where far too many people have been killed in recent years — including a pair of bike riders just two years ago.

 

State

If you ride in the Santa Barbara area, the CHP will be distributing enough bike lights, reflectors and helmets for one thousand people in Isla Vista this evening.

An Oakland website examines why the area’s roads are among the deadliest in the state, and asks for their readers help in finding out.

Marin County drivers and officials are once again coming for the successful bike lane on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, after a study suggested that converting it back to a traffic lane could save drivers a whole eleven minutes, while costing bike commuters hours. Or forcing them back into cars. Sure, let’s just turn all the streets back over to cars. It’s not like there’s a climate or fatality crisis or anything to worry about.

 

National

National Geographic says there are good reasons to believe America’s pandemic bike boom will become a longterm trend.

A Tesla fan site explains how the carmaker’s Full Self-Driving Beta steers cars around bike riders and pedestrians. The problem is, Tesla is turning all of us into unpaid beta testers just by sharing the road with them, whether we like it or not. 

A Streetsblog op-ed says playable streets represent the next frontier in public spaces, with infrastructure and street furniture designed to inspire imagination.

A first-time ebike rider says the new 28 mph Specialized ebike won him over — especially the Garmin sensor feature that displays the position of cars around and behind the bike on a small screen on the handlebars. Although that maximum speed means a helmet is required in California, regardless of age, and it would be banned from separated bike paths.

Bicycling offers tips from the pros for beginning riders. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Nevada couple faces a shitload of charges for killing the wife of a Tesla co-founder as she rode her bike last July, then lying about who was behind the wheel; a TV reporter explains the driver is charged with reckless driving causing death, rather than vehicular manslaughter, because the former is a felony while the latter is just a misdemeanor. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip.

A suspected Arizona bike thief was killed after he dropped the bicycle to flee from police and ran out into traffic — and into the side of a box truck, before getting hit by another driver.

The Sierra Club magazine talks with Detroit bike riders about the difficulty of Biking While Black, even in a city that’s overwhelmingly African American.

Dayton, Ohio wants to destroy the 1892 building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop, saying it’s become a nuisance after falling into a state of “extreme disrepair.” Although once a historic site is gone, you can’t get it back.

They get it. A Bangor, Maine newspaper reminds us that pedestrian deaths aren’t statistics, they’re people. That goes for people on bicycles, too. Or anyone else who’s a victim of traffic violence.

Maryland is investing $16.8 million to fund 42 bike projects around the state. Although Amazon donated nearly half that amount to complete two bike trail segments near their Bellevue, Washington HQ2 alone.

 

International

The Finnish city of Turku is attempting to promote bicycling by experimenting with different types of secure bike parking, including public ebike charging cabinets that can automatically extinguish a battery fire.

If you can live without the extra bells and whistles and Garmins, you can get a new Chinese-made Tenways ebike right now on Indiegogo for less than half the price of the Specialized ebike.

Singapore Facebook users freak out after spotting someone riding a recumbent bike, accusing the low rider of courting death.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to 23-year old Christopher Blevins, who became the first American to win a Mountain Bike World Cup race in 27 years on Sunday.

 

Finally…

That feeling when even a nine-foot fence and a pond aren’t enough to deter a bike thief. That feeling when you want an ebike, but secretly wish it was a motorcycle.

And don’t bother showing up for a Covid test if you’re not in a car.

………

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

Push governor to sign street safety bills, feds consider US Vision Zero resolution, and biking record 2,179 miles in 7 days

Streets For All wants your help getting a series of mostly transportation and street safety bills passed by the legislature off the governor’s desk and onto the books.

Final push: urge Gov Newsom to sign these critical bills

Now that we have successfully avoided a recall catastrophe (phew!), we are on the cusp of a landmark year for climate and transportation justice. Seven critical bills have made it all the way to the Governor!

ALL THEY NEED TO BECOME LAW IS GAVIN NEWSOM’S SIGNATURE.

Here are the bills that we need you to urge Newsom to sign:

  • AB 122 – Legalizes the bicycle safety stop
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalizes walking
  • AB 917 – Enforces bus only lanes
  • AB 773 – Strengthens our slow streets programs
  • AB 1147 – Requires cities align new projects with emissions reduction goals
  • AB 43 – Allows cities to lower speed limits
  • AB 339 – Requires local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:

1) Email Governor Newsom as soon as possible!!

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message. Make sure to include your address at the bottom for your message to count.

Email Governor Newsom

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

Add Your Name

………

A federal resolution to end traffic deaths could be a game changer, even if nearly 30 years is way too long a deadline.

But as we’ve learned the hard way, Vision Zero is only as good as the commitment from our elected leaders to fund and implement that. And with a non-binding resolution, that could change with every change in administration.

………

Scottish bicyclist Josh Quigley appears to have set a new world record by riding 2,179.66 miles in just seven days, beating the existing record by a scant two miles.

Quigley was nearly killed by a Texas driver just two years ago while attempting to ride his bike around the world, yet bounced back to set a new record for riding 500 miles across the Scottish coast.

………

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

Nothing like having an impatient driver run up your ass and honk to demand you get the hell out of her way — then meeting her at the next light.

An Ohio man faces charges for intentionally crashing his car into a man riding a bicycle, after making a U-turn and speeding up to slam into him from behind; the victim was critically injured with multiple head and neck fractures. No word on the reason for the attack.

………

Local

Bike Culver City will host an online discussion of What Can We Learn from the Parisian Bike Revolution? tomorrow, featuring Charlotte Nenner, an elected member of the Regional Council of Ile-de-France.

