Tag Archive for anti-bike bias

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.

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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.

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Busted for cruising Thunder Road while wasted.

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

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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And happy Chanukah to everyone lighting a candle tonight.

Chag Sameach!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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

No, the other kind.

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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.

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No surprise here.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

……..

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.

……..

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

……..

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

………

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.

………

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And thanks to Nita Lelyveld for telling it so well. 

………

No bias here.

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

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

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

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

………

This is who we share the road with.

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

This is who we share the road with, too.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

And register your bike, already.

………

So you think you’re talented on a bike?

………

Why indeed?

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

https://twitter.com/RenaudB31/status/1236686402093551616?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1236686402093551616&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwarren-barguil-disqualified-from-paris-nice-for-drafting-team-car-451114

 

Finally

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

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

 

Bike and civic giant George Wolfberg dies at 82, Mariah Kandise Banks prelim a bust, and anti-bike bias in CA Senate

Happy International Winter Bike to Work Day.

Oh, and Valentines Day, too. 

And sorry if I leave a tear or two on your screen today.

………

Giants are usually invisible.

You seldom notice them hiding among the rest of us, doing the same things we do.

Until one falls. And it’s felt all over the city.

Like my friend George Wolfberg, an invisible giant of the Los Angeles bicycling community.

And virtually every other community in the City of Angels.

It was just yesterday, flipping the pages of the LA Times, that I recognized Wolfberg’s face looking back at me from the obituary pages, and learned he’d passed away last week after an extended illness at the age of 82.

His death did not go unnoticed in Pacific Palisades, where he was a longtime resident, chair emeritus of the community council, and the former leader of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association.

I first met the longtime bicycle and community advocate nearly a dozen years ago, when he was fighting a battle to extend the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path to Malibu.

One he ultimately lost to a group of fellow advocates who preferred the danger of keeping bicyclists on deadly PCH to the optics of such an expensive bikeway project.

But George quickly got me involved in other projects, from joining the PCH Task Force to represent the needs on bike riders on the dangerous corridor, to connecting me with just the right people in the city and county governments to get finally piles of sand swept off the beachfront path months after a storm.

Which wouldn’t have happened without Wolfberg’s help.

Because George Wolfberg knew almost everyone at every level of the city, county and state governments. And even set up meetings with state Assembly Members and Senators to present my approach to halting hit-and-runs.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to convince them at the time that hit-and-run was that big a problem.

I wonder if they get it now.

For years, I could count on finding links to some bicycling story or another from the Wall Street Journal or New York Times popping up in my inbox on a regular basis, with the email address invariably leading back to him.

And he never missed contributing to this site’s holiday fundraiser every year; it breaks my heart to think this last one was, in fact, the last one.

But that’s the funny thing about giants.

They don’t always tell you they are one. Or why.

I’d known for some time that George Wolfberg was one of the first members of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advocacy Committee.

But it wasn’t until yesterday that I learned he’d also served on the LA County BAC. Or that there even was an LACBAC.

I was familiar with the late LA bike legend Alex Baum’s work to bring the ’84 Olympic Games to Los Angeles, and that he was instrumental in bringing women’s cycling to the Games for the first time.

But I never knew Wolfberg had worked hand-in-glove with him, writing the original proposal for the Games that forced the International Olympic Committee’s hand by including women’s cycling as a demonstration sport.

Or that he was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to Los Angeles in ’94. Let alone that he fought the horrific South African apartheid by working to get the city to divest from the racially divided county, later earning thanks from Nelson Mandela himself.

And worked just as hard for the residents of South LA, setting up a meals program for soccer playing kids who didn’t get enough to eat at home.

George never told me any of that. Or the countless other civic and athletic accomplishments on his resume that have made this city a better place for all of us.

Because that’s not what giants do.

I am poorer today, because I lost a friend and ally.

But more importantly, this city is poorer because it lost a true giant of a community leader. A man who did everything Los Angeles asked of him, then kept on doing more.

We will all miss George Wolfberg, even if most of us will never know it.

May his memory be a blessing for all of us.

