Tag Archive for anti-bike bias

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

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Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

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Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

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Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

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A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

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L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

More anti-ebike bias from San Diego’s North County, and the new railing on the Golden Gate Bridge blows — literally

What the hell is going in San Diego’s North County?

A day after we discussed a Carlsbad GOP candidate opposing California’s proposed ebike rebate for all the wrong reasons, a San Diego TV station looks at the “controversy” over the rising popularity of ebikes in Encinitas.

According to NBC7, some people have complained on Nextdoor — as if everyone on Nextdoor doesn’t complain about something — and circulated a petition demanding that ebikes be banned from Moonlight Beach.

But the station widely misses the mark when they try to make the case that ebikes are somehow dangerous, by lumping them together with e-scooters and hoverboards to argue that 41 Americans were killed due to the devices over a three-year period.

Not that ebikes have anything in common with the other two, aside from having a battery.

And never mind that an average of 13.6 deaths a year pales in comparison to the 42,000 people killed in traffic collisions last year alone.

Yes, some people on ebikes may ride in a rude or unsafe manner. Just like some people do on regular bikes, on foot or in motor vehicles.

However, many of those scofflaw ebikers likely stem from their popularity with  new riders, and people who haven’t ridden in years, if not decades, and haven’t learned decent bicycle etiquette yet.

So just use a little common courtesy and common sense, however you get around.

But don’t try to ban ebikes just because you don’t get it.

And someone please tell North County residents to get their collective ebike-hating heads out from whence the sun don’t shine.

Ebike photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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The new and improve Golden Gate Bridge railing isn’t exactly working out that way for people on bicycles.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Now that’s more like it.

Vancouver proposes a hefty pollution tax for the privilege of parking on residential city streets. Which could free up a lot of space for other uses.

Like riding a bicycle.

https://twitter.com/theBreakerNews/status/1404487514237198338

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Nothing like the feeling when a 13-year old kid can shred better than most of us.

And yes, that includes me. Even though I’d have a hard time shredding a postcard these days.

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

No bias here. The UK’s Mr. Loophole, who specializes in getting dangerous drivers off the hook for traffic violations, wants to force you to wear a numbered tabard — a sleeveless pullover top — every time you ride a bike so you can be properly spanked if you do something naughty.

Seriously, lay off your damn horn when you go to pass someone on a bike.

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

In a horrible crime caught on security cam, a 53-year old New York bicycle delivery rider was stabbed in the back by another bike rider for no apparent reason as he was making a delivery. His attacker rode up from behind and stabbed him after bizarrely asking “What happened?” Fortunately, the victim is expected to recover, but the suspect remains at large.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rides the Expo Bike Path, and complains that Culver City abandons bike riders on a short gap in the bikeway near the Culver City Metro station, forcing people to take a poorly marked half-mile detour along city streets. And offers a long list of recommended fixes.

 

State

There’s peace in the hills around San Diego, as the local San Diego Mountain Bike Association rejoins the International Mountain Bicycling Association, aka IMBA, after a three-year split.

Speaking of the SDMBA, the group is partnering with Canyon Bikes and the founders of the popular Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride for a new fundraising campaign to support local trails, with a grand prize of $4,000 towards any Canyon bike.

Watch a crane hoist the center segment into place for a new Palo Alto bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

National

Three tips on riding a bicycle with your dog. I’m okay with riding with a dog, as long as it’s willing to ride stoker and pedal for itself.

Trek is marking Pride Month with a nationwide series of Pride Rides on the last Sunday of the month, starting out from the 145 Trek stores across the US.

After someone stole the bike an Albuquerque man bought just to use for an 80-mile fundraising ride benefitting Colorado children’s hospital that saved his daughter’s life, a kindhearted local bike shop owner gave him his own bike to use for the ride.

A tandem bike helped bring a Colorado man and his 16-year old son closer together during the pandemic, battling the wind as they passed bison and bald eagles. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

San Antonio, Texas NBA legend Manu Ginobilli is one of us, bragging online about finishing a 40-mile ride in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Apparently, killer hit-and-run drivers don’t stick around in Oklahoma, either.

School kids in Indianapolis can get a new bike through a little sweat equity, as a local program guides them through building a mountain bike they can ride off on at the end of the 16-hour class.

The New York state legislature passed a bill to improve bike and pedestrian access on MTA bridges, and provide better bike parking at subway and commuter rail stations.

Madonna is one of us, too, going for a ride through the streets of New York with her 27-year old boyfriend.

 

International

A Toronto paper questions why the city of Laval has been slow to take to the city’s new bike network, despite 70 miles of new bike lanes over the past six years. Maybe the fact that there’s only 70 miles of mile lanes for a city of a half million people could have something to do with it.

He gets it. A Toronto columnist calls the city out for blocking a busy bike lane with construction pylons, forcing riders out into the traffic lane; an earlier column about another bike lane blocked with a concrete block received quick action from the mayor’s office.

London’s Express highlights the best bicycling gifts for dad.

They get it, too. A survey of Scottish children says drivers should go back to school for extra training on how to drive around people on bicycles.

A 54-year old UK man was killed when he fell off his new ebike and hit his helmetless head while riding home from the local pub, with a BAC just under three times the legal limit.

When the pandemic locked a British DJ out of the clubs where he usually performed, he bought a three-wheeled bike and outfitted it with his gear to take the party to the people.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a young boy received the equivalent of less than $14,000 after he was injured riding hie bike into an open manhole cover when he was just six years old.

The N+1 formula has worked out to forty vintage bikes for a South African man, who has represented the country three times in the UCI World Master Track Championships.

Cycling Tips wants to introduce you to Melbourne-based handmade bikemaker Mark Hester of Prova Cycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News looks forward to the US pro road cycling championships in Knoxville, Tennessee at the end of this month.

Retired Aussie cyclist Will Clarke went from competing on the WorldTour to shearing sheep in a single year.

 

Finally…

Face it, your bike doesn’t need you any more. Does riding your bike backwards give you a negative Strava KOM?

And stealing a bike is bad enough. But kicking a dog minutes later is inexcusable.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Irrational bike hate on the roads, Black bike rider confronted by wealthy white SF resident, and right hooked in Los Angeles

She gets it.

A New Zealand writer perfectly captures the fear and frustration bike riders feel, where we’re blamed and threatened just for being on the road.

Or maybe on the planet.

Discrimination based on stereotypes and assumptions is unacceptable, whether it’s racism, sexism or speciesism. Hatred of bike riders is another -ism, and there’s no justification for it. It’s bullying. It incites drivers to harm or intimidate people on bikes. Whether it’s a shock jock on talk back or The Daily Blog, hating on bike riders is dangerous and can endanger peoples’ lives.

When you ride a bike, it’s like you have a target painted on your back. Every day, when I get on my bike, for fun, fitness and transport, I become a target for people who suddenly irrationally hate me– because maybe they saw someone on a bike who ran a red light once, or something. But I don’t suddenly turn into a bad person on my bike – to the contrary, I’m very happy!- I’m just someone trying to do my bit for the planet, who wants to get home alive…

It’s not rational to hate cyclists even though it seems to be a national sport, whether you’re a driver or not. So give us a break. Car drivers don’t actually own the road. People on bikes aren’t some foreign species undeserving of the right to life. We’re mums and dads, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunties. We’re loved, and we love life. But every time you hate on us, condemn us for riding, you risk us staying alive.