 

State

A Bay Area bike rider dodged a drunken strong arm robbery Saturday morning, when an apparently intoxicated man attempted to block the bridge connecting Palo Alto and Menlo Park and demanded his bicycle; he was able to ride around the thief, who spat on his back and threw a beer can at him as he rode away.

A San Francisco writer argues that a city supervisor’s plan for a not-entirely carfree JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park has a hole you could drive a car through.

 

National

WaPo offers etiquette tips for ebike riders.

A new report shows air pollution from tire and brake wear can be up to 1,000 times worse than exhaust from gas-powered vehicles. Which is yet another problem switching to electric cars won’t help.

Denver is urging people to get back in the saddle for tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day, which returns to a commuter focus after being rebranded as Bike to Wherever Week during last year’s pandemic. Which is evidently somehow different from this year’s pandemic.

They get it. A Denver TV station blames high profile trucks and SUVs for the rising rate of bicycling and pedestrian deaths and severe injuries on the state’s roadways. That’s not going to change until the federal government mandates lower profiles and bans flat grills, or carmakers are held liable for injuries and deaths caused by their unsafe designs.

An 82-year old allegedly stoned driver faces DUI charges after flashing his high beams at an Erie NY bike rider, causing the victim to crash his bicycle. No word on whether he was high on illegal drugs or on prescribed medications, let alone whether he should still be driving at that age — particularly if he’s on meds than can cause impairment. 

A Brooklyn librarian subversively sneaks poetry into people’s minds by blasting Emily Dickinson and e.e. cummings from his single speed bike.

The new bike lane on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge is drawing mixed reviews, with some bike riders arguing it’s not wide enough and drivers complaining about the loss of a traffic lane.

The chair of the Manhattan Democratic Party faces hit-and-run charges for dooring an ebike rider and driving off without identifying himself; naturally, the former state assembly member blamed the guy on the bike for crashing into his car door.

 

International

London’s Independent takes a Fox News contributor to task for suggesting Biden doesn’t have the necessary stamina to be the leader of the free world — because he went for a bike ride on the beach. Which apparently doesn’t take any stamina at all, according to them.

The UK’s Coach Magazine offers tips on how to take your bike on one of the country’s trains, suggesting it ain’t always easy.

The Times of India offers a different perspective in recommending the best commuter bikes, the most expensive of which is a homegrown ebike retailing for the equivalent of $336.

Be careful riding your bike around Indian elephants. And don’t try to take a selfie with one.

 

Competitive Cycling

That feeling when you’re competing at the worlds on Bradley Wiggins’ slightly used time trial bike.

After dominating US crits this summer, Justin William’s L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team is tackling gravel, thanks to 27-year-old Aussie team member Freddy Ovett.

 

Finally…

What it looks like when someone “accidentally” rolls a bikeshare bike onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. That feeling when your titanium-plated, belt-drive stationary bike costs more than most high-end roadies.

And apparently, entitled drivers turning right from the center lane and cutting off pedestrians crossing the street in nothing new.

………

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

Lawsuit filed in Kizzee shooting death, World Naked Ride rolls through DTLA, and former pro Sørensen killed in crash

No surprise here.

The father of the late Dijon Kizzee has filed suit against Los Angeles County for the shooting death of his son last year.

Kizzee was shot by sheriff’s deputies as he attempted to run away after they tried to stop him for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Deputies alleged Kizzee had dropped a gun he was carrying, then picked it back up and pointed it at the two deputies.

However, witness statements and security cam video dispute that, suggesting Kizzee was unarmed and had his hands raised when deputies shot him 15 times, then let him die in the street instead of getting him prompt medical attention.

Several protests last year suggested that Kizzee was executed for Biking While Black by deputies angling to join a violent deputy gang.

………

Los Angeles helicopter traffic reporter Stu Mundel just happened to catch the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride as it rolled through DTLA on Saturday.

Time Out features full-frontal photos of the surprisingly large turnout. But you may want to take a few antibacterial wipes with you if you’re planning to rent a Metro Bike in the near future.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Tragic news from the road cycling world championships in Belgium, where former pro Chris Anker Sørensen was killed in a collision while riding his bike on the eve of the competitions.

The 37-year old Dutch cyclist was struck by a van driver in Zeebrugge, where he was preparing to serve as an analyst for Dutch TV.

Sørensen retired from the pro tour in 2018.

No word yet on how the crash happened, but investigators have apparently concluded that the driver was not at fault.

More proof, if we needed it, that even experienced bike riders are at risk on the streets.

Even in the most bike-friendly region of a bike-friendly country like Belgium.

………

This is what Paris looks like when you take cars away for a day.

………

Frightening UK bike crash caught on freeze frame, as a triathlete tumbles along the pavement with his bike flying high above him following a collision with a driver.

Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, as surprising as that seems.

………

Megan Lynch forwards a pair of videos from a comedic, bike-riding ophthalmologist.

………

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

No bias here. Las Vegas police blame the bike-riding victim of a fatal collision for not having lights on his bike or wearing helmet — never mind that he was run down while riding in a bike lane by the driver of a high-end SUV. Police said speed and impairment weren’t factors, while apparently ignoring that driving in a bike lane was.

………

Local

The LA Times says start your holiday shopping now, because many things may not be available later due to shipping problems — especially bicycles.

The attempt to recall newly elected CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman has collapsed, leaving the safe streets supporter safely in place, at least for now.

