Archive for Morning Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally

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

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

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

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

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

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

I said, you can’t…oh, never mind.

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

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

And misses the pothole that took him down.

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

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

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

Good times.

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And possibly bring down much of the LA political establishment.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally

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

And how to keep someone from stealing your bike seat.

Mmmmmm that saddle from Justridingalong

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to Bike the Vote LA,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yes, I signed it.

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

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

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

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

Email body: Honorable Council President Martinez,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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No bias here.

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

Yes, bike riders sometimes break the law.

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally

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

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

 

Bike rider killed in Laguna Niguel, more coronavirus cancellations, and LA Marathon Crash Ride rolls Sunday

Before we get started, it looks like the foster corgi we’ve been looking after will get his well-deserved 15 minutes of fame in tomorrow’s LA Times

He and his owner will be featured in the City Beat column written Nita Lelyveld, with my wife and me in a supporting role. 

There probably won’t be any bikes involved this time, even though the foster corgi’s owner is one of us, too. 

It’s a beautiful story.

And if I know Nita, she’ll tell it beautifully. 

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OC bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein has forwarded a Nextdoor post saying a bike rider was seriously injured in a collision on Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel on Thursday, along with an unconfirmed report that the victim didn’t make it.

Rubinstein relates the crash appears to have occurred in the southbound lane of Alicia Parkway between Aliso Creek and Highlands Ave.

There normally is a painted bike lane on Alicia, but it was removed in a recent repaving and hasn’t been restriped yet, leaving riders at the mercy of drivers who frequently exceed the 50 mph speed limit.

Update: Sadly, we have confirmation a man in his 60s was killed.

Hopefully, we’ll get more details today. I’ll get a story online later in the day.

Thanks to Edward Rubinstein and David Becker for the heads-up.

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More fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus, as the annual Sea Otter Classic pulls the plug on this spring’s event, with hopes of rescheduling later in the year when the virus will hopefully be less active.

And Italy’s Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite races were cancelled as cycling teams continued to withdraw from tomorrow’s races due to fears of the coronavirus.

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The LA Marathon takes place on Sunday.

Which means the annual semi-official Marathon Crash Ride will as well, with a 3 am meet time at the former Tang’s Donuts on Sunset, and 4 am start.

But as canadianangeleno points out, this year 3 am comes a little earlier due to the time change.

Meanwhile, Redditors offer a number of tips and feeder rides.

Thanks to everyone who helped confirm this year’s ride. There are far too many to thank here individually, but I really do appreciate the help from all.

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CicLAvia has posted photos from their recent South LA open streets event.

Meanwhile, the Militant Angeleno provides the CicLAvia schedule for the rest of the year, including a return to South LA before the year is over.

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Having failing to learn their lesson from the highly criticized Peloton Wife ad this past Christmas, Peloton now thinks you should give one to your mom for Mother’s Day.

No, really.

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Congratulations to BikinginLA sponsor, bike lawyer and all-around nice guy Josh Cohen on joining the board of the LACBC.

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Local

Santa Monica-based Bird is officially unveiling their new fat-tired Scoot e-mopeds, offering a seated ride with top speeds of 20 mph.

 

State

Newport Beach-based Electric Bike Company proves that you can build a quality ebike in the US.

Great idea. The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is hosting a monthly series of public bike rides celebrating new bus and bike lanes on El Cajon Blvd, featuring “weird and wonderful” entertainers along the way.

Pismo Beach’s formerly “swervey curvey” road is now straighter but “lumpy bumpy.”

 

National

Streetsblog looks at how the media helped build, and continues to reinforce, America’s car culture.

The foldable, carbon frame Companion Bike allows anyone to take a handicapped friend or family member out for a bike ride.

A writer for Grist says yes, ebikes really are good for the environment.

A Denver writer questions why it takes so long for bike lanes to get approval in the city. If he thinks that’s bad, he should try living in Los Angeles, where we’re still waiting for the 1977 bike plan, let alone the 2010 plan.

Speaking of Denver bike lanes, a new survey shows 80% of Denver residents support bike lanes, even at the expense of parking or travel lanes. It’s long past time someone did a survey of Los Angeles voters, which might surprise some of LA’s less than bike-friendly councilmembers.

Unbelievable. A Michigan appellate court rules a bike rider was at fault for a crash after he got high the night before and might have been looking at his speedometer, even though he was left-crossed while he had the right-of-way by a driver who wasn’t looking. And the driver allegedly admitted fault.

A stoned Connecticut driver got a well-deserved four years behind bars for a head-on wrong way crash that killed a bike rider, after using heroin prior to driving.

New York police are still looking for a gang of violent bike thieves targeting ebike riders on the Queensboro Bridge.

 

International

C/net loves GM’s new ebike foldie, which is designed to solve the first mile/last mile problem. And says it’s a shame it’s only available in three European countries right now.