………

What the fuck is wrong with people these days?

Once again, a Black bike rider is confronted by an allegedly racist White man. And once again, the interaction is caught on video.

In this case, the man on the bike is delivering Narcan to a halfway house to help prevent opioid overdoses in San Francisco’s wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood, when he’s accosted by a man questioning what he’s doing there.

As if bike riders of color don’t belong in the overwhelmingly white community.

And yes, driving and biking while Black or brown is a real thing.

Or walking, for that matter.

And not just in the Bay Area.

………

This is what a right hook looks like.

And how to bail to avoid one.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1401551927062667264

………

Great video showing hundreds of Angelenos Riding for Freedom in South LA on Saturday.

https://twitter.com/bRuc14/status/1401382048363794435

………

Paris wasn’t Paris that long ago, either.

Just remember that the next time someone says Los Angeles isn’t Amsterdam. Or Copenhagen. Or New York.

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

………

Never mind the trashcan in the bike lane.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Yeah, no.

………

How to vinyl wrap your bike shoes to add a little bling, without suffering the indignity of bedazzling them.

………

Adventures in bad headlines. Something tells me the unfortunate bicyclist was more than just “involved.”

………

Here’s your Monday mountain bike break.

Although you may want to take your dramamine first.

Unless maybe you’d rather ride in Utah.

………

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

No bias here. A surfing writer admits to fantasizing about running down bike riders on PCH, and says ultra-surfer Kai Lenny reveals a sadistic side by embracing the pain that comes with surfing and his newfound love of road cycling. Apparently he’s confusing sadism — inflicting pain and suffering on others — with the self-inflicted suffering of masochism.

A New York state legislator calls for requiring helmets, operator’s licenses and registration plates for every bike and scooter rider in the state, regardless of age — because he nearly killed a bike rider “who came out of nowhere” while he was driving. Even though all of those requirements have been show to be ineffective or counterproductive, at best. And maybe he’d be better off paying more attention to the road, because no one ever comes out of nowhere.

A Kiwi hardware chain has to publicly apologize after an employee used his personal Facebook page to threaten bicyclists — while including a reference to the company he worked for. Oops.

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

Police at the University of California Sacramento, aka Sacramento State, are looking for a bodycam that was stolen from an officer after he or she was rammed with a bike when he told a group of bicyclists to stop doing stunts on a sign they tore down to use as a ramp, then was surrounded and attacked by a group of 10 to 12 riders before backup arrived; two people were arrested.

Once again, Minneapolis police are accused of using their bicycles as weapons against protesters. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Gone Girl, Six Feet Under and Nashville actor Lisa Banes is in critical condition after an apparent hit-and-run collision involving someone on a motorized bicycle or scooter in New York City’s Upper West Side.

………

Local

Nice to see LA Times columnist Nita Lelyveld profile Kenny Uong, everyone’s favorite Metro transit meister, who many of us have watched come of age on Twitter.

Learn how to fix your rear derailleur with Metro this Wednesday. Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

 

State

San Diego proposes eliminating parking requirements for businesses near mass transit or in small plazas near dense residential areas, allowing them to immediately transform parking into outdoor dining areas or extra retail space.

Team USA BMX Cycling champ Brooke Crain was censored by administrators when she was invited to talk to students at her Visalia alma mater, who refused to let her share her coming out story while calling for suicide awareness and prevention, following the death of her own father at his own hand.

 

National

Bloomberg says bike prices are up, if you can find one — and you might have to wait until the new models come out later this year.

A bighearted 29-year old Illinois man set out to ride 4,400 miles across the US to raise $4,400 for the Trevor Project to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. Then he just kept going, riding 17,000 miles through the US and Central and South America, raising over $11,000 in the process. Make that nearly $13,000.

A Spokane, Washington paper celebrates the state’s 700-mile Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Route. There’s no reason why California shouldn’t have a similar cross-state trail. And probably more than one.

A travel website makes the case for Tucson — yes, Tucson — as a bicycling paradise.

Nice move in Mad City, where advocates are helping to build a library of adaptive bikes for differently abled people.

Oneida NY’s Community Bike program donated over 200 refurbished bikes to children and adults who need an affordable means of transportation.

The director of a Pittsburgh advocacy group celebrates the progress they’ve made on the city streets and the likely election of the city’s first Black mayor, while noting they still have a long way to go.

Philadelphia’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride will return this August, with riders expected to wear as much or little as they’re comfortable with. Just make sure you get the date right, otherwise it’s frowned upon. Thanks once more to Keith Johnson.

 

International

A new study shows more than half of all women who ride bikes suffer some genital numbness and mild sexual dysfunction, especially on bikes with drop handlebars.

A pair of Canadian First Nation members are riding 215 kilometers for the 215 children whose bodies were found buried at a Catholic Indian school; the 135-mile ride has raised $1,110 of a modest $2,150 goal.

Londoners walked and rode bikes on a trail named for a former bike-riding mayor to commemorate her death at 92 years old; Jane Bigelow was mayor of London from 1972 to 1978.

An English writer schools himself when he discovers, despite his own biases, that the overwhelming number of bike riders use bike lanes, rather than taking to the sidewalk as he suspected. But he never bothers to find out if there’s a reason why some people ride on the sidewalk, instead.

Bike commuting rates in Britain have more than doubled over the past year, from six percent to 13 percent, making it the nation’s third most popular form of transportation behind driving and walking.

Something doesn’t add up, though, as Scottish drivers call for scrapping popup bike lanes in light of the country’s 30% drop in bicycling rates over the past year — despite the pandemic bike boom, and the overall jump in bicycling in the UK.

Toyota gets ridiculed for a British ad showing a man on a cheap ass mountain bike next to a $38,000 SUV, while calling it their “ideal adventure.”

Seventy-seven years after the D-Day landing, a Canadian museum in Normandy, France received a folding bicycle carried ashore by a Canadian soldier landing on Juno beach; when his unit shipped out to Germany, he gave the bike to a French farm boy, who rode it for school and work for another 40 years.

A Catholic website looks at people making a two-wheeled pilgrimage to worship at Italy’s shrine to the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicycling.

Police in Berlin shut down streets in half the city to make room for over 10,000 people on bicycles, who rode to the Brandenburg Gate to demand faster implementation of a plan to build a citywide network of protected bike lanes and safer intersections, as well as reducing the number of deadly crashes. If Los Angeles could ever turn out even half that many bicyclists we might finally see some real action here, too.

A severe storm nearly turned fatal for a 12-year old year old German girl when she was hit by a driver after a nearby lightening strike knocked her off her bike.

This is who we share the road with. After the pandemic shut down the world of dance, a Kolkata, India dancer and choreographer took a job as a food delivery rider to make ends meet — and got hit and threatened by an allegedly drunk motorcycle cop after just two days.  Although he may have been on a motor scooter, since the Indian media doesn’t usually distinguish between bicycles and motor cycles.

The head of India’s opposition Congress party promises to take care of the family of the famed Bike Girl, who pedaled across the country carrying her sick father on the back of her bicycle at the beginning of the country’s lockdown, so she can continue her studies and her passion for bicycling after her father’s death from Covid. Which is great, but what about the countless other less famous Indian families that have been left destitute by the virus?

 

Competitive Cycling

American Ian Boswell took a stand for transgender rights while winning the Unbound Gravel race in Kansas, formerly the Dirty Kanza, raising his arms in victory while wearing an armband in the colors of the trans flag.