Streetsblog looks at the new two-way, curb and armadillo-protected bike lane on Elenda Street in Culver City, a Safe Routes To School Project designed to help students walking and biking to and from La Ballona Elementary School.

Speaking of Culver City, the newly bike-friendly community has started work on replacing the Higuera Street Bridge with a bike ramp connecting Higuera Street with the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

Thirteen kids and two adults with special needs received new adaptive tricycles in Long Beach last week, courtesy of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities and SoCal Trykers, allowing many to ride a bike for the first time.

 

State

Calbike is gearing up for a return of the ten-day California Dream Ride Challenge next month, their Covid-era replacement for the annual California Dream Ride.

Advocates are questioning the safety of a painted bike lane through San Diego’s Balboa Park, after a 37-year old man was killed by a 17-year old driver while riding a Link dockless e-scooter, just blocks from where Laura Shinn was killed by a driver while riding her bike two months ago; the city is still waiting for the two-way buffered bike lane that was supposed to have replaced it by now.

San Diego hired Jorge Riveros to lead the city’s new standalone Transportation Department; Riveros previously served in leadership positions in Nashville and Austin. Maybe he can light a fire under that long-delayed Balboa Park bike lane.

 

National

NPR’s Planet Money talks ebikes and their growing popularity in the US — and how carmakers are taking notice. Meanwhile, Forbes looks at Zoomo’s ebike lease program, available for as little as $20 a month in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

Vox looks at the epidemic of car crashes in the US, calling driving the most dangerous thing most Americans do every day, killing as many people as gun violence while severely injuring millions more.

An Anchorage, Alaska woman complains of becoming invisible when she rides her bikes, calling on city residents to help make it less dangerous on the city’s shared pavements.

The husband of Suzanne Morphew with face trial for her murder after pleading not guilty to killing the Colorado woman, who went out for a Mother’s Day bike ride and never returned; her body has still not been found.

A writer for Curbed takes a contrary stand, saying she wishes she liked the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge more than she does, calling it a symbolic victory.

Writing for the Daily News, a former Streetsblog editor says New York’s recent spate of fatal crashes — too many involving kids — show’s the city’s Vision Zero is stalled, and the streets must be reimagined now.

Another Daily News op-ed says automated speed and red light cams are the answer to the city’s traffic enforcement problems. Speed cams remain illegal in California after two bills failed in the legislature, while red light cams were all removed in Los Angeles because drivers didn’t like getting caught breaking the law.

A man in York, Pennsylvania took up bicycling to stave off boredom during the pandemic lockdown, he’s now put over 6,500 miles on his bike in the past 17 months, leads groups rides and served as a cover model for Bicycling.

Fox News seems none too pleased that Biden took a bike ride along a Delaware beach on Sunday, apparently convinced that meant he was ignoring multiple national crisis. Just wait until someone tells them how often the last guy spent the weekend playing golf.

DC residents were infuriated by a short video showing a driver swerve onto the wrong side of the road to pass another car, then blow through a stop sign and crosswalk, right next to a memorial for a five-year old girl killed riding her bike there the day before.

 

International

Mexico welcomed four Afghan women, honoring them as part of Mexico City’s weekly Sunday ciclovia representing the 391 Afghan refugees in the country.

A pair of British bicyclists also welcomed refugees, riding over 1,300 miles to spell out Refugees Welcome across southern England in the world’s largest GPS artwork. Although I fear some of their Brexiteer countrymen and women may not share the sentiment.

Police are looking for an 81-year old Ontario man who went out for a bike ride and never returned home.

An Edinburgh paper offers extensive photos of the city’s Fancy Women Bike Ride, one of 150 such rides around the globe on World Car Free Day. Unfortunately, Los Angeles doesn’t seem to have been one of them this year.

An English ebike conversion kit-maker walked away from the Brit equivalent of Shark Tank with lots of praise but no money, after refusing to move production to China.

After a UK driver was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man, a Yorkshire paper reveals his “shocking” history as one of the area’s most notorious criminals.

The world may finally catch to Dutch cyclists in a few hundred years or so, after the country gradually loses its height advantage.

A new German wheel reflector promises to give you 360° visibility on your bike; you can pre-order on Kickstarter for around $18.

A writer for a travel website relates how bicycling along a dusty Moroccan road helped save her marriage.

The Tehran Times highlights the eight most beautiful bicycling routes in Iran, in case you’re planning to visit the country any time soon.

Great article on the urban planner who is bringing a bigger focus on bicycling in Uganda, and changing the streets of Kampala, the country’s capital. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the heads-up.

There may be hope for ending the worldwide bike shortage, as Vietnamese factory workers return after the country lifted its Covid lockdown, although it may take half a year or more to catch up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers five takeaways from the world championship time trial, with Italy’s Filippo Ganna leaving second place finisher Wout van Aert six seconds behind; the championships will continue through this week.

Longtime German pro Tony Martin is calling it a career, deciding to retire after the mixed team relay at this week’s worlds.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a vintage motorcycle-inspired Harley. You can do lots of things while on a bike ride — like delivering a baby, for instance.

And why use ebikes to save the world, when you can turn them into weapons of war, complete with gun mounts.

………

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

Arrest made in fatal Vista Del Mar hit-and-run, PCH shoulder closing near Point Mugu, and feds cut ebike tax rebate

It looks like the LAPD got their man.

Police arrested 39-year old Darwin Dantzler for the hit-and-run death of a mother as she carried her three-year old son across Vista Del Mar last weekend.