Photo from Pacifica Palisades Community Council

………

Our anonymous courtroom correspondent attended yesterday’s hearing for Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier, which turned out to be a prelim, rather than the actual trial.

But for no apparent reason, as it turned out.

Banks’ public defender couldn’t get herself extricated from another case that’s currently at trial (these things happen), so today’s preliminary hearing was delayed until March 17th, and I’ll be there.

A film crew from USC was there to cover the proceedings, which were brief. Bogart was there, Spencer was there. I met a budding activist, new to LA from Chicago, who had lost his fiancee of 8 years, and another activist fresh from Corvallis.

Nobody’s bike was stolen during the hearing, but Bogart et al were in the elevator (with Courtroom 38’s bailiff!) when it jammed, so their arrival was delayed for 20 minutes.

Woon’s mama was there and holding it together as best she could, which of course meant rivers of tears. She wore a t-shirt with a picture of young Woon and his bike, from which his face beamed. She repeated the words he said to her as he walked out the door for the last time, and I could just about hear them in his voice. Then her body heaved with sobs. So many arms were there to comfort her, but there’ll never be enough.

After Banks accepted the motion for continuance, the Assistant DA spoke to us in the hallway, providing a basic overview of the prosecution process and a chronology of expected future events. Woon’s mama indicated that she’s unlikely to actually be in the same room with Ms. Banks.

God damn. I wish I could suffer her pain for her.

………

No bias here.

Streetsblog reports that the Republican Vice-Chair of the California Senate Transportation Committee buys into the myth that bike lanes increase traffic emissions.

Bates has made it clear that she is hostile to taxing people to pay for transportation, and hates the idea of paying for transportation infrastructure that doesn’t involve cars. At the hearing, she said that active transportation projects–“translated as ‘road diets,’ which is the term used these days,” she said, further muddling the topic–contribute to higher emissions by causing “mounting congestion on some of the primary arterials.”

“I think [the Active Transportation Program] had more to do with moving people out of automobiles and onto bikes and things where you create less greenhouse gas and the emissions, but when you’ve got the other two lanes and people are sitting in their cars, running, you have the same problem,” she said.

The transportation site’s Melany Curry had this to say in response.

And a lot more.

This actual data is in sharp contrast with the kind of fearmongering promulgated by groups like Keep L.A. Moving and Keep Pasadena Moving, whose anti-bike advocacy has prevented safety measures in those cities, and resulted in the removal of a road diet in Playa Del Rey before data could even be collected. Those fears are also fed by awful click-bait headlines like the one on the recent story in the S.F. Chronicle blaming bike lanesvery wrongly — for congestion on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

Sure, it’s possible for a poorly designed road diet to increase congestion. But that’s not what happens, for the most part. And Senator Bates’ repeating the idea that they do is unhelpful, at best.

And blaming bike lanes for vehicle emissions is just gaslighting. Senator Bates is not alone in doing this, and she needs to stop. And she also needs to stop pushing that as a reason for the state to stop funding active transportation projects.

Seriously, give it a read.

Because we have to know who and what we’re up against out there.

And how to respond to made-up facts with real ones.

………

This is who we share the roads with. And the airspace, apparently.

………

It may not be romantic, but chances are, you’ll still love killing a little time this foggy downhill run.

………

Local

Crosstown LA at USC crunched the numbers, and came up with a list of the most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles; surprisingly, all but three are in the San Fernando Valley, with the others in South LA. Hint: You might want to avoid Sepulveda and Sherman Way. 

Curbed looks at CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar’s proposal to permanently prohibit cars from a 1.5-mile stretch of historic Broadway in DTLA.

Active SGV will host their first Emerald Necklace Bike Train of 2020 this Sunday.

The Santa Monica City Council voted to approve the bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of deadly Wilshire Blvd.

You can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, as CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew unveils his Karate Kid custom hand-painted bike shoe; he showed off the other one earlier this week.

 

State

New polls show San Diego residents want parking more than bike lanes, and stricter regulations on e-scooters — even though the current regs have already chased some providers out of town.

