Tag Archive for Arizona

Pasadena Transportation chief to head LADOT, soft launch for CA ebike rebates, and lousy $500 ticket for AZ sideswipe

Well, I’m underwhelmed.

Nine months after Karen Bass became mayor of Los Angeles, she finally got around to naming someone to lead LADOT.

According to Streetsblog, current Pasadena Transportation head Laura Rubio-Cornejo will become the next general manager of the Los Angeles transportation department, assuming she’s approved by the city council.

Which is pretty much a given in a city where most councilmembers are loathe to rock the boat.

Rubio-Cornejo, who previously led Metro Countywide Planning, replaces underperforming former LADOT and NACTO chief Seleta Reynolds, who left for greener pastures at Metro a year ago.

Despite sky high expectations, Reynolds was largely a disappointment at LADOT, where her hands were tied by risk-averse city officials, and never appeared to have the full backing of former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Whether Rubio-Cornejo fares any better remains to be seen.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Photo from City of Pasadena, via Streetsblog.

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Still no word on when the statewide launch of the California ebike rebate program will take place.

According to Calbike, San Diego’s Pedal Ahead, which has been chosen to administer the program, announced its long-awaited soft launch.

No, really.

We are currently launching a multi-phase California E-Bike Incentive Project soft launch which includes retailer onboarding and training, community-based organization (CBO) outreach and community engagement, and the website launch. The next one to two months will be focused on retailer and CBO outreach, which will be happening concurrently leading up to the application window opening.

The soft launch will focus on four regions in California and we have already begun introducing the program to local CBOs and identifying retailers in the regions to make sure they are fully supported with the appropriate program support, trainings and resources.

So, at least another month or two before we can expect to see any action outside of a few select, unnamed areas. And before we can start seeing more ebikes replace smelly, dangerous, climate-killing cars here in the late, great Golden State.

Anyone who’s been holding their breath waiting for this is probably dead by now.

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You’ve got to be effing kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where the driver who sideswiped a bicyclist taking part in a club ride, sending three people to the hospital, walked with a ticket for an unsafe pass carrying a lousy fine of up to $500.

Because evidently, knocking multiple bike riders down like so many bowling pins is just no big deal.

And pretty much legal.

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Huh?

A writer for an Aussie website calls for mandatory registration and license plates for cyclists.

But not for people riding bikes.

By his standard, if you earn money riding a bike — like delivery riders — you’re a cyclist. But if you just ride to work once a year, or ride to the park with the kids, you’re just riding a bike.

Then there’s this.

If you routinely spend every Sunday morning rolling en masse along a beachside boulevard, pumping the blood as much as you are metaphorically pumping your fist at an imaginary Le Tour stage gate, then you are a cyclist too and you should probably pay for registration.

You’re on the road. You’re using the infrastructure. You are at risk from other cyclists and you are a risk to pedestrians. Plus, I can’t be the only person to have seen riders sail through red traffic lights…

Never mind that people taking part in group rides are usually in the traffic lane, not using bicycle infrastructure.

Or that splitting hairs must be easier down there, as he somehow expects police to tell whether someone on a bike rides every weekend, or just this once.

Or whether that guy riding to the park with his kids may have just finished a fast half century with the club.

Although his primary concern — I say his, since it has a man’s byline, but is so self-contradictory it could easily have been generated by AI — appears to be forcing bicyclists to carry insurance and get some skin in the game.

As with all these adjustments in the way we live our lives, we need the powers that be to arrange a little quid pro quo. Remove vehicle lanes to encourage more bike riders, so why not extend the reach of the third-party insurance that is included with motor vehicle registration to cover you when on your bike? You’ve paid the fee, does it really matter what vehicle you are using?

After all, you can’t drive and ride at the same time…

Plus, if we want less cars and more bicycles, taxation has to come from somewhere. Surely it would be better to recognise a contribution of your bicycle registration than to just have everything else ratcheted up to account for the gap.

It’s likely this piece is nothing more than an effort to create a little controversy to drive traffic to the site, while signaling to car shoppers that they’re on their side.

But they may find out the hard way all those weekend warriors on bikes buy cars, too.

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The New York Times continues their bizarre anti-ebike campaign, arguing that parents don’t know whether to view the bikes as freedom or danger, as more teens take to them.

For the moment, the power to decide what teenagers may or may not ride falls to a nongovernmental authority: parents. Across the country, they are expressing a mix of enthusiasm, contrition and uncertainty about the trendy mode of transportation.

Some parents who initially embraced e-bikes now say their enthusiasm has waned with news of recent crashes involving teenagers.

Because apparently, no child was ever injured riding a bicycle without a battery.

The question they fail to answer, as they build their anecdotal case, is whether there have been more more, or more severe, crashes on ebikes than would have been expected on regular bicycles.

Unless and until they can provide that, their entire campaign should be seen as nothing more than anti-ebike fear mongering, with the possible exception of calling out the increased fire risk due to lithium ion batteries.

Since regular bikes hardly ever burst into flames.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee has now been around for 50 years.

Although it continues to remain strictly advisory, instead of being given the regulatory authority of a commission it should have received years ago.

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Phil Gaimon responds to the critics, and arms bicyclists with responses to the 1% of hostile motorists who seem to make up most of the commenters online.

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

No bias here. Writing for The Spectator, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle says Jeremy Vine’s call for drivers to be banned from overtaking cyclists in major cities is “ridiculous” and “the real problem isn’t motorists but Jeremy Vine himself.” Something even Vine seems to agree with, as he says to take his comments with a grain of salt and stop overreacting to everything he says.

It turns out the Philippine driver who pulled a gun on an unarmed bicyclist is a former cop who left the force after repeated demotions, including one for grave misconduct, yet he complains he’s being depicted as a “bad person” on social media; Quezon City has offered the victim protection if he chooses to pursue a case against the former QC cop.  

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

Two Bakersfield boys saw very different outcomes when police attempted to stop them for riding against traffic; a 13-year old boy who pulled over and waited at the side of the road was released to his mother, while a 14-year old boy who kept riding and popping wheelies had the book thrown at him.

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Local 

You may now be able to rent a Tern cargo bike for as little as $99 a month, as the Aussie bike leasing firm Wombi announces plans to set up their first US operation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles plans to implement safety improvements from the city’s “Vision Zero Safety Toolkit” along a two-mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd east of Gower, which saw 56 people killed or seriously injured over the last decade. Although what those improvements will be remains to be seen, likely depending on public feedback.

The LA Times foresees an optimistic paradise of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, ebikes and free public transit replaced gas-guzzling cars within 20 years.

 

State

Calbike calls on you to help get a slate of active transportation bills out of the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee; the bills must move forward by the first of the month or be killed for this year.

The late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was one of us, doing some of his best thinking and songwriting on a mountain bike near his Laguna Beach home.

The San Diego Reader questions whether the same man is responsible for two violent bikejackings in the city.

 

National

A Honolulu ER doc rides his bike 21 miles to work every day, rain or shine — and has for over 30 years.

A Houston writer says “there’s something heart-warming about the anarchy of 2,000 people on bikes reclaiming the roads back from cars.”

An Indianapolis woman faces charges for DUI and driving without ever having a driver’s license after she crashed into a man riding a bicycle, leaving the victim with multiple compound fractures, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part one. A “cherished” Evansville, Indiana high school music director was killed while riding his bicycle, though the details are unclear.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part two. The Boston-area bike rider killed by a UPS driver Monday afternoon was identified as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As the California legislature continues to appease vested driving interests in an attempt to legalize a speed cam pilot program, New York stats show a 30% drop in speeding violations after their camera program began operating 24/7.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a driver got just 11½ to 23 months behind bars for severely injuring a man riding a bicycle while driving his pickup truck with inoperable brakes and without insurance.

A new 2-mile ADA-accessible Delaware bike path was funded with $23 million from the new federal infrastructure bill.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part three. Police in Baltimore are looking for the hit-and-run driver who took the life of a “beloved” mother of two as she rode her bike home from work over the weekend.

That’s more like it. A new 42 story, 631 unit Miami residential tower will have more than twice as many bicycle parking spaces as it will spaces for cars.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where two men on ebikes were killed by a driver on a “very fast” 50 mph roadway; the driver was arrested on a careless driving charge.

The fiancé of the Scottish bike rider killed by a drunk driver, who then hid his body for three years with the help of the driver’s brother, lashed out at the courts for failing to impose a “proper” sentence on the two men, who received 12 years and five years and three months, respectively.

A British man has defied the odds by learning to walk and eat again, after doctors gave him just 24 hours to live after hitting an embankment on his ebike.

Momentum Magazine visits the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel in Bergen, Norway; the Fyllingsdalen is 1.8 miles long and takes approximately 10 minutes to travel by bicycle.

Bicycling reports over 45,000 people rode their bicycles to a Formula 1 race in the Netherlands after the country banned cars from the event; another 55,000 arrived by bus or train. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Workers in the Spanish town of Elche are scraping bike lanes off the roads, after the newly installed far-right government adopted a populist, pro-car policy. Which is a warning of what could happen here if we don’t vote for bike-friendly candidates. 

He gets it. A writer from Islamabad, Pakistan says bicyclists aren’t a nuisance, whether you’re talking about kids on bikes or adults riding to reduce their waistlines.

 

Competitive Cycling

His hometown newspaper celebrates James Macdonald’s victory at the recent world road cycling championships, as the 80-year old Williamsburg, Virginia resident topped the 80-84 age group in a 53-mile race earlier this month.

Remco Evenepoel raged about safety at the Vuelta, or the lack thereof, after he was bloodied in a crash with a spectator following his stage three win, saying “It’s the third day in a row and it’s breaking my balls a bit now. I’ve had enough.” Meanwhile, the peloton has finally figured out they’re just pawns in the game.

The home of 22-year old pro cyclist Michel Hessmann was searched by German authorities as part of a doping investigation, after the suspended Jumbo-Visma rider tested positive for a banned diuretic earlier this month. But the doping era is over, right?

The inaugural CRIT Championship will debut in St. Petersburg, Florida this October, the race is the multi-million dollar brainchild of L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

The street may be open, but it will cost you nearly 85 bucks to bike it. Even stairs are nothing to the world’s fastest pizza delivery rider.

And it took me about five seconds to find the bicycle in this picture.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Arizona toll rises to 19 including two dead, how to protect yourself on two wheels, and Ballona Creek path could be extended

Make that 19.

The number of victims in Saturday’s bicycling massacre in Phoenix suburb Goodyear, Arizona has risen to two dead and 17 injured.