Wendy Galdamez Palma was attempting to make her way from the beach to her car parked on the other side of the deadly roadway. She reportedly turned away from the onrushing car, sacrificing herself to save her child.

Palma would not have had to cross the street if city leaders had the courage to keep a road diet in place that shifted parking to the west side of the street to protect beachgoers, after a 16-year old girl was killed crossing the street several years ago.

The city settled a lawsuit over that crash for $9.5 million.

Palma’s death will likely cost Los Angeles a lot more, after city leaders caved in to demands from angry pass-through drivers used to using the street as a free-flowing  freeway bypass, ripping out the road diet and returning Vista Del Mar to its previous dangerous state.

And making another death virtually inevitable.

Authorities showed just how seriously they don’t take traffic crime in California, releasing Dantzler on a remarkably low $50,000 bail, given the seriousness of his crime.

Then again, he faces a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run. And if he’s convicted, he’ll likely serve less than half of that with good behavior.

Meanwhile, Wendy Galdamez Palma was — allegedly — given the death penalty at Dantzler’s hands.

And her husband and kids will have to somehow find a way to go on without her.

………

Caltrans will be closing a section of shoulder on southbound PCH in Ventura County for several months to repair damaged retaining walls.

If you ride through that area, you can expect to share the right lane with motorists.

But at least they’ll be dramatically lowering the speed limit through the construction zone. Let’s just hope drivers obey it.

Especially when someone on a bike is in front of them.

………

PeopleForBikes is urging everyone to voice your support for a proposed federal ebike tax credit and bike commuter benefit.

Although Treehugger argues, correctly, that ebike incentives are laughable compared to those for electric cars — especially after the House Ways and Means Committee cut the proposed benefit in half to just 15% of the purchase price, with a max of a lousy $750.

But at least that’s $750 we wouldn’t get otherwise.

Meanwhile, Calbike wants you to email Governor Newsom and urge him to sign AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which will allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of us already do anyway.

AAA and the CHP had an outsized influence on our last governor. Hopefully they won’t oppose this bill. Or if they do, let’s hope Newsom listens to more enlightened voices and signs it anyway

And congratulate him on keeping his job while you’re at it.

It never hurts to suck up a little.

………

Valley Blvd is well on its way to getting shiny new curb-protected bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/boyonabike62/status/1438329554058186753

………

More proof, as if you need it, that Bike Index works.

So what are you still waiting for? Get free lifetime registration now, before you need it.

………

This could be huge.

………

Evidently, the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge pass inspection.

………

Milan is reclaiming space from cars, and giving it back to people.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1438388469785575431

………

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about avian dive bombers.

https://twitter.com/gplama/status/1437311200002408451

………

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

I don’t even know what to say about this one, as a cop tells someone on a bicycle that it’s not safe to ride in a bike lane, because of all the cars in it. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

Be on the lookout for bike-riding Santa Monica cello thieves.

Dallas police are looking for a shirtless, purple-pantsed, pistol-packing bike rider who fired a shot into a vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

………

Local

Metro Bike bikeshare is now brought to you by Doordash.

Los Angeles approved plans to make street improvements, such as bulbouts, speed humps and traffic circles, to deter street racing, which should improve safety for everyone by slowing all traffic.

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León will host an open house to discus plans for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit through Eagle Rock on October 2nd; if you live, work or ride in the area — or want to — show up to support the Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets plan.

 

State

Caltrans offered an update on $100 million in funding for Complete Streets projects on state roadways, including three projects in Los Angeles County, as well as others in Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Yuba Bicycles is moving its HQ to San Juan Capistrano, with a couple new jobs in the front office.

Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing is working with a number of bike brands to give away a couple of custom bicycles, to raise funds and awareness for a pair of nonprofits working to repair severe damage to trail systems due to flooding and wildfires in Northern California and North Carolina.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips for better trail etiquette on your next off-road expedition. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Streetsblog op-ed offers advice on how to take on the NIMBYs, and beat opponents of street safety.

A physicians website argues that riding a bicycle to work can make you a better doctor.

Cycling News takes a deep dive into the “unique sizing, geometry and design of gravel bikes.”

Your next bike helmet could filter the air you breathe while you ride.

A new app promises to help you get your bike fit right.

Scary news from Alaska, where a doctor is urging everyone to leave their bikes at home because all the hospitals are full of Covid patients, and they may not be able to treat you if you get hurt.

You’d think it would be hard to go belly up in the middle of a worldwide bike boom, but a Denver bike shop would beg to differ.

An Oklahoma driver had his manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence for killing a 12-year old, bike-riding Cherokee boy overturned, after the state Supreme Court ruled it had no jurisdiction on Indian lands.

A 74-year old Wisconsin man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a teenage boy riding a bicycle on the eve of his trial; he allegedly drove off after the crash, then returned to slowly drive by the crash site before fleeing again, leaving the boy to die in a ditch on the side of the road.

Shades of Vista Del Mar, as a Chicago bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a street where parking protected bike lanes were ripped out eight years ago, just because homeowners wanted to park next to the curb.

NatGeo sings the praises of Minneapolis as a bicycling city and a leader in the urban bicycling movement.

This one will put a smile on your face, as an Indianapolis paper profiles a 72-year old woman who’s famous locally for riding her pink bicycle everywhere she goes in her neighborhood.

A DC writer argues that every block matters in the fight for safer streets and a better climate.

Nice story from South Carolina, where a young boy riding an old bike crashed into a stranger’s car because he didn’t have any brakes, so instead of screaming at the boy, the man bought him a new bicycle, presumably with brakes that work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to shifting.