Now that’s dedication. American cyclist Kiel Reijnen ran 18 miles in his socks after busting a wheel during Sunday’s Unbound Gravel race; he finally threw in the towel two hours later after realizing he wouldn’t make the cutoff.

Five people were seriously injured in a crash during an Australian bike race, ranging from broken ribs and collarbones to major facial injuries that required a medivac flight to the ER.

 

Finally…

Your bike helmet could have 5G before your phone does. Apparently, riding a half-century is good for your golf game, too.

And that feeling when the new song from world beating boy band BTS seems to be about a bicycle.

Although it may help if you understand Korean. Which I don’t.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Anti-bike bile from Indy shock jock, study shows parking causes traffic, and DTLA transportation ideas for Kevin de León

No bias here.

An Indianapolis shock jock has apparently appointed himself as master of the roads, with the power to determine who should be on them — and who shouldn’t.

And according to him, they’re only for people with big effing engines.

Which means bike riders should stay the hell off.

It’s time for bicyclists to learn their place on the roads of Indianapolis.

Yes, we’re all very happy that you’re under the impression you’re saving the environment and “keeping healthy” while breathing exhaust fumes and increasing your odds of getting crushed by a Goodyear radial. Bravo! Also, we hate you.

Yes, bicyclists can gain access to roads. Yes, they can use them for travel if they so choose. So can a squirrel, and we all know how that story ends.

WIBC host Tony Katz was responding to the following tweet from new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete.

In other words, Buttigieg gets it, while Katz clearly doesn’t.

And probably never will.

“Roads are for cars, trucks, busses, and the movement of people,” Katz continued. “Not [bicyclists] thinking they can make a left turn without signaling because ‘Look! I’m in spandex and I’m just like the people who compete in the Tour de France but without the hills and extraordinary athletic ability. But I’ve got the hat!’”

Of course, the entire point of putting people like that on the radio is to piss listeners off, because angry people listen longer and tune in more often, and drive the ratings up.

The problem is many of those people are listening while they drive. And they may just decide to take that anger out on the next person thet see riding on two wheels.

Fools like Katz just load and cock the gun. They let someone else pull the trigger.

And they don’t belong on the radio.

Or anywhere else.

………

No surprise here.

A new study from a team of California academics shows that adding more parking really does encourage more driving.

Maybe we should try adding more bike parking and see if it holds true for us, too.

………

Busted for cruising Thunder Road while wasted.

Funny how the news didn’t come out until after his Jeep Super Bowl ad aired, though.

………

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

Mounties in British Columbia are looking for a trio of men, including one on a bike, who sprayed bear spray into a building lobby. It must have worked, though, since there were no bears in the lobby afterwards.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a number of good actionable transportation suggestions for new CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, including quick-build protected and painted bike lanes, and longer term projects like adding back the protected bike lanes that were removed from plans for the new 6th Street Viaduct.

Metro is reopening the community engagement process for the proposed Rail to River Trail, after the route selected for the rail part of the project doesn’t leave room for a multi-use pathway.

 

State

A retired cop argues against adding bike lanes to Highway 67 in Ramona, insisting that bike lanes are only used by the privileged few. Never mind that even the most expensive bike costs just a fraction of a new car. Or that many people who rely on bikes cling to the lowest economic rungs. So maybe it’s the people in cars who are really privileged. 

Sad news from Fresno, where a 45-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a speeding driver; the 20-year old driver was also killed after hitting another car and slamming into a pole. The deaths came just two days after another bike rider was killed in the city.

 

National

About damn time. A new bill in the US House, co-sponsored by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California, would authorize a 30% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with a maximum rebate of $1,500.

They get it. CityLab says transitioning to electric cars won’t be enough to avert climate disaster; instead, we’ll need to dramatically cut motor vehicle use. Which is where those ebike rebates come in.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey explains what the lawsuit against Trek’s WaveCel bike helmet tech is all about.

Seattle is moving forward with building out an actual bike network, with a number of new protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

A pilot program in Colorado is fighting climate change while helping essential workers get to their jobs, using a $560,000 grant to give out an additional 100 ebikes.

Speaking of Colorado, one hundred bucks will buy you a chance to win a hand-built Alchemy Atlas road bike, with the funds going to benefit the Bicycle Colorado advocacy group, while seven bucks will enter you to win an Electra Townie cruiser bike.

How to keep riding through a Minneapolis winter, without the inconvenience of actually, you know, going outside.

 

International

Drivers in Merida, Mexico will face fines of up to the equivalent of $34.73 for parking in the city’s new bike lanes. Which hopefully will have a bigger impact on drivers down there than it would here.

Luxembourg is extending a program to provide residents with the equivalent of up to $722 towards the purchase of bicycle or ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana won’t be riding in this year’s Giro, after his Arkéa–Samsic failed to get an invitation.

Cycling in the South Bay talks with former pro Roy Knickman about what it’s like to be one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to abandon a car on a bike path when it’s full of stolen stuff and you’re already on parole. First rule of reporting — always blame the people on bikes.

And nothing like drafting a train at 60 mph.

………

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

Examining bike riders as two-wheeled others, Calbike reveals 2021 legislative agenda, and a busy day of virtual events

We’re halfway through the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dani M, Blue N and Richard N for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! 

It only takes a moment to donate. So give now, and avoid the last minute rush!

And happy Chanukah to everyone lighting a candle tonight.

Chag Sameach!

………

Good piece on Medium, where a British author says it’s time to stop maligning bike riders as “the two-wheeled other” and get on our bikes, because as a society, we can no longer afford to keep using cars for short trips.

The othering of people on bicycles was already a well-known phenomenon. For some years people on bikes have been perceived as members of a different, lesser species, not deserving of the basic consideration or courtesy one would usually extend to an equal. An article in Transportation Researchlast year revealed that more than half of car drivers think cyclists are not completely human. Seventy per cent of cyclists have experienced some form of aggression. Recently the phenomenon has become critical. A Labour councillor hit by a car recently reported on twitter: “A man … hit the front of my bike… he carried on driving to push me out of the way. I wasn’t a human, I was [an] obstacle.” Last week as I pottered inoffensively along, not blocking any roadspace, a man in a sports car shouted at me ‘You piece of shit, get back in the cycle lane’ (which was closed); face to face he would never think of screaming this at a passing woman…

People on bikes are often accused of association with crime. Not only do they regularly run the lights and terrorise pedestrians, but (according to the Conservative councillors’ official submission to a TfL consultation on bike lanes in West London) they ‘increase local crime [by using] cycles for snatch thefts and for planned heists from high-value retailers such as jewellers.’ In south London cycle lanes could enable terrorists to attack London’s water supply, and in West London the local Catholic priest wrote that these ‘state-sponsored, tax-payer-funded plans [for a cycle lane] would do our community more harm … than the Luftwaffe managed with its wartime bombs.’

At the very least they threaten the village atmosphere of urban enclaves; John Major may have mused nostalgically about ‘old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist’ but providing cycle lanes for today’s spinsters in London leads inexorably not only to the death of Christianity (according to Catholic priest Richard Dunne), but to the death of the village itself as GLA member Tony Arbour claimed in a much-derided interview where he was drowned out by the sound of passing traffic from large urban SUVs and trucks in a London village.