NPR reports the victims of the crash have been identified as a woman from Goodyear and a man visiting from Michigan, both 61-years old. Eight people remain hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

According to the AZ Central website,

Goodyear Mayor Joe Pizzillo also offered his condolences to those whom the fatal collision had impacted.

“We have a tight-knit cycling community, so this has deeply affected many across the West Valley,” Pizzillo said at a news conference at the city’s police station. “But a tragedy like this affects the entire community of Goodyear.”

Twenty-six-year old driver Pedro Quintana-Lujan reportedly told police his steering had locked before the truck drifted right and ran down the riders, likely one and two at a time. One victim said he wasn’t actually struck by the truck, but by the bodies of victims piled on its grill.

Police report there is currently no indication that the crash was intentional. The results of a blood test to determine if the driver was under the influence are still pending; however, as Arizona Bike Law points out, police would have needed evidence of intoxication in order to get a warrant for the blood test.

According to AZ Central, court documents show Quintana-Lujan told police he had smoked marijuana with his wife the previous evening, roughly 11 hours before the collision.

There’s no report on whether police are looking at distraction as a possible cause, or have examined Quintana-Lujan’s phone.

The victims were participating in a regular weekly ride sponsored by the West Valley Cycle bike club. They were among 20 riders in the second of three groups taking part in the ride when the driver mowed them down, spewing bodies in every direction.

Which means only one person on a bike managed to avoid becoming a victim. Chillingly, no one was likely aware of the driver before he plowed through the entire group.

“No one really saw the truck because he pretty much hit the back of the group and came all the way through the group,” (club founder David) Herzog told NPR.

The driver was in a massive Ford F-250 pickup, designed with a flat front grill that would have acted as a sledge hammer when driven at speed; a trailer being pulled by the truck would have added mass while limiting maneuverability.

Quintana-Lujan faces a raft of charges after prosecutors threw the book at him, including two counts of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault; at last report, he was still being held on $250,000 bond.

A crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised nearly $80,000 of the $120,000 goal.

On a personal note, I’m having a hard time coping with this one, and all the emotions it brings up. Like mass shootings, mass casualty crashes like this just shouldn’t happen. 

Photo from Pexels.

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BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette emailed to say the 65-year old bike shop worker seriously injured in the Goodyear crash that we mentioned yesterday had just helped him with his bike last month.

He also reminds all of us of something we have discussed here before, that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to max out the coverage on your own automotive insurance, which also covers you on your bicycle.

Buy the maximum Auto Uninsured/Under insured motorist ($500k min.) & excess Umbrella ($2M) coverage with a UM/UIM “rider” (not just liability) because YOU then control the amount of coverage, instead of relying on the defendant drivers insurance limit, if any, or if in the “course & scope of employers coverage”.

Mass crashes like this may prove difficult getting full compensation, as there will be multiple victims to apportion damages. So spending the money on strong insurance coverage is a critical family & financial planning investment as a bicyclist.

He explains more in this blog post from 2016.

Frequent contributor and San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young also offered his thoughts on how to avoid being a victim of a motorist.

A brightly colored bicycling kit especially with bio movement (bight color with movement) and a rear view mirror may save a trip to the emergency room (ER) or morgue. Easily seeing cars from behind with a mirror is essential situation awareness.

Wear brightly colored bicycling kit [Yellow Chartreuse (best), White (2nd Best) or Orange (3rd Best)]:

  1. Jersey
  2. Helmet
  3. Reflective vest
  4. Shoes, shoe covers, or socks and pants (bio movement)
  5. Front and back blinky lights. (lights with bio movement are the best on arms and legs)
  6. Spoke reflectors, front and rear reflectors, and other reflectors
  7. Rear view mirror (Third Eye bar end mirror is the best)

I can’t argue with any of his advice, although my personal take is to wear colors that contrast with the environment you’ll be riding in. Dark colors can be effective in bright daylight, while light or hi-viz colors are a must at night; we’ve all seen Ninja cyclists decked out entirely in black.

Or maybe we haven’t, which is exactly the problem.

I also believe in using multiple bright running lights, day or night, with a steady white light and flashing white light in front, and three flashers in back.

That’s based on the advice of bike crash survivor Mark Goodley, who researched the optimal approach to lights following the collision that nearly killed him.

I’ve never felt the need for a mirror, since I could usually sense a car coming up from behind before they got close enough to pose a danger. But now that I’m older, I find I get surprised more often, making a mirror a valuable safety tool.

And Young is absolutely right about wearing something attention-getting on your legs. I wear reflective ankle bands at night, and should probably up my shoe and sock game during the day, to ensure drivers see them pumping up and down.

I’ve been known to strap a light to my ankle, though that’s not always easy or comfortable.

I also advise adding front and rear facing bike cams, which could be the only way to provide your side of the story in a serious crash, because the cops will talk to the driver while you’re being hustled away by paramedics.

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Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed from Streets For All Founder Michael Schneider.

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Schneider bemoans the days when kids could walk and bike in their own neighborhoods.

Half a century ago, it was very common for kids to disappear into their neighborhood and play with other kids, often arriving by bike. This included the school commute. In 1969, 48% of children 5 to 14 walked or biked themselves to school. By 2009, this was down to 13%.

The result has been an enormous increase in children arriving by car. Anyone with school-age children is likely familiar with long and chaotic car dropoff lines in front of schools all over Los Angeles. The same applies to kids’ playdates, activities, sporting events, etc. — usually, children arrive and depart by car.

A large part of the problem — pun intentional — is the ever increasing size of motor vehicles, crowded into streets and lanes that remain the same size they were decades earlier.

The 1973 Honda Civic was 140 inches long and 59 inches high. Today, a Honda Civic is 168 inches long and 70 inches high. A 2015 Ford Mustang is 63% larger than its 1964 predecessor. A 2018 Mini Cooper is 61% larger than its 1950 counterpart. A 2013 Land Rover is 43% larger than a 1981 model. And a modern-day pickup truck or SUV is larger than a World War II-era Sherman tank.

As cars get larger, they squeeze space in existing roads, leaving even less room for pedestrians and cyclists. Where a kid on a bike might have been able to fit comfortably between parked cars and moving cars before, they are now more likely to be perilously sandwiched between them. Even just crossing the street has become harder because of the awful blind spots for drivers of modern,massive SUVs.

It’s more than worth a few minutes of your day to read the whole thing.

Because there’s no clearer sign that our cities have failed us than the way they’ve failed our children.

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Speaking of Michael Schneider, it looks like he won a major victory in the effort to extend the popular Ballona Creek Bike Path to near where the creek rises to the surface at its eastern end.

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An effort is underway at the state legislature to ban bans on sidewalk riding, in the absence of safe bikeways.

As the tweet suggests, allowing people to ride their bikes on the sidewalk when there’s no bike infrastructure present enables them to decide what is safest and most comfortable way to ride in that situation, without fear of getting a ticket for trying to protect your own life

However, it’s important to remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and we all have to ride safely and courteously around them.

Another bill sponsored by Streets For All would eliminate jail terms for transit fare evasion.

Now if we could just get someone to introduce a bill to permanently revoke drivers licenses from hit-and-run drivers.

Finally, the transportation and safety PAC is hosting their next virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with Culver City Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin.

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The winds of political reform are finally blowing in Los Angeles County, as Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Holly Mitchell are proposing an expansion of the five-member Board of Supervisors, traditionally known as the five little kings for the power they’ve enjoyed over the years.

With the two sponsors on board, they just need one more vote to pass the motion.

And yes, that’s a good thing.

https://twitter.com/LindseyPHorvath/status/1630282154113650689

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Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee will receive a report at this afternoon’s meeting recommending the city reject a proposed ebike incentive program; ActiveSGV calls for comments calling for rejecting the rejection.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1630311877296427008

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Has it really been that long?

Culver City-based street safety and bicycle education nonprofit advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers is celebrating their 11th anniversary next month.

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Gravel Bike California rode up to the snow that fell over the weekend above the San Fernando Valley.

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This is what a city does when it’s serious about fighting climate change.

https://twitter.com/Anne_Hidalgo/status/1630460341678112769

That tweet translates to:

Fighting pollution also means supporting Parisians in their transition to other means of transport.

This is what we do by offering numerous financial aids for the purchase of bicycles.

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

No bias here. A writer for City Watch with a severe case of windshield bias calls for free transit use while rejecting bicycling out of hand, suggesting that “bike lanes and other traffic-“calming” measures are probably the worst approach since these practices constrict traffic flow creating more congestion, increasing engine idling, and in many areas exacerbating the inability for trucks to make deliveries, moms to drop off kids, or even to back into a parking space if that rara avis should become available.” You can read her full misguided take, if you can navigate the site’s seemingly interminable popups. 

A Kiwi man says local officials laughed at him when he requested separate bike paths and underpasses for bicyclists at a new roundabout that’s under construction, warning that the dangerous design could result in a bike rider being killed in the first year.

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Local 

Streetsblog offers a wrap-up on Sunday’s successful CicLAvia in the San Fernando Valley, along with a schedule of upcoming CicLAvias; the next one will be Mid City meets Pico-Union the day before April’s Tax Day. Get your taxes done early so you’re not stuck at home with a pile of receipts, when you could be out enjoying the carfree streets.

The long-awaited Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the new $1.5 billion Long Beach International Gateway Bridge is slated to open in May, following the completion of demolition work on the former Gerald Desmond Bridge; the path is named for longtime local bike advocate Mark Bixby, who was killed in a Long Beach plane crash along with four other community leaders.

If you need a cop to come out to a relatively minor crash in Long Beach, better tell the dispatcher you think the driver is drunk or stoned or you won’t see one.

 

State

California is offering $33 million to underserved communities to launch and support new and existing shared mobility projects, including bikeshare.

San Luis Obispo is considering allowing bike riders onto the sidewalk.

 

National

A Honolulu TV station considers bicycling as part of their Multimodal Mondays.

Hiking advocates question proposals in the Montana legislature that would allow ebikes anywhere that bicycles are allowed, including off-road trails. One thing that often gets lost in that debate is that ebikes provide backcountry access to countless people who would not be able to enjoy it otherwise. 

Dallas has combined 39 miles of existing bike trails with 11 miles of newly built bikeways to create a 50-mile loop around the city.

Oops. WWI flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker almost didn’t become one of the most decorated aviators in American history, after cracking his skull attempting to fly his bicycle off a Columbus, Ohio shed in an attempt to imitate the Wright Brothers flight.