Heartbreaking story from Ireland, where a man lived with locked-in syndrome for 16 years after falling off the handlebars of a friend’s bicycle, fully alert, yet trapped in his own body and unable to move.

PeopleForBikes considers how Paris raised bicycling rates 54% in just one year.

Speaking of Paris, the former French Health Minister and wannabe mayor insists that riding a bike isn’t good for you, and that plans for more bike lanes in the City of Lights were “violent.” No, really.

A 49-year old Indian soldier rode his bike nearly 2,200 miles from Tripura to Delhi in just 20 days to demonstrate the importance of fitness.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid previews a four-hour guided ebike tour of the religion, politics and Banksys of modern Bethlehem.

A writer for New York Magazine hops on her bike and rides deep into Sichuan province to escape the coronavirus and surveillance state in Chengdu, China.

That was fast. It took less than 24 hours for someone to toss Melbourne, Australia’s first Jump dockless bike into a pond.

This is who we share the roads with. A Chilean worker faces charges after somehow running down one of the famed Easter Island statues, or moai, with his pickup, causing incalculable physical, archeological and cultural damage.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Colorado, where German pro mountain biker Benjamin Sonntag was killed when he was struck by the driver of a pickup Wednesday afternoon.

A writer for Singletracks recounts the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike endurance race through Sonoran Desert north of Tucson.

Bicycling sings the praises of the European Spring Classics, which may or may not even happen this year.

 

Finally

You may want to wipe down that bikeshare seat first. When you care enough to get the most expensive bike accessories, if not the very best.

And when you’re riding bikes with an outstanding warrant, don’t run the stop sign — and don’t toss your drugs when there’s a helicopter overhead.

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Thanks to Margaret W for her annual donation to support this site, and keep bringing you SoCal’s best bike news every morning. 

 

The good, bad and ugly from Tuesday’s election results, and drivers park 30 times worse than scooter riders

Bike the Vote LA rounded up the good, the bad and the ugly from Tuesday’s primary election results.

Like Nithya Raman forcing a runoff against David Ryu in CD4, and Kevin de León taking CD14.

Some of the other results aren’t looking as good, with Loraine Lundquist trailing incumbent John Lee in CD12.

However, it’s important to note that it could be weeks before all the results are in and the votes counted, so things could change.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

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So much for all those complaints about e-scooter and dockless bikeshare left all over the place.

According to a study of five cities, including Santa Monica, the real parking problem isn’t micromobility parking, it’s all those scofflaw drivers.

The study found that parking noncompliance rates across the five cities were far higher for motor vehicles (24.7% of 2,631 motor vehicles observed) than for micromobility vehicles (0.8% of 865 scooter and bike observations).

Food delivery and ride-hailing vehicles accounted for a disproportionate number of improper parking incidents impeding access or mobility for other travelers, Klein said. Most of these violations occurred while dropping off or picking up people or food, including double parking, occupying “No Parking” or restricted areas and blocking driveways.

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It looks like the COVID-19 coronavirus may be affecting the bike world for awhile.

Moscow, Idaho is delaying the opening of its new ped-assist bikeshare due to production delays caused by the Lunar New Year celebrations and the coronavirus outbreak.

A Korean woman was attacked by a group of Dutch men who yelled “Chinese” and tried to knock her off her bicycle in a racist attack linked to fears of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus is credited with a resurgence in Chinese bikeshares as employees slowly return to work, while avoiding crowded public transportation.

Team Ineos   — the former Team Sky — has pulled the plug on all racing for most of this month due to uncertainty over the disease and the death of director sportif Nicolas Portal.

The manager of the Cofidis cycling team is threatening a hunger strike if they aren’t allowed to leave the Abu Dhabi hotel where they’ve been quarantined since the UAE Tour was cancelled after some Italian support workers tested positive for coronavirus.

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An online briefing next Wednesday will discuss how news coverage of traffic collisions affects received blame. You know, like the tweet says.

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That classic ’70s steel racing bike you’ve been dreaming of can be yours if you’ve got a mere nine grand lying around somewhere.

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She’s one of us, too. And so is Barbie.

Thanks to Meghan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward in the unsolved death of a young father who was gunned down while riding his bike in Harbor City three years ago.

The new safety improvements on Fountain Ave in West Hollywood will be made permanent. Now if they’d just replace those damn sharrows with some decent bike infrastructure.

Hermosa Beach will test a variety of safety improvements along a 1.4-mile section of Prospect Ave to improve safety for children walking or biking to school.

CiclaValley and company continue their quest to find the perfect gravel grind.

 

State

A Los Altos writer says by all means, pull your car over to make a call. Just don’t do it in a bike lane.

He gets it. A student at UC Davis calls for finding the right balance between wide and narrow streets to calm traffic and improve safety.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list, as long as you don’t mind riding the rails on a railroad bike through the redwoods of Fort Bragg.

A 20-year old Redding man faces charges of felony vandalism and polluting a waterway for throwing a $1,300 e-scooter into a river just for laughs. He’s probably not laughing anymore.