Seriously, it’s a quick, entertaining and smart piece, well worth the click to to read the whole thing.

………

If you missed last week’s unveiling of the California Bicycle Coalition’s 2021 legislative agenda, you can catch it all on video.

However, here’s what they revealed as their top priorities.

  •  Get state to incentivize whole network bike improvements
  • Affordable bikeshare and other last-mile transport as part of public transit systems
  • Complete Streets work with Caltrans
  • Improve design guidelines in Caltrans Design Manual to create safer facilities for bikes
  • Decriminalizing biking and walking
    • Eliminate “jaywalking” as a crime
    • “Idaho stop” – bikes treating stop signs as yields

Unfortunately, once again, there’s nothing there about stopping hit-and-runs and eliminating the deadly 85th Percentile Rule that lets driver set speed limits with their right foot.

Or providing rebates and other financial incentives to buy and use bicycles, electric or otherwise, to replace car trips.

But still, there’s some good stuff there, especially encouraging the state to finally legalize the Idaho stops that most bike riders already use. And most drivers, too.

………

You may still have time to catch today’s webinar on Delivering Quick-Build Projects hosted by Calbike and Alta Planning at 11 am LA time.

That’s followed by PeopleForBikes bicycle policy webinar at noon Pacific time today.

But wait, there’s more!

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting their virtual open house and potluck at 6:30 tonight, if you’re not already burned out with the virtual world by then.

And as long as we’re living our lives online, planning firm Sam Schwartz Engineering is hosting a webinar on Covid-19 and the Need for Resilient Streets on Tuesday.

………

Take a few minutes to support the proposed San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336821394638741504

………

A seven-minute video somehow follows a New York bike messenger as he flaunts traffic laws and common sense.

Which isn’t exactly something to celebrate.

………

………

Local

KABC-7 profiles Ken Thomason, who took on the persona of the bike-riding Chicken Lady after losing a close friend during the AIDS crisis; he’s done the AIDS Lifecycle Ride in character to raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS for 25 years.

 

State

The mother of Noel Bascon, the 12-year old autistic boy killed by an alleged repeat stoned driver while riding with his dad, says the man who killed him should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Irvine, Orange and other OC cities are using bait bikes to fight the rising bike theft epidemic. Yet somehow, the LAPD can’t, after the City Attorney’s office worried it could be seen as entrapment.

Nice. San Diego approves plans for a $2.6 million regional bicycle transit center, which supporters describe as a community gathering place “for all things bicycle;” the long-fought for center, which will be built without city funds, will be housed in an abandoned Navy warehouse in Liberty Station’s Naval Training Center Park. You can also read it on Flipboard if the Union-Tribune has you in time out. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

San Diego firefighters rescued a man who suffered a major head injury after falling off his bike while riding in Florida Canyon; the helmet-less man was discovered by others riding on the Balboa Park trail.

Stockton kids are being victimized by four armed robbers in a white pickup on a bike theft crime spree targeting boys riding BMX Bikes made by SE Racing, which are in short supply due to the coronavirus bike boom; one kid was pistol whipped before he was even given a chance to turn over his bike.

 

National

Glucosamine and chondroitin may help with more than arthritis; a new study shows taking the supplements for a full year can cut your risk of early death by 39%, and reduce the risk of cardiac-related death by a whopping 65%. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

Milwaukee has released a low-stress bike map, allowing bike riders to plot their route based on the level of stress they’re willing to endure. Maybe we can get that here in LA. Although virtually any route longer than a few blocks would likely fit in the high stress category.

That’s more like it. An Illinois driver got 20 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle.

‘Tis the season. Massachusetts’ Bob the Bike Man took a break from donating bikes to kids to provide local police departments with backpacks stuffed with new coats, blankets, hats and gloves, among other items to distribute to homeless people.

Good question. A DC website wants to know why people keep treating Slow Streets signs like the Kool-Aid man treats walls. Which seems to be a pretty universal problem these days.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their favorite urban commuter bikes.

Buenos Aires is expanding its bike network in response to the Covid-19 induced bike boom. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

The British government took a two-wheeled U-turn, and agreed to maintain the European Union’s anti-dumping rules for Chinese-made bicycles and ebikes in a post-Brexit world.

My hero. A London bike rider prints up his own parking tickets, and leaves them on cars parked illegally in a bike lane across from a school. Then gets told to fuck off by an angry driver for his efforts.

Police in Kolkata, nee Calcutta, are warning people on bicycles to stay off 62 major thoroughfares, where they have been banned to avoid annoying people in cars.

Former pro wrestler Killer Khan was busted for the hit-and-run that injured a Japanese woman riding her bike, telling police he was sorry, but had to get to his Tokyo restaurant; Khan gained fame for bouts with the legendary Andre the Giant back in the ’80s.

 

Competitive Cycling

There is still no internationally agreed-on assessment for diagnosing and treating concussions in pro and amateur cycling, putting it far behind other sports and needlessly putting cyclists at risk.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Benz, and not look like one — unless you prefer a Harley Davidson that kinda does. If you’re going to ride your bike carrying a sawed-off shotgun, put a damn light on it; the bike, that is, not the gun.

And don’t forget to express your gratitude to those you share the road with.

………

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

Top Gear host says bikes are guests on the roads, street-racing Rocking Rod let off the hook, and LeMond gets his Gold

Welcome to Week Three of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Jean C, Glen S, Phillip Y, Douglas M, Megan Lynch, Eric G and Luke Klipp for their generous donations to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world!

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Take a few minutes right now to help keep all the freshest bike news coming your way every day!

………

No bias here.

British gearhead Jeremy Clarkson, the former host of Top Gear and the current Grand Tour host, claimed bike lanes are causing tension between the UK’s “normal people and its raving lunatics.

He’s got a point, as long as he thinks the people on two wheels are the normal ones.

But then he added this gem.

I sometimes ride a bicycle in London but I am well aware that when I do so, I am a guest in the world of the car.

Which is why I would NEVER cycle on Kensington High Street. It’s too bloody dangerous.

Even though the point of striping bike lanes on the street was to make the street safer for everyone.

Let alone that bike riders have the same right to the roadway that drivers do, in the UK and in the US.

More, in fact, since bike riders aren’t required to have a license, which can be revoked to take away a driver’s privilege — not right — to the road.

If more drivers thought of themselves guests in a world of humans, we’d all be better off.

Meanwhile, bike-riding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly went ballistic after a bike lane was ripped out in London’s tony Kensington neighborhood, over the objections of the country’s cycling czar.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

Rod Stewart was stopped by a Beverly Hills cop for street racing with two friends on a residential street.

The three were driving cars from his sports car collection, including a right-hand drive Lamborghini Countach. And wanted to see how fast they could go between stop signs, hitting 60 mph in the process.

But instead of throwing them all in jail and impounding the cars, or at least ticketing the trio, the cop reportedly got flustered when he saw who was behind the wheel of a high-end Porsche, and let them all go.

So evidently, the law really is different for the rich and famous when they threaten the lives of everyone else on the street than it is for the rest of us.

Got it.

………

It’s official.

America’s last remaining Tour de France champ is the first cyclist to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, and one of just ten individual athletes to receive the honor.

………

Listen to CD5 city council candidate Scott Epstein’s appearance on Bike Talk.

………

If you’re looking for a good cause to support, you could do a lot worse than this one.