An 11-year old Ventura boy was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike on a private roadway in a condo complex; needless to say, the driver played the Universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see the kid.

UC Santa Barbara’s HOPR bikeshare will be hopping off campus this spring.

The garlic capital of the world considers establishing bicycle parking minimums for apartments and commercial buildings, including both long and short term bike parking.

A Modesto paper welcomes a road diet and protected bikeway, as long as it’s accompanied by affordable housing.

A debunking website says yes, Amazon’s first CFO really was killed by one of the company’s own delivery subcontractors while riding her bike in San Jose.

San Francisco’s shortest protected bike lane could be here to stay — assuming all goes well at a hearing next week, after it was already ripped out once.

 

National

Streetsblog says don’t hold your breath waiting for a Democratic presidential candidate who’s committed to breaking car culture.

Writing for Bicycling, a woman describes how her fellow mountain bike coaches got her through the darkest days of her divorce.

It’s 44 days into Oregon’s new Idaho Stop Law, and the sky hasn’t fallen.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike thief who stole a beautiful, $4,000 custom-made low rider bike from an Arizona barbershop.

Colorado Public Radio offers tips on how to keep riding in the snow. Which is not a problem you’re likely to encounter on International Winter Bike to Work Day here in Los Angeles.

A Michigan School got a visit from professional mountain biker Jeff Lenosky, and every 1st and 2nd grader got a new bike and helmet, thanks to Lenosky and a local nonprofit.

Over 2,000 safety-minded people signed a petition calling for protected bike lanes downtown Nashville TN.

A Boston TV station comes to the rescue of a college student, who got stuck with a $1275 bill when she was unable to dock a bikeshare bike after a $2.50 ride.

Singer and rapper Ray J discusses his Scoot e-bike/scooters on a Gotham morning talk show.

 

International

A red light-running London driver has been convicted in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, who slipped away after 18 months in a coma; his father, cousin and younger brother were convicted of helping him coverup the crime.

The driver of a commercial skip loader got a well-deserved three and a half years for killing a bike rider while high on coke and cannabis.

A British woman refused to accept the diagnosis when doctors told her she’d never ride a bike again following brain surgery; now she rides a bike, runs, climbs mountains and jumps out of perfectly good airplanes.

A woman in the UK is furious after thieves stole her $1,000 bike, then came back to take her hot tub, too.

Forget CicLAvia. Paris will now ban cars from four arrondissements — aka districts — on the first Sunday of every month, opening the streets to the people.

German bicycle and trucking associations say the country has to do more to improve safety for bicyclists, with over 400 people dying while riding their bikes in Germany every year.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Oman, where a driver was busted for fleeing the scene after running over a bicyclist; no word on the condition of the victim.

 

LA blames Vision Zero fail on texting drivers, anti-bike bias on Bay Area bridge, and Arroyo Seco repairs underway

The Los Angeles Times pretty well sums up LA’s Vision Zero failure in two short paragraphs.

Last year, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets, a decrease of 0.8% compared to 2018, according to preliminary figures from the city. The victims included 134 people who were walking and 19 people biking.

The data may change slightly with additional analysis, officials said. But the early figures suggest another year of lackluster progress for Vision Zero, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths on city streets by 2025.

That’s two more bicycling deaths than I showed in my records. Which isn’t too surprising, since too many fatal crashes never make the news.

But instead of placing blame on the city’s insistence at nibbling on the edges of traffic safety, rather than making the wholesale changes to LA streets that define a true Vision Zero program, the city insists on pointing the finger at texting drivers.

Which is a major problem, of course.

But Vision Zero is supposed to be about accepting that people will always make mistakes behind the wheel — like texting, for instance. And designing roadways in such a way that those mistakes don’t become fatalities.

According to the story,

The Transportation Department made more changes to streets in L.A. in 2019 than in the prior two years combined, said spokeswoman Connie Llanos. Those 1,529 modifications to crosswalks, traffic signals, intersections and other elements of the street are designed to improve the safety of the street.

Yet none of those modifications included a single road diet or protected intersection.