 

National

The Oregon Department of Transportation has identified 35 problem areas to be fixed as part of a 340-mile Oregon Coast Bike Route.

A Michigan woman is charged with stealing an $8,000 racing bicycle from the hotel where she worked and held a key to the secure room it was locked in; security video shows her brother walk into the hotel, then walk out with the bike minutes later.

Gotham bike riders and pedestrians now have a new 1.4-mile separated path on the Goethals Bridge between Staten Island and Elizabeth NJ.

A Bronx teenager tried to sell his bike on Facebook. And found himself robbed at knifepoint while a thief rode off on it.

Long delayed plans for a protected bikeway on DC’s 9th Street are on hold once again, after a councilmember withdrew the proposal due to opposition from African American churches.

No surprise here, as authorities have dropped all charges against the 18-year old Florida bike rider charged with resisting arrest for the crime of running a stop sign, after he paid the traffic fine.

 

International

A British Columbia man was knocked cold when he was cold cocked by an owl while delivering newspapers on his ebike.

A city councilor in Regina, Saskatchewan wants to force all bike riders to wear helmets, whether children or adults. Which simply forces the burden of safety onto the people on bikes, rather than building safer streets so helmets aren’t needed, or making drivers put down their phones and pay attention.

Liverpool, England residents want more protected bike lanes, even if it means taking space away from cars.

London bike riders are increasingly at risk from sometimes violent bike-jackings, especially when riding alone on the city’s Quietways and towpaths.

The ex-husband of a British woman killed in a collision with an ebike rider is furious that he was acquitted of charges in the crash.

No surprise here, either. An Irish study finds that four out of every five bicycling injuries occur on city streets, and nine out of ten injured riders were hit by cars. Maybe because that’s where the most bike riders and drivers are. And because cars pose a risk to anyone who’s not in them. 

A Dutch town is building Europe’s longest bicycle bridge, which will eventually stretch the length of ten football fields across four connected lakes. And is designed to be bat friendly.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark you calendar for the track nationals in Carson this summer.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the link.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a stealth single-speed ebike for people who don’t want to look like they’re riding one. Or it could be a Harley e-hog — or maybe just look like a 1930s motorcycle.

And watch out for rogue storm drain waves when you’re riding.

 

Garden Grove bike rider critical after alleged DUI hit-and-run, coronavirus hits bike world, and NoHo road rage on video

Once again, an alleged Orange County drunk driver fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

The Monday night crash in Garden Grove left a man in critical condition with major head trauma.

And yes, the victim reportedly had the right-of-way.

Not that it mattered.

Garden Grove resident Victor Medina was arrested a quarter-mile away when police found his Chevy Suburban with major front-end damage, while Medina showed signs of intoxication.

Anyone with information is urged to call Garden Grove Traffic Investigator Paul Ashby at 714/741-5823.

Let’s hope the victim makes a full and fast recovery.

Image by 4711018 from Pixabay.

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The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to take a toll on this year’s cycling season.

Italian spring classics Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adratico and Milan-San Remo may be the latest victims of the virus, as reports circulate that they will be cancelled to prevent spread of the disease.

France’s Paris-Nice stage race will go on, but all teams will be tested for exposure to coronavirus.

The Tokyo Olympics could be postponed until the end of the year.

Another six people have tested positive for coronavirus following the cancellation of the UAE Tour. Three teams remain quarantined, while a fourth is in self-imposed isolation.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show has been postponed until August, in hopes that COVID-19 will run its course by then.

And Monterey, California’s annual Sea Otter Classic is still on for now, though organizers are closely monitoring the situation before next month’s event.

Meanwhile, an SFist op-ed suggests working from home and walking or biking everywhere.

In other words, what some of us do every day, anyway. Virus or not.

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A quick reminder that CicLAvia isn’t the only open streets game in town.

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This is who we share the roads with, North Hollywood edition.

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Local

An “historic” former Silver Lake gas station will presumably be disassembled and moved to a new spot somewhere on the LA River to serve as a concession stand, bike repair and rental station — if an appropriate spot can be found.

Self-driving cars may not be ready for primetime, but WeHo will now allow autonomous Postmates delivery robots on the sidewalks.

Don Ward, Jesi Harris, Shane Phillips and CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew talk housing and transportation on the latest Bike Talk podcast

Speaking of Rynew, he’s quickly becoming Southern California’s bard of gravel as he documents Gravel Bike California’s Verdugo Adventure.

 

State

Kindhearted Paso Robles residents dug into their pockets to buy a new adaptive bicycle for a four-year old girl with a rare genetic disorder.

A Livermore teenager got his hot bike back after police stopped a man who was pushing it while acting strangely.

A new interactive map shows the most dangerous places for bike riders in Santa Clara County. Although Robert Leone questions whether defense lawyers will use it to argue that bicyclists should have known better than to ride there. Or that their clients can’t be guilty, because officials should have fixed the problems right away. Which they should, but still.