A woman riding through Mexico discovers firsthand what it’s like to run out of water in the middle of the desert; fortunately, she stumbled on total strangers who saved her.

Britain’s ex-health secretary is one of us, as he was spotted riding a Lime ebike through Trafalgar Square after being forced out of the government over an affair, while leaving his wife to suffer through long Covid alone. Schmuck.

Paris continues to free itself from the tyranny of motor vehicles, as Slate talks with David Belliard, the city’s adjunct mayor for transportation and public space.

Time is running out for Afghanistan’s women’s cycling community following the Taliban takeover of the country; a campaign to evacuate and resettle 28 bicyclists and their families has raised nearly $100,000 of the $250,000 goal.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams is attempting to jumpstart the moribund heart of American cycling with a one-day, $100,000 crit in Sacramento next month, including equal payouts for men and women.

Of course, the way they’ve performed this season, there’s a good chance L39ion will just win all of that money back.

 

Finally…

One sure sign you’ve got too much money — paying $65 for an ounce and a half of chain lube; then again, what else would you use on your $12,700 ebike? Your next bike could come complete with a retractable plastic roof.

And always ride with a friend.

………

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

WeHo gets ebike rules wrong, SCAG wants your opinion on walkable cities, and La Brea gets bus (and bike) lanes

Sometimes, I don’t even know where to start.

West Hollywood announced that sheriff’s deputies will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation throughout the month of September.

They will ticket anyone who commits a violation that could endanger someone walking or riding, regardless of who commits it.

So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Nothing unusual there.

But then the city added this highly problematic paragraph.

In addition, users of dockless mobility devices are reminded that only one person is allowed on a device at a time and e-scooters and e-bikes must be ridden on the road, never on the sidewalk – riding dockless mobility devices on the sidewalk is subject to citation. Users of e-scooters and e-bikes must have a valid driver license or instructional permit and must wear a helmet while riding. Users are advised to ride as far to the right side of traffic lane or in designated and marked bike lanes whenever possible and users must always ride in the direction of traffic. Dockless mobility devices should never be parked in a way that blocks pedestrian activity and access. Concerns about dockless mobility devices may be submitted to the City through its website or through the West Hollywood Official City App, which is available as a free download for iPhone users on the App Store and for Android users on Google Play. Feedback may be submitted by email, as well, at parkingconcerns@weho.org or by phone at (213) 247-7720.

Yes, dockless e-scooter users are required to have a driver’s license or learner’s permit, since the state somehow equates riding a tiny scooter with operating a deadly multi-ton machine.

But there is no license requirement for ebikes, dockless or otherwise, unless they are throttle controlled and capable of going up to 30 mph. And there is no helmet requirement for anyone over 18 years old.

In addition, people on bicycles are only required to ride as far to the right as practicable.

Which means you’re allowed to ride outside the door zone, and take the full lane on any street where the right lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, while providing at least a three-foot passing distance.

It’s more than a little frightening when the people responsible for the laws don’t seem to know them.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

………

SCAG wants to know what you think about walkable communities.

………

Don’t hold your breath waiting for bike lanes on La Brea Ave in Los Angeles.

But newly announced plans call for a nearly 6-mile, part-time bus lane on the busy corridor from Sunset Blvd to Coliseum Street, which bike riders are free to use during the limited times they’re in operation, as long as you don’t mind a bus running up your ass.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will get serious about getting people out of their cars, and make bus lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like a real city.

Or not.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Police in Yorkshire, England evidently have better things to do than deal with a teenage driver who hit a woman on a bicycle, then stole her phone to keep her from taking pictures after the crash; the cops said she should have just swapped information with him and left them out of it. And let him keep her phone, evidently.

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

Police are looking for a pair of men who rode their ebikes onto the UC San Diego campus, and shot someone multiple times with a BB gun.

………

Local

South Pasadena has just over three months to institute a Slow Streets program, or lose a $420,000 Metro open streets grant that has to be spent by the end of the year.

 

State

California may be many things, but apparently, polite ain’t one of them.

More proof that bike riders are tougher than most people think, as a Goleta man rode his bicycle to the hospital after he was stabbed by another man; his would-be killer was arrested a few hours later for attempted murder.

A plan to improve safety and add bus lanes and bike lanes to a pair of Mountain View streets has hit a roadblock, after it was revealed that the project would require removing 120 trees, including 27 irreplaceable heritage trees. Maybe they should consider removing parking spaces or traffic lanes before they start chopping down trees.

 

National

New Apple watches will be able to tell when you start a bike ride, and call for help if you fall off.

Cycling News recommends their picks for the best gravel bike helmets to protect you on and off the road.

Great idea. An advocacy group in my Colorado hometown is asking the public to contribute a new bike and helmet worth $150 in an effort to give a bicycle to every second grader in the city’s six public elementary schools.

The co-founder of Better Streets Chicago describes being part of a people-protected bike lane to call attention to the need for safer streets.

Cambridge, Massachusetts is installing new flexpost-protected bike lanes on one main street, in response to a new requirement to build out the city’s bike network within five years. That compares to Los Angeles, which gave itself 25 years to build a bike network, while considering the whole thing just “aspirational.”

New York Streetsblog examines the many failures that allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road until it was too late, despite dozens of traffic violations and a suspended driver’s license; he kept driving anyway, and killed a three-month old baby while driving the wrong way.