And do a lot of good in the process.

https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/1335450733345296393

………

What happens when a couple of innocent motorist stumble into a bike bar.

No, the other kind.

………

We all wish we could do this sometimes.

Or maybe all the time.

For the Spanish-challenged among us, like me, that translates to,

This would not have happened if this crossing had a speed bump.

………

No surprise here.

The internet took that story about the $1,000 Specialized carbon balance bike and ran with it.

………

Follow along as mountain biker Gee Atherton rides a ridiculous series of Ridgeline jumps.

………

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

After a Portland pickup driver subjected a bike-riding couple to a punishment pass, he got out of his truck and threatened to fight them when they tried to confront him at a red light.

An 18-year old New Zealand bicyclist was deliberately knocked off his bike by a driver who yelled and honked at him before swerving into his bike; it marked the third time in two years angry motorists have run him off the road.

………

………

Local

Twitter may think Chris Pratt is a clown. But anyone who takes his kid out for a bike ride is doing oaky in the dad department.

 

State

Santa Barbara considers options to rebuild or replace a nearly 140-ear old bridge on Mission Canyon Road, including options for a new bike lane.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says step away from your Zwift trainer and enjoy the lost art of winter riding, because it’s almost never too cold to ride.

A Kansas City woman rode her bike to get through her divorce; now she’s using it to cope with being newly jobless during the pandemic.

PeopleForBikes blames Chicago’s default 30 mph speed limit for the city’s mediocre bikeability rating, instead of 25 mph in most of the US. Unlike Los Angeles, where drivers universally ignore the 25 mph speed limit on most residential streets. Along with pretty much every other speed limit in the city.

A Syracuse NY bike shop owner couldn’t do any more than watch on security cam as a teenage boy tried to break into his shop on Thanksgiving Day, causing $6,000 in damage even if he wasn’t able to take anything; the kid was caught by police trying to break into another shop down the street.

‘Tis the season. A program developed by the former GM of Philadelphia’s transportation authority just gave away its 1,000th bike to children in need over the past eight years.

No bias here. After a Florida sheriff’s deputy crashed into an ebike rider, they immediately blamed the victim, insisting he crashed into the deputy’s massive SUV while riding in the crosswalk against the Don’t Walk signal. As if the driver had no responsibility to check for anyone using the crosswalk or sidewalk, regardless of whether he was crossing with the light.

 

International

The World Economic Forum says dockless bikeshare symbolizes the future of our cities.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at health warning signs for bicyclists. I’d also include an inability to maintain muscle mass, which was the first major warning sign of my diabetes and neuropathy, and could have led to a diagnosis and treatment years earlier.

Cycling News looks at the best luxury gifts for bicyclists. Although a decent bike cam is really more of a necessity these days, GoPro or otherwise.

They get it. The UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says that bike helmets won’t prevent a crash, but can be an important secondary safety feature if you get in one; the story goes on to address first aid for various bicycling injuries.

Nearly 60 years later, the iconic bicycle designed by Dr. Alex Moulton is still made in the English town of Bradford on Avon. Which is more than an hour away from that other famous Avon town.

Edinburgh bicyclists complain about having to ride in traffic after the city failed to plow the snow from protected bike lanes.

Horrible murder in the UK, where a man was beaten to death after allegedly pushing a 13-year old boy off his bike, when the boy rode too close to him as he was walking to the market. He may have been an ass for pushing the boy off his bike, but it shouldn’t have called for a vigilante death penalty.

A 60-year old Colombian man was killed in a Hong Kong wreck when a firefighter somehow lost control of the fire engine he was driving, striking the victim’s bicycle before crashing into a park car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly wonders how far Sepp Kuss can climb in the world of cycling, citing the 26-year old American’s rapid rise in the sport. 

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas shared his X-rays to show he was okay after taking a bad fall on a training ride on Sunday.

Heartbreaking news, as 21-year old Italian cyclist Michael Antonelli died of Covid-19; his death came after two years of struggling to recover from major brain trauma suffered in a fall off a cliff in one of his first races after turning pro.

A group of ten cyclists were injured crashing into a police motorcycle on the first lap of an Australian race when a cop leading the peloton stopped to let a car out of a driveway, without realizing they were right behind him; the most seriously injured rider was okay following surgery, after he was initially place in an induced coma with severe leg injuries.

Cycling News recalls the 25 most compelling cycling personalities of the last 25 years.

Rouleur complains about pro cycling’s toxic masculinity problem, saying cyclists should be able to cry like a baby if they feel the need. Seriously? I’d rank podium girls, and pay and race inequalities for women cyclists, far ahead of “big boys don’t cry” on a scale of toxic masculinity in the sport.

Speaking of which, it’s about damn time a woman was named sports director, aka directeur sportif, of a WorldTour cycling team, as Cherie Pridham was hired to manage Israel Start-Up Nation, new home to former TdF champ Chris Froome.

An Aspen CO writer asks Lance to forgive him for being so hard on the former Tour de France champ for his doping, lying and bullying. Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

 

Finally…

If you want to be an internet sensation, just ride around the world with a cat on your shoulders. When the world gives you a pandemic pub lockdown, start a bicycle beer delivery service.

And that feeling when you find a giant fish carcass on your beachfront bike ride.

Or maybe a 5,000-year old whale.

………

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

People’s Court frowns on wacky driver lawsuit, Oregon bike riders ferry food to burn zones, and biking can be bananas

Maybe the arc of the moral universe really does bend towards justice.

The case of the bike rider who was sued by the driver who rear-ended him finally concluded on Friday, after it was heard in America’s highest court.

And by that I mean The People’s Court, of course.

Rochester NY bicyclist Bryan Agnello was sued for $700 for damage to the schmuck’s driver’s car, despite suffering $2,500 in medical bills and damage to his bike.

In his court filing, (driver Jovonte) Cook stated that Agnello was riding his bike on I-490 at about 60 mph and that he “didn’t see him coming at me at all due to bad weather.” It was raining when the collision occurred.

During an interview with CITY, Cook estimated Agnello was traveling 80 mph and “came out of nowhere and splashed on my front windshield” while Cook was driving on I-490 while on his way to his job delivering pizzas.

Never mind that, according to the police, the crash occurred on a city street, not a divided freeway. And anyone who can ride 80 mph on level ground in a driving rain without an engine would easily be the greatest cyclist of all time.

Then again, anyone who could walk away from a crash at that speed should probably be wearing tights and a cape.

Needless to say, Judge Marilyn Milian dismissed the case. And reportedly was none too pleased with the man who brought it.

Photo from The People’s Court Facebook page.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes.

NPR reports on the efforts of a group of people using bicycles to bring much needed food and water to Oregon towns devastated by the ongoing fires.

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More proof you can literally carry anything on a bicycle.

Unfortunately, I lost track of who sent this one to me, but thank you, anyway.

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How to get a good bike, more or less, for $50 bucks, more or less.

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You might want to take your dramamine before you watch this downhill run.

I wish I had.

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

A driver in Maui got out of his pickup and repeatedly attacked a bike rider with a golf club in an unprovoked attack.

Delivery riders say they are routinely attacked in large swaths of Dublin and other Irish cities, whether on motor scooters or bicycles.

A South African bicyclist was pulled off his bike by a passing pedestrian in an apparently random attack caught on security cam.