A bike helmet handed out a year ago by a Sacramento police detective is credited with possibly saving a young girl’s life in a crash that was investigated by the same officer who gave it to her.

 

National

A writer for Streetsblog argues that right-of-way laws are where America went wrong.

Residents of a Las Vegas neighborhood want a new bike lane removed because they didn’t see a lot of bike riders riding there before it went in. Which is kind of like saying they didn’t see a lot of cars crossing the desert before the roads were built, either.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a retired cop walked with a shameful two years probation for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. If you ever wonder why people keep dying on our streets, the failure of our court system to hold drivers accountable for killing people — let alone fleeing the scene afterwards — is Exhibit A.

A Licensed Cycling Instructor in Missouri realizes, perhaps belatedly, that bikes are good for transportation as well as recreation.

According to a writer for Streetsblog, alleviating the “financial burden of car ownership” should be part of the Chicago mayor’s plan to end poverty in the city.

A writer in Martha’s Vineyard recalls an 1896 bicycling event that reportedly devolved into a disgraceful, disorderly riot of drunken orgies and property destruction. So in other words, nothing’s changed in the past 124 years.

A Rochester NY public radio station discusses the city’s bike culture and the need to share the road, in the wake of the pizza driver who hit a bike rider, then sued him for damage to his car.

No bias here. A Staten Island op-ed argues that speed cameras placed near schools are just a money grab, because if officials really wanted drivers to slow down, they’d say where the cameras are. That way drivers could slow down for half a block to avoid a ticket, then speed up and resume putting the lives of little kids at risk.

A DC councilmember pulls a proposal for a protected bike lane in the face of opposition from several nearby African American churches.

 

International

Cycling Weekly suggests making your own environmentally friendly degreaser. Although the greasy gunk it removes won’t be.

After a Swiss round-the-world bicyclist had his $8,000 Surly stolen in New Zealand, a Good Samaritan gave him his own nearly identical bike to finish the ride.

Credit a crash with a bike rider for helping doctors discover a benign brain tumor that had plagued an Australian woman’s health for years.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding the “roller coaster roads, dirt trails and empty beaches” of southeast Thailand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news, as former pro Nicolas Portal, director sportif of the Ineos cycling team, died in his home of an apparent heart attack; he was just 40.

Orange County’s Over the Hump mountain bike race series returns on May 5th.

VeloNews looks at San Diego County’s nine-year old Belgian Waffle Ride, calling it a “brutal mix of Liége-Bastogne-Liége and Il Lombardia, only with a heavy dusting of dirt and trail,” while riders describe it as wild ride that defies definition.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying stolen salmon filets on your bike, don’t ride that way — and put a damn light on it. If you’re going to ride a stationary bike, you might as well make margaritas while you’re at it.

And as a matter of fact, I have seen a drag queen riding in a bike lane in West Hollywood.

More than once.

Metro proposal would remake Westwood for bikes and pedestrians, and first world digital bike conference this month

Metro recently sent out a letter looking for input on a draft first mile/last mile plan for the upcoming Westwood/UCLA Purple Line Station.

Although the deadline for comments is today, unfortunately.

Westwood/UCLA Community Members:

As you aware, Metro is developing a First/Last Mile (FLM) Plan for the Westwood/UCLA Station Purple Line Station.  At this time, we invite your feedback on recommended plan improvements prior to Board consideration this Spring.

The Plan is intended improve this “first last mile” experience for users of the future station by identifying projects for efficient access and safety.  Projects identified in the Plan are then positioned for further study as part of a preliminary design phase through early 2021.

The conceptual plans included with this email are a product of over a year of field research, consultations, and community engagement.

With this email, please find four documents:

  1. Instructions
  2. Pathway List
  3. Project List
  4. Comment Form

Please carefully read the instructions and returned your completed comment form to me (liebj@metro.net) byTuesday March 3, 2020.

The comment form can’t be attached on here, so send your comments to the email address above.

There’s a lot to like here.

Especially the promise protected bike lanes on Ohio, as well as Westwood Blvd through Westwood Village — despite CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ pinky swear promise to Village business owners that he’d never allow bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

Let alone protected ones.

It also includes plans several bike boulevards throughout the Westwood area, otherwise known euphemistically by the City of Los Angeles as bicycle friendly streets. Which raises the question of whether any of this has been run by the city’s transportation department before being released.

And whether it has the support of LADOT and city leaders, or if it’s just the planning equivalent of vapor ware, waiting for Koretz or someone else to shoot it down.

Meanwhile, the Planning & Mobility Committee of the Westwood Village Improvement Association will meet tomorrow.

Maybe they should hear a few words of support, too.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for forwarding the letter.

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Thanks to Marvin D, who writes to let us know former pro Jens Voigt is hosting Digital WorldBike 2020 on March 31st, the world’s first free digital bicycling and safety conference.

Nice to see Jensie using his immense popularity to advocate for better access and safer streets for all of us on two wheels.