The family of a fallen New York bicyclist is suing the city for $100 million, alleging that nothing was done to fix the corridor she was riding on despite five previous deaths in less than two decades. They may have a case, since they can prove the city was aware of the problem, but didn’t correct it. Although the eventual settlement will be far lower than what they’re asking.

A Central Pennsylvania public radio station shares a poem about the intersection of bicycling and Alzheimer’s from Pennsylvania poet Henry Israeli.

Florida’s Highway Patrol is wrapping up their hit-and-run awareness month by telling drivers to stay at the scene after a crash, after Tampa Bay saw over 300 drivers flee this month.

 

International

Bike Radar examines how to prevent hand and wrist pain when you ride. A good padded handlebar tape and padded bike gloves help. So does relaxing your death grip on them in stressful situations.

A South London bike shop owner surprisingly argues that expanding the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will just cause chaos. Although the fact that he owns nine cars, and it would cost him the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to make just three of them compliant with the new rules, might have something to do with it.

It only took 18 months, but a London truck driver has finally been charged with killing a pediatrician who was biking to work after taking it up during the pandemic. But whoever designed the city’s Holborn gyratory, where eight bike riders have been killed in the last 15 years, should face charges, too.

A new dockless bikeshare service named Fredo aims to provide last-mile connectivity in suburban France. Although things did not end well for Fredo in The Godfather II. 

Austria gets serious about multimodal commuting by offering a subsidy of up to the equivalent of $636 on the purchase of a folding bike, but only for people with an annual transit pass; the country is also offering a subsidy of half off the price of an ebike, up to a little over $1,000.

Fatal car crashes surged in Germany last year; not surprisingly, bike riders and pedestrians remained among the most vulnerable victims, with death rates rising for both groups.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports on the new study showing stolen Dutch bicycles usually remain in the city where they were taken, continuing to contribute to the local economy. Even if the original owners are screwed.

Arevo says they’ve fulfilled 96% of the more than 2,800 Indiegogo orders for their new Superstrata custom carbon bikes and ebikes, which are being 3D printed and assembled in Vietnam.

Tragic news from the Philippines, where a 14-year old boy was killed when he failed to round a corner on his bicycle, and rode off a 33-foot cliff; family members blamed the crash on a broken brake.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly says the opening weekend of the bike racing season has seen a shift from Jumbo-Visma to Soudal-Quick Step as the classics team to beat. And no, I didn’t know they have earthquakes in the UK.

Cycling Weekly’s point was driven home by the remarkable feat of Jumbo-Visma rider and Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard winning all four stages of the O Gran Camiño.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your picture taken on a giant bicycle with Mexican conchas for wheels. That feeling when selling your bicycle means a more than 13 hour, 43-mile walk home.

And bbenfulton reminds us that reggae legend Peter Tosh was…uh, half of us, too.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

AZ driver plows into club ride killing 2 and injuring 11, a successful CicLAvia, and a more walkable bikeable Eagle Rock

It’s happened again.

Just 18 months after a driver plowed through a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona, killing one man and injuring seven others, another driver has done virtually the same thing just 200 miles away.

According to multiple sources, a pickup driver towing a trailer plowed through a group of bicyclists with the West Valley Cycling club in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona Saturday morning, killing two people and leaving eleven others with “very serious injuries.”

One woman died at the scene, the other victim died after being taken to a local hospital. At least one of the injured bike riders was still in critical condition a day later.

The driver, 26-year old Pedro Quintana-Lujan, was booked on charges including two counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment, and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation.

CNN reports that Maricopa County jail records show Quintana-Lujan was being held on $250,000 bond.

The owner of a Phoenix Trek bike shop said one his employees was among the injured, saying it will be a long time the 65-year old man will be able to work again.

Another bike shop owner said a recently retired friend and customer had already undergone two surgeries to stabilize his cerebral spine, with more in his future.

No word yet on whether Quintana-Lujan was distracted or under the influence. Or why he was apparently unable to see a couple dozen people on bicycles directly ahead of his truck.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

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By all accounts, the year’s first CicLAvia was a success, even if the cold and cloudy weather may have dampened turnout.

Spirits clearly weren’t dampened, however.

Even one of California’s newly elected state senators was among the people enjoying the carfree street.

And for one day, at least, the San Fernando Valley looked a lot like Paris and Guadalajara.

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You have just two more weeks to voice your support for a bikeable, walkable and livable Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock.

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The bizarre 15-minute city conspiracy theory continues to gain ground, as proponents argue that the benign urban planning philosophy is somehow “a plot by ‘tyrannical bureaucrats’ to take our cars and control our lives, which could lead to a real-life Hunger Games scenario.”

Um, okay.

Meanwhile, CNN reports an Oxford, England politician received death threats — many from outside the country — for proposing a plan to filter traffic using traffic cams to limit drivers from cutting through a neighborhood at peak times.

As we’ve discussed before, nothing in the 15-minute city concept prevents motorists from leaving their own neighborhoods, or driving through the city. It merely means that everything you need for daily life should be found within 15 minutes of your home.

According to CNN, the conspiracy theory originally gained traction among Q-Anon theorists and climate change deniers. And Fox News and other conservative media were only happy to fan the flames.

Which led to this —

In December, Canadian clinical psychologist and climate skeptic Jordan Peterson posted a tweet attacking 15-minute cities: “The idea that neighborhoods should be walkable is lovely. The idea that idiot tyrannical bureaucrats can decide by fiat where you’re ‘allowed’ to drive is perhaps the worst imaginable perversion of that idea.”

In early February, UK politician Nick Fletcher raised the conspiracy in Parliament, calling 15-minute cities an “international socialist concept” and claimed they “will cost us our personal freedom.”

And last weekend, online theories spilled into real life protests, as thousands of people, many from outside the area, took to the streets of Oxford to protest the traffic filtering and 15-minute city proposals.

Let’s hope the world regains its sanity. Because walkable, bikeable 15-minute cities are the solution.

Not the problem.

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Legendary jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1630070221812944896

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A young Elizabeth Taylor was one of us, too.

………

A backwards Penny Farthing was apparently the BMX of its day.

More proof you can carry anything on two wheels.

Or one, even.

And nothing actually says your unicycle has to have a wheel.

Click on the photo to see the full image. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

………

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

A Cleveland website says an Ohio legislator needs to explain his overreach on bike lanes, which would have banned a planned center lane cycle track in Cleveland.

Apparently having no grasp of physics, and little on reality, nearly two-thirds of British drivers believe aggressive bicyclists are a threat to their safety, and a bigger danger than they were just three years earlier.

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

An Ontario, Canada man faces charges for getting off his bicycle, and using it to assault a woman pedestrian after demanding money from her.

A lawsuit by a Taipei ebike rider backfired after a judge ruled he was at fault for riding into the back of a double parked car, saying he had plenty of room to go around it.

………

Local 

He gets it. Paul Thornton, the Letters Editor for the Los Angeles Times, asks if LA drivers have suddenly become more okay with endangering lives, arguing that “sitting behind a steering wheel can turn a reasonable person into a borderline psychopath, willing to threaten the life of anyone in the way.” Which was one of the many reasons I quit driving, because I didn’t like who I became behind the wheel.

A letter writer in the Times argues that the best way to protect yourself is to ride with a camera facing in every direction, and get a good lawyer.

Pomona has received a $11.3 million grant to build a 3.5-mile trail along the San Jose Creek that will take pedestrians and cyclists from Cal Poly Pomona to the LA County Fairplex.

 

State

California Walks and UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, aka SafeTREC, are offering free training on how to assess current conditions and identify ways to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Costa Mesa quietly revoked its bike licensing requirement last week, after similar licensing laws were banned as part of last year’s Omnibus Bike Bill passed by the state legislature; two Costa Mesa safe streets advocates were instrumental in getting the ban included in the bill, after discovering the city’s licensing requirement had been used primarily to target the homeless and people of color.

Ebike collisions continue to rise in San Diego’s coastal North County area. Although a rise in injuries could simply be attributable to an increase in ebike ridership.

Melissa Gonzalez, the San Diego driver facing a slap on the wrist for killing Matthew Keenan in a wrong way, head-on crash as he rode his bike in Mission Valley two years ago, defied expectations by pleading not guilty, and will face trial in May, as his widow demands more accountability for the crash.

That’s more like it. A 35-year old man was sentenced to 16 years and 4 months to life behind bars for the drunken Palm Springs motor vehicle crash that killed a 56-year old man. Although as Victor Bale suggested in forwarding this, if the victim had been on a bicycle, he probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist, too.

Troubled pop star Britney Spears received a warning from Ventura County animal control after her two-year old doberman escaped her Thousand Oaks compound, and bit a 71-year old man riding his bicycle nearby.

Up to a thousand people are expected to turn out for Saturday’s Solvang Century Bike Ride through Santa Barbara County

Berkeley is inviting low-income residents to apply for a lottery to get an ebike for long-term use as part of a city-funded program. Although they define low-income a lot differently than I do, with incomes up to $74,000 for an individual, or $106,000 for a family of four. 

 

National

A writer for the Competitive Enterprise Institute says we won’t need more lithium and other rare minerals for EV batteries if we just ban cars and suburbs. Except he somehow seems to think that’s a bad thing.

The president of a Colorado trucking association calls on Denver to rethink its Vision Zero program, arguing that deaths will continue to soar without an increased emphasis on enforcement of traffic laws.

A Texas driver accepted a plea for seven-years behind bars for killing a well-known 67-year old Galveston physician as she was riding her bike last March.

An “activist” bicycling group in Rochester, New York is riding to protest police violence and fight for a more inclusive society.

That’s more like it. After a Manhattan taxi driver jumped the curbed after hitting a bike rider, trapping two people under the cab, New York’s mayor announced that a three block section of Broadway where the crash occurred will be closed to motor vehicles between 8 am and 11 pm. Then again, the street was already a bicyclist’s paradise in the 1890s.

Life is cheap in New York, where a US Postal Service driver faces just one month behind bars and a lousy $250 fine after being convicted of misdemeanor failure to yield for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle in a right hook crash; his attorney tried to blame the victim for his own death, insisting he could have braked to avoid the impact. Spoken like someone who has never been right hooked on a bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

A quick-thinking Atlanta cop is credited with saving the life of a bike-riding man, who collapsed unexpectedly moments after the officer waved him through an intersection.

The Tampa Bay Times says a 40-year old woman riding a bike has been killed by Florida Highway Patrol car. Which was apparently driving itself, since the story doesn’t mention a human being, let alone a sworn officer, having anything to do with the crash.