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

Apparently, the biggest problem in Manteca CA is a bunch of finger-snapping kids on bikes.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times reports on the renewed vitality of LA’s Leimert Park, where Black-owned businesses are thriving in the post-George Floyd era, including the Ride On! Bike Shop/Co-Op run by Adé Neff.

Congratulations to former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler on being named Private Sector Professional of the Year by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.

Santa Clarita has officially unveiled its long-awaited new seven-acre bike park.

 

State

A San Diego missing person’s investigator passed away last month after years of battling liver failure — but even at her sickest, she attached an e-bike motor to her bicycle so she could ride along with marchers on a three-day breast cancer awareness event. And when the engine gave out, she got off and pushed it to keep up.

Ventura County opened the second phase of a nearly six-mile bike lane on Potrero Road bordering unincorporated Thousand Oaks.

San Jose-area residents say bike riders have no right to ride in fire zones where drivers have been ordered out.

No surprise here, as San Francisco is searching for new solutions to protect the city’s Slow Streets, as drivers plow through signs indicating the streets are closed to through traffic.

San Francisco allows one person to delay eco-friendly projects in the middle of a climate crisis. Unfortunately, the Chronicle’s paywall won’t let me read this one; maybe you’ll have better luck. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

A Rohnert Park man faces charges after using a fake gun to steal a bike from Walmart. The joke’s on him, though, because he probably got a fake bike, anyway.

 

National

Somehow we missed this piece from Vogue UK on famous, mostly female bike riders of the past 60 or so years. Audrey Hepburn looks as good on a bike as anyone could, although Bogie is no small shakes himself. And Queen Latifah can ride with me anytime. 

A Las Vegas letter writer is happy to see the bike boom hit Sin City.

A Denver op-ed calls for making it a denser, walkable and bikeable 15-minute city.

A Colorado man gained a new faith in humanity by biking 3,300 miles across the US, and talking and staying with all kinds of Americans, including sleeping with homeless people in Los Angeles.

When a Nebraska man found a kid’s bike the previous owners of his new home had left in the garage, he used it to spark a bicycle ministry through his church.

Streetsblog Chicago calls for installing cheap plastic-curb protected bike lanes throughout the city.

Kindhearted Tennessee sheriff’s deputies gave a new bike to a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Actress Minka Kelly is one of us, as she rides the streets of New York on her bigass ebike.

After a New York man was killed riding his bike in a supposedly carfree park, the police say he died in a tragic fall, while friends and family members insist he was hit by a driver — most likely in a police car.

In a moving gesture, hundreds of New York Black Lives Matter protestors dedicated Friday’s march to a supporter of the movement who was killed in a collision while riding her bike last week.

Family members were reunited with the injured dog who survived the South Carolina wreck that killed their son and brother, as the pair were riding from New York to Florida.

 

International

That new Lamborghini-inspired Cervelo can be yours for a mere eighteen grand.

Vancouver residents rally to demand the return of a traffic lane that was converted to a bike and walkway through a city park. Because evidently one lane of traffic in each direction through a park — keyword park — just isn’t enough for their motor-driven little hearts.

Montreal is expanding a pilot bicycle delivery program to year-round after it proves to be faster than the country’s postal service.

Here’s something to look forward to. The new album by Nova Scotia indie rocker Rich Aucoin, due out this Friday, was inspired by his 2018 journey by bike across the US from Los Angeles to New York.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor is one of us. And a city bus driver may be in trouble for honking at her after she fell off her bike, and continuing to honk until she got up and dragged herself off the road.

A UK paper explains to uncomprehending drivers why close passes are just a tad upsetting. And no, it’s not a victimless crime.

A Parisian fixie rider sparks the basis for an award-winning graphic memoir of an American student in Paris.

Famed Pakistani bicycle adventurer Samar Khan reports she was groped by a passing motor scooter rider while riding her bike in the capital city of Islamabad. But don’t be too judgmental; that happens far too often in this country, too.

A Ghanian-Belgian writer calls for making bicycling a safe means of transport in the African country.

Uganda will celebrate World Tourism Day with a 124-mile bike ride.

A Singapore letter writer says bike riders who use public roads should be licensed, while exempting those who only use bike paths. Apparently assuming the latter will never have to use roads to bridge a gap between bikeways, unlike pretty much everywhere else on earth.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a big day for Slovenia in yesterday’s 15th stage of the Tour de France, while the yellow jersey continues to rest on a man who used to be a world class ski jumper.

The race doctor for the Tour passes the buck after Romain Bardet finished stage 13 with a concussion and small hemorrhage following a fall, insisting his life was never in danger and it was the team doctor’s responsibility, anyway.

The Tour’s only Black bike rider says he’s ready to make a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. Then again, the fact that he’s the only one in the entire peloton makes a pretty big statement of its own.

ESPN profiles Neilson Powless, the first Native American to compete in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans to start the race; he’s currently 54th out of 156 riders still competing in the general classification after Sunday’s stage.

Thanks to this year’s Covid-compressed racing schedule, the Tour de France isn’t the only game in town this year. Or Europe, anyway.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is making his mark in the pro WorldTour, just two years after making the jump from three-time world ‘cross champ.

American pro Tejay van Garderen is donating last year’s bike to benefit Peace Peloton, a bicycling nonprofit supporting Black empowerment; a $50 donation to the group before this Sunday will enter you in a drawing to win the bike.

A Belfast paper remembers Debbie Barclay, who blazed the way for women’s cyclists in Northern Ireland until she was paralyzed from the waist down after crashing on a descent in a 1988 English stage race; she died last week of an undisclosed cause.

 

Finally…

Royals may not be able to walk on water, but apparently, they can bike on it. Throwing your bike on the hood of a parked car is not a recommended use.

And seriously, who doesn’t need Winnie the Pooh bike shorts?

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

Koretz uses one-man rule to kill bike, business and pedestrian friendly Uplift Melrose project

He did it again.

Seven years after CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz blocked proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, he singlehandedly killed a proposal for a much-needed makeover of Melrose Blvd.

One that had overwhelming community support, both from the general public and Melrose business owners.

A project that could have once again made Melrose the destination street it was decades ago. And one that excited virtually everyone who saw it, with a few notable NIMBY exceptions.

Starting with Koretz himself.

The self-proclaimed environmentalist and climate advocate caved to a NIMBY minority to stop a project that would improve safety on one of LA’s High Injury Network streets, while giving a significant boost to a once-thriving business district that has been in decline for decades.

Kind of like Westwood, where empty storefronts nearly outnumber occupied ones.

Yet in both cases, Koretz personally blocked bicycle and pedestrian improvements that could have revived them.

In this case, he cited his unsupported belief that the project wouldn’t get anyone out of their cars — as he drove the street in his own.

I have done much soul searching, and even driven down Melrose one more time to try and envision the results. Many factors contributed to my decision to not move forward with this process…

I don’t believe that this action will get anyone out of their cars, except for immediate neighbors on short trips who could walk or bicycle. However, it will make it more difficult for potential customers to access Melrose shops by car. The loss of parking could also reduce access by customers, unless the BID is able to cut long-term deals with several locations for large numbers of cars. This is likely to happen, but not a certainty.

I also believe that this will result in a short-term loss of more marginal businesses during construction. Longer term, I think it is likely to raise rents once it is completed, knocking out remaining smaller businesses that give Melrose its charm, for better funded, more chain-like businesses.