Which is exactly what Lance could and should be doing to redeem himself after his doping-fueled downfall. But isn’t.

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

Or in this case, e-scooters, as a Baltimore man says he was intentionally run down by a van driver, who naturally fled the scene.

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

Life is cheap in Calgary, Alberta, where a bike rider walked with a lousy $1,000 fine for killing a 75-year old man who stepped into the crosswalk when the light changed.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding robber who stole a purse from an elderly British woman, knocking her off her crutches in the process.

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Local

Metro is offering free fares for today’s Election Day, including one free Metro Bike bikeshare ride; all LADOT transit systems, Antelope Valley Transit Authority,  Culver CityBus, Long Beach Transit and Pasadena Transit buses are also free today. On the other hand, you may have trouble finding an e-scooter to ride to the polls.

Bike the Vote LA has a voter’s guide for today’s election if you haven’t voted yet, while CiclaValley offers a list for Valley voters. I voted early, and cast my vote for challenger Sarah Kate Levy in the CD4 race last week.

StreetsForAll will meet next week to discuss the Venice Blvd For All proposal, which would remake one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

Caltrans will be shutting down the 5 Freeway sometime in the near future to demolish the existing Burbank Blvd bridge to make room for a new and improved bridge, complete with bike lanes and wider sidewalks; the existing bridge will be closed to all traffic, including pedestrians and bicycle, by the end of this month.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is hosting the 30th annual San Diego Bike to Work Day on May 14th, and wants your help to pick the color of their official T-shirt. I’d vote for purple, especially if they feel like sending me one. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Speaking of San Diego, the city’s smart streetlights could be spying on you.

The San Francisco bike shop owner who complained about plans for a protected bike lane in front of his shop swears he’s just misunderstood, and really just prefers another option that would be less safe for his customers and others on two wheels.

A San Francisco bike rider says the city’s protected bike lanes aren’t.

A group of Sacramento bike riders will parol the city’s popular bike path along the American River.

Nearly 200 bike riders took part in a Chico charity ride to raise funds for bicycle safety and advocacy; the annual Tour de Ed Bike Ride began in 2008 after a local bike advocate was paralyzed in a bicycling crash.

 

National

A retired Iowa cop, who should have known better, pled guilty in the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle.

OKC police busted a BMX-riding bank robber who made off with over $2,250 from an Oklahoma bank.

Rapha is following its Walton family owners to Bentonville AK, home of the Walmart chain founded by their grandfather.

A New York state legislator offered proposals to require vehicles to be rated on the risk they pose to others, and eliminate the need to prove drivers knew their actions were reckless to get a conviction.

No bias here. A Staten Island writer responds to a New York state law allowing police to seize vehicles from drivers for repeated speed cam or red light violations by claiming they can pry his car out of his cold, dead fingers.

 

International

As Vancouver continues to roll out new bike lanes, less than half of the people are comfortable using them.

British shops are encouraged to participate in Local Bike Shop Day on Saturday, May 2nd; hopefully it will spread to this side of the pond, as well.

A London ebike rider was acquitted of careless driving in the death of a pedestrian who crossed against the traffic light, despite traveling 10 mph over the speed limit and leaving the scene after the collision; he reportedly sobbed after the jury foreman announced the verdict.

Indian bike riders confront the heat and humidity to ride 75 miles roundtrip to catch the sights of seafront Chennai.

Bike advocates say it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed after a heavily used Sydney, Australia bike route was ripped out to make room for highway construction; judging from the video, they’re probably right.

 

Competitive Cycling

When you’re making plans for the upcoming weekend, clear some time for the Tour de Murrieta,; rather than road races, it’s actually two days of crits, which are more fun to watch anyway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Discovery is teaming with UCI, cycling’s governing body, to create a new track cycling league designed to be more fast-paced, entertaining and engaging for spectators and online viewers.

Four cycling teams remain quarantined in the United Arab Emirates following the UAE Tour, which was halted with two days to go after two Italian team staffers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

 

Finally…

Who needs batteries when you can generate your own power while you ride?And who needs a car alarm when you’ve got a high-pressure sprinkler installed in your truck?

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Thanks once again to Matthew Robertson for his monthly donation to support this site, which comes just in time to pay my email service fee every month. 

Killer drunk driver walks free after 23 days, racist bike-hater gets probation, and 1/2 mile extension for Chandler Bikeway

My thanks to everyone who sent me links over the weekend.

Because of today’s overstuffed post, and the need to sleep sometime tonight, I’ll try to catch up on the rest tomorrow. 

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Long Beach man got a gentle caress on the wrist — not even a slap — for killing a man in a wheelchair while driving drunk, escaping with just a one-year sentence for taking the life of another human being.

Then was let out of jail after just 23 days, thanks to overcrowding at the LA County Jail.

Yes, 23 days.

Less than one lousy month. Barely over three weeks, in fact.

Which sends a strong message to anyone else thinking of getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Just go ahead and do it, because no one will hold you accountable.