New bike lanes have officially opened on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, after the city removed a traffic lane to give bike riders their own space apart from pedestrians. Meanwhile, a writer for Streetsblog wants to know why existing concrete barriers lining the city’s Addabbo Bridge can’t be moved a few feet to the left to create a protected bike lane.

Wired takes a deep dive into America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, the Tennessee company he founded to make low-cost carbon fiber, and his new ultralight carbon frame ebike.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter offers an excerpt from his new book, Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle, arguing all that’s needed for an ebike revolution is “good affordable bikes, a safe place to ride, and a secure place to park.”

Boy, does he get it. A Toronto writer says there’s not much hope for the city’s Vision Zero program when the city council’s “collective head is so far up the tailpipe of motorists.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, except here in Los Angeles, too.

An Irish walker and sometimes bicyclist says put a bell on your bike, already. I’m not a fan of bike bells, since all they tell you is a bike rider is nearby, and an angel just got its wings. Use your voice instead, and politely tell pedestrians what side you’re passing on, or ask them to move one way or the other.

An Indian man has ridden his bicycle nearly 5,000 miles across the country in what began as a tribute to his late father, but took on a life of its own, delivering him new friends and experiences while gaining 69,000 followers on YouTube — and 82,000 on Instagram.

An Aussie website offers tips on how to pick the right bicycle for beginning riders. Although the right bike when you’re starting out may not be a few months later.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador set off on a 1,000-mile ride from Madrid to Milan to celebrate his pro team’s first stage victory in the Giro, in their first year on the WorldTour; Contador is co-owner of the Spanish-based team, along with former cycling great Ivan Basso.

 

Finally…

Park your bike with the fishes without getting wet. Who needs water when you can carry hot coffee on your bike?

And the pandemic bike boom has officially reached Mongolia.

………

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

Bike and transportation bills pass in final days of legislature, ebikes as mobility devices, and unholy upside down lock job

You can stick a fork in this year’s state legislative session.

Amid the flurry of bills passed in the final days of the session were bills legalizing stop as yield for bike riders — aka the stop sign portion of the Idaho Stop Law — a bill legalizing jaywalking, and one that should allow local governments to lower some speed limits.

Another bill would allow cities to limit motor vehicle traffic by making Slow Streets permanent.

As always, however, the question is whether the governor will sign the bills once they reach his desk, assuming he survive’s today’s recall election.

Although he hasn’t shown any sign of wielding his veto pen like a sword to smite the legislature’s best efforts, unlike his predecessor in Sacramento.

………

NIMBYs constantly remind us that not everyone can ride a bike, in order to justify their opposition to bikeways.

Never mind that virtually anyone can ride an ebike. And for many people, riding one is easier than walking.

………

Ralph Durham briefly returns to California from his usual German haunts, just in time to discover this unholy upside down San Francisco locking job.

Photo by Ralph Durham

Then again, the owner did secure the front wheel and frame to the rack with a U-lock, with another locking the rear triangle and wheel, and a cable offering extra support.

It just looks strange.

………

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

An Ontario woman — no, the one in Canada — faces a handful of charges for a mini crime spree, including stabbing a bike tire, then throwing her knife at the bike’s rider while accusing the man of somehow cutting her off.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver can assault someone on a bicycle for riding two abreast, while still driving their car, and walk away with just an effing warning. No, seriously.

………

Local

One more reason to end the deadly 85th Percentile Rule — nearly a third of the speed limit increases in the latest round were on streets with painted bike lanes, raising the risk for anyone who’s not encased in a few tons of glass and steel. Thanks to Roland Hannson for the heads-up.

Redditors discuss the viability of riding your bike to the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, concluding that you can ride there, but permanent bike parking could be in short supply. Thanks to TomG8090 for the tip.

It may just be a recall, but Metro is still offering free bus and bikeshare rides today for Election Day. Even if you voted weeks ago, like me.

Jennifer Garner is one of us, as is her nine-year old son Samuel, as they enjoyed a ride through LA’s Brentwood neighborhood.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man was lucky to escape injury when he lost control of his bike on a steep descent, and plunged 250 feet down the hill; he was rescued by sheriff’s deputies after local residents heard him calling for help.

Fifty-seven-year old NorCal bike shop chain Mike’s Bikes has been sold to Dutch conglomerate The Pon Group, parent company of Santa Cruz Bicycles, among other bike brands. But you may be out of luck if you ordered a Specialized bike from them, after the bikemaker abruptly pulled their account following the sale.

A 32-year old Davis man faces charges for walking down the street punching cars, then pushing a 15-year old girl off her bicycle and attacking her before he was stopped by bystanders.

 

National

PeopleForBikes applauds the $7.4 billion for bicycles in the proposed House infrastructure bill. Although the prospects of that passing the Senate unscathed aren’t looking good, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin demanding that the $3.5 billion bill be pared down to a relatively paltry $1.5 billion.

Private land owners are blocking access to Colorado mountains in the wake of a 2019 appeals court ruling that upheld a ruling making the US Air Force Academy liable for a mountain biker who crashed after hitting a sinkhole on a washed out trail.

Missouri is considering a rule change that would expand access by allowing ebikes into state conservation areas.

New York bicycle delivery riders team up to take their safety into their own hands, after accepting they can’t count on the police for protection.

 

International

Police in Alberta, Canada crack down on bike thieves, busting four bike boosters by using bait bikes. Which serves as your periodic reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to combat the ever-rising tide of bike theft, due to a flawed city attorney ruling that warned it might be seen as entrapment — even though bait bikes are successfully, and legally, used elsewhere in California.