 

International

Move Electric examines how common ebike theft is, and what you can do to prevent it.

They get it, too. A Canadian website says Toronto’s Vision Zero plan is all that stands between bike riders and total road anarchy, with “lot more fear, anger and impatience on the roads, and the veneer of civil behavior badly eroded.”

An American woman was left with a nearly $17,000 hospital bill after hitting a pothole while riding her bike on a Scottish roadway.

A day after we mentioned a British woman on trial for pushing a 77-year old woman off her bike, she was convicted of manslaughter, and will be sentenced on Thursday; she claimed she was just gesturing wildly as she complained about the woman riding on the sidewalk, and may have inadvertently hit her. The jury clearly didn’t believe her, either.

Road.cc considers why former BBC host Dan Walker’s call to wear a helmet is controversial, after he credited his with saving his life.

Stockholm, Sweden is getting its first bicycle street, where bicycles will receive priority over other forms of traffic. Which has no known equivalent in Southern California, let alone Los Angeles. 

They get it. A South African website says bicycling could solve transportation problems in Cape Town, calling for an integrated transportation network with bicycling at its heart.

A new documentary looks at the two decade old case of a disabled Japanese man who died in custody, after fleeing from police on his bicycle when they tried to stop him for “acting suspiciously.”

Bicycling Australia chooses their gear of the year, noting the bicycling products that captured their attention. Many, if not most, of which should be available here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times offers a deep dive profile on 33-year old individual pursuit world champ and record holder Ashton Lambie, who was working at a bike shop and randonneuring before he took his first ride on a grass velodrome in Kansas, on a borrowed bike, less than seven years ago. And won, of course.

Twenty-three-year old world champ Remco Evenepoel added another notch on his belt with a victory in the UAE Tour.

Colombian Egan Bernal will not be racing in this week’s Paris-Nice after being sidelined by a knee injury, as he returns to racing after last year’s near fatal training crash.

USA Cycling could be looking for you, as the national cycling body set off a “new talent-identification program aimed at underrepresented and more diverse communities” for its track cycling program. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with feral LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to use our ebike’s turbo boost to outrun a pack of hungry wolves; thanks again to Phillip Young. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about being trampled to death by elephants, either.

And unlike most bike-riding dogs, cats don’t need a basket.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

26.5 years for killer stoned driver in AZ master’s race, a damp last CicLAvia of 2022, and Orange Line bike path closure

It’s the second full week of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

I’m often humbled by the support this site receives. And never more than I was on Sunday.

Saturday I was feeling low after we didn’t receive a single donation, leaving the fund drive hundreds of dollars behind last year’s record-setting pace.

Then on Sunday the floodgates opened. Not only did the sudden outpouring of support make up the deficit, it actually left us a little ahead of last year this morning. 

I recognized a lot of the donors, whether from giving in years past, sharing links or comments on here, or from their work on bike advocacy issues. 

Each and every one touched my heart, leaving me overwhelmed with gratitude. But none more than a donation from a loved one of a fallen bicyclist, who remembered the support I gave them in their time of need. 

All of which has me feeling incredibly humbled today.

I hope you’ll join me in offering a sincere thank you to André V, Greg M, Scott G, Penny S, Samuel M, David Matsu, John H, Anthony D, Mark M and Andre C for their very generous support. 

Because they’re the ones who gave from the heart to bring all the best bike news your way today, and every day. 

So don’t wait. Just take a moment right now to join them by donating via PayPal or Zelle.

We’ll wait.

………

There’s justice in Show Low, Arizona, a year and a half after a stoned driver plowed into a master’s bike race, killing one man and seriously injuring eight other people, six critically.

Shawn Michael Chock was sentenced to 26½ years behind bars for the bizarre crime. The 36-year old man received a 16-year sentence for killing 58-year old Jeremy Barrett, and 10-1/2 years for assaulting a police officer, to be served consecutively, with no time off for good behavior for the first 16 years.

A defense attorney claimed Chock was once an accomplished bike racer himself, but suffered from mental health problems. He reportedly relapsed when he received bad family news after three years of sobriety, and blacked out after failing to take his meds and inhaling aerosol fumes, crossing over several lanes of traffic to plow into the racers.

Although that doesn’t fit with earlier reports that Chock was laughing as he steered into the victims, and made a U-turn to come back at them.

Which is kind of hard to do when you’re unconscious.

It’s also worth noting that a history of mental illness and substance abuse somehow wasn’t enough for authorities to keep Chock from getting behind the wheel until it was too late.

He was only arrested after officers shot his truck engine to disable it following a standoff with police behind a hardware store.

………

Sunday marked the last CicLAvia of the year, as the streets of South LA opened to welcome bike riders, walkers, skaters, rollers, cowboys, and yes, even Dodgers, of every description, despite the cool, cloudy and sometimes wet weather.

Of course, it’s always after the event that those warm feelings give way to the typical LA challenge of just getting home in one piece.

………

One of LA’s busiest bikeways shut down without warning, as Streetsblog discovered an unexpected closure on the Orange Line.

And as usual, the detour leaves something to be desired, dumping riders onto surface streets to negotiate their route with impatient drivers.

How long the repairs will take, and how long the closure will last, is anyone’s guess.

………

The next time you complain about the crappy bikeways you have to use, or the lack thereof, remember this.

It could be worse.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1599195355949563904

………

A distracted driver calls out the risk posed to safe, law-abiding bike riders from distracted drivers just like him.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1599579717325111296

Click on the tweet if the photo of the rider is obscured.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

Who needs handlebars?

Or a head tube, fork or front wheel, for that matter?

………

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

No bias here. A Marin paper calls for “compromises” by limiting the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path to weekend use by recreational riders — even though traffic congestion is no worse than before it was installed, and removing it on weekdays would just make traffic worse in other areas. In other words, they want bike commuters and local communities to compromise by surrendering to drivers.

No bias here, either. A Portland hotel manager complains about a parking protected bike lane in front of the hotel, as careless guests nearly collide with bike riders, and a guest’s car door “got hit by a bicyclist.” No, the guest doored the person on the bike, which is against the law.

Vancouver’s parks board is preparing to cave to angry, entitled drivers for whom one lane isn’t enough by ripping out a popular bike lane through the park, and restoring a second traffic lane so drivers can use it as a cut-through route.

A 24-year old Scottish man suffered multiple injuries after he was pushed off his bicycle by a couple men on a moped, for no apparent reason.

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

More proof ebikes are replacing car trips, as a British ebike rider conducted a carless driveby shooting, firing repeatedly into a car after riding up next to it, although he missed all the occupants.

……..

 

………

Local 

Metro is scheduled to start construction on the La Brea Ave bus lanes today, though the rain may have something to say about that.

Long Beach is considering lowering speed limits on 100 sections of city streets, including 23 that could drop to 15 to 20 mph.

Anyone interested in serving on your local Neighborhood Council should make plans to attend an information session hosted by Streets For All this Thursday. We need a lot more support for bikes on local councils to overcome the outsized NIMBY voices. 

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on Wednesday, December 14th. Which would be a good opportunity to ask about his plans to improve bike safety and infrastructure in the Hollywood district.

 

State 

San Diego Magazine lists ten bike rides to meet the needs of every kind of rider.

‘Tis the season. Over 300 children in the Coachella Valley have new bikes this week, thanks to the Variety Children’s Charity of the Desert.

A Camarillo letter writer says he agrees with a driver that bike riders belong in the bike lane, if only the city had some.

They get it. The San Francisco Chronicle says instead of getting rid of Slow Streets, the city make them even better, arguing that it’s hard to view the Slow Streets experiment as anything but a wild success.

 

National

Bike counters recorded nearly 42,000 bike trips to Colorado’s Maroon Bells, fueled largely by the increasing popularity of ebikes.

‘Tis the season, too. A Boise, Idaho bike drive plans to give away 567 bicycles to kids in need over the holidays.

Sixty-seven-year old Joseph Kennedy reportedly confessed to the deaths of four men who disappeared after setting out on an Oklahoma bike ride, telling a friend he “killed the men and cut them up” because they stole from him.

Brooklyn firefighters rescued a semi-conscious man and two puppies after yet another fire allegedly started by an ebike battery.

A bill in the New Jersey legislature would make it the first state in the nation to mandate bike helmets for adults. Although similar laws have repeatedly been shown to be counterproductive, reducing bicycling rates and the safety in numbers effect, while disproportionately affecting low income riders and people of color. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link. 

Another seemingly sentient SUV, as a Philadelphia TV station reports a bike cop was hit by a Ford Explorer, whose driver apparently had nothing to do with it.

A 31-year old woman with Down’s Syndrome is able to ride a bike for the first time since she was a child, after a kindhearted stranger saw her competing for the title of Virginia’s Miss Amazing Senior Miss Queen, and gave her a new three-wheeled bike through a nonprofit organization.

 

International

A website for a drunk driving interlock ignition system reminds us that other countries have solved the problem of drunk driving, even if the US can’t seem to do it. Sort of like we can’t seem to solve traffic deaths, hit-and-runs, shooting deaths, poverty, universal healthcare…

A Spanish man touring the world by bicycle stops in Mexico’s Yucatán on his way to Argentina, accompanied by a dog he adopted in Spain, and another who adopted him in Mexico.

Mexico City’s Los Chilangos lowrider bike club is combating gang life by promoting a positive bicycle culture as an alternative to the world of drugs and gangs, although facial tatts are still welcome.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia bike shop says business is booming and employees are sticking around longer after they committed to paying a living wage, a full ten dollars above the area’s current minimum.

Over one thousand Londoners turned out for a 14-mile Black Unity Bike Ride across the city.

English police link stolen ebikes to the drug trade, robbery and other crimes, saying they’re being used to pursue criminal activity. Shocking that criminals would use stolen goods to do other crimes, I know.

A pair of British politicians call on their peers to practice what they preach by installing more “secure, accessible and sufficient” bike parking on the Parliament grounds.

A writer in the UK says a 3,427-mile ride around the coast of Britain saved his mental health during the pandemic.

France is marking the 80th anniversary of a successful suicide mission by British marines, who slipped behind German lines to destroy five ships; only two of the men survived the mission and escaped to safety, fleeing 100 miles by foot, bicycle and trains to Gibraltar.

An Islamabad, Pakistan paper makes the case for bringing the concept of carfree cities to the country.

Japan’s bicycle industry was reportedly built on the ironworking skills developed to build burial mounds dating back 1,600 years.