Even if you kill someone.

Photo by EVG photos from Pexels.

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Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

A racist Oregon scumbag walked with just probation — and well-deserved anger management — for threatening to blow a 14-year old boy’s head off.

Why?

Because he rode his bike in front of the man’s house.

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Good news from Burbank, where officials plan to extend the popular Chandler Bikeway half a mile to connect the downtown Burbank Metrolink station with the Burbank Channel Bikeway, which is currently being built.

The bad news is, it could be over four years before anyone can ride the finished extension.

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Looks like Los Angeles may be inching closer to closing the Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path.

Which wouldn’t exist if Metro and the city hadn’t caved to a handful of NIMBY homeowners who were afraid thieves would ride bikes up to their homes to steal their flatscreen TVs.

No, really.

Because apparently, criminals don’t drive. And couldn’t accomplish the same thing by just driving up to their front doors.

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Why is it that bike safety goes out the window whenever someone wants to make a movie in Los Angeles?

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KNBC-4 says CicLAvia revealed the map for next month’s Mid City Meets Venice event.

Yet somehow, they failed to include said map in their story.

We won’t make the same mistake.

That will be followed by a return to Glendale in June, as we mentioned a few weeks ago.

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LA’s own Phil Gaimon is the topic of the latest video from GCN video, as he joins the team in an effort to win a Dixie Canyon KOM.

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This is who we share the bike lane with.

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At least he used the crosswalk.

Even though it took forever for anyone to actually stop for it.

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This one made my day, for obvious reasons.

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

A Texas man was busted for riding his bicycle through the halls of an Amarillo high school while making terroristic thefts.

A Tennessee man got 44 years without parole for murdering two teenagers by shooting them after a brief argument behind a Memphis business, then riding away on his bicycle.

Pittsburgh police are looking for a man who tried to rob a woman, then chased her on his bike as she tried to run away.

A British driver complains that a mountain biker plowed into his car as he was stopped at a red light, then brutally attacked him when he got out to see if the bike rider was okay, while a young boy begged the attacker to stop. Although something tells me there might be another side to the story in which the driver is not wholly innocent.

………

Local

The Los Feliz Ledger looks at the Sunset4All campaign to add a two-way protected bike lane on Sunset Blvd; the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to support the project, despite the possible loss of some parking.

A Highland Park man says switching to an ebike for his LA to Long Beach commute freed him from the tyranny of traffic, if not unpleasant odors.

Los Angeles-based Wheels is the latest dockless micromobility provider to lay off staff, as the industry struggles for profitability.

Food trucks are so last decade. A new eco-friendly chickpea bowl food bike will start making the rounds of the Westside, mounted on an ebike that recharges with pedaling. 

If you build it, they will come. Nothing like a new 1,500 space parking garage on the Cal State Northridge campus to encourage students and faculty to drive to the school. But at least it includes bicycle and scooter storage.

Santa Clarita is looking for input on the city’s new Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.

The replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge will open later next year, along with the first bike lane across the harbor; now the bridge just needs a name. How about naming it for Mark Bixby, the Long Beach community leader and bike advocate who fought for that bike lane on the bridge before he was killed in a 2011 plane crash?

 

State

Finally, a sentence even I think might be a tad excessive. A San Clemente woman got the maximum sentence, as a judge gave her 51 years to life for a collision that killed three teenagers in another car while she was driving at three times the legal limit.

San Diego will install leading pedestrian intervals at 300 intersections to improve safety. Now they just need to allow bikes to go the same time as pedestrians to improve safety for everyone. 

Cute photo of a Santa Cruz ebike rider taking his two collies for a ride along the beach.

A San Jose driver copped a plea in the death of a 62-year old bike rider last July in exchange for a four-year sentence.

More proof that permanent street closures often don’t affect traffic flows, as a new study shows that banning cars from San Francisco’s Market Street resulted in virtually no spillover traffic on nearby streets, while improving travel times for bikes and buses, which are still allowed.

City Lab questions why a San Francisco bike shop owner would protest plans for a protected bike lane in front of his shop; just wait until he learns about a proposal to shut the street down entirely.

 

National

Curbed explains how to fix America’s broken intersections.

About time. Ford has developed a warning system to alert drivers to approaching bike riders to prevent doorings. Now let’s make it mandatory for every new car and truck.

A writer for Wired explains why, after years of loving cars, he decided he just didn’t want to drive anymore, and now rides a bike everywhere.

Jeep’s new fat tire, all-terrain ebike is now on sale, if you happen to have nearly six grand lying around.

A Vancouver WA paper says bike lanes and safety are great, but they’d rather have the 400 parking spaces that would have to be removed for them; needless to say, they’re not the only ones who prefer car storage over the safety of their fellow human beings.

An off-duty Border Patrol agent is credited with saving the life of an Arizona bike rider who was hit by a driver, using his training as a certified paramedic.

They get it. A Denver magazine says focusing on whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet following a crash is a form of victim blaming, and has to stop.