Glasgow, Scotland drivers are up in arms demanding the removal of new bollards marking a bike lanes, insisting they have serious road safety concerns. Because the bollards apparently interfere with their God-given right to park in the bike lane, and they’re apparently unaware they can just drive over the plastic car tickler bendy posts, anyway.

Electrek considers the twenty coolest ebikes from this year’s Eurobike 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, including a wave-riding ebike, and wheels that charge your bike with solar power while you ride.

Even the Smithsonian Magazine is onboard with the $1,062 German-made backpack that inflates to form an upper body airbag in a crash. Combine that with your $450 Hövding inflatable helmet, and you’ll be nearly impervious to injury for a mere $1,500.

Business is booming in Portugal’s “bike valley,” which produces a quarter of the ebikes in the European Union, despite having just 2% of the population.

A new Indian e-scooter startup pledges its new factory will be run and operated entirely by women, with its eventual 10,000-person staff making it the world’s largest women-only factory.

Bikeshare comes to the capital of Rwanda in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and the city’s automotive dependency.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines the steps pro cycling is — or isn’t — taking to prevent the next horrific crash. This one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so if Bicycling blocks you, you’re out of luck.

Trinidadian women’s cyclist Teniel Campbell took Monday’s sixth stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche on a borrowed bike, after thieves stole all her team’s bicycles prior to the previous stage; other teams pitched in to contribute their spare bikes to keep the team in the race.

Kiwi Continental team Global 6 Cycling rode with bright green wheels during the recent Tour of Britain in support of refugees.

Speaking of the Tour of Britain, The Scotsman offers photos from last week’s stage race won by Belgian cyclist Wout Van Aert.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline, there’s only one bicyclist in Columbia, Missouri, who keeps getting bigger.

And who needs all those boring college classes when you can get your degree in bicycle assembly and repair.

………

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

Blood on Garcetti’s hands as hit-and-run driver murders mom on Vista Del Mar, and big pickups blind drivers to little kids

We knew it was going to happen.

Just four years after a road diet was unceremoniously ripped out on deadly Vista Del Mar, a mother was killed by a hit-and-run driver while carrying her three-year old son.

And immediately, local residents jumped in to demand that something be done to stop the street’s speeding drivers.

Like this man who was quoted by KCBS-2.

A day after the tragic incident, some neighbors are saying that something needs to be done about people speeding down Vista Del Mar.

“Nobody respects the speed limit here,” said a neighbor Adolfo Navarro. “I mean, you’ll see the cops on motorcycles here during the day enforcing it, but at night, it’s…you can hardly see because the lights don’t even gloom right and then you can only see as far as you can using your headlights.”

Except something was done.

And Playa del Rey residents and Manhattan Beach commuters immediately got out the torches and pitchforks demanding its removal, until our weak-kneed mayor cut the legs out from under the local councilmember to force its removal.

Now every damn one of them have this woman’s blood on their hands.

CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin had ordered the road diet when the city was forced to settle a lawsuit for $9.5 million, two years after 16-year-old Naomi Larsen was killed while crossing the road at Dockweiler Beach.

Just like 33-year old Wendy Galdamez Palma on Saturday night.

Bonin understood that, without quick action, people would continue to die on the killer street.

And the next settlement would make that $9.5 million look like peanuts.

So he ordered LADOT to implement a long planned, and long delayed, road diet on Vista Del Mar, along with a handful of other local streets.

Unfortunately, the work was done over a weekend, without warning or public announcements, resulting in massive traffic backups and the inevitable hot tempers.

And somehow, everyone blamed bike lanes — and bike riders in general — for the road diet, even though LADOT used diagonal parking to narrow the street, rather than bike lanes, so speeding drivers wouldn’t keep killing people.

So in the face of demands from angry cut-through commuters, as well as lawsuits and threats of recalls — that was back in the day, before recalls were an everyday thing — Garcetti ordered all the road diets and bike lanes that had been installed on other streets removed.

Making Bonin look like a hapless fool.

And making more deaths inevitable.

As an added bonus, the actions of the future ambassador to India undercut virtually every road diet that had been planned anywhere in the City of Angels, as councilmembers ran scared, and quickly concluded they’d rather see more needless deaths than have those angry drivers come after them.

Most notably on LA’s Temple Street, where both CD1’s Gil Cedillo and CD13’s Mitch O’Farrell quickly backed out of a desperately needed, shovel-ready lane reduction.

Which was soon followed by CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian cancelling plans for similar safety improvements on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood.

That’s how we ended up with bike riders and pedestrians continuing to die on our streets, six years after the city adopted Vision Zero, and just four years until traffic deaths were supposed to be a thing of the past.

Yeah, right.

Never mind an ever rising epidemic of hit-and-runs, as drivers recognized just how unlikely they are to be caught. And just how likely they are to get away with a slap on the wrist if they are.

All of which brings us to the needless death of a mother cradling her child in her arms, who reportedly turned away from the oncoming car to sacrifice her life in order to save his.

I honestly don’t know what to say anymore.

Wendy Palma did not need to die. Steps were taken to tame high speed drivers on deadly Vista Del Mar. And spineless cowards took them out.

Which means the next legal settlement won’t by $9.6 million, but significantly higher. Because the city knew there was a problem there, and not only didn’t fix it, they actually removed the fix.

And the one after that will be higher still.

And the one after that.

And people will keep dying, because the cowards in City Hall don’t have the courage to do anything about it.

Photo shows the road diet that was removed from Vista Del Mar.