Or, to the best of my recollection, a single new protected bike lane.

Rather than making simple changes to intersections, the city needs to take aim at changing the city’s car culture, said John Yi, the executive director of Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group.

If zero deaths is really the city’s goal, “we need to have a visionary plan that matches the scope of that goal,” Yi said. “We have failed to do that.”

There is every argument for making those kinds of wholesale changes to the streets, from saving lives to reducing traffic congestion and fighting climate change.

And only one reason not to — city leadership that fears angry voters, and lacks the political will to do what they know must be done if this city, and the people in it, are to survive and prosper.

As exemplified in the mayor’s action in unceremoniously ripping out the Playa del Rey road diets and bikes lanes less than a month after they went in, before they had a chance to prove themselves and drivers could adjust to the changes.

Yet they were elected, not to follow the will of those who scream the loudest, but to actually lead their constituents by making the hard choices to do the right thing, and build a city that works for all of us.

Not just impatient drivers. Or wealthy homeowners.

And not one that continues to kill too many of it’s most vulnerable road users.

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels.

………

Just in case anyone wants to argue that Vision Zero doesn’t work, Helsinki, Finland didn’t have single pedestrian death last year, following a slow decline from a high of 60 in 1970.

………

He gets it.

Then again, Peter Flax always does.

This time, the former editor-in-chief of Bicycling and near-daily bike commuter goes on a polite rant over a recent highly biased article blaming bike lanes on the Bay Area’s Richmond–San Raphael Bridge for making poor, suffering teachers late for work.

Not, say, all those other drivers on the bridge.

This is how efforts to build safe and convenient places for cyclists are demonized—as something that screws up the lives of motorists struggling to get somewhere important. This is how American car culture operates in 2020, when record numbers of cyclists are killed by drivers and efforts to do something about it are viewed as impractical and an attack on the driving public’s way of life.

Swan’s story is better reported than its clickbait headline might suggest, but upon close examination it reads like inadvertent propaganda. Though she name-checks the real problems plaguing miserable commuters, the central premise of her piece lends credibility to the absurd idea that the basic needs of embattled, working-class commuters are being trampled upon by people riding bikes…

He goes on to point the finger where it really belongs.

Let’s be frank. The congestion on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (and roadways in every U.S. city) can really suck. But it doesn’t suck because of cyclists or bike lanes. The traffic sucks because of sprawl and cheap gas and Americans’ love of cars. The traffic sucks because cities and states don’t put enough effort into housing, carpooling, telecommuting, micromobility, and financial tools like congestion pricing (in which motorists pay a modest surcharge to use roads at busy times, a tactic that has decreased traffic in European cities). These systemic problems—less suited to cranky populist headlines—are the real cause of traffic.

As with anything Flax writes, it’s a good read.

But more to the point, it’s an important one. Because we face this same sort of seemingly innocuous bias on a daily basis, with drivers failing to the real traffic problem is facing them back in the mirror.

And it’s not caused by bikes, bike lanes, or the people who use them.

………

Repairs are finally underway on a storm damaged section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

………

The LA Daily News is hosting another candidate forum in CD12 on the 17th.

………

The 2020 Regional Bike Summit kicks off today, hosted by the San Diego Bike Coalition. The mayor of Encinitas, in North San Diego County, will be taking part.

Then again, so should every other mayor in the area.

………

A beautiful handmade lowrider bike takes first place in a bent wood competition.

………

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

Edinburgh, Scotland police are looking for a sidewalk-riding “bike thug” who got off his bike and beat a total stranger for no apparent reason, sending him to the hospital with facial injuries.

………

Local

Congratulations to Sunset For All, after the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted to support protected bike lanes on dangerous Sunset Blvd.

Voice your opposition to plans to widen deadly Magnolia Blvd — one of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network streets — next Monday at the North Hollywood Neighborhood Council meeting

 

State

Uber’s self-driving cars are on their way back to California, three years after the company got its hand slapped by the DMV for unleashing them in San Francisco without permits.

As we noted earlier, San Diego’s popular Ocean Beach bike path will be closed for construction work for the remainder of this month.