An Aussie designer says he doesn’t care about negative feedback, as he spends his days designing the world’s most outlandish concept bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Police have identified a 62-year-old German truck driver as a suspect in the hit-and-run death of Italian ex-pro Davide Rebellin, who died shortly after retiring from a 30-year racing career; police are still searching for the suspect.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding a bike with outstanding warrants — you, that is, not the bike — put a damn light on it already. Playing cumbias from the back a wagon pulled by a bike.

And we might have to deal with bored LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about being attacked by a wild boar while riding a bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Prosecutors throw book at killer Show Low AZ driver, Streets For All blasts Garcetti, and Culver City to open mobility lane

My apologies for yesterday’s server outage that knocked us offline all day. You can catch up on everything you missed here

………

More mass casualty bike crashes in the news, as an Arizona website offers an update on the case against Shawn Michael Chock.

Chock is accused of deliberately slamming his massive pickup into a group of up to 50 competitors in a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona last June.

He ended up killing one man and injuring six other people when he smashed into the group, then backed his truck up and attempted to make another pass.

Prosecutors allege Chock huffed computer cleaning fluid before getting behind the wheel, whether that motivated the attack or simply gave him the courage to carry it out.

He was shot by police after fleeing the scene and engaging in a standoff with cops behind a local hardware store, and was arrested on his release from the hospital.

He continues to be held on a half million dollars bond, facing decades behind bars on charges including 2nd degree murder, aggravated assault against a peace officer and eight other counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a collision involving death or serious injury, and unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.

His next court hearing is on the 29th of this month. Hopefully in a courtroom full of bike riders.

The website adds that Chock is presumed by court to be innocent until proven guilty.

Thankfully, we’re under no such obligation.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Garcetti spoke with Spectrum News 1 about his climate goals following COP26. Although as we’ve seen too many times, the mayor is great at talking, not so good at following through.

Meanwhile, bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes the COP26 climate conference to task for inexplicably ignoring the quickest and most efficient way to decarbonize.

Bicycles.

That was the same message contained in a letter from over 80 bicycle organizations around the world, who argued that “government leaders must commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively.”

Cycling represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. New research shows that life-cycle CO₂ emissions drop by 14% per additional cycling trip and by 62% for each avoided car trip. Switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO₂ per kilometre. E-cargo bikes cut carbon emissions by 90%compared with diesel vans. Swapping the car in cities for walking and cycling even just one day a week can reduce your carbon footprint by about half a tonne of CO₂ over a year. Building synergies with other travel modes such as public transport can critically enhance this potential.

Our world is on fire. We must urgently leverage the solutions that cycling offers by radically scaling up its use. What we need now is for governments to politically and financially commit to more, safer and integrated cycling that is equitable for everyone living in our countries, cities and regions…

………

Culver City is opening the city’s first mobility lane designed for scooters, bikes and ebikes on November 20th.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityBus/status/1455594901454741504

………

Both San Diego and San Jose are celebrating open streets events this Sunday, with San Jose hosting Viva CalleSJ.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition co-hosting CicloSDias on the streets of Pacific Beach.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

………

Leone also reminds us to take extra precautions as Daylight Savings ends this Sunday.

Make sure you have lights on your bike if you’ll be riding after dark, with the sun setting around 5 pm next week; I also carry lights with me anytime I ride in the late afternoon, in case a flat or mechanical problem delays my return.

And ride defensively, especially for the first few days next week, because the initial days after Daylight Savings ends are always among the worst days for traffic collisions.

………

Damn, that really is a close call. If the guy on the bike hadn’t been a cop, the driver probably would have gotten away with it.

………

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

San Diego police are looking for a man riding a blue mountain bike with black rims and silver spokes, who is described as a person of interest after a woman was sexually assaulted in a Mission Bay restroom.

………

Local

LADOT is planning to extend the bike lanes on Riverside Drive in Los Feliz from Glendale Blvd to Los Feliz Drive, after the street is resurfaced over the next year; the work will also include upgraded paint and crosswalks.

A writer for the Financial Times laments LA’s unrealized potential as a bicycling city. As do we all.

Santa Monica-based Bird is planning to go public despite a history of financial losses, merging with a Dallas-based special purpose acquisition company in hopes of raising $384 million in capital.

Opening arguments began in the civil trial against a Metro contractor for the 2017 death of 13-year old Ciara Smith on PCH in Redondo Beach; her attorney blamed poor training of the driver, while the defense placed the blame on bad road design.

A 31-year old man was fatally shot while riding a bike in Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Santa Barbara County will take its ebike demo to Santa Maria for five days this month, allowing people to try them out and even take one home overnight.

Sad news from Oakland, where an e-scooter rider was killed by a wrong-way driver who allegedly ran a red light; Streetsblog argues that the paint on the street was insufficient to protect her, or anyone else.

More in the Santa Rosa woman who was seriously injured in Saturday’s mass casualty bike collision in Liberty County, Texas; 59-year-old Barbara Anne Ferrell was one of three bicyclists struck by the driver while on a cross-country ride.

 

National

They get it. Fast Company compares the $12,500 tax incentive to buy an electric car contained in the stalled Build Back Better bill with the relatively paltry $1,500 tax break for buying an ebike, charging that the bill continues the harmful automotive dominance in our cities.

This is who we share the road with. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III faces up to 20 years behind bars for the fiery, high-speed crash that killed an innocent woman and her equally innocent dog; he was released from the team hours after his arrest on felony DUI and reckless driving charges. You know you’re toxic when even the Raiders won’t touch you.

The bike theft scourge has infected the entire country, even in small Midwestern towns like Iowa City.

Hundreds of people turned out to honor a fallen Chicago man at a ghost bike ceremony yesterday, while a crowdfunding campaign for the popular amateur cyclist has raised more tha $164,000 in just four days.

 

International

Canadian mountain biker Magnus Manson has started the Conquer Your Challenge crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for aspiring Canadian cyclists, as he battles stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; he’s already topped the $10,000 goal bu raising over twelve grand.

A Toronto op-ed accuses the city of falling short on efforts to stop pedestrian traffic deaths, despite its Vision Zero program.

A Scottish legal columnist explains the defense of automatism — where someone isn’t in control of their actions through no fault of their own and have no knowledge of what happened — after a driver was acquitted of killing a man on a bike because she claimed she had no memory of the crash.

A website in Scotland recommends banning cars from schools and building a walking culture in kids to improve safety and cut climate-damaging emissions. Although they should also add riding their bikes to school to that.

A South African musician is scaling up the country’s first ebike delivery service.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Alex Dowsett is in Mexico City, attempting to retake the hour record he first set in 2015.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, at least have the decency to leave your old one in its place. Who needs carbon fiber when you can build your own bike out of wood?

And why carry a tent on your bike when you can build your very own self-powered wooden e-camper van bike?

………

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

LA traffic deaths up while bike deaths spike, 19-year old San Pedro bike rider missing, and murder charge in AZ attack

No surprise here.

LAist reports that traffic deaths are up in Los Angeles for the first six months of this year, compared to last year’s already too high death total, with someone killed on the mean streets of LA an average of every 30 hours.

And it’s not just the people in the big, dangerous machines paying the price.

According to the site, serious pedestrian injuries are up 45%, while serious bicycling injuries climbed 34%. And bicycling deaths are up a whopping 40%.

It should also come as no surprise that hit-and-run deaths are up 25%.

In other words, we’re not exactly on track to meet Indian Ambassador Eric Garcetti’s — oops, I mean Mayor Garcetti’s — goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the City of Angels in the next three years.

Never mind all those safer streets we were promised as part of the mayor’s Green New Deal, which will now be up to whoever takes his place — thanks to Garcetti’s remarkably consistent failure to follow through on those promises.

………

Authorities are searching for a 19-year old man who was last seen riding his bicycle in San Pedro Monday morning.

Jankell Hernan Aguilar is described as 5’6″ tall and 150 pounds, with “wavy black hair, a thin black beard along his jawline and brown eyes.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323/890-5500.

………

As expected, prosecutors in Arizona have amended the charges against pickup driver Shawn Michael Chock to add a felony murder count.

Chock is the driver who allegedly aimed his truck at a group of bicyclists participating in a senior’s race in Show Low on June 19th, intentionally slamming his truck into ten people; 58-year old Jeremy Barrett died nearly a month later.

Chock was shot by police after standoff behind a hardware store, but has recovered from his injuries, and remains jailed on half a million dollars bail.

………

Make that $190 now.

………

There’s a newly completed 13-mile trail leading from Kenneth Hahn to the coast.

Which doesn’t do a lot of good if you can’t get there safely.

………

Sadly, it doesn’t take long for most Vision Zero programs to turn into empty promises when elected leaders lack the political will to follow through.

And Los Angeles is the poster child for those failed efforts.

So yes, it’s great that a federal Vision Zero bill has been introduced in Congress.

Let’s just hope it’s more than empty words this time.

Meanwhile, a second bill was introduced by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

The Vulnerable Road Users Safety Act implements National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, while directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration to —

  • Develop and update performance standards for visibility enhancement systems (i.e. for blindspot detection), connected vehicle technology, and vehicle headlamp systems
  • Establish standards for vehicle bumpers
  • Establish performance standards for automated pedestrian detection systems like automatic braking sensors
  • Include separated bike lanes and intersection safety treatments in the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiatives and Proven Safety Countermeasures program
  • Improve and coordinate information collection to share, combine and publish detailed crash data allowing policy makers and governments to make data informed decisions

………

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

Toronto bike riders are “annoyed” that drivers are pushing planters into bike lanes to create illegal parking spaces, blocking the bike lanes they were intended to protect. Annoyed seems pretty mild under the circumstances; more like pissed off and endangered.

Three British bike riders were collateral damage when a suspected drunk driver made an ill-advised pass, crashing into another driver before his car was pushed into a group of bicyclists; all three victims were hospitalized, with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. A driver in the UK gets annoyed at following a bike rider, and responds with a close pass and a brake check, followed by a punishment pass for good measure. And all he gets is a stern talking to from the cops.

………

Local

Streets For All is hosting another Zoom happy hour at 5 pm on August 11th, featuring Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who has been fighting for safer streets as chair of the Transportation Committee.

NPR picks up the sordid tale of the $200,000 in out-of-network medical debt that buried LA’s Phil Gaimon when a major track cycling crash ended his efforts to make the US Olympic team, even though he had insurance coverage. And even they agree he got hosed.

Outside calls Catalina Island a hidden gem for gravel biking.