Maybe if he actually got out of his car, he could see what wonderful street it could be for walking. Even if it isn’t now.

But bottom line, he makes the anti-environmental, anti-climate choice to keep Melrose a sewer for pass-through drivers, while making it virtually impossible to access the area any other way.

It must be all those boarded up storefronts and Going Out of Business signs that pass for charm in his estimation.

He also ignores the fact that a project like this would once again make the street a draw for people from across the city, and not just out-of-town tourists relying on outdated guidebooks.

Not to mention that the plan actually results in a net increase in available parking, despite the loss of spaces on Melrose itself.

In a must-read story, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examined the motivations consequences behind Koretz dictatorial decree.

L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz has effectively killed Uplift Melrose, a plan to invest in making Melrose Avenue greener, safer, and more welcoming. Uplift Melrose was initiated by the Melrose Business Improvement District and enjoyed broad local support, including from the Mid-City West Community Council and the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.

He goes on to cite bizarre opposition from representatives of both the police and fire departments.

LAPD Wilshire Area Commanding Officer Shannon Paulson’s August 25 email to Koretz staff states that Uplift Melrose “would undeniably have a direct impact on the ability of PD to respond along this (previously) primary accessway to emergency locations on this stretch of Melrose, as well as… emergencies in adjacent residential neighborhoods.” She asserts that the proposed Melrose lane reduction would “undeniably” create “traffic congestion and delays” on Melrose and “this would also result in more north/south traffic in those nice residential streets north and south of Melrose” where she forecasts “more calls for unsafe speed… and a higher likelihood of vehicle vs pedestrian accidents, stop sign violations, more people feeling not as safe walking their dogs and pushing their strollers on those streets.”

Never mind that the project was still in the early discussion phase, and that most, if not all, of those objections could have been easily mitigated.

She went on to offer this doozy, making her anti-bike windshield bias even more apparent, while broadly dismissing bike lanes all over Los Angeles:

I would also suggest a comprehensive study of the bike lanes. I have seen a lot of money and energy and planning go into some of these bike lanes in the City– which are fantastic for those who use them. But I think in many LA communities the use of these bike lanes have been exceptionally minimal (to almost zero) – this after surrendering very valuable vehicle traffic lanes to create them. I have also been part of conversations regarding their safety, as they design the lanes to be “two way” which results in some dangerous scenarios. I think immediately of the “two way” bike lane currently on Main Street downtown – where you have City Hall employees pulling out of that CH garage near Temple and they look right only as the traditional vehicle traffic on Main St is northbound, yet that bike lane along the curb is two -way. So you have a southbound bicycle coming along at 25 mph crossing them that the driver never see.

Evidently, in addition to being a cop, Paulson is also an expert in traffic engineering and urban planning.

Or at least thinks she is.

And as Linton points out, we’re still waiting for all that money for bike lanes she talks about. Maybe it got diverted into the LAPD’s coffee and donut fund.

As for the objections from the fire department,

Koretz’ staff received Streets L.A. Landscape Architect Alexander Caiozzo’s response to all of the points raised by Getuiza. Caiozzo’s September 3 email emphasizes that the Melrose design represents a “preliminary plan” and, when funding is secured, further refined designs will address all the specific Fire Department concerns.

Never mind that Linton explains that much of the objections raised by the fire department were the result of a fundamental misreading of what was being proposed.

He goes on to point the finger at a self-proclaimed watchdog group that has worked to block progress throughout the city.

One source is the “notorious Nimby” group Fix the City. In 2015, Fix the City filed a lawsuit to block L.A.’s multi-modal Mobility Plan, asserting that the city was “stealing” lanes from drivers, who do not “have the luxury of being able to ride to work on a bike or bus.” The lawsuit was settled by an agreementbetween L.A. City and Fix the City that mandates extensive outreach and analysis before safety improvements can be implemented. Fix the City then uses this agreement to kill safety projects.

The settlement requires the city to evaluate LAFD response times at the station level for all mobility projects of significant scale. If safety improvements degrade LAFD response times, then Fix the City boardmember Jim O’Sullivan waves the settlement around, badgers the city Transportation Department (LADOT) and City Council, and threatens further lawsuits.

Personally, I’d take it a step further, and question whether it’s the soft corruption of campaign contributions and promises of support for the career politician’s next run for office.

Or something worse.

In the aftermath of the Jose Huizar and Englander bribery scandals, any single-handed action like this is immediately suspect. So the question becomes, not just whether someone inappropriately influenced Koretz, but who might have, how and why.

It could be as simple as Linton’s suggestion that Koretz kowtowed to the notorious NIMBYs at Fix the City.

Or it could be something much worse.

The real problem is that Los Angeles has a failed system of government in which each councilmember rules as a king or queen in his or her own district, enjoying near dictatorial power over what gets built, from upscale condo towers to streetscape improvements.

Something we’ll have to change if we ever want to see real progress in the city.

Meanwhile, Mid City West Community Council President Scott Epstein — leader of one of the city’s better neighborhood councils — offers his own insights into the project, and Koretz’ open betrayal of the community.

Bike Talk will be discussing the whole Melrose mess tonight.

Black Venice ebike rider alleged victim of racist attack, biking for Black Lives, and hilarious anti-bike screed

British tabloid The Sun offers a horrifying report of a grandmother who was clotheslined by a racist attacker while riding on the Venice Boardwalk.

She was allegedly pulled off her ebike with a steel cable, as her attacker yelled “That’s what you get for being black!”

While there are enough details to be credible, it’s troubling that no one appears to have reported the story in Los Angeles.

Or this side of the Atlantic, for that matter.

But assuming it’s true, there is simply no excuse. Period.

Anyone who could do something like that needs a good long stay behind bars.

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Black Lives Matter protests and calls for police reform continue to reverberate around the country, with no sign of letting up.

The Beverly Press has a report on the bike ride and demonstration we mentioned on Monday, as over 600 people rode 14 miles from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier last weekend in a ride sponsored by the group Bike Rides for Black Lives.

Berkeley is removing responsibility for traffic stops from the police, and handing traffic enforcement to unarmed personnel.

Castelli officially unveils their Black Lives Matter jersey developed with bike rider and former NBA star Reggie Miler.

Bicycling talks with Grace Andersen, co-founder of a grassroots organization that fights for environmental justice and collective liberation.

Outside looks at why gravel race Dirty Kanza is changing its name, as the cycling world reckons with a racist, exclusionary past. And present, unfortunately.

New York’s largest bike education group is recommending a long list of police reforms, including more speed cams to reduce traffic stops, less biased enforcement, and better crash investigations. And for the NYPD to stop blaming victims.

After a North Carolina bike rider was hit by a driver who plowed through a group of protesters to escape a parking garage, the victim was ticketed for impeding traffic and not licensing his bike. The driver, on the other hand, was presumably given a pat on the back.

And the co-founder of a group that collects stories from Black, indigenous and people of color who ride bikes talks about what it’s like to bike while Black in today’s America. Including this line, which hits like a punch.

I wish that non-Black people understood what it’s like to never see people like you while out riding.

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Talk abut police behaving badly.

Police in Portland swarmed out from behind a van to tackle a bike rider, arresting him for disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Even though he doesn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

Granted, it’s hard to say from a short 23-second clip; a longer clip shows a cop attempting to tackle him as he rode in the opposite direction.

And still not appearing to do anything to justify a violent takedown.