Some people just don’t get it. A St. Paul letter writer says no one can commute or carry groceries on a bike, and people will stop riding when they get older. All of which is refuted by people who do it every day.

Rochester, Minnesota is giving away 100 bicycles left over from a failed bikeshare service to people in need.

It only took New York drivers 24 hours to obliterate the newly installed bollards intended to keep them out of a protected bike lane.

No surprise here. Bicycling examined crash data from New York, and discovered when drivers make mistakes, people on bicycles too often pay the price.

DC considers a proposal that would require transportation equity by forcing employers who subsidize parking to offer an equal benefit or cash payout to people who don’t drive.

A Georgia grand jury will hear evidence in a fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a man riding his bike, after the driver called a state legislator and the local police chief instead of calling 911, and no one reported the crash or looked for the victim until it was too late.

 

International

A new study confirms what most of us already know. The more expensive a car is, the less likely the driver is to stop for pedestrians. Or anyone else. Or put another way, the more likely they are to drive like self-entitled jerks.

A new report from the International Transport Forum concludes that 80% of bicycling and e-scooters fatalities involve motor vehicles and the people who drive them. And traffic safety will improve if car, truck and motorcycle trips are replaced by scooters and bikes.

Fallen mountain biker Jordie Lunn will have a Vancouver Island bike park named in his honor. Meanwhile, a new report says the city must build safer bike lanes to get more people riding. Even though it’s already head-and-shoulders beyond cities like Los Angeles.

In a story that could have come from virtually anywhere in North America, a Winnipeg student newspaper says the city is all talk and no action when it comes to preventing bike thefts.

London is dropping speed limits to 20 mph in areas of the city used most by pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Which compares to speeds of 45 mph or more on some LA streets.

When British Olympic hopeful Ashton Lambie came up short, he took a bikepacking trip across the UK in search of the soul of bicycling. Which might be better, anyway.

No surprise here. A new report says two out of three bicycling crashes involving Belgian teenagers occur on roadways with no bicycling infrastructure.

Always double check your mailing addresses. A Catalan doping ring was busted when someone shipped a package to the wrong address; police seized 1.65 million doses of performance enhancing drugs worth the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million.

After police in a village outside of Hyderabad, India sent a serial rapist to prison with a death sentence, they gave new bicycles to 15 school girls for their safety.

Life is cheap in Zimbabwe, where an unlicensed driver walked with a lousy $900 fine for killing a bike rider after losing control of his vehicle — and two-thirds of that was for the license violation, not killing another human being.

Talk about a special place in hell. Heartless Aussie scam artists set up a fake crowdfunding page claiming to raise funds for a woman who died after being thrown from her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to the US Women’s Pursuit Team on winning the world championships in Berlin last week, making them the favorites for the Tokyo Olympics.

Call her the fastest woman on two wheels. America’s Chloe Dygert broke her own record in the individual pursuit. Then broke it again to take the gold.

Cycling’s governing body announced an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against the Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport women’s cycling team.

The COVID-19 coronavirus hit the cycling world hard on Thursday when the UAE Tour was halted with two stages still to go after two Italians tested positive for the virus; race leader Adam Yates was declared the winner. British Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish are among those being tested before being allowed to leave the country.

The Wall Street Journal considers the forthcoming effects of the new coronavirus on pro cycling, if you can get past their paywall.

Temper, temper. Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon got the boot from Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race after throwing a temper tantrum — and a competitors bike — following a mass crash. He followed that by ripping up his number when he was DQ’d. And it was far from his first time.

 

Finally…

Who needs a dog sled when you’ve got two fat tires? When you’re riding your bike with four outstanding warrants, maybe try riding with traffic next time.

And maybe there are better hobbies than collecting 5,800 stolen bike seats.

Just saying.

Bonin promises actual implementation, biking & walking mean happy commuters, and expensive cars mean bigger jerks

This could be good news, for a change.

The LA City Council’s Transportation Committee approved a motion calling on LADOT to come up with a plan to implement the city’s Green New Deal and the mayor’s recent Climate Directive.

In addition to calling for a 30% improvement in bus speeds, it calls for the development of active transportation corridors for walking, bicycling and micromobility, with “at least one major regional project and one neighborhood-oriented network per year.”

It now goes before the full council, and if approved, will require LADOT to respond with an implementation plan this July.

So what we basically have is a motion for a plan.

And as we’ve learned the hard way, Los Angeles is very good at coming up with plans, but not so good at actually putting them on the pavement.

Like the 2010 bike plan. Or the more recent halfhearted non-embrace of Vision Zero.

Perhaps sensing the growing frustration, Transportation Chair Mike Bonin had this to say.

Let’s hope he means it.

………

In what may be one of the most telling surveys ever, a Utah university finds that, given the choice, three-quarters of drivers and car passengers would rather teleport to work, along with two-thirds of transit riders.