 

State

Encinitas residents are accusing the mayor and councilmembers of cronyism in approving an $11 million settlement for a local bike advocate who was severely injured when she was run down from behind riding on sharrows. Something tells me she’d be happy to give all of it back if it meant not having to deal with the pain and lasting injuries.

Squatters took over a historic Baptist church in El Cajon during the pandemic lockdown, using it for a chop shop for stolen bikes.

 

National

Trek finally figures out that helping more people ride means more sales for them, starting a nonprofit foundation to help build bicycling infrastructure and mountain bike trails. And outlines the steps they’re taking to improve sustainability.

Conde Nast Traveler talks with author Jennifer Weiner about how she got hooked on solo bikepacking on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

This is what it looks like when a Seattle cop right hooks a man on a bicycle.

Great idea. A Colorado bike shop is offering a 10% discount to anyone who picks up at least ten pieces of trash off a bike trail.

North Dakota bike riders can celebrate this Sunday by legally rolling stop signs, when a new Idaho Stop Law goes into effect allowing riders to treat stops as yields.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 95-year old man is taking part in the nearly 500-mile RAGBRAI, the eighth time he’s taken part in the popular ride across Iowa.

An Iowa town remembers a 2008 EF-5 that devastated the region with a sculpture of a tornado made entirely of bicycles.

Houston bike riders call on the city to get more aggressive in implementing Vision Zero to meet the 2030 deadline.

After suffering the embarrassment of a group of white cops filmed arresting a Black bike rider for not having a bicycle license, Perth Amboy, New Jersey is eliminating their bicycle registration requirement. But it’s still illegal to “practice any trick or fancy riding.” Because we all know how damaging “fancy riding” is to the fragile fabric of society.

Seriously? An Orlando urologist says men should maybe cut back on their time in the saddle if they’re trying to have a baby — and not spend more that two hours on a bike regardless. If I’d thought riding my bike would have provided birth control in my single days, I would ridden a lot more than I did. And I rode a hell of a lot.

 

International

An Ontario woman says you don’t have to be skinny to ride a bike.

Toronto is installing centerline speed bumps extending into intersections to keep drivers from dangerously cutting corners.

A London man will spend the next two years behind bars for jumping a red light and slamming into a 72-year old man crossing in a crosswalk, who later died; the Albanian bike rider turned himself in after initially fleeing because he was in the UK illegally.

About damn time. Great Britain is revising the country’s Highway Code to give pedestrians and people on bicycles priority over motor vehicles on the streets, although it still has to be approved by Parliament. Now do it on this side of the ocean.

UK Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson tells local governments to leave bike lanes in place for at least a year, or face a cut in funding.

An Irish bike advocacy group demands immediate action in response to a 13% jump in traffic deaths so far this year. Let’s hope their government listens better that ours does.

Organizers have called off a planned 124-mile Aussie charity ride, after concluding that the “appalling standard” of Tasmanian drivers, combined with “poor road infrastructure” and drivers’ “hatred towards cyclists” made it too dangerous for people on two wheels.

In a brutal irony, an Australian bike rider was killed in a collision moments after he ignored a police attempt to stop him for riding without lights or a helmet, which is required in the country.

A writer for Cycling Tips truly captures the beauty of bicycling with a moving piece recalling a ride through Australian woods to heal from the pandemic year and the death of his father from cancer — but not until his father got to meet his new grandson for the first time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic upgraded his 2017 world time trial silver medal with gold in the same event at the Tokyo Olympics.

A German official was sent packing after using a racial slur in urging Nikias Arndt to catch up to cyclists from Algeria and Eritrea in the men’s time trial; German cycling federation sports director Patrick Moster’s comment was picked up on camera and broadcast across the nation.

Dutch cycling great Annemiek van Vleuten finally got her Olympic gold in the time trial, days after mistakenly celebrating what she thought was a win in the road race.

Forget the Olympics. The race to watch this Saturday is the eight-year old Telluride 100 mountain bike race, sanctioned by UCI for the first time.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re falsely labeled a “brutal bike thief” on social media for picking up the bike your neighbor was donating for underprivileged children. Do home runs count for more if they nearly hit a bike rider outside the park?

And maybe they could have worded this headline just a little better.

Unless the bicyclists were charged with murder, too.

………

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

Man injured in Show Low vehicular attack dies, and Phil Gaimon and fiancé threatened by road raging LA driver

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where one of the victims of last month’s vehicular assault on a senior’s bike race has died.

Fifty-eight-year old Jeremy Barrett took a turn for the worse after initially showing improvement following the crash, and passed away on Saturday.

Barrett had been flown to a hospital in Flagstaff suffering from internal injuries, and was due to be transferred to a hospital in Tucson before suffering a stroke and deteriorating in the days that followed.

He was described by friends as someone who went out of his way to help others, and frequently hosted touring bicyclists in his home.

A police spokesperson says that additional charges are likely to be filed in the wake of Barrett’s death, on top of the 20 felony counts already faced by 36-year old driver Shawn Michael Chock for the alleged intentional attack.

………

You really hate to see this.

Everyone’s favorite retired pro cyclist and his fiancé had an ugly run-in with a road raging driver, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to slow his Porsche down on his way to the golf course.

While Phil Gaimon and Emily may not be able to make a case for assault with a deadly weapon, the driver could and should be charged with battery after allegedly shoving the petite woman confronting him.

It’s also a textbook case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows for a civil case with an award of three times the actual monetary damages or $1,000, whichever is higher.

And the driver could be required to pay any attorney’s fees they may incur while preparing the case.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

West Hollywood offers advice on how bike riders and pedestrians can avoid getting run over by motorists.

But sadly, not one word for drivers on how to avoid running over anyone.

Overall, though, their tips for people on bikes aren’t bad.

Although someone should remind them that signaling while stopping isn’t a great idea for people with hand brakes. And you should stop signaling before starting a turn so you can have both hands on the handlebars.

………

UCLA’s Chris Giza talks with KNX-1070 radio about the benefits of turning a fake pandemic commute into the real thing.

………

After failing to be named to this year’s Tour de France roster, Aussie Lachlan Morton took it on himself to ride the entire race route, alone and unsupported, and try to beat the peloton into Paris.

Yesterday he got there, beating the riders competing in the race by nearly a full week.

And still got the traditional champagne at the finish.

https://twitter.com/EFprocycling/status/1414792643163435010

………

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

A Las Vegas man faces a murder charge for intentionally running over a homeless man riding a bicycle, after exchanging words in a parking lot. However, this wasn’t a random incident; the two men knew one another, and had once been roommates.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with California Streets Initiative board member and CD5 city council candidate Jonathan Weiss.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 72-year old Diamond Bar man as he was walking in a crosswalk; his niece says Bruce Bodel preferred to walk or bike rather than driving.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom happy hour from 5 to 6 pm this evening with UCLA parking maestro and professor emeritus Don Shoup.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop bring you the return of the popular Tour De Taco ride this Saturday. Say hi to my friend Carlos Morales if you go.

 

State

Bay Area firefighters are preparing to ride across the country to Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

National

Maybe they finally get it. The new federal infrastructure plan includes a focus on smart infrastructure and Vision Zero to maybe actually build and fix roads so they don’t kill people, along with $20 billion specifically earmarked to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians. Now let’s hope it can somehow get through our hopelessly divided and dysfunctional Congress.

The Wall Street Journal examines the cycling fans who hoard hundreds of team jerseys. Although, as usual, half their story is hidden behind a paywall.

Tech Radar rates the year’s best bike locks, ranking Kryptonite one, two and three.

Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez offers advice the Singletracks podcast on how to get and stay fast on the mountain.

This one’s going on the top of my bike bucket list. A Navajo-owned Dzil Ta’ah Adventures is offering overnight bikepacking and half-day tours of the spectacular Southwestern US Navajo Nation, combining unspoiled wilderness with tribal creation stories.

Hundreds of retired and active duty police officers will ride nearly 1,000 miles around Indiana, visiting twelve cities across the state to honor fallen officers and law enforcement survivors.

 

International

Germany’s version of the Auto Club is now offering roadside assistance to bike riders in Berlin and Brandenburg, with plans to expand the service throughout the country. AAA offers similar services in someparts of the US, but not in Southern California, where the group prefers to pretend that its members don’t ride bicycles.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University will work with experts in machine learning to develop new technologies to capture data on dangerous interactions between bike riders and motorists, in order to map where bicyclists are most at risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a record-setting run of stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has no plans to retire anytime soon.

With the yellow jersey seemingly wrapped up already, Bicycling considers what else there is to look forward to in the final week of the Tour. Cavendish, anyone? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Rouleur considers the youngest and oldest riders in this year’s Tour, and how they rank in the race’s history; at 41, Alejandro Valverde would be the oldest stage winner ever if he claims one this year, while 22-year old Brit cyclist Fred Wright is the youngest rider in the peloton.

Cyclist goes straight to the top, talking with the French woman who runs the company that owns the Tour de France.

Bicycling asks how high Colorado’s Sepp Kuss can climb after winning his first stage in the Tour, suggesting he could win a Grand Tour one day — if he really wants it. Although the Yahoo version of the story has a much better headline, in case Bicycling blocks you. Thanks to our friend Richard Duquette for the link. 

Bicycling questions the legitimacy of the obscure crypto currency company that’s now the new co-sponsor of the Africa-based Qhubeka cycling team, which will be Qhubeka-NextHash starting next year. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Bicycling says the racers turned out for an outstanding Giro Donne stage race won by Anna van der Breggen, even if women cyclists deserve “far more than pathetic payouts and embarrassingly bad livestream coverage.” Here’s the Yahoo link if…well, you know.

Three-time world road champ Peter Sagan is in danger of missing the Tokyo Olympics following surgery to treat an infection caused when he gashed his knee on the chainring in a crash during the Tour.

 

Finally…

So that’s where Luca got his rusty, old bike. Tom Hanks is one of us, thanks in part to wife Rita Wilson.

And that feeling when you’re riding your bike on a haunted highway, and find a head dumped by a mafia hitman.

Good times.

………

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

 

20 felony counts in attack on AZ bicyclists, Sunset4All halfway to public/private goal, and billionaire astronauts on bikes

The driver who allegedly ran down ten people participating in a seniors bike race in Show Low, Arizona last month faces 20 felony counts for intentionally using his truck as a weapon.

Thirty-six-year old Shawn Michael Chock will be arraigned today with running down victims and fleeing the scene afterwards, as well as fleeing from police.

Chock was shot by Show Low police following a standoff behind a hardware store. He has apparently been free after he was released from the hospital ten days ago.