To make matters worse, Oregon Public Radio reported that federal officers in unmarked white vans are snatching bike riders off the streets with no warning or explanation, and stealing impounding their bicycles. And apparently without consulting the Portland police.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and spend the next two minutes watching what will probably be the funniest anti-bike screed you’ll hear today.

And be sure to watch these Bay Area parks commissioners try not to laugh.

Speaking strictly for myself, I take great pride in being “very arrogant and selfish.”

Not to mention stinky.

Thanks to Murph’s Tahoe for the link.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s trash day in East LA, evidently.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards photos of totally unrideable bike lanes on LA’s Eastside, forcing bike riders to fight it out in often unforgiving traffic.

Arizona Blvd bike lane. Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Then there’s this one two hours later on Gerhart.

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Sunset for All is continuing their campaign to build support for Sunset Blvd bike lanes by showing local merchants the spending power of people who ride bikes.

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It looks like we’ll be linking to Bicycling a lot less.

The magazine is responding to the current economic climate and declining print revenues with a new $40 membership model.

The upside is a lot of new benefits. The downside, you’ll be limited just four articles a month without paying upfront.

And some stories will now be limited members only.

I get why they’re doing it.

But in the process, they’re likely to lose the beginning and casual riders who aren’t committed enough to spend $40 dollars for a bike magazine. And who we need most to keep the sport of cycling, as well as everyday riding, growing.

But at least we can still link to their stories on Yahoo.

Like this expert guide gravel grinding, and an explanation of just what the heck people mean by gravel.

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A new short film looks at a pair of bike-riding, mariachi-playing SoCal sisters.

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That feeling when your tweet is better than the PSA it promotes.

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

Sacramento police say a driver’s actions appear to be intentional, after he rammed two separate bike riders at intersections three blocks apart; both victims are expected to survive despite suffering major injuries.

A Houston bike rider was shot in the head by a road raging driver who chased him into a church parking lot, after the two argued at a service station; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

Hoboken NJ officials blamed miscommunication for ripping up a bike lane for street resurfacing, just weeks after it was painted.

No bias here. French lawmakers laughed out loud when the new prime minister heaped praise on ebike bikes, saying they’ll shorten distances and multiply the use of bicycles. Which somehow doesn’t seem that funny.

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

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a man who made his escape on a little pink bicycle after walking out of a market with nearly $700 worth of fish.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says DTLA’s new bus lanes and bike lanes are just about ready to go, even if they won’t be officially unveiled until next month.

Metro has issued their second monthly report from the Covid-19 Recovery Task Force to “get LA County back on our feet, pedals, wheels and rails.”

Long Beach became the 12th California city to adopt Vision Zero after losing a collective $1.46 billion to traffic crashes between 2013 and 2017.

 

State

San Diego residents are urged to take part in the second virtual Bike For Humanity; April’s first edition saw several thousand bike riders raise over $100,000.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, and so was his teacup poodle before it went missing in Montecito.

Sad news from Visalia, where a man was killed on Tuesday when his bike was run down by an allegedly intoxicated driver.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will hold their Bike Summit online next month.

San Francisco’s Slow Streets program continues to grow, adding 14 more roadways to free up space for walking and biking during the pandemic.

A San Francisco reporter hops on his bike to track down a weird hum reverberating through the city, before discovering it’s coming from the new railing on the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently, he hasn’t been reading the news.

A Bay Area writer makes the case for riding on a $119 frame and fork.

 

National

Learn how to build bike frames online with mountain bike Hall of Fame Paul Brodie.

Online retailer Planet Bike donated a total of over $22,000 to eleven bicycle organizations throughout the US.

Now you, too, can be a Strava local legend.

Bloomberg frets that Americans working and shopping from home could reduce US driving rates by up to 270 billion miles a year, with dire consequences for the auto industry. So maybe there’s hope yet.

Conde Nast Traveler says it’s the summer of the bicycle, and talks with the women it says are leading the way — including a Los Angeles actress who traded her motorcycle for a bicycle when the coronavirus lockdown hit.

Bullshit. A Utah tandem rider was was killed and his partner critically injured after a driver swears they swerved in front of him, even though he says he didn’t see them until the last second.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a seven-year old boy when he drifted across the fog line and struck the boy’s bike.

After a Colorado boy’s bike was stolen on his seventh birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy him a new one — and ended up giving him a gift card when his aunt bought him a new bike first.

Colorado Springs police release body cam video of the confrontation that resulted in the death of a poplar longtime bike shop employee.

If Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI cross-state ride has been on your bike bucket list, now you can join in from the comfort of your own home.

A legendary Houston lawyer passed away after contracting Covid-19 while he was in a rehab facility, after spending a week in a coma when his bike tire got caught in an expansion seam in the roadway; he was 79.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a driver slammed into two 14-year old boys who were riding their bikes with a friend on the shoulder of a roadway; one boy was killed at the scene and the other is in critical condition.

Schwinn bikes are about to be made in the US for the first time in decades, as production begins in Detroit on a limited reproduction of the classic 1965 Collegiate model, which will be sold through Walmart for about a grand.

An Ohio town wants to turn half of a divided highway into a walking and biking trail. Let’s do that here with the 10 Freeway. And the 405. 

She gets it. A Vanderbilt professor says Nashville’s driver-first culture must change to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A 32-year old New York woman who grew up in Cameroon took advantage of the lockdown to learn how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Georgia driver learns the hard way that if you’re going to run down a bike rider, try not to make it someone who literally wrote the new vulnerable user law.

A sure sign you’ve got more dollars than sense — dropping a cool 25 grand on a Gucci bicycle while shopping in Miami.

 

International

In the immortal words of ZZ Top, get yourself some cheap sunglasses.

The world’s mayors call for a recovery that gets more cars off the streets.

Kindhearted English police helped replace over $3,700 worth of mountain bikes that were stolen from a local scout group.

A British bike rider was punched in the head by a thief who stole his ebike.

Welsh police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who collided with a 16-year old boy riding a bike, sending him to the hospital, and may have hit some pedestrians, as well.

Police in the UK attempted to arrest a man for stealing a bicycle. And found over 100 allegedly purloined bikes in his house.

Add a handful of Swedish mountain bike parks to your bike bucket list.

Monaco’s Princess Charlene is sort of one of us, as she trains for a marathon race across the Mediterranean. No, literally across it.

A 45-year old woman who can barely walk supports her family of seven — including her mentally ill brother — by earning up to $3 a day as the only female bike mechanic in her Indian state.

There are fears India’s bike boom could be short-lived.

Bicyclists in Australia’s Victoria state can be fined $1652 — the equivalent of $1155 US — for exercising outside their local area under the state’s lockdown rules.

A fascinating Australian study examines why drivers keep passing too close, and what you can do about it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Red Bull says two-time world ‘cross champ Evie Richards had to slow down to find enduring success.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is nearing the launch of his new bike line, after he and his last line were unceremoniously screwed over by Trek for casting what turned out to be correct aspersions towards Lance.

 

Finally…

Try this chainless bike the next time you want to freak out the gang on the donut ride. A tisket, a tasket, take your dog in a basket.

And is it just me, or is an e-balance bike just another name for a bike-shaped scooter?

………

It’s always a nice surprise to get an unexpected contribution. So thanks to John H for his very generous donation to support this site. And for the nice note to life my spirits. 

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

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