But only 35 percent of bike riders and 28 percent of people who walk to work concurred. Which tells you that the overwhelming majority of people who walk or bike to work actually like it.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority of people stuck in traffic who don’t.

………

Once again, science confirms what most of us have already figured out.

The more expensive a driver’s car is, the more likely he or she is to act like an entitled jerk behind the wheel.

………

Not only did a driver in Lincoln CA fail to stop after crashing into a man on a bike, he kept going for another quarter mile with the badly injured victim lodged on the roof of his SUV.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the 85-year old driver said he didn’t know he’d even hit anyone.

Which seems a little odd, given the crumpled hood and shattered windshield directly in front of his steering wheel.

………

A San Diego TV station tells the tale of how nine-year old Connor Stitt of San Marcos rocketed to internet fame when ESPN featured a video of his arial acrobatics.

We showed the clip back in December, but it’s worth seeing again.

And again.

………

Presenting the world’s lightest balance bike, for all those three and four-year old weight weenies in your life.

………

Local

The 13-mile Park to Playa Trail connecting Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area to Playa del Rey is nearly complete; all that’s missing is a soon-to-be-built bridge allowing people and small animals to cross busy La Cienega Blvd.

Curbed quizzes LA council candidates on the bike issues currently facing the city, including housing, homelessness and cars.

More on the near-fatal crash that sent renowned LA chef Walter Manzke of Republique fame to the ER with several broken bones; he was getting out of his car near his upcoming new bistro Bicyclette when he was run down by the driver, who stopped, for a change.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Trisha Keane in Pasadena’s 2nd Council District, while Streets For All reminds us they endorsed Sarah Kate Levy in CD4 and Loraine Lundquist in CD12. I cast my vote for SKL yesterday, in case you’re wondering. And it was so much fun, I’m thinking about going back and doing it again tomorrow. 

 

State

Pink Bike raves about a mountain biker’s perfectly sculpted jumps on a California trail. Call me crazy, but a split scrotum does not suggest a successful landing in my book.

A reminder to never leave your bike on a car rack. A would be Seal Beach bike thief was interrupted by the owner as he tried to make off with a $3,500 bicycle.

An Oceanside bike rider was severely injured when he was struck by an SUV driver after allegedly running a stop light.

A San Diego man is suing the city, claiming its new pump track is too dangerous because it allows bike riders and skateboarders to use it at the same time — even though the injuries he’s claiming came in a “brutal attack” by a boarder, rather than a crash.

Palo Alto is resuming work on building a network of bike boulevards, which was halted two years ago because some residents couldn’t figure out how a roundabout works.

No bias here. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, if you’re not white, male and earn $250,000, the city’s bike lanes aren’t for you. Except, of course, for the 75% of regular bike lane users who earn less than that, and the 33% that are female. Or who don’t otherwise fit with their highly skewed premise, based on notoriously unreliable census data.

A Bay Area woman got drunk, and apparently decided driving in the new barrier protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was the perfect way to bypass all that car traffic in the other lanes.

 

National

A writer for Gear Patrol explains why good bikes are so expensive. Except there are a lot of good bikes out there that aren’t.

Meanwhile, the apparently unrelated Gear Junkie offers tips on how to build up your own mountain bike.

A bike-riding Oregon teenager was very lucky to escape with just minor injuries when he was struck by a driver doing 55 mph.

A New Mexico City councilor doesn’t like the census, early childhood education, the state’s red flag law or the Democratic primary. But he does like bike lanes, so he can’t be all bad.

An eleven-year old South Dakota boy has ridden his bike to school every day for six years — nearly 1,000 days in a row, rain or shine. Or snow.

Kindhearted Kansas business owners gave a new top-of-the-line gravel bike to a woman battling colorectal cancer.

Got to give him points for persistence. A Brooklyn bike thief broke through the roof of a building to steal a bike, then walked it out the front door.

Anti-safety vigilantes are tying yellow ribbons around trees on New York’s Staten Island to warn drivers about speed enforcement cameras.

 

International

A British ebike rider faces charges for killing a pedestrian by plowing into her at 30 mph — ten miles faster than legally allowed.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is testing a system to electronically slow the fastest pedelec bikes down to the speed of regular bikes. Now try it on cars, please.

A Berlin firm is hosting the first-ever virtual world bicycle conference.

Mumbai is working to become bike-friendlier with bike mayors for each of the city’s 24 districts, along with two junior bike mayors. Which is about 26 more than you’ll find in Los Angeles.

An Australian city votes to spend $2 million to rip out part of an $8 million protected bike lane network that was only finished two year ago, claiming it’s causing too much traffic congestion. No, it’s all those cars causing that traffic; take more of those off the road and the congestion goes away.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four American women are working together to win three spots in the mountain biking events at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike with a stolen handgun, a sock full of meth, ten fake or stolen IDs, a criminal record and an outstanding warrant, maybe try riding a little closer to the curb. Ramming your bike into a police car is not likely to hurt it — or help you get away.

And you only wish this was your commute.

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