Thankfully, none of the victims has died, although one of the charges for assault with a deadly weapon is a more serious felony, suggesting that one of the riders may have suffered longterm or life-changing injuries.

Meanwhile, hundreds of bike riders turned out in Tempe to show support for the victims.

Thanks to Richard Duquette and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

This is pretty much the only good smile I had yesterday, knowing we’re well on our way to LA’s first public/private partnership to improve a dangerous corridor for bike riders and pedestrians.

And maybe convince LADOT to actually do it.

You can donate here.

And yes, I put my own money where my mouth, or rather, keyboard is.

And where my heart is, too.

………

A number of people complained about this tweet, for damn good reason.

He was a little kid, who deserved a hell of a lot better. And he didn’t “collide with a car,” he was struck by its driver.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it was the driver’s fault; a witness says the boy darted out into the street against the light.

It does mean we need to see the humanity in the victim, and the person who took his life life.

And do everything in our power to ensure it never happens again.

………

Bikes just keep booming, as New York bike shops report what bikes they have are flying off the shelves.

Meanwhile, a New York BMX shop may shut because they can’t get enough bikes to meet demand.

And bike shop owners along the Illinois – Iowa border are having to be creative in order to meet customer’s need and actually have something to sell.

But somehow, the CEO of the Buzzbike bicycle subscription service says private bike ownership is dying.

Yeah, good luck making that case.

………

Well, how else would you expect a billionaire astronaut to arrive for his first space launch?

Then again, let’s not forget that a monkey and a dog made similar flights 60 years ago.

Although they probably didn’t have to pay for it themselves.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

The streets of Wichita, Kansas are more dangerous today, after a woman was released after three months in jail when she made bail for allegedly running over 56-year old stranger riding a bicycle, then get out of her car and shooting him to death.

In yet another sign of how seriously the courts don’t take traffic crimes, a driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring a bike-riding woman in Delaware was charged with seven counts, including hit-and-run, and driving while stoned and without a license or insurance — with bail set at the low, low price of just $3,500. Presumably so he can get out and do it again.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a racist attacker who slapped an Asian jogger in the back of the head and threatened to punch him while shouting a racially charged comment, before hitting the man with his bicycle.

………

Local

Apparently not grasping the concept of dockless scooters, a WeHo resident complains about the newly returned e-scooters “abandoned” on the streets.

The Santa Monica Daily Press offers a primer on the city’s four e-scooter and e-bikeshare providers.

After riding his bike to the DMV, a Santa Monica man waits in line for hours before getting turned away. And becomes convinced the guy ahead of him is a bike thief.

 

State

Orange County is testing bike-only trails to cut down on collisions and conflicts between mountain bikers and the non-wheeled public.

A San Diego columnist considers whether removing parking spaces and minimum parking requirements will revitalize the city, as advocates aver.

Santa Clara County, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, is moving forward with plans for the region’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles is working on.

Bad news from the Bay Area town of Brisbane, where a bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run Saturday evening. Police are looking for the driver of a silver 1998 Honda Accord or similar vehicle, with likely front end damage, and possible damage to the windshield.

A Sebastopol man faces three felony counts of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter for the May crash that killed a 53-year old man riding his bike, and cost a bike-riding 12-year old boy his leg; the driver’s lawyer describes him as a “nice young man who made a terrible mistake.” Although I suspect the families of the victims might disagree.

 

National

The grizzly bear who dragged Chico, California bikepacker Leah Davis Lokan out of her tent and killed her in has been Ovando, Montana has been tracked down and killed. Although the real blame should probably be placed on humans encroaching on wildlife habitat, rather than the other way around. And no, it does not make me feel any better to know my brother will be bikepacking through the same area in a few weeks.

If you need a little inspiration today, consider Connecticut’s Korene Varano, who became a triathlete after 30 years of batting debilitating bone cancer — and four years after having her leg amputated.

The sponsor behind Buffalo NY’s summertime Slow Roll bike rides say a candidate for mayor is welcome to ride, but keep politics out of it.

Three-hundred-fifty people are pedaling their way on an eight day, 400-mile ride along the Erie Canalway Trail raise funds for parks and trails in New York. Good luck finding an offroad trail half that long in ostensibly bike-friendly California.

Kindhearted Orlando, Florida cops bought a new bike, lock and helmet for a young boy after his was stolen a couple months ago.

 

International

A Montreal woman and her roommate are walking now after construction workers removed the post their bikes were locked to in the middle of the night, and no one will tell them how to get them back.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old van driver walked without a single day behind bars for carelessly killing a bike rider.

Despite the rising popularity of ebikes, most Belgian bike riders are still sticking with their non-electrified versions.

Hundreds of Berlin bike riders took to the streets for a topless bike ride in protest after police told a sunbathing mom to put her top on, with the protesters insisting “no nipple is free until all nipples are free.”

A man and woman are halfway through a tandem ride along India’s 3,600-mile Golden Quadrilateral highway connecting the country’s four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Life is cheap in India, where a 55-year old man was stabbed to death for parking his bicycle outside his neighbor’s home, partially blocking the narrow street.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s been a minute since an American actually won a stage at the Tour de France. Okay, a lot of minutes.

Congratulations to British sprinter Mark Cavendish on equalling the legendary Eddy Merckx’s equally legendary record for most stage wins in the Tour de France — especially since Cavendish wasn’t even on his team’s Tour roster until another rider dropped out at the last minute.

In a Tour marked by falls, loose gravel took several riders down yet again on Friday’s 13th stage.

If you have to ask how much a Tour de France bike costs, you probably can’t afford it.

VeloNews explains how to discuss the Tour with normal people, aka non-bike racing aficionados.

Road Bike Action relates how Canadian Alex Stieda became the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in 1986.

LA-based L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced Legion) continues its winning ways, finishing 1-2-3 in the top men’s race at the Boise, Idaho stop on the USA Crits Tour, while the team took first and second on the women’s side.

And this is what women cyclists have to deal with. Even in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Apparently, the local TV station forgot what the Ride to Remember is supposed to. That feeling when some jerk stole the bike Buddy Holly’s wife gave you.

And that feeling when your food delivery order is really, really late.

………

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

 

Driver in Arizona attack had long record of assault and DUI arrests, and killer Escondido driver gets 30 years — or less

Once again, the legal system did its best to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it was too late.

With predictably tragic results.

Authorities identified the driver who intentionally slammed into participants in a Master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona on Saturday as 35-year old Show Low resident Shawn Michael Chock.

The AP reports Chock has a long criminal record, dating back to a 2007, when he pled guilty to a reduced charge after being indicted for aggravated assault, followed by disorderly conduct with a weapon a few months later.

Three years later, Chock was allowed to walk with probation after prosecutors dropped three DUI charges, allowing him to plead to a single count of felony aggravated DUI, as well as shoplifting and another aggravated assault.

He ended up serving 19 months behind bars anyway, after violating his probation.

Now seven innocent people are paying the price for that extreme leniency, with six of Chock’s victims still hospitalized in critical condition, and another in stable condition.

Chock himself is in critical condition after he was shot by police during a standoff following the crash.

Maybe someday our courts will take driving under the influence seriously, and put the public’s right to safety on the roads above the privilege — not right — of driving.

But sadly, not now. Or anytime soon.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

Ex-con Jamison Connor was sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in the death of 36-year-old mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido two years ago.

Lentz was just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area when Connor rounded a blind curve at a high rate of speed, slamming into him head-on.

Yet despite a well-deserved sentence of 29 years and ten months, Connor could be out in just six years due to a quirk in California law, Prop 57, passed by voters in 2016, allows a prisoner to be considered for parole after completing the sentence for the primary offense if it was a nonviolent crime

Remarkably, Connor’s primary sentence of vehicular homicide is not considered a violent crime.

Although I’m sure Lentz and his loved ones would disagree.

………

Cycling News went all in on Amazon Prime Day this year, with recommendations on the best bicycling deals, what Garmin deal to avoid and the ones you shouldn’t, and where else you can find good bike deals today.

Meanwhile, The National looks at the best Prime Day ebike deals.

………

The Transport Workers Union of America reports that Metro Bike workers are trying to unionize.

………

Crouching Tiger, Levitating Bicycle.

Apparently this was done by the construction crew so they could lay the new concrete without disturbing the bicycle.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. Oklahoma residents are fighting plans for a bike path through their neighborhood, trotting out the trope that bicycles and pedestrians don’t mix — even though they’d be on separate pathways — and fears that people on motorcycles or small cars would use the pathway. Which says a lot more about the mentality of Oklahoma residents and drivers than it does about bicycles.

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

Tasmanian police strongly recommend riding you bike on the bridge, not across the arches supporting it.

………

Local

Tragic news from Compton, where a man was shot to death while riding a bicycle early Monday; no word on the identity of the victim, or how it happened.

Voting is underway for this year’s LA2050 Grants Challenge; CicLAvia is a finalist in the Play category, in addition to East Side Riders, as we mentioned yesterday.

 

State

The San Diego Reader accuses scooter companies of bullying, and says the tragic death of actress Lisa Banes raises safety concerns for the San Diego area, after she was killed by a hit-and-run e-scooter rider in New York. If they’re that worried about a single death caused by a scooter rider, just wait until they learn about cars and the people who drive them.

Santa Barbara is expanding its bikeshare system into the city’s Coastal Zone, after a successful introduction downtown earlier this year.

A Bakersfield TV station goes back to basics by explaining what an ebike is, as debate continues whether to allow them on the city’s Kern River Parkway Trail.

A Lodi man is preparing to spend the next few months riding across the US from San Francisco to Savannah, Georgia, to raise funds for five different charities.

A Sebastopol paper celebrates hometown boy Luke Lamperti, after the 18-year old cyclist won an unexpected victory in the road cycling national championships.

 

National

A new study of “socioeconomic and demographic changes in predominantly residential neighborhoods” in 29 US cities show that despite fears of gentrification, new bike lanes don’t result in the displacement of people of color and low income residents.

A writer for Forbes considers whether dooring will still be risk in the era of self-driving cars.

Yes, you can ride a bike when you’re pregnant, and it’s actually good for you.

Sad news from Colorado, where a missing man was found dead in a creek swollen with winter runoff, after he failed to return from a bike rider on Saturday.

A little more sanity from Oklahoma, where kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man after learning he was walking 17 miles each way in the the scorching heat to get to his job at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

International

Treehugger offers tips on how to keep your bike safe at home, where half of all bike thefts occur.