Nice gesture by a Santa Maria man, who returned a Kobe Bryant jersey that belonged to a fallen teenage bike rider to the boy’s mother nearly 13 years after he was killed in a collision; the boy had left it at the man’s apartment shortly before his death.

The Vallejo police union blames the victim after a cop is cleared in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager who fled a traffic stop.

A new San Francisco report contradicts the usual narrative from motorists, finding that drivers were responsible for two-thirds of collisions with pedestrians in the city last year.

Lime Bike wants to make a comeback in the Bay Area, despite pulling out of other cities in favor of e-scooter rentals.

Plans are underway to link 15 towns in Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Butte County with more than 300 miles of new motorized and non-motorized trail bike trails in the Lost Sierra region.

 

National

The New York Times says new digital data streams are driving new approaches to transportation, using LA’s data-sharing requirement for e-scooters and dockless bikeshare as a prime example.

On the topic of bikes going nowhere, Flywheel cops to ripping off Peloton’s patented streaming technology.

Specialized has a new e-mountain bike for you, if you’re willing to fork out $6,500 — or $16,500 for the carbon model.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a man walked with time served after copping a plea to vehicular homicide for fatally right-hooking a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, despite a commitment to never drive after using medical cannabis for a bad neck. Evidently, DUI and homicide is just no big deal up there.

This is why I love the bicycling community. When the owner of a Cincinnati mom-and-pop bike shop had to go to the hospital, ten bike mechanics from other shops offered to fill in for him. And a crowdfunding page raised over $9,000 since Sunday night — nearly double the modest $5,000 goal.

Chicago Streetsblog says the city needs a Rapid Response Team, arguing that inaction in the wake of tragic crashes is unacceptable. Which is exactly what I argued for before and after Los Angeles announced its Vision Zero program; every death should be immediately investigated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine contributory causes and prevent another one.

Speaking of the Windy City, the Department of DIY struck once again, spray painting bike lane markings at a Chicago intersection where a woman was killed, after the city failed to maintain them.

New York City could soon require side guards on large trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from being pulled underneath. These should be mandatory everywhere, for reasons that should be obvious.

Pennsylvania votes to allow protected bike and pedestrian lanes on state roadways.

A DC website questions whether “war on cars” is a useful term, after a WaPo reporter insists the district is waging one. Probably not, considering only one side is dying, and it ain’t the people in motor vehicles.

A local website discovers that some people actually like an Alexandrian VA road diet that’s being maligned by very vocal opponents.

 

International

Treehugger confronts the recurring myth that fuel for a bike rider causes as much CO2 emissions as someone in car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

They get it. A column in Cycling Industry News says if the bike industry wants to draw new customers, people need to feel safe riding their bikes. Which is the best argument for why bikemakers and bike shops should get involved in local advocacy. But few do.

Even the Cayman Islands need better bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five tips from the world’s coldest bike ride, Canada’s Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, to help keep you warm here in frigid Southern California.

Saskatoon, Canada, could soon remove a requirement for bicyclists to ride in bike lanes, arguing that faster riders should be allowed to ride in traffic lanes if they feel more comfortable.

Great Britain is debating whether to allow e-scooters in the country, where they are currently banned; a Swedish professor argues that cities should embrace them.

One place you can cross off your bike bucket list — the mean streets of Gaborone, Botswana, where bicycles are unwanted and unwelcome, along with the people who ride them.

A teenage Aussie driver faces multiple charges for killing two men out for their usual early morning bike ride while driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

The San Diego Union-Tribune says USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini is taking the organization in bold new directions after years as an afterthought, as the sport went its own way without its help or oversight.

VeloNews says they already miss the Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled this year after a 14-year run.

 

Finally…

If one shade of bikeshare doesn’t work, just keep going through the colors until one catches on. If you’re going to steal a bikeshare bike, at least be casual about it.

And world famous bike rider LeBron James wants to get you on a bicycle; rumor has it he also plays basketball or something.

 

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

………

No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

………

No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

………

And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

………

That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

………

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

………

Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

………

Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

………

Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

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