………

If a driver can’t see what’s on the road directly in front of them, they shouldn’t be allowed on the road.

Period.

………

Everyone knows you can’t carry stuff home from the market or hardware store on a bicycle.

Let alone a dozen kegs.

Right?

https://twitter.com/pedalmeapp/status/1436314640825393153

………

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

This is who we share the road with. A British driver somehow seems to find humor in seeing an injured bike rider on the side of the road. Schmuck.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1435872982610612224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435930878392274949%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es3_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fgrim-viewing-as-video-emerges-of-driver-mocking-injured-cyclist-in-richmond-park

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

London police “nicked” a teenage fake food delivery rider who was dispensing cannabis instead of food, catching him with nine bags of weed and the equivalent of more than $700 in cash.

It takes a major schmuck to punch a British man walking his dog and kick him in the head, just because the man asked a passing bike rider to slow down.

………

Local

Speaking of Mike Bonin, the councilmember announced improved bollard-protected bike lanes on Airport Blvd in Westchester (scroll down), even if half the riding area is in the gutter.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Fugitive Task Force busted a man riding a bicycle in West Hollywood who was wanted for a New York murder, after his barber gave away his location by posting a photo of him getting a haircut on Instagram.

Fifty South Bay bike riders honored bicycling advocate Julian Katz with a ride in his memory, three years after Katz passed away at the age of 88.

They get it. The Long Beach Business Journal makes the case that a $20 million reconstruction plan for Artesia Blvd through Compton, Long Beach, Cerritos and Paramount, including an upgraded bike lane, will be good for business growth along the corridor.

 

State

San Diego will be the first US city to get the Bird, as the Santa Monica-based company deploys a fleet of their new ebikes in the city.

Twenty-eight-year old ex-con Martin Valdez Arias has been charged with randomly attacking a woman while riding his bike on a Ventura bike path; he faces charges of false imprisonment by violence and attempted sexual battery.

A travel website offers tips on how to ride your bike across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

 

National

They get it, too. Vox says US cities must be designed to encourage much more biking, walking and transit use to end America’s obsession with driving and fight climate change.

A Denver PBS station looks at the local chapter of Black Girls Do Bike, a nationwide group dedicated getting more Black women to ride bikes. And dispelling the myth that they don’t.

Authorities are looking for a man who went missing not far from my Colorado hometown after he set out for bike ride on Friday, and never came home.

A Missouri construction crew devised a brilliant solution to keep the 287-mile Katy trail open during a bridge replacement project, using shipping containers to form a makeshift tunnel to protect riders from falling debris.

A Chicago group gave away 75 refurbished bicycles to kids from two to ten years old, as well as giving them basic safety training.

This is who we share the road with. A three-month old Brooklyn baby is dead, and her mother clinging to life, after a wrong way driver slammed into another car, and both vehicles spun out onto the sidewalk; the driver, who had an incredible 160 traffic violations in the past four years, attempted — and failed — to jack another car to flee following the crash. Just one more example of authorities keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

Don’t hold your breath. New York’s mayor promises answers after the NYPD turned a new bike lane into their own parking lot.

A New Yorker gets his stolen bike back two months later, after spotting it in a photo of abandoned bikes recovered by the police.

Camila Cabello is one of us, riding her bike with a friend on the streets of New York.

An Atlantic City paper is surprised to learn that county officials have been building a bike network for the past decade, but they support the effort, saying rising bike deaths make it a necessity.

No surprise here. A Pottsville PA cop wasn’t charged for killing a 31-year old man who reportedly was struck when he rode his bike into an intersection; no word on who actually had the right-of-way, or whether the officer was using lights and siren. Unfortunately, police have a well-deserved reputation for blaming the victim in any crash involving a cop.

 

International

If you think traffic is driving you nuts, you may be right. A new study shows exposure to traffic and railroad noise increases the risk of dementia in general, and Alzheimer’s in particular.

A Canadian man is looking for the Good Samaritans who came to his rescue after he did a face plant when a brake cable snapped on a steep descent, while visiting family in Vancouver.

A Toronto columnist says the future of the city’s downtown is not car-friendly. And that’s a good thing.

A man in the UK will spend the next six months behind bars for violating his probation, after being caught in possession of a bicycle that wasn’t registered with police, which was a condition of his suspended sentence for selling weed; he had been allowed back on the streets despite 13 previous convictions.

An Irish paper says carfree housing developments don’t have to be a utopian ideal, and that removing cars from homes can eliminate the risk they pose to children.

A new Netherlands study show bicycling injuries in the country are eight times higher than what has been reported by the police.

United Arab Emirates VP Sheikh Mohammed is one of us, taking to his bike to explore Dubai’s World Expo site ahead of its opening next month. Although he doesn’t look very happy about it, at least in the top photo.

September is the most dangerous month to ride a bike in South Korea, with August second.

More confirmation that Russell Crowe is one of us, as he took his mountain bike out for a spin around Sidney, Australia with his girlfriend.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Pascal Eenkhoorn was the star of Saturday’s 7th stage of the Tour of Britain for handing his water bottle to a young fan who pedaled furiously along the sidewalk to keep up with the lead breakaway.

 

Finally…

Let’s be honest, it would probably be worth the $6.51 fine to ride with a jet engine on your bike. That feeling when you’re tired of horseshit bike lanes — no, literally. Or get attacked by a pair of naked and mostly naked men.

And who says you need a surfboard to ride the waves?

………

On a personal note, yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. But I’m still here, and the bees aren’t.

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

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