Road.cc suggests ways to keep your bike from being a pain in the butt. Literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says we’ll stay off the sidewalk if you’ll stay the hell out of the bike lane. Actually, I may have added that hell part myself. Not that I’ve ever had to deal with recalcitrant pedestrians in bike lanes, or anything. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old British man is back on his bike, just two weeks after a major endo left him a “bloody mess.” I mean, aside from the endo and bloody mess, that is.

A new German-made taillight includes an HD video camera that automatically saves video of close passes, as well as the last several seconds of video if you hit the pavement.

The Financial Express says India is riding its way to a more bike-friendly future, as bike sales have jumped up to 400% during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a stage-by-stage preview of the Tour de France, which gets off to an earlier than usual late June start this Saturday.

Bicycling offers a team-by-team guide to who will win this year’s Tour de France, while suggesting it may not be your favorite one. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

British sprinter Mark Cavendish was a surprise addition to the Deceuninck-Quick-Step roster, after missing the last three Tours.

Why just watch the races as an uninvolved spectator, when you can join the fun with Cycling Tips’ Tour de France Fantasy Competition?

Cyclist looks back to Frenchman Antonin Magne’s win in the 1931 Tour, which he repeated three years later.

Britain’s cycling team is looking to continue their success at the Summer Games, despite several years of scandals and conflict since capturing 12 medals in Rio.

A gritty 30-mile breakaway at the US road cycling nationals won a pro contract for 30-year old Lauren De Crescenzo. But only after she finishes her work with the CDC.

 

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike. If you can’t remember whether you stole the bike you’re riding, maybe cut back on the drugs a bit.

And that feeling when you’re cut off by a drifting weinermobile.

………

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

Six bicyclists critically injured in attack by pick driver in Arizona bike race, and LGBTQ+ hate from Florida pickup driver

Once again, a driver has used a motor vehicle as a weapon, leaving broken bodies in his wake.

This time during a bike race in Show Low, Arizona Saturday morning.

The town of just 11,100 people, 175 miles northeast of Phoenix, was the starting point for the 13th Annual Bike the Bluff Championship Arizona State Road Race.

But just minutes after the men’s 55 and older masters race began, the driver of a Ford F-150 pickup traveling in the opposite direction deliberately crossed over three lanes of traffic to slam into a group of bicyclists, critically injuring six people, with a seventh rider hospitalized in stable condition.

Two other people suffered less serious injuries.

A witness describes the horrors of the crash, which came just six minutes after the start, with bodies flying in every direction. Be forewarned before you click on the link, though, because the story features disturbing photos of the victims lying on the ground after the crash, as well as their mangled bikes and helmets.

You’ll find most of those same photos here, without the graphic photos of the victims. But even then, there’s a photo of a bike wheel and busted fork stuck in the truck’s grill that will haunt me forever.

This is how a Phoenix TV station describes the aftermath.

Helmets, shoes and crumpled and broken bicycles were strewn across the street after the crash, and a tire was wedged into the grill of the truck, which had damage to its top and sides and a bullet hole in a window.

The New York Times reports the driver crashed into a utility pole and was surrounded by angry bicyclists pounding on the windows and screaming for him to get out.

Instead, he backed out and drove down the road, before making a U-turn and heading back toward the bicyclists, who feared a second attack that thankfully never came.

Police attempted to stop the 35-year old Show Low man, who has not been publicly identified, as he fled the scene. They cornered him behind a hardware store a short time later, and shot him in a confrontation, the details of which have not been released.

He remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

There’s no word yet on why he did it. Or what charges he’ll face, assuming he survives his wounds.

It should be at least six counts of attempted murder. And hopefully, with a sentence to be served consecutively so he’ll be locked up for a very long time.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to me.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

The team competition in the Race Across America, aka RAAM, kicked off in Oceanside, California yesterday, as teams of 2, 4, and 8 people set on on a race across the continent to the Empire State Building in New York.

Solo riders are seven days in on the race after starting on Tuesday, and allowed just another five days to complete the course.

An Oklahoma team is riding to promote mental health and suicide prevention, something that’s especially important after a year of Covid losses and lockdowns.

Endurance cyclist and semi-retired star San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette forwards a photo of himself sandwiched between three-time Olympian, four-time US road cycling champ and Ironman World Champ John Howard and former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, who’s competing in this year’s RAAM for Team Thin Energy.

………

The Eastside Riders want your support to win an LA 2050 grant.

………

A Kenyon rider offers a fascinating view of bicycling conditions in east central Africa, with a challenging soda-fueled, 102-mile ride to the Tanzanian border and back on torturous tuk tuk filled roads.

Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

………

Pro cyclists have to move obstacles out of the way, too. Even Liège–Bastogne–Liège women’s champ Demi Vollering.

But damn, check out that scenery.

………

Are two riders faster than one?

Probably not.

Thanks to Tandem Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. Opponents of a bike path through a Florida seniors community insist that “bicycles and people do not mix.” Apparently forgetting that people ride bicycles, including many older people. And those who do are usually healthier and happier than those who don’t, regardless of age.

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

Now that’s more like it. Responding to complaints of anti-social behavior from groups of bike riders and skateboarders, London police welcome them to ride in the city center, where its relatively safe compared to other areas.

A 28-year old Welsh man could face charges of manslaughter and causing bodily harm by wanton/furious driving after killing a 79-year old woman while allegedly riding his bicycle recklessly.

………

Local

Metro will vote this Thursday on whether to modernize their Highway Program to open up spending for bus lanes, bike lanes, pedestrian infrastructure and other projects that work to reduce Vehicle Mile Traveled, instead of adding lanes to already overcrowded freeway.

Unincorporated Los Angeles County has a short new protected bike lane on Workman Mill Road in Avocado Heights.

 

State

Work is set to begin this week on installing spacious seven-foot parking- and post-protected bike lanes on 30th Street in San Diego. Meanwhile, local residents and business people decry the loss of 450 parking spaces for the project.

Ride with the American Institute of Graphic Arts next Saturday, and take in the murals of La Jolla.

San Francisco police have arrested a 40-year old man on suspicion of a “prolific” string of pharmacy thefts, including the recent theft where a man on a bicycle was seen clearing pharmacy shelves into a bag before riding out of the store.

Santa Rosa police are looking for a heartless hit-and-run driver who left a bike rider lying in the roadway with severe injuries.

 

National

CNN confirms that it’s not your imagination. Drivers really have gotten worse during the pandemic.

A design site recommends bicycle accessories that run the gamut from smart to cool to…strange.

A writer for c|net recommends a pair of bone conduction headphones from Aftershokz, crediting them with saving his life by allowing him to hear a truck bearing down on him from behind as he rode his bike; they’re on sale now for Prime Day.

Keith Johnson forwards information on a one-year bicycle technician program at the Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Minneapolis bike riders vote with their feet — or their pedals — riding on bike trails more and bike lanes a lot less.

Take a 33-day ride along the entire length of the Mississippi River.

On one of the area’s first post-pandemic group rides, around 50 Michigan bike riders remember the victims of the Kalamazoo massacre, five years after a drunk and stoned driver killed five people and injured four others when he slammed into their group ride.

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a Massachusetts man was arrested for his fifth DUI after hitting a bike rider (scroll down), following four previous convictions; he was also arrested for possession of a powdery substance believe to be coke. Let’s hope they finally take it seriously this time, and he never drives again.

An op-ed writer in the New York Post insists that the city has to reign in ebikes after the death of Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, and the ebike hit-and-run that left her seriously injured. Except Banes was struck by a rider on an e-scooter, not an ebike. And in her case, the problem wasn’t the ebike, it was a salmon delivery bicyclist going the wrong way in a bike lane on the wrong side of the street. 

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a passing bicyclist teamed with a New Jersey state trooper to rescue two women who fell from their overturned kayak.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a 12-week plan to get fit this summer.

Cuban bike riders turned out to protest the ongoing US blockade of their country, which hasn’t accomplished anything 50 years.

A British Columbia man thought he was in good shape thanks to mountain biking, but his first visit to a doctor in years uncovered stage 4 thyroid cancer than had spread to his spine; he’s now planning a solo 465-mile bike ride across Minnesota in September to benefit the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association.

It takes a major schmuck to knock an 11-year old Toronto boy off his bike after speeding through a stop sign, then flee as the kid stumbles to the curb. And schmuck is putting it mildly.

Big news from London, where Oxford Circus, one of the city’s busiest intersections, will be transformed into a pair of pedestrian plazas separated by a significantly smaller street, with traffic further reduced by closing nearby feeder streets. Seriously, if they can do it there — and in Paris and New York — there’s no reason we can’t do it here. Or wherever you live and ride.

An Indian immigrant learns to ride a bike again at 70 years old, nearly 50 years after giving up riding when she moved to Great Britain.

A writer for Cycling Weekly takes a ride through the UK’s equivalent of Top Gun on Northern Wales’ Mach Loop, one of just two places on earth where you can look down and see ground-hugging fighter pilots roaring beneath you.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole,” whose job is to get celebrity drivers off the hook for traffic crimes, wants to make bicycle and e-scooter riders wear a license plate. Seriously.

Evidently, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will keep the bespoke Bilenk bicycle given him by Joe Biden, after commissioning a matching tricycle for his one-year old son.

Several Philippine bicyclists were injured, including a 14-year old girl, when they collided with each other while passing a truck during an illegal bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Lauren Stephens and Joey Rosskopf for winning the US national road cycling titles; SoCal’s Coryn Rivera finished second to capture her third silver of the nats, while retiring cyclist Brent Bookwalter finished second for the men in his final race as a pro.

LA’s vaunted L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team came up short in the men’s crit, when pre-race favorites Cory Williams and Travis McCabe of Best Buddies Racing hit the pavement on the final turn; 18-year old U-23 team member Luke Lamperti won a surprise victory, while Kendal Ryan won the women’s crit.

In a major surprise, L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams won his 12th national title — but his first representing Belize, switching his national affiliation to his father’s homeland after winning eleven US national titles.

Reuters previews the road cycling competitions at next month’s Tokyo Olympics.

Team USA introduces the 14 paracyclists who will represent the US in Tokyo.

Twenty-five-year old South Africa native Nicholas Dlamini was named to the Tour de France roster for the Qhubeka Assos team, becoming the first Black African cyclist to ride in the race.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have some good bones. Don’t use a riding crop on your fellow naked bike riders, even if you are a dominatrix.

And that feeling when a bicyclist and TV news host turns out to have pretty good taste in music, too.